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Major is quickly approaching the six month mark (WHERE has the time gone?!) and I’ve been thinking a lot about the last half-year and its many ups and downs. Major is the quintessential dreamy “second child”. The kind I heard about, like tales of magical unicorns, when people try to calm your nerves about having two little babes close in age: “Don’t worry,” they like to say “those second ones are SO easy and chill. They just balance everything out.” Our first was (is) very spirited and high maintenance– as a baby, and beyond! She’s amazing, of course, but pretty intense to parent. High energy, very dramatic, super curious, adventurous, zero attention span, even less fear. My Mom once told me– after staying with us for a week– that Marlowe is like having twins. She has three kids, so I didn’t take this comparison lightly. LOL. Needless to say, I was not convinced that Major would come out and be the “Chill Type”. Boy was I wrong. He’s like a human Xanax. Not only is he relaxed, innately happy, and so playful– but he has the ability to instantly chill YOU out too. I don’t know how he does it. I call him my little Buddha baby.
But, here is something that I want to discuss today– my parenting process with Major has NOT been the most chill. In fact, figuring out how to parent him has been the source of so much confusion, soul searching, and emotion on my part. Why? I’ve found that, quite simply, there are some emotional complications to parenting a Rainbow Baby. For those who don’t know, a Rainbow Baby is a baby born after a pregnancy or infant loss. The child is your “rainbow” after the storm. And are they ever! Birthing Major was the last piece of healing for me, after a very dark, raw, and emotional year following my miscarriage. When he was born, the connection I felt to him cemented my faith in the process, the universe, myself, and my Motherhood journey. I knew that he was the baby I was always meant to hold in my arms. Our relationship began with such a burst of confidence and purpose.
But after a pregnancy loss, I’ve found parenting my children to be just a little bit harder. Creating boundaries, teaching tough lessons, discipline, even spending time apart from my children can feel like torture. Since Major was born, there has always been a part of me that is worried that he will be taken from me– that I will, in fact, experience such great heartbreak again…but this time after I’ve had the chance to fall in love with my sweet boy. There is a small part of my mind and heart that is cloaked in a darkness, sure that this gift after loss is not guaranteed. I think a small bit of this is so normal after a pregnancy loss– even carrying him through the pregnancy process was trying, and struck a deep emotional chord. It would make sense that this anxiety and trepidation would continue once your child was born.
When Major had his accident, and suffered a fractured skull and brain bleed just five weeks after his birth, this feeling got magnified a hundred fold. It had felt like the other shoe HAD dropped– my fears had been realized. That this was all too good to be true. In the months following, when he cried, I would cry. Every time he had a small, normal bout of discomfort, gas, or fussiness it would break my heart. I felt like his tears were sparking small fires in me, under my skin, making me squirm– my heart beating fast. I realized that a lot of this magnified fear and anxiety was a symptom of my postpartum anxiety and depression. Once I got treatment for these conditions, the acuteness of these feelings diminished– but I realized that loss is something that is always with you. It will always be a balance for me of the reality I know is true (my child is alright) and the fear that still exists in the darkest corners of my mind.
The truth is, after suffering our loss, a child’s life feels more fragile to me than it did when I was parenting my firstborn. When I was a first time Mother, learning the ropes with Marlowe, my nerves were about “doing it right” not about my child dying. And there was a certain grace to that– I was able to forgive myself for my small scale, daily little mistakes because the playing field was not as emotionally charged. Parenting a regular baby is hard enough– but how do you parent a “Miracle” baby? How do you parent a child who just by being born has pieced your family back together, mended your broken heart, and made you trust in Life’s journey again? By being the perfect parent to my Rainbow Baby am I somehow making it up to the child that I lost? By making zero mistakes (impossible) would I somehow be able to barter my way out of future heartbreak? I think we all know the answer to both of those questions. Trying to be a perfect Mom to Major is a tall order as a parent, but it’s also a tall order for him.
