Since the term ” Rainbow Baby” has made its debut in society, on Mommy blogs and Parenting forums, I’ve noticed that everyone touches on the healthy pregnancy of a baby after a deep loss, and the birth of bringing the longed for baby into the world.
But when life really settles in and the mundane tasks began to take over your joy and relief of a live baby, does this baby still carry the pressure of healing your heart?
This is something I’ve asked myself in these last few weeks after giving birth to our son Luca after three losses.
Do I feel differently about him than I did my others who came before loss?
The moment Luca was finally born after a long and tiring labor at home, I felt instant relief from physical pain. The weeks that followed I could feel my heart mending from the trauma of my last birth, and I became fixated on my new bundle.
The joy he brought to my husband and I spilled onto our other children, everyone was immediately in love with him. His siblings doted on his every need and movement, their hearts open wide for their new brother.
I began to notice myself in a panic driving down the road, quickly turning to look into the back seat.
Had I accidentally forgotten Luca at home?
Then the irrational fears set in:
When I stopped for gas did someone reach in and take him while I turned my head for 8 seconds?
I admitted to myself that I was terrified of losing him too. This baby that was gifted to me after lives taken too early.
The romantic idea of having a baby after loss is lovely. It’s healing and needed after a Mother says goodbye to a child made in love. I understand the theory, a rainbow after a storm. I’ve lived in that storm three times. I know how the cold rain feels against my face, punishing my need to feel warm again. The umbrella that isn’t there, the comfort you ache for. The constant need to embrace a child that isn’t in your reach. That your arms scream to hold.
I understand why I referred to my son as a Rainbow baby. He is that. He is my Rainbow after my storms.
Color in my life again after the dark shades of gray. He’s my bright light, my morning song. My proof that Jesus loves me. My hope after my body failed me.
But I have to be honest here, vulnerable with you all.
He hasn’t saved me, Jesus has.
Luca didn’t come to replace my babies in heaven. He came to celebrate the fact that Jesus loves life itself. He loves our dreams and our hopes for our lives. He loves to show us that he is merciful when we are hurting.
My life is blessed because he is here. He’s alive and well.
But his presence doesn’t wipe my slate clean of grief.
How do I know this? How can I sit here late at night when all of our children are asleep and confess all of this to you?
Because three years ago today , I said goodbye to our son Jude. I sat in our bathroom weeping and in great pain. For hours I cried out to God for pain relief, for his mercy to overtake my body and make me feel whole again. I said goodbye to his little body that left mine at 11:04 pm. I felt his soul leave me as he made his imprint on my heart. I instantly felt alone, he was gone.
My curly headed boy.
Today surrounded by our four children and my wonderful husband, in the chaos of the day, I felt alone again.
It’s very possible to feel alone in a room of 50 people. No one knows what your mind is racing with. No one knows what your heart is filtering out as your words reach your mouth. Your smile can be fake and your words can be rehearsed. Your laugh can be genuine while your heart longs to cry.
Today as I held Luca, my precious son who is so loved and so wanted, I missed Jude. Feelings of guilt and ungratefulness tried to plague me. I sent those feelings back to hell where they came from.
I am telling you this because I want you to know that it is okay to miss a child, to not put that pressure on your Rainbow baby to fill that void.
Each child that dwells in your womb is an individual part of your very soul. No new creation can replace that.
Tonight if you are missing a child as you hold another, you are not alone. You are heard. You are loved. You are STILL grateful, Momma.
That’s the thing about us Momma’s, we love each child so deeply. So passionately that we love them all, the big the small. The here, the there.
But they are everywhere aren’t they? Our babies. They are right in front of us. In our mind’s eye.
Loved from the time love exploded in your womb, to the time it left.