Kaden was my rainbow baby. My child after the storm. The one that was going to fix it all. The pain. The brokenness. The trauma.
The ache of starting motherhood at the beginning with a tiny one.
He was the answer.
Definition: A “rainbow baby” is a baby that is born following a miscarriage or still birth.
Saturday he would have been 11 months. I sat in church the next morning, and a woman next to me gently placed her hand on my shoulder as we prayed quietly. I didn’t know her, I wasn’t praying out loud. Yet her and her husband prayed for Sam and I, for whatever we faced that we would trust God in it. I was blown away by their love.
I stood, feeling the weight of her palm on my back and tears streamed down my cheeks. I remembered all those Sundays, sitting there when I couldn’t stand anymore, so pregnant and happy with Kaden. Feeling him kick and move. Grabbing Sam’s hand during the sermon to have him feel. We’d grin at each other and I’d mouth, “He’s being crazy!”
It was all going to be ok. Kaden was perfect, my pregnancy was nearly over, everything went smooth.
Here I am, 11 months later, and I feel very stuck in grief. Perhaps you don’t see this, because stuck in grief can look a lot like healing or “back to normal.” But if I compare my grief of the twins with Kaden, I’m in a very different place. 9 months into losing them, I made the little video of their lives and set it to music. I cried in therapy as we talked about them and the hospital ordeal every session. I worked on it. I started to get “well”. I found out I was pregnant and worked harder to be a healthy Mama to the new baby and Bella.
I can barely talk about Kaden in detail. His 3 weeks on earth haunt me, follow after me pleading to be remembered. And I just can’t right now. I think about him all the time, he’s everywhere I look. But the intricate moments of his life are pushed aside. The intense grief and pain is fleeting, because it’s so heart wrenching I can barely let myself skim the surface of a memory.
I don’t feel guilty over this. I sincerely doubt any of those memories in the hospital will ever leave me, so I’m not afraid of forgetting. What I fear is eventually having to really, truly face all of this. To physically talk about him more than just a few sentences to where I’m crying so hard I can’t breathe. The pain of his death is so intense it’s like suffocation, so surreal that the moments reality hits truly stops me in my tracks.
My rainbow baby died too. He’s never coming back. Ever. All those times I sat by him in the hospital and thought about just snatching him up and leaving, running as far as I could and proving to everyone he could make it, nuzzling his neck, pumping next to him – it’s all over. I just have flashbacks and memories I can’t think about left now. A little bin of his things in the closet. An urn on the shelf next to his brothers.
When your rainbow baby dies, it’s unlike anything else you’ve faced. It’s the strangest feeling to know what is about to happen to you again – to already have walked that road before. I know what this is like. But I just am not ready to walk the whole thing again. Not yet.
Just to look at this picture and think, “He’s gone, that was it” makes me want to scream at the heavens and pound my fists into a God that allowed him to be taken away, and yet I know still aches for my pain as well. And nothing I say or do matters – he’s still gone.
Oh sweet baby boy. I miss you so much that I can’t even believe my heart is still beating when I see how very real you were.