Carmen’s Story

Dear Last Rainbow Baby,

Our story is a long one, but such a full one…There are many things we don’t get to choose in life but I know that you chose us as we chose you.

I can’t wait to welcome you to the Grover family. You will be our last Rainbow baby. Coming before you in our family are the obvious three siblings that you can see, but there are also ones that you can’t see. And they are all your big siblings.

After our official honeymoon to Peru in October 2015 that we went on two years after our wedding, we found out I was pregnant. I remember having bought Peruvian cloths that you could turn into wraps to carry a baby on your back and thinking how neat that was. We were ready to start building our family. I had shared our pregnancy so early with pretty much everyone. But at the 12-week mark, we found out we were losing the pregnancy. Her name was Amity Ella, our first baby born in January 2016.

Amity means “friendship” and she would have been your very best friend for life. I felt like I had never lived life more fully or been so aware of everything as when I had her life within. Everything just seemed more vibrant. Unfortunately, I never got that naive vibrancy back for the rest of my pregnancies, until you came along! But I still hold on to the pure elation I once felt, as everyone should.

Will, our second loss, was an early loss, when we were 10 weeks pregnant. I didn’t enjoy the time with that pregnancy as I had with Amity, but I believed in my heart that “we Will try again,” and so I had hope.

During my third pregnancy we lost our so-hoped-for daughter, named Kaia Belle meaning Pure Beauty in January 2017 at 24 weeks via termination for medical reasons. She was the first baby we ever got to hold. She was the first baby whose heartbeat we heard. We believed we would never be parents to living babies. It was a dark time, and one of the hardest things we’ve ever had to go through.

After that we had a chemical pregnancy. With the loss of these four pregnancies, I lost a lot more than just my babies. I lost the future I had pictured and I lost the happiness that should come with pregnancy. We almost lost all hope. I felt so alone and I was grieving so much.

I was reminded of my loss everywhere. When I saw pregnant women with their round bellies, full of hope and excitement. When I saw mothers with their newborn infants in strollers. When a due date came and went with no baby. When Mother’s Day came and no one understood that I was a mother, even with no living baby. The pain was all around me and could hit at any time.

But then, a beacon of light, I gave birth to your beautiful brother Case meaning Brave in December 2017. During the pregnancy we tried to enjoy it as much as we could, but we always feared he, too, would be taken away, so we didn’t savour the pregnancy moments the way we should have. But boy, did we after he was born. It was a big adjustment. I was a new mama putting extra pressure on myself and on our son, to relieve all our previous hurts and lost joys. We did do so much with him.

Our lovely “Pot of Gold” daughter Maelie meaning “Beautiful Princess” followed close behind in April 2019. I felt like I had been pregnant forever at that point. She did give us a scare during the pregnancy, which reminded us of what we went through with Kaia, but thankfully she was born happy and healthy.

We then had another surprise. After having our two children, we then lost an unplanned pregnancy around 8 weeks. I noticed butterflies all around, butterflies I had memorialized in our previous losses. We knew that our family was not complete.

My eighth pregnancy was our boy Jude meaning “Praised”, who we lost in August 2020 when I was 21 weeks pregnant, this time related to another terminal prognosis called Potters Sequence. Our hearts burst when we lost our beautiful boy and I really believed we couldn’t take any more.

Finally, our daughter Ayda meaning “Returning Visitor” came into our lives in July 2021 and we were thrilled. I was so busy with the three children that I distracted myself from all the pain I had endured in building this family. At the time, I felt that Ayda completed us.

But then, we were surprised again, the world possibly telling us that we weren’t done yet. And yet another pregnancy loss occurred, I named that baby Zach meaning “God Remembers” one which caused me to build a support community on Instagram. And then . . . and then . . . I became pregnant with you, dear Last Rainbow Baby.

I have been pregnant eleven times and have three living children, with you on the way. I have also lost seven pregnancies, all in very different ways and at different times in my life. Building our family has not been easy, but it did build us physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Over the years yes we had lost, but I had also gained in so many aspects, and it was hope that kept me going. And I knew that only I got to decide when my family was complete.

Each baby has both made me lose something and then given me something more. With Amity I lost my naivete but gained an awareness of deep love. With Will I lost faith but gained the ability to continue hoping. With Case and Maelie I lost some fears and gained back some faith. And with later pregnancies I gained a loss community and I gained experience as an advocate for pregnancy loss. Now I have speaking engagements and I have written a book to honour all of your siblings lives and I continue to share my story so that others feel comfortable sharing theirs. Which is why I’m also sharing this with you and all that you mean to us! Time will never change this!

Each experience gave me hope and gave me the tools I needed in the road to building our family, which I never knew would be my own soul’s deepest recovery. Only now, in recounting all your siblings, do I see my own growth. My love expanding with you and my expanding belly, my sweet Last Rainbow Baby.

Only we know just how hard it was to get where we are today. I lost faith several times in our journey, from dreams of a future to nightmares of a funeral, but I never stopped holding on to hope. Through all the sorrow and pain, at times it felt like we were being pushed away. We questioned at times if we were meant to have babies. But our babies sustained our faith and grew us into our family today…we wanted every one of your siblings. I’m still healing, and it is each one of them that has put a piece of me back together again.