And that worries me. I don’t want my vigilance as a Mother who has suffered a loss to effect my son and his experience as a child. I don’t want to be so responsive to his every sigh or groan that it creates a system of anxiety and vigilance for him in his own life. When normal falls, bonks, skinned knees, or common colds occur in Major’s journey, I want him to ride them out with the confidence that all will be OK. I don’t want Major to ever be a receptacle for my own emotions, a mirror for how I feel about myself. I don’t have the right to define his life by the loss of another. I’ve been thinking about this so much, and it’s been a consistent effort in my life these past six months. Some days, I’m better at it, and some days I’m worse. Truth be told, it kind of depends how strong I’m feeling on a particular day. If I’m anxious, my vigilance around him is higher– if I’m feeling stronger in my own skin, my trust in his safety is greater. I’m working on it.
Every time I want to jump up to rush to him, though, I take a moment to ask myself whether my action is for him or for me. I was watching Finding Nemo with Marlowe the other day, and there was an exchange between Dory and Nemo’s Father that I hadn’t ever paid close attention to before. Nemo’s Father tells Dory, anxiously, “But I told him I’d never let anything happen to him!” Dory replies, “But then nothing would ever happen to him.” And there it is. Letting go is hard, but wishing for a full, vibrant, messy, beautiful life for both of my children is a lot louder than my fear. I can guarantee I will never stop trying to fight for that.
Have you found it to be an extra emotional challenge to parent your children after a pregnancy or infant loss? Please share in the Comments below!
Photographs by Stephanie Elliott Photography
**Family Room design sources can be found HERE
I haven’t experienced pregnancy/ infant loss (thankfully), but this post resonates with me. I, too, struggled with PPA/ PPD and a lot of your feats of transferring YOUR anxiety onto them is a constant struggle in my life as well.
Thank You for these words! I have suffered two miscarriages, and am currently 33 weeks with my rainbow baby. The first couple of months were especially hard not knowing if this would be another miscarriage another loss another let down. Every pain, everything I did I worried if this was going to be what causes another miscarriage. It took me a long time to realize that nothing I did was what caused the miscarriages, and there was not explanation. Even though that was the hardest to hear, why I lost those babies, the Dr couldn’t give me answers I so desperately needed to hear. Even now when I don’t feel any movements or kicks, I worry I over analyze everything. Most recently my mind wanders to whats going to happen when he is born. Am I going to be too overprotective and not let him be the child he is supposed to be because I am too afraid of what might happen to him? So Thank You for again for putting this out there, I know I will have to remind myself daily on how to parent this child, but knowing I am not alone is the comfort that I need.
I love the way you write. I am pregnant with our rainbow baby right now and it has been difficult to navigate through these emotions of fear and extreme excitement. This will be our first child so I hate that I have filled this pregnancy so far with such negativity. I’ve come to realize that fear is the thief of joy and I need to try and focus on these beautiful moments of early pregnancy. We are finding out the gender today and this post helped me so much in preparing my mind for when this baby finally arrives. Thank you so much for your honesty about topics that aren’t talked about enough!
Boy can I relate! Between my second and third child, I had an ectopic pregnancy and two miscarriages. I literally stressed out until the moment she was born.
Thank you for sharing this. It struck so close to home for me. I myself suffered a miscarriage just over a year ago and I could very much relate to losing that grace as you out it. To shift from worrying about doing things right with my daughter (who is Marlowe’s age) to worrying about everthing bad that could happen does take such an emotionally draining toll. Your post made me feel like yes she gets it. I am not alone and thnaks for that reminder. Wishing you and your family health and happiness.
Like so many of your posts, this one hit me to the core. It brought chills and tears. I’m a mom of four. Before my 8 month old was born, I had a miscarriage. That pregnancy was the only one of mine that had been unplanned and there were so many mixed emotions. I was almost 40, and nervous about another baby. When I lost the baby, there was intense guilt and sadness for ever having those thoughts. Now my rainbow baby had brought such joy, and like Major, he is the sweetest, happiest boy. I can relate to your fears of losing him too. The pregnancy was the most stressful, constantly worrying about movement and heartbeats. Now I have him and I feel so lucky and just want to savor every second. I try very hard to not focus on that loss and to just enjoy him.
