Rainbow Session-Christina’s Story

From the outside looking in we had it all, what more could we want? I dated my high school sweetheart for 6 years, we got married, had 2 successful careers, bought a house and then it was time for a family. My first 2 pregnancies were textbook. No morning sickness, all our tests were great, I worked until the day they were born, 2 short labors and some quick pushing and we had 2 beautiful kids 26 months apart. A boy and a girl. Did we need anything else? We didn’t think so…..fast forward to our first rainbow baby. He is now 6 and I couldn’t imagine a life without him. He brings such joy and compassion to our lives.  We conceived him 4 months after our first loss. How could I be the 1 in 4 women who this happens to after 2 great pregnancies? What did I do wrong?  I as angry with myself, my husband, my family & God. I thought no one could know what I felt like. I was 13 weeks pregnant and had told everyone. We didn’t think anything of sharing our news other than joy. One night as I was putting our 2 older 2 children to bed I felt really crampy, I had started spotting. I called our OB and they said to take it easy and they would see me in the morning. We had already heard the heartbeat and after that your chances of miscarriage were dramatically lower, they reassured me on the phone. As the night went on I became worse and worse. I knew something was terribly wrong. We went to the emergency room at 4 am with our 2 small children in tow. The doctors ordered an ultrasound and gave me some pain meds to get some rest and verified what I already knew had happened. Our baby was gone. Why didn’t my  body protect and grow this baby? Why had my body failed me?  I remember lying in the bed in the ER as the doctor told me that I had miscarried and then moments later the music started playing over the intercom that a baby had been born upstairs. It was a cruel reminder that it wasn’t mine and this baby had been taken from me. That moment played over and over in my head for months. I knew I wanted another baby (I almost needed it). About 4 months later we found out I was expecting again. This time we told no one. I needed this to be just between my husband and myself. I couldn’t survive sharing another loss with everyone. I didn’t have it in me to comfort those around me that were sad, I was too sad.  We were scared, I cried a lot, I worried about everything, I mean everything. As the weeks went on I couldn’t let myself be happy. What if this pregnancy ended as abruptly as the last. Finally at 24 weeks we shared the news with our families. This baby boy was almost viable. I had seen him in ultrasounds, heard his heartbeat and felt his kicks inside me. He was alive and I could breathe again. I had survived this and my body was doing its job and keeping this baby safe. In March we welcomed a healthy baby boy to round us out to a family of 5. He completed us. We were done, I told myself I could never endure that much pain again. 5 years later the pain had faded, our babies weren’t babies anymore. I missed that sweet baby smell and the patter of little feet under me as I folded laundry or made dinner. Our lives where so busy with 3 active kids and jobs to juggle but I felt like something was missing. Our 5 year old would lay in bed with me at night to fall asleep and pray that God would give him a baby so he could be a “big” brother too! He apparently thought something was missing too. He would read books and talk about how to feed and hold his “new” pretend baby. That everyone has babies but us 🙂  My rainbow baby from the end of that first storm wanted me to weather the storm once more. I remember one night a month before Christmas him telling me if I prayed really hard God would give me that new baby “we” needed, I just needed to pray a little better. My husband and I decided when I turned 35 the following month we would give ourselves a year to let things just happen if they were meant to happen. Somehow the innocence and hopefulness of my 5 year old’s words made me think I could do this again.  Within a month we had double lines!!! I was due Sept.15 days before my due date with the last miscarriage. We were so excited, that was so easy, but we treaded lightly remembering all too well what had happened before. For the next 6 weeks my husband and I talked baby all the time just the 2 of us. We talked about who would share rooms and where we would fit a 4th bed. One night I was putting our 5 year old to bed and he was praying for a new baby again tonight. It as just him and I laying there and I spilled the beans. He was so excited. It was like Christmas morning on his face, it was our little secret until we could tell the “big” kids in a few weeks. The next 3 nights were amazing. We talked and planned and read sorries and thanked god for this baby he gave to his mommy. The 4th morning I had a sharp pain in my right side and called the OB to see if they could get me in. Something felt off and I couldn’t explain the fear I had growing in me. They sent me for blood work as I couldn’t get in with ultrasound for 2 more days. The Hcg from that first blood draw looked great when they called that night but then 2 days later the next blood draw and ultrasound didn’t look good. I was miscarrying again, I was devastated. I had already been the 1 in 4, it wasn’t fair for this to be happening again. I had blood work every 3 days until my levels were back to zero three weeks later. They said it may take months to get my period back and I should wait a few cycles before trying again. I told our 5 year old that night that God needed the baby back in heaven and took her back to live there. He cried and cried that night. What had I done, why did I even tell him, how could I keep him from being so sad?  I decided we were done, I couldn’t do this over and over again.  I waited and waited for weeks but never started bleeding. About 8 weeks after my Hcg levels tested at zero I called my Ob to let them know I still hadn’t had a period. They scheduled me an appointment that next afternoon for an ultrasound and visit with the doctor. I had no idea what was wrong with me. I took a pregnancy test at the office and it was positive. How could this even be, I hadn’t even gotten a period yet. I went upstairs to ultrasound to see a 10 week old fetus growing in my belly. I was so happy, sad, excited and nervous at that very same moment. The doctor booked me with the genetic counselor for the next week because 35 is apparently old to be having a baby these days. We didn’t share our news with anyone. I couldn’t un-tell being pregnant one more time.  I was scared and needed to have total control of what was happening in my brain.  Everything was moving along great until our 18 week ultrasound and blood work when they said my fetoprotein was high and the baby may have spina bifida or a birth defect. I was so scared but knew we could get through anything that happened at this point. Regardless of the outcome this baby was chosen for us. God had a plan for us. For our family. We shared our news with everyone a week later before we had our follow up with the fetal medicine doctor. We needed all the prayers we could get and I needed the support. All looked ok at that next ultrasound and I opted not to have an amnio done because I would do everything in my power to carry this baby to term regardless of what she may or may not have going on inside me. At 36weeks 1 day I was induced due to a pregnancy complication. Adeline was born a few hours later. She was beautiful and perfect in every way imaginable. She lights up our world in a way we could have never imagined.  We have been living a crazy live this past year with 4 kids under 11 but wouldn’t have it any other way. When Kim published her rainbow baby post I loved the idea of women sharing their stories and putting faces to the losses. On the outside no one would know the struggle our little family has endured but for a moment our little yellow rainbow baby will give someone hope that the Sun always will shine after the storm has passed.
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Kim Shimer Photography is a newborn and family photographer in Southern NH. My style is natural & rustic with a touch of vintage to create timeless images.

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Kim Shimer Photography is a newborn photographer in Southern NH. Kim Shimer Photography is a newborn, baby, maternity photographer serving Manchester, NH and surrounding Southern New Hampshire towns. kim@kimshimer.com 603-731-1336