I took an innocent trip to my son's closet to begin folding his fresh clean clothes. And there it was. Laying on the top of the of the pile of laundry. The big brother shirt.
Showing Off the Big Brother Shirt.
My pregnancy started and we told our 2-year-old son the day we found out. He seemed to have an understanding of what it meant to be a big brother. Several weeks passed and I purchased an adorable big brother shirt from a local shop. When I was 10 weeks pregnant he got to wear the shirt to daycare for the first time. You should have seen how proud he was to tell his friends the big news.
At 16 weeks, on the dot, we discovered that we had lost the baby. I was heartbroken but our family worked toward healing together. My son went through a major potty training regression and seemed to display more anger than usual. Some time passed and we were able to get into our normal everyday routine again.
Finding the Big Brother Shirt.
Eventually, I got back to my regular laundry schedule and took an innocent trip to my son’s closet to begin folding his fresh clean clothes. And there it was. Laying on the top of the of the pile of laundry. The big brother shirt. The shirt felt heavy and it was uncomfortable to look at. I wasn’t sure how to cope with my feelings of anger and sadness. I hadn’t been expecting those feelings to unexpectedly enter my space that morning.
A few seconds passed and then I angrily through the shirt on the top shelf of his closet where I wouldn’t have to see it again. Later, after calming down, I considered throwing the shirt away. Sitting in my rocking chair I imagined, entering the room daily, gazing at the top shelf and feeling haunted by its presence. I didn’t want a physical reminder of what we had lost.
Deciding Where to Put My Grief.
After some time, I eventually decided to place the shirt on a hanger and put it in the back of the closet, because that is where I put my son’s clothing. Who knows, maybe we will need it again someday. But until then, I did not want to throw away the memories that are sparked by that shirt. One of those memories being the exciting Christmas pregnancy announcement where that shirt was the centerpiece.
The memory of the baby we lost, is now part of our story. The few material things that we have will continue to serve as reminders of the short time that we had with him or her. Seeing the big brother shirt helped me to accept that this is our new normal and that reminders of our angel baby will continue to pop up unexpectedly throughout life. What did you do with the big brother or sister shirt after your miscarriage or loss?
Emmy Kissinger is a School Psychologist 193 days per year and a spirited millennial wife, mama, and writer outside of the professional atmosphere. Emmy's blog, Bright little Mama, focuses on finding happiness, healing, and well-being throughout the motherhood experience.