Spring is still somewhat elusive in the pacific northwest mountain city where I live. Oh yes, there are flowers, and gardens have been carefully, if hesitantly, planted...but, still the sky remains an ever present threat of stormy weather. The river that runs through "it" is nearing peak capacity as the watchful residents who opted to prop their lovely homes on river front property look warily at its continuous rising levels. We had more snow this year than in the past 80 years apparently. More rain too.
The storm clouds drawn in on the 10 day weather forecast indicate lightening storm warnings and the risk of flooding.
I live on a mountain over-looking the valley below. I live on a mountain that was once lake front property of the bowl that was once, very long ago, filled with clear blue water and probably a few prehistoric critters. I live on a mountain in a home not threatened by the rising waters and the fear of flooding.
It's not something I need to worry about.
It's not my problem.
It's not my personal story.
These people, who look at the rushing, roaring river, with wide eyes and whispers about what to do in a flood...these people are my neighbors. My brothers and sisters in this world. Their losses are my losses.
I know this because that is what has happened within the baby loss community. Their stories are my stories. Their losses are my losses. Their tears are my tears...and if they are lucky, truly lucky, their rainbows are mine as well. Messages of what might be...what could be--if I'm truly lucky...this time.
I have moved into my 7th month. The third trimester. The final stages. My baby girl's rainbow potential looks brighter and brighter each passing day. Her kicks are stronger. Her vitality clear.
My story alone would indicate that I have little to fear at this point.
But, my story isn't the only story.
I keep telling myself that after the first trimester, most babies are born. Born alive. I keep telling myself that my risk of loss, now past the 2nd trimester, has gone dramatically down. I keep telling myself that I should be careful about what I pray for, for I am told again and again that little girls are harder than boys. I'm told the teen years will be murder. I have trouble believing that...my boys aren't "normal"...so why should my girl be a typical "normal" drama queen? But, I'm told to hold my breath...
But being told stories that indicate that I should fear having a little girl is futile. I'm in love with her. I imagine holding her hand, brushing her hair, teaching her about what it is to be a woman...and that it what breaks me. I want her so much...and I know the stories. I know the stories of losing a baby, a healthy, beautiful baby in the last few weeks. In the last hours of pushing. Even in the first month or two...or three...or the first year of life. I know the stories.
And I am afraid they will become my story as well.
I cannot go back into the world of the unknowing. I cannot be the mother who once, with a bright smile of confidence BELIEVED that her babies would be born safely. I cannot pretend I do not know what has happened to my sisters in this life, or pretend that it hasn't already happened to me before.
When we lost our twins, I was told by many that "it could have been worse."
Yes. It could have been. It still could be.
I watch the bursting river, tip top to the edge of borders that will not hold back much more...and I know it could get worse. That it probably will get worse. I fear for my neighbors down in the basin of this mountain town where a lake once thrived.
And I'm reminded of our vulnerability.
I look at the storm clouds and I beg them to pass. To show us all rainbows and to hold back the storms. Another storm will mount the flood potential. Another loss would destroy my core.
We need rainbows. Rainbows. Of all kinds. In all forms. And especially in the form of a beautiful baby girl who is, at the moment, known as my buttercup.
We, collectively, need the storms to pass.