If Someone Had Told Me…
By: Jennifer Haake
Rainbows. If someone had told me that rainbows would become such an important part of my life, I would have looked at them like they had two heads. Why would rainbows ever be important? I mean sure, they are pretty and everyone loves them, but important?
The first important rainbow was on our wedding day. It stormed something fierce while we were getting married (outside in a winery). A giant clap of thunder pronounced us husband and wife. Talk about stunned wedding guests. And then a giant rainbow that stretched the length of the sky.
Had I only known that life was going to be just like that day.
Fast forward seven years. The second important rainbow. The day we flew to St. Louis to bury our son. We drove in silence to the airport at 5:30 a.m. on October 2, 2010. I looked out the window just as the sun was starting to rise. And there was a huge and bright rainbow guiding the way. I still look at the grainy picture I took with my cell phone and I can feel all the same feelings.
Fast forward again to April 2013….we had transferred two embryos hoping for a rainbow baby. That IVF cycle was full of drama from the first injection. And worry. So much angst and worry. On April 4, 2013 we were told ” you are pregnant, but not really. Beta’s of 8 don’t end in successful pregnancies.” However, no one told our rainbow baby that. She hung in. Even after a subchorionic hemorrhage that left us wondering if she was still there. The remainder of her pregnancy was filled with worry. You see, my first pregnancy was great until it wasn’t. So this time I was scared.
I was terrified, and rightly so. However if I could do it all over, I would have learned to stop and and enjoy the ride a little more.
The storm that created that amazing rainbow didn’t stop for her or us. On Friday, September 13, 2013 my water broke at 27 weeks. Little Miss Impatient hung in for about 9 more days before making her grand entrance via emergency c-section. The same operating room I had delivered her sisters and brother just 3 years before. They said she would not cry…HA! She squeaked. She was a whopping 2 lbs 2 oz of fury. And for 84 days we spent weathering her storm. She didn’t sail through that NICU stay. In fact, we had some pretty big hurdles, but she worked hard and overcame them.
Today, my rainbow baby isn’t a baby anymore. She just turned five. Although, you cannot convince her that she is only just five. She says, “Mom, I am five now. I’m a big kid.” She is the epitome of a ray of sunshine. She brought some color back into our broken hearts. She adds color everywhere she goes.
She tells people all about her brother and how much she loves him. Honestly, I hope she knew him.
That may sound silly to some but, who knows….maybe he brought her to us. She looks just like he did. Abigail has a very BIG personality. She is loving, funny, sassy, and willful. Each of my children color my world with their own set of markers. They remind me to never give up hope. Even in the darkest of stormy days; rainbows often appear. Rainbows are beauty and light in the dark.
Derek and Jennifer Haake are proud parents of three daughters and one son. They have been happily married for almost 15 years. You can often find them and their daughters rooting for the Cardinals and the Blues. They both want nothing more than to share their story and help others. Derek, serves on the Board of Directors of Share, while Jennifer volunteers and is a parent companion for Share.
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