I now have a few hours on Friday mornings to Get Things Done while Tad is at preschool.  The plan this week was to use that time to sort through Tad’s old clothes in order to get things organized and ready for the baby.  So I hauled up from the basement the six (!) giant plastic bins that held all of Tad’s outgrown clothes and toys, plus the bin of very pink hand-me-downs from my nieces that we just received.  I spent more than two hours sorting them into piles by size and then folding them and putting them neatly back in the bins.  It was satisfying to check one more thing off of the pre-baby to-do list, but the whole process also brought up lots of different feelings.

My most prominent reaction was relief at finally getting to do this.  During the year-and-a-half that we were unsuccessfully trying to conceive, I had moments of hating that we had these bins.  These hopeful stores of newborn onesies and bouncy seats and nursing cover-ups felt mocking.  And as we had to add bins for Tad’s 2T clothes and then his 3T ones, the number of bins seemed to represent the growing age gap between Tad and a potential sibling.  But now, finally, I could pull out all of the tiny pastel outfits and dream about this girl in my belly wearing them.  I could picture her in her brother’s hand-me-downs at six months, 18 months, three years.  It was so joyful to finally be here!

Of course, imagining our soon-to-be-born child in the clothes happened simultaneously with memories of her big brother wearing them–“oh, I remember when he wore that to the zoo” or “we have a picture of him wearing that on our porch on a beautiful spring day” or “I know where that stain came from!”  I picked up one particularly soft and colorful onesie and had a flashback to holding my son when he was wearing it, back when he was chunky and bald, years before he was the long, lean preschooler who he is now.  I could feel that toddler’s chubby round body.  I love the boy who we have now, but in that moment I also missed toddler who we used to have.

And then there was the moment when I came across a few loose-fitting dresses of Roo’s.  I was baffled about why they were in with the baby stuff, but then I saw the maternity skirt folded up with them.  These were a few things that she had put aside to wear when pregnant.  So like many other moments of this pregnancy, the joy at finally preparing to welcome our baby girl shares space with sadness that Roo isn’t the one carrying Sprout.  For me (and I think for Roo too), the joy continues to grow and the sadness gets less sharp.  But it’s certainly still there.

Do you have any objects that represent your TTC journey?



Filed under Pregnancy, TTC #2, Uncategorized

13 responses to “Bins

  1. AndiePants

    A few friends have gifted us with clothes, toys and other items – some from the twins we are god parents to, some from another friend’s nephew. Our spare room is full of cloth boxes of clothes sorted by size, and the shed has a bouncy chair and swing. For a while, they felt like hope material; now they sometimes feel mocking. Luckily, our nephew has quickly outgrown the clothes he was given at his shower, and we have started taking loads over to my sister-in-law and brother, and have set up a little baby space for Liam when he comes to stay with us. Having some purpose – vs. hoarding unused things – has made a difference, but I still feel wary of the boxes. I have been very strict about not buying anything for a baby that doesn’t exist yet, but I can’t help but take the well meaning offers from friends. Its such a gift and heartbreaking at the same time.

    • That’s nice that you can use some of the things for Liam, but I definitely get the heartbreaking aspect of holding onto these things. Hoping you get to use them for your own baby very soon.

  2. What a beautiful post. Why yes, we have lots of newborn outfits (many handmade by myself) and two pairs of infant shoes that we couldn’t resist during our two years of TTC. Though we didn’t welcome home a baby, we did welcome a 36 month old. I’ve already began a box to be a central point for all the toys and clothes she’s outgrown and hopefully she’ll be thrilled to share with a tiny sibling someday!

  3. Esperanza

    Ah, the bins of clothes. I was very lucky to be able to store them at my MIL’s house but whenever I went down to their garage and saw them stacked against the wall they were a sad reminder of what we weren’t accomplishing. It was a momentous occasion when I finally brought a couple up and went through the baby clothes for gender neutral/boy’s wear. It definitely felt like it symbolized how far we’d come and the celebration of finally being there.

    One thing that really symbolizes my TTC/infertility/loss journey is a board book I bought during my very first pregnancy. It was a silly little book about my alma mater and I got it right when I found out I was pregnant, along with a few other things. When that pregnancy ended I was devastated and I HATED those little things I had bought. I ended up giving them all away, except for the board book because no one who was having babies when to my university and so that stayed with me, buried in my sock drawer.

    When my daughter was born I pulled it out and put it with her books. Whenever we read it I think back to that loss and how hopeless I felt in the wake of it. That book is probably the most powerful token of my journey and I know I’ll always keep it for that reason, even when my children have long since grown out of it.

  4. I have loads of tubs of outgrown clothes, just the same as you.

    But I guess the other main thing is the sharps bin stuffed in the back of my medicine cupboard. I don’t see it often, but when I do… Owch.

    It was originally from IVF #1, which was a failure. Then I spontaneously got pregnant on my own, but for some reason kept it. Which turned out to be handy for the nurses who came to our home to give Monkey his GCSF injections (to help stimulate white blood cell production) after each round of chemo.

    So double owch. And yet the damn thing is still in my cupboard.

    Maybe I should go throw it out!

  5. This is a lovely post. I don’t have any particular mementos but I do have bins. So many bins.

  6. Lovely post. I’m very sorry about the sad bits…I suppose it’s mixed, even without TTC trials. I actually just did some bins myself this weekend, and it was hard. I know the babies I have now are wonderful babies, but those memories…so sweet.

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