Having a baby is usually one of the most joyous times in a woman’s life. After all, bringing new life into the world is always wonderful news. But the excitement can sometimes be tainted if the woman has unfortunately had a miscarriage before. It’s not uncommon in these circumstances to be a little worried and anxious going into another pregnancy. And although we’re sure you’re happy, it’s okay to feel conflicting emotions from time to time. So, if you are wondering what a rainbow baby is or what to do when you’re expecting one, we’ve got some insight to share with you. Read on to know more.
What Does A Rainbow Baby Mean?
The term rainbow baby is used to describe a child who is born after the mother has had a previous miscarriage, stillbirth or a death during infancy. This is because the rainbow is a radiant sign of hope and beauty that shows up only after a terrible storm. So the term rainbow baby is used not only to celebrate the new baby but also to honor the loss of the previous one. This term has taken social media by storm as several parents resonate with it and have found the courage to share their struggles and challenges of overcoming a miscarriage or stillbirth by using this phrase.
As a society, we are creating a world that no longer shames women for things that they cannot control. A miscarriage, stillbirth or death of an infant is no one’s fault. And you are worthy of having joy, love and a baby again. And that is what your rainbow baby represents. It is learning to love after loss, having hope after feeling despair and allowing yourself to make peace with your circumstances. However, not all parents feel comfortable with this term and would rather not describe their baby as a rainbow baby. And that’s perfectly okay. The term is only meant for those who feel a sense of rightness when they use it.
What Is It Like To Be Pregnant With A Rainbow Baby?
This experience differs from person to person. For some parents, being pregnant with a rainbow baby can elicit difficult emotions like grief and pain that stem from the loss of their “angel baby”. And it can even trigger anxiety and depression in some cases. Having a rainbow baby can be a sharp reminder of the baby you lost. And it is common to feel anxious and worried after experiencing a miscarriage. Please keep in mind that there is no right way to feel. Telling yourself that you should be happy and blocking out any negative emotions can only cause more strain in the long run. It’s normal to be angry, jealous, guilty, lonely, empty, exhausted, and panicky. Losing a baby, no matter how far along you are in your pregnancy can lead to a wide variety of emotions. So it’s okay if it seems like you’re feeling conflicting emotions throughout your rainbow pregnancy.
Ways To Celebrate Your Rainbow Baby While Still Honoring Your Loss
1. Tell Your Story
Some women feel extremely empowered by sharing their stories of loss and pain. Feeling like you need to keep it to yourself can sometimes stir feelings of shame and guilt. And can make you start blaming yourself for the loss of your little one. Sometimes, the best way to stop the narrative of being a failure is to take control of it and make room for hope. Not to mention that you will be encouraging other women to do the same.
2. Establish An “Angelversary”
Some parents find solace in setting a date aside to honor the loss of their baby. You can do this annually so that you never forget your first miracle. Grieving the loss of your angel baby does not mean that you love your rainbow baby any less.
3. Plant A Tree Or Flowering Bush
When women have miscarriages, they incur a great loss but there is no grave that they can go to or no ritual that they can perform to lay their baby to rest. In this case you can always plant a tree or a flower bush in the remembrance of your little angel. Or you could use a special plaque to commemorate their life.
4. Journal About Your Experience
Some parents choose to grieve privately in quiet ways, and that’s okay. Journaling is a great way to jot down all of your thoughts and emotions. We often find it easier to write down the things that we can’t say. So, if you’re having a heavy heart and need a place to vent, try a couple of pieces of paper.
Having a rainbow baby can be wonderful, frightening and sorrowful all at the same time. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed, unprepared and grief stricken. Acknowledge all your emotions and be patient with yourself. Losing a baby is never easy but you and your rainbow baby will learn to build a strong and loving relationship.