Rainbow week, Day 6: Our rainbow baby, featuring The Hearty Life.


I first discovered The Hearty Life last year and although heartbreaking, even more so when I can relate to so much of it, it fast became one of my favourite blogs. Mary writes so beautifully, and with such bravery and strength, about the loss of her precious daughter, Poppy, to stillbirth, about the subsequent dark times that followed and the joy of giving birth to a fourth baby earlier this year. I have followed her story with pride and admiration, felt her pain, the worry throughout her pregnancy, and cried tears of happiness when her beautiful daughter Alice arrived safely into the world.

Every baby has a story, no matter how short or long their stay in this world, and today, during a week filled with rainbows, this story is hers.

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I distinctly remember the day after Poppy’s funeral, and with a desire to feel a little more normal after a nightmare week (and I think with fear I might get depressed staying in), we drove up to Bolton castle with the kids for a family day out. I don’t know what we were thinking trying to pretend to be a normal family after going through so much, but heading up the M1 as a broken woman and numb to all around me I made my husband promise me we would never have any more kids and that we wouldn’t risk our hearts again.

In that moment it seemed quite an easy thing to agree to. We had just buried our 3rd baby the previous day after losing her at term to Edwards syndrome. Despite hope we would have some time with our very sick little girl, we had found out 2 days before my due date that she had passed away. My life shattered, my heart broke and I suddenly found myself flung into a world where I was living every parent’s worst nightmare. I mustered strength and birthed naturally our perfect sleeping angel, and following burying her tiny casket, I couldn’t bear the thought of ever having another baby inside of me only to risk them losing their life and to be told those awful words again that “there is no heartbeat”.

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But “they” say that time’s a healer and with time things change. I guess in some ways it heals, but in other ways my pain for losing poppy is always right beneath the surface. I think time brings clarity and an ability to put a lid on grief, it certainly brings strength and it brings a new look on life. With time I find whilst my heart still aches it did ignite a desire to have another baby, a rainbow baby…someone to lift our souls and colour life again. With time we moved from a state of it being an unbearable thought to it being the answer to a new vibe in our home and restoring joy, we didn’t feel particularly healed (by that I mean whole again) but we were
coping and wanting more from life.

So that was it, we reassured each other the stats were low for it to happen again and we talked a lot about how we would probably have a 4th anyway even if Poppy hadn’t have died. We decided to have faith it would be ok this time and before I knew it, just a year on from losing our dear Poppy I peed on a stick and saw a faint positive. Joy was not my initial reaction though as I thought it might have felt to see that, it was mostly fear and guilt. I was terrified – utterly terrified that I would miscarry, that I wouldn’t make it to the end or that the baby again would have complex issues. I was sure I would be facing loss again and it was so hard not to tell people until we knew for sure, which of course made me feel lonely and worried all the more so.

The 1st trimester seemed to drag and with a face covered in cold sores which seemed to scream to the world I was under stress, we were relieved to see a healthy little fetus. The 20 week scan couldn’t come soon enough and again after what felt like a lifetime we received more good news that baby was well. I started to relax a little more, though still terrified something somewhere might go wrong, and after a very anxious delivery my heart was filled with immense joy as I held my healthy little rainbow baby Alice. I hadn’t bought her much during the pregnancy, I just couldn’t, but now she was here and alive it was like a dream come true to do all of those things!

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There is a poem or saying I love that cropped up one day as I was pondering on “should we have another” that I feel best sums up what it means to have a baby following the loss of another:

“A Rainbow baby is the understanding that the beauty of the rainbow does not negate the ravage of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it doesn’t mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst and the darkness of the clouds”.

That is it, the light has come back on…Alice had coloured our lives once again and brought so much happiness to our home and family. She fills my empty arms and comforts my aching heart. She helps me get up every day and feel blessed in life. She helps me feel joy and restores perspective. She even helps me remember Poppy more so.

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Alice does not replace Poppy and she was never intended to, but rather she takes her place as the 4th child in the family…the baby. Granted her place is a very special one as she is a healer to us all and a little treasure that fills our days with gladness, but she is our 4th and not here to out shine the first, second or third! We still have sad days and hard days, she can never stop that, and nor would we want her to as those emotions are what connect us to her sister, but having a rainbow baby simply means life feels so much better now, our home has a buzz about it again and life generally is a happier, more beautiful place to be.

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It has been an absolute honour to have Mary join us for rainbow week, raising awareness for a cause close to so many hearts. You can read more from Mary over at FacebookInstagram and Twitter.


