Under his colors

It’s time for me to come out of the closet, which is always a scary, difficult thing. And it’s kind of a big deal to do it over the internet. But hopefully it’ll go okay – the few family and friends and members of my “special community” to whom I’ve already come out, much to my relief, have been loving and supportive.

And I prefer to write authentically. And this has become all-consuming, and I need to be able to write about all these life changes as my continued therapy, or I might very well go insane. And, also, I’m a supporter of flying the rainbow flag.

And there’s really no ideal time to come out anyway, especially given all we’ve been through. So I’ll just come out with it in the same way so many who’ve walked this path have done before. (Which kills me, because I’m an independent spirit, damn it.) But this quote makes me cry. Every. Single. Time. Because it’s really perfect…

“It is understood that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it doesn’t mean the storm never happened or that those affected are not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover, but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy and hope.”

iridescent-clouds-mike-O-Neal-5-27-2013

That’s right – it’s with some cautious optimism, and much trepidation, that we announce we’re expecting our “rainbow” baby, our second child, Matthew’s little brother (it’s a boy), sometime in July or August.

We’re incredibly grateful for this opportunity to hopefully parent a child earth-side. And, though we’re still very much grieving the loss of our precious Matthew (and always will be), this news has brought some light into our lives for which we couldn’t be more thankful.

So far, things have been going well. Doctor appointments have been (mostly) uneventful. And I’ve been feeling well physically.

But all this was true last time too until the moment it wasn’t. So emotionally and mentally, it’s been challenging, to say the least.

I’m pregnant on a similar timeline to last year with Matthew, thus, each appointment, each ultrasound, each test brings back happy memories. But, of course, in this case, all roads lead to devastation, so I repeatedly relive the day our world came crashing down. Nearly everything pregnancy-related elicits some sort of emotional breakdown – I’m certain I’m displaying signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. But such comes with the territory of pregnancy after loss, it seems.

As alluded to above, it’s been difficult to share our news with anyone. I know some will (incorrectly) assume this fixes things. And I now know first-hand that babies can and do die. I also know how quickly it can happen, with no warning signs whatsoever. Everything, especially telling others our news, feels so dangerous – I have this constant, nagging voice in the back of my mind reminding me, “This one could die too.”

It’s so sad. And effed up. And I’m jealous of anyone who doesn’t have to experience it. But today feels like as good of a day as any to share. Because, heaven forbid, if tragedy strikes again, we’d want for this baby to have had enough time to be loved in the same way Matthew was, is, and always will be.

And because, to be clear, there’s also so much hope.

For anyone who’s potentially offended to discover our news here, please don’t be. We’ve told hardly anyone to date. So if you’re reading this, whether you’re a family member or a stranger from half way across the world, you are important. The most important, actually.

We’re touched and honored you’ve supported (and continue to support) us through this harrowing journey. Every page view, like, comment, and email is meaningful to us, gives us some measure of comfort that Matthew isn’t forgotten. By showing your support in this way, you’re one who’s kept me alive through my darkest hours and one who continues to do so even now, because, to be certain, it’s often still so dark.

And to those reading, I have just one small request… Even though I’m announcing this to the entire world, in this very public forum, could you please let our news live right here, in this space only?

Because although by this point my blog’s been made available to most, some might miss this. So we’ll share with them when we see fit – hopefully upon walking out of the hospital with our living, breathing baby.

Because, after experiencing something as horrific as losing a child, the cold, hard truth is that some, no matter how close, don’t want to walk alongside you in your grief. You invite them in, but it’s just too much. Too uncomfortable. Too depressing. It drags them down. And they tell you so.

They tell you they can’t handle your darkness or your blog discussing it.

And it hurts. Because as uncomfortable and depressed as they feel hearing about your new life, you’re living it. Every single day. And, unlike them, you can’t escape it.

I plan to start documenting my pregnancy-after-loss journey here, so stay tuned. And, of course, I’ll keep posting about Matthew’s memory and my grief and all the other unbelievable happenings per usual.

