What is a Rainbow Baby: A baby After a Loss or Miscarriage. Benjamin has always held a special place in my heart because he’s my rainbow baby. I didn’t know there was a specific term for this until a few years ago and now it makes so much sense to me. What is a Rainbow Baby? A very special little baby.
What is a Rainbow Baby
If you’re not familiar with a rainbow baby, a rainbow baby is “a baby born shortly after the loss of a previous baby due to miscarriage, stillbirth, or death in infancy. This term is given to these special rainbow babies because a rainbow typically follows a storm, giving us hope of what’s to come.”
The second you see a positive pregnancy test, whether you were ready for it or not, your life flashes in front of you. You are – in that very moment – a parent. Excitement and nervousness and adrenaline all starts to come… for me, it was always excitement. I always wanted a big family, so every single time I saw a positive pregnancy test I was joyful for the baby to be.
In February of 2006 I got the wonderful news that I was pregnant again! William was just about 17 months and Alexander was just about 4 months old. I was thrilled with the news and couldn’t wait to have another baby so quickly after Alexander. I immediately started calling that baby in my belly, “BB” for beautiful baby. When I was pregnant with William I found out that my progesterone levels drop dramatically after 5 weeks. This is cause for concern because if it’s not caught or treated with progesterone, you can lose a healthy baby simply because your body isn’t getting enough of this particular hormone. Thankfully in NYC my doctor was on it and treated me immediately. When I got pregnant with Alexander, the same thing happened again at 5 weeks and so, I went on progesterone again till 13 weeks. My doctor had told me at that time that for any further pregnancies, as a precaution he would always put me on progesterone. I felt so good knowing that there was a plan in place. So when I discovered I was pregnant the 3rd time, I didn’t even get myself tested… I just went right on the progesterone, which calmed my nerves immediately.
At 7 weeks I went in for a ultrasound to make sure everything was looking the way it should for me. I was excited to see the heartbeat and prep myself for baby #3! During the ultrasound, to me everything looked great. We saw a heartbeat, which was thrilling and we got an estimated due date – Nov 8th, 2006. As I was leaving the technician said that she just wanted to have the doctor look at something, which didn’t alarm me… but definitely made me wonder if everything was OK. The doctor came in and told me that she wanted to see me again next week because the heartbeat wasn’t as strong as they wanted it to be yet, which could easily be because I was only 6 weeks… but they just wanted to check. I was a nervous wreck for the next 7 days. Literally. A nervous wreck, I can’t even sugar coat it. It was all I thought about and it was really scary for me to think that something could potentially be wrong.
A week later we went in for the routine ultrasound again. My husband stared at the ultrasound machine and I remember the technician turning the screen away a little from me. Oddly enough I didn’t even pick up on anything. I just laid there, waiting for someone to tell me something. As the technician finished up, I actually naively said to her, “Is the due date still the same?” She smiled and said, “I’ll be right back.” It was in that moment that I knew something wasn’t right and then my husband looked at me and said, “I didn’t see a heartbeat.” Even as I type this, it still brings tears to my eyes. Even though I didn’t know that baby, it was my baby. It was a piece of us together and I knew how special that was because I had William and Alex at home to see that in real life. The doctor did come back in and confirm that the baby didn’t have a heartbeat.
I was just a little over 8 weeks.
And it devastated me.
What is a Rainbow Baby – Do you have one?
I remember thinking, maybe I can’t have girls? Maybe I ate something wrong? Maybe I lifted Alex and/or William too much? All these things raced through my head, but the truth was… nothing I did was wrong, it was just the way it was and I had to move forward and mourn for that baby and try my very best to think positive.
I remember telling my husband, “We’re trying again immediately!”
And my doctor told me to wait a couple of months and let my body get back into a cycle again and recoup as best as it could.
It took me 5 months to get pregnant again. Those 5 months were torture for me because I got pregnant with William and Alex the first month I tried. I thought I wasn’t able to have a baby again. Every month when my period arrived, I cried for days. It wasn’t a good time for me because I was just so sad. I prayed every single night for peace and that when it was time, to have a baby come to us. I just had to put trust and faith in God and know that His plan was the right plan.
Finally that August, I got the blessed news that I was pregnant!
I’ll never forget finding out… I was OVER THE MOON! And I was also terrified!
What is a Rainbow Baby – Special Pregnancy
I had found an amazing practice in Rhode Island with a midwife who allowed me to come every week to get a sonogram of my baby to be from week 5 through week 18! She said I could come every week till the baby was born if that would help calm my nerves. She was my angel on earth and she helped make my pregnancy bearable against the constant nerves.
I found out that the baby was a boy that fall and I knew right away that I would name him Benjamin Barry, I needed to get that BB in there after the brother or sister before him. It’s always been a nice way for me to honor and remember that baby.
When Ben was born on April 4th, 2007… I felt such relief that he was here. He was safe and healthy and beautiful. Ben’s pregnancy was not an easy one for me, but it was one that we got through together. I’ve often said with Ben that I not only wanted him, but I needed him. I needed him in a way that I can’t describe. And I knew that he was a special gift.
He’s my rainbow baby. My special rainbow baby.
If you’ve ever seen gorgeous photos of women holding their babies with rainbows in the back, the answer to What is a rainbow baby – is right there. These beautiful babies that were meant to be. As difficult as it was to get there, they are the answer to so many prayers.
And in July, I will share with you my story about my 2nd rainbow baby, Victoria.
Check out… Benjamin’s Birth story.