Before I got pregnant with Dylan, Justin and I decided that we wanted our kids to be close in age (roughly a year or so apart). Having a daughter less than a year after losing our firstborn is not exactly how I expected our story would go. And now, Dylan's death has affected so much in our lives including every subsequent pregnancy from now on. With Faith here, preparing for a 3rd is not yet a reality, and we're finding more and more reasons to keep lengthening that age gap.
First, there's the fear of another baby dying. (I'm certain that will never go away now. When I was pregnant with Dylan, there was never a fear of him dying. It just wasn't part of my reality. Even when we found out about his heart condition, it never occured to me that he would die. But once pregnancy and infant death become a reality in one's life, that reality never goes away.)
Then, there's the fear of me dying. (It rarely happens anymore, I know, but the reality of dying after labor hit close to home earlier this year when a high school friend died after giving birth to her daughter. The fact that I'm considered a high-risk pregnancy because of my blood pressure coupled with our luck with odds, I just know it's a distinct possibility. For me, the greater issue with this one would be leaving my kids without a mother and Justin without a wife.)
Finally, there's the fear of failing. (As a mother. As a wife. With God. In my healing. In my hope. In my grief. At raising our kids. At any of it. At all of it.)
"Sometimes I can't see you anymore. I forget things about you, and I'm afraid that I'm losing us. . . . like the way you smelled . . . and how you felt in my arms. If I let someone in, I'll erase you. I can't. It's not fair. We were supposed to have more time. I don't want to lose us." -paraphrased from One Tree Hill (a conversation between a man and his dead wife)
I wonder if this affects how my relationship evolves with Faith. I mean, I don't think I can reiterate enough how much I love my daughter, but I wonder if it's stifled by the fears of letting someone in again. I'm not afraid of forgetting Dylan per se, I just don't want our memories with him to fade.
"The other night dear, as I lay sleeping
I dreamed I held you in my arms
But when I awoke, dear, I was mistaken
So I hung my head and I cried.
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You'll never know dear, how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away"