Dear PAL Momma,
If it’s 3 am and you’re up again wondering if you can do this, I want you to know that you can. If it’s 3pm and you’re leaving a doctors appointment wondering if you can handle the anxiety of a few more weeks of pregnancy or if you can manage to wait to hear the heartbeat for the first time, I want you to know you can do this. You can absolutely do this. If you are wondering if you are going to be able to handle labor or if it might trigger you or if you’ll potentially fall apart, I’m here to tell you that you may fall apart. You may be triggered. And then something inside you will rise up, and you will be able to do this.
But more than anything, if you are wondering if you can effectively parent the child that is about to enter your life, that I especially want you to know, yes, you can do this and you can do it abundantly with love, exceeding all of your imagination. You can do this. You can parent all of your children, the ones earthside and the ones who are not. You are not going to forget. You know as well as I do that it’s impossible. You don’t forget a life inside you that changed you forever. You don’t forget the day of delivery and meeting your child face to face. It’s impossible. It’s not going to happen. The potential possibility of that happening isn’t in existence. You aren’t going to forget and you aren’t going to push one child to the side just to parent the other. You will love your child the same as if you had two or three or seven other living children. You can do this. You can love and parent in two different ways and you are not going to fail one child while loving another. You are not giving more to your living child if you don’t visit a grave as often. Or if you post as often on facebook.
Parenting any child and the success of a parent doesn’t exist or live only in the activities we can see on Facebook or how many times you visit a grave or how many times you can say you’ve been able to do this or that. Parenting is a relationship. It is a bond and experience that is singular and belongs only to you. Only you are the mother of your children. Only you have that relationship and it cannot be summarized or measured in visits or days or pictures or posts. You will not and are not failing your children if your relationship with your deceased child changes as you make room for your living child or children. It is simply change. Change scares us loss parents, as we assume that change must mean we are changing our emotions. This quite simply isn’t true. It’s just change. Opening your heart to love more children and changing relationships isn’t a loss of love for any of your other children. You’ve got this momma. It’s all gonna change, and it’s all going to be ok.
I can’t begin to tell you much I needed this right now! I have been struggling with parenting my little 3 month old man after losing our firstborn- daughter only a year prior.
I couldn’t put into words how I felt I was being disloyal to our daughter. And the emotions have been so hard to navigate and sort through.
Thank you so much. It put words into my heart of how I had been feeling. I felt the fear of CHANGE and it scared me thinking I love our daughter less and it has been a wedge between me and my son. This brought much needed clarity and peace to me.