[Trigger warning — this blog post contains stories of loss, infertility, and miscarriage]
August 22 is Rainbow Baby Day, a day when families can celebrate a new baby while honoring a loss of a previous baby. The symbolism of rainbows represents so much to families who have lost babies due to a miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death.
We’ve been lucky to see and read countless posts of hope and joy through our community and socials. Seeing your pregnancy announcements and birthday posts over the years is something we cherish, but we also know that there’s so much more behind the photo.
Every photo shared has a story. And to honor those stories, we’re sharing rainbow baby stories and words of wisdom from four different women in our community:
I have never felt a heartbreak like that.
“I vividly remember getting my first ultrasound, and deep down in my nurse gut, I knew something was wrong because she kept having me move in different positions, and the ultrasound tech had a concerned look. Sadly, we found out our little miracle didn’t have a heartbeat. I have never felt a heartbreak like that. My doctor promised me that 2021 would be our year, and we would have a baby.” ~ Amanda P.
You never think it will happen to you.
“You always hear the term “rainbow baby,” but you never think it will happen to you, and then it does. My husband and I decided to start trying for baby #2 in January 2021. Fast forward to the beginning of May, I took a pregnancy test, and it was positive! We were very excited, but I knew something wasn’t right with this pregnancy early on. By the end of May, after a few trips to the ER and my OB, we discovered we lost our sweet angel baby. It was a dark and sad few weeks, but God carried us through, and a couple of months later, we decided we were ready to try again.” ~ Elizabeth H.
My rainbow baby made me look past all the trauma and pain.
“My pregnancies are tough, I suffer from HG (Hyperemesis Gravidarum), but the thought that I was finally going to get my rainbow baby made me look past all the trauma and pain I was enduring once again.” ~ Celia H.
We got the surprise of our life!
“Henry is our 3rd baby and our first boy! After a surprise pregnancy turned into a devastating loss, my husband and I moved on and accepted our little family of 4. We started planning how our future would look with just our two girls, and that's when we got the surprise of our life! It took a few months for us to come to terms with our new little addition and a very stressful pregnancy. We stayed quiet, fearful of losing another baby. We celebrated milestones together, spending nights listening to that little heartbeat on the monitor. When we were ready, we told our girls. They were over the moon! Our oldest cried tears of joy, and our youngest read all the baby books she could to celebrate my pregnancy milestones with us!” ~ Ashley S.
My heart was so happy.
“I found out I was having a girl! My heart was so happy. I already have a 3-year-old son and now a precious baby girl! It was coming down to the wire, I needed a coming home outfit for this rainbow baby, so I scoured the internet looking for the perfect outfit. The first thing that popped up was the Little Sleepies Pastel Rainbow Gown. I thought they were cute and just couldn't wait to get them in!” ~ Celia H.
I heard that beautiful sound.
“I remember looking away, closing my eyes, praying, and squeezing my love's hand. Then I heard that beautiful sound “thump, thump, thump, thump” I never looked so fast at a screen in my life. There she was, the most beautiful little bean with the strongest heartbeat I ever did hear. My hubby and I just cried happy tears.” ~ Amanda P.
April showers bring May flowers.
“Our due date was May 2nd. As we all know, April showers bring May flowers. However, my little Lily bloomed early and joined us earthside on April 26, 2022. Our little rainbow baby came home in Pastel Rainbows, which will always be our favorite print.” ~ Amanda P.
While a rainbow baby represents hope and new beginnings after the storm, there will always be sadness and grief. If you’re experiencing loss or expecting a rainbow baby, these resources may help:
Parenting After Loss Support: this 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and community support resource for women seeks to help expectant mothers celebrate their current pregnancy by choosing hope over fear while still nurturing and honoring the grief over the loss of their deceased child.
Grieving Dads: this blog written by a grieving dad is a resource for parents and a place for them to share their stories anonymously.
Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support: Share is a national organization and community for anyone who experiences the tragic death of a baby, as well as the professionals who care for grieving families.
Thank you to Celia, Amanda, Elizabeth, and Ashley for sharing your touching stories and rainbow babies with us as we celebrate Rainbow Baby Day.