Waiting For My Rainbow Baby

When my husband and I found out we were pregnant with baby #2, we were over the moon. We had only just had the conversation about when we should start to expand the family a month prior, so the idea of already being pregnant was a happy surprise.

I even tested three times over the next week or so, just to make sure. My first few signs of pregnancy were pretty common; starting with nausea, extreme fatigue and crankiness. Bless my poor husband as I know I can be a handful.

I decided to download a pregnancy app, so I could start charting the details early and keep track of our progress. After plugging away all of my pregnancy updates, I looked into some of the discussion boards and noticed many ladies mentioning the term ‘rainbow baby’. I thought it was an odd term and didn’t pay much attention to it. I am seemingly behind on a lot of the trendy terms, but for some reason this one stuck with me.

By the time I was eight weeks along I started to spot. At first I wasn’t alarmed, since I know that can happen early in pregnancy. By the fifth day of spotting, which was accompanied by some light cramps, I decided things didn’t feel right and went into the OB. Through ultrasound we could see the yolk sac and embryotic sac, but no fetus. The doctor determined that we just had the due date wrong, and not to fret. So, I decided to keep my spirits up and to hope for the best. My husband and I decided to share our good news with our close friends and family. I was hesitant, but knew that whatever direction this pregnancy was going, I would have love and support from them. I was so relieved when we shared our news, and truly embraced all of the love and excitement they poured our way. I knew everything was going to be ok.

I was so relieved when we shared our news, and truly embraced all of the love and excitement they poured our way. I knew everything was going to be ok.

A week later, my bleeding and cramping had increased. I went back to the OB to follow up on my progress, still fighting my internal alarm telling me something wasn’t right. I tend to be a worrier, so I suppressed those feelings and truly put my trust in God. A few days later the doctor called to give me an update about my HCG levels. They came back really high. He said that ordinarily that is a great thing, however, by this point we should be seeing the embryonic pole, and then concluded the conversation saying that this doesn’t look good. I was silent for a bit before I could collect myself and respond. My heart just sunk and broke into a billion pieces. It took so much restraint not to cry on the phone. My sadness clearly echoed through the phone, as the doctor gave a few words of encouragement before ending the call. In a sobbing mess, I called my husband to update him, barely able to tell him what was going on. I could hear the helplessness in his voice, as he wanted to comfort me, but didn’t know how.

Three days later, I had yet another appointment for an ultrasound. We still didn’t see the embryonic pole, but my measurements looked good and this doctor gave me many words of encouragement. She told me that the HCG levels were just a number and as long as they weren’t decreasing, she wasn’t concerned. She told me that while she was guarded about the outcome, she was also optimistic. This truly gave me hope, a light at the end of the tunnel, a possibility that all would be okay.

Over the weekend I was feeling very positive. I had come to terms with both outcomes. I had grieved and also rejoiced. I felt warmth and a calming hand upon my shoulder. I trusted in God’s plan and knew that whatever may happen, it was all for a reason. I looked at my life with gratitude when I realized how blessed I was. I had married the love of my life, my high school sweetheart.   We had an amazing little daughter, Vivian. We had a wonderful home and we were surrounded by love from family and friends.

I trusted in God’s plan and knew that whatever may happen, it was all for a reason.

By Tuesday, my fatigue was making life running after a toddler very difficult. My cramps seemed to increase and my bleeding became heavier. I was so relieved to have my husband come home from work. He helped cooked dinner and we exchanged stories about how our day had been. While we were eating, I felt a sharp pain and instantly knew. I looked across the table at my husband with sorrow. I told him then and there, that we were miscarrying. Tears began pouring down my cheek.  He took our daughter and got her ready for bed. Meanwhile, the full process of my miscarriage began. The pain was so intense. It was so similar to labor pains. I guess when you think about it that is exactly what was going on; only I had to pass an early fetus, not a full term baby. After two hours of barely being able to function, the pain began to subside, the bleeding eased up and stillness came over me. Part of it was relief that I finally had an answer. Part of it was deep sorrow for our loss, but I felt I was ok with it.

A couple of days passed when I went in for my follow up appointment to ensure that the miscarriage was complete. It wasn’t until I was on the table, feet in the stirrups, that it all really hit me. My eyes welled up, and I held my breath trying so hard not to cry. My miscarriage wasn’t finished, and they had to scrape the rest of it out. I felt so cold, so overwhelmed with the finality of it all. Yet it wasn’t the end, I had to inform my loved ones that we were no longer expecting. I mourned our loss, I cried deeply and then I put my brave face on…most days. Tears still flood my face when I talk about it, even while writing this testament. I never imagined I would feel such sadness for losing this life… a life I never even got to meet.

Shortly after, I was having a conversation with my sister. As she was consoling me, she said, “Well, now you can look forward to your rainbow baby.” There was that term I kept reading about on the pregnancy boards. Clearly I still hadn’t known what it meant, so I asked her. She said, “A ‘rainbow baby’ is a baby that is born following a miscarriage, stillbirth, etc. It’s the rainbow after a storm…the hope of better things to come.”

It’s the rainbow after a storm…the hope of better things to come.

I am now in a waiting pattern. Waiting for my body to heal, coming to terms with our loss and accepting God’s plan. The one thing that keeps my head up when the sorrow starts to seep in is my beautiful daughter. What a blessing she is. I thank the Lord for such an amazing angel that keeps me afloat. Through this journey I have learned to listen to my intuition and to trust in the greater plan. In my heart I know we will be blessed with another angel and until then, I will be waiting for my rainbow baby.

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