Day 13: Season

It was a very snowy winter.  We had bought a snow blower in preparation and got good use out of it.  It seemed like the snow came pouring down every time I was admitted to the hospital.

We had bought a king sized bed- my dream!  I had always wanted one and when we moved into our house with big bedrooms and were expecting a new little person to share time in bed with us, the expense suddenly seemed less frivolous.  I had passed the two major ultrasounds, in my mind, the anatomy scan and the heart ultrasound, so I figured we were safe.  The king sized bed was one our first major baby purchases (from which we would benefit as well).  It was due to be delivered on sunday.  The thursday before I had my ultrasound which showed low fluid and i was hastily admitted to the hospital.  We spent that weekend safely tucked into the hospital room as the snow piled up on the roads.  We had to ask a friend to pull out our snow blower and plow our driveway so the bed delivery truck could make it in.

In the time off my work had graciously given me to adjust to Mabel’s devastatingly poor prognosis, I visited my family for the holidays.  My parents and brothers were up at our family ski house in New Hampshire.  While the Chris and the boys hit the slopes, I waddled around on snowshoes with my mother.  As the snow fell around me, I listened to the babble of the stream beside the trail and took some deep breaths.  It was the first time in those first treacherous weeks that I could really breathe.

Snowshoeing around Christmas.

Snowshoeing in New Hampshire.

When I was admitted again in February, the snow storms continued.  A major one hit on my birthday.  My parents had come down for the day and we were celebrating by getting some lunch from the carts.  In front of our hospital, dozens of food carts from local restaurants set up to cater to the hospital and university staff that seek them out ravenously every lunch time.  They make a killing selling $5 meals of every different kind of ethnic food- chinese, thai, ethiopian, italian, vietnamese, gourmet cheese, sushi, salads, bengali, mediterranean.  I was excited to bypass the hospital menu to get some good eats.  Chris and my dad went down in the heavy snow to seek out which carts braved the weather.  We had two choices- thai and thai.

The next day I used the 45 minutes I was allotted of the monitor to get some fresh, but frigid, air in the Healing Garden at our hospital- an our door space for admitted patients and visitors to step outside.  I never bought a maternity coat- just shoved my bump into the jackets I had.

A quick trip to the Healing Garden to take in all the snow.

A quick trip to the Healing Garden to take in all the snow.

When labor started, it had snowed recently and since Chris was spending his nights with me, our house upkeep was totally neglected.  I asked Chris to stop at home on his way from work to get the special blanket we had ordered for Mabel.  We hadn’t plowed the driveway from the most recent storms and so Chris had to wade through thigh deep snow up to our house to get it.  Mabel was born on a cold winter morning the next day.  Before being discharged, we had to ask our friends to snow blow our driveway again, so we could get home easily.

The snow remained on the ground during the next week as we planned her serviced.  We buried Mabel under a blanket of snow, white and pure.

THe Cemetery: We buried her under a blanker of snow.

The Cemetery: We buried her under a blanker of snow.

What season do I associate with my child?

Winter. Snowy snowy winter.


4 thoughts on “Day 13: Season

  1. I love that you snowshoe, too. I love that your hospital had food cart days! So jealous. My hospital had lackluster food at best, and the only in-hospital “restaurant” option was Au Bon Pain, which I am *still* sick of. And winter, yes. Ander was born on the polar vortex day. It was -14 degrees. And it was snowing when we left the hospital for the last time, after midnight on February 1st. Despite the horror, there is something fitting about losing a child in the winter. The silence, the crisp cold, people all tucked away. I can’t say I’m looking forward to the winter this year, but it will certainly bring back so many memories. And when I see the first robin of spring, I’ll know Ander has returned to me :).

    • Hah! you and I could share stories about hospital food, huh? We had a *secret* menu at ours. thank goodness for that-a lot of the meals were inconsistenet. We had food carts every weekday but since I was strapped in to the monitor, I couldnt partake. I could have a nurse friend grab me some, but it wouldnt be so good for my nutrition.

      I love the idea that Ander will come to you in the spring… a sweet thing to look forward to in the cold months

  2. Oh how this post resonates with me. Winter is definitely the season that I associate with my grief. A snowy, incredibly cold winter as we had last year. I was actually completely oblivious to all of the snow and the cold because I was so consumed with Thomas being in the NICU. The only time it registered is in the middle of the night when we would get a phone call or trying to drive the 10 miles home to/from the hospital. Looks like we’re bracing ourselves for another New England winter again. Only now we’ll be bracing it in other terms as well…
    Thanks for posting this.

    • We are similar in our somewhat oblivion to the snow- you because you were focused on your trips to the NICU and me becuase i was behind glass, then stuck in my bed babyless. it seems appropriate- cold hard winter associated with our grief.

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