In the wake of this tragedy, I often feel as though I’m an outsider looking in on a life I can’t believe is for real. Like I ask myself dumb questions like, “Would she complain about her living baby in front of me days after I lost mine?” And the answer to said questions is usually a resounding, “Yes.”

So I’ll, of course, keep writing about these things… 🙂

We ask for your continued positive thoughts and prayers – as a baby loss mom friend recently pointed out, Mark and I will need others to believe this child will live, especially during periods when we’re lower on faith. So thank you so much for your love and support.

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

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68 thoughts on “Under his colors

  1. Firstly, congratulations! This is very exciting news! And it has put a smile on my face which is much needed today. From this community that you have bravely announced to, I can only expect support for you and lots and lots of positive thoughts for a continued healthy pregnancy and baby.

    Whilst I am yet to take the steps towards this stage of the journey, I can fully understand the bittersweet experience this must be. I hope that you are able to enjoy this pregnancy with as much excitement and hope as possible – I’m sure there will be times when you grief takes hold, but you are proof that hope and love can bring you through.

    Thank you for so eloquently and bravery putting this post together – this is hope and the gift that you, your strength and your family give back to this community.

    Good luck with everything.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I offer a cautious congratulations, but I know how tricky that word can be to pregnancy-after-loss moms. I’m rooting for little brother and hoping to read news of his arrival later his summer. We are all here for you and I will be thinking of, and cheering for, you often. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is happy news!! I will be thinking of you and sending lots and lots of positive thoughts. I wish so badly you will get your earthside baby. I can only imagine how it feels to be pregnant again and look forward to your future posts. I have been considering another pregnancy myself and have so many crazy (but normal for loss mom) thoughts. I wanted to say how thankful I am for your blog. It is also helpful and therapeutic to your readers!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am smiling as I read this…my heart is so happy for you and Mark.
    I look forward to reading your pregnancy journey with your rainbow (keep typing rainboy!) baby, as well as your stories about Matthew and life.
    I Believe!
    <3<3<3<3

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So glad to hear this news and I’m right there with you, friend. Your writing is so familiar to me, I could have written it (and if you’re looking for solidarity, you can look back to my blog archives and also there’s a private Facebook group for pregnancy after third trimester loss moms) . As Nora said, so much fear but so much hope. Being pregnant with my rainbow was the second hardest time of my life, after losing Lydie. But she was the most worthwhile. Keep taking it day by day, and I hope we’ll be welcoming Matthew’s little brother so very soon. (And yay for a second boy!)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dear Christine,
    I just wanted to let you know that I’m so happy for you and your family! We also lost our firstborn son last July and your posts helped me a lot in my grief journey. So I just wanted to say a big thank you for sharing your thoughts with us and I hope you will keep writing about your precious rainbow baby! Your story gives me so much hope for the future.
    Lost of love from Hungary!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Love you, Christine. I will be thinking of you, Mark, Mathew and his sibling to be everyday (of course). You are an amazing woman and an incredible momma. I am so happy for you and cautiously eager and very very hopeful for July-August. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Your words and heart are filled with such beauty, even when you can’t always see it. Thank you for entrusting us with your news and as I told you last night, I’m sending so much love and light your way, it will fill you and Mark to capacity even when your tank feels low. Matthew will be with you on this journey and loving baby brother every moment. I’m in awe of your courage and strength and I am beyond blessed to have you in my life and call you friend! Kelvin and I both send our deepest love and prayers! **Te amo dulce amiga! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Chrissie,

    Thinking of you, Mark, Matthew and your newest family member, all of the time. Here we are, accepting life earthside, moment-by-moment, and stopping for this very moment to enjoy the beauty of this rainbow. At times, the dark clouds can still scare me, so I admire your courage in looking for the sunlight.

    Thank you for sharing this moment with us.

