It was fear-filled daily…hourly, in fact, despite every effort to trust that God would protect this child.
It was doubt filled. I doubted that my body could carry this child to term and birth him alive. I doubted myself that I could love another child in the way that I did Philip. I doubted my ability as a mother.
It was amazing. To feel the kicks, and know he was alive- if only for this moment. To experience his incessant hiccups at the end and remember that if he was hiccuping then he was alive and okay. To feel him shift his arms and legs and know that some women never get to experience these moments… and feel the incredible treasure that those moments held, these were the amazing parts of carrying my little boy.
It was painful. It was painful to pass my Philip’s gestational age, and have this baby keep on living. Certainly, I wished for anything but a repeat of the past, but it was hard in “passing” him by. I felt as if I was leaving my Philip behind and though I know I’ll never forget him, and my exponential love for him- in a way, I feared I would. It was more painful emotionally and physically than I can describe.
Birthing little Micah naturally was the greatest pain I had experienced since burying my little boy Philip. It was almost as if living out my emotional pain of the past 20 months physically in those child-bearing moments. It was indescribable- something you can’t understand without living through it.
Yet, It was also one of my greatest joy moments in my life. It was healing. It was sacrificial love for my heaven born Philip and my earthly born Micah. To hear Micah cry for the first time and to feel his little arms and legs move as they laid him on my chest- was incredible joy and incredibly pain in the same moment. Joy in that the worry was over, he was here.
That cry in the delivery room healed broken places of my heart that had only met silence the last time I was in a delivery room. Yet such pain in knowing how deeply I already loved this little boy on my chest and the little boy deep within my heart.
It was pain unbearable and joy unspeakable in the same moment- this is the only way I can explain it.
It was long and short all at once. The days were long, the weeks came and went in timely fashion, and then months came and went… and suddenly we were talking about him arriving “this month”…
“THIS MONTH?!?!” I thought incredulously. “How did I even get here?!?”
Yet here it was, and we were talking about having a birth plan and who would babysit my other little loves, and starting to pack a hospital bag. We were (cautiously) diaper shopping and praying for the best.
This pregnancy, carrying this little boy, was probably the second hardest thing I’ve done in my life (the first being saying goodbye to my heavenly babies) yet it was also one of the most incredible. It was harder than anyone could have imagined or told me. It challenged me daily, in so many moments, and ladies- it was hard. Hard to grieve Philip and celebrate Micah.
Hard to feel not the movements for 6 months and wonder every single day of my little boy was alive or dead. Hard to believe that he would come out alive.
And then, 6 months in, I finally could feel him move- and it was hard in a very different way, because I feared his movement stopping.
There was never a “comfort zone”, a “safe place” to just be able to breathe and know it was all going to be okay (Though the outside world thought so).
My focus was on surviving, instead of thriving.
People would congratulate me with excited smiles and glowing, magical eyes when they heard we were expecting. And all I felt was dull, scared and incredulous that they could be so innocent and cheerful after what happened last time.
I tried to be excited, in fact there was a part of me that so desired to be excited… but a bigger part of me just couldn’t “go there”. It was too risky. Not this time. My hearts’ protective walls were built of steel.
I found that a “rainbow baby” pregnancy isn’t always beautiful colors like the end result… there’s still a lot of dark clouds throughout.
The “what-ifs” haunted me despite every effort to withstand and combat them. I prayed constantly. I memorized scripture. I asked friends to pray for me in my struggles and I sought out Gods answers in the Bible. I meditated. I tried to think of and focus on the positive- But once you know the worst “what ifs” can come true, I don’t know if you can ever truly’let go’… maybe some better than I could, but the “what ifs” haunted me in spite of my faith, even through labor and birth, fearing the worst would happen, without reason, at the last second.
I don’t know that there are enough or adequate words to fully describe what carrying a child to term is like after losing one, but I can say that I do believe that more beautiful rainbows (whether in life or in the form of a baby) can be born only out of the dark clouds and the immense rainstorms of losing a baby and surviving it.
There’s something about knowing how very dark things can get that makes you appreciate every bit of light that much more, see the colors that do come occasionally a little brighter and appreciating them for the moments they last, however long.
There’s something about Raindrop experiences that make the soil of our lives perhaps more prepared, more fertile, for miracles to grow, and rainbows to color things differently.
I can say that I had never in the past valued my baby, my pregnancy, the delicate life within me to the degree that I did with my rainbow boy, Micah. Maybe that’s a terrible thing to say. I do know it’s honest. And to experience that, new life within you all while knowing it’s (very real) fragility… is a treasure and a gift because it spans into other areas of life, helping you realize the beauty and fragility of those around you, and experience the life moments you do have in all the greater fullness.
My little rainbow miracle boy is finally here. He is safe, he is healthy, he is breathing, and his heart is beating with mine. And every time I look at him I will see my Philip boy in him, and I will love them both in those moments – in such deep, amazing, yet different ways, because if not for my Raindrop baby Philip, my Rainbow baby, Micah wouldn’t be now sleeping on my chest listening to my heartbeat that holds his big brother so closely within it.
This pregnancy was hard and painful and amazing and life changing.
Mothering this little miracle is hard in ways many people can’t understand. But it is both a deep privilege and an immense blessing to care for this beautiful boy that grew from fertile soil prepared by his big brother, and out of those raindrops, have grown rainbows both in my arms, and in my heart.