hello friends <3
today we are going to read about sweet jody. if you’ve been following along here then you will recognize this mama. if you’re new here, you can read jody’s story about infant loss here.
jody is back on the blog today with her rainbow baby story…
What is a rainbow baby?
A rainbow baby is a sweet blessing that is born after the loss of a previous baby. The term was coined to describe the hope of what is to come after a family has suffered through and survived the storm of the loss of a baby.
In my case, when I saw the word PREGNANT on that test, I was filled with an overwhelming slew of emotions all at once. There was joy and fear. There was love and sadness. I was afraid that people might think I was trying to replace my son Jack, who died shortly after birth when he and his twin sister Kate were born at 25 weeks. I was also nervous to tell people because I knew that some people would judge us for having another baby and think we were crazy. I was worried about how my big kids would feel and how my husband and I would feel. And I was extremely worried about my own mental health. You see, after Jack died, I was eventually diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. There was a time when I thought that PTSD only happened to soldiers, but then I was living it. The emotional flooding, the sleepless nights, the rabbit holes of thought where I would blame myself for everything that happened and cry out to God wishing I could go back and make a different choice.
And now here I was, pregnant with another sweet baby who was due in March just like the twins had been due in March. So many of these pregnancy milestones would fall right around the same time that they had with my previous pregnancy. I knew without a doubt that this would be a difficult road to walk and I was feeling anxious. However, I was determined not to let this disorder steal my joy. I had a strong desire to be present during this pregnancy and to enjoy my kids and be there to support them with their own emotional struggles. I didn’t want to spend the whole pregnancy living in fear of the unknown and the what-ifs.
So, I poured into my bible. I read and read and read scriptures that helped me remember that my trust belonged with the LORD. I memorized key verses that I could turn to in times when I was really struggling. I sought out a counselor and kept weekly sessions so I could learn how to process my feelings and be present in the moment. I prayed and journaled and I reached out to friends and family and asked for their help on the days when I was really struggling. Being a Christian and living with PTSD while pregnant with a rainbow baby did not mean that I never suffered with anxiety. There were days and moments that were terribly hard. There were times when I was blindsided with emotion. There were times when I woke my husband up in the middle of the night to pray for me or when I called my friends or my Aunt because it was too hard to do it alone. I needed to hear prayer. I needed them to stand in the gap for me. I needed them to have faith when my faith was failing. And they did! I had anxious moments but I didn’t live there. I had hard days but I didn’t let those thoughts steal my joy.
Now as I gaze at this beautiful photo of my daughter smiling down at my big belly, I am filled with thankfulness. Having this rainbow baby has been a hard road but it’s also been beautiful. We are all filled with a joyous expectation as we await his arrival. I feel like love has won over fear. What a blessing Judah already is and will continue to be!