While many other people believe other things, and I respect that, I believe that our physical bodies are all we are. Once our brains stop transmitting electrical and chemical signals, our personalities and all the other things that make us, us, are over. When we die, we are the memories that other people have of us, and the physical and digital detritus from when we were alive.
Since Ada was alive for such a relatively short time, only about 22 weeks, and all of that time she was within me, she doesn’t have much detritus. I’m hoping to ask friends and family for memories of me pregnant, since those are the only memories we have of Ada, but more on that later. Now, I need tangible proof that Ada exists, existed. My body is slowly changing back to pre-Ada shape, including the fading of my lina negra, and it makes me so very sad that I have so little to show for her. Since we were only at 23 weeks, we hadn’t bought much in the way of baby stuff. All we had was a few outfits and accessories sent by loving friends and family, and some stuff we bought from Cornell during Brandon’s graduation. We have more pamphlets on babyloss than we do stuff for Ada.
Today, I went to the funeral home to drop off some materials that they will use to get hand and footprints. A washable ink pad, acid-free paper, and in the faint hope that her tiny extremities will be sturdy enough, a kit for making imprints in clay. Unfortunately and fortunately, the person we are working with has also suffered the loss of an infant, and promised that every care will be taken to get these mementos that mean so much to me.
They had previously asked Brandon if we had something to wrap her in, and the only thing we had was a bright yellow hooded towel with a silly bear face on it. I was not having a good day, not thinking straight, so this is what I gave. I sort of liked the idea of her wrapped in that happy, sunny towel, even though the hood would be much, much too large for her. Today, they asked if I had something to wrap her in for cremation. I said no, we hadn’t bought much. They said that they could find a towel or something. Even though I know it’s just her body, that really, really bothered me.
So, I headed Babies R Us. My original intent was to just get some baby blankets, but while driving I realized what I really wanted was baby clothes for Ada. I will always regret not having clothes or the handprint kit at the hospital, but maybe it’s not too late to do what I should have done. I started hoping they’d have something for preemies.
They had exactly one preemie outfit, and it was perfect. Probably way too big, but perfect nonetheless. I got two sets so I’d have one to keep – no I don’t know what I’ll do with it, I just want it. I had to stop looking at it or I’d cry in the store, just like I’m crying now. I went over to blankets, and they had a set that was perfect. I will cut out all the tags and wash them first so they are soft and smell nice, not that it matters, but that’s what I would have done if Ada was alive. I’ll take them to the funeral home first thing in the morning, and ask the kind person to dress her after getting her hand and footprints. Everything is in the washer now – the first and last time that I’ll do laundry for Ada.