What is a Rainbow Baby?

After every storm there’s a Rainbow

Have you ever heard the term ‘Rainbow Baby’?  I personally have one, and am currently expecting my second!

A rainbow baby is a baby born after losing a previous one, whether through miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss.  The term comes from the idea that there’s a rainbow after a storm – storm being the hardship of losing a child, and the rainbow being the gift of a precious life.  It’s not necessarily that this new baby becomes a replacement, but rather a beacon of hope that life is not over.

A friend of mine brought up the idea that the rainbow could represent that God is promising that death won’t happen again (just like God promising Noah that there would be no more flooding of the earth).  I kinda like that!  It’s another way to hold on to hope while pregnant with a rainbow baby!

After losing a baby, it becomes an emotional time for the family.  Choosing to have another baby is no longer just a simple choice, but one that brings on a flood of new emotions.  There’s the worry that you might lose another baby, or there could be the beacon of hope that accompanies expecting a baby – hope that this baby will live and not die.

Don’t fret or worry.  Instead of worrying, pray.  Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.  Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down.

                     Philippians 4:6-7 (Message Translation)

Once becoming pregnant, it can be a time of worry and uncertainty, or a time of anticipation of the healing that will come with having a healthy baby.  I want to say that the emotions felt while pregnant with a rainbow baby varies person to person.

I find that with my current pregnancy, a lot of people are assuming I’m scared about losing this child, when I’m actually not.  I’ve been told the fear of losing this baby might come once I go into labor, or once I approach my due date, but currently I’m not worried and I actually don’t want to partner with that fear.  I want to enjoy this pregnancy and every aspect of it.  This is another reason why it’s important to choose the right people to talk to!  I’d much rather be around people who instill hope during this emotional journey, rather than fear (For more on choosing who to talk to, click here).

I feel like I’ve had so much healing already after losing Briela, and feel deep down in my soul that God is protecting this little one and I have nothing to fear.

On the other hand, the pregnancy I had with my first rainbow baby (my eldest son), I was constantly checking for bleeding or any signs of miscarriage during the first trimester.  Once the pregnancy progressed into the second and third trimesters, the fears that I once had diminished and I was then able to enjoy the remainder of the pregnancy.

I think one way to stay positive and actually enjoy a rainbow pregnancy is to stay off online forums!  Choose not listen to peoples’ horror stories and stay positive.  Every pregnancy and outcome is completely unique, so there’s no sense in scaring yourself over things that likely won’t happen this time around.

What about after the baby is born?

After giving birth to your rainbow baby, it can again be a time of varied emotions.  I have yet to experience the joy of holding this baby in my arms, but I have experienced it with my first.

There’s the obvious emotion of relief that the baby is healthy, and the enjoyment that comes from this new child.  I believe there will always be times when you think of what life would be like with the baby that didn’t make it.  There’s all sorts of thoughts you might experience – The idea that your new baby wouldn’t be here if the other had made it, the idea that you could have had both children and that they would have had a great relationship together, etc.  There will always be thoughts, ideas and what-if’s swirling around in your mind regarding all your children.

I do think it’s important to remember that your rainbow baby is not a replacement of the baby that didn’t make it.  Your rainbow baby is their own person and has their own destiny.  Try not to make this new child feel they need to fill the role of their sibling… talk about pressure overload! Enjoy this rainbow baby for who they are.

Now I’d like to hear from you!  Do you have any rainbow babies?  Was the pregnancy an emotional time for you?  Did you find that there was further healing in regards to the loss you had beforehand?

Let me know in the comments below!