Rainbow babies ?? are little ones who come into our lives after miscarriage, or infant loss.
They are the parting of the clouds, after a torrential, rainy storm, letting a shimmer of light and colour back into our lives ?
We know that in the eye of the storm, life can seem unbearable, dark, and desperately, unendingly sad. But after some time has passed, you and your partner may feel ready to think about conceiving again.
For that reason, we thought it would be helpful to share 7 heart-warming stories from mums who’ve been there – and got their rainbow babies.
Every rainbow baby tale is unique – but we hope these beautiful real-life stories will give you a little hope, some small comfort, and the knowledge that, though your life has undeniably changed, you can, no matter what, find happiness again…
❤️@JessicaLauren25 – ‘I felt lost, but now I have a 5-month-old baby girl next to me’
One of our forum mums, Jessica, sadly miscarried, but found her next pregnancy came sooner than she expected… rather miraculously.
“First of all, I am so sorry to hear that you’re going though this,” she says. “I had a miscarriage last June.
“They also told me to wait a month but I felt so lost and no purpose anymore. I was so depressed and literally became obsessed with the idea of having a baby!
“I did a lot of research and even asked my doctors that the reason they ask you to wait is so they can date your pregnancy properly as it seems to annoy them when they can’t. My belief is that if your body is ready it’ll happen!!
“Anyway, after about a week or so I told my partner I’m pregnant again. He didn’t believe me! I could just feel it! I said either that or I’m going crazy.
“I did a test after I’d lost my baby and it was a clear big fat negative, and obviously it was too early to test (I probably did and again negative but I just knew it).
“Anyway, on 10 July I had my first positive test. “I didn’t believe it and tested daily with it gradually getting darker. I even felt that the egg had come from the right.
“The doctors said it was basically impossible and that I would’ve had to have got pregnant like a few days after my confirmed scan of my miscarriage (19 June). They told me ‘oh, it’s your leftover hormone probably and there is no way you will feel what side your egg has came from’.
“After 2 weeks, and all my blood tests, they said ‘wow, you actually are pregnant!’ I was over the moon.
“I was booked in for a scan at 6 weeks. I told the scan person the egg came from the right and I’d be 6 weeks today. She [wasn’t convinced], I said ‘whatever’ in my head anyway.
“Got the internal scan part and she was like, ‘OK, you actually did ovulate from the right side! And you are bang on 6 weeks today’.
“Meaning I was right and I got pregnant within days after 19 June and now I have a 5-month-old baby rainbow girl next to me wacking my leg!
“It can happen and miracles happen!!!!!” she says. “I’d let your body do the work and when it’s ready it’ll happen.”
?@ellacx – ‘Lily made me a mum, but Oliver helped me to heal, to love again’
Ella, one of our Instagram mums, tragically lost her 4-month-old daughter Lily to a fatal heart condition. Her 2nd baby, Oliver, has brought happiness to her life again, she says.
“Oliver is our rainbow baby born 11 months after our daughter Lily passed away aged 4 months from a heart condition.
“Lily was born at home on 29/09/16 & 2 weeks later we found out she had a life-threatening heart condition. She died on 10/02/17 after the decision was made that end of life care was the only option. She had 2 open heart surgeries and 5 other operations before we all reached this decision.
“Oliver was an unexpected surprise rainbow, the 1st 20 weeks of pregnancy was nothing but worry as we waited until our specialist fetal heart scan. All clear.
“Oliver was born at home on 15/01/18. I have very quick labours. Lily’s was 2 hrs 30 mins, Oliver’s was 1 hr 50 mins! His heart was checked again and it works beautifully ❤️
“Oliver has helped me/us/my whole family heal & he has brought joy & happiness to my life again. My heart bursts and aches all at the same time, because Lily isn’t here. But if it wasn’t for Lily I wouldn’t have Oliver and I’m so lucky to have both of my babies.
“I would like awareness to be raised for mums and dads who experience neonatal/infant loss and who have babies because there’s hardly any support voices out there.
