The term rainbow baby can hold several symbolic meanings. In Christianity, the rainbow was the symbol God gave after the flood. It was a symbol of hope and a promise the world would not be destroyed again.
In Jewish culture, rainbows are a symbol of divine anger and patience.
Those that believe in chakras believe that each color forms a rainbow from the tailbone to the crown of the head. The first three relate to our physical needs, while the last four relate to our spiritual needs. In these examples, you see the rainbow as hope, as a promise, and a connection between the spiritual and physical. When thinking of rainbow babies, keep these meanings in mind.
A rainbow baby is a baby born to a mother after a miscarriage, stillborn, or died early on for a variety of reasons. A rainbow baby is hope after tragedy — a blessing after a horrible ordeal.
While a rainbow baby should be associated with hope, it doesn’t feel that way when it happens to you. Speaking from experience, after a tragedy like that, the level of fear is unreal. If you are going through this or supporting someone who is, here are tips to get you through.
Loss and Love
First, you are allowed to both grieve your loss and love your new baby. They are not exclusive. Grieve however you need to. There is no time limit on grief. You will think you’re past it, and grief comes back in waves. And that’s okay.
If someone asks you what happened with your loss, you are not obligated to tell them. This is your story, and it’s personal. Some will find it healing to talk about it, and some will never mention it. And that’s okay.
Because of your loss, it is perfectly normal to be nervous, fearful, and excited about your next pregnancy and baby all at the same time. And that’s okay.
People may not understand your pain or your happiness about the new baby. You may not understand yourself; the emotions are polar opposites. Both are valid. And that’s okay.
When discussing things of this nature, we tend to focus on the mom. Let’s not forget that the men in our lives are also feeling strong emotions. Men experience the same loss and the same fear, except men may also have guilt. Guilt because men are programmed to protect us, and some will feel they failed. They might feel that because of the physical aspect their wife endured that their own loss is less. That’s simply not true. Men will need a safe place to grieve and heal as well. By nature, their grief will be different from yours. And that’s okay.
Please know that if you have experienced this, you are not alone. This is far more common than you know. Having a rainbow baby myself, I can tell you that your new sweet baby, as much joy as it brings, will not replace your lost child. Nothing will. However, the joy your new blessing will bring is unmatched. And that’s okay.