My rainbows are four years old and sixteen months old. Despite my being pregnant, and maybe because I’m in my second trimester and past my nausea phase, it can sometimes be easy for me to get consumed by their world and to put my adaptations to being pregnant on a bit of auto pilot. This being my fourth pregnancy, I know what my body can handle and what it can’t when I’m pregnant, and those boundaries are coming the most naturally to me this time around.
But recently, all of a sudden, between feeding and wiping and bathing and cleaning up and changing and doing laundry and playing and getting us out the door and being out and about and getting us all back inside and consoling and reading to and saving my four-year-old’s precious small plastic figurines from the fast and harmless grip of my 16-month-old, who overlooks his own toys for anything that could potentially be precious to his beloved big sister, it hit me. I’m carrying another growing, living being!
I’m not just in THIS moment, there are a whole bunch of complex, important and miraculous moments happening in this pregnancy, too.
Once the small toys were safe atop my four-year-old’s highest toy tower, I took that brief moment to stop moving, to take a deep breath in the middle of it all. To conjure some long-ago memory when I was pregnant with my first son over five years ago. With little fear as a pre-loss mom, I had gone for a walk in a local wooded reservation and daydreamed about his arrival. Back in the present, I visualized that walk and felt as if I were there again; the sounds, the smells were right there. As an educator for the past fifteen years and being the introvert in a big family, I have an uncanny ability to zoom in on a thought and focus briefly on it even when a lot is going on around me. And for that very short period of time, maybe less than a minute, I felt genuinely connected to this sweet 20-weeks gestation little girl, who is growing in there, sending me her little kicks. It was as if she were saying, “Mama, you might think you’ve almost got this, but just wait. I’m coming soon to add even more love to your heart!”
It is also in those quieter moments, whether they are actually quiet or if I create a quiet space in my mind, that I can more clearly think of my son, the big brother to all of these rainbows.
All I wished for in those brutal first months post loss was to have this busyness swirling around me, instead of just sitting in a room with his memory box. Our relationship in spirit has deepened, but how I still wish to have had these days with him, too.
Not to put pressure on myself to ‘enjoy every moment,’ but I do personally benefit from brief gratitude check-ins. So when there is just one more need to meet, one more, “Mama!!”, one more toddler nap in my arms when I feel my rainbow’s heartbeat against my chest and my newest rainbow’s kicks from within, I’ll try my best to remember that these are the types of days I was longing for, and likely ones that I will one day miss.