I was browsing up and down the aisles looking at all the cheap crap that nobody needs...and I stumbled into the baby clothing racks. Of course. I decided to take a look, just because...what the hell...why not rub salt in that wound? So I started looking at all the cheesy baby stuff that I never really would have looked at before. My taste in baby clothes tends to run to the 'what would I wear if I were a baby?' I'm not a huge fan of the 'uber-cutesy' stuff with lots of bows or funny phrases or BRIGHT colours. My tastes tend to run more to the baby Gap sort of stuff. Clean, crisp...tasteful.
I'm flicking through the racks and I see it. It's really bright. It's got a cheesy cartoon turtle on the front. It's cheap crappy material. It's a summer outfit. It's $8.
It's the most goddamn adorable outfit I have ever seen.
And, just like that, I can see in my mind's eye Aidan, my beautiful, sweet, 7 lbs, healthy, baby boy sitting in his car seat dressed in that outfit.
So, I show it to my husband and he agrees it's cute and then I put it back on the rack and we buy our $4 knife set (cutting board included!) and drive back to the cottage.
Then we have our massive fight that lasts two days. Then we made up.
Then that weekend before we left, I say: "I have to go back and get that outfit". There is no reason for it. My Aidan died. He does not need an outfit. I told myself at the time that I was buying it for 'the next baby' to show myself that I had hope that there would actually be a next baby.
But really...I bought it for Aidan.
I did it because I never bought him anything at all. And I really wanted to.
Two and a half months after he died.
Two and a half months after he died.
In the room that would have been his I have no furniture, except a single dresser that used to be mine as a child. It is otherwise empty. In the middle drawer I have all the 'papers' and 'things' that relate to him. The ultrasound reports, and photos, the CDs from NILMDTS, the 'dead baby folder' that they give to parents who have experienced a loss at the hospital where I gave birth, the blankets we held him in and the outfit he wore. I consider this middle drawer 'Aidan's drawer'.
In the bottom drawer I have the baby socks my husband put in my stocking last year at Christmas when I was almost 7 weeks pregnant. And we have the matching daddy sized and toddler sized Superman T-shirts. My husband is WAY into superheroes and we bought the toddler sized Superman shirt at the Gap about two years ago. It was bought for 'our future child', before we were even trying to conceive. My husband used to have a Superman T-shirt just like it as a kid, and he wanted his child to have one too. In this drawer I also have my Bella band that I used to hold up my pants over my expanding pregnancy belly. I also put my pregnancy/nursing bras in there too. I have hopes we'll get to use these things again...someday. I consider it my 'next baby' drawer.
The last picture is Brian, my husband, as a superhero.
Neither the socks, nor the T-shirt, nor the Bella band or the nursing bras were bought with 'Aidan' in mind. They were bought either for my pregnancy with him, or for 'our child'...nameless, faceless and genderless.
So, I'm having a hard time deciding what drawer to put the outfit I now consider "Aidan's". Should it go in drawer #1 or drawer #2?
I guess I will consider it a hand-me-down. From Aidan to his younger brother or sister. And the next child will wear it. Even if they are born in winter, where there is no way they could wear the outfit outside. Even if it's a girl and the outfit makes her look like a boy. I will stick him or her into it and take a picture.
And my mind's eye will flash back to a figment of my imagination, to the alternative universe where Aidan is alive and sleeping in his car seat, wearing the outfit. The only outfit...
I picked just for him.
What do you plan to do with the clothes you bought for your dead child? Will they be hand-me-downs? If you didn't buy anything at all, do you regret this? Or feel grateful you don't have (expensive) reminders gathering dust?