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Apparently, He Was a ‘Rainbow Baby’

on 15 April, 2018

I have been searching and hunting for a support group for women who have experienced what I’ve gone through.

The “official” definition is: A Rainbow Baby is a baby born after a loss. That loss may be a miscarriage, a stillbirth, or an infant loss. It may even be the loss of a grown child. But when the mother who has lost a child goes on to birth another live baby, the affectionate term “Rainbow Baby” is given to her new and wondrous gift.

So, I guess Streeter qualified as a “Rainbow Baby” and I couldn’t have loved any child more. The problem isn’t that he wasn’t healthy (he was über healthy) or that he didn’t have mental issues (other than the Einstein Syndrome). It was that he was the most perfect child I could ever have hoped for.

But there was something wrong- obviously. Whether is was ‘normal’ teenage/youth angst or about being expected to leap from the nest or that he was depressed. Now I know that he was extremely depressed/suicidal. Easy to make the diagnosis following. You know, the whole “hindsight is 20/20” thing.

I looked up what the signs of depression in young men are supposed to be and honestly, I did not see any of these in Streeter. Perhaps he was adept at hiding it or maybe I just wasn’t paying close enough attention (though I doubt it). Maybe it was one thing that hit recently and it impacted him too much… I don’t know. I went through a period of doubt and believing that maybe, perhaps it could have been an accident, but the coroner is ruling it a suicide. The signs were there that it couldn’t have been anything but intentional.

Tonight has been especially hard for me. Its been windy and cold and the house creaks and it sounds like he is upstairs playing on his computer much too late. I think that I cannot really find someone to understand, not having to – as I so angrily referred to it in the hospital – as no one who has walked through the fire of infertility for nearly five years to finally get the child of my dreams, only to lose him far, far too soon.

Who do I talk to? Who can I say, explain, cry about to who would really get it? I don’t have other children, I am too old for another child (and even if I weren’t, it would be the whole infertility thing all over again.

Mother’s day is just around the corner and now I am no longer a ‘mom’. I have no one who to make me a special breakfast or bring me flowers or just snuggle and watch a movie with. I’ll never be the ‘mother of the groom’ nor will I ever be ‘Grandma’. I don’t have someone to help with all my crafts and projects… sometimes I think I did all those projects just to have a reason to have him spend time with me.

I have lost my favorite traveling companion. We’ve been all over the U.S. and it has been great that we were both interested in seeing the same sites and places. Nice when he was old enough to help drive and wonderful that we essentially liked the same music and would sing out loud and crackly to the radio. As most of you know, we were talking about making the trip to Alaska this summer (so I would come home and finally go back to school while he either worked or started college). Make the drive, taking our time and do all those goofy things we always did together.

SoAsh Urn Pendent, I hope to take the trip with him one last tiAsh Marble Pendentme. I am planning on making the trek to Alaska and leaving his ashes there. At least part of them. There are a few people who will be getting keepsakes of his ashes – either in little enclosed pendents or I can have some of his ashes made into a ‘marble’ type pendent.

And, again much like his mom, he never found, was given or bought something that he didn’t keep. You would not begin to believe the immensity of ‘stuff’ (or as he called it ‘treasures’) that I have to go through and try to decide what to do with it all. I get as far as his bedroom door and cannot go any further. And, of course, are the ten thousand photos I have take of him. They adorn every wall of every room and fill dozens of photo albums (and don’t forget his four baby books!).

Half the time I want to leave everything exactly the way it is, like I am expecting him to walk back through the front door and yell “SURPRISE!” or something. The other half of the time I want to just throw it all away and spare myself bumping into his shoes on the stairs or his clean clothes still sitting on the cabinet in the upstairs hallway – right outside his door.

And then I get overwhelmed and I can’t breathe or stop from sobbing. I obviously need him to help me. What a painful, horrible Catch-22.

And I can’t sleep….


Streeter's Mom




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