Friday, April 29, 2011

Baby clothes

21 weeks + 6 days, 5 weeks + 1 day post rupture

In the weeks leading up to Aidan's birth I had begun to prepare for his possible death. One thing I knew I wanted to have ready for when he was born was an outfit. I wanted to dress him in clothing I had picked out and felt was 'right' for him. I ordered a couple of outfits from 'Preemie Proud'. One was a boy outfit, one was a girl outfit and one was a neutral white. I wanted the gender specific outfit to take pictures in and a white one to send the baby to the funeral home in. Since I didn't know if Aidan was a boy or a girl, I had to buy three. They were each less than $10 and arrived quickly in the mail. I had ordered their smallest size, knowing that Aidan was going to be tiny. He was measuring 500 grams (about 1 lb) at our doctor's appointment at 21-ish weeks. Their smallest size was "Micro preemie 1-3 lbs".

Aidan arrived at 580 grams or 1 lb, 4 1/2 oz. Exactly on track for his gestational age.

The nurse who cleaned him up after he died and brought him back to us, dressed him in a little white knitted outfit, complete with a light blue hat and tiny white knitted socks. It fit him perfectly and was cute. However, I quickly undressed him from that and put him in 'MY' outfit. I loved him. This nurse did not love him. Was not his mother. It was important that he wear what I had picked.

It was quickly apparent that my outfit was too big. He could have made a tent out of it. It was too wide and required the sleeves be rolled up almost all the way. The hat would fall off or cover his eyes. My outfit made him look even smaller than he was. The "Micro Preemie clothes sized 1-3 lbs" was much more of a 2 1/2 to 3 lb baby outfit. It made me sad. All I had wanted was to pick out an outfit for my baby, but the smallest one I could find, he would never grow into. The 'ward stock' the hospital had, fit him better.

I am, of course, running into the same problem this time. I would love to have an outfit ready for Acorn. Even if it was just plain white with no decoration. Most importantly I would like it to be small...really small. 1lb baby small (just in case). No longer than 10 inches from neckline to hem and no wider than 8 or so inches across the sleeves.

I have looked on all preemie clothes websites I could find. All of their 'micro preemie' sizes go up to 3 lbs. Much too large. All of their clothes are "NICU friendly" with snaps and velcro in places normal baby clothes do not have.

But what if your baby never grows? Never makes it to the NICU? It's also all gender specific...and I still don't know what Acorn is.

I have even looked at doll clothes websites. Some of them are probably small enough length wise, but I'm not sure about the proportions (fat arms? Torsos too skinny or too wide?). Also they are often way too elaborate and look like shrunk down beauty pageant outfits rather than living (dead?) baby clothes.

I think I need a store entitled "Dead Babies R Us" to find what I'm looking for. Or maybe more appropriate "Dead Fetuses' R Us". Maybe their clothes would be small enough.

Where did you get the outfit that your child was dressed in? Do you know anyone who makes outfits small enough for the tiniest of preemies?


  1. i still hate that we didn't have any clothes for kenny. the only thing he wore was a knitted sweater and cap that had been donated to the hospital by some women's group. i wish i had a suggestion for you, but i don't know where you could find anything that small. i hope it turns out that you won't need it, but i understand you want to be prepared.

  2. Ugg. I hated the "Little House on the Praire" outfit that they had put on my Caroline. They gave me a choice of 3 and I pretty much had to pick the one I hated the least. We didn't have anytime to prepare so we had to take it or nothing.

    I could ask my MIL who sews if she could make something! I'll let you know what I find out.

    I still pray for you!

  3. I would try to find someone to make one or hate to say it, go the doll route. If you can get someone to hit a toy store for you they should have a better selection than the chessy porcelain doll clothes.
    I'm praying for you though. Hoping you will never need the outfit you decide on.

  4. I bought clothes for my girls from Their smallest sizes, which weren't available when my girls were born so I can't comment on how big the clothes come up, are size 00 (up to 1lb/450g) and 0 (up to 1.5lb /700g and 32cms in length). They have a 'neutrals' section and I know that the vests don't have snaps anywhere except for the usual.

    I just wish you didn't have any need to look at clothes in such tiny sizes and, like Elaine, I hope that you will never need to use the outfit you decide upon. Thinking of you and Acorn. xo

  5. I've never commented here before, but I think it's time.

    I knit preemie hats for charity, and I recently completed a small preemie-sized gown. It's a very light grey, very soft, and it should be about the size you're looking for. If you like, I can quickly knit a little hat to match and I'd be happy to send it out to you. No charge, obviously. I hope you never have to use it. Drop me a line if you're interested.

  6. My husband and I couldn't find any small outfits either. In his coffin I laid a cute onesie over him that said Mommy's little man and then just swaddled him up into a cute little swaddle I found.

  7. The dresses that the hospital gave us for my twins were beautiful. They were both white with mint green collars and small crosses sewn on the bottom of them. I wouldn't have been able to find anything as small and didn't really have time to due to my water breaking so unexpectedly. I hope you find just what you are looking for.

  8. Oh Emily, I hate that you are in this position again. I remember all too well the feeling of not having something special for Mikayla to wear that fit her. It is one of my goals currently for our non profit Mikayla's Grace to knit things that are the appropriate size for the smallest of babies. I do have a few gowns knit up and they don't take long, so if you'd like me to do one for you I would offer to do it in whatever color you'd like, etc. Email me at and I can send you pics of the ones I have.

  9. My grandma made some preemie gowns in honor of my boys who passed away....They are very small....They are like the gowns with no feet. I have 2 blue ones. I would love to send you one. Of course, I hope you NEVER have to use it but this gown I have is just sitting in my closet. I have yet to make a trip to the NICU to give them away...

    Email me if you are interested:


  10. Can you ask the hospital where they got the outfit they originally picked out for Aidan? If anything, maybe they'll allow you to go through their stock of clothing and pick something out. You could also request to be the one to dress Acorn instead of a nurse doing it for you.

  11. OMG. I lost all my bookmarks when my hard drive crashed, and I'm just now starting to rebuild my link library and get the blogs I used to read regularly back on my reader. Emily, I saw this post and burst into tears. I can't believe you are going through this again. There is nothing I can say to express how heartbroken I am for you and your family. I am so so so so so so sorry. I don't even know what to say. You guys are in my thoughts and I'm crossing everything for you.

    Two things: After Caleb was born he had no clothes, so I totally understand where you're coming from. Afterward I bought a couple of the "tiny infant" outfits from this site and donated them to the hospital. The "tiny infant" size is for under 1.5lbs.

    Second, when I was on bedrest with ruptured membranes last time I ordered a bulk order of those mesh hospital panties so I could change my underwear every time I pooped. I figured anything to help keep out infection. Caleb was born before they were delivered, though, and I was in no place to return them, so I have this giant box of disposable panties sitting here. Do you want them?? I am happy to send them on to you. Just shoot me an email, seriously. I have no use for them right now and they're just going to waste.

    My email is on my profile.


  12. Hey, nice site you have here! Keep up the excellent work!

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