It was nothing short of a profound, life-changing experience to have a happy, healthy rainbow baby. When human beings experience something so intense, it's natural to learn something about oneself as a result and throughout the entire process. In fact, I'm still learning things about myself after having my rainbow baby.
In almost two years before my rainbow baby arrived, I had three miscarriages. Though I had two healthy children already, that didn't take away the grief of each pregnancy loss. Throughout what ended up being my sixth, and final, pregnancy, I had all the emotions. Forget about every day, every second was a whirlwind. Now my rainbow baby is 14 months old, they took their first steps yesterday, and I'm just beginning to take my first steps into the post-childbearing years of my life.
Profound experiences affect me on a deep, philosophical level. Once all the present moment feels are felt and sorted out, however, I'm left with the task of assigning meaning to them. I asses how all those intense feels have impacted my life and my sense of self moving forward. Those stages of integration and resolution of impactful life events can take years, so I know I'm just beginning. If you'll bear with me, dear reader, I would like to share my preliminary findings about what having my rainbow baby has taught me about, well, me.
I Am A Badass
When I think of just the motherhood related stuff I've done, I get all kinds of proud. I almost have to turn my attention away from my accomplishments, for fear the badassery will dissipate if focused on too closely.
After my rainbow baby, specifically, I did not judge myself for my baby's birth not going as planned. Not only did I not judge myself for it, I actually felt like a total badass! I faced my fears of induction, epidural, and "failure" in childbirth head on, and I came out with the medal of damn honor.
I Am Privileged
I'm privileged in that I got to actually have a rainbow baby. I am under no delusion that everyone gets their rainbow baby. While I'm glad I got my beautiful rainbow, I feel deep and abiding sorrow for those who never will.
I Am So Grateful
Gratitude is humble reverence, but it's also extremely powerful. The feeling of gratitude I have each time I look at my rainbow baby is sometimes overpowering. Their beautiful, perfect face, and tiny fingers almost didn't exist. My experience of gratitude for my youngest has actually allowed me to be able to live all of life from a place of gratitude. It honestly feels so effortless now and when compared to my previous rainbow-baby-free life.
I Am Capable
I am capable of just about anything. Whether figuring this out after my rainbow was born is a coincidence due to the wisdom borne of getting older, or if it is directly related to my last baby's birth, I have no way of knowing. I just know my boundless capability is clearer to me now than it has ever been before.
I Am Mortal
There's something about knowing I'm done having children that makes me face my mortality. It's not because I want more children that I'm facing my mortality (holy buckets, three is totally enough!) It's more a quality of facing that this period of my life — the childbearing period — is complete. It will never come again.
I Am A "Good Enough" Mom
I am consistently petrified that I'm screwing this whole motherhood thing up. After having my rainbow baby I finally settled into my role, and constantly reminded myself that even the best mother is only great 80 percent of the time. Surely I, too, am a "good enough" mom.
I Am Done Having Kids
Technically, I already knew this when I was pregnant with my rainbow baby. But since I also "knew" I was done after having my second child, I understood there was a possibility my mind would change.
Now I know for sure. My family is complete.