Jillian’s Story

Mama to Cadence and Savannah

March 2015: The soft movements in my belly stopped. Ensue chaos, confusion, tears, and heartbreak. I was induced at 28 weeks on a Monday night, and Cadence was born still on Tuesday. Her father and I held her, family got to see her, and we had a few pictures taken. We had a small funeral and brought home a tiny acorn shaped urn that sits prominently on our mantle. She continues to be a part of our family.

May 2016: Hope and fear coexist as we find out our high-risk rainbow baby, Savannah was having difficulties. I had developed Preeclampsia and needed an emergency c-section at 30 weeks. She was born weighing just 1lb 15oz. and was immediately whisked away to the NICU where she would stay for 66 days until we got to take her home.

Jillian wears the rainbow skirt.  She holds a teddy bear.  Her rainbow daughter stands next to her, holding her hand.


The traditional rainbow baby: I cannot deny the joy she brings into our lives every day. I take a lot of pictures because I always fear that it may be the last one taken of her, and I try to remind myself of how amazing it is that she is even here when we’re having a tough day. She is the absolute best and her sweetness and strength come out in these photos.

Another rainbow: the friends I have made due to this awful shared experience. Most, I have never actually met in person, but the closeness I feel to these women is immense. There is a saying that internet friends can be real friends, and I think that’s even stronger among the loss community.

Jillian's rainbow daughter wears the rainbow skirt.

What the Project Means to Me

I never got far enough along to have a maternity shoot with either of my girls, so this opportunity to have a shoot celebrating our girls and all that they symbolize was so, so special. Thank you, Sarah for offering this, and thank you to Kimberly McElman for being an amazing photographer. 

Jillian's daughter wears the rainbow skirt.  There are trees in the background.
Jillian and her daughter stand together.  Her daughter wears the rainbow skirt.
Jillian's daughter wears the rainbow skirt.

Photos taken by Kimberly McElman.

Find out more about Project Finding Your Rainbow.

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