Midway through my second pregnancy, we got a clean bill of health. After 20 weeks of tests, 20 weeks of a dread you didn't want to name for fear of it materializing, we made it through the detailed ultrasound that upended the innocence of my first.
As far as they could tell, as much as we could see, the baby was healthy. And he was a he.
After a loss, pregnancy feels especially miraculous. With Huxley, I only started really feeling his kicks after I knew something was wrong, so every flutter and flip was another fracture line on a broken heart.
With my rainbow, every kick was a reminder that he was there, that he as growing, that we were strong.
I got closer to the end, and made my plans. Knowing what could go wrong, I wanted to give everything the space to go right. I wanted to labour at home, but deliver in a hospital. (Just in case.) I wanted minimal interventions, but was open to whatever was needed for the baby. And the days passed.
At 37 weeks, I was induced. That wasn't in the plan, neither was the epidural that followed, and so began a parenting journey of plans gone awry, best intentions abandoned, and overwhelming joy, overwhelming fear, and overwhelming life.