I am so excited and honored to share this Rainbow with you. Everette is the cutest thing ever and to put a cherry on top he is the happiest baby ever. He is a dream to photograph and to be around. As I kept telling his mother this during both of their sessions it was of course no surprise to her. I guess I should start with a little backstory and then go into what I had no idea I would soon learn by asking one question. I have to warn you that although Everette is a blessing, this story is tough so prepare yourself and make sure you have tissues. As a mother myself I can’t even imagine this nightmare and I have no words to share that would even begin to explain or express the physical and mental pain. Since I am not able to speak from experience I asked Everette’s mother to help with sharing this story as well as sharing things that friends and family can do to help if they are experiencing the same storm or have experienced the same storm as they have. We both hope that this sharing will reach and help someone.
I would like to start this story by honoring the 7 children involved. Sunshine MJ, First Angel baby Allen, Rainbow baby Mallory, Second Angel baby Adam Lee, Third Angel baby Andrew, Fourth Angel baby Cole Dawson, & Everett Second Rainbow baby. Each of these children are a blessing and are so very loved. Each are cherished and thought about and prayed over each day.
Everett’s mother and father became pregnant in 2008. Naturally like any expecting couple they were over the moon. After their 8 week ultrasound where everything looked great they shared the news with family and friends. Shortly after Ashley felt something wasn’t right and went in to have baby checked on. When the Dr. couldn’t find a heartbeat on the doppler they were sent to have an ultrasound where after a few minutes the ultrasound technician sadly had to explain that there was no longer a heartbeat and as you can imagine their world was shattered. An emergency D&C was scheduled since First Angel Baby Allen had past away a few weeks earlier. Shortly after they would learn that they were again expecting but decided not to announce until 15 weeks and in the “safe zone”. Everything was great with this pregnancy and they were told they would most likely not have a miscarriage again. Rainbow baby Mallory made her debut after 13 minutes and 8 pushes. Perfect Rainbow that brought a little healing to her Momma and Daddy that day in August.
They decided that they wanted to have another child soon after Mallory’s arrival but also weren’t pushing it at the same time. In 2013 it was clear that they did want to have another baby and became pregnant quickly. The first appointment went well and they again waited to share the news, at Chrismas once again in the “safe zone”. Ashley went in for routine blood work which was returned with results for Spina Bifida which they expected to be a false positive. After anxiously awaiting news from the Ultrasound Technician as the measurements were being done. The longer it took the more anxious Mom and Dad both were, and then those words. The words they weren’t supposed to hear again. ” I’m sorry but there isn’t a heartbeat”. Ashley had a dream that the baby was a boy, the tech couldn’t determine the sex at 20 weeks because of Adam Lee’s position but he was born shortly after where Ashley’s dream showed to be correct. They would become pregnant with their Third Angel Baby Andrew in July. They lost their third baby boy, Andrew.
Struggling with infertility for the next few years where they in 2016 decided to start Clomid, a fertility treatment. After the third round of treatment they were ecstatic to learn that they were expecting. They did all the early testing and blood work to make sure that they did all that they could to avoid anything that could come up given the past history of loss of their babies. Everything looked great. February 26 Ashley messaged her husband and told him she didn’t feel pregnant anymore and he suggested he had the same feeling. Another ultrasound showed that Cole Dawson no longer had a heartbeat and Ashley would be scheduled for a D&E surgery. The opted this time for Cole Dawson to have a genetics test done and it showed that there was a genetic disorder that happened which neither of them carried. They learned soon after that this is most likely would be the case for their previous losses.
In the fall of 2016 Ashley had blood work done that showed there was no way she could be pregnant. A week later she took a test to be sure, thinking there was no way she could be pregnant. Soon after she was staring at two pink lines that clearly showed she was pregnant. She explained the feeling of cold sweats. As you can imagine, pregnancy is supposed to be filled with joy and excitement. With this pregnancy they didn’t announce that they were expecting. instead they waited and waited because they had learned first hand that there is no “safe zone”. On July 27th their Second Rainbow baby Everett was born. He came on his own terms. A happy and healthy baby boy that stole their hearts and everyone else immediately. I can’t explain the joy that you feel when you are around Everett. He is without a doubt something special.
Ashley spent her pregnancy feeling as if she were in a dream and needed to be pinched. Pregnancy after loss steals the innocence and joy of pregnancy she explains. It replaces joy with anxiety and fear. I can never fathom what Ashley and her family has gone though, or what other families have gone through or are going through. I asked Ashley if she could share how family and friends can help someone going through this exact same thing or that have gone through it. She shared a few things that I will share with you. Friends and Family can help by being there to listen to matter how long ago the loss was. Call the baby by it’s name and ask frequently if the parents are ok and if they need anything even if that is housework. She explained that their house was a wreck for a long time because they didn’t have the energy to clean. Ashley shared things that she wishes weren’t said to her and suggests that you and I can avoid making the same mistakes. “At least you can get pregnant. – yes I could but ai also went through infertility and my babies aren’t with me.”, ” Everything happens for a reason. – Never ok to say this.”, ” You should be happy with the children you have – this is also not ok. Which one of your children could you give up?”. Ashley also suggests avoiding these words : miscarriage or loss. She explains that the babies didn’t lose their way, they died or passed away.
Many parents don’t realize this but many funeral homes will cremate your baby at no charge. At any gestation whether a miscarriage, still birth, or sids. For the parents who are going through this hell, you are not alone. There is an entire community to support you, don’t give up. Ashley had a friend that had gone through the same hell which she was able to talk to and felt lucky to have her as a support.
I am so thankful for Ashely sharing her families story with us. This is an incredibly brave and selfless thing to do. We would both like anyone that has questions or a need to talk to please reach out to the communities that are available. If you do not have someone please feel free to message me and I will be more than happy to share that information with you as well as put you in touch with Ashley. You are not alone.
I shared a few of Everett’s session but not all of them. Below are favorites of mine which include a nursing portion of their session. This session isn’t something that I typically offer or even entertain doing. I am so happy that I did. Milk bath sessions are beautiful and now one of my favorite sessions. It takes Mommy and Me sessions to another level. I hope you enjoy these images as much as we have.