You’ve probably heard the phrase’ rainbow baby’ before, most likely on social media. There’s a chance you’ve come across a picture of a baby wrapped in a rainbow baby blanket. Have you wondered what it symbolized? If you’re baffled by what this could mean, then don’t worry, we have you covered!
What is a Rainbow Baby?
A rainbow baby is one born after the loss of a precious baby. After having a miscarriage, the idea of trying to have a child again is often daunting to parents. They are usually still grieving the loss of their precious child.
However, when a second one is successfully carried to term, it’s a cause for celebration! Therefore, the rainbow represents the light after the storm. When the skies have cleared and a gorgeous rainbow encompasses the world. Rainbow babies are all about the healing process that comes from suffering a heavy loss.
Why is it Called a Rainbow Baby?
The Rainbow baby’s meaning comes upon the idea that a rainbow symbolizes hope and healing after a considerable loss. Some sources quote the bible passage where God creates a rainbow after the flood that propels Noah’s Ark. Therefore, symbolizing his friendship with humanity. A rainbow baby is a celebration of new life after a devastating death. It represents the mending that comes after a traumatic loss, and it’s a process that can take a long time to heal.
Why Are Rainbow Babies Special?
Rainbow babies are unique because they come after the loss of a previous child. That means that the parents are delighted that they can invite this new person into their life. They’re also still mourning the loss of their precious child, which makes the moment bitter-sweet.
The best strategy for grieving parents is to share the story with the child as they grow. You might remember the kid you lost even after successfully delivering your rainbow baby. As your rainbow baby grows older, it might be comforting to share your story with them.
A Rainbow Baby And A Tribute To Pregnancy Loss
While stillbirths may seem like something reserved for period movies set in eighteenth-century England, they’re more common than you think. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 24,000 newborns are born in the United States each year. Statistics on miscarriage are a little more difficult to track. Nonetheless, the Mayo Clinic estimates that 10 to 20% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage, and the actual number of miscarriages is likely to be higher.
It doesn’t mean that a miscarriage is an impossible loss, however. Many parents can move on after the loss of an unborn child and live perfectly every day, happy lives, either with more children or without them.
Rainbow Babies Often Come With Mixed Emotions
While rainbow babies seek to celebrate the new life that has come into the parents’ lives, they also come with feelings of loss and regret. Many parents blame themselves for the loss of their child and spend almost their whole lives wondering if they could’ve done something to prevent it.
However, this kind of thinking is harmful and unproductive. The past cannot be changed, no matter how much we want to, and the loss of an unborn child is, in pretty much all cases, an unfortunate accident that cannot be blamed on anybody.
Clinical psychologist Dr. Elena Welsh, Ph.D., says conceiving a rainbow baby after a miscarriage or stillbirth can lead to mixed feelings. She deals with patients who have been through a traumatic event. There can be powerful sentiments of loss, sadness, and anxiety in addition to the enormous joy, excitement, and thankfulness that comes with the news of a welcome pregnancy. This is absolutely acceptable and normal.
If you find yourself pregnant after losing a child, it’s also perfectly normal for you to feel anxious or dread that something may go wrong. That is something that all future parents fear, but after a miscarriage, it’s amplified. Experts on the topic advise that parents-to-be don’t focus on how they should be feeling and instead just try to enjoy the experience as best as possible.
Dr. Welsh argues that focusing on what you should and shouldn’t feel isn’t suitable for anyone. She says that these kinds of thoughts usually serve only to generate more pain. The most challenging emotions are still there; only more additional guilt is added.
Monitoring Your Rainbow Baby
The best way to carry your rainbow baby to term is to have them tested regularly. It will alert the doctors of any issues and catch them before they can develop further, which will make them easier to manage.
But what if you don’t like going to the hospital? Well, counting your baby’s kicks is an excellent way to monitor from home, and it can often bring comfort when you fear that things will go wrong. You can start counting the baby’s kicks after the start of the third trimester. There isn’t a perfect number; just however much your baby kicks daily is good enough. Irregularities in kicks are sometimes the first sign that they could be in distress.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, if you’re about to have a rainbow baby, then don’t beat yourself up for being scared and sad. It’s a normal reaction to a traumatic experience. Everything will be okay; just ask your doctor any questions you may have and talk to someone if you need to.
Getting pregnant can be wonderful, but it can also be a painful and terrifying experience. While social media personalities may make it look effortless by posting pictures of their journey online, the truth is that pregnancies are inherently imperfect. Things are pretty much guaranteed to go wrong, so instead of fretting about it, the best way to deal with these issues is to take preventive measures and let go of the things that you can’t control.