Pregnancy Loss Part 4: Guilt After Loss

Last week I shared a post on “life with two kids”. It is something I get asked about often after having Eleanor- the transition from one to two. I discussed part of my struggle to answer that question in this post, but really it’s so much more than that. Our journey to having two healthy babies wasn’t an easy one.

Eleanor isn’t my second baby, she’s my third. But she is my second baby that is living. It’s a number I really struggle with and it’s so much more complicated than I can even begin to explain.

Not a day goes by that I don’t think of the baby we lost. But when I do, I sometimes feel guilty. If we hadn’t miscarried we wouldn’t have Eleanor. The timing just wouldn’t have been possible. In full disclosure, Eleanor was conceived before the due date of our lost pregnancy. So had I never lost that baby, Eleanor wouldn’t be here.

Knowing this sometimes makes me feel guilty, like I can’t love both babies. Like I can’t grieve the loss of my second baby and still fully love Eleanor.

Trust me, I know how ridiculous that sounds. There is no rule that says I can’t love all my babies. That I can’t grieve the loss of one while still being overwhelmingly thankful for the others.

Miscarriage is complicated, so is motherhood. The pain and the grief might fade overtime, but the love never does. There will never be a day that I don’t feel love for every single one of my babies, whether they are here with me or not. Love doesn’t end when life does. Continuing to love after loss allows us to carry someone with us and give life to them, life that they wouldn’t otherwise have. It’s ok to carry that baby with me. They are a part of me and a part of my family. I can continue to love, honor and think of them without detracting from my love for the babies I have earth side.

So while I talk about “life with two” please know that it is not lost on me how lucky I am to have my babies. I feel that luck in such an intensified way. Especially because for a brief time I wasn’t sure if there would ever be a day that I would have the blessing of experiencing “life with two”.

So whatever stage of parenthood you are in; waiting, hoping, praying, grieving, enjoying, celebrating, reminiscing- you are not alone. I’ve said it before and I will continue to shout it always, FEEL WHAT YOU NEED TO FEEL. There is no right or wrong.

*After my miscarriage connecting with other women who had similar experiences helped me to process my grief. If you are struggling, I strongly encourage reaching out to someone whether it be a friend, family member, or medical professional.

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