Can you see your her light? When you lie in bed at night and close your eyes and put your hands on your belly, do you see it shining out from inside you? Are you letting her light expand, grow and fill you, so that you glow with the joy of pregnancy you used to believe enveloped every woman with a baby inside her?
Or, has the blackness of grief that lives inside you blanketed that light with it’s heaviness and fear?
That was the image that remains most etched into my head and heart around my rainbow pregnancy. A vision I had while lying in bed one night shortly after learning I was pregnant. I envisioned a ray of light, so tiny and so bright and pure, trying to break it’s way through the ashes of death that lived beneath my skin.
I didn’t want my daughter to grow in me, in that. But I was in grief, and I knew I needed to honor that as well.
I decided that night to make a choice. I could not make my grief “go away,” nor did I want to, so I would allow it into my life with open arms. And I would also seek out light. I would proactively look for joy, fun, laughter. I would reach through the darkness inside of me to nurture the light that needed space to grow.
And that’s when I started wearing sequins.
I’d given away all of my old maternity clothes. I couldn’t bear to look at them. When I went to buy new clothes I turned towards items that were going to reflect my daughters light and connect to her. I wore little black, brown or gray (except when covered in sparkles.)
It was hard at first. For years I‘d been walking around in the shadows. Allowing myself to stay invisible in clothes that allowed me to disappear behind them. I, like so many others, was used to walking the aisles of whatever clothing store, eyeing a beautifully bold colored sweater and then buying it in black or gray. Now, for the sake of my little bean of light, I bought it in a color. A color that made me smile.
Now, I’m not saying that what you wear is the holy grail of having a joyful, easy rainbow pregnancy.
It’s far from it.
But it helps. It helps to know your baby’s light is in there. It helps to know that you CAN reach out to it, nurture it and love it. Despite the fear.
And the fear was huge.
I didn’t share my rainbow pregnancy online until she was just about here.
I had a panic attack at 27 weeks at a bus station in midtown Manhattan because I didn’t feel her kick for a few hours, even after drinking an entire glass of orange juice. As soon as I felt her movement, I was OK, yet I spent that day in a local teaching hospital getting examined inside and out by more people than I care to admit.
I accepted that it was par for the course and that I had a right to be scared. Hiding from my feelings wasn’t going to make me feel them any less.
As my due date drew closer my fear multiplied many times over. I spent time online, trying to avoid loss sites yet somehow finding myself always on them. Suddenly everywhere I turned I was seeing comments from women with late losses. They bombarded me and I went online and rented a doppler so I could hear my little one’s heartbeat whenever I got nervous.
Dear mama, there is no right or wrong when it comes to pregnancy after loss. There are no rules to follow or mindgames you can play with yourself.
Just feel. Feel the pain, the fear, the grief the sadness. But also feel the joy, the beauty, the promise and the light. They are all there for you. And though the former seem to find you no matter what you are doing, the latter require effort. They require thought and intention.
But they are worth the effort. Your babies light shines out through you. Just find a way to build a doorway for her.
Loads of love,
Tova Gold is a mother, fashion designer turned recent author, inspirational speaker, and leading muchness finder. She is hard at work spreading her beautiful message about the power of muchness along with sparkles around the world. You can learn more about Tova’s story by visiting her website Finding My Muchness or by liking her Facebook page. If you like the idea of finding your muchness then consider purchasing Tova’s new book Finding Your Muchness FUNBOOK or tuning in for her TEDx Hoboken Women Talk. Tova is also a monthly contributor to Still Standing Magazine.
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