For some of you the term rainbow baby is not unheard of. For those of you who don’t know, though, a rainbow baby is a baby that comes after baby loss. To lose a child is unlike any pain you could ever even dream of. It is very much akin to losing a part of yourself. When it really comes down to it, that is what it is, for every loving parent would agree that our children are a part of us. They are derived from us, after all. When that reality is shattered-when something so precious and loved is ripped away from you no matter how much you cherish it, no matter how much you pray, no matter how much you beg- a part of you will follow it into the dark.
When I had just turned eighteen my husband and I had first started dating. Being two young teenagers we, of course, were screwing like rabbits. When you put two idiots together who are completely immature, do you want to know what happens? Teenage pregnancy. God, I was so scared. I remember telling my momma at my granny’s house because I was beyond scared and needed support in case things got wild. My dad simply cried. He’s never been a man of many words. At that time, I was grateful for that quality of his. My husband and I were frightened beyond belief. We had only just begun to get to know each other. I never liked kids. Why would mine be any different?
Well, as it always does, time went on. All my doctor appointments went well, and eventually I found out I was having a beautiful baby girl. When I found out her gender it became all too real for me. I could choose a name, choose the nursery colors, and start buying those first outfits. Instead of an “unknown” she became a definite.
At four months pregnant my family planned their yearly vacation. While we waited for our flight, my cousin and I browsed Hobby Lobby to pass the time. I was looking for things for her nursery. Up until that point, I had not bought anything. I decided on cute Noah’s Ark animal stickers and two little wooden owl figurines. I remember checking out next to my cousin and stating that I was probably going to jinx myself. It was definitely an odd thing to say, but ultimately I wonder if maybe I did.
After returning home I went in for my usual checkup. I was lying back getting an ultrasound when the technician made a worried face and told me to wait a second. Before I could say anything, she was out of the room. She came back with my obstetrician and they both studied my baby while speaking to each other quietly. The technician left the room, and at that moment, I knew.
Turner’s Syndrome. That’s what my baby girl had. She listed off all the problems my baby girl had, and told me she most likely wouldn’t make it as the amniotic sac was too small and that meant she was probably actively dying. She scheduled a follow-up exam with a specialty ultrasound clinic for a couple of days after.
Although I prayed, screamed, cried, begged, there was no happy ending. They told me it would only be a few days. It was getting worse, but thankfully, she was not suffering. In a way I was relieved. I knew if she did survive her life would be nothing but pain and misery. So, while my daughter still barely hung on inside of me, I mourned for her.
I spent three days and two nights in the hospital. Because I was five months pregnant I had to be induced and deliver. I got to hold her little body. I got to say goodbye. I got to have a funeral.
Years later, my husband and I get pregnant once more. I was so, so happy. Another chance! However, in the back of my head, I wondered if this one would be different. Thankfully he was and my little boy came from that pregnancy, alive and well. Everyday I am so grateful for him. He’s my rainbow after a storm.
If you’ve lost a baby, please don’t give up. There is hope. If there’s a will, there’s a way. I’ll hurt with you if you ask me to. Do whatever you need to ease that pain, but don’t ever stop trying. You are a momma. You are worthy. I know at times you want to shout, “My baby was real!” I know you feel alone and angry. What happened was not fair, nor right, but momma, it would not be right to give up without a fight if your heart still yearns for a child. There is hope.