Friday, 6 April 2012

You know those realisations that come from nowhere and completely blow your mind?

As a direct result of losing the baby i effectively ditched half my friends.

Leaving aside the rights and wrongs, the who-treated-who-like-crap and the you-should've-been-there-for-me... It meant that i had very few baby friends and none with babies the same age. I needed to make new ones and i did.

I also have babylost friends who have also gone on to have living children since.

It wasn't deliberate but they are nearly all Attachment Parenting mums.

If i hadn't lost s, well... I very much doubt that would have been the case. The mums i knew were very different and have very different parenting styles.

... I can't explain this properly. But i think i've ended up a far more responsive, confident mum than i would otherwise have been.

I think it's that thing about not being *glad* about what you've lost, that would be insane, but being thankful for the gifts your loss brings when you come across them.

Am i making any sense at all???


Catherine W said...

You make sense to me. I don't know that my parenting style has changed as much as my outlook has. I always loved the ethos of attachment parenting but I think that having Jessica so prem helped me stay flexible. Before she was born I would have been devastated to think that I wouldn't breastfeed or be able to sling but it is harder with a child that can't breathe and swallow simultaneously and that needs an oxygen cylinder lugged around after her!
Now I just muddle along hopefully! I think that I appreciate the bits I can do more, like breastfeeding R has been such a joy to me because I couldn't do it for my first two. And the sheer aliveness of them absolutely blows my mind, even now, even at 5 in the morning! I don't like to think I gained anything from Georgina's short little life that I would not have gained from her growing up as I hoped but yes, I'm thankful for the changes that she wrought upon me, most certainly.

Big Love, Big Acceptance - or so I say said...

Yes - this makes complete sense to me. For lack of a better word, I know there are times Allie has "benefited" from our loss of Acacia. Although as I type that I also think that in some "normal" way (i.e. a family that doesn't have a dead baby), doesn't a second child often benefit from the first? So it's "normal" for Allie to have benefited from Acacia.

But with Allie, I have been much more into reading up on attachment parenting and learning about brain development to use that to parent better to (like reading about discipline and how to do that with brain development in mind so I can actually have some somewhat realistic expectations of Allie), and overall - just to parent more intentionally. Not that I think I would have been a horrible mother with Acacia, but she made me a better mom to Allie.

Helene said...

Yep, this makes sence to me too. I think that I have become a much more empathetic and, responsible person after losing Andreas. Characteristics which of course also have made me a better mother than I otherwise would have been. I've learned not to take my loved ones for granted and, that in it's turn has taught me to always, always, let my children know how important they are to me. I may not get the chance to show them tomorrow...

Aoife said...

As I'm coming to the end of this pregnancy now, my thoughts are turning more and more towards parenting (how reckless and presumptuous of me!)... I wonder, what kind of parent would I have been if Seamus hadn't died? What kind of parent will I be now? I'm not allowing myself to do any reading about it yet, but, fingers crossed, if all goes well, I expect that the death of my son will have a huge impact on how I raise this little fella - I can only hope it will make me a better Mum.

Jenn said...

Yes. Had a conversation recently about how all the small stuff doesn't matter anymore. Sleep? eh. Crying in the car? Well we just won't go anywhere. Nursing all the time? There are far worse things.

My great aunt told me of how she would sit up at night just watching her babies sleep, how she loved to rock them as long as they wanted, how she would never regret those times as sleepy as she might have been. And both her babies were adopted - she knew what it was to really want a child. I think the longing does make a difference.

Hope's Mama said...

You make total sense to me. I found this has become even more apparent to me after having Juliet, as I have relaxed in to my parenting even more. I think I am a much better parent because Hope died, as sad as that really is.

Fireflyforever said...

I hope it's okay to leave a comment for the very firs time.

It's just that it makes total sense to me. I parented two living children before Emma died and I was, by instinct, relatively AP but I would have called myself "the crunchy end of mainstream". Parenting my son after my daughter's death I'd put myself more at the "mainstream end of crunchy". I didn't want to be separated from him at all so wrapping him, co-sleeping and (still!) breastfeeding him engender a sense of security for both of us.

(P.S. We both use the same AP forum and I noticed you posting in the local (I'm in the NE too) section and realised the "you" on the forum must be "you" of your blog so I wanted to out myself as reading here!!! Hope thats okay!)