A rainbow baby is a baby born following a loss, whether that loss was miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death or infant loss. The idea being that a rainbow often follows a storm. It’s a lovely notion but I’m aware there are some who object to the use of the term so I wanted to have a little chat about it. The main reason I’ve found that people dislike it is because it insinuates that the lost baby is something negative; a storm.
I completely understand that and the first few times I heard the phrase I didn’t like it. Aneurin was not a storm. He was not something negative nor is our time with him something that needed to pass. However, I understand now that that isn’t what it means. The storm is the aftermath of his death. The dark, stormy period in which we had to learn to live without him. He is the bright, shining daylight that came before the storm and our second child is that little piece of light shining through the clouds again.
I love the idea that a child born after the loss of a baby brings light back into the parent’s lives. It doesn’t negate the storm, or that brightly shining baby who came before it but it does bring hope. Neither baby is more important or more loved. Both are equally as powerful and each a force of nature.
When I found out I was pregnant with this baby I wondered whether I wanted to do pregnancy updates as I did with Aneurin. I didn’t want someone to stumble upon my blog and get confused as to which pregnancy I was talking about. I needed my babies to be their own people in their own right. The only way I could see to do that was to refer to this pregnancy as my ‘rainbow pregnancy’. I could have said used another popular phrase ‘pregnancy after loss’ but honestly, I don’t want the word ‘loss’ to be a part of this pregnancy. I imagine I’ll use it a lot but I don’t want it to identify this pregnancy, nor do I want to be referring to Aneurin as a loss. I know I lost him but he is so much more than that. I need hope. I need positivity. I need that ray of light.
And so, each post regarding our second child, this little Poglet (husband’s name for them…he’s odd) I’m growing right now, will be tagged with ‘rainbow pregnancy’. I hope that even if you don’t like that term, you understand why I’m going to be using it. I also want to create a resource for other families in similar situations and as it is the most well known phrase it seems sensible to use it to make it as easy as possible for people to find support.
How do you feel about the term ‘rainbow baby’? I’d love to hear your opinions but please remember this is a sensitive issue and others may feel differently to you so be respectful!
Mrs D x