This will be the most difficult post I will ever write. I pray it touches you in some way and encourages healing if you have been through this.
Rainbow Baby definition: A rainbow baby is a baby born shortly after the loss of a previous baby due to miscarriage, stillbirth, or death in infancy. This term is given to these special rainbow babies because a rainbow typically follows a storm, giving us hope of what’s to come.
First I would like to say I am so sorry for your loss. I know you are probably sick of hearing this by now but you must remember there are people who have not gone through this and are more than likely at a loss for words or the right words. Accept condolences and let people grieve with you. I attempted the shutdown approach and tried to go on with day-to-day activities and although it may be different for you, your body will protest and you will find it difficult to do the most simple things. Even if you think you have control over your mind and can build the highest walls you will not have control over your body and the roller coaster that it is on. Here is my story…
My name is Tanya and I recently turned 40. I thought that was the hardest thing I would ever do in my life but I had no idea the cards that were going to be dealt.
My husband Heath and I had been trying for four years to conceive. We tried all the “natural” ways. The right foods, the right vitamins, the right exercise the right “positions” you name it we tried it. In 2013 we both went through testing to make sure my eggs were healthy and his swimmers were well, swimming. My OB discovered I had a cyst on the opening of my Fallopian tube and said that could hinder us becoming pregnant. After surgery for the cyst removal and a DNC to ensure we had a hospitable baby environment we were given the green light. He was good, I was good and there was no reason we could not conceive naturally. At first the excitement was there. I pulled out the arsenal of lingerie and tried to be as sexy as can be while having planned sex and he was always understanding. After a few months of testing and scheduling sex we were beginning to fight. It was becoming a chore and obsession. We decided then that we were not going to plan and make it a chore any longer. We knew we were healthy and we would conceive naturally eventually. Eventually never came. We had a few months were I was late and of course excited at the thought but when we tested they were always negative. The toll this was taking was becoming detrimental so we decided to ditch all efforts and just enjoy each other and our marriage. We would have dogs as kids and travel the world. Great solution right?
A year and a half later and a move across country we began the discussion of trying again. The clock was ticking so loudly that mentally I was freaking out. I was going to be 40! If we don’t do something now will we get a chance again later? Will we want to try again later with the risks increasing with age? All of these questions were hitting me hard so we made a decision to talk to the Dr. and get her thoughts. Our first attempt with medical help was in September of 2015. Ironically the same month I was having my turning 40 meltdown. After talking with other women that had gone through IIVF and the gambit of other medical assists we decided with my Dr’s approval to use Clomid. Clomid is a hormone which allows your body to release more eggs than normal. The chance of pregnancy is 10% in a 6 month cycle of trying. I know the odds were low but hey it was a first step. So with Clomid in my system and counting down the days, the stick peeing began! Oh scheduled sex is so much fun! Fortunately for me I have the most understanding husband in the world! I gave him a calendar of the days we were looking at and to be prepared. The 13th day was my day! I had the lines in full glory on the ovulation test and nerves were taking over. I knew the odds were slim but I was beyond determined! We didn’t do hand stands or any other silliness that was told by others to do, we just enjoyed each other. I put myself mentally in a place that this is it. We are going to be successful this time and make a baby. I prayed harder than I have ever prayed in my life! Now the waiting game.
Because of our birthdays and anniversary all within two weeks of each other we planned a trip to Cabo. This of course was much-needed R&R and gave us time to enjoy each other and appreciate the love we have for each other. We tried to not wonder if we had conceived, and though it was difficult we went on like normal.
