Where am I now?
The last four and a half months since Noah's arrival have been a whirlwind. There have been such wonderful moments, but a lot of challenges too.
I've been pondering a lot about my current place with grief quite a lot lately. Am I better? Am I moving on? How has my heart changed since Noah's birth?
The answer to those first two questions is "no" but to be honest, there are times when guilt creeps in and tells me that perhaps I am moving on. My brain is often so occupied with my daily life that it feels as if I'm losing the space that Aria once occupied. I'm up to my ears in diapers and my life revolves around Noah's nursing schedule. Yet not that long ago my world rotated around Aria and not a whole lot else. It's hard not always being able to focus solely on her, but it's also such an immense blessing as it is because I now have her little brother in my arms. Even so, it shouldn't be this way. She should be here too. I still struggle with the reality that she isn't.
I will admit though, my heart has changed. For one, it has doubled in size. Noah now occupies a space the same size as Aria's, he has never taken a single square inch of the area that belongs to his sister. It's amazing how we can do that. I once worried I wasn't going to have room to love Noah just the same as I love her, but it turns out that I do. It is a relief like no other.
There was joy before Noah, I admit. We did manage to find moments of happiness after loss, and in the wait for him. But he has added so much more with his presence. His smile lights up my world in ways I never thought possible. The first time he laughed I burst into happy tears. He makes the mundane seem so much more exciting and new.
His arrival has also brought a new layer of grief. He is our first experience parenting a child on earth. He was our first birth that was cloaked in joy. He was the first child we got to bring home from the hospital. He was the first to wake us in the middle of the night, and the first to need unplanned baths because of blown out diapers. He was the first child to make eye contact with us, and smile upon seeing us picking him up out of his crib in the morning. So we never fully understood all that we missed out on with Aria until we had him. We cherish every little moment because we know what it is like to have a child but not be able to experience these things with them, too.
Parenting after loss is indeed bittersweet. But oh, is it sweet.