We opted not to know what gender our first baby was. The clothes we bought for Isobel were therefore gender neutral; white and grey mostly and we didn’t buy much. We went through them recently and decided that we are happy to use them for this baby, but I wanted to get a few things especially for this little one. I think it was part of the process of accepting that this is a different baby – our son, not our daughter, and I wanted to give him a little hopeful headspace. With less than two weeks to go it seemed like a good time to purchase a few little things, so off we went today…
It wasn’t as emotional as I expected. I don’t know if it’s because I still feel a bit detached but it seemed normal to be picking clothes and debating between the newborn size and 0-3 months. If I’m honest though, I still can’t remotely imagine a little body wearing the clothes. Or at least a moving little body wearing the clothes.
The shop assistant asked the inevitable question (“Is it your first baby?”) and got my stock honest response (“No, we had a little girl last year but she was stillborn”). She immediately responded that she too had lost a baby, a little boy at 35 weeks. She said he would be seven years old now. She asked what our daughter’s name was and it was lovely to be able to say Isobel’s name. I know it can be awkward to ‘drop the dead baby bomb’ (term taken from someone else’s writing/blog – sorry I can’t remember where I read it?!) and it’s not right for everyone to answer the way I do. But when you have an interaction like the one today, it really compounds my belief that for me, right now, it is so worth it to be able to be honest that this is not my first pregnancy and to acknowledge Isobel’s existence.
Incidentally, I’ve ever once replied “yes” to the “Is it your first baby?” question and I’m not sure why I chose not to give my usual answer that time. It was an older man at the theatre and we were in a big queue of people and I was frustrated standing and just didn’t want to answer the question. I later found out that he has already been speaking to my mum and mother in law, so he already knew about Isobel. He and his wife had lost a little baby around 40 years ago. I think he must have asked me so that he could have an opening to share his loss with me and maybe offer some comfort to me. I hope he understood why I didn’t tell the truth that day.
Anyway, it was nice to see Simon getting excited about little boy clothes. He was really in love with the idea of a daughter and has struggled a little with the idea of a boy this time. Looking at the little boy clothes though, I could see the idea of another son forming in his mind and I had to restrain him from buying some very impractical baby items such as a babygrow that looked like a suit with a bow tie!
Practically at least, we are ready for you little one 💕