Monday, January 19, 2009

Strange goodbyes

A couple of years ago, I can't specifically remember when now, I gave away my maternity jeans. Donated them to charity along with a motley collection of unloved sweaters, shirts and assorted crap. It was a big deal.

Well, mostly.

I actually hated them. They were never comfortable, always digging into my sides before sliding down and leaving me with a terrible case of saggy ass. But still, giving them away felt like a big step - a monumental shift in my thinking and healing.

The thing is, I'm not entirely sure it was, really.

I was thinking about this the other day, how we donated some of Thomas' things just a few weeks after he died and how it barely bothered me at all. For some reason I was able to very easily separate the sentimental from the disposable in those early, dark days. The diaper bag, boppy pillow, lotions, diapers, books, parenting magazines, and baby bathtub. They all went, and with very little difficulty.

And yet other things I still cling to with a ferocity that startles me. Tubs of clothes, toys, blankies. Little socks. A sunhat. Things. So many small, unused things.

There is no rhyme nor reason for the way I categorize his things; for what I decide can and can't go. I adored my diaper bag, but when I came home from the hospital I couldn't stand the sight of it. But the 9 billion receiving blankets, each a dime a dozen? I can't let them go.

It makes no sense.

I never liked the jeans. I wouldn't have worn them again even if I managed to get (and stay) pregnant long enough to need them. I tricked myself into thinking donating them was an achievement.

When really, it was just common sense.

And I may have done it again. The tricking bit. Because tonight, all the rest of my maternity stuff is packed away in a donation bag waiting for pick-up. All of it. A skirt, a pair of nursing jammies and several tops, including the striped one I loved and wore so much I'm surprised I didn't wear it right out.

I'm proud. I am. I've had that stuff sitting in a neat pile on a shelf in my closet for nearly four years. I couldn't see it very well and didn't look at it often, but I knew it was there. I needed to know it was still there.

But I'm smaller now than I was then. And it's not just the absence of a baby belly. All of me is smaller. I likely couldn't wear any of that stuff anyway even if I did magically find myself pregnant. It would be too big. In fact, it would have been too big if I'd tried to wear it two years ago.

But I couldn't let it go. Until today.

For absolutely no good reason, today was the day I was able to let it all go. Even though I know I never would have worn any of it again anyway.

So yeah, I know I'm kind of tricking myself again. Like the jeans.

But I'm not really sure that matters.

There's a clearer space in my brain just the same. Does it matter that the victory isn't as big as it might appear? Does it matter that I had no intention of wearing the clothes again anyway? Does it matter that the odds are stacked against me and my uterus, making the likelihood of me needing any maternity clothes pretty small?

I don't think so.

I'm crossing my arms, holding my head high, and calling it a victory.

6 comments: said...

I for one, am very proud of you and consider what you did to be a huge achievement - give yourself a pat on the back and a hug while you're at it.

I appreciate your honesty and frankness - you are a wonderful example of being able to move on even in the face of adversity.

Kristi said...

It is a victory.

I used to be a professional organizer. I saw people holding on to the oddest things for the oddest reasons.

I think holding on to maternity clothes and anything related to our babies isn't bad. You know when & if you're ready.
It's been a little over 2 years since I lost my Sara. I still have a large tub of her clothes packed, stored under the bed. I'm slowly passing it along to mothers in need.

Catherine said...

Oh honey... {{{hug}}}

Kami said...

And you should consider it a victory. If there is one thing I have learned is that emotions and logic are two different things. If getting rid of the maternity clothes were hard to do an you are glad you were able to do it then, by all means, congratulate yourself.

Forgive me for saying so - I don't mean to rob from your moment, but I am so sorry you are marking this kind of a victory and not another one you would have preferred.

B said...


And should I give my sister the pram and cot that has been under the spare bed for over two years now?

Alex said...

Your last few months of posts have been sounding so...healing. You can tell you love Thomas and miss him and long for him...but there is a new feeling I get from reading your posts. A healthy tone to them. I have never lost a child and I can not relate to what you have lost, no one can that hasn't been there. But your loss and pain was so obvious in your way of writing. And now, it feels as though you are...I don't want to say moving on, because I don't want to say the wrong thing and hurt you...but taking the next step in the grief process. And you seem like you hurt a lot less. And I am happy for you.