Friday, January 28, 2011

Random: Hearts

I had a very kind individual who knows about Lyra, tell me in excitement for Simon's arrival, that it's amazing how much one's heart will grow with the birth of this first baby. I calmly agreed, saying in my head that I knew how much a mother's heart grows...I experienced it with Lyra. That this was not my first experience with loving a child. Though I didn't get to bring Lyra home and nurture her and raise her, my heart still expanded.

I walked away from that conversation knowing the person intended only to make a connection to share an experience. They meant no harm, and they don't realize my experience fully. But it makes me wonder how many people will see Simon as our first, even if they know about Lyra.

I, of course, can't control how people feel and how they view our family. I can only do my part to actively remember her, and try not to take it personally when she is forgotten or overlooked. It's awkward for people, and I'm still learning how to do all this too.


I keep riding the fence about how I'm supposed to be feeling. Excitement? Anxiousness? Fear? Happiness? "Supposed to be" of course is where my therapist stops me and asks me to rephrase it to just, "how I'm feeling". I'm continually confused because if I feel excited about the possibility that Simon will be alright and alive, then I feel like I'm stepping away from my post at grieving over Lyra...I'm stepping further away from a shared experience with friends and recent moms who experience baby death...I'm gaining a more "normal" look to the outside world.

I told a close BLM friend that I have this selfish perspective that my grief is unique. That I feel like I deserve something extra because my baby died. Maybe that's why I balk at the idea that I will look "normal" to other people. That this makes me less accessible to other BLM's. That Lyra is minimized because I will hopefully have a child to take up my time and energy.

I don't know if this makes sense to anyone else. I probably am driving you all crazy because I'm not just "happy" or "sad". It's always a confusing mixture of both.  With a big dose of selfishness added in. And so continues the process of figuring out this grief, and life in general...right?


  1. Dear Curls O Fred...
    Completely agree that our hearts expand with the love of all our children - whether they are with us or not. I have found love that I never thought possible after Gabrielle arrived... that was possibly even more heartfelt in a different way than when our living angel arrived.
    I'm new to all of this.... you and many others have inspired me to start my own blog and tell my story, and share my journey will you all :) Sorry to hear about your loss.
    Love always,
    New Year Mum xoxo

  2. I think you're "supposed to" feel all of the above and more. As for looking "normal" to other people, I suppose all of us who've lost babies struggle with that in different ways. Sometimes I like it when people don't know my story and I can pretend for a little while that everything is fine. But I also hate that no one else can see the black void where my lost children should be. Being upset that having another baby will make Lyra seem forgotten makes perfect sense. If my baby lives I think I'll have the opposite issue and the large empty space where my lost children should be may at last be visible to others because of the very large and obvious gap in my family.

  3. I think everything you're feeling makes perfect sense to BLMs! :)

  4. It makes sense to me. Even with my boy here with me, I still miss my first born. Still. Some will think that you are "better" with the arrival of Simon, which may be true, you're better off, but by no means fixed. It's hard for those on the "outside" to understand, but BLMs get it.

    Thinking of you and Simon


  5. Sounds to me like you're reading my mind. :) I've noticed with friends of our that kids, now that I'm pregnant, of course everyone focuses on this pregnancy, and they say some things to connect with me... and I keep thinking - but what about Acacia? And like your internal response about knowing a mother's love for a child... I know that too. I have a sense of what my friends are experiencing... and I hope to join them in the realm of parenting a living child, and I worry about where that leaves Acacia. Just yesterday a friend was asking if we had baby supplies... he said something to acknowledge we had probably gotten things together for Acacia, but to me, he didn't quite get it. YES, I have baby supplies. I had a full term baby, we had our home ready to bring her home, but we never did. I've done this all before. I'm not a first time parent like I may look. (I get kinda angry and selfish about it all sometimes.) :)

    Thinking of you, Lyra, Simon and your dear husband.

  6. Thank you for your lovely message
    ... looking forward to keeping in touch along the way :) xo

  7. You're not crazy or selfish. You've experienced something that is multi-faceted in depth and breadth, it's totally understandable that your emotions fluctuate. Our Western culture is so intent on "closure" and "moving on", but really, what you are sharing here and what you are feeling is real and true. I hope you will continue to cope however is best for you and your husband and not feel rushed or pressured to hide your feelings.

    My mother lost a baby when I was too small to really know what was going on. For years this was never discussed and I didn't know until I was an adult. Once I knew, it explained a lot. Reading your blog helps me understand her a bit more.

