He is finally here. Our little miracle has arrived safely. I am still in a state of disbelief that we were able to bring home a healthy baby boy.
Since we were able to make it past the point in this pregnancy that we experienced a third trimester stillbirth. I had an increasingly difficult time managing my anxiety on a day to day basis. I felt like every day was borrowed time. I kept waiting for the bad news at every appointment. Weekly testing and ultrasounds became stressful and triggering, bringing indescribable fear that bad news was right around the corner.
Although I was assured our little guy was perfect, a part of me refused to believe it. I had heard that before. But nevertheless, each day his little heart kept beating, and his feet, wedged right under my ribs, continued to remind me that he was there.
Thankfully, my doctors were kind and scheduled us for an induction at 39 weeks. This was my light at the end of what seemed like an exceptionally long and dark tunnel. It brought some relief that I didn't have to wait for him to arrive on his own.
In the weeks leading up to Tyler's delivery I found myself becoming anxious about how I was going to react to his arrival. The actual birth was not what worried me (I had done this before). I was terrified that I would fall apart emotionally, struggle to bond with him, or experience a resurface of the trauma of Violet's delivery. Thankfully none of these things happened.
I would be lying if I said I wasn't anxious about arriving to the labor and delivery floor. I was fearful it would trigger painful emotions and distract me from welcoming our son. As we were shown to our room, we were led down the same hallway where both Maddi and Violet were born. There was room 1729, where Maddi entered the world. Just next door, room 1730. Violet's room....I took a deep breath as I remembered that day. As I looked at the closed door to that room I saw a picture of a tree with a falling leaf. (This is how the unit notifies staff that the patient admitted to that room is experiencing a loss).
My heart sank. Not quite two years ago, I was the falling leaf, in that same room. I wanted so badly to open that door and hug that mom. I wanted to tell her how much her baby matters, and that most importantly, she will be ok.
In that same moment I felt Violet's presence, like she was greeting Jay and I. I felt a wave of relief come over me, she was here with us, and at the same time, she was comforting a new family experiencing the loss of a child. I knew that the gifts we had given the unit in remembrance of her, were being used and I felt so proud of her.
That leaf was what I needed. I knew everything was going to be ok, and that Violet was with us as we greeted her little brother. This was her way of telling me to let go of guarding my heart. As soon as Tyler was born all of my fears were gone. I wish I could describe the relief I felt in that moment.
In the two days we were admitted, Jay and I were approached by so many staff to not only congratulate and celebrate Tyler, but also to share their stories of how our gifts to the unit have helped them provide care and support to loss families. Their stories were truly gifts for Jay and I. Our hearts certainly were heavy for the families as we know this pain well, but to know how large (and growing) Violet's impact has had makes us immensely proud of her. That pride makes the pain lessen a bit on the hard days.
Tyler's birth was celebrated by so many, from unit staff, to the chaplains, physicians and of course our family. He is truly a miracle, a little person I get to hold in my arms to remind me of where strength comes from. He is just what our hearts needed, a little rainbow 🌈.