I learned a long time ago that the "could have been" and "should have been" thoughts and talks do not do anyone any good. They take you out of the "now" and often bring you back to an event or time that you can not change, no matter how hard you might want to.
Certain triggers, though, bring you back to an event or time anyway, no matter how much you try to live in the present. Recently, I went into a Carter's store. I have been to that store dozens of times, often with Miranda. Once I remember trying to maneuver the stroller through the small racks of clothes and one other time, I remember carrying her in and letting her run havoc all over the store.
During my most recent trip, however, it was not Miranda that was on my mind. It was Allie. I pictured myself very pregnant, bundled in my brown maternity coat with my light pink scarf, looking at all the infant clothes and trying to pick out the perfect wardrobe for my first child. I caught myself in time and swiftly left the store. As I left, I saw my reflection as I am now and it brought me right back to the present. But for a good few minutes, I was certainly in the past.
We are starting to plan Miranda's 2nd birthday party. Between Elsa and Anna and Sophia, there was no way this bash could NOT be a princess themed day. I am excited at the prospect of making the party such a special one for her.
Allie's 2nd birthday did not have a theme. Nor did her 3rd. Nor will her 4th.
I feel so deprived of the things that I will never get to do with Allie and for her and around her. It makes me sad.
I feel so privileged of all the things I will get to do with Miranda and for her and around her. It makes me ecstatic.
There is no rule book for how to handle parenting after a loss. There is no code for parenting regardless.
I read a wonderful article earlier today. You can find it here. Here are the points that really jumped out to me.
"At times I wish I had my other baby. It’s not that I
don’t want this one. Believe me I have worked as hard as hell to get
this baby here healthy and alive. It’s just that I wish my other one
wouldn’t have died. What I really want is both. Does that make sense?
Just nod your head quietly with empathic eyes, as in yes. I think that
is what I need now.
I still check and re-check to see if baby is breathing at night. I
don’t do it to the point that I wake the little bundle of joy up or
that I can’t sleep at night, but I do still check often to see if baby
is breathing. I think I will until this little one graduates and moves
I still miss my baby that died. I still miss
everything that could have, should have, and would have been. Those
thoughts don’t go away. They are still there. Also, I don’t want to
forget her. I want to remember her, and sometimes remembering someone
who is gone turns out to be in the form of missing. Missing my baby is
okay with me."
I fear that Allie will be forgotten. I worry that I love her sister so much that people thing I am "over" losing Allie. Then I worry why I am worrying what others think.
Grief is hard. Parenting is hard. Life is hard. Luckily I do not have to do any of it by myself. I think that is my biggest lesson from today.
I aim to live in the present...but if once and a while, I slip back into the past, I suppose that is ok. That's simply just a part of life. And all in all, it's a pretty great life to have.