I have been absent from this column for a bit now. And for that, I am sorry. But I promise I have a good reason. I am pregnant.
And being that I write about my life as a mom here, it was easier to take a break than to try to hide it.
Most people, myself included, aren’t that comfortable with going public with pregnancies until the second trimester. Call us superstitious, but for those of you who follow Mommie Brain, you know that last year found me suffering through multiple losses, so I did not want to announce it just yet.
For my first trimester, I was on modified bed rest (which has now been lifted). The bed rest was due to a minor complication so I wasn’t sure this one was really going to take. Well now I am four months and though I know that anything can happen, I feel confident announcing it.
The funny thing is that if anything were to go wrong, I would probably turn to this column and express it as I have in the past. So here I am, preggers.
It is strange to be pregnant when you stop to think about it. There is another human being growing inside of me. How weird is that? I forget at times and then I wonder why am I out of breath, why don’t my clothes fit, why can’t I sleep? This is something I have truly wanted for a long time. I wouldn’t say I had given up hope, but after my third miscarriage last year, I started to question if it would ever really happen again. And here it is reminding me that it is happening on a daily basis, which is lovely.
It makes sense I got pregnant when I did. It was over Christmas break. My husband, son and I explored our city, relaxed and happy. We went to Legoland, Cirque du Soleil, I took a trapeze lesson, we went bike riding. We were stress free and calm.
When I found out this time it just felt different. Though I was nervous, I believed it would take. And so far it has.
To have another baby after last year and after my son’s wobbly entrance into the world is scary. But it is exactly because of my son that I am not as scared as I thought I would be. My son is now almost 4 and he flirts and jumps and runs and makes loud noises and giggles and is just so much fun. This little boy on first meeting in the NICU, showed me the frailty of life, but in the years since he has now introduced me to determination.
That is not to say that I am completely without worry. When I go online and read the community boards of Web sites like Baby Center I admit that I am often drawn to the posts about losses and the scary stories. Perhaps it is calming for me to share in the stories of these women who have been through something so similar. It is not that I think it will happen to me again. It is just that I need to know that anything is possible. Some may say eliminate all stress while you are pregnant, do not entertain these thoughts. But my son showed me that struggles can be overcome. Perhaps as I sit at the computer reading these stories as my belly grows I feel like I have overcome something.
There was a posting on one of these boards about rainbow babies. It was not a term I was aware of. But it caught my eye. I thought at first it meant a bi-racial baby. But after some poking around I learned that a rainbow baby is a baby after a loss. So I guess you could say I am having a rainbow baby, which seems kind of a perfect term for me because I am slightly obsessed with the song “Over The Rainbow” from “The Wizard of Oz.” I spent much of my childhood in the back room of my mother’s apartment watching Dorothy sing about this land that she heard of over the rainbow, this place where dreams come true, this place full of hope. It was something I clung to. I walked down the aisle to marry my husband to that song. I serenade my son each night with it. And so it seems almost too perfect that that is what this pregnancy should be called.
But though that song is beautiful to me, I do not want to forever tie this pregnancy to the ones I lost by having a term that does just that. This baby is its own wonderful entity. But I do enjoy the symbolism of a connective rainbow that has seen me through many stages, good and bad, in my life. And just as Kermit the Frog sang when he wondered, “Why are there so many songs about rainbows and what’s on the other side,” it seems this time I may just find out.
Rachel Zients Schinderman lives in Santa Monica with her family. She can be reached at Rachel@mommiebrain.com.