The Last Baby.

On Owen’s birthday, I decided that I’d finally go through ALL the baby stuff we had upstairs and get it ready for donation.

I’ve been through what was in the attic before, mind you, and put them into tubs, with the idea of passing them along to other people when they had babies. Most of Owen’s baby clothing, for example, went to my best friend when she had her son, with a note, I do not want these back!

But my friends and family are largely done having babies – especially first babies. And I had a LOT of stuff that I needed to get rid of.

I’ve been hanging onto it and saying, Well, we’ll just have a yard sale and sell it all! for like three years now. Long enough to know that the yard sale thing is just a smoke screen. The idea of selling pieces one by one… well, it’s kind of torturous. Even if it means I could make some money off it.

So instead, I set up a donation pickup from a local organization. I liked their mission, and I loved that they’d come get the bags of stuff off my front porch.

Pickup date was today.

Going through the items upstairs, even on Owen’s birthday, seemed right. It went quicker than I expected, even. I smiled when I saw some of the items again, remember how much he loved a specific toy. But it felt SO good to purge, too. It was packed up and ready to go within an hour of me going through what remained.

I did keep some of his clothing; the stuff I am really attached to. The preemie outfit he wore his first week. A couple teeny diapers. The cloth diapers with his name embroidered on them. His robeez. Some hand-knit blankets. His favorite blanket from daycare.

But everything else – the playmat, the infant tub, the toys, my pump, the bottle rack, the diaper bag, the boppy, his crib bedding – was packed up to go.

Jeff and I brought it downstairs yesterday in advance of the pickup. We piled it into the front hall moving some of the bigger things out of the way so we could get it out the front door.

And I stepped back and took this picture.

  

As I stood there, looking at it, grief washed over me.

He is my last baby.

I think it was the crib bedding and boppy that did it. I remember putting him in the crib when he was first born, and marveling at how TINY he was. Gosh, he was so, so little when he was born. Three weeks early, 5lbs14oz – a veritable peanut.

Just yesterday, he stretched along his full size bed and announced proudly, Mom, I am so tall, I can reach the end of my bed!

The boppy… Well. I had a surprisingly rewarding experience with nursing. I was home with O for 6 months, and that boppy literally went everywhere with me and him. I brought it when we left the house. I had it in every room in the house with me. I laid him down on it when he was milk-drunk and tired. I propped him up on it when he was first learning how to sit up. I took this picture of him – my absolute FAVORITE baby picture of him – on that thing.

  

And it’s funny, because I could write about my vivid memories of him in his infant tub. Or on the playmat. Or playing with the plastic keys. Or frowning and reaching for the stuffed toys.

Or… or…

You get the picture.

It’s just really, really hard letting it all go.

Thing is: There hasn’t been a baby in this house in a long time. There will be no more babies in this house. And 99% of the time I am in a place of peace with it. I love our life now and I am SO grateful we have him.

But still.

It’s really hard to let go of that last baby.

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9 Responses to The Last Baby.

  1. Turia says:

    I think I will do this too. I keep thinking I should sell things, but the idea of taking pictures, and setting prices, and coordinating with people for pick up, and time-wasters, just exhausts me. We’ve started to give a lot away to friends, but we still have tons in our basement. It is unbelievable how much stuff one tiny baby accumulates.

    Many hugs, hun. I’m glad you did it, even though it was hard. E.’s babyhood that is still in our basement weighs on me. I hope you feel lighter now.
    xoxo

  2. Deanna says:

    Sending hugs and support for taking this big step! XOXO

  3. kir says:

    I remember that picture of Owen, I remember the day he was born and the place of happy disbelief we were both existing in then.
    It’s hard to believe it was 7 years ago and now we have sons that take up the whole bed, talk back and hold our hearts.

    I keep the boppies (that I never used for BFing) on their bed. The sailboat covers match their nautical theme room and when I make their bed I remember propping them up on them too.

    The last babies …wow. You’re right, my heart hurts just a little for both of us as we leave the babyhood behind.

    LOVE YOU. <3

  4. Ana says:

    Oh. You brought tears to my eyes. I know the feeling. We got rid of SO MUCH STUFF a few years back in a big fit of purging but then I lost momentum and we still have SO MUCH STUFF. It was fine getting rid of little things like clothes that we could buy again easily, the nasty tacky high chair, or the swing that my babies didn’t like. But getting rid of the pack n play that we used for years? The bouncy seat? I can’t imagine never using them again and yet I know they will never be used again and they need to go.

  5. Catwoman73 says:

    Amelia’s stuff is all still sitting in our basement, too. I am hoping that reading this will give me the courage to let it all go. Many hugs to you…

  6. loribeth says:

    I’m with you & Turia… I have a ton of stuff I need to get rid of (not baby stuff, but stuff nevertheless), especially if/when we eventually downsize to a condo — and I know I could probably make a few hundred dollars to spend on something fun — but the idea of setting up a garage sale or negotiating sales on Kijiji, etc., exhausts me. I’m more inclined to donate too. (((HUGS))) This must have been so hard.

  7. noemi says:

    This must have been so, so hard.

    I’m sorry you didn’t get to use these things again. My heart aches that you worked so hard for that and it never came to pass.

    I think it’s hard. For everyone. It’s harder for the people who don’t get to build their families in the way they wanted, to the size they wanted, but I think it’s hard for everyone. I’ve read countless articles about “the void” people feel when they are done having babies, even people who conceived them easily. It’s hard to move past that phase in one’s life when it’s all about transformation and new beginnings and anticipation and not knowing what your life will look like until this new being enters your world. It’s hard to walk away from that, from those precious early months of bonding and bliss. I think it’s hard for a lot of women to walk away from that.

    But I know it’s harder for women who had big dreams of doing it again and didn’t get to. That makes it a lot, lot harder.

    I am struggling a lot with two kids, and the weight of the days helps me part with the small things without so much sorrow. But there are days when I fold a piece of clothing that is especially dear to my heart and place it in the donation bag, or when I pack away a toy my kids really loved and I’m struck with the finality of it. Even though I’m eager for them both to be older so we can do more things and they don’t need so much of me, I’m still wistful for the days when they were small and just me picking them up was enough to comfort them. Those days already seem far away, even though I know they aren’t yet.

    All that to say, it’s hard when this season of life comes to a close.

    Abiding with you.

    {{{{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}}}}

  8. Mel says:

    Crying as I read this. I could have written this, except that I haven’t actually gotten the stuff out of the house. Emailing you now.

  9. KeAnne says:

    Oh, this packed a punch. I did the same thing a few years ago and then went through a purged a lot more last December, and it was just as tough and difficult as it was during the first purge. Sending hugs.

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