Just One

February 24, 2019

By Sanda Rathamone



"Never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart you were meant to do." - H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

In the crook of my husband's arm, I lay there silent, immobilized, and unable to sleep. A tear falls across my cheek. I wipe it away, but another one follows. Then another. And another.

It takes awhile for my brain to register that I am crying and need to wipe away a runny nose. So, I move the front of my body away from my sleeping husband as smoothly as I could. I don't want to wake him. I don't want him to see me like this.

As I move to turn to my other side, my husband also moves and stops snoring, but doesn't wake. Thank goodness he's a heavy sleeper. Once I am on my other side with my back facing him, my husband is back to snoring. I wipe the snot from my face and dry my eyes. And then, I gaze without thought at Elijah's wall. I miss him.

It is like this sometimes: me being awake, him sleeping, me crying out of nowhere, him snoring away, oblivious to my random episode of grief. 

On Elijah's wall, there is a wooden placard that says, "Advice from a Rainbow." I bought it from a gift shop on the wharf, when my husband and I were on a trip to Monterey in the summer of 2017. It seems so long ago that I bought it with the hopes that it would usher in the "energy" of conceiving a rainbow baby. So far, it hasn't.


While I lay in bed with a sleeping husband, tears flow as I try to remember the words on the placard. All I could hear is "bring joy to others," which aren't the exact words. However, my tears are not for those words, but for a rainbow. My rainbow. Our rainbow. I am still chasing after that damn rainbow.

For those who of you who don't know,  a "rainbow baby" is a popular term in the Loss/TTC community for a baby conceived and/or born after an "angel baby," or a baby that died. Lately, all over my Instagram feed are these rainbow announcements that somehow show up when I am already feeling so down about my struggles to conceive again. It feels like being left behind while everyone else moves forward, or not deemed worthy to be picked and placed into a team. Most of all, it feels like being forgotten by God.

I start to wonder when it will be my turn, or if there will ever be a rainbow for me. 

I read a couple blogs about how a rainbow baby will not "fix" anything that losing a baby has already "destroyed." I have also heard many times that rainbow babies will not replace a baby that is gone, but merely make that hole even harder to fill. Honestly, I have never thought that having another baby after Elijah could "fix" anything, nor would I want to replace him or fill that enormous hole in my heart that he left behind. That hole in my heart is Elijah's missing piece and I am intent on keeping it that way, until I meet him again. And let me be clear, if and when I have my rainbow, it will never be a "fix-it and replace-it" baby. Never.

Of course, all I have wanted since Elijah died is another baby. Since Elijah was my first child, it makes me want another baby even more. When you lose something so dear to you, all you want is to have it back. Yet, losing a baby isn't comparable to losing any ordinary thing like a sock or a pair of your most favorite jeans. Socks and jeans are replaceable. You can't replace a baby with another baby because once you lose a baby, you lose all of the dreams that came with and belonged to that baby. I know that I can't have Elijah back, but I also know that another baby will bring back that joy I have long waited for. That joy of creating and holding something so pure. That joy of watching life from a seed bloom and grow.

I don't want a rainbow baby to fix my heart; my hurting heart is perfect the way it is. My hurting heart is the reason why I became more of a mother now than when I was pregnant.

When I was pregnant with Elijah, it made me realize how much I wanted to become a mother. After Elijah died, it made me realize the kind of mother I wanted to be (mostly from watching the kinds of mothers I don't want to be). I'd admit that losing Elijah was in some way, a gift. All of those things others took for granted, those things that were lost with Elijah, mixed with the missing parts that I would not have known without loss helped create the mother I was meant to be

In the coming days, it will have been 3 years since I got my first positive pregnancy test (after years of negatives). Time is passing by quickly and I am realizing that I may never have a baby again. Although, I have always wanted a big family (at least four children), I have prayed and settled for one to take home. Just one. One to take home is more than enough to be grateful and soak up all of the joy it will bring.

Would I still be grieving? Sure. I will always grieve for Elijah; there will always be a special place for him in our lives. But a rainbow will always remind us to live in the moment and remember that there is so much joy to embrace after all of those years of waiting and sorrow. Just one is enough to get it right. Just one is enough to cherish every little moment we lost.

For us, an angel baby is a sign of hope. A rainbow baby is a dream come true.

With love,
Must Read:
Read Elijah's Story, "From Gender Reveal to a Spontaneous Delivery"

Photo: unsplash

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