The topic of rainbow babies has been in my head and heart lately. Prior to Eli, I had three, he was to be my fourth. I didn't realize for a long time that Eli too was a rainbow baby, brought to life in the wake of a terrible storm many years prior. Eli's rainbow was not meant to be, it was the kind that appears faintly in the sky and then you blink and it's gone. I realize that I have much to be thankful for in my life, our three girls, and so much more than many have or may ever have. This in no way diminished the pain I have felt or will continue to feel the rest of my life for the loss of our boys.
My rainbows don't blind me to the pain of watching others have their babies. Yes, even though I have three healthy daughters I still feel pain when others have babies of their own. Especially baby boys. Something which my family, myself excluded, seems to excel at. I don't believe that I have ever shared this particular heartbreak. I was twenty-five years old when I got pregnant with Wyatt, my younger sister was just nineteen and unmarried. I was equally surprised and devastated to hear, sometime after Wyatt's Potter's diagnosis, she was pregnant. It was unplanned and she was more than unprepared. She appeared to be lacking in every aspect - financially, emotionally, in maturity and stability. She appeared at my bedside the June morning that Wyatt was born five months pregnant with a healthy boy. The day that baby was born was one of the worst days I could imagine. I was not there. I did not call. I did not even see him until he was a month old when they came to visit for Christmas. My family was less than understanding of my feelings. They in no uncertain terms told me to get over it and see my sister. He was the first and only baby I held after Wyatt was born and before our daughter was born. I could not understand how she was given this wonderful little boy to care for and I was given a grave to tend instead. Less than a year after he was born she was pregnant again. This time was worse, she never revealed her pregnancy but it was nonetheless discovered when she was seven months along. We believe he was carried with no prenatal care prior to that. Yes, I said he. She had another little boy. Still unmarried, unstable and even more unprepared. I harbored a lot of anger for a long time. Witnessing the hand that they had been dealt which is a bum one in the very least is difficult. Loving them is much easier thankfully. They didn't ask to be born and they couldn't choose their parents. I however can choose my emotions and I have to choose what is best for them.
Since then I am aware of at least two extended family members getting pregnant as unmarried, unstable teenagers and giving birth to perfectly healthy little boys. I will never understand why them and why not me. So I've stopped asking the question. I've for the most part stopped comparing. The inequities never make sense and they certainly don't ease the aching in my heart. I don't know why some people have so much more suffering it seems than others. I'm not convinced it isn't random. Rainbows fade, they are not permanent and are not meant to be. In a Biblical sense they are the sign of a promise. So today I reflect on my own faded rainbow and promise.