When we returned home we carried on as normal. That Tuesday was when I was due to start and that day came and went. Then the next day and the next day and then the next. We were so incredibly nervous and I wouldn’t test because I was certain it was nerves causing me to be late. Well I couldn’t be more wrong! I finally tested on Friday and because I am not the most patient person in the world thought it was negative because there was no immediate line showing. I walked away and cursed a bit at myself for being so stupid to get excited. Still curiosity was getting the best of me so a few minutes later I went back and looked and almost had a heart attack! There were two lines! After sitting down in shock and thinking this must be a mistake! I stared at the results a few hundred times and realized we were going to be parents! The emotions that ensued! I laughed, I cried and then laughed some more! I was going to be a mommy and I could not wait to tell Heath he was going to be a daddy!
Because I am a Pinterest junkie I had all of the adorable and creative ways to tell Heath. Well my lack of a poker face completely screwed that up because as soon as I saw him I spilled the beans. At first I don’t think he believed me until I showed him the test and he saw those glorious double lines. I can say I have never seen a more excited and elated individual as I saw in my husband that day. God finally blessed us!
We took the day to celebrate and relish in the fact we were going to be parents! We went to the baby store to “look” and though it was silly to go so early on, we were excited. The next day we told the family. Of course everyone was tickled pink for us and we were over the moon! I had decided that I didn’t want to wait to let the world know! We both decided that we would take some adorable pics and post on FB for everyone else to celebrate with us.
I posted them on FB with the following statement:
Thought hard on when the time is right to announce and after reading 2 Timothy 1:7 I know I am not meant to live in fear. This baby deep inside of me, ever so small, is a child of God. A child that God gave to me to take care of whether for a day or for years. That care began at conception. Whether he or she lives or dies each day I am with him or her is a gift and has a purpose with eternal consequences. My baby is now a part of my life, my testimony. I will rejoice and let the world know! We are expecting!!!!
If only I had known how true the words were. A day or for years…
We made the announcement 10/3. On 10/4 our world was shattered. While celebrating my hubby’s birthday I began feeling sick. I was starting to vomit and thought this was surely part of pregnancy. Morning sickness is not always in the morning, right? I spent several hours in the bathroom then the spotting began. I called my doctor immediately and asked if this was all normal. She said in the beginning it is very common and unless it worsened not to stress. Four hours later it worsened. I began cramping and experiencing pain unlike anything I have ever in my life! I finally asked Heath to take me to the hospital. After 8 hours in the ER, several tests and lots of tears they confirmed I was indeed having a miscarriage. Because it was so early there was nothing they could do for me and I had to allow my body to go through the process. I can’t explain the emotions that we both went through. Anger is an understatement. I cursed and screamed at God with everything in my being. I asked how he dare bring us here only to have the rug pulled out from under our feet! WHY GOD WHY! A crack addict can get pregnant and have a baby but I can’t! How could you do this to us! How!
We went home and I proceeded to become a shell of the person I was. I stayed in bed for days. I didn’t eat, only slept and cried. After a few days I knew that the path I was on was extremely unhealthy so I started writing in my journal in hopes that would help. Here are my entries. I will not edit them to pretty them up. They are raw and emotional.
Day 1. Grief. The heaviest and most awful feeling in the world. I don’t know if I am coming or going. Did I eat today? Is that even important? How did this happen? We have been trying for so long and this just isn’t fair! Am I allowed to think like this? To talk about life being fair? I am not the only women who has gone through this but you know what I am going through this now so I am okay to be selfish, right? I don’t know how to go on. Where is the self-help book for me to understand? Why do I still feel pregnant?
Day 2. Anger. WHY GOD IS THIS HAPPENING! I do right by people. I live a Christian life. I live my life by your word and this is payment? I feel so lost today. I am grasping at straws trying to understand all of this and damn it this isn’t fair! Why does God give shitty people babies and the ones who want and deserve them take them away! I’m trying to not be angry but it is so hard! I want to yell at him! I want to understand why! WHY? One simple question why? I can’t stand to look in the mirror and know that the baby bump will not happen. I don’t know the proper way to grieve! I don’t know if I should be silent or yell to the top of my lungs the unfairness of all of this! I don’t want to hear I am so sorry for you I want to hear the ugly truth and what to expect through this! No one talks about this! Only the emotional. My body is doing things that I don’t understand!
