Tag Archives: rainbow baby

 Joy 

You never expect the betrayal. The failure. The frustration or pain. The anxiety. The longing. It’s your body you should be able to trust it to just work and do it right. The miracle of conception is intricately incredible; yet somehow it just happens. God is so clever in his creation of humanity… Except for when it doesn’t work like that.   

Miscarriage, pregnancy loss, acrania .. You lose all trust in your body to do what it should competently be able to do. After you’ve experienced this you lose the joy that is associated with pregnancy and childbirth. Fear, anxiety, worry, concern all rooted in this lack of trust for your body; its failed you once what’s to stop it failing you again.     

The robbing of pregnancy joy is one of the meanest things. It affects relationships; infertility, recurrent miscarriages, pregnancy loss, long journeys to conception, health concerns for mum and Bub, super fertile couples who never have a worry. How do women communicate over so much variation of experience?     

But what is perhaps meanest about pregnancy no longer having instant easy joy- is that it isn’t just pregnancy that you struggle to find joy in. When successful (even the fact you talk like that) it’s child birth and the new life also. It’s sometimes almost effort to find joy in your newborn, not from lack of love, but you have to fight through the fear and memory of storms and death. 

  
 
It’s hard to forgive your body for failing you. But then you have a healthy child after your storms and grief and longing… And slowly but surely this is the deepest healing that takes place and then, joy. But in a different experience, not because everything just happened as it should. But because you survived pregnancy, conquered fear and relearnt how to open your heart to baby love again- and in some ways it’s a deeper more beautiful joy than you ever knew possible. 

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miracle diary | birth

a journal of our miracle journey…
an insight into how the pregnancy miracle is different after you’ve sailed through storms.

 

(if you missed it, you can read part one twothreefour, five, six)

Thirty-five weeks |

Had another trip to hospital for monitoring… all is ok. We are booked in for an ultrasound in a few days to check the levels of fluid around bub.

My husband gifted me with pampering and a maternity shoot for Christmas. This is one of my favourites.

 

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Thirty-six weeks |

An ultrasound at this point is unbelievable! Honestly… up until now our latest ultrasound was at 20 weeks with big brother. But the detail – the lady told us bub had hair, we could see a beautiful little nose and lips. I suggested to Daniel we could find out if it was a boy or girl… but we did not. I was excited on the day to see details and beauty.

The next day I was not. I woke from bad dreams.

The following day was even worse. I had prepared myself for birth being when we see the finer details of our baby; eye and nose shape, long legs and if they had mummy’s or daddy’s toes…when they were in my arms and safe. But now I knew details and had a picture to imagine that was really their face, they became a person and they were still in my womb, which for me is such an unsafe place.

Emotionally I was not ok. It was no longer an imaginary face that I was fighting to keep alive. Which also meant if there was loss, it was not an imaginary face we were losing.

 

Thirty-seven weeks |

We braced ourselves on the Friday (37.1) for Tropical Cyclone Marcia. As we hid in our walk in wardrobe, as the bathroom was on the side of the house lined with a bush land of tall gum trees; we lost power (four days) and phone service (three days)- Daniel and I are so thankful the Braxton hicks that were like no Braxton hicks I’d felt before didn’t eventuate into anything! It was worrying for a while there, especially as we physically would not have being able to get to hospital and had no way to contact anyone.

I laid there at night, at who knows what time, all the windows open with no breeze at all, a wet washer on my belly and Daniel fanning me with a piece of paper ready to have a giant pregnancy melt down! But everyone was in the same boat and there is nothing that could be done to help me. Silent tears were shed that night.

Come the Sunday lunch, recovery had started and Daniel and I were active in feeding all the emergency services. Each meal someone would ask me if baby was coming… I won’t lie, I was hoping to work baby out. No luck, but at least I kept myself busy.

 

Thirty-eight weeks |

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First full week of maternity leave; I spent it feeding the emergency workers for the cyclone. With a few hundred people getting fed each day, my wonderful husband coordinated service teams and worked very long hours! I would help for a meal or two each day.

