Text after text flooded my inbox, and it wasn’t until I was just about to go to sleep for the night, I realized it wasn’t coincidental.
The question was: “I was wondering how you are, with life with your rainbow?”
When she said rainbow, she was talking about my baby, my rainbow baby.
If you were to google “what is a rainbow baby?” the response you would get is this:
My friend’s question caught me off guard, because I don’t know if anyone has ever asked me that before, at least not as point blank as she did. I’ve thought of what it’s like plenty of times. There’s a good chance that I’ve thought more about what this feels like to me, more than I have thought about anything else these last 7 months. However, I don’t think I’ve ever tried to put it into words. I don’t think I’ve ever tried to explain it, not even to myself. I know exactly what it feels like, I’ve felt it a thousand times. It’s one silent tear after another, falling in the middle of the night, but I’ve never tried to articulate it. Some of those things just can’t be put into words.
My response to her was simple, but also very heavy: “It’s still hard, it always will be I think. You look at your rainbow and you are so thankful, but you know they are only here because their sibling essentially gave up their life for them, if that makes sense. The hard days feel guilty, because how could you ever be tired, or overwhelmed or touched out, when all you ever wanted was this rainbow baby? Sometimes I feel like I can’t speak up when it’s a hard day because how could I ever complain? I should just count my blessings. But the truth is, hard days are still blessed hard days sometimes. Here’s the thing about rainbows…sometimes they appear while it’s still raining.”
I didn’t realize how profound my own words would be until I sat down to write this blog.
“Here’s the thing about rainbows…sometimes they appear while it’s still raining.”
What was it like for Noah, every time that it rained? Was he sad when it rained? Did it remind him of the flood? What about every time he saw another rainbow?
Was Noah afraid that God wouldn’t actually keep his promise?
What do you think of when you see your rainbow?
Sometimes my rainbow reminds me that the joy that is her life, comes because of the deepest flood of sorrow, that has ever washed over me. Grief rained down so hard, there were times I felt like I was drowning. I didn’t have the strength to tread the water any longer. The grief swept me away. The storm of my miscarriage, and the flood of pain that followed changed me, and my world will never look the same because of it. It’s a hard thing being a “rainbow momma.” For me, being a rainbow momma means learning how to navigate being full of immeasurable joy, and debilitating sorrow, all at the same time. Sometimes the rainbow appears, while it’s still raining.
For me, being a rainbow momma comes with a lot of guilt. Sometimes I feel guilty for the times when I am happy, and enjoying life with my rainbow baby. I find myself thinking “how can you be so happy when a part of you literally died?” Yet at the same time I feel guilty for the times I miss the baby I never met, because I should be grateful for the living children I do have. I feel guilty for the days when I’m sleep deprived and burnt out. I begged the Lord for this rainbow baby, and gave up a life in exchange for these sleepless nights. How could I ever complain about being tired? Which would I rather have, a good nights sleep, or a restless baby to rock all night?
When I look at my rainbow baby, I see joy I would never have, if it weren’t for her, but she doesn’t replace the baby we lost. She is our hope, our promise, and our light when skies are gray. She is our rainbow that appeared, while it’s still raining.
Maybe your rainbow isn’t a baby. Maybe your rainbow is the fuzzy hair growing at the top of your head, as you recover from your battle from cancer. Maybe it’s finally needing to shave your legs for the first time in months (or even years) because the chemo isn’t stealing your hair anymore. Maybe your rainbow is falling in love again after being widowed, or divorced or left alone and lonely. Maybe your rainbow is the coin you received acknowledging your sobriety, or the name signed at the bottom of an adoption form. Maybe your rainbow reminds you of the flood sometimes too. That’s ok, as long as it reminds you of Gods faithfulness and promises too.
Here’s the thing about rainbows…sometimes they appear while it’s still raining.
In His Love,