It is amazing to think that I am 36 weeks along with our Rainbow girl. It was during this week of my pregnancy with Isaiah that he was born into heaven...and born silently into our arms. 36 weeks and 5 days will come on Friday (March 8) for this little one.
I have been anticipating this week - the last time that our babies will be the same age - and wondering how I would feel about it. Would this be a scary or hard time, or will the actual anniversary of Isaiah's birth/death (April 2) be harder? So far, this week has been okay. Though I am saddened to move past the age of what Isaiah was when we met him - I am relieved all at the same time that our baby girl is still doing well and continuing to thrive in the womb.
I have been wondering how each "milestone" of pregnancy would affect my grief...or how each stage of grief would affect my pregnancy. For the most part, I have been amazed and grateful for the peace God has granted. I have only had a couple of serious bouts of anxiety - and though there is a constant heightened awareness of this baby's every move, I am so thankful that I haven't had horrible anxiety (which everyone reminds me would be very understandable). Some practical measures have helped. I do have a doppler at home that I use occasionally, and we have been able to have weekly biophysical profiles (like ultrasounds) from 32 weeks until delivery to give peace of mind. But mostly I have just continued grieving the fact that Isaiah isn't here and growing with us - and trying to anticipate the arrival of this baby girl with joy. I do have to admit that this is complicated - and I'm not sure I'm doing a great job of either one - but I am doing what I need to in order to remain as calm as I can in this time. PRAISE GOD that, for the most part, I have had peace (and thank you to those that have been praying precisely for this -- your prayers have been answered!).
As far as this week in relation to Isaiah, this is the biggest he ever got to be. Yet I am still SO thankful for his life - all 36 weeks and 5 days of it...for the fact that God chose me to be his mom...for how his life has/continues to change me.
As far as how this week affects my feelings about this pregnancy, to be honest - it is still shocking to me that something horrible could happen to a baby this far along. I am big. She is full term. We are ready. She is healthy. When she moves, I am excited that she is alive (but am painfully aware of the possibility that her life could be gone at any moment).
It is so easy to imagine the worst (and in order to guard my heart, I still have had to go through imagining some of those things - just in case). But until there is a reason to worry, I try to focus on the best case scenario -- that we will soon be bringing home a healthy baby girl. Though we know the realities of loss, we trust in the even larger reality that God has a plan for our little girl and already intimately knows the days of her life. Mostly - we have to have faith and hope in Christ when we question the length of life...just like with our other kids and family members (even when trying to protect ourselves from the "what if" scenarios). Whether our baby girl's life is meant to be 36 weeks and 5 days or 100 years, we will praise God for her life.
I am sad that this week is the last time that we will be able to think for our girl - "you are doing such and such, just like Isaiah was when he was this age." But just as I am certain that Isaiah's short life had tremendous purpose and meaning, the purpose of this little girl's life - no matter how long or short - has just as much meaning. I am thankful that we can trust that this is the perfect timing for her to come. I am truly grateful that I have been chosen to be her mom - and I wonder how I will change with her presence in my life.
Some days I am so jealous of Isaiah -- that he is kickin' it with Jesus and able to understand the many mysteries, joys, and heartaches of life here that we just cannot understand. Thankfully - someday we will understand, too.
Just as the roles of each member of our family are changing with the arrival of this little one, so is Isaiah's role. He is becoming a big brother, and I know he is just thrilled.