Listen to today's episode, "The Rainbow After the Storm: Understanding Miscarriage and Celebrating New Life with Lindsey Leask" as former Elementary Educator and current mama, Lindsey Leask joins Dori Durbin. Lindsey also shares:
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More about Lindsey
Lindsey Leask is a former elementary school teacher, wife, and mom of two rainbow babies. She graduated from Adrian College in 2014. In her free time she enjoys crocheting, sewing, walking her dogs, and spending every precious moment with her rainbow babies, Avery and Jack.
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More about Dori Durbin:
Dori Durbin is a Christian wife, mom, author, illustrator, and a kids’ book coach who after experiencing a life-changing illness, quickly switched gears to follow her dream. She creates kids’ books to provide a fun and safe passageway for kids and parents to dig deeper and experience empowered lives. Dori also coaches non-fiction authors and aspiring authors to “kid-size” their content into informational and engaging kids’ books!
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[00:00:00.890] - Dori Durbin
Every child is a gift to parents, and every child deserves to know about their beginnings. But what if before that child, there was a miscarriage? And how do we relate that story to the child who's still there? Why are they called rainbow babies? And what does that really mean? All this and more in my interview, coming up next with Lindsay Lisk. Listen in.
[00:00:26.730] - Dori Durbin
Welcome to the Power of Kids Books podcast, where we believe that books are a catalyst for inspiring and empowering change. I'm your host, Dori Durbin, and today we have Lindsay Lesk, who is a stay at home mom, was an elementary teacher, and is still a quilter. She has her book. I am a rainbow baby. Hi, Lindsay. Welcome.
[00:00:50.270] - Lindsey Leask
Hi. Thank you so much for having me.
[00:00:52.950] - Dori Durbin
Absolutely. I love that we had to schedule around your kids naps. I think that is beautiful.
[00:00:59.650] - Lindsey Leask
That is how I plan my day. It's planned around their naps. So I'm glad to have someone who can understand that and is okay with planning around nap time, because that's my life.
[00:01:11.430] - Dori Durbin
I think thinking back to when my kids were little, that was so crucial. That was like, get everything done and have a happy child. So I totally understand that.
[00:01:22.570] - Lindsey Leask
[00:01:25.690] - Dori Durbin
Tell me a little bit about yourself and your family, if you're willing, of course.
[00:01:30.750] - Lindsey Leask
So my husband and I got married in 2018. We have two kids, avery is three, and Jack just turned one. Before having Avery, we found out we were pregnant, and it was the summer of 2018, shortly after we got married. And we were excited. We were planning for this baby and everything, and at twelve weeks we were not expecting it, but we lost that pregnancy. So it was just very traumatic for both of us. Neither of us really had experience with miscarriage before, like within our family or anything, so it was all brand new for us. So what helped me along with therapy was writing. So I wrote to help grieve and I wrote to help the healing process. And then when we found out we were pregnant and it seemed like it was sticking, I really loved the fact of the Rainbow Baby and how special they are and how wanted they are. So that's how my book was born. So, yeah, we've talked about it before. We live in Michigan right now. My husband's in the Navy, so we were in Georgia when all of this happened, and right now he's overseas. So, yeah, that's about us a little bit.
[00:02:50.090] - Lindsey Leask
[00:02:50.860] - Dori Durbin
So I'm really impressed because you took something that I can tell you, I've never experienced. I can only imagine how painful it would have been. And you took that painful situation and made it into something that, like you said, it helped you, but potentially it had the ability to help other people who had gone through that experience. What even got you to that point where you were able to kind of move on from that pain and put it into purpose.