My mum and dad arrived, to help me with big brother while Daniel was so busy helping others. I don’t have words to describe how thankful I am for my parents.

 

Thirty-eight and five |

Nothing can prepare you for birth of a rainbow baby. No matter how much you think about it and prepare your heart. A birth after loss… I don’t want to describe it to you. The last time my body did this physical act…well, our baby never took a breath.

Birth is a team effort; I’m so thankful for continuity of care as our wonderful midwife knew that there was so much more than the birth of a healthy baby happening in that room. She could not have cared more perfectly for us than how she did.

My dad capably looked after biggest brother. My mum is the perfect support person; she doesn’t interfere but just loves as she does and is there. I’m so thankful she’s been there for the birth of both our children.

But my wonderful husband, I have no words; I couldn’t have done it without him. I know everyone says that, but he was my strength. When physically, emotionally and spiritually I was spent, he held me up, he didn’t let me crumble. He is literally how I survived this birth. Plus I like that he is the one who has caught both our boys. That’s right, I’m a Mumma of two precious boys.

 

Our boy is six weeks old today.. and I thought it was time to close this diary.

I could have used a nice posed photo. But I’ve tried to be honest in this miracle diary. Thought lets face it, with the amount of genetics it takes to make a baby, all pregnancies are miracles. I’ve tried to be honest about how I felt; how I struggled, how some days were tough to believe and hope in a life even though I felt it all day long, how emotionally a baby after loss is one of the toughest things any parent will go through, how there is joy and hope but how it is different.

So my last piece of honesty- this first moment- when our baby boy, crying and breathing is placed in my arms. This picture describes what words can’t.

 

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“Rainbow Babies” is the understanding that 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 color, energy and hope.

Author unknown

 

 

 

 

 

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miracle diary | part six

a journal of our miracle journey…
an insight into how the pregnancy miracle is different after you’ve sailed through storms.

(if you missed it, you can read part one twothreefour, five)

 

Twenty-five weeks | 

After 30 hours of abnormal pain feelings… tests were done for early labour. Time spent in hospital was not a highlight. I remember ringing my mum on the forty minute drive to the hospital, it hit me, the baby could be coming, something could be wrong. Admitting it to my mum with a blunt refusal to believe that it was really bad. Doesn’t mean the tears didn’t fill my eyes when I did. I know what happens when things go wrong, babies don’t survive, and I couldn’t admit there was something wrong.

Though  we worry, we stress- I’ve never really seriously entertained the thought that we would lose this baby. I’m on a wobbling balance board that I just get scared of the wobbling rather that lean too far one way or the other. I try each day to keep balanced, looking ahead rather than to the pit of despair below.

I also wish that doctors would learn… A guy walked in said all these scenarios. Then another man came in later and told me the complete opposite of the first, why? – The first was an intern and guessed. Walking in saying you’re a doctor means something. Ok maybe that’s harsh. I suppose my bias towards medicine comes out sometimes. Anyway- baby is still inside and all ok.

 

Twenty-seven weeks |

I exercised and I made the comment that perhaps I’m getting too big for this… I’m feeling massive. I’m feeling pregnant. And I’m feeling exhausted. I don’t go to boot camp anywhere near as much as I did before, but I can’t give up. I worked too hard for too long to give up. Plus I actually feel good to still be exercising. And after a class, I never regret it.

One of the ladies asked me about baby, how do I still exercise? Do I know what I’m having; am I excited? I think I commented I just want a heartbeat, a healthy baby. People who don’t know me don’t get that. They don’t get why a heartbeat, why simple life is most important, more important.

My trainer- who is brilliant and understands herself- asked me how my worry levels are going. I appreciate her so much. Worry comes and goes. Concern comes and goes. As I feel more movement and kicking it helps with the worry. But there are moments, overwhelming moments. I can’t describe it, but it’s overwhelming.

 

Twenty-eight weeks | 

I made a decision; this baby is going to be ok. This baby will be born; this baby will live, because at some point you can’t live in fear anymore. I can’t live in fear anymore. I want to be excited about this baby. I want to feel joy. Pregnancy is tainted and will always be, but I can choose how much.

