A comment I received on a post earlier this week made me really think. I had been talking about how guilty I felt when I realized I was feeling happy, and the commenter mentioned she was dealing with the same "mind games" and guilt. One sentence really cut me to the quick: "Isn't it crazy how we feel guilty no matter what we do?"
And that sentence right there was the one that made me face another haunting thought I haven't had the guts to deal with. I feel guilty over the death of my son. That's what it all boils down to. If I didn't, I wouldn't feel guilty for being happy, for having good days, for not mentioning him whenever I could. And every day there's a new idea of what I could have done differently, to perhaps change the outcome.
I could have bought him clothes.
I could have read to him every night.
I could have exercised more.
I could have eaten better.
I could have gotten more sleep.
I could have stayed away from herbal teas.
I could have been more excited to try to get pregnant, even though I had just had a baby.
I could have prepared Carpenter's room for him instead of saving my guest room to the last possible minute.
I could have held him one more time at the hospital.
I could have kissed him.
I could have ...done so much more for my son.
I feel guilty for not doing the absolute best by my son in every way. Maybe if I had just done these things, or something, I could be holding my sweet boy in my arms right now. Maybe I could have done something to save him. And while the logical part of my brain tells me no--that I've already had a healthy baby and did nothing different the second time--I don't think I'll ever shake the guilt.
So, I'll just take a second to say what I wish I had said straight to Carpenter's little face as I held him in my arms. I'm so sorry, baby. I did some things right, and some things I regret, but I hope you know that no matter what, I always loved you, and always will. Forgive me.