As I sit here, a month after my rainbow baby turned 1, I can’t help but think of the emotional struggle I have had the past few months.
As her birthday approached, I couldn’t help but feel a bit sad. And I felt guilty because I felt sad. And to be honest, I was also a bit confused. But then I realized the root of my sadness. On the night before her birthday, after I nursed her and put her back to bed right beside me. I couldn’t help but soak her in. Her hair, her soft skin, the fresh baby scent that she still carries, everything. And then I started to silently cry because I thought how this could have been a completely different baby lying beside me.
How I might have never known her. As I lay there thinking about her first year of life, I couldn’t help but mourn the loss of life that had to occur in order for her to get here.
I thought about my 2 angel babies. I thought about the ages that they would have been, wondered who they would have looked like, how they might have acted, whether they would have been a boy or a girl. How if things had gone the way we planned, our lives would be completely different. How maybe we would have a 3 year old, a 1.5 year old and be pregnant with our third baby by now. And I felt guilty because of those thoughts.
Did they mean I didn’t want her? Did they mean that she was not good enough? Did they mean she was just plan B because plan A didn’t work out?
I also felt guilty because I thought that if I was happy because she was here, did that suddenly mean that I wasn’t sad anymore about my losses? Was I forgetting about them so easily?
This is something I think about often. I know some people may not understand my grief over my miscarriages. Over babies that I never knew in this world. But that is just it. As I was lying there thinking about my angel babies, all those thoughts flooded my mind as well. About how I’ll never know the answers to those questions I had. I’ll never know if they had my eyes or my husband’s perfect teeth. We’ll never get to celebrate their first birthday. Never get to cuddle them at night or hold their hand when they’re scared. I’ll never get to nurse or rock them back to sleep.
These are just some of the thoughts that I have experienced in the past year after having my rainbow baby. It is hard. It is confusing. I am joyous because of her, but I also don’t want to ever forget about my angel babies.
So I came up with a few simple life lessons I’ve learned in the past 2 years since I’ve experienced my losses.
It is okay to be happy.
I think that this one has been hard. And it has been hard for some of the reasons that I mentioned above. If I was happy, did that mean that I suddenly didn’t care about my losses? Did it mean I was forgetting about them? Was I happy that I lost them because that meant I got my rainbow baby, Alenna?
Absolutely NOT. I think that anyone who experiences grief probably goes thru some of the same emotions. Because you don’t want to forget about the person that you have lost. But you also can’t be sad forever.
I have to remind myself that I don’t need to feel guilty because I am happy. That it is good that I am happy because that is part of the healing process. It doesn’t mean that I am forgetting anyone or that I don’t care about what I have been thru anymore. It just means that I am healing. And healing is good.
It is okay to be sad.
This. I need this. Sometimes, I need to cry. Don’t you? Sometimes I become so overwhelmed with emotion that I need to let it all spill out. AND THAT IS OKAY! It is healthy in fact. Now I don’t cry every day over the same thing. But every once in a while, when the sting comes back, I don’t ignore those emotions. I allow them in and then I let them out. And I think that is part of the healing process as well. That as time goes on, maybe I will cry a little less. Maybe it won’t sting as bad. But if it does, that is okay. I just need to deal with the emotion and not stuff it or ignore it.
I am a very emotional and sensitive person, so I don’t think this is a problem for me. But if it is a problem for you, I encourage you to face your emotions head on and allow them in. It feels so good when you let a good cry out or even a good scream out! I’ve done plenty of those, especially in the beginning. After my first miscarriage happened, I would grab my pillow and scream into it at the top of my lungs. And it felt good to release that anger.
It is okay to move on.
I think this has been one of the harder lessons that I have learned. Because moving on is scary. I am the type of person who likes to dwell on things (just ask my husband, he’ll tell you). I don’t know why I am like that, but it has been something that has affected me going through this life experience. It’s almost as if I didn’t want to let go because I didn’t want to ever forget what happened to me. I don’t want to ever forget that I have 2 angel babies waiting for me in Heaven.
But my life is filled with so much joy right now that it is easy for me to forget that I have experienced a lot of heartache in the past 2 years. I lost 2 babies. It was hard.
But I also have been blessed with a rainbow baby, have an older daughter, and have a hunk of a husband. I mean, how could I not be filled with joy at this time in my life? And sometimes I feel guilty for that. But I have to remind myself that it is okay to move on. It is okay to heal. It is okay to move past what I have been through. It doesn’t mean I am forgetting. It means I am growing.
These are just a few lessons that I have learned in the past 2 years in coping with my grief. I hope that this blog post could bring you some encouragement. Have you experienced something similar? What life lessons did you learn? Please feel free to leave some responses in the comments section, I’d love to hear from you!