Saturday, June 21, 2008

Show and Tell... Hope in a gift bag

Hubby and I have a special closet in our room. We keep our hamper there and our vacuum cleaner. Other than that the space is filled with treasures. We have a beautiful crib in there waiting to be assembled. Until recently our pack n' play was stored there and we also have a car seat that has been waiting for a child too long and will have to be replaced but we can't bear to let it go. We also have a gift bag on the top shelf given to someone else's baby piled up with goodies. There are adorable little outfits and lotions and baby wash. We have receiving blankets, hair bows, and pacifiers. Occasionally someone will outgrow their baby clothes and hand them to us for our future use happy to free up space to buy more stuff for their real baby.

Last summer my sister came across this dress that was just beautiful and she bought it for me in the hopes that I would someday have a little girl to wear it. I treasure this little jewel like a priceless museum artifact along with all of our other jewels waiting for the right time and place.

I've been waiting for a couple of weeks now to show everyone this dress. At first I was afraid. I wasn't afraid really of what someone would think about having all that stashed and unused baby gold or something silly like jinxing myself or what not. I was afraid to put my heart out there. This dress has come to signify hope to me. Our whole closet has really. I don't care about having a girl or boy even though hubby and I have dreamed at night of sweet frilly bloomers and hair bows. We would be happy with baseballs and dinosaurs just as well. What I do care about is having a sweet baby cuddled in the crook of my arm someday. We have collected and stored these things as a sort of promise to ourselves that it will happen someday. As long as we have the stuff we have to use it at some point right?

It is hard sometimes to look in there. It reminds me of a void we feel every second of every day. I just feel so hollow and helpless staring at the building blocks without the house. There are other days though that I just need to hope. I have to believe for one second that there is a happy ending somewhere. I keep that closet full to help me on those days. I will pull out our bag and sit on the bed touching each thing. I will run a hand lovingly over the maple wood of the crib or inhale the scent of the little dress purposely kept on top of the bottle of baby wash so it has a baby smell.

Hope is a vulnerable and risky thing to have. With hope there is always the chance of pain sometimes over and over but, I believe that if you dig deep enough hope also pushes you to keep going and regardless of the outcome you will come out in the end wiser and stronger.

We continue our journey in a week or so and I think we have bandaged our wounds well enough for a couple more rounds in the ring. We have both spent time looking at our treasures and dreaming. We have dared for the first time in many months to talk to each other about what it would be like. Please don't misunderstand. We aren't naive and nonchalant any more. Six years has taught us a thing or two about counting chickens and hatching babies. We always talk late at night as we are trying to settle in to sleep. Almost always our dreams are dreamed in a whisper as if hiding our conversation from anyone that might think us too vain and snatch our dreams right out of the air. We are always cautious and use words like "if" and "wouldn't it be nice" and "someday."

I pray that perhaps a miracle will find its way over to us, but I always follow up with a prayer that another disappointment won't shatter us or tear us apart. This is what infertility is. It's not just wanting the baby or going to appointments or taking meds. It's holding on to something and trying to find a balance between daring to hope that finally things will be ok, and protecting your heart against the pain and anguish of broken dreams. I'm going to edge out onto the ice of hope for a little while no matter how thin. I'm terrified of falling into the icy depths again but I'm even more terrified of sitting here helpless on the shore.


Smiling said...

I have a similar stash of treasure, but mine are spread out in different boxes and suitcases as the times shift with every move.

Sometimes people question why I do it, but I realize that just because I can't conceive easily doesn't mean that I should be entitled to dream (if that is my style) any more than the fertile people out there.

And so I too have my dreams and hope items and I treasure them.

Thanks for sharing

Alyson & Ford said...

May you grow your family soon, however is best for you.
We are expanding through adoption. We have tons of love for a child, any child needing a home.

Alyson LID 01/27/06 (IA China)

Kymberli said...

Like the dress, this post is simply beautiful.

JuliaS said...

The truest epitome of "Hope Chest". May your treasures soon become your greatest joys.

Thank you for sharing a lovely and honest post.

butterflyanla said...

If you have seen my show and tell post already, you know you aren't the only one who has a treasure stash. My stash of heirloom baby dresses and little gifts used to scare me and make me feel weird, then one day I realized those little carter sleepers my husband bought as a gift the first year we started trying still bring me hope three years later. Keep the hope alive my dear.

Kimberley said...

I completely understand, I had a closet full of clothes, baby things, a crib, and it was chocked full of dreams. It is a beautiful dress. Thank you for sharing.