When I was pregnant with a rainbow baby after experiencing miscarriages I had a hard time believing I would ever have a real live baby. This is the poem I wrote for my rainbow baby after she was born.
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We have one child, our toddler. But our daughter wasn’t our first. She is our rainbow baby. There were two others. Miscarried. It took a while before even all our friends would know this. It’s not that I wanted to deny their existence but it was too crushing. I shut down and literally didn’t have words to speak. So I did what I always do when things feel unbearable. I wrote. Sometimes in a journal, sometimes poetry. Often poetry.
I wrote through my pregnancy. I read book after book about pregnancy after loss. I cried. I hoped. I prayed. And I am someone who wavers on faith. But I prayed.
We are coming up to the anniversary of what would have been our first baby’s birthday. Our baby would be turning seven years old. I can’t even fathom our rainbow baby/now toddler having a seven year old sibling.
When my rainbow baby was born, one of my first thoughts in the hospital was that I couldn’t believe we got to keep her. Even when we brought her home, in the throes of sleepless nights and breastfeeding struggles, I felt so utterly grateful. And still partly in disbelief that she was ours.
One day in those early weeks of colic and cuddles, a poem tumbled out of me. This is it.
Five Year Sandcastle (poem for a rainbow baby)
© Suchot Sunday
While we were waiting
I felt as helpless
As that day by the lake
When I was ten
The sound of rollerblades
Along a boardwalk
Immobile in sand
My tiny eyes fixed
On the seagull
With a banana peel
Halfway down its throat, choking
When you were born
The record that had been skipping
Found its thread
Squirrels suddenly remembered
Where they buried their cache
And could once again
Add some weight
To their lean bones.
If you are pregnant again with your rainbow baby and struggling with anxiety after losing a pregnancy, this post on pregnancy meditations can help.
If you need more support during this time, please check out Living With Vulnerability, an online course taught by the wise and gentle Pema Chödrön.
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