I was first introduced to the term rainbow baby after my sister Natalie’s first child, Margot passed away due to complications from Trisomy 18. People told Natalie her next child would be a “rainbow baby”. I learned that after you lose a child in infancy, through miscarriage or stillbirth, your next baby is called a rainbow baby.
Almost two years after Margot’s passing, my own daughter passed away from SIDS. My husband and I decided together that we wanted to have another baby, our rainbow baby, quickly. We were blessed to get pregnant right away and now we are loving every minute with our rainbow baby, Rosie.
I love the term rainbow baby. I think it is lovely, sweet, and illustrates the beauty and variety that comes with a child after a loss. Just as each color on the spectrum is shown on a rainbow, every possible feeling is felt. It brings a sweetness after the storm that does not overpower the hardship, but invites a certain warmth and calmness.
Some people are not as fond of the term because of the implication that their other child was a “storm”. I would submit to them that their child was not the storm. Alice’s life contained the brightest, sunniest days of my life. I will always reflect on her memory as the happiest days I ever experienced, but the days following her death were the darkest. I would not describe them as a storm, but an all-out cataclysm. Because of how much joy she brought me and the depth of my love for her, her death was as devastating and disruptive as anything could have been.
I love how rainbows come when the storm is still near. Not everything is put back together yet. The world is still recovering from the aftermath, and then comes a rainbow. Not to fix everything. Not to draw attention away from the rain, but as a beautiful and peaceful promise of better days ahead.
Perhaps my favorite part of the term is the tie rainbows have with God. In the Bible God sent a rainbow after the flood as a sign to Noah of hope and happiness in the future. I feel certain that my rainbow was sent to me from God as a promise of the same.
I made this video as a way to inform people of the meaning of rainbow baby, as well as a tribute to my sweet baby Rosie. She truly is my rainbow.