    Your openness will only benefit Simon in the future.

    Wishing you, your husband, Lyra, and Simon the very very best. ♥

  8. There is a schism between BLM who have gone on to have subsequent children and those that haven't, just as there is one between those BLM who lost their first child and those that had children at home. Or, even those BLM who lost multiple children versus those that haven't. Our bond and mutual admiration is based on the simple fact that we lost the person that we loved most in the world. Whether the schism matters depends on the person, I think most of us don't mind them at all because we, our children and our situations are all unique- I personally find great comfort in talking to BLM who are pregnant or have other children at home, but for others it's a trigger of their pain. Your grief is unique and so is your situation, you can't control the schisms just like you can't control how you feel about losing one child and bringing another one home. I think your love for Lyra AND Simon has been palpable in all of your posts and it's monumentally reassuring to me. If anything it makes you more accessible because you represent survival through grief and survival through hope.. after losing a child, sometimes surviving hope is just as hard.

  9. it totally makes sense to me.
    and you don't drive me crazy in the least :)
    and I don't think you are selfish.
    thinking of all of you and hoping you can find a way to feel whatever you feel and know that it's 'normal' for *you*. and that's all that matters.

    I recall that it took me a long time after my husband died before I stopped feeling guilt, shame, confusion etc if I had a happy moment, or if I laughed about something or, as time passed, if I had an actually good DAY.
    I know a husband is far different than a child and at the same time I don't think your grief journey, your feelings are weird at all. They seem very 'normal' to me.

    thinking of you

  10. It makes perfect sense... all of it. Parenting living children along the ones that we cannot hold is a fine balance between happiness and sadness. I am learning to co-exist with both emotions at the exact same time. It is all a work in progress.. but I know you will get there as well- wether it is in accepting the path between worlds or finding yourself more involved in one than the other. Either way 'it just is' and you will do exactly what you need to do for both of your children.

  11. You make total sense to me and I understand all you are feeling.

    Lucy is here now and I still struggle with grief and joy. At times I feel guilty for falling so head over heels for Lucy knowing that she is here because Claire isn't. I have made the mistake of calling her Claire a few times and it makes me smile and stabs at my heart all at once.

    I have noticed though that since Lucy's birth more people are opening up and asking me about how I am feeling about Claire. They seem more willing to talk openly about my baby girl who isn't here... it's interesting to me that they choose now to do so but better late than never, right?

    My advice it go with your feelings whatever they may be and know that all of us BLMs are sure to relate in some way! You are not alone.


  12. You make perfect sense to me. I hate that I look normal to everyone else, I hate that strangers don't see Florence too.
    Living with loss and with joy is so confusing, but it's all we can do.x

  13. i'm still working that one out rachel, nothing you feel is wrong, its all unique to you, you have a family of four no matter what others see, i can't wait to see simon, once he is here, how to love them both will become clearer, at least it did for me , sending love xxx anne

  14. Yes, yes, yes, yes and more could be writing my thoughts! When my own MIL said, "Well, it must be easier now (grieving Matthew) since you're pregnant?!". I just told her it was monumentally more difficult and I then realized that if Matthew's own grandmother, who loves him, felt that way, the world was probably way worse. Even in the land of those who have lost children..the navigation is so different for everyone. M right with you, can one be elated and devastated at the same time? How does one express sheer joy without diminishing the sheer pain that also exists? How to do both respectfully and fully? And really, what SHOULD be isn't anyway, so what I SOULD BE feeling just cant be categorized or defined.

    It's so hard...but makes complete sense. Thinking of you these days!

  15. Thank you for being honest. Because I've never experienced what you experience, it opens my eyes and my heart more to those around me. I don't think you are crazy for having all these swirling feelings that can't be defined in a neat little package. I think when Simon is born, you will continue to have all these feelings mixed up inside of you. How could you not? Lyra will always be your first born, you were changed by her birth and her death. And you continue to live that fact as you birth and raise Simon.

    Praying many blessings and space to feel as you enter into this next stage.

    I'm looking forward to meeting Simon too.

  16. It sounds like our therapists have been telling us the same thing! I've been struggling quite a bit with how I think I should be feeling vs. how I am actually feeling. What I'm apathetic. What people already are implying I should be feeling is excited. It is why I've been refraining from letting people know that I am pregnant. Even the best intentioned people don't understand and never will unless they experience the same thing I have.

    Just feel what you feel. That is all you can do. I think pretending that you don't have mixed feelings is doing a disservice to yourself, your husband, Lyra and even Simon.

    Thinking of you.