We’re having a Rainbow baby.
Last September our family went to the Double H Ranch for a weekend retreat for families who have lost their son or daughter, sister or brother. It was this weekend almost a year ago that I first heard the term “rainbow baby”. We were talking with another family one night who had lost their 2 year old son 11 years ago and they introduced me to their rainbow baby- their 8 year old daughter. I remember asking what a rainbow baby is and they explained that it was a baby born after the loss of a child and that it helps families find hope and faith in the future after suffering such a devastating loss. They explained that parenting after a loss is one of the most exciting, worthwhile, happy, meaningful, things they could do with their lives. When I asked why they call a baby after a loss a rainbow baby they explained to me that a beautiful and bright rainbow follows a storm and gives hope of things getting better. The rainbow is more appreciated having just experienced the storm in comparison. This is so true for our family. For those of you who haven’t heard the news yet… we are expecting a baby in 3 weeks! We are beyond excited for the arrival of our 3rd child, our rainbow baby. But although there is much happiness in this news and in the term “rainbow baby” there are also many fears, anxieties and of course questions or concerns from others about our choice of having another baby.
One of the fears and statements we often hear is “ I hope this baby doesn’t get cancer”. Guess what? I do too. But I also hope you don’t get cancer and your child doesn’t get cancer and that no child ever gets cancer again. We have had genetic testing as well as many other tests and the findings were that Gracie’s cancer was “bad luck” (great for us deciding to expand our family, but a tough finding for the reason my child died). Our chances of our children having cancer are the same as yours. But I will say that still scares the crap out of me. If anyone knows that “rare” can happen, it’s us. Even if it’s a 1% chance- it’s still there and it’s scary. I know where my mind is going to wander when this baby gets sick or has a full, hard belly after eating… So when you say “I hope this baby doesn’t get cancer” to me my anxiety increases and it helps solve nothing. I will always pray that my children don’t get cancer and remain healthy in every sense, and I will pray the same for your children.
Another phrase I often hear is “I’m so glad you’re having another child, now you’ll have a family of 4 again!” No, we will now have a family of 5. We are not replacing Gracie. Gracie was here and will always be a part of my family. We will still talk about her and let the baby know they have a sister in heaven. I will now have 3 kids.
So here we are 3 weeks before our lives will change once again. I’m feeling good, tired, emotional, hot, moody and excited- just like any other pregnant woman! We are ready for our little miracle, our rainbow baby because after every storm there is a rainbow of hope……that rainbow of hope will be here August 1st.
If you get a chance please send some thoughts and prayers to our family this day for a healthy delivery and healthy baby! We will share the news and post pics when Gracie’s brother or sister arrives!