Our Rainbow After The Storm

It is understood that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of any storm. When a rainbow appears, it does not mean that the storm never happened or that we are not still dealing with it’s aftermath. It means 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.

When Brent and I found out I was pregnant we were both so excited and we could not wait for Grayson to be a big brother! Although he had no clue what was happening or going to be happening we always talked about the baby in mommy’s belly just so he could start to understand.

Our pregnancy announcement (below) was Brent’s idea. He wanted us to take a variety of fun pictures, make a collage and post on Facebook so as people would scroll through we would see if they would catch it in their newsfeed.

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We found out very very early that I was pregnant. And once we found out I began asking Grayson if there was a bubby or a sissy in my belly. For many weeks he didn’t answer me. I would say give the baby a kiss and he would kiss my belly or he would sit by me and rub my belly. I’m not sure how far along I was, but one day I again asked Grayson who was in mommy’s belly, bubby or sissy, and on this day he said with excitement, sissy!

Since that day, I would always say, who’s in mommy’s belly and he would say sissy belly and he would say it with so much joy and happiness. We always called Grayson bubby, so I wasn’t too sure if he really knew what bubby or sissy meant or if he was confused why I was asking him if there was a bubby or sissy in my belly. When he started sticking to his word of sissy, Brent and I always joked about how kids sometimes know things we don’t and maybe he’s just just telepathic and smarter than we could have ever imagined. We couldn’t wait to truly find out what we were having to see if Grayson was right.

Grayson passed away on August 15th and we were to find out what we were having on August 29th. We had experienced so much stress and anxiety during those five days of Grayson being sick. My body went through a lot during that time we were in the hospital with him. I couldn’t eat, drink, I was dehydrated, I wasn’t sleeping, I was dry heaving, I was scared, I felt helpless. At one point I remember someone at the hospital saying to me if I didn’t drink something they were going to have to bring in fluids for me as well. The morning that we left the hospital after Grayson passed, they immediately took me over to a nearby hospital to have an ultrasound to be sure the baby was not under any stress that he or she was doing okay, due to the amount of stress that I was under. The baby was great. He or she had a great heartbeat and was moving around. They only had me in the ER for about 15 minutes before we were done and making the long quiet drive back home.

I want to re-share a little portion of the eulogy I shared at Grayson’s Celebration of Life.

It’s been hard for me to hold things together, but knowing we have another little one coming in just 5 months I am feeling a little at ease. I know I have to be strong and healthy for myself. This baby may be the saving grace that we needed to help keep us together and help keep our faith strong. We find out in 9 days what we are having and for weeks now Grayson has been calling the baby in my belly sissy. If we find out that day that is what we are having I truly believe that too would be a sign and Grayson knew and wanted us to know. Either way I hope I am able to see Grayson in his sibling, to know that he’s there. And this baby isn’t coming to replace Grayson, but it’s coming because Brent and I have much more love to offer.

The Tuesday following Grayson’s Celebration of Life, Brent and I decided to do an elective ultrasound to see if Grayson truly was right, and if he was going to have a baby sister. Brent and I arrived at Babybliss and sat in the truck for about a half hour before our appointment time. We were both nervous and anxious. Brent had told me that morning that he had a lot of anxiety about what we were having. Our anxiety for this situation was very similar. We were so curious if the baby truly was a little girl and if it was we knew we would be traveling a little different path in raising a little girl. And if it was a little boy would he look exactly like Grayson? Either way we just hoped that we would be able to see some of Grayson in his sibling. We were also just praying for a healthy baby. At this point in our lives a healthy happy baby is all that mattered, and all that mattered before, but our nerves were so crazy we just wanted to see a healthy little baby on that screen.

We went inside for our appointment and my stomach was hurting the whole time. I was a nervous wreck. I tend to get nervous anyway for ultrasounds because you just want to be sure to hear that heartbeat and make sure everything is okay. The ultrasound tech who did our appointment was amazing and within just a few minutes of us being there was able to tell us exactly what gender our baby was. I had reached out to Megan, to let her know a little of our story before hand. When we got in there we had told her Grayson’s theory on what he thought was in my belly. Once she determined the gender and shared the big news with us she told us that before she even checked for the gender she had a feeling he was right.

I had my phone out to take a video and I had closed my eyes so she could share the news of boy or girl by flipping a light switch to pink or blue, and when I opened my eyes, the light switch was flipped to pink. Brent and I both shed some tears.

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My heart was happy, but sad at the time time. I felt an emptiness that I had never felt before. An emptiness that I never thought in my life I would have to feel.

While at this appointment, the ultrasound tech noticed that baby girl had a two vessel umbillical cord, most babies have three vessels. She wasn’t able to give a ton of information to us as she is not our doctor, but she wanted to let us know just so that we could be sure to bring it up to our doctor at our appointment. She said it was something she had seen before and it can be common. She was able to see all of the baby’s organs, that she was growing right on track, and had a healthy strong heartbeat, which is good to hear.

