Well, it was supposed to be. Today. My baby shower. The first. Or what was supposed to be. October 26, 2013. 2 PM. A lot of you were on the invitation list. Lots of you. Some very near. Some very far. A lot of you wanted to be there to witness this joy. To cheer me on. To shower me and our baby with love. A lot of you wanted this for me, more than anything else. In some case, more than anyone else. None of you wanted this more than I did. None of you feel as deeply as I do today, my No-Baby Shower day.
My sister had already put a deposit in with the venue, because, you see, so many of you wanted to be there. And I wanted so many of you to be there that we didn’t have enough room at her house. So, we picked a little venue that would give us all plenty of room to enjoy this day. We had picked a theme, even. It was going to feature books. Lots and lots of books! We were going to start Leo’s love for reading from the get-go. Actually, from within the womb. I was starting to read to him and sing to him. I’d feel him kick. But, yes, I was going to start his library. And I was going to read to that little boy. Read and read and read until he could yell at me to “stop reading so much, mom!”
But, my sister had to ask for her deposit back. The party was canceled. “My sister’s baby died”, she told the kind woman on the other end of the telephone. And with her deepest apologies, the woman returned to my sister her very hopeful deposit. We canceled all the plans. I deleted the list I had made of all invitees. I deleted the too-hopeful baby registry entry that I had yet to even publish. I deleted all the books from my Amazon Wish List and from my Amazon shopping cart. I deleted the Pinterest board of all the ideas I had collected for Leo, including all the baby boy outfits and baby nursery ideas.
I still sit in the very office that was going to be his nursery. We were going to share a space. This very room was going to be Leo’s nursery and my office. I was going to have one tiny little corner of the room with a small desk and my computer. The rest was going to be Leo’s space until he was old enough to do damage to my workspace. I was going to pick colors that would please us both. It was going to be our sacred space. Now, it still sits the way it was when I moved in, there are still boxes that need unpacking. There is still my old black desk with a magazine clipping that says “poetry is dead” decoupaged, by accident, on the top. I still have his folder of ultrasound images and my medical records and hospital discharge instructions to my left. The walls are still painted blue, as the previous resident had left them. We moved in knowing we were pregnant. But we didn’t know whether it was a boy or a girl yet, so we left the walls blue, you know, just-in-case. And then it was a boy, so I thought, maybe I liked the walls blue. And so I left them. And now these very blue walls close in on me at times with the little spirit of a boy that was never in my arms. That only sprinkled into my life for a short moment, yet will drown me in memories forever.