10 Promises To My Rainbow Baby

By |2018-06-07T19:50:36+00:00June 7th, 2018|Parenting After Loss|0 Comments

Photo by Abby Alger Photography

1. I will love you.

You are here, and I will love you. I will take that love and use it to make sure you are warm, fed, and comforted. I will love you even when I can barely function. I will come back to this love again and again.

2. I will dress you in rainbows.

For photo shoots, for family gatherings, just because. It will happen.

3. But not always.

I promise not every nice picture of you will have rainbows.

4. I will talk about your brother.

You will know about him because he is part of our family. Part of our story. It will never be taboo to say his name or ask questions. He is mine, and he is yours too.

5. I will not let the guilt overpower me.

When it happens, when I feel I’m not doing enough for you or for your brother, I will be gentle with myself. I will do so to help the guilt pass so I don’t get lost in it. I will do my best to balance being a mom to you and being a mom to your brother, and accept that it is my best.

6. I will cry at weird times.

It might not make sense to you, and it might not make sense to me. Maybe when you go to kindergarten, maybe a random Thursday, maybe when you give me a Mother’s Day project…it will happen. Sometimes a teardrop I can blink back, sometimes a waterfall.

7. I will grieve in front of you.

I know it will happen. Some days I will be prepared for it, other days it will surprise me. It might impact my ability to be fully present with you, and for that I apologize. But I want you to know that grief is OK. Grieving is OK, it is how we cope with loss. It is how we express love, and I want you to witness the love I have for your brother.

8. I won’t expect you to grieve like me.

Maybe you will. Maybe you won’t. I will never force you to participate in my grief rituals. I hope you find ways to include your brother in your life, but I won’t make you.

9. I will let you be yourself.

You are not your sibling. You are not responsible for living enough for the both of you. You only need to be your individual, wonderful, perfect self.

10. You don’t have to fix me.

You are not in charge of making me OK. You are not responsible for bringing me back or healing my heart. Things may happen incidentally because I love being your mom, but it is not your job. Your job is to be you. To grow. To play. I’m the mom. I take care of you.

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About the Author:

Elizabeth Thoma
Elizabeth Thoma lives in the Bay Area, California, with her husband, Chris, and two cats, JJ and Pepper. She found out she was expecting their first child Mother’s Day weekend, 2014. With mild symptoms and no significant early warning signs, they adjusted to pregnancy and eagerly planned for their growing family. At the second trimester anatomy scan, they found out they were having a son and that he had an abdominal wall defect, an omphalocele. Ever the planners, Elizabeth and Chris prepared themselves and their families for what the omphalocele meant in a best-case scenario, and some of the possibilities that couldn’t be diagnosed in utero. Their son, Oberon, was born six weeks early and had his omphalocele surgery within his first twelve hours of life. The surgery went well, but Obie was having trouble breathing. At first, the doctors thought it was related to his large tongue, one of the many indicators that he had Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome. When Obie was one week old, the doctors told Chris and Elizabeth that somewhere along the line, Obie’s brain stopped developing. While they could control his seizures somewhat with heavy medication, Obie’s brain would never develop and he would not be able to walk, talk, or even communicate. At this point, they decided to switch Obie to comfort care and try to take him home from the NICU. They successfully broke out of the NICU and Obie rode home in an ambulance. Bringing their son home brought much comfort to their family. Obie passed away at home in his daddy’s arms at 33 days old. Elizabeth found out she was pregnant with their second child a week after Mother’s Day, 2015. Her second son, Everett, was born January 7, 2016. Elizabeth and Chris blog at about their family at Our Little Beastie.

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