“When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When a parent loses a child, there is no word to describe it.” (Ronald Reagan)
There is no word to describe it. There is no collection of words to adequately capture it. There is no book, no song lyric, no essay that can fully articulate the way it feels to have lost your very wanted baby. Each life uniquely loved and cherished for the child they were to us, whether we held them in our arms for a moment or not at all.
Tonight at 7pm, in every time zone, we light a candle in remembrance of our babies. This is known as the Wave of Light.
My husband and I will be participating in the Wave of Light to remember our darling twins Finnian and Maisie, who we wish with every fiber of our being were in our arms, but whose light will never leave our hearts. We will also light a candle for the many other babies lost in pregnancy and after, some very close to us by way of friends and family.
Please feel free to share in the comments any babies you are remembering today so that we can acknowledge them with you <3
You may also contact me if you would like to share more of your own story. I'd love to listen and also help you share it with others if you would like.
Love and hugs, Tiffany
It’s been nearly six weeks since we brought our son home from the hospital with us. I’ve wanted to post a hundred times about it, but I have been in a daze that we had finally made it. We made it through the pregnancy and the birth and we got to take him home … all of these hoped for things became true. And he is perfection.
Six Fridays ago, we walked in the front door of our little house, greeted our excited doggy, sat the car seat on the ottoman, and looked at each other. “What are we supposed to do now?” I asked my husband, honestly uncertain about what was next.
What now? After figuring our way through infertility, after bearing the terrible weight of loss, after fighting through a high-risk pregnancy, after pushing through ten days of prodromal labor (ugh), and finally after 20 hours of labor that ended in a c-section … and here we are with the prize. What now?
“I guess we just get to know this guy,” my husband said (or some variation of that).
I’ve learned now that this is a common response to bringing baby home. Several friends said they had the same moment walking through the door. Normalcy. Wait … normalcy!?! We are finally having some ‘normal’ moments in all of this!
Of course there are some less commonly shared moments, there are some moments tinged with our longing for his brother and sister to be here too, tinged with our grief that he will not get to know them, tinged with our sheer amazement that this baby came from a frozen embryo. While the word journey often gets overused to describe life experiences - this has truly been a journey.
I was hesitant during our pregnancy to call this a ‘rainbow baby.’ I recognize that the colloquial term for describing a child that comes after loss has been picking up momentum in society. That the term rainbow is a gentle and acceptable way to explain that someone came before this baby … and that this one was conceived after the loss to bring happiness again.
I struggled with this term. For one, we always intended to have Lochlan. He was partially conceived before the loss, frozen and suspended in time, conceived as part of a trio and put on hold. We always intended to have him with them.
Also, if he is a rainbow, does that mean they are the storm? Does that mean that they are less real, or that the pain of their loss is erasable? These swirling thoughts kept me from using the term to describe him during the pregnancy. Instead I stumbled around different ways to describe him in relation to the twins.
But I’m using rainbow now freely and openly when introducing our son. Since bringing him home the term has taken on a new depth for me. Lochlan is a baby born after loss. Whether I want that reality or not, his presence here has made the twins absence more real. That hurts. It is a forceful truth and I’m not sure really sunk in until now. But also ... he IS renewed joy. He is laughter in our house and he ushers in hope in ways I didn’t think was possible again. The dichotomy is enough to make the rainbow metaphor stick for me.
They were not the storm … a storm swooped in and took them away, dark clouds have brewed over the skies, and the ground is still damp. But there is a rainbow appearing, a reminder of hope and connection. He is on one side and they are on the other. That’s how I see it now. I can finally see the rainbow.
Getting to “know this guy” has actually been the easy part. We’ve been pinching ourselves over the last couple weeks because it turns out we had the easiest kid ever! He rarely cries and when he does its less than 30 seconds to say, “give me that milk!” He is super aware and curious of his surroundings, eats like a champ, and sleeps in 4-7 hour stretches already! Hopefully I’m not jinxing myself by putting this out there, but honestly guys, this is one of the most mellow and lovable babies I have ever known. And I’ve known a lot of babies.
Perhaps that is part of our gift, part of our rainbow package, a little white flag from God saying, “I know it’s been extremely hard and painful getting here, so here enjoy this SUPER EASY BABY.”
We would’ve enjoyed him any way he turned out because he was so very wanted. But man, this kid rocks!
I hope to write more about motherhood on Loss & Life. I hope to keep sharing with you all about what this life can look like and connecting with various readers about their own experiences. Since this little blog has started to have a small (very small) public following, I probably won’t share many face shots of our little guy … but here is just one, because this is the smile that can melt away pain.
Hi, I'm Tiffany. I believe in the power of stories to connect us to each other. I write about life after loss and all the love, longing, and learning that comes from it. Grief is big, love is bigger. My newest stories are about motherhood (after both infertility and loss). In my experience, love doesn't get bigger than motherhood.
© Tiffany Kann and Loss & Life, 2013-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Tiffany Kann and www.lossandlife.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.