Now, first, let me give you a warning…this is going to get personal. I thought of not telling the story of this quilt but it’s there, waiting to escape its cage so here goes…
Like many women, I found out that fertility wasn’t something I could take for granted. I had my first daughter at 28 and blithely assumed that I’d be able to have as many more as I wanted. I come from a family so prolific that I used to say that one day the population control people might show up on our doorstep and tell us that we had exceeded our limit! What happened instead were months and months that blended into years of disappointments. Of catching myself watching the calendar only to be disappointed by the monthly bleeding. When I was forty, my doctor told me that my only chance of getting pregnant would be in vitro with donor eggs. By then, I’d decided that I was happy with what I had. My husband and I each brought a daughter to our marriage and they were in their teens. I began to ask myself if I really would want another baby…after all, our girls were good company, they slept through the night, and they traveled well. I left that old dream by the wayside and celebrated being the mother of one and the step-mother of one.
I’d been perimenopausal since I was 36, so when I missed a period at 42 I figured I had gone from menopause to meno-stop. Until I noticed my bras getting tighter, and I was tired. Yep, you guessed it, I was pregnant. After the initial panic (I was 42 after all), I was delighted. I assumed all would be well. After all, I’d waited 15 years for this.
In a tiny exam room a few weeks later, in the space between, “I’m sure it’s fine” and seeing that tiny corpse on the ultrasound screen, my heart shattered.
It took me a long time to put the pieces back together. In the time that I was struggling, my nephew and his wife gave birth to my first great-niece. Usually, I welcome the baby of anyone I remotely know with a quilt. This time, I simply did nothing.
Time, of course, worked its healing magic on me as it always does and, two years later, my second grand-niece arrived. A quilt went in the mail. Last year, the first great-nephew arrived and again a quilt went in the mail. Last month, my first great-niece welcomed her baby brother and a quilt is ready to send but I didn’t want to send it alone.
My great-niece is, according to her doting grandpa, very into dinosaurs so I found a lovely dino print in my stash and made this “big sister” quilt for Chloe. I wrote her a note to go with it and today it will hit the mailbox. I somehow find it very healing to complete this quilt in January. The baby I never had would be six this month and I’m sure he or she would applaud my color choices.
Now, if you’ve read this blog for a while, you may know that I now also have a teenage daughter via an unexpected acquisition…she’s pretty excited about this quilt herself! (And she’s been hinting that I need to make a baby quilt for her, too, since I didn’t have her at the beginning.) Here she is “test-driving” the Dino-Stars for cuddle factor.
I’m linking this post up to A Lovely Year of Finishes.
I’m excited to have finished both Dino Stars and Cole’s Baby Quilt this month.