This is real; this miracle is real. I want to find the joy in that. I don’t want to miss it. We can be excited.

Doesn’t mean I can feel it right now, but I’m trying. Its not always easy, but I’m trying.

 

Thirty weeks |

Me pregnant this time and with big brother…..what do you think?

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Things are not the same.

In the space of 48 hours two different couple friends of ours lost precious little babies. Both so longed for, both prayed for, both so wanted.

I can write about our miracle journey…. But I wish I didn’t have to have a miracle journey. I wish the term rainbow baby didn’t exist. I wish a pregnancy grief storm wasn’t an option.

Our heart broke alongside our friends, with raw understanding.

My heart broke.

 

Thirty-three weeks |

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I weighed myself at my parent’s house at Christmas time, according to their scales I put on ten kilos over the three days of Christmas. It was not a good feeling, I came home, and its ok I hadn’t actually put on any. I wish weight and body image wasn’t such a big deal in pregnancy.

So I’m on a stupid no junk food challenge, does that contradict what I just said? I asked Daniel to do it with me, worst idea ever! He’s suffering with me keeping me accountable and we haven’t caved yet.

I really mean it (well maybe) when I say it was my last boot camp yesterday; I’m very sore today! Slowly starting to put together the hospital bags, need to do that faster.

Grief is freshly around us, and our own excitement cant quite bubble through our own experiences just yet. But as baby plays my ribs like a xylophone, keeps me awake at night- I hope.

Hope for a life for our miracle.

Hope for a miracle for our friends. Hope for love to invade darkness. Hope for joy to find those around me that are without it. Not just from baby stuff… but from life stuff. There is so much going on in the worlds of people I love; depression, life changes, childbirth, loss, struggles, unanswered prayers, and new beginnings.

I might not be great at excitement or joy, but I can hope. So today, I will do that. I choose to hope for me, and I choose to hope for you.

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Miracle Diary | Part Five

a journal of our miracle journey…
an insight into how the pregnancy miracle is different after you’ve sailed through storms.

(if you missed it, you can read part one twothree, four)

 

Twenty weeks |

The day before twenty weeks was Emmanuelle’s birthday. It was a bizarre day, and this week has been- unexplainable. Or maybe it is, but I don’t really care to try. Emotions are high and pregnancy just makes them even worse. Half way- less to go than what I’ve done. Especially (fingers crossed) if this baby is early like their biggest brother!

 

Twenty-two weeks |

One thing you forget about pregnancy is baby movement. You don’t forget how it feels. But at the start each kick and movement is a big deal, it stops you for a moment. It’s a rushing feeling of relief and joy. This week, I’m feeling so much more and it seems to be constant. I forgot it got to this place, where you feel everything- a continuous reminder that there is a little baby growing inside of you.

But mostly –I’m thankful for it. Because I still worried. Worried the ultrasound was wrong. Worried my womb would turn against the baby. Worried that there was something wrong. I know movement doesn’t mean all is ok. But it does mean the baby is still alive. Fear of death, its not a nice feeling- and you can’t imagine it unless you know. And if you do- I’m so sorry.

 

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Twenty-three weeks |

I’ve realized this week my club membership has changed… I’ll write more about this in another post after this one.

 

Twenty-four weeks |

Nearly every morning this week, our big boy has told me he doesn’t want to wait- he wants the “baby to come out the tunnel now.” I never taught him this, but we’re just going to go with it…. I try to tell him the baby will come after Christmas, but he’s reply is- “No! Baby now!”

I don’t think he is going to help the impatience a summer pregnancy will bring as the weeks go on.

If I was to type without a filter – and this is probably how pregnancy feels regardless of loss – I just am feeling fat and hot at the moment. Weight never seemed to be an issue in my first pregnancy… it could be because it was my first, and everything was yet to be stretched, I was also a twenty-two year old. Now its fourth pregnancy and a twenty-five year old body… its so tough not to get discouraged. I’m carrying so differently this pregnancy- our boy was round and all over- while this baby, my tummy is just like a really low kangaroo pouch. And you have the thoughts I’m growing a baby…blahblah. I’m sure you know the encouraging things people say if it’s you. But sometimes that just doesn’t cut it.

