Sunday, March 2, 2014

Tangible memories

I’ve always been the sentimental type and I can remember dates and birthdays like nobody’s business. I keep cards, notes, and little trinkets from various different events in my life. I still have birthday cards from my 13th birthday, wedding cards, and movie ticket stubs from my first date with my husband. So naturally I had a box going from the moment I found out I was pregnant with Elliott. It started small, beginning with the first pregnancy test I took, the one where my heart skipped a beat and tears flooded my eyes. Those positive lines appeared so quickly, filling my heart with a newfound love of the life growing inside. Over time it grew holding ultrasounds, the drawing of his diagnosis, videos, baby shower cards, bracelets from the birth, a small muslin blanket that he was wrapped in constantly during his newborn days and a little blue knotted hat worn after his second open heart in Boston.
After about a week of being home the shadow box for his nursery was next. The box itself was given to me by my husband for my first Mother’s Day. I wanted to keep the box simple so I only enclosed 4 things. The first, being a clay molding of his tiny newborn foot. One of my best memories in the first few days at home with him was making this. His toes would scrunch up once pressed into the clay making for an odd looking print. We laughed as we tried countless times to get it just right. Next, my baby shower invitation. That day was huge in overcoming a lot of fear-based emotions I was going through. In the weeks prior I contemplated not even having a shower because I didn’t know if he would be able to wear or use any of the items that would be gifted to us. People would tell me that it was silly and to not let that fear overwhelm me and steal my joy.

I know, I know.

The truth though? I was afraid. Right down to my very core despite what I knew, despite what I was told. The competitive side of me took over and it became a mental battle that I was determined to win. I WOULD seek joy and I would choose to live and direct my thoughts in a way that was life giving and not fear based. We decided that regardless of his diagnosis, his life was to be celebrated just like any other. He was alive and growing and perfect and I needed to allow myself to think positive thoughts about his future. The third item, tiny knitted shoes his Grandma made for him. To ease her mind during his first open heart she said she wanted to knit him something while the doctors “knit” his heart… I loved that. He wore them often in the hospital and looking at them now I can’t believe his feet were so tiny! And last was the bracelet he wore shortly after birth with the date and time he was born.
I love having these memories tucked away to reminisce on in the future.


  1. I think you did an amazing job of balancing the fear, the unknown and the anxiety along with the anticipation, joy and bliss that accompanies new motherhood ... especially with a baby with a scary diagnosis. People will always have 2 cents to add, even if they've walked a similar road, but no one could have told your heart how to do any of those things with the grace and maturity that you did. I have loved seeing this side of you and your outstanding and overwhelming love for Elliott ... I have loved getting to share Motherhood with you and I have loved reading your sweet thoughts about that even sweeter boy.

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  3. You are very sentimental Lauren and you do save everything. I think I might have a box or 2 you still have here! Love that you hold these items as a reminder of cherished things you hold dear. Loved your update and look forward to your next post. Love you sweet girl. Kisses Elliott ♥♥