This is one of those posts where I ponder the vastness of the questions surrounding the rest of my life, particularly the pregnancy and children aspects.
What IS the appropriate time to mourn for a baby that was never born alive? Everyone says it depends on your mental and physical healing...but that is really not helpful at all. Yea, yea, yea...trust your instincts. My instincts didn't do me a damn bit of good last time, so I'm not sure trusting them right now will provide me a moment of peace or comfort.
If I have another baby, I feel like I'm a fraud. Like I wanted Alex, but I can't have him, so I'll settle for a different baby. We were only supposed to have two...Alex was our last. So will I look at any subsequent child like that...like a replacement...like a compromise child?
It's not that I doubt I will love any baby we welcome into the world. It's that I don't ever want that child to feel like s/he wasn't supposed to happen...and only was blessed with life because of the death of his/her sibling. I would never SAY that obviously...but kids are smart. It didn't take me too long as a kid to figure out I was an oops. Married in August...I was born in February...the math ain't difficult. So how would I answer the questions when I can't even answer the questions for myself?
And in this situation, if we have a girl, I'll always feel sad that I don't have my two boys. If we have a boy, I'll always feel sad that it isn't Alex.
But then again, I wanted a baby. I wanted Alex. I can't have Alex. Is it really so wrong to admit that I still want a baby? If I could make it Alex, I would. But I can't...so am I really settling?
I've never really felt sad when I saw other new babies. I know women who can't even look at other babies. I'm excited when I hear a friend may be pregnant. Sure, there is a pang of longing and a definite stab of sadness...but it isn't so much so that I'm incapacitated. Did I just not love Alex as much as I should have? I remember being in the first trimester and feeling like I hadn't really bonded with him. Did he get cheated? Is he getting cheated by my not remembering him with the level of grief that I should?
OY! This is so complicated.
I know I'm not really cheating him...he's dead after all...he really can't feel cheated or unloved or whatever. But I'm worried that maybe there is something essentially defective about my capacity to mother that makes me feel less than I should. I mean, if something, God forbid, happened to Sam, I could never just replace him with another. So what makes this different? The fact that I CAN?
I mean, Alex didn't really have that full personality like Sam does...so I can always fill in the lines with whatever I want from my imagination. I CAN replace Alex, in a sense, because he was a relatively blank slate...the next baby will come into the world with essentially the same personality...newborn...no good or bad for quite some time.
Am I just trying to make my life fit into that plan that I planned? Have I just not given up my urge to control things? I mean, what is wrong with the life I have now? Why can't I just accept the way things turned out and move forward?
Part of me really wants to have a sibling for Sam. I've heard so much about how great it is to watch your kids interact and grow together. I was really looking forward to that with Sam and Alex. So now I think I would like to still give Sam a sibling. But is that the right reason to replace Alex?
Steve wants another baby so bad he can barely hide it...oh heck...he can't hide it at all. But again, is that the right reason to replace Alex?
Am I to pretend Alex didn't exist and make the decision the same way I made it before...taking into account all these reasons and deciding what is best for everyone?
Or do I just let it go, and let life happen? No plans, no worries, no guilt?
I know most of these questions don't have real answers...so maybe I'll just ponder them for a while and see where it leads me.