Everything was going according to their plan, Jeremy and Stefanie went to college, got married and started having kids. After three girls they were excited to welcome a little boy. Stefanie’s pregnancy, like the others, had been filled with prenatal anxiety, depression and morning sickness but was otherwise normal. But when their son Brody was born, he was unable to move. Suddenly, they were in uncharted waters, navigating life with a medically complex child and an unknown prognosis. At six months old Brody was diagnosed with a terminal genetic condition, at seven months old they were told to prepare for his death at any moment.
During the next few months time slowed while they cherished their son, but at the same time it went all too fast. At ten months old Brody died and put Jeremy and Stefanie into the position to become rainbow parents. Like anyone else who experiences child loss, it was never a place they expected to be. With a hereditary genetic condition, they weighed the options and risks of having any more kids. In honor of her son and in search of healing Stefanie trained, competed and medaled in a fitness competition. Meanwhile she wrote an inspirational non-fiction book to help others grieving loss. After those endeavors had assuaged her early grief, Stefanie felt ready to pursue her rainbow baby. In 2019, Jeremy and Stefanie completed IVF with genetically tested embryos, but the pregnancy ended in another loss. After another wait and with the complexities of doing IVF during covid, they welcomed their rainbow baby, Cade on February 6, 2021.
Stefanie blogs about life after loss on her Instagram, @stef_livingwellafterloss and wants to tell others who are experiencing loss,
“I know you might be scared; I know you are hurting; I know there is doubt and fear and often feelings of hopelessness and powerlessness, but I also know you won’t quit. You have survived the hardest parts already, you’ve cried, you’ve dared to laugh, your relationships have been altered, you have forged new relationships, an invincibility you never knew you had has been taken from you, and you’ve acquired the new perspective on what really matters in life, but most importantly, through all of that, you have grown. You’ve grown into a more compassionate, caring, understanding, loving person. You feel more deeply, appreciate life more fully and love more wholly. While you have lost much, just look at all you have gained. For whatever lies ahead for you, remember you have a personal angel (or angels) above, guiding you along life’s path, and that is something to smile about.”
Coincidentally, Stefanie is also her mother’s rainbow baby.
Find out more about Project Finding Your Rainbow.
Pin and help spread the project!