Health Notes

Through the Grief, a Rainbow Follows the Storm

by Katina Granger on September 11, 2017

Elizabeth Bullington and her family have the best reason ever for missing this year’s Remembrance of Life event.

Next week, she will give birth to her “Rainbow Baby,” her first child following the devastating loss of two babies within the span of just one year.

“She’s going to be going to be born by C-section next week,” said Elizabeth, “so while we won’t be able to come down to the event, we bought our own remembrance balloons and after we leave the hospital we’ll let them go. We’ll remember our children that way.”

Elizabeth’s family began with the birth of their first child, Reese, in 2011. Their daughter, Emiline, followed three years later. The family was caught off guard when Elizabeth fell ill in March 2016.

“I felt like I had appendicitis,” said Elizabeth. “We were surprised to find I was pregnant and happy at the news. Unfortunately, my HCG levels were dropping and I was told I would miscarry our baby.”

Elizabeth went home to wait out the process, but the pain only worsened. She returned to the doctor’s office and an ultrasound revealed a dangerous ectopic pregnancy. There was no heartbeat, but the danger was real.

“It was scary,” said Elizabeth. “They had to remove the entire tube.”

Eventually, Elizabeth and her husband decided to try to conceive again. It wasn’t long before they happily discovered they were expecting.

“My HCG numbers were great, I had morning sickness, and everything just looked like a great, viable pregnancy,” said Elizabeth, “but when we went in for the ultrasound, there was nothing in my uterus.”

In this pregnancy, Elizabeth had a very rare condition where her placenta was in her abdomen instead her uterus.

“The doctor said they found my placenta among blood vessels in my abdomen,” said Elizabeth. “She told me they had never seen an ectopic pregnancy like it before.”

This second loss within just a year hit Elizabeth hard. While she had the support of her own family, there were few sympathetic outlets for her to express her grief. When a Methodist Women’s Hospital nurse invited her to Remembrance of Life, an event held each year by Methodist as a way to help families heal and cope with the grief from pregnancy or newborn loss, Elizabeth knew she had to attend.

“I didn’t have a funeral where I could grieve for my babies,” said Elizabeth, “so the Remembrance of Life gave me a place to grieve and gave me a tangible memory of my babies. It was a big part of my healing process. I saw that I’m not the only person who has lost a child. It didn’t matter how many days or weeks or months you had your child, every family there wanted to remember their child and know that each child had a purpose and was a loss.”

Now, just days away from the arrival of her Rainbow Baby, Elizabeth has been filled with emotions and anticipation.

“We bought balloons with all the colors of the rainbow and will have Skittles for those who come and visit us in the hospital room,” said Elizabeth. “It’s been very emotional, and all about the healing.”

If you have experienced a loss, please join Methodist Women’s Hospital for the Remembrance of Life. There will be words, music, fellowship and prayer beginning at 2 p.m. on Sunday, September 17th at Midtown Crossing’s Turner Park in Omaha.

Read more about Remembrance of Life:

If you have experienced a loss, please join Methodist Women’s Hospital for the
Remembrance of Life. There will be words, music, fellowship and prayer beginning
at 2 p.m. on Sunday, September 17th at Midtown Crossing’s Turner Park in Omaha.

 

Katina Granger is a blogger and PR/Social Media Specialist for Methodist Health System.
Contact Katina at MethodistPR@nmhs.org.
Katina Granger

 

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Colleen Gawley September 12, 2017 at 8:36 pm

I am blessed to be the Grammy of 7 living grandbabies and 3 little ones in heaven. I pray for the grandchildren that we have loss at each mass I attend.
Elizabeth is my dear daughter and we all had a very rough 2016 with so many difficult dynamics taking place.
We now welcome our precious, Graci, into our hearts and lives!

Love to all!
Colleen Gawley

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