Monday, February 6, 2012

Remnants of a Pedicure

It's weird the things you hang onto after losing your baby. Right after Riley died, I didn't want to shave that weird dark line of hair that grows on some pregnant women's stomach. I didn't want to shower after birth, I was afraid that I was washing Riley off; I was washing off her smell. Anything that had occurred on my body simultaneously with her short life, I clung to. I didn't want to lose it.

Most of that is gone. I still have my stretch marks which I love although they break me. My body is beginning to return to a post pregnancy state. Except for my toenails.

For my birthday in August, my husband bought me a pregnancy pampering package complete with massage, mani, and pedi. I went in for my pampering session when I was 28 weeks pregnant. The manicured beauty of my fingers lasted all of 5 minutes as they always do if you use your hands at all during an average day. At 28 weeks pregnant, repainting my toe nails wasn't exactly high on my list of priorities and as I got larger and larger, it became an impossibility.

After Riley's death I could see my toes again. But I knew the exact circumstances around that nail polish and couldn't bare to remove it. And so it remains.

I know that it won't last forever. And the ridiculousness of it occurs to me as I sit here and cry about nail polish. It feels a bit like my body's last connection to my girl whose nails I will never get to paint. It reminds me of her little finger and toe nails and how red they looked because of the blood pooling behind them; how Mitchell and I thought of her nails as painted and the blood on her lips as simple lipstick. She was all made-up for her not-so-made-up Mommie. Wouldn't her Aunt Kelsey have loved to paint and polish my little girl?

Maybe I cling to it as an indication of time. By the time that nail polish is gone....I will be...what exactly? Better? No. I can't imagine I'll ever be "better." But as nails grow so slowly so do I attempt to heal (Will I ever heal??). So incredibly slow if my journey. So. Incredibly. Slow. I wonder where I will be when that red is finally gone...

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