For a long time; it was his room. When I got pregnant in the fall of 2005, one of the first things I did? Bought bedding for the room. I fell in love with a discontinued bed set, so I stalked eBay for random pieces to complete the set. I think I had the main pieces by the time I was 7 weeks pregnant. Crazy to think about, but I was really excited about that room.
So, my entire pregnancy with him was spent doing little things for that room.
It was actually in that room that I had my first weird, deep, gut feeling that he wasn't coming home. It is a weird thought I had when I was about 35 weeks along, not a paranoid thought, but a matter of fact thought. That is a subject for a different blog post though.
So, back to the room. After we lost him, we threw everything baby related around the house (swing, bouncy seat) into that room and closed the door. But the room was never off limits. I went in there often, to look around. To touch the crib. To remember and grieve. It also became a "catch all" for other random stuff, like a bed frame or a dresser we had no space for anymore.
But it was always HIS room. Blue and yellow. With cheerful bugs and turtles marching up and down the wall. "It is a turtle! With a party hat!" I exclaimed cheerfully.
When I got pregnant again, I knew I would redo the room. Regardless of gender. The bugs and turtles were his theme. I would use the furniture again, obviously. The bouncy seat and swing were brand new. But I wanted new bedding, wall art, a new paint job. Getting pregnant with a girl made that decision even easier. We would go from blue to pink, pink and more pink. In fact, in an effort to find joy in a a very scary pregnancy, I looked at crib sets at the very start. Focusing on picking out a set I loved made me smile and get excited again.
Late in September of 2007, my mom came over and started painting over his room to turn it into her room. She did a wonderful job. Her huge gift to our daughter. After she completed the pink and tan paint job, I got to work. Hanging the valance (that, once again, I had to stalk eBay for because I fell in love with a clearanced bedding set!), ordering pink and brown baskets, scouring the internet for a brown changing pad and on and on. There were those thoughts "What if I am doing this all again for a baby who doesn't come home?" But, to be fair to her and really, fair to myself, I pushed ahead.
Then, the room was complete. But...it still looked like his room. Despite the pink and brown and the clearly girly bedding with cupcakes and ice cream cones...when I walked in, it still looked like his. The furniture all in the same place. I could see a little blue paint peeking out from a corner that had been missed in our pink painting job.
So, I got to work again. I rearranged the furniture. I moved the rocking chair to the other side of the room, the bookshelf which can be placed two different ways, got laid on it's side against a wall instead of in a corner. The dresser went into the other corner.
I left the blue paint, however, peeking out. Not that I needed it, but a reminder of what used to be.
When she was born, she looked so much like him. At certain angles, it would catch me off guard. Her, with him peeking out, reminding me of what used to be.
Now that she has grown and changed, I don't see him in her every time I look anymore. I go into that room and my first thought is not "his room" like it was for 2 years. It is now her room, with burp cloths thrown on the floor, the baskets in disarray, the closet a mess....the room is lived in.
But that blue paint...it remains, and it catches my eye every now and again. Peeking out.
And with her....well, she is my 7 month old. With full cheeks. Chubby thighs, and no longer my tiny baby.
He is forever that newborn, and she is now a full blown baby. But....every once in awhile, while she sleeps, I catch a glimpse. I see both of my children. Peeking out behind those closed eyes.