I think I say this each time I blog, but blogging has been hard for the past seven months. In this case, I’m not talking about the lack of time. Hudson actually took awesome naps this week, and I took advantage of them by cleaning the house, lounging, and even reading a little bit. And then we both got sick so I spent Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday blowing my nose and trying to breathe. But I digress. Blogging has been hard since having Hudson here because even though I am so incredibly happy (like, grossly happy), there are still times when the grief hits and life feels hard. I always have my happy boy to pick me back up, but that doesn’t mean I still don’t get sad about not having our other kids here, and I don’t necessarily feel like I have the right to share those emotions when I know there are other people who have lost children and don’t have any at home. Who am I to complain?
But the fact is, some moments are still hard. And I’ve always wanted this blog to be a place where I am true to myself and share my raw feelings, because I know some people benefit from it. I guess. Maybe I’m just using that as an excuse, but blogging is a sort of therapy for me, so I’m going to keep doing it.
I never got to say a proper goodbye to the townhome. The last time I was there, I assumed that I’d be going back the next morning with Brandon to help clean it up and get the last of our things, but Hudson was napping super well that morning, and Brandon’s dad was here to help him, so I stayed home with Brandon’s mom to get stuff done around here. I took a few minutes to say a little goodbye the night before, but at that point it was more of saying goodbye to Hudson’s room; I don’t feel like I got to say goodbye to everything else the townhome held.
Before it was Hudson’s room, it was Carter’s room. And before it was Carter’s room, it was a room where we sat to dream about what the future held for us. A room where we could sit and think about all the fun things we were going to do with our first born. All the tiny giggles we’d get to hear from him. The room where we debated names and where I finally started calling him Carter without telling Brandon, just to try it out. Then we decorated it and the idea of him became even more real. We stuffed the dresser full of clothes and we bought him toys in anticipation of the future, and Brandon drew the sweetest drawing that we hung in the center of the wall.
And then we lost him.
The clothes gathered dust. The rocker became a seat I didn’t want to sit in. His stuffed animals were fillers for the empty space in my arms. The nursery became a symbol of everything we’d lost, but it also became the place I could go to feel an overwhelming amount of peace, on top of my sadness. I’d curl up in one of his blankets and cry until I fell asleep. I’d hold his tiny outfits and dress our weighted Carter bear because I would never dress our son. I did a lot of things in that room that I never imagined I would.
It became a symbol of hope again for a short while, then again, more sadness. And it happened once more.
And then it became happy again, once Hudson arrived.
But I all I keep thinking about is how I never got to say thank you to the townhome for all the memories it now holds. The people who live there now will never know just how much went on within those walls. They’ll never know how much time I spent on the floor, first crying until I couldn’t breathe, then playing with our little newborn. They’ll never know how much time was spent in the bathrooms, recovering from an emotional labor, d&c, and miscarriage, then finally a c-section that scarred me physically but left my emotions in tact. They won’t see any damage on the walls from where I threw sweaters, but they might catch a glimpse of tiny fingerprints on the bathroom mirrors. They’ll never know how much time we spent cooped up in the master bedroom, because for a certain number of months it was hard to simply get out of bed, and then for another few months all we wanted to do was watch our sweet baby sleep. They just won’t know. Even though we were excited to leave the townhome, so many things happened there. It became a true home after we started spending so much time there when our social anxiety kicked in. It became a home when we filled it with trinkets that reminded us of our babies. And it became even more of a home when we finally brought home a sweet little sibling for the others.
I wish I would have taken just a few minutes to say a quiet goodbye. Maybe to sit on the kitchen floor, or to apologize to the wall in the closet for all the hits it took. To sit in the nursery, empty as it was the day we moved in, and remember the transitions it went through over the three years we were there.
I’ll probably never step foot inside the townhome again, but maybe one day I’ll stand outside of it and say thank you for the protection it gave us when life got hard. One thing I’ve learned over and over again each time we’ve moved though, is that it’s not the house that makes a home, it’s the people that are in it with you. And even though our whole family is not in our house each day, I still feel them closely, and I know that home is wherever we carry them in our hearts.