Puppy Clothes

I stood in Petco staring at the wall of dog clothes. So many options to dress up your dog. There was a time when I would have thought these clothes to be quite silly, but now as I stared at them, a few weeks before my puppy would come home, I had mixed emotions.

“I’m going to dress our puppy up!” I warned Chris.

I looked at the racks of outfits, so very similar to the racks of clothes in a baby store and was wistful.   When I was pregnant I went into a Carter’s once. I looked around for gender-neutral outfits and was sort of surprised at the lack.   On one side of the store were the girl clothes and the other the boy clothes. Since we didn’t we didn’t know whether we were having a boy or a girl, I wanted to see what was out there. The entire girl section was essentially out, with too much pink and lace, but I found an outfit or two in the boys section that could go either way. I held up a gray striped onesie with a monkey on it, snapped a photo and sent it to Chris. I then put it back on the rack and walked out because my baby had Down Syndrome and I was afraid I was going to lose her. I didn’t want to jinx anything by actually buying an outfit. In my entire pregnancy, I bought only one outfit for Mabel . We called it a “coming home” outfit because it sounded less morbid than burial clothes and at the time, there was a theoretical chance she would be coming home.

I never got to shop for baby clothes for my daughter. I bought no toys and very few supplies (all purchased before we learned of her low fluid and its potentially fatal consequences). As I stood in front of the doggie clothes, I was excited in a way to relive what I should have experienced in my pregnancy- buying clothes for the wee one we would be bringing home. I also felt sad, reminded of the everyday baby preparing events I missed out on. It was bittersweet.

What (if anything) did you miss out on in pregnancy or afterwards?


22 thoughts on “Puppy Clothes

  1. The excitement. Well, I had it for a week. I bought a onesie as a way to tell DH I was pregnant. When I told my mom I couldn’t be excited or let her get excited because I knew it was probably ectopic. I really missed having an ultrasound photo. Or hearing a heartbeat. It never got far enough. Mostly, if I do get pregnant again I’ll forever miss the excitement without the fear.

    • yes! the excitement! honestly, even while trying and waiting for my period, I’d already have planned out my due date and would Ibe pregnant for christmas. when my period would come I”d be so sad I missed out on those things. You’ve made me realize that a simple heartbeat and ultrasound photo is something to be grateful for. (hugs)

  2. This was so heartbreaking. I am sorry you are not shopping for cute outfits for Mabel, i am sorry she doesn’t get to wear clothes you chose for her everyday. I am thinking of her and you.

    • thank you. the lack of outfits I bought make the two she wore more special- one a gift from my midwife which has very special meaning and her burial outfit. but yes, I would love her to be here to wear many more clothes. as would I love paul to be here to continue wearing his.

  3. I bought two outfits for Owen: an “I love Athens” onesie I found when I was about 7 weeks pregnant and a thermal sleeper covered in trains when I was around maybe 14 weeks. I don’t even like trains; I just really liked the thermal, liked the idea that my baby would be snuggly all night when he was still too young for a blanket.

    After we got his poor diagnosis at 16 weeks, I never bought anything else. I also went into a Carter’s with Zach once, but we couldn’t bring ourselves to buy anything.

    We got clothes as gifts, and I suppose I could have chosen his only outfit he ever wore from those, but I wanted him to wear something I had chosen for him. He wore the train jammies for his whole life. Sometimes I wish I has kept a piece, but I’m also glad he was so snuggly after we had to let him go. I would have loved to put him in that sleeper and let him nap on my chest, right where he belongs.

    God, I know how this feels. I’m so sorry.

    • You do know how this feels. I felt the same way- I wanted the clothes Mabel wore to be special. she came earlier than I imagined and her “coming home” outfit hadnt gotten here yet (darn snowstorm!). luckily my midwife gave her a very special outfit (she didnt want her in some random NICU clothes), which Mabel wore after she died. I get teary just thinking about it actually. but I did have a special blanket for her during her short life. one I picked out just for her, and came in time. when I was in early labor, I sent chris home to get it- he trudged through several feet of unplowed driveway to get it- just in case. I’m so glad he did.

      I’m sorry you’re so familiar with this. I’m grateful I have someone who understand so acutely.

  4. I love Mabel’s carrot outfit, how perfect. I also love this post, it’s so nice to think about baby clothes, because one of the few things you can really do for a baby (living or dead) is clothe them in something soft… and picking clothes has so much to do with our ideas about who our babies are and how we want to care for them. I hope that we get to see some pics of Muppet dressed up!

    I’m a sucker for your questions 🙂 I didn’t miss out on the pregnancy stuff, I had two baby showers and got lots of clothes (and was so thankful, because I was pretty broke and stressed about $!). But I didn’t get to choose what Sacha was buried in. I was still very sick in the hospital when that decision needed to be made. I never asked about it (I was too afraid to ask what had happened, thought maybe he’d just been wrapped in a hospital towel or something, or worse… I didn’t even get to hold Sacha in the special blankets we brought to the hospital because he was transferred and meanwhile I was moved from L&D to the OR to the PACU to postpartum, and I didn’t have any of my stuff when I took the 30 min ride to the NICU… also didn’t have use of my legs or bladder and was having a massive occult hemorrhage, good times!).

    About a month after the funeral I was looking through pictures on my mom’s camera and saw that my mom and sisters had laid out his burial clothes and taken a picture, along with a couple little stuffed animals and symbolic things that he was buried with. They did such a perfect job and it made me feel so loved, and like Sacha was so loved… that picture is one of my favorite things now.

