A rainbow baby is one that comes along after a loss - irrespective as to what stage of pregnancy or life that loss happened.
I guess you could call the pregnancy a Rainbow Pregnancy. Sounds peaceful, doesn't it?
It's also very strange.
On your first baby, if all goes well, you pass through those 9 months largely blissfully ignorant of all those dangers nobody really speaks about openly. If you are lucky (and thankfully most people are) you never know the pain of an early or later miscarriage, still birth or neonatal death. You look ahead to the birth with a mixture of innocence and dread and generally try to surround yourself with those other mums who tell you the nice stories...
When you are going through a rainbow pregnancy however, you tend to be more acutely aware of what might go wrong along the way depending on your history and in addition to the generally increased awareness one acquires after the first.
On Eoghan, I was happy to be expecting again so soon after Patrick passed. I could not wait to tell the world. It gave me some good news to tell. Especially to those people we bumped into who would almost immediately want to dissolve into a puddle of tears at the mere sight of us. We were a walking reminder of the worst thing that could happen to a parent. It was hard on us as well as them, but in ways possibly harder on them.
Imagining the worst is quite possibly more difficult than living it, IMO. When you are living it, it is hard, yes. But you do not get a choice. This is happening to you and you have got to learn to deal with it somehow. Eventually, you do learn to live with the loss. When you imagine it, your brain tortures you on a totally different level.
Perhaps this does not make sense but take these often used phrases as an example:
"I just don't know how you get up in the mornings. You are so brave. I could not do it."
This person imagines what happened to you to happen to their own. Their mind tortures them with images and scenarios and how they think they will react.
Whereas when it actually happens, it just happens. There is no choice on the matter. There is a before and there is an after. You are no longer the same person but yes, you do get up. No, you will not feel all that brave. Yes, you too could do it because you won't have a choice.
While expecting Eoghan, the husband was more than reluctant to tell anyone. I firmly believe he felt that telling people in and around that baby's first day in school would be more than sufficient. There was a lot of talk about counting and chickens and hatching around that time if I remember well. Understandably, he wanted to be sure to be sure that everything was really fine.
What happened to Patrick is a 1 in 100000 chance. Yet he was that 1. You have higher chances of miscarriage, still birth, something else being seriously wrong...So I suppose it must have felt like tempting fate to become too excited too soon to him.
Honestly, I probably did not understand it then but I do now.
Two early miscarriages and difficulty conceiving later, I have been extremely hesitant to tell anyone since that illusive second line appeared on my test back in early November. I even waited before attending my GP to confirm the pregnancy and send the letter off to our consultant for fear I might put a jinx on it. Aside from Pat, our GP and my acupuncture folks I was physically unable to tell anyone else for weeks.
This time, the husband is the polar opposite. He is delighted to share our news after month upon month of disappointment.
First I needed to wait until our first consultant scan. Then I needed to wait until the 12 week nuchal translucency scan (geriatric mother, after all!). Then I needed to wait until the 16 week scan. Then the 20 week scan.
I suppose by 16 weeks I was ok with people knowing but still found it hard to do the telling. Only now, after the 20 week anomaly scan, I am getting more comfortable telling yet part of me is still scared and probably will continue to be until this little one is born and safely in our arms.
Then the SUDC parent anxiety will take over...
Meanwhile, we remain cautiously optimistic while Eoghan is delighted to be getting a sibling. We will have to put aside time to make sure he understands that he will not be able to carry his sister around in the same manner as he does the cat right now...😰
As for the discussion about names....Oh well. That's a whole different story.