After A was stillborn, we were fortunate enough to receive outreach from several local support groups and babylost organizations. Through one such organization I befriended a woman whose firstborn child was born still thirteen years ago at 38 weeks from a supposed cord accident, though cause of death was never conclusively decided. She got pregnant soon after her son’s birth and just four days after the first anniversary of his death she gave birth to a living son. She went on to have one more subsequent living son a couple years later.
We really seem to get each other and I have leaned on her a few times so far during this subsequent pregnancy. Her insight is that her son’s birthday is bittersweet. Each year she is sad that her eldest is not here but then a few days later she celebrates her “miracle” baby who wouldn’t exist if his older brother had not died.
I’m not quite to bittersweet yet, although I do feel grateful for Dragon and this new pregnancy even in the midst of my continued angst of missing A. But for me they are two distinct emotional experiences – I feel angry, sorrowful and severe pain because I yearn for my son, and I feel distinctly excited and thankful for this new life kicking me in the ribs. Perhaps with time, like my friend, I too will know how to hold two contrary truths together in my heart simultaneously, to find holidays and special occasions bittersweet.
She tells me that life is wonderful since her second son arrived and that she thinks it will be wonderful for me too one day.