We just returned from a vacation (of sorts) to our hometown to see family and friends before our Li’l Bub is due. I was home for 3 weeks; Chris joined me for the last week. It was a relaxing, rejuvenating time for me to be back home again, surrounded by familiar people and places. One of the highlights of our visit was dinner with my cousin Liz, her husband Andy, and 2 of her 4 beautiful children. It was a special evening for many reasons, the first being that we got to meet and hold Liz and Andy’s rainbow, Sawyer. Although he was not the first infant I had held since losing Rowan, it was a very special moment nonetheless; perhaps because we are family, or perhaps because of the pure joy in the room at beholding this tiny miracle, it is an experience I won’t soon forget.

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Liz and I had formed a special bond over the past year and 7 months; we had both lost our boys (Rowan and Hudson) within approximately a month of each other. Holding Sawyer was like a glimpse into our own future. His precious little spirit radiated from his sweet face between little sighs, quiet cries, baby yawns, and brief bouts of sleep. With him in my arms, I felt such a surge of hope for our own rainbow, nestled snugly in my belly, beneath my embrace that cradled tiny Sawyer next to my heart.

And I couldn’t keep from smiling the entire time.

I watched as Chris held him, a broad smile upon his face, as well. I worried that he’d feel awkward, but my worries soon faded as he adjusted brilliantly to the task; his big hand gently cradling Sawyer’s head and neck while supporting his back with his forearm, and his free arm keeping the baby covered with a soft blanket and adding extra support. I remember him cradling Rowan this way, and looking into his face just as adoringly. I imagined him cradling Li’l Bub this way one day. I imagined him talking to Bub, and Bub cooing at his daddy’s expressive face and the sound of his voice.

More smiling.

I watched my husband hold a living child, and it felt good.

I’d love to hear about any positive experiences you have had with babies during your time of grief.  How have you used those experiences to remain hopeful for your rainbow?

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