RememberTuesday, June 26, 2012
Please remember her.
This new baby is not a replacement for the girl I lost. This new baby will not help heal the heartache I feel whenever I think about NEVER holding her again. Nothing will change, in the scope of my grief. I still want her every second of every day.
She should be here- feeling the swell of my belly, and anticipating the joy that a wee one will bring. She should be here waiting to see if this new baby will be a boy or a girl. She should be receiving a little bit more from me, in preparation for losing her place as “the baby.”
Be very aware that this new baby will not make things better for me. That while I talk with excitement about the plans I have for this new baby, she is never far from my mind. I love her. She is missing. She always will be. No matter how many babies I have I will never get over the loss of my sweet tiny girl.
I want to be clear, too, that this baby would have come to us even if Bea had lived- because every baby is a “planned” baby. God planned for this baby to come to us at this time. This baby’s existence was written into His book of life long before Bea was even a thought in my head. This baby is just as intentional as she was- this life has meaning that is separate and wholly his/her own. This baby is not a salve for my wounds. This baby is just a baby.
If this baby is a girl, please do not say to me- “you needed a girl”, or “you must be so happy to finally be having a girl.” I already have a girl. Her name is Beatrix. If this is a girl, she will be my second daughter- not the first. She will know that someone came before her.
If this baby is a boy, please do not feel sorry for me, in my houseful of men. This baby is an individual- not here to “make-up” for the loss I suffered. I already love this baby so desperately that I can’t breathe when I think of holding him/her. I don’t NEED a girl- I need a healthy baby.
Please remember her.
The greatest gift that you can give to me is to acknowledge her existence. While it may seem morbid to talk about a dead baby while a living one moves within my body- there is nothing morbid about the girl that I love. She is MY baby, not some cartoon caricature. Not a story you read about in the news. She is beautiful and I feel so tenderly towards her. Nothing speaks more to me, in the language of love, than that you remember with me.
My biggest fear is that when this baby is born, everyone will let out their captive breath- the breath that they have held ever since I lost her. They will begin to think- “Ah! Everything is back to normal now. We can pretend that that thing never happened.”
My biggest fear is that this baby will overshadow her in a way that I have no control over. That once born, this baby’s life will consume hers, until she is no more than a dusty photograph. As lifeless as the moment I last held her. Forgetting her takes away the importance of what she is. It removes her humanity and creates a void where my heart sits.
She is my daughter. She is as well-loved as all of my children here. She is as important to me as the sun, rising and setting on the horizon. I need her to nurture growth within me, and to warm my face when I look up to the sky. She is still part of my mothering experience- one of the most beautiful parts. Her cells still free-float in my body, her imprint was left on my heart. She is my first born daughter, the only one I will ever have.