What does help me, well what I try to think about- is my body is changing in the best way to be the growing space for this baby- and if that means all my weight needs to be in my thighs and backside no matter what I do well apparently that’s where it will go. I still am exercising, and I’m not eating too badly…. Once I hold this precious baby in my arms I don’t think I’ll be worrying about the numbers on the scales quite so much.

But for now, at nearly 25 weeks pregnant, its 7:21am and I’m the only one awake because I haven’t been able to sleep for the past nearly three hours- so I’m going to sneak a piece of chocolate. Toast would make noise which could wake someone see, I’m just thinking of those sleeping.

ssssh… don’t tell anyone.

 

 

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miracle diary | part four

a journal of our miracle journey…
an insight into how the pregnancy miracle is different after you’ve sailed through storms.

(if you missed it, you can read part one two, three)

 

Seventeen Weeks | I tried to write this nicely but I can’t.

Probably two weeks before Emmanuelle came, I had another appointment at the hospital. In Australia they give you a blue booklet for pregnancy. I walked up to the receptionist said my name for my appointment, she asked me for my blue book. I told her I didn’t have one. She told me I had to have one and it wasn’t ok that I didn’t. I told her again that I didn’t need one. She was getting frustrated – you know hospital policy. Because I’d be seeing different midwives and doctors all the time they need the book to know where I’m up to and find out about me. Or more so the facts about my pregnancy, not me. I told her I didn’t need one because my baby was going to die.

That shut her up.

Case in point of the problem when you don’t have continuity of care, when you have to see just whoever is on that day, when you are just one of many… People don’t know you; they don’t know your situation, circumstance, they don’t know your story.

In August the hospital I have to birth at- 50 minutes away from home- started a continuity of care program. I’ve spent the last six weeks ringing around the hospital, talking to my GP, trying to find out who I had to talk to- no one knew. When I finally did find the person, she told me of the already limited spaces there was only one left, and because of where I live I might not get it. I might not have one person care for me in pregnancy, birth and after. Pregnancy hormones got the better of me on this occasion and I told her it wasn’t ok- more politely than I felt to. Then cried when I told Daniel. I don’t want someone looking after me who doesn’t know my story. Honestly- I don’t understand how continuity of care isn’t something normal everywhere. Even though I know not everyone feels that way.

Everyone has a story, and not everyone wants to repeat it to strangers every appointment…or in the middle of labor because of shift change! Because sometimes it means that they just don’t, and that doesn’t make for a nice birth at all!

 

Eighteen weeks | Surviving on a diet of toast with peanut butter and either strawberry jam or honey, ice cream and watermelon. Oh wonderful watermelon. Feeling pretty average. Pregnancy is so different when you’re busy chasing a toddler around. With our big boy I just put people on roller coasters all day, then came home and rested… now I work much longer days and nights and look after a very energetic two and a half year old.

Daniels first response when I told him about missing out on the program was to pray…. We got a call late this week, there was one spot left, in the town we live in- and it was mine.

My handsome husband took me to the Lion King Musical this week.. so here’s a non-typical eighteen week bump picture.

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Nineteen Weeks | We had our scan on 19w1d- and no we didn’t find out what we’re having. We like the surprise… I also like the reward of going through labor and waiting for that moment when Daniel says – “it’s a [insert gender here]!”

Anyway- I didn’t realize my depth of worry about the scan, or maybe I did but didn’t admit it; until I was laying on the noisy paper and the first thing the ultrasound technician showed us was the perfect solid white ring of skull and brain. I cried… and I think I was even holding my breath until that point. The relief, the praise and thanksgiving, the joy that this baby had a skull.

It really is a miracle. Our first scan was a grey blob with a little beating bit, then more human than alien looking… to now, when you can see arteries, spine, heart chambers and a baby swallowing and yawning (we were lucky enough to get videos of this! – its very cool).

You would think now I’d feel relived, feel more peaceful… but I don’t.

