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Our Side Of The Rainbow

I have been putting off writing this post for about 8 months now. I go back and forth from not wanting to dwell to wanting to share my story.

The year and a half my husband and I struggled I spent almost every waking moment searching the internet for someone who had symptoms like mine and trying to find a ray of hope in their success. I have to say, not a lot of people talk about this so there wasn’t much for me to find hope in.

Hell, we didn’t even talk about it. No one knew what we were going through. At times, not even our parents. We would get pregnant, have a loss, and not talk about it after that. It wasn’t a healthy way to cope with it but we got through.

So I wanted to write this post today and share my story, as well as the stories of four other women who have struggled with miscarriage or loss but never gave up hope and had their rainbow baby.

I think education is key and maybe one of our stories can help you ask your doctors the hard questions to find out the answers you need. All of our stories are vastly different and I will be including at the end various resources as well as the definitions of some of the medical terms that are italicized.

No matter what your situation or story is, I want to say I am sorry for what you are going through. I believe the women feel it the hardest because we are the ones seeing the early pregnancy changes in our body and then we are the ones cleaning up the mess when something tragic happens. We feel responsible, broken, and useless. The questions run through our heads “will we ever have a successful pregnancy?”, “what will my husband think?”. Trust me, I’ve been there. If you are struggling I want you to know I am here for you and you can reach out through Instagram any day or night to talk.

You are not alone.

You are not broken.

And I can promise you, you will get your rainbow.

So without further ado, here are our stories.

Here is our side of the rainbow.

Mariah Zingarelli

Number of Miscarriages: 6 (losses between 4-9weeks)
Rainbow Baby: Due August 2019

View this post on Instagram

I found this little onesie on the clearance rack at Target and almost started bawling right then and there. I feel like it was made for us and being the last one, I was supposed to find it. . . . Addyson Jean, you are our tiny miracle and I can’t wait to have you here in our arms. Everyone says they want them to stay inside where they’re nice and protected but I want the exact opposite. I want you here where I know you’re okay and I can see, hear, and touch you. . . . This onesie was the perfect reminder that miracles do exists. That pregnancy doesn’t look the same to everyone and that’s okay. That every shot is so worth it because it’s bringing us our very own tiny miracle. So cheers to almost 19 weeks! And thank you Universe for this little find 💗🌈 . . . . . . . #targetclearance #lovenoxbaby #lovenoxpregnancy #lovenox #mthfrpregnancy #MTHFR #factorvleiden #rainbowbaby🌈 #tinymiracles #tinymiracle #19weekspregnant #pregnancydiary #pregnancyannouncement #babygirl #itsagirl #pregnancyafterloss #pregnancyaftermiscarriage #rainbowbaby #miraclebaby #thankyouuniverse #newborn #newbornonesies #newbornclothes #ultrasoundpicture #factorvleidenpregnancy #happytuesday #momtobe2019

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In Feb 2016 I was on birth control but late for my period. A week went by and then two weeks but I didn’t think much of it. Then I woke up one morning with horrific cramps and bleeding like I haven’t experienced before. There was a lot of tissue and it lasted for only two days. I knew something was wrong so I went to the doctor where they did a HCG blood panel test. They saw I had low levels of HCG in my system consistent with a chemical miscarriage. My doctor hugged me and sent me on my way. I honestly wasn’t sure how to feel that day. My now husband and I weren’t even engaged yet (but we were living together) and I knew now wasn’t the time for a baby. But I couldn’t help feeling so sad.

Then a year and a half passes and it is December 2017. I am now married for 6 months and we just started trying for a baby. I was SO excited to get that positive pregnancy test. I tested I told our parents instantly and started buying pregnancy books. However two weeks later while we were in Denver, CO the cramps came back, and then the blood and tissue. I had to wait two weeks to go to the doctor since it was around the holidays and by that time all HCG was out of my system. They didn’t want to test me for anything because “it happens” and instead my DR. at the time prescribed me Clomid. I couldn’t understand why that was his answer when I have now been pregnant twice but they weren’t sticking. (After finding out I had Factor V, I am so grateful I never picked up that prescription. Going with my gut could have saved my life).

