Holding a Rainbow:: Parenting After the Loss of a Child

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A rainbow. To me, it’s a special gift from God—a personal revelation that God keeps his promises, that God is sovereign, that God loves us. It is the calm after a storm. Rainbows are beautiful, but they are fleeting. They only last for moments. That is why I held my rainbow.

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My storm.

In 2016, my husband and I were graced with another child. We saw the positive pregnancy test and were elated. Our family was growing. Our little boys were convinced they were going to have a baby sister. We talked about how amazing it would be to meet our newest little blessing. However, we never did. We lost our third child around 14 weeks of gestation. Our home was filled with devastation. My husband and I mourned our loss with our two older children. I cannot describe the pain that comes with losing a child. It is something I would not wish on my worse enemy.

My rainbow.

We were blessed with another child just several months after our loss. We were overjoyed, yet terrified. A miscarriage stays with you. Thankfully, our little girl thrived. She was born healthy and happy almost a year to the day of the loss of our third child. She is our rainbow baby. Rainbow baby is a coined term for a baby born after a miscarriage. The calm and beauty after a storm.

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​With our first two children, I listened to the “expert” opinions.

They told me that my sons needed to sleep by themselves. They needed to get used to napping in a crib or they never would sleep without Mom. That they needed to get used to time without mommy. I laid them down for naps in their beds. I cherished the snuggles with them but also tried to make sure that they learned to sleep on their own.

With our daughter, I could not bring myself to lay her down sometimes. It took several tries to let go. Losing our third child made me realize that the time with a newborn is a blessing. I was never able to snuggle our third because she was gone too soon. I see my older two children becoming little boys who don’t want to snuggle with mommy anymore. 

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My daughter was only little for moments.

Now, she is an independent, energetic little girl. Yet, she is a rainbow still—a fleeting picture of God’s love for me. I held her and cherished her sweet baby smell as long as I could. And when someone told me to put my daughter down, I smiled but many times say no.

I held my rainbow while she was a newborn.

I will continue to hold her as long as she will allow me. Because I know, all too well, that these moments will end.

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