Yesterday, I did the thing recurrent miscarriers ought never ever do. I wandered aimlessly and purposelessly through the aisles of Buy Buy Baby.
I did enter with a mission. I was to buy a gift for our friends who are in the midst of adopting a little boy from South Korea. After more than a decade of infertility, they are now just a short but completely undetermined number of months away from finally bringing home their forever child. And so we are rightfully celebrating them with a surprise new year’s eve shower.
Armed and ready for action, I headed through the giant sliding glass doors of Buy Buy Baby like I have so many times in the last 20 months: shield over my heart, blinders around my eyes, inhaling the deepest breath possible before directly setting out for battle.
Normally, I speed walk directly toward the gift I am intent to buy, not allowing myself a glance in any direction that is not directly in the path of that specific item, before I pay and finally get the hell out of there, operation complete.
Maybe it was because this was the first baby gift I’ve bought in a long time without feeling that tiny twinge of resentment. Maybe it was because these friends have shown me that there are always other ways. Or maybe it was because I simply had nowhere else I needed to be. But, after I located the all-important Sleep Sheep and onesie and my mission was over, my battalion veered off-course. I found myself walking, looking, and touching. The things I have never ever allowed myself to do before.
I eyed the crib with the bedding I’d want if I had a little girl. I touched the cute little blue bouncy swing I’d want if I had a little boy. I saw the stroller I’d want if I had two grand to drop on a stroller. And I saw the empty room in my house as something other than an empty room. I saw it with curtains and a changing table and a rocking chair and a cute little dresser with matching pants and tops that say things like “Mommy’s little stinker” and “I only drink milk.”
I saw a mom-to-be and her mom having a disagreement over car seats. She shot me a look as if to say “Isn’t this the worst?” And I resisted shooting her a look to say, “No, really, it’s not.”
After I’d thumbed through the books and stroked the fluffy blankets and held the tiny outfits up to admire, I took the adorable little things meant for somebody else’s formerly-empty room and I paid for them.
And as I walked back through the sliding glass doors, I realized that I didn’t feel any better than when I first walked in. But I didn’t feel any worse. And that, at least, was a good start.