The women around me who are newly pregnant with their second children really have me on edge lately. Now, I know that I don't have to discuss babies, or pregnancy with them and it's ok to even avoid them entirely, but the levels of poor self-worth and the number of self-judgments are getting out of control.
I'm reading about mudita which is the ability to be truly happy for the good things that happen to other people and I'll write more about it soon because it is good stuff, but the point that sticks with me most right now is this:
The happiness and joy that others experience does not lessen the happiness and joy that I experience.
There is not a limited amount of joy that all inhabitants of the world must share; joy is not a resource that we have to compete for.
I was walking behind someone who I suspect is pregnant with her second baby, kind of critiquing her outfit (short skirt with tennis shoes), then wondering how she has such muscular calves when she has a child under 2. And that is how quickly self-judgments happen! She has a beautiful family and shapely legs while I have no family and am struggling with my weight. I made myself feel inadequate by comparing my life to hers - she did nothing!
Then I remembered "her joy does not diminish my joy", and that really did make me feel better :)
Then the train of thought jumped to thinking about what it would be like to mother a child and then I remembered that because I had a son I am a mother, but the action of mothering a missing baby is very different than caring for a living child.
What does a babylost mama do to mother her missing baby? Are there any tangible mothering activities?
Here's what I do:
1. I raise money and walk in the March for Babies. This is something that I do to remind people that Toren existed, raise awareness that sometimes - too many times - pregnancies do not end with a new member of the family, and to help prevent future parents from bringing home a memory box instead of a live baby.
2. I let Toren know he is loved. Ok, this isn't so tangible. I don't know what happens after death. Heaven?, reincarnation?, nothing? - this is just a question that is too big for me, but I know what personal mix of these gives me comfort so that is what I go with. Anyway, believing that Toren's soul is out there somewhere I let him know that he is dearly loved. I don't know where his soul was before he came to me and I don't know where he went to or where his journey will take him. Living can be so hard sometimes - there are people who are not loved and treasured as much as we all deserve. Whatever path Toren's soul takes, at least for his time here on Earth with me he was loved unconditionally, and he is deeply loved still, and he will be treasured as my dear son forever. Perhaps it means something.
That's all I've thought of so far.
How do you mother your lost baby or babies?