I’d never heard of the term rainbow baby until we lost Jack. It’s a lovely way to describe babies born after loss – calm after a storm, dawn after night. But there was definitely a darker side to my rainbow
I wasn’t prepared for the guilt I’d feel about getting pregnant again after the loss of one of our beautiful twin boys, Jack, was born sleeping.
The twins were IVF babies so finding out I was expecting Louie was one of the most wonderful days of my life. Hard to believe but there he was, a tiny little blue line on a Christmas Eve pregnancy test. Thanks Santa.
Louie, our little whirlwind of love and chaos, was about to land in our open arms and broken hearts when we and George needed him the most but the guilt over feeling happy dominated my pregnancy.
It was a strange hodgepodge of emotional ingredients. A big, complicated soul-searching recipe: dollops of grief and guilt, a big sprinkle of worry and a generous helping of fear
Would Jack feel abandoned, forgotten, unloved?
Part of me wished Louie was a little girl. Would everyone think of him as Jack’s replacement? A baby boy, so close in age to George that we still get asked if they are the twins we were once expecting
But as I sat in the hospital bed waiting for my c-section and to finally meet Louie, my consultant put his hand on my shoulder: “Let’s make some happy memories Victoria.”
And that was it. It was as though he’d given me permission to feel at peace about creating this perfect little boy who was making my tummy bigger but my heart conflicted.
The second I held Louie, the guilt subsided because I knew Jack would have loved him. Instantly. Unconditionally. Deeply.
And so with our beautiful rainbow baby came a little pot of gold – a little pot of peace. A sigh of relief that it was okay to be okay again.
Louie didn’t negate the damage caused by the storm but he brought the light and perhaps a sign from the other side of the rainbow, perhaps a sign from Jack that we should start to open our eyes, look up at the sky, let ourselves enjoy the colours and feel the sunshine on our faces again.