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I never really got the term "rainbow baby" until now

I never really got the term "rainbow baby" until now


Melissa Willets

posted in Pregnancy

Unless you have walked in the shoes of a loss mom, you cannot possibly understand that pain, or what you will go through as you attempt to heal and find a way forward. Before I lost our daughter late in pregnancy, I didn’t get it. I’d let my mind wander as I imagined how it might feel, sure. But I didn’t get the depths of the agony until I faced a life without my baby.

I also didn’t get the term “rainbow baby,” which refers to a child born after the storm loss brings. Sure, the concept seemed nice, but it didn’t hold any special significance to me.

I recently came across a social media post by a mom named Teresa Mendoza who, after a heartbreaking loss, struggled to accept the term “rainbow baby.” Her daughter Sylvia was born at full term, but without a heartbeat, after what Mendoza describes as a perfect pregnancy.

Upon welcoming a healthy baby boy, Leo, the mama wrote on Instagram, “For a long time I rejected the title [rainbow baby], feeling protective of Sylvia and hurt by the idea that anything surrounding her was a storm. She is perfect, not a storm, we are heartbroken, but she is not a storm, it was a great tragedy, yes, but she is not a storm.” She adds about her daughter and son, “She is the rainbow as much as he is…”

I love everything Mendoza says in her post, and I agree that a baby you lose is not a storm. I think of my lost daughter Cara as a perfect angel.

For me, the storm is the emotions you endure. A storm is unpredictable, just like how I feel every day. Sometimes, I am raging with anger. Other days, I wake up so sad I can barely breathe, let alone move. Still other days I feel anxiety like nothing I had ever experienced pre-loss. It’s as if the world I know is gone, and I have to figure out how to exist in this world where I’m a mom of a baby I can never raise. It’s disorienting and painful and stormy to be sure.

As far as the rainbow part, I have grown to view this colorful image as a symbol of hope for the future. For a time when life isn’t so full of grief and pain. A time when the sun shines on my face, and those of my children and husband, a bit more often. And the shadows of rain clouds aren’t so imminently threatening.

And now, I see rainbows everywhere.

Rainbow baby

I love rainbows, and I try to surround myself with them.

Rainbow baby hope

From head to toe.

Rainbow baby hope

I figure if I invite enough hope into my life, eventually, slowly, it will balance out all the stormy sadness, anxiety, and anger about what happened to my darling Cara.

And maybe one day, a rainbow baby will be a part of our family. If so, we will know full-well that this child wouldn’t be possible without Cara. It’s also indisputable that any future joys could never take away the pain of losing her. The storm will continue to rage on inside my heart as long as I live.

But so too will the hope; the rainbows.

Do you get, or like the term “rainbow baby?”

Images by Melissa Willets

The post I never really got the term "rainbow baby" until now appeared first on BabyCenter Blog.

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