I Didn’t Know I Had a Rainbow Baby

I was browsing Facebook yesterday and this gorgeous photo mentioning Rainbow Babies came up in my newsfeed.

As many of you know, the whole reason I got into blogging in the first place was because I had a miscarriage with my first pregnancy and wanted to connect with others going through conception and pregnancy struggles so I wouldn’t feel so alone. A big part of that was having a “safe” place to discuss the different highs and lows I went through, because sometimes talking to strangers on the Internet is easier than sitting down face to face with people.

I Didn’t Know I Had a Rainbow Baby

Levi is 5 years old now. In all my time writing blog posts, reading other blogs, and talking to people online, I’ve never once heard the term rainbow baby before.

A “rainbow baby” is a baby born after a couple experiences miscarriage or still birth. It’s called that because you can’t have a rainbow without a storm. And after the storm of pregnancy loss, a beautiful rainbow (child) breaks through the clouds to bring happiness.

I have to say, I love it. And I love the stories being shared on Facebook from others that have been through similar experiences. When I miscarried, I felt isolated and alone. I would never want anyone else to go through that, but I did find comfort in knowing that I wasn’t alone. That I wasn’t “broken” or “defective” because my body wasn’t able to sustain the pregnancy. That other people went through the same thing and the depression didn’t devour them whole and eat away at them the rest of their lives.

I know, I know, that sounds fairly dramatic, but between the out of whack hormones and the feelings of hopelessness, it was my reality.

That’s why the idea of a rainbow after a storm makes so much sense to me. It’s a great analogy for my experience, and I hope other people struggling with similar issues can find some comfort in the idea.

Everyone Has Hidden Struggles

This post was inspired by a campaign I was invited to participate in with The Stork OTC. The Stork is a conception assistance device that I’ve written about before. They asked me if I had a conception struggle I’d be willing to write about, which was easy to say yes to.

When Jason (Levi’s dad) and I first started trying to conceive, we knew it could take time, but honestly, we figured that really meant like 2-3 months. Turns out we were wrong. It took us 8 months, which felt like a lifetime. I took my temp every morning to track my ovulation cycle, got excited for discharge changes, and spent more money than I’m comfortable confessing to on pregnancy tests. Not to mention sex was a chore instead of something fun like it used to be. And every negative pregnancy test was another letdown.

I hated talking about TTC. I’d cringe when I talked to my friends who knew we were trying, because inevitably, they’d ask how it was going. My frustration had absolutely nothing to do with them, of course. I just hated the reminder that my body was supposed to be busy making a baby and it wasn’t doing it’s job.

Compared to other couples I know, we had it easy. For the most part, the infertility label doesn’t start getting thrown around until you’ve been trying for a year with no success. Knowing the frustration and pain that I went through, I literally cannot even imagine what’s it’s like for my friends that have been dealing with those feelings for years.

The thing that helped me most was connecting with others and being able to openly share stories without feeling like a failure or like I must not be doing it right. I’m glad this Facebook post has more people talking about their experiences, and I’m also glad products like The Stork exist to help couples who aren’t ready to start more invasive (and exponentially more expensive) fertility treatment options. The Stork now has approval from the FDA to be sold over-the-counter without a prescription, which is awesome. I’m sure if I hadn’t gotten pregnant when I did, I would have been all over cervical cap insemination (basically, using a device to place the sperm as close to your cervix as possible).

But back to my original point. I’m incredibly thankful for my Rainbow Baby, and just as thankful for the community I’ve found since he was born. I sincerely hope that anyone dealing with pregnancy loss or infertility knows that they’re not alone. The Internet is a big place, and it’s wonderful when you can use it to connect with others, share your stories, and lean on each other for support.

Start Connecting

Wondering where you can start connecting with others? I’ll be on Twitter tomorrow (Tuesday, 9/22) at noon Central time chatting with The Stork & The Motherhood about ways you can support friends who are trying to conceive. We’ll be using hashtag #TheStorkOTC & you can RSVP here.

If you can’t make it to that one, they have two more coming up soon.

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Featured Image Credit: Steve Snodgrass on Flickr

Comments

  1. Tat is such a beautiful story. I’m so sorry you had to go through that loss, but I’m so happy you have your rainbow baby!

  2. I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s great to know there such a large support system out there for women dealing with these things.

