This is just my experience.*
This has been quite a journey. I have learned so much about myself, about what grief does to your body, about what losing a child does to your heart and soul.
I've struggled to connect, not just with buttercup but with my body. It's been in the last few weeks that I've begun to really connect. The fear, the anxiety, the stress, it kicks you in the butt. Even when you think you have it under control, it seems to sit in hiding and finds that weak spot and digs into it. I find myself so much more susceptible to stress, less tolerant of challenging situations. Constantly thinking the worst, absolutely unable to accept or imagine goodness. The detachment coupled with the fear/anxiety/stress combo causes a lot of psychosomatic symptoms, elevated heart rate, swelling, exhaustion. Self care isn't something that can fall my the wayside, it is imperative!
I've found myself obsessively nesting, things need to be just so, and birth supplies need to be just so, and the house must be just so. Poor hubs has worked so hard this pregnancy with me ordering him around to get the things done that I can't; like cleaning up puke. I've run out in the middle of the night because if I didn't get a mattress cover RIGHTNOW well, bad things could happen.
I've been so scared, because I am so acutely aware of how fragile life is. And even if birth is as safe as life gets, it's only as safe as life gets. This healthy, beautiful, glowing pregnancy doesn't mean I'll have a baby to watch grow up. It doesn't mean I'll be here to raise her. The harshness of that truth takes my breath away. So I savor, in joy and in pain, I savor every second I have left with this person. I don't know when it'll be our last one. And it's shaken me to see how aware of life's fragility the boys are, how they seem to be waiting, holding their breath, leaning in for reassurance and hurting fearfully that they'd lose this person too. Fearful that they'll lose mom again.
I've been so touched by my community reaching out, women loving me, loving us, supporting us, building a protective bubble around our hearts as we get ready for this birth and baby. I have trinkets, and supplies, and clothes, and pieces of love that are all ready for use. So many souls who know our grief, who have walked this path too, and they're all here in spirit.
Bram. Oh Bram. This boy has been here the whole way, he has been a part of this always. From conception to due date, I see the ways he's put his mark on this. Having conceived on the 14th month marker, being due just a month before his bramiversary, his little brother becoming a big brother at 2 years and 8 months which is the age Bram died, being due 10/10 when Bram was born in 2010. There's more, there's so much more!
The journey isn't over, I'm not sure I will ever be brave enough to do this again. But I'm grateful, and I'm still scared. I don't know what the next weeks will hold, or how this birth will unfold, but I'm here, I'm present for whatever process lays ahead. Moment by moment.