I am a hoarder! There I said it, because literally everything holds meaning to me, even things that shouldn’t, I just find myself attaching sentimental value to them and I keep them. My mom was the one responsible for clearing my junk, but now, I can keep my hoard for as long as I want, at least, until I’m unable to answer the question of when last that object and the sentiments attached to it came to my mind.
I have this small, cute brown box, which my mom told me my Dad bought when I was born. It’s so old, but in amazing condition. When I got it, it had this small set of keys, my and my sisters’ Immunization cards and Yellow Fever cards, two bibles and my mom’s birth certificate (okay now, you know where the hoarding trait came from). In my hands, the content of that box have grown to include first passports of my babies, their birth certificates, immunization cards, their umbilical cord stumps, (yep, I’m weird like that), my teenage, and even more recent, journals and several whatnots I better not mention here, before you certify me wacko.
So, for me, if TTC had been part of my journey, I’m sure I would have had a trailer load of souvenirs, that people would be begging me to part with. I don’t know about you but I can’t get over the feelings I get, either good or bad, whenever I stumble on an object I had kept for whatever reason. I’m literally transported to another place and time in my life. Sometimes I smile, and sometimes I withdraw, and sometimes I just wonder what I’m still doing with whatever it is.
There are several hoarders like me around. You remember this picture of a baby surrounded by needles, that is a classic example of a hoarder at work. Through the journey to the baby at the center of that heart are the souvenirs that remained. It’s a powerful image, telling so many tales in one shot.
One fellow hoarder, Olape, has a drawer full of home pregnancy test kids, from 1DPO of the cycle she got pregnant. She tested several times a day, she just couldn’t help herself. At a time, she had more than three HPTs for one DPO, neatly labelled but as the years went by, she reduced their number to two for each day and then one per day.
Olape’s main reason for holding on to these HPTs was because they were the first set of consecutive positive pregnancy tests she was seeing in her life, which were her own. Before that time, she had only seen one positive pregnancy test in the first year of her marriage, but when she went in for a blood test, the positive was not picked up. An ultrasound later showed there was nothing in her womb. In fact, it did not look as though anything had even been there.
She was devastated but had hoped to get pregnant again really soon, but that was not to be. It did not happen for her for the next three years and then, it happened through an IVF cycle. Her clinic had told her not to test until the fixed test day, but that was story for the gods. As soon as she got home, she started testing.
At a time, Olape said she was testing just so she could see two pink lines that were her own, even if they did not show on the actual test date. It touched me. Testing just to see the two lines, even if it was a false reading?! Hmmm, it must have been feeding a need in the core of her soul; a core that had been starved by many years of TTC, by many years of seeing only single lines and Not Pregnant on the digital tests. It was just time to change the narrative for her.
Thankfully, those two lines were not false as they got stronger as the days went by and hope began to rise inside of her. It was now a compulsive need to test, she tested in the morning, as soon as she woke up with her first urine, she tested at midday, at night, and as many times as she could in the times between. She even tested soon, after administering the progesterone shots, just to see the lines.
That cycle was a success. She got two babies out of the cycle and that ended her testing days. It’s been two years since the babies came and every once in a while, she finds herself near this drawer. Sometimes, she opens it to look inside at all the BFPs, though now faded, and at other times, she moves on with a smile on her lips, her mind’s eye having scanned the contents of that drawer.
Not all the memories make us smile, some bring tears, sad reminders of babies who hadn’t stayed, but returned to heaven. A friend once told me the story of a woman, who had suffered a still birth in her second trimester. She had done some shopping for her baby; bought car seats, onesies, socks, and some baby essentials.
She was going through physical pains and trying to come to terms with what had happened to her, when she got home and walked right into the things she had bought for her baby. She practically broke down; sobbing her heart out at the loss she had gone through.
After which, she asked her husband to take everything out, that she did not want to see any of it. She went into their room but a few minutes later, she got out and picked one piece of all the clothing items she had bought including the car seat and left. The car seat went into their storage, where she would not always see it, and the clothing items she put in a shoe box and shoved it into the bottom of her wardrobe.
There are those who might argue against keepsakes, because of the sad memories attached to some of them but I say, what’s life, if not a mixture of good and bad. My prayer is, our lives be filled with more pleasant memories than bad.
However, if life throws us more lemons, I guess it’s time to make some lemonade.
Or you don’t think so?
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