10 things I Have Learned in 3 months of Parenting After Loss

Things I have learned from 3 months of parenting after loss

  1. You will cry, you may not know when but it will happen, and it will probably happen a lot.

  2. There is an ache, deep in your soul when you think about your angel not growing up with their siblings, what helps me is looking at pictures of her and referring to number 1

  3. Emotions are confusing, you may go from overjoyed and happy to utterly heartbroken and often you feel both at once. This is your new normal.

  4. Getting up in the middle of the night with your baby is no longer a big deal. The more time I spend with him the better.

  5. Mom guilt is bad. I am overjoyed with having Arlo, but there is that pang of guilt that tells me that I am not sad enough to be mourning Scarlett. Refer to number 3. There is guilt about leaving your baby at daycare or with family. I wish I could keep him with me all day everyday but that is not possible for us. So so much guilt.

  6. People will forget that you had a child already, they will say things like “oh just wait till you have a 6 month old or 1 year old” or something hurtful like that.  I had a 6 month old, I had a 1 year old, I am not a new momma.

  7. Forgiveness comes easier, like with number 6. Staying mad at something like that feels so small in the face of what we have been through. It feels so much lighter to just forgive.

  8. Hand-me-downs become gold. It’s hard with having a girl and a boy but anything of Scarlett’s that I can put Arlo in is a treasure.

  9. You talk about your Angel more. We talk about Scarlett all the time now we say “Did she ever do that?” “Remember when she did this?” “Oh Scarlett did that same thing!” It is so nice to have her name on my tongue that much!

  10. Your heart grows. I didn’t have to split my love in between Scarlett and Arlo. My love for Arlo is the same as my love for Scarlett my heart is just that much bigger.

Arlo has not healed us. This is not to say that he hasn’t been healing for us but we are not magically cured of all grief because we have another child. Parenting after loss has been so beautiful, so hard, and so rewarding. I think that is what healing is, emphasis on the –ing, we will never be fully healed we will always be in a state of healing, and that is OKAY! I don’t see that as a sad or tragic thing (never to be healed) I see it as a relationship with my grief. It will always be there, forever, no matter what. So I need to learn and continue to learn how to accept my grief, let it into my life and to be honest, learn to love it. I am large and I contained multitudes (just like every single person) the grief of losing my daughter is just one of many parts of me, but to be wholly authentic we must accept all of ourselves, all of our multitudes.  In an unexpected and beautiful way Arlo has brought me closer to Scarlett. When I look in his eyes (of course I see him!) but I see Scarlett too. I can tell that they know each other, I can feel her with him. When I dream they are always together, they are best friends. They will have a beautiful relationship even with her in Heaven, and that makes me the happiest momma ever.