I met Shannon in September 2012 on a wine tour with a mutual friend. She and her husband had been married for two weeks. My husband and I had been married for less than two months. She was a midwife and a birth junkie. I knew I liked her right away.
In March of the next year, Shannon contacted me to say she was expecting their first baby. I was so happy for them! We met up a couple of times that spring and summer to talk about the logistics of the upcoming birth of her baby girl. We had made all the preparations for me to photograph their birth. Then in August, I happened to be talking with our mutual friend who said, “Have you heard from Shannon?” Knowing she was 40 weeks and I could get the call to run to the hospital at any time, I replied hesitantly, “Noooo…?” Instantly the hairs on the back of my neck stood up as he told me that she was being induced THAT DAY. She had stopped feeling the baby move and had gone in to deliver her little girl.
Stillborn. A beautiful little girl named Clara with long fingers and a button nose. So loved, longed for, and wanted.
But in the tragedy and the pain, hope lingered and eventually, a rainbow emerged. Then in May of 2014, Shannon let me in on a little secret. She was expecting again.
A “rainbow baby” is a baby that is born following a miscarriage or still birth. In the real world, a beautiful and bright rainbow follows a storm and gives hope of things getting better. The rainbow is more appreciated having just experienced the storm in comparison. The storm (pregnancy loss) has already happened and nothing can change that experience. Storm-clouds might still be overhead as the family continue to cope with the loss, but something colourful and bright has emerged from the darkness and misery. – UrbanDictionary.com
When I asked Shannon if I could share their whole story on my blog, she responded: “Clara is as much part of this birth as Liam for us. We would love for you to tell our full story. For us, one is not without the other.”
There wasn’t a dry eye in the room as this little guy made his appearance (including a sobbing photographer!) It was an unbelievable honor to be a present for the birth of this little rainbow.
Meet Clara’s little brother, Liam James.
Born December 20, 2014 at 7:16 a.m.
7 lbs, 6 oz.,