  3. This is a beautiful story. I lost a baby in 2011 and it hurt so bad. We never did have a rainbow baby, we decided we were done. Support is THE MOST important in those times and I am glad you found that. I did too.

  4. I didn’t have one but I knew several that did. I never knew their was a term or name for it and I love Rainbow baby. That’s awesome. Sorry about your loss but so happy you have a rainbow baby.I’m glad there is a support network out there to help you and others through this.

  5. I have a double rainbow baby! I had a miscarriage and then got pregnant a few moths later. I had another miscarriage…turns out, the baby I lost was a twin. The other twin, our daughter Caitlin, is now almost 17 and thriving!

  6. Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says:

    Awwwww, Rainbow baby is an awesome name for those amazing kids 🙂 Sorry about your loss, but happy you got your rainbow.

  7. What a blessing to be able to add to your family. I love the photos!

  8. I had a miscarriage a few months ago and have been really bummed. I just tried the stork and am hoping that it helps. I like that it increases my chances, especially since I want a rainbow baby more than anything.

  9. I am so glad you were blessed with a rainbow baby. I have never dealt with the struggles of miscarriage but I truly feel for those who have.

  10. I habe a rainbow baby too! Having somewhere to openly talk is so important for healing.

  11. I haven’t hear of a rainbow baby until I read this post. It is tragic when someone suffers a loss.

  12. I have not heard the term rainbow baby. I love the analogy of what it represents. I am sorry for your loss that is one of the worst things to go through in life.

  13. I supposed I am my mother’s rainbow baby. I did not have a rainbow baby myself but I was fortunate to have had two sweet children first.

  14. I have never heard the term rainbow baby but love it. That would make my Little Miss my rainbow baby. She was definitely the light after our loss.

  15. Your post at the beginning was exactly like what happened to me. I saw that rainbow baby photo come up in my Facebook feed, read the article and realized I had a rainbow baby, too. 🙂

  16. Glad you have your rainbow baby. I don’t have children, nor did I want them so I never went through this experience

  17. I’ve never heard of a Rainbow Baby either but I love the idea of it! Though I can’t say for sure, I’m 99% positive I had a very early miscarriage right before my oldest was born. My pregnancy test came back positive after I missed my period by 1 day. A week later I cramped and bled like never before. A week later, a pregnancy test was negative. Though not doctor confirmed, I believe I miscarried. That would make my oldest a Rainbow Baby!

  18. These are beautiful photos. I have not heard of the term Rainbow Baby before. I will have to share this post with my friend. She has a rainbow baby.

  19. That is such a sweet term. I think this is a lot more common than we think and it’s a difficult thing to talk to others about.

  20. I’ve never heard the term “Rainbow Baby,” but I absolutely love the meaning behind it. It truly is a beautiful rainbow after a storm.

  21. I saw this same photo floating around facebook yesterday and hadn’t heard the term before them. So glad that you and all of those mother’s had the opportunity to have their rainbow babies.

  22. I just recently learned the term “rainbow baby” as well. And I think it’s beautiful! It’s definitely a great “rainbow” after a “storm.”

  23. I had never heard of the term Rainbow Baby until this morning when I saw that photo on Facebook. I thought it was so beautiful that I teared up. I know so many women that have gone through the pain of losing a child. That pain never goes away. I’m sorry for your loss, but I know by sharing your struggle, you’ve helped others to heal as well.

  24. What a beautiful story. I think Rainbow baby is the perfect name for them.

  25. I’ve never heard this term before either and absolutely love it as well. You are so brave for sharing your story and I love hearing your happy ending!

  26. I completely understand your feelings about your miscarriage and they aren’t crazy at all. I didn’t even have a miscarriage, just some pregnancy/birth complications, and I felt a lot of the same things you did. I’m so glad you got your rainbow baby- I love that term, too.

  27. I saw that photo online and didn’t know about a rainbow baby. It is a beautiful photo – thanks for sharing your story.

  28. WoW! I have rainbow too. This is such beautiful way to celebrate life

  29. Just to clarify one of your statements, a rainbow baby is any baby born after a significant loss of a previous pregnancy. It does not only include miscarriage or stillbirth.
    I had an extremely hard pregnancy & my daughter was born very early & only lived a few short hrs. My son, born 2 yrs later, was my rainbow baby.
    This is not in either of the scenarios you described, but I assure you. He was my rainbow after a very hard storm.

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