As I write this I'm currently just over 21 weeks pregnant. I can feel my baby moving about inside my tummy. It's magical, and amazing, but it's also the most terrified I've ever been in my life. Since losing my son I've discovered these miraculous babies who are conceived after loss are often referred to as 'rainbow babies'. I have read that they are called this because 'the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it doesn't mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is 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 colour, energy and hope'.
This is the perfect description in my view. This baby does not negate the loss of our son. We still miss him, every single day. Sometimes the joy I feel about this baby is immediately followed by sadness for the loss of my son. This doesn't mean I don't love this baby as much, or want it as much, just that my sadness about the loss of Xander remains, and always will. I think this might be difficult for some people to understand, but it won't seem strange to other bereaved mums at all. I can feel extreme grief and sadness about the loss of my son, as well as my love for him, whilst still feeling joy, excitement and yes, even hope, for this baby. Just like parents who are lucky enough to never lose a child don't love their second or third children less than the first. There's no limit to how much you can love - your heart expands to include them all.
I don't know what will happen with this baby - will he/she be safe? Will I bring him/her home this time? Will they grow up to be happy, healthy adults? The trouble is, we just don't know. I know - no one ever knows. But with a rainbow baby the fear is always there. Xander died despite being healthy, and so much could go wrong with this one too. I get bursts of positivity, but I also live with anxiety every day. Of course it's worth the anxiety, worth the risk. The chance for me to have a living child, though it seems remote and hard for me to believe at the moment, is worth the fear.
I love this baby already. I love them like I loved their brother. And if the fear, and worry, is what I have to go through then I will. When I feel hope and excitement, I'll embrace it, and appreciate it. But the fear will always be there. As I keep saying to my rainbow - stay safe, baby, stay safe xxx