In my mother’s generation, women didn’t talk about miscarriage out loud — and certainly not in front of company. It was a very sad and hushed topic. Social media has blown that old silence apart, however, and now women’s voices are being heard, which is a phenomenally healing thing for many women who need to know that they are not alone. Rainbow baby images in particular have become an incredibly beautiful way to honor the pain of loss while also cherishing life and moving forward. And for one Kansas mom, Lesleigh Cetinguc, her rainbow image is warming hearts across the internet.
Cetinguc and her husband had successfully gone through IVF for their first child, Lochlan, but they suffered through the pain and loss of miscarriage after while trying to expand their family. They decided to give IVF another chance.
“Our particular protocol required a combination of injections, estrogen patches, and several pills each day,” Cetinguc explains to Babble. “Missing any of those could result in the cycle being canceled. In addition to the medications, I needed to go to doctor’s appointments, and/or blood draws, up to twice a week. It was very stressful trying to manage a career and make it to all of the necessary appointments that were 30 minutes away from my job. Thankfully, my bosses were more than understanding and allowed me grace and flexibility.”
The happy mom and proud dad later welcomed Lennon into their family.
“Today our family is doing great!” Cetinguc shares with Babble. “We’ve settled in and I’m trying to make the most of my maternity leave. Lennon is a really easy baby who is eating great, gaining weight, sleeping, smiling and snuggly. All things any mama knows are important and welcomed.”
To celebrate welcoming Lennon into the world, Cetinguc arranged for an incredible rainbow baby image. It is seriously breathtaking.
In a boldly colorful image, Lennon is seen laying on a fluffy white cloud at the end of a rainbow made out of the vials, tubes, caps, and jars left over from IVF treatments. Each one is positioned with care. It is truly inspiring when one stops to consider every single piece of this “rainbow” that went into helping baby Lennon come into the world.
Cetinguc says that the inspiration for the image came from a few different places.
“Through the years I’ve seen what other moms have done with their IVF medications to document their journeys. A lot of moms chose to place them in a heart formation surrounding a precious sonogram of their miracle(s) and a little onesie. Those pictures always resonated with me because I had walked that journey once before with our first son when we did IVF back in 2014. While I also noticed the beautiful pictures celebrating rainbow babies, it wasn’t until after our first miscarriage, that I started to really sit back and soak in what those pictures actually meant.”
She tells Babble that the meaning behind the piece is very personal.
“The time between the boys was the hardest part of this whole journey,” Cetinguc shares. “Nothing could have prepared me for the immense pain, grief, and a myriad of other difficult emotions that would follow the miscarriages. They wrapped around me so tight it felt suffocating and isolating at times.”
For all the other mothers out there struggling through infertility issues, Cetinguc has a message from the heart.
“Listen to your heart and know that you are stronger than you could ever imagine. What is someone else’s path might not be yours. Infertility is a very personal journey and you get to make the call on what you feel comfortable doing going forward. Find a community. Reach out. There is a wealth of support out there and it’s important that you connect with other women who have been there too. Some of the strongest women I’ve ever met have been in the local support groups that I’ve joined and the social media accounts that I’ve connected with. These women have been through it all and are so welcoming when another woman joins the pack. Above all, always remember that you are strong, you are loved and you are not alone.”
Congratulations to the Cetinguc family!
h/t: Love What Matters