Thank you for putting yourself out there. Every time I read a post I hear myself through your voice and it’s reassuring to know that we moms are not so different!
Thank you for this. I’m parenting my 1 1/2 year old rainbow baby after losing my daughter Aurora at 21 weeks and another at 8 weeks shortly after her. I struggled hard with my pregnancy with my rainbow baby. It was the most easiest pregnancy too. I’m glad it’s not just me that struggles with this. I’m trying hard to just let her live and enjoy life with out my anxiety about losing her. You rock Eva. I love following your insta-stories and this blog.
My rainbow baby is 8 months old and peacefully napping at the moment. If his naps go longer than usual, or if he decides to sleep in one morning, or if he skips his nighttime feeding in favor of sleep, I’m convinced he has fallen victim to SIDS and that all my nightmares have come true. I am hyper vigilant about where he sleeps and what’s in his sleep space. I am also acutely aware that this is an irrational overreaction to my previous loss. I LOVE my son like the part of my body that has been missing my whole life, I can’t imagine overcoming the loss of him. Every day I fight the urge to go in and check his breathing or nudge him just a little to make sure he’s ok. It has definitely improved as he’s grown into the strong, stubborn and resilient little guy he is, but I yearn for the day when I no longer worry about losing him in a sudden, unexplained way, like I did my first baby through my miscarriage.
I have three children 2, 14 & 18. I feel like I’m always in fear of something. First SIDS then choking. Now falls & getting lost (my 2 year old is a handful.) With the older ones I’m worried to death about car accidents or other teenage dangers. I guess it never ends, it just changes.
Oh Eva, thank you for this! My 19month old is a rainbow baby and my mind often goes to the worst case scenario. She was recently referred to a pediatric neurologist by her pediatrician and it is taking all of my strength not to let fear and what ifs take over while we wait for answers. Like you with Major, I don’t want to project my anxiety on to her. Thank you for sharing, your words are so encouraging! -Michelle
I loved everything you wrote! I finally feel connected because unfortunately it’s not something talked about often. I miscarried due to my blood type (RH Negative) and felt this imense guilt afterwards and then throughout my pregnancy with my first daughter. Now pregnant with my second, I will tell you that the fear of losing another child never goes away. But more so, I worry that by not thinking of my past loss, that child (he or she) is forgotten. It’s hard to find a balance of not obsessing over my miscarriage and the current blessings that get to call me mom. I will tell you this though, that your letter here is the encouragement we all need. I may never get the answers my heart longs for, but it’s sure wonderful knowing there’s a village of other moms out there!
I’ve been crying all morning as I approach my 9 week and first appointment today. This is after losing my last baby to an MMC a few months ago. I know whatever happens today I can’t change but I’m scared that if it’s bad I won’t be able to function anymore. I haven’t told anybody so it’s even harder not having anyone to talk to. Im scared if it’s good how am I going to make it through this pregnancy with calmness. I feel like a hot mess.
Anyways. Thanks for sharing your story with the world and posting this on the exact day I needed it. XO
Hi Sarah, I just wanted to reach out and let you know there is a community of support here for you. So many women, including myself, have suffered a miscarriage. I find the online support is helpful, especially, if you aren’t ready to tell anyone in person. Sending hugs your way. <3
Hi Sarah. It is so normal to be scared the second time around. I too was worried and only had my husband to bounce things off of. We are here to support you and stay positive. Prayers are being sent your way for a great checkup and calm and smooth pregnancy! You got this for sure.
You can’t even imagine the echo of your post into my heart and brain …
I lost my first girl at 14 weeks due to genetic disorders, had “my” Eva a year later and lost my third baby last november.
My rainbow baby is almost 3 now and is the most joyful, healthy and sweet little girl.
