grief

Rainbow

Well, hello! I haven’t been writing on here for quite some time. Something that used to make me feel a tiny bit normal sort of became the opposite. I’m going to try this one out and see how it goes!

I was scrolling through Instagram a while back when I came across a post about the term “rainbow baby.” Sounds like August 22 is National Rainbow Baby Day which is news to me! This post was from a Mama who was very clearly expressing her dislike for the term which got me thinking…

As you know, I was surprised to be pregnant shortly after losing Blake. I remember the first time I heard “rainbow baby” and I was pissed. It felt like another attempt to leap over losing my daughter. One more way to say I know your baby died but look you get a NEW one! I did not want people saying we were having a “rainbow baby” because to me that equated to forgetting. A fresh baby wasn’t going to replace Blake. I would never stop loving her or take her piece of my heart and give it to someone else. I vividly remember asking my family members to ditch the phrase “new baby sister” when talking to my 2 year old and use “next baby sister” instead. I could not handle anything that conveyed a replacement.

I had heard, a rainbow (baby) was a “reward” for making it through the storm. Let me tell you my truth: There can’t be a rainbow at the end of the storm because the storm of your child dying does not end. The bullshit that you’ll heal and make it to the other side is a false idea that is pushed because children dying makes the world whisper and feel discomfort. The real version is you will learn how to weather that storm for the rest of your life. You will learn to live with a broken heart and it will fucking suck.

And during all of that, at some point, there can be bits of joy. I think we have to try to celebrate that joy as best we can.

Late in my pregnancy I chose to embrace calling Ayla our “rainbow baby.” My feelings shifted when I realized that phrase was the opposite of forgetting or replacing. I started to feel like it honored Blake and our pain in missing her, all while celebrating Ayla’s presence. I couldn’t imagine not including Blake in the growing of her baby sister. For me, this was a way to love them both in an outward fashion. Ayla was (and is) so special, not more or less than her sisters, but she arrived at one of the most difficult times possible. Acknowledging her as our (first <3) rainbow baby was a way to say we’re going through hell and we’re still thankful and hopeful (also terrified in case you forgot) in welcoming our third daughter.

I can understand why others may not feel that way. I never ever want to make someone feel like what they’re doing in their grief is wrong.

If you know me, you know that I acknowledge all 4 of my babies as the unique and amazing people they are. They all came under drastically different circumstances to evolving parents who wanted them. Each of them have changed my life, our family, our world, for the better.

2 thoughts on “Rainbow

  1. Stephanie I think you covered this so well. I know after losing Jameson our family wasn’t keen on that term either. However, I like to think of “rainbow baby” as a sign of hope and remembrance. Rainbows always show up right after a dark storm and remind us that light does shine still after a storm; though you can still see the darkness in the distance.

    Like

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