Updated: Aug 26, 2020
Since Charlie and I were married, our ideal "family portrait" always included children. We knew that we wanted children from the start and so were open to it pretty immediately after we got married. Our wedding was on October 15th, 2016 and by early January of 2017, we found out I was pregnant with Rose. The nine months that followed were full of big life moves (out of the city & bought a house on Long Island), some anxiety (about how to manage a baby so soon), and lots of preparation to make sure everything was as perfect as it could be for Baby Beagan's arrival.
So from shortly after our wedding my family portrait was the 3 of us. Then Rosie was born and our family of 3 became a tangible reality. She changed our lives forever and was the absolute BEST thing that ever happened to us. We would comment all the time to each other on how perfect she was, how lucky we were to have her, and how we wouldn't change a thing.
Then, this past August - we found out we were pregnant with Baby #2. We were so excited to be growing our family and to be giving Rosie a younger sibling to navigate life with and to boss around! Every day Rosie would lift up my shirt and say, "Hello Baby" and kiss my belly. She would've been the absolute best big sister - she was so maternal and sweet with her babies and stuffed animals. Honestly since I've been pregnant - I've thought more about Rosie as a big sister than I have about the baby itself.
Not having the opportunity to see Rosie become the big sister that she was supposed to be is one of the hardest things for me. It's hard for me to accept this baby joining our family (just a month from today) without Rosie physically being here - to see her face when meeting the baby for the first time, to give her tasks to be Mommy's little helper, to see her kiss the baby instead of just my belly. I even dreamt of being able to take Rosie out alone for Mommy/daughter days when I was off from work on maternity leave.
I fear that by connecting with this baby - I'm in some way betraying Rose or replacing her - which I obviously never want to do. I also am trying desperately to think of ways that we can make sure this new baby knows and loves Rosie and feels her presence in our home and in our lives. My family portrait is the FOUR of us. It may not be the way I ever envisioned the four of us to look - but we have an angel in our family - how lucky are we to have her watching over us and watching over her siblings in a way 1,000x better than what she could be doing here. Rose may not physically be here - but she will ALWAYS be a part of this family portrait.