Though I have been so blessed to carry babies and connect deeply with them in-utero, I can’t say I’ll be one of those women that “misses pregnancy” once it’s over. I reckon some of us loss mamas are on the same page about that. The nagging thoughts in the back of the mind, questioning, doubting, and triggering moments can make things tough. My husband and I both agree: having this sweet babe in our arms healthy and happy will be a huge sigh of relief. Even though this pregnancy has been smooth sailing physically. Even though the cause of our loss was “fixed.” Even though I’ve felt emotionally supported the whole way through. Even though I’ve been grateful every single day for this beautiful life I’m carrying.

Even though, even though, even though.

Libby's 36-week bump - Finding Peace

Author’s Personal Collection/Libby Valluzzi

I always envisioned being one of those women with many children wandering around the homestead, helping with chores, finding chicken eggs when they go rogue and lay in the forest, sewing dolls together, sipping iced herbal tea in the summer sun. I find myself these days pondering thoughts on subsequent biological children, if that’s something we want to undergo again. These 9 months have been trying. But also extremely beautiful and a reminder to give myself grace and to surrender. I have certainly grown immensely (not just my belly, but my spirit!) since this babe was conceived. I am humbled and grateful. At the mercy of life, at the mercy of death. And, I suppose I don’t have to decide today what the future of our family will look like. But, like everything in life, there have been ups and downs in pregnancy after loss, and that is something that is completely unavoidable no matter what path you choose.

These last few weeks I find myself feeling more dreamy and at peace.

Less interested in reading books, having intellectual conversations, following lists, and thinking in linear coherent thoughts. I’m in constant dialogue with this baby, and I really feel at this point that their wisdom is what is guiding me forward and will lead us in the birthing process. The birthing process that has already started, because I am realizing that the body doesn’t really just go from “non-labor” to “labor,” with the shifts in endorphins and oxytocin, increasing Braxton-Hicks, cervical softening, practice labor, and all the other signs that we are both working in harmony to prepare for the biggest birthday bash we’ve ever seen. Yes, birthday bash. My husband is already dreaming up what kinds of meats he wants to pull out of the freezer when I go into labor to grill for our birth team while/after the baby is born! And maybe we’ll even celebrate with a wee nip of whiskey. Perhaps I’ll make a cake and stick it in the freezer, too. Hehehe!

bird's nest

Author’s Personal Collection/Libby Valluzzi

There is a robin building her nest just behind our bedroom, in the eave of the bathhouse.

She has re-made her nest several times, using alder branches and lichen and rogue grasses, in several different locations, but now settling in it seems. Maybe she knows we’re building a nest here too, preparing to welcome the next generation just like she is, following intuition and signals from the Earth in every step forward. Maybe her babies will take their first breaths alongside mine, following in tandem the rhythm of life that has and will continue for eons. Maybe we are both a little kooky, for doing these things according to our maternal instincts and blindly trusting. But most certainly, we are both mothers caring for our most precious and beloved beings, our babies.

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