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Having a baby after Loss

I have spent the last week with a "live in this moment" mentality. I feel the baby kick and I stop and feel. I have been taking the time to focus on my baby knowing that it won't be long before it is no longer safely cocooned in my belly. I see my rounded figure in the mirror and I linger a little longer trying to etch it into my memory.

I don't know if this is our last pregnancy, but it might be. I think regardless I would be feeling this sense of reflection. I have always gotten a sad fog wash over me in times of change. Whether it was the end of high school or university or when we bought our house. Even when the change is completely exciting, I am sad about the end of the previous era.

I have also been thinking a bit more about the sex of this baby. We didn't find out, because Hugh and I loved the surprise we had with the first two. From the moment Tripp died, I felt that if we decided to have a 3rd I would want it to be a boy. For 5 days I had two boys and it was the most amazing feeling. Then the moment we found out we were pregnant I changed my mind. I wanted a girl. I am not sure what motivated this feeling, perhaps I let myself dream a tiny bit about pigtails and leggings! The last few weeks I have swung back to hoping for a boy. The thought of having 3 boys is appealing. Again, I'm not sure why. Maybe in this case I have spent too much time fast forwarding to a place where I have two boys at the rink and where I meet a mom who asks me, "Did you ever want to try for a third to see if you would have a girl?" And where I get to respond, "We actually 3 boys."

In the end, I know the sex of the baby won't matter. I am going to fill with joy the moment our little one's sex is announced.

On Sunday I googled, "Having a baby after a loss." I wanted to read how other women felt the moment they met their Rainbow babies. I found THIS post and could relate to much of what the author, Laura, wrote. I think this is one of my favorite parts:

When I found out I was pregnant, there were a lot of mixed feelings. I love this quote ”It is understood that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of any storm. When a rainbow appears, it does not mean that the storm never happened or that we are not still dealing with its aftermath. It means that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover, but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy and hope.” 

I started crying when I read this. I really want people to understand that having this new baby will not relieve me of the burden of grief I feel from losing Tripp. This baby does not replace or make up for the fact I lost Tripp. This baby is it's own person and is going to bring bring us joy in it's own beautiful way. A new baby does not replace a lost child, nor are they a cure for grief.

I always thought my fears would be over once I bought home my rainbow…there not. There were many a nights I stayed away watching his monitor, watching him breathe. We will never be done grieving the loss of our daughter. We will always be aware that we were robbed of her life. 

As for enjoying his (Carter's) pregnancy? I did enjoy it as much as I could, but I think anyone who loses a child never really “enjoys” any part of pregnancy, unless its the part where the baby is happily safe in your arms.

As much reflecting and living in the moment as I have been doing the last week, there is always an air of fear hanging over me. What if this is all I get? A baby kicking in my belly. What if I don't get to bring this baby home?

Ultimately, I know that worrying gets me nowhere. So I focus on what I do have. I have kicks. I have a sore back, Braxton Hicks, and a baby who loves it when I spend most of my day on the couch. I have had this baby in my belly longer than I had Tripp there and in another weeks time I will have carried it longer than I carried Calder. I have a son who is super excited to welcome home his brother (For the majority of my pregnancy Calder was convinced we were having a girl, but the last month he has been adamant we are having a boy - although he using the pronoun "she" when describing his brother :-)).

I have an immense amount of love for this baby and I think that might be the very best part. I mean who doesn't love being in love?


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