Vanessa Y’s Story

Vanessa and her husband, Jonathan, were unsure if they wanted to expand their family after having their first living child, their now 5 year old daughter, Lily but after she turned 4, they decided they were ready to add another child to their family. In the fall of 2022, Vanessa became pregnant with their second baby, a baby boy. The pregnancy went smoothly at first just as it had with their first born – all tests were normal in the first trimester, so around 16 weeks they decided to post their pregnancy announcement on social media. 

Unfortunately, a few weeks later, during the anatomy scan, there were a number of anomalies that were discovered. This completely caught Vanessa and Jonathan off guard and devastated them as they were so sure they were in the so called “safe zone” as their tests and ultrasounds had been unremarkable up to that point. 

Unfortunately, the pregnancy ended in a loss at 26 weeks and Vanessa gave birth to their baby boy, Jellybean Ren. He arrived silently into the world and they were only able to spend about 14 hours with him before leaving the hospital without him. 

The next few months were a blur as Vanessa and her husband navigated the grief that came with a late pregnancy loss and Vanessa balanced this grief with postpartum symptoms and recovery. As they had posted their pregnancy announcement earlier, they felt the need to follow up with an update that they had lost their baby boy; this follow up post was extremely difficult to write. They were fortunate to find support from a pregnancy loss coach and a pregnancy loss group through the Pregnancy, Infant & Child Loss Support Centre (PILSC); however, Vanessa did notice that pregnancy loss as a topic in general still seems so taboo in society today – it made the journey feel incredibly isolating.

A few months later, Vanessa was fortunate to become pregnant again. This time with identical twin girls, Luna and Isla, who arrived in the spring of 2024. Pregnancy after loss was a difficult and complex journey for Vanessa and her husband. They were excited and hopeful but also still grieving their previous loss. Vanessa had to break up this pregnancy into many small milestones and tell herself that this was a different pregnancy and a different story. While she was grateful and over the moon to meet their rainbow twin girls, she also hopes to continue to honour their brother’s memory.

Although the twin girls will be their “rainbow babies,” Vanessa does not think of their older brother as the “storm.” Nor, does she think that they had to endure a loss in order to reach their ”rainbow”. She thinks that some things just occur without reason and this can be difficult to accept for some people. For Vanessa, her rainbow twin girls symbolize hope after some challenging times but one did not have to occur for the other to happen. She will always consider herself a mother to all 4 of her children, Lily, Jellybean Ren, Luna, and Isla. 

This is why Vanessa would like to participate in this project as she thinks it is a beautiful way to spread pregnancy loss awareness and present all the different ways that loss parents around the world find their rainbow after loss. In her case, she would like to share her story of her loss and the complex journey to her rainbow twin girls that followed. Vanessa hopes that this will help to continue to spread Project Finding Your Rainbow globally so that loss parents can feel less alone in this journey.

Vanessa wears the rainbow skirt. She holds her newborn twins in her arms.

Vanessa wears the rainbow skirt. She holds her newborn twins in her arms. Her husband and young daughter stand next to her.

Photos taken by Serap Butun Photography.

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