Finding Your Rainbow Twin
I felt the need to share this personal experience I had with a
client recently. If you're also like me, you're not one for publicly disclosing your struggles with TTC or miscarriage, but I think it's really important that we keep this conversation open.
She and I were wrapping up after one of my classes and we were chatting on our plans to start trying for #2. Our sons are the same age and we soon realized that both of us had had the same struggles getting pregnant. We also discovered that our sons (and each other) are "Rainbow Twins".
Not only are they very close in age, but both of us had an early miscarriage almost exactly one year prior. We shared the same experience. Getting a period month after month, still scarred from experiencing the physical and emotional remains of miscarriage, fearing that we may never get that positive line. Then, the mixed emotions from elation and trepidation when we finally became pregnant. Experiencing the joy of pregnancy while still grieving the one we just recently lost. Wondering if our rainbow babies were truly meant to be, or if we even deserved them at all.
For those of us with Rainbow Babies, I think we have a Rainbow twin out there. Somewhere out there in the world is a woman who has shared the same awful experience and will never take their child for granted. For every woman who feels lost, afraid, and alone, there's someone out there who feels the same.
In my line of work I meet hundreds of women whom have miscarried, spent months to years trying to conceive, or had to resort to IVF. I'm a nerd, so this helpful stat from the American Pregnancy's Guide to Getting Pregnant helped me keep my head up:
"When everything is done right and there are no complications, the average healthy couple has only a 25% chance of getting pregnant each month. This is the best-case scenario. Therefore, it can take 4 months or longer for a typical couple to become pregnant. So don’t worry if you have been trying to conceive for a couple of months without luck—this is normal."
I wish I had known that sooner rather than later.
Look, I'm also not one for sharing on social media or getting to personal with people I've just met. However, motherhood has softened this part of me. I'm often finding myself oversharing with other new moms, the sleep deprivation has taken it's toll on my self-preservation, but I truly think we need it.
Unfortunately, (and I'm also to blame for this), we rarely share our struggles with conception and miscarriage stories until AFTER we've delivered a healthy baby. I was too upset to go into detail over my extreme disgust and frustration with my body at the time. Also, it felt like everyone else around me was suddenly pregnant and I didn't want to take away from their joy. Everything I found online was shared by someone who had suffered miscarriages or struggled getting pregnant eventually had their rainbow baby, and I was terrified that I didn't deserve one. I couldn't find anything by a woman who was living through it without the positive spin at the end of her story.
I'm very grateful to have had such supportive clients and students who have shared their experiences with me. I cannot thank them for giving me hope, and telling me to go live my life. The months of trying and failing also have some really fun memories in them, and I'm so fortunate to have taken advantage of some baby-free adventures.
If you're in the thick of TTC or snuggling your rainbow baby, know you are not alone. You will find your TTC or Rainbow Twin, and you can confide in each other. Don't be as shy as I was. For every "fertile Myrtle", there's at least three other women out there struggling.
As a new member of the mom club, I can safely say that we learn more from each other than from Dr. Google, and we need that support. Opening up and sharing our experiences can bring us together, and give other women the hope they deserve.