Welcome to the second post in the My rainbow baby blog series.
I have created this series in the wish that it will give hope to anyone who has experienced baby loss or is struggling to have a longed for baby.
Little Miss H and Little Mister H are not the only rainbow babies. There are many of them. And I want to share the beautiful and poignant tales of these special little rainbows.
I am inviting others to tell these stories. To talk about these precious children in their own words. And I will collate them on my blog so that there is a shared space where these stories of hope are held.
I am honoured that today I am joined by Jo from Miracle Max, who will be sharing the story of her gorgeous little boy Max.
Jo sadly had 6 miscarriages before being blessed with her beautiful rainbow baby.
I only came across her blog a few months ago. And I am so glad that I did. As I feel such an infinity with her.
Back in July, she wrote a very powerful post about post natal depression and when becoming a mummy is different from how you imagined.
I will now hand over to Jo who will tell us of the story of her rainbow baby Max.
My Rainbow Baby – Max’s story
I’d never heard of the phrase ‘after every storm comes a rainbow’ until 5 years ago. It was something a friend at work said to me after we’d suffered our first miscarriage and it’s stuck with me ever since.
Unfortunately, our storm lasted nearly 5 years but now we have the most colourful rainbow I’ve ever seen – and his name is Max.
Between 2011 – 2015 we suffered a devastating 6 miscarriages, each one harder to deal with than the last. I’d never known anyone to lose a baby during pregnancy so when it happened to me it was the unknown. Some people would offer sympathetic words but most just avoided the subject, not knowing what to say.
I yearned for a rainbow baby but after 6 miscarriages I just couldn’t see it happening. Our dream of starting a family faded with each baby that we lost. But anyone who knows me will know that I’m a fighter. If I want something in life, I don’t give up. If we wanted a baby – we were going to have to fight for it.
After paying privately for tests to find out the cause of our miscarriages we found out that I had an elevated level of Natural Killer Cells. These cells are forms of white blood cells which, as part of the body’s defence mechanism, fight infections. However, if you have a higher number than normal of these NK cells, or they’re more aggressive than usual, they can attack rather than protect a pregnancy and cause a miscarriage. If I was going to successfully carry a pregnancy to term I was going to need to be on large amounts of medication to control my NK cells.
When trying to get pregnant for the seventh time we experienced some problems. 12 months after trying to conceive we still weren’t pregnant. After some test’s it was deemed that we would need IVF treatment. This was a huge blow for us as we’d always fallen pregnant naturally. And another big expense as we had to fund it privately.
In August 2015 we started the IVF process and in September we had 2 embryos transferred back into me. To our relief the IVF worked and we were pregnant again.
I always miscarried between weeks 7-9 so as you can imagine I was filled with fear that the same would happen again. But week by week my pregnancy progressed and we reached a huge milestone that we never thought we’d see – our 12-week scan. Seeing the baby on the screen, moving its little arms around, was a sight that we will never forget.
Now, a lot of women would relax at this point and go on to enjoy the rest of their pregnancy. But for me this wasn’t the case. I couldn’t forget the past, and its painful memories. I lived each day in fear that something was going to go wrong, a feeling that I just couldn’t shake off.
On Boxing Day 2015, when I was 17 weeks pregnant, I was rushed to hospital with severe bleeding. I convinced myself that the worst was happening. I was scanned within an hour of arriving and to our relief the baby was still happily kicking about. The cause of the bleed was Placenta Previa, I was kept in for 2 nights under observation and discharged home to rest. I suffered a further 2 bleeds at 24 and 28 weeks, again due to the same condition.
I lived my entire pregnancy suffering severe anxiety. Instead of cherishing the kicks and enjoying seeing my tummy grow, I was wishing the days away, desperate for it to be over so I could hold my baby in my arms. I felt like I’d been robbed of all the joy that pregnancy brings and to me that wasn’t fair.
I spent many days wondering why me? What had I done to deserve this? Was I a horrible person and this was my punishment? I would apologise to Adam daily, convinced that it was my fault. Guilt consumed me and it took me a long time to accept that it wasn’t my fault.
Max was born on June 1st 2016, after 5 years I was finally a mum.
A rainbow baby to me symbolises hope, determination, courage and strength. Max is the most special little boy we could have asked for and one day we’ll tell him all about his brothers and sisters who were too precious to walk this earth.
I am so very grateful to Jo for sharing the story of her beautiful rainbow baby Max. Many of the feelings that Jo mentions in this post are very familiar to me. I was anxious throughout my whole pregnancy with Little Mister H and constantly living in a state of fear that something might go wrong.
Being pregnant after baby loss is terribly difficult and can lead to anxiety and depression. I wrote a very cathartic and helpful post about how I (barely) survived the first trimester of my pregnancy with Little Mister H.
Next month I will be joined by Naomi from the blog Me Becoming Mum. She will be sharing the story of her two rainbow babies. Her daughter R and her little sister Little L who is due any day now.
This post will go live on Wednesday 4th January and will be followed by future posts on the first Wednesday of every month. Please pop back to the blog to have a read and give this series your support.
If you would like to contribute to My rainbow baby then please leave a message in the comments or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you.
If you have experienced baby loss or are pregnant after a loss then you do not need to feel alone. There are people who you can reach out to. The following charities are a fantastic source of comfort and support. They can also provide resources to help you through this difficult time.
- Tommy’s funds research into stillbirths, premature births and miscarriages. They also offer advice to parents-to-be. The website’s pregnancy information pages have been written by midwives and are full of practical advice. Tommy’s has a Facebook page run by midwives. They also have a midwife run pregnancy line on 0800 0147 800.
- The Miscarriage Association is devoted to supporting those who have experienced miscarriage. The website is a fantastic resource. They have produced a very helpful leaflet called Thinking about another pregnancy. Which has lots of hints and tips on how to look after yourself and reduce your risk of having another miscarriage. They also have a helpline on 01924 200 799, which is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm.
- MAMA Academy is a charity which supports mums and midwives to help babies arrive safely. The Royal College of Midwives have approved all the content on their website. MAMA Academy also produce Wellbeing Wallets which are full of easy to understand information that will guide and help you in your pregnancy.