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A question of loyalty

Someone I follow on Twitter tweeted a link to this video they made as a tribute to their loss earlier in the year. It is beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. They mentioned that they should have had a baby to cuddle this Christmas and all of the sudden it came rushing back that I too should have had a tiny little two month old this Christmas.

From a memorial we attended for our miscarriage. Our last name is hard to spell, clearly.

From a memorial we attended for our miscarriage. Our last name is hard to spell, clearly.

I felt overwhelmed with sadness. Then my little boy kicked me and my sadness mixed with guilt.

If I had never lost that first baby, this one wouldn’t exist. Wishing that baby was here means wishing this baby away. On the other hand being happy this baby is here means being happy the other is gone.

Or something.

I’m so mixed up about it all. I love this baby boy in me already. Fiercely. Feeling him move made him a real little person to me. It also made the one I lost seem so abstract and so much further away.

I didn’t realize it until now. Somehow saying goodbye to my loss baby on it’s due date seemed to free me from mourning it constantly. Is that what closure feels like?

That date loomed like this terrifying thing for months and when it passed I felt free to love the baby inside of me more completely. Then, with my belly growing and more doctor visits and things I feel like I’ve been swept away in this pregnancy.

I thought Halloween would be nearly impossible to get through because it was supposed to be our first holiday as parents. Somehow instead I was distracted by whether my belly would be big enough to do one of those silly zombie mom costumes (it wasn’t).

Thanksgiving I enjoyed the freedom of maternity pants and the fact that I could eat to my heart’s content instead of being sad there wasn’t a baby in my arms.

I did glance longingly at the Baby’s First Christmas onesies and ornaments this holiday season but mostly I was distracted by people oohing and aaahing over my bump and making sure I got the right pictures featuring it in front of the tree.

I have gone whole stretches of time without focusing on my loss at all. I haven’t forgotten, not for a minute, but it doesn’t sting as much already. I wonder if it’s too soon for the sting to be gone.

Loving this baby as much as I do feels disloyal to the one I lost. In a way it makes me wish we would have waited to start trying until after my due date. Then, even though improbable, them both existing wouldn’t have been impossible. As it is, there’s only the choice of one or the other. Obviously there wasn’t really a choice. I didn’t terminate my first pregnancy, it just wasn’t viable.

Why then does it feel like loving either one is disloyal to the other?

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13 Comments

  1. Anna Jackson Sandos

    Know those mixed feeling so well. I was pregnant with Hannah when I would have been due with the 4th baby we lost. The feelings of guilt mixed with the most amazing joy imaginable and so normal and yes the closure of mourning that loss is normal. Everyday I look at the miracle we were gived in our daughter I wipe away the tear of what could have been by rejoicing in what we get to chersih and enjoy!

    Congrats once again on the soon coming of your little boy! He will fill your arms and heart with such a mirade of emotions…savor every single one…it’s called life and the joys of motherhood! You two are going to be fantastic parents!

    Love to you all.
    Anna.

    • Thank you for sharing that. It does help to know my feelings are not just mine but have been shared by others in similar situations.

  2. Brigid Sullivan Barjaktarevic

    I think that just as you can love more than one living child, you can love a deceased child(red) and living child(ren) at the same time. It’s not something you should feel guilt over. Loving your living child doesn’t reduce or replace the love you feel for your first child.

  3. I can only imagine how hard it must be for you. But no, you shouldn’t feel guilty about being disloyal. Just keep loving them both. I’m sure they wouldn’t have it any other way.

  4. I haven’t personally been in this situation, I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult this is for you… However, my friend from High School had her first child just 2 weeks before I had my first child… he was born with HLHS (congenital heart defect, he was born with only half a heart) and went to Heaven after only 13 days here on Earth with his Mom and Dad… Her second pregnancy, she miscarried… And finally, with her third pregnancy had a happy, healthy, thriving little boy… She wrote a book about it, I just started following you and don’t know what you’re interests are, like if you enjoy reading or not… but it’s called “13 Days with Gideon” and is available in paperback on Amazon. Sending good vibes your way that you find peace in knowing that you have not in any way been disloyal and can continue to enjoy and embrace every moment of your current pregnancy… Sorry for slightly blowing up your comment feed with this (it’s too long, I know).

  5. It’s so sad, and you never forget. WE just go on, though the pain will get to you if you think about it too much.

    I sometimes, sigh, let myself think about that part of my life for only seconds, then move on quickly.

    Because it will break you with the sadness.

    Much love to you and so very happy for who you’ll be bringing home sooon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • I came very close to being broken by the sadness. I’m so happy I had a support system to help bring me out of it. And that support system continues to be partially comments like these, letting me know I’m not alone. Thank you.

  6. I understand. I felt the same way. And there are days I feel guilty for not thinking of my two lost babies more often. But I also know that they both impacted who I am today. I wouldn’t be the same mother to my kiddos here if it weren’t for them.

    • I’m glad to hear you feel it’s made you a better mother. I’ve thought that I will appreciate this little boy so much more because of my loss so it’s good to hear that is true for you.

  7. Oh do I know these mixed emotions so well! Let me tell you, when you hold that baby in your arms the guilt/love mix will come flooding back. I frequently battle back and forth my fierce love my little one who is only here because of my loss. While I sit here feeling the little kicks I am reminded again, I only feel those because of a loss, otherwise I would be holding a newborn…it’s a strange place to be in and you will forever be balancing that bridge back and forth.

    It will get easier, and not seem so hard.

    Much love!

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