The bargaining stage is one that maybe I don't understand very well. I never did the stereotypical "I promise I'll do XYZ, if Rip can come back".
But as I said, I have definitely had moments where I wondered what I could have done differently. Thankfully, even knowing what I know now, I have had a lot of peace that there is nothing else I would or could possibly have known then that would have changed the outcome.
I think one form of bargaining I did right after we lost Rip, and still do to some extent, is turn to books for answers. In the first few weeks and months I read all sorts of books about pregnancy loss, stories from doctors, psychiatrists, other parents...and I think I was really just looking from some answers about why this happened to us. As if something in one of those books could give me the reason I lost my son, why Anne lost Rip. And maybe, on a subconscious level, if I could just figure out the why, there would be some way for me to fix it.
I do find myself doing a lot of bargaining these days on Gracie's behalf. I have absolutely done the stereotypical if...then thing with this pregnancy. I think I have promised everything that isn't nailed down for the healthiness of this child.
And I think she will be healthy, but I don't think it is because of any deal I make...nor do I think we lost Rip because I failed to make the right deal last time. There is nothing I would not have given to get Rip back. Maybe part of the healing during this stage of grief is knowing that there are some deals you just can't win.