I have been slacking on my blog. I think about writing often and have a lot on my mind to write about but I seldom get around to sitting in front of my computer to focus on a topic.
Life as a mom of a living child is amazing. I am more in love with this tiny human than I thought was possible. Michaela fills my days with happiness! Even though I’m over the moon about Michaela, I often think about Joshua. Perhaps less often than I used to, but I think of him every day. It’s easier to talk about him and I cry much less often than I used to. Sometimes I think about when we lost Joshua; internally I’m sad but the tears can’t find their way out, even when I try really hard to release my emotions.
Now that I have a little human to take care of, she takes up so much of my day. As many “first time” moms, I obsess over whether Michaela is breathing – especially when she’s sleeping. But being a mom who has had a baby who died, I’m almost compulsive about it. Michaela actually slept in my arms until my husband and I were ready to go to bed until she was 3 months old. She slept in a crib next to my side of the bed until she was 5 months old so I could peek in her crib whenever I woke at night. She’s now in her crib in her own room but I still check on her multiple times before we go to bed and check the monitor when I wake up in the middle of the night. One night I came to bed after checking on her and asked my husband, “do you think I’ll be checking in her when she’s 5?” He laughed, “of course you will!” He laughs at me but he’s the same!
I will also reach my hand back when she’s asleep in the car to feel if she’s breathing. Or I stop and watch her tummy go up and down when she sleeping in her stroller or car seat. I’m always checking on her. I believe it’s because when Joshua was born, although he wasn’t breathing, he looked alive. To me, there wasn’t anything about him that looked dead. So when I look at how peaceful Michaela is when she’s sleeping, sometimes I see her and think of how peaceful Joshua looked.
My husband and I call each other the Safety Police. We know we are overprotective when it comes to certain things. Perhaps we would have been the same way with Joshua, perhaps not. What we went through with Joshua shaped how we are parenting today. We know not everyone will agree with our rules or reasoning behind things; we are okay with that. She’s our daughter and we should be able to parent her the way we wish.
Soon after we had Michaela, I would often feel trapped by my fears. I was afraid something I would do would harm her in some way. What if I don’t wash my hands and she gets sick. What if I let her suck on a hand-me-down toy that’s made with BPA plastic and she gets cancer? What if I do this and she gets that? Statements like that still go through my head on occassion.
Let’s see, what are some things I’m the Safety Police on?!? I wash my hands a million times a day that I started making our own foaming soap! I triple check the car seat straps to make sure they are tight enough. I pull up on the car seat when I set it in the base to make sure it’s locked in place. I make sure she sleeps in light clothes, on her back, with a fan and a pacifier to reduce SIDS. I make her organic food myself and freeze it in glass containers. I limit my caffeine and alcohol intake because I’m breastfeeding and don’t want those in her milk. I don’t let certain people hold her while walking because I’m afraid they’ll drop her. She’s been babysat precisely 3 times in her almost 8 months.
The list could go on.
Some of these things will seem normal to one person and strange to another.
What are some idiosyncrasies other loss moms have?