[00:03:20.930] - Lindsey Leask
So when I was going through the loss, I had never been so devastated, broken. I had lost family members, but this was different because it was like a family member you've never met. It was like, I don't know, obviously your child. It was really devastating for us. I didn't really have friends who had gone through and it gone through it, so I just felt very alone in the process. Like, my husband was obviously broken, too, but it affected me in a different way because it was happening to me. So when I was writing the book, I was writing it for myself, but then I thought, this could help someone else because I was having a hard time with it. And even the therapist I talked to hadn't gone through it, so it was really still isolating. So I just kind of thought, this is something that might benefit other people and benefit other families, like even a rainbow baby, to teach them how wanted and special they are, their past before it was even them. So that's kind of what I was going through, thinking, I think it could help someone else. And amazingly, it has.
[00:04:40.490] - Lindsey Leask
I've gotten amazing feedback from it, so I'm so thankful. Okay.
[00:04:45.210] - Dori Durbin
I don't know what a rainbow baby is. Can you tell me what a rainbow baby is?
[00:04:49.950] - Lindsey Leask
Of course. So it's like the rainbow after the storm. So the storm not being the first child that passed away, but the storm being the loss and the devastation and the emotions and feelings that go through that. Because when I heard this terminology, I had never heard of rainbow before our situation either. So hearing that, I was like, that's exactly what it felt like. It felt like you were going through the storm. Everything was dark and cloudy, and then you find out you're pregnant again, and it's just like what someone had wrote was like it felt like I was drowning. And then I could finally breathe. It was just so nice to have that feeling and that excitement back. And I have two rainbow babies, both of them. It's the rainbow after the storm.
[00:05:43.710] - Dori Durbin
Yeah. That's a beautiful image, actually, to think of it that way as just like this. Well, okay, I'm a Christian, so from the Christian perspective, the rainbow is always a promise, too. So it's like a fulfilled promise.
[00:05:56.770] - Lindsey Leask
Yes. And that's one of my announcement for my daughter. It was, you might help me with the correct verbiage, but it said something like, god doesn't take away, he always gives. So she was a promise. I wish I had the words in front of me because I know it's really pretty, but yeah, they're a promise. And you're not promised the pregnancy is going to go through or anything, but to me, it was that promise of hope. And as things progressed and got better, it was and they're both here, so it's amazing.
[00:06:32.670] - Dori Durbin
Now, you said your oldest is how old?
[00:06:36.110] - Lindsey Leask
Avery is three. She's the one who I just turned three. She's the one who I was pregnant with and wrote this book. And then we did have a loss in between her and my son Jack, who just turned one.
[00:06:47.970] - Dori Durbin
Okay. Wow. I'm assuming you're already reading the book to Avery on her own, but is that like, a conversation that she'll understand even more because of your book?
[00:07:01.670] - Lindsey Leask
I think so. With the book, I had almost, like, two audiences that I wrote it for the family that's grieving the family that's maybe pregnant with their baby, the Rainbow baby. So that little glimmer of hope for them. But I also wanted the children who are Rainbow babies who might not even know it, to have that appreciation of their family and what their family went through and how special they are, because I truly loved my daughter even before we were pregnant with her. She's like the young end of three. So she loves to read the book, and she loves to say, like, oh, Avery is the baby that's Avery. So I don't think she really knows loss, but my hope is one day she will, and she'll know that there's that extra little bit of special to her and Jack, because they really are. And, I mean, every baby is special, but there's, like, a little bit extra to those Rainbow babies.
[00:07:59.490] - Dori Durbin
Yeah. It truly feels even more like a gift, probably.
[00:08:04.250] - Lindsey Leask
Yes. That's perfect wording for it.
[00:08:08.010] - Dori Durbin
Well, speaking of words, I know my audience loves to hear books, so would you mind reading about 30 seconds worth of your book for us?
