day 5 – journal
While i was expecting Paul, i looked for a book to collect our memories of him. I imagined we would create so many of them, for so long, as we learned to live with a baby, as we discovered him/her, as we went on adventures together… I didn’t like most of the baby album available, often intensely gendered and to intricate in their design for my taste.
Despite my initial good intentions, I had not kept a regular journal during my pregnancy – perhaps because I didn’t enjoy myself that much and wouldn’t have wanted my child to read about my petty complaints. But I was determined to chronicle my baby’s first year, or, as the journal I finally found suggested, his First 1000 days.
I ordered the journal online and was really pleased when I received it. Soft matte paper, the beautiful paper cut designs of Nikki McClure and sweet nature- and life-inspired prompts. During the first days of our life with Paul, we filled the first few pages, telling Paul the story of his birth, listing our hospital visitors and how we filled our time together. I was so looking forward to recounting his adventures as the months passed, so that he could read them one day.
Instead, his story ends abruptly before I could write anything under the “1 month” header, and i am left wondering if i should get another one of those journals for Paul’s eventual brother or sister…
day 6 – books
I have read some books specifically on neonatal loss and grief but those are not really the ones that have stood out in my exploration of what death and grief means, and how to reconcile my complicated and contradictory emotions through this journey. I have been moved and inspired by fiction and non-fiction presenting other people’s explorations of their feelings toward their own death or the death of a loved one, not necessarily their babies or children. My #1 suggestion of the last few months : Frida Kahlo’s biography by Rauda Jamis.