Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Rainbow Babies.... and Hope

Rainbow babies:

In some circles, babies born to families after the loss of a child are referred to as "Rainbow Babies." The idea is that the baby is like a rainbow after a storm. "Rainbow Babies" is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it doesn't mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy and hope.

As we inch closer and closer to the arrival of this new little blessing I find myself so emotionally conflicted - what's new, right? I find myself dreaming of holding our baby, healthy and alive, close to my chest, smelling her fresh skin, caressing her ever so tiny baby parts. I dream of this moment and my heart is so full of love and joy and sweet anticipation.

But, as soon as I feel that rush of peaceful exhilaration ... my heart almost always skips a beat ... momentarily stops ... races ... and I remember those moments with Nicholas. I wish I could say that I can always think back to that time and feel at peace, comforted by the time we had with our son. For the most part I can. But, there is almost always this looming sense of anxiety and sadness.

I wouldn't trade the life altering experience of losing our son, birthing him and cradling him for anything. I would welcome the feelings of horror and desperation all over again if it meant one more moment with my baby boy.

There is an old folktale about a group of people, each of whom was given the chance to throw one trouble into a central heap in the middle of the room. Then they were invited to choose one from the pile. They each ended up taking back their own.

This says a lot to me. It says to me that we are all a sum of our experiences - even the most painful. It says to me that if we choose to eliminate any of those experiences we also choose to deny, not only what we have learned along our journey, but also our very selves.

I am constantly struggling to embrace this new life we have been faced with. I am constantly looking for the balance between joy and deep, deep, loss. If there are changes for the better that I can make, I will try to make them. But - even if I could - I will not forget my pain. I will honour it. It is part of who I am.

Little Miss Sunshine is our 'rainbow'. She is the light at the end of what has been a very dark and gloomy tunnel. I am so looking forward to looking in her eyes and for her to look in mine - soul to soul. I just know how much I wish, with all my soul, that I was able to do that with her brother. Somehow, I think that Nicholas will be in that hospital room with us.... touching my soul in his own special way.

6 weeks to go!

19 comments:

margaret said...

I think so too Lea. I can't wait to meet your precious girl either. To me your pregnancy has simply flown by, you're near the finish line already and really, it might only be three weeks to go. I delivered at 37 weeks exactly so you never know. I'll keep praying for you, your pregnancy and LMS, that the remainder of your pregnancy goes smoothly and that her birth is joyous and uncomplicated. Can't wait to hear how she hollered her little lungs out when she makes her appearence. Hugging you

angie said...

Wow, six weeks?!? You know, Lea, I didn't think it was possible to feel all these emotions simultaneously, but this pregnancy after loss just one conflicting emotion after the other. I love what you said, "even if I could, I will not forget my pain. I will honor it. It is part of who I am." Beautiful. XO

Jus and Kat said...

This is a beautiful post, Lea, and I especially loved the folktale. I'd never heard that before, but it really made me think. I am "the sum of all of my experiences" and that has made me a better, stronger, more faithful person. And if ever faced with the task of throwing my problems and my experiences into a pile, I would probably take mine right back. Thank you for that perspective.

Kat

Lindsay said...

I can't say anything more articulate than what is already written. I like the different take on the 'rainbow baby', it's beautiful.
I can't wait to meet your new girl as well. Nicholas is often in my thoughts. He will not be forgotten..

xoxox

Holly said...

I love the description of a rainbow baby. It's perfect. I would take my own back too. I would never want to trade my own experiences for anybody else's. I think Nicholas will be with you too.

Kristy said...

Nicholas has been walking every step of this journey with you. He has held you hand through every doubt and fear you've had. And he'll continue to watch over you and keep Little Miss Sunshine safe. You have quite the guardian Angel, Lea. xo

The Blue Sparrow said...

I love the term rainbow baby, it just sums it up so nicely that no the beauty doesnt negate the storm. Praying and thinking of you! *HUGS*

Betty said...

That is a beautiful description of Rainbow Babies. I just started following, so congrats on your pregnancy.

Sarah said...

I love the description of a rainbow baby Lea...
Looking forward (albeit with some anxiety) to getting our rainbow baby.
Thinking of you in these last weeks xx

Bluebird said...

Beautiful, perfect post Lea. So thinking of you and your sweet little girl :)

Just Breathe said...

((HUGS)) This has got to be very hard on you. I am praying for your comfort and your trust in God. I can't wait to meet your Rainbow child.

Never forgetting Gregory said...

I really like this post. And I agree. Finding the balance between grief and joy, living and dead babies...is tough. I definitely would do it all over again just to hold Gregory again. I'm so glad you have this rainbow baby to look forward to. Hugs.

Missing Kasey said...

I wondered why that term was being used. Thank you for that! I agree with you that balance is hard. ((hugs))

Beth said...

beautiful post..

Jessica said...

This is my first time visiting your blog and it is beautiful. I have been searching for the meaning of rainbow baby you have posted here as my rainbow baby will be 6 months old this week. I hope your little girl will bring you as much joy and healing as my little boy brought to me.

Jen said...

he will be with you always, especially when his baby sister is born, I bet he is so proud of his momma. :) it is a wonderful post, thank you for sharing! XO

SUSI said...

I believe too that Nicholas (and any older angel brothers or sisters) will be in the hospital rooms awaiting the arrival of the little rainbow babies. Nicholas will be her big brother and I am certain that he has held her hand throughout the last months and been there every step of the way.

Yeah to only 6 more weeks. I have about 10 to go and I can't wait to cuddle up with Lucas' little brother and to begin this new part of our journey.

Susi

Andrea said...

Thank you for this post... "Rainbow Baby" is quite fitting, isn't it?

6 weeks... wow, you're so close to meeting your baby girl..

Kara's Mom said...

what a wonderful and moving post. You put into works what I could only feel. I would not give up my pain if it meant I had to give up the moments I held and knew Kara. I would experience the horror of her death over and over if it meant I could spend one more second with her. Thanks for a beautiful post and wishing you an uneventful, blissful 6 weeks.

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