We had seven losses before our beautiful rainbow was born. She lights up our lives in ways we didn't know we needed. We have two beautiful daughters, and they are both such incredible miracles.
However, it isn't all sunshine. In some ways having our miracle baby makes the pain of losses easier and in other ways having her here makes it all so much harder. The pain isn't gone. Having a baby after loss doesn't mean the pain didn't happen. You can be happy and joyous, yet sad at the same time, and that is completely okay!!
Milestones she reaches are bittersweet. I love how fast she learns things and how smart she is, but seeing her reminds me I didn't get that with our other children. It doesn't make the joy at seeing her learn any less, but sometimes it means that it takes time for me to truly feel the joy that used to be so easy when our oldest daughter did these same things.
One thing I have learned through all of this was I needed to forgive myself and let myself have the space and time needed to feel the grief and joy that sometimes feels never ending. It doesn't mean that I take her for granted, it doesn't mean that I am not so very happy she is alive and thriving, it just means that I am being the best mother I can be, to all my children.
You need to allow yourself to feel all you need. Pregnancy after so many losses was exhausting. I was constantly terrified I would wake up one morning and it would all be over, just like the others. I couldn't let my guard down. I was terrified to love the baby growing inside me. I struggled with depression and anxiety, and amplified by hormones I was a mess.
Preparing for a freebirth made me work through the fears I had, which was one of the hardest things I've ever done. The actual birth was the most powerful I have ever felt, but that simple act wasn't enough to take away all the fear.
As it nears my rainbow's first birthday, I think of all we went through to get her here, and all that I still struggle with. The upcoming holiday season also makes it all the more apparent.
I'm slowly relaxing and some anxiety is lifting, but I still have a hard time leaving her or her sister with anyone I'm not very very close to. I still have flashes in my mind of something happening her.
Once you lose a baby, the innocence you had before is gone. And if you struggled with it before losing a child, it becomes amplified.
During this holiday season and always, please know there are so many places to find support. Websites such as Unspoken Grief and Stillbirthday, twitter, facebook, in person support groups. Such a wide variety of support and understanding, so please reach out. And I am always available, so please send an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like information on anything, or even just to talk.
Just because you've received your miracle doesn't mean your grief stops. Feel what you need to feel, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise!