I know there is no rule on how long one should mourn the loss of their child but sometimes I worry I never got to finish mourning. I mean, I found out I was pregnant again less than 2 months after I delivered little Anna. Stillbirths are terrible. They are difficult. They are emotional. But I have been thankful that I was given our baby boy so soon. It gave me something to be happy about again.
But the guilt still hits me. Sometimes when I'm really excited and anticipating the arrival of our son, Anna pops into my head and I feel bad for being happy. I feel like I need to apologize to her. I don't want her to ever be "forgotten."
This has been my fear all along. And I have that same guilt when people ask me, "Is this your first?" And I say yes. Not because I believe that my baby boy is my first child but because I feel like if they don't already know then maybe they don't need to know... And not because I don't want to talk about it but I have learned that people (other people) are really uncomfortable talking about it... Probably because they assume I am uncomfortable. Which I'm not.
Anna has given me some signs that everything is ok though. Or maybe it's God. Or both. I don't really know. Maybe it's all in my head. But I feel better.
Ever since Anna passed away I have thought that rainbows were a sign that she was still around, watching over Patrick and I. Why a rainbow? Well, the song If I Die Young by The Band Perry says, "Lord, make me a rainbow, I'll shine down on my mother. She'll know I'm safe with you when she stands under my color. Life ain't always what you think it ought to be, oh, ain't even gray and she buries her baby." Tearing up a little? It gets me every time. Anyways, I have only seen 2 or 3 rainbows since she passed but it was always when I really needed it. And on my drive to work last week I was emotional. I had the guilt. I want to be happy about the birth of my son but I still miss my daughter. And then I saw the most perfect rainbow shooting up out of downtown Kansas City. And this picture doesn't do it justice.
You can barely see it in this picture. I promise it was impressive when I was actually driving but ya know... Safety first. No taking pictures and driving.
And then, this weekend I had a dream that Patrick and I were bringing our son home from the hospital and as we were walking up the front steps of our house I saw a baby (maybe a year old) standing, holding herself up against the tall glass windows on the sides of our front foot. She had the biggest smile in her face, and she was still pretty bald (I was bald until I was about 2 haha). We were so excited to see each other and when I opened the door she reached up to me and said, "mama!" I scooped her up and introduced her to her brother. We weren't at all alarmed that she was home alone.
And now I'm tearing up typing this. I wish she was here. I will never feel differently about that because I'm human. But I think it's ok for me to feel the joy of this new life. Anna is going to watch over us.