our rainbow baby

I began writing this post months ago…

. . .

Ours is a small flicker of reflection of the greatest Redemption Story ever told. I love that I continue to find myself within the pages of God’s Story whether in heartbreaking loss or greatest joy. For I know the true happy ending that awaits us all. And it is that hope to which I continually cling.

Today I write from a heart that overflows with gratitude. This mama and daddy cannot wait to hold our great blessing in our arms come August. Until then we entrust him or her to the hands of our God.

It’s been quite a road leading to this post. It’s been quite a road to get to standing on this beach holding a photo of our child. It’s been a road filled with longing and waiting, with devastating loss, and with that of overwhelming wonder.


the rainbows.

On December first I had seen 7 rainbows in 15 days. That’s a lot of rainbows. I knew God was up to something.

{one rainbow not pictured.}

Sure enough, exactly 7 days later, I awoke to find a second pink line on a pregnancy test.

I was pregnant.

The first month after losing our twins. I could hardly believe it. I was overwhelmed with joy and gratitude. And with my fair share of disbelief. I couldn’t believe God had blessed us in such a way. He is so, so good.


the scare.

On Christmas morning, I had some scary bleeding. I was 6.5 weeks. It was the exact day I’d miscarried our last pregnancy.

Seriously, God? On Christmas Day of all days? I cried. I thought certainly I was miscarrying again. It was without a doubt the worst Christmas I’d ever had. Though it wasn’t without its rays of hope.

Clay’s parents just happened to send this photo of a “Christmas rainbow” in the mere moments following. I had wiped my tears and was making my way downstairs for Christmas brunch where our extended family awaited as I opened the text on my phone to reveal this:

Thankfully the bleeding didn’t continue. So I definitely had a flicker of hope that I wasn’t actually miscarrying. But I had no idea what the bleeding could be from.

I reached out to my fellow Hope Mommies to find a couple of women had mentioned something called an SCH–a subchorionic hematoma. It’s a pooling of blood in between the amniotic sac and the uterine wall.

After a trip to the Emergency Room in Texas the next day, we were told that was exactly what it was.

The ER doctor told us there was a chance that it could resolve on its own, and yet I knew there was a chance it could end in miscarriage or stillbirth.

I was put on bed rest for 4.5 weeks.

My outings to church on Sundays to lead my eighth grade girls were the most I did all week. At our January 2 appointment, the hematoma hadn’t gotten any smaller. Our doctor told us to “try to hope.”

I clung to the cross and hung on every Word of God.
We prayed boldly for a miracle that by our January 21 appointment it would be completely gone.

On January 12 there was this double rainbow. We had just been to a party at Triunfo Creek Vineyards–where we had gotten married a few years before–to celebrate their re-opening after the Malibu fires. I thought about the loss of our two babies, and I hoped and prayed that these rainbows were a sign that the baby in my belly would, in fact, be our rainbow baby.

And well, I believe they were. Because when we went to our next appointment on January 21, the hematoma was completely gone.


our rainbow baby.

With a tear streaming down my face as I looked at our baby on that screen–which looked like an actual baby now–I asked the sonogram technician if she was sure.

“I don’t see it.”

I asked her a second time.

“I can’t find it,” she patiently replied.

And then our doctor confirmed it. It was gone. Completely gone.

It felt like a miracle. It was most certainly an answered prayer.

Weeks later after experiencing some scary cramping when trying to get into the car for our appointment that followed that one, we were told all is well with Baby Collier. Heart is beating strong. Measurements all look good. Our doctor even used the words, “You’re pretty much out of the woods now.” {The cramping was something called “round ligament pain” that happens when the uterus expands to make room for baby.}

It felt like a weight had been lifted. The clouds most certainly had.

I think of all we’ve been through and my eyes well with tears. It’s been a long road. But it’s been a good road. It’s been a road on which God has constantly shown up. It’s been a road of redemption, indeed.

Oh, the prayers and hopes I have for this rainbow baby–our little blessing after quite a storm.

Even at this photo shoot where we finally celebrated this little life (with this adorable onesie from a sweet friend of mine), I looked up to the sky and saw a rainbow. A halo over the sun.

And today she is here. We finally have her in our arms…

I wanted to paint her feet with a rainbow because these feet of hers were a very vision God had gifted me with when I was in the thick of fearing that we’d miscarry again.

I prayed through tears to God to “try to hope” as our doctor has told us. I knew this God was the God of hope. And yet I struggled. “I believe but help me with my unbelief, Lord,” I prayed.

And then in the darkness behind my eye lids, a vision appeared.

Baby feet.

The bottoms of baby feet–real, live baby feet.

I felt God telling me to hope. I felt God telling me it was safe to hope. I felt God telling me that these were the very feet of one day see of our baby that was growing inside of me.

And well, here they are. And they are the most precious sight to me for so many reasons.

Thank you to Clay’s sister and our brother-in-law for helping us capture this sight.

This Thanksgiving week my heart is so filled with gratitude for this most precious gift of our sweet rainbow baby girl. Born on none other than National Rainbow Baby Day.

I was actually planning on posting the first part of this on that day–August 22. But God had other plans. And sweet, special, and oh-so-meaningful plans they were.

I’m grateful for His faithfulness, for the rainbows, and for Noelle. It’s a week to give thanks, indeed.

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