Thursday, May 3, 2012

It's Different Now...

In one week, I get to see my Baby Cinco again.  It will be for our anatomy scan.  During past pregnancies, I have always looked forward to this appointment the most.  It has always been the day we found out if we were having a boy or girl.

I've always been aware of the entire appointment.  All the measurements they take before revealing boy or girl.  We've always received comments like, "Things look great!" and "What a healthy looking baby(ies)."  And I've never thought alot about it.

But this one is different.  I know many, many things that they can find wrong.  I feel this appointment almost looming ahead.  I feel each moment as it's part of the last week of bliss.  I know, right now, at this moment, that Cinco is healthy.  This time next week, I know our world could be turned upside down, once again.  And I hate knowing all this.  I miss the naive excitement that used to come with the approaching anatomy scan.

I am scared terrified at times.  I talk to Cinco several times a day.  Tell him/her how I much I love every moment, every movement.  I hold onto those movements so tight.  Knowing that she/he is still alive and moving around.  And yet, part of me knows that even though I feel the movement, it doesn't neccessarily mean Cinco is healthy.  I don't like being Debbie Downer, I just know the reality of it all. 

My goal for this next week is to enjoy the blissfullness.  To really embrace each moment.  Living in fear is not how the Lord wants us to live.  I try to remember that, and am grateful for those around me who remind me of that.  Every night as I pray for Cinco's health, I also pray for peace in this pregnancy. 

How do you feel as days like this approach?  If you have your rainbow baby in your arms, did you feel similar?  Did it get better or worse as delivery day approached? 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

How many??

I am sure this is a topic that will be written on often here.  It is one of the inevitable questions we all receive, and like so many other aspects of this journey, it becomes a little tougher when you are expecting your rainbow baby.

How many kids do you have?  What number does this baby make?  I always like to imagine seeing the look on someone's face when I am with Colton and Ethan, and they ask me those questions.  If I answer baby number 5, I am sure they would gasp.  They would probably whisper about me to the person they were with, thinking I must not know how to keep my legs shut.  Or they would simply ask where the other two are, how old they are, and if they were boys or girls.

I will probably often stick to a simple answer that will bring only a smile.  This will be my third baby to enjoy, I  hope.  Or something along those lines.   I feel very protective of Lucas and Caleb. Only those who are going to be close to me are privileged enough to know about them.  It took me 10 months to tell the PTA board, people I see several times a month, about them.  And even then it was hard.  I still didn't feel ready, or all them deserving.  My babies are precious to me.  Their memories and ashes are all I have here of them.   But then, how do you backtrack and announce your Heavenly babies?  "You know, a year ago when I met you, I said I had two kids?  Well actually I had four then but two died, and we are expecting number 5."

I thought these question would become easier after conceiving Cinco.  Instead they are harder in ways.  We're expecting another baby, yes.  But I don't feel like I can say we're having another baby.  I can't put into words my lack of excitement as I talk about expecting another, without introducing Lucas and Caleb.  And still I feel like some might look at me as being ungrateful, unappreciative because I'm not announcing from the rooftops with glee.  They probably can't see how tight I am holding onto this baby, how long I hoped and prayed for this baby.  And how I know all too well how fragile this little life inside of me truly is.

I get all these comments now about having a third baby.  How a third child changes everything.  And at times, I just want to scream out, "Well, I should have skipped number three and gone from two to four."  But I just smile and nod.  I know so many don't even know the depth of what they are saying.  I get that, but it is still frustrating at times.  Yes, Cinco will, hopefully, be my third living child.  But she/he will always be my fifth baby.

How do you talk about the number of children you have?  Has it changed since you've conceived or delivered your rainbow baby?  How do you feel when others don't know about your missing child(ren), and they comment on having X number of kids?

Also, there have been some troubles with commenting here and there.  Please let us know if you experience any problems.

Friday, March 23, 2012


When I was pregnant with Bennett I felt like I had to be grateful for every moment.  I greeted every positive doctor appointment, every ultrasound that went well, every time I heard the heart beat with joy, but there were moments - like the days when I threw up five or six times - when I was not grateful, and I always felt guilty about that.

