Not everyone gets a rainbow baby—that’s a truth not many of us talk about. There are many women who long to have a rainbow baby but because of health or age, they never get one. We never talk about it. We don’t want to bring rain on someone’s otherwise happy day.
“Oh, I’m so excited for you. Congratulations on your rainbow baby.” Meanwhile, I’m still waiting for mine. The clock is ticking and there is no sign of a rainbow baby. My body is wearing down and the chances of getting pregnant dwindle.
I don’t mean to sound bitter. I’m not. But I do think we need to talk about it and recognize that not everyone gets the promise of a baby. Some women lose a child, have miscarriage after miscarriage, and never get to keep their baby. They weep and mourn silently while those around them are pregnant or holding their babies.
It is difficult to navigate pregnancy loss when you know the chances of getting pregnant are slim. My heart is heavy about this. Especially seeing people have babies after their losses. Especially seeing healthy babies born to young women. I am an old woman, biologically speaking. My days of conceiving and carrying children may have passed. So instead of mourning the loss, instead of railing against the term rainbow baby, I gave up. I gave it up to God and said whatever.
There is nothing I can do anyway. My body is old and falling apart. My eggs are drying up. So my husband and I started discussing retirement and getting our homeschooled kids graduated. Working on college scholarships and career paths.
Then suddenly, I was 15 days late. I thought, “I’m going through menopause.” What are the symptoms? Mood swings, fatigue, irritability, insomnia, hot flashes. Yup, I had all of them. I was certain. But then the period never came.
We were leaving for our annual ski trip. Before skiing, I thought I should find out if I was pregnant or going through menopause. So, I grabbed a test on the way home one afternoon. As I watched the stick turn positive, I kept saying, “NO! NO! What? No!” Astonishment, excitement, bewilderment, shock. My body can’t handle this, I wasn’t planning or expecting this. I’m too old? I’ll be 64 when this child is 18!
I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to tell my husband in a sweet, cute way. But nothing came to me, and he was just standing there looking at me like, what the heck do you have to tell me? I laughed and he said, “Are you pregnant?” I showed him the test and then he was worried, bewildered, and shocked.
We had two sweet weeks of bliss. Of planning and thinking this was it. This was our rainbow baby. And then it happened again. Another miscarriage. Another loss. My heart shattered again. I screamed at God, again.
Months later, I am here realizing this may never happen. This rainbow baby that all my friends got, will not come to me. The rainbow baby that women praise God for won’t be mine. So do I praise God? Do I get to say “Praise the Lord! I didn’t get a rainbow baby!”? There are some of us who sit in our seats at church hearing the praises given about getting pregnant after loss and our hearts break knowing we may never be pregnant again.
And yet, I can still praise God. Because of my love for Him, my happiness is not dependent on whether I get my rainbow baby or if He does what I am praying for. My love for God supersedes this longing for a child. It took a while for me to learn how to praise God even through pain. It took a while for me to realize that grief is an offering to God. Grief is a form of worship. He knows this world is not perfect. He knows the brokenness we live in. And we praise because we know that He has already conquered this brokenness. We are just waiting for it to be fulfilled.
So while I wait for his promises to be fulfilled, I may never have the rainbow baby. I may never have my dream of holding another child of mine in my arms. I know the promise goes way beyond what I want on this earth, but to His restoration of this world to the way it should be. The rainbow promise to me may not be that I will have a child, but that he will heal and restore the brokenhearted.