As a Mother of 4 children who has never suffered infant loss, I never really expected it to hit so close to home. As a photographer and friend to many ladies, I honestly just never thought it could happen to anyone I know. I was very naive. This is why I am so passionate about Infant Loss Awareness Month, because it can and does happen, more than we know. It isn't a taboo subject, and it needs to be recognized as something that shouldn't be hidden. All the babies that are gone too soon need to be remembered, talked about, thought about and let their lives be continued through memories. This is something having never experienced a loss that I didn't understand until it was something that I have now seen and been so closely touched by.
A couple years ago I was contacted by a friend to do her maternity session. Her exact words, "I am going to make you famous!". In August 2017 we did a photo session that did in fact go viral and we had our 15 minutes of fame. It was a fun and crazy ride that came with negativity and positivity but also brought my friend Emily and I closer together. As her pregnancy progressed we planned an epic newborn session that we hoped would surpass the maternity photos. The world had grown to know and love her unborn baby and we planned on having his/her newborn session to be unique and special like her maternity.
The night of November 10th I laid down after midnight and saw the date. That night I thought to myself, wow I am officially on call for Emily's birth!! Although I knew she had the tendency to go overdue, with her due date being in only 6 days, I was officially on call. The next morning as I was sitting with my husband, chatting about our day, everything changed in a instant. I received a text message at 9:13am from Emily that is still sketched in my mind. It was a simple text that said, "We lost our baby. I'm at the hospital now". I froze, then I yelled, then I cried. I shook. I reread the message at least 50 times trying to make it disappear. It didn't feel real and it couldn't be. If I had just not seen the message I felt like I could make it not true. But it was true, very true. At that point in my life I had never been so close to a loss like this and I was in complete shock.
Ever since that day and the next day when Emily had to delivery her beautiful son Emersyn sleeping, I have met so many amazing women who have also gone through terrible losses themselves. Although I have often heard the women refer to it as "the club no one wants to be a member of" it is a special group of very strong ladies. Although I wish I had met them all under different circumstances, I am very fortunate to have met all these wonderful ladies and I am honored that they chose me to capture their beautiful rainbow babies to honor their siblings who were gone too soon.
I appreciate everyone who has read this far and if you are still reading please continue on to read the stories of 7 strong ladies who have endured something no one should have to go through and are still dealing with their losses everyday as the pain never goes away. The babies are never forgotten. A Rainbow baby will never replace their precious babies, but will continue to shine love and light on the families.
7 Beautiful Rainbow Babies followed by each of their personal stories of their siblings that made them Rainbows.
After trying and trying with no success, my husband, Frank and I sought out the help of a fertility doctor in order to have the family we dreamed of. We both completed many tests and the results indicated IVF was our best option. After an expensive and emotionally draining round of IVF, we were pregnant! We did early genetic screening and found out our baby GIRL was perfectly healthy. I began planning her nursery with pink flowers galore and painted her room in preparation for her arrival. At the 20-week anatomy scan, the doctor observed my cervix was a little short but assured me it was nothing to worry about and to come back in a week. I went into labor before I could make it back to the doctor. On October 11, 2017, our daughter Evelyn Jae was born at 21 weeks and 3 days. Just 11 days shy of viability meaning they would make no attempt at saving her. She was absolutely perfect and looked just like her Daddy. We held her, talked to her and sang to her until we left the hospital empty handed and came home to a nursery full of pink flowers that would never be used.
When we felt ready to try again, we began researching options to remedy my condition, condescendingly called Incompetent Cervix. There were several options we could have chosen but Frank and I decided to take the safest option for baby, which was the most invasive for me.
In February 2018 I traveled to Chicago to have a Transabdominal Cerclage surgically placed by Dr. Arthur Haney, one of the best doctors in the world for this procedure. After recovering from that surgery, plus a second round of IVF, we transferred one lucky embryo. On December 17, 2018 our healthy Rainbow baby boy, Kyler Frank was born full term. He has brought endless joy to our lives and we are forever grateful for him. However, his presence and existence does not erase his sister’s life. Our family will always include Evelyn, and there will always be pink flowers around our home representing our baby girl and Kyler's big sister.