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24 Comments

  1. October 29, 2016 / 2:12 pm

    What a heart breaking but beautiful story. I can’t ever begin to imaging what the whole family had to go through. But how lovely to be blessed with a 4th child. Alice is a beautiful Rainbow baby! xx

    • Laura Dove
      October 31, 2016 / 9:57 pm

      Thank you for reading. xx

  2. October 29, 2016 / 5:17 pm

    Such a moving story 🙁 also it brings back memories from my family. You are doing great in your Rainbow campaign and helping others who have gone through simerla things x

    • Laura Dove
      October 31, 2016 / 9:56 pm

      Thank you Claire. Sorry that you can relate to this, baby loss affects far too many. xx

  3. October 30, 2016 / 1:36 pm

    Beautiful post. So so sorry for your loss. And congratulations on your newest little bundle of joy. #KCACOLS

    • Laura Dove
      October 31, 2016 / 9:53 pm

      Thank you for reading! xx

  4. October 30, 2016 / 2:34 pm

    Thank you for sharing this moving story with us – I can’t imagine what you’ve been through, but it’s nice to keep memories alive. x

    • Laura Dove
      October 31, 2016 / 9:52 pm

      It’s very important to share our stories, thank you for reading. xx

  5. October 30, 2016 / 3:08 pm

    Such a beautiful post and it’s hard to imagine what it must be like to get to fill term and loose a baby. My SIL lost her first baby at 7 mths and going to the funeral was one of the hardest things I’ve done. Both my girls are rainbow babies, but I lost my babies very early on. X #KCACOLS

    • Laura Dove
      October 31, 2016 / 9:51 pm

      Ahh Laura, it must have been horrific for all of you. I sometimes look back at Josephs funeral and wonder how we survived it, and then I feel guilty that I put my loved ones through it too. Any baby lost is tragic but rainbow babies are so special aren’t they? xx

  6. October 30, 2016 / 4:06 pm

    A beautiful moving story. Its hard to imagine what you all wnet through as a family. I had 3 miscarriages before our beautiful rainbow baby. I will never forget what could have been. They will always be in my heart. xx

    Thanks for linking up at #KCACOLS.
    Hope you join up again next Sunday.

    • Laura Dove
      October 31, 2016 / 9:50 pm

      Sorry to hear that Rachel. We lost fifteen babies to miscarriage, and our eldest to stillbirth, and I will never stop wondering what those babies would have been like. Nor would I want to. Love to you. xx

    • Laura Dove
      October 31, 2016 / 9:48 pm

      Mary is amazing isn’t she? We lost fifteen of our babies to miscarriage and our eldest son to stillbirth, being able to share stories of hope is really important to me. xx

  7. October 31, 2016 / 1:30 pm

    What a beautiful and inspiring story – told so beautifully. #KCACOLS

    • Laura Dove
      October 31, 2016 / 9:41 pm

      Thank you for reading. xx

  8. October 31, 2016 / 2:13 pm

    I’m so sorry for Mary’s loss it must have been very difficult to write about the topic. This made a very moving blog post x

    • Laura Dove
      October 31, 2016 / 9:41 pm

      Thank you for reading, she’s a lovely, strong lady. xx

  9. Becky @ Educating Roversi
    October 31, 2016 / 10:03 pm

    Every time I read a story of stillbirth I find myself feeling nothing but admiration for the parents. I honestly don’t know how they get through it with such strength. Alice is beautiful and I’m so for the loss of Poppy #KCACOLS

  10. October 31, 2016 / 10:30 pm

    What a beautiful post. Gave me shivers reading it – thank you so much for sharing. #kcacols

  11. November 1, 2016 / 2:57 pm

    Oh I have had a little cry reading this post I love Mary’s blog and think she is so brave and amazing (just like you lovely). I remember reading her pregnancy announcement and I hoped and prayed it would ill work out and I so happy it did. Beautiful post.

    • Laura Dove
      November 1, 2016 / 4:52 pm

      She’s amazing isn’t she? And Alice is such a darling, rainbow babies are pretty amazing. xx

  12. November 2, 2016 / 3:45 pm

    What a moving post and brave words to share your story. The pictures of Alice are beautiful. Congratulations, and it’s heart-warming to hear a story of the happiness of a rainbow baby to help those who have lost a child. #kcacols

    • Laura Dove
      November 2, 2016 / 10:02 pm

      Thank you for reading. xx

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