I have owned a crib for four years and I don’t have a child. I have moved this crib in and out of two apartments, one a condo, and then to my dad’s basement. I also have a matching combo unit, bassinet, baby monitor and two totes full of baby clothes and toys. When we moved into our condo six weeks ago, my dad was standing in my kitchen looking at the crib as it sat, in pieces, inside the closet. This prompted one of the hardest conversations I’ve ever had in my life.
Standing in my kitchen, staring at the crib, my dad asked if I wanted to store the baby items in his basement. He said, “if you’re having trouble having a baby, do you think it’s healthy to have them here?” and I didn’t really know how to answer him.
His loaded question, “does having them near make you feel better?”
I bought the crib when we first started trying to have a baby and when we experienced our loss I told my husband not to worry about it, we’d be able to use the crib. I continued to collect and purchase items whenever and where ever I could. Closer to my loss I didn’t have the attachment to these items that I do now, four years later. That will be different for everyone. It might depend how far along you were or how much you’d purchased. It’s easy, especially, when grieving to put a lot of negative emotions onto these items. They serve as reminders, the elephant in the room, of what we lost. Something as small as a sock can lead to a breakdown.
So, what do you do?
If you have a nursery set up, do you take it down? Do you return gifts? Do you give everything away?
The best advice I can give you is to take your time.
At first, you’ll probably hate these items. You’ll want to take out all your sadness and frustrations on them. You’ll want them out of your sight and out of your house. The first thing you really need to do is take some time away from them. You don’t need to pack them up or sell them or do anything with them right away. It’s important to give yourself a chance to begin grieving before you make a decision. Once you have had a chance to really think it over you will be able to make the right decision for you. I packed everything into totes and boxes so we still have it when we will need it. I did give a few items away here and there to people who needed them, and I still collect items all the time to add to my boxes.
After considering all these feelings, I realized it does make me feel better to have everything near by. I don’t know if it’s because I want to believe I will use them one day, or because I just like the items, but they make me feel better. Although, I did end up putting them into my dad’s basement for the sake of saving space and getting some things organized in our new place, but I didn’t send everything. I still have a pair of baby shoes that sit on my night stand just waiting for the little feet that will fill them.
Photo credit: adapted from iskir | Flickr