This cycle continued again in April 2018, June 2018, and then again October 2018. Finally, in October 2018 I had enough. My body couldn’t handle it and the last loss took me two weeks to recover physically, and even longer mentally. I switched doctors and after telling her my story she ordered a habitual aborter test panel. That panel changed my life forever.

We found out I am heterozygous for Factor V Leiden as well as MTHFR A1298C. Both are genetic mutations that along with other health issues, cause recurrent miscarriages. With Factor V Leiden I was told by my doctor I was so lucky I never had a blood clot or stroke from the years I was on birth control and if I would have taken the Clomid prescribed by my previous doctor it could have had serious consequences. MTHFR is less severe and really only causes major issues in the first 8 weeks of pregnancy. From toxin build-ups, your body develops a blood clot in the womb when the fetus is trying to implant thus terminating the pregnancy.

My doctor called me as soon as she had the results and the first week of November we were making a plan. She told me to keep trying but to get on daily baby aspirin immediately. Then as soon as I become pregnant, she was going to start me on daily Lovenox injections. As scared as I was to have these genetic mutations, I felt hope.

Fast forward to a month and a half later and Christmas Day in Florence, Italy I got another positive pregnancy test. But this one was the strongest and darkest it has ever been. I called my doctor as soon as their office opened and she had me scheduled for the week we returned home. As soon as we touched down two weeks later I got an ultrasound where I heard our rainbow baby’s heartbeat. We were 8 weeks pregnant and her heart was beating strong. However, we did find out we had a twin who stopped developing at 7 weeks and didn’t make it. I honestly couldn’t even let myself feel sad because for once, I had a healthy pregnancy. There was hope that I would deliver this baby girl. My doctor started me on the Lovenox injections and we started hitting milestones. 9 weeks, 10 weeks, 11 weeks, and then the 2nd trimester.

In the 2nd trimester at 14 weeks, I started having a vision problem in my right eye. There was a “floater” that was blocking my vision and wouldn’t go away no matter what. I went to the eye dr and they found I had a blood clot in my retina. Luckily, that is one of the smallest veins and with me already being on Lovenox injections AND baby aspirin, it was an “easy fix”. My doctor upped my dosage of Lovenox and for the rest of my pregnancy as well as 6 weeks after birth, I am to take 40mg injections twice a day.

I didn’t let this get me down because the baby was healthy and a week later my clot was cleared and my vision was back to normal.

We then hit 15 weeks and I found out we are having a girl.

And then 20 weeks hit, and then 28 weeks where we were thrown another curve ball. My doctor tells me I am RH Negative and have Strep B. Before I could even ask what those two were, we just said, “of course I do.” But like any obstacle we have faced, there was a positive outcome and a plan of action. Seriously my doctor ROCKS. She deserves a medal after everything she has put up with and how incredible she has been helping me through.

My blood type is O RH Negative which means it rejects a positive blood type. Only about 15% of the population is RH Negative and it can cause problems in future pregnancies. Basically, your body sees your RH Positive fetus as a threat and creates antibodies to attack it. However, those take about 9 months to form so it’s not really a risk for your first pregnancy. To avoid any issues for future pregnancies the doctor gave me an RHOGAM injection at 28 weeks and I will have another after birth. To protect the baby as well in case our blood mixes during delivery, the baby will receive an RHOGAM injection as well.

As for Strep B that is something that some women are born with. It is a bacteria in the vagina that usually causes no issues in life and is NOT an STD or transferable to your partner. However, during birth, you can transfer it to your baby and it can cause some health issues. To avoid that transfer, when I check in the hospital, the doctor will get me started on an IV of antibiotics that will prevent Strep B from passing to our baby.

So although we had a few more hiccups there was a positive plan for both and it wasn’t something we couldn’t handle. Seriously, we are CHAMPS at facing adversity. And honestly, the entire journey has been worth it. Here we are at 33 weeks and I am 6 weeks away from my induction date where we get to meet our sweet rainbow baby Addyson Jean.

Kimberly Puckett

Number of Miscarriages: 3
Date of Birth Of Rainbow Babies: 1/11/99 and 7/18/01

In the mid 90’s I suffered two miscarriages. The first time it happened I had some comfort in knowing a large percent of women miscarry the first time. But after the 2nd I felt worthless.  Like I was broken.