    • I am so haeartbroken to read about not being able to chose Sacha’s burial clothes. Makes me grateful for the one outfit I did buy. I’m so relieved to read your mom and sister did such a great job- and took photos! I did that for Mabel’s outfit- feeling a little silly taking a photo of clothes and what would go in her casket, but I’m so glad I did, it’s a very sweet photo. What did his outfit look like?

    • right? I had the realization right there in the puppy clothes aisle. it brought me joy and sadness. I have actually yet to buy an outfit for Muppet- I blame it on being busy and she’s way too into chewing, but maybe subconsiously I have other reasons.

  5. I haven’t had a stillbirth or neonatal loss so I know it isn’t the same, but with my recurrent pregnancy losses, I’ve missed sharing my pregnancy news with the world. Since the first loss I realized we needed to wait to share the news because having to make a second announcement of miscarriage again would be too painful. But with each pregnancy, I’ve had cutesy ideas of how I would tell people we were pregnant if we made it to the second trimester. It’s always been sad to miss out on that.

    • oh yes! what a thing to miss out on. seeing everyone in their baby announcements can be so painful, wishing you could do the same. I was fortunate to announce how and when I wanted but felt I had a secret because of the risk of loss with Down Syndrome (“hey, I’m pregnant, but dont get too exciting. I might lose her.”) but I am grateful I had that experience. I am so so sorry you have missed out so many times. I wish there was a way we as a society could better handle early pregnancy and loss as well.

  6. A month after Ramona died we got a new cat. Our first cat together died three months before Ramona did. We didn’t plan on getting another cat until Ramona was at least six months, but the next thing I knew I was telling my husband I needed a companion to keep me sane. It was hard at first, even though I was the one who begged, but seeing our big yellow guy every day seemed so wrong. I loved having him around, but he should not have been there. Now I love him so much, but the price we paid to bring him home is so unfair. Animals are the best companions, but I wish Mabel was there giggling over puppy kisses.

    Dress that little guy up to your heart’s content! He’s a sweetheart.

    • YES! I felt the same way! I love my Muppet, but she shouldnt be here- I should be too busy caring for a special needs baby. I totally have that same mixed feeling. But luckily, my pup is a warm,breathing, loving (if not nippy, peeing) creature, so i have somewhere to put all this pent up love and parenting energy.

  7. That gray stripped outfit with monkeys on it on it sounds like one of Thomas’ onesies and is the one he was wearing on the day he went 2 hours off support!

    I am glad we got to dress TomTom in several adorable onesies for 6 of the 7 weeks he was alive in the NICU. We ended up not using almost any of the cute gender neutral clothes we were gifted because all of the monitoring wires and the tube made it difficult to dress him. We ended up buying onesies that had snaps all down the front to accommodate the wires and tubes. There is still a room full of clothes and baby stuff he was gifted that Thomas will never get to check out, along with the newly renovated home in anticipation of his arrival. Sigh…

    I am looking forward to seeing Muppet in a bunch of cute dog outfits though…once she is big enough to fit into any of them!

    • You know, I didnt even realize that the onesie might be the same one as THomas’! I’m glad you got to buy special clothes for him in the NICU (though I wish you could have just simply taken him home and dressed him in the gifted clothes). What a special (and sad) thing you got to do for your son.

  8. This just breaks my heart, all of us who have had these lost dreams. Yes, I did this too. In our naive excitement, we bought a Cubs onesie before I was even pregnant. We got a few cute clothes as gifts, and a few micropreemie outfits after Ander was born so prematurely. In the NICU, he wore nothing except his diaper and a blanket. After he died, we were able to wash him and dress him in one of those gifted outfits, a little wrap, hat and booties with dinosaurs on them. We left him that last day in his isolette, still dressed in that outfit. Our “remembrance” cards feature him in that little hat. I was so happy when I found the same fabric just a few months later in a local store – although the original outfit was a gift from a friend in the UK! You deserve to enjoy the puppy shopping. I know it feels like a “stand in” for shopping for Mabel, but just think of how loved little Muppet must feel :).

    • We had a similar experience. MAbel wasnt dressed until she died. I covered her with a special blanket I had bought while she lived and sat on my chest, but mostly she just wore her diaper. We bathed and dressed her after she died too. I’m so happy you found that fabric! (photo?)

  9. Meghan, this isn’t an answer to your question, but an off-tangent realization. Remember the previous post when I said the pictures of Muppet made me smile? Looking at those pics again I realized it wasn’t Muppet- I smiled to see you smiling. Such a look of happiness you have when hugging that cute snuggle monster. It breaks my heart that your dear Mabel isn’t with you, and it warms my heart that Muppet can make you smile like that. Much love to you and all of us babyloss mamas…

    • Awww, I smiled just reading this post. I have a couple photos of me originally holding her where I’m truly smiling in my eyes. havent seen that in a long time. thank you for abiding with me in those photos!

  10. I’m sorry you didn’t get to pick out cute outfits for Mabel. We bought some gorgeous outfits for Hugo when we discovered we were having a boy, and it breaks my heart all over again to know that he will never wear them, and I’ll never see how cute he looks in them. I also miss decorating his nursery – I had it all planned out. Muppet is gorgeous, and I’m glad you have a being to lavish that pent-up love on – the neighbour’s cat who has adopted us has been the willing recipient of mine xxx

    • The sad fate of a preemie- often the clothes can be too big or the little ones are too sick to wear them. I miss decorating the nursery too! I was planning “monsters” as a theme and we bought a couple little stuffed monsters that were so cute. I’m glad you have that cat- fat cat?

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