Eric and I enjoyed getting another opportunity to celebrate this baby with more of our family and friends this past weekend. As I wrote about last week, it has been nice to be able to feel all of the love and support for us along this journey. These baby showers have helped us to celebrate in ways that we hadn’t yet been able to do. I am so glad that we decided we wanted to have showers before this baby arrives rather than waiting until after so that we could soak up all of this support from those around us.

flowers at baby shower - the stress before the rainbow
As soon as the baby showers were over last weekend, I noticed a shift in my emotions.

I had been spending so much time preparing for these showers and looking forward to them that it is difficult to have them behind us. Now, it just feels like a waiting game.

We are waiting to see when this baby will come. It is stressful to not know whether this baby is going to arrive tomorrow or 4 weeks from tomorrow. This could potentially be a really long time to anticipate this birth. It seems strange to write those words, as we have been anticipating the birth of a healthy baby for over two and a half years. This is the first time that we are realistically this close to having a healthy baby, though. It is reassuring that there is nothing medically concerning about going into labor at this point.

The most recent estimation is that this baby is 6 pounds, 7 ounces. We have really good reason to believe that they might be healthy whenever they come.

At this point, there are still things that we need to prepare at home. This weekend we are planning to install the car seat, get the bassinet set up, pack hospital bags, and wash some baby clothes. For me, though, these tasks pale in comparison to the number of things that I need time to wrap up at work so that I can feel good about stepping away for three months.  If I am at work for another three weeks, I will get these things done. If I am only at work for another few days, though, I will not be leaving things in the place that I want them. I know that in reality it will be fine however this happens, but it feels so stressful to be trying to navigate getting all of the things done that I need to get done.

As we wait to see when this baby will come, there is also a reality that we are waiting to find out if they will arrive safely. I feel like we are waiting to find out whether this truly is our rainbow after the storm or whether the storm will continue for us.

From a physical perspective, I am getting very close to feeling ready to be done with this pregnancy. I am ready to be able to breathe better, no longer have muscle spasms throughout every night, and be able to move my body more easily.

From a cognitive perspective, I feel like I need more time to prepare. The class we had registered for on how to prepare our dog for the baby to come home was canceled, and I am worried that we haven’t done enough preparation for him yet. There is information from our childbirth class that we want to review, and videos we have access to that we haven’t had a chance to watch yet. I want to feel as prepared as I can, and I know that I still have a number of ways I can feel more prepared.

From an emotional perspective, I am pretty mixed about how ready I am to be done with this pregnancy. I am both ready and scared to have this baby out of my body.

We have been waiting to hold a healthy, full term child of ours for a long time. Our experiences taught us that our babies are not necessarily safe inside my body, so we are both holding our breath until this baby comes out of my body alive. Because of this it seems strange that recently I have been starting to get nervous about the baby being outside of my body. Pregnancy is familiar to me. My relationships with my three babies has actually only existed inside of my body. It is starting to feel scary to think about having to let a baby leave my body again.

couple at baby shower - the stress before the rainbow

While I don’t trust that this little one is safe inside of my uterus, I also am struggling to trust that they are going to be safe outside of my uterus.

I think I had been hoping that because we have been through so much to get to this point, we wouldn’t feel nervous about what happens after we bring a baby home.

Up until recently, I believed that Eric and I would be so happy to have a newborn that the fourth trimester struggles wouldn’t be so difficult for us. As the reality of having a newborn hopefully nears for us, I am beginning to anxiously anticipate how this will actually be. I am grateful to have friends who have been honest about their experiences rather than painting a narrow, joyful picture of welcoming their healthy children. I think in some ways I am preparing for how difficult it could be so that I won’t be disappointed if it is that difficult. I am getting really nervous about these next steps for us.

Pregnancy is such a long road for anyone. Pregnancy after loss is an even longer road. And the irony of all of this is that after this long road, the place we have been trying to get to for so long, is another really big scary step in our lives.

It is like we have run a marathon just to get to the start line.

While I know I am excited for these next steps and I would rather be here in this place than any other place we have been so far, I cannot deny that I am scared for what comes next. It is unknown to us, and it is hard for anyone. While we are in this waiting period, I am mindful that there is nothing calm about this wait. It feels stressful and full of anticipation as we wait to hopefully welcome our rainbow baby.

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