“Our rainbow baby was a complete shock and surprise to us,” Candice begins. “After five losses and years of heartache, we finally found peace and contentment in the Lord and his plan for us and our family… In December of 2021, my husband and I were on our annual marriage retreat, and I looked at my husband while we were walking around a mall and said, ‘I don’t want any more kids.’” As she put it, “God had plans of his own (and a sense of humor) because according to our math, that is the very weekend our rainbow baby was conceived.”
Candice’s story begins with her relationship with her husband. She was already pregnant from a previous relationship when they met and started dating. Daniel then took on the role of bonus dad.
“In November of 2013, I gave birth to our first baby girl, and she has had each of us wrapped around her finger since. My husband is the best Baba or Bonus Dad there has ever been,” she said. “People say it all the time, but it is something else to see firsthand when a parent loves, provides for, and helps raise a child that they didn’t have a hand in creating.”
The first miscarriage came a few years later. Candice lost a pair of twins in 2015 after their marriage. “I was so guilt-ridden and hurting that I didn’t even share any of it with my husband until after the fact,” said Candice. “Over the next few years, we experienced three more losses for a total of 5.”
For her husband, coming to terms with his own feelings regarding the miscarriages not only for his sake but for hers was harder than he thought it would be. He says, “To be honest, at the time I did not know how I felt. Part of me wants to forget about it so it would be over. I knew that this was not something that could just be fixed with a wave of a wand. Over time I noticed feelings of anger and bitterness and it started to spiral into depression. But I also remember not knowing how I should feel (as if there is a right way to feel about it). Even though I had my wife beside me, who was enduring pain that I could not fathom, I felt alone, broken, and uncoordinated. That is the only way I can describe it. Brokenness, agony, loneliness, and fear.”
Like Candice, Lydia Hammond has also experienced pregnancy loss. She is a nurse and midwife. She has six kids and five angels and went through nine rounds of IVF to get her fourth baby and then went on to use what they found work to have her last two. She decided to be a midwife after her experience with an OB with her first child and has specialized in that ever since. She is also going to graduate school for psychology so she can better help the women and families in her practice who have gone through this.
She said “I am married to my high school sweetheart, and we have six kids. I have also lost five babies over the years. I experienced Postpartum Psychosis after one of my children and postpartum depression.” She has been where so many moms have been and uses this to help those moms/families get through what they are experiencing.
It is Midwives like Lydia who are there to help patients like Candice through their loss. We need more medical professionals who can empathize with what is going on and be able to be there for them. For any medical professionals out there, check out the podcast with Sharna Southan, where she talks about the coaching group she does with medical professionals to help train them in being able to empathize with women/families experiencing loss. This would be an asset to any medical professional who has contact with women who are experiencing this.
Having that psychology background for her practice will help Lydia help so many within her scope of work. Not only the women who come in but also the men. Men are also affected by losses. Although sometimes they may not know how to express it or even what to feel.
Like Candice, Lydia also went through multiple miscarriages. “I had three babies quite easily and then had three losses in a row over the course of 9 months. I then stopped having periods at all. I ended up doing nine rounds of fertility treatments and waiting 6 years for number 4. Since we had learned what worked, I had two more after that… I think all these experiences have helped me empathize with the women I serve.”
Candice tells us about the day she found out she was pregnant. She occasionally took pregnancy tests just to see. They were not actively trying because they had come to peace with not having any more children but due to her PCOS, she would still occasionally test just out of curiosity.
“I had absolutely 0 ideas that I was even pregnant when I took a pregnancy test on a random Tuesday night,” said Candice. “It was so casual for me that I picked up the test and almost threw it away before I realized there was a second line! … I called my best friend to come to get me to go buy another brand of test to be sure. While waiting for her, I took three more of the tests I kept stocked under my bathroom sink and they were all positive as well.”
Lydia and Candice both want other women to know that they are not alone and that it is not their fault.
Lydia explains that she sees an average of one hundred women a month at her midwife practice. She says, “I would say 60-70% of the women have experienced pregnancy loss, infant loss, or infertility.” To put that into perspective that is 6-7 out of every ten women she saw in a month’s period had experienced some sort of loss or infertility before coming to see her.
Candice and her husband came to terms with not being able to have more children and did not end up going through infertility treatments. Lydia went through nine rounds of infertility treatment before they were effective enough for her to conceive. Lydia says when it comes to recommending families see a specialist for miscarriage/infertility, “it varies from person to person and situation to situation. A medical workup for clotting disorders, autoimmune, etc. is warranted after three miscarriages in a row with no successful pregnancy. But I have also done workups after one miscarriage when there are some other circumstances”
When it comes to the healing process and being able to process the grief and loss of the pregnancy(is) the biggest thing is to find a good support system and not be afraid to ask for help. Candice talked about her support system, “I am so thankful that I have a group of people who have been there for me through losses and this whole pregnancy. They have supported me through all sorts of emotions. Joy, sorrow, bitterness, craziness, depression, anxiety, dark humor, they have seen it all and loved me through it.” Having a support system to help get through the storm is crucial to the healing process. Knowing that you are not alone and being willing to ask for help when you need it, is all part of the healing process.
On the other side, for those who are trying to help someone going through pregnancy loss, infant loss, or infertility, Lydia says that the best way you can help someone who is going through a loss or infertility would be, “Not to tell people things happen for a reason or that this will make them stronger or something better is coming or out there. No one wants to hear that and honestly, it is not true. They will make themselves stronger as they work through it, they may have wonderful things coming but that does not change today. I think allowing a safe space to grieve and the process is most important.”
Both women have experienced pregnancy loss and dealt with infertility and the biggest thing they both had to say is that no one is to blame and that you are not alone.
For more information on what not to say to someone going through pregnancy loss/infant loss or infertility check out this article:
For stories on infertility check out these articles: https://rainbowbabiesunite.wordpress.com/category/infertility/
For other stories on miscarriage, check out these articles: Miscarriage – Rainbow Babies Unite (wordpress.com)