Last Friday we welcomed adorable newborn ewe lamb Tallulah to the farm. Maggie and I got to watch her birth out of our kitchen window, then rushed to get to meet her within her first minutes of life, while she was covered in gloop and being licked clean by her mama.
It was a pretty special experience, but we had an even more exciting experience the day before Tallulah's birth: we found out that we'll have another new addition to the farm in October 2015. That's right. I am pregnant again and all three of us are absolutely overwhelmed with excitement and joy. When I first saw the two lines on the pregnancy test I couldn't stop grinning. Maggie bounced off the walls the rest of the day, she was so thrilled.
I feel peace in embracing the joy of expecting this new member of our family, my third baby. Do I fear that this baby will leave us as Wendell did, that we will experience another stillbirth or miscarriage? The thought is in the back of my mind, of course, and in my experience pregnancy goes hand in hand with anxiety naturally anyway, but right now the most prominent feeling I have is peace. I know I can survive losing a baby, that my marriage can survive, that my daughter can survive. And really, not only survive, but come out stronger and wiser and more in touch with life and love and reality.
I suppose sometime soon I need to share in this space about the process of Wendell's birth. I feel deeply that how he was born, the support I had, the thoroughly spiritual experience I had of laboring naturally with my husband at my side, the connection I had with my dear midwife Joanne, has very much informed how I feel now about Wendell's birth and death. I look back at our story and think, "I was not traumatized by this birth. I am not afraid to get pregnant and give birth again." I had a birth that I am proud of.
There's a lot to be thankful for with this new baby, even as we continue to miss having Wendell here with us. It is a bittersweet joy because I know that if Wendell had been born healthy on his due date, we'd have a seven week old baby boy instead of a six week old new pregnancy. This new baby wouldn't exist if Wendell was alive. But that is okay, to feel those conflicting emotions. I don't feel a need to separate my emotions and am okay with whatever they need to be during this pregnancy: joy, grief, gratitude, peace, anxiety, fear, sadness, anger. Whatever emotions need to come will come and we will all get through them and be all the stronger for them.
For now, I'm basking in the joy of carrying new life... and keeping my fingers crossed that with this pregnancy I can avoid the intense morning sickness I had with Wendell. ;)