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Thursday, January 15, 2015

On Becoming a Rainbow Mother

They call a child conceived after a loss a rainbow baby. It's the beauty after the storm.  I embrace that terminology, mostly because it's the commonly accepted vernacular.

I don't think it's the baby himself, though . The death is the storm, but not the baby.  No stillbirth mother, to my knowledge, views her child as a storm. The death is the storm. The chance of new life, the happiness and joy being, at least in part, restored by a new pregnancy, a new baby, that is the rainbow. The Mama finally feels the rainbow. To be clear, the rainbow doesn't erase the storm, nor does it make us forget. The rainbow is simply a moment of beauty and grace.

I hate, with a passion, when people, consciously or not, dampen the spirits and happiness of a rainbow mother. 

A "normal" mother is showered in love and happiness and excitement. If anyone even thinks of miscarriage or loss, they would never say it. You just don't say that to a pregnant woman. Ignorance is bliss. It's all hugs, and kisses, and congratulations, and tears.

A rainbow mama, particularly a stillbirth rainbow mama, doesn't get that. She's scared, but this is her rainbow. She deserves celebration and joy as much, if not more, than the "normal". Why, then, is it so hard to come by?

Voices are hushed. In lieu of exuberance and excitement there is a quiet promise to pray for you. In lieu of congratulations and hugs there is a worried look in the eye, a tightening of the mouth, a pitying tilt of the head. In lieu of joy there is doubt. In lieu of hugs there is a distant arm pat.

This is bullshit.

We are not broken. A rainbow Mama NEEDS to celebrate. A rainbow Mama has already lost a child. Why must she lose her hope and joy as well? Why must she be made to fear more than she already does? Why must she get less? Why must it be this way?

Please, just hug the rainbow Mama. Tell her congratulations and MEAN it. It's not that hard.

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