Few things can be worse than losing a child. It's the kind of devastation that haunts you for the rest of you life, and there's no "getting over it." That said, a rainbow baby — a baby that follows a loss — might bring you and yours some comfort. Trust me, I know. My rainbow baby saved my relationship with my partner in more than a few ways, and while I wish it hadn't of been necessary, I'm so thankful for the gift of my son and what he was able to provide me, my partner, and our marriage.
When my partner and I lost our daughter, I was fairly certain I was done having kids. I decided it just wasn't in the cards for me, and I couldn't imagine living through that kind of pain ever again. After all, I'd barely made it out alive the first time. The following year, though, I became pregnant again. And while I contemplated abortion, I realized I wanted to try again. And so my partner and I ventured into another pregnancy, high-risk this time, tentatively hopeful.
The pregnancy itself didn't always bring us together. In fact, sometimes it made us feel very, very far apart. But now that our son is here, we're closer than we've ever been, and I know it's because of the experiences we've shared. We wouldn't be who are are, as individuals and as a couple, if it wasn't for the loss we endured and the rainbow baby we're raising.
We Had To Make Important Pregnancy Decisions Together
Right away, my husband and I had to get on the same page about a lot of things. The first of these were things like finding the right medical practitioner, and deciding how much monitoring we wanted to do during my pregnancy. When it turned out my cervix was shortening too much too quickly, we had to decide, together, if we wanted an emergency cerclage placed. It was nerve wracking, but we made the right call.
We Had To Make Abortion Post-Birth Decisions Together
Additionally, once our son was born, he was rushed to the NICU. We had already agreed my husband would follow our son, and not me, no matter what happened after he was born. Seeing my husband follow through, and then being with him in the NICU for two months as we watched our son continue to grow and as we made important choices for our newborn, definitely brought us closer together.
My Partner Became A Father To Our Rainbow Before He Was Born
Watching my husband become a father while I was still pregnant — and that is to say, seeing his love for our growing rainbow manifest before he was even born — made me love him so much more. From talking to my belly, to making sure I never missed appointments and cooking nutritious meals for me, I knew it was all for our future kid. That made me love him so much more.
My Partner Was Supportive During My Pregnancy
It wasn't just my growing baby that got all the attention. My husband would give me foot rubs when I was pregnant on a daily basis. He got a walkie talkie for us to communicate around the house (since he’s terrible at checking his phone). He gave me all the pillows to stay comfortable when my pregnancy wasn't. He brought me goodies when I was on bedrest and feeling restless.
In other words, how he took care of me was a precursor for how I knew he was going to take care of our son. That, my friends, was magic.
My Partner Had To Give Me Monthly Hormone Shots
One of the fun “perks” of my high-risk pregnancy was receiving weekly progesterone shots on the butt cheek. But since my doctor’s office was far away, my husband actually took it upon himself to stick a needle in me every week. You’ll never bond with a spouse quite like you do when they’re giving you a shot, with your ass in their face. I still have a lot of interesting, and mostly hilarious memories from this.
My Partner Saw Me At My Bloodiest
No, seriously. After my son was born, my husband left the room to see how he was doing as he was carried to the NICU. When my husband came back, I was being stitched up and he tells me he’s never seen that much blood before in his life. Being exposed in every possible way to him, and him just being an adult about it, definitely brought us closer in a a very personal way.
We Found Non-Sexual Ways To Connect
My partner and I have had a number of dry spells, though never intentionally. We have always had great chemistry, but thanks to our rainbow baby, I was on pelvic rest for a good six or seven months. Add to that my extremely long postpartum recovery, and well, you can imagine how long it took before we were able to connect physically. Thankfully, we found other ways to feel closer to one another, and that has definitely strengthened our relationship.
We're Finally Able To Complain About Parenthood Together
Having a baby doesn’t always mean you’ll get closer. But honestly, our marriage these days has never been stronger. Sure, our threenager has daily tantrums and is often hogging our bed, but we get through it together, through the bad and the very, very good.
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