October 16, 2019
Malika and Dante Daniels welcomed their rainbow baby on October 3rd of 2018. We did a recent session with them to capture their family with their rainbow baby and as a milestone for little dean as he was turning 1 soon. She also wanted to share the story of her loss. Her loss is a little different from others but still, a loss and they still miss their precious Angelica. Here is her story: “In 2017 we were pregnant with our 2nd child and excited to be expanding our family. At 18 weeks we went in for the anatomy scan where were learned we were having another girl. The doctor also told us that they found many abnormalities in the ultrasound including severe issues with her brain and heart. We met with a perinatologist, genetic counselor, and went through additional testing. Once we received all the results of the tests we learned our daughter had a fatal chromosome disorder called Trisomy 13. Trisomy 13 is not compatible with life outside the womb; our daughter was not going to survive. We did not want our baby girl to suffer, so we ended the pregnancy when I was 20 weeks and 5 days. We named her Angelica.” Having her rainbow baby Dean helped her to channel her sadness and has given her so much joy. He has helped her to feel a sense of normal when she had begun to feel like she would never be normal again.
The hardest part of the pregnancy with Dean was that she was terrified of what could happen during the pregnancy. She struggled with allowing herself to even be happy or excited because she didn’t want to get her hopes up that she would actually be able to bring this baby home. She wants others to know that “pregnancy loss is not something that you can ever get over. It stays with you. My type of loss comes with an added layer of sadness because some people don’t agree with my choice to end the pregnancy and my type of loss is often used as a political pawn. Many people don’t realize that I too am a grieving mother.” If she could go back in time to give herself advice and prepare herself she said “I wish I knew going into the pregnancy that making it to 12 weeks does not mean that you are in the clear. I had no idea the importance of the anatomy scan and that this when most people find out if something is wrong.”
The birth story of her rainbow: Dean was due September 25th, but he took his sweet time coming out. I was scheduled to be induced since he didn’t seem like he wanted to come out, but I went in to labor the day before my induction. She labored at home all day and didn’t really realize she was in true labor until later that evening when the contractions started coming closer together. She got to the hospital around 10 pm and he was born by 3:14 AM. Her special story of knowing her rainbow was coming “After having contractions all day, I kept timing them, but there was no consistent pattern. Then finally they started coming consistently and we went to the hospital. My water broke in the elevator at the hospital as we were heading to check-in.”
Dean was 11 months and weighed 19lbs at the time of our session. Her rainbow Dean’s name is a family name and is in honor of her mother who shares it as her middle name. She was anxious during the delivery but very excited to see and hold her baby. It is something she had been craving since her loss of Angelica. Her favorite memory from his birth was holding him and knowing he was okay. Her first thought was she was happy that he was healthy. The first thing she noticed was how big he was. He weighed 8 lbs. 9 oz. which was bigger than their daughter who was born at 6 lbs. They have a 4-year-old daughter, Tatiyana, who is in love with her little brother.
She would like to share some advice “if you are struggling with any type of loss, seek support. You are not alone, no matter what you have gone through, there are women who have been there and are willing to help you through this.” Although her story is a little different from others, her loss is the same. She and her family are still grieving the loss of their sweet Angelica and all the missed memories they would have with her. She made a choice to end the suffering of her sweet girl early which was a choice made from love for her sweet girl. Many people may not agree but a loss is a loss regardless of how it happened.
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Reflections by Luna
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