Day 3. Resentment. I hate my body! I hate that it allowed this to happen. I eat properly, exercise and live healthy for what! So it can fail! I wish I would have never known I was pregnant!
Day 4. Regret. My pregnancy hormone levels are now at 0. It is final. Heath said to look at it as beginning and not final. To see this as an opportunity to heal and start over. I am trying to remain positive but depression is tugging at the back of my mind. We have an appointment next month to talk about IUI. I am scared….
Day 5. Optimistic. I never knew you could feel so many emotions in such a short span of time. I read Isaiah 66:9 this morning and it states “I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord’. I believe my marriage and relationship is what was reborn. We are closer now and have a new appreciation for each other that was missing before. Heath is my rock and I would not be able to do this without the strong man that he is. I thank God for him daily that he sent me Heath and I am happy we will spend the rest of our lives together…When do you stop being sad…
Day 6: Hope. After a day in Steamboat Springs and completely taking my mind off things, I have hope. Hope that we will get a chance again. We discussed IUI and the what if’s and I feel okay about it all.
Day 7: Failure. I didn’t realize it until he pointed it out but I feel like a failure. My body failed to hold onto the one thing we have desperately wanted for so long.
A week ago today our world was shattered. In this past week we have experienced every emotion on the spectrum and some I don’t think I have ever experienced before. We will never understand the why, we can only hold each other and pray we are given a chance again. Healing is slow but I want to thank each and every one of you for your prayers, kind words and friendship. I don’t regret announcing our pregnancy and will continue to celebrate the miracle we had. I honestly don’t believe I could have gone through this without all of you holding me and loving me through the loss. I thank God for all of you….
Day 8: Fear. What if we don’t get another chance? What if this was our one and done and will never happen again?
Day 9: Numb. I think it is easier to handle this way. I went the whole day without incident.
Day 10: Guilt. I am not over the loss by any means but I can take a deep breath again. I don’t want to be depressed or continually grieve but I feel like I am letting go too soon.
I did not write anymore after day 10. I did fall into a state of depression and welcomed it. I did not care to talk to anyone or hear anymore condolences.
It took me two months of grieving to get to a point that I stopped crying all the time. While each day was easier than the last I still held on to the pain. I cancelled our appointment with the fertility doctor. It was too much too soon. Heath was again my rock through all of this. I know this was killing him inside to see me like this but he did not show it. He held it all in and allowed me to fall apart but hold me close. I did write our lil one in heaven a note which for me was a part of my healing process.
In February of 2016 we finally discussed talking to a fertility doctor again. I prayed hard and long about it and decided yes we would give this one more shot. I started testing again in March and by May it was time. I did another round of Clomid and a trigger shot on my ovulation day. Of course this meant more scheduled sex, yeah!
Well guess what! We were successful again! Apparently my body just needs a nudge and it works every time! As you can imagine this was beyond stressful and the last thing the doctor told me is if it is positive you have to relax. Hahahaha that is a laugh. I can say there was no way I was relaxing. We didn’t tell everyone this go around but kept it between the two of us. That Monday I called and made my first appointment! Again we held our breath not knowing how this would go. At our appointment they confirmed our pregnancy and told us we would have our first ultrasound in a few weeks.
On June 28th we had our first ultrasound and heard the sweetest thing my ears have ever listened to. A baby’s heartbeat! There were lots of happy tears as you can imagine! This was happening! We were getting our second chance.
In February of 2017 I gave birth to the most amazing, beautiful miracle ever! He is our world and our Rainbow Baby! He is our something beautiful that appeared in the midst of darkness and clouds.
While there is much to celebrate I still think of my unborn child often. I still cry for him or her but am at peace. I do thank them for giving us the title as parents even though we were not able to meet. I know one day we will all meet in heaven…