My doctor was great and after the 2nd, ran some blood test and that’s when we found out my body didn’t produce enough progesterone. My OB told me “you don’t have a problem getting pregnant, you have a problem staying pregnant”. 

Since they wanted to raise my progesterone levels, I was prescribed Clomid which helped us bring our first rainbow baby into the world. 

When my husband and I decided it was time for baby #2, I made an appointment with my doctor to get back on Clomid.  When I went in I found out I was already pregnant.  My OB had me do a daily vaginal suppository in hopes to get my progesterone level up.  

At 10 weeks he took me off of them since the sonogram showed baby was fine.  However, when I went in at 13 weeks there was no heartbeat. I then had to go through a Dilation and Curettage or D/C. After I recovered from the D/C, my doctor put me back on Clomid.  

Once we got pregnant again for a 4th time with our 2nd rainbow baby, I was now considered high risk and had to take a blood test once a week.  At 22 weeks I no longer had to take blood tests and I was put on light bed rest and in 2001 we welcomed our 2nd baby girl into the world. 

During our trials, everyone was very supportive.  But it’s hard for people to understand how you feel.  I was off work for a week with the 1st miscarriage and the principal at the school I taught at sent an email to the faculty letting them know what happened and to respect my feelings and not to ask about it.  Being only 24 I appreciated that.  Now in my wise old age, I don’t think I would have liked that.

I remember reading an article that said when people say “I’m so sorry” that’s it’s ok to not say “it’s ok” because it’s not ok.  You should talk about what happened (if you feel like it) and not hide it. After the 2nd one talking about it helped me.  I saw it as God working through me to help others get through a difficult time.  I have always been open and willing to talk about it since then. 

About Kimberly: I’m 47 years old and I teach High School English.  My rainbows were born when I was 27 and 29 years old.  They are now 20 and 17 (almost).  I am divorced from their bio dad and have been remarried to an awesome guy for almost 4 years.  We have an amazing blended family.  He has 2 boys and I have 2 girls so we are a mini Brady bunch.

Cami Proszek

Number of Miscarriages: 1
DOB of Rainbow Baby: December 2, 2018

When I was pregnant at 6w6d gestation I started having some bleeding.  The following day I had my first appointment, that is when the doctor did an ultrasound and found a yolk sac with no heartbeat.

I was completely devastated. My mother had a miscarriage with her first pregnancy but I was naïve enough to think it would never happen to me. That’s when I learned it is a very real and common thing as unfortunate as it is. There is no correct way for you to be feeling, and no one should tell you how you should be feeling. We all act and feel differently about the circumstances there is no right or wrong way to grieve.

After going through the miscarriage, I found that most people didn’t know what to say and when they would say something it wouldn’t be comforting to me. I heard things like, “everything happens for a reason”, “there was probably something wrong with the baby”, “well at least you know you can get pregnant”. I wish people would have just listened to me instead of trying to make me feel better when in reality there is NOTHING they can do or say to make you feel better. I think that my journey has taught me not to take anything for granted. It has also taught me that is ok to talk about our struggles because talking about them brings healing and often times people can relate.

But after every storm, there is a rainbow, and in 2018 we found out we were pregnant again.  I was very scared but very optimistic for this next pregnancy. When I hit the 2nd trimester I felt very much relieved and excited to be past the “scary part.” I had been out of town for most of my first trimester so I wasn’t able to go to the doctors until I was 10 weeks along, it was nerve-wracking but I just trusted God had a plan no matter what.

Then at 36 weeks, I had a difficult time sleeping and woke up several times throughout the night due to my chest, hands and feet itching like crazy. I used Dr. Google to research my symptoms, and that is when I found information on a condition called Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy. My doctor called me in to do a series of blood test to check the bile in my blood and the function of my liver.

Two days later when the results came in, my doctor asked me to come to the hospital immediately. Once at the hospital, I had an ultrasound, more blood work, and a urinalysis done. After reviewing the results, the doctor on-call decided an induction would be our best choice. At that point, they didn’t know for certain that I had Cholestasis but it was very likely. That evening they gave me a steroid shot, which would help Abbriel’s lungs develop faster since she was only at 36 weeks gestation. That was our first night in the antepartum department. After another round of steroid shots, we started the induction and on December 2nd, we delivered our healthy baby girl.

