The Life and Death of Indigo Rain

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*TRIGGER WARNING*  This post contains my experience of a miscarriage and includes graphic pictures. 

I don’t talk a lot about my miscarriage for a few reasons.  When it happened, I didn’t feel super supported by my family.  No one offered to help me with anything.  It was an EXTREMELY depressing month where I cried and cried until I had no more tears.  It was an awkward pregnancy to begin with.  The father of 4 of my 5 children (the one they all call Dad, Brandon) and I had split up and I, for a very brief time, got back with the father of my oldest.  I ended up getting pregnant during this very short reunion and after I remembered why I left him to begin with, Brandon and I reunited.  Brandon was going to take on this pregnancy and be “Dad” to this baby just as he had my oldest.  

We both quickly became attached to the baby and felt like it was going to be a girl.  FINALLY a girl.  Maybe?  He even bought a little outfit that said “Daddy’s Little Girl” on it which completely melted my heart.  He was not one to buy baby stuff, so the fact that he came home with this outfit on a whim really meant A LOT considering the situation.

We went to an ultrasound around 9 weeks to confirm the pregnancy and saw a happy, healthy little baby.  Everything looked perfect.  The heartbeat was spot on.  

This was my fourth pregnancy.  I had always had such easy pregnancies so I didn’t really have a care in the world.  I was seeing my amazingly wonderful midwife, Dinah for my prenatal care.  She was my midwife for baby #2 and #3, so she was excited to be caring for me through another pregnancy.

When I went in for my 12 week appointment on February 16th, 2010, everything seemed to feel normal and going smoothly.  I was excited to get to hear the baby’s heartbeat on the doppler.  I laid down on the table and she began to search for my little one.  Since I am a plus size mama, it usually takes a few minutes to find the hiding baby, so she kept feeling around with the doppler.  After a few minutes of probing my belly with the gel-covered wand, she still couldn’t find the heartbeat.

By this point, I was a little worried.  She offered to send me over to the hospital for an ultrasound to give me peace of mind, but said that it could possibly just be a little too early to pick up on the doppler.  I eagerly took up her offer for the ultrasound and headed straight to the hospital.  As I sat in the waiting room surrounded by very obviously pregnant women, I tried not to let my fear show.  I was about to go in to see if my baby was alive or not.  Surely he/she was and this was just a fluke, but I couldn’t help but worry.

I was finally called in and got situated up on the table.  Shirt up, pants below the belly and on goes the gel.  Now I have seen my fair share of ultrasounds, so I knew exactly when I was looking for.  The doctor put the wand on my belly and there was my baby!  Floating.  Not moving.  No heartbeat blinking.  Just floating there, lifelessly.  I immediately knew what my heart was afraid to realize but kept hoping that maybe I was imagining this.  I hoped that I was missing something or looking at it wrong.  I just kept staring as the doctor moved the probe, measuring my still baby.  

Once he finished the measurements, he said that he was sorry, but the baby didn’t make it.  I already knew.  He must have known by the look of despair on my face.  I know there are no right words to say in these moments, but I felt like he didn’t say the right thing.  He told me he would call my midwife and let her know.  I was completely stunned and tears started to fall down my face.  What was I supposed to do now?  What was I supposed to say?  How was I supposed to tell everyone that my baby had died?  

Before I walked out of the exam room, I was so thankful that I remembered to ask for a printout of the picture of my sweet baby.  She was measuring at 10 weeks and 4 days when I was 12 weeks pregnant, so she had passed away not long after my first ultrasound.  I instantly started wracking my brain and blaming myself.  What did I do wrong?  How did I cause this?  Did I lift something too heavy?  Did I lean against the hot stove too long?  I knew that it was my fault that my baby was dead and I was devastated.

