My third daughter (and rainbow baby) Risa, shortly after birth.
Don’t ask me why it just dawned on me yesterday… but I realized I gave birth to three full term babies (well, two that were days away from full term) in under 3 years. Yikes! No wonder I was quite shell-shocked after the third. It didn’t dawn on me before yesterday because one of those babies isn’t here with us now. I have two beautiful girls here, and one beautiful girl in heaven. And if it wasn’t for the one in heaven, I never would have chosen to give birth to three babies in three years. Sometimes I look back and really wonder what we were thinking getting pregnant again only 2.5 months after Anna died. Mainly we were thinking that we really wanted our oldest Rebekah to have a sibling (here on earth), yet also I remember feeling in my heart that I was ready to be pregnant again. Looking back, I think it may have been wise to wait a bit longer… but at the same time I am so grateful that I was able to have a wonderfully healthy baby and home birth less than a year after losing Anna. Anna was born November 26, 2010 and Risa was born Oct. 4, 2011. She was just over 3 weeks early (actually Anna was 3 weeks early as well). But yes, that was all craziness.
I really don’t know how I would have coped if something had went wrong with my pregnancy with Risa. Well none of us really know how we will cope until something happens though… how did I cope with losing Anna? Sometimes I really am not sure, but I know a few things help/helped: allowing myself to give in to the grief when it comes, and letting the tears flow. Having a (then) 2-year-old daughter full of energy who really didn’t give me the choice of just stopping life altogether. Having friends who would listen to me and love me in any stage of grief, without judging me or giving advice. Prayers from others. Going to a support group with other women who had lost babies. Taking time to be creative: dancing and painting have both been a huge part of finding healing and connection with God after Anna died.
It is still a process and there are still when times I miss Anna so very much. Yet I am in awe of where I am right now, of where God has taken me since Anna has died. I could have went to a very dark place spiritually, and for a while I did, but through God’s grace I have come to a new place of joy and hope. I gave birth to 3 babies in under 3 years, watched one of them die in my arms, yet I am still standing and even thriving today. And Anna is too, in His arms, in His care. Obviously there are ups and downs but today I feel so very grateful for all God has given me, for where I am, and where I am going. I am so thankful for all three of my girls, for what they all have taught me and are teaching me, for the privilege of loving each of them.