DSCF3081 I was excited to see the topic of “What is it like to parent a rainbow baby of a different gender than the one who died?” pop up in my newsfeed on FB because it is so closely related to the topic I wanted to write about for today. Because of our struggle with infertility, both Chris and I were ecstatic to be pregnant a little over a year after losing Rowan; we knew it was a huge blessing to be pregnant again through IVF (our last chance) after a failed FET 3 months after his death, and a failed fresh IVF cycle 3 months after that. Whenever we were asked, “Do you hope for a boy or a girl?” we adamantly answered that all we wanted was a LIVING, healthy, happy baby boy or girl. And we meant it.

At our Level 2 ultrasound when we were able to learn our little bub’s gender, we were in full agreement that we wanted to know. We had known Rowan’s gender as soon as we were able. With Chris on deployment, it gave me the ability to talk to the little guy and use his name regularly. It was a pivotal bonding experience for me. While a surprise is always nice, I felt strongly that I wanted to know this baby’s gender, too. When Chris and I first saw our baby’s image on the ultrasound screen, he said, “It’s a girl.” About 20 minutes later, the technician declared, “It’s a boy!” I cried and felt a sense of relief wash over me. In the spirit of full disclosure, I have to admit there was a small part of my heart that was hoping for another boy. I know it is different for every bereaved Mommy, but for me, another boy allowed me to come full circle. Let me explain. During my pregnancy with Rowan, I was alone a great deal save the time I was back home in Indiana visiting family or with Chris during a 96 hour break from deployment. Rowan, our first son, was my world. I spoke to him as if he was there looking at me and able to respond back. His presence in my tummy was comforting; he was my constant companion. I fell in love with the idea of being the Mommy of a little boy. I mentally prepared for the responsibility of parenting a son for almost 38 weeks. And then, the unimaginable, followed by the hole in my heart in the shape of my boy.

Flash forward to this pregnancy and the knowledge I am carrying Rowan’s little brother. For some, this situation may intensify the fear and anxiety associated with pregnancy after loss, and I completely understand that. The joy in being able to share our perspectives makes it comfortable for me to say it actually relieved some of my fear and anxiety. While this son will NEVER replace our Rowan, he will contribute to his Momma’s healing as I come full circle, and God willing, bring home our baby boy. I’m excited to share Rowan’s legacy with his little brother, and explain how it lead to the beautiful legacy that is now his. 

One of my most fervent hopes for this baby boy is that he knows how special he is, and how loved he is. I am going to make it a priority to create a meaningful connection between my two sons, one Rowan’s little brother will cherish and value throughout his life.

I’d love to hear your stories and ideas for building a meaningful relationship between your angel baby(ies) and his/her siblings!

Share this story!