Yesterday was National Rainbow Baby Day. Alice is our rainbow baby. A rainbow baby is a baby born after a miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death. It’s the “rainbow after the storm.”
I had a missed miscarriage prior to having Alice. A missed miscarriage is when there are no signs there is a problem (no bleeding, no cramping). It wasn’t until the first ultrasound appointment when the technician was unable to detect a heartbeat that we learned the baby would not make it.
After confirming again in a week that there was no heartbeat, I had a d and c to remove the dead fetus. I had a medical abortion (which is why Roe v. Wade being overturned is so infuriating-women may medically need an abortion!)
The whole process was gut wrenching. Even though we had three healthy kids a miscarriage is still rough. I felt guilty for feeling as bad as I did since I already had children but a loss is a loss. Even a child you don’t know, that you only saw at a glance on an ultrasound screen, the pain is still real. I felt like it was my fault. I had let this baby down.
Thankfully almost a year to date from my d and c, we welcomed Alice Harper into the world. After a miscarriage, you are so much more nervous than previous pregnancies with no issues. You just pray there is a heartbeat each ultrasound. And thankfully everything went fine with Alice.
This brings us to Bryce. My non-invasive blood tests were inconclusive which can occur when there’s a genetic defect in the baby. My mind immediately went to what we went through when I had the miscarriage. I couldn’t go through losing a child again, that was so tough. There was already the stress of telling family we were expecting baby number 5 and anticipating a not so excited reaction from them and dealing with the where will we fit this kid in a house that is already too small with four kids (but we are making it work with the 5 now!)
I did notice in reading about inconclusive blood tests, cancer in a mother could be a cause which I never even considered was possible at the time.
This lead to an amniocentesis which confirmed that our baby was healthy. A few weeks after this huge relief we found out I had cancer.
Thankfully I was in the second trimester and could safely undergo chemo that would not harm the baby. Initially the question of keeping the baby was asked and I couldn’t give up on that child. After just one miscarriage (I know many women who suffered multiple miscarriages so I feel lucky in some ways), I couldn’t imagine losing another child especially on top of all I was dealing with.
Thanks to an incredible medical team, Bryce arrived a healthy baby boy. And he brought us something so positive during the toughest time of our lives.
I give this whole story yet again because losing a baby regardless of how far along you are or how many kids you have, is one of the most difficult experiences you can go through. You feel so helpless that you couldn’t do anything to save the baby you lost. I worried so much throughout this last pregnancy about our baby and if he was going to be ok. It was so much stress on top of the devastating cancer diagnosis but he was a fighter like his mom and made it through.
A miscarriage changes you. You are more cautious with the next pregnancy or pregnancies. You realize how fragile life really is. You appreciate the children you have even more and you truly understood how each child born is a miracle. We learned things can literally change in a heartbeat.
Just as I have been open about my cancer I am open about my miscarriage because it shouldn’t be a taboo topic. It happens in one in four pregnancies and ironically happened on my fourth pregnancy.
That is why rainbow babies are so special. And that’s why every child is a gift. And I am so grateful to have two miracles, Alice and Bryce, enter our lives after the loss of our baby in 2019.
#letstalkaboutmiscarriage #amniocentesis #pregnantwithcancer #chemobaby #rainbowbaby #nationalrainbowbabyday #momoffive #onetoughmother