Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Show & Tell: Katie's Dresses

At last week's S&T session, Luna posted on S&T about the "amazing blanket" her sister-in-law made for her new baby. (If you haven't seen it yet, go have a peek. It's gorgeous!)

This reminded me of something special that I could Show & Tell.

To begin at the beginning:

During my roller-coaster pregnancy 11 years ago, dh & I didn't buy very many things for our baby. It seemed like such a tentative pregnacy for so long -- spotting almost from the very beginning, all through the first trimester, a suspicious triple screen test followed by a less than stellar ultrasound that showed (among other things) that our baby wa significantly smaller and growing much more slowly than she should be -- followed by amniocentisis, a three & a half week wait for the results (and four more ultrasounds while we waited).

During this time, dh would often pass by a children's clothing store in the concourse of an office tower close to where we work, en route to buying himself some lunch. There was an adorable little dress in the window & he often thought about buying it for our baby. Even after Katie was stillborn, he would pass by the window, look at the little dress, and think about buying it.

He didn't. He couldn't. Buy a dress for a dead baby? (Especially when you're a guy, buying a baby's dress -- what sort of questions would he be fielding at the cash register.) What would people think if they found out?

Of course, the little dress eventually disappeared from the window -- and dh has never stopped regretting that he didn't go in & buy it. He has often told that story to the members of our support group, with the added moral to trust their instincts -- if there's something they really want to buy or do to remember their babies, do it, and to heck with what everyone else might think.

One of our (now former) clients -- who has since become a good friend -- is an amazingly talented quilter, and has given beautiful quilts to some of her fellow client/friends who have had subsequent babies. At a meeting that took place around the one-year anniversary of her loss, several years ago now, she quietly handed me a soft little parcel. We never want clients to feel that they need to give us gifts, so I slipped it into my bag to open at home later.

THIS is what she had made for us:

It's not a full-sized quilt, but a square, about 12"x12" (about the size of a scrapbook page -- and yes, she scrapbooks too!). You probably can't see, but in each of the four yellow corner squares (and one yellow centre square), there is a heart stitched.

On the back, she has printed:

Katie's Dresses
For Sam and Lori (lastname)
in memory of Kathleen Maria (lastname)
with heartfelt thanks from
(her name)

Here are some closeups of each of the smaller squares/dresses. I can't get over the detail that went into each one!

A little pink dress with a ladybug.

A sporty dress, accessorized with baseball & bat.

A little plaid dress for school, complete with wee pencils.

And a red dress for Christmas, of course.

This now hangs on the wall as you walk into our bedroom.

To see what others are showing & telling, visit this week's Show & Tell post at Stirrup Queens.


  1. Oh, that is so beautiful (in each sense of the word)...

  2. Oh, that got me. What a beautiful gift. What gorgeous detail she put into that.

    The story of the dress in the window got me, too, and this was such a sweet follow-up to it. I am crying as I write this. What a wonderful way for you to remember.

  3. Beautiful! What a thoughtful gift. I love the little details.

  4. What a beautiful, amazing quilt and a wonderful tribute to your daughter and family.

  5. Oh My Heart - that is just the sweetest gift ever. I went from gut-laughing at Bottoms Off to bawling here....


  6. Wow. I am in awe of the person who gave this to you.

  7. wow, loribeth, that is absolutely gorgeous! what a beautiful quilt, sentiment and friend. just gorgeous.

    thanks for the shout out too!

  8. so beautiful. this brought a tear to my eye.

  9. Oh that is so beautiful. The love and all the quilt represents had me tearing up.

  10. SO Beautiful. And the story made me bawl.

  11. What an amazing gift. I'm thanking that woman, wherever she is, for making this for you.

  12. Just to repeat what other's have said - that is so beautiful and such an amazing gift.

  13. wow. just wow. that takes my breath away.

  14. Such a beautiful gift and rememberance. Brought tears to my eyes!

  15. What a beautiful and thoughtful gift. Thank you for sharing your story.

  16. Lots and lots of tears here, Loribeth. What an amazing and heartfelt gift.

  17. I remember you sharing this with us on Spals. I am so glad you shared it again as I had forgotten the background behind it and how lovely the little dresses were.

    You may remember this as I was on spals at the time. I was pregnant again - the 7th time, my last miscarriage. My numbers were so dismal and my hope was flagging. I decided I was going to procede as if I had nothing to fear. I went shopping. I bought a little outfit and booties, even when my progesterone level only managed an appalling 9 and my beta hcgs were always just a bit shy of actual doubling. I have never been sorry for taking what I could out of that pregnancy. It ended up being one of the shortest I had - but I have some sweet memories to look back on.

    Thank you for sharing this with us.

  18. Oh, what a treasure. And a testament to all the good you've done for other parents who have experience loss.

  19. That quilt is absolutely beautiful.

  20. adorable and precious. Thank you for sharing...

  21. The quilt is so sweet.

    I use a similar reasoning when I'm considering buying something. If I walk away from this and never see it again, will I always regret it? Usually the answer is no, but in the case of the Don Quixote sculpture I bought when I was in Spain, following the theme of this Impossible Dream pregnancy, the answer was a resounding yes. So I bought it.

  22. Oh my goodness - I burst into tears when I read this story. It's the amazing simple thoughts and generous actions that bring wonder to life isn't it? What a precious gift.