I don’t know if its because of Emmanuelle’s birthday week or what, but I don’t think of my womb as a safe place anymore. I don’t think of it as this protective bubble where I can keep all harm away, where the baby will only know my voice and deep love.

Pregnancy isn’t full of joy anymore. Daniel and I were talking about it- we don’t think we’ll ever have another ultrasound where we aren’t worried or concerned. I’m joyful about this baby as Daniel begins to feel more of its movements, and I see my tummy grow. But until I hear the first few breathing cries and hold them in my arms, part of me worries that my womb will forever be a damaging place, a place where bad things are likely to happen. A place they need to escape from to be safe.

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Miracle Diary | Part Three

a journal of our miracle journey…
an insight into how the pregnancy miracle is different after you’ve sailed through storms.

(if you missed it, you can read part one and part two)

 

Ten weeks | If I thought I’d popped last week, I was wrong. I don’t look like I ate too much; to those that know me- I’m pregnant. Thankfully no one that really knows me lives near me. Thankfully I also am someone who normally wears baggy clothes. So its not a giant fashion change to conceal. I’m still trying to exercise. It feels good when I do. I can’t do things as much or as fast, partly because I’m trying to keep my heart rate down and not get too overheated. My brain uses that excuse to not push as hard- even though I probably could. Don’t tell my trainers.

 

Eleven weeks | I had two terrible dreams last night. In both we went in for our 12 week scan, and in both something was wrong with the baby/pregnancy. I don’t think what my brain imagined are even real things. But my silly brain made them sound enough like medical words that I woke with a start and took a long time to fall back asleep. Just to have the first terrible dream followed by a second terrible dream. Up till now I’d done no worrying. If there is a neural tube defect its already happened and I cant change it… but those stupid dreams messing with my mind!

 

Twelve weeks | I felt physically sick for most of the day. I’ve been ok until this day, the worry and dread came only for today. All I wanted was to walk in and see a beating heart and solid white bone that would form the skull. It’s the day of our scan.

I know that ultrasound people know so much more than they let on… apparently the one today however was not very confident in her skills because she refused to say anything at all. However the report is that all looks normal but the later scan will give a more definitive answer. Not willing to commit to anything because of our “history.” Sometimes I wish all the medical people I had to see knew us and would say her name rather than just ‘history.’

Trying to accept this is them saying that everything is ok, but it would be so much easier if they just said that rather than all their non-committal medical jargon.

 

Fourteen weeks | We had no plans for an “announcement.” But hiding my growing tummy was getting harder and harder and it didn’t feel real yet. This pregnancy was lacking the excitement it should hold.

The only people who knew we were pregnant with Emmanuelle were our immediate family and some of our closest friends, everyone else found out when we had her. It was too tough to say- we’re pregnant- because no matter how quickly you talked you couldn’t finish the sentence that the baby wasn’t going to live before people would get excited.

I asked Daniel if we could announce Baby Rufio- do the whole social media thing- why? Because I wanted people to be excited with us. People, who have journeyed, prayed and cried with us to enter into this season of expected joy with us. We did- and people responded perfectly. Thank you.

I don’t look just kind of fat anymore- you can feel its like the uterus has popped out now, which is nice. Plus we’re no longer saying to our big boy to be gentle because mummy’s tummy is sick. He knows exactly where the baby is and that is nice. In fact, he thinks it’s a girl baby but says it’s a brother. We’ve got a few months to work on that.

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Sixteen weeks
| Wishing I could say I’m starting to feel better, but I felt terrible all yesterday and was sick from a hot chocolate last night.
Though I am finding exercise a whole lot easier probably for the past week or so.

Pretty sure I was feeling the baby move yesterday. It’s not all the time, and I was sitting very still.
Emmanuelle was born just after 15 weeks, so perfectly formed including her fingers and toes and little nose. Such a blessing to have a perfectly accurate image of what this child looks like at the moment within me. Knowing that they would nearly take up my hand, with legs and arms capable of moving about. Passing the gestation week when Emmanuelle went to heaven was a big deal.

