I became a part of the pregnancy loss community almost 10 years ago when I had my first miscarriage. It wasn’t a club I had hoped to join. I’m sure you felt the same. Nobody wants to lose a baby.
Still, we loss mamas bond quickly. We have all endured the sadness of saying goodbye to a treasured life. Having that pain in common unites us.
You’ve probably heard people compare the loss of a pregnancy or a baby to a storm. It’s a grief filled with dark clouds of sadness and tears that fall like rain.
Inevitably, if you’re part of this unwanted club, like me, you’ve heard the term “rainbow baby”—the beauty after the storm.
You’ve seen the photoshoots. Mamas wearing rainbow dresses. Announcements with balloons every color of the rainbow. Babies on rainbow blankets. Newborn feet painted like Roy G. Biv. Rainbow onesies, bows, bowties, and picture frames. You name it; there is rainbow everything for these rainbow babies.
And rightfully so.
Rainbow babies are miracles, worthy of celebration.
So are their mamas. They are your warrior friends who have fought through some of life’s darkest moments.
You’ve supported them as they’ve battled the emotions of trying to conceive and being pregnant after loss. You’ve connected over the desperation of wanting to have another baby, but also feeling terrified of enduring another loss. You know the uncertainty, anxiety, fear, worry, and doubt because you’ve lived it yourself, too.
So yes, I know you celebrate the rainbow babies. You rejoice with your fellow loss mama community members.
You see rainbow after rainbow after rainbow, and you love those babies so much. They truly bring color, joy, and sparkle to the world.
But you are still reeling from the storm—your storm of loss. You examine and re-examine every movement and every choice from your pregnancy or birth. You ponder, “Was there something I could’ve done differently to have my baby here with me?” The heavy clouds linger, and the raindrop tears sting.
You feel as though you will be stuck in the storm forever, and you wonder if your rainbow will ever come.
While you are genuinely happy for the mamas who are welcoming their rainbow babies, you hurt, too. I know that pain. It is confusing, and you even feel guilty for asking, “Where’s my rainbow? Why do they get the rainbow and not me?”
My fellow loss mama, I’m not going to promise you a rainbow baby. I wish I could. But of course, I can’t do that. However, I do have some hopes for you.
I hope that the clouds of grief will part for you, leaving room for some sunshine in your world and giving you some much-needed warmth and light.
I hope that something will bring color into your world, painting your life with unexpected hues that enhance its beauty.
I hope that you will come to see yourself as a rainbow, a stunning creation born only after a storm. You’ve endured indescribable loss and trudged through the grief that follows.
You may still be finding your way out of that turmoil, but I hope you know how strong and resilient and valuable you are.
Whether your future includes a rainbow baby or some other combination of colors, you can be sure of this: We will be here. You will never forget the baby you lost, and neither will this community.