I have to admit that I was secretly patting myself on the back. Looks like I did some great grief-work in the past two years: I was handling the mommy thing really well. And the time I was spending with BB wasn't making me mourn for C. any more than a trip to the grocery store might. Nope, no "re-grieving" for me.
Apparently, it was just delayed. Delayed until the moment when I ran out of clean, fancy sleepers for BB. And I reached into the back of the drawer and pulled out one of the ones I bought for C. Now, BB wears his brother's hand-me-downs every day. No big deal, right? And this sleep is kind of ugly - ugly colours and pattern. I only bought it because it was gender neutral and on sale. I put it on BB. And I started to cry.
As ugly as it is, it is warm and it is snugly. When I pick up BB in it, he cuddles in to my chest. And I didn't get to do that with C. Not once. The sleeper that he never wore.
That was last night. Today, when BB was happily playing with me on couch, I had this overwhelming feeling that C. was jealous and that I shouldn't be playing so happily with BB. And I felt guilty. Then I felt guilty for feeling guilty. I think it is hard enough for a mom to balance her love between two living children - at least you can make some attempt to explain to the older one that you still love him, even though the younger is getting your attention right now. You can't do that when your oldest is dead.
So there you have it. Not so care-free. The emotions that I expected, but thought I had dodged, are there after all. I love BB. I love C. I miss my oldest and feel guilty that I am torn between him and my youngest.
Not much to do about it other than ride it out. It's all more complicated all the time, isn't it?
P.S. For those who have gone on to have a subsequent baby, how do you answer questions about your kids? I am trying to prepare an answer to those questions so that I am not caught off guard when they come.