In the past, I've looked forward to weekly or monthly "birthdates" I loved watching the girls grow and change as their weekly or monthly dates approached and seeing what personal milestones they reached, what clothes they fit into and wondering what the next month will bring.
Since Willow was going to be my last baby I decided this time around I would do my best to document her growth, Since I had not been very successful at it with the other girls. I downloaded some cute stickers to put on her shirt every month on her birthdate and I even planned to actually print them for her baby book. Yep, a real photo you can hold on your hands!
When Willows first "date" approached (birthdate, event date or the dreaded dimise date, but that's a whole diff blog post) I found myself needing something to do to document the time that had past. Something for her, something for me, anything. I had met several mamas online over the past month that had lost their babies as I had. One of the photos that stuck in my head was of a sweet little outfit laying in the grass with a boquet of flowers and a chalk bord displaying an angel baby's name a would be month. I clicked the photo and once I was brought to the moms account I could see that she had done these photos like clockwork for each month she longed for her daughter.
The outfits grew in size, the flowers and ground cover changed with the seasons and the number on the board ticked away with time. These images stirred up my emotions. They were errie but beautiful at the same time. I cried as I looked thru them reading this mothers thoughts and wishes for her child. I cried for her loss, but I was overwhelmed by the connection these photos brought between her and her daughter.
I revisited these images for several days before deciding to give it a try.
In the days following Willows..death, I finished packing up our home for a big move. I remember putting her things into boxes very quickly and with much distraction. I remember treating it like I was packing everyone else's things, not wanting to think about packing her things away for good. So when I went looking for an outfit for our first month photo emotions flooded in. I saw things that all the girls had worn before her, a few things that I had collected just for her. I wondered how many of these things she would of worn by now, soiled, outgrown or favored. I found a stack of tie dyed onsies and lap shirts I had made years before when I was expecting Shiloh. I remembered that I had pulled one of these aside and had it in my birth kit. It was one that I didn't completely associate with the other girls. So that I would always be able to tell their photos apart. As I choose some socks and a hat I found myself chuckling. My babies rarely wore either of these items. I planned to push the hat thing with her in the hopes that I could get her use to them. So that maybe as a toddler she would wear them longer then 30 seconds like my others. I wonder.
I gathered her things and found a nice spot in the front yard. The earth was still dry from the summer drought. Between the hot, bright sun beating down on me & the tears streaming my face. I couldn't see anything. The kids started calling me from the house, Chris came to the porch looking for me.
Why was I doing this? This was torture! I snapped a few photos with my phone & grabbed everything and bolted for the house. I felt stupid and angry.
It wasn't until I was laying with Wren for her nap that I decided to look at the photos. I was surprised that I had gotten anything at all. Very quickly my mood changed. I was glad to have that sad, errie but beautiful image.
The next month I choose one of my favorite outfits. One all three girls had worn before (a handme down from an old friend) No socks, but I was still pushing the hat. I was better prepared this time for how this was going to feel. I layed her outfit down in the same spot and could instantly see a change. The ground color had greened, fresh leaves had fallen. The sun was cooler and trees were offering us their shade. I somehow felt different too. Calmer maybe even content. I took my photos and knew one of them was gonna work just fine.
Tomorrow I pick her a new outfit. I take a new photo. I wonder what's changed, how she would of changed.