Rainbows, Continued


Continuing my thoughts around rainbow babies

We were looking through our family photos, including the ones where Autumn is wearing her rainbow onesie.  I said to Theo “Autumn is wearing a rainbow outfit, because she is a rainbow baby.”  Pause.  “When does a rainbow happen?”Theo replied quickly “After a storm.”  He made the connection and then added melodramatically “Of sadness.”

Yes, I replied.  A rainbow baby is a baby born after a storm of sadness, after losing a baby. Both of the big kids gave appreciative “Awwwww” noises.

I have written many times how I feel about the term “rainbow baby.”  It doesn’t sit well with me.  Iris was my rainbow baby, and then we lost her too.  Rainbow pregnancies do not always end with rainbow babies.  Acknowledging though that it is the “accepted term” in the loss community, I call Autumn my rainbow baby, because the label conveys part of the story.

When I shared a photo of her wearing her rainbow onesie, I was met with “so cute! where did you get that?” And I immediately became resentful.  Much as I do not like the term rainbow baby, I found myself suddenly protective of it.  No.  Rainbow onesises are only for rainbow babies.  People who were found it simply “cute” were being flippant about the deeper meaning.

Pause.  I suppose I should be happy that these parents don’t know the what a rainbow baby means.  That it isn’t part of their spectrum or vocabulary.  How lucky that they are unaware.  It makes me a bit bitter that I am.  But though the tribe of babyloss parents is fierce, I would never wish it on anyone.

“And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”  -Anais Nin