We didn’t buy much for the impending baby. I was superstitious, afraid to jinx us with naive, careless optimism. When I went into labor, it was only days after we’d made our first cautiously excited trip to Babies R Us, to look at car seats and cribs. Maybe a week after I’d started an Amazon registry. But I had hopes, and dreams, and so of course, I bought her things. Not many, but a few. She never lived outside of me, but still I find, her things are hers.
It’s interesting, the things that are not hers. The things that don’t make my heart hurt quite so badly to see them. They are things I loved immensely, but they aren’t things I loved *for her.* A darling cardigan with sheep on it, that I knit during the nerve-wracking days of will we/won’t we try to make a baby. Sized 12 months. Knit for me, for my nerves, for a some day, one day, indeterminate gendered child. This sweater, it’s mine. An alphabet blanket pattern that I saw in a magazine a year before we conceived her. I subscribed to the magazine to have it. At the time, we hadn’t even decided if we would have children. I had just started knitting it, when we lost her, and I knit it thinking of her, but still, that one feels like mine, too. A onesie, “Daddy’s Little Monkey.” She would have been precious in it, but I bought that more for her daddy, and it feels like it’s his, to give to another child or not.
But other things are hers. The tiny pink lace sweater, knit with one of my favorite yarns from my stash, color selected by my husband. Knit for her. Seeing it can reduce me to tears. It’s packed away, for now, but I can’t imagine I’ll ever give it to her sister, if Amy gets a sister. That sweater is hers. The green fleece sleep sack with the mommy monkey hugging a baby monkey. “Hugs All Around.” I’m pretty sure that’s hers, too. An absurd children’s book, “If You Give a Cat a Cupcake.” And, weirdly, an unknit skein of yarn. Sent to me by mistake, when I saw this yarn, I immediately wanted to knit my darling Skeletor a darling purple dress with it. I never got around to it before I went into labor, but when I went to return the yarn the other day, I couldn’t do it. That skein of yarn was for her. I may even still knit her the dress. How strange, this grief, but I feel like it belonged to her.