May 9, 2018

Rainbow Baby

Mother's Day is approaching this weekend, and despite having a beautiful reason to celebrate, is a day that brings up a lot of mixed emotions for me. Because I, unfortunately, lost my first baby. Miscarriage is something that I think, happens to more women than what we realize because no one really talks about it. I'll be the first one to admit that I didn't tell many people about what happened. The first reason being that it's deeply personal and second, it's hard to talk about, even 2 1/2 years later.
Lela is 15 months old now, and the word "miscarriage" is still one that I have a hard time saying out loud. When I look at Lela, I get it now, I get why it had to happen. If I didn't lose my first baby, I never would have met her. This perfect bundle of joy who breathes life into me every single day. But, on Mother's Day two years ago I didn't get it. I would scroll through the Facebook posts and feel the tears well up into my eyes. An ache that I still get when I'm reminded of how hard those times were.

Austin and I got married in June of 2013, and it was no secret that we wanted kids right away. But, we decided that we were going to enjoy being married, and "let it happen naturally" (sorry for the TMI but it's an important part of the story). A year went by, and we still weren't pregnant. So I visited my OBGYN and told her we were ready to really start trying. She ran numerous tests to make sure I was healthy, and everything came back with a big thumbs up. But, still, no baby.

It took us two and a half years to get pregnant. Two and a half years of wishing, hoping, and ultimately wondering if it was ever going to happen for us. But, that day in January, I just had a feeling that it was finally our time. I remember how the room came into complete focus as I stared at the test in disbelief. My breathing became so heavy that I felt like I was going to pass out. It felt like I was in a dream. I immediately ran to Austin who was in the living room and through sobbing breaths told him that we were finally going to have a baby.

It seems like I blinked and our baby was gone. I didn't even make it to the first OB appointment. Losing that baby shattered me. It was a pain so deep that, even now, I can still feel in the pit of my chest. Even now, I'm sad to admit, makes the tears come rushing back into my eyes. It was a pain unlike anything I've ever experienced before.

It took me a really long time to recover from that loss. Largely because I never talked about it. My friends and family shared their sympathy but none of them understood it. The feelings of grief were confusing even to me.

A few months went by and then Mother's Day came. My social media lit up with posts about women who were happy to be moms, and as hard as I tried to stay away, I scrolled through the posts. I faked happiness for them because, as hard as it was, they deserved happiness. They deserved to be celebrated even though I couldn't be genuinely happy for them. As it turned out, I did have something to be genuinely happy about, I was pregnant again, but I didn't know it yet. God has a funny way, doesn't he?

When I saw Lela for the first time, I fell in absolute love with her. She is my entire heart and my very best friend in the world. I heard a saying once that having a child is like watching your heart live outside your body and I couldn't agree more. I look into her beautiful blue eyes and squeeze her chubby little cheeks, and I know that she was the one worth waiting for. She is my rainbow.

Lela coming into our lives was the greatest blessing we've ever been given. But, despite having a reason to be called "Mom," Mother's day brings up mixed emotions for me. It reminds me that there are women out there who want to be mother's but aren't, women who have experienced the same loss as I have, and, women who have experienced worse losses than I have. My goal of writing this post isn't to make anyone sad or to feel badly for celebrating Mother's Day with a full heart. I think that we should absolutely celebrate our moms because being a mother is the hardest job in the world. My goal of this post is to simply share my story and to let those who struggle to get through Mother's Day know that they have a friend. That they are not alone. And that I hope, one day soon, they find their rainbows too.
Mother's Day 2017
xoxo,
Mandy

1 comment:

  1. This is beautiful, and so important. You are amazing.

    ReplyDelete