20 Weeks

17 weeks
Us at 17 weeks

To the sweet rainbow baby that I think of as Jacob,

Today I am twenty weeks pregnant with you.  How have the past five months flown so quickly?  At first the hours passed with excruciating slowness, but since your daddy and I saw you for the first time at twelve weeks, it seems that the time has raced by.

It scares me, actually, just as it thrills me.  It scares me because your sister is dead.  Because she died in the last few weeks of her pregnancy, without warning or cause, inside of me.  And now you are living inside of me.  I want you to keep living, to be born living, to outlive me.  She died at 31 weeks, and now you and I are quickly falling toward that gestation.

I am afraid.  I don't want to lose you, too.

But I am also excited.  I am just beginning to feel you move in ways that I know it's you, and not digestion.  I love feeling your gentle bumps, and am looking forward to the day that your bumps are not so gentle.  It is amazing to me that someone so small can make himself known, but you are.

I wonder what you will be like.  I wonder if I will be able to know if you are different than or similar to your sister in nature.  When she was alive inside me, she felt so strong and feisty.  At her mid-pregnancy ultrasound, she could not stop moving.  I think that she might have been a wild woman.

When we saw you on the hazy ultrasound screen in the doctor's office a couple of weeks ago, you were moving, too.  But it was gentle, subtle.  Nothing like the crazy tumblings of your sister.  Perhaps you were asleep.  I wonder if you will be a peaceful man.

I could see your little legs and feet bobbing.  I saw the bottoms of your feet for the first time.  I saw you looking like a human being, tiny and precious and so loved, for the first time.  In a couple of weeks, we will be able to see you more clearly through a 4D ultrasound.  We will find out for sure if you are a boy like I think, and more importantly we will find out if you have any determinable health problems.  I don't care if you are a boy or a girl or something in between, as long as you are healthy and alive.

Please still be alive at that ultrasound, little baby.  Please be alive at 31 weeks, outliving your sister.  Please stay alive, and be born alive, and stay alive for a lifetime of decades.  We love you, and want to be able to show love to you more as you grow up and grow old.

But if you don't . . . if you don't, I will be so sad.  But sad for me.  I will be happy that you will get to live with Jesus for all of your waking life, you and your sister never knowing the cruelty of this world.

I am trying not to plan on that.  I am trying to plan on bringing you home. 

Do you know why they call babies that come after their older sibling's death a rainbow?  It is not because that pregnancy is easy, or the mommy's and daddy's previous loss is suddenly cancelled.  Sweet baby, it is not easy to be pregnant with you, and we do not expect you to "make up" for Eve's absence; that would be unfair to you.  But we call you our rainbow because even though life is hard and grief is terrible, beauty can still be found.  Hope can still be found.  In nature, a rainbow comes during or after a storm, and sometimes the storm is terrible.  But that does not negate the beauty of the rainbow.  Perhaps the storm even enhances it.

God is bringing good things out of your sister's death.  Of those things, you are the very, very best.

Please know that it is not your fault that this pregnancy is hard.  I am grateful for God giving me the chance to carry you.  Every bit of fear and difficulty will be well worth it.  I begrudge you nothing.  

I cannot wait to meet you face to face.  I cannot wait to look at my baby and have him look back at me.  I cannot wait to nurse, and to be frustrated by nursing.  I cannot wait to be kept awake for nights on end by your screams, instead of the cold silence of grief.  I cannot wait for you to drive me nuts with your little boy naughtiness.  I cannot wait for snuggles and baby gurgles and dressing you in cute outfits while you'll let me.  I cannot wait to see if you will be curly-haired like your sister and I, or if you'll be gray-blue-green-eyed like your daddy.

Baby, we love you.  Thank you for blessing me these past five months.  Grow strong, sweet one.

your mama

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