I thought I would die of anxiety during her pregnancy, I almost faint during the sonograms, bearing it only by thinking it would be all over once she´ll be born.
But as you can imagine, it didn’t stop, a high fever, a big fall, a bruise, everything tells me she will eventually be taken away from me.
I cannot even imagine her as a grown up intimately persuaded that she is not gonna make it :0(
I know that I put too much pressure on her, that in some inconscious way she has to reassur me.
So how do you raise a rainbow baby ?
I’ll say :
First, I am hyper vigilant about her safety : best car seat, healthy food, good caretakers, it helps me relax a little bit
Secondly, let go and trust her amazing life force : she will indeed be alright !
And try to seize every second with her without worrying about what might happen
The famous “instant present ”
Yoga and meditation can help
And eventually you bring me the answer : search help to struggle less !
Thanks for this precious sharing
And excuse my poor english, not easy to translate emotion from french
I have an 11 year old son with Asperger’s and had 2 miscarriages before him. I was a nervous wreck after he was born thinking something would happen to him by accident. The constant worrying was torture each day, I did go to counseling to help organize my thoughts and I took Xanax occasionally for panic attacks. I eventually calmed down over the years and even though he drives me crazy sometimes because of his Asperger’s, I always remind myself I’m lucky to have him.( I decided not to have anymore kids after him because my pregnancy was awful and I just couldn’t go through another miscarriage if it happened again)
I love your blog and Instagram stories btw 🙂
Thank you for writing something so personal and perfectly depicted. This hits deeply in my heart as I suffered a miscarriage my first pregnancy and am now 9 weeks pregnant with my rainbow baby. Your openness has helped me to understand that I am not alone when it comes to my anxiety and fears. It’s hard for some to understand the trials a person faces after miscarriage or infant loss unless they themselves have experienced it. Thank you for sharing your story.
This post hits close to home for me. I am a Rainbow Baby, and while I do not fault my mother for the hypervigilance she has always shown me, it certainly has contributed to my own fears and anxieties–to the point that I could barely sleep from the anxiety of being away from the safety of my mother, even when I was in graduate school. Now, as I parent my own daughter, I can see how difficult it is to balance wanting to protect your child from anything that may harm them with letting them spread their wings and learn to protect themselves.
I’m 5 days from my due date with my rainbow baby, and only 2 days from the 2nd anniversary of our miscarriage. (I’m actually hoping I get to meet this rainbow baby on that day!) These last few weeks have been filled with a lot of anxiety about how close we are and yet, something could still go so wrong. I know this baby is waiting for the right moment for his/her entrance but man am I ever ready!
Thanks for always sharing your emotions, it’s incredibly helpful and reassuring to read so many of your heartfelt posts that are so relevant to my own life.
Hi Eva ,
Thanks sincerely for your quality blog forum , to help the wise members of the wise community here , to be that , a community , to share wisdoms , claimed knowledges , to help others to heal the scarring of the soul , that is what life is .
The foundational distinction is ,”What is the degree of the scarring of the soul , from another toward you , and or you to yourself .
Loss is challenging , because without relationship to tools to create with , people to create share with , ..
life is similar to the song Imagine , with the video with John with Yoko in a white room , only without the piano , anything to draw write paint with , ..
and only one of them in the room .
In two of the past 4 years I have lost two parents, two of my oldest best friends .
My father Bill used to say “Son , all that you need to be happy is , hobbies, interests that you enjoy , quality ethical friends , family , ..
meaningful work , with a reasonable realistic , yet positive attitude .”
It took three marriages two divorces , four children for my father to deduce and decide that was / is the case .
Anyway if only a small part of my fathers wisdom can help someone on your blog in a time of loss , ..
my father Bill would say , “Good work son ! Humble sharing of claimed wisdom , then let them decide . It may help some people .
Now son , the NFL Draft is coming up , who do you think the Seattle Seahawks our team ,who are they going to pick ?? !!”
I am homeless right now , our citizenry has forgotten the practice with neighbors family friends as sovereigns applying our rights ,..
thats the only way you may have “freedom” with rights .
