Polka-dotted Necks of Hope.


Giraffes. Simple and elegant animals, but in 2009 for me they were a sign of hope, a positive focus in a world that seemed to be falling apart.

During the fertility treatments of my first pregnancy I kept focus on my baby goal by stockpiling giraffes. Keeping focused on the baby I knew we would come to have and fighting the demons of sadness that threatened to turn my world upside down, I stockpiled stuffed, plush, ceramic, DIY, musical, pretty and ugly giraffes. I would wander into Targets to Walgreens to Oscos to boutiques stockpiling, leaving with little polka-dotted necks hanging out of bags or in my arms.

Feeling alone, feeling angry and out of shame and self-pity I hid the secret purchases in the spare closet of our town home. It may have been sad to others but for me it was only preparation. I was preparing for the baby that I knew in my heart we would come to have. I wasn’t crazy, I wasn’t a hoarder. It was all I had in a world that felt so empty.

Those giraffes that filled the dark corners of that spare closet were meant to see the light of day, to hear the cries of a baby and to witness the love of a mother. After one wrong diagnosis, two doctors, three rounds of treatments, eight months of ultrasounds and sonograms, twelve purchased giraffes, over 100 used needles, 200 band-aids and endless days of hopeful yearning we became pregnant with one sweet little boy.

Those polka-dotted yellow necks of hope found a new home in a bright airy nursery. They left their dingy closet for the smells of sweet baby skin in April 2010.

For the rest of my life the beauty of a giraffe will mean something more to me. The beauty representing a time of pain that was overcome by a dream nourished by hope.

For those who find their self on such a painful journey, never give up hope, always stay focused, even if that means stockpiling wild animals.


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