I am now Facebook officially pregnant. Well, kind of. I didn't post any pregnant photos but after a magnificent day celebrating our babies at the Sonoma County Human Race, pictures were flying all over social media. I would never think to ask someone not to post pictures from their day and by association, I was included in many of the pictures.
I am now 29 weeks pregnant. I am so so grateful. And hopeful. And scared, terrified really. And I had not yet posted a pregnancy photo or announcement on Facebook. I can't exactly pinpoint the reason, other than I am protecting my heart.
People say the most well intentioned and innocent remarks. They do not mean to hurt, nor even mean to pry, but even uttering about this pregnancy feels like chancing fate right now. I have the most intimate bond with this baby and I am not ready to share that with the world yet.
In Ruthie Lou's life we were so public. The world around us watched as our life, the one we had wanted for so long and so badly, fell apart into our greatest nightmare and heartbreak.
In Reid's pregnancy, I was hesitant to share of his impending arrival but when I did it helped to have our community rally around us with hope and baited breath that he would be born alive and healthy.
And now. Years have past, the fog of grief has lifted and we live in our present, everyday life just as most other families do, except that we don't. Pictures of our beautiful daughter line our living room wall, her urn gently rests on our mantle and we answer questions about death and dying from her 3 1/2 year old little brother. We are living the best life that we have created since Ruthie Lou's left us, but it isn't exactly normal.
In the Jewish tradition, baby showers are not customary and many times speaking the name of baby is taboo, as well. I resonate with this tradition so heavily since coming home to a full nursery, but no baby in my arms. Walking past that empty room day after day was merely a reminder of what should have been.
I love this baby so much. The relationship that has already formed is so special, while I am the only one really getting to know this special being growing inside me. I want all the well wishes and warm thoughts, the prayers and hope that once again we have a healthy and living baby come July. But, I cannot emotionally carry the well intentioned comments and questions regarding all things baby; gender? name? baby shower? nursery? how many kids? All those questions, sweet and small talk, carry so much weight as I navigate the daily responses that I am able to offer; gender is a surprise, yes we have names chosen, no baby shower, no nursery, this is baby #3. I say those responses with held breath that I don't make the other person uncomfortable by having to justify my reasons or mention the sad story that I live everyday: my first beloved baby died and I hope this baby comes home with us. Nobody can tell me with all certainty that that will happen and until then, I am protecting my heart and living safely within the four walls of my home where my husband and I can share our hopes and fears meanwhile living in the present moment as seen through our toddler's eyes, that come July he will be able to hold his baby sibling.
Protecting my heart is all I can do to face the world each day. And come July, I will be shouting from the rooftops that this baby is here, healthy and well!!!
I am a mama of three beautiful babes; two boys I have the honor of raising and my daughter who lived for 33 sacred days.