Today, for whatever reason, I found the courage to do what I have been postponing for some time. I called the funeral home and set up an appointment to meet with someone to arrange our baby's funeral. I had hoped my husband would do so and asked him, but he has been avoiding the call as well, I'm sure for the same reasons I have. It's all so final. I have made so many of these calls in the last week. I have notified my Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep photographer of our c-section date and time, notified the genetic counselor we met with that we have decided to pursue an autopsy of this little one (we chose not to with Wyatt and I struggled with the decision here) in the hopes of discovering additional information hidden to the human eye that might tell us why two of our children have been so afflicted, and now I made the call to the funeral home. There are so few things left to do. I even packed my hospital bag today. The casket is almost ready, I sewed a lace and satin pillow this weekend and my husband affixed the cross to the top. We still plan to find a way for our daughters to put some sibling flair on it for baby but haven't quite figured that one out yet. It has always been a waiting game, but now almost all of the work is done and the real waiting, in terms of days, no longer months, begins.
Having already buried one child and subsequently brought three healthy little girls home from the hospital, it dawned on me that losing a child is alot more complicated than raising a child. When you give birth to a child that will live, you don't need to have clothes or diapers or frankly really anything for the baby on hand. The hospital has gowns, blankets, diapers, wipes and everything else you will need right away. When you give birth to a child that will not live or not live long it is so important to have everything at your fingertips: a special outfit, blanket, booties, lotion, handprint/footprint molds, baby book, camera, video camera, etc. You only get one chance to do everything that you want to do with your baby. Moments, minutes, hours to capture all of the sounds, scents, touches and snuggles that will need to endure for a lifetime. All of this careful and deliberate planning fits into one carry-on sized bag. I know this because I have now packed that bag for a second time.