To my baby after loss,
You aren’t even here yet, and already I feel like I have so much to apologize for.
I am sorry that at 15 weeks pregnant I have yet to take a belly pic, document our pregnancy milestones, or share our news with a Pinterest-y post in the social media world.
I think I will get there. Maybe.
But even if I don’t, I want you to know that I dream every day about the day they put you in my arms. Alive.
It’s just that some of the fun has been stolen from me, from my experience of pregnancy. The innocence, too, has disappeared.
My love, though, my love for my babies has not.
Never doubt my love for you.
I am sorry that my heavy heart cannot design, decorate, and prepare a nursery right now. You may come home to a bassinet by our bed and a package of diapers as we let the reality of your presence settle into our home and sink into our souls.
I am sorry that your delivery will likely not take place as spontaneously as your sister’s. I personally think spontaneous (When will my water break? Where will I be?) births are more natural and more fun, but the truth is, as soon as the doctor is willing to take you from my tummy, we will let her.
Just to have you here.
I am sorry that Daddy and I no longer have the giddy, love-shocked ignorance of new parents as we prepare to welcome you. I feel hopeful and happy (of course) but also a little hard around the edges.
It is my prayer that time softens some of those places where doubt and fear reside.
We know the truth. That pregnancy does not always mean a happy ending, so while we pray every day for one, we have some skepticism under our skin.
I am sorry for any time in our future when you might feel pressure as a “rainbow baby.” Rainbow babies are said to bring beauty after the storm, which is a beautiful metaphor that I appreciate.
It’s true – I already know you will bring beauty to our lives. You already have. You are bringing beauty, but you must not also feel the need to bring perfection.
I came to make everything better is not an expectation we ever want you to feel, no matter how old you get.
We don’t expect you to bring healing. In fact, I expect that holding you and caring for you might even cause me to ache for your brother more than I already do.
You are not being born into this world with the responsibility of bringing healing. That’s not why we want you.
Feel no pressure to please us in fear that we need you to lift up and join any broken pieces we may still carry.
Daddy and I have each other and faith to do that job. It’s not yours.
Lastly, I am sorry if you ever feel like a replacement to your brother we lost.
You. Are. Not.
Just like he was his own person, so, my love, are you. We know, the harsh reality being what it is, that we won’t get him back.
Nothing will change that. No prayer, no wish upon a star, no future children.
You don’t need to “fill his shoes,” for they are his own. We will love him for the rest of our lives for who he was. Just as we will love you and your sister for being the individuals that you are.
You, in all honest truth, won’t fill the hole in our family. We don’t want that hole replaced anyway. It belongs to your brother.
You are not him and not a replacement for what is lost.
You are a joyful addition.