National Rainbow Baby Day held on August 22nd remembers babies "born after a miscarriage, stillbirth, or passing away of an infant". Rainbow babies signify hope and healing after a loss and are seen as "the rainbow after the storm".
For parents, the loss of an infant can be devastating, especially after so many hopes and dreams are placed upon that child. According to the March of Dimes, “When your baby dies from miscarriage, stillbirth or at or after birth, your hope of being a parent dies, too. The dreams you had of holding your baby and watching him grow are gone. This can leave a large, empty space inside you. It may take a long time to heal this space.”
If you’re new here, you may not know that Kase and Knox are our rainbow babies. They were born after a very hard year in our lives in which we experienced both the loss of AJ (Adam will hate me for nicknaming him that) at just under 12 weeks gestation and a sweet baby boy a few months prior, whom we had the privilege of loving on before handing him back to his mama. . Those storms were hard. They made us question God, question ourselves and question our decisions. . But God. Through it all, he never left us. He was there for every tear, every angry thought, every heartbreaking moment. . And then there were two heartbeats on the screen. He knew all along that we had to weather those storms to get to these two boys. . AJ is safe in heaven, being loved on by his creator until we can join him; that little boy is right where he’s supposed to be with his family, and we got the sweetest double rainbow. A promise from God, that even when life is difficult and we don’t understand, he is there and he wants to give us the best. . . . . . #nationalrainbowbabyday #rainbowbaby #pregnancyafterloss #rainbowbaby🌈 #motherhoodunplugged #afterthestorm #miscarriagesurvivor #sharehope #thebeautifulreal #thepursuitofjoy #rainbowbabies #iam1in4 #babywearing #wearallthebabies #tandembabywearing #mywildbird #twinboys #diditwins #fraternaltwins #twinmom #clickinmoms #ringsling #babywearingmama #crunchymama #keepthemclose #carrythemclose #unitedmotherhood #breastfedtwins #5under5 #bigfamily
The process of moving on can be long, often lasting a lifetime, yet the hope provided by a new pregnancy can help to assuage the pain. During National Rainbow Baby Day, new mothers and fathers share the story of their rainbow baby or babies on social media with the hashtag #NationalRainbowBabyDay to honor the light breaking through the clouds.
Yet it is not only parents who mourn the loss of a newborn, oftentimes sibling feels the pain as intensely. Such is the case of Mikey Marotta, who from a young age yearned for a younger brother or sister. Soon after Mikey’s mother, Jessica, learned she was pregnant again, she found out she had miscarried. Jessica, who had encountered trouble getting pregnant a second time, decided to give up on having another baby. Mikey was devastated.
"After [the miscarriage], every time Mikey asked for his baby brother, we would explain to him that there may be a chance that he may never get a baby brother. It broke our hearts to say these words to him, but we found a way to settle into a life just the three of us," Jessica said.
Surprisingly, Jessica got pregnant again, though her doctor warned her that it was a high-risk pregnancy since she had severe Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR) and there was a chance of uterine demise. Despite the odds, she delivered a baby born at 30 weeks and six days. Two months after baby Jake was born, he was released from the NICU, which was one of the most joyful days of six-year-old Mikey’s young life.
"His homecoming was one of the happiest days of our lives," Jessica said. "I feel honored to witness their love. Their bond is amazing, and my husband and I often say that we wish Jake looked at us the way he looks at Mikey."
Jake, now happy and healthy, is the rainbow baby the Marotta’s had hoped for, chasing away the storm clouds that had darkened young Mikey’s life when his baby brother died.