I have regrets; who doesn't right? But I have specific regrets about when Ethan died. I wish that I had known about Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep so I could have gotten some professional photographs of Ethan. I love the photos that I have. I cherish them and I have spent countless hours pouring over them and memorizing every detail of his face. But I have seen some of NILMDTS's photos and they are beautiful and I wish that I had known that option was available.
I also regret that I didn't bathe him. At the time, I don't remember why I said no when they asked if I wanted to, I just remember feeling unequivocally "NO!". I regret beyond words that I let a stranger bathe him. I tell myself every time that I think about it that maybe Ginger bathed him, so at least it was someone who loved him. I'm too much of a coward to ask her, though.
This used to be my biggest regret. I didn't send socks with Ethan to be buried in. When I realized the omission, it was weeks later and I freaked. What kind of mother am I that I would let my child go forever away from me without socks? I know it sounds kind of silly; I know that he doesn't need them. But still, it was a big regret. Emphasis on was.
I have been truly blessed to have not only a wonderful support system in my family, but also a wonderful support group online. In those dark days right after Ethan's death, I found this group of women who shared their stories and their feelings. Who lifted each other up in difficult days and shared their joys in good days. If you are reading this and you are lost and looking for a support group, the site is http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-ppstillborn. I shared that last regret there and had several responses that made me feel so much better. One lady (the one who took the picture of Ethan's name on the beach in Florida) shared that when she pictures her little girl in heaven she is running barefoot through fields of flowers. Another said that he wouldn't need socks when playing in heaven's creeks. Both of those images brought me such peace and comfort, but that regret still lingered like a nagging, dull ache in the back of my mind. I have recently been emailing back and forth with a lady who is also from Georgia. A small town in Georgia not too far from where I grew up, actually. And I shared with her that regret. She later came upon a verse and thought of me and Ethan and I wanted to share what she told me. "It is Exodus 3:5: "Take off your sandals for the place where you are standing is holy ground" - he would have had to take them off anyway! :) " It is hard to describe how I felt when I read that email from her. It made me smile, it made me cry, but beyond all else, it brought a peace and comfort to my heart that was straight from the Lord delivered through her. So, thank you, Tonya. It feels nice to be able to put that regret to rest.