Yesterday, Jennica came to me with her stuffed bunny and said:
"Mommy, when the baby comes, will it be this big?"
Me: "What baby?"
Jennica: "You know, the baby, what's his name again??"
Jennica: "yeah Vincent. When he comes will he be this big?"
me, feeling slightly annoyed and being a little short tempered: "Jennica, Vincent died."
(I'm not sure why it made me so annoyed that she was asking... I'm still trying to figure that one out.)
Jennica:"I know, but will he be this big when he comes."
me, still feeling annoyed: "Jennica, Vincent is dead, he's not going to be coming, he died."
me, seeing Jennica was confused: "Vincent is dead honey, but he will be with us one day, but it won't be for a very long time, probably not until you're at least a grown up, and probably much longer than that."
By now Jennica was upset, and I began to realize that this whole time we had been telling the children Vincent will be able to be with us and be our baby someday, just not right now. She was equating someday with the near future. Like when she asks, "Mom, can we someday go to the ocean," or "Can we go to Mcdonalds?" and I say, "Someday, but not today." She thought we were going to get our baby back in a matter of weeks or months, not decades, or even centuries.
We had a long talk after that till she was feeling better, and understood a little more.
Aaron, bless his heart, has really become obsessive about death. He's just 3 so he really doesn't understand death so much. I heard him the other day, when he was arguing with the neighbors 5 yr old boy, telling him, "Oh yeah, well your parents are dead!" Of course the parents are not dead, but what a horrible thing for Aaron to be saying. He doesn't understand, he just knows when someone dies it makes people cry, so he's trying to use death to win a fight.
Noah seems to understand pretty well. He's 8 1/2 yrs old now. He will ask me questions about Vincent and he is always serious and a little visibly upset. When we first told the kids about loosing the baby, he started to cry right away. He was very upset. Soon Jennica was crying too. Aaron was upset and calm, but didn't quite understand. Since he's the youngest he hasn't experienced mommy being pregnant and having a new baby like Jennica and Noah have. Without any younger siblings he doesn't quite know what loosing the baby means in terms of what he's going to miss. Jennica and Noah do.
I've ordered some scrapbooking supplies and I'm getting ready to start making an album for all of Vincent's memorabilia. I am so worried I won't be able to get it right. I'm sure I will post pictures once I get started. If anyone has pictures of albums they have done for a stillborn or miscarriage, and you don't mind sharing, please let me know. I'd love to see them.