I called Dinah and she told me that I could either wait for the miscarriage to happen naturally or opt for a D&C.  I chose to wait it out as I did not want to subject myself to any more trauma.  In the meantime, I had time to grieve and prepare myself mentally for this terrible loss.  I cried for days.  When I was done crying, I cried some more.  I made plans that no parent should ever have to do.  I called a funeral home and was donated a cremation of my little one when she finally passes.  They and I were aware that there would not really be anything “left” aside from the ashes of which she was cremated in, but they respected my need for the closure.  I was so thankful.  But I still looked pregnant.  And my heart was still shattered.

The time that I had preparing everything for my baby was the most amazing therapy ever.  I went shopping for the perfect boxes in which to lay to rest my precious baby.  I made a beautiful pillow for her to be placed on and chose the most delicate fabric to wrap around her body.  I was able to make peace with myself.  I knew that it wasn’t my fault.  I learned that these things really can happen to anyone.  Even me.

I found the perfect little memory box as well as a tiny little decorative box in which I would store her ashes after they were returned to me.  I chose the perfect name.  Indigo Rain.

I even made a little velvet pouch to hold the ashes before they are placed inside the decorative box.  I wanted my little one to know that she meant the absolute world to me and I wanted her to have the most comfort possible.  

On February 25th, 2010, I was sitting at home at my computer on my exercise ball.  9 days after I found out that my baby’s heart was no longer beating, it all began.  I stood up to go to the bathroom and felt a POP.  Never before had my water broke before labor, but I knew that was EXACTLY what had just happened.  I walked to the bathroom and sat on the toilet.  The pad that I had been wearing was soaked.  When I wiped, there was a tinge of blood, so I decided to go ahead and get into the tub.  I knew it wouldn’t be long.  

I started up the water and before I knew it, the blood just started to flow out of me.  I was not in any pain at all.  Barely a couple minutes of bleeding had passed and after a big clot, out came my tiny, perfect baby.  I picked her up and looked at her with amazement.  Such dainty features.  Everything looked so perfectly formed.  Ten tiny fingers.  Ten tiny toes.  

I called Brandon into the bathroom and told him to bring me a towel, a clear glass bowl and my camera.  I stayed in the bathtub as I continued to bleed, but I didn’t want to ever forget a single detail of this precious life, so I began to shoot.

My baby was smiling at me!  It made me smile.  And cry, of course.  

Look at those little toes!!

And those perfect little ears…

Surprise, surprise!  It looks like SHE is really a HE! 

I was able to get the most STUNNING pictures of my little one at a gestation most people never get to see.  I will always be grateful that I had him in my life and got to spend these precious moments enjoying him.

Indigo Rain was born still on February 25th, 2010.  He was almost 2 inches long and weighed just over 1/4 of an ounce.

The tiniest footprints really do leave the biggest impact on the world.  I will never forget my sweet baby, Indi.  

I hope my story helps you to deal with your miscarriage.  It’s ok to cry.  It’s a normal part of grieving.  It’s ok to completely fall apart.  The pieces will go back together, even if there is always a tiny one missing.  Every loss matters, no matter how early or what the circumstances.

Photo Credit: Charlise Grisham

Comments on this post

What a beautiful tribute. I have had 2 miscarriages and never got to see the baby. I believe in my heart they were both boys but I will never know for sure. The first I was 10 weeks along, young, recently married, and had no clue- had a D&C because of some major hemorrhaging. The second was 6 weeks along, we had found out shortly before and were so excited planning ways to tell the family. I have three wonderful children here on Earth and two precious babies waiting for me in heaven. How awesome it was you got to see precious Indigo and take some AMAZING pics- wow I love the toes and smile, just so incredible. Thank you for sharing. I will be crying for a while now LOL but just a precious story.

Thank you for reading, Tiffany!! <3 My heart goes out to you for your losses as well. ((hugs)) It's never easy, no matter how early!