That is until we left and I became a nervous wreck. I told myself I was NOT going to Google anything about a two vessel cord because I didn’t want to be scared. But I was scared. I was a nervous wreck and I really just needed to know from my doctor that my baby was okay. That this two vessel umbilical cord was not going to cause any issues. That I was not going to lose my baby. I just lost one baby and I was not going to lose another. That night and the night after I was so sick to my stomach I was starting to make myself sick again. Brent and I were both in that state of mind that we just wanted a healthy baby.

Thankfully we know some people who have good contacts and they contacted my doctor for me as I was a mess worrying about this situation. I was so worked up and nervous that I needed reassurance she was going to be okay. My doctor called me the next day and I told him what we discovered at the elective ultrasound and he said that it is good that the ultrasound tech was able to see all of her organs and that she was growing right on track. He said until we could get in to have our appointment with him and his ultrasound tech, that should make us feel good knowing she could see those major things and that her measurements were right on target with her due date. He told us that he has seen two vessel babies before and he delivers around 1 or 2 a year and the main things they look for in the anatomy ultrasounds are that the baby has all 4 chambers of the heart, they look for signs of down syndrome and they check to make sure all the organs are there as well as making sure the baby is growing on target to his or her due date. He told us that he would have his ultrasound tech recheck all of those things and they of course would do so in-depth to be sure everything was okay.

We ended up moving our appointment with the doctor to that Thursday, just two days after the elective ultrasound so we could meet with him and let him reassure us everything was going to be okay.

We went upstairs to our ultrasound and again my stomach was hurting. I wanted to cry the whole time and at the end I did end up shedding a few tears. The ultrasound tech at this appointment was too able to see all the major organs and she too was able to confirm she had a 2 vessel umbilical cord. After our ultrasound we met with the doctor and when he walked in the first thing he said was, “You guys have been at the lowest of lows and going through the hardest of days, but today, today is a great day.” He said your daughter is perfect, she is very photogenic and has a beautiful profile to her face. I don’t know who she would get that from. 🙂 Sometimes babies with 2 vessel umbilical cords can be a little smaller at birth and due to the “flimsiness” of the cord my doctor typically takes those babies via c-section a few days prior to their due dates. Some babies with this can be pre-mature or born early due to the lack of nutrition they can receive so they typically deliver earlier to get the nutrition they do need.

Our little girl, however is perfect. She is growing right on target and actually has really long legs that are measuring ahead of schedule! We will be having a repeat c-section in January; which I can’t believe is only 4 months away.

I guess I am writing this post to not only share some of Graysie with you all, but to share that sometimes God might throw so many different situations at you in life, but he doesn’t give you more than you can handle. We were at the lowest of lows and are still at the lowest point in our lives, but we hope and pray that little Graysie will provide the healing our hearts need. I pray that I can give her just as much love as I gave Grayson.

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I had mentioned years ago to Brent that my great grandma wanted to name me Gracie when I was a baby. Brent has always loved the name, but I always said it would be too close to Grayson. When things in life happen, it happens for a reason and I truly know that this is the perfect name and it was made for her.

We just had our recent 4 week visit to the doctor. If I haven’t mentioned before, I love my OB, as does Brent. He is the sweetest man and always gives me the reassurance I am looking for. At this appointment though he brought up something that has been heavy on my heart. He asked us, “Does being pregnant and knowing you have something to look forward to help keep your mind occupied when you are hurting so much?” And before I could even talk I began crying. I told him that is something that I have been struggling with. I feel sad because Grayson isn’t here and he should be. He’s supposed to be here to be a big brother and help welcome his little sister. He is supposed to be at the hospital the day she is born wearing a big brother shirt. He is supposed to be in our first family of 4 photo.

All those memories I had visioned in my head that would play out in January won’t be the same memories that will happen. I told my doctor I feel guilt. I can’t explain this form or guilt, but it’s there. I told him I’m nervous for what my feelings will be once she is here. How will my body, my heart and my soul feel? If you’re a woman and have gone through pregnancy you understand what I mean when I say your hormones are crazy during pregnancy, but for me they were worse after. I cried when I was happy and cried when I was sad. I cried when I nursed and I cried when I looked at Grayson. I am scared for what my feelings and my heart will feel. I know I will love Graysie so much. It’s just hard to figure out how I will feel when I know I will also be hurting so bad. I want to show her how much she too is loved, and I don’t want her to feel anything less than loved and I want her to know she means just as much to us as Grayson, and I simply don’t want to deny her of that.

I’m not exactly sure how things will be in January, but I know we have a special little girl on our hands, Graysie girl is the rainbow after our storm and Grayson will be a part of her life in so many different aspects, and we will continue to carry Grayson in our hearts and in our daily lives. And you never truly realize how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.

And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what the storm is all about. -Haruki Murakami

 

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And I can see Graysie and I now dancing in the living room to this song because the two of us will be strong together. ❤

This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me

 

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