Friday, March 21, 2014
On Rainbow Babies
***Warning I need to vent and when I vent I tend to get feisty.
For those of you who don't know rainbow baby is a term for a baby after loss. The idea is that a rainbow doesn't negate the storm but is something that is beautiful after it.
I am just going to be frank here. I hate the term. It's stupid. It's similar to when people say it happened for a reason.
Newsflash: EVERYTHING happens for a reason and saying my daughter's death did not only makes not feel better it often makes me feel worse.
I digress. Back to the topic at hand. Or maybe I was talking about the topic at hand. Here is the thing, a lot of people mean well. They want to make sense of it. We think if something so senseless makes sense then somehow the logic will help us grieve, but in reality the exact opposite happens. We coin silly little phases to oversimplify something horrible and tragic. We do it over and over with lots of different little phrases. I made of list of ones that really bothered me last year in this post: Words/Phrases that Drive Me Nuts.
Rainbow baby made the list then and it is coming back up again. Here is why...
Like I said in the previous post Claudette was my rainbow baby, so maybe I am just mistrusting of the promise that term gives. Perhaps, bigger than that is what rainbow assumes. Rainbows happen after storms, therefore; it is assuming having a living baby is a part of the process of having a deceased one. As if you have to have at least one living baby to be a mom.
Any mom who has lost knows what I am talking about because inevitably they have got the question, "Do you have other kids?"
Whew! You have two other living kids. Oh good. At least you have other kids.
Oh, no! You don't have any living children. Are you trying for your rainbow?
These are the types of questions and comments we get from others and thoughts sometimes we give to ourselves as baby loss mommas.
Yes technically we are trying for another baby via adoption. But this baby is not a rainbow baby. It doesn't negate any storm. It doesn't even have to do with any other storm. Yes, it could be argued that without the loss of twins, Claudie would not have been and without the loss of Claudie a future child might not be. This is true one some degree. But that is silly to make the inference that directly. It's like saying without my first born my second born would not exist. Yeah, it's call birth order! It's a simple as that. Yes, some go on to try for more babies than they would have normally because they have lost their babies and yes after loss a lot of mom's have the strong hormonal pushes to try for another. But babies don't cancel each other out based on their lifespan.
I know I might be offending some, but I think it devalues a child that dies to call the next child a rainbow baby. Just as my mom will always be my only mom. I don't need a rainbow mom since she died, my daughter wasn't a storm and I don't need some colorful rainbow to come bring something positive out of the negative. See as sad as I am Claudette is gone, her presence as short as it was, was enough.