There is something extra special about a joy that comes on the heals of loss. Rainbow babies are often healing for the mother in an emotional way that nothing else can. It may alleviate fears that the mother “did something wrong” or was somehow responsible for the previous loss. It can reassure a mother who fears she will never be able to have a child.
The birth of a rainbow baby can also be bittersweet as a mother welcomes her new child while still grieving the loss of another. It can churn up old fears or start new worries as well. Mothers who have experienced a miscarriage may be afraid to be excited about or bond with a new baby before they feel “safe”. A mother who has lost an infant may be extra cautious or even obsessive over details around the new baby.
Sharing a child’s status as a rainbow baby means sharing a loss that may have been a secret. Miscarriage and stillbirth are still often considered taboo. Pregnant women may believe they shouldn’t share the news of their pregnancies until they are through the first trimester (the time most likely to have a miscarriage), and that secrecy can perpetuate the idea that we can’t or shouldn’t talk about those losses. Celebrating our rainbow babies can be one more way to bring light to this part of our lives. A pregnancy can be celebrated even if it doesn’t produce the result we’d hoped for. A mother who has lost a child can’t be supported if people don’t know she’s in need of love and care.
Rainbow babies are one more reason to love childbirth! The celebration of a life much desired and longed for is a feeling beyond compare. Birth can be healing as well as empowering for so many reasons, especially when it brings a new life to a grieving heart.