Today (22nd August) is National Rainbow Day, which follows on from Baby Loss Awareness Week and Day of Hope.
When I was pregnant with Ellie I didnt like the term rainbow baby, I didnt like the idea of Jasons life/death being thought of as “the storm” however the term is widely known in the baby loss community and becoming more known in the public eye too so it is easier to call her our Rainbow instead of explaining our story repeatedly.
A rainbow baby doesn’t take away the pain from the loss of a child. I have said before that I have grieved harder for Jason since Ellie was born I carry more guilt because she is alive and he isn’t but in other ways it does ease the pain. My arms are no longer empty, my heart is fuller than ever and my smile isnt always fake. She has given me a new reason to live when all I wanted was to die.
So today I wanted to celebrate her. I live to make my children proud and I want Ellie to grow up knowing everything I do is for her. My worry is that she will grow up feeling like she is second best or having to compete with Jason for my attention however I also want her to grow up being able to talk about her big brother and know about him, I need him to be included just as much as I need Ellie to know she is our reason for living.
For me, Ellie has made me feel like I can be happy again, she makes me smile and feel more love than I could have possibly thought I could give. Since Ellie arrived I have been able to listen to music without crying, I can focus on the lyrics and find some happiness within the sad. I don’t drive to work with the tears flowly freely, in fact I dont cry as much as I used to at all. I want to go out and make memories but I still find celebrations and family meals etc hard. I am still reminded every day of the things we are missing out on but it is easier to handle now I have someone who gives me cuddles when I am sad.
When Jason died I thought that was my only chance of hearing anyone call me mum and it was gone; hearing Ellie call for her Mama is something I will never tire of no matter what time it is.
She reminds me of how much I love her Daddy and how much our family means to me; sometimes in the crazy life of parenting it is easy to forget about the love you had before children but when I see how much he makes Ellie laugh and how big his smile is when he is with her it makes me feel like I am 15 again and in this early stages of love.
Ellie has filled my life with happiness, love and so much laughter that I never thought I would ever feel again. I will always be so grateful for my rainbow baby, for her beauty, for having her brothers nose, for reminding me how lucky I am to have held them both and loved them both as long as the stars shine in the night.
I am also always reminded of those who don’t have their rainbow and my heart hurts for them so much. Our babies are our lives and for a grieving parent the longing to have their baby is intensified. Please know I share your pain and wish I could take it away and bring your beautiful babies back to you. I wish none of us knew this pain and I hope you are able to feel true happiness once more.