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?