Remember this post? I wrote it weeks before we knew Grace was on her way, it was in fact about a week later we conceived her.
I wrote about a dream house, of our fears to sell our Toronto home and trading it all in for country roads and fields, and a rural address. When I wrote the post I explored my greatest fear: we would buy the house of our dreams and be unable to fill the house with babies- the very reason we wanted the house in the first place.
Once we found out we were pregnant again, we made an offer on that very home pictured in the post. Our offer was countered with a sum which made us laugh out loud. We resigned ourselves to the fact we had tried, and now felt comfortable walking away- we would keep looking. We both remained scared of making a change before Grace arrived- because while we were pregnant, we no longer felt confident that pregnancy results in living, keeping forever babies. I'm still not convinced, but I am hopeful.
We've looked pretty consistently for the past 8 months and while a few houses peaked our interest, no further offers have been made. We would both look up the original house listing from time-to-time and ogle over it until the house went off the market just after Christmas. We assumed it had sold.
It wasn't until we returned from Whistler a month or so ago, we asked our realtor to reach out to the seller's agent who confirmed the house was in fact not sold, but rather just removed from market until the spring when it would be re-listed. We discussed our options with our realtor- the fact is no other houses had come to market for a price we were wiling to pay, and no house had captured our hearts quite as much as the house we had previously offered on. We decided to tour the house one last time (which we did last Sunday) and finally upped our original offer which was accepted on Tuesday.
We have a new house- our dream house, or at least it will be in July, when we are planning to be moving with a two month old daughter. An enormous leap of faith towards the future we have always planned, even though it means a variation of the life we had hoped for since it can never include the little boy we have longed to buy horsies, doggies or tractors for. It still hurts, that he can never be an active participant in our daily lives- that he never had the opportunity to enjoy the life we had always dreamed to share with him. But the reality is that whether or not we move, we can't have him back. We're not leaving him behind, but bringing his memory with us- to the home which should have been his.
This weekend has been filled with doing things around our own house to prepare it for sale. This meant I finally needed to address the nursery head-on. It's quite literally acted as a dumping ground for all things baby- cards of congratulations upon Jack's arrival, condolence cards and memorial contribution cards, and his cremation paperwork. It's all in there. It's also been home to purchases for Grace, cards we have received in recognition of the little lady growing within me. Gifts we've received from friends. There's a stroller and bassinet jammed in there with the car seat I carried empty into the house one cold day in January, 2011. Needless to say it was both a physical and emotional hurdle I needed to overcome before we could show it to a realtor and prepare our home for sale.
It meant I spent two hours yesterday sitting on the blue and white striped rug I had hoped he would learn to crawl on, sorting through the papers and clothing and gifts. I sorted into distinct piles: things which would only ever be Jack's- clothing he had worn and hadn't been washed before he passed away, and his paperwork (including his hospital health care he received upon birth which states "baby boy W..." My maiden name... knife to my heart), his social security card, and his birth and death certificates. A stack was made for baby boy clothes I hope will be worn by future sons, a pile for Grace's newborn- 3 month clothing, and finally a collection for clothes she wouldn't need until after we moved. It's hard, segmenting all of the hopes and dreams we have for her from those we hold for her (hopefully) future brothers, and also the brother she'll never get to meet here on Earth.
The process was an emotional one, I cried a bunch as I packed up Jack's things, and touched his foot and hand moulds, touched the snippet of downy soft hair blond hair concealed within a tiny little envelope. Looking at the size one diapers which he wore in the NICU, even though they were entirely too big... Blankets he had touched while at the hospital- all these material things which prove he was real- they prove he was here. I cried for all the sweet things he never got the opportunity to wear- all the clothes hanging for him in his closet... I haven't even unpacked his clothing drawers yet- I ran out of time... But it's coming, in the next couple of weeks I need to do that too.
In an effort to consolidate things, I opened the wipes container which had been on his dresser. It's been more than a year since I've opened the container for the purpose of wiping his cute little butt clean, and yet the fact they were dried out was startling to me somehow. Logically it makes sense, but it's yet another example of something I never anticipated- that when I refilled that container, I would be doing it for the last time he was alive. That the contents of the container would be thrown a way as they had dried out.
Today I am washing sweet baby clothing. I had initially planned to wait another couple of weeks to begin this process, but decided as I was packing up boxes, I might as well get started. I have three loads of newborn and 0-3 clothes in various stages of clean- I've folded one load of baby sheets and swaddle blankets, burp clothes, and paired up baby socks. Even as I wash things I worry I'm tempting fate by starting 6+ weeks out from her arrival. I try to push the thoughts out of the forefront of my mind and focus on the squirming being within me, who I hope will outgrow this clothing before wearing even half of it.
I also can't push away the thought my OBGYN might move up my delivery date (I am not-so-secretly hoping she does), and since I can't do many of the things we are required to do before listing (painting and exterior window cleaning) our house next week, this helps me to feel like I'm contributing in some way. I am preparing for her, just as I did her brother, with all the hope and optimism I can muster. I have to say, the sweet smell of baby laundry makes me smile. I never realized just how much I could miss something as mundane as laundry... But I have, and it's extremely bitter-sweet preparing for a baby I can only hope is going to be coming for keeps in just a few weeks.
I'm thankful for the distractions which come with a new home and all the "to do" lists which need to be completed before we can make our dream home really ours. The past week has flown by as we prepare for the big changes which are coming, and with a bunch of doctor's appointments this week and my time at work wrapping up just after Easter, I can't help like feel like we're edging ever so quickly towards Gracie's arrival. I'm so thankful to be at this point, which I always felt was out of reach, mere weeks from when she is to arrive. I have all my eggs in one uterus-shaped basket, and I just need this baby to make it. I need her here, to help heal our broken hearts and restore some of the innocence we lost when we lost him.
Please baby girl, just get here safely.
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