Over the Rainbow

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This is Part 3 of our journey “Over the Rainbow.” It is a place where I chronicle our experiences of welcoming a new baby after a loss. The previous installment of this series can be found here. It is my intention that these words offer support, comfort, hope or reflection to those who are seeking as such.

 

We were ready. It had been 5 months since the loss of our beautiful daughter at term. Through that time I had undertaken the tremendous task of simultaneously grieving my daughter and healing myself in mind, body and spirit. With consciousness and intention we set our sights on creating new life. And we were ready.

 

Our decision to have another child was really more of an instinct, an impulse, a mutual and unspoken understanding. It was so automatic for both my husband and I that we didn’t really debate it; there was no need. But we did plan. We both wanted our hearts and my body to be in a good place to be able to get pregnant, to nourish a new life, to give birth. So we decided to carefully observe what time would bring in terms of healing. We tracked my menstrual cycle (and signs of fertility), which returned to normal 2 months after the birth. We took note of my physical strength, as I was unbelievably exhausted through the initial months of grieving. We talked and talked and talked, allowing our spirits to feel and grieve and heal. We prayed.

After the first month of trying to conceive, we found ourselves pregnant. I felt simultaneously grateful and terrified. Thankful and questioning. Hopeful and reluctant. Despite all of our preparation and intention, I had not fully anticipated the myriad of feelings that would become part of my everyday existence. It was a whole new path on the journey for me. I was happy, of course, thrilled really. But there was this lingering fear of “what if” that whispered (sometimes loudly) in my mind. There really was no completely silencing it for me. I had to face it and deal with it. And so, for me, that meant acknowledging the fear. Appreciating the source. Understanding that this was normal, maybe even to be expected. 

 

After turning it around in my mind for some time, I came to realize that the fear belonged only to itself. It had nothing to do with this new baby growing inside of me. Coming to this understanding was so liberating because I could allow the fear (and questioning and reluctance) to exist separately, without allowing it to become a part of my new joy, this new pregnancy. It was there, yes, but I did not want to feed it or become it. I wanted, instead, for my energy, nurturing and love to go into my baby, my marriage, and my family. Sometimes, this was easier said than done. Some days were harder than others. And despite the work, some days (even to this day) the fear has a way of seeping in. This is OK. This is the new normal that we all hear about.

 

At first, my husband and I shared the news of our pregnancy only with ourselves. We held tenderly to each other and this tiny new spirit taking root in my body. Then we told our son. Next our parents. Finally, the rest of our world. The experience of sharing our news this time around was so different for me. People were happy for us, certainly, but there was also this level of restraint that existed. It had not been that long ago that we were being wrapped in condolence. To make the shift to congratulation was difficult, even awkward for some. I understood. Nonetheless, we were loved by so many, held up in the thoughts and prayers of our circle. We could feel it, and that was important. To know and see and feel the love and hope and trust of so many became a part of me. It became part of the fabric of my love and hope and trust in our new child. For this, I was grateful.