My bile acid level results came back exactly one week after they took my blood work (by this time I already gave birth), and my level was at 107. “In general, it is accepted that levels above 10 μmol/l are abnormal, and levels above 40 μmol/l are grossly abnormal”. When I went back to my doctor for my 6-week postpartum checkup, my doctor told me my bile acid levels were the highest she had ever seen, (she has been practicing for over 10 years), and that I had saved Abbriel’s life for being proactive and advocating for us.

In future pregnancies, there is a very high chance I will develop it again, and therefore, I will need to keep a close eye on my symptoms. I will also have to make sure I have a doctor who fully understands Cholestasis and that we have a well-managed plan put together in case it happens again.

About Cami: I have been married to my high school sweetheart for two years, we have a black lab named Molly, a baby in heaven and our rainbow baby girl named Abbriel who was born December 2, 2018.

Natalie Arndt

Number of losses: 1 Stillborn at 23 Weeks Dec 16′, 1 Miscarriage at 8 weeks in Sept 18′
DOB of Rainbow Baby: Due July 2019!

I found out I have Prothrombin G20210A (Factor II Mutation) clotting disorder when I was 23 weeks pregnant with my son James in 2016. I had suddenly collapsed and was having trouble breathing. Soon after, I was rushed into the ER where doctors discovered that a massive blood clot traveled to my lung (a pulmonary embolism). I then went into cardiac arrest 3 separate times in the ER, but thankfully doctors were able to save my life and I made a full recovery. Unfortunately, my sweet baby boy could not survive the trauma that my body went through, and I delivered him sleeping a couple days later while in the intensive care unit (ICU). Since discovering my blood clotting disorder, I am now on blood thinners for the rest of my life. My miscarriage in 2018 was unrelated to my health condition.

I was in the hospital for 3 weeks after I lost my son James, so a large focus at that time was my recovery. It truly did not hit me hard until I was discharged from the hospital and had to go home without my baby. It was a very dark and traumatic time in my life. Thankfully the love of my husband, friends, and family got me through. I also was very thankful for my life and tried to focus on the positives. I truly believe my son saved my life, and reminding myself of that helped me through my grief.

After my miscarriage in 2018, I was absolutely heartbroken. My husband and I had to wait over a year to begin trying again, as suggested by my doctors after being hospitalized and going through the loss of our son. When I found out I was pregnant, we had just bought a new house. I also had found out I was pregnant on my Grandmother’s birthday, and she had recently passed away earlier that year. That felt truly special to me. It felt like everything was falling into place and like it was all just meant to be. When I went to my 8-week appointment, the doctor let me know there was no heartbeat. It was such a devastating moment that will forever stay with me. I felt heartbroken, angry, disappointed, and like our dream of having our rainbow baby was so out of reach.

I’m lucky to have such a strong support system of friends and family. After losing my son and being in the hospital, I had so much love and support surrounding me. All my closest friends and family were there for me, visiting me in the hospital and checking in with me. That helped a lot, but after I was home, I felt like no one but my husband could truly understand my grief. At times I felt very alone. I’ve learned people don’t always know what to say in these times of loss, and they sometimes would say extremely hurtful things when they thought they were being supportive. Someone very close to us actually said to me, “It wasn’t meant to be.” For me, this is one of the most hurtful things you can say to a grieving mother. To me, my son was absolutely meant to be.

When I had my miscarriage, my friends and family again were very supportive. I think everyone knew how excited I was to be pregnant again and how much it meant to us after we lost James. I, unfortunately, told many people that I was pregnant, including colleagues at work. The worst part for me was going back to work and just pretending like nothing happened. People were trying to be sensitive to my feelings, but it was almost like pretending nothing happened made it worse for me and made me feel even more alone.

I wish people would be more understanding and aware that some comments that they think are supportive can actually be quite hurtful. Telling someone “It wasn’t meant to be” or “At least you know you can get pregnant”, or “Are you going to try IVF?”, for example, can actually be very damaging for someone experiencing the loss of a baby.

