A "rainbow baby" is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it doesn’t mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of light, color, energy and hope.
We have endured multiple storms in our quest for a family. Our daughter was born after a devastating loss. She softened the damage that storm had caused. It was easier to heal with her presence. She gave us hope. She was our dreams and love personified.
Becoming parents was one of the best things to ever happen to my husband and I. (Tied with meeting and subsequently marrying.) The moment I locked eyes with this tiny person that I had helped in creating, my purpose in life became clear. I was born to be her mom.
The long nights of the newborn months were laced with sweet moments all making the exhaustion worth it. Involuntary smiles became intentional grins. Coos became words. Belly flops soon turned into steps. Before we knew it, our baby was a toddler.
Adding to our family became our next great project. We would create yet another masterpiece. Unfortunately, it didn’t go as planned. We struggled to conceive. And when we finally did, I miscarried. Three times.
My heart was in a million pieces and I needed to heal. I couldn’t look at my husband’s worried face without wanting to cry. I needed to stop. We needed to stop.
After a discussion that spanned weeks and miles, we decided that our family was everything we ever wanted. We were all happy, healthy, and there was an abundance of love. If this is what was in the cards for us, we would consider ourselves blessed. We didn’t want to spend another minute worrying about what may or may not be and instead wanted to focus on what was.
We had endured some turbulent storms. But we endured. We never lost hope we just shifted our dreams. We spent weeks and months cleaning up the wreckage from our storms. Healing and practicing gratitude for all that we have, all that we love. Our focus was on the here and now, no longer living in a cloud of unknowns and uncertainties.
At some point during our healing something happened, a miracle of sorts. A tiny little change, an unperceivable shift. We may never fully know what happened, it may forever stay a mystery. All we know is that something major was about to happen. A dream, revisited.
Hope is a funny thing. You may give up on it. You may even change what it is you are hoping for. But hope never gives up on you. It stays there, in the way back of your mind, just waiting to be fired back up. Same theory goes for dreams. Especially the ones you shelved, thinking it was what you wanted, the right thing to do.
Slowly, but surely, a rainbow is forming. Our storms are gone, but will never be forgotten. We will bare the scars forever but those scars will be softened by this counterbalance of hope. The clouds are slowly giving way to sunshine but the darkness they cast will be felt forever.
After holding our breaths for two months and realizing that a dream we thought we had moved on from was still very much in our hearts, we are, still cautiously but optimistically, expecting our second child later this year. This is one of those dreams that you do not seek out. It finds you, on it’s own terms, in it’s own time.
My heart will always ache for the babies that should have, could have been. It was an honor to be their mom, even for the briefest of moments. I am beyond grateful for this chance to have another child. There are so many families that never get this moment. I know that we have been blessed with miracles twice. I will never take a moment with them for granted. We weathered too many storms.
This week we got to hear our baby’s heartbeat. Listening to the beautiful thumping reduced me to tears. Of happiness, of relief, of hope. Hope that refused to give up on us.
Michelle writes from the home she shares with her husband, their three year old daughter and two dogs. She is the authority on nothing and may just be the most outgoing shy person you will ever meet. Her daughter is convinced she is a super hero but most days she feels more like the super villain. Read more of her work on her blog at www.JuiceboxConfession.com, "like" her on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/JuiceboxConfession or follow her on Twitter @Juicebox Confess. All love letters can be sent to JuiceboxConfession@gmail.com