Our expert says:
Various factors have been making it harder than usual for you to bond entirely with your baby, so far. Parents often experience difficulties after the death of the previous baby --- it's as though without thinking about it strategically, one is hesitant to let oneself fully love this child for fear of losing him, as you lost the first child. Obviously this is an emotional and not at all a logical. rational point of view --- this child neeeds you and loves you as much as any child can, and it's not his fault that his older sib died. And then, children who start off fragile and in ICU are hader to bond with, anyway, as one is literelly separated for the crucial early days, and even then scared to hold him, and aware of his fragility. Having not been handled in his earliest dys () except perhaps for needles and procedures ) he would be harder to handle at first.
Serlife and Zoloft should be equally effective ; and they help Depression, not natural sadness or grief. For that, you need experienced counselling, which would be adviseable. You may have chosen to be a single mom, but that doesn't make it any easier to cope with the loss of the first child, near-loss of the second, and so on, without the added support a spouse might have provided. All the more work, emotional and otherwise, to have to do on your own.
And then you raise another very important point. I have often found that parents have difficulty resolving their grief for a lost child, most especially one lost in the earliest weeks, because of the very concern you mention --- when one loses an infant, you have very little left to cling to --- you have lost a virtual child, who was barely here, and who is in some ways experienced as more perfect than any other child, as he was a dream-child, everything you hoped for, with no time for reality to modify the dream. And I find parents who have lost an infant find it hard to let go, for fear that by letting go of the grief, they will have absolutely nothing left of the infant. It is important not to build him a memorial constructed entirely of grief --- he deserves so much more than that. When you let go of the grief, you can remember him with joy, remember all the hopes he represented, and the gooness he brought to you even in such a brief time. You will have more, not less, to remember him by. And by transferring the love you nhad saved up for him, to his brother, you not only give this child all he truly deserves, but let him become a living memorial to his older brother, by thriving within your love.
Finally, check out whether there is, within reach of you, a branch of the excellent organization The Compassionate Friends, which brings together people who have lost a child, at whatever age, to be able to share their experiences and support each other.
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