Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Leftovers

In my bedside table drawer, there is a little mostly-used package of kleenex that my mother brought me in the hospital. I was sitting in the bed, gloriously pregnant, about to deliver the end of myself as I once was. She handed me the kleenex.
"Hospital Kleenex is so scratchy," she said, "I thought you might appreciate this."
It's remarkable that the whole packet isn't empty, but it's not, and it's still there, next to my bed.

Behind that, there is a tiny little diaper. It's brand new, an infant diaper-doubler. When I came home from the hospital, swollen, bleeding, and broken hearted, I found it half-under my bed where someone had missed it when they'd come to pick up the pieces of my old life. It was stiff with the amniotic fluid that had soaked it just 36 hours prior, I could see streaks of blood and still smell that sweet smell.
It occurred to me then that in the fluid would be skin particles, urine, all sorts of Charlotte that had soaked into the piece of cotton. It was her DNA, and I envisioned a Jurassic-Park like scenario where my daughter was conjured out of this evidence of her being.
I tucked it into my drawer, along with the kleenex.

It will probably be there for my entire life.


Hope's Mama said...

I think I'd to the same thing. I still have the t-shirt I laboured in. It is stained with my vomit, her blood and other bodily fluids. I also have a small piece of her skin that must have peeled off on the sheet of paper laid in the scales to weigh her. That piece of paper, along with the paper measuring tape to take her length and head circumference were folded up and put in my memory box and it wasn't til quite a while later that I unfolded it and saw the skin there. I think if the house was going to burn down, that would almost be the thing I'd try and save first, that and her lock of hair.
Writing all this down I realise makes me sound a bit crazy, but we do what we have to do, don't we?

Big Love, Big Acceptance - or so I say said...

I too have the shirt I labored in. It's almost cut in two because during labor I wanted to get my shirt OFF, but I had an IV for pitocin so I couldn't just lift it over my head, and the nurse tried to cut it off, but I guess the scissors weren't sharp enough. Some how the shirt was taken off though - I don't remember the details. And Acacia's ashes, while we've scattered some out into the world, the rest sit in a container from the funeral home in my husband's dresser. Not sure when we'll ever do "something" with them?

Hannah Rose said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Charlotte is such a beautiful, timeless name. It's good to know we're not alone and others "get it." I have found so much encouragement in the blogging community. I'd love to have you follow along on my blog as well;

Birdies Mama said...

Mama...did you see/listen to this?