Miscarriages, silver linings and rainbow babies

One evening last week I received a much anticipated text message. It was the message to say that my friend Lorraine had given birth to a healthy and beautiful baby girl. I cried a few happy tears as I know just what this day had meant to her. Her journey to motherhood had not been an easy one but it is one that we had shared together. You see, Lorraine and I have never actually met, not in person. But she is my silver lining, a lovely, caring and supportive person and was the best thing to come out of an awful time in my life.
On the 13th November 2012 I had a miscarriage. An unplanned but truly and utterly wanted baby was leaving my world as quickly and dramatically as it had entered it. The night before it happened, Stephen and I lay in bed, working our way through the alphabet coming up with baby names for each letter, some more ridiculous than others. We did this until the early hours of the morning at which point we eventually fell asleep, dreaming of our future family. The three of us.
The next day I awoke early with period-like cramps. I knew that cramping in early pregnancy was pretty normal so I didn’t think much of it at first. Unfortunately the pains grew stronger and stronger and after a trip to the bathroom I discovered that I was bleeding rather heavily. I knew straight away it was all over for me.
Now that I have experience of both, I can honestly say that having a miscarriage was more painful than natural child birth, for me anyway. I’m not sure if it’s because I learnt to manage pain in my second pregnancy or I was more relaxed during Jasmine’s birth but my miscarriage was agonising. I remember hitting the bathroom sink with clenched fists in order to distract myself from the pain of my uterus. It was contracting rapidly to expel a baby which, at that point, would’ve easily fit in to the palm of my hand. I sobbed because of the physical pain and I sobbed because of the emotional torture I was being put through. How cruel that I’d received one of life’s greatest gifts only for it to be snatched away from me just weeks later. What exactly did I do that was so bad that I deserved this?
I was truly the saddest I had ever been in my life.
I told a couple of close friends about what had happened and whilst they were sympathetic, they couldn’t really comprehend what I had been through. I don’t think anyone can truly understand unless they’ve experienced a loss themselves. I turned to the internet for help and it was on a miscarriage support forum that I found Lorraine. She had, just a couple of days before me, lost her first baby too. We understood each other’s anger, frustration and disappointment. After all, we were both feeling those emotions first-hand.
We continued to bond as we sent messages of support to each other and we stuck together through the emotional roller coaster that is trying to conceive. I shared Lorraine’s grief when she subsequently went on to lose yet another baby. It was then that I realised that these things have no rhyme or reason. Sometimes bad things do happen to good people. And as hard as it is to accept, they just happen.
Nine months (to the day) after my miscarriage I found out I was expecting again and whilst I was obviously overjoyed, I was extremely cautious not to get my hopes up. Once bitten, twice shy. A few months later Lorraine found out she was pregnant again too and we were able to bond further over swollen ankles and backaches!
Twenty months on and we finally both have our rainbow babies in our arms. This is the moment we told each other would happen one day. So, Lorraine, for every ‘we can do this’, ‘it will happen’ and ‘you are stronger than you think’ message we exchanged, I want to say a million ‘thank yous’. Thank you for being there, thank you for your kind words and thank you for being so pleased for me when you still had a way to go yourself. Most of all, I want to thank you for being a true friend. You are my silver lining in what was a very dark and difficult time for me. For us both.
But look at us now, mummies to the most gorgeous little rainbow babies in the whole wide world and I wouldn’t change a thing.
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Comments

  1. Avatar July 22, 2014 / 10:35 am

    Beautiful post Jenna. I can't imagine the pain it must have been for you but I did share a few tears just read your post.

    • Avatar July 22, 2014 / 3:32 pm

      Thank you, Pauline. It seems like a lifetime ago now and it all came good in the end. Onwards and upwards! :) xx

  2. Avatar July 22, 2014 / 3:34 pm

    I had no idea Jasmine was a rainbow baby, what an extra special little baby she is and I'm so sorry to hear you went through that xxx

    • Avatar July 22, 2014 / 4:15 pm

      Thanks, Heledd. She certainly is very special indeed. :) xx

  3. Avatar July 23, 2014 / 12:24 pm

    What a traumatising start but happy ending for yourself and Lorraine xx

    • Avatar July 23, 2014 / 3:02 pm

      It was a very difficult time but in those situations you have to try and stay positive and we always kept our eyes on the prize! :) x

  4. Avatar July 23, 2014 / 4:29 pm

    This made me cry. I too know the pain of loss. I had Little G in 2011, had an early loss in 2012 and now have Baby L (2013). I look at her and know she wouldn't have been here had my second pregnancy continued and that gives me comfort. I'm glad you managed to have your beautiful little baby and that you found a good friend in such sad circumstances. Everything happens for a reason I truly believe that, even if at the time our hearts are completely breaking. xxx #weeklylinky

