When a new baby is born after the death of a child, this is called a "Rainbow Baby". This mom explains to us what challenges she has faced since she has had her new little Rainbow Baby. Her first daughter died when she was five months old. As a personal note, I've known Courtney since she was in high school. She and my Logan were close friends. She has a special place in my heart as a mommy now.... And has given me sooooo many verbal gifts that have left me speechless.
I've been asked if having another baby makes the grief less. NO! It brings new challenges and different heartaches to your grief.
The lessons in Courtney's words can connect with all of us who have lost a child. Read these words and maybe you'll see yourself and not feel so alone. Thank you Courtney for sharing these thoughts.
I wish I could tell you that it's so easy to bring your new baby home and everything will be perfect, but I can't. Simply because it isn't. You're still missing your other child.
My biggest thing going into bringing my new baby home was not getting to see her older sister's reactions to meeting her new baby sister. It absolutely broke my heart. Pulled at a whole new set of grief heartstrings. I didn't even want to come home from the hospital. I was heartbroken that my kids would never get to play together, grow up together, cut each others hair, kiss each other, and do all of the funny loving things kids do together.
After five months, the truth is, I still feel this way. I get envious of my friends that have multiple kids and watch them play with their siblings. My child will only know her sister as being in Heaven. She will look to her for advice but she won't ever see her in the role of big sister.
It's heartbreaking, but I have found ways to finally see things in a different light. Such a true blessing LIFE really is. I never thought about how precious "life" was until it was lost in front of me.
When my second daughter was born, the first words out of my mouth- when they held her up for me to see- "she looks just like her sister" ... Part of me was so happy! What a blessing it is to see her sister in her! Part of her! Then I was sad too- it reminded me of what I lost every time I looked at her. It's still like that now. My daughter is 5 months now and still looks so so so much like her sister. Now-- It is usually giving me happiness. I know they are two seperate people, but it's lovely to see her sister coming out in her. I do admit it's still hard at times. I am entitled to be the "crazy mom" and I wont let anyone tell me any different. I am the super crazy mom. I never put her down, I am very stingy with her, I follow the book on everything- although I know ultimately every child is given to us by God and they are only ours to watch here on Earth. Still, I am very over protective. I have only let minimal people meet her in five months. Everyone wants to meet her, but I'm just scared I'll miss something that happens. I know now that time on earth with our children isn't promised, so I never want to leave her right now. To a mother who hasn't lost a baby this sounds absurd! "You mean you haven't left her yet for a date night, or night out, or whatever?" No. Plain and simple. I am completely entitled to feel this way. After all, this baby is a rainbow baby! (Editorial from Pamela- I AGREE! 100%%%%%. Hold sweet little baby girl tight! When she's older- if you are still feeling worried about leaving her... We will work through this together.)
Everyone argues with me and tells me that I need to relax, but I can't. I get anxiety just being away while I take a shower. Some say its not healthy to be like this, but in my opinion, they grow up so fast. This one year of my life isn't that long... In a year I may start to relax a little. But it's hard to adjust to life after loss.
The one thing I can say is my husband has completely blown me away. He is my rock. Right after our daughter passed away the preacher highly advised that we seek counseling as over 80% of couples that lose a baby end in divorce. A year later we were at a wedding and the same preacher approached us and was surprised we were still doing so well. I'm not sure I would still be sane without him. He is equally as crazy as I am and has never made me feel as if I'm too over protective. He's always there to hold me up when I'm falling. On my bad days he makes the day brighter.
Some couples struggle. I can totally see why. People grieve in totally different ways and I think in order for you to make a successful relationship, you must work after a loss. I have realized that there are two main components to grief.
**One. Never put a "time frame" on grief. You are always going to grieve. Things may get better, but you'll always have grief.
**Two. Let them grieve the way they want to. And be there for the other. Encourage positive grief instead of negative.
As soon as my daughter passed away I took a grief and loss class through my college and this has helped me TREMENDOUSLY!!! It helped me find ways to cope and listen to my husband. Through my own grief I wanted to be supportive to him as well.
To any new mama with a Rainbow baby- Take a deep breath! Everything will slowly fall into place. It takes time. You will love this baby so much it hurts, literally.... that's why God made mothers. He made us to love our children and to care for them. God is holding your hand through all of this. He is turning new pages in your chapter. Don't be afraid to take the time to study your new gift.
Hugs to each mama out there!