After my daughter died, I quickly became pregnant with my son. I had so much love in my broken heart with no place to put it, having another baby seemed the only solution. I knew another baby wouldn’t replace her, but I desperately ached for a baby to love in my arms. Considering a pregnancy after loss was terrifying, but I knew I was ready when the desire to have another baby was 1% more than the fear of that baby dying too.
Being pregnant again was the most difficult experience after grieving the loss of my daughter. My fear was overwhelming.
When I was pregnant, I worried about so many things. First, foremost and every single day, I worried that my son might die. Then, my worries turned emotional.
I worried if I would love him more.
I worried that I would love her more.
And then, I worried that he’d live. I worried about all the “normal” parent worries.
Will I be a good parent?
How will I balance work and motherhood?
But I also worried bereaved parent worries.
Will he live in the shadow of his sister?
Will I love him as much as her?
Do I share his sister with him?
Will sharing about her impose my sadness to him?
Will my grief negatively affect him?
Will my parenting suffer because of my fears?
Will I always feel so neurotic?
Will I raise a worried child because I worry so much?
Will I ever feel like a ‘normal’ parent?
When my healthy, breathing, crying baby boy was born, my heart exploded 8 million times larger than I could ever imagine. I have lived the last 5 years enamored with my son.
His boisterous personality is so large, there is no shadow for him to fall behind. He is his own person and he makes that quite clear.
And when my youngest son came 4 years later, my heart grew even more.
I quickly learned that when you have subsequent children, your heart grows exponentially. There is no either/or, there is only AND. I love Ruthie Lou AND her two brothers. I don’t love any one of them more than the others, but my love for each of them is different, much in the same way it’s different between my two living sons. I love them all differently because they are different people, but I do not love any one of them the most.
My worries have gone unfounded but it hasn’t been without work and therapy. I focus each day to live in the moment, ignoring the quiet voice that whispers my boys might die. I do my best not to impose my fears upon them so that they can grow to be the people they are destined to be. I don’t feel “normal” per se, but I think this is the most normal I will feel after experiencing the death of my daughter.
The worries continue, but I will always feel that the risk of losing another baby was worth taking. Without taking the risk, I wouldn’t have the joy of my living boys. Like their sister, I am so grateful for them every single moment of every single day.