I waited months to finally decorate my nursery. Taking those final steps of preparing to bring a baby home required a level of trust and optimism that I struggled to muster. I knew after the walls were painted and the decals were hung that there would no longer be a way to pretend the room wasn’t a nursery, and it terrified me.
When I lost my son Zennon at 4.5 months pregnant, I hadn’t officially started on the nursery, but every time I went in the room, the boxes of his things were a reminder of what would have been. It would have been his room decorated especially for him.
The Constant Reminder
For months after my loss, each time I looked in my spare room I felt a pang of heartache. Every time I walked by and was reminded that there was no crib and no change table, I fought off tears. That room represented the emptiness within our home as well as the hole left in my heart.
But somehow I found myself preparing to decorate for another baby, one that I still didn’t trust would be coming home but that I wanted so badly. As I put together the crib and the dresser I sobbed; I grieved for all the things that would have been and feared that once again I would come home from the hospital with no need for a nursery.
It Was More than Paint Color and Cute Furniture
It may have seemed like a small task, but to me decorating that nursery signified something so much bigger than paint color and cute furniture. Decorating that nursery meant believing that it would be used. It meant letting go of some of the sadness that had filled those walls as I wished Zennon had been in there. It meant trusting that this baby would come home with me. All of these things were so damn hard for me to do during my pregnancy after loss.
At the time I felt so ashamed that decorating my nursery hadn’t been filled with joy and excitement, like I wanted it to be. I so badly wanted to just dive into the “fun” of it all and get lost in the anticipation. But for me, PAL was hard and decorating my nursery was no different. Navigating a pregnancy after loss is different for everyone, and while the decorating might have been hard, getting to bring my son home was worth every single bit of it.
Be Kind to Yourself
If you find yourself struggling with any part of your pregnancy after loss, please remember to be kind to yourself. What you are doing is incredibly brave and you are doing the absolute best that you can, which is all you can ask for. You’ve got this mama, even if you are struggling.