    Love,

    Doug

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I totally agree with the idea that sometimes you need other people to carry the hope for you. Not with the blind assumption that everything will be just fine, but because there’s so much fear that can overwhelm it. So, hoping for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Congratulations! So happy for you 🙂 to be honest I did kind of guess when you said that you were sick in your earlier blog. I can’t imagine how bittersweet this experience is for you, but I am praying your rainbow gets to come home with you. I’m sure his big brother will be watching over him xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Chrissie and Mark, what a beautiful post this is! Greg and I i are overjoyed with the news of you rainboy! You are both amazing. Ours hearts are with you during this incredible journey. Matthew will be watching out for you. Love you so, the Traynors’

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh my gosh!!! Congratulations!! I am so so excited for you! I too had a hard time “coming out”, but we are expecting our rainbow too!! I’m actually being induced with our newest daughter two weeks from Friday!! Pregnancy after loss is amazing and beautiful, but also absolutely terrible at times. I would love to support you through the pregnancy of Matthew’s little brother!! This is such awesome news!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. To my beloved sister in law,

    You are such a special lady. God has made you so magnificent. I am hopeful, prayerful, and inspired by the wonder of your words. Congratulations from the bottom of my heart.

    We love you so, are joyful, patient, and hopeful.
    Love you so.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Christine, I follow you on Instagram and recently found your blog. I’m devouring it. I lost my baby boy less than 4 weeks ago (cord accident)
    and reading your posts has me crying and laughing equal parts. I’m grateful to you for bringing me some comfort as I can relate on so many levels. Sending good thoughts and well wishes your way as you prepare to welcome sweet Matthew’s baby brother!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Emily, Thank you so much for your sweet message. I’m so very sorry about your loss of your precious little boy. I’ve been thinking about you ever since you posted your pictures of Beckett – such a beautiful baby. To call this loss heartbreaking and unfair is an understatement.

      I’m glad you’ve found some comfort and common ground and even some humor in my posts, but I’m, again, so sorry you can relate.

      Sending you love and light and strength for these dark days ahead. Be gentle and kind and patient with yourself. You aren’t alone. Please reach out again anytime. xoxo, Christine

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Every. Single. Word! I’m with you! I’m having the strangest deja vu pregnancy too, being at the same stage for all the same parts of the year! It’s so hard but lovely to have that glimmer of hope too! I would second the recommendation above for the pregnancy after third trimester loss Facebook group, it’s really helpful. Sending you all the happy healthy rainbow thoughts during this bittersweet time. Others may think this fixes or changes everything, I know that’s not remotely the case. Keep writing. You’ll get there one week at a time xx

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Dearest Christine,

    I have been following you for some time. I absolutely love to read your post and see your pictures. I am beyond thrilled to read about your wonderful news. I wish you strength, calm heart and tons of peace of mind to sustain you through the pregnancy after loss. Congratulations on your rainbow.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Chrissie, I have been following your heartfelt blog and praying for the both of you since that dreadful day! I have shared your blog and stories with many in the NICU and I can say with certainty that Matthew has had an impact. Your rawness and complete honesty has opened eyes to the real risk of life-that of being born! I am thrilled!!! at the news. You and Mark are amazing parents and I know this little brother of Matthews will be so loved. Can’ t wait to meet him! As always you are loved and hopeful prayers being sent your way. (Let’s paint a rainbow on the wall!)
    Hugs and kisses- Aunt Susan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for following our journey on this blog – it means the world to us. And also, thank you for sharing with the NICU staff – it’s great to know some of them are following, especially when they’re some of the few who actually met Matthew. So sweet of everyone. ❤

      And thank you so much for your kind words of support and thoughts and prayers. We really appreciate all of it. xoxo

      Like

  19. Mark and Christine!! Congratulations on your 2nd baby boy!! I have heard many friends talk about their “rainbow babies” and although I have no idea how you are feeling— I can imagine that it is bitter sweet. Karl and I will continue to pray that your little boy grows healthy and strong and that you find the specific care and support that you desire from all of the Dr’s and nurses involved in getting him here safely.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Congratulations! I will keep you all in my prayers. I can’t even imagine the emotions you are going through. I pray God will give you the ability to just take things one day at a time and not be crippled by the fear I’m sure you are feeling. You are brave and strong and beautiful and I’m so proud of you for being so authentic. You are an inspiration to many.

    Liked by 1 person

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