As a mother of 2 boys and someone who just experienced a miscarriage in 2016 I was thrilled to become pregnant again. The pregnancy was easy, flew by, and to our surprise was a girl ! We decided her name would be Victoria Jo she was our princess, our only girl, but at 22 weeks I went into labor and after 27 hours Victoria was born sleeping... my whole world came tumbling down. The anger, the bitterness, the confusion over the next few months was over whelming. Until I found out I was pregnant again. I saw a light, I had hope. Although Victoria will always be my princess, we found out we were expecting another girl. The pregnancy was long, scary, and filled with unknowns but December 14th 2017 Abigail Lily my sweet rainbow was born. Still too this day being almost 2 years old I’m reminded daily how precious rainbow babies are, they are the light, the sunshine after the storm.
In May of 2015, I was 24’ish weeks pregnant with a little girl. On May 9, I was in a car accident. Not my fault, but it totaled my vehicle. I was checked out in the ER, and followed up with my OB two weeks later. Everything seemed to be fine. The weekend of June 13, my husband went away on a golf trip with some friends. I mentioned to him that Sunday evening that something didn’t feel right but he wasn’t able to come home because he had carpooled. Monday morning, June 15, I woke up and couldn’t feel Lexi moving at all. I followed all the normal protocol, called my OB, didn’t have any success. At the hospital, my sister met me just in time for the nurse to come in and do an ultrasound. No fetal heartbeat. My husband made it back in time for me to deliver, but those hours I was alone changed me. I have five healthy kids, but that loss has been soul crushing, and has caused me PTSD as well as anxiety issues. My husband and I decided to try again as soon as we were able. For whatever reason, I had a hard time getting pregnant again. Finally in January of 2017, I got a positive pregnancy test. We got all excited about a rainbow baby, only to be told at our first ultrasound that it was a blighted ovum. I wasn’t sure I could handle any more loss after that, but my husband wanted to try one more time. I was able to get pregnant in July of that year. It was a perfectly normal pregnancy, and Noah was born on March 16, 2018. We named him Noah after the Bible story.
Back in September 2016 my husband Scott and I were so excited to be expecting our second baby! Everything was great and had a clean bill of health even was cleared to run a marathon which I did at 7 weeks pregnant. A few weeks after that I started having some spotting and bleeding, which ended up turning into a lot. The emergency room told me we had lost our sweet baby but once they brought down the right ultrasound machines they found a beautiful perfectly healthy little baby.
I was diagnosed with a subchorionic hematoma, where there is blood above/around the sack of the baby. They can't pinpoint where it comes from but said it is common and typically goes away. In our case, it did not. At 14 weeks we unexpectedly had our second, Adam Reed Youngblood. We were devastated to say the least. After a horrible hospital experience having to take our sweet son in through a waiting room of excited happy families waiting to meet their newest additions. We buried our son nearby us in 'Baby Land' at our local cemetery.
Even through this, we knew our family wasn't complete. With our sunshine and angel baby we got pregnant extremely fast, but with our sweet rainbow baby it took a bit more time. After a very long, stressful, paranoid, filled pregnancy, we welcomed our sweet angel baby, Parker James Youngblood(named after Spiderman) on April 2, 2018! This little boy was exactly what our family needed. His big brother in heaven could not have choose a better sibling to fill in our family!!
I had 5 long years of infertility treatments, shots, procedures and heartaches. I was finally able to conceive once I started injections and did IUI. We were so excited but only to have our dreams crushed when I miscarried at 5 weeks. It was during the holidays which made it even harder. Letting my body heal for 3 months we tried again with IUI and it failed. I got pregnant again 2 months later doing IUI again and everything was going better than the 1st
pregnancy. I went in for the first ultrasound & there was a baby growing! We went in for another ultrasound 2 weeks later & the baby's growth was behind & she saw another baby twins we couldn't believe it! But she something that didnt look right so I had to see an ultrasound specialist. We got there that evening & waited patiently feeling sick waiting to find out what was wrong.
