April 28, 2021

Miscarriage, grief, and hope: The journey to our rainbow baby

Miscarriage, grief, and hope: The journey to our rainbow baby

I can’t begin to tell you what our 5th baby, Wes has meant to our family.

There was a time after I miscarried our fourth child that I thought God had shut those doors completely. I was even ok with it, I loved the family I had and felt selfish wanting anything more.

Isn’t it funny though how life brings us the most beautiful surprises when we don’t expect them or are too scared to even ask for them? It’s always ok to ask for something but that doesn’t mean you are going to get it.

Deep down in my heart I wanted another child. However, the loss I felt, the sadness that flooded through my entire body everyday scared me to even ask. And what if I miscarried again…

My miscarriage was one of the toughest things I’ve ever endured.

Today’s it’s just a ripple in a beautiful rainbow.

In the beginning, everything just felt so dark. The hardest tears I’d ever cried and I wasn’t even sure if they would ever stop…

It’s been over 3 years since I miscarried our fourth child but somehow it feels like yesterday. October is still such a hard month for me. Not only would our baby had been born but it’s also infant loss and awareness month. If my heart isn’t hurting for me, it’s hurting for the many others who have experienced losing a child at any stage. There are still random times when tears flow so heavily but I know it’s a beautiful reminder that he/she was loved and never forgotten!

Baby #4

I think my brain has blocked certain parts out from that fourth pregnancy, simply to protect me. It’s hard for me to recall the BFP and how I told my husband. I can’t seem to find many photos before or during. Maybe I deleted them in anger? This wasn’t a baby we were planning but like most of my babies, we weren’t trying that hard to prevent it either.

Planned or not, we were so happy! 2017 started off as a great year. Everything was going so well. Order & Bliss was flourishing and I was right in the middle of my #organizemein40days challenge. We were feeling great and optimistic about what was ahead.

Everything changed in a blink!

Then, my grandma got very sick and refused to take the medicine she was prescribed. I could tell she was ready to go home but selfishly I wasn’t, none of us were. Until her death I never would’ve believed people could know when it’s their time… but she did. We went to visit her in hospice one night and we couldn’t wait to tell her we were expecting. We had just found out.
She loves all the grand babies, and I knew she would be thrilled. However, the timing didn’t feel right in the moment, it was just too early to share the news. We had only just found out.

Little did I know that it would be the last time I’d ever experience her joy and comfort again. Our daughter was sitting next to us and she called her Rose. I said, No, Bubba, this is Kyla and she goes, “Not Kyla, her sister.” I remember her looking at me and saying “Rose.” It was the weirdest thing but it was in that moment I felt it in my heart that she knew about our baby. My heart always told me the baby we lost was a little girl, and for whatever reason I think my Bubba knew too. We lost my grandma about a week later on January 22nd. She was home, surrounded by everyone she loved and went in peace.

I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have only lost very few people in my life. I was talking to a friend a few months back and she was telling me how many funerals she’s been too. I was shocked! I’ve only been to 4 and most of them I was too young to really remember. It wasn’t until I lost my Bubba that I truly felt loss so deep in my heart. I was so saddened by the fact that she would never meet our baby in the belly. I remember my baby brother just holding me as I sobbed. ( he’s only a few years younger than me) This was something we’ve never done before but it felt necessary and needed. There were no words even spoken. He was just there for me to be held. Just held.

Maybe the loss was just too much for my heart to bear.

A week later, I began to bleed. Can you bleed during pregnancy? Absolutely, but there are times when you know that what you’re experiencing doesn’t feel like things are going to be ok. It’s hard to forget that night. I was still grieving the loss of my Bubba but life has to go on right? My husband took our daughter to their favorite Daddy Daughter Dance at CCV. This is a cherished tradition and something they look forward to every year. I felt a little off that day but pushed through it. There was no way she was going to miss this. Part of their tradition is to go out afterwards for food and some type of shopping. Well… I waited until the dance was over but I knew something wasn’t right. You never want to assume you’re having a miscarriage. If anything you trick your mind into thinking you’re not. This can’t be happening. Please God, no. As much as you try to trick your mind, sometimes your body makes it all too obvious. You just know. Between the symptoms and cramping I was already experiencing I had this crazy pain in my shoulder. Still to this day, every time my shoulder aches, I think of our baby. It just didn’t sit right with me. I hesitantly asked Ben to cut their night short and take me to the ER. I cried the entire way there. It was about a 30 minute drive.

