Before her birth I had told myself that it would be ok to feel grief and sadness that day. I had anticipated feeling a lot of grief that day. I thought that Lacey's arrival would make me ache for Tenley more than I already had. But on the day of Lacey's birth that was not the case; I was so overwhelmed with joy that day that I did not feel any grief. I took in every moment special moment with Lacey and did not hold back my happiness. I held her all day, kissed her sweet face, and constantly told her how much I love her. It was one the best days of my life!
During our hospital stay I was on cloud nine (the lack of sleep and pain pills were part of that). I was amazed at how different Lacey's delivery was from Tenley's. During that time I continually thanked God for blessing us with Lacey and making her strong and healthy.
When we came home from the hospital grief began to hit me. I was in Lacey's room rocking her to sleep when I had a moment. I looked at her and again overwhelmed with love, and I couldn't believe this perfect little being was mine! And that is when it hit me that I missed even more with Tenley than I have thought. I had missed rocking her to sleep, feeding her, soothing her when she cried, and learning all the things she liked and disliked.
Over the last two and half years I have grieved Tenley and all that could have been. I had thought about missing her first day of Kindergarten, her graduation, her wedding day, and all other big life events. What I had not thought about was the all the little moments I had missed with her as a newborn. I had didn't know how strong of a connection a mother and her baby could have when they have more time for it to grow.
Grieving a child never ends. I know that as Lacey grows up I will have many more moments like this when I realize that I missed these experiences with Tenley. And although I have a beautiful, perfect little girl now... I am supposed to have two beautiful perfect little girls.
I love both my girls with every fiber of my body, but I love them differently. I wish I could love them the same, but what I have with each of them is very different. Either way, I am Tenley and Lacey's mom. Tenley made me a mom. Lacey gives me the title of mommy every day.
|My Beautiful Family|
Tenley's shoes are in the picture to represent her.
(photograph taken by Marele Strydom)