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Miscarriages ruined Mother’s Day for me until I had my rainbow baby

Ashley Messing-Kennedy

As I write this I am holding my napping 4-month-old. In the next few days I will get to celebrate my first Mother’s Day as a mom — which is a big change from how dark last year’s Mother’s Day was. I will never forget how hard it was to keep myself from crying when our pastor prayed for all of the women who wanted to be mothers but weren’t yet.

More: What I wish someone had said to me when I struggled to conceive

My husband is an amazing man and wanted to start trying to have kids the day we got married. I told him I needed some time, and he patiently waited. It took us a little longer than we thought to get pregnant. After a year of trying to get pregnant, it was hard. Then on December 21, 2014, my husband and I experienced our first miscarriage. To say we were devastated would be an understatement.

Losing a pregnancy was so much more draining and emotional than just struggling to get pregnant. Regardless of the emotional toll, we knew we wanted to be parents and we kept trying. On March 21, 2015, we lost our second pregnancy. I had a uterus condition that could make keeping a pregnancy more difficult or make outside help a requirement. But with both of our families being very fertile, I didn’t really believe we couldn’t do it. I thought we would just defy the odds.

Mother’s Day in 2015 was an emotional roller coaster to say the least. I have some amazing mothers in my life and I needed to celebrate them. Fortunately, they were so supportive during this difficult time in our lives. Infertility and pregnancy loss doesn’t just affect the husband and wife, but our whole close family. Even our 6-year-old niece noticed something was off.

The week after Mother’s Day, we actually found out we were pregnant again. After several weeks of not telling anyone and getting confirmation from our doctor, we were hoping this one would stay put and finally be our rainbow baby, and we were right — this one was destined to be our miracle.

More: 3 tips to get the emotional support you need during infertility

What we didn’t expect was how much work keeping this pregnancy would be. My condition meant that I had a higher likelihood of preterm labor. This meant that almost from the beginning I was going to the doctors bi-weekly to have ultrasounds to make sure everything looked good. By the end of the pregnancy I was going weekly!

At 28 weeks, things started to get really tricky. I was sent from my doctor’s office (because things didn’t look right at my ultrasound) directly to the labor and delivery ward at the hospital. When I got there, my testing showed I was having contractions. This was just the beginning of trying to keep this baby cooking! I ended up being put on bed rest at 28 weeks, increasing my water consumption, and was given steroids to help the lungs develop and put on a muscle relaxer.

The day I had my daughter Calli, I had been on bed rest for three months, which was about three too many, but I would do it again for my little girl. On December 20, 2015, at 7:24 in the morning, our amazing Christmas miracle was born. She came in at a whopping 7 pounds 2 ounces and was 19.25 inches long. She was a picture of perfect health thanks to everything the doctors did.

My husband and I had to fight to become parents. I wouldn’t say a single part of it was easy, from the trouble staying pregnant to keeping our precious Calli cooking. But it was completely worth it, and I would do it again if I had to. This Mother’s Day I will be celebrating it, but I will also be thinking about all of those women who want to be mothers so desperately.

More: 6 signs you might be struggling with infertility

Before you go, check out our slideshow below:

rainbow baby
Image: Cathérine/Moment Open/Getty Images

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