A Friendship that Lasts a Lifetime
I’ve known Julie since the fifth grade when we both attended the same public school in southeast Michigan. Over the years we shared our love of running and walking in the great outdoors. Our motto was “running makes you smarter!” We also shared many classes together despite being one grade apart, most notably chemistry seemed to be the one we both gravitated to was women who love science. We grew up together and apart, our lives in parallel but always connected. Our friendship is almost 30 years old now.
What I Want to Tell You About Julie
Julie is also a creator-- from the time I have known her she has always created things with her hands that make everyone around her smile. These were little clothespin reindeer ornaments in the 5th grade (I knew then what a cool girl she was!), graduating onto Yellow Ribbons for our troops overseas during the Gulf War, to candle-making in college at a professional boutique and crochet all throughout her years. Julie is also someone who passed out smiley-face stickers every Saturday just for the heck of it-- people looked forward to her roll of smiley faces and then receiving one because it made them feel good. She was a cheerleader’s cheerleader and yet never donned a pom pom.
She also loves the great outdoors, and rainbows are nature’s way of showing us the beauty that follows a rain, which can be sad or difficult (and yet life-sustaining).
When I Received the Rainbow Hat
The hat was received that cold winter day with as much love as it was made with, and made the recipient (me) feel embraced by a hug, the warmth of a friend who “got it,” even if a healthy live outcome of the current pregnancy was not certain at the time it was given.
This baby, special in her own way, is the light at the end of a long and crazy tunnel for her parents, whose journey through conception included nine years of attempting to create their family and one that took them through multiple joys and subsequent heart-wrenching losses. It also took them to uncharted territories of procedures, possible gestational surrogacy, and adoption.
The hat symbolizes the hope, joy, and love of a baby born after all of the losses and intense grief that comes from such a journey. It recognizes ambiguous loss and unrelenting joy simultaneously.
Our Favorite Hat
Living with uncertainty and living through the pregnancy to the birth of our healthy baby girl gave us great joy. She wore her hat all throughout the winter of her birth as she arrived three weeks ahead of schedule; it became our favorite hat!
I Support Rainbow Hats, LLC
Rainbow Hats, LLC was the brainchild of a winter get-together with an old friend from childhood, over the gift of a hat made of colors from the rainbow, gifted from one friend to another as a welcoming for her unborn baby girl.
Along the way, friends, acquaintances, and strangers have come out to support the business. When infertility and pregnancy loss strike such a large percentage of the population (1 million of married women ages 15-44), and yet the two remain fairly invisible in our society, we felt it important to celebrate what can happen after, and to open the door for more conversation to remove stigma and revel in celebration and honor.
Note from Julie: This blog was written by my friend who was the recipient of the first Rainbow Hat I ever made to celebrate a Rainbow Baby.