For the final WWY post in this segment, we will share our experiences with longing for another baby to fill our empty arms. Some experienced a subsequent pregnancy after loss. Some may be fearful of embarking on that journey again. Some may not be able to have another child, whether due to infertility or other reasons. Some may have found that having another baby, however precious a gift, was not the key to healing the grief. Can you experience hope and healing…even if there is no rainbow after the storm?
So, yes, I’m quite behind in getting this final post in the WWY blog series up. There have been several reasons including a really busy few weeks at work and a quick get away with my husband to celebrate our ninth (!!) wedding anniversary. But really, I just was not ready to write this post last week.
I still am not quite sure what I have to say on this topic. We do not know whether or not we will have another child. That is a question that we both wrestle with and while I, more so, long for a baby to hold, it is just too soon for us to make any sort of decision. Naomi was supposed to be our last child. And now that she is not here with us it is so not what we had pictured.
I will say that right after Naomi died my desire to have another baby was so strong. And I think a lot of that was tied to my idea of trying to recapture the pure joy I’d experienced with my previous two babies’ births. I felt at the time, in the initial raw stages of grief, that the only way to regain joy was to have another baby. But now I can say, with certainty, that joy and hope is possible again…and its found in God.
There are no easier answers but one of the things I’m coming to understand is that the sorrow I feel over Naomi’s absence with us right now will never go away. I’ve been thinking that healing, what I’ve been shooting for, meant a return, somehow, to how it was before, to how I was before. I think I’m starting to understand that sorrow, instead of being something to work toward being rid of, can actually deepen and widen joy, making even the ordinary every day become infused with a preciousness because this moment with these ones I’ve been given is a gift. And each of those moments I had with Naomi, they were gifts too, though well watered with many tears.
I was talking with my counselor recently about this very topic and happened to mention the term “rainbow baby”. Its such a popular term in the baby loss world, I guess, that it didn’t occur to me that she wouldn’t know it. So after explaining it to her that got me thinking about rainbows…they come after a storm. The rainbow in the Bible was a sign given to Noah of the covenant God made with him and with all living creatures following the flood, that never again would God destroy the earth with the flood waters — God’s promise to sustain life, not to destroy it, even when passing through the deepest, darkest storm. And I see God sustaining my life, even as I’ve passed through the valley of the shadow of death. Whether God chooses to give us another child one day or not, I see rainbows all around, made more beautiful by the tears that continue to fall and refract the light into millions of breathtaking colors.