Aberjhani once said that Rainbows expose us to various lovely alternatives, reminding us that suffering and loss are not the only options in life.
Along with beauty, there is so much optimism that rainbows represent!
You can anticipate people stopping and admiring the beauty of a rainbow as soon as it appears. It can make even the saddest of individuals grin, as well as brighten almost anyone’s mood.
Rainbows symbolize fresh starts, hope, promise, good fortune, tranquility, and impermanence.
Aren’t these the most beautiful creation of God? Of course, they are!
Babies are a game-changer. They change your perspective in life. They change the way you live your lives and why you wake up every morning.
The Pleasure of Becoming a Parent
Mary Howitt writes that God creates children for a purpose other than just keeping up with the race – to enlarge our hearts; to make us unselfish and full of loving thoughts and affection; to give our minds higher aspirations.
The joy of becoming parents is second to none. It suddenly becomes all about that child and nothing about them as parents.
What is a Rainbow Baby?
Have you ever come across this term? If yes, have you ever wondered what is a rainbow baby? If not, then let us learn what is a rainbow baby.
A rainbow baby is a baby born after a miscarriage, stillbirth, ectopic pregnancy, or death while still in the womb.
Rainbow babies are nothing less than miracle babies.
The term rainbow baby is commonly used these days in the pregnancy loss community. It has also recently gained popularity on social media and blogs as people want to know ‘what is a rainbow baby.’
Let’s Connect these Dots!
When a baby is born, the family members rejoice. The babies become more precious than jewels, their voice seems like that of angels’, and their eyes are like stars.
But what happens when you lose babies to death? A number of reasons like a miscarriage, stillbirth, or neonatal death can lead a baby to its death.
It’s an excruciatingly painful and devastating experience.
When a healthy baby is born to the parents following a previous loss of an infant, then such a baby is referred to as a rainbow baby.
What is with this Metaphor of a Rainbow Baby?
A rainbow is said to appear in the sky after a storm after a dark and turbulent time.
Similarly, a healthy baby that is born after a pregnancy loss during the previous pregnancy is considered to be like a rainbow in the sky after a storm.
And this is how the term ‘Rainbow Baby’ came into being.
Let’s Know More About ‘What is a Rainbow Baby?’
Rainbow babies are a ray of hope for the entire family following the traumatic experience, much way a rainbow in the sky brings and symbolizes hope by spreading light after a gloomy thunderstorm.
Both rainbows and rainbow babies are signs of good luck and immense joy.
Rainbows indicate peace that follows a disturbing thunderstorm; likewise, a rainbow infant brings peace to the family that was once lost.
A rainbow pregnancy comes with mixed emotions. There is a range of conflicting emotions. It becomes difficult to choose between the way the parents and families should feel.
Should they grieve over the loss of the previous baby, or should they celebrate the new life which they are soon going to welcome?
When a mother is expecting a rainbow baby after the loss of a previous child, it triggers a wide range of emotions, and many rainbow parents will tell you that these emotions aren’t all positive. Some mothers who have survived a miscarriage and gone on to have another child are filled with self-doubt and remorse.
They’re afraid that others will assume they’ve moved on and replaced their baby because they’ve gotten over their loss. They are concerned that having a rainbow baby will be seen as a disgrace to their deceased child.
Such strong feelings of joy and healing, along with anxiety, fear, and even guilt, need to be managed well to avoid complications for the mother. Women who have lost their infants have a higher chance of developing postpartum depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, sleep disorders, depression, and anxiety.
Let’s Read About Some Personal Stories Shared by Rainbow Moms
Who can tell better about ‘what is a rainbow baby’ and the preceding scenario than those who have experienced it?
Jessica Zucker, who is a clinical psychologist, specializes in women’s reproductive concerns, such as fertility, miscarriage, and mood and anxiety disorders associated with pregnancy. She presented her definition of ‘what is a rainbow baby’ and her personal experience.
She experienced a miscarriage in the 16th week of her second pregnancy. She says that this pregnancy was quite different from the first one. She had episodes of spotting, and nothing just felt right.
On her way home from work one day, she began to have contractions. She had no idea she was in the early stages of labor. She delivered her baby at home with the support of her doctor over the phone. The infant did not survive the violent birth since it was past the age of viability which is week 26 of her pregnancy.
She became pregnant with her rainbow baby a few months later and delivered a beautiful rainbow baby girl without any analgesia or other medications.
She realized how much she suffered, which sparked her interest in pregnancy loss activism.
“People are humiliated and perplexed when a lady has a miscarriage, a later loss, a stillbirth, or an infant loss,” she says. “We have a hard time sitting in uncomfortable environments; therefore, people become quiet.”
“I’d always wanted to be a mother,” she adds, “and I’d always known I was meant to have a large family with many children.” But destiny had a different story to tell. She suffered 2 miscarriages, one at the 12th week and the other at the 8th. She had a son before, though.