After many hours of waiting, bloodwork, and an ultrasound. The ER doctor tells me I’m NOT having a miscarriage and the baby is perfectly fine. WHAT? HOW? Even after I heard that sweet little heartbeat I still felt uneasy about it. Remember when I said we have to trick our brains, well I was also tricking my heart. I’ve been pregnant before, THREE times and none of what I was experiencing EVER happened to me. Our baby was healthy, had a strong heart beat, and measuring about 7 weeks! HOW? I couldn’t believe it but it was the news we were hoping for. I was ready to tell our kiddos that baby number four was on the way. We were so happy and {hesitantly} relieved!

It was the day before Valentines Day and we planned this super fun piñata surprise for them. Ben made the piñata and I cut out a ton of confetti.

We planned the best surprise for the kids!

My friend Ashley was one of only a handful of people that knew and was equally excited to document this BIG ANNOUNCEMENT.
This was the FIRST day I really allowed myself to get excited. Up until this day I was just worried all the time. It didn’t matter what the doctor said, I was uneasy about it all.
It’s obvious that this part of the story isn’t as the doctor said, a happy piece if you will. What I do want to say is that I don’t regret telling our babies and documenting this special time. The memories we made that night over a confetti filled piñata were worth it.

It was worth every bit of the tears I cried when I finally mustered up the courage to watch it.

Now it’s a celebration. A memory captured of our baby that wasn’t meant for us, but meant for Heaven.

The next part didn’t come so easily. The bleeding started again two days later and this time it never stopped. I lost so much blood and at the next emergency room, they couldn’t tell what happened to our baby. TMI but the bleeding was so bad, that they assumed it came out with the softball sized clots I was losing. After hours in the ER, I went home bleeding and crying and beginning to mourn our baby. Or so I thought…

It felt like labor was starting but how?

Almost a week and a half later the contractions started AGAIN. I thought at first it could be my period returning but the pain was too familiar. I stood in our downstairs bathroom just waiting for the pain to pass. Eventually, it did. I officially miscarried our baby at home hunched over the bathroom sink a week and a half later. It was so surreal to me but having that “birth” experience however difficult it was, I think allowed me to mourn a lot easier.
That night we lit a candle and said good-bye to our sweet almost 8 week old baby boy or girl.

It was hard for me to write…

I know this part of the story is hard for a lot of you to read. It was hard for me to write. There were several moments where I had to stop, wipe my tears, take a deep breath and just be thankful for everything I have RIGHT NOW, IN THIS MOMENT. Miscarriage isn’t talked about enough. It isn’t shared enough. I know so many people that have experienced a miscarriage and never even mentioned it. So many friends that have their rainbow baby now but never talked about their journey to that baby.

We need to talk about miscarriage, we need to grieve and feel like we’re not alone.

We need to hear stories and we need to tell our story however hard it may be. You just never know who needs to hear it. I had three healthy pregnancies, I was in great shape, happy, thriving, and yet I experienced a miscarriage. Miscarriage isn’t our fault, there’s not much we can do to prevent a miscarriage and most of the time the doctors can only guess how it happened. All we can do is choose how to move forward and grieve after it. I’ve been pregnant 5 times. I have 4 babies on Earth and 1 in Heaven. That is my truth. This is my story.

Grieving doesn’t follow a timeline

I allowed myself the time I needed to grieve the loss of our baby. I had an incredible support system and I never felt a lone. My husband grieved differently than me but he was right by my side. Even if all I wanted to do was cry. He was there. I had incredible friends and God fearing women of faith praying for me, and crying with me. Comforting me as they waited themselves for their BFP. Innever felt alone because I shared my loss. I shared my pain. I shared my anger. Was I sad? Absolutely. Did I think the pain would never stop? You bet. Did I question why me? Did I blame God? All of the above. I had never felt a sadness like this. It was a new level of brokenness. Not only did I just lose my Grandma but I also lost my baby. It was a lot and in a short amount of time too. I can still feel that deep-deep brokenness I felt then. It still brings tears to my eyes.

Although, I can feel the pain and easily start crying my eyes out, its not because I’m sad anymore. It’s because I lived it and it’s part of my story. It’s a ripple. One of many.

After the storm there may or may not be a rainbow.

