Well, baby and I made it past my milestone just fine, thankfully, and this week, I have been thinking about labor. And love.
At my obstetrician’s visit yesterday, we discussed scheduling my c-section. I have had three children with vaginal deliveries, then labored and had an emergency c-section with my twins who died, and then I went into labor before my scheduled c-section with my rainbow daughter. So, even though I have had two c-sections, I have labored with each of my deliveries. This might be the first one that I don’t. It got me thinking about how worthwhile that effort is. As soon as we see our baby’s sweet face, our labor is instantly worth every second of pain. And, let’s face it, c-section recovery is no walk in the park.
Today is my ninth wedding anniversary. In those nine years, my husband and I have had our share of struggles. Financial struggles, emotional struggles, the loss of our babies and other loved ones, the challenge that is daily life with four young children, all of these are a kind of labor – work that we do because of the love that we have for one another. We had no idea how much work it would be on the day that we said “I do.” We were clueless and in love. We couldn’t possibly have imagined what was in store for us. It has been a bumpy road, but it all feels worth it when we are together as a family. That’s just how life is, isn’t it? We struggle. Some days are hard. We have ups and downs. But when we are working for the ones that we love, it’s all worth it.
Pregnancy after a loss is a labor of love in and of itself. Along with the physical symptoms of pregnancy, the emotional turmoil is a constant struggle for us, and the heartache and anxiety is painful. It is exhausting mentally, physically, and emotionally. But when we do finally get to hold our rainbow baby in our arms, it is worth every second of struggle. I am freshly reminded of that this week as well, because my own rainbow celebrated her second birthday yesterday. As I looked at photos of her as a newborn, I remembered the intense anxiety I felt in the weeks before her birth and then the relief and gratitude I felt once she had arrived. I could not believe she was finally here and couldn’t stop kissing her.