The Crib

P has been napping in her crib for two weeks. This is huge. Since she was born, I’ve had her in it for photos here and there, I’ve let her play in it to create some familiarity. But until two weeks ago I’d never let her sleep in it. It took me until I was 8 months pregnant to even take the crib out of the box and put it together. Sloan’s death instilled this intense, perhaps somewhat irrational fear and avoidance of cribs. For so long, even the word made me shudder. But she’s almost 8 months old and it was time to introduce this constant into her life. I will admit that even with the video monitor and the Owlet on her foot, I’ve still checked on her excessively, still snuck into her room and stood over the crib watching the rise and fall of her chest. Still placed my hand on her back to feel the warmth of her lungs pumping and her heart beating. Each time, fighting flashbacks to that moment in Sloan’s crib when my hand felt no movement under it, when the tiny body I touched was cold and lifeless. But Phoenix is here, and she can’t live a life hindered by my own anxieties and traumas. I don’t ever want her to feel that I’ve confused his death with her life, blurring the lines between grieving his death, and letting her live. And so, she naps in her crib.

2 thoughts on “The Crib

  1. I have followed your story and my heart has just broken. You are such a strong beautiful soul, and Mother. Being someone who battled infertility for 5 plus years , and finally got my rainbow baby I hope you know that you have raised a lot of awareness and made me aware of things I just didn’t know. My sister passed when she was two. I remember how that felt and watching my families struggle. I just can’t understand how anyone has been unkind, or used any of your sweet babies story in a negative light shame on them and I believe in Karma . I pray for you often and just wanted you to know how Amazing you are!

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  2. I know your pain. My boys were six weeks old when we found our youngest, Ryder, lifeless in his crib while his twin screamed for our attention. Was Jarrett screaming because he knew his brother had left this world or was he screaming because he was hungry or some other reason, we will never know. While Ryder’s death was caused by congestive heart failure, he died in his crib. Not in a hospital, not in our bed, not in our arms. A crib. It took me years and years before I learned how to sleep through the night without tip toeing into Jarrett’s-and then our daughter Kamden’s-room at least twice a night to feel their bodies for the peaceful rise and fall of life affirming breath. It’s been 22 years since we lost Ryder, my “babies” are no longer babies, but my anxiety of losing them still remains. Hugs to you as you grow with your little one.

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