“3, 2, 1,” counting down, I held my breath and flipped the test over. There they were – two pink lines staring up at me. I paused, waiting for the influx of emotion to wash over me. It never came. As much as I had been hoping and praying for this, I couldn’t seem to allow happiness to set in.
That’s one aspect of miscarriage no one talks about – detaching yourself from subsequent pregnancies. After two painful losses, the first being Christmas night and the other on my husband’s birthday, I became numb to all things baby.
In an attempt to shield my husband from further heartache, I decided to hold off on sharing the news. It wasn’t an easy secret to keep, especially once he started asking why I wasn’t feeling well or having my usual glass of wine with dinner.
I thought up a million cutesy ways to tell him. Maybe I could wrap the test like a gift or set out a pair of baby booties on the counter. After all we had been through, I wanted it to be special. When the moment finally came, though, my courage and creativity went out the window. I buried my face in his chest and cried, “I’m scared to lose another baby.” What a way to find out your wife is pregnant.
After eight long weeks of overthinking and recurring nightmares, I was scheduled for an ultrasound. “By this point, we should see a heartbeat if the pregnancy is viable.” The doctor’s explanation came across as threatening in my traumatized brain. I laid back with my belly exposed, preparing for yet another disappointment. My husband watched the monitor intently while I closed my eyes and grabbed his hand. After what felt like an eternity, the tech spoke the words I never thought I would hear. “There’s the baby… and there’s the heartbeat.”
The term ‘rainbow baby’ refers to a baby born following a loss, like the rainbow after a storm. While the damage caused by the storm remains, the rainbow shows us that light can emerge from the darkness.
My pregnancy, although a blessing, was far from easy. It was littered with complications and scares from gestational diabetes to a subchorionic hemorrhage. Thus I was considered high risk and was heavily monitored. While most women spend their pregnancy making registries and painting the nursery, I was checking my blood sugar three times a day and having monthly growth scans and NST’s with Maternal-Fetal Medicine.