After he was born I felt the same pressure: be grateful, be happy he's here, enjoy every single moment with him in case it is your last.  Before too long the pressure to feel happy every single second of the day overwhelmed me.  There were days - there are days - when I'm tired, Bennett is fussy, and I need a break.

I've learned that doesn't mean I don't love or appreciate him.  It means I'm human, a mama, trying to find my place in a world where I hold one baby while I miss the other.

I wish I would have granted myself a bit of grace during my pregnancy.  Grace and space.  Space to feel whatever I needed to feel, even if sometimes those feelings seemed wrong.  I know it's frustrating to hear pregnant women complain about being pregnant.  After Charlotte died I wanted to tell every pregnant woman and mama who complained, "I'll take your kids.  You clearly don't appreciate them enough."

Now that I'm on the other side I realize sometimes mamas need to vent.  Being pregnant is tiring, being a mama is exhausting.  Don't get me wrong, motherhood is much more than that.  It's wonderful, sweet, and amazing, but layered in with the good is a fair amount of frustration and exhaustion too.

During my pregnancy with Bennett I was in a constant state of stress and worry.  I felt as if I had been pregnant forever.  I wanted to reach the end, be done with pregnancy for a while, hold a living baby in my arms, be past the scary moments after birth when his sister had passed.

And now that he's here there are some days when I'm ready to put him to bed.  When I need a few moments on the couch while dusk gathers and spreads itself out until it becomes darkness to breathe, regroup, and relax.

I've realized I don't have to be grateful for every.single.moment.  I can appreciate and love Bennett.  I can be thankful he has restored joy and hope to my life.  I can rock him to sleep at night with love and thankfulness, knowing I hold him a little tighter because I know what it's like to wish and long for a dark nursery and a sleepy baby to cuddle.  But I don't have to feel guilty when I experience normal mama moments.  I don't have to regret any moments of frustration I had while pregnant.

I've learned I can put the idea of whether or not I am grateful enough aside and focus on love.  Bennett was created with love, carried with love, and he is parented with love. That's enough, it always was.

Do you feel like you have to be grateful for your rainbow pregnancy?  Do you worry you aren't grateful enough?  Are you concerned about attaching to, or loving, your rainbow baby because you are scared and overwhelmed?  What are your thoughts on pregnancy after loss, parenting after loss and gratitude?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Emotional Balance

I'm Angela, I blog over at Little Bird, and I'm really excited to be part of Among the Circle.  My daughter, Charlotte, was born on May 14, 2010.  She died shortly after birth, cause unknown, one of life's mysteries that we've had to learn to live with and accept. On September 9, 2011, our second child, Bennett, was born.

My second pregnancy was full of anxiety, worry, and fear, but there were good moments too.  I enjoyed carrying life again.  I was happy to have a second chance to parent a living child, one I could hold in my arms and watch grow.

When I was pregnant with Bennett I had to take things slowly.  It was too overwhelming to think about September, his due date, his birth, so I focused on one small goal at a time - the next appointment with the specialist, ultrasound, prenatal with my midwife.  I focused on making it to 6, then 7, then 8 weeks, ticking each one off as it slowly went by.  I didn't think about the second or third trimester, or how I would handle the anxiety of birth.  I kept my head down, and focused on putting one foot in front of the other.

As baby loss parents we know the sacredness of time in the womb.  24 weeks is better than 20, 35 better than 30 etc.  We understand the thin line that exists between life and death, and how a pregnancy, or birth, can change so quickly from fine to broken it leaves one breathless.  We carry that with us throughout our subsequent pregnancies. The constant presence of fear haunts us, so intense we accept it into our lives as real, a shadow that will walk with us through this time in our lives.

Because of when we lost Charlotte I was worried thirty-eight to forty weeks would be the only time we had with Bennett.  I didn't want to spend those weeks in a constant state of fear.  I wanted to enjoy my time with him just in case it was all I had.