The biggest gift my babies gave me was to know that I’m never alone, as they are always with me, guiding me. Not many people can say that. So, dear Last Rainbow Baby, what you have given me is you. You have built me a community, a blog, comfort boxes, a journal, and a life I can feel safe in. You have given me a pregnancy I can finally let myself fully enjoy even taking you belly dancing and having professional maternity pictures done for the first time ever. I and we deserve this joy.

Dear Last Rainbow Baby, the wait it took to get pregnant with you gave me the time and space I needed. I have a deeper desire for you, and a deeper appreciation for all my children and for what life is and how it must never be taken for granted. How we get to have you all and experience you all in different ways.

You are our final Rainbow baby, the final baby of all our forever babies. Feeling you and your kicks inside gives me the non-stop reassurance I need, you are real! Even if I have to wiggle you around a bit with the kids tickling you. Our fear never leaves, but we are far from done little one. Now we show you how we can be your parents and be a family, with all our living babies that your other siblings brought to us. Not many people can say they have guardian angels for life, but you will be born with so many.

Nothing ever went to plan for us, but I believe you were always part of a deeper plan. We’ve done it before and are doing it again, through joy and pain. It is hard to parent after loss, but it makes us appreciate it all more somehow. The fear is still there, but the love, oh the love constantly grows with you all, and that is something we will always have.

Case, Maelie, and Ayda are so excited to meet you. They can’t wait to play with you. Like every one of our Grover babies before you, you are so loved. Truth be told, I wanted you so badly, and so did your daddy and siblings. All of them. I do believe they transpired somehow to bring you here.

Ayda rests her head on my belly every time we sit together. Maelie hugs you morning and night and sings “I love you little baby.” Case says, “Wow, you are getting so big, look at that big belly!” You do have the most loving, compassionate siblings waiting for you. Something about loss makes them greater somehow, and I know you will be no different.

We are and always will be a Grover family.

I do celebrate us and what is to come, with our living children’s love for you and your angel guardians rooting for us every step of our lives. A gift you will always have, dearest Last Rainbow Baby, is that of siblinghood. Everywhere you go… there they are.

Our story of how you all came to be will always be our story that will never change. It is always relevant as it is the story that shaped our lives and I will go on sharing it till the very end.


Your Mommy

Carmen holds her pregnant belly, which is painted in a rainbow of colors. It also has butterflies, leaves, and a large yellow flower. She also wears the rainbow skirt.

Carmen holds her pregnant belly, which is painted in a rainbow of colors. It also has butterflies, leaves, and a large yellow flower. She also wears the rainbow skirt. Water is in the background.

Carmen holds her painted pregnant belly and wears the rainbow skirt and a rainbow striped hat.

Carmen holds her painted pregnant belly and wears the rainbow skirt.

Painting Symbolism – Every Portrait tells a story

~ Behind every portrait is a story…when the rainbow washes away it goes back to grey showing what it is all made up of ~

Rainbow – There is beauty after the storm, but also represents the 7 colours of the 7 babies we have lost… who make up our rainbow.

Butterflies – 7 babies we have lost & how with all of them we glimpsed them for a short time, but we’re happy to have seen their beauty. Colourful butterflies are our 4 living babies who bring such vibrancy, hope & beauty to our lives!

Mountains – Where I always ran away to  find solace in deep despair. Where I was pregnant this summer in Calgary with my children. Always wanting to shout my pregnancies & babies names from the mountain tops, but couldn’t. There was never no mountain high enough to keep me from getting to you babe!

Sunflower – The fields we visited when pregnant with Jude & do yearly honouring the brightness & joy his life brings.

Gold –  Chippi means sunshine rain in Guatemala ~ How two things can exist at the same time. The rain falls while the sun is shining both dreary & bright. Golden like our forever baby. In all the gloom they will never stop shining through you. 

Balloons – Just before Jude was born a pink & blue helium balloon flew past our hospital window. This brought comfort in knowing they were with us & are always together. Ever since I have been finding helium balloons in fields with a message from them when I need it most.

Angel (pink & blue) – My babies spirits that had lead me to this healing journey through connection with them through the elements, always there guiding us!

Leafs – Just as they fall they make way to bring new life & growth & that is exactly where we are on our journey always Be-liefing in it! The twirling leaves in our back yard were playful. I continue to go to “My Spot” the tree where I ask for help, to journal, pray do yoga & meditate to & with my babies.

Clouds – Like grief come and go. I would say hello to the sun & my children and goodbye again many times. My fears worries, love, light & delight always intermingled….coming & passing bring on grief and gratitude but always love!

Carmen wears the rainbow skirt. She holds two framed photos that contain pictures of her babies.

Carmen wears the rainbow skirt and holds a copy of her book "A Diary to my Babies"

Carmen wears the rainbow skirt and holds her pregnant belly.

Carmen's three living children sit on the rainbow skirt and hold photos of their two siblings.

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure for further information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.*

Read Carmen’s Book: A Diary to My Babies: Journeying Through Pregnancy Loss

Follow Carmen on Instagram at @adiarytoourbabies to connect.

Painted belly photos taken by Marianne Suzanne Photography.

Other photos taken by Carlyn Rose Photography.

Find out more about Project Finding Your Rainbow.

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