Life after loss with a newborn

Life after loss with a newborn

A strange, wonderful mix of joy, worry, love, guilt, happiness, and panic. The best word I could use to sum it up would be fear. When you’re used to bad things happening, you start to expect them, meaning I envision danger around every corner. The loss of a child shakes you to the core and leaves you with a lack of trust in the world and those in it.

I check to see if Lowen’s breathing countless times a day as I’m convinced one day he will just stop. In the car, I have to sit in the back so I can check him or if driving alone, I do it in silence so I can listen for his breathing. Sleeping at night is only possible because we have an apnea monitor which alerts us. After my worst nightmare coming true and having one precious child taken from us, I struggled to see that another couldn’t be.

The worry expands to how things will affect our son. Whether or not he will recognise my pain and the possible damage that could have on him. Also, the inevitable effect of having a sister who died will have too. As a parent, you want to protect your child from any pain and suffering but we cannot deny the impact our situation has and the events that happened before him.

Lowen gives us happiness that we never thought we’d feel again. He’s taught us how feelings can co-exist and we feel incredibly blessed to have him. Sadly the beautiful moments are often matched with overwhelming guilt. Guilt for the fact Lowen had medical professionals who listened and saved his life but Esme didn’t. Guilt that Lowen experiences things she can’t and is reaching milestones she never got to. I feel guilty when I watch him and I wish Esme was here too. Guilt for how Lowen has a sister he will never meet and thanks to our justice system, there won't be any repercussions for those who caused it.

It’s odd feeling excited that Lowen is in the world, whilst grieving my child that’s not. I feel Esme’s absence in everything we do and every picture I take but none of these thoughts or feelings take away any of the happiness from Lowen. He is a complete dream come true but as with all things baby loss, it’s a process and each new stage peals open a new layer of grief.
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