Learn to Swaddle

There are papers scattered all over the floor of my home office. It looks like someone grabbed a huge stack, flung them in the air, and let them fall. But it’s not total disarray. I’m organizing. Throwing out old notes…shredding documents…forming piles of magazines to recycle.

I find all sorts of haphazard thoughts that I have scrawled on random scraps of paper.

One piece of paper describes a dream: Walking in the woods, I saw a sick deer; I wanted to save her, so I dug a hole, placed the deer inside, and covered her in M&Ms. Then I left to search for help. I ran into my brother who told me the deer wandered off and died. I returned to the hole and the deer was gone. I wanted to eat the M&Ms, but I was afraid they were diseased from touching the sick deer. So I tossed them out. But my sister-in-law got mad—she had wanted me to save the M&Ms so she could use the colors of the candy to dye her shoelaces.

Someone explain that one. I have NO idea what it means. But the ending struck me as funny, so I decided to keep the paper.

More cleaning. More shredding. More recycling.

Another scrap of paper.

This one simply says: Learn to swaddle.

My throat tightens. I reach for the chair behind me and sit down. I had written it when I was two months pregnant, before the miscarriage.

October is Attachment Parenting month, and baby-wearing is part of its philosophy. I wanted to teach myself how to bundle a baby in a sling and carry him or her on my chest.

After the miscarriage, I grieved for a long time. Part of me is still sad (and always will be). But I’ve been surprisingly level-headed about my struggles to conceive again. I don’t get envious of pregnant women. I can go to baby showers and be around kids without choking up.

And yet.

Every once in awhile, my emotions will catch me off guard. I will see a simple piece of paper with a three-word phrase, and the gravity of what I’m facing will hit me hard.

About Jenny Rough

Jenny Rough is a lawyer-turned-writer. Visit her on the web at www.jennyrough.com

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