I also wish that people would treat me like I am still a Mom, even if I hold my baby in my heart instead of my arms. The most supportive I felt and still feel is when people talk about my son with me and mention his name. I delivered my son, held my son, and will forever love him. To me, he made me a mother, so when people acknowledge him and acknowledge me as a Mom, it truly means the world to me.

When I found out I was pregnant with my rainbow in November of 2018, I was immediately shocked. I got pregnant my first cycle after my miscarriage and I honestly did not think it would happen so fast. My emotions were all over the place. I was excited but also very anxious and scared of the journey ahead. I found Pregnancy After Loss Support when I knew I wanted to try to have another baby, and once I found out I was pregnant with my rainbow, I became more involved with the group. When you are pregnant again after loss, it is so important to connect with others who know exactly what you are going through. I’ve learned that it has been very difficult for me to connect with pregnant women who have never experienced a loss. I think joining this group has truly got me through this pregnancy and has helped me feel less anxious and alone.

When we found out, I told my parents right away. Next, we told my in-laws after our first 8-week ultrasound. Then on Christmas, we let the rest of the family know. I was worried since I was only 9 weeks then, but I knew I was going to need their love and support. From there, we told our closest friends. I told myself I wasn’t going to announce this pregnancy on social media. I announced my first pregnancy on social with my son at 22 weeks, and the following week, I had lost him. So this was something very touchy for me. I’ve learned in pregnancy after loss that there is no “safe zone”. However, once I was getting into the 3rd trimester, I was finally starting to feel more at peace and announced my rainbow baby on social media at 6 months pregnant. It ended up being very healing for me, and the amount of love and support we received felt so great. I just wanted to celebrate my baby girl.

In the first trimester of carrying our rainbow baby, I had horrible nausea and morning sickness (more like 24/7 sickness), so I was looking forward to the 2nd trimester. As awful as it was, I was weirdly thankful for the sickness because, to me, it reminded me that I was pregnant. Once I got closer to the 2nd trimester, I was finally feeling like I could breathe. Unfortunately, the second trimester ended up being the most difficult for me. At 13 weeks, I woke up in the middle of the night to heavy bleeding. I immediately thought I was having a miscarriage and rushed to the ER. An ultrasound showed a strong heartbeat and my little rainbow kicking around like nothing was wrong. I was shocked. The following week, I met with my high-risk OB and found out that I had a subchorionic hematoma – basically a bleeding spot by my placenta. I had bleeding and spotting off and on for 8 weeks after that, which caused me intense worry and anxiety. Soon after the bleeding, I got a Doppler to listen to her heartbeat. The Doppler and my bi-weekly ultrasounds gave me reassurance each week. I had to really focus on my faith and let go of the fear to stay positive through the 2nd trimester. Thankfully, the bleeding spot resolved and did not cause any further problems in my pregnancy.

When I reached the 3rd trimester, it was HUGE deal for me. I never made it to the third trimester with my son James, and I could not wait to hit that milestone with my rainbow. By this time, I no longer had bleeding and I was finally beginning to feel that this was going to happen for me. At this time, viability is also high so I found a lot of peace in that as well. Now that I am well into my third trimester, I still have to remind myself to take it one day at a time.

The condition I have is quite rare, but women who are pregnant in general are more prone to blood clots during their pregnancy. Before discovering my clotting disorder, I had no idea how dangerous and deathly blood clots are, especially for pregnant women. I would suggest to any pregnant woman, clotting disorder or not, to be aware of the signs of a blood clot in the legs (DVT). Often times there are no symptoms, but in my case, had I looked for some of the signs, I might have been able to realize something was wrong before this traumatic experience.

If I could go back and tell myself one thing, I would tell myself to find support sooner. It can be very difficult to navigate this type of grief, especially when you don’t know many others who have lost a baby. I would also tell myself that it will get better. Even though the pain of that loss never goes away, with time I would eventually come to peace with my experiences.

I feel like my journey taught me to be vulnerable and open with others. Mostly, it has taught me to appreciate life and my pregnancy that much more. I absolutely love being pregnant. To me, it is such a beautiful experience. Without my loss, I don’t think I would love and appreciate it as much as I do now. I don’t take any of it for granted, ever. Each day I am pregnant with my baby girl is such a gift to me.

