This one hurts...
This one really hurts, so bear with me. I never thought I would write something like this and literally bear my soul to the world wide web... but I recently booked a lovely couple in for a newborn photography session and she inspired me to create this blog in the hope that it could help others.
I meet with all of my clients before their photography session. We talk about their likes, dislikes, how the session works and preparation tips. During the course of our pre session consultation my client said to me;
"Have you ever heard the term 'rainbow baby'? Do you know what it means"?
Oh yes, I definitely do;
"A rainbow baby is a baby that is born after miscarriage, neo natal or post natal loss. It signifies that the most beautiful of events can occur after the darkest and most desolate of storms".
She told me about her long and difficult journey to motherhood. How those struggles had left her feeling lonely and constantly anxious. She felt no one understood that her pregnancy was a time of worry and stress and not joy. There was a voice in her head saying something could still go wrong and that her baby would never be placed in her arms, would never come home with her. That each scan date filled her with dread so badly she was physically sick each and every time. She felt she was the only one feeling like this. She felt alone. She is not alone.
How do I know? Because my own child is a rainbow baby. We struggled for 11 years and had 6 losses before finally having a beautiful healthy child. It was a long and difficult path, littered with different drug treatments, fights to get seen by the right medical professionals, scans, hopes, pain both physical, mental and spiritual and many, many, many tears.
The other thing I discovered on this journey was so many others, all going through the same thing. I had no idea that there were so many of us. We met online in a miscarriage forum and little did I know how important those ladies would become to me over the years. We drew strength from each other, cheered each other on through morning sickness and scan dates, squinted at test results and cried with joy at at scan pictures. We met up and held each other when things went wrong. We later met up with our children and remembered all we went through to have them. I am still in touch with many of them now. We have a bond, we are in the club no one ever expects to be in and no one wants membership of.
I was one of the lucky ones, that saw their rainbow, many sadly don't.
So believe me, I truly feel that ALL babies are special and amazing. When you place them in my arms I know what a privilege you are giving me, but I always feel something extraordinary when a parent tells me about their battles to get to where they are now. To finally hold their child in your arms, when you can't even quite believe they are really there.
Please, if you or someone you know finds themselves in a similar position there are organisations and websites that can help and provide information. The more I talk about what my Husband and I experienced the more I discover others that have gone through their own similar struggles. These shared experiences can give you friendships that span the world and strength when you think you can't carry on. You just need to press the button for that website or forum or reach out to someone.
I think miscarriage and baby loss holds the same taboo that cancer used to years sgo. Back then people couldn't even bring themselves to say 'cancer', it was referred to as "the C word". Thankfully time has moved on, many years of research and development have changed the public perception and given positive outcomes for so many and I hope in time the same will happen for couples that struggled as we did. Who endured the grief and pain of losing their baby, their dreams, their joy.
Keep that faith, the most beautiful rainbows can show their colours after the darkest of storms.