The Urban Dictionary defines “Rainbow Baby” as a baby that is born following a miscarriage or still birth.
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 (pregnancy 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.
This is Shawn & Kelcie’s story. The storm, the darkness & the rainbow found at the end.
My pregnancy was nothing like I had envisioned it being from conception to delivery. It was challenging in every sense of the word. It all began when we found out the only way we would be able to have children would be through in vitro fertilization. In vitro, artificial insemination, and infertility are words you hear every day but never put much thought into. Until it consumes your entire world. We began our journey to get pregnant through fertility treatments in September 2014.
During our IVF round we collected 23 eggs. We knew I would produce a high number of eggs and in order to avoid getting sick afterwards we had to freeze all of our surviving embryos. We ended up having 7 survive to the stage they needed to in order to be frozen. 7 possible babies. Because of my young age and overall health my doctor advised that we only put one of the embryos back. Being the stubborn person that I am, I wanted to transfer two. Something in my gut told me, despite what everyone around me was saying, that we NEEDED to put two back. So we did. We signed the waiver at the clinic stating that we understood the risk for a pregnancy that resulted in multiples.
After transferring the embryos you have to wait 2 weeks for a blood test to know if it worked. I got a positive home pregnancy test for the first time in my life 4 days after transfer. IT WORKED! We were pregnant. At the 2 week mark, the blood test confirmed it. A few weeks later, it was time for our ultrasound. I will never forget the moment my doctor said “TWO babies!” Holy crap. They both took and we were having twins. Overwhelmed, shocked, and so excited are just some of the emotions you feel at that one moment. When you do fertility treatments they monitor your pregnancy closely in the early weeks. We had ultrasounds every week and every week we got to see our babies growing and their beautiful hearts flickering. Until one day we didn’t.
Twin B lost it’s heartbeat at 8 weeks. Not only had it’s heart stopped, based on growth it stopped the DAY we had our last ultrasound. Baby A was still growing and doing perfect though. Talk about having conflicting emotions. Devastation for the baby we lost, hope, and excitement for the one still growing. Lucky for us the remainder of my pregnancy was fairly uneventful. Today, as I sit here holding my beautiful baby girl I am so thankful that I listened to what my gut told me that day I decided to put two embryos back. We now have another angel in Heaven watching over our family. We also have a great adventure ahead of us in raising our daughter.
We beat infertility. We survived a miscarriage. We have our miracle. Our rainbow at the end of a seemingly endless storm.
I am so grateful to the McCarthy family for allowing me to capture their sweet baby & be a part of their parenthood journey!
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