As you know Monday was my first day flying solo. On Sunday night I made a list of things that I could do each day to keep myself busy, per my midwife's instruction. She told me it would take planning on my part, to make sure I had things on my agenda and wouldn't just sit at home alone. My husband has been great about coming home each night, asking what I did and asking what my plan is for the next day. My grandma calls, just to see if I did "anything fun" today, other friends send me their availability and offer to hang out at a moment's notice. Everyone means well, I know.
Monday morning I spoke to the funeral home and was told that I/we could come pick up Olive's remains and belongings. Since I was going to be out that way for lunch with friends I decided I was going to get her myself. We decided to have Olive cremated after her funeral as we hadn't yet decided on a cemetery, and to be honest, I wasn't sure I could actually bury her so soon.
I had been dreaming about the day I got to bring my sweet girl home since we bought our house 4 years ago. I envisioned us getting her snug in her carseat, I would sit in the backseat with her the whole ride home - because that's what new moms do. We would stop for a quick picture on our front porch to signify the fact that we were now a family - this would be the home we would raise our babies. Instead I was going to pick my daughter up in a wooden box (a beautiful wooden box, by the way) but a wooden box that would sit next to me in the passenger's seat.
The funeral director was pleasant, as they had been throughout all of this, but nothing could change the fact that I was bringing my baby home in a box.
I made sure she was snug in the seat next to me as I fought back tears. On a whim I decided that I didn't want to go straight home. I made a pit stop at Culvers (like so many afternoons when she was in my belly) to enjoy one last ice cream cone with my girl. I had grand intentions of having some mother-daughter moment that could make up for the lifetime of moments I was going to miss out on, but instead I sat there and cried. Ice cream running down my fingers and onto my skirt. I just sobbed. I apologized to her that we would never go for ice cream after a soccer game or because of a good report card. We would never have ice cream to mend her first broken heart or celebrate a major success. But I promised her that every time I ate an ice cream cone, I would think of her. I finished what I could and drove her home.
After Olive passed, my inlaws did us the service of removing anything baby related from the common areas of the house and stuck it all in the nursery. I told them they could leave the items in our bedroom though, but after one night my husband woke up and took that cradle directly to her nursery and shut the door. I can't say I blame him. He spent sleepless nights working on perfecting that cradle. That cradle was going to be a safe place for us to rock our babies to sleep, for Olive to rock her baby doll's to sleep until some day she rocked her own babies to sleep in it. As much as I wanted that cradle in our room, albeit empty, that was a decision of his I was not going to argue.
Olive now sleeps in a beautiful box that my sister-in-law made years ago - never knowing the true fate of her creation. When we received the box it didn't close, so my husband took some extra olive wood that my sister-in-law had brought us and added it to the box so that it would close properly.
Snug and secure - not in the way we envisioned, but in his own way he ensured she would have a safe place to sleep peacefully forever.