For the past six months, our old bassinet has sat alone in the corner of the dining room. Aside from the occasional brush with the vacuum or mop it hasn’t moved since the last time it was used.
It has stood up to the test of time well, you’d never know in it’s 31 years (yikes!) it has cradled six babies to sleep. It spent many years stored away at my Mum’s house, after being a bed for not only myself and my sister, but several cousins too, it was lying in wait for the next generation.
My husband and I carefully transported it on the long journey from Victoria to Queensland at Christmas three years ago. We were nearing the end of the first trimester of our long awaited and wished for pregnancy and were already imagining our newborn twin babies resting their heads in the same bed as their Mama. We placed it in a spare room, the room we already referred to as belonging to our babies. Several months later, when our babies arrived into this world, but did not come home with us, the bassinet was again packed away.
It was the following Christmas, when entering the third trimester of our second pregnancy, my husband unpacked it from the darkness as I lay in hospital trying to keep our baby inside for as long as possible.
Our Big Boy arrived early, and the bassinet was put to use earlier than expected. After spending six weeks in hospital, when he finally came home, the urge to keep our baby close to me was overwhelming. I needed to be able to hear him whimper in his sleep and watch the soft rise and fall of his tiny little chest. I couldn’t bare leaving him upstairs in his cot all alone. So he stayed with me. Whenever we were downstairs, he would sleep in the same bed as his Mama. If I moved to another room, I would gently push the sturdy old wheels of his bed along with me.
The time soon came when our Big Boy was just too grown up to sleep in our well loved bassinet. It was lovingly moved to the same corner, where it now still stands, with the hope another baby would lay down to sleep in it soon.
Again we were blessed to bring home our baby boy, again an early arrival. Although more confident this time, I still couldn’t and wouldn’t let him leave my sight. At four weeks old, on his first day at home, he lay his head on the same bed as his brother had before him.
Six months ago I had to face the reality this likely (barring a miracle) the last time one of my babies sleeps in this family bed. When our cheeky baby boy starting rolling over and greeting me with his brilliant smile, I knew it was time to move on.
While it hasn’t been used at all this year, it still sits in it’s corner. Neither of the boys are interested in it, to them it’s just part of their usual surrounds, nothing special.
For me it is so much more, and that is the exact reason I am not yet ready to pack it away. By packing it away I feel I am ending the baby and newborn chapter of our lives and I’m just not ready to do that yet, it feels too final. If I’m honest, I don’t feel our family is ‘complete’ and deep down I know it never will be as our first born baby girl and boy are not with us. I know I am incredibly blessed to have two special boys with me and I am reminded of this every time they smile, laugh and wrap their arms around me for a cuddle – even when they are out to drive me batty with simultaneous crying and whinging I still feel lucky to be their Mum.
I can’t wait to watch them develop and grow into handsome (yes I’m biased!) boys and young men, but in the meantime, I am still not ready to let go of the ‘baby chapter’ of our lives and will hold onto it for just a little bit longer.
Did you find it hard to pack away your children’s baby items?