My Mama heart has been carrying this blog title around for months. I have even sat down to try and write this post countless times, and yet each time I am left speechless and incredibly emotional. I prayed so hard that when the day was right, the words would just flow.
There are so many things that people don’t tell you about being a Mom; add to that being a loss Mom, and then also a Mom to rainbow babies. There are levels of emotion that at this stage I’m convinced cannot even be described, yet I really want to try!
I’ve read countless posts about life after the loss of a child, and also those written about parenting our rainbow babies, but there is a space in the middle that I’m currently navigating that I feel isn’t as easily spoken or shared about… this side of the rainbow.
People who know us and know our story always say “you must be so excited!” And while our answer is of course “yes”, it is also “this is hard”. This side of the rainbow, the waiting, the anticipating, the re-grief and fresh waves of grief, and trying to navigate this new journey all while keeping our eyes focused on the sweet blessing that Clara already is is definitely a lot. A load that we are more than happy to carry and are of course blessed with, but a load none the less.
While I was pregnant with Samuel, our first rainbow baby, I experienced all of this but in a different way. When we lost our first, Savannah, my heart had been longing for her… a girl, all things peach and lace, hair bows, and ballet classes. So when we became pregnant with Samuel it was an entirely new journey with him being a boy. It’s almost as if the Lord knew my heart needed a completely different path at that time. I was able to shift my focus to all things boy and embrace the new role of Mama with a sweet little man who totally has me wrapped around his finger.
It’s not that that time didn’t surface intense re-grief for Savannah, because Lord knows it did! It was just different knowing he was a boy, and it may have honestly just been my brain trying to keep me from going down that emotion-filled road at the time.
This pregnancy, however, has been SO different. If you’ve been following along for a while now, you know we lost another sweet baby girl, Ellis, this past Summer. My heart could barely handle knowing we lost our first daughter, but to now know that we’ve lost two just completely crushed me. I started wondering if I’d ever get to experience life with a baby girl on this side of Heaven, and what that would even look like if it did happen. Enter, Clara! When we found out we were expecting again and that she was a girl I was honestly in disbelief, and then it hit… the fear. Knowing our history and that all I know is losing our girls terrified me and honestly still does.
Sitting here 31 and a half weeks pregnant with Clara, praying and holding my breath each day, this side of the rainbow is such a new experience. I struggle between wanting to cherish this time with her in my belly, and equally wanting her to be here and to hear her first cries.
The waves of joy and grief are unlike any I’ve felt before. I stare at Samuel and I know my body can do this; I am capable of birthing a healthy baby and bringing him home. Yet I will say, with Clara being a girl it is a whole different world, at least in my brain. All I know is losing our daughters, and not being able to bring them home. To me, that is a total dream, one that I have been confidently praying the Lord will allow to come true.
I’ve been getting to fulfill simple everyday hopes that I have had for 5 plus years now when I was carrying Savannah. Hopes like decorating a girly nursery. With every new thing added to Clara’s room, I get more and more emotional. Not about the room itself, but whose it is! Our daughter, who in no way will replace her older two sisters, but who will definitely fill our arms and days with the joy that God knows only she could bring.
My husband recently made this rainbow print that will sit on one of the shelves in the nursery. I love that it will forever remind us of this part of our journey, of the in-between, and all the prayers that went into getting to where we are now.
“It is understood that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of any storm. When a rainbow appears, it does not mean that the storm never happened or that we are not still dealing with it’s aftermath. It means that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover, but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy, and hope.”
There truly aren’t words to adequately express how grateful we are for the hope that Clara has already brought into our lives, and how excited we are to see God use her story to restore parts of ours that have been broken for far too long now. She will never be a replacement but instead the perfect addition. This side of the rainbow is hard, but seeing the light makes it all worth it!