I never knew what a rainbow baby was until I had to know what a rainbow baby was. You, my dear sweet child, are my rainbow baby. Which is just one of the many reasons why there are things I want my precious rainbow baby to always remember. I was privileged to have never experienced pregnancy loss until after I already had your siblings, Lily and Paddy. There are so many things you think when you lose a pregnancy. I had done it before, so why was it so hard to do it again? Had I done something to break my body? Why were there no answers to the reasons I kept losing pregnancies? All of those questions shifted once I finally gave birth to you, Lotus.
Every moment of my pregnancy with you, there seemed to be a part of me that was waiting. Waiting for the next doctor's appointment when they would tell me you were no longer thriving inside of me. Each time I was relieved to know you were still there, heartbeat and all, but following each relief was a new anxiety promising the next time might be the time I'd lose you forever. When they first told me I had a subchorionic hematoma, they wanted me to stop running, twisting, carrying and doing yoga. I braced myself for the inevitable loss I felt coming and tried not to get too attached to you. Each week seemed like years. Without the sanity saving release that running had become I was even more prone to obsess over potential outcomes.
But you hung on. You hung on, my sweet Lotus, so you could be the ribbon that ties up our little family. And the longer you stayed the more attached I became until that glorious day when you made your grand entrance. Please, my sweet baby, always remember these things:
That We Were Waiting For You
We were all waiting for you. After my first miscarriage your sister came up to me while I was sitting on the floor in the bathroom (note: sometime I sit on cool floors to ground myself.) She said, "Mama? I'm sad the fetus died. But that just means it wasn't our baby. Our baby will come when it's ready." In her often wise-beyond-her-years way Lily was, once again, right.
That The Losses Were Worth It
I may be raked across the coals in the #mommywars for saying this, and I'd never say it to another person experiencing pregnancy loss, but, for me and now that I have my rainbow baby? It's true. The losses were worth you. As absolutely devastating and indescribable those three losses after Padd were, I would go through it again if it meant I'd still end up with you, Lotus.
Those losses seemed unbearable at the time. Looking back they still feel that way. But one of the things that held me up during those losses was the hope, the silent plea, that someday I would have my rainbow baby and that would be the child meant to complete our family.
And you are.
That You Helped Me Learn Self-Care
I've always helped other people figure out radical self-care. However, I suppose as is normal for helpers, it's never been easy for me to do for myself. While waiting for you I had many moments, sometimes days or weeks, where I would punish myself for being unable to find you and bring you into existence. I would binge on any and everything: television, food, wine. I was still mostly present for your siblings and my clients, but I hated myself. A hatred that rivaled the deepest of former depressions. It wasn't rational and it wasn't right, but it also wasn't going anywhere.
Once I got pregnant with you I could no longer justify the intense self-loathing. I feared it would hurt you. I had to find some way to reconnect to all that was good in me. I did, and I kept it up through the pregnancy and beyond.
While having you didn't cure my depression, because major depressive disorder (MDD) isn't curable (yet), it gave me a powerful tool in managing it. That tool is what I've been giving to clients for years: the ability to still be good to myself (not to just survive) even when I was in emotional pain.
Your birth did, however, cure my grief.
That You Are My Reiki Rainbow Baby
One of the things I had to do because of the subchorionic hematoma was cancel my long-awaited yoga teacher training. This was (without a hint of over-emphasizing) a devastating blow to my psyche. I had to find something that would hold the spiritual space that yoga had for me or I knew I would not survive myself. When I was online processing the refund for the teacher training I saw a coupon for Reiki Master & Instructor training. A light sparked inside of me.
I had heard of Reiki and had even experienced a pretty awesome 15 minutes of it with a friend practitioner back in the day. However, I don't necessarily trust things that seemed superstitious to the untrained eye. Reiki had always felt that way to me.
Something in me (spoiler: it was you) pushed me to pursue it. After all, what did I have to lose? Fortunately, as you now know, learning Reiki was powerfully transformative. I will always be grateful to you for giving me the gift of stepping outside of myself to let Reiki in. I know, I never would've pursued becoming a Reiki master were it not for you. Lotus, you are my Reiki Rainbow baby.
That I Love Your Face More Than Life
Oh, Lotus. Just writing the above sentence fills me with a welling, expansive love unlike any other. That face. I'd travel the world a thousand times, climb a million mountains, risk "the bends" in countless seas all for the chance to see a smile on that face.
That Your Siblings Adore You
Lotus, I know there will likely be times over the upcoming years where your sister will roll her eyes when you want to hang out with her. I know your brother might chase you or call you a "cry-baby" when you're a little bit older. When that happens I want you to know that they waited for you, too. They cried when I lost the three pregnancies before you, because they wanted to meet you so badly.
When I was in the hospital getting tested, and later induced due to pre-eclampsia, your siblings were rife with worry. Staying at home with grandma, asking every few hours when they would get to meet you and if you were going to be okay. Lily was so worried she made herself sick.
They cheer when you master a new milestone. They do everything they possibly can to get you to laugh. They rush to your side to take care of you when you cry. I've never seen them love another life the way that they love you. Especially when they tease you, because that's what inevitably siblings will do, never forget how much they adore you.
That Your Smile Will Change The World
I have never seen a baby as ready with smiles as you. Your smile lights up the entire room. Nay, The entire world! It's as if the Reiki training in utero imbued you with effervescent source energy to spread amongst us light-challenged humans. I will do everything I can to teach you to never let others squelch or try to make you hide your light.
Love and light like that, my dear Reiki Rainbow baby, is what moves mountains.
That You Made Us Whole
The moment you were in my arms I felt a quelling of the intense anxious energy that had been present since August 15th, 2014 (also known as the day I found out about my first lost pregnancy). Your presence was a balm.
When your Papa and I brought you home to Lily and Padd and I placed you in their arms? My heart exploded with a joy and a peace I didn't even know existed. As a family, Lotus, you made us whole.
Thank you, my sweet child.