Throughout October I have been raising awareness of Pregnancy and Baby Loss Awareness month wherever possible, and I have been grateful, and truly saddened, that so many others have shared their own stories of loss in the hope that together we can make a difference. Now, with the month drawing to a close, I think that it’s important to also share stories of hope and to tell you that although the loss of my babies was devastating, and although we felt that at the time our whole world had ended, it hadn’t.
Sitting here as a Mummy of five, we have weathered the storm, and the aftermath it left behind, and we have emerged the other side with four beautiful rainbows who make me so proud, and so happy, every single day. Some of you may be familiar with the term, ‘Rainbow baby’, but for those who are not,
“It is understood that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of any storm. When a rainbow appears it does not mean that the storm never happened or that we are not still dealing with its aftermath. I means that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of so much darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of colour, energy and hope.”
And I think it’s important to stress that this doesn’t mean that our baby was a storm. Every single one of my pregnancies was wanted, and precious, and utterly wonderful in its own way, but the days that followed our losses were the darkest of storms, absolutely. Saying goodbye to Joseph was a storm that I genuinely didn’t think we would survive, and with every baby we subsequently lost, our hope of a rainbow seemed even further from our reach.
Rainbows became very important to my family and friends after losing Joseph. Whenever we saw a rainbow we would tell Lewis, then just two years old, that it was a hello from Joseph, something that brought us all a huge comfort over the years. There were days when I really struggled, during the divorce that followed and the personal battles I faced, and on those days especially I would look up into the sky, desperate for a sign, the encouragement to keep going, a small reminder that there was still so much of life to look forward to.
And, as with all storms, a break will come, the rain will ease, the sun will shine again and one day, one miraculous day, a rainbow will appear.
We are very fortunate that, amongst so much sadness, we have experienced so much joy. To be blessed with one beautiful rainbow was more than I could ever have hoped for, but to hold four precious rainbows in my arms is something that I have never taken forgranted, and there are days when I still have to pinch myself to believe that they are really mine to keep.
For all of these reasons, rainbows will always be a huge part of our family, a much needed ‘hello’ from Joseph, a symbol of hope, a reflection of happiness, a gentle reminder that life goes on.
We have so much lined up for Rainbow week – reviews, baking, arts and crafts, a brave story of hope and three amazing giveaways. I hope that you will join me, somewhere over the rainbow.