A “rainbow baby” is a baby that is born following a miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death or infant loss.In the real world, a beautiful and bright rainbow follows a storm and gives hope of things getting better. The rainbow is more appreciated having just experienced the storm in comparison.
The storm (pregnancy loss) has already happened and nothing can change that experience. Storm-clouds might still be overhead as the family continue to cope with the loss, but something colourful and bright has emerged from the darkness and misery.
“Our first baby was stillborn, but now we have a rainbow baby.”
Here at Count the Kicks we fully appreciate the term Rainbow Baby. We have a few Rainbow Babies in the team and the term makes perfect sense to describe them. We will never ever forget our angel babies and wouldn’t want to. A rainbow baby brings light but by no means replaces the angel baby.
Those who have not experienced a stillbirth or loss sometimes assume a rainbow baby ‘cures’ the parents and is some sort of closure. We firmly believe that not to be true as they by no means eliminate the storm and the rainbow wouldn’t be here without it.
Here Elizabeth describes her experience of her rainbow baby
“When I lost my first son Toby, a complete darkness descended on me. I had an older daughter and I know people were thinking I should be happy to have her, but he was my son, I loved him, I wanted him. Nobody could choose which one of their children they would give up, why would I be any different?! I had two babies, I wanted to be able to hold them both! My life became surrounded by grief, I never knew it was possible for the world to just suddenly change colour, it was like I was wearing dark, miserable glasses all the time. I struggled to find joy in anything. 6 months after I lost Toby I found out I was pregnant again. I didnt have the same elation I had with my first two pregnancies. I was still grieving my son and aside from the inevitable worries, I also felt guilty that Toby would think I was replacing him.
A rainbow pregnancy has so many mixed emotions, I couldn’t plan for his birth because I knew I might not bring him home. I loved feeling his kicks but I was petrified each one would be his last. I knew I wouldn’t relax until he was in my arms.
And its that empty arms feeling that a rainbow baby really satisfies. Toby would never be replaced but my rainbow baby Joshua let me nurture and love a baby that I truly longed for. He did fill me days and give me something to work towards. But I knew the light that he brought me wouldnt have happened without the storm before.
As soon as I held my Rainbow baby I understood the expression. Toby will never be replaced and I would never wish he hadn’t existed. He changed my life in ways I could never imagine and now my Rainbow baby is changing me even more. He has certainly helped me find my normal but I will never get over losing Toby.
Our Founder Sophia Mason has been blessed with her rainbow baby since Chloe was stillborn in 2009. You can read all about Rainbow baby George here