Do you know what a “rainbow baby” is?
You might have heard me call my daughter a rainbow baby.
I remember my Lamaze teacher as she went around the room and asked whether it was our first baby. I took a deep breath. “Well I had a miscarriage before… and now I’m pregnant again… hopefully this one will stick.” She looked at me and said “Oh, you have a rainbow baby!”
[FAIR WARNING: very long post below! If you were just curious about my book/toy/product recommendations, I will link my Amazon store here. I’m an affiliate so I could earn a very small commission should you choose to purchase anything. Keep reading if you want to hear more about my journey!]
You mean, there’s a term for pregnancy after loss? I no longer have to awkwardly explain my history as the painful memories rush back? It described her so perfectly too. My little rainbow.
“The beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravage of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it doesn’t mean that the storm never happened or that we are still not dealing with the aftermath. It means that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover, but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy, and hope.”
I love both my rainbow and angel babies dearly.
My angel baby is named Melody.
It happened a while ago but I still remember it vividly. I remember taking the pregnancy test. The joy. The excitement. All the new plans I started to make. I embraced being a mother wholeheartedly.
Then I remember a stressful night with her paternal grandmother. She wanted her son to leave me. She had so many hurtful things to say about me. Upset, I internalized the stress.
It was light bleeding at first. I didn’t know I would be discharged from the ER and back again so soon. The second time I collapsed in a bathroom stall; there was so much blood. The bleeding wouldn’t stop. An ambulance came. The rest was a blur. I remember disbelief. Indescribable pain.
In honor of October being Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, I’m sharing my story now in hopes that it will help someone else. It’s taken me a long time to process it. It still brings tears.
One fear that I had was people nitpicking and comparing details. I didn’t want to be asked personal questions. Does it really matter how long I carried my child? Does it matter if someone has had kids before? It is still painful.
Another one is people comparing how long it takes to conceive. I have been told by a previous doctor that I may never have kids due to cancer cells. I grieved the inability to ever conceive again. For a very long time. When we were told by a different doctor that we might have a fleeting shot, we decided to try. And it happened!
My rainbow pregnancy didn’t come easy. Hyperemesis. Bedrest and pelvic rest. Cervical surveillance every 1-2 weeks. Preterm labor started around 24 weeks and continued every day, coming in waves, some days dilating me more than others. Steroid shots around 32 weeks. I spent more time at the hospital than I did at home. A silver lining was that the frequent checkups kept my anxiety at bay.
Pregnancy after loss is filled with so much anxiety. Every step of the way. I was scared to get attached again and disappointed again, but I couldn’t help loving this baby wholeheartedly anyway. Drama happened with my daughter’s paternal side again. It felt like deja vu. I was so scared of losing another baby. And I still worry.
I’m sharing this in hopes that it makes another mom feel less alone. We may have different struggles but I truly believe we are all in this together.
You seriously rock if you have made it this far. Check out my giveaway page to win prizes for mom and/or kiddos for free. The handle is @secretsantamamas on Instagram. We recently gifted a Nugget!
Hugs and kisses,