“I was reading a forum where someone asked what ‘rainbow baby’ meant. Every single answer was miscarriage. I felt alienated. That it was a term only women of miscarriage could use.
“To me a rainbow baby is born after loss of any kind where a person is grieving for their baby or child.
“Lily made me a mum & taught me so much about myself & that beautiful unconditional love. Oliver helped me heal, love again, to enjoy the smallest things in life & to smile ❤️ ”
?@lostinmummyland – ‘We named him Phoenix, because he rose from the ashes’
“Phoenix Beau… our story starts with his big sister Everlyn-Faith. We had just found out we were pregnant after a problematic filled summer and felt this would be our happy ending to a bad beginning.
“At the 12-week scan, the midwife mentioned she could see an enlarged nuchal fold. Not being my 1st, I knew what that meant, there was a problem. I was booked in with a fetal consultant a few days later to check what was going on.
“At the scan, she noted a large nuchal reading and also ascites (fluid) on the abdomen. She recommended a CVS, a large needle through the belly into the placenta to take cells to find out what was going on.
“We did it and a few days later we got our results, our baby had Turners Syndrome and from this we knew we were having another girl. We were hopeful, girls survived this.
“We had scans every 2 weeks and every 2 weeks we saw our little girl getting worse and worse, every two weeks we were asked if we wanted to abort. I couldn’t, I wanted to keep faith… 24-week mark passed.
“And on 31 Jan we were told our girl had gone… her funeral and a few months had passed and I knew I wanted another, not to replace but to help me heal.
“So we tried. 1st month, a big fat negative. GUTTED. 2nd month, I felt a bit more hopeful, I was hungry all the time, craving spicy foods and just had a suspicion but I still didn’t want to be hopeful.
“I was late and I wanted to start a strict diet so thought let’s just check… and there it was! 2 blue lines staring back at me, shaking I passed the test to my husband.
“I was so nervous about this pregnancy but the fetal consultant was so good and scanned me regularly until we were at the point we knew all was okay.
“On the 27 April our beautiful son arrived we named him Phoenix, because it means to rise from the ashes and middle name Beau, because he is our rainbow.
“He’s 15 months now, and my husband says he is the baby we needed.”
?@miss_tmac – ‘I lost my 3rd girl at 34 weeks – with my 4th, part of me feels whole again’
“I was pregnant in 2016 with my 3rd beautiful baby girl,” she writes. “Everything was going great until one day at 34 weeks pregnant.
“After a trip to antenatal ward, as little one wasn’t moving as usual, I found out after having a scan and amnio that she had trisomy 18 (Edwards syndrome) ?
“16 March 2016, my beautiful baby girl was born sleeping. I’ve never felt pain like it before. Words couldn’t begin to describe what I was feeling in those minutes, hours, days after losing her.
“I felt so empty – a big hole was left inside me that nothing and no one could fill. I locked myself away from everything & everyone for months I was uninterested in the world & its happiness. I concentrated on my two older daughters & was just in a bubble with them. I completely shut the world out.
“I found out in January 2017 that I was pregnant again. I had so many different feelings: scared, excited, sad.
“I didn’t want my angel to think I was replacing her and I didn’t wanna be happy and excited in case I lost this one too.
“We found out a few days before my angel’s 1st birthday at my 12-week scan and blood test that her baby sister was perfectly healthy! Those emotions ran away with me: I cried, I danced and cried some more and I just knew she was watching over keeping her safe.
“18 September 2017, my rainbow baby girl was born and the feelings I felt were just like all the others: pure love, happiness and I felt like a little piece of me was whole again.
‘She’s the best thing that’s happened to us in years. She’s the light I was praying for during my darkest days. I don’t think I could love her anymore if I tried – even on her cry baby stressing days, I just look at her and think, I love you little girl you have no idea what you’ve done to my heart!
