When I found out I was pregnant with Phoenix, I panicked. She was a surprise, and so soon after the death of her brother, she was a risk. For the first several months of my pregnancy, I was terrified of the trigger I knew a new baby would be, not just after loss, but after how traumatic our loss had been.
I felt guilt, guilt based in carrying new life after the end of Sloan’s. I spent so much of those days drowning in my own grief and self doubt. Would I be able to love her? Would we be able to give her the mother and father she deserves? Not one overcome and preoccupied by the death of her brother before her? Would this be fair to Rowan? How would he cope with yet another enormous upheaval in his life? Would he be able to bond with her? Or would his love for her be marred by what happened to his brother?
As the day of her birth drew nearer, my mind cleared from the fog of doubt. Rowan’s excitement became my own, Justin and I reveled in his joy, which encouraged our own. And then, she was here. We could hold her, smell her, hear her cry. She was absolutely everything we didn’t know we wanted again. She was a born healer, whether she would ever know it or not.
Today that 4 month old little baby girl has her very own pieces of our hearts. She is her own, feisty, spirited, strong, beautiful little being, and she will never have to wonder whether she was needed. Because she was wanted, and that matters more.