Updated: Sep 8, 2020
It’s 1am and I’m sitting in the rocking chair nursing Livi at just around the same time that I rocked Rosie for the last time, in this chair on the morning of December 20th. The day that changed my life forever. My brain keeps bouncing between that night - and the gratitude, sadness, and guilt that goes along with it to tonight - and the gratitude, anxiety, and guilt that goes along with it.
On December 20th:
Gratitude for those final moments with my girl. That I had the patience to spend that time with her in the middle of the night (not something I ordinarily would do). That I rocked with her and talked with her and that she physically felt my love for her during the literal hour of her death. I’m so grateful that I was able to have that time with her - time in the middle of the night, time before everything changed, time that I will never be able to repeat.
Sadness and pain that it all happened. That she is gone. Forever. Sadness that I am now a grieving parent, that this is my reality for the rest of my life. Sadness from purely missing Rose. The cuddles, the giggles, the kisses, the hugs, the sass, the energy, the love. I miss it all. Sadness for all the potential and future opportunities that she won’t ever have a chance to experience. That will exist only in my imagination. Sadness especially that I didn’t get a chance to see her be the most amazing big sister to Liv - she did say she wanted a baby sister.
Guilt that comes from asking the how and the why. As a mother, it is my responsibility to protect my children and make sure nothing bad happens to them. Did I miss something? Was she trying to tell me something in the middle of the night? How did I not pick up on anything being wrong? Why did this happen to her / to us? What if I stayed a few minutes longer or brought her into bed with us that night like she had asked? What if I had checked on her again prior to the next morning? How did I not hear something on the monitor that night? How in the world did this happen to our beautiful and healthy toddler? You don’t put a perfectly healthy 2 year and 3 month old girl to sleep and expect that she won’t be alive in the morning. It’s beyond anyone’s wildest comprehension, but it happened to us and I will never ever stop asking why or how and wondering if there was something I could’ve done to prevent it.
And then there’s tonight - April 26th...just over 4 months since my last night with Rosie and only my 8th night with Livi in this world.
Grateful - I’m so incredibly grateful for this beautiful and healthy baby girl. For a healthy second half of pregnancy, despite all the grief. For a relatively easy delivery. For the fact that Charlie was allowed to be in the delivery room with me despite all the craziness with this coronavirus. For the ability to be rocking and caring for another child of mine. For another human to love. For my growing family. For how calm and chill she has been - as if she knows exactly what her parents need and can handle right now. For the fact that she just nursed and quickly fell back asleep in my arms - hopefully ready to give me a few more needed hours of sleep. For my Livi girl, my rainbow baby, my absolute gift from God - and for her big sister, Rosie, who is watching over all of us every second from heaven.
Anxiety that something could happen to Liv. The impossible happened to Rose and it’s hard to not think that something horrible could again happen, completely out of nowhere and steal our Livi girl from us too. I’m scared that she’ll stop breathing in the middle of the night or during a nap. That she won’t make it through the day alive and how could she possibly make it beyond 2 years and 3 months? I’m afraid of my worst possible nightmare happening again - because for me, my nightmare became reality.
Guilt for feeling any semblance of joy at all. I love Liv just as any mother loves their child, but I’m mourning and missing Rosie at the same time. I wish my love and my time and my maternal care was shared between 2 physical children in my home. But only 1 is here to receive it through my physical actions. And I’m still learning on how to properly express my love in a spiritual/intangible way with Rose. I do feel guilt when I feel happiness towards Liv or am enjoying the feeling of being a Mom, because I feel like in some way I’m transferring my love and happiness from Rosie to this new baby. I know deep down, my love for Rose isn’t depleting at all and that just like any parent with a newly second child - I’m just learning how to share myself and make room for #2, but it has a new significance and meaning when my first is no longer here with us.
So just like that - I’m feeling all of these emotions at once. With my brain moving at 1,000 miles an hour...pretty overwhelming for a middle of the night blur.