Offer a sign of hope for the next “rainbow baby”
I was rummaging through my youngest child’s dresser recently, pulling out old baby shoes and caps, diapers, and old tubes of diaper cream – all things my kids haven’t used for years – when I noticed how fast everything goes.
When I started writing this column almost ten years ago, I was in the thick haze of a young motherhood, with a toddler and a newborn in tow. We were in the midst of diaper changes and breastfeeding, worrying about baby food and kindergarten. And here we are, just 10 years later and now I have a 12 year old daughter on the verge of being a teenager, someone I sometimes blink my eyes with and wonder how she ever turned into the young one. woman she has become. I am also the parent of two elementary school children, my 10 year old son and my 6 year old daughter.
The days of sleepsuits and pacifiers seem like an eternity.
And yet there they were, old pacifiers and a newborn-sized jumpsuit taken from the dresser, which also served as a changing table for my three children. My 6 year old daughter needed more room for her clothes, so I recently bought her a much larger dresser and painted it hot pink. And then I emptied the old dresser / changing table.
I painted it too, because it had worn out a lot for three kids and over 12 years. We bought it in 2008, along with our used cradle while we were expecting our first child. And while I wrapped our old crib in plastic and put it in the eaves of our attic – for the grandchildren someday, I tell myself, even though that too seems like this. will be a life away – I didn’t want to keep the changing table dresser. I come from a long line of grabbers. I knew there was no need and that there was no way he would fit into the attic.
And so I spent the last week sanding it down, spraying it with a fresh coat of shiny white paint. I was very careful that he looked almost new, as I could only imagine the family he might belong to.
As I painted it, I thought about those long late nights, changing the diapers in that dresser, putting on tiny footed pajamas on a freshly washed baby, or holding our oldest on that table to see herself in the mirror.
I wanted to make sure the table had a good life in front of it and pass it on the same way another family passed it on to us. I put it up for sale nervously, and it sold out in a day.
I told myself that I had made the right choice to sell, since it is only a piece of furniture. I then texted the buyer and told them to bring help lifting it, as the piece is heavy wood, assuming she was pregnant.
But then she corrected me and told me that she was pregnant, but recently they didn’t find any heartbeat on the first ultrasound. The buyer explained that she and her husband were buying the piece of furniture as a sign of hope that they would be pregnant again, for the upcoming “rainbow baby”.
My heart broke for her – because I’ve had two miscarriages before and know all too well the anxiety and devastation that can bring. But then I told the woman that this changing table, which gave us three children and so many late nights and a change of clothes, was used for two “rainbow babies” – my son. and my youngest daughter, who were each born after such a loss. Without these losses, I explained to him, I would not have the children I have today.
The wife and her husband brought their truck to pick up the dresser and the husband tried to explain the situation, but the wife spoke up and just said “she knows”.
He shook my hand and said thank you. I told him that even though it was bittersweet to let it go, I knew without a doubt that it was time. And, as I watched them drive off in their truck with the loaded dresser in the back, I knew it was going to the right people – from one “rainbow baby” to the next.
Lydia Seabol Avant writes The Mom Stop for The Tuscaloosa News. Contact her at [email protected]