Firstly this post isn’t me wallowing about not having a rainbow baby as in fact I have three – Toby technically is a rainbow baby as he came after years of IVF treatments, Rory can still be counted as a rainbow as he was also an IVF baby and Henry was a rainbow in the traditional sense as he came after Rory.
I’m also not begrudging anyone with a rainbow and those trying for a rainbow. Life is tough enough and I’m not here to say how unfair life is for me as it’s unfair for everyone depending on their circumstances.
What I am here to talk/moan about some of the language used, especially that aimed at those either trying for their rainbow or those with no prospect of a rainbow.
One post said we (parents with no rainbow) we’re ‘still worthy’. My first reaction was don’t bloody patronise me! I know I’m still worthy of a happy fulfilled life and I worked really hard to get to that point. I didn’t need someone else to give me permission to do so.
Rainbow-less parents are not weak, we are not second class or unworthy. We are fucking strong! Stop for one second and imagine feeling lost and empty and not having a new baby in your arms. That is our reality every single day and for some it is like that for the rest of our lives.
I’m one of the lucky ones, I do get to parent a living child born before our losses. I’m sure he brings similar parenting dilemmas to those who have a living baby born after loss. He feels the pain of loss too. Toby would be an excellent big brother to a living sibling, instead he’s an ace big bro to his baby brothers. It shouldn’t be this way but it is and we make the best of it. Does not having living siblings make him less worthy, his life less fulfilling? What he does get is our undivided love and attention which isn’t a bad thing!
Then I read posts about lost babies delivering rainbows. Did Rory get lost, fired by the stalk? Did Henry not try hard enough to stay? Did I not try hard enough to keep them safe? All of my babies are magnificent gifts in their own way. Toby made me a mother which, even on bad days I’m incredibly grateful for. Rory taught me the strength to carry on and not take things for granted. Henry, well he nearly broke me but his gift was accepting life as it is, healing deep wounds and a different type of resilience that I never knew I had.
Every baby is a gift, we don’t need a divisive day to celebrate one small group – we should celebrate each baby and their gift every single day!
For every happy post on Thursday there was someone else feeling shit. That’s not right. The isolation I felt in the loss world after Henry died was overwhelming. Days like rainbow baby day add to this isolation. As parents we should be supporting each other rather than (unintentionally) isolating our friends.
Next year on rainbow baby day I’m sharing a picture of all three of my babies and I’m going to tell everyone how fucking fabulous they are! 😃
#rainbowbabyday #babyloss #infertility #ivf #everybabyisagift #grief #healing #siblings