Seeking the Rainbow

The Italy series have finally come to a close. I wrote most of my Italy posts back to back over a week or two in order to keep my mind occupied. Since then, I have been doing a few other things. For one, I mentioned in my post ‘Love and Loss‘ about a little something I wanted to do in memory of our babies. That ‘something’ is starting to materialise.

What I had in mind was to contribute a letter to the comfort boxes the hospital gives out to parents who have lost their baby in late miscarriage, still birth, or in early infancy. The box that Florian and I were given contained their footprints, a condolence card from the hospital’s bereavement committee, as well as angel pendants. These pendants come in pairs, with one pinned onto baby’s swaddle/gown/clothes (sewn and donated by Angelhearts), and the other given to parents.

I thought hard about what I could do to honour our triplets as well as to help on my journey towards healing. My thoughts settled on the comfort box and I wondered what else could have given me, and Florian, more comfort after our loss.

Words. 

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I have always been a believer that words are incredibly powerful. They have the ability to break a person, and the ability to build someone up. Following this vein of thought, I thought of how a letter from a mother or father who has walked the path of loss before us, and managed to find peace and hope, would have been great encouragement to us. We may not have received those words of solace, but we can make sure that others do.

I reached out to a contact Mum has, who works in the hospital I had delivered our babies in. She in turn, contacted the Bereavement Committee Head to share about what I hoped to do. I wanted to write a letter to other mothers suffering from pregnancy/infant loss, so that they can be reassured of better days ahead; that there is light after darkness. I want them to know that they are not alone. My hope is that over time, other mothers of angel babies will feel inspired to do the same. Of course, my hope is that no other parent will have to go through the turmoil of losing their precious child. Unfortunately, I know that this is unlikely.

It took a while but Mum’s contact finally got back to me with the green light – the Bereavement Committee were more than happy with my suggestion, and eager to support me on this letter. I’ve since sent in my first draft, and am waiting for feedback in case amendments are needed. It’s bittersweet, really. While I am excited about how my letter may be able to comfort parents, I also pray that as few parents will have to go through such a heavy loss. So in a way, the fewer people this letter reaches, the better.

In my wait for replies from the hospital regarding the letter, I also decided to start up an online magazine. I have named it Seeking the Rainbow.

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In Singapore, and most of Asia, perhaps even in Europe, it is usually the case that people do not talk about pregnancy/infant loss. During the first trimester of pregnancy, women sometimes keep mum about it because superstition suggests that sharing the good news will result in a miscarriage. As such, women who experience early miscarriage, or multiple miscarriages, often suffer in silence. Their mothers may tell them to forget about it and try again; the pain of losing is swallowed and it is as if the pregnancy/miscarriage never happened at all.

I’m not superstitious. But I won’t lie that the thought of sharing our triple good news with close friends and family in our first trimester has made me wonder if I jinxed the pregnancy. It’s silly, I know. And yet, I still wonder.

Losing in my second trimester after it was obvious that I was pregnant made me feel waves of guilt, shame, and aloneness. I felt guilty as a mother, that I didn’t do my duty to protect my children. I lost three precious lives! I felt shame at my incompetency; ashamed that I dare to dream a glorious dream of our babies being born strong and healthy, only to have it all swept away. I felt alone, looking at the heavily pregnant mothers on the street, at mothers with their new borns, and thinking of how that could have been me; wondering why all of them are so blessed without the heartache of loss shadowing them.

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The thing is, we don’t wear Loss on our faces. There may be women, glowing with the newness of motherhood, silently bearing scars of previous losses in their hearts. I don’t want any woman to feel alone, or ashamed, or guilty. I hope that with Seeking the Rainbow, women will share their stories, relieving themselves of the ache of miscarriage and allowing other women to find hope and light from their words. It would be nice to see the day when discourse of pregnancy/infant loss is no longer frowned upon or shied away from, as though it is a virus that can be spread.

Not all women will get their rainbow baby, but I believe all women will find their rainbow in whatever shape or form it appears.

So please, if you’d like to join me on my project, pop on over to

http://www.seekingtherainbow.com

and follow us. It’s still in its early days but I pray it will bloom and grow.

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