Rainbow Baby

Every day I seem to learn something new. I don’t know if it’s because I’m older now and I’m willing to listen and learn or if I really just wasn’t very tuned into what was going on around me. Whatever the case, I love to learn new things.

While I was using Facebook this morning, I saw the term ‘rainbow baby’. Of course the very first thing that came to mind was a baby painted with rainbow stripes. As I’ve said before, I’m very visual and sensory oriented. I thought a rainbow-painted baby would be strange, but maybe cute for photographs. I’ve always loved those pictures taken with a baby in the middle of a flower, by Anne Geddes. Here is one of hers:

baby in a flower

Many of you may already know this, but a ‘rainbow baby’ is a baby that is born after a miscarriage, stillbirth or death of a child. I didn’t know there was a term for it. The term is to portray the happiness or ‘rainbow’ after a stormy time.

Our youngest of six, is our ‘rainbow baby’. Between our fourth and fifth child, I had a miscarriage at ten weeks. My husband was driving over-the-road at the time. He was thrilled about a new baby, me…a little hesitant. We already had four children and I was getting older, heading to forty. Just a little scary. The pregnancy was very different than all the rest. No morning sickness, or I should say all day for the first couple of months. I was tired, but felt very well over all. Again, not like the previous four pregnancies.

Just as I was beginning to accept the idea, knowing that I could handle it, and even getting excited about a new baby, I had the miscarriage. This was a complete shock to me more than anything. After four children, it was not expected. I know it never is, but after four, I just wasn’t thinking of it being a possibility. I was in denial for a couple of weeks, thinking it had all been a mistake, that there really would be a baby born that August of 2003.

In January of 2004, after moving back east, settling our children in school and getting a full-time job, I was pregnant once again. So many emotions were involved this time that hadn’t even been there before! I had decided to change our entire lives with a move, new job and children in school after I had been homeschooling. Needless to say, we were all a little shell-shocked. My husband was also working locally after driving for so many years. When I knew I was pregnant, I was not happy and I was even closer to being forty. After having a previous miscarriage, I didn’t even really accept the pregnancy for a few weeks, knowing that it would end in the same, devastating scenario.

Then came the morning sickness, lasting all day for the regular, (for me) four months. I was so sick and exhausted that the job was stopped. I had older children that were not happy with me ‘ruining’ their lives with another baby. Now don’t misunderstand, our family LOVES children, but when you are seventeen, this is not what you want your parents doing. My husband and second oldest were absolutely thrilled and all I could do was survive and wait for the miscarriage to happen.

When I saw ‘rainbow baby’ today, I knew that was a very appropriate name for our youngest. She arrived in September of 2004 and she was greatly anticipated and loved. She was born just two months shy of my fortieth birthday and one month before we celebrated our twentieth anniversary. That will always be remembered in our family. After the despair and feelings of loss, our youngest was a balm to my soul and helped to heal the hurt in our family. Our fifth child will always be missed. I will always wonder if the baby was a boy or girl and what they would have looked like now, at age twelve. The knowledge that I  will meet him or her someday is a comfort to me. No, I don’t understand why the miscarriage happened. So many things in this life are difficult to understand and don’t make sense. But God knows, and I have faith in that.

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