Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Parenting a Rainbow Baby

I have been quiet on the blog lately bc our lives have been consumed with packing tape and moving boxes! While our house is far from done, it is livable and I have found myself needing a break this week from the craziness of moving. So back to the blog!

We have come a long way in the three months since Lewis was born. Newborn life was absolutely terrible and no amount of time or amnesia will ever let me forget how terrible it was. The combination of hormones, trouble breastfeeding, reflux or something like it was not pretty and was not handled well by me. But we survived and I now know that life with a baby indeed does get better! So if there will be other children in our future, it will not be because I have forgotten the horrors that are newborns, but it will be because I know that time is relatively short and there is hope and goodness to follow. (Like this adorable cheesy grin below!)

My thoughts lately have been on my short experience thus far parenting a "rainbow baby," or a baby born after loss. Pregnancy after loss had it's own ups and downs, as does parenting after loss. 

I found myself in Lewis' room last night rocking him to sleep crying. Crying because of the weight of him in my arms, and the warmth of his little body, felt so sweet. Crying because I will always remember all too well the physical emptiness that my arms and my body felt after Sloane died. But I don't feel that physical emptiness anymore. While my heart will always feel as though it has a hole from her absence, it is more than wonderful to have the physical emptiness taken away by my sweet baby boy. 

I know that having Sloane, and losing Sloane, has made me so much better of a mother than I ever would have been otherwise. It sucks that that is how it had to be, but I appreciate literally every second with Lewis. I don't think I am naturally cut out for this whole SAHM gig, and I already miss my school psychology, but I appreciate so much that I get to be home with Lew because I know that tomorrow is not guaranteed for my sweet babe. And if the day ever comes that he too, is taken, I want to know that I gave him too many kisses, too many hugs, too many snuggles, and that we read too many books, went for too many walks, and played too many silly games. I feel so much more motivation to be an amazing mother to him (or try...) because I don't have that opportunity to physically care for Sloane. So he gets all the love for both of them! 

I am sure these feelings on parenthood in general and parenthood after loss specifically will change as the stages of my life and of Lew's life change. But for now, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for his presence and place in our family, and for the many lessons that Sloane continues to teach me. 

Baby boy at baby girl's grave, May 2016