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 we are joined by the lovely Laura who blogs over at Little Ladies Big World. Laura will be sharing with us the heart breaking story of losing a baby to Hyperemesis Gravidarum and the tale of her rainbow baby, Roma.
Laura’s blog is beautiful. Photography is her passion and all the pictures of her family are truly stunning. I absolutely adore the images of her girls running around a patch of daffodils.
My Rainbow Baby – Roma’s story
When I was pregnant for the first time, I felt the intense and awful lows of Hyperemesis.
Afterwards, I said never again. I said we would never ever go through the hell that pregnancy was for me and we would have one child. An only child. We were lucky to have any child at all. We would be blessed and we would be happy.
And of course we were.
For 18 months it was the biggest change of our lives. The most wonderful and amazing change and we couldn’t imagine NOT doing it again. So that was it. Decision made! We would try for baby number two. A sibling and a playmate for Eva.
However, I didn’t get the chance to feel the overwhelming joy of the positive pregnancy test, the thoughts of Eva having a baby sister or brother or even the chance to share the news at all before my Hyperemesis took hold. Hard.
It took hold of me and my baby. My baby that I should now be holding. But my baby that I lost in the most devastating way in August 2013. My baby, lost in a way which I have written about on my blog. My baby, lost to hyperemesis.
We couldn’t go on. And we had to save my life. Our lives.
And that was that.
Afterwards, we wanted our life back. And we wanted to care for the child we already had and to feel lucky to have the most amazing two year old.
Just two weeks after going through the horrific loss Eva started at a preschool. And I remember it vividly. The emotions so raw, so heightened, at the thought that this was the first and last time I would feel this. Not really out of choice at all. Yet I was still in the midst of such severe heartbreak and pain.
Fast forward just six months and I knew that I couldn’t let this loss define us and for the ending of our pregnancy and parenting journey to be so sad. To feel unfinished. I had a physical ache in my heart and I I was desperate to give Eva the sibling she wanted, she deserved and that would undoubtedly change the rest of her life. I had to do this. We desperately wanted to do this.
Nine months after our loss I became pregnant for the third time. We were so so happy and so so terrified all in one. Of course we had guilt that we would somehow be seen to replace our lost baby with this one, felt worried at every stage of how bad the hyperemesis would be and felt acutely the anxiety of loss and holding onto each precious moment this time around. It was such a mix of emotions as I felt sad for the future we had lost but also sad that had we not been through that, we wouldn’t be welcoming this little lady into the world either. But mostly I just felt utterly blessed to get the chance to do this again. To right a wrong.
On 1st February 2015, just a few weeks shy of a year to when our lost baby would have been due, our little Roma Rose entered into this world of ours to let us know that we would all be okay. She rushed in after only an hour and a half of labour with her little button nose, dark head of hair and perfectly soft skin. That is apart from her birthmarks, the birthmarks that I feel show just what she has gone through. The birthmarks, that to me, although it may seem silly to some, symbolise what she is made of and the little part of her lost sibling she holds onto each and every day.
I never want her to think that she has a responsibility as a rainbow baby. She slots in as Roma. Her own person. Her own unique place as a sister and a daughter. But as much as Eva will always be the one who made me a Mama and who I go through all the firsts with, who I get things wrong with and learn as much as she does. The littlest will always be the one who brought us all together, who made us whole.
Fast forward two years and she truly is the light of our lives. She still has the little button nose and silky soft skin but she has a head of blonde hair that doesn’t quite match the rest of us! It’s not so much dusky pinks and pretty dresses, as bright yellow, muddy puddles and huge tractors for this little lady. She is confident and wild, uninhibited and free and is absolutely adored by everyone she meets. And most of all by her adoring sister.
She brings more happiness to us all than we could ever have imagined possible. She doesn’t replace our baby, she won’t, and nothing can, but she goes someway to heal that part of me. I will be forever thankful to her for bringing so much joy into our sadness and for being the happy ending to this journey. She gave me a second chance at parenting. A second chance at life.
There is no rainbow without the rain. And whilst I wouldn’t wish the rain on anyone, if that rain does come, there is always the chance of a beautiful rainbow.
Laura, thank you so much for sharing such a personal story. I know it can’t have been easy to write so I am truly grateful to you for being a part of My Rainbow Baby.
I have to admit that it was only from reading Laura’s blog that I learnt that Hyperemesis can be life threatening and does often lead to baby loss. I can not imagine the devastation of being this ill and then having to face the heartbreak of not getting to hold your baby.
I am so happy that you have your beautiful rainbow baby, Roma. And I hope that she is able to heal some of the hurt from three years.
My next My Rainbow Baby post will feature Family Travel With Ellie. This post will go live on Wednesday 18th 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.
- The charity Pregnancy Sickness Support is a charity that was set up to provide support and improve the care and treatment of all women who suffer from nausea and vomiting and Hyperemesis Gravidarum in pregnancy. Their Pregnancy Sickness Support information line, 024 7638 2020, is open from Monday to Friday, 09:00 – 16:30
- 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.