If it weren’t for all this nausea, and general pregnancy crumminess (hello insomnia, my old friend), I’m not sure I would really believe there was a baby on the way. It’s been so long since we’ve done the newborn thing - Audrey is 4.5 - that I often forget we will have another car seat in my rear view. As I was sitting in the preschool pick up line today, alone with my thoughts, I realized how different our life will look this time next year. And how terrifying {and exciting} that is to think about. 

This is baby #3. So we’re not new at this. But baby #2 took us on the adventure of a lifetime - except it didn’t include any of the normal things you’d expect when going from one child to two. Instead of those late night feedings and zillions of diapers, I was taking unisom and Benadryl to stop my milk, and slowly going through nursery stuff that we wouldn’t be needing; deciding whether it was worthy of storing or just getting rid of all together. This time (I’m being optimistic, and very very thankful for that), we will get thrown back into the whirlwind of those newborn days: the sleepless nights, the endless diapers, the completely dependent tiny human. In so many ways I’m both dreading and looking forward to this new chapter. 

I’d be lying if I told you that my life right now isn’t pretty easy. Audrey Nole is independent, communicates well, and is no longer needing of things like baby gates and outlet covers. She’s pretty well behaved (we cannot forget she is 4, after all), loves to read and color, and almost always is just as content to play alone as she is to play with me. As we went through our journey of trying to conceive another child, with every month that passed, I wondered how much it was going to affect the change our lives experience if/when we did get to bring another baby home. This new baby is due about a week after Audrey turns 5. We all know that due dates are a big guess anyway, but the reality is that life with a 5 year old and a brand new baby is going to look A LOT different than the “easy” season we find ourselves in at the moment. Not just different from now, but different from our experience with baby #1 and baby #2. A whole new season of unknowns; unique and specific to this new babe and the dynamic they will bring to our little family. 

Today also happens to be National Rainbow Baby Day; and has a million thoughts scrambled up in my head. Rainbow baby is term that is very meaningful in the loss community. As babies born after loss are considered the “rainbow after the storm.” I suppose in many ways, this new season we are entering with this baby is a calming of the last few years and the storm of grief, much like a long awaited rainbow. When I think about Noah and how beautiful that rainbow must have been after all those days of rain, and after all the destruction, my heart flutters a bit. He got to watch new life begin and know that those stormy days had a purpose. The clouds and the rain were part of God’s story. They were building His kingdom. Much like these last few years are a part of our story. They challenged us, strengthened us, and most importantly drew us closer to our Savior. I remember often calling the grief we experienced a storm. It’s such a fitting metaphor. But really, the thing I’m most excited about preparing for baby#3, is not the “rainbow after the storm” but instead meeting this unique person, knit together by a God who is endlessly caring, and with a specific and powerful purpose. He or she happens to come after a brother in heaven, and that will surely play a role in the way their story plays out, but it won’t be the only thing. Each of our kids has been made for this moment in this story, and the most exciting part of expecting again, is anticipating the things God has in store for this child. In many ways, all the nausea and yuckiness are reminding me to be thankful for that. And pray without ceasing for this little life and his or her’s story in this broken world. 

“For you formed my inward parts;

you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Wonderful are your works;

my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from you,

when I was being made in secret,

intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance;

in your book were written, every one of them,

the days that were formed for me,

when as yet there was none of them.”

Psalm 139:13-16

Photo by  Marion Michele  on  Unsplash