This was one of the hardest parts for me. Wishing it was different but also not knowing if we would ever have another child. After you have a miscarriage you always think… will I have another one? And a lot of women do. Some back to back, others months or even years apart. Even if you’re just trying to get pregnant and fast as you can to numb the pain you will still be thinking about miscarrying again. Weeks later, months later, years later. Even once you are pregnant again and the doctor assures you everything is fine, you will think about it. This isn’t because we don’t have faith, or trust in His plan, it’s because it’s scary and a real possibility. Although possible that shouldn’t detere you from trying. We shouldn’t ever stop hoping. Please don’t lose hope. You just never know what lies ahead and you certainly won’t know unless you try.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping and wishing on every star that we would have our rainbow baby but I also had to find peace either way. We truly don’t know the outcome of anything before it happens all we can do is hope.

The months seemed to pass slowly but everyday the pain was a little better than the day before.
I felt my…
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JOY- JUST FEELING HAPPY AGAIN. Imagining my BUBBA rocking our baby to her favorite lullaby in heaven.

There is NO timeline. ZERO. NO one can say, well if you miscarry do this and you will be fine. NO SUCH THING. This is just how I processed my miscarriage. Grief is different for everyone. People always say there are certain stages, but I don’t believe they are felt the same or even in the same order for everyone. I’m a cryer. A big BIG cryer. I share my pain out loud and I’m probably not very fun to be around. I don’t stuff anything down. It all comes out whether I like it or not. But, I know a lot of people that do. They think their pain isn’t worth sharing or it’s not as bad as someone else’s. All not true. Just different way of coping with loss and grief. Whatever you are… let time heal you.

I’ve never been so excited and so terrified at the same time.

My brain definitely didn’t block out the BFP I got with our rainbow baby. I remember that morning so vividly and I’ll never forget it. Now, this baby I can tell you we were trying for. Not right away. Not everyday. HA I was more into painting our home than baby-making. I first found peace in just small home improvements. That’s still how I find peace today. I was just happy again about whatever may be. It had been a little over 4 months and we were just having fun. LOTS OF FUN. 😉

I’m so glad I get to relive these moments and share them with all of you. All of it, brings a smile to my face.

I kept my BFP a secret ALL DAY long. It was SO flippin hard. I think I woke up around 5am and ran downstairs when everyone was still asleep. I had a pretty good idea I was pregnant. The biggest giveaway for me is always my cravings, Hello, pickles. I’ll eat you all day and night and maybe in bed. Oh its happened.
I wanted to tell Ben but I also wanted to make it special. This was a big deal for both of us. I may have felt the emotional and physical pain of losing our baby but he felt it in his own way. The loss isn’t just felt by the mother. This was our rainbow baby. All of ours. Ben, myself, and all the kids.

I spent the day trying not to look too happy and scheming with the kiddos. We went “grocery shopping” but really we went to party city. I’m so glad I captured this image because the perfect ballon was staring us right in the face.

It was a sign, friends. God promises a rainbow.
“Some of the most beautiful RAINBOWS occur after a storm”
I was so excited. I knew exactly what I was going to do. I planned a big rainbow surprise that afternoon and captured the entire thing on hidden video. A video that we haven’t shared with anyone. I watched it over and over again and just felt so much joy.
I still felt worried, a little uneasy even but the joy began to overshadow it. I felt it in my heart that this baby was meant for us. I didn’t feel that way with the baby we miscarried. I could’ve been wrong and this story wouldn’t be what it was but I wouldn’t have regretted this baby either. I felt joy and man does it feel good to feel joy after loss. I finally understood why it was called a rainbow baby. The storm can get so dark. Rain, hail, wind, death even. Its all part of the storm but after… comes the rainbow. The rainbow dries up your tears, washes away the hardness you felt, allows you to breathe and brings light and life. Its so beautiful and today I’m so thankful to have a rainbow baby. I never thought I would be thankful for miscarriage but when I look at our Wesey, I see light.

To this day whenever we see a rainbow, we stop for a second and think about the baby that wasn’t meant for us and snuggle the one that was.

I’m so thankful he set me here to mother these babies. It’s my greatest joy!

Oh and that friend I mentioned, that God fearing women found out she was pregnant just 3 days after me, after 9 years of waiting. Weathering every storm. No one could convince me that isn’t a testiment to God’s perfect timing.

Never lose hope. Its hardest IN the storm but SOON the storm will pass.