In the story of Noah’s Ark, God flooded the earth but spared the life of Noah and his family. He put them on an ark for more than a year while he was flooding the earth and getting rid of everything unclean. After the flooding was over he made a promise to them that he would never destroy the earth in that way again. He presented them with a rainbow in the sky and said that whenever they saw the rainbow they should remember his promise. Many people have used this as an inspiration and felt motivated when seeing a rainbow in the sky after a storm. Rainbows are beautiful, filled with color and with all the fuss that people make over them, they are actually very silent when they appear. I love the idea of this and LOVE seeing rainbows in the sky but recently i encountered a rainbow that was actually pretty frightening...
When a woman loses a child during pregnancy its a tough thing. The pain and hurt that she feels sticks with her for a lifetime. When she is ready to have another child and when that child is born they are referred to as the woman’s “Rainbow Baby”. The baby that was born after the storm, the promise that things will get better. I always relate this to Noah and the rainbow after his stormy season. When my son Simeon was Stillborn without a heartbeat I felt like God had ended the world as I knew it. As I started to process and come to terms with my journey I learned that he had to do it that way to purify me and rid my life of some unclean things and my heart of some unclean ways. So when i thought about his promise I knew that my rainbow would one day come. Until then, I loved seeing other women have their “Rainbow babies” and I always thought this was a sweet term….but then it got closer to home. Whenever I had to think about myself and having my own “Rainbow Baby” and I thought about the idea of becoming a mother again it was actually pretty terrifying in real life.
I have always had the desire to have a living baby, but this summer when I was sitting in the doctor’s office being told that it was happening, I struggled to breathe. When other mother’s may have screamed for joy, I cried from fear. Instead of going home and telling my loved ones I just went to bed. When it was time for the ultrasound I couldn’t look until they showed me the heartbeat. When my friends finally found out and were gushing over baby shower ideas and gender wishes, I tried not to puke. Instead of being grateful for the person who helped bring this blessing into my life, I wasn’t sure if I want to hug him or punch him in the face. I mean let’s be real. Rainbows are beautiful but if you woke up with a real one in your bedroom, you’d be calling for the help of Jesus.
Instead of hiding under the covers I had to find ways to push myself through and keep myself sane. I tapped into every resource I had and every method I teach about in my healing curriculums and created a plan for myself. I had to remember that even though my loss was years ago, healing is ongoing and healing methods are still necessary. So i’ll share my list with you in case one day you meet a mama that finds out she is afraid of Rainbows.
How to Await a Rainbow:
Breathe: I have to constantly remember to breathe. I sometimes find myself anxious about almost everything and i’m literally holding my breath.
Journal: When the thoughts in my head start to swirl around and overwhelm me, I journal to get it all out and onto paper where it’s easier to process
Find your person: Normally my person is one or two close friends