I was 17 when I experienced my first miscarriage. I remember being in the emergency room with my mom and being utterly terrified. I didn't even know I was pregnant. Here was this choice, plucked out of my hands before I even had the ability to comprehend it. In retrospect now, I think the gravity of the whole thing escaped me at that age, or at least it was shadowed by my fear and confusion.
After that I was told that chances of me conceiving successfully would be small, an issue with cysts on my ovaries, same as my mom. My mother had always wanted a large family but was told she would never conceive, then she had me. So when I had my first miscarriage, the loss and pain she had grown with radiated through her to me. She hurt for both of us.
When I was 20, I had my second miscarriage. My husband and I were happy to try. The loss of this baby weighed heavily on my heart. I was 16 weeks along. I swore I was done trying. I told him no more. I went on birth control and stuck with it. My mom begged and begged for grand kids but that lingering fear of having to go through another loss terrorized me. It was like a bad taste, left lingering on my heart. After we bought a house, we decided I would go off birth control and whatever happened would be.
We were good for several years and then one day I woke up sick. Sure enough, I was pregnant. I should have been happy, but I was utterly terrified. All the what ifs, what could bes and buts haunted me mercilessly. We didn't tell anyone for the first 11 weeks. Then I just told my mom and dad. At 20 weeks, we decided to announce our rainbow baby. Once we told everyone, it was like a weight lifted. I allowed myself to be truly free and happy. Having O was the best thing that ever happened to me and I honestly think it saved me.
When he was 1 1/2 I had another miscarriage. I wasn't on birth control and we weren't actively trying. I had a lot of unexpected complications with his delivery that I thought would affect my ability to have kids even more. This loss, like all the others, took a toll, but this time I refused to let myself get sucked into that abyss. I had one beautiful baby and I tried to concentrate on that. I asked my husband if he wanted to keep trying for more and he said that we should just let what will be, be. So I stayed off birth control and hoped for the best.
I just couldn't shake this fundamental feeling that something was wrong with me. All of these selfish thoughts of injustices and unfairness and why life chose to punish me in such a way, they all swirled in the back of my head and it wasn't until recently that I learned it's ok to have these feelings. Five months after my miscarriage I got pregnant again with R. Again, we kept it to ourselves for as long as possible. At around 18 weeks we finally told everyone. My mom was ecstatic. Finally, the formations of the large family she always wanted was taking place.
R will be 1 next month and I constantly go back and forth on trying to have more. I know my risk. I know the dangers. But I also know the sweet gift at the end. I never realized the true meaning of "rainbow baby" until I had my own rainbows. Until I held them in my arms and felt their light and love seep through my very being. I never thought it would be possible to love something so fiercely. This love that is indescribable but true.
If you're dealing with loss, or have dealt with it, you MUST know you are not alone. We are individual but we are many in one. So many losses, in so many ways, so many tears. We all share in these heavy emotions. We all doubt ourselves and our reasons for going on. But going on is exactly what we have to do. Every storm has to pass. You never know what tomorrow will bring. You never know what your beautiful rainbow will look like.
Disclaimer: This is not a medical resource. The information is related to individuals and their unique situation. If you have questions or concerns about your health or fertility, please contact a medical professional.