Sadly it is easier to have a small snack , art stand in China than it is in the US .
Been denied ability to rent a storage locker due to the illegal penal laws that we have been under since 1872 .
Anyway , humbly grateful to live in an age where I am able to check in with a favorite renaissance woman , social worker ..
as her family expands with each of them growing in their own unique way .
Hugs to you Eva .
I needed to read this today. I have my beautiful boy, my rainbow baby, who is almost 7 weeks and I’m struggling with the idea of vaccines…I just want to do what’s best for him but I have deep fears rooted in both sides of this issue. Its literally keeping me up at night and dominating my thoughts during the day.
There is something to be said about being naive, never experiencing loss or hearing of stories about moms who have suffered loss.
So thank you for sharing, it makes me feel like I’m not alone on this journey.
Hi Alli ,
Humbly with the tools of formal logic applied , you can evaluate evidence like Charlie Chan , Sherlock Holmes , and or Perry Mason .
Naturalnews.com has some ok research to consider about vaccinating your children .
The only evidence I choose to present , is in the US in the late 1970’s less than 10 vaccines were “required” .
I have friends with two sons , no vaccinations with NO problems , and they are teenagers .
There is a waiver that can be requested , if you decide no vaccines is the best path for you with your family .
Good luck .
Thank you for speaking your truth and the truth of so many other rainbow ? mums. Parenting is so different now, it’s “even more” than before. Even more everything, exhausting, challenging, worrying. Hopefully over time, these feeling will become a part of parenting that doesn’t cripple us or make us feel guilty, that we can just tip our hat to the feeling as to say “How lucky are we for what we have” and they mainly remind us of our good fortune and we can remember our angel babies fondly, without judgement. PTSD sucks, so for a lot of us, this will take time, but we can do it Mama! Love from New Zealand xox
Yes! I have a beautiful 5 month old rainbow baby boy and I wake up almost every night frantically searching my bed for him fearing he has been lost. He has NEVER slept in bed with me and is of course soundly sleeping in his crib and I know this nightly anxiety may have to do with losing my first pregnancy at 12 weeks (missed miscarriage). Just so unexpected that I have all of this anxiety now that he is here, healthy, and so happy!
Thank you ! Thank you ! Thank you ! For putting into words what i feel everyday and the anxiety that comes with having a rainbow baby. I still feel very guilty and anxious about a lot of things but i’m doing the best i can to avoid passing my anxiety onto him. What scares me the most is the infinite love and bound i have with him and what would i do without him. I often wonder if i will ever be able to love another child as much as i love him. Afterall, he’s the one who mended my broken self after the loss of my daughter. So for now im just enjoying this little ray of sunshine that is my 7months old baby boy and try to make the best of everything without worrying too much. Sending you a ton of love & light all the way from France!
I totally understand what you were going through. I had an infant loss with my second pregnancy it was the darkest time of my life. When I got pregnant again it was the most stressful, saddest and loneliest time of my life, (15 years ago no one talk about infant death.) when I was preganant, I never talked about my pregancey told no one until I was about 6 months and when my friends wanted to throw me a shower I wouldn’t let them until after the baby was born. When my beautiful Julianna Rose was born than and only than did I take a deep breath. All my stress went away and I was able to Enjoy and embrace Motherhood for my newborn as well as my son who was 5 at the time.
