When I wrote about this moment on May 21st, I had hoped it would turn into a pregnancy announcement of a double rainbow baby conceived after miscarriages in both March and April of this year. Now, nearly two weeks later, I am sad to be announcing, instead, another miscarriage, which brings us to three this year and five total.
Still, on this cold and rainy June 3rd (it’s currently 48 degrees outside at the heat of the day), I want to share this moment for what it is and forever will be: a God moment. A glimpse of hope and promise in the middle of an ongoing storm. Not a promise of a baby but the forever promise of his presence and empathy. God is so good. Here is my post from May 22nd with a unique ending– a hindsight reflection on what this moment means to me now and forever:
Today, I saw a rainbow. My rainbow.
Two days ago, on May 19th, I learned I was pregnant. Again. If you’re new to my story, check out my infertility and miscarriage timeline to fully appreciate what a wild and unexpected miracle this is. At this point, I’m torn between “this isn’t real life” and “why wouldn’t I be?” I’m not terribly anxious yet but not remarkably excited either. Right now, emotionally, it feels like, “We’ll see.” I know God can, but I don’t know if he will, and honestly, I trust him either way. He is good either way. Separately from my trust in God’s goodness, I reeeally would like to keep this baby.
Today, May 21st, I went for a walk. It was cold, windy, mostly cloudy, and threatening rain, but I was feeling some sort of crampy and therefore anxious. I had to get outside, breathe some fresh air, and spend some quiet time with God.
Around that same, old, familiar soccer field, I walked. The soccer field on which I had watched my baby sister play soccer over a decade earlier. The same soccer field around which I had walked after my third miscarriage, and then my fourth, having some frank conversations with God, pleading with him, trusting him, declaring his goodness, and asking him some hard questions.
As I walked toward the lake, I told God I really would appreciate a warm, sunny day during which to enjoy his company. “April 13th was so beautiful. Why is it still so cold at the end of May,” I asked, not expecting a reply but rambling freely to my Creator before bringing up the hard stuff.
I thanked God for his goodness and mercies through the storms of infertility and miscarriage, particularly our most recent miscarriages this past March and April. I had read a quote or a Bible verse recently that said something like, “Maybe God isn’t healing you because through the Holy Spirit, he has given you the power to heal yourself, and it is your responsibility as a believer to declare that healing.” Remembering this perspective which was new to me, I declared healing over my body, over whatever it was that was causing me to miscarry and asked God to sustain my pregnancy until I could wholeheartedly believe that my healing declaration was enough.
I told God that my hope was in him, then asked that he would enter the dark corners of my mind that doubted that very statement, fill them in for me, and do a work in my heart to replace that doubt. Then I confessed, “God, I honestly don’t know it means to put my hope in you. I know that regardless of the outcome of this pregnancy, you are good, and I trust you. That, I can say without a doubt. Separately from that, I would really like to keep this baby. I boldly asked that you would allow me to become pregnant this month and with twins, and you answered yes to at least part of that request. Please let me keep this baby.” Or babies…
As I neared the lakefront, raindrops fell through the leaves overhead and onto my nose. Anthony had offered to put Theodore to bed so I could have as much time outside as I wanted, and I had planned to sit with God next to the lake until I felt satisfied in his presence and comfort. So much for that.
I turned around and started walking back across the soccer field toward my house as the intensity of both the rain and the wind increased. I contemplated running home but decided that wouldn’t get me home that much faster and that rain boots were hardly the ideal running shoes. I continued walking through the soccer field, pretending it wasn’t as cold or rainy or windy as it actually was and remembering the warm North Country summer rain from my teenage years.
Halfway home, the rain stopped. I did a quick spin hoping to see a rainbow, knowing it would be a sweet gift to see one but not superstitiously fearing that my new baby would die if I didn’t see one. No rainbow. Just a gray cloud quickly blowing in from the north, sweeping left to right across my field of view. As I spun back around, I could tell more rain was coming by the way bits of the cloud were streaming down from itself, making the space below the cloud appear fuzzy. I slowed down, hoping the rain was, in fact, over and that maybe I could return to the lakeside.