“I’m glad we got our rainbow. She was worth the all worrying throughout a very anxious pregnancy. I’d do it all over again ? ”
?@missmyangels – ‘I’ve had loss after loss, but I’m having my 3rd rainbow at age 40’
One of our lovely, regular forum mums has experienced several miscarriages and tremendously sad losses – but she’s currently expecting another little rainbow.
Even when faced with obstacles, she says she “never gave up on her dream” of more kids. Here’s her story…
“My husband and I decided to start our family whilst on our honeymoon in 2002, and amazingly we were pregnant the following month! A textbook pregnancy with no concerns, we sailed through blissfully.
“Our 1st son was born in March 2003 via emergency C-section. I lost an ovary and fallopian tube during the procedure due to a benign cyst. I was told we could go on to have more children… but maybe sooner rather than later!
“We left a gap of 2 years and our pregnancy journey began again very quickly after trying. Sadly, we had a missed miscarriage at 10 weeks’ pregnant and had to experience the emotions of our first loss and have an ERPC. This really was the first we knew about miscarriages. I suppose at 28, when you’re very fit and healthy, you think it will never happen to you.
“6 months later, we were pregnant (with the help of a clear blue ovulation kit) with our first beautiful rainbow baby, with a few extra check ups we sailed through a text book pregnancy. I gave birth to our precious rainbow daughter Lucy on 4 July 2006.
“Feeling broody once again we had another son Max on 10 January 2011 – an easy conception, pregnancy and birth. We were elated.
“3 years later, my husband became broody after our new nephew was born! I was now 37 and a little apprehensive as I knew a lot more about miscarriage and birth defects with older ladies. Well, within 4 cycles I caved, and we were indeed pregnant.
“All was perfect at our early scan and our 12-week scan. At 16 weeks, the flutters began (a great reassurance) and we hired a Doppler. At 19 weeks, I noticed baby’s heart rate seemed slower and more difficult to find. I contacted my health visitor who couldn’t see me.
“I tried various clinics and got an appt. The woman who saw me thought she heard a heartbeat and sent me away saying I would be fine! I couldn’t relax and saw another health visitor whose Doppler broke. She finally sent me for a scan.
“Sadly our little boy at 19+4 weeks had passed away. We were devastated beyond words. Life was a blur, and later I was sent home with a tablet to soften my uterus.
“The hospital booked me in to the bereavement birthing suite. I was kept in for 2 days and Oliver was born sleeping, tiny but perfect on 21 November 2014.
“Our world fell apart but my husband and I are a very strong partnership and chose to not give up! We had a very small private funeral in January 2015.
“We fell pregnant again 3 months later and I had a chemical pregnancy at 4 weeks 4 days pregnant a natural loss, we coped better this time. Again 3 months later, another chemical pregnancy at 5 weeks pregnant, another natural loss.
“We picked ourselves back up and carried on. In December 2015, once again we were pregnant found out on Boxing Day! We sailed through until 12 weeks but again no heartbeat so another D&C for me.
“I decided to seek advice from my GP whom sent me to a fertility specialist. After many blood tests and a lap & dye test I was told my remaining Fallopian tube was damaged and was unlikely to conceive – a very sad day. My specialist put me on a drug called Tamoxifen.
“A year went by of stressful ovulation tests, temperature recording and negative pregnancy tests. I kept seeing my fertility specialist every 3 months. We stayed on the Tamoxifen for another 10 months when I decided enough was enough.
“Hope was dwindling and to be honest we thought, ‘What’s the point now?’ I’m 41 soon, which in itself will probably cause more problems!
“Well,cycle 2, off of all drugs and exactly 2 years from my last D&C ( which we believe is what caused the damage to my fallopian tube) I was 3 days late for my period.
“My husband had been away over my fertile period and we’d written off falling pregnant. I took a pregnancy test and was very shocked to see a very obvious positive test.
“In shock, I texted my husband, shaking from head to foot! A Clear Blue digital the next day confirmed our 2-3 weeks. Happiness turned very quickly to dread as the spotting began.
