Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Two Little Hats

I have two little hats. One is pink, the other is white. These hats are incredibly tiny, and were knitted by hand by strangers. I came home from a hospital in the coldest part of winter with only these hats as reminders of a life I couldn't have.

A nurse at the hospital kept talking about clothes, outfits, and I didn't understand what she meant. For whom? What would be the point? And then I got to dress my dead child in clothes lovingly made, again, by strangers. At the time meaningless outfits, nothing I would have chosen for her. But it was all we had. And for them I was grateful. Grateful my little girl could wear a little dress, a frilly hat, something pink. If only once.

So when it was time to leave, and we had to say goodbye and leave her there, I took these things. These clothes, the hats. Things that touched her, held her, as I did too. They are all we have left.

Certainly there are pictures, from that day and from the ultrasounds. She was even captured on disc, when she was alive inside me. Her footprints in clay, her footprints in ink. All reminders that she was here, once. But the mind has a way of disremembering, of thinking, "Was that even ever real?" and "That child, she was mine? She was here?" It can all be brushed away as imagination.

But for the hats. One, under my pillow, and the memory of her little face framed by its edges. The other, with pieces of her hair caught in the knitting. Even though they don't smell like her, or of anything, she was in them. I could take the hair to some smart person who could figure out that she came from me, from us. That she was, indeed, here.

I am grateful for these hats, for they are all I get.


  1. I feel the same way ~ he mind has a way of disremembering, of thinking, "Was that even ever real?"

    Especially lately, it seems as if my mind has somehow changed the reality a bit. I look at a photo of her and wonder, was she here ~ a short 4 months ago? I have things, the memories I so desperately and purposely tried to make of her, but in the end they are meaningless. Just things that she once touched briefly.

    I am terrified as the years go by that I will have less of her in my memory to hold on to. So I began to paint her name and do things that would be more prominent in our home...it is still not easy.

  2. We were given a bunch of pink, frilly things to wrap and dress Hope in. We'd already dressed her in green and white clothes we had ourselves (packed in our hospital bag as we didn't know if we were having a boy or girl, and the bag had been in the back of our car for days, given I was overdue) but I was like you - didn't understand why those nurses kept giving us those things for her. But I was glad. We had a small blessing ceremony for her at the hospital before we left. They took Hope from us, and we met her back at the small hospital chapel, and she was covered head to toe in all the pink things they'd given us. She looked lovely. Like a girl. The only time in her life she would.
    Reading this fills me with regret though, as all those things went with her. Never really occurred to me to take them with me. I kept one small quilt, but the rest went to her autopsy, and from there I am HOPING they went with her to the undertaker, in to her coffin then in to her grave. I really don't know, but I don't like to think about them being tossed aside after the autopsy or something like that. Surely that wouldn't have happened, right? Ugh. Does my head in to think about.
    Just so fucking sad this is all we get.