Thanks for posting this, I lost mine at the same age but had a D&C and, aside from losing my child, the thing I regret most is not having the actual baby to cremate or bury, I even asked for the remains and they said they couldn’t because it was “hazardous material” and it was “just tissue anyway” but I asked and they allowed me to see my baby. He did look like simply tissue, no resemblance of a baby, but it still helped to see him. I would never wish a loss on anyone but I’m thankful that I’m not the only one for whom it was so emotional and who wanted to see and keep the baby afterward, it seems like not many women wish to and I can’t really understand why. Thanks for posting this – different situations but calming to see that someone got the bit of closure I wasn’t able to. And we have the same midwife, she is so understanding and caring even afterward, I love her. :) Much love to you and Indigo, and it was good bumping into you and your littles on Thanksgiving!

Thanks sweet mama!! <3 It really does hurt when doctors/hospitals say that your baby is "just tissue" because even it if does LOOK like that, it's still our baby. Even if it was a blighted ovum, in our minds, we were expecting a real baby. Even the earliest losses can LOOK like a baby, so it's hard to have closure when you can't say your goodbyes. I'm glad you also got to see your baby. ((hugs)) It was so nice to see y'all as well! By the way, that restaurant was not very good! HAHA! ;)

Thank you for sharing this. My daughter peeked over my shoulder at Indigo and said,”Aw, that’s so cute.” And she’s right–he was a precious little baby.

Wow. This is just what I needed today. I miscarried in June, still suffering both emotionally and physically (hormones are still way off). I was 9 weeks but baby had passed away at just under 5 weeks before my body started giving me signs. Your post made me cry. Against better judgement I was advised to have a d&c and I think I will always regret it. It was so sweet seeing your precious boy, thank you for sharing something that many women feel embarrassed or ashamed to talk about publicly. I too live in the dallas suburbs (collin county). Happy holidays.

Thank you for reading! I’m so sad to hear of your loss. It’s hard to live with the regret of not being about to touch and hold your baby, but for many women, it’s simply not an option. You are not alone! Hopefully you can see the face of your sweet baby through mine. ((hugs)) And Happy Holidays to you too! I hope you return to the site and feel free to connect on facebook! <3

Thank you for writing such an open, honest story. I recently had a miscarriage at around 7 weeks. I love, love, love that you were able to see, hold and take pictures of your baby. I wish I’d been able to do that. Thank you for speaking out.

Thank you for reading. I hope that many can see the baby they were unable to see through the face of my sweet baby!

Thank you for sharing your story. I have lost three precious babies, 4w5d, 9w2d and 6w3d. Your story and your beautiful pictures remind that they really were real. He is just beautiful. I am so sorry for your loss but so thankful you shared this.

Thank you for reading, Leslie! I’m sad to hear of your losses. It never does get easier to handle, I’m sure. Every one of your babies was special and real! They will never be forgotten! ((hugs))

I had a miscarriage and a stillborn. My miscarriage happened at 15 weeks. I had no indication that I was pregnant. I had my regular monthly cycle, but started experiencing severe pain and bleeding. My grandmother made me go to the doctor because she thought I was pregnant in my tubes. They did a blood draw to check my hormones and discovered I was mid-miscarriage. They didn’t do a DNC because the doctor said my body was cleansing itself.

7 months later I experienced the same scenario with the pain and bleeding. Went immediately to the ER, I wasn’t pregnant but my left ovary was severely swollen. They changed my BC pills. I got pregnant within a month. Problems started early, but the doctors told me I didn’t know because I had never fully carried a baby. At 27 weeks my son stopped moving. He was born on 9/2/89. He was 12″ and weighed 1 lb 11 ounces. At the exact time he was born the song Angel Eyes by Jeff Healy was on MTV. The nurses hades my angel to me and one of his eyes was open.

My Aaron would be 25 this year. I have 2 beautiful grown children now and they have always known about their brother and the one I miscarried. I have a tattoo of Aaron’s footprints on my shoulder. My son Brian has a representation the the grave marker over his heart.

I think of my angels every day and carry the pain with me.

Hugs, just lots and lots of Hugs.