Welcoming A Rainbow
“A rainbow baby is a child born after a miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death or infant loss."
Written by Jamie Yeaney
All photos by Erica Martin Photography
A positive pregnancy test will change your whole world in an instant.
As my husband and I were celebrating our one year marriage anniversary in Fiji, we found out we were going to be parents (no drinks for this celebrating momma). It was so exciting. We had just started trying and we got pregnant right away. I couldn’t wait to take a childbirth education class to get us prepared. I wanted with my whole being to have an unmedicated childbirth, so that is what we planned for.
As we know, things don’t always go according to plan.
We were getting ready for dinner and my water broke... and no contractions followed. This wasn’t the plan. We were going to go to the hospital when contractions were 5 minutes apart, lasting at least 1 minute, but where were my contractions? We went into the hospital and stayed for 3 days before they realized that the second, inner layer of my water hadn’t broke. They did NOT teach us about this in class! By the time they broke my water, I had 3 full rounds of Pitocin and Cervidil to help me dilate. My contractions were so strong I immediately was having full contractions, one right after the other. An epidural was administered and our beautiful son was born 3 hours later. I took a while, but I have healed from an experience that was so opposite of what I had wanted.
I was determined that my next birth would be better.
Two and a half years later, we were ready to start trying and it wasn’t as easy as the first time. Every month would go by and I would cry with cramps as another month passed without another baby. 10 long months later and there it was! Morning sickness had set in and we were planning for baby number two! Seven weeks in and we had told a ton of friends and family. We had done this before... what could go wrong? There was no need for concern.
My husband walked by the bathroom and immediately realized the panic on my face.
I was spotting with cramps. After multiple blood tests and a very long weekend, I already knew what the call would say on Monday morning. Our baby was gone October 15, 2015. Thanksgiving came and an hour before we ate I locked myself in our bedroom hunched over with sorrow. Our baby would never have a first Thanksgiving.
We had decided that we would no longer “try” because I couldn’t emotionally deal with disappointment every month, over and over again. Especially not after that.
Christmas was fast approaching and the hustle and bustle leading up to Christmas made me lose track of the days until I realized it. Taking the test I was a wreck. I knew that as soon as I took the test it would be negative and the next day I would have cramps, like all the months before. I couldn’t believe my eyes! I decided to give my husband the test for Christmas but I caved and gave him his present the next day. He was thrilled (even though he said, “Wait a minute. You peed on this then wrapped it up and gave it to me?”) We talked and decided not to tell anyone besides immediate family until after 3 months was up.
My whole pregnancy I kept having to remind myself that I was not in control and I needed to try and keep anxiety down. When we hit 34 weeks, I was able to relax a lot more. At least if she was born now she should be able to breathe on her own.
Three days after her due date I felt my first real contraction. I knew she was coming.
Right after lunch, I started having contractions. My water was still intact so I kept myself relaxed at home. I was handling this well and I didn’t want to have a repeat of our first delivery.
By the time we got to the hospital, where we were met by my doula and the intake nurse, I was 6cm dilated and 90% effaced. She was handling contractions great and so was I. My doula and husband worked as a team to relax and assist me through contractions.
It was everything I hoped for in my first birth and more.
I delivered our sweet rainbow baby girl two hours after being admitted, on my knees, unmedicated; My dream birth.
Because of having her on my knees with the doctor behind me, I didn’t see her come out and she wasn’t making noise. My heart dropped as I said, “Why isn’t she crying?!?” My doula quickly assured me that the doctor had her and she was doing alright. As I turned around and sat on the bed, they placed her on my chest.
She was so pink, so tiny and her cry was already mending my heart.
I couldn’t stop looking at her and it felt like a dream. She smelled so sweet as she cuddled into my chest. I couldn’t believe she was actually here.
She is 2.5 years old now. When she smiles and laughs, I still remember our sweet angel baby.