Oh, how I’ve missed writing to you. I’ve been busy over at Pregnancy After Loss Support blogging weekly through my pregnancy. Your big sister makes it exceptionally hard to write more than one piece a week. I don’t know why I write to you thinking you don’t know what’s going on in our lives, I know you do somehow. I feel you. I write anyway, for myself.
To say that my pregnancy after losing you was anything other than the second most difficult situation in my life this far would be a lie. I longed to hold you more than ever the entire 87….err…10 months I carried our sweet rainbow baby.
“”Rainbow Babies” is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it doesn’t mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is 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’ll give you a little insight in a nutshell about how the last 9 months have been:
I wondered how on earth I could possibly love another baby after losing you. How I could possibly overcome the fear of losing this one, too. We got extensive testing done, a fetal echo of the baby’s heart and spent a lot of time in prayer with our Father begging Him for a healthy baby. Still, after reassurance that I was carrying a seemingly healthy baby I couldn’t overcome the feeling of unworthiness. I know my body didn’t fail you, I know my body kept you alive and this cold, cruel world is what killed you. Even knowing that I didn’t feel worthy of carrying a healthy child after losing you. It didn’t feel fair. I found it unbelievable when I was told I was. To ignore the possibility that this child could die would have been naive. Especially after being in the child loss community. So I’d take myself there often (probably the least healthy thing I could have done)… Would I be able to live if this baby died? I came to the conclusion that I absolutely would be able to, but I sure as hell wouldn’t want to for quite some time.
Juliette misses you more than ever too. I hear her talking to her “Abey Bear” that has your picture sewn on the belly. It was ordered from Hug My Angel Memory Bear by some of my great friends for her birthday and it’s proved to be especially healing for her when she’s missing you. She’ll cry out to God asking Him not to make you die again, telling Him she’s crying and missing “her boy”. She wants to come visit you. She says “Jesus, take care of me like you take care of my boy!” It’s heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time to see just how much love a three year old can have for a brother that she knew for such a short time.
I found myself praying through my pregnancy silly prayers and wishing this baby would be born you. All-in-all, most of my pregnancy intensified my aching arms and my grief enveloping every aspect of losing you.
However, my entire pregnancy wasn’t dark. Toward the very end of my pregnancy I started to hear and see John 16:33 everywhere. On cards, in emails, in my Facebook newsfeed, in my daily devotional, on the radio…Ev.er.y.where. I know it’s a pretty popular verse to begin with, but I hadn’t had it tagged as one of my favorites before this. It says:
“I’ve told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Hello, wake up call. I remember thinking, “Okay, God. I get it. I hear you! I’m finally listening.” I was letting the tribulations of this world (my worry, sorrow, anxiety, controlling personality, etc) overcome me. I absolutely can miss you, and can and should grieve, but where had my hope gone? Where had I gone? I had retreated to a dark and lonely place. What is this world anyway? It’s just a stopping point on our journey to home. It isn’t my home. You’re already home and here I am selfishly wishing you were here in this world where no day for any one of us is guaranteed. There are people being shot and bombs going off here and there you are enjoying the peace and the presence of Jesus face to face. THAT is amazing. I was letting all of my human emotions and busy mind cloud the peace that only lives within Jesus…where I clearly was not living all the time. I had become a run away, only coming back to Him when I needed something. It was from there onward that I started consciously focusing on bonding with the life swelling inside of me. I started reading to my bump like I did with you and your sister before you. I started documenting my pregnancy in photos and rubbing my belly when baby would kick, grabbing little feeties out of my ribs and just enjoying my pregnancy in general. I restored my hope in Christ and simultaneously realized just how much I already adored the tiny human in my womb.
Something I had given up hope of ever happening (kidding…) happened on Thursday, November 12th. After being in “early labor”, “false labor” or “prodromal labor” (call it what you will) for 3+ weeks I went into active labor! Man, I was starting to think this kid was going to hitch a ride in my womb until Kindergarten! We got to the hospital around 2:30am on Friday, November 13th. Within 2 hours I had dilated from a 5 to a 7. By 6:30am I was dilated to a 9, bag of waters broken and our Rainbow was laid on my chest, screaming the most beautiful cry at 6:58am. It felt so healing and empowering to have an all natural, unmedicated and self controlled birth after the trauma of your birth and you being swept away from me so soon. Without further ado, meet your sister.
Scarlette Jane Greer.
7 pounds, 15 ounces.
20 inches long.
Beautiful, perfect and so, so loved.
The minute I saw her face I knew she had been handpicked for us. Maybe not by you, but by God and just the thought of you being so close to God brings much joy to my soul. For all I know, God let you help.
When I look into Scarlette’s soft, sweet eyes I see you there. I know she’s not you, and I’m happy about that. As unreasonable as I was when I was pregnant, I like to see my children in each other, but I like them to very much be their own person. And boy, is she her own tiny person. You and Juliette had dark hair that covered your head and she has blonde peach fuzz that only covers half her head. Maybe I’ll finally have a child that looks like me! She is so sweet and she’s perfectly filled my arms. I love her more than I could have imagined. She healed my aching arms, but she didn’t heal my aching heart. I didn’t expect her to. That’s a lot of responsibility for a little girl. I need to still feel you and feel for you. And I do.
I am both the mom of a newborn again and a bereaved mom forever. The latter can’t be cured by the former. If anything it intensified it to same level of emotion you feel upon becoming a mom again. And let me tell you, with all of these hormones out of whack, said emotions are huge. My love for you and your sisters spans from earth to heaven.
My heart is so full. I am so thankful for this precious new blessing that was well worth the wait. Scarlette will not live in your shadow. You wouldn’t want her to and quite frankly that isn’t fair and isn’t why she was brought to us. But she will know her brother, Abraham and how your presence and the grace of God helped sculpt me into the mother that I am and that I pray she always looks to for guidance and comfort.
Congratulations, son. You are a big brother!!!
Missing you always,