March 15, 2014

Unused Hand-Me-Downs

I recently went through the bins of packed away baby boy clothes. I had pulled out some gender neutral things before I delivered Mary, but eventually I weeded through a lot of the boy clothes and donated a bunch and sold a bunch to a consignment store. But even in doing that I still have a bin and a half of little boy things that I'm just not anywhere close to being ready to part with. Because so many of them have a memory - either of when I was given them during my pregnancies with both Cale and Finn or when Finn got to wear them.

Other than some monogrammed items, there are very few clothes that we were given or purchased for Cale that Finn did not wear. Having both boys in June, it made reusing the unused clothes very convenient for me. But it was definitely very bittersweet. To know that Finn was wearing all the clothes that were originally intended for his brother - I was so thankful he was getting to wear them, just wished they had already been worn, ya know? Mary has worn two sets of pajamas that Finn wore - both items that were intended for Cale. I'm glad she's able to wear them and there's a little bit of a connection there - that she can share clothes with her brothers. I have one more larger sized gender neutral set of pajamas, but then that's it - she probably won't share any other clothes with them.

As I went through the bins, I came across so many special outfits. Like a little dog outfit that I had packed in my hospital bag as it had both long sleeves and short and I didn't know what we would dress Cale in so I wanted options. And even though I never dressed him in it, I always think of it as his "going home" outfit, so I'll never be able to part with it. Here's a (not so flattering) picture from my baby shower of the little outfit:

And there were a few other things, that while they definitely have a connection to Cale and were special to me, I wanted to pass them along to some of my baby loss friends. The first is a little Julius the monkey outfit that my sister in law gave me when I was pregnant with Cale. Finn wore it a couple times, but I wanted to pass it along to my friend Tiffany. Her first son Julius passed away from SIDS in 2010. She went on to have a little girl in 2012 and just recently welcomed another little boy who I hope will get some use out of this outfit. Two big brothers loved and remembered, and two little brothers who get to wear it.

The other outfit was again one that was given to me when I was pregnant with Cale. It's a set of onesies and pants that have a little Duck on them. My friend Brooke is pregnant with her third "baby Duck" and I wanted to share them with her.

I couldn't find any other pictures of when Finn wore this - hard to tell, but there's a little Duck on his shirt. He was seven months here:

Before I even mailed these outfits to Brooke she had sent Mary some pajamas that were intended for her little Eliza, stillborn in 2010. We got a head start on St. Patrick's Day and Mary has been wearing them the past two nights.

I love babies in pajamas - they are squishy and snuggly and I think Mary looks just precious in these shamrocks. But it was bittersweet to dress her in them. Because they should have already been worn in and Eliza should have looked squishy and snuggly and oh so cute in them and I have no doubts she would have. I'm grateful Brook shared a little connection to Eliza with Mary, and I'm grateful to be able to share a little connection to Cale with some of my friends, but it's just so heartbreaking and beautiful all at once. It just reminds me so much of when I first dressed Finn in those special and meaningful clothes, passed down from, but never worn by, his brother.



  1. So totally sweet. All of this. I love the connection of babies that get to wear these clothes, even if their older siblings were not able to wear them first.

    I'm totally weird, but I almost never dress Claire (or never did when B was a baby either) in pajamas. I just dress her in a clean onesie and swaddle her up. I don't know when we made the transition with B to pajamas, but I'm following that same path. And because I'm that lazy, she wears that same onesie the next day. I cannot be bothered with all those snaps!

  2. So bittersweet, as you said...but sharing the clothing of those little saints with other baby loss families and their rainbow babies is such a meaningful dimension that I'd never even thought about. What a beautiful way to have those sweet babes remembered and their baby items treasured by those who understand and appreciate them most.