It’s hard for me at this point in the pregnancy to open those windows of bliss like I was able to even a few weeks ago, though I know that I must try. Not just for the sake of being positive, mostly to provide myself the humanity I deserve in these pivotal last few weeks.
So I decided to write a list of three things I’m looking forward to when Josephine (Joey) gets here. I made this list absent of all other possibilities surrounding her arrival and decided to focus on the most likely outcome–that she will be safe in my arms.
1. I get to breastfeed again!
This one is interesting because even though it has been my favorite part of having a baby, it is also the one that has riddled me with a lot of fear. I struggled with nursing Madeline as she wasn’t able to latch for a few months, in which time I exclusively pumped. Once we both got the hang of it, we went on to do it until she was 14 months. This time around, I’m naturally a little worried that I won’t be able to make it work. More than anything though, I’m excited. After we lost Rossi and I had milk with no baby to give it to, I was heartbroken, and that was largely a part of the reason why I was so overzealous and uncompromising with it after Madeline was born. This time around, I hope, and am fairly confident, in my ability to be more flexible and gentle with myself. Regardless, even the thought of that first latch or those first few syringes of colostrum send tingles down my spine. I can’t wait.
2. Madeline will be a big sister.
It is already impossible to get enough of just how sweet and doting she is towards Joey even if she’s still tucked away in the womb. I can’t even imagine how much her love will be exacerbated when she’s finally here. A lot of parents worry about how their older kiddos will handle the dramatic change a newborn brings. Call me naive, but this honestly hasn’t concerned me in the slightest. In so many ways, I think Madeline was meant to be a nurturer, she was meant to be a protector, and maybe even her becoming a big sister now is a little overdue. Nonetheless, I see the twinkle in her eye when we talk about the baby and call her by her newfound title. I’m so grateful to be able to give Madeline this gift, and I’m even more grateful to be able to witness it.
3. That well-deserved sigh of relief.
It’s hard to imagine the euphoria behind that first sigh of relief. That moment in between finally having your baby in your arms and taking them home to start the rest of your lives together. The future has yet to be a thought. It’s simply the moment of sweet bliss, where nothing else matters and nothing else is wrong. Your fingers caress that sweet little head and fine hairs. You kiss all ten fingers and all ten toes, with an intoxicating amount of warmth enveloping your chest. The rush of hormones is a welcomed bonus, where time stands still and love holds strong.
I left my last MFM appointment absolutely destroyed. Joey did amazing on her BPP (biophysical profile), though I was shattered, not because I was upset because she was healthy. I just knew that in these weeks of despair I have been enduring, I knew all of these things would be the one thing to ease my tired heart. But I also know I have no control over when, or if, I will get it.
Joey is truly a rainbow baby, in every sense of the word. There are so many storms her life has already weathered and so many more that her presence on Earth will too.
Every day I wake up and wonder how I’m going to get through another day coping with pregnancy after loss. I try to remind myself that I’m also one day closer to seeing the fruits of my journey, even if I can’t always muster the excitement that I know is inside.