Sunday, December 2, 2012

New Firsts

Its been two years since we last saw our little girl- tucked into a small white casket. Since then we've survived two rounds of every holiday- some three. We've weathered every season change and all the emotions that come with them. I've returned to Children's Hospital where Ellie died several times. Hell, we've even sat in the same ICU where Ellie died, just doors down, and listened to a doctor tell us we, once again, had a very ill child.
After two years of surviving, it's pretty safe to say that we've survived all the "firsts." Not to say that holidays aren't still heartbreaking, and anniversaries aren't hard. But after two years, you start to get a little less fearful of those triggers and anxiety producing firsts. The heavy fog and crushing pain of the first year has eased, and the lows are further apart. I've gotten so used to being able to breathe again, that it surprises me when something makes me catch my breath.
I knew that the babies would bring with them, a whole new set of firsts. Every once in a while something will make me sad, but so far none of the babies first have been that hard. After all, we had nine months with Ellie. So up until now, everything they've done- she did too. So far, its been just like any other siblings that come after another.
But now the babies are six and a half months old. They are turning in to these amazing little people and each day grow closer to nine months and ten days old. Levi looks just like his big sister- so much so that when I look at Ellie's pictures, I have to look twice. And every day, Addy acts more and more like Ellie. She is a little stinker and just wants to be in the mix. Every day the babies get older and inch closer to the day when they will have out lived their sister...
Levi- or "Giant Baby"- started wearing nine month clothing about a month ago. It crossed my mind that 9 months was the last size that Ellie wore. But the thought was fleeting. Levi wears blue and green clothes that have cars and baseballs on them. He wears the clothes his big brother wore- or something brought just for him. It was a first but a gentle first.
Addy, our loud but tiny little lady, still easily fits into most 6 month clothing. But some things are starting to get a little tight. Its one of the moments I've been dreading... it's time to get Addy some 9 month clothing... So I knew I had two options...I could ignore the two tubs in the basement labeled 6-9 months girls and just start from scratch, or suck it up and go through the tubs. I knew it was ridiculous to let a box full of perfectly good clothes to just sit down there.. But I also knew the tub had some clothes that Ellie never had the chance to wear...
When we moved, I put some important pieces of Ellie's clothing- the last dress she wore, the pajamas, her denim skirt, hair bows, in a separate tub. A tub that was just for Ellie. And no one else. The rest were taken straight out of the drawer and put into a tub- others off the closet rod, still on hangers. The last time that those clothes were folded or hung, were for a little girl that was still alive. A little girl that lived, that breathed, that laughed and smiled. For a little girl that isn't here anymore.
Sifting through the tub of pink and purple was the hardest thing I've done in a long time. When most moms go through a box of old baby clothes they think things like, "Oh she wore this the first time we went to the zoo" or "Awww, she wore this for her nine month pictures..." Not things like, "she wore this the last time we were at the mall and for our last tea party two days before she got sick and died," which is exactly what I thought when I came across a long sleeved purple onesie with a cupcake on it...
In the tub, there were a few things that Addy could fit into, but I just couldn't bring myself to wash for her. I guess those will just be Ellie's. And inside the tub were also the items I fear the most... Those that she never wore... But most of them are 12 months, so I wimped out put them back.
I guess putting the babies in size three diapers- the last size Ellie wore, and facing the last round of clothes she wore, were enough firsts for this weekend...

I took this outfit out of the tub tonight... Man I miss her...





3 comments:

B. Wilson said...

She's so adorable. I know how hard that must have been going through those clothes.

I think of you all the time. My Benjamin will be 9 months, 10 days tomorrow. One day shy of Andrew's 2nd birthday (in heaven). I'm missing Ellie along with you and all that she would be.

Bittersweet, raising these babies who will grow to surpass milestone after milestone of our babies we said goodbye to.

Mary said...

You know...if Levi weren't wearing boy clothing, I'd swear he was Ellie. It's her, reincarnated. She's still here with you, in many ways. Such a beautiful girl...lots of love to you!

Kim said...

I know that must be so hard. Thinking of you and all of these firsts<3

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