“There is a rainbow of hope at the end of every storm” – As the saying goes, rainbows – a vibrant and beautiful phenomenon – occurs right after rains and storms that were hard to live with. Rainbows, as such, are beautiful, but we appreciate them more, especially since it happens right after a dark and gloomy period of rains and storms. And that is exactly why the Rainbow Baby is called so – they are the babies born right after the loss of a previous baby because of stillbirth, miscarriage, or even death during infancy.
What Is A Rainbow Baby?
The symbolism of a rainbow baby
Why Are Rainbow Babies Special?
Anxious in pregnant with a rainbow baby:
What Are Some of The Negative Emotions Associated With Rainbow Babies?
Monitor the rainbow baby
How To Recover From The Negative Feelings Associated With Rainbow Babies?
Having a baby is always special, no matter when and how it happens. But the devastation of losing a baby cannot be even quantified.
Many mothers world over experience daily the pain of losing their unborn babies to pregnancy complications and other accidents. These are called miscarriages. Also Read: Recurrent Miscarriage – Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment
If miscarriages are depressing, carrying a baby to full-term, and then something going wrong, leading to stillbirth is even more heartbreaking. The mother has felt the baby move inside, has conversed with the baby, and then delivered the baby – only to lose him/her. Read: Why Does Fetal Heartbeat Stop Suddenly?
And if something could be even more devastating, it would be to lose the baby in infancy, after having held, fed, and talked to the baby.
There could be nothing more painful than losing a child. A mother does not ever really “get over it.” However, most parents find some solace in the fact that they could always try for another child – thereby forcing a rainbow out of the grey gloominess. Next baby is called a rainbow baby.
A rainbow babies are a name coin for a healthy Child born after losing a baby due to stillbirth, miscarriage, infant loss, or neonatal death.
The “rainbow baby” name comes from the idea of a rainbow appears in the sky after a storm, or after a turbulent and dark time. The term has gained popularity on social media and blogs in recent years only and has come to symbolize hope and healing also. For the parents who have experienced the loss of a baby in the birth itself, the rainbow babies’ birth is a time of more joy, healing, reflection, and mixed emotions.
Rainbow babies are often described as a ‘miracle’ Rainbow baby due to the powerful impact they can have on helps their parents heal after a loss. However, rainbow pregnancies can bring intense feelings of anxiety, guilt, and even fear also. Conflicting with honouring a baby who has died while celebrating the moment, that’s healthy and grieving a loss while celebrating new baby life often accompanies a rainbow baby’s birth in their lives.
The exact no of rainbow babies born every year is not known, mainly because miscarriages are often under or unreported. If you’re expecting a rainbow baby’s, there are some of the things you may experience.
Of course, any child born at any time is unique. But rainbow babies are little more so because the parents of the rainbow baby have already experienced the loss of a child to death. This stops them from taking the whole process of having a baby for granted. They now consider the baby as truly a blessing and start to have a divine appreciation for delivering healthy babies. There is a big hole in their hearts left by the loss of the previous child. And their rainbow babies help them mend their broken heart little by little. Also Read: Getting Pregnant After Miscarriage
Anxiety is a common emotion for anyone pregnant with a rainbow baby. It is quite normal and understandable.
You may want to reach out to family members, friends, or a support group. You can also work with a counsellor or mental health professionals to manage your anxiety.
For example, journaling may be helpful to down your feelings and emotions. Self-care is also essential when you’re pregnant with a rainbow baby.
Contrary to what you are ‘theoretically’ supposed to feel, many a time all the emotions you feel towards your rainbow babies are not always positive. Many mothers are known to feel extremely guilty of having “moved on” when they hold the rainbow baby on their hands. They feel that when they love another whole baby heartedly, they are, in fact, “betraying” the child that they lost previously. They believe that they could not love and nurture the lost child the way it deserved, so when they love and nurture the second baby, it shows some kind of bias.
Guilt is not the only negative feeling that the mothers get for the rainbow babies. Since they have already lost one baby, they feel extreme that if they are not careful enough, they will lose the rainbow baby too. This drives them to be over-anxious and overprotective, which in turn leads to chronic worry about the safety of their children. Whether it is guilt, or extreme anxiety about losing another child, many mothers of rainbow babies say that their journey of bringing up the child was very different from their peers.
Your doctor let you know which tests and monitor they can offer during your pregnancy. Careful monitoring will help to bring your rainbow baby to full-terms. Some women take comfort in knowing that their baby is developing safe and healthy. Counting your baby kicks is one way to monitor their health at home without any tests. Counting kicks is essential because a change in the third trimester is the first sign of distress.
Start around 28 weeks, and you can count your baby’s kicks at the same time each and every day. Knowing what is normal for your baby can be comforting. Let your doctor know if you notice any changes or any other concerned about your baby’s movements.
As we mentioned before, rainbow babies bring a lot of happiness and hope to brokenhearted parents. However, many of them soon realize that their broken hearts cannot be genuinely “mended” and that the rainbow babies bring with them a feeling of guilt and despair.
However, this need not be the case. Please understand that by having and loving another baby, you are neither betraying the one you lost nor moving on. The hole left behind by the previous child can never be filled. However, when you hold your rainbow baby in your hand, you truly understand the reason why they are named after rainbows.
You are given another chance to be happy again, with the rainbow baby being part of the love that you will always carry for your lost child. If you feel conflicted and anxious, make sure you talk to family and friends close to you. If that does not help, talk to your gynaecologist who might refer you to someone who has dealt with people’s conflicted emotions when having a rainbow baby.
When we lose one blessing, another is often most unexpectedly given in its place.”
All the best.