Catching Our Rainbow

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm…

The Red Dress

Back in October hubby and I went to the wedding of two good friends. When I was pregnant with Tup, I remember happily thinking that I would be wearing a maternity dress and sporting a large bump at their wedding, but that obviously didn’t happen. Then, two weeks before the wedding, Molly died. I felt like the whole world was against me, and that my life would be nothing but death and loss. Needless to say, I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. So I dealt with it by going out and buying a sexy red dress for the wedding. If I couldn’t be large and pregnant, I was going to be super hot. We had a wonderful time at the wedding, and I felt beautiful and thankful to spend time with my fun husband. We drank and danced and laughed and for a small moment, I was so happy and I thought that maybe we would be ok.

The wedding photographers took this great photo of me dancing with my hubby

The wedding photographers took this great photo of me dancing with my hubby

Saturday we went to another wedding. I seem to have “popped” over the week, and when I pulled out my red dress, it looked perfect on my little baby bump. I happily wore it to the wedding–looking noticeably pregnant. And the dress still made me feel beautiful and sexy (and multiple people told me how hot I looked).

It’s amazing how much has changed in the months since that last wedding. This dress signified for me just how far we have come–where we were and how blessed we are to be where we are. I will never forget the pain of our losses. And I will never stop being grateful for this miracle–even in the midst of daily headaches and weekly migraines.

Here is the red dress, showing off my 17 week bump:

17 weeks pregnant

Sorry for the dirty mirror bathroom selfie

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Our Tree

Tuesday was my last day of classes, so I’m home every day until I turn in a 15 page paper, turn in a huge project, and take a final next Tuesday. Yesterday I should have worked on my paper, but I also should have been eight months pregnant. Should haves don’t always happen. Instead of working on my stuff, I turned on jazzy Christmas music, made a hot cup of tea, and decorated our living room for Christmas. It was lovely and peaceful, which was just what I needed. I hung four of these ornaments on our tree this year:

OrnamentOne for each of our babies. 

A lot of people have very fancy trees where all of the ornaments match, where it’s all perfect like it belongs in a department store. But our tree isn’t like that. It’s a little scrawny tree because we don’t have a lot of room, and it has all kinds of different ornaments on it. I love putting them on because each ornament reminds me of something.  I have ornaments from our first Christmas together and our first Christmas in our new house. I have a couple of ugly Hallmark granddaughter ornaments that my grandparents gave me when I was growing up. I have an ornament the hubby painted when we worked at Christmas camp eight years ago. I have wooden ornaments that my grandfather carved and other ornaments that my favorite aunt crocheted. And four glass hearts to represent our four babies.

Our tree isn’t a decoration. It’s a storybook.

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Christmas

I know that many people in this community have a really hard time with the holidays, and I totally understand that. Everyone who has suffered through infertility or a loss (or multiple losses) has a right to be a Grinch during the holiday season, but I wanted to write a little post about why I love the holiday season–even if it is a difficult time.

For years before I got married, I hated the holidays–mostly because it was family time. To me, the holidays were a time for arguing, crying, door-slamming, etc. I spent every Christmas season counting down the days until I could move back into my dorm room at school. Then I got married, and Christmas meant decorating our home, making fudge with hubby, snuggling next to the Christmas tree, hopeful Advent services at our church, and time with the man I love. The definition of “family time” shifted to something quiet, comforting, and lovely. Once we got married, Christmas became my favorite time of year, and I just can’t shake the feeling of hope that always comes with it. Yesterday, hubby and I decorated the tree while drinking hot cider and watching It’s a Wonderful Life, and that just seems to sum up Christmas time for me.

Yes, there have been times that I have been sad. I can’t help but think about how I should be eight months pregnant right now, taking adorable belly pictures in front of the Christmas tree and preparing our home not just for Christmas, but for the arrival of our child. Sometimes I feel like I’m surrounded by reminders of my three failed pregnancies. But I’m also surrounded by hope. Hope that, one way or another, we will have a child next Christmas. Do I know that for sure? No. But I’m hopeful.

I hung three of these ornaments on the tree this year, beautiful reminders of the children we will never know but will always love:

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