A rainbow baby is the life that follows the storm of a heartbreaking loss, and conceiving a rainbow baby is a testament of enormous faith in life and love. Whether you've trying to conceive your rainbow baby, or you've been enjoying the sunshine for a while, Romper reached out to experts willing to share their wisdom with us. The result is 11 rainbow baby quotes that may make you tear up — while hopefully helping you hold on.
With one in four pregnancies ending in miscarriage and 1 percent of all pregnancies in the United States ending with a stillbirth, it's no wonder that parents of rainbow babies need support, love, and a lot of hope. That's where rainbow baby quotes come in — you're not alone, and you should be reminded of that every day. Your guilt, your anguish, your fear, and even your joy over your rainbow baby are all exemplified here, in these 11 quotes.
Parents of rainbow babies have witnessed the worst storm life has to offer, and seen the sun come up again. They parent at the intersection of life and death, celebration and grief, with incredible strength. If you need help managing the conflicting emotions of parenthood after devastating grief, reach out to Pregnancy After Loss (PALS) to share your story, or connect with others who have been where you are today. Just because the rainbow's ahead doesn't mean parenthood will be clear sailing from now on. Watch the documentary Expecting Sunshine: A Journey of Grief, Healing, and Pregnancy Loss for artist Alexis Marie Chute's rendering of her lighted path.
Best of luck on your journey. I hope these quotes help you feel that you're never alone and encourage you to remain hopeful and strong.
"My son has been both an anchor and a set of new sails when I was being tossed around in the depths of the ocean of mourning and pain and despair. He’s held me in place, propelled me forward when I needed it, and his mere existence has made everything in my life better." — Priscilla Blossom
"You wondered about the baby in the picture frame and I knew that it was time. / For me to tell you about another child I called mine." — Tamekia McCauley
How do you tell your rainbow baby about the loss that came before? According to Dr. Carolyn Wagner, MA, LPC, a licensed professional counselor and psychotherapist at Linebarger & Associates in Wilmette, Illinois, it's never wise to hide the loss from younger siblings.
When you know it's time, Wagner advises introducing the truth in "an age-appropriate way," using language right for you and your family. "Are [families] comfortable with saying that the older sibling was very loved and is now in heaven? Other families might say . . . [your sister or brother] is so special because she lives in our hearts, which means we have her with us all the time and wherever we go," she writes in an email to Romper.
As the child grows older, share more. It might feel good to share the story with a child who will carry your lost baby's memory into the future for you.
"And the truth is, the 10 or 20 minutes I was somebody's mother were black magic. There is nothing I would trade them for. There is no place I would rather have seen." — Ariel Levy
As a writer at The New Yorker, Levy has traveled far and wide, but motherhood is a special land. Some of us find our way there in sadness, joy, or a mixture of both. However we arrived, however long we get to stay, the view from parenthood is unmistakable, and marvelous, and this quote from her memoir, The Rules Do Not Apply, reminds us of that.
"Loving your baby does not mean that you have forgotten the child you lost. Children want their parents to be happy and fulfilled, so finding happiness and being open to joy with your new baby is one of the greatest ways you can honor your baby's memory." — Carolyn Wagner, MA, LPC
Negotiating the rocky terrain of grief and joy isn't easy, but many have walked the road before, and many more will after you. Keep a notebook, if you can, because while you're in good company, every journey is unique.
"I had tulips spontaneously grow and bloom in the middle of my lawn after my miscarriage, and by creating a garden where they appeared, I found inspiration to keep going by seeing the cycle of these flowers." — Carrie Aulenbacher
Carrie Aulenbacher's rainbow baby is now 4 years old. She found inspiration in therapy, her faith, and her garden. Aulenbacher tells Romper that when she lost her little one, her mother-in-law confessed that she'd also lost a pregnancy. The rainbow baby that followed became Carrie's husband.
If you're having a pregnancy after a loss, find support at The Star Foundation, which offers group meetings through videoconferences for parents bravely beginning their rainbow journey, as well as groups for parents and grandparents grieving perinatal loss.