Moments later, more rain. A second “storm.” I let my long hair down out of my large hair clip so I could pull my hood more tightly around my face and sped back up to my regular walking pace. One more spin in search of a rainbow. No rainbow.
As I neared the tennis courts at the edge of the park, the rain stopped again, and the sun broke through the clouds in such a way and at such an angle that I imagined the sunbeams darting straight over my head and through the raindrops, fragmenting the light into those seven iconic colors of hope. I dared to look back one more time.
There it was.
Past the thin, rainless cloud directly overhead and the patch of clear, blue sky beyond that, against the backdrop of another dark, gray cloud was a rainbow. My rainbow. The rainbow I didn’t see on my Easter Sunday walk five days following my 4th miscarriage.
You know how God is funny? Yeah, the rainbow was faint. Faint like the second line on the pregnancy test. Haha. But definitely there. As they say in the infertility community, “A line is a line.” A rainbow is a rainbow.
The goodness and hormones overwhelmed me. Alone on the cold, wet, gloomy soccer field, I shed tears of joy, relief, trust, gratitude, and understanding. A rainbow after two storms symbolizing, in my mind, the two miscarriages I had experienced 11 weeks and 5 weeks prior.
As the sun lowered, the wind whisked away the gray cloud backdrop that made my rainbow visible*. The sky cleared, and the wind slowed. It felt warmer. It most certainly was not warmer, but it felt warmer. God had given me a rainbow, and now he was giving me a “warm, sunny” spring day during which to enjoy his company. I made my way back across the soccer field, back toward where I had seen my rainbow, back toward the lakefront to do just that.
I sat on the damp bench next to a quiet street that ran along the shore of the lake and asked God if there was anything else he would like to tell me. “Forgive him” immediately came to mind.
Yesterday, May 20th, my husband was late returning from work. He had an emergency meeting with the local VFW post that ran longer and longer as I grew more and more frustrated that I apparently wasn’t going to make it outside before sunset. Yesterday was just the sort of warm, sunny spring day I’ve been coveting these days, especially as I had been feeling nauseated by pregnancy hormones and knew I needed some fresh air.
Anthony had already apologized, but I wasn’t ready to accept it immediately. Annoyed that it was dark by the time he got home, I decided I would drive to the grocery store and stormed out of the house, only making peace with him long enough to commission him to kill a nasty spider on the side of the family vehicle.
Immediately inside the store’s sliding glass doors was a display including two rainbow balloons, side-by-side. Exactly two. A double rainbow I wouldn’t have seen if Anthony wouldn’t have been late and I wasn’t upset about it.
Side story: the day before on a family outing to Target, I saw another double rainbow in the baby section. There were baby girl pants with a rainbow on the butt, and someone had moved a pair to the wrong rack so there were two rainbows side-by-side. A double rainbow. This was the day I learned I was pregnant.
I returned home full, refreshed, and confident. I told Anthony I forgave him for being out late last night and that if I had been able to go outside yesterday, I wouldn’t have gone outside today and would have missed my rainbow.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” Romans 8:28.
June 3rd, 2019
*What I failed to emphasize, what really felt like the sign– the warning– was that that rainbow quickly disappeared. As I watched that faint rainbow vanish as quickly as it appeared, I refused to acknowledge the gut-sinking feeling that this baby would soon disappear into the heavens as well.
Maybe the double rainbows at the grocery store and at Target were reminders of God’s presence throughout my two miscarriages earlier this same year. Maybe he was telling me, “I was there through your miscarriages in March and April, and I’ll be there through this one, just as I’ve promised.”
Maybe they were reminders of his promises to collect my tears, go with me, fight for me, and heal my broken heart rather than a promise of a “double rainbow baby.” Reminders that he remembers and cares about both the babies I had lost earlier this year and that I can hold onto the promise and hope of heaven.
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. Exodus 14:14
He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. Psalm 147:3
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. Psalm 56:8
I’m still learning all the way God speaks to me and what he’s trying to tell me with each interaction. This time, I had it wrong at first, but I am getting better at listening for him, understanding him, receiving him, and putting my hope in him and not a baby… whatever that means.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.