To the Mom who isn’t sure she wants a Rainbow Baby:
Before I knew anything of the soul-crushing reality of child loss, I had two uneventful pregnancies that resulted in two amazing children.
In 2012 my husband and I welcomed our son, and in 2016, we welcomed our first daughter.
Following our daughter’s birth, we moved into our newly built home and celebrated our tenth anniversary.
Life was perfect.
We never talked about adding another baby to our family, and on November 14, 2017, a positive pregnancy test gave us a very welcome surprise.
I remember laughing for hours when I saw the little blue positive sign show up on the clear blue pregnancy test.
In an instant, my heart grew, and we began preparing for this new little life we would be bringing into the world.
We talked about names, nursery themes, pondered over if it would be a girl or a boy, all the fun things parents do when they find out they’re expecting.
We had a small gender reveal party on February 25, 2018, and screamed with excitement as pink silly string shot into the air.
The boys were officially going to be outnumbered with another little lady in the house.
As the weeks went by, our sweet Emery grew right on schedule with no complications… until one day my world crumbled beneath me.
I went to the hospital on a Wednesday at 33 weeks and three days pregnant because I couldn’t remember the last time I felt her move.
The nurse did a bedside ultrasound, and I was sure I saw her little heart flutter… only it didn’t, and as the nurse told me Emery’s heart was no longer beating, I went numb.
What was she telling me? This can’t be happening, not to me.
Sure I knew it happened to other people but not to me.
Being pregnant was reasonably easy for me, and I had NO problems whatsoever.
The day I delivered her is a day I will never forget.
I remembered crying endlessly, having panic attacks, and not knowing how I was ever going to survive birthing my beautiful baby girl knowing her spirit had already left her body.
I prayed and prayed they were wrong, and when I finally pushed, the silence in the room was deafening.
Emery Nicole was born on May 31, 2018, at 9:42 pm weighing 3lbs 9.5oz and 18in of pure perfection.
She had a head full of dark black hair, long skinny fingers, and toes, and looked just like her siblings.
I held her in my arms pleading with her to open her eyes and feeling that I had failed my daughter.
We spent 14 hours with our sweet girl but having to hand her over as they wheeled me out of the hospital was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, knowing the next time I held her she would be in a small ceramic urn.
My heart hurt, physically hurt, and the person I was before loss was gone.
It has been ten months since losing our daughter, and I am still taken aback by the question many feel so compelled to ask, “Are you going to try again?”
I know it is not meant maliciously, but for a loss parent, this is such a loaded question. The idea of being pregnant again terrifies me.
What if it ends the same way? I’m not sure I could survive another loss.
Perhaps the thing that bothers me the most is regardless if I become pregnant again or not, one child does not replace another.
My heart will always be missing a big piece, my family will never be whole, and I will ever wonder who she would have been.
Those who are lucky enough not to be a part of the loss community feel that somehow having a rainbow baby fixes everything.
I have heard over and over again: “after every storm comes a rainbow.”
I don’t believe that to be true because infant loss is not a temporary storm but something we must weather every day for the rest of our lives.
So to the Mom who isn’t sure she wants a rainbow, it’s ok. I struggle every day with trying to be a good mom to my living children all while trying to mother my child in heaven.
There is no right or wrong way to grieve.
I may never have my rainbow, but my daughter gave me something more valuable than gold, and that is the love in my heart.
Be easy on yourself angel Moms; this is a long, hard, and often lonely road.
I know some days you don’t have the strength to get up, but every time you do, it is an accomplishment.
Our storm will never run out of the rain, but it won’t always be a downpour. We, against all the odds, will figure out how to live again.