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  • Writer's pictureJodi Laughlin

15 Months

15 months after the the birth of our first child, I am preparing for the birth of our second. 10 days to go until the due date.

The last weeks have been filled with preparation. Making sure every single room is in perfect order to bring the baby home. I still am so afraid of that not happening. I don’t even like to bring that thought forward, but it’s there.

I have felt Noelle’s presence in all of the preparation. I took out toys that my Mom had bought me for Noelle

and started to unpack them, feeling slightly guilty that they were meant for Noelle but also feeling that she would want her sibling to use them and it is another way to keep her in her siblings lives. The first toy I brought out played songs, without even thinking about it I played the toy and the first song is “you are my sunshine”. I knew she was with me. I knew she approved of this hand-me-down.

My husband and I bought a wall decal for above the baby’s crib. I needed a way to keep Noelle in the nursery that was meant for her. So above the crib is the saying “hand picked for earth by my sister, Noelle, in Heaven”. I was at work when my husband went to hang it and he send me a picture to see if I liked the placement. The first picture he took, you can see sunrays beaming through the window and high lightening “Noelle” and “heaven” Again, my baby girl, my sunshine, letting me know she is with us.

My biggest fear right now is labor. Here I am, 10 days away from my due date and could go into labor at any time. Will everything be OK? We are trying for a vaginal birth after C-section (VBAC) and have had varying opinions about this decision. I go to a large OBGYN practice and so there are many physicians/midwives, which can be a good thing or a bad thing. Sometimes too many opinions can be overwhelming. Well, two physicians are completely on board with our decision, saying I am a great candidate (young, healthy, with no failed attempt at a vaginal birth in the past). The other two are saying that there is a 1% chance of uterine rupture which can be “catastrophic” and that they want to see me go home with my baby. TERRIFYING.

The final decision to do a VBAC came down to the face that we want to have many more children (God willing) and there are many risks once you have >3 C-sections. This baby would be my second, so then I would only have one more pregnancy without these risks. Also, there are multiple risks with a C-section in general. It is a MAJOR surgery.

So, I am preparing for labor, preparing for my VBAC and preparing for the anxiety that is going to come in those hours/days. I just hope Noelle gives me a sign that she is watching over us. I hope my Mom and Sister and Husband are cheering me on and calming my nerves. I hope this birth doesn’t end in another emergency C-section.

Next month, next 13th, this will all be over and the baby rainbow that we are waiting on will have arrived (I can’t even say “will be here” “will be in my arms” it doesn’t feel real). Next month my love for Noelle will be just as strong but maybe my arms won’t be as empty. I am so excited to hold her sibling. I just pray I see their eyes, I pray I hear them cry.

No baby will ever take my first baby’s place but they just might make me feel a closeness to Noelle that I haven’t felt before. I can’t wait to find out.

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