A love letter to my rainbow baby: My light in the darkness

I am going to let you in on my story. It is not easy to talk about, butit is a big part of what has led me to where I am today.

I started Peaceful Mama Coaching not just because of myexperiences as a mother to my daughter, but also because of my experiences as awoman that longed for a child. Letting go of my first child is what, in fact,saved my life and brought me the child that I have today.

My first pregnancy brought me so much joy, which was followed byconfusion, sadness, and fear over the course of multiple doctors’ visits. Uponhearing that I was going to have a miscarriage, I began to process the loss ofmy child.

I had known of very few that had miscarried, as it’s something we tend tohide as a society.

I was very well-supported by those around me, but I was not prepared forwhat was to come.

When the initial pain started, it caught me by surprise.

I was driving home and the pain was quickly accompanied by a list offlu-like symptoms, minus the fever. Just as I had hoped to birth withoutmedication, I also hoped to experience this loss without medication numbing meor my experience.

When I got home and tried to walk up the stairs and down the hallway, mypain was so intense and my body was so weak that I could barely walk straight. Fortunately,I was able to call for my husband’s help to get to the front door.

My symptoms continued to worsen and become more intense. I heard whatsounded like a waterfall for a few seconds and asked my husband if he heard it,too. He didn’t.

The pain eventually became too much to bear and I asked my husband toget the prescription my doctor wrote for a pain-reliever filled. I waited andthen he came back and we waited for the prescription to be filled... we waitedfor this to pass.

All I could think about was my physical pain. There was no room toprocess any emotional pain at this point.

After my husband came back with the medication, it was clear that Ineeded to go to the ER. As he was on the phone with the 911 operator, I startedto lose consciousness.

I feel for my husband who must have felt so lost in those moments as hewas awaiting the paramedics with me. His wife was not present. I had turnedpale and could not move on my own. The paramedics said my body was in shock andas they laid me down on the floor, they stated my blood pressure an extreme lowof 60 over 30.

What followed was a series of doctors and ER staff that could not makesense of my symptoms.

Was I experiencing an infection due to not miscarrying on time? Whywasn’t anything showing up on the ultrasound besides fluid?

They were ready to do an exploratory surgery so that they could find someanswers.

Thank goodness for specialities. The on-call OBGYN was able to pinpointthat I was experiencing a ruptured ectopic pregnancy.

This little child got stuck on the way down and could not get out. Mychild was growing in my fallopian tube, so much so that I could not contain himor her in that space.

Recovering from the surgery, I often looked at the scar that was leftbehind. The scar that looked just like a Caesarean scar on the outside butleft no child in my arms.

I went back and forth between processing my near death and my loss of mychild. It took much time before I was able to emotionally prepare myself forhaving a family again. It was when I saw a family in a moment of joy that Irealized I was ready to have a family for myself to share joy with.

Upon becoming pregnant with my daughter, the joy came back. And now I cannotimagine what life would be like without her and would never want to imaginethat.

It is so hard to justify a life lost even when a life is gained, but Imust say that I would not change anything—even if I could—becausethere is a good chance my daughter wouldn’t be here right now, and that is something Icould not accept.

There is truly so much to be grateful for in this life.

I want to thank the doctors, nurses, and paramedics that saved my life.They gave me all of their attention and did everything they could to figure outwhat was going on. I can’t imagine working with such intense pressure withsomeone’s life in your hands, while family surrounds you as you try to findanswers.

I want to thank the donors that gave me the near-six pints of blood thatI needed. I wouldn’t be here without that. I recently learned that the averagehuman body has about eight pints of blood in it. That made me realize just howresilient we are as living creatures.

I want to thank my mother, father, and brother who, without a question,hopped in their cars the moment they heard the news and sat in panic in the ERfor hours prior to my surgery. They sat and listened to me in pain, while theycould do nothing more than hold my hand and feed me juice from hospital cottonswabs, which was the only thing I was allowed to ingest prior to surgery.

I want to thank my husband forstaying by my side rather than rushing to get me the medication. In being therewith his love, he actually saved my life.

We didn’t know that the medication would have actually lowered my bloodpressure and we didn’t realize that it was low to begin with, but thankgoodness there was something in his heart that told him to wait another 10 minutes with me even though the prescription was probably ready.

I also want to thank him for humoring me while I was awaiting surgery.That was the only thing that made the pain go away. And since then he continuesto be by my side, encouraging me every step of the way to live my life to thefullest, and bringing into my life our amazing daughter.

Oddly enough, I have even considered thanking my doctor thatmisdiagnosed me with a miscarriage. Without her eagerness to get me diagnosed,I would not have experienced all that I did, which led me to my little lionessof a daughter.

I also want to thank the little onethat entered my world for several weeks. The child that gave me joy upon his or her arrivaland truly made me realize that I wanted a child. I hope that you are safe inyour new home, wherever that may be.

Lastly, I want to thank my daughter.

You are truly beautiful inevery sense of the word. Your smile brings me such joy. Your growth astonishesme every day. You entered this world as a dependent little being and now I seeyou seeking independence in any possible moment and it is so precious andgratifying to see that you feel so secure in your independence.

I realize that I am able to be thankfulnow, mainly because I have gained such a beautiful result.

For moms that havenot yet had a rainbow child, the pain may feel that much worse. I have learnedto be mindful of other people’s “plans” to have a child, as theirstories may be untold and unknown by others.

We surely can’t plan it all out,but hopefully we can find meaning in whatever the result may be.

Dr. Azine Graff is a Clinical Psychologist and Co-Founder of Harmony in Parenting, which is based in Los Angeles and offers groups, classes, therapy and consultation services informed by the latest research on child development.

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