For some the journey to parenthood is easy. There are no barriers or significant waiting periods. There is conception, pregnancy and welcoming a child and maybe a few more afterwards. For others the experience looks very different. There is the exciting anticipation of new life, then the sudden heartbreak of loss that follows. The acknowledgement and challenging walk through post partum depression. The confusion, silent ache and exhaustion brought on by infertility.
For my husband and I the second category is the one we relate to most even as parents to 3 healthy children. Up to this point I’ve chosen to stay fairly private online regarding this part of our lives. In person I’m usually pretty comfortable sharing with friends and family as the moments and conversations have allowed but it’s still hard to dive in deep. If you have walked this road you probably understand that sometimes those with loving intentions can struggle to understand how to offer support and to listen and will even say things unintentionally that slow the healing process.
I’ve been wrestling with how to fit our whole journey into one post so for now I’d just like to share a small piece with you, though very precious and personal. My hope is that it will enlighten and touch your heart if you’ve never experienced a pregnancy loss. If you have experienced that pain and then went on to find out you were expecting a “rainbow baby” I’m sure you’ll be able to relate to the emotions.
For those who aren’t familiar a “rainbow baby” is a term simply used to describe a baby born following a miscarriage. Rainbows are a symbol of life and hope. A beautiful gift that arrives after a storm. We have 2 rainbow babies. This is a letter that I wrote over 2.5 years ago to our youngest daughter following the second loss.
At 10 weeks pregnant I finally have the courage to write to you. I’ve been waiting to feel ready. Only a few weeks before you were conceived we lost another precious little life for the second time. Though early on, earlier even than the first loss, it still left a scar.
That loss made me nervous to fully embrace the sweet news of you growing inside of me.
At 5 weeks my midwife sent me for blood work which confirmed that you were growing at a healthy rate. At 6 weeks, 6 days I saw a tiny heartbeat via ultrasound. Still it’s taken me some time, even with being sick most every day of the past 4.5 weeks, to stop feeling so guarded. To not worry about losing you. You are so loved.
Today I choose to stop worrying and to embrace you fully. Your sister (4 yrs) is thrilled to know you’re going to be joining our family. Your brother (2 yrs) doesn’t quite get it yet but he has the sweetest heart, loves babies and is going to love YOU so much. I’m praying that you’ll continue to grow healthy and strong. Daddy and I are so looking forward to finding out if you are a boy or a girl!