All stories must come to an end.
My story of grief and loss is coming to an end. What two years ago felt like an impossible task, healing from my firstborn’s unexpected death, is in its final chapter. The pain is ending and a new odyssey is beginning. Or at least I’m choosing to believe so.
Eli and I check into the hospital one week from today — 10/8. I will be 39 weeks pregnant and hopefully conditions will be favorable for an induction.
It dawned on me last week that the date 10/8 mirrors the auspicious number 108. Sacred in both Buddhist and Hindu traditions, 108 holds significance for me too. Off and on for years I have meditated with a mala — a string of 108 prayer beads. Using this tool during meditation supported me during my darkest days of grief. When we were ready to conceive again, I prayed with the mala asking the Universe to send us a strong, enlightened child. Inducing labor on 10/8 feels like an answer to prayer.
Pregnancy after loss has had its share of ups and downs. Now at the end of my third trimester I’m under the constant eye of my doctors. Twice weekly visits measure heart rate, muscle tone, movement, breathing, and the amount of amniotic fluid around my growing baby. This intense level of prenatal care is both comforting and overwhelming.
Ultimately, it’s my responsibility to relate and respond authentically in the moment. When worry and anxiety creep in I’m finding grace to be gentle with myself. When I feel trapped in thoughts of losing this baby too, I acknowledge the fear as a sign of my humanity. I reflect compassion back into my heart for the sorrow I’ve endured and the healing I’ve done. My heart’s capacity for giving and receiving love is expanding.
How many mothers and fathers have been here before? Countless suffer losses like mine. I’m on the brink of a grand celebration. Giving myself permission to believe in a beautiful outcome is both liberating and scary.
For right now, I’m enjoying the wiggles, stretches, kicks, and hiccups from within my womb. This life bopping around inside me is strong and I can’t wait to meet her. I choose to believe there is a new story to be told.
Keep me in your thoughts and prayers this next week and into the next. I’ll be sure to keep you posted.