Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Alexander's Homecoming Outfit (and other cotton things)

In that diaper cake that was mentioned in "Baby Shower's for Alexander" was this pajama.  It was given to me by my mother, and after all she did for me and Alexander's baby showers, I wanted to devote Alexander's homecoming outfit to her.  I wanted her to feel like all she did mattered, and was huge and thoughtful and wonderful and made an everlasting impact (because it did), and seeing her first grandchild being brought home from the hospital in something she picked out for him was just the way I wanted to return the love to her. 

After a scan I had when I was 40+2 days pregnant, I was told the baby was weighing in at 8lbs 2oz.  This pajama was 0-3 months, but I had a feeling it might be a bit big.  It got washed and packed in our hospital bag.

Theodore didn't ever wear this pajama after he was born.  He wore 99% of Alexander's things, but not this.  It was his outfit.  His homecoming outfit.  Something kept me from making it "their" clothes.  It's still just Alexander's. 
We also packed 3 long sleeve onesies.  Long sleeve, because ...a February baby.  They came in a 3-pack, and were a gift from a friend from the shower we had here at our house.  They all got washed and packed.  2 solid baby blue, and one striped white and blue.  At first, I only put Theo in one of the solid pieces, and kept the stripe and one solid in the drawer where the pajama lived.  As Theo grew, and I became more comfortable in putting him in Alexander's things, I put him in the striped one too.  I kept one solid one, in the drawer, never worn by Theo. 

This was our back up homecoming outfit.  My sister got it for Alexander, and I thought it was darling.  It was labeled "1 month" for size, and it was itty bitty.  I figured it would be perfect if he wasn't the giant baby the scans were telling us he was. 

turns out Alexander wasn't the giant baby after all.  he was 7lbs 13 oz at birth. 
This has been worn (and we've washed it several times) by Theo.  It is in the drawer with Alexander's homecoming pj's and other cotton things.  Even though Theo wore it, I still have kept it aside and not packed it away with all other outgrown baby clothes.  It was in Alexander's hospital bag, and hits pretty close to my heart, so it stays in the drawer. 
On the day Theo weighed in at 7lbs 13 oz at a doctor's appointment, I put him in this outfit
he was about a month old, which made him very close to what Alexander
was when I was 41+ weeks pregnant with him, and at his birth
There were a few other onesies that were packed in Alexander's hospital bag that I packed in Theo's hospital bag too.  In that diaper cake, there were 3 onesies.  One white with colourful stars, one striped in multicolours, and one all blue with the word "Beep" on the chest with a few cars.  I packed the stars for Alexander, and I then packed the same one for Theo's bag.  Theo wore it in the hospital the day after he was born.

This final one is a doozy.  My heart my heart my heart.

I don't remember when it was, but we went shopping at Carter's.  I saw a little 3pc outfit that was a onesie, cardigan and pant set.  It was olive/brown and white striped cardi, with olive/brown pants, and the onesie was white with "handsome" written in navy/brown/olive letters.  It had a little guitar on the cardigan.  Adorable.  All things rock and roll remind me of my dad, and what a sweeter way to show my love and missing for him than to dress my first born son in little guitars and music associated cuteness.  But I also saw this pajama.  Navy blue footed pj with guitars all over.  I showed Daniel both, and said, "I have to".  In not wanting to overbuy in 0-3 month sizes, he told me to pick ONE, and we'll buy the other once we know what size Alexander is and will wear for more than a SECOND.  So I picked the cardi/onesie/pant set.  Theo wore that set too... I loved it.  Alexander's clothes, devoted to my dad, on the little brother who made it.  Heart explosion and heartbreak all at once.

After all the showers were over, and bags were opened, and outfits were washed, folded, and organized, I still couldn't get that pajama out of my mind.

It was a mild February in 2012. I don't have it in me right now to look up temp histories, but I know it was unseasonably mild. I could walk out with my coat open and be fine.  I didn't even need winter boots.  I don't think we even had any snow!

So in mid February, I walked about 20 minutes to my nearby Carter's and bought that pajama.  I kept with the common sense mindset that I would keep the tags on and return it if I needed a bigger size, but I just HAD TO HAVE IT for when Alexander was born. 

I needed it for my son.  I was missing my dad pretty big back then when my baby was so close to being here.  I wanted so bad to have my dad here, my baby's grandfather, to experience this wonderful time with.  I ached for my dad, and I cried many nights while pregnant with Alexander just wishing he was here to see me with my big belly and feel the baby kicks.  I wanted nothing more than to TALK to my dad while I was gearing up to be a mother for the first time.  I wanted my dad to hold my newborn son.  I wanted him to hold his grandson.

And with all that emotion behind me, that pajama had to be bought.  And bought it was.

 Tags are still attached.  Theo didn't ever wear it.  I didn't specifically plan on that, but every time I hesitated on removing the tags and washing it, I stayed with that hesitation, and tucked it back in the drawer. 

 I still have the bill too.  One thing I couldn't throw out after he died.  For nearly 3 years, this receipt has sat in my medicine cabinet in my upstairs bathroom. 

I don't remember when I unpacked Alexander's hospital bag.  I know I attempted to several times, months and months after he died... but I always repacked it.  Almost like taking down the baby shower cards, I just couldn't do it.  I packed it back just so, just as I had it waiting for weeks and weeks to take to the hospital.  I'm pretty sure I was halfway or more through my pregnancy with Theo when I decided I better unpack it, and get ready for this baby... and give myself that space and allow that distinction of feelings to find it's way.  Preparing for one, and the preparing for the other.  Not a redo, or a continuation, but ANOTHER baby. 

I'll wrap it up for tonight.  I've had a few good cries.  They were needed.  I want to cry more.  The house is dark and quiet.  The days of early grief are almost mirrored in my surroundings.  But not, because all the toys and clutter and things and things and things are every where I look. 

Oh how I wish those things and things and things multiplied after Alexander arrived home safely.  But these little cotton things are kind of all I have. 

My tears are for almost 3.  Almost 3, but feeling like we lost him yesterday.  Memory lane can be so gut wrenching, but it's a therapy I've been delaying for years. 

My tears are for almost 3, and for diving in, and getting it out.


  1. Oh these are so special. Finn had that rock and roll sleeper but I'm trying to remember if we were given it when I was pregnant with Cale or if it was always Finn's.

    I love knowing these little touches of Alexander and the Connections to Theo

  2. Veronica - I've just read through your last few posts. I want to give you such a big, big hug. Your love for Alexander is so vivid in these posts. And your loss - the terrible loss of a son - I am so, so sorry. I remember the days just before Anja's third birthday were so fucking awful. I really wish I could give you a hug. These posts are a truly beautiful tribute to Alexander.

  3. I've been quietly following your words. I'm just so very sorry that Alexander is not here with you. Your love for him is so palpable in all that you do. Much love to you...

  4. So totally special, and also almost a sacred, EFFING SAD time capsule of sorts, too. :/ I have some similar things and just could not. I couldn't. In fact, I ended up cutting the specific outfit I saved and put it with pieces of clothing Andrew wore from the hospital. It was meant to be his outfit and purchased with exactly him in mind. The kind that come on those fancy hangers with satin.

    I totally know. I love that beautiful rocker one that reminded you of your dad. Seeing receipts like that hurt so bad, you know?