Rainbow Babies: Cousins of Promise
Nesting for the New Year
On New Year’s Eve 2020, an uncontrollable surge of energy overtook Jasmine and she began cleaning every inch of the apartment...washing all the dishes, dusting the furniture, putting everything away...an acute case of New Year’s Nesting! She wanted her home in perfect order for the arrival of her mom and best friend, not to mention the advent of the newest family member.
It had been a stressful pregnancy for Jasmine. Much of the time she was not able to keep anything down, sometimes throwing up 15 times a day. She was uncomfortable and exhausted.
A New Life in the New Year
Gerald (AKA GWorld GWorld GWorld) was deep down in his workingman’s sleep, when Jasmine roused him at midnight to welcome 2020 with a kiss. He was dog-tired from his shift that day and a bit annoyed, so he immediately returned to dreamland. That’s when Jasmine’s nesting shifted into high gear as she begin vigorously scrubbing pots and pans. She glanced down to notice something peculiar. Her feet and hands started swelling so quickly, it alarmed her. It was due to a condition known as pre-eclampsia. This time Gerald’s wake-up call came as a signal that it was time to rush Jasmine to the hospital as he was about to become a first-time dad.
One Tough Mother!
The doctors had to induce labor, and the delivery took 19 hours, but it resulted in a beautiful baby girl at 6:12 p.m. on New Year’s Day! She weighed 7 pounds 10 ounces. But, in that moment, Jasmine never got the chance to see just how beautiful she was. “They had put my baby on my chest backwards to wipe her off and they noticed that her eyes were blinking really fast. The medical team thought it might indicate a stroke so they rushed her to the neonatal unit for the first night for observation. That was the hardest night of my entire life,” says Jasmine. “I only got to see her face on pictures that they provided for me. It was a really, really tough and emotional time for me as a new mother.”
“I named my little Rainbow Baby—Shyla Rose Fleuridor. Shyla means ‘strength’ and Rose is a beautiful flower, and of course, my name Jasmine is a flower.”
A Rainbow Baby is a baby born after a miscarriage. “For me,” says Jasmine, “it was a a sign of hope. When I did lose the first baby, it was a difficult time for my husband and me. Something happened to my body to cause me to lose the baby, so I was extremely apprehensive this time. I only told my parents in the early stages. I didn’t tell other people until about 5 months along. I have three brothers, so you can imagine how excited they were to find out that they were going to have a niece!"
While Jasmine is in her 20’s and having a totally new experience, her cousin Maya’s delivery was unlike the first time. “The pregnancy was more difficult the second time around,” Maya says. “Carrying a baby in your thirties is very different than carrying in your twenties. I was definitely more tired and had more aches and pains. I took a prenatal yoga class and it made a huge difference. It really helped me keep my muscles toned and my mind focused.”
Working right up to her delivery date kept Maya active and positive. Just a few weeks after Jasmine delivered, Maya was preparing on a Saturday night for church the next day. She and husband Matthew were fussing because she was intent on going to church, even though she was just three days away from her due date. The argument was settled around midnight, when Maya’s water broke! Soon-to-be big brother Elijah was pumped. He thought the baby would come in a few minutes. “Unfortunately for Elijah, I sent him and his dad on home after I got checked in. This time around, I wanted things to be quiet during labor. Elijah’s labor lasted 14 hours, while this baby clocked in at 5 hours.”
“Many people are surprised that I went through labor alone, and with no epidural or medicine of any kind. I wasn’t alone. Jesus held my hand through the whole thing. It was painful and peaceful at the same time. I am so glad I did it!”
History and Legacy
“Matthew and I agreed we wanted biblical names for our children. In Romans 16:15, is a letter from the apostle Paul to the church in Rome, Julia is mentioned among the Roman citizens who were brave enough to start a Christian church in the heart of an empire full of idol worship. To me, that shows great courage and character!”
Her full name is Julia Hairston Nesbit. Her middle name is a legacy to her maternal grandfather’s surname. “Since he had only daughters, this allows the name to live through another generation. I was really touched when Matthew suggested this,” Maya says.
“I had never heard the term ‘Rainbow Baby’ before, but I like it. I had two miscarriages before Julia, one required a surgical procedure and that was emotionally devastating. It may sound strange but I am glad it happened to me. It really brought me to a place where all I could do was trust in God to help me back on my feet. He taught me to be grateful for what I have in life and just like a rainbow, he promised he would never leave me alone. He kept that promise and more with the birth of a beautiful daughter.”
What’s the best part of being a parent? Jasmine says, “I can’t keep myself from staring at her. I feel so much love for this little human and getting to know her is a wonderful, indescribable experience. She is so beautiful and made out of love.”
G's New World
“Gerald says it’s hard to believe that we were 8th grade sweethearts who married eight years later and now have a family. Each day we both wake up excited to see her tiny face, even at 3 a.m.! Jasmine chuckles. She is a night owl and wakes up a lot during the night, just as she was most active during that time when she was in the womb.”
“I am so blessed in that I work at home and I get to spend great quality time with her. She is developing her character, her hair is growing in full and I love watching her melanin come in. I keep Gerald connected while he’s at work by sending him photos of Shyla throughout the day."
“We try not to spoil her...too much," she adds. “I got pregnant two months after the miscarriage and it was a nervous time for me. But now, sitting here holding Shyla in my arms, all I can think of is — I want to have more of these!”
As for Maya having more, “No, she says emphatically, "that’s a wrap!”
New Family Order
"It has been so fun seeing my cousin Jasmine go through the same milestones. She has a beautiful daughter and I can’t wait for the girls to grow up together. There’s nothing like having cousins the same age!
“We are slowly getting a routine going. Julia is stubborn, like her mom, but we are making progress,” Maya says.
Jasmine adds, “We used to publish our lives heavily on social media before Shyla came, but after she was born, we don’t put as much out there because I want to keep things a little more sacred. Our aim is to keep the magic at home!”
“Anyone who has gone through a miscarriage, know that you are not alone," Maya says. "There is a lesson in every storm and God will see you through it.” Both families are so thankful for the birth of their Rainbow Babies, as a sign that they have a bright future ahead.
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