"Rainbow Babies" is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it doesn't mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy and hope.
A rainbow baby is a blessing given to a family after losing a baby in any way. It's the promise of hope and new life, second chances and a new beginning.
A family who has conceived after losing a child will never forget that child, but rather, will appreciate their children even more because they understand the deep pain of loss.
I read a poem today that touched me deeply.
Once, in a little pond, in the muddy water under the lily pads,
there lived a little water beetle in a community of water
beetles. They lived a simple and comfortable life in the pond
with few disturbances and interruptions.
Once in a while, sadness would come to the community when one of
their fellow beetles would climb the stem of a lily pad and
would never be seen again. They knew when this happened; their
friend was dead, gone forever.
Then, one day, one little water beetle felt an irresistible urge
to climb up that stem. However, he was determined that he would
not leave forever. He would come back and tell his friends what
he had found at the top.
When he reached the top and climbed out of the water onto the
surface of the lily pad, he was so tired, and the sun felt so
warm, that he decided he must take a nap. As he slept, his body
changed and when he woke up, he had turned into a beautiful
blue-tailed dragonfly with broad wings and a slender body
designed for flying.
So, fly he did! And, as he soared he saw the beauty of a whole
new world and a far superior way of life to what he had never
Then he remembered his beetle friends and how they were thinking
by now he was dead. He wanted to go back to tell them, and
explain to them that he was now more alive than he had ever been
before. His life had been fulfilled rather than ended.
But, his new body would not go down into the water. He could
not get back to tell his friends the good news. Then he
understood that their time would come, when they, too, would
know what he now knew. So, he raised his wings and flew off
into his joyous new life!
I found this fascinating. For one, I never knew that dragonflies were ever anything but dragonflies. Maybe that sounds silly, but I don't tend to question how insects reach their adulthood, unless if it's something I studied in grade school science, or just common knowledge. But it turns out, Dragonflies start life as larvae, which is normal, but their larvae are water dwelling insects known as nymphs. Then they undergo metamorphosis and become the adult Dragonfly.
Science aside, this poem speaks to me so clearly. Leila is that curious water nymph that crawled up the Lily stem to check things out on the other side - Heaven. But as she was making her way there (her struggle on Earth), she got weary and had to rest her eyes, and then God took her home to be with Him. When she awoke she was beautiful and had her angel wings and was healthy and perfect.
And she wanted to tell us that everything is okay. To come back and reassure us that she isn't gone for ever, that we need only wait until our journey takes us to her, but alas, angels aren't meant to live on Earth.
So we have to wait until it's our turn to climb the Lily's stem and be taken home to her.
And our beautiful rainbow baby? He or she is the reminder that Leila will never be far from us. Every laugh, every smile, every coo, every cry, every milestone: Leila will be right there. Watching us and waiting for the day, whenever that may be, that we will join her in Heaven.
To anyone who has ever lost a baby, and is expecting again: I hope this quote, and this poem, have offered you some comfort. I know they rang true with me.