Sometimes it seems like every one of the moms I met while pregnant and a new mom are having second kids. I see photos of the little ones, brand new, and all scrunched up. They are super cute. Then I see their toddler siblings, looking in awe; smiling, laughing, poking, squeezing, trying to hold them. I think about how we so looked forward to Saoirse having a sibling. She would have been a great big sister. I can just see her coming up and wanting to help - feed the baby, bring the baby a blanket, put on the little socks, wrap him/her up, put him/her down for a nap. I can imagine she would just look out for him/her and be sure that he/she was ok. She always wanted to help, and she was always mindful of what was around and what we needed. Somehow she knew that she was supposed to be kind and helpful to others. She was quite the little sharer, and always liked to make sure everyone she played with got to share her toys.
I always wanted my kids to be a little farther apart in age (Mike wanted one right after the other it seems). I was determined to have one at least somewhat consistent on the potty before I brought out more diapers. I'm sure we would have compromised on that at some point. When I got sick, we were resolute in the fact that I would have to wait at least two years before getting pregnant again. That way I would be out of the highest risk zone for relapse, and we hopefully wouldn't find ourselves having to make a nasty decision. When Saoirse got sick, we knew that we didn't want to put our energy anywhere else but towards her. We knew that if we could get through treatment without distractions, and could focus all our energy on her, she would be better for it. We were focused, and it didn't bother me that we had to wait to have our next baby.
But now, I am slapped in the face with the realization that not only do we still have to wait for my health, but we will not be bringing a new baby home to his/her sibling. Our next baby will be a first. He/she will be the oldest living sibling, and will therefore have those responsibilities. He/she will not be our first baby, but will be raised as such in the sense that he/she will get all the attention, all the toys, his/her own room. That baby will not benefit from knowing Saoirse. Knowing the strength and goodness that she was every day. Knowing how hard she fought, yet how happy she was. Knowing just how amazing it can be to live, even though your body is destroying you from the inside. He/she will not have her to look up to each day, to model him/herself after, to follow around and learn by example. That child, that hasn't even been put into practical idealism, will never know the most beautiful person I have ever met. That child doesn't exist yet, and I already feel bad for him/her - for what he/she will miss. How will we tell him/her about Saoirse? How will we be able to convey what she meant and what she stands for? How can we even fathom to share what we know of her with this new baby? I can't imagine that we can do her justice.
So now, we wait. Wait for the all clear from my doctors. Wait for my body to be healthy and free of chemicals and toxins. Wait for our 24/7 job back. There is one thing for sure; the new baby's middle name will be "Saoirse."