Our beautiful baby daughter Anabelle was born sleeping June 2010.
Blessed with the screaming arrivals of our gorgeous rainbow sons,
Alexander October 2011, Zachary November 2013 and Lucas July 2016.

After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows
Heartbreak. Joy. Death. Life. But most of all Love.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

The Guilt Of A Mother

Last night I came across this blog post about Mummy guilt over at Water Birth Please. It really hit me, resonated with me. Made me realise how powerfully so many of us are affected by the things we do, or don't do, or things that have happened to our families. How we carry this guilt and hold onto it. 

It made me think about my own. What is the biggest guilt. What would be my sentence? 

There is lots of guilt. Lots of guilt over the things we didn't do with Anabelle, things I wish I'd done differently. I feel guilty that we didn't go to the hospital the night she died. I feel guilty that we waited until the morning. I feel guilty that she died at all and I failed her. I feel guilty that I didn't hold her one more time in the chapel of rest. I was scared to move her body but how I wish I'd picked her up just one more time. I feel guilty that she went into the ground before I'd had a chance to touch her coffin and say goodbye just one last time.It all happened too quickly. I feel guilty that she travelled in the boot of a car alone, instead of on our laps. 

Lots of guilt about how her death continues to affect our family so acutely. How I cope, or not cope with Anabelle's death. I worry all the time how her death and the person I am because of it will affect Alexander and Zachary. Even though I know there could be no doubt about how much they are loved (Xander is told multiple times day that we love him, probably told too often and smothered in our love!), I worry that they'll feel inadequate because I hurt so badly for their sister. Especially over significant days like Mother's Day. A day I just don't do well with, and wish I could avoid; only now we have two other children and it should be a celebration of them, as much as their sisters absence is noted.   

But if I had to wrap my specific guilt for Alexander, in one sentence, it would be this:

I feel guilty because 
we wouldn't have you if your sister had lived. 

It is unlikely (although I know not impossible) that we would have had them both. We would never have planned them both if things had been different. This little boy, who is my absolute world, only exists because his sister does not.  We started trying to conceive again six months after Anabelle died and was pregnant with Alexander two months later. Eight months between pregnancies. We wouldn't have planned that if she had lived. He could have been an accident, but it is unlikely. 

Sometimes when I wish for her it feels like I'm wishing him away.  


Anonymous said...

I totally identify with every word of your blog. When your boys are grown men I can promise you one thing....they will never, ever blame you for anything you did or didn't do. I am lucky to have Danny - now a father himself and almost 32 years old. Losing two of his brothers has made him a compassionate, caring, loving man. He, like all of us, was devastated when his brothers died but we have 'come through IT.' We talk constantly about Gareth & Matty but now it is with humour and 'remember whens.' You and your hubby are amazing parents. You are not wishing your sons away you are grieving for the loss of your daughter. I wish you all the luck in the world and am always here for you whenever you need a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on. Love Shabbs xx

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After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows. I'm Caz, Mummy to beautiful angel Belle and my wonderful rainbow boys, Xander, Zachy and Luc. Wife to Jon. Twitter @cazem Instagram @cazzyem
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