Saturday, November 29, 2014

Empty House, Empty Womb, Empty Room

When Haven died and I was waiting in my hospital bed to deliver her, I sent a good friend back to our house to put away all of the baby things that littered our common space. I had been furiously washing clothes and organizing Haven's things since her shower a few days before and I knew I couldn't return home without her and see everything set up as though she was still coming home.

In the following week, my mom helped me pack up all of Haven's things and stow them in the nursery closet. I left the furniture, bedding set, and decorations as they were, thinking it was for the best; surely we would be bringing home another child within the year. The better-hidden reminders that cropped up in the coming weeks were tucked just inside the door - I still haven't found the energy to put them away. It's fitting; just one more thing unfinished.

I rarely peek my head in the door, which I keep open. Sometimes I water the (neglected) plants in the window or the laundry creeps in from the hall and I step in to scoop it up, then quickly head back out. I know by now things are getting dusty in there, and the room is starting to taunt me. I should dismantle the whole thing and be done with it, but I can't.

I remember Danny so lovingly setting up the room; hanging the wooden shelf his late father made, assembling the crib, arranging the giant farm-themed stuffies on the dresser, making sure everything was just so. It makes me so angry to think about my tender, thoughtful husband putting all of that love into what has become a silent monument to Haven and a symbol of what we are still waiting for. I feel that we have been made fools of...twice now. We celebrated like a couple of trusting idiots, believing we could have what seemed to be our right, what most everyone came by so easily. 

Now we are returning home tomorrow after a week on the road and I'm empty again. Empty house, empty womb, empty room. Once again, freshly washed baby clothing will be snatched from the drying rack and stuffed into the nursery, along with the cheeky hockey onesie that I'd bought in a moment of bravery at a shop this week.

I had so little hope to begin with; having what remained of my confidence snuffed out along with that courageous little flicker of hope has exhausted me. How do I believe again? How many times do we extend our greatest desire only to have it slapped from our hands?

And yet, I am not ready to give up.

There's a bit of life left in me yet.

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