There is always a concern that a rainbow baby will mislead others to thinking you are ‘all better.’ I have found that since Dragon was born only a few people have brought up A in conversation. This is more than a little disheartening. It doesn’t have to be a long, deep conversation about how I’m coping with this living infant given A’s stillbirth but even something more superficial like, “Do you think she looks like her brother?” Or “How much did A weigh when he was born?” You know, typical questions a mom might be asked when her second child is born.
So it is especially wonderful when those few people do talk about A. In particular, I was touched by a card one of my mother’s friends sent, a woman who I have met only a couple times and who (to my knowledge) has never lost a child. She wrote this:
“Congratulations! I remember feeling a little sad during my second pregnancy – not wanting to displace my first or love him less. Then number 2 comes along and miraculously it is wonderful! Your heart just gets bigger and you love even more. A is not forgotten. God bless both your children.”
It was a perfect sentiment. Without minimizing the stressful subsequent pregnancy, she made me feel like a ‘normal’ mom; plus she acknowledged A and his absence.
In contrast, I sat across the room from E’s aunt the other night. She had Dragon in her arms and we were chatting. She asked me if Dragon was my mother’s first grandchild. Obviously she didn’t think that question through, but I wasn’t going to just let it slip by; let A slip by. So I replied that A was the first grandchild for my parents and that they are over-the-moon in love with Dragon. Sheesh!
And so the quest to keep my son in people’s minds and lives continues with the added challenge that they are happily distracted by his little sister now.