A rainbow baby is a baby born after another child is lost. I found this definition online:
In the real world, a beautiful and bright rainbow follows a storm and gives hope of things getting better. The rainbow is more appreciated having just experienced the storm in comparison.
The storm (loss) has already happened and nothing can change that experience. Storm-clouds might still be overhead as the family continue to cope with the loss, but something colourful and bright has emerged from the darkness and misery.
In July we discovered that our rainbow baby is growing in my belly. The baby is due on March 25th and big sister Sadie is BEYOND excited to have a new baby around. She has requested that if this baby is born with a tube, we cut it off. I think she's trying to communicate her desire for this to be a healthy child and I couldn't agree more.
At the start of my pregnancy I was thinking about the comments I would receive from others and knew that, "as long as it's healthy!" would be among them often. I thought through this and came to a realization that although we would all love a healthy baby, I care more that my child will grow up and love Jesus. If I have a healthy baby that rejects God and chooses to live their own life, I miss out on eternity with them. If I have a sick baby that loves Jesus, I get to enjoy that child forever. Through our journey with Hope I have come to value a heart that loves Jesus far above a child that is healthy. It's a simple thought, just not one that ever crossed my mind while carrying Sadie in my pregnancy. I pray that this baby would be healthy, but that above all, it would grow up to choose Christ.
Sadie continues to talk about Hope and shares her desire to be with her again. I find it difficult to watch her long for her sister and yet, I'm comforted that she remembers her. She sat for over an hour watching movies of Hope on my phone and telling me all about them. I do the same thing some days. I am so thankful for all the pictures and videos we have of her.
Sadie has started pre-school and is loving it. She is enjoying the fall and the routine that comes along with it. I love seeing her learn new things and develop in her life. She continues to make us laugh and give us reasons to smile. After Sunday School this week as we put her in the car she said, "God has a plan for me!" Shawn responded humorously with, "Really? Since when?" That stumped Sadie, but she didn't care. She knew that God has plan for her life and that's all she cared about!
Some of you may remember after Hope's death that our friends put together a book called 'Hope's Reach'. The book is full of letters from people describing how Hope impacted their lives. It's a massive colour book full of stories and photos of our little girl. It took me 3 weeks to read through the entire book. It's LONG, but also extremely rich and not easy to take in large amounts at once. I was so moved by it and am thankful to have it. We spent time editing mistakes out of the first copy and getting it all ready for printing. The book will now be printed and we've decided to open it up to others. If anyone would like a copy of this book for themselves, we are happy to order you a copy. Being a colour printed book, it's not cheap to print. The books will cost $80 each and would likely be $20 to ship outside of Calgary. If you're someone that would enjoy being able to read these powerful stories and to have this memory of the journey you've been on with us, would you let me know before October 15th? We can arrange payment and shipping once I know who would like a copy and how many I'll need to order.
In 10 days Shawn and I will be heading to Europe. After Hope's death a group of friends and strangers put an account together to send Shawn and I away on vacation. The 13 months of Hope's life were extremely stressful. Shawn and I spent a large amount of time apart and our time together was often consumed with intense conversations about Hope. We worked hard to maintain our marriage and to keep it healthy, but often dreamed of a second honeymoon to reconnect and move forward in our relationship. We talked about doing this as soon as Hope was stable. Sadly that never happened, but we were beyond shocked when this account was started and our dream became a reality. Shawn and I will spend 2 weeks on a cruise through the Mediterranean while Sadie remains in Calgary with family and friends that promise to love her to pieces! I wanted to publicly thank each and every person that has made this trip possible for us. I'm dreading the time away from Sadie, but am deeply excited about the one on one time I'll have with Shawn. Please pray that this is a wonderful time of reconnection for us and that my pregnancy doesn't leave me on the boat while Shawn explores Europe!
My pregnancies are usually horrible. Some of you that followed Hope's journey before she was born will remember how deeply I hate being pregnant. I am extremely uncomfortable during my pregnancies. First is the nausea, it begins immediately and usually lasts until I deliver. In my delivery with Sadie was I still throwing up just hours before she was born! I am on medication to make this easier, but the medication makes me very tired. Secondly my hormone levels are always too high and specifically my Relaxin levels. As a result I have had SPD with each of them as well.
SPD is: Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) is most commonly associated with pregnancy and childbirth. It is a condition that causes excessive movement of the pubic symphysis, either anterior or lateral, as well as associated pain, possibly because of a misalignment of the pelvis. SPD is a dysfunction that is associated with pelvic girdle pain and the names are often used interchangeably. It is thought to affect up to one in four pregnant women to varying degrees, with 7% of sufferers continuing to experience serious symptoms postpartum
It has already begun in this pregnancy and my hips are in constant pain and walking becomes more difficult as each week and month passes. I receive treatments throughout my pregnancy and it helps a great deal, but is still extremely inconvenient! My feet begin to flatten as I move forward as well and I get to a point of begging Shawn to rub my feet constantly! Poor guy. Enough whining...the point being that it's not a fun 9 months and I could use your prayers. While pregnant with Hope I swore I would NEVER get pregnant again. After she was diagnosed Shawn felt strongly that we should have a third child. He didn't want Sadie to lose her sister and be alone. I eventually agreed and we had decided to have one more, regardless of what had happened with Hope. I feel even more confident this time around to say, "I'm not doing this again!!" This baby is worth the trouble and the pain, as were Sadie and Hope. I just long to reach March and to have this little one in my arms.
I am currently 13 weeks pregnant. Sometime in the next 5-7 weeks I'll be receiving another ultrasound. Although I've already had two, this will be the first time we'll get a good look at the baby's heart. We are praying for 4 chambers and a healthy heart. I think I'll feel more relaxed once we know everything is okay and we find out if this is going to be another little lady or a little man. Although my heart longs for another girl, I wonder if a boy would be easier on me emotionally. It would be an entirely new experience and that may be better for us. I trust God to decide and that either way we'll be able to carry through.
Thank you for continuing to pray for our family, for the new baby that is growing and for our hearts as they slowly mend from losing Hope. Never forgotten, forever missed.