    • Avatar July 24, 2014 / 6:57 am

      That's exactly it, everything does happen for a reason. Baby L was meant to be your rainbow baby, just like Jasmine was meant to be mine. :) xx

  5. Avatar July 23, 2014 / 9:58 pm

    Beautiful post! These are the friends we keep tight hold of forever :-) xx

    • Avatar July 24, 2014 / 6:58 am

      Oh definitely, experiences like these make the foundations for solid friendships. Thanks for reading. xx

  6. Avatar July 24, 2014 / 12:39 am

    I stumbled upon your blog after nosying through comments on others and am glad I did. You write with such passion and I had a tear in my eye because of this. I am really interested to see what you'll be posting in the future.

    Amazzable xox

    rawramazzable.blospot.co.uk

    • Avatar July 24, 2014 / 7:00 am

      Thank you, Amy – it's really kind of you to say such lovely things. I hope you enjoy my future blog posts. xx

  7. Avatar July 24, 2014 / 7:09 pm

    Oh Jenna, I am so sorry to read this. It's so hard isn't it? I had one too, and it was one of the hardest things I had to deal with. Then afterwards we couldn't get pregnant again, and every month felt worse and worse. It took us a few years and then x3 rounds of IVF to get our twins. So a very happy ending now, but it was all such a difficult time in our lives x

    • Avatar July 25, 2014 / 1:50 pm

      It does feel like it's never going to happen after a miscarriage. I'm so glad you overcame such obstacles to have your beautiful twins. Rainbow babies are definitely worth the wait! :) xx

  8. Avatar July 26, 2014 / 1:19 am

    The tears were flowing throughout me reading this. Here I am 2am in the morning with my beautiful baby girl feeding in my arms at long last, the joy in my heart bursting!! The butterflies I got from reading this post were overwhelming. It is beautiful. I'm so happy for us both, it's been a long time coming and the hardest times of our lives have turnt around into the most positive. I am so greatful to you and your kind heartedness. Out of all my so called 'friends' who either didn't know about my losses, or simply didn't think to check on me. Even family. You were always there for me, you were pretty much all i had and when I had near to noone and felt like I was loosing all hope. You understood me and I understood you. And I'll always be reminded when I look at my precious baby of the support you gave me throughout our journey to her. Hence the reason it was vital to me she wear the rainbow babygrow in her first moment of birth. It stood as a symbol 'we finally did it'. We got our rainbow babies. Xxxx

  9. Avatar July 27, 2014 / 8:01 pm

    What a beautiful post. I miscarried between my first and second children. Absolutely heart-breaking. Always questioning what things would have been like if I hadn't lost my baby, and then feeling so guilty for thinking this as if I hadn't miscarried, I wouldn't have my little girl.
    What was comforting was when you share a story, how many other people have been through something similar. It's still horrible, but at least you know it isn't "just you" and that you are not alone.
    #weeklywednesday

    • Avatar July 28, 2014 / 6:27 am

      Thank you, Karen.

      It's very sad when you realise just how many women have gone through the tragedy of a miscarriage, but it's true, when it happens to you it can feel like you're the only person in the world to have suffered one. Finding others who had been through it too really helped me, strength in numbers and all that.

      Thanks for reading! :) xx

  10. Avatar July 30, 2014 / 6:45 am

    I'm sorry for your loss. We miscarried too before our little lady arrived. Now when I think of our first baby, I can't help but imagine a personality like our little girl, the big eyes, the wonderful smile. It's a very peculiar loss, sometimes made even more poignant by events that come afterwards.

    • Avatar July 30, 2014 / 7:44 am

      You certainly cannot help but ponder what would've been, I know that I often think about it. x

  11. Avatar October 26, 2014 / 6:56 am

    Dear honey. This is such a beautiflly written post. I am sorry that you had to go through this. It is such an awful experience. Such a feeling of loss. I am glad that you found a supporting and comforting voice in that hard time and that you now have your rainbow baby. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

    • Avatar October 29, 2014 / 10:26 pm

      Thanks so much, Mrs H. I do, and she was totally worth it. :) x

  12. Avatar October 29, 2014 / 10:28 pm

    What a great, from the heart post Jenna! You are super strong :) I had an early miscarriage as well and it really is an awful thing to go through. I thought I'd never get pregnant and actually have a baby so I'm so happy we're both here with our beautiful babas now. And all the more thankful for them thanks to the ones that were before them :) xx

    http://www.knottbumpandus.com

    • Avatar October 30, 2014 / 4:50 pm

      Aw, thanks Sarah.

      I didn't know Isla was a rainbow baby too! It makes them even more special I think. That's a really good way of looking at it too. :) xx

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