P has been napping in her crib for two weeks. This is huge. Since she was born, I’ve had her in it for photos here and there, I’ve let her play in it to create some familiarity. But until two weeks ago I’d never let her sleep in it. It took me until I was 8 months pregnant to even take the crib out of the box and put it together. Sloan’s death instilled this intense, perhaps somewhat irrational fear and avoidance of cribs. For so long, even the word made me shudder.
But she’s almost 8 months old and it was time to introduce this constant into her life. I will admit that even with the video monitor and the Owlet on her foot, I’ve still checked on her excessively, still snuck into her room and stood over the crib watching the rise and fall of her chest. Still placed my hand on her back to feel the warmth of her lungs pumping and her heart beating. Each time, fighting flashbacks to that moment in Sloan’s crib when my hand felt no movement under it, when the tiny body I touched was cold and lifeless.
Phoenix is here, and she can’t live a life hindered by my own anxieties and traumas. I don’t ever want her to feel that I’ve confused his death with her life, blurring the lines between grieving his death, and letting her live. And so, she naps in her crib.