Lately I’ve been feeling a bit of guilt.
Having Madeline here means my mind is focused solely on her and her needs nearly 100% of the time. This means that sometimes, just sometimes, I’m not thinking about Joshua.
And this makes me sad.
I know that if he were still here with us my attention would be focused on both him and his baby sister equally, but he’s not here. And that makes it easy for my mind to forget for a brief moment that he should be.
I feel guilty even writing this, but I feel it is important to say as I’m sure I can’t be the only mother of a rainbow baby that has gone through this.
Let me clear, there isn’t a day or even an hour that goes by that I don’t stop for at least a moment to think of Joshua’s sweet face and wonder what he would be like now. He is still always with me and I know that he always will be. However, there are these moments, these moments where I am so consumed with making sure that Madeline is fed and changed and happy that I do not give Joshua the attention that I once did. A newborn is a lot of work. And maybe even if Joshua were still here with us it would be the same as there are times that Madeline needs and deserves my full undivided attention and love, but the fact that he’s not here is what makes me feel guilty.
I feel guilty that I am so over-the-moon happy with his baby sister. I feel guilty that I didn’t get to be this happy when he was born. I feel guilty that to the outside world it appears that we have “moved on” – we haven’t in case you were beginning to think that too. I feel guilty that she gets to live her with us when he didn’t.
I know that to those of you who thankfully haven’t experience this kind of loss this may sound crazy. I mean clearly I should just be happy that we have a happy healthy little girl and move on with my life…
But why should I?
Why should I stop taking about my first born?
Why should I stop wishing he was here? Wishing to change the past does not mean that I am not thankful for what we do have. It just means that I wish above all wishes that I could have had both. That I could have my sweet daughter whom I adore, but that I could also have my dear son whom I long for.
Time keeps pressing forward and it is just a constant reminder of what we will never have.
The truth is that most of the time I am happy. Most of the time I feel so blessed that I forget the pain for a moment and that is when the guilt creeps in. In those quite moments where I look around thinking that our life is amazing, and it is, only it should be better. We should have a tiny baby and a toddler running around our home together. The nights should be longer. I should be getting less sleep. We should be busier. We could be happier.
It’s hard to look at this sweet face and not feel joy. It’s hard not to feel blessed when she smiles up at me. And I do. I just wish there was more…
I think in many ways watching Madeline grow is making me miss Joshua that much more. It’s the knowing what we are missing that seems to hurt the most.