Honestly, I was a little confused. What on earth is a rainbow baby? I like rainbows. How can I get one? Wow was I ignorant. Then I learned what it means to have a “rainbow baby.”
A rainbow baby is a child born after loss. These babies are the younger siblings to babies that have passed away either in the womb from miscarriage or stillbirth or even after birth.
After I learned what a rainbow baby was, I could honestly say I did not want one because I knew what it meant to have one.
But this was before we had our own losses. As I type this my heart beats harder, my face gets flushed (and probably very red because that’s what it does), and a knot shows up in my throat. Then the tears start to build up behind some kind of eye dam. Sometimes I can keep them back, but other times they just fall without control.
Many of my clients. Like the beautiful Christina featured in this post, are rainbow mamas.
Far too many of you have lived through that storm that sometimes feels too strong to get through.
Carrying a rainbow baby is a whirlwind of emotions to say the least. On one hand you are just so excited to have this child. This baby doesn’t replace the one you lost. They will always be your child, but this child does help to fill that hole in your heart a little bit and helps you to heal. On the other hand, the sometimes very intense feelings of fear are often difficult to manage. Sometimes it even feels that you are unable to bond with this child as you previously would. Like you are protecting yourself from possible loss. And it’s heartbreaking.
Honoring the journey you have gone through to get to this point is very important. Acknowledging the storm. It happened. And you’re still here. Not only that, but you now have such a beautiful sight to look forward to. That is what we do during these sessions. It seems so simple. It’s “just a photo.” But to a rainbow mom like myself, this photo is everything.
This is one of my favorite rainbow mama images to date. Christina stands with strength. The storm at her back. The sun in front of her. Holding her child with love and tenderness. Her eyes show wisdom and grit. Her soft smile shows faith in the future. This is what it is about. This is what honoring your journey looks like.
Thank you Christina for giving me the privilege of documenting this amazing time.
P.S. I am often asked how these images are created. Here is a little peek behind the scenes at what it took to create this image!