[00:08:15.840] - Lindsey Leask
I would love to. I'm just going to start from the beginning. Okay. I am a Rainbow baby, but what does that mean? Before I was born, my mama found out that a baby was growing in her tummy. Mama surprised Daddy one day with the good news. He was so happy. He was so excited to be a dad. Mama showed Daddy how much their baby was growing every day. They compared the size of their baby to fruits and vegetables. They picked out boy and girl names and started dreaming of life with a little baby in their arms. They told their family and friends about their news. Everyone couldn't wait to meet the newest member of the family. Grandma and Grandpa bought toys and clothes. Auntie picked out some tiny shoes for the new baby. Great Grandma started counting down the days until the babies arrived. Then one day, there wasn't a baby in Mama's tummy anymore. Sometimes these things just happen. The doctor said mom and Daddy were heartbroken. They both cried a lot. They told their friends and family their sad news, and they all cried with them. That's where I'll stop. Yeah.
[00:09:18.420] - Dori Durbin
That is so powerful. Lindsay as I'm listening to it and gosh, I remember being pregnant and getting the ultrasound done first, and they're like, oh, it's the size of a pinto bean right now. Your baby is this big, so that whole fruits and vegetables piece rings so true. And just the excitement there that you're just kind of building up to this life and imagining what this baby is going to look like and who they're going to be, and all those pieces that seem to fit. And then I actually really respect how you said and then it was just gone. Because really, the truth is for kids, they don't really need to know exactly what happened, necessarily. I'm sure they're going to ask. But the reality is that's how it felt. That experience of nothing there anymore. That's pretty powerful, right?
[00:10:12.530] - Lindsey Leask
That's how it felt too. The first pregnancy, we got to twelve weeks, so after ten weeks I was like, oh, we're a quarter through, we're almost there, we're getting there. And it's like, I never expect it to happen. We were going to move soon, so we're like planning the room that's going to be the baby. We were talking about names and all this stuff, and then all of a sudden it was just taken away. And then we had nothing. And it's like, you have to start all over again, but we were just not expecting that to happen. All of that is like our own personal experience, like comparing the fruits and vegetables to the size of the baby, and then it was just gone and we didn't have anything. So it was really hard.
[00:10:59.350] - Dori Durbin
I'm trying to imagine too, like, trying again. I think if it were me, I would be so scared. How do you guarantee that this is going to work? What if I get all excited again? Especially with kids too? I'm telling my kids about how this baby is growing inside me, and you're kind of in the back of your mind fearing it's not going to happen. How did you handle that? Yeah.
[00:11:25.450] - Lindsey Leask
I feel like until we got to that twelve week mark where we were, I was terrified the whole entire time. It's like, you make sure you still have all the symptoms and even then it doesn't mean anything. So it was like walking on glass, like almost like you're scared that the floor is going to fall through and something's going to happen again. I was just anxiety the whole time. And what helped me was I wrote letters and I prayed every single night and just please let me keep this baby. So thankfully, with Avery, everything was perfect. And then we got pregnant. When she was around, she had just turned one, so she didn't really understand that she was going to be a big sister or anything, but that one was an early loss. So it was like the same thing, like, overexcited. She's going to be a big sister. And all of a sudden it was like, never mind. It was hard. And then like, you said, starting all over again, it's like, is this going to be it? Is it going to last another week or are we going to get another month? So we were just thankful for every day.
[00:12:39.440] - Lindsey Leask
That was a good day. And thankfully, Jack's was great too. So very blessed there.
[00:12:47.110] - Dori Durbin
So how are you finding that you can use your book with other people? I'm really curious about that.
[00:12:57.110] - Lindsey Leask
All my different roles. So when I was a teacher, I lost the baby, and I wasn't pregnant again when I was teaching, just as we moved. But I had that extra appreciation for my students, knowing how quickly a lack of life can be taken away. I don't know if that makes sense, but just maybe really appreciate them more. And then as a mom, finding these mom friends, I have found such a great group and connection with parents that have their rainbow babies, and they're like, oh, I didn't know I could really teach my kids about this. So a lot of people said it's a great resource for them to teach their kids and their family, like, what a rainbow baby is or like, your brother is a rainbow baby. What does this mean? So I think some parents, they go through it and then they have their families and then that's it. They have their families. But it's nice to teach their kids about their family and about the kids that are the rainbow baby. So it's been amazing to connect with different families in this way, like teaching and just being a mom. Yeah.