“This was the most difficult loss for me,” she admits. “I couldn’t work after it.” I couldn’t go to work, and sending my son to daycare was a difficult task. I was terrified that something terrible would happen to him and that he would be our only kid. We joined a pregnancy and infant loss support group, and I began seeing a therapist due to this loss.”
After some time, the couple tried in-vitro fertilization, which was a success. They welcomed an angel baby girl who was a ray of hope to the family.
Felicity’s Rainbow Baby Story
Felicity was usually going through her pregnancy until she experienced unusual spotting. One day as she woke up, she experienced blood clots and severe abdominal clotting.
She says that she was all numb and silent when she was going to the hospital. She added that her body had created a miracle, but now this body is rejecting it. She walked silently like before through the hallway of the hospital, knowing that she had a miscarriage.
“I didn’t comprehend my feelings and had no idea how to communicate them to anyone, including my husband.” This is how broken and traumatized she was! She was full of guilt and felt like a part of her was dead, she said.
She was scared of going to work and only stayed at home, in bed, her husband claimed. They tried again but history repeated. She conceived but then had a miscarriage in the 8th week again.
She exclaimed that this was the lowest point of her life! But not giving up, she started taking medications trying to conceive again and have a healthy pregnancy. She also joined a support group.
She thought she would never have a child, but she happened to randomly take a pregnancy test which turned out to be positive. There was a spark of joy yet again, and this time, it did last forever!
But the fear still existed in her mind. She said that she was scared to buy baby products.
As she reached her third trimester, she stopped working and took good rest. She delivered a new baby who was a healthy little girl.
When Jessica and her fiancé realized they were about to have a baby, they were excited. Only after she had her first ultrasound did she come to know that her uterus was empty. It was an ectopic pregnancy.
She was disheartened but brave enough. She immediately started taking her medications to cease this pregnancy which was not expected. She started bleeding severely and came to know she had a big blood clot between her uterus and the bladder. It would pass by itself but cause her a lot of pain.
She said that she had an emotional time that led her to depression, and she accepted that this is the life she has to live now.
But the doctors did not give up. They kept encouraging them, and to their surprise, she did conceive. She delivered a healthy baby girl, and she recalls that feeling like absolute magic.
Cheryl was pregnant with her first baby. It was unexpected. She had a tough time deciding whether or not she wanted to be a mother at that stage of her life. But her husband was excited enough until they realized their baby’s heart wasn’t beating at their first ultrasound.
Her heart sank, she said. Her husband’s excitement was all shattered. She got over this trauma physically and mentally, and she got pregnant and was expecting a rainbow baby.
During the first trimester of her new pregnancy, she experienced significant morning sickness, which made her extremely emotional. But she delivered a baby boy safely, and the baby born was healthy.
What Makes Rainbow Babies so Special?
A rainbow baby comes with great joy after a challenging time. It has brought hope and a tremendous amount of healing to the family. So how can this child not be exceptionally precious?
For parents who lost their children, they are a great blessing.
Monitoring the Rainbow Babies
This plays a crucial role. It doesn’t only make us aware of the fetus’ condition, but also if the mother knows that if her child is doing well, then that gives her a sense of comfort.
Getting the ultrasonography done as and when required, counting babies’ kicks, taking medications on time, and getting all the necessary investigations in time is the mainstay.
How do we Look After Mothers Pregnant with a Rainbow Baby?
When we read about what is a rainbow baby and details about it, we need to know what can be done to lower the rage in the minds of the ones who have been through it.
- Pregnancy, excitement about the baby’s arrival, conflicting thoughts regarding parenting, and the baggage of grief that is still carried by mothers are all very tiring. Don’t be harsh on yourselves! Deal with all this one at a time.
- Talk about the way you feel to a friend or a family member who might know how to deal with such conditions or who may just understand what you are going through.
- Talk to other parents who know what is a rainbow baby and have been through such a loss and situation before.
- You might simply need counseling or the help of mental health professional. This will help you manage and deal with anxiety.
- Exercise! It helps and positively affects your mental health.
- Self-care plays a vital role.
- Reach out to a support group. Group therapies wherein mothers and fathers who are all expecting rainbow babies can be pretty effective as well by providing emotional support to all of them, helping parents heal.
Not only mothers but also fathers and other family members need help. They also need to look after themselves, reach out to others, or find support groups to get over their grief and anxiety.
When you come across someone like this, please help them. Try to comfort them by telling them you know what is a rainbow baby and telling them a few stories which will boost their confidence.
Not everybody knows what is a rainbow baby. So try and make people aware of it.
Also, if you have experienced the loss of an infant, the following resources might be helpful-
In a nutshell, the rainbow babies bring in a lot of mixed emotions. They also involve feelings of guilt, fear, anxiety, and optimism.
The loss of a baby is traumatizing, but the new child born should be celebrated because, just like rainbows, rainbow babies enlighten darkness.
We hope we successfully have made you learn that ‘what is a rainbow baby is?’
So when any time you come across or are asked that ‘what is a rainbow baby?’ you exactly know what to say!