I almost forgot! Here's a gem from Friday that I think you'll appreciate...
All the books on grief tell you to ask your pediatrician about how to help your living child deal with the death of a sibling. All the books say to consult with the pediatrician about how to handle the possibility of another pregnancy.
Now let me tell you what you will get from your pediatrician...
A look of horror...an "I'm so sorry to hear that"...and advice to pretend nothing happened or is happening. Yes, you heard me right...pretend like nothing happened or is happening. His advice? Break Sam of the "I want up" habit now, so we won't have to explain why I can't pick him up if I get pregnant again. And THEN, when my belly starts to grow, explain it as little as possible so that if we experience another loss, we won't have to deal with it or worry about it.
OH. MY. GOD.
I just don't even know what to say. I wanted to grab him by the throat, this highly trained medical professional, and shake the living shit out of him. THIS is the advice he is giving people?!?! You have got to freaking be kidding me?!?!?
Yes, my son is sad that Baby Alex didn't come home. But should I have pretended? Should I have glossed over the truth for my son's well-being and mental health? Should I have denied him the opportunity to know his brother for the short time that he had?
My advice...don't bother asking your pediatrician. Ask someone like a grief counselor or someone who has some hope of knowing what they're talking about.
Maybe I've screwed up my Sam for life. Maybe his mental health will never recover. But I feel a lot better about scarring him with the truth and letting him love his brother, than I would if I had lied to him or kept the truth from him in order to protect him. I guess I'll just have to hope that he feels the same way when he is older.