[00:14:10.940] - Dori Durbin
You know what? You brought up something I didn't even think about, was friends of the kids that lose. Let's say you're talking about your two kids and what if they were older and they were friends of other families who had never experienced that before? Yeah, that's huge. Because they wouldn't have that context to understand what it even meant, much less that. Go on. Yeah.
[00:14:37.270] - Lindsey Leask
And I've had friends that bought the book for that reason. We are blessed enough. We didn't have to go through that. But my friend's kid is like, your friend is a rainbow baby. What does that mean? Or their cousin is going through it or something. So it is nice. It doesn't have to directly affect that family, but it's just nice to know because I cannot believe how many people I know who are going through this or have gone through this. So it's nice to have that connection and spread it to people who don't know they need it. They don't know they would be it, right? Yeah.
[00:15:14.310] - Dori Durbin
Okay. Here's a question I didn't plan on asking you, but I'm going to ask you anyway. I can totally see your book in places like pediatrician offices, in playgroup areas, in areas where, let's say, families go for extra help and assistance of any kind, and even to the point of psychologist lounge offices. Have you had any interest from groups like this in your book.
[00:15:46.910] - Lindsey Leask
I need to do my part of reaching out and marketing myself more. But when I was in Georgia, I did bring it to my Obs office. So they loved it and they had it out for their patients and all the places you said, I think it would be great to put an OB office pediatrician because the kids are there and reading it and yeah, I think that's a great idea. I need to figure out how to get it out there a little bit more. But, yeah, I think that'd be perfect.
[00:16:20.560] - Dori Durbin
So if anybody's listening who's a marketer, you need to contact Lindsay about her book.
[00:16:24.540] - Lindsey Leask
[00:16:27.470] - Dori Durbin
I think it is hard, though, when you're especially a self published author, and getting that information out there about your book is a lot of work. Yeah, 100%. And there's a point, too, where you kind of feel like, I've got a really great concept, I've got a great book. I want people to know about it. But there's also that resistance of, well, how hard do I push? How confident am I in this book that I can go to the doctor's office and hand it to them? You need this book in your office for every patient.
[00:17:03.440] - Lindsey Leask
Well, it's very hard. I wasn't expecting how like you said, I feel like I have a good idea. Unfortunately, there's an audience for it. Unfortunately, a lot of people have gone through that loss. But I do think there's people out there who would appreciate it. So it's pushing it and getting it into the bookstores and the offices, and I want to take it to our local library. So all those places. So it is a lot of work, but it's worth it. Anytime I hear someone say how they loved it, how it affected them, it's worth all of that.
[00:17:38.630] - Dori Durbin
Yeah, I think I could see you going into groups, too, and speaking to groups of people who are grieving and having that there. I think that would be amazing. Now, right now, it would dump all that because you're a mama, and that's most important at this moment. But down the road, do you have any books that are brewing in your mind after completing this first one?
[00:18:01.850] - Lindsey Leask
That's funny you asked that, because if you asked me a year ago, I would have probably said, like, oh, maybe down the line or whatever. But there are so many different baby related topics that I would like to touch on. I had someone reach out to me and say, my book focuses on miscarriage, but what if a baby was a stillborn or I wanted to touch on not a miscarriage, but the babies that are conceived by IVF or, like, fertility, where moms took parents had to take a lot of extra steps to get their baby. So I was talking to my husband about these ideas, and I'm like, I did not go through those myself, but it would be cool to partner with someone who has and write a book from those perspectives so it can be more, I don't know, inclusive for everybody. So I could have a series on these babies that are special in their own different ways. So one day I think I would like to yeah, you can almost go down there.
[00:19:03.980] - Dori Durbin
Not exactly sure what you would call it, but it almost be like special birth kind of focus.
[00:19:09.470] - Lindsey Leask
There's not a term for all of.
[00:19:11.750] - Dori Durbin
That, but special delivery series something.
