“It is understood that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of any storm.
When a rainbow appears, it does not mean the storm didn’t happen or that we are not still dealing with its aftermath. It means that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of darkness and clouds.
Storm Clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of colour, energy and hope.” (Author unknown)
I love this term and what it represents; a baby born after a loss is a light in the darkness of grief.
I am currently expecting my third baby but this is not my third pregnancy. This is my sixth pregnancy. I lost two babies before I had my son three years ago. The first was before my husband and I were married I was very sick at the time and the medication I was on caused my birth control to fail. My body couldn’t sustain a pregnancy and we sadly lost that baby who would have been due in August of that year.
I couldn’t help but feel immense guilt over the loss as I was just not healthy enough to provide for that life.
Exactly a year later after getting healthy, buying a house and getting married my husband and I learned we were expecting just before Christmas - what a gift!
Baby would be due in august again.
On New Year’s Day after two days of heavy bleeding I lost the baby. It was devastating I just felt numb for so many days. All the “what if’s” and “what could have been” thoughts were overwhelming - I turned to my trusty journal and wrote it all out.
I drew pictures and quotes about loss and grief - anything I could relate to went into the book. It really helped to put it somewhere.
That March we were blessed with another positive pregnancy test it was a day with mixed emotions - joy, fear and everything in between.
Going through a pregnancy after a loss can be stressful. I would find myself getting excited with baby plans then scared to let myself get too happy incase something happened.
We welcomed our first rainbow baby - our son Kieran in November after a natural uncomplicated birth. He is amazing and really helped ease the pain of the loss prior to his arrival.
Our beautiful daughter followed 18 months later after a uncomplicated pregnancy and natural birth - we felt so complete.
To celebrate and remember the two before them I planted two butterfly bushes in a special garden in our backyard where we sit and watch the butterflies each summer.
In late January of this year we were surprised with a positive pregnancy test - a third baby was not in our original plan but we knew there was room in our hearts and home for another sweet baby.
In mid March after using the washroom I found blood and knew right there our babe was gone and within two days I naturally miscarried. I told myself I should just feel lucky to have the two babies that I did have and tried to be strong but that almost made it worse as I knew exactly what I was missing.
Coping with a loss while being physically and emotionally present for little humans relying on you has its own set of challenges.
After turning to my journal yet again and after the initial shock wore off I knew we were meant to have three. We made room in our lives and hearts for a third - even though a piece of my heart will stay with my angel baby who would have been due in October.
There was still room almost an empty space that needed to be filled someday.
On mother’s day we learned that space would be filled in early 2018.
So here I sit in eager anticipation of another beautiful rainbow - the final piece in our little family and the perfect way to start a new year!
I’ve caught myself throughout this journey feeling I should not “complain” dwell on the loss or feel bad for myself because I’ve only experienced early loss and I know a lot of other women feel the same way for some reason. A loss just like a storm is just that and a unique pain for the person experiencing it.
Every person copes and grieves in their own way. In my experience talking about it and acknowledging it helps even if it’s writing it down somewhere private.
With this baby I knew I wanted to celebrate his/her rainbow status and pregnancy in general. It’s one of the hardest and most amazing things I will ever experience in my life. I’ve heard women say they have a hard time trusting their bodies after a loss in pregnancy - I trust that my body knew those babies I lost we’re not meant to be here with us - as much as it hurt there was a reason my body rejected those pregnancies.
I am so blessed and thankful I am able to house and grow such a miracle inside me. I will always remember the babies not with me and cherish the ones I have to hold.
I had a chance encounter with Jennifer a couple of years ago while she was in hospital and learned what she did for women (and men). I knew it was something I wanted to take part in as I’ve always been self conscious but I never knew exactly how she would touch my life.
After some seeing paint smash photos she had done I messaged her with my idea. I just knew I wanted to cover my pregnant self in rainbow paint! I couldn’t think of a better way for me to celebrate the little life I was growing and pay tribute to the loss I had suffered.
There was an instant connection over the phone and even more so in person. She has this way of making you feel so comfortable confident and beautiful! With all the changes you experience during pregnancy it’s hard to stay body positive the whole time but during my shoot I felt so beautiful and that was exactly what I was hoping for.
Looking through the pics I can’t help but feel so comfortable and proud of myself. I will cherish them forever I can’t thank you enough for such an experience!