Thursday, February 19, 2015

When I Wore It Last

not hiding the mom belly. don't care.
My husband's birthday falls eight days after Andrew's birthday. We had intentions to celebrate early (because the baby was coming and we'd be so busy!) using a Groupon at this fun fondue restaurant downtown. We figured it would be awhile before we'd get out to the city and have that nice of a date night for months.

We had a reservation for Sunday evening, December 5, 2010.

It's rather obvious, now, that we didn't make that dinner reservation.

After coming home with an empty carseat, we didn't know what else to do but reschedule that dinner reservation and celebrate Andrew's dad for being born anyway. We couldn't find anything else more important to do.

I was swollen, bleeding, and we were defeated. I wore this sweater for the first ever to that dinner date. I felt so ashamed for having a dead son and failing him. That my body failed him. I wanted to hide all parts of myself that resembled being a woman and especially a woman who was ever pregnant. I remember having a hard time finding something to wear. It had to fit the full criteria of being something: I did not wear while pregnant with him, fit over my swollen belly and didn't look horrible, and was not maternity branded. I hated the thought of wearing anything I'd worn while happily pregnant while in mourning and it took me a long time to be okay with that during Benjamin's pregnancy. Luckily, I borrowed most of the maternity wear while pregnant with Andrew, so they were returned to rightful owners as soon as I could get them out of my house. Not fast enough.

I was left with very little to chose from, so grabbed up this sweater and put it on. Maybe it was grief, but I hated the way it looked on me.

We had fondue. Some of the worst I'd ever had and I remember the very popular restaurant being packed, the dust that was stuck to the lampshade and fake flowers that decorated the poorly lit (romantic?) place. I remember the corner we stood while waiting for our table to open up and how I didn't feel like casually ordering a drink at the bar, though do remember drinking wine with dinner... because WHY NOT? I wondered how all those people could be celebrating and having Christmas get-togethers. I kind of thought they all knew what just happened to us and how I felt like my entire body was exposed. It was really cold outside, but part of me wonders if my grief made it feel colder. We valet parked. We rarely valet park.

I remember thinking it would be a terrible sweater to wear if I were a breastfeeding mom. And it is. One of the worst. Claire is down to three feedings in a day and I never feed her in public anymore, because she is fed around sleeping times. I picked that sweater up today and put it on. It felt just as wrong today as it did that evening. I wore it all day.

It's the last time I'll wear that sweater. I'll donate to the local consignment shop that supports programs that help victims of domestic abuse. Someone will buy it for $2 and wear it, having no clue how much emotion was underneath those fibers at one point. I'm glad to see it disappear.


LookItsJessica said... [Reply to comment]

Sometimes its good to get rid of things that bring memories of so much pain. It's interesting how clothes can carry emotional weight. When I went to the hospital on 2/15/11 I didn't bring any extra clothes and had extra clothes brought to me from my parents. I still have the shirt I wore on my last "happily pregnant day" with Liam tucked into my nightstand. I could never wear it again and I could never get rid of it. At this point, it's way too small for me but it's still an emotional keepsake for me.

Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

Isn't it crazy how grief can even ruin clothes?

Brooke said... [Reply to comment]

I felt the SAME way about not wearing my maternity clothes. I couldn't stand to look at them. Even though I had no clothes that fit. One of the first places I went, when I could finally stand to leave the house, was to buy yoga pants at TJ Maxx so I could wear something else that wasn't maternity. I literally put the clothes I was wearing the day I went into labor with Eliza into the dumpster behind our house a few days after getting home from the hospital.

I have one sweater I wore while pregnant with Eliza that I couldn't bring myself to wear again with subsequent pregnancies and yet still can't quite part with. It's not maternity, but it worked for maternity, but it's just ruined for me. And yet weirdly precious.

I bet you haven't been back to that fondue place, either.

Sarah said... [Reply to comment]

I had this cute black maternity dress that I wore while pregnant with Genevieve. I had bought it thinking it would be good to have in case my grandfather passed away because he was 99 and ill. Instead, I wore it to pick up the urn with my daughter's ashes from the funeral home. Never wore it again, not even when my grandfather actually did pass away while I was pregnant with Henry.

Also, thank you for the mom belly photo. Can any of us with three kids and so much mourning escape it? I sure didn't.

RyAnne Carr said... [Reply to comment]

I hated the thought of wearing maternity clothes too. I remember packing them up a week after Caleb died, it was on Easter-his due date. I packed them all up and wore huge dresses the rest of the Spring/Summer. I remember walking in public thinking how unfair it was that everyone must just think I was "fat" when really I had just had a baby.

I still have one maternity shirt, the first one I ever bought, that I can't ever wear again. It reminds me too much of that blissful happiness thinking pregnancies ended with live babies.

Glad you wrote on this, I have had these thoughts so many times going through all my clothes.

Veronica said... [Reply to comment]

I've got a box of maternity clothes / over sized shirts that sit in the basement closet. All of which I wore with Alexander. And like Brooke, I didn't wear a select few with Theodore because I wore them so often with Alexander snd it didn't feel right, yet, I can't part with them. I don't know what I wore after Alexander died. I know I went to gap factory in March and bought a ton of M/L clearance so I didn't have to mess around with anything at home.

Dammit, I know exactly how you were feeling in that restaurant.

Laura Jane said... [Reply to comment]

1) wtf is with those weird spam comments? lol ^

2) I wore almost all of the same maternity clothes with all three pregnancies. I remember feeling very odd doing so, especially between J & G's pregnancy since it felt like such a repeat. There are a couple sweaters I just tossed in the end because I knew I wouldn't wear them again. I ALSO have a shopping issue, so finding new clothes has never been an issue.

3) You still look beautiful, mom belly or not (AND mind is significantly larger. lol).