Emptying the Baby Trousseau

3 03 2012

This started out as a hand-written note (yes, people still write those), but then for some reason I felt compelled to turn it into a blog post. Maybe someone out there needs to read it, or maybe I’m just a raging narcissist. You be the judge!

Before I ever got pregnant, I expected to have girls. I had good reason—Car’s brothers had only managed to spawn two sons at that point. (Even now, we contribute 1/3 of the Smith clan’s naturally-born grandson population.) Then I got pregnant which, as you know, didn’t go very well the first three times. However, in two of the three pregnancies I lost, we knew the gender: girl.

With girls on the brain, I did the natural thing many a baby-hungry woman has done: I bought baby clothes. If I saw something ridiculously cute on sale, I snatched it up. I filled a Rubbermaid tub with clothes fit for a princess and dubbed it my “baby trousseau.”

After my third loss, the baby trousseau was discreetly tucked away along with other baby-related items. Friends would have babies and I’d buy them gifts, but obviously I wasn’t going to take anything from my bin—that was stuff for my baby.

Four years passed, and I was finally blessed with my miracle baby, who just happened to be a boy.

My brother’s wife had a baby—the first girl on our side of the family. “Oh, she would look so cute in this outfit I have!” I said, and with a little pull at my heart, I opened up the big blue bin and found something perfect for my new niece.

Three more years, and another miracle—again, a boy. This time, a strong (very welcome) feeling that my childbearing years were over.

Little by little, my baby trousseau has dwindled as my acceptance has grown. Last week I opened it up to find a gift for a friend and discovered I’d reached the last of the items from my blue bin of princess clothes.

Emotions are funny things.

I have no desire to keep girl clothes at my house. I’m thrilled I’ll never have another baby. Yet here I sit, weeping because my baby trousseau is now empty.

Still, that bin can now be filled with rocks and cars and Legos (and skinny contortionist boys). I doubt it’ll stay empty very long.

I won’t be the mother of girls in this life, and that’s okay.

I’m the mother of boys. It’s not at all what I expected, but it’s glorious.




3 responses

7 03 2012
Bobbi Janay

You have know idea how much I needed to read this.

4 03 2012

I love this. Thanks for sharing with me.

4 03 2012

I wonder if every mother goes through the same kind of feelings: clothes that should go to the “next” or non-existent baby. Somewhere in my storeroom if a cardboard box of baby clothes. I remember sitting on the floor and sorting through baby clothes because we were moving and it seemed really stupid to lug along unneeded items. I was 27 and had just had my tubes “tied” because I couldn’t have more children. I was grateful to have the ones I had, but heart-broken that, since I was giving birth to the most beautiful and talented babies in the world, that I couldn’t have more. So I sorted and stacked to give away. Yet, I just couldn’t part with them all. So Andrew was small enough to be blessed in Peter’s baby blessing outfit–you know the one he was never blessed in because he was blessed in the hospital. But, my dear, your blessing dress is still in that little box. All of the sudden, it was over: the potty training, the endless toys, the hours of exhaustion that I knew would never end. All of the sudden, my children were older with bigger worries. The baby box: 30 years of holding onto those baby dreams. . .

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