I've been telling a few friends that I would be getting rid of some maternity clothes. Even as of two days ago, I had NO idea exactly what that meant other than it would be a lot of clothes. Shockingly, it was probably quadruple what I thought it would be. The picture above is even missing a box I decided to keep, another box of stuff to give away, and a few more hanging items I uncovered last night! Wanna hear the saga?
A small batch of my maternity clothes have been hanging in my closet for almost a year, now. Yes, my 3rd baby was born last MARCH, but I've simply been too busy (and overwhelmed) to pack them back away. This week, while my beloved was out of town, I decided to sort them and prepare a stash that I was "done" with. I started removing all the hanging items, then went through my dresser drawers and found more. Then I went to our spare closet and there were a lot more. OY! I headed down to the basement to make sure my summer maternity clothes weren't down there and I found three more very large boxes FULL of maternity clothing. I also lugged up my "non-maternity" marked boxes so that I could re-fill my closets with my regular clothing--only problem was, when I opened those boxes, about half of them were filled with...
more maternity clothing!
At first this adventure was funny, but then it really wasn't. Not at all. I had no idea I had this much maternity stuff (having a basement makes "stuff" hide) until yesterday. With each new pregnancy came more clothes: More friends offered me their old clothing, I found more at garage sales, at Goodwill, and odds and ends on Ebay. Having both summer and winter pregnancies also grew my collection, quickly. I hardly looked through what I had before finding another few pieces. This freak show is now actually a bit depressing and downright embarrassing. Consumerism in all its glory. Somebody PLEASE put me out of my misery!
Okay, so I want to give it away--this is one glutinous mess I do not wish to profit from (as I used to think I would). I have almost every brand imaginable in this stash--Gap, Pea in the Pod, Motherhood Maternity, Zero 2 Nine, In Due Time, Take 9, Honors Maternity, Kathy Ireland, Old Navy, Duo Maternity, Dividends, Oh Mamma!, New Addition Maternity, IM, Words Out, Tomorrow's Mother, JouJou, Liz Lange, Baby and Me... They cover all seasons and range from Medium to Large to X-Large--a little something for almost everyone. Some are well worn, many I've never worn, and I've found price tags STILL ON some of the items!!!! At last count, I had over 50 pair of maternity pants and plenty of shirts, some sweaters, dresses, jumpers, jackets and some VERY nice two piece professional outfits I acquired to wear to work during my first pregnancy. If you KNOW of anyone in the area in need of maternity clothing, please let me know. By Saturday afternoon, I want it all gone. That gives you barely three days to speak up. :)
Now, goodness sakes, this post is NOT to say there's anything wrong with having a nice selection of maternity clothing. For those who like to dress up--I'm sure it's just as fun when you're pregnant. I, admittedly, had some fun as a working professional sporting all sorts of patterns and textures. But seriously, this is beyond normal. LOL
Oh my, there are some beautiful memories wrapped up in some of these items. For example:
I fondly remember clothes shopping with my friend, Carla, during my first pregnancy--laughing over soup and sandwiches at Mimi's Cafe and picking out maternity bras and jumpers at Motherhood Maternity. She also found some lovely pieces for me on Ebay and, much to my delight, sneakily shipped a box to my doorstep and another package to my place of work one day (I wore these probably more than most of what I purchased).
I also remember the shirt I wore home from the hospital (my first baby). It was one my mother loved as it reminded her of my great grandmother, Sarah (Sadie) Jane (whom my daughter, Brayla Jane, happened to be named after). In the hospital, like many moms who birth in hospitals, I recall having difficulty getting my daughter to nurse on one side (my left). The lactation consultants were pushing and prodding and threatening to use formula. But as soon as we got home, I unbuttoned this particular shirt and she latched right on--she just needed some privacy. I can't help but run my hands over the beautifully-stitched flowers whenever I see it and recall the fullness of those sweet early days as a brand new mommy--watching my own mother delight in her first grand baby.
A number of items that I wore daily were once Kori's, a childhood friend of mine. We were BFFs (remember that?) in Jr. High School and lost touch in late High School and College. At the age of 30 we surprisingly discovered that we lived just two miles from each other--THREE hours away from where we went to school together. We were both pregnant with our daughters at that time (her 3rd, my 1st) which was SO much fun. Since she gave birth 5 months before me, I inherited her entire stash of maternity wear. And BOY did I wear it out during my first three pregnancies!
Another outfit I was sentimental over was from the year I was still teaching, while pregnant. During the final days of that school year, we had a pie throwing contest at Lone Star Elementary School. I was covered from head to toe with whipped-cream while standing on stage for all to see. Under the thick, sticky white, I was sporting my comfy purple shirt and black denim pants. It took forever to get the whipped cream out of that shirt. I just almost gave up. Heehee! (By the way, thanks Dirk, Garrett, Cooper and everyone else who were part of that surprising event!).
I could go on and on with the memories. At one point I thought I wanted to make a quilt out of these lovely pieces. But I know, in my heart, that it's time to let it all go. Thankfully, I've been in the right state of mind to approach this project--the state that allows me to see past all the touching memories (for the most part) and on to what it will be like to simplify my life and bless another's.
I am grateful for my wonderful pregnancies.
I am grateful that I was provided for while growing babies.
I am grateful to all those who helped make that possible.
I am grateful for my beautiful babies.
And today, I am grateful to be able to bless someone else.
Oh my...look at all those free hangers.
One question for the local moms: Where would you suggest I donate the left-overs NOT spoken for? Please let me know when you have a free moment.