What Is a Rainbow Baby?

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My husband and I started dating in high school, so, of course, marriage and children were the last thing on my mind. After eight years of being together, we made it official and got married. Being so young when we first got together, our parents would tell us, “Take your time having children, live your life, and enjoy marriage.” And that is what we did.

After settling into our new stage of life, we had good jobs and built a beautiful new home. We knew we wanted to have a couple of children, and so we first gave it to God. But after a few years, I never became pregnant. I started to become worried and made a few appointments with my physician who set up a few tests and everything came back good.  But we were not getting pregnant.

Just as we were about to schedule additional testing I took a pregnancy test first and it was positive! I was over the moon, but after a week, I had a miscarriage. It hurt beyond measure to have that first lost, but I had faith and decided to take a break and to not let myself get discouraged.  

It was almost a year later before I became pregnant again. I took a few tests to confirm this was really happening, and it was another positive test. I put together a baby board and taped the positive test to it and placed it in what would be the baby’s room for my husband to see. We hugged and cried; we were more than ready to start our family. 

Two weeks later I began to spot. I was in denial and told myself it was nothing. But a few days later it became worse. My husband finally got me in the car and we headed to the doctor. I remember being in the ultrasound room and looking up at the tiles and counting them one by one to get my mind off the typing and clicking of the ultrasound machine. 

This ultrasound technician, however, actually let me see the baby and showed me the chest area. “There is no heartbeat” she said. 

You literally feel the bed fall from underneath you. The mental state of knowing you’ve lost someone you’ve never met is indescribable. I went through a small depression after that day.

A month later I received a call from my husband while I was at work. A family member had announced her pregnancy. She was not trying and already had a small child. I ran to the restroom and cried inconsolably. Why can’t I have a baby? What did I do to be unworthy to be a mom?  I screamed out to God, “WHY?” 

After a moment, I looked at myself in the mirror and told God: “Okay, I understand. I can’t get upset, and I must give into what you have planned for me. If I am not to be a mom, I have to accept that.” It became almost a freeing moment to say this to myself. 

Three months later I felt a little off. In denial, I let it go, but this time my body said something different. I finally took a pregnancy test, and it was positive. I took that test and threw it in the trash. 

My husband found it later that night. He came to the room, asking if I wanted to talk, as he showed me the test. I looked over and said no.

negative pregnancy testMy husband actually made the appointment with the doctor the following week. At the appointment my doctor and husband discussed all our options of what would be best to verify this was a “healthy” pregnancy. I knew the blood work would be best, so that is all I wanted to see. The ultrasound technician happen to be in the office, and so my husband asked if we could just see. The doctor agreed but told him he was sure it is too early to see anything at this time. I agreed for my husband’s peace of mind.

As I lay on the bed I counted those tiles all over again, but then I heard something. You could not only see the heartbeat, but you could also hear it loud and clear. The tech ran and got the doctor. He smiled at me and said, “This is a very good sign.”

Every appointment after that is nerve-wreaking. You worry so much about the what ifs. Until the day I gave birth the fear never left. 

The day I held her in my arms I couldn’t believe it: I was a mother to this precious little girl. At a follow up appointment, I was in the waiting room reading a magazine article about a rainbow baby. I had not heard that term before and did not know what that meant. A rainbow baby is a baby born subsequent to a miscarriage, still birth, or death of newborn due to natural causes. The new mom told her story of her loss of her newborn. As I read the article, I realized that my precious girl was my rainbow baby. 

The journey was not easy. After that last miscarriage, I had given up hope, but by the grace of God a few months later, my little one was in my arms. 

I’ll always think about the children I’ve lost but I continue to pray for peace that things happen for a reason. Yes, it would be nice to have a bigger family. People always ask me why I only just had one. I always respond that this is what God had planned for us!

Join Fort Worth Moms’ Fertility Discussion with Tarrant County Neighbor Group on Facebook.

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