Mom on IVF Rainbow Baby Blessing: "Some Fight This Battle and Leave With No Bundle in Their Arms"
Having had a successful IVF journey with her first son, Lochlan, Lesleigh Cetinguc felt a connection to the countless photos she'd seen of babies surrounded by hearts made of IVF needles and medication bottles — but it wasn't until she suffered a miscarriage that she truly identified with the photos celebrating rainbow babies. Since the beginning of her IVF journey with baby number two, Lesleigh saved each and every needle and pill bottle she used, feeling "inspired to create a picture that merged both the medication and the rainbow" in the hopes that she and her husband would be blessed with a baby.
Enter: Lennon, Lesleigh's miracle double rainbow baby, who was born after a long, painful journey, and finally gave the bags of saved syringes and bottles a purpose.
"For nearly two years they were collected in bags that would end up cluttering the top shelf of our pantry, waiting for their turn to become something beautiful," Lesleigh told POPSUGAR. "The night Lennon was born was the beginning of their transformation. It was now time to show the world what some couples have to endure just to get their precious babies here. I carefully separated them all one afternoon . . . On the eve of our newborn and family photography session, my dear husband took all of the meds out into the backyard and began the painstaking process of painting each one of them."
What resulted was a beautiful rainbow that Lennon would be photographed with, arranged by photographer Kelley Chance. "She lovingly and meticulously put each needle, bottle, and patch into place," Lesleigh said. "Within no time the vision that had played out in my head for over a year was finally right in front of me. I carefully placed Lennon on the soft cloud as the final piece to this heartwarming puzzle."
The mom, though she endured a long IVF journey, says there are certainly positive takeaways — more rainbows at the end of the storm.
Our journey between [having our two sons] was difficult, but as I reflect on it all I come away with some much-needed perspective. For one, I've personally gained a greater understanding of just how blessed my husband and I truly are. Some fight this battle and leave with no bundle in their arms, and here we are now with two. I definitely hug my sons a little tighter because I truly understand just how precious life is.
Second, even though infertility brought on a copious amount of unpleasant feelings and emotions, like sadness, jealousy, loneliness, and frustration, I've made it to the other side a much stronger woman then when I started. Infertility and loss thickened my skin, and showed me that I am tougher than I ever thought possible.
Lastly, I received extra time. Extra time with my firstborn that I wouldn't have had if things had worked "as planned." We had three years and three days with just him. Looking back, I know just how lucky we all are to have had that gift of time with each other.
Lesleigh hopes that her story, as well as a letter she wrote to Lennon (featured on Love What Matters), will reach all the moms who need to hear her tale full of pain and hope. "My intention in getting my story out is to give other families hope that if you weather the storm you might just find that sweet rainbow at the end of your journey."
Find photos of her long journey and Lennon's gorgeous newborn photos ahead.