Butterflies, Hope and My Rainbow Baby

It has been nearly four years since I had my miscarriages. It was such a difficult point in my life and I can remember the feelings of enormous pain, loss, and guilt that it brought me. I recently found this photo and it explains exactly how I felt.

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I tried to stay optimistic about having another child and a sibling for my son. I put all my energy into parenting, taking care of myself, and hanging on for the roller coaster ride of grief.

Some people tried to comfort me by saying, “at least it happened in the first trimester” or “it would have been much harder if you were further along.”

I understood where they were coming from, but what they didn’t realize, was the magnitude of loss was still enormous for me. This was a pregnancy. I did have a little life growing inside of me, even for a short, 5, 6 1/2, and 8 weeks.

I grieved for each loss.

I remember looking around and trying to have some connection to my losses. The only tangible items I had were a baby book and a positive pregnancy stick.

When I would take my son out, I noticed many white butterflies always fluttering by. I began to tell him, “Those are mommy’s butterflies. They are always following me.”

I feel like those butterflies represented my losses. They always put a smile on my face when I saw them and they began to give me hope.

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After the third consecutive miscarriage, I became pregnant with my son, Blake. He was my rainbow baby.

He has brought so much love to our family. I feel that our family unit is complete now. I have my two adoring sons, loving husband, and protective french bulldog.

What more could I ask for?

Nothing. I am good. I don’t need a baby girl. I don’t need to try for number three. Actually, I already had numbers three and four and five.

There is a very special bond that Blake and I have. He is known as a “mama’s boy”. In fact, I joke that he is still attached to the invisible umbilical cord.

He is constantly following me around, holding my hand, sitting on my lap, hugging and kissing on me, while saying “Oh, mommy!” He is just special.

Maybe he knows that he is a rainbow baby. He has a special bond with each of us and has filled the void.

As I reflect on where we were four years ago and where we are today, it is just amazing. I feel so lucky to be part of this family.

I still see my butterflies, but now I have two little boys pointing them out.

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I knew from being a child life specialist, that support and healthy coping strategies would help my husband and I get through this. If you find yourself in a similar situation, reach out for help, it can make a huge difference.

The Solitary Feeling of a Miscarriage

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A Day to Celebrate

My little man is turning one today. Hard to believe a year has passed. It felt like an eternity to have you enter the world, with all the obstacles that we encountered. Three miscarriages, endless blood work, doctor appointments and the emotional roller coaster ride of grief and loss.

I had faith and I surrender the negative feelings of unfairness, envy and anger. Once I did, I knew that I would have another baby. I knew that my son would have a sibling to play and grow up with. I knew that my husband and I would fall so deeply in love with something so precious that we created.IMG_8247

I have soaked up every second of your first year. I have a mental picture of so many amazing moments that I experienced with you. The relationship that you have with your brother is so sweet. I love that you call him “DaDin” for “Gavin” and light up when saying it.IMG_1639

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Your dad couldn’t be more elated, knowing that you are such a daddy’s boy. The way you crawl at high speed to be carried around on his side to the way you stare and point at pictures of him and say “DaDa!” You are truly a wonderful little boy, who has completed our family.

Happy First Birthday Blake! We love you so much 🙂IMG_0786

The Solitary Feeling of a Miscarriage

Today I read the article, Is It A Miscarriage? The Most Common Symptoms Explained from Parents Magazine and it resonated with me.

I have been there. I am one of those statistics. Three miscarriages.

When my first son turned 18months, my husband and I made the decision to try an expand our family. I became pregnant soon after and we were over the moon. Thinking this is perfect, our kids will be just a little over two years apart. I announced it to everyone. Who wouldn’t? I didn’t have any issues with my first pregnancy, so what would make me think otherwise? I was incredibly healthy, fit, lived a stress free life and was thirty. I didn’t think that there would ever be an issue.

At my first ultrasound at 8 weeks, we brought our son with us to include him in seeing his sibling for the first time. I was thrilled to see our new little one growing in my belly.

When the tech started to question my last menstrual period and had a different look on her face, then I began to think that something may be wrong. She said she would speak with the doctor and be back in a few minutes. When she came back she told me to go to the doctor’s office instead of an exam room. I knew then what he was about to tell me. I miscarried. The flood of tears came pouring out. I couldn’t control them. I was a mess and so was my husband. He took our son out to keep him occupied as I went over the information with the doctor.

Instead of scheduling for the next month’s appointment, I was scheduling a D & C. It was heartbreaking.

It happened again

I faced the same thing two more consecutive times. I had gone through so much testing and there was no answer as to why it was happening. It just was.

When I became pregnant for now the fifth time, I was so nervous. I had blood work done every few days to make sure my HCG levels were increasing. Once I made it to 11 weeks the doctor and tech advised me to stop worrying. So I tried.

30 weeks later, I was delivering a healthy, beautiful, baby boy. He has made our family feel so complete. I’m in heaven!

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I reflect back on how emotional I was the year I lost three pregnancies. The guilt, unfairness, anger and sadness were just a few. Even though so many of my friends and family had experienced a miscarriage, it was still such a solitary feeling. I was going through it. I had these emotions. It was my body. I remember having an epiphany at one point and saying that “I will surrender these feelings.” It was out of my control. Once I surrendered, my life seemed to be more stabilized. Actually my emotions became more stabilized. I knew that I would have another baby at some point.

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