Ben found some work and is currently working as a courier. When he told me he had a delivery to Fort Wayne, the town where Cora was born, I was so happy. We were going to spend the night with my mom who lived about twenty minutes south of Fort Wayne in the town Cora died.
Since Cora’s died and we’ve moved to Indianapolis, I’ve noticed that I’m triggered less. So many places in both the town she was born and lived have give me such a strong reaction. I didn’t think much of this trip. We’d go somewhere in Fort Wayne, drop the package off and go to my mom’s.
Then Ben got the phone call telling him where the package needed to go. The hospital. The one where Cora was born. The one where I excitedly went to birthing classes. The one I where I gave birth to a magical, beautiful little girl and felt my heart swell. We’d already told my mom we were going, and Ben committed to taking the delivery so I had to to.
As we packed, I couldn’t find any of my clothes. I have a tiny wardrobe and everything was hanging on the line to dry. I keep the clothes I actually wear in a dresser. I pulled the drawers open and flung away everything inside looking for something that I could wear for pajamas that night. Shoved in the back end of one drawer were the pajamas. The pajamas I wore when Cora died on me. I thought I’d thrown them out. I shoved them into my over night bag and we were off.
At the hospital, I relived our entire process there. If you’re friends with me on Facebook, you know that I was already having a rough week because I realized I had this photo, of the nurse checking Cora’s heart at that hospital. I’ve cropped the nurse out here because this is not her fault.
After we left the hospital, we drove past the OB’s office I went to with Cora and took the all too familiar drive home.
We arrived at my mom’s house in the wee hours of the morning. I unloaded and plopped down. In the exact spot my daughter died. My mom moved in when we moved out. After a few hours, we crawled into bed, in the room that was Cora’s nursery.
As I lay trying to sleep, I started to relieve it all. I started to think about the pants I was wearing that night and in bed while I did all this thinking. I thought about the clothes she was wearing that night. We have them, even though they were cut up as the doctors worked on her. Before they were returned, they were laundered, because they were full of blood. They were washed with harsh laundry detergent and smell nothing like her. I thought how I’d them to smell like her. I thought about washing them in baby detergent. And then…. something quite magical happened.
I sniffed in once. Could it be? I sniffed in again. Yes, it could be. Cora. I smelled her again. I thought I’d never smell that again. A few more deep breaths and the smell was gone.
All the pain from the day, all the reliving was worth it for those few sniffs of her wonderful baby smell.
Just like all the pain has been worth this amazing five days with her.