• Kristina Mulligan

"I Can't Even Have This!"

When Flynn was in the NICU, I had a nervous breakdown. So many things, I felt, were crashing down around me, but what finally broke me? A baby book.

I came across the book that we had picked out right after our first ultrasound appointment, back when we were excited about our future, before the metaphorical rug was ripped out from underneath our feet. I thought it would be good for me to write down some of these early memories before they slipped through the cracks of my mind, so I opened up to the first page.

How long was your labor? How did you announce your child’s birth? What were your thoughts when you first saw your baby? Who were the baby’s first visitors?

Something inside me snapped. I screamed, “I CAN’T EVEN HAVE THIS!” and took the baby book, all of my pregnancy and parenting books, all of my maternity clothes (including my picture-perfect baby shower dress), and all of the “firsts” milestone cards and threw it all in a bag. I threw the bag onto the front lawn and asked my husband to get rid of all of it. I couldn’t use it, I would never be able to use it, and I didn’t want to look at it ever again. And off it went all went.

Last summer, I was in a local bookstore and came across “Firsts & Favorites: A Baby Journal” by Kate Pocrass. I flipped through the pages and thought, for the very first time, “I can do this...”

The pages weren’t in a chronological order based on when milestones “should” take place, and while the typical milestones were included, so were ones like “The first time you saw a rainbow.” And there was no mention of baby showers or hospital visits.

So, this year, with some tears, I was finally able to complete Flynn’s baby book full of the important moments.

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