One morning in the summer Matt and I were doing our usual walk through the orchard, talking on life, and happened to look up into the sky at the very moment I said ‘I hope everything will be ok’. There was a strip of rainbow even though there was no rain over that side, which vanished almost as quickly as it appeared, just as faint as the second strip line I’d received that morning. A line of delicate destiny that I would only see the fruition of as I waited, and tried not to care, about as successfully as a child on the eve of their birthday pretending to sleep.
As I write this now, my belly is full of butternut squash, organic yoghurt and a 14-week squirming little person whose heartbeat galloped reassuringly on the monitor 2 weeks ago as I cried a river. As any mother attests, it feels unreal till you see them, feel them, gently release them into the world, but Evan taught me to love every moment, and that I am trying to put in favour of worrying over what will be. Easier said than done; I have already explored more fears in my mind than the number of new pimples on my face.
In under 2 weeks time we will find out with some degree of certainty whether our new gift is not going to follow in the same fate as his/her brother. The trepidation till then is increasingly palpable as I try concentrate instead on the empowering thought that I will love this baby for however long I am privileged to have them. An attitude of gratitude soothes an aching head.
But, what an honour to again be transformed by fecundity. A journey where the anxiety is as beautifully meaningful as the excitement. The intrigue and delight of the continued absent menses in the first fortnight, that quickly blossomed into shameless carnivorousness that put my perennial meat-shy, veggie-curious caution to shame. Attacking 4 lamb chops on a plate to myself, 5 chicken pieces or a pie stuffed with beef was not an uncommon sight in our house as my skinny body turned on a mammalian ‘famine ahead’ mode. Like a predator in a wildlife programme my instincts turned to building my baby with the taste true to my cultural heritage, whether my sympathy for butchering cared or not. Like a cat I alternate eating and sleeping; early nights to guiltless lie-ins knowing that one day soon everything will change. My bosom, puckered with grief for months following the redundant burst of white life that longed to feed my son, suddenly spilled over like gleeful cups of tea, rehearsing for a grand pouring debut to be performed with even more vigour after a heartbreaking postponement. My torso bloating with second-time wisdom, swelling with pride into a shelter for a new mystery inhabitant, the arrival of a soul from another dimension, a mortal miracle so wondrous to barely wrap the humdrum everyday mind around.
There has been so much I wanted to write on this blog lately, this post is a start. Even though I have not felt my baby move yet, instinctive magic of motherly power quashes the worry of anything work-related, uttering to ears that can almost hear: nothing else matters. You are the most important thing of all. You are another mighty log of life thrown onto the fire of love between Matt and I, sparking wildly to fuse us closer as we snigger and snuggle up cosy for Christmas, keeping warm the faith that this winter wakes to a spring that springs us somewhere over the rainbow…
“A "rainbow baby” is a baby that is born following a loss.
“The storm has already happened and nothing can change that experience. Storm-clouds might still be overhead as the family continue to cope with the loss, but something colourful and bright has emerged from the darkness and misery. A beautiful and bright rainbow follows a storm and gives hope of things getting better.”
Picture by Tim Charles Matthews