Rainbow Baby

rainbow_baby_ready.jpgRainbow baby: the little one who will bring colour back into our lives...


Our daughter Sybella was stillborn on April 24th 2010. My husband Kelvin and I had barely gotten our heads around that, and were still grieving very deeply, when on June 28th, I found out I was pregnant again.


Sybella’s death rocked us to our very core. Despite an uneventful pregnancy with perfect test results throughout, Sybella died suddenly at 34 weeks for reasons still unknown.

In the weeks after her death, I was consumed by devastation and longed to rewind the time to when I was pregnant again: happy and carefree without the shadow of grief hanging over me constantly. I thought  a new pregnancy would be the way to achieve this...I would still be grieving, but would have a happy, hopeful focus. Then I got my first period after giving birth. I panicked completely and realised I was in no way emotionally ready for another pregnancy. Kelvin and I decided to postpone another pregnancy for a few months. At least until we had Sybella’s post-mortem results back.

But then we conceived again, unintentionally.


I was in shock. I was happy, don’t get me wrong. I wanted this baby and welcomed it wholeheartedly. But I felt incredibly guilty. I felt like I hadn’t given Sybella enough of a period of grace. The anxiety seeped in slowly...I had not had enough time to get it under control or come to terms with it after Sybella died. The anxiety regarding her death snowballed into the new pregnancy, and I had absolutely no confidence that I would get to meet this new little one either. Especially since at that stage, we didn’t even know why Sybella had died. (We know now that her death was an “unexplained stillbirth” which gives very small odds that the same thing will occur again).


Then, the next day, I experienced a little spotting. I took myself to the hospital. and found out that my HCG levels were good at 25000. The midwife assured me that with levels like that, there should be a visible heartbeat on ultrasound, so she sent me off to have one. At the ultrasound, the trainee technician told me that there was no embryo, only a misshapen sac with bleeding surrounding it.  But she was mistaken.

From then on, I was incredibly grateful for this new baby. I thought it had been taken from me too, but when it was given back, I was ecstatic. Although it was still emotionally difficult, I felt finally that it was worth it.


The ride since then has not been easy though. I’ve had a positive blood test for Cytomegalovirus (a virus that causes similar birth defects as Rubella)...for a week I was a wreck, till they discovered that the positive test was false.

Then at eight weeks, I started bleeding. Ultrasound showed the baby was okay, but any kind of blood during pregnancy will panic a woman, especially if she’s had a pregnancy loss before.


I had my twelve week Nuchal Translucency ultrasound and the results were great. Everything looked fantastic. The experience itself was very emotional, because the last time I had a “major” scan, I was told that my baby had died. When I entered the room, I just stood next to the bed in the dark and cried for two whole minutes, unable to lie down and commence the scan. The technician didn’t know what to do! Eventually I was able to do it, and all was okay. But the next morning I started bleeding again! Quite heavily too. A visit to the obstetrician and a quick scan showed the baby was alive and growing well. That was a week ago.


I am now fourteen weeks pregnant. I’m still bleeding a little, but the baby seemed fine at the last check. I have to trust that everything will work out the way it’s meant to. I like to think that Sybella will look after the new baby and make sure it arrives safely. Even though we have a new blessing on its way, Sybella will never be forgotten as our daughter. I continue to write about her, speak about her and celebrate her.


As for this new baby, I still wonder if we will get to meet this little one. I have very little faith in my ability to bring this baby into the world safely. But I just have to live through these next 26 weeks with as much trust and hope as I can. Just take it day by day.


You can read the week by week experiences of my pregnancy at Rainbow Baby

You can read Sybella’s story at Born Still

Comments (1)

Said this on 16-06-12 At 04:40 am

I'm so sorry for your loss & I wish you all the best, happiest & healthiest 9 months. Thank you for sharing your experience. I lost my baby 5 days after she was born. She was 8 weeks premature though she should have survived & the odds of anything bad happening were SO slim, she developed NEC which is an intestinal infection & passed away. It's almost been 10 months & that dark cloud you speak of still looms over me. We've been trying for another baby for 5 cycles & I'm hoping we get our rainbow baby soon! I totally understand not feeling ready so soon after the death of your daughter. I couldn't have imagined getting pregnant so soon - feeling like I'm replacing what I'd lost. But two months later, I wanted a baby again SO badly. But my husband didn't. So we waited 5 months to start trying again. It's such a difficult journey. I am not looking forward to going to ultrasound appointments & hearing the heart beat & giving birth again in fear of reliving my pregnancy with my daughter & feeling the sadness of her loss. I think I will have a hard time too. Thanks again!

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