Rainbow Pregnancy - 10 Things to Do When Pregnant with Baby

Rainbow Pregnancy - 10 Things to Do When Pregnant with Baby

My rainbow baby is about to turn two years old. I still look at him and remember the angel that I lost, but am so thankful for the rainbow I was given. Looking back over that year is emotional, to say the least. Experiencing a loss can tear at your heart, make you question so many things, and terrify you throughout a rainbow pregnancy. It’s easier said than done: To relax and enjoy your rainbow pregnancy. I completely understand.  This struggle becomes harder if you have experienced more than one loss. What makes it even harder? The fact that no one seems to talk about it. It’s time to talk.  It’s time to talk loss and rainbows.  Talking will free our emotions and allow us to enjoy our rainbow babies who grow healthy and strong within us.

What is a Rainbow Pregnancy?

A pregnancy that occurs after the loss of a fetus or baby is called a “Rainbow Pregnancy.”  This pregnancy signifies that there is beauty after a storm. Being pregnant with a rainbow baby is nerve-racking.  It will have you checking the toilet paper every time you wipe for signs of blood.  It will make you question every day that you feel “normal.”  It will have you wondering just when then pregnancy will be taken from you.  Trust me.  I have spent over 30 weeks feeling all of these emotions.  I am not sure if the feelings will ever go away, or if, once labor begins – this baby will seem real. I am writing to not only share that I am here for you, with you on this journey, but to help myself (and you) realize just how blessed we are to be carrying new life.  Even if this miracle growing does not make it earthside, we have been honored to know him for however brief of a time.

10 Things to Do While Pregnant with Your Rainbow Baby

Share Your Story Don’t hide that you have experienced loss.  One in three pregnancies ends in miscarriage, but very few women share their stories.  Talking about your loss will help you emotionally process it, allowing more happy feelings to flood you throughout a rainbow pregnancy. Say your lost angel’s name.  If you did not name her, did not know her gender, and only had a short time knowing she existed, that it okay.  She is still an angel.  She touched your life in a way that so many will not understand.  Do not feel guilty or ashamed to share a story of loss, no matter what stage of pregnancy (or infancy) the loss occurred. Educating others will help them know how to reach out to other mothers who have lost.  Sharing your past, and celebrating your present is #1 on the list of to-do’s while pregnant with a rainbow baby. Journal/Document The feelings are real.  They will rollercoaster throughout an entire rainbow pregnancy.  You will have days of joy and days of panic.  Not only is this okay, but it is normal.  How you process these feelings is what matters most.  Take the time to create a journal or other way to document this pregnancy.  If you are not a writer, then take pictures.  Seeing the pregnancy, making it tangible through words and photos will help you emotionally and mentally realize that there is a baby to get excited about.

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Destress Studies, research, and common sense all shows just how harmful stress is to the body as a whole, let alone during pregnancy.  While there is no way you will completely be stress free, you can try to manage your stress.  Consider exercise, yoga, meditation, reading, napping, breathing exercises, and eliminating any external stress that you can. For more information on how important it is to destress while pregnant: Read this.   Celebrate Life Hold a Blessingway or Baby Shower for this baby.  Celebrate your body and how it is able to create life.  As you know, it can be taken so unexpectedly.  We never know how much time we are granted, so to celebrate is vital. Record Baby’s Heart Beat One thing that I did this pregnancy was to record “Rainbow Baby’s” heart beat into a Heart Beat Animal.  I am so happy that we decided to do this.  Not only is it an adorable addition to a nursery, but we have something real to keep as a memory of this little one.  

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Connect with Baby I have found it very difficult to bond with this baby after my loss.  A few things we have done to help:
  • Found out the gender (We have never done that before)
  • Named him (But are keeping it secret until birth)
  • Purchased a few new items that are not hand-me-downs (third boy in a row is destine for these)
  • Talk to baby
  • Count his kicks: this makes it feel “real” to me
Allow the Journey to be Emotional Do not dismiss your emotions.  I cried a lot throughout the first trimester of this pregnancy.  Hearing a heartbeat literally had me crying for joy (loudly) without a care of who heard me; crying tears of sadness when gender disappointment hit hard, and then the feelings of guilt that followed.  A journey of a rainbow baby is not comparable to a typical pregnancy, neither are your emotions throughout it. Dream of the Future Give yourself the freedom to dream about this baby.  Picture the tea parties, soccer games, and family life ahead.  Let your heart fill with excitement for all the joy that can come. Name Your Baby Whether you know the gender or not, choose names.  At least choose a short list.  If this baby is not meant to join you earthside, having a name for him will help you process another loss. A name will also strengthen your bond to baby while still growing. Love Your Birth Team This is very important.  A great birth team is vital for all pregnancies, but after experiencing a loss, you want to feel confident that your midwife or doctor will support you.  You need to be able to call and show up at a moment’s notice if you are struggling with fears or need to hear a heartbeat.  You should never feel dismissed or belittle for your feelings and needs.  Please, take the time to find a birth team who helps you feel comfort with your rainbow pregnancy.

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No matter how you choose to spend your time cherishing this life, make sure that you do not take it for granted.  Love this blessing just as you have loved the previous blessing(s) – if not, love them more.  Allow your heart to grow and know a new love.
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