My rainbow pregnancy was hard. I did not know anything about a rainbow pregnancy and had no idea what that meant. Also, I had no idea what a rainbow baby was. That all changed when I got pregnant with Gavin. Then my rainbow pregnancy began and it was emotionally hard. Someone said to me “oh that is great, your having a rainbow baby.” I had to ask what that meant. I was so happy to learn the meaning of a rainbow baby, it gave me a sense of happiness after my loss. But my rainbow pregnancy was a whole different experience.
I guess I should explain for those who do not know what a rainbow baby and pregnancy is. Well, it is the pregnancy that follows after a miscarriage, still birth or loss of a baby. It is considered the rainbow after the storm and gives parents who were grieving the loss of a baby hope with a new baby. It does not mean it replaces that loss. Nothing replaces the loss of a child. What it does do is gives us hope!
For me though a rainbow baby pregnancy is hard. With my first baby I had never had a miscarriage. Everything went smoothly with the pregnancy and birth. I had no fears. No one tells you what comes with a rainbow baby pregnancy. I do not think this happens for everyone or maybe it does. But the pregnancy is hard.
My rainbow baby pregnancies since I had three of them we exceedingly difficult on my mental health. I was in fear the whole time. The pregnancy joy was many times overwhelmed by the fear from my miscarriage. Miscarriage’s caused me to not share that I was pregnant till the first trimester was over. Every baby scan I had I would fear they would find something. I would wait till the baby moved and feel relief. Unfortunately, the relief would soon be consumed with the next fear and then the next. It was such a struggle for me to not fear my baby’s safety till they were in my arms.
I am not sure this happens to everyone. But this is my story of the struggle I had connecting with my rainbow babies while pregnant. For me, I wished I had received therapy after my miscarriages. I loved those babies. When I get pregnant I see these little humans and all they can do in the world. I may not have held them, but I loved them so much it hurt. I wish doctors would follow up on the mental health of the parents after a loss, but many do not. At least for me they did not.
As I mentioned above I lost three babies. Each loss was followed by a rainbow baby. I am so blessed to have them. God gave me the best little babies ever. I wish I had asked for help to handle the stress of rainbow pregnancies so I could have enjoyed being pregnant. It makes me incredibly sad that I did not spend more time cherishing every moment of pregnancy. Instead I lived in fear. My fears where real and valid but I did not have to struggle alone.
By my third rainbow baby I was in a panic a lot of the time. It was not healthy for my self or the baby. There are moments now I see I should have advocated for myself to get some help. My blood pressure was high due to the fear every time I went into the office something would be wrong. On top of it I had an anterior placenta. So, finding the babies heartbeat was hard. It was just a lot of my mental health not being where it needed to be. But I really am glad I got through it and birthed these beautiful little ones.
What I learned from my rainbow baby pregnancies I hope can help another Mom who struggles. Maybe it will help a Dad too. It could allow a Dad to help if they see their babies Mother struggling.
- If you are struggling like I was ask your doctor for help.
- If your doctor is not listening to you, ask for a new one.
- Talk to other Moms like yourself. Find a supportive group.
- Try to find ways to relax.
- Talk to your partner or family to get more support
- Please know you are not alone (message me if you need to someone to talk too)
- Try Mantra’s like: My baby is healthy or we are okay.
- Take a deep breath if feeling scared or sad
- Essential Oils can help calm your mind
- Always ask for help if needed.
If I were to ever have another baby I would find a doctor who specialized in mental health. I would take care of myself and build a great support team. Also, it would be important for me to find a doctor that was with me through the whole thing verse a practice that can never schedule you with the same OBGYN. Maybe a midwife would be better as the care is more personal. But please know your not alone. Many women do not share how scary it is getting pregnant again after a loss. But you do not have to struggle alone.