Thanks for sharing your stories Eva sure wish you were around when I was having my babies….❤❤❤❤
I am a bit hesitant posting this as I haven’t suffered a pregnancy loss . I have a two year old son who I believe almost didn’t make it. I call him my miracle baby. I had a really tough pregnancy. I had a lot of unexplained pains , at our 20 week scan we learned he had a cleft lip and possible palate (and that he could have one of many syndromes associated with it [thank goodness he didn’t ]), and then I got diagnosed with gestational diabetes. After all that I was also having non stop contractions every time I moved. I got sent home every time I went to the hospital. At 32 weeks 6 days they finally checked me and I went from 2 to 4 cm In an hour !! Thankfully they stopped it for 5 days and then my sweet baby was born! 3 weeks in the nicu and we were sprung. But when I learned of the pathology report , my anxiety skyrocketed and I’m terrified of getting pregnant again because I know i will be too nervous to function well. The report had stated that basically everything was infected. All the membranes , the cord , everything- he was trying to get out because his home was no longer safe , and we stopped that from happening. His cord was extremely short (like 20 cm long when average is 55cm) , his placenta was partially folded on its self, and cord had an abnormal insertion with a lack of Whartons jelly for 5 cm of that short cord. I honestly am floored he made it. This is nothing like miscarriage and my heart goes out to all the strong mamas who have experienced one. It’s so difficult.
But my anxiety over my child and future pregnancies dominate my mind a lot of the time and it’s so hard to escape. I see pictures of illchildren on Ig and my heart breaks. Being a parent makes us vulnerable and empathetic to other parents.
So I totally get the anxiety over major. It’s hard. We all want our children healthy and happy. But you’re right , we can’t put all of that onto them. I try to step back and intervene less , but I hear ya. It’s hard
Your words ring so true! And I love what you said about his life not being defined by the loss of another. My twin boys passed away at 21 weeks and it was the hardest moment of my life, to watch them take their last breaths in my arms. My rainbow was born 13 months later and I constantly worried that she would take her last breaths in my arms. I checked on her constantly and still do. I admit that I hover over her for fear of something happening to her. I just cannot fathom experiencing the heartbreak again. I parent with fear most of the time, although I have become very good at hiding it and putting on a smile for my little girl. It is just so hard when you know too much. When you know noting is guaranteed. I think parenting a rainbow is a daily learning experience, we try a little harder every day. Some days we have victories and others we take steps back. I think all we can really do is try our best and look to our little ones watching over us to give us the strength and guidance. I am currently pregnant with my second rainbow and just like my last pregnancy, I am putting my faith in my boys that they will not let anything bad happen to this baby. I do it daily with my daughter too. I know her brothers are with her, keeping her safe. It is kind of what keeps me going. Xo
Thank you so much for sharing some of your heart. What beautiful precious children you have. I have two boys 4 and 18 months and the anxiety that I have experienced since becoming a mother is unreal. I worry so much about everything and just in the last while I’m learning to try and let go a little and trust. It can be so hard though!
Praying health and blessings over you and yours. Much love xx
Hi Eva, loved reading about your rainbow baby! I have an 8 month old son and I suffered with prenatal anxiety and now with postpartum anxiety and depression. It’s something you fight with everyday and push through so your child is not affected by it. It’s been so tough to speak about depression and anxiety because it’s looked at something that you need to hide or the first question people ask is ” are you fit enough to take care of your child”. You have written about postpartum depression so beautifully, I hope this helps ignorant people to understand that anyone can go through it and there is always treatment available for it.
I have suffered two back to back miscarriages within the last year and I am having a hard time having faith that there is a rainbow baby waiting for me. Pregnancy loss is such a taboo topic and it’s hard to find people that understand the emotions one goes through.
Thank you for your words.
My 18 month-old is my “rainbow” baby,and I had MAJOR concerns when I first found out that I was pregnant. My miscarriage took place in November of 2013,it took until February of 2015 to concieve again. Every day I would dwell on the “what ifs” about what I did wrong,what I should/shouldn’t have done.I was so terrified that the pregnancy would,again,last a few weeks. What a blessing it was that it lasted 9 months! Today I am so thankful that I have him. There are days where I stop a wonder about my other baby,but then I stop myself and say that I cannot dwell on something that was out of my hands,I have my beautiful,healthy baby boy right in front of me. It takes time,but we get through it.
