Friday, February 22, 2013

The Things People Say

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.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Some more...

...random thoughts.

My sleep deprived brain, which is coursing with mommy hormones, is playing tricks on me. It's telling me to return to the hospital. That he is exactly where we left him. Down the hall to the corner room. Crack the door and peek in to see our precious son in the isolette right beside the window. We wanted him to experience the beautiful sunset that fateful birthday. 

Let's just go get him. He must be there, right where we left him.


We are 5 weeks into breast feeding. My boobs leak, often. Most times it just happens naturally an hour or so before she's due to eat again. But they also leak when I think about my babies. I was laying in bed trying to fall asleep and all I could think about was sweet A. Sure enough the milk starting flowing. In a way this comforted me. My boobs, my body still recognize him as my child even if so many others no longer mention him.

Many family members and friends are lining up to meet Dragon. A few of them, for various reasons, have never seen A's photos. I want to make it a rule - If you haven't sat with us in the heartache of looking through his album, then you don't get to snuggle this warm, living bundle of adorable-ness. You cannot acknowledge half of my children. It's all or none.

And don't me started on our friends who never sent a text, card, email or called after A was stillborn. Never said a thing, even 7 months later when we got together or the first time since his birth.

But I don't make any such rules. And I don't cut said friends out of my life. I am trying to be forgiving. Trying.


It is low tide. The waves gently carry my son further away from me. I stand on the shore his infant sister at my breast. Clutching her with one hand, my other arm reaches desperately for him. He floats calmly on the waves. I cannot reach him. I cannot put her down to dive in. I scream; call his name, implore him to come back. I crumble to the ground sobbing, knowing he is beyond my reach. I glance down at the baby on my chest and cry harder.

Why does it feel like one or the other?

Saturday, February 2, 2013


This is just a quick, disjointed post of random thoughts.

I wanted this second child to be a boy. She is not. I worried (worry) about raising a daughter because of my own tumultuous relationship with my mother. Now that she’s here, I feel a little better. Perhaps I can keep the mother-daughter anxiety at bay until she hits middle school and the shit hits the fan.

I really thought this baby would look like A. She shares some characteristics – I see A in her nose and eyebrows – and her resemblance to her brother is growing as she does, but she is also her own person. Sadly, the time when she most looks like her big brother is when she is so soundly asleep that her tiny mouth drops open. With her eyes closed and her mouth agape she looks like her stillborn brother whose sweet mouth would not stay closed.

Like all babylost parents with their Rainbows, I often think how different it would be if A were here too. As hundreds of questions run through my sleep-deprived brain (When to introduce a bottle? How do we treat her crusty eyes? When will she sleep longer stretches?), I feel resentful. If A had lived, we would already be seasoned parents. We would know the answers to these questions and have loads of experience under our belts.  I also contemplate how challenging it would be to have a toddler running amok while trying to tend to a newborn. Seriously, this tiny dragon is wearing us down. I don’t know how we’d be able to manage a 15-month-old on top of this; but I still very much want him here.