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The Baby Things I Can't Let Go Of

I have a storage bin of baby clothes nestled in the back of a closet in my house. This bin is filled with onesies, footed pajamas, tiny sweaters, "Baby's First Christmas" outfits and the clothes each of my sons wore when I brought them home from the hospital (or, in the case of my son who was born at home, on the day he was born). I have no plans to get rid of this bin. I have no plans to sell or give away these clothes.

I also have no plans to have another baby. Ever.

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Some people might think it's strange that I'm holding onto a whole box of clothes that neither I nor anyone else in my family will ever use again. It's way too sentimental. It's wasteful. It's even silly.

Indeed, it may be all of those things. But whenever I've tried to part with these clothes, I feel a pain and tugging somewhere at the base of my throat. It's as if I physically cannot part with my big box of baby clothes. I've given away the crib, the high chair, the baby toys and many bags full of other baby clothes. I've let go of bottles and baby shoes and toys. But the clothes in this bin are special to me. These clothes are nearly impossible for me to let go.

But there's still a small corner in my heart that will never quite be OK with being done having babies.

They are my last tangible reminders of what it was like to hold my boys—now 9, 6 and 3—when they fit, completely and snuggly, in my arms. For instance, each one of them wore the red, blue and gray-striped sweater with the periwinkle button on the shoulder when they were 3 months old. One of them came home from the hospital in a pale green jumper. One of them wore the white fuzzy romper on his first Christmas. One of them spent his first few months on Earth in a collection of "Rock 'n' Roll Baby" clothes.

When I hold these particular clothes in my hands, I can almost feel my baby boys again. For whatever reason, they are the items that tie me most closely not just to my babies but to my baby-mom self—to the self that I will never return to again. They connect me to a foregone chapter in my life and to the babies who have grown into little boys and who will someday become grown men.

I'm ridiculously excited to be done having babies. The thought of being pregnant again actually makes me feel sick to my stomach. I am grateful for my husband's vasectomy every single day.

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But there's still a small corner in my heart that will never quite be OK with being done having babies. And like the storage bin tucked away in a small corner of my house, I can hold onto and honor what this part of my heart desires without ever doing anything with it.

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Image via Twenty20/ DreadlocksPrincess

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