I had so many good intentions about how I wanted to tell Bobby if I ever got pregnant again. With Penelope Joy, I was so surprised when that very (very) faint line appeared that I called to Mr. B, waking him up, and had him join me in the bathroom to confirm what I saw was true. So, there was no big reveal. No special dinners. No surprises.
To say that I wanted to give him a surprise this time around is an understatement — I had two pregnancy reveals worth of surprises to plan.
But then, that Tuesday morning rolled around. And a very faint line appeared on a pregnancy test. It was early, I was tired. And I was — uncertain — if what I saw was really true. I called to Mr. B, rousing him from his usual between-alarms-half-sleep. He came into the bathroom, looked at the faint pink line and embraced me. We hugged and cried right there on the bathroom mat. Just as we did when we found out I was pregnant with Penelope Joy.
As we got ready for work that day, I told Mr. B about the dream I’d had the night before: I had taken a pregnancy test. But in the space where the positive line should have been, a rainbow had appeared.
It wasn’t until later that week that I realized the significance of my dream.
I was doing a little reading about having babies after you’ve lost a baby — either through miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss. And I found out that those babies — and our little Sprout baby — are called rainbow babies.
Because they represent the hope that comes after despair. Just as do rainbows.
It got me thinking about rainbows. And about hope. And about having another baby.
It would be so easy to feel completely hopeless and decide we never wanted to go through that again. Because we went through hell and back for Penelope Joy and we stayed hopeful every step of the way — but we still walked away from the hospital with empty arms and broken hearts. It would have been completely understandable if, when people asked if there would be more Baby B’s, we just said no.
But, on the flip side, Penelope Joy opened our hearts to a whole new kind of love and light that we’d never experienced. She completely changed our world. For the better. How could we not want to experience that again? Even if it means the possibility of heartbreak.
Mr. B and I know that just because we’ve already suffered a loss doesn’t mean we’re immune from future losses. Rainbow babies aren’t guaranteed to be healthy. And just because Penelope Joy died doesn’t mean our Sprout is guaranteed a smooth and easy path.
While we don’t forget all the dark times we went through, we choose to live in the light. We choose to move forward with hope. That’s kind of how it is with rainbows, too. You see, this is the thing about rainbows: they don’t promise us that the future will be perfect; they promise us that the storm has passed and that we have survived.