For those who don't know "rainbow babies" are babies that are born after the storm of infant loss. Our rainbow baby is Jens. He is currently a spirited, funny, smart, active 7 year old whose smile warms my heart and whose stubbornness and determination is frustratingly familiar. He was born five years after the loss of our first son Henry. He was born about 4 years after two subsequent early miscarriages, 3 failed cycles of Clomid and a year an a half after news from an RE that we would have to consider an egg donor. He was conceived after a year of acupuncture, five days at a fertility retreat and a month and a half of stinky Chinese Herbal tea and Xi Gong. He was definitely born "after the storm". I wish I could say that our story was unusual but unfortunately many families right here in the US experience infant loss every day. I wish that I could say they always get to experience their own rainbow baby but that is not always the case.
I cannot speak for anyone other than myself, but I think that I am a different kind of parent than I would have been had we not lost babies before having our rainbow. Because of losing Henry, I know that nothing is guaranteed in this life. Things can go wrong, horribly wrong despite your best laid plans. That can overwhelm you if you live in that place, trust me. What I have learned is that you stay a little more in the present because it really is all we have. You do baby led weaning because soon enough he's not a baby anymore. You look at the feelings behind the behavior rather than just reacting to the behavior. You scoot over and smile as you go back to sleep with little feet in your back because one day he won't want to "snug in" anymore. You say I love you every. single. day. , maybe several times a day. You listen to the stories and you do the craft projects and do the hugs, and build the forts and you prolong going back to work because as soon as you turn around, 7 years have passed. I cannot imagine my life without our rainbow baby and I cannot be more grateful for the clarity that our angel baby has given me. My boys Henry and Jens have formed the mother that I am. My heart is full.