26 October 2018

Kenya: What it Feels Like Bringing Home a Rainbow Baby

Photo: Pixabay
(File photo)

After every storm, there is a rainbow.

When I first held my  rainbow baby for the first time, it was overwhelming. I cried tears of joy, love, happiness, relief and afterwards a new sense of calm.

Pregnancy after loss is not an easy journey, and neither is parenting after loss. Bringing a baby home after one has died can be overwhelming and scary for some, if not every woman. During my pregnancy I was filled with fear, paranoia and anxiety. I was anxious of the presence or absent of any movement, ache, cramp or staining.

If you're about to bring home your rainbow baby, here's what you might experience:

There is newfound presence of relief and calm

Your baby is finally here with you. The tumultuous journey is over and you are grateful that you have something to show for it this time. You have been down this road before, albeit with different results.

The knowledge that the results could have been different is not far from you.

You learn to really appreciate what you have.

Feelings of guilt over loving this baby will creep up on you at times. You'll feel like you are dishonouring the other baby's memory by loving this one. But you will love.

You have loved and you have lost, had hope and lost what you hoped for. Your baby will teach you to really appreciate what you have knowing that at any moment, it could be taken away.

It might trigger grief again

If this happens, cry. Let it out!  There is a profound sense of clarity that comes with crying, especially if done to express emotions like grief. The sense of loss might hit you again as you experience your newborn and realize what you missed with your first child.

You won't want to share your child

That's fine. Enjoy the baby, enjoy the time with her/him. Take in the sighs, stares and hold it until you are okay to have someone else hold your baby. For other moms, it's possible to feel detached due to loss, or have complex feelings that come and go.

The important thing to remember is to seek for support. Emotional, physical, and psychological support. If you need to reconstruct your feelings or in case you are going through depression, seek professional help.

Lastly, you will remember….everything

A rainbow baby is not a replacement but an additional blessing in your life. You will not forget the baby that passed away, you will keep them in your heart for the rest of your life.

Most importantly, you will find happiness again! You will smile more! You will laugh more! You will love more!

 * A rainbow baby is a baby born after a miscarriage, stillborn, or neonatal death.

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