[00:19:16.450] - Lindsey Leask
Special delivery. I like that one.
[00:19:24.630] - Dori Durbin
So as far as just even with kids and talking about miscarriage and even, I guess, with the adults too, what do you think helped you the most? I know the writing piece of it, but how did you get over the fear of having another child?
[00:19:44.330] - Lindsey Leask
What helped me I mean, writing did help, but just like that, trying to stay as hopeful and positive as I could. Like I said, I almost wrote letters to the baby every day. And it's like every day that we got closer to her being born, it was just like I appreciated every single day. So it was hard. And for me, it was scary in the beginning because there's very like I didn't have many pregnancy symptoms. So it's like, is she still there? And then when you could start to feel her move, that helped. But then in the end, you hear these babies, like, you got to do the kick counts and they get the cord wrapped around their neck or whatever. So I was always anxious. I went to the doctor a few times just because I was like, I don't feel her, but just anxiety all the time with that. And there's no magic cure all. I was just trying to be appreciative as I could that we had another day together and everything. So kind of how it happened, honestly, with miscarriages or any kind of pregnancy loss it kind of ripped the joy from being pregnant.
[00:20:54.780] - Lindsey Leask
I didn't have that oblivious feeling like I did with my first one. It's not a promise, unfortunately. So we just did what we could and just tried to stay as hopeful as possible.
[00:21:09.910] - Dori Durbin
Just being hopeful and grateful for each day that you did have the pregnancy. It sounds like that's kind of what kept you. Well, let me ask you this, because we're wrapping up down to our last few minutes and I could probably ask you 1000 more questions. Let me ask you, what are two reasons that you think someone who is experienced either they've experienced something like major in their lives or they're professionals who have information. What are two reasons that you feel that they should write a kid's book?
[00:21:45.330] - Lindsey Leask
For me, I think that you could be writing to an audience that you don't know. Who needs something like this? So I would have never imagined I would write a book and hit these audiences like I have. But your idea for a book could help you. For me, writing just helped me, but then to put it out there and to have it help other people, it's just been amazing. And a second reason I feel like we kind of talked about even if the situation doesn't affect you, it's still amazing to teach kids about all these other topics that they I didn't know what a miscarriage was when I was younger, so kids are learning about those kind of topics, and they're not easy topics to talk about. So I think it's great to have teach kids these things and like a watered down version when they're younger, but then they can grow up and it won't be just more knowledge for them. So I think it helps people. And I was being a teacher, I just loved children's literature. So anything out there that can help kids experience different things is amazing.
[00:23:04.010] - Dori Durbin
I think you're right. And I truly do believe that a book is a communication gateway. You read it?
[00:23:10.880] - Lindsey Leask
[00:23:11.280] - Dori Durbin
The kids have more questions. There's something you can talk about. If they've never seen it, they can't ask.
[00:23:17.550] - Lindsey Leask
Right? Exactly. From my book, it does open questions and conversations that families can have together. So if anyone else has an idea like that that kids aren't familiar with, it's great to have them experience that within reading.
[00:23:37.010] - Dori Durbin
Yes, I love that. Well, great answer. I think that marketer is going to show up and I can't wait to hear more about the special delivery series.
[00:23:46.730] - Lindsey Leask
Yeah, honestly. I'll be back.
[00:23:51.770] - Dori Durbin
Thank you so much for your time today, Lindsay. Where can people find out more?
[00:23:55.880] - Lindsey Leask
So I am on Instagram, the handle is just like, I am a rainbow, baby, all one word. And then my book is on Amazon, so pretty much it's prime delivery, so it's open to oh, the cool thing is it's open to international markets. Like, when I was selling it, I think my second sale was like, Italy, which is amazing. So, yeah, you can find me on there.
[00:24:19.250] - Dori Durbin
Awesome. Well, I'm sure we'll have listeners looking for sure. So thank you so much.
[00:24:24.980] - Lindsey Leask
Yes, thank you. I appreciate it.