Many of you have followed along in the heartbreaking story of our loss. I want to take a quick moment to thank all of you who have mourned with us in our loss of our son and all who have offered such great support to us. And to the women who have reached out to me with similar stories – you are not alone.
Apparently a baby that is conceived after a miscarriage is referred to as a “Rainbow Baby.” I love that. It is so perfectly fitting. On Easter Sunday, a day that I was really wrestling with the continuing sadness of our storm, we found out about our Rainbow Baby (on Resurrection day, how beautiful is that?).
I wasn’t sure if I would share our news publicly or even how to go about sharing it. First of all, there is the fear of going through the whole thing all over again. Sharing our loss publicly was one of the things that really helped me to process it. I have never regretted doing that. But, if I were to go through such a horrific loss again with this baby… could I really put it all out there again? I’m not sure I could do it. If there is anything a miscarriage teaches you, it is just how little control we have over life, especially the lives of our children. That is a terrifying thing.
Then of course, there are all of the many women out there who have experienced a similar storm who do not have a rainbow. They are still surrounded by the storm clouds. I know how difficult it is to feel the sting of death and the emptiness of longing while looking at social media updates of women who are able to experience what we have lost. I know how raw a Facebook status or Instagram picture can rub the heart of a bereaved parent. I have no desire to be the source of anyone’s pain. There is nothing that I have done to deserve another child in our family. So I have wanted to tread lightly and be sensitive with our news.
And then there is the fear of how people will respond to our news. My heart is already on guard, preparing for responses that would diminish our loss: “See everything worked out after all! There is purpose in everything! If you didn’t lose the last baby, you wouldn’t have this one!”
Yes, we have been given a beautiful, undeserved gift. But that does not mean that everything worked out or that was the purpose of our loss. Life is as ugly as it is beautiful. There are gifts and there are losses – and both rightfully have their own place in our hearts and shape us in their own way. Yes, we have been given a glimpse of hope and joy, but it does not erase the pain of our loss. There is so much wrapped up in this exciting news – hope, joy, excitement, fear, anxiety, gratitude, and still trying to figure out how to navigate our grief in the midst of our new sweet rainbow. That is why I absolutely love the quote above. A rainbow does not negate the ravages of any storm. When a rainbow appears, it does not mean that the storm never happened 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 the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover, but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy, and hope.
As hesitant as I have been to share our news, I also long to invite those who have mourned with us to also rejoice with us. Every single life is invaluable, and deserves to be rejoiced in! And we have been given another one into our family – we are 13 weeks along with baby Maroon #3, due December 26th (right around the time that we didn’t hear Salem’s heartbeat).
To be honest, I am still trying to figure out how to hold these two things together – the grief from the loss of my son that still penetrates my heart deeply and the joy and expectation of this new child. It still hasn’t quite sunk in yet. I know that I am pregnant. I feel pregnant and I already look pregnant! But to really accept the fact that this child could be born into my arms… that is something I cannot fathom, and won’t even really let myself think about yet. I imagine it is normal to go into self-protection mode after a loss. I expect that it may take time for me to really feel connected to this baby and to let myself dream and plan. But for now, this is a big step – to share our news and rejoice with others in this tiny life growing inside of me.
Thank you for joining us on the journey <3.