“2 weeks of spotting continued, until it suddenly stopped. I braved HCG bloods at around 9 very stressful weeks. The numbers that came back were very high, and a little positivity sneaked in! I allowed myself to book in at 10 weeks and an early scan given which I’d previously refused through fear.
“I cried as our little bundle appeared with a fantastic heart beat wriggling away on the screen. We had our 12-week scan and everything was perfect… there have been risks, challenges, since then – but I’m now 24 weeks along and things are starting to feel real.
“With the support now of our family, and my fantastic MadeForMums forum friends, we are buying little things and hoping to meet our Rainbow daughter around 15 December 2018.
“After a very long and stressful journey, we never gave up on our dreams.”
? @authorlindsaygibson – ‘My rainbow girl was born on my lost son’s due date’
For US author Lindsay, the birth of her rainbow was made more miraculous by the fact that her new arrival, Layla, was born on her son’s due date.
Lindsay and her husband lost their little boy, Joseph, at 26 weeks.
“They handed her to my husband first, as we were in the OR, and I had just delivered our first rainbow baby girl, Layla via C-section.
“They would not let my arms be free yet. I was frozen. I heard her crying and knew she was perfectly healthy and alive but inside – I was feeling a mixture of relief, numbness and intense grief.
“I looked over at my husband who was crying and smiling with such joy over our new baby as he looked down at her, kissing her face and softly talking to her. Seeing his face only made me smile too. I felt hot tears sting my eyes too, but I wasn’t sure what they meant.
“It was 25 March 2015 and it was my son Joseph’s due date – the son I birthed and said goodbye to only a year prior. We lost him at 26 weeks’ gestation.
“Instant guilt took over me. How could I be feeling grief? I tried hard to shake it off and after they were done stitching me – they transferred me to another bed to be wheeled out and I reached for my girl. Jason pulled my gown down a bit and placed her naked and squirming body on my bare chest.
“I felt Layla relax against me, feeling safe and secure. She instantly started to bob for my breast and when she found it, latched right on.
“The tears from before began to spill down my cheek as I inhaled her incredible aroma. I felt a pull in my heart as love and grief began to dance side by side in this moment.
“There are no right words to describe that day – as I felt like two people switching in and out. There were moments I longed for Joseph and moments that I only focused on Layla.
“I thought at the time that I needed to fight it in order to keep my focus only on Layla who needed all. However, it only brought on more guilt and stronger sadness – along with intense frustration.
“Grief wasn’t the enemy, I was. I was fighting such an internal battle, but I didn’t need to. My son is gone, and Layla is here.
“While I wanted nothing more than to have Joseph here with us too, reality was that was not going to happen. I thought by pushing away my grief after Layla came, that it would be the best way to respond to the reality of him being gone.
“I didn’t understand how to feel love and grief all at once, but what I have come to learn is that grief is just an expression of love that has nowhere to go. Love is grief and they can co-exist.
“Once I really began to grasp this, I invited my grief in and my love for Layla continued to grow as we were finally able to bond deeper and be happy.
“I will always love my son and talking about him, grieving for him, helping other mums to heal and letting myself just be amongst it all – is how I am able to mother him.
“It is where my grief and joy can continue that dance together as I heal more and more.”
? Carly – ‘Life with my rainbows has been hard, but I still feel lucky’
Some of these stories are pretty incredible, miraculous even – but we know that, even when you’re searching for hope, sometimes we feel the need to manage our expectations a bit.
Even if you do have your precious rainbow baby, it can be difficult to move on from the trauma of miscarriage – as mum-of-2 Carly’s not-so-rosy story goes to show.
Fortunately, her honest experience shows that you can also overcome those struggles, too, and still find joy after loss ?
“My husband and I decided to start trying for a baby the summer of 2014. The first month, I got my period. Whilst I was disappointed, I was also happy as this was a good sign that everything was in good working order.
“I never really considered miscarriage being a problem for us, more that I wouldn’t be able to conceive due to being on the pill for years.”
After experiencing what’s known as a chemical pregnancy, Carly then found she was expecting again – with a stronger, positive line on a pregnancy test.
