By: Andrea Kintz
My husband and I are on a timely trend of life events. We had our first date. Nine months later, we got engaged. Nine months later, we got married. Nine months later, we got pregnant. Nine months later, we lost our first child. Nine months later, we became pregnant with our second child. We are now fast approaching another nine-month milestone as I am 33 weeks pregnant with our Rainbow Baby. But, God knows, these last several months have been the most stressful yet. It makes you reconsider the “stress” you were under while planning your wedding or the “stress” you bring home from work. The word “stress” has a new meaning for us as we ventured into the frightening territory of trying for a second child, after our son passed away at 39 weeks gestation. When pregnant after such a devastating loss, nothing can take away the daily anxiety, wondering if I am doing something wrong or if the feelings in my tummy are normal. Every day is a challenge to make sure my body does not fail again. But it is with the strength from our son, the faith in my God and the love of my husband that we can continue to LOVE FORWARD and expand our family.
This is where our Rainbow Story begins.
Adam and I always knew we wanted a large family. It was my running joke that I wanted 8 kids but would settle for 4. So you can image the heartache when we discovered our first child, Carter John, had passed at 39 weeks. Still to this day, with no known cause or reason but that he was just too perfect for this world.
The coming year, we honored CJ in the best ways we knew how. We planted a tree in our yard to represent him, we had a memorial service, we raised money and participated in the Share Walk in his name, we adopted the baby elephant at the St. Louis Zoo in his remembrance and so much more. But, there is one thing I believe honors CJ the greatest…our commitment to LOVING FORWARD. We will never forget CJ and the impact his little life had on us. We didn’t think we could move on. The thought was simply horrifying. The words moving on seemed to come with a stigma of forgetting the past. How dare we forget the gift of our son, though he left us too soon? So, it is with those scary words, moving on, that we instead committed to LOVING FORWARD. Adam and I agreed. We have so much love to give, it would be only right to give that same love to another child. We cannot change what happened, even though I still dwell on it every day of my life. This is the life that God gave us. We have to be strong enough to continue our path and strong enough for our future children.
So, our path is to LOVE FORWARD while remembering and honoring our first born. In a matter of a few short weeks, we will bring CJ’s sister into this world. Adam and I couldn’t think of a better way to honor CJ than to SHARE our love with his sister by LOVING FORWARD.