I said I desperately want this baby- I do. I feel joy at the coming arrival, but I’m waiting for real happiness to come. I am happy, but it feels different. The comparisons of emotions between this pregnancy after Emmanuelle and our pregnancy with big brother is difficult, I can’t believe I was once so relaxed and happy. I experienced emotions without complications. But without complications I wouldn’t be the me I am today…without complications I wouldn’t have this child growing within. Years down the track I won’t ever remember what life was like without baby Rufio – exactly as they are. Baby Rufio only exists as who they are because Emmanuelle is no longer with us. I don’t like the comparisons, and its not really comparisons, just emotional complexities that won’t always be at the forefront of my mind. But today, they are.

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miracle diary | part two

a journal of our miracle journey…
an insight into how the pregnancy miracle is different after you’ve sailed through storms.

(if you missed it, you can read part one here)

Seven weeks | I had to go back to the doctors “because of my history.” It was kind of pointless. I had to get a new ultrasound form because they are worried the baby’s heartbeat is a little slow. Which could just be because the ultrasound was so early. I asked the doctor for another form for the twelve-week ultrasound. She got confused and gave me this big lecture about Down syndrome and what testing will do and the stress it can cause. It took ten minutes, but we crossed the communication barrier and she understood I just want a “check for skull ultrasound.” I say that and sometimes Daniel tells me not to because its inappropriate- especially to people who don’t really know me. But I’m specific like that now- I want a healthy baby with a beating heart and skull.

We had the ultrasound. All is ok- heartbeat perfect. Looking perfect. Its all looking as good as it can at this stage. Side note, we had a MUCH better ultrasound person this time. Someone who was still nearly finished training- but she listened and actually read our form which said past history.

 

Eight weeks | Daniel finally chose an “in the womb” name. He hadn’t until now… I understand that. It’s a bizarre place being happy and excited but trying hard to reserve all feelings because what happens if something is wrong again. So… Baby Rufio is coming- EDD 12 march, our wedding anniversary.

Daniel’s parents arrived from Moscow Russia, we told them and Grammy cried with joy. She commented that many people had asked her when we were going to have another baby, if I was pregnant yet. I didn’t realize so many people talked to her about us (until she told me that day). Obviously people talk to everyone but us about us. I didn’t realize that people talked to her about us, which means they probably talk to my family too. Oh well.
Because honestly, even now the list of people that have returned to the normal friendship before Emmanuelle is well…none (ok that’s an exaggeration, but the number isn’t high.) All who stopped have not picked up where they left off. Some have… though Emmanuelle happened nearly a year after we’d left our home, so it could be a mix of the long distance and Emmanuelle, but we’ll never know.

Anyways- eight weeks and the sickness and tiredness has totally picked up to a whole new level. But… I’m still exercising. It makes me feel so much better about myself if I do. I worked so hard before… in fact, before we went away to Sydney I had just reached my first weight goal (meaning I’d lost 5kgs), and those I exercised with were telling me they could see shoulder muscles and a real difference! Woo! But you know what, I’ll take healthy baby coming over developing muscles any day. At least I know if I work hard I have the body type where you will see some muscles I work so hard for.

 

Nine weeks | I haven’t put on weight… but my tummy has popped! Obviously not massively… but I can tell, people who really know me could probably tell too.

This is my fourth pregnancy and my body definitely knows what its doing.

Fourth pregnancy. I thought this would be us done. Four pregnancy’s, four babies I’m definitely done. I have one living baby. And I don’t know if we’re going to have a second this time. It’s just a waiting game now, waiting for that next scan. Sickness is terrible. And fourth pregnancy…. I’m struggling to wrap my head around how different my motherhood journey is. I never ever imagined this would be me. But it is. I can’t change it; I can’t go back and pick something else out of the lucky dip, for this is my story.

Fourth pregnancy…. I desperately want this baby. But then if I want another, how many pregnancies will it take to get another healthy baby. It’s too much to wrap my head around. Because all of this really involves Daniel too, I got him to read it before I posted, he told me the above sentence was really too raw and vulnerable. Did I really want to say I desperately want this baby, because what if something happens? People will know the depth of my longing…. There is so much other stuff happening in our minds and hearts than simple joy. I don’t quite know how to un-muddle it….

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