Life after loss.

Here I sit staring into the face of the most beautiful little girl I’ve ever seen with tear filled eyes. She’s my rainbow, and gave me something I had absolutely no idea I even needed until she entered my world. Even with all the joy she’s brought me there’s a huge gaping hole in my heart that will never be filled.

I used to hate the term “rainbow baby” because I don’t picture Tyler as a storm of any sort. If anything, he was a ray of light that filled my life in the most unexpected of ways. However that’s what Abigail is, a rainbow. She put color back into my life after everything went dark for what felt like eternity. Tyler’s life was not a storm, however, life after his loss was total devistaton.

Today our sweet Abby is 27 days old. The same age my handsome little man was at the time we lost him. To top it off, it’s October 9th which means T would have been 21 months old at 12:15 on the dot. So many emotions and mental confusion have boggled my mind throughout the day.

Caring for her new little life after such a loss is the second hardest thing I’ve ever faced in my lifetime. I don’t sleep out of fear that when I wake she won’t be here. I watch her breathing when I set her down in her crib or her car seat. Anxiety takes over anytime she sneezes or has a small cough. I fear taking her into public places or around people who only want to touch her. I can’t even fathom losing such a precious gift again and fear that I’m not giving her everything she needs.

She is so small and perfect just like her brother. My heart has never been so full! I never in a million years thought I’d ever mutter those words again. Yet here I sit, happy, sad, blessed, and wonderfully tired.

Being a grief mom looks like what you’d expect; a woman who’s world has been swept from under her. Her life is filled with endless tears, and very long, lonely nights. It’s days that don’t seem so bad, making you think you’ve gotten a grip over your own emotions. Yet when you get a whiff of a familiar scent, hear the first few chords of a song that sits in your soul, or see a photo of your precious baby; life as you know it is again turned upside down. Grief is ugly, it is raw, it has no boundaries, no predestined time line, it’s a life filled with guilt and despair and is far from prejudice. Being a grief parent is simply hard and I wish those daily struggles upon no one.

Many seem to believe life after loss somehow replaces the life that was taken. My friend, I can tell you wholeheartedly that it doesn’t even come close. Abby is truly a gift, a gift from God in her big brothers timing, no doubt. She brings so much joy to my world but with it an abundance of fear. I often worry that I’m not doing this parent thing right. That I’m somehow failing her in the ways I feel I failed Tyler. I want to keep her from the outside world and hoard her away until I know others can safely touch her and enjoy the personality I already see developing day by day. Essentially, life after loss is high functioning anxiety, it’s that ongoing grief from baby T, it’s joy in its purest form but still has that little dark cloud that eats at your heart.

Being a parent in general is rough, I’m sure of it. We all just want to do what’s best for our children and most are willing to do whatever it takes to see that they’re happy and healthy at all times. If you’re reading this, and you have little tots of your own, know that I’m praying for you. I’m praying you find patience on the days when it feels like too much to bear. (Trust me, they’re worth every bit!) I’m praying you get to watch them grow and hit every milestone you once did. I’m praying that you never take a single day for granted and that their small and fragile lives bless each day of yours! Know how fortunate you are to have been given the best gift of all. I know I sure am.

Abby is protected now and always by her brother Tyler. They are both the reasons for my existence, I know it in my heart. T made me a momma and helped prepare me for this journey with Abigail. I’m all in for both my babies. I’ll never stop speaking Tyler’s name and I’ll be sure that Abby knows and loves him just as we do.

What a glorious day in heaven it’ll be when we’re all reunited together again.

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