Child Care is expensive. Pretty much everything involved in raising a child is expensive. I’m not complaining, though. It’s all better than the alternative. And as I logged into my employer’s financial portal today to change my withholding allowances to help with the expenses, I am reminded of the last time I did the same thing. I was six months pregnant, and my tax guy had said I could go ahead and change my withholding then, because I would be able to claim a dependent for that whole year.
I wasn’t able to claim a dependent that year. My son was born dead.
Dead. That may be the first time I’ve written it that way. Before, I’ve always said “sleeping” or “passed away”. “Dead” somehow seems harsher; more final. I think that’s why I say it now, because death is final. I’m finally starting to understand it.
So when I was pregnant the second time, I both did and I didn’t do all of the same things.
I did — buy clothes and diapers and baby things. I wanted to prepare with hope for my coming little love.
I didn’t — sign up for coupons or baby registries. I don’t think people realize how hard it is to escape them when you are heartbroken with no child at home.
I did — make plans and prepare for the financial impact of bringing my little peanut home, including budgeting and researching costs of things that babies need.
I didn’t — fill out any forms to solidify these changes. I couldn’t handle the thought of possibly having to change them back again.
I did — look forward to the future, and imagine my life with my baby girl.
I didn’t — believe this future was definite. I will always hold space for all possibilities.
So here I am today, making these more official changes. And all these “little things” are reminding me. My son is dead; my daughter is living. Even if she died tomorrow, in the eyes of the law, I would have a dependent for the rest of this year. Taxes are odd. Paperwork is interesting. And behind it all are people. We are three.