I go back and forth on what I think of the term “rainbow baby.” It has personally resonated so much with me, however I can’t think of it without thinking of my friends who can’t or choose not to have another baby after loss, or my friends who struggle to conceive. I know that phrase can sting when you’re so desperately longing for that baby. I think all of our “rainbows” can be different. One thing I do know is after every storm there is a rainbow. A rainbow (whatever that might be in your life) that reminds us of hope. The hope we can have because of Jesus. The storm doesn’t last forever, even when it feels like it will.
Here is my story:
When I was younger my greatest desire was to get married and have a family. In 2013 I married my best friend, who I have known since I was 8. By the end of that year we decided we wanted to grow our family. I quickly got pregnant and just a few weeks later I miscarried. Soon after I got pregnant again and we were blessed with our first son. Even through heartbreak it felt like God was giving me all of my desires as we grew our family!
A year and a half later we decided to try again. Once again, I was pregnant soon after. At the first ultrasound at 9 weeks we were shocked to find out I had a blighted ovum and after multiple scans it was confirmed that our baby had stopped growing around 6 weeks. I never suspected anything to be wrong. Everything felt normal. I waited 6 more weeks for my body to finally realize we had lost the baby. Those were 6 long agonizing weeks. Our first miscarriage was heartbreaking, but that second one completely crushed me.
We went on to have 2 more awesome boys in 2016 and 2018. In 2019 my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Around this time we weren’t sure if we wanted another baby, and if we did we were set on waiting a while to have another. It turns out 3 kids in 4 years is a lot to keep up with! We also didn’t want to have a baby with everything going on with my mom’s sickness. However, God had other plans. At the beginning of 2020 we very unexpectedly found out I was pregnant. We were definitely trying to NOT get pregnant! At first I was upset with this news, but frustration quickly turned to excitement and it started to feel like this baby was such a gift and a light through all the darkness we were going through with my mom’s diagnosis.
There has always been some level of anxiety after going through multiple losses, but it also felt like we were past that happening again. Especially after the first trimester. After the first trimester you’re safe, right? Everything was going well. We were so shocked to find out we were having a girl! Chloe Grace! Chloe has been a name my husband loved and wanted to use since he was in high school. At the anatomy scan I was told everything was perfect.
A few weeks later we both started having unexplainable anxiety that something would go wrong. I still don’t know why. Every day I would give my worries back to God and I felt so confident that this little girl was His plan and trusted that she would be okay. After a few more weeks I thought I felt less movement and the anxiety grew. However I thought I was crazy. Each day I would wonder if everything was okay but I would feel a flutter or some sort of movement and reassure myself it was okay and I was just being crazy. At almost 29 weeks I went in for an appointment. The whole way there I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong. But I thought I felt movement that morning and told myself it was fine. I thought I was just being paranoid. It was that appointment that we found out Chloe’s heart wasn’t beating. I didn’t know… but somehow I knew. That moment my world came crashing down. So many questions. So much confusion. So much guilt. I didn’t understand how this could be happening.
The next day we went to the hospital to deliver and after almost 20 hours of labor Chloe was born on August 12, 2020. weighing 1lb 11oz. While we were at the hospital we found out my mom also went to the ER and was septic. We were about to go home without the daughter in our arms, who we had so many hopes and dreams for and I also didn’t know if I would ever see my mom again. Thankfully she did get to go home. We were able to get 6 more weeks with her until she passed away on Sept. 24, 2020.
Some days I don’t know how we’ve made it this far. The Lord has carried us the whole way. Through it all He has been near to our broken hearts and shown His goodness even amidst such tragedies.
In December, 2020 I became pregnant with our sixth baby, and third rainbow baby. After such a long and emotionally hard pregnancy after loss Theodore was born on August 25th, 2021. We are all so in love with him and can hardly believe he is here, alive and breathing in our arms! I’m so grateful for God blessing us with this boy. We will always miss his big sister and always wonder who she would be, however, I know God has great things in store for his life and I look forward to watching it all unfold. He isn’t here in place of Chloe but because of her.
The timing of his arrival and throughout his whole pregnancy God brought Psalm 30:5 to my mind often.
“Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”
In the days after Chloe’s birth and after my mom’s death, there were times that felt like joy could never come again. There is such a deep and heavy sorrow that comes with losing your child that I wish no one had to endure. However, God’s Grace is sufficient and that is where our Hope lies. Joy does come again. Even among the absolute worst situations.
I know this broken world is not the end and one day I will get to see Chloe and my mom. I cannot wait for that day but until then I will cherish every moment I have with my husband and the 4 boys God has blessed us with here on earth.
Photos taken by Lida Mathews Photography.
Find out more about Project Finding Your Rainbow.
Pin and help spread the project!