I seriously could have written this myself. I have a 2.5 year (boy) and an 8 month old (girl). I too had a miscarriage at 10 weeks in between the 2 of them. Our son sounds much like Marlowe and our daughter much like Major-soooo laid back and happy. Just what I needed. From the time they laid her on my chest she felt like my soul mate, someone I had know forever. Though of course I love my son just as much and to the moon and back, there is just something about her. I often worry about my own Mortality as a mother, and the fact that if something happened to me when they were young, they wouldn’t remember me or how very much I loved them. I also worry about them. There is so much craziness in this world. If I allow myself to think about it too much I would go inane. There is something totally overwhelming about knowing your babies are walking around in the world. You want to (and try to) protect them at every turn. I’ve come to a place where I’m trying to live one day at a time learning from the past, preparing for the future, but living in the moment, and enjoying every one that I have with my 2 beautiful and perfect babies. Much love to you and your beautiful family.
I didn’t suffer a loss but my husband and I tried to get pregnant for 4 years before we had our little one. I feel like I was afraid to love him fully when I was pregnant in case something happened to him. Now, although I love him with everything I am, I am still afraid of that being taken away, so I understand your fears.
I have not experienced the loss of a child or a miscarriage but I did experience PPD, and I give you so much kudos for talking so openly and honest about each of your experiences. I have been following you for about 2 years now and I really admire your honesty and truth. You always show such strength and it makes me want to talk about my experiences when I became a mother, and coming out on the other side of PPD which is not easy. I love your posts and stories! You’re doing a great job mama 🙂
Beautiful Eva, Thank you so so so much for sharing this story. We need more of this is in this world. More conscious parents, more parents talking about what is going through their heads but that they are processing through themselves and not their children. You are leading the way for a new wave and I am so grateful for it. Parents just can’t look to their children to feed their emotional needs. It’s damaging. Even just by talking about it, we bring it to light more and more. Thank you! Thank you!
I love your honesty. You are an amazing mom!! I look forward to reading your thoughts on your blog and watching your Instagram stories. Thank you for always being real mom and wife to relate too. From one real mom to another hustling every day. You are doing a great job. Just saying.
We lost our beautiful girl last month. She was born sleeping, full term. We aren’t trying yet but part of my grief process is reading everything I can about stillbirth, grief and rainbow babies. I like to be prepared. Thank you for an honest account of your life. It helps parents like myself more than you probably realise.
I expiranced a very tragic infant loss, I had what thought to be a very normal c-section smooths delivery but the next day my world turned upside down the baby temp dropped An starting going down hill long story short he had a rare birth defect that was irreversible An watch him die.. 2 yrs later I was pregnant only to find out it was ectopic an I almost died after that yrs followed an I was told “I am sorry your body has gone into traumatic menopause u will never have anymore children” 2 yrs later I found out I was pregnant miracle but I couldn’t find the joy I was terrified either I would die or baby would die it was the longest pregnancy… I have a very happy Rainbow baby an I am always worried is today his last day he will turn 5 this yr an no one understands the reasoning behind my parenting choices
I can’t believe it’s been 21 years since I lost my first baby, a girl, at 6 1/2 months of pregnancy. It was so hard! My loss was caused by a blood disorder, so my 2 subsequent pregnancies were high risk and I was so relieved that both times, I had a healthy baby!
My kids are now 17 and 14 and my approach is 2-fold: on one hand I love to spend time with them (I homeschool them even now) and I’m a bit of a helicopter mom.
But my other approach is, I’m thankful for every day with them, and I don’t EVER take them for granted. If one of them died tomorrow (my nightmare, truly), I would try to focus on the fact that I had more time with them than many parents get. I really try to treasure each day as a gift. It’s all more than I deserve.
