This is the story of how my rainbow baby, became my hero
In 2011, I had an amazing son
I knew, from being an only child that I definitely wanted to have more kids. Not saying being an only child was terrible, it wasn’t. I just envy my friends who have awesome relationships with their siblings. I knew I wanted to have a bigger family.
In 2014, the joy would come to a reality when I found out I was pregnant. I was so ecstatic! I started to buy matching clothes for my son and the baby. This was me, planning my soon to be family of 4. The daydreams of my kids playing together, and bonding, and taking vacations were beautiful. The sweet newborn cuddles and the smell of newborn breath made me smile, I was so excited that soon I would experience it again.
This time, I thought, seeing how fast my oldest grew, I am going to cherish every single little moment.
I bought a shirt for my oldest that said brother bear, I took pictures of him in it, so I could subtly announce that we were expecting another. I was editing the pictures and getting ready to announce, as I was nearing close to my second trimester. It was then I started to feel cramping. I pushed it off as just the regular cramps that you get when you’re pregnant. In my mind, however, I knew this was different. Truthfully, miscarrying wasn’t even on my mind.
No way would that happen to me.
I didn’t know too many people, at the time, that miscarried. So, I figured it was SUPER rare, and it just wasn’t going to happen to me. Even when I started bleeding, I really didn’t think it was happening. When I started bleeding more heavily, I went to the hospital. It was confirmed that I would probably have a complete miscarriage in the next few days, if not that day. They said I would have contraction like pains and severe cramping.
But, they didn’t tell me about the emotional pain. No one really does. I suffered mostly in silence. Still, to this day, I get vibes from some, that a miscarriage is nothing. I have heard people saying “it could be a lot worse.”
Yes, it could be a lot worse. But, the pain is real. Every thought, and dream you have fades, and is all of a sudden, no longer. I’m a tough person, I’ve been through A LOT in my life. People believe I am a lot stronger than I am. I am pretty hard on the outside, or so I’d like to think. I pushed down my feelings and thought, maybe, I was being dramatic. This was the worse thing I could do.
You have to let yourself grieve. You have to, you aren’t being dramatic.
I like to think of miscarrying, a little like anxiety or depression. It’s taboo, and some really like to say things like “calm down,” because those who haven’t experienced this, do not understand it. Understandably, of course.
After my miscarriage, I went to the Ob/gyn and they checked my blood work consistently and ensured my HCG was going down. When physically, it was done, I had a few follow up visits. I was told I could start trying again, so we did. A few months later I got pregnant.
Yay for a rainbow baby!
I was even more excited because one of my best friends found out that she was pregnant at the same exact time! We were going to be pregnant and give birth together, how awesome was that?!
I was back to daydreaming, convinced I was going to have a girl. So, I’m not going to lie, I bought some bows, and a few girly clothes. I had an appointment at around 9 weeks for an ultrasound, it was on September 11th. There it was, a heartbeat. This little bean of a fetus was so sweet. Their little heart was pumping away.
I called my husband, crying tears of joy, in my parked car, because I couldn’t even drive from the excitement!! My oldest son asked why I was crying so I had to spill the beans, I was having another sweet baby and that thumping noise he heard in the ultrasound room was it’s heartbeat. He named the baby Christmas. I drove home and was ecstatic once again.
I couldn’t wait to show my husband the ultrasound picture. We both rejoiced and talked about the future and, once again, couldn’t wait. My best friend and I talked a lot about what we were feeling. We were pretty excited about being together in this pregnancy.
About a week later, after hearing the sweet sound of their heartbeat, I began having cramps. I wrote these off as nothing again.
No way would I have two miscarriages in a row. No way.
That just doesn’t happen all that often. The cramps got heavier, they became extreme. I started to bleed and went to the hospital. There was still a heartbeat. They had said they could see a pocket of blood and that everything looked to be fine with the baby. So relieved, I once again cried tears of joy.
The bleeding didn’t stop and continued to get heavier. I was pretty confident, though, after JUST seeing the heartbeat and being reassured, that it was just that pocket of blood. The cramps were getting unbearable. So, I went to get checked out again. Only this time, the heartbeat had subsided. I was told that, once again, I would be miscarrying within a day or two.
This one was a lot worse than the first. I had so much hope and was let down. There was a lot more physical time this time around as well. I had multiple appointments with the Ob/gyn to make sure everything was functioning alright, afterwards. He even said “one miscarriage is pretty common, but two or more is bad luck.” Uhhh great?!?
So now I just felt almost hopeless, my hope for a healthy pregnancy was diminishing.
I was grateful for my oldest and was positive he’d be the only child, and I had become okay with that as I had lost all hope for another.
Last September (2015), days before my husbands birthday, I was a couple days late for my period, usually, I am extremely regular. I bought a few pregnancy tests, and couldn’t even wait. So, I took one at Starbucks. The line was so incredibly light, but it was a positive for sure. Over the top excited, I was planning a huge surprise to tell my husband for his birthday. You know, like one of those sweet viral YouTube ones. Well, that only lasted a few seconds, I had to call him and text him the picture immediately. I give major props to the ones who can plan and execute those sweet announcements.
This time, after the initial excitement, I have to admit, things were SO different. I wasn’t excited as I had been with all 3 of my previous pregnancies.
Scared to death, I didn’t want to get my hopes up. Actually, I was terrified.
I started to bleed AGAIN. Although everything checked out okay when I went in for my early ultrasound, I wasn’t getting my hopes up this time. So, I didn’t feel the excitement. There was more bleeding and I passed some clots. I drove myself to the hospital, a mess, crying my eyes out, not even believing that this would be happening to me again.
But, deep down I was expecting it.
Baby checked out to be fine. Thank gosh! I bled a lot, every time I threw up too. I made it all the way through my second trimester. Even though we were here, I just couldn’t believe it.
During my third trimester I still didn’t feel as excited as I should have. Perhaps, I was almost in shock that I had made it this far. Maybe, I almost had depression. I felt really angry and sad, some days, even and terrified. Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy my pregnancy whatsoever because of this fear. It’s sad to say or write that out for everyone to see. Please know that I am not ungrateful. I was just shocked, in disbelief that I had made it that far.
A huge part of me felt that getting my hopes up was unsafe.
Well this last June, a few days late I had my rainbow baby. And boy is he ever my rainbow after the storm. This child has a special place in my heart. When I laid my eyes on him, when he was put on my chest just after being born, it was like a part of me that I had no idea I was missing. He is the true definition of rainbow baby. I look at him and some how, some way, I am grateful for the path I had to take to get to him.
He’s my hero,
in a sense.
Learn more about this series, a letter from the Breastfeeding World Team
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