Monday, July 12, 2010

Holding onto a memory

Dear Stevie,
Lately I've been going into your nursery when I need to feel close to you. I sit on the floor and go through all your things, over and over again, running my fingers over your clothes and blankets and books and stuffed animals, memorizing every detail. If someone were to walk into your room right now, all they'd see is a big, messy pile of random baby stuff. To me, though, it's so much more than that. It's a pile of beautiful, wonderful memories. Each little outfit, each little stuffed animal has a story.

Like these finger puppets, the very first things that were ever bought for you:

When we found out I was pregnant on December 9th, we were both shocked, but Dad, especially was really freaked-out. He walked around looking totally shell-shocked and didn't even want to talk about it for the first couple of days. In all honesty, I was a little bit sad that he wasn't more excited right away. That is, until, a few days later, when I came home from work and he told me to look in my Christmas stocking that was hanging up in the living room. I peeked in to find these adorable little finger puppets. Dad said, "I was picking up milk at Whole Foods and saw these. I just had to get them for the baby." It made me so happy that he really was excited and was already picking things out for you.

And these funny little rattle socks from your Auntie Jersa:

My best friend since middle school, Jersa, and I always go out for special Christmas dinner together. Before last year's dinner, I sent her a message saying, "I have some...interesting news to tell you when I see you." Of course, she guessed my surprise right away. :) At dinner a few days later, she gave me these rattle socks for you. We laughed and talked about how you were probably going to end up with huge feet like your Dad (we were right!) and stick them in your mouth to chew on these as soon as I put them on you.

And your very first outfit, from Grandma and Grandpa and Auntie Katie:

I was only 6 weeks along when they gave me these cute PJs and matching "Auntie Loves Me" bib to open on Christmas. I felt so, so weird receiving baby clothes; it was all still so surreal at that point. I remember Grandma (Dad's mom) saying, "it's so hard to find gender-neutral clothing. I really hope you guys end up having a girl because girl clothes are the cutest!"

And the first book Dad and I bought for you:

We were on vacation in Whistler, BC, when we found this book, "Big Bear Bug," at a little shop. I was only about 7 weeks pregnant and we went back on forth on whether or not it was "too soon" to start buying things for you. In the end, the book was too perfect to resist and we forked over the ridiculous $19.50 they were asking for it. As we walked back to our hotel room, in our winter boots and stocking hats, through the fresh falling snow, we talked all about how we were going to read to you every night after you were born. I remember tightly gripping the shopping bag containing your first book and silently thinking, "I just bought my baby a book." I was just glowing.

And this, the first piece of clothing I ever bought for you:

I saw this and just had to buy it. I was 18 weeks pregnant and about a week and a half away from finding out if you were a boy or girl. Everyone I showed would say, "that's cute, but it's totally a boy's onesie," and I would argue, "no way! Add some pink leggings and you have the perfect girl's outfit. But it doesn't matter anyway. I'm 99% sure I'm having a boy." After finding out my instincts were way off and you were actually a little girl, my mom asked me if I was going to return it, to which I replied, "Mom, it has polka dots, how much more girly can you get?!" I still think you would have been adorable in it, Stevie. You would have been adorable in anything.

And this, your first truly "girly" outfit, from Grandma (my mom):

This is one of my favorite outfits of yours because it has a "ruffle butt." I've always been obsessed with ruffle butts on little girls. :)

And all these "Baby Legs" leg warmers:

Okay, so I went a little crazy with the Baby Legs. They were on sale on babysteals.com and I ordered a five-pack. Then that same day babylegs.com was having a promotion where select styles were on clearance for only $2! Free shipping! So of course I had to buy like eight more pairs. For some reason, they all came separately in the mail. So everyday for like a week and a half, there would be packs of Baby Legs in the mailbox. One day Dad came home from work, stomped up the stairs to the bedroom where I was taking a nap, threw another couple pairs on the bed, and said, "seriously, Kristin, how many of these things did you order??" His face was priceless.

And this dress I picked out for you to wear home from the hospital:

I was still on the lookout for the perfect little white cardigan sweater to go with this, but I never got a chance to buy one.

And this hand-knit romper, the only article of clothing I ever saw Dad get excited about:

Dad was never into the whole clothes thing with you. Most of the time when I'd show him something I picked out for you and ask him if he liked it, his response was something like, "Yeah, sure." or "that's really pink..." But when he found this simple knit romper, he fell in love. "We have to get this for Stevie," he said. And we did. Less than a week before you died. I'm so sad your daddy will never get to see you in the sweet little outfit he picked out for you, Baby.

These, and each and every one of your "things" are physical reminders of special moments we shared with you. Each time I hold one of your things in my hands, I am actually, literally holding onto a memory. It's wonderful and heartbreaking, all at the same time.

Missing you lots and lots today.

All my love,
Mom

12 comments:

Lucid Anne said...

I'd like to do a post like this sometime too, its absolutely beautiful and sweet. : ) Its just still too soon for me to be around her things. Thank you so much for sharing it with us! Those babylegs are so cute; I never got any for V but I love them. (I was more of the sickening pink explosion type- pink hat, pink ribbons, pink ruffles, pink everything.)

rebecca said...

I LOVE all the stuff you got for Stevie, especially her going home dress, it's beautiful! I have only stepped into the nursery a couple of times, but I too love to be around Lily's stuff, I think as time goes on I'll go in there more often. Although it makes me sad I like to look at the books I used to read to Lily during my pregnancy...as you said they are memories we shared together & I cherish those!

Jen said...

(((HUGS)))

Kelley and Chris said...

Thinking of you Kristin...this post brought tears to my eyes. So sweet...

Violet1122 said...

Oh, Kristin. This just breaks my heart. But thanks for sharing... it is so sweet.

Danae said...

Beautiful post...she has adorable clothes, and would have been very fashionable! Love the little ruffle butt pants!

I need to do pictures like that, so I don't forget who got what...maybe soon.

Antoinette said...

Just beautiful....great pics...as heartbreaking as they all are, its peaceful to know they are all hers forever...lucky little girl...xoxo

Julie said...

these things are so precious. i am so sad that we didn't get this far. we weren't going to buy anything until after my showers, and we weren't going to put together the nursery (even though we already had the hand-me-down nursery furniture) until i was on summer vacation from school. of course, by then, kenny was gone.

Dana said...

Everything you got for Stevie is so adorable. I'm glad that they bring back good memories now and not just pain. Your story about the leggings made me laugh out loud, through my tears since your post also made me cry (I needed something to help me get a good cry out anyway).

Erin said...

Kristin, these memories are so sweet. Thanks for sharing :)

Maggie said...

Such a sweet, heartbreaking post. Those outfits are adorable! :)

Jennifer said...

I bet Stevie would have been just adorable in her cute little ruffle bottoms! I have to say I agree with her daddy, I just love the romper! Too cute! You should totally put some of these in a shadow box one day! Such sweet memories! Thank you for sharing! Stevie know how very much you love her. I believe that with all of my heart!

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