“I thought to myself, ‘this is more likely to be a sticky bean’. The next day however, I started to bleed despite still having strong positive tests. Over time, they faded. I remember passing a big clot and it seemed more real this time. I began to worry something was wrong.
“I decided then to relax a little. 2 months later I was pregnant again with no spotting. I had horrific sickness and the pregnancy seemed to be going well.
“However a couple of days before my 12-week scan I had the tiniest spot of brown discharge. The panic set in and I was Googling, however until I had a scan nothing was certain.
“The spotting got heavier so I didn’t hold out much hope. We went to the scan and was told that the baby had no heartbeat and had died around the 8-week mark. I considered my options and chose a medical miscarriage.
“It was a long day. They inserted tablets inside me in the morning. And it wasn’t until 8pm that night I passed a greyish blob which I presume was the baby and big clots after.
“I felt physically well soon after, but emotionally I was tired and drained. We decided to take a break from TTC.
“Following a 3-month break, we tried again. Lucky for us, the first month we became pregnant. I had 2 weekly scans. All seemed well until I had a bleed at 10 weeks.
“I had a scan and all appeared fine, but I went along to the 12 week scan to be told the baby’s heart had stopped beating around the 12-week mark.
“This was a big kick in the teeth and my husband took it much harder. Again, we went through the medical management which took over 24 hours. They gave me a remembrance box which had little sentiments in.
“A few days after, I became unwell and realised I had retained tissue. Therefore I had to go for a minor op. I had never felt so alone that night when my husband and Mum left. I had never stayed overnight alone in hospital and never had an operation.
“At this point, our marriage was rocky. We began sleeping in separate rooms. We were resentful and blamed one another. People were having babies and I found myself avoiding certain friends. Social media was horrible, it seemed everyone was happy in their lives or having babies and I was stuck in a heavy fog.
“We decided to book a holiday to see if we could get back on track. It was great to get away. I came back and on the plane felt really sick – the smells were turning my stomach. I had a feeling I was pregnant again.
“I did a test as soon as I got through the door and it was positive. This time I took progesterone, fragmin and aspirin, prescribed by my consultant.
“I was a nervous wreck during this pregnancy. Constantly on my Doppler – even in the middle of the night when I woke up if I hadn’t felt baby move. I was convinced my baby was going to die.
“I felt I didn’t bond with my baby during pregnancy. Despite this, I had a straight forward pregnancy and labour. But for a few months I couldn’t move these feelings.
“I felt she shouldn’t be here and that I should have a different baby. She cried a lot and had reflux. A friend noticed this and started getting me out to groups and my mood improved and so did our bond.
“It was 6 months after her birth I felt really unwell again. I felt pregnant. I did a test and it was positive. I cried. I didn’t know if I wanted another baby. I contemplated an abortion but didn’t think I could go through with it. I felt relieved when at my scan they said there was only one baby.
“Again, I had a good pregnancy until the end where I had pre-eclampsia and was induced. Despite that I gave birth to healthy baby boy. I was emotional during this birth and confided in my midwife about my previous experience post-birth. She was really supportive.
“However, I felt I had a better bond with my son from birth and he seemed a much happier baby. I enjoyed those first few months much more than when my daughter was born. I feel horrible for saying it but on reflection, I definitely had some kind of depression following her birth.
“Life with 2 babies under 2 has been hard. It isn’t what I wanted and felt guilty for ages. Thanks to the support of my family, friends and forums, it has been really enjoyable.
“She is 23 months and he is 8 months. It has only been the past few months that I have felt happy and felt I had moved on from what happened.
“This is the same with my marriage. There were many times I really thought it was the end. We waited so long for children and the stress of it all nearly ended us. We’ve got through it.
“Life is manic but I wouldn’t change it. I have good bonds with both my children and my love grows for them every day. They really are my rainbow babies and I’m the luckiest lady alive!”
Top image: Getty Images / Others: c/o of our mums