Monday, January 9, 2012

If You're Happy and You Know It . . .

Today has been full of love. It’s amazing to see just how excited other people are for this baby. That this baby is so wished for and longed for by people we have never met or known only a few months or who have been in our lives as long as we can remember.

This new stage in our lives is so strange. We’re elated, but at the same time we never wanted this. We weren’t planning on having our next baby for at least another two years. My thoughts sometimes start to drift into ideas of ‘if I could have, I would have chosen Ryann instead of this baby’ or ‘we’re only having this baby because Ryann died’.

I’ve been so caught up in the idea of this new baby that last night when I realized I hadn’t sat down to rummage through Ryann’s pictures in over a week, I cried. I cried out of guilt and anger. Guilt that I feel  so happy and on the other hand guilt for feeling that I love Ryann more this new one. And I’m angry that I feel like this, angry that I’m put in this position, and angry at myself because I know that I don’t actually have anything to feel guilty about. I didn’t have the choice to choose Ryann, it wasn’t an option. I love Ryann, she will always be my firstborn, but sadly she will also always be my baby. I hate that she’s gone, but I had no choice in that. I would have chosen her, but it wasn't a choice I had.

I have a choice with this one. I have chosen to move forward, to remember Ryann and make new happy memories. To have another baby to love and to hold, and God-willing, to see grow old. I have to remind myself constantly that it's not wrong to feel sad, but it's also not wrong to be happy. And I am happy. I'm joyful. I refuse to lose anymore experiences or memories of my children, be it through chance or by unintentional choice. And for now, I am content.

Jared surveying the 'blank' canvases of
Rauschenberg's White Paintings at the Chicago Art Institute


  1. I have never lost a child but I did have the smae feelings of guilt when I was guilty with our second and now third child. I've felt, how could I possibly love this child more than I love Shepherd or Deacon. But one of the miracles of having another child, is that your heart seems to grow more than you can imagine. You find a new love and a new place in your heart that you didn't know was there. I think feeling guilty is normal and expected. Know that I've been praying for you and I'm so happy for your new coming edition!

  2. Yes...Ryann will always be your baby. And that's how we'll always remember her, too. And that hurts. A lot. But it also makes me smile because Ryann was so wonderful! She was so happy and cheerful and hilarious. What a way to remember a person! No, you couldn't choose. And that, frankly, sucks. But there are things you CAN choose, and you're right - being excited for this new happy chapter in your life is one way to be in control of your life. To choose. And I, for one, cannot wait to meet Ryann's little brother or sister.