For a long time after Oberon died, we didn’t make any huge decisions. We still wanted a family with living children, so we focused on that. We’ve been so focused on having a living baby and caring for a living baby…that we haven’t thought about much else.

I feel so unprepared for what’s to come.

Preschool? Do we enter a lottery or take our assigned public school? Do we stay here or move closer to family?

A very big part of me wants to check out and make no decisions. One day at a time, try to make them happy days, and let everything work itself out. I’ll just be a passenger. Then comes the mom guilt. With an extra special layer of loss mom guilt.

Would I be more proactive in shaping my living child’s life if his brother didn’t die? Would I have the energy to research and plan, to coordinate and schedule? Is getting by good enough?

For so long, I couldn’t do anything beyond getting by.

That was baseline, from the moment we found out how serious Oberon’s health issues were to maybe a few months ago. For the past three and a half years, two pregnancies after loss, and new house, I haven’t been able to think more than a month or so into the future. All of a sudden, I’m panicking about the future.

Am I giving my living children enough enrichment? Am I doing them harm living far away from the ones who arguably love them the most (besides us)? Am I doing our family unit harm having no one nearby to help? Should I quit work? Should I get a different job?

There’s no way to know, but it seems like everything is heightened after experiencing infant loss.

The magnitude of grief and loss is still palpable, even if I’ve learned to cope with it day to day. I know, at a visceral level, what it’s like to lose someone. I know how much life can change in a moment, and odds are we won’t see it coming.

So I’m back to paralyzed. Unable to make a decision, but terrified that getting by isn’t good enough. And if it isn’t good enough now, was it ever good enough to just get by? Did I coast when I should have been more? It’s a question that may haunt me the rest of my life, scared that the fog of loss kept me from being the best parent I could be. That I let it.

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