The hospital checked me in and put one of those bands on my wrist, with my health number and name and date of birth. David got one too, since he was a man walking around labor and delivery.
When we came home from the hospital David cut off his medical bracelet and put it into Oliver's box.
I couldn't. I'm still wearing mine 3 weeks later. Somehow it makes me feel like this is still happening. Like losing my baby isn't something that is over, it is constant and ongoing. Somehow I feel like if I take the medical bracelet off, I am supposed to be healed and it will be over and everyone will expect me to be ok. And I know I will never be ok.
I also know the adhesive on this bracelet has held up well to 3 weeks of showers, but it isn't likely to hold up to 3 more.
One of the things David and I decided to do to honor Oliver was to each have a keepsake holder to wear some of the ashes. I bought a locket with an emerald ( the May birthstone) and David ordered a hollow pendant that is designed to hold ashes that is shaped like a music note, so we could each carry Oliver with us everywhere.
We want to do some work to them before putting in the ashes though. A locket is not the most secure or waterproof vessel, so my plan is to put the ashes in, and a hair or 2 from the memory box that the hospital gave us. And seal them in to an epoxy and then close the locket. That means it will never open, but it will be safe and sealed and Oliver can be protected.
I have decided that when we seal up the locket and I have his ashes with me, I can take off the hospital bracelet. I know taking off the bracelet doesn't mean it is over. It will never be over. Living without Oliver is something we will both have to do every day for the rest of our lives. But taking off the hospital bracelet means that the feeling of actively losing him is over. And the part where I carry him with me always is beginning.