Recently I had a newborn session for a rainbow baby. Doing so triggered some of my own memories and struggles with pregnancy. I decided to write this to share my story and inform those who aren’t familiar with the term rainbow baby.
What is a rainbow baby? A rainbow baby is a baby born after a miscarriage, stillborn, or neonatal death.
Maybe you are familiar with the term as more and more women are sharing their birth stories about becoming a mother after loss.
Rainbow baby is symbolic because it is like a rainbow after a storm, something beautiful after something very dark. From my own experience, I can say it is an extremely emotional and devastating experience. One I still don’t completely understand. I’m not sure why, but I always thought it was something that would never happen to me…you know, it would happen to other people.
When it did, in fact, happen to me (ectopic pregnancy) it was horrible. I went from experiencing great excitement to feeling huge disappointment and hurt. I couldn’t believe this was happening to me. I sadly learned that it actually happens to many of women. As women we commonly keep such sadness about a pregnancy loss to ourselves.
My husband and I were ready to try again and began seeing a fertility clinic in St. Louis, Missouri. After two long years trying and feeling as if it may not ever happen, we conceived. I was fearful of another miscarriage, but thought certainly it wouldn’t happen to me again. I was wrong. It did happen again. We suffered another loss. I was completely devastated again feeling very angry and hurt.
I went into a deep depression. Withdrawing from family and friends I love. About a month after suffering the loss of another pregnancy, I was pregnant again. Afraid to believe it or get excited, I was reluctant to share with anyone.
While it was extremely emotional and devastating to experience a loss of pregnancy, it was also so exciting to think about the baby growing inside of me. To create a life or bring a baby into the world after such a loss is amazing, a miracle. I carried my pregnancy to term and was fortunate to not have any issues. When he arrived, we were beyond ecstatic. He was absolutely perfect. Our baby boy is now 8 years old.
I had read that parenting a rainbow baby would be different in parents.com. While I love all of my children, it is different with a rainbow baby. We went through so much grief and pain before meeting him. He was the light at the end of our tunnel and the rainbow after our storm.
Expecting parents giving birth to a baby following loss, feel an incredible sense of being blessed. There can be a rush of strong and complicated emotions. But one thing is certain, there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about how blessed I am to have my baby.
It was after giving birth to him that I had a career change and decided to do photography. My passion for newborns and families experiencing such joy drew me and I knew I wanted to be a newborn photographer.
As a newborn photographer, I feel such joy sharing this amazing time with my clients. Recently, clients of mine returned to me for a newborn session for their second child, a baby girl. She was a rainbow baby. Mom wanted to incorporate into the newborn session that her daughter was a rainbow baby.
Beautiful rainbow color fabrics were incorporated into the newborn session. Newborn Brinley was absolutely gorgeous in rainbow colors. Absolutely perfect with her chunky cheeks and beautiful lips.
Here are a few images from a recent rainbow baby newborn session at our Edwardsville, Illinois studio.