I had to find a way to mesh the fear and joy together, to force them to hold hands and coexist so I could make it through my long thirty-nine week pregnancy.  I prayed, listened to Hypnobabies joyful pregnancy affirmations and fear clearing tracks (highly recommend), blogged and blogged and blogged, cried on my midwife's shoulder, cried with my husband, laughed with friends.

Pregnancy after loss is a balancing act.  It's hard to live in limbo, to always be mindful of what can go wrong while trying to enjoy the miracle of growing a life.  Much of the time I felt like I couldn't find the happiness.  It was hard to feel positive and believe everything would be fine, but it would have been too emotionally taxing to be terrified for thirty-nine weeks.  Sometimes I had to force myself to rise from the watery depths of fear and take huge gulping lung filling breaths of happiness, which gave me enough oxygen to make it to the next goal: one more day done, one more week gone, each moment moving me closer to meeting my baby.

What have your moments of happiness been this pregnancy?  How about fear?  Do you feel like you can enjoy your pregnancy, or are you simply counting down the days to delivery?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Creating Differences

Nine weeks into this pregnancy with Cinco, and I have already lost track of things I am trying to do differently.  With the pregnancy being only two weeks behind in the timeline of Lucas and Caleb's, there is quite a bit of that to do.    Every birthday and holiday I am pregnant from January until June, I was pregnant with them. And since I am big on traditions, it is really like deja-vu.  I sat in the very same classroom for Colton's Valentine's party, pregnant with the twins, two years ago as I did this year for Ethan's, and pregnant with Cinco.  It was something I couldn't avoid.  It was hard, though.

In my mind, if I can do little things differenty, this pregnancy will end differently.  Some of these things may sound silly to some people, but in my mind, they just might make a difference.  Another mom and I talked about how when we've lost our babies, we told our husbands while they were still in bed.  So this time, we both made sure they were up and about.  And we are now 9 weeks and 14 weeks pregnant.  See, something you would never think about, unless you've been here.

I keep looking back at my pregnancy with Lucas and Caleb to check dates of appointments, trips we took, and milestones we hit.  For some reason, it seems like everything is trying to coincide with each other, and it drives me a little crazy.  W's birthday is coming up next month.  We usually go to Lambert's to celebrate.  And I really don't want to this year.  We were home for Easter when I was pregnant with the twins, I am planning on being far away, and I will not be swimming on Memorial Day weekend this year.  You won't find me anywhere near a pool.  And I am pretty sure my ob appt's will fall in the same calendar week starting in April.  I hope with all hope my dr will let me go in a week early to throw that off some.

by Carrie

What things are you doing differently this pregnancy as compared to your pregnancy that ended in loss?  Are your timelines similar also.  If so, how has that affected you?

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Welcome Friends!

Rainbow Baby: A baby that is conceive after the loss of a baby.  Much like the rainbow that comes after a storm.
I know the bitter sweetness that has brought you here.  The loss of a sweet baby(ies) and the journey of expecting a your rainbow baby. 

When Willy and I first began to discuss trying to conceive again, I panicked.  I wondered if I could really take the chance again.  I wondered if we could survive another loss.  I desperately wanted someone to share it all with.  To know that everything I was already feeling was normal for this babyloss momma.  I searched for a support site for moms who are experiencing a subsequent pregnancy, or have had their rainbows, but found very little. 

And so this site has been born.  I want it to be a safe haven for everyone who visits.  A place where moms can read, share, and relate to each other.  My goal is to have 5 or so regular authors with a few guest authors here and there.  If you are ever interested in sharing here, please feel free to email us.

Over the coming days and weeks, we'll add more posts, more helpful links, and more information.  If you know of any sites or organizations we should add, please let us know.  We really want this space to be helpful and an open community of support.    At the end of each post, we welcome your comments.  We hope you feel comfortable sharing your thoughts on the topics we write about.

Welcome to Among The Circle.  We are so sorry for your loss and are happy to be sharing your rainbow journey with you.