"I believe that our babies choose us to be their parents. The baby chooses their time and method of conception, the length of their pregnancy and the time and method of their birth. It is up to us as their parents to listen to their needs and assist them on their journey. If a baby leaves us sooner than we'd like, as in miscarriage or stillbirth, it is tragic and life changing for us. However, it was not something within our control. I believe that soul will choose us again, when the time is right to be born and to live and thrive." — Deena Blumenfeld of Shining Light Prenatal
Deena Blumenfeld is an educator and doula at Shining Light Prenatal.
"I've attended the birth of four rainbow babies, and the air was electric with love in every one — love is present in every birth, but when it's a rainbow baby joining this world, the love is so potent it makes your hair stand on end. 'Otherworldly' is a word that comes to mind every time I witness this type of magical birth." — Bailey Gaddis, birth doula and author of Feng Shui Mommy
Bailey Gaddis is the author of Feng Shui Mommy and a birth professional.
"Everyone wants Happiness and nobody yearns to experience Pain. Please remember that you won't see the beauty of a Rainbow without a little Rain." — Kelley Legler of Baby Jack & Company
Therapy can help after pregnancy loss, but it can be hard to tell your story over and over again. Carrie Aulenbacher felt trapped in her therapist's office, she tells Romper. After a while, she began to wonder what more there was to say. "But the whole point was that I was trapped in my mind going around and around in this circle of 'My baby died.' I did nothing but beat myself up for it. When I forced myself to step out of that circle and step to the 'what now' phase of questioning, I was able to really hear the therapist say that it was not my fault."
Kelley Legler is the owner of Baby Jack & Company, designer of the Rainbow Lovey bringing comfort to parents and honoring their loved ones in heaven and on earth.
"Zachary was never far from my thoughts. Where cardiac ultrasounds and other tests made no sense of my enlarged heart, I came to believe it grew with my first son. It expanded to hold him, rock him, and cherish him in an eternal, untouchable place." — Alexis Marie Chute
Tricia Lee of KidEssence explained to Romper that a book, a support group, and hewing close to family helped her get by when things were tough:
"What helped me through my pregnancy was a book called Pregnancy After A Loss. It helped me feel validated in my feelings and anxiety. I felt normal for once. My supportive husband and mother- and father-in-law who were committed to the care of me and my baby. When I felt like something was wrong, they didn't downplay my feelings at all. They simply assumed what I felt I needed to do, and supported me in that decision, regardless of if it was ridiculous or not."
Lee now volunteers off-and-on for an infant loss support program. Sometimes, the best way to help yourself is to lose yourself in helping others.
"Since Heaven has become your home, I sometimes feel I'm so alone; And though we now are far apart, you hold a big piece of my heart. I never knew how much I'd grieve when it was time for you to leave, or just how much my heart would ache from that one fragment you would take. God lets this tender hole remain, reminding me we'll meet again, and one day all the pain will cease when He restores this missing piece. He'll turn to joy my every tear with thoughts of you I hold so dear, and they'll become my special way to treasure our Reunion Day." — Author Unknown
Kristen Burris, L.Ac., M.S.T.O.M., Dip. Ac, of Eagle Acupuncture in Idaho, is a fertility acupuncturist who comforts patients in times of loss with empathy and listening. According to Burris, acupuncture can also help to lessen the anger and grief you feel. She also gifts patients with a bookmark of this poem, titled "The Reunion Heart".
"Tell your true friends. Let yourself grieve. Don’t keep a stiff upper lip and go through it alone. While you can easily find support in online communities, they won’t bring you chocolate. The likelihood is that you already know quite a few friends or family members who have lost a pregnancy. Open up a bit, and you will find them." —Tracy Cutchlow, author of Zero To Five
Tracy Cutchlow is the author of Zero To Five: 70 Essential Parenting Tips Based On Science (And What I've Learned So Far).
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