Rainbow Baby: A baby born after a miscarriage, still birth, neonatal death, or infant loss. After a storm a rainbow of hope always appears, hence the name Rainbow Baby.
So yesterday was National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day, I however did not post intentionally. I wasn’t honestly sure if I should. To me that day just isn’t something I completely feel comfortable being part of, not because I am ashamed of my losses but because I feel guilty for putting myself into a group of women where many have lost their babies at points that are far more devastating than mine. Women that remember this day have often lost their children at much later stages in pregnancy and many have even met their babies outside of the womb before they had to say goodbye. For me my losses occurred when most wouldn’t have even known about the life that was growing inside them and if they had they probably would have suffered through the loss quietly. For me though, I let it out there. I can’t suffer alone, I’m just not that person.
So yesterday I turned to the infertility page I am on and let it out there. It may not be a physical place I can go but it is somewhere I feel safe and never feel guilt. It is day’s like yesterday where a lot of us retreat as the term “rainbow baby” begins making it rounds on Facebook. It’s a term that not a whole lot of people know but recently it’s been getting some attention so I thought I would talk about it today. I placed the definition above but I wanted to explain why it’s something that is hard for some of us to see. It’s not that we don’t like the term, I think it is beautiful personally. It stands for hope to me and hope is basically what keeps me going. But, it’s also a term that I can’t even think about without feeling guilty. While I yearn to have a child, whether or not I will tell people that the child is my rainbow baby is something that eats at me often, especially of recent. You see, there’s a lot of us who feel we didn’t experience enough pain to earn that term. But, last night I came across something that helped ease my guilt. Suffering is not a competition and just because someone else may have suffered more than me it does not excuse my own pain. So while I felt guilt yesterday I do not today. What matters is that I lost something precious and no matter how fleeting my barely conceived babies were they still existed and thus they deserve to be remembered.
The day hasn’t come yet where I can say this is my rainbow baby, but when it does I think I will say it proudly. After all, the term came from the concept of it having to rain in order for a rainbow to come and I think I have endured plenty of rain.