Our baby girl is our rainbow baby.
For those who are not familiar, a rainbow baby is the baby who is born after the loss of another child, in our case, a miscarriage. It’s said that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage, and everyone deals with it differently.
It came a point in my life when I realized I’m over 30, married, I have a stable career, house, car, dog, etc.; so what’s next? A baby? After a couple of months, “the baby” happened. My husband was crazy excited and I was terrified. I signed up for every app, message board, and website to prepare me for having a baby.
Fast forward to my 12 weeks belly check. This was the first appointment I was able to convince my husband not to come to. My perky, crazy Ob comes in the room with his little machine and starts to scan my belly. He scans and scans and couldn’t locate a heartbeat.
“It’s totally normal, you’re so early,” he says. “Let’s just get an ultrasound just to put you at ease.”
I find myself in the lobby texting my husband, already aware of what is about to happen, but trying to convince him, and myself, I’m just paranoid. I go into the room and the tech is scanning my belly and I can see what she is doing because there is an extra big t.v. on the wall. It clearly says the gestational age of the baby was 9 weeks and a couple of days and I knew.
When she said the words “I’m sorry” my whole world ended.
No one talks about miscarriage
No one tells you the intense emotions you go through about the loss of a life you never knew.
The hardest part for me was telling all the people my mother told I was pregnant, that there was no longer a baby. The look of grief and loss on everyone else’s face was something I wasn’t expecting and even harder for me to cope with.
The most surprising thing was the amount of women in my life who then shared that they had been through the same thing.
Why is this secret club around?
Why don’t more women share their experiences? And why do we suffer in silence and feel that our loss is less than others because we never met the child?
I actually avoided some people who knew I was pregnant because I didn’t want to see their faces when they found out I no longer had a baby. So many questions went through my mind and I choose to keep them to myself.
My poor husband was devastated and it was something we were expected to just move on from.
“You will have another one,” is my favorite line. “But I wanted THIS one!” is the thing that kept repeating in my head.
The stupid emails, app reminders, and phone alerts that tell you all the wonderful milestones you should be reaching were the WORSE. And it was hard as hell turning them damn things off!! You grieve all the pregnancy milestones.
And my case was more complicated by the fact that my little sister was two months ahead of me in her pregnancy. Although I was super excited for my nephew, it was hard as hell for me to see her go through the milestones and celebrations knowing I would never be there with my baby.
The final milestone, my due date, was something I really wanted to sleep through.
But there clearly was a plan for me. I was sitting back in my OB office starting the pregnancy journey over again the same week I was due to delivery my first baby.
This time I refused to read the message boards, did minimal research, and “prepared” myself just in case I loss this one too.
Again I suffered in silence because so many women don’t talk about these things. I was well into my second trimester before I was able to relax and enjoy the pregnancy milestones.
The one moment that changed my perception was when I was driving to my 20 week ultra sound a nervous wreck and out of nowhere, I notice this beautiful rainbow in the sky. At that moment I realized that this rainbow baby was meant to be!!!
Looking back on my pregnancy journeys, I have learned a lot about myself and wished I had someone to advise me of some important points:
Take care of yourself.
Your body is going through so many things after a miscarriage. It my case the best and worse thing is the fact that I am a therapist. My job was so supportive and they forced me to take a couple of days to take care of myself!!
It’s ok to grieve the loss of your baby.
Some may try to make you feel like your loss is less than another parent. Your loss is your loss and should not be compared to another person’s loss.
Talk about it.
You will be surprised about how many women go through this. Also talking out loud helps you to feel like you are not alone.
Men grieve the loss too.
Be open with your partner and use each other as a support.
If needed, seek support.
There are support groups, Facebook groups, or other professional help available. If your feelings are preventing you from functioning and taking care of yourself and/or your family, additional help may be needed.
Remember you are not crazy, you are not alone!!
Feeling sad, anxious, angry, etc is normal.
How you will grieve your miscarriage is going to be different for every woman. But it is a loss, and you’re allowed to grieve it. Having a “rainbow baby” will also be an emotional roller coaster. It’s all shades of normal.