I’ve been having a hard time with the guilt I feel from being pregnant with our second Daughter. I have found a bunch of very interesting articles, and blogs that discuss the feelings of guilt related to loss and to pregnancy after loss. I just can’t find something that speaks to me like other things have- until today.
I was searching, and came across this post on Huffington Post by a woman named Heather Spohr. I started reading it and immediately burst into tears.
(Please read this letter. It is AMAZING)
The story is written as a letter to Mothers who are announcing their rainbow baby, and I fell in love with it.
I know how hard it was to announce this baby, the complicated mix of jubilation and guilt. You want to be excited about this new life, but you want to be respectful toward the life who is no longer here. This is the tightrope you’ll walk down for the rest of your life, but it will get easier.
It’s OK to be afraid. It’s OK to take it day-to-day. It’s even OK if you’re not excited. You’ve learned, in the worst possible way, that nothing in life is guaranteed.
As I’ve written in previous posts, I’m struggling with guilt surrounding this pregnancy. I cannot think of this new baby without thinking of the death of Kenley. I know that’s not a good thing, and I’m trying really hard to allow myself to think of Baby A as her own individual person. I often find myself thinking about her in the Nursery which will be her room until we move; I think about her wearing the clothes we specifically picked for Kenley. When I think about these things, I get sad; I start feeling guilty for missing Kenley, and for not celebrating A.
But then I read this:
Even the practical things are complicated. Will you be able to handle giving your new baby items from your deceased child? Even if that child never had the chance to use them? You’ll resent that you don’t get to look at these things as normal hand-me-downs instead of the few cherished possessions your child left behind — yet another reminder of how unfair life is.
YES. This woman, who has had TWO rainbow babies (after the death of her toddler, and after a miscarriage) gets it. I guess it’s just reassuring to know that what I’m feeling is totally normal. I know in my heart that I love being pregnant with this little girl, just as much as I loved being pregnant with Kenley (and Landon) – it’s just different now. I can’t help but feel the unfairness of the situation whenever I think of this beautiful little girl I’m carrying. This is not to say that I don’t feel moments (lots of them, too) of joy.
She then goes on to say this:
The day Annabel was born was one of the best days of my life. The day we brought her home was one of the hardest. My emotions, fueled by postpartum hormones, were all over the place, and I was completely unprepared. I sobbed onto the top of her tiny head a lot. My heart was swelling and breaking simultaneously, and it overwhelmed me.
I’m absolutely sure that I will be feeling more joy than I can even fathom right now when this little girl comes. I know she will be a member of our family for the rest of our lives, and I can’t wait to give her a great life…but… The overwhelming anxiety I feel about her coming into this world safely is sometimes crushing. I am a crier, so I know that I will cry a lot when she comes. Maybe not. Who knows. I have no idea how I’m going to feel when she arrives and I get to hear her screaming when they take her from my body. When Kenley was born her silence was so heavy; it was the loudest sound I have ever heard.
I guess this post is mostly for me; A mini pep talk of sorts. I have been feeling the heaviness of being PGAL with our Rainbow a lot lately.
Thinking of naming this baby (we have a name picked and we are 80ish% sure we’re using it) makes me sad and excited.Thinking about redecorating the nursery for baby A doesn’t make me excited like I want it to. I hate that, because instead it makes me feel incredibly guilty.
Shane and I decided that we need to buy something for baby A that is specifically her own. This is very hard to think about seeing as we haven’t been in a baby store/down a baby aisle/ avoid baby items like the plague for like 10 months. I’m not sure when this will happen, but it’s our new goal.
I needed to read this letter by Heather today so very very badly.
Baby A will be here in 141 days.