Rainbow Baby

February 27, 2015

As we wait for our little rainbow to be born (soon), part of me is frozen in time, expectant, hopeful, still.

In that stillness, I am trying to hold space, I think, for every one of my children. Especially Luna, who died, and especially Indigo, who is waiting to be born.

In the year and a half since Luna died and was born, I sort of figured out how to be mom to her and to my two older kids. Our little family works. We remember her together, she is a part of our most special moments, of our day to day, of the “and whose birthday is next?” conversations. I learn every day how to mother my kids living and dead. How to love them all. How to be present for each of them.

And in the past 36 weeks, a little more hurridly, and with a little more anxiety maybe, I have sort of maybe learned (note the absolute certainty with which I say this!) how to be pregnant again. Not just pregnant. But pregnant again. Big, huge, difference.

I played it cool at first. At first it was all about the “positive EPT!”  Then it was “I’m pregnant… we shall see, I guess.” I was finally able to simply say “I’m pregnant.” And very recently, when the belly just pushed its way into the world with all the aplomb of a live little baby that is real, “I’m having my fourth baby.” It’s been a progression… of slowly feeling more confident, of voicing out hope.

And just when I finally got comfortable beign pregnant… I am due very soon. And while people start saying, “ooh almost!”–not to sound too ungrateful but I just want to say, “Hold on!” I just figured out being pregnant. Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

Pregnancy after loss, big surprise, is not only a beautiful, amazing gift that life grants us, but it is also not so incredibly easy, emotionally speaking. The first three months threw me for a loop. I felt very disconnected. Which, obvisouly, made me feel guilty. And then, one afternoon, I had to pull the car over because I’d had a thought. One of those revealing, intense thoughts that are obvious but just take so long to materialize: I was sad. I started going down that path: why was I sad? Why now? For Luna? Bu why sad for Luna now more than before? For this baby? This baby is ok… why the intense sadness?

Thankfully, the moms at PALS were there. At the other end of my crazy, panicky texts: “Oh yes,” they said, “Oh yes, the intense, sad sadness.” So I guess it happens. Knowing that allowed me to stop dwelling on it and just let go and be sad.

I remember sitting outside later that day; it was still summer, and I said to my partner, “I am sad.” He looked at me–really looked at me. “Yes. Yes, you are sad.” It was a big revelation. Like we had finally been able to name something big, unavoidable, ever present but indiscribeable that had been hovering over us for the past few months.

It was so liberating to name the sadness. I just let go to it. And as it happens with most things, once you stop resisting and judging, they take you where you need to go and then free you. Then the sadness let go. And I came to a moment of peace. And joy. I enjoyed my pregnancy. I basked in the miracle that it actually is to be pregnant. I even let myself take pictures. Tons of pictures. Even pictures I hadn’t taken with Luna (my partner helped me with that one… it was tricky doing things I’d missed with Luna…). So I guess saying I had pregnancy figured out is a bit of a stretch… but I had it figured out enough to enjoy it, to really love it, actually.

And now comes baby. A brand new little person. A tiny baby, with his complete pull on my love. He will demand all my energy, and all my love, and he will look at me and coo and cuddle in all his warmth and he will make my heart swell with so much love. And I hope I will let myself feel all that love that he needs, that he brings. I hope there will be love without guilt. Because more than anything going, “Wrong”, I am scared that I will be stingy with love. Or guarded. Or disconnected. I am scared that I may confuse loyalty to my girl with holding back from my new son.

I hope not.

I hope my heart will be big enough to love all my babies.

  • Cheli does her mothering and doulaing in Madrid, Spain. Her boys are wild and lovely and always, apparently, at that stage. Her daughter Luna is cradled in her heart as they learn how to be mother and daughter without ever holding hands.

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