15 Weeks 2 Days – Time for Maternity Clothes!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis week, I officially started needing maternity clothes! Today I am 15 weeks, 2 days along. I’ve never had a noticeable baby bump this early before, but I guess by the third time, it pops out much sooner!

This milestone is bittersweet to me. During my pregnancy with Kyla, I wasn’t too thrilled with the thought of maternity clothes. Since it was my first pregnancy, I didn’t need any until close to 20 weeks. I tried to get by with borrowing some things and buying only what I had to have.

With Esther, I was really excited to wear maternity clothes. I saw my growing belly differently, after having experienced the joy of holding my first baby. I planned on dressing my bump up cute and enjoying it! Though I didn’t need them yet, I started buying a few things around 11 weeks. I noticed my belly starting to grow a little around 13-14 weeks, but figured I would wear my regular clothes as long as I could. I was just about to break over to wearing my new stuff the week we lost her. I remember wishing I had worn the silly clothes so I could have one more happy memory with her. I never even pulled out the boxes from when I had Kyla. After Esther died, I left the new maternity shirts hanging in my closet. I couldn’t bear to pack them away. While they represented so much pain, they also reminded me of the joy of when she was here.

So now here I am for a third time. I have a bump and I am adjusting my clothing accordingly. Who knew that clothing could be such an emotional decision? For the last year, I have tried to decide if I will wear the clothes I bought with Esther during my 3rd pregnancy. This may seem trivial, but has really been a big deal to me. I have put off the decision and left the bag of maternity pants from Ross sitting in the floor of my closet. A part of me wanted to enshrine them, since they represent Esther. A part of me wanted to wear them again to remember her. A part of me thought I couldn’t wear them cause they represented too much pain. And yet another part of me felt some irrational fear that if I wear them maybe it will happen again. Probably sounds ridiculous, I know. Yet sometimes living after this kind of trauma makes simple things complicated. But now, like every other step in this journey, I feel more ready to make this next small decision before me. I have started wearing some of the clothes I am comfortable with, and waited on others. I have reminded myself that there is no right or wrong answer, and I don’t have to figure this out as much as my perfectionistic personality wants to.

Pulling out my old maternity clothes from the garage felt surreal. It has been a little while since I used them. Much, much longer than I would have expected. I remember packing them up after Kyla was born when Adam made an off-handed comment about how maybe I should just leave them out, we might have another baby soon. I gave him a glare and said, “What are you talking about?” After all, I had just given birth! But oh, I didn’t know what laid ahead. I didn’t know that it would indeed be three years before I needed them, not because we weren’t pregnant, but because of loss. Of what I pulled out, one box had somehow gotten mildew in it, one box was okay, and another box was clothes that I had been given (from other people’s castoffs). As I sorted into “keep” and “get rid of” piles, I had flashbacks from my pregnancy with Kyla. My perfect, textbook pregnancy, where I lived in happy innocence. That was nice. As I sorted through the mildewed and out of style pieces, I grieved that these boxes had been in storage too long..that I hadn’t needed them last summer.

This time around, I am treasuring every single day that I get to wear maternity clothes. What a blessing that I have a growing belly. I have started collecting a few new items that I am building new memories with. I am wearing my “Esther” clothes with special love in my heart for my girl in heaven. And each time I wear my original clothes from my first pregnancy, I thank God for Kyla’s healthy, miraculous birth.

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