August 22nd marks National Rainbow Baby Day, offering mothers a chance to share, grieve, and celebrate their experiences for their rainbow babies together. The term “rainbow baby” signifies the healing after loss, or “the rainbow after the storm” of a healthy living child after the grief of a child lost by miscarriage, stillbirth, or neonatal death.
My Rainbow Story
(Left to Right, Demetrius Age 8, Grandma, Audrey Age 3, Olivia)
The joy, grief and confusion my heart is filled with is indescribable. As this day nears, my heart is full of joy for my healthy thriving three-year old, sadness for the child I never got to meet and confusion because how on earth could I possibly be sad when a little one stands before me. And without the loss of my second pregnancy, I wouldn’t have my second child.
My second pregnancy was fast and full of emotions. We found out earlier than most that we were expecting. And with it, shared our excitement with our closest friends and family. Before we knew it, our biggest fear was coming true. My spouse stayed positive as I feared what was happening was more than what it seemed. The doctors confirmed my fear and our hearts were broken as quickly as they were filled. The hardest truth to this was that before I miscarried, I knew very little about it, or how common it was. The thoughts that filled my head of blame were silly, yet I couldn’t make them go away.
As my body healed, we waited, and prayed for the right moment to conceive again. But the fear didn’t go away. And although we were incredibly blessed to conceive fairly quickly after and carry to term, the fear didn’t leave.
The sadness followed each year after on the due date and the date of loss, and sometimes in between. And though the pain is present, I am thankful. I am thankful for my little one, with enough personality for two. Knowing that if we hadn’t had a loss, we would have never welcomed our rainbow baby. Our colorful little love, full of spirit and spunk.
We are blessed to have her in our arms and keep her little for as long as we can. The emptiness that I felt or feel at times isn’t there to pain me. It’s a reminder of the love and life we have with our little ones, and I am thankful for that.
“To the love and to the days of tomorrow, good-bye to the rain and sorrow, hello to my rainbow baby.” –Olivia PInheiro