Welcome back to the blog series My Rainbow Baby.
I created My Rainbow Baby in the wish that it will give hope to anyone who has experienced baby loss or is struggling to have a longed for baby. To show that even after the darkest storm a rainbow can appear.
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.
Today, the lovely Fran who blogs at Back with a bump will be sharing the beautiful but heart breaking tale of her little boy Oliver and his rainbow sister, Poppy.
Fran is a mum to Ella and Poppy and wife to Mr J. She returned to blogging in early 2016 when she began to document her pregnancy journey with Poppy and talk about life after losing a child.
Fran’s blog is fantastic and her recent post marking two years since they lost Oliver is a brilliant piece of writing about how grief can change over time. She also co-hosts one of my favourite linkys around, #MarvMondays.
My Rainbow Baby – Poppy’s story
Losing a child is something no parent should ever have to experience and losing our little boy at the age of 21 months was the hardest thing we have ever been through, and probably will ever go through.
Oliver was undoubtedly the most wanted baby ever. We spent six months trying to conceive and I did everything by the book throughout my pregnancy until he arrived at only 25 weeks gestation with no explanation. A premature baby is by no means, just a small and early baby.
Being early makes these tiny babies so much more likely to develop complications and Oliver got one of the worst conditions which can affect prem babies. The one I flicked past in the Tommy’s guide we were given when he was born as it just sounded so dire.
For 21 months our brave boy fought so very hard. Undergoing a liver and bowel transplant when he was 10 months old which led to other side effects and sadly meant he left us in March 2015.
We had wanted a baby so much to complete our family and so considering a rainbow baby was something we talked about not long after Oliver’s death. Having another baby is such a bittersweet situation. On one hand I never wanted to put myself in a similar situation out of sheer fear, but equally I knew what a brave, beautiful boy we had made and we deserved another baby together. I already had my eldest daughter from my first marriage and although Mr Jones has brought her up since she was 3 and thinks of her as his own, he wanted and deserved to be a Daddy of a newborn. To bathe a newborn and do night feeds and all the other things that we never got to do with Oliver as nearly all his life was spent in hospital. I was also wary of having another baby to fill the gap and I didn’t want to try to replace our boy.
My pregnancy was hard at times. Terrible morning sickness made me feel low and question whether I was doing the right thing by having another baby. But as weeks went by and my bump grew I relaxed a little and by 7 months I agreed we could start looking at prams and decorate the nursery.
Poppy was not quite as impatient, but was also born early at 34 weeks. Being in special care again was not something we wanted.
We just wanted to take a newborn home like most other parents do. But thankfully within 2 weeks we got to take our baby home.
My worries were soon allayed and I realised I loved this little bundle. And although she looked so much like her brother, she wasn’t a replacement and his memory would always be with us.
As time passed and she’s gone on to smile, giggle and now crawl I feel truly blessed (in a totally non-religious way) to have Poppy in our lives. It would have been easy to put our barriers up and not have more children, but she’s brought so much sunshine into our lives in her first 10 months and life wouldn’t be the same without her.
I want to thank Fran for sharing the story of her family and her wonderful children. I can’t imagine the heartache of losing Oliver. But Poppy is gorgeous and her smile must be such a comfort.
For the next My Rainbow Baby post I will be joined by Laura who blogs over at Little Ladies Big World. This post will go live on Wednesday 5th April. 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.
- Kicks Count aim is to empower mums-to-be with knowledge and confidence. Their website contains a huge amount of information about pregnancy with a primary focus on monitoring your baby’s movements. The website also contains information about the role the partner should play in monitoring their baby’s movements.
- 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.