Losing a baby through a miscarriage, stillbirth or a neonatal death is extremely hard. It seems like something you might never overcome. And yet what happens when you get pregnant again after such a traumatic experience?
Rainbow baby is a term which you will be familiar with if you have ever suffered from an infant loss. It holds a very deep significance.
The Symbolism of a Rainbow
Some people don’t understand the use of this term. But if you think about it, it is a symbol of a healthy baby born after a traumatic experience. It is when you have babies born after a miscarriage. It is when you recover from a previous loss.
It is a baby born after a miscarriage and it is the subsequent pregnancy.
It comes from the thought of a rainbow appearing in the sky after a storm. Now here, the storm means the dark and depressing time the parents had to go through.
It basically represents that pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. A source of excitement for the grieving parents.
People use this term often on social media and it continues to gain popularity as it is symbolic to hope and healing.
A Rainbow baby heals the parents
They are also known as ‘miracle’ babies. This is because they can heal and provide solace to parents who have lost their children in early pregnancies.
Sometimes this kind of pregnancy brings a rush of mixed feelings. of guilt, fear and anxiety but there are ways to cope with these emotions too.
Having joy over a rainbow baby shouldn’t make you guilty about what is already lost. There are therapists and dedicated doctors who will provide you with all that you need to make this new experience as smooth and rewarding for you as possible.
According to Healthline, it is not known how many rainbow babies are born each year as miscarriages often go unreported.
What to Expect If You Are Expecting a Rainbow Baby
This blog post looks into the various aspects of a rainbow pregnancy and baby.
Starting off with finding out that you are pregnant with a rainbow baby, there will be a whirlwind spectrum of emotions you will have to go through.
Usually a woman who is expecting again after a tragedy will have intense fear and anxiety and they will be in a constant state of worry over suffering another miscarriage. They will worry about this pregnancy being impacted tragically too.
Here’s looking into a few things that will help in keeping your pregnancy experience as smooth as possible:
Talk to your doctors
In today’s day and age, medical professionals are keen to provide all the help that they can to overcome your fears and concerns. Have a consultation session where you can share all your worries, as it will help the hospital to put in the extra effort to make your pregnancy a happy, relaxed one.
Doctors and medical specialists are now careful to keep a sensitive chip in place as they deal with rainbow pregnancies so to accommodate you in a supportive way. They know you are going through hard emotions triggered from becoming pregnant after such a haunting experience.
You can also apply the expertise of trained therapists who are responsible for managing your stress and anxiety so speak to your hospital and know of your options to make your rainbow pregnancy a joyful experience.
Talk to your friends and family
Some women, over the fear of facing a similar situation again, don’t disclose their pregnancy to loved ones. They feel they can’t cope with hard conversations and it makes them emotional to let close friends and family know about the pregnancy in its early stages.
While this makes sense, it is always advisable to have a strong emotional support system. And your loved ones will provide that in the best way. Having someone to talk to through the whole journey will help you to cope up with the emotions.
Keeping a journal
For those mothers and parents who aren’t as strong with the words, keeping a journal to pen down their emotions and thoughts is also good. As your pregnancy advances, jolting down the thoughts and feelings you have through every stage keeps the experience grounded, allowing you to feel happy and excited, while keeping your guilt in control.
Monitoring your Rainbow Baby
When it comes to having your rainbow baby carried safely to full-term, there are certain tests and safety precautions you will need to adapt to ensure the baby’s safety and sound development.
Your doctor will provide a complete overview on all the tests that will be carried and will have regular consultation sessions. This is especially important for parents who are very anxious and need constant assurance that everything is going fine.
One of the major ways to ensure things are on the right track is to count the baby’s kicks. This is very important in every trimester as determining the baby’s amount of kicks shows the development is moving along just fine.
If you start at 28 weeks, you can then count your baby’s kicks at the same time each day.
Your doctor will probably give you a chart to note these kicks. You will have consultation sessions with your doctor. This will determine what’s normal and what can be a cause for concern.
If at any point you do feel there are changes in the kicking rhythm, be sure to inform your doctor about the baby’s changing movement pattern immediately.
Why Rainbow Babies are Special
So now we come onto the question as to why a rainbow baby considered so special.
What is the hype surrounding such a birth.
Well for starters, a rainbow baby is a huge source of healing power. It also symbolizes hope and gives positive nudges to even other couples who have lost a baby and can hope to see the same miracle in their lives too.
But having said that, grief is a normal emotion and one that must be embraced.
If you are overcome with sadness over the loss of a pregnancy, it is fine to grieve in your own way. But a rainbow pregnancy brings you some new emotions.
They can make you remember the child you had lost. And some parents often also cope by sharing stories of the lost child with their rainbow baby as they get older.
This gives comfort and makes a unique bond between a mother and her child. Some families also involve in family activities where they plant trees together, create rock gardens, and even make scrapbooks with memories. This provides healing while communicating and embracing the lost life together.
Supporting Your Partner in Rainbow Pregnancy
This is a highly crucial and important aspect of going through a rainbow pregnancy.
Sometimes the father feels left out and overwhelmed. This is due to being supportive all the time. Even though a rainbow pregnancy can make them anxious just the same.
In such instances, doctors advise spouses to keep an open line of communication with their partner. Let them know how going through a loss and this new pregnancy is such an emotional experience for you too.
Be present for your partner, speak to them about your concerns and share your vulnerable side-but also keep the conversations healthy. Talk about how the lost pregnancy made you feel and how are you standing with this rainbow pregnancy. But keep a tone of hope.
While being expressive, ask your partner how they are feeling and show your support in any way you can. Remember there are no fixed chart of feelings and mode of conduct to adhere to in a rainbow pregnancy. Just talk often and be present in the moment- this will make all the difference in the world.
Welcoming Your Rainbow Baby
And now that your rainbow baby has finally arrived after a successful pregnancy, you will find yourself in a complex ball of emotions. But don’t feel overwhelmed. This is common. Check out a few ways in which you can welcome your new bundle of joy while keeping a rush of strong emotions at bay:
Acknowledge Your Angel Baby
Celebrate your miracle baby by paying homage and acknowledging your angel baby. Speaking about your lost pregnancy allows you to have some closure.
Find Your Support Group
Everyone has someone who they are comfortable with to talk to. Sharing is one of the best kinds of therapy out there; it’s good for your well-being and recovery to share your journey with someone.
After the birth of your rainbow baby, one minute you might feel overjoyed and in the next you might be engulfed with extreme guilt.
These emotions are common. But it is important to tackle them in the right way. Embrace these emotions but also share your thoughts and seek support groups and people who make you comfortable.
We Are Here for You
Dr.Amal Al-Qedrah aims to provide you with a healthy and smooth rainbow pregnancy. The gynecology department is well-equipped to put your needs first. With a dedicated team, aimed at making your rainbow pregnancy as comfortable as possible.
Setup a consultation session to understand how this will be done. We ensure your well-being and emotions are considered and taken into account every step of the way.