I've become obsessed with "happy endings." I scour the internet all day long, searching for stories of women who have lost babies and then gone on to have other (living) children. These children are commonly referred to as "rainbow babies." The first time I saw the term in someone's signature on the online pregnancy forum I belonged to when I was pregnant with you ("expecting our rainbow baby in August!"), I assumed a "rainbow baby" was either A) a baby that belonged to parents who didn't want to know the gender ahead of time (you know, like it could be either pink or blue or any other color of the rainbow for all they cared!), or B) a baby that belonged to a gay or lesbian couple. The term "rainbow baby" makes perfect sense to me now. A baby that comes after loss is a rainbow after the storm. A ray of light shining through the darkness. Joy after sorrow. Hope after despair. I seek out stories of pregnancy after loss because I need to know that "happy endings" do actually happen, that these so-called "rainbow babies" do exist.
Then a thought occurred to me: I am living proof that they do. I don't need the internet or a bunch of books to prove that to me. I am someone's very own "happy ending." That future baby that I think about all the time and hope so badly for? That baby and I are one in the same.
I was born about a year and a half after my mom and dad (your grandparents) lost their first baby, a little girl, just like you. My parents didn't talk about this baby much when I was growing up (it was even more taboo to talk about stillbirth 25 years ago than it is now), but I always knew I had an older sister that lived up in Heaven. In a way, you were even named after her. You see, after their first baby died, my parents wanted another little girl so bad. When I was born, they gave me the middle name Joy because they were just so overjoyed to finally have a baby girl in their loving arms (and such an awesome, albeit fairly chunky baby girl at that!). I always knew that if I ever had a daughter, I would give her the middle name Joy as a small way to remember the sister I never knew. That daughter was you, Stevie Joy. :)
I am not going to divulge much about our future plans for getting pregnant again here. My real-life friends and family read this blog and frankly, I don't want them all knowing the second we start "trying to conceive," in case it takes a long time. I also don't feel like fending off more unsolicited advice in that area (Andy and I will decide when we're ready, without the help of anyone else, thank you very much! And yes, I know that having another baby will not replace Stevie, I'm not trying to replace her!)
But I will say this: I want my rainbow baby. Bad.
My "mother switch" has been turned to "on" and I need a living baby to be a mommy to. A baby that I can hold in my arms, and sing to, and tickle, and watch grow up. A baby I get to keep.
Sometimes that baby seems so far away and out of reach. I guess I just need to keep looking in the mirror and know that its possible.
Even when (see, trying to stay positive here!) I get my rainbow baby someday, I will always miss you, Stevie. You will always be my first child and I promise you your future brothers and sisters will know all about you and how much we love you. You will always be a part of our family, always and forever.
All my love,
2 hours ago