Thursday, February 2, 2017

On Rainbows

This is something I shared for the first time last February. I've been reminded of it lately as I wrestle with similar thoughts and feelings, another year into the journey.


Many people who have lost babies that I've met in the past 7 years have gone on to have a "rainbow baby," as they are called (many have multiple rainbow babies). A rainbow baby is a child who is born after the storm of losing a child. These people talk about their child bringing them out of the pit of the sorrow that comes when one loses their child.

A particular friend I know lost her son early one year, got pregnant with her daughter later in that same year, then welcomed her into the world at the end of the year. She wrote on her blog about how the day of her daughter's birth overwhelmed her with gladness. She said, "To this day I know she is the only reason I ever recovered. She's the only reason I am not still deep in sadness."

A couple years ago, I "met" a mother online whose daughter was due just days before Lily in March 2010. This little girl shares both Lily Katherine's first and middle names, just with a different spelling for both names. She was stillborn in late February of that year, meaning her 7th birthday is soon. We connected over our daughter's similar dates and names. Then she told me she had a healthy daughter a year later. She told me if she lets go of her focus on her living daughter, her heart becomes much heavier about her daughter who is no longer living. On her eldest girl's birthday last year, she took her little sister to her stone.

A good friend of mine who lost her daughter in 2010 as well had a healthy baby daughter a little over a year ago, with a couple boys born in between those years. When my friends have their rainbows, I am truly delighted for them, but it does sting to see her hold her littlest girl in her arms. I want a little girl in mine.

Another friend who lost her baby girl last year already mentioned that she's hoping to have another healthy baby this year to help brighten the mood. 

Seeing and hearing these things is difficult for me, because here I am, 7 years later, and still no living baby. In some ways, I am still deep in sadness. When I read these things, it stings because I wonder, will I recover? In many ways, I think that having a baby in my arms would help heal me in deep and immeasurable ways while on Earth, ways that only ever having another child can heal. Does God not want me to be healed in the way He has allowed others to be? Am I just resigned to the fact that I may always be haunted by silence, never to hear my own baby's sweet cry? Is this what my motherhood is going to look like for the rest of my life?

The way it feels is that I am running this marathon on a track and it seems to be a never-ending race. There are all these other runners, many having started the race after me, who keep passing me, and then lapping me. They are leaving me in the dust. And for some reason, I can't keep up. I picture myself in quick sand, unable to move, despite how much I want to. Each lap represents a new relationship, an engagement, a wedding, a baby, another baby, and then another. And I am still on that same track, still running, still waiting for the rewards of each lap. 

Where exactly do I "fit"? I don't feel completely understood at infant loss support groups because I am not in the place to have another child, like most of the others there are. It's not their fault, and obviously they don't want it to hurt me, but that's just the way it is.

I have many different experiences, making it impossible to find someone who can relate to them all. This has driven me more into the arms of Jesus, as I recognize nobody can or ever will be able to understand completely. But I know He does. And maybe I'm meant to be in the place where I feel completely isolated and misunderstood, so that I will turn to the only One who validates, understands, and loves me through it all.

Not everyone gets their "rainbow." I pray that the Lord reveals in and through my life that even if we don't get what most people think will heal us and make us whole, He is still enough. He is my rainbow, my hope in life and for eternal life. I am exactly where I'm supposed to be on the "track of life," referencing the marathon analogy.

If you are also a bereaved mother without a living child, check out the website Still Mothers (there is also a Facebook page and an online support group).

I appreciate this article about The Unique Grief of Mothers without Living Children. It is so comforting and validating. I thought I'd share it here for anyone else in similar shoes and also to give a glimpse into what it's like...



  1. Wonderful! Someone that is in your situation will find this post and say, "HERE is someone who understands!" You will comfort them with what you have been comforted by...JESUS!

    2 Corinthians 1:3-7
    Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.

    I often wonder if I had another child, would I REALLY heal differently. What does it mean to heal? This ache is just for Lilly and I don't want to have that go away. I feel like I would be betraying her her for another child. Yet...I know that babies are such a blessing. I can understand how it would heal you...or rather it would fill you.

    Keep running your race, Hannah...and stay on the right track. ;-)

    Hebrews 12:1-2 says...Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

    Keep flying into the arms of Jesus, Hannah.

    I love ya!

    1. Thank you so much for this encouragement! Your words deeply resonated with my heart. I sure wish you had a blog too. ;)


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