About Natalie: I am from the San Francisco Bay Area and currently live in Sacramento, CA with my husband John and our golden doodle pup Kody. My husband and I are college sweethearts and now expecting our rainbow baby girl in July 2019 – Gianna Jaymes. After losing our son James at 23 weeks pregnant and suffering a miscarriage, I have been open about my losses and pregnancy after loss journey in hopes of helping others who share similar experiences. I come from a background in PR and Marketing and I am currently the Volunteer Event Coordinator for Pregnancy After Loss Support.

Madilyn (Maddie) Maclellan

Number of Miscarriages: 3
DOB of Rainbow Baby: 12-14-18

The doctors found my progesterone levels weren’t consistent, and high enough to be able to support a pregnancy. My first and third miscarriages both were around 6 weeks. However, our second baby had a rare genetic disease called prune belly syndrome, which results in the bladder being unable to be emptied. The doctors believe that it was unrelated to the progesterone issue, and we had extensive testing done to confirm this. It was disheartening because it left us unable to point to a specific issue that had caused it.

The funny thing was, many doctors weren’t able to identify what was wrong since at certain times my blood work had come back with acceptable levels of progesterone. And a lot of doctors are very hesitant to prescribe progesterone to you! I had a doctor once tell me that even if she were to prescribe it to me, it wouldn’t help or change anything. After seeing multiple doctors, on multiple occasions, the OB that I eventually used during my pregnancy with my daughter determined this could be the cause of the issues I was having and told me I was to take progesterone every day for the first three months of my pregnancy. I am so glad that I persisted and saught different care with a doctor that I respected and trusted. I believe that’s one of the reasons my daughter is here today!

Each miscarriage resulted in different feelings, but by far the most intense experience was the second baby that I lost. My husband and I named him Forrest Wayne Maclellan. Forrest had been my favorite boy’s name for as long as I could remember, and although I’m sad I will never get to use it for a baby here earth-side, I thought my little boy deserved the very best name I could come up with. Wayne is my dad’s name, and I thought it fit and flowed perfectly. I won’t lie, it took me a really really long time to feel okay again. I still wouldn’t say I’m “over it”, but I’ve learned how to move forward and be thankful and blessed for the life that I do have. I know I will see my angel babies again one day in heaven.

After our losses, it was extremely challenging because a lot of people don’t know what to say, or what to do. They try to come up with things that they think will be comforting, but there’s honestly not ANY good answer or response one can give. The best thing or advice I could give to someone who has gone through this, or wants to be there for someone who has had a miscarriage, is to just let them talk and just be there to listen and give support.

A lot of people feel that it’s weird, or taboo to talk about. For me, it was so hard because I felt a mother’s grief, and some people expected me to be fine, and other’s I felt like I was at risk of making THEM sad if I were to bring it up. I wish that it was a topic that was more openly shared or discussed because no one should have to feel alone in grief.

But I learned to lean into my faith. I didn’t know why God had let this happen, but I believed what I had come to know about God that He was good, He was faithful, and He would see this through. After the loss of our second baby, I went through a period of depression and felt as if I had a weight on my chest for months. It took serious prayer, and work on myself to move past it. I would tell myself to keep going even when it looks like you’re at the end of a road, to push on in the spite of all challenges weighing you down, and to believe in a better tomorrow. I am so glad I did! My life has been so deeply blessed, and every day I wake up and am so thankful for my baby girl.

(A good verse)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.

When we got pregnant with our rainbow baby, I was still nervous… But began to feel calmer now that it was in the “safe zone”… Every appointment I would still feel like I was holding my breath and letting it out little by little as I watched her grow and develop. I was pretty scared to announce our pregnancy, having been excited and let down three times before. We told our family shortly after we found out, but we decided to wait to announce it publicly until we found out the gender, which we found out by blood test at 13 weeks. After 12 weeks you’re considered in the “safe zone”. That gender reveal party was so awesome!! My hands were shaking so bad, and I was so excited to set off that confetti cannon! I just had a strong feeling that Isla was a girl. I would’ve been shocked if I saw blue out of that cannon!