I am a recent reader of your blog. I know this post is from a while back but it was exactly what I needed today. When I was 7 months pregnant with my son I was told there was a 70% chance that he would be still born and if he did survive there would be a 90% mortality rate in the first year. This was after a normal 7 months of pregnancy, i was young, healthy, and in complete despair. It shook me to my core. As we approached the due date the problem seemed to disappear. No medical explanation and the doctors couldn’t believe it. My son was born and they let us go home after 4 days. A day later we were back in. And after several months of monitoring and testing we were told we have a perfectly healthy boy. Our son Miles turns 2 tomorrow 🙂 2016 brought us so much joy and we expected 2017 to be even better. We found out in May that we were expecting, we found out it was twins, then we found out one stopped growing. The surviving twin was given a slim chance of surviving. I had it made up in my mind that it would just be ok because my son defied odds. We made it into the 2nd trimester and the baby had a severe cystic hygroma and we later found out she had turners syndrome. She didn’t make it and I had to go into surgery in August for a D&C. It’s been a dark time and with the new year I am trying to look forward with hope, it’s hard not to when my Miles Man is turning 2 and we didn’t even expect to see him breathe. It’s one of those things that’s easier said than done though. How did you manage everything in that time between your miscarriage and when your son was conceived?
Happy New Year!
Thank you for sharing. I only have one (rainbow baby), so I have nothing to compare parenting style with. I am more anxious than my sisters with their babies, very over-protective. I do feel like he will be taken away from me, I hate that feeling. But he’s so special and precious. I hope it gets better and easier. I hate being that helicopter parent.
In 2017, my daughter died at 9 days old. I became pregnant not long after. I was also mentally ill with PTSD (among other things) and I believe I still am. My pregnancy with my rainbow baby – my sweet, beautiful son – was wracked with anxiety and terror. Of course, it didn’t end when he was born. It has been much like the experience you’ve described. We celebrated my son’s first birthday this past weekend, and though I sometimes FEEL like I may be a bit “better”.. the fear remains. I’m terrified that something will happen to him. I want to keep him. I want to die before my living children do. I pray for it.
I had a miscarriage (our 3rd baby) two months before I got pregnant with our 4th baby. I always call him “my gift from God.” Nobody, not my husband, nor my parents, I mean nobody is allowed to tell him “no” or raise their voice to him. He’s only 11 months old so there is no reason to raise your voice, but it’s silly that if anyone tries to tell him “no,” I’m quick to remind them that he is an angel from Heaven and to never speak to him like that. My family and friends laugh, but I’m 100% serious. I’m lucky though because since the day our rainbow baby was born, my 5 year old son and 3 year old son have never once resented him. They adore him! I think that they saw the pain that I was in during and after my miscarriage, as little as they were. My kids went to my first ultrasound with our 3rd baby, where I was told that I didn’t have a viable pregnancy and they were at the second ultrasound where I was told that our baby had no heartbeat. Our baby had no heartbeat for 11 days before he or she came out, so my kids picked up on my sadness and my new fears. They know that I’m terrified of anything happening to any of them. I just try to give my fears to God and shut the enemy down and stay aware and on top of the anxiety that overrides me sometimes. Being a Mom is not always easy. Ok, let’s get real…it’s hard!!!
This is the first time I came across something that could resonate and articulate what I have been feeling over the first year of My rainbow babies life. My heart aches often for the little one that we lost and I never had time to fully grieve. I got pregnant with my RB almost immediately after and I have been riddled with that anxiety ever since. We are so grateful for our dearest gift but it is difficult finding balance anyhow thank you for sharing your experience and it has helped me on the road to processing all of this because I dont know how to verbalize these feelings other than saying there is an emptiness I feel . In reading these stories first step is acknowledging I’m not alone.
I never had a pregnancy loss but after having two kids I think it’s always in the back of our head, the loss of our child. I have read much about these feelings and mostly experts talk about how it’s mostly about our own attachments and fear of death. We have to accept anything as it comes no matter how tragic, as its part of our own growth in this world. To know anything can happen at any minute to anybody and that death is the only sure thing, embrace it and accept it, is what makes us live in the moment. Thinking too much about what can happen and thinking about a tragedy accuring turns into anxiety and thus over protection of our children. The universe is always listening…always send your babies light and divine guidence and know they have their own path no matter what that is and can’t be controlled.
Congrats for your new baby and yes its always in the back of my mind…”what if I would’ve had a third”