Originally published January 21, 2020
My friendship with Haylee started with a touching facebook message from a grieveing mom looking for a memorial piece. Haylee and I embarked on a journey that helped us both heal from loss and celebrate our rainbows. Haylee is an beautiful and strong women who I am proud to call my friend. Here’s her journey in her own words.
Only once have we ever had our whole family together in one place. For a short time on a sunny afternoon in September we were all together. All 5 of us. And then never again…
Pregnancy after loss is a tumultuous journey. As excited as we were, we were also crippled with the reminder of Martin’s pregnancy, birth and death so we struggled to get emotionally attached, to get hopeful and sometimes to have even faith that we would be able to bring another baby home. I thought that once I got past the gestation of Martin’s birth (19 weeks) that it would get easier. That wasn’t the case. In fact, it often seemed harder. Each morning I would wake up and tell myself it was one day, one week or one month longer than Martin lived. Every single day was a reminder of how fast things could change and why this pregnancy was so terrifying. We bought nothing, kept Amélie in the nursery as long as possible so we didn’t have an empty room and held our breath every single day as we waited. Waited to hopefully bring home our rainbow baby, but also waited for something to go wrong. This is just the unfortunate reality that I believe all rainbow parents face. It wasn’t until 35-36 weeks that I think I took my first real breath and began to really get excited for my pregnancy and to let myself finally start preparing to bring home a healthy baby. With fear, excitement and intense guilt for all of my negative feelings we gathered our birth supplies for what we hoped to be a healing home birth.
On June 20th, at 40+ weeks, I went into labour. It was fast, exciting, chaotic yet so calming. In just a few hours from start to finish I gave birth to our beautiful rainbow baby, Théodore. He was perfect. My birth was perfect. We’ve never been so relieved and happy in our lives. We beamed with pride and we cried hard as our hearts healed just a little bit more that day. We did it. We fought hard for him. And we won.
It took a couple of months, but on that sunny day in September our family finally join together for the first and only time. You see, shortly after Théodore was born we decided to move to Quebec. So before we left Edmonton we brought Amélie and Théodore to see Martin and there we were all together. We brought flowers to his grave site, told him stories, introduced him to his brother and spent time telling him how much we miss him, how fiercely we love him and how much he has shaped our family, both with his life and his death. We moved a few weeks later and though we will visit Edmonton again, we don’t know when and the guilt of leaving him alone there makes me sick some days.
This week, my three beautiful babies were reunited once again. This time forever. Forever with me, close to my heart. My pearl pendant made from Théodore’s breast milk arrived in the mail. Together, strung on a necklace are all of my babies – milk from Amélie, Martin’s umbilical cord, and now Théodore’s milk. Nestled side by side and perfectly unique. Words can’t fully explain all of the emotions of pregnancy or infant loss, or of a rainbow pregnancy and just the same they cannot express the joy of having this necklace.
Thank you Monique for not only creating such meaningful and priceless pieces for me, but for standing by me, letting me cry and feel all of my feelings and allowing me to continue to tell Martin’s’ story through your craft. I am grateful for you and your art.
I have promised to go and visit Martin once the snow melts. I will bring him flowers from his family.
#pregnancyandinfantloss #pregnancyandinfantlossawareness #pail #rainbowpregnancy #rainbowbaby #gonebutneverforgotten #mythreebeautifulbabies #reunited