Long story short one of the babies was growing attached to my uterus wall causing my uterus to fill with blood, the other baby stopped growing before that. I had to have emergency surgery. They tried laparoscopically to remove the twins but that didnt work so I had to have a DNC. Unfortunately they couldn't get to them that way as well. So they had to surgically open me up to get them out & remove some of my uterus. Then they saw another baby stuck in my tube. Triplets! I was shocked when I woke up & they told me. I had lost 3 babies plus the 1st one only 7 months before that. It was the worst thing I have ever been thru. So thankful for my husband , friends & family that were there for me it was a dark time.
After that surgery I found out I would only be able to conceive thru IVF because of the type of ectopic miscarriage I had. We decided to give it one try. I was so scared to go thru it so afraid of getting pregnant & lose another baby. But I wanted my dream of being a mother. I started the IVF process 6 months after my surgery and what a journey! I'm not going to lie it was rough. From that I was able to get 1 embryo that was good. Only one embryo after all that? I was really discouraged but had hope and tried to stay positive. That little frozen embryo survived & took! I was so thankful and scared at the same time since I was high risk & couldn't let the baby get too big or my uterus would rupture. Well our beautiful baby girl was born about 4 weeks early on Dec 13th 2018. We can never thank God and our amazing doctor enough for never giving up on us. So thankful for our precious rainbow baby. We have been thru so much but it was worth it as I hold my beautiful 8 month old daughter.
"The storm can be just as beautiful as the rainbow, honor them both"-Alex Elle
Our first son Cade was expected to arrive June 29 2017. We were so thrilled to be having our first child, the pregnancy was very normal til it wasn't. As weeks went by and we got closer to our c section date (because he was breach) I noticed less and less movements. I told my nurses who checked me in everytime. "He is moving but less". I was told "that's normal towards the end." Three days before I had my c-section I started having tiny cramps and he was still moving but less. The next morning I woke up to nothing. I was worried, drinking a soda,drinking a chocolate shake just trying to get any movement but there was nothing. I listened to others that said it was normal towards the end and my husband thought he had felt Cade kick, even though I didn't. I held on to that confirmation, that hope.
The next day June 28th my cramping got more intense so I thought okay hes just still because he is ready to be born! Later that night I went into labor. When we arrived at labor and delivery, after the first attempt to find Cades heart I knew what they didn't want to say at first. Then after a few Doctors and nurses looking at him with a sonogram machine they confirmed that he had no heartbeat.
We went through hell that night, I will not sugar coat pregnancy and infant loss because it is hard. After laboring for about 9 hours I got to have my c-section as planned on June 29th 2017 at 7:22am weighing 8lbs 10oz 21 1/2in the most perfect child was born but he was silent. Cade had died from an umbilical cord accident. He had a double nuchal loop around his neck that must of gotten compressed for to long two days before we had him.There is never a moment I'm not missing Cade.
Gunner is our rainbow baby, Cades little brother and we are so incredibly blessed to have him in our lives. He will be 1 in November and it was such a long scary journey to have him after losing his brother.
Both boys have taught me so much. Cade has taught me the value of life, who's important, and to have patience. Gunner has brought some color back into my world, has taught me how to smile again, and coquencidently has taught me patience too. I am honored to be their mother.
November 10, 2017 my family’s lives changed forever when we were given the devastating news that our son, expected to arrive any day, no longer had a heartbeat. Nothing can prepare you for going through the experience of losing a child. Finding joy out of such sadness has proven to be the hardest life experience I have personally encountered. Your heart is torn between mourning the loss of one child and desperately wanting to fulfill that pain with the love of another. Although our family has experienced multiple losses through miscarriage and our precious, Emersyn, we have found hope among the sadness with the birth of each rainbow child born in their memory.