This story is part of our End of the Childbearing Years series, exploring the experiences, decisions, and feelings of Mormon women around this pivotal transition. Each story is a generous and vulnerable offering. We ask that comments be sensitive and nonjudgmental toward any woman’s choices or beliefs.

By Michelle Barney

We weren’t planning on being done. My husband always wanted a big family with lots of little faces running around the yard. Seven, he said, was the perfect number. I was not so sure. After our second child, we miscarried twice. My heart carved identical holes where the children would stay, unable to come into this world any other way than through the piece of me they’d taken when their little hearts stopped beating.

Still, I hoped for the day when I could cradle another child in my arms. Time passed without answers, without hope. Only the words of a kindly nurse: It’s time to see a specialist, my dear. I went to the temple instead, begging for comfort and answers and the pain in my soul to cease.

In the temple, I saw a boy somewhere in the recesses of my mind. He smiled at me, and I knew that he was mine. Wait for me, he said. I’m coming. And though I did not give up in my heart of hearts, I could not keep trying and failing, my heart could not take much more. We stopped the ovulation tests, the worry, the doctors, the fear: let God take over what we could no longer control.

Within the year, we were pregnant. A boy. There is a worry that you only understand when you’ve lost one, when every moment is swallowed up in fear and hope and love so strong you cannot breathe. Even after the danger passes, I let the fear of losing him swallow me up until I could do nothing else, see nothing else, until I haunted the hallways of my own life. It took all my strength, all of my will just to hold onto this little life. For 38 weeks I was a ghost.

The day my rainbow child was born, I knew. This was the one I had been waiting for. I saw his sweet face, and I knew I’d seen my miracle. I knew my Father in Heaven had granted me one more soul to care for, one more heart to hold—one last burning light in the dark.

God has given me three beautiful children on this earth and two precious souls I do not yet know. He has gifted me with angels of comfort and peace. He has helped me feel the guidance of His hand. It’s fitting that children born after a miscarriage are called rainbow babies. Only after the storm did God send Noah this burst of light and a promise that these storms would not come again.

I sit with my son, now five years old, a perfect image of the boy I’d seen in the temple that day and I tell him that he is a special soul. He is a rainbow child sent to bring us joy. I do not doubt that my childbearing days are at an end because I’ve come out of the storm, I’ve been given a rainbow.

Michelle and her children