Gemma’s Rainbow Baby Story
We started trying to conceive in October 2016 and I was so full of optimism and excitement. At that point I was fairly naïve to the fact that it’s not always easy to get pregnant and that 1 in 4 pregnancies sadly end in a loss.
Over the next 10 months, I desperately hoped that the monthly pregnancy test would show positive, but it wasn’t to be and my optimism started to fade. In August 2017, the moment I had been waiting for finally happened; I fell pregnant. My husband and I were so excited! I started thinking about baby names and planning the nursery. Then one morning I had a small bleed and naturally it worried me. The doctor said it can be quite normal and not to worry, but he booked me in for an early scan just to make sure everything was ok. I was about 8 weeks pregnant.
At the hospital, I remember the nurse falling silent for a moment during the scan and then softly telling us that she was very sorry but there was no baby. I had suffered a missed miscarriage. I felt confused, empty and sad. All of our hopes for this baby and the happiness that he or she would bring to our lives, disappeared so suddenly. I had to have surgery to remove the pregnancy tissue left in my womb which meant spending a day in hospital and made it all seem so clinical and final. The hospital staff were so lovely though which really helped.
I tried to remain positive after the miscarriage, but it can be hard in a world dominated by social media. It felt as though everyone I knew was announcing their pregnancy or birth of their baby. I felt happy for them, but also a mixture of other emotions such as anger, sadness and envy. It felt as though everything was going right for everyone else, but not for me. I found myself declining invitations to events where family or friends with babies or baby bumps would be present. I think it was a form of self-protection.
Sadly, I had a second miscarriage at 9 weeks in April 2018. My husband and I were away for a long weekend and out for dinner with friends one night when I started bleeding. My heart sank as I immediately knew what was happening. It didn’t help that we were away from home, in a different city. I had spent the 9 weeks crossing my fingers, believing so strongly that this pregnancy was meant to be and that I would be so unlucky for it to happen twice.
After this miscarriage, I started to be more open about what I had been through. I’d kept the first miscarriage hidden from a lot of people, but by opening up I found out that quite a few friends and family members had also had miscarriages. It really helped me to see that I wasn’t alone and to chat with others who had felt the same feelings that I was feeling. It made me feel normal.
They say that after a storm comes a rainbow, and almost 3 months after my second miscarriage I found out that I was pregnant for a third time. I was so happy and hoped that finally we would have the baby we longed for.
My miscarriages meant that I didn’t relax as much in pregnancy as I may have done without them, but I still enjoyed being pregnant. Reaching each milestone was a big cause for celebration and especially getting past 9 weeks. After the 20-week scan, I felt ready to start buying things for the baby and actually started to let myself get excited about our upcoming arrival!
Our rainbow baby Saskia was born 10 days overdue in March 2020. I’m not great with needles and injections, so for me, the thought of possibly having to have a c-section was really scary. In the end, I did have to have a c-section, but it was actually a really positive experience. We had our music playlist on, the hospital staff were fantastic, and we were very excited to meet our baby. She made quite an entrance as it just so happened that ‘The Greatest Show’ was playing as the doctor lifted her out – a fitting song for the moment!
Almost 18 months on and every so often I’m holding Saskia and I think about how I felt after my miscarriages. I think about just how much I wanted our baby…and I hold her a little bit tighter and feel so lucky to have her. It’s a horrible experience to go through and at the time it feels like forever, but it is so worth the wait to finally meet your rainbow baby.
If you are still waiting, please stay positive and don’t give up. The storm won’t last forever, and your rainbow will appear.
During baby loss awareness week #BLAW2020 we will be sharing stories from those who have experienced loss. The inspiration behind Ruby and the Rainbow is our Rainbow Baby Ruby. Through our brand and our work, we want to support awareness of baby loss and support those who follow in our footsteps. If you have a rainbow baby story that you would like to share. Please do get in touch. We really want to show how common baby loss is and how it can have such an impact on parents. It's not spoken about enough and not understood by those who haven't experienced it.