Today is National Rainbow Baby Day (how sweet that you get your own day!?) What is a rainbow baby? It’s the baby born after losing a baby due to a miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss. It’s the baby that fills your tummy in a way that leaves you more aware than you’ve been in the past. For me, it was you: my tiny, bright, sweetheart.
Before having you my heart and body had to break in ways I didn’t know were possible. In fact, when I hear of a mother miscarrying to this day, I think to myself “she’s enduring the impossible.” How is it possible that I knew your sibling for only a short time and then lost him/her (i really think it was a girl by the way!)...and had to now do life never knowing or holding that baby. A baby I had prayed for, longed for, and dreamed about for a very long time. It was the hardest physical and mental experience we’ve ever gone through as a family. Your dad was devastated, your big sister was heartbroken, and your mommy was scared. Scared to ever feel another baby and potentially lose that one too. Mommy, who is generally happy and bubbly was experiencing grief for really the first time ever. Grief is a sad and hard thing to work through and I hope you don’t have to feel that for a very very very long time. So many questions were running through my mind “Did I do something wrong? Did I use too much bleach when i cleaned yesterday? Did I get too upset with so and so when we had a disagreement?” Mommy felt guilty. Now I know that there’s nothing I could have done differently...God had a much bigger plan in store for our family...but at the time I told myself that I didn’t want to try again for a very long time. If ever. Little did I know that you were right around the corner!
The day I found out that you were in my tummy I was terrified. Daddy wanted to tell EVERYONE...he insisted on celebrating you at every opportunity. But I cried to him, terrified that the world would have a glimpse of you as a part of our family and then we would have to tell everyone (again) that you were gone. I just couldn’t do it. So we kept you a secret for about 12 weeks. The best, most exciting secret I’ve ever held onto! I loved you so much and I knew from day 1 that you were a fresh start for me as a woman, a mother, and a wife. (Which is exactly what your name means. Juliet Elizabeth: A new beginning blessed by and pledged to God. You were so much more than a positive sign on a pregnancy test. So much more than another baby to grow and love. You were an answer to many many prayers, a gift unlike any other. A "yes” that I had begged God to give me. Actually, 3 years ago to this very date I prayed my first prayer asking for an answer that would turn out to be you (I’ll tell you what question you answered when you’re older...way older...like in your 30’s..) You would be my calm in the crazy, my joy amidst the heartache, my rainbow after the storm.
While you were in my tummy you were always so calm .Symphony liked to nuzzle in my ribs, which one day you’ll probably learn is anything but a calm experience. Abram, like usual, was ALWAYS busy and jumping around in my tummy...ALL BOY! But you...you were calm and serene..and always had your little hand near your face. I believe that you loved the touch of your soft, fuzzy skin because to this day you LOVE LOVE LOVE all things soft. And you’re very particular and aware of the “good” kind of soft. Something told me that our peaceful pregnancy would pour over into your newborn days and your life in general. So far, I’ve been right.
You came into this world on June 1st! My little tiny June bug, and I just cried and cried and cried as daddy handed you to me and held you and me together for the first time.
We spent some time together alone for just a short bit, and then it was time to meet your siblings...wow wow wow, your big sister earned the entire LOTTERY the day you were born. She had been wishing for you for 3 whole years! I can’t imagine what it’s like to have your dreams come true at such a young age, but I can relate...because you made my dream come true right along with her. Bubby was still pretty young when you were born, but he loved the excitement, the idea that he was no longer the youngest kid in the family, and of course...all of the big brother prizes that mommy and daddy spoiled him with! He didn’t know it yet, but he was about to earn everyone of those prizes by protecting you and loving you and playing with you so well...and for as long as you’re both blessed to be together on this earth.
A few things I want you to know about your baby self...you were SUCH a great sleeper...a blessing I didn’t even know existed with newborns. You were my only baby to nurse right off the bat with no issues. You were also the baby that I gained the most post-pregnancy weight with...I like to tell myself it’s just more of your sweetness pouring over into my life. You were our only baby to go to ANYONE without a fight. I don’t say all of this to compare you to your siblings...I want to the world to know that a rainbow baby brings color where there are shadows...sunshine where there are clouds....and joy where there was sorrow and emptiness. God has designed this part of life so sweetly...so intricately...and whatever experience my fellow rainbow baby mamas have had, I truly believe it’s tailor made to how God wanted your healing process to look like.
Sometimes I look at you really closely while you play or talk or just do your thing during the day and this overwhelming thankfulness comes over me. Like my insides are being filled up with joy and love and emotions. I can almost taste the fullness that I feel in those moments. It’s magical and wonderful to know that feeling...and I promise to always recall this feeling when you’re testing me in the future. When you lie to me, when you like the wrong boy and refuse to listen to me, when you pester your siblings, when you choose daddy over mommy....I promise to always know the gift that you are and do my very very best to teach you, guide you, love you, and raise you to be a Godly woman. I promise to pray for your future and your present. I promise to say yes as often as I can, and to say no when the time is right. I promise to read to you and offer you knowledge over entertainment as often as I can. I promise to be a mom now, so that one day we can be best friends. I love you so much my little bunny baby girl. You are so special to our family.