It has been a bit of a scary ride already, and as many of my fellow babyloss mamas who have had a subsequent pregnancy will know, it will continue to be until this beautiful baby is safely in my arms and coming home (or after even).
We had decided even while we were still carrying Seb - knowing he had a fatal condition and wouldn't be coming home with us, that we still want another baby. And I say 'another baby'. Its not 'trying again' because Sebastian was not a failure. He was fearfully and wonderfully made by a perfect, loving God and Father, however some of these things we just can't explain why God allows. The desire to have a baby to bring home, to care for and to love and nurture did not go away at all. I needed it with all my being. And so I knew that we would be trying to conceive another baby in the months following, when we knew we were ready.
* A disclaimer that I hope is not needed, but I'll put here anyway. This baby will never replace our precious Sebastian. No-one ever could. He is unique and his short life was such a blessing to this Mama's heart. Yes we still want a baby, but we want 'another' baby, not one to replace Seb. This is most certainly baby #5.
What I didn't really calculate was that we would fall pregnant at exactly the time when my due date would be Sebastian's birthday. Yep, by the doctors calculations based on my LMP, this little one was to be due on 4 September, the very same day we said goodbye to our darling, very loved Sebastian. This, I will admit, I have struggled with, especially in light of the stigma of 'replacing' Seb (does anyone really think a subsequent pregnancy would be to do that?). But God has it in His plan. I didn't feel all that good about baby being born on Seb's birthday, and I still don't, and so I am very thankful that I am measuring ahead and the due date is now 29 August. The further away from Seb's b'day the better for me. I mean, how do I celebrate the arrival of one child and yet mourn the first anniversary - one of the hardest days around after the death and funeral - of my lost child? Many people have said to me 'Oh that would be so special' for baby to be born on Seb's b'day, but I just don't feel the same way. And so I'm happy that the EDD is a week before, and I'll be hoping and praying that bubby comes around then too, so I can be home, settled a little and recovered enough to still give my special boy Sebastian the attention and love he deserves on his first birthday - that's very important to me.
And so the first few weeks went by REALLY SLOWLY. I tried to give my worries to God. Worry that this baby might also have T18. Worry that I might have a miscarriage. Just worry. My innocence for pregnancy and birth has been lost when I lost Sebastian and so its going to be a constant battle with worry (and Satan!) to try to enjoy this road. But I will try to continue to lay it at the cross, give it to God because He cares for me. And He is my strength. I want to enjoy this baby and this road to having him/her in my arms, but as most babyloss mamas would know, it just won't be the same as my pregnancies have been previously. And that's OK. Yahweh (God) is with me.
We finally made it to the day of our 12 week scan last week. For the days before - and the morning on - I was very very nervous. Walking into the hospital again was also a reminder of when I was there last - leaving without my baby Sebastian. Going to the Maternal Fetal Medicine unit again - where I was cared for while pregnant with Seb - was tough. The last time I was there, he was kicking around inside me. The last time I was there, his heartrate had begun to slow, in a way preparing us for what was to happen a few days later. But he was alive. And now he's not. So just sitting in that waiting room was harder this time.
But it was amazing to see our little one come up on the screen, and my heart sang with joy and thanks when I saw and heard that little heart beat. Praise God that our baby was alive! I had overcome that first of my fears.
As the scan proceeded, my spirit soared to see my baby. And I was so thankful to hear how happy the sonographer was with what she could see. Our baby looked healthy, no signs of that horrible T18 that changed my life less than a year before. As she looked over each part of baby, she showed us how it seemed to be developing as it should for this stage. She showed us baby's brain - and both Greg and I couldn't help but notice that even at 12/13 weeks this baby had more visible brain tissue than Sebastian did at 19 weeks. No signs of the large black spaces that were large cysts on Seb's brain. Two perfectly forming sides to this baby. I can't tell you how thankful we were - and still are.
She showed us baby's heart, and how even at this early stage, it looked as if blood was going in one side and out the other - Seb had both going in and going out of his right side. Baby's heartbeat was nice and strong at 159bpm.
She showed us baby's hand and feet. Baby was waving to us at one stage and we could see the outstretched hand and fingers. Seb had clenched fists and clubbed wrists (bending backwards) so this was a great comfort. That's not to say that Seb was not perfect in every single way he was created, but just that the way this baby looked, T18 didn't seem to be present. We also saw baby's outstretched, straight feet (not turned in like Sebby's were). Also a great comfort.
Although we (I) chose not to have the NT testing done (I did not want to have an amnio, and I know that false positives are common) - the sonographer told us that T18 was a structural abnormality and could often be seen at this early stage in the major organs.
So baby looks healthy, and we are praising our God for His Blessings!!
Here are some photos of our little 'rainbow' as I will call him/her until we know gender - or maybe even until we have given him/her a name at birth.
|Beautiful healthy-looking baby.... we love you so much. Thank you Lord for this blessing!!|
|13 weeks with 'rainbow' inside...|
We appreciate all your love and particularly your prayers for health for this little one and my pregnancy.
God Bless you all xx