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My Reverse-Rainbow Baby

What I learned through miscarriage and infertility.

My Reverse-Rainbow Baby

Two thousand and fourteen was unequivocally one of the most painful years of my life. Nearing the end of what was otherwise an easy and joy-filled first trimester carrying my second child, that dear child of mine let go. For reasons unknown, that child nestled softly inside my body had no more strength to carry on a single day further. So where one day I had marveled over the miracle of that little heart fluttering steadily on the screen, there landed another in my lap where I saw no movement whatsoever; my baby lay, lifeless and effectively gone. It was, for me, the death of part of my body and part of my soul.

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The reality of miscarriage is a painful one, wrought with confusing and torturous emotion. It’s one, though, that I’m not convinced is fully understandable to anyone who’s not experienced it themselves. Before my own, I wasn’t ever quite able to feel, process or empathize with the losses that happened to the women in my life. I’d offer my love, my platitudes and a listening ear, but at the end of the day, such a thing floated out of my mind easily I leaned on the knowledge that miscarriage is common, oftentimes unavoidable, and understood it more as a medical or biological anomaly than as anything with any particular emotional ties.

So when my own miscarriage happened, I was knocked to the floor. I had no anticipation of how overrun with emotion I’d be; how wrought with grief and despair I’d ultimately spend the following years. We’re offered so many condolences during and after a pregnancy loss. We’re told that it came as no fault of our own, that this pain shall pass, and that by the grace of God, we’ll be blessed with another pregnancy in good time.

My husband and I had conceived successfully a couple of years prior to all this, and I was at that very time an overwhelmed and love-struck mother to our 18-month-old daughter. But as the months passed after my miscarriage, my hope for conceiving again began to dwindle. My periods would roll in like clockwork, and I’d be forced to erase each pregnancy I’d figuratively penciled in to my calendar each month. We were failing time and again.

Something I hadn’t heard much about was the “rainbow baby” concept. I appreciated the reparative and restorative nature of a blessed birth following a loss, but never had I stumbled upon such a poignant notion of a rainbow baby serving as a ray of light following such a harrowed storm. So it became an idea that I glommed onto. I ached for another pregnancy—for a third child, for a second birth, and a second little life to grace our lives. But the months passed with no rainbow in sight, and the unthinkable soon fell upon my shoulders: a diagnosis of secondary infertility. I found myself being told that never again would I conceive a child. Unbeknownst to me, my ovaries had called it quits. My body had failed me at the very time when I needed its loyalty most.

I cursed my storm. I screamed a thousand times into the wind over the injustice of it all; I shed a sea of tears over what will never be. I saw a thousand rainbows and rainbow babies alike strewn across my social media feeds, and I wept over the injustice. I wanted my rainbow more than anything in this world, and was met instead with nothing but radio silence.

There by my side, though, all along, was my daughter. There for every instance of agony, with a tissue for every tear that’s tumbled down my cheeks, is the girl who made me a mama to begin with. There, as I’d been searching wistfully for a glimmer of hope that a rainbow would one day appear, was this walking miracle of mine—my heart on two feet. It hadn’t occurred to me that the rainbow I so wished for had come first and was now cradled in my arms — my reverse-rainbow baby.

While it guts me daily to watch her growing up alone, I take selfish solace in her very existence. I treasure each day of her life on this earth for the companion she is to me; for the light she shines onto my otherwise dark path. While rainbow baby proper I never will know, my reverse-rainbow is exactly the person my soul needs in order to keep my heart beating with fervor.

This piece was written by Sandy Jorgenson in support of Jessica Zucker’s #IHadAMiscarriage campaign, which launched in 2014. In 2015, Zucker created a line of pregnancy loss cards.This year, she’s added t-shirts and totes for rainbow mamas and rainbow babies. All in an effort to destigmatize, de-silence, and de-shame miscarriage; promote support, connection, and community; foster conversations about this taboo topic; own our stories; and ultimately change the culture surrounding pregnancy loss. Jessica Zucker, Ph.D. is a psychologist and writer based in Los Angeles. She is the creator of the #IHadAMiscarriage campaign. She curates a series about loss on Instagram: Stories from around the world. If you want to share your story, you can submit it at @IHadAMiscarriage.

This year many of us have a tighter budget than usual given (looks around) everything that has happened. Coupled with the uncertainty of what Halloween might look like, many of us are reluctant to spend money on brand new costumes that our kids will outgrow by next year. I get it. But I also know that many, like me, love Halloween so much. I thought about skipping the celebration this year, but that just feels like too big of a disappointment in an already disappointing year.

That's why I started looking into alternative costumes—something my kids will be able to wear once the clock hits November, and maybe even hand down to siblings and cousins in the coming years. At the same time, I'm not a DIY person, so I wanted outfits that didn't require any sewing or hot glue. Last year I attempted using one to build my son's Care Bear costume, and of course, I burnt my hand.

So with some creativity (and the brainpower of my colleagues), we came up with these costumes that are both fun and practical, made with items that your children will be able to (and want to!) wear year around:

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Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.



Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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My 3-year-old is eating peanut butter toast with banana for breakfast (his request), and we are officially running late for preschool. We need to get in the car soon if we want to miss the morning traffic, but he has decided that he no longer wants the food that he begged for two minutes earlier. What started off as a relatively calm breakfast has turned into a battle of wills.

"You're going to be hungry," I say, realizing immediately that he could care less. I can feel my frustration rising, and even though I'm trying to stay calm, I'm getting snappy and irritable. In hindsight, I can see so many opportunities that fell through the cracks to salvage this morning, but at the moment… there was nothing.

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