As I approached the day we would meet our rainbow baby, I felt increasingly anxious and ((hello)) scared. My heart was broken from losing our son last year and I didn’t know if reading birth stories was going to help or hurt – did I really want to know about other peoples birthing pains? Close calls and interventions? Surely it would just freak me out even more…. Eh, I normally loved birth stories so I went ahead and read a few. Actually, the more I read, the more relaxed I became. I can’t tell you how many I consumed in the weeks leading up to her birth! These stories not only reminded me of how incredible God is in his beautiful design to bring new life into the world but also in his design and creation of the woman. These stories, all SO different, became a source of empowerment for me. God designed a woman’s body, MY body, to do something miraculous… and it gave me the boost of confidence I needed that I am mentally and physically strong enough <3
So here is my sweet girl’s story.
Everly Anne, June 26, 2017
After the loss of our son, Michael last year, a sense of “fear” or concern never quite left my mind… fear during pregnancy, fear during delivery, just fear in the back of my mind of something unforeseen happening again – because unfortunately I know all too well what could happen. Thankfully, my pregnancy was pretty uneventful. We had more doctors appointments than we knew what to do with, but it did give me peace of mind that our little miracle was well and happy inside of my tummy.
I labored on and off for about 2 weeks starting at 37 weeks, and given my history, my doctors decided that if I didn’t go on my own they would induce me at 39 weeks. I of course, wanted to let things go naturally, but my husband loved the idea of things being “planned” with no mad rush to the hospital at 3 in the morning 😂 There were a couple of close calls and nights where I swore she was going to come out at any minute, but everything subsided right before we needed to leave.
The days went by and we ended up getting the 5AM – “come on in and let’s meet your baby” call on June 26, 2017. Even though everything was “planned” and I was more than ready to have her in my arms, I was still terrified. Last I had stepped in that hospital we said hello and goodbye to our stillborn son. The fear of the unknown and memories of our last stay in the hospital were at the top of my mind.
I had a loose knit birth plan – I wanted a calm and quiet environment to ease my anxieties, keep me focused, and go without an epidural. I tasked my hubby with keeping my essential oils diffusing (I even wrote down the blend so he wouldn’t have to ask me lol… control freak much?!), the lights low and my Spotify station playing 😎. Once I settled in, I felt this internal switch flip inside of me, my fears turned into determination and this insane desire to kiss my sweet girls face.
I arrived at the hospital 5cm and 95% effaced. I was half way there and I thought a natural birth was totally in my grasp. After breaking my water the contractions hit me like a truck. I walked the halls, bounced on the birthing ball, and swayed to the music. (By the way, I had brought Depends at the recommendation of a friend for after the baby arrived – but that was the only thing to stay up as I roamed the halls keeping labor moving along.)
I felt great, hurting of course, but completely focused and in my own world. I prayed and focused on my children’s faces. I was not laboring consistently and my sweet baby kept floating upwards – I was given Pitocin to help move things along. Shortly after the Pitocin, she started showing signs of distress and with every contraction her heart rate dropped significantly. They needed to do an amnioinfusion which worked great at keeping her HR up.
By this time, my whole body had begun shaking uncontrollably, my knees were knocking against each other violently and my neck/jaw was painfully tense. There was no relief whether I tried to fight it or let my body go crazy. I was 7.5cm but couldn’t relax or focus on my breathing. After discussing with my husband and midwife, I ended up getting an epidural. I don’t know who said this to me, but I remember in the middle of shaking, someone held my arm and said, “you are a strong mama, but you deserve to have a peaceful delivery”. I had wanted to go without an epidural and I was so close… but those words stuck with me and reminded me that just because things weren’t going as I originally wanted, everything was going to work out beautifully.
About an hour after getting the epidural I kept feeling the need to push, the nurses were like “ok that’s great, we will have your midwife check you in just a few minutes”. After 2 more contractions, I told my hubby I needed to push and someone needed to look, NOW. They paged my midwife and I remember her barely looking when she goes, “oh! girl you were right, it’s time to go!”
I was so ready to meet her! Someone asked if I wanted a mirror – something I had not even thought about before and to the surprise of my hubby, and myself, I quickly blurted out “oh YES!!” I will say that even though I had seen many births, and had already given birth before, that ended up being one of the greatest experiences for me – witnessing my body do something amazing!
Five hours after arriving at the hospital and three pushes later, our beautiful little miracle was here. She entered this world quick, yet smooth and peaceful. Funny enough, her temperament reflects it. Even as I sit here now with her at 7 weeks postpartum – she is every bit as graceful, peaceful and beautiful as the day I first laid eyes on her. She is strong, yet agreeable. Peaceful, yet full of curiosity and life.
I will never forget the pain of losing Michael, however, this new life is proof that your heart will heal, that you will experience true happiness again and that God is forever faithful. I find comfort in knowing our angel – my son and my girls’ brother, is with us at every moment of every day, watching us from heaven. I like to think he had a big part in his new little sister – she is everything I needed and everything I didn’t realize I needed. Welcome to the world Everly Anne, the healer of my heart ❤️
What’s in a Name
We had settled on Everly pretty much as soon as we found out she was a her. Actually I surprised my hubby when he was home from training for a week over New Years with the news! I had the email from the doctor that I hadn’t opened yet myself and at the stroke of midnight we opened it and read it together! The first moments of 2017 – knowledge that our little blessing was a girl and the our sweet G was going to be a big sister to a little sister!
Everly is a reminder for me and my husband that God is forEVER faithful. Anne means favor or grace – God has favored us with this sweet life! She is our reminder that no matter what storm we will endure, God is always present, that He loves us and is forever faithful.
Congratulations on Everly! I’m so glad to hear that your rainbow baby arrived safe and sound into the world. It give me hope. I lost my Tori at 26 weeks on August 1. As I grieve her loss I have come across your blog. Your story and your words resonate with me and have given me comfort. Thank you for sharing and God bless.
Oh Barbara, my heart just aches for you! I know all too well that pain, but know that I am praying for you and your sweet angel Tori! It’s a long road, but I promise it does get better. Be patient and kind with yourself through this journey. All of my love angel mama <3 Jessen
I just came across your blog as I was searching for shared experiences with stillbirth. I just delivered my precious baby girl, Amelia Anne, at 29 weeks this past July 4th. Your words and emotions resonate so much with me. Thank you for sharing your story. There is so much comfort in knowing you are not alone. I’m so glad to see your rainbow baby arrived healthy and strong. I love her name! My arms ache for a baby, but I’m not sure if I’m ready to start trying again. I miss Amelia so much. Did you feel it in your heart when it was time to try for another?
Oh Whitney, my heart just aches for you. Those feelings of grief rush back into my heart whenever I hear another mama has gone through the same. Give yourself time and be patient with yourself. I will be completely honest with you, I never felt fully confident or set on “ok lets try for another”, it was just my desire for a baby and hope in all things good that helped us “try” again. I’ll never forget it, my mom told me that it was only after she had her rainbow baby that the void and brokenness in her heart began to heal. So getting pregnant again – the decision, the pregnancy and the delivery – all take an immense amount of courage. However I will tell you this, though nothing will replace the children we have in heaven, there is nothing quite like holding your rainbow baby in your arms <3 all my love and prayers angel mama