It has been a long, tough year for our family. One full of tremendous loss and heartbreak.
One year ago today we lost our 14 week pregnancy with baby Miles. The trauma of that event echoed yet again last March when we lost our 8 week pregnancy with baby Boo.
And just as we were getting to our feet and attempting to get to some kind of new normalcy and acceptance we were rocked by the loss of my Grandmother Rose, my FIL Larry and my Grandfather Verlin, all gone within 6 weeks of one another.
To say the last 12 months have been difficult is an understatement. It has been a constant lesson in how to accept and manage grief while getting up every morning, putting one foot in front of the other and moving on. A lesson in living in the moment while acknowledging the accumulative pain of the days before.
But get up every day I have. Staying strong and positive for these two amazing girls that we are fortunate enough to be responsible for.
And there have been wonderful moments throughout the past year.
Our first family trip to Disney World with Grandma Linda and Auntie Kylara.
Finally buying our family cottages in Oscoda and spending nearly a month on Lake Huron, relaxing and enjoying family time.
Starting two new schools this fall and having two children in love with school and learning.
And now, the most joyful experience yet, becoming pregnant again.
That’s right. PREGNANT. AGAIN.
I’m 12 weeks along now, and this past Wednesday we had our first appointment with our midwife Audra (also the midwife who caught Isora and carried for us during both Miles’ and Boo’s pregnancies). And while we went into the appointment very guarded in our optimism, we were absolutely blessed with the most amazing experience. A immediate, loud and reassuringly steady heartbeat.
It was the moment we have been waiting for. The moment we knew that this little life was in fact the rainbow we’ve been waiting for. It was the moment we knew that it was time to tell the world.
The moment that our rainbow is materializing and growing stronger and more vibrant.
For those that haven’t heard the term, a Rainbow Baby is a baby born after the pain, or storm, of a loss. The saying goes “After every storm, there is a rainbow of hope” and this baby is indeed our great hope.
It was a real struggle for me to decide whether or not to share this information right away or to wait until now. Our families have known since the beginning but we haven’t told everyone yet because in a way it felt right to hold this little flame of hope ourselves and nurture it within our family.
Hearing the heartbeat and knowing that such a good rate, between the 140’s and 150’s, was just what we needed for our guarded optimism to stop cowering in fear about what has happened and stand up and walk into what could be.
This pregnancy has been quite rough. In reality, being pregnant for 9 of the last 15 months has, in and of itself, been horrible. Being nauseous and exhausted for three months now, again, has really taken its toll. And every time someone has said “Well being sick is a good sign” I have to bite my tongue from saying what bullshit that Old Wive’s Tale is, since I’ve been this sick every time, regardless of the outcome.
It’s been hard to express how awful I’ve been feeling without sounding like a constant complainer. But in all honesty, I have only recently felt well enough to be up and around for more than an hour at a time. Previously if I wasn’t laying down I would have been beyond sick and in tears from not feeling well.
And maybe the cruelest aversion of all? I absolutely cannot stand bacon. The smell, the texture, the sight, even the thought of bacon makes me retch. Can you believe it? It’s completely bizarre.
Doing housework or cooking, when its all you can do to stand up with vomiting, has been all but non-existent. Resorting to watching an incredible amount of Netflix and Disney Junior on Isora’s afternoons home alone with me. There are weeks were I haven’t been to the grocery store or put away the laundry because I’m simply not able.
But you know what? This is what it is for right now.
Don’t feel bad for me, or for the rest of my little family. Michael is more than pulling his fair share of the load and the kids are perfectly fine and beside themselves with excitement at the prospect of a new little brother or sister arriving next spring.
And the most exciting part, beyond getting close to my second trimester and potentially putting the nausea behind me?
Thanks to the marvels of modern technology and DNA testing we will know the gender of this little one very VERY soon. And my bestie Leslie is receiving the results and helping to plan a gender reveal party, something we’ve never done, but being as this will be our last baby, we figured why not celebrate every last aspect of this pregnancy, right?
So while today is a day we will never forget, and some tears may still be shed for the lives and potential that was lost, today I want to also be thankful and happy about the little one that potential of what is to come.