Just because you see a rainbow, and it’s beautiful, and it’s wonderful, and it makes your heart smile; it doesn’t mean that the rain didn’t just happen. It did. Everything is soaked, including you.
Of course, I’m not talking about the weather, am I? No, I am talking about babies (no surprises there then?!). What I want to say here may not come out in the intended way; but I am going to give it my best shot and see what happens. Obviously we want another baby, quite badly now I might add. Teddy should have been two in May, even if he had lived; I think I still would have hoped I was pregnant with another healthy pregnancy by now. Alas, neither.
The more people contact me via social media of late, the more I get “Praying for some good news for you” or “Cannot wait until you announce your rainbow news .” Phew, no pressure. I know what a kind place these comments are coming from. It’s human nature isn’t it? Something sh*t happens, so naturally we want it to follow up with something happy. Of course we do. In this scenario; the sh*t being that Teddy died, and the “happy” being that hopefully a rainbow baby will come along and bless our lives with happiness once again. There is one problem though; Teddy still died.
No matter what changes as we move forward, one more child or ten more children (Like my pelvic floor could handle the latter?!) there will always be one missing. One less person around the dinner table, one less pair of wellies by the back door, one less “Mum” being shouted as these metaphorical future children argue over the TV remote (or iPad, or whatever it is siblings will inevitably fight over in the next decade). Always, one less.
Sometimes I think we are so programmed to think that one thing replaces another broken thing in our lives; that we quite literally allow our brains to apply this very concept to every part of life. Car broken? Then get a new one. Job awful? Change it and get a new one. iPhone screen smashed (again)? Get a new one. Baby died? Get a……. Nope, doesn’t work like that. It’s not that I think, in anyway, people are intentionally saying they think another baby will fix it all for us; but the insistence in the comments and speculation that there will be another one along soon, just adds to the mounting pressure that you had better give your family/friends/society some happy news soon, or everyone is bound to start to believe that it might not happen?
We are trying; believe me when I say I am trying my very best. As I have written about honestly in previous posts, when we lost our second baby at nearly fifteen weeks of pregnancy in January last year, my body had suffered severe trauma. As had my emotions. The only thing that will fix that is time, and looking after yourself; mentally and physically. I am just about getting there. My periods finally returned in October, after having given up the ghost for nine months; and all medical investigations of late seem to show that there is no physiological reason why I couldn’t fall pregnant again. I have been to see a Chinese Herb Doctor, in my latest quest to shed some light on my overall state of health, and to try and make (yet) another attempt to be doing something to improve my natural fertility. I guess we shall see if that “helps” things along?
The point is, everything has been done, is being done, to try to make the happy news happen. You can’t rush life though can you? I think we think we can; but ultimately we cannot. These things happen when they happen, and we just all have to sit on the sidelines and wait; no matter how hard we might be cheering for the outcome to go our way. A rainbow baby will change things, he or she will give us someone to hold, someone to pour our love into. If I am honest, probably so much love that the poor little thing won’t know what has hit? So much love and angst and grief has been felt in our home since Teddy died, and we are just waiting for that one piece of happy news to soften the last two, a little.
A rainbow will also bring its own worries. It won’t be a stress free or happy pregnancy; no matter how much I wish it would be. In the past year I have seen friends who have had healthy rainbow babies after losing their first born, and all of them have struggled with intense mixed emotions; renewed grief, worry, fear, guilt. Not things an expectant mother should be weighed down by; but carrying a rainbow is different. A new perspective on pregnancy perhaps? Knowing what should be, and what can actually become your reality, makes things so much harder.
I know there will be people reading this, thinking perhaps I am writing this because I am pregnant? Sorry to disappoint. I have had people write to me in recent weeks saying things like “I just had a feeling that you might be pregnant and I had to tell you.” Again, I don’t think messages like that are sent with any intent to hurt feelings or cause me unnecessary anxiety; but telling someone you think they might be pregnant, when that person has lost their newborn son, lost another pregnancy, and has since suffered a year of fertility issues and constant consultant appointments? I know that society is much more open now, and I think that social media has changed many people’s perspective of where the line is, but I think that just might be crossing it.
Of course, even if I had been pregnant and someone sent a message to say they “had a feeling” would I tell them? Would I tell anyone that I was pregnant “next time”? I am yet to decide. I know that concealing something like that would be a likely impossibility; but I would consider it. I have heard many people who have suffered miscarriages previously say things like “I just needed to get past the number of weeks I was when I lost the baby.” That was when they thought it would be okay. That was when they felt less anxious, or that they could begin to tell people they were pregnant. What if the point that you lost your baby was the night after they were born at 39 weeks + 3 days? What if that was when it all went wrong? Teddy fought for another three days before we lost him. He died the day before his due date. What if my anxiety is so strong until that point that it is crippling, and that I am so scared the same thing might happen again, that I simply cannot share it with the world for the fear that it might actually happen? That’s the reality we will face in any subsequent pregnancy. No matter how many there are. Perhaps just keep in mind that that “happy news” won’t be such blissfuly happy news for us until we are walking out of a hospital with a baby who is four days old; that might be the moment?
There might be a rainbow one day, but we are still soaked.