I was diagnosed with stage four endometriosis in 2019. My parents struggled to conceive me, so I always knew that infertility was a strong possibility. After having no luck trying on our own, and my increasing pain from being off birth control, we were referred to a wonderful fertility clinic.

My fertility clinic was amazing, and with the care from a highly skilled reproductive endocrinologist, we finally had some good news, multiple healthy embryos just waiting to be our future children!

After a few procedures, I was ready for my first embryo transfer in August of 2021.

It was successful, and I couldn’t believe our luck! We “graduated” from the fertility clinic, and the day before my birthday, we found out we were having a boy!

To say this pregnancy wasn’t stressful would be a lie. I had spotting and scares, including heavy bleeding from an SCH that led me to believe for weeks that I had suffered a miscarriage. These experiences made me terrified to be excited for anything.

When I was 20 weeks pregnant, I had finally begun to relax and had started to believe that the worst was behind us, and we were truly at the halfway point to bringing our son home. Shortly after meeting this milestone, I began to feel stretching and pain, and over the next few days, the pain had progressed to the point where it was unbearable. My husband and I rushed to the hospital on December 7th to find out I had been in labor for two days, and our baby boy had no heartbeat.

Delivering my son, Abel Matthew, and holding him as the room darkened in the early December afternoon was something I will never forget.

There was no explanation for what happened. And even though he was so tiny, he was incredibly perfect. I had the most warm and comforting doctor and nurse who were there with me throughout every step of this devastating journey. I will never forget their kindness and their compassion during one of my darkest days.

After a few months, consistent therapy, and support from my family and friends, I decided I was ready to try another transfer.

Right around Abel’s due date, we found out we were blessed with another successful transfer, and that we were expecting a girl!

This pregnancy felt like this beautiful combination of bittersweet and serendipity. I was due exactly one year and nine days after the anniversary of our devastating loss.

As the looming milestone began to creep up on my calendar, 20 weeks 3 days, I practiced working through my anxiety only to experience the only type of coincidental and unlucky event that only seems to happen in movies. On the the exact same day we lost our son, I felt a gush of blood in the grocery store. My heart sank as we rushed to the same hospital, on the same day of my pregnancy, where I was wheeled out with a box instead of a baby. However, this trip was different, I felt her bouncing, kicking and flipping. I felt life.

Waiting to hear her heartbeat and confirmation that she was okay felt like an eternity. After a stay in the hospital, multiple scans, and diagnostics, we never really found out the source of the bleeding, but it continued to test me throughout my pregnancy. The heavy spotting would pop up on what should have been exciting memories; my birthday, the day before my shower, and even right as I went into labor. My mantra became: different embryo, different baby, different pregnancy, different outcome.

It was all different, but as the seasons changed and the days got shorter my feelings of anxiety and dread felt as if they were hiding right around corner, waiting for that other shoe to drop, and for my world to come crashing to a halt.

I went into labor six days before the year mark of losing Abel.

Elle's birth - Back to December: A Rainbow Baby Story

Author’s Personal Collection/Becca DellaVolpe

When I finally heard Elle cry, my whole life started over. I whispered to her, “We’ve been waiting so long for you!“ Seeing Elle’s beautiful face didn’t take away any of the pain of losing her brother, but I felt my sadness begin to soften. I had never cried tears of joy before I met my girl, and from the time she was home through her brother’s birthday I would burst into tears just because I felt so incredibly blessed to have this beautiful gift.

Family at Christmas - Back to December: A Rainbow Baby Story

Author’s Personal Collection/Becca DellaVolpe

There is no doubt in my mind Abel sent his sister Elle to us, and I see his little face so often when I look at her. Through my loss, I’ve found I am so much stronger than I ever expected. There will always be incredible joy and incredible sadness in December for me, and I am strong enough to hold space for both.

Family on a carousel - Back to December: A Rainbow Baby Story

Author’s Personal Collection/Becca DellaVolpe

I will always carry my son with me, and being his mom made me better. A better person, a better wife, a better mother, a better friend. My son broke me open and made me better, and my daughter continues to make me whole.

Baby Elle at the beach - Back to December: A Rainbow Baby Story

Author’s Personal Collection/Becca DellaVolpe

Family - Back to December: A Rainbow Baby Story

Author’s Personal Collection/Becca DellaVolpe

Becca and Elle - Back to December: A Rainbow Baby Story

Author’s Personal Collection/Becca DellaVolpe

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