I was a mother from the moment I saw that second blue line. I have remained a mother, through my son’s death and his younger sister’s birth. And this May is my SIXTH mothers day.
Parenting After Loss
I think on the surface this is easily understandable, and yet, somehow it’s something I have to keep repeating. I have two children, forever and always.
Before my daughter existed, I used to wish I could go back in time and save my son. And now, I struggle with this. Even in my imagination, it’s impossible to choose. I love BOTH of them. And I can’t have them both at the same time.
If you know a parent with both a living and deceased child, it’s something to be aware of. Because the most supportive thing you can say in that situation is to acknowledge the work that goes into raising and grieving, simultaneously.
I am the mother whose body swelled with pregnancy.
I am the mother who dreamed and wanted and planned.
I am the mother who left my heart in a small and curtained alcove room.
I am the mother who screamed and cried and begged.
I wonder, sometimes, where to draw the line between a “normal” amount of worry and the amount you feel for a child born after the death of your first. I don’t ever want to stifle her. My pain should never be her burden. And sometimes it just hits me—how much I’ve lost and also hold at the same time.
Parenting, even parenting after loss, isn’t just sunshine and roses. It’s reality too. And I love this little girl with every piece of my soul, AND I feel overwhelmed sometimes. It’s okay to acknowledge the reality of life after loss. It’s okay to be cranky.
I put Penny to bed tonight, and I had another image of a rambunctious toddler jumping up to join us. I can’t see his face at all, it is mostly just a feeling. A feeling like he’s just right there.
I look back on that time now, and it’s like I’m looking at a different person. That old Miranda lived in a different world, where everything felt like it was possible. And even though it has been almost 3 years since then, I think a lot of people don’t understand I’m not that person anymore.
Your sister was offered a daycare slot and it brings up memories. People around me are having boys and it brings up memories.
This past year has been different. You’d think the biggest part would be your sister, and of course she’s part of it. There’s also me. I’ve been developing. I’ve been learning and hiding in equal measures.
They I gave her to me and she was screaming and all I could think was yes, mama loves you so much. You are a new piece of my everything. And suddenly I’m just bigger and you are still gone and I’m straddling the world in two.
A heavy, beautiful day today, and Peanut is officially laughing. Forever finding that balance in all of the feelings in life after loss.
People sometimes ask me if my daughter is my first child. I needed a simple way to tell them I had a child before her, but he died. When people ask me now, I have a simple response.
A little over 13 months ago, just by chance on Mother’s Day weekend, I made my first attempt at having a second child. It feels like such a different world that this year, on Mother’s Day weekend, my second pregnancy was coming to an end. This is my story of pregnancy after loss and Peanut’s birth.