Cora is my first baby, and she always will be.
But when it comes to practical parenting experience, the place of "first" goes to Erin, and that makes things a little complicated emotionally.
When I lost Cora, I was devastated, as any woman in my place would be. I cried many many many tears. But all those tears were for what I had imagined I had lost. It wasn't until Erin was born that the weight of my loss hit me, and the sheer reality of it is something I'm continuing to discover.
It wasn't until Erin was born that I realized I was missing out on those sweet bonding moments you get when you're nursing baby and you both just stare into each other's eyes. I realized I had lost sleepy grins, and yes, even screaming-for-hours nights. I didn't know what it was like to watch a baby learn to use their body, and then discover that they HAVE said body. I didn't know the excitement of watching a piece of you grow and develop. I didn't know that my baby would teach me to appreciate all the things I know how to do by watching them learn.
And that hasn't ended. Since Erin is the "first" there are all the new things she's still doing that I didn't know to mourn when I lost Cora. I watch Erin watch her favorite movies, and try to say hard words and learn to count, and try to climb on playground equipment, and I miss Cora.
I hope Erin never feels overshadowed by this. I hope that I am celebrating Erin enough for her to know that I am so proud of every little thing she does.
But it's not until Erin does something new that I discover something more I need to shed tears for for Cora.