My second child was born on August 8, 2020. He is my second child, but my first born. Holding him and loving on him in my arms shows me how much I was missing when we lost our Sweet Pea to miscarriage. The birth went beautifully and was followed by a complication that led to an OR visit. Despite such an incredible birth and beautiful son, the healing process was slow. Very slow. Some of the healing was because I had just given birth and some was because of the complication. Either way, I wasn’t well enough to leave the house for 10 days.
When I finally felt confident enough to walk into town I couldn’t wait to put my little love in his pram and push him around. I had been dreaming of this. We left our flat and took the tram to the city center. I was grinning from ear to ear as I finally had a reason to use those stroller ramps. I pushed that pram past beautiful Dutch row houses and tried to make eye contact with every passer by. I pushed it beside canals and over bridges. It rumbled on the cobblestones and with every step I felt like I was floating.
When I got home it hit me. It hit me hard. Not only was this something I had been longing for, it was something a lot of families have been longing for. I took my newborn out of his pram and into my arms. I began to cry. I wondered how many people saw my happiness as their pain. I’ve been there. I remember all of the times I saw happy moms and my heart was full of rage. Why didn’t I have that? Why was my baby dead? How long will I see their happiness as my pain?
Today is pregnancy and infant loss remembrance day. Today is a day I was only vaguely aware of before March of 2019. Today is a day that meant very little to me because it hadn’t effected me personally. Now it has. Having a beautiful little boy in my arms doesn’t take away the pain of pregnancy loss. My son is not a replacement baby. He is a second baby.
So today, I want you to know that I see you. I may be pushing a pram, and I may have a little one sleeping in a bassinet, but I have not forgotten how it feels. I know what it’s like to be jealous of the mom with the screaming toddler. I know what it’s like to feel hollow inside. I know what its like to count milestones that will never come. I see you.
As I light a candle tonight for my Sweet Pea, I light one for your child, too. I see you.