A rainbow baby is a baby who is born after a pregnancy loss.
My third pregnancy and birth was my stillborn daughter Maria-Lucille who was born when I was at 25 weeks gestation. We were not full of confidence that we would have anymore children.
That was ok though, we had a girl and a boy and we were still grieving. Then in late summer/early fall we found out we were pregnant with another child!
Preparing for a birth after a child has passed is completely different for preparing for any other birth. My second and third births occurred after I had miscarriages. There is just a huge difference.
When we found out we were pregnant again we were very cautious.
We were cautious in our care, telling people, and hopes. Many people choose not to announce their pregnancy until 12 weeks or after because the chance of a miscarriage is lower, 12 weeks is the safe zone.
When you have a child who is stillborn there feels like there is no safe zone. No safe zone to announce the baby, cautious to go shopping, cautious to even be happy about the pregnancy. We were still grieving over our daughter who has passed just 5 months prior to us finding out we were blessed again.
When we found out we were pregnant again we were just overjoyed.
We were so happy and our two children were happy also. We chose not to tell anyone for as long as possible. There was no cheesy gender reveal, there was no massive Facebook announcement, we didn’t even tell our own parents until they figured it out on their own and asked.
Even on Facebook many people didn’t even know until we posted pictures of our baby who was just born! As I was growing my own employer didn’t even know until I only had 4 months left in my pregnancy; they asked when I planned on telling them and I explained until we were ready and when we were done telling our own family.
My baby in God’s hands, I had a boring, healthy, and normal pregnancy.
Though it was almost like being pregnant for the first time! We had nothing for a baby! After our daughter passed away we donated everything we had saved, all our supplies and clothes had been donated. Another reason it felt like it was the first pregnancy for me was I had that new vulnerable feeling when I was at the midwife’s office. Unsure about every decision and starting to do research all over again. We found out we were having another boy!
My son was two days past his ‘due date’.
I actually went into work on my due date! A new experience for me and a positive one. I had spent the whole day with back discomfort and on again off again contractions, nothing consistent. We ran errands and did lessons as normal. As the day went on my contractions were just as inconsistent and random but I had a feeling that this day was going to be the day.
At night time my contractions become more consistent and I spent the night bouncing on the end of the bed, watching Cheers on Netflix, while my husband slept.
Per the convenience of pregnancy, I did not feel ready to go to the hospital until passed midnight, I think one or so in the morning. I was still able to walk, speak, and function fine- but it just felt like it was time to go to the hospital. We called family to come get out children and then drove the few minutes to the hospital.
Our hospital should be known for their inconvenience and paperwork.
Even when you pre-register as they request, you still have to sit in a very uncomfortable downstairs office and fill out and sign forms. Luckily, I was still doing pretty well for having consistent 3-5 minute contractions. We were finally escorted upstairs and were getting ready for our son to be born!
My husband and I were ready for our son.
We had knowledge and a birth plan, I had just finished a huge doula reading list, it was going to be a great birth.
Until I was bombarded with constant ‘No’s to everything I requested. Can a change positions? Only if it doesn’t disturb the monitors, which is did every time. Can I walk around? No. Can I have a drink? Only after my husband goes and gets it himself. It was becoming very frustrating.
It was like no one could hear me, or didn’t want to hear me. Transition was very fast and rough. It was my shortest transition by far but it came and it came fast. It was fast, rough, and not something I felt the bit prepared for.
Looking back, and having experienced another birth since then I am very glad transition was so short. But unless you have gone through a fast and intense transition it is very hard to explain. I could barely speak or even see anymore. I was trying to get on all fours so my husband could do a hip squeeze, a nurse decided to help, to my relief, and then told me to lay back down after one squeeze, that was just the relief I desperately needed.
My husband could see my frustration but he wasn’t going to let me get down. He kept telling me he could see how close I was, I was almost there, and I could do this better than anyone. He was the voice I needed that was canceling out all the nurses voices who only knew the word ‘no’.
With my husbands love, hands, loud encouragement, and giant hugs our perfect son was born into the world.
He was placed on my chest instantly, or more like, I grabbed him as soon as his whole body was here with us. I couldn’t let him go, I was on a birth high. I was awake, alert, couldn’t sleep, and felt like running a marathon! Another marathon because birth is a marathon of itself! I stayed awake over 24 hours with my son, even as he slept, unable to come down from the utter joy of having him in our lives.
Out of 5 births, this was my quickest and easiest one.
I labored in the hospital about 4 hours, my son was born around 5 am after very few pushes; not like I was listening to the instructions of the nurses anyway my son fully knew what he was doing. Just like his personality now, in his birth he was in full control the same way he is now in his toddler years.
This boy was such an easy baby. A great sleeper and nurser, a huge fan of his siblings, and an avocado lover. His control and strange tastes in food have grown with him as his third birthday is approaching.
He was the addition and happiness this family needed.
While his older sister will never be forgotten the birth of the flawless little boy and the ease of bringing him into our family was everything we needed. God knew exactly what we needed to come together and heal. We love all our children equally, of course. But the love we have for our second boy, our third living child, is a different and special one with the appreciation that God always provides a rainbow at the end of every storm.
The Happy Homeschooling Mum
The Irish Lily Doula