Thursday, January 14, 2021

Nearing the Finish Line

On this day one year ago, I was in a very dark place.  I had just miscarried what I thought would be our rainbow baby.  A rainbow baby is a joyful term representing a baby who is born after a loss--the rainbow after the storm.  I was honestly not sure if I would ever find the courage to hope for yet another rainbow; the thought of weathering another storm crushed me.  Initially, I wanted to just give up and blame myself.  If I could have told myself back then that in a year's time, I'd be nine months pregnant with a very good chance of giving birth to a healthy baby, I don't think that I would have believed myself.  But now, I am full term, full of excitement, and full of life.  It's surreal and magical.

I see that I had to walk this hard path in order to learn that control is an illusion, but trust is essential in the face of that illusion.  I learned how to hope again after being let down, and how to cope with the ebb and flow of that very fragile hope.  I learned that I can observe, choose, and change my reactions.  Though I have a supportive partner, family, and friends, I learned that I need to take on that responsibility to love and care for myself, by myself.  I tried to be present with pain, fear, and joy without feeling shame.  I have my weak moments, but today I feel strong.

At any point in the next few weeks, I could go into labor, and then the rest is up in the air.  I choose not to see this quickly approaching, unpredictable, wild experience with anxiety, fear, and a need for control.  I will harness the strength, hope, love, and trust that I've been practicing over the past year.  It still takes some courage to muster up these words, but I know that no matter what happens, it will be empowering, all-consuming, and totally worth it.  

We were going to take some maternity photos with our wedding photographers, who kindly offered to gift us a photoshoot due to Judy and I having a common experience with recurrent pregnancy loss, but due to the rise in COVID-19 cases, we decided to play it safe and stay home.  I think that it worked out even better this way because Wes was able to dig out his old lighting equipment and snap these photos right in our living room against a white wall.  It was also his idea to get the pint of ice cream out of the freezer to balance on my bump for the final shot!  We took these at 37 weeks, which is officially "full term."  I'm glad that we squeezed in this hour-long photo sesh in before Zoe decides to pop out.

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