When we hit the third trimester I was so happy, but I was also so anxious to meet her! Obviously, I wanted her to be as healthy as possible, but every appointment I would hope they’d tell me I was dilated and it was time. I had a slight meltdown at 35 weeks, not sure how I was going to make it another 5 weeks so big and uncomfortable!

Although it was a lot of waiting, which was so hard, our experience taught me to keep pushing and persisting when times get tough, to keep my faith in times of doubt or despair, and to cling to and be grateful for the blessings around me.

About Maddie: My name is Maddie, I am 24 years old and my husband Drew and I have been married for almost 4 years. We met while we were both active duty in the Marine Corps, and we now live in Texas with our two dogs and our baby girl Isla. We have a Youtube channel that we vlog about our lives! You can watch Isla’s birth story on there.

I just wanted to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to the wonderful moms who opened up and shared their story. You are all such brave women and although we all have vastly different stories, it was incredible to see we all felt the same during our losses and trials.

I am so blessed to have met these women and share their strength and courage. If you are struggling with miscarriages, grief, losses, or on the journey of pregnancy after loss- you are not alone.

Your feelings are valid.

You are a mom.

And you are worth it.

Thank you for reading and please go show these incredible survivors some love on Instagram!




  1. Thank you so much for including my story, Mariah! I love hearing everyone else’s journey as well – so inspiring! xoxo

  2. Thank you so much for sharing stories of women who’ve walked the unimaginable path of pregnancy and infant loss. I wish I’d read this when i was travelling this path. We are lucky enough to be on the other side of the rainbow too.
    Our first pregnancy in 2006 was normal and free from drama other than a bleed at 7 weeks. He was a clomid baby, but otherwise all was pretty easy and care free.
    Trying to get pregnant again and stay pregnant, however, was really, really tough. We had early pregnancy losses in april 09, november 09, may 10, all clomid pregnancies. Then i changed doctors when my initial doctor refused to do any more testing. A started seeing a new, amazing doctor in oct 2010 and then fell pregnant using ovulation induction in dec. Unfortunately i fell pregnant with heterotopic twins; one in my fallopian tube and one in my uterus. I almost died from blood loss and lost both babies. So began the worst year of my life.
    On mothers day 2011 i found out i was pregnant again. My hcg levels were low; we expected another loss, but by some miracle our girl held on. At 29 weeks we found out she had a very rare heart condition. She would need surgery as soon as she was born to have a pace maker fitted. But she was doing well. We were seen at least twice a week to check her heart.
    Then on the 15th dec the scan showed she had taken a sudden turn for the worst. Just 3 days before she was okay! We rushed to deliver her but she passed away before we could get her out.
    I thought i knew pain, but nothing can prepare you for the heart ache of stillborth. That sweet girl had my whole heart and when she died, she took my heart with her. We named her Poppy Kate and she was beautiful.
    All i wanted after Poppy died was to have another baby. I was determined that we would do anything it took.
    Truely it took a lot.
    After trying for a year we turned to IVF. We did 8 rounds and fell pregnant twice. We lost both babies again around 6 weeks. Both times we told very few people. We felt like the people who cried wolf. “We’re pregnant!” Followed by, “we miscarried, again.”
    My specialist suggested a different type of IVF called PGD. This involves genetic testing of the embryos. We wondered if my eggs werent great and my body was rejecting them. We tried this 3 times, and I’d decided that round was my last. I couldn’t do it any more. Low and behold, i fell pregnant and as the weeks tocked past… i stayed pregnant. I saw an amazing OB. I took daily progesterone, daily clexane (blood thinners), baby asprin, high dose folate; every thing we could do to keep that baby safe inside. Once 12 weeks rolled around, then we started checking babies heart. He gave us a scare at 22 weeks when he developed some heart issues and it was a very scary 10 weeks wondeting if he’d come hone with us. Thankfully he resolved the issues himself, and the only explanation is a miracle!
    At 36 weeks he showed some new worries and after some steroid shots for his lungs we delivered our rainbow baby by c section. He spent two weeks in special care but he is as healthy as can be.
    It took a lot, but he brings us so much joy. His brother has a living sibling and we have our precious little ray of hope.

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