We get mail for Jillian pretty regularly. Sometimes, it’s addressed to “Baby Girl L_,” because her name wasn’t entered into the system at the hospital yet. Most of it is now addressed to her. No matter how frequently we get mail for her, my heart always skips a beat when I see it. I think my attitude has changed about it, though.
Today, we got a couple of explanation of benefits statements from the insurance company. I wasn’t upset by them, which is a change. Normally, they cause a meltdown, but today, they made me smile. I don’t think jaw-dropping NICU charges normally make anyone smile, but I felt like these statements were proof that Jillian existed. I immediately became protective of them and wanted to ensure they didn’t accidentally end up in the shredding pile. I want to hold onto them, not for record-keeping purposes, but as a memento, like the snips of her hair and her footprints. Seeing her name printed on these statements shows that she wasn’t just a dream or a figment of our imaginations. She was a beautiful, living, fighting little girl.
I’ve been doing a lot of daydreaming since Jillian died, but lately it’s been about the future. I’ve been visualizing the birth of our next baby. I think about Dave and I both crying tears of happiness and relief, and being astounded at the seemingly enormous size of that baby (even if this imagined baby only weighs five pounds, he or she will be more than three times Jillian’s weight). I haven’t held another baby since I held Jillian, and I can’t imagine the weight. I’ve already started referring to our next baby as a “dinosaur baby,” because I am trying to convince myself that he/she will be full term and GIANT).
I also think about how sad we’ll be because Jillian won’t be there, and because that baby won’t know his or her amazing big sister. Sometimes, when I’m thinking about it, I worry that I’m setting myself up for disappointment in case it doesn’t happen, but looking forward to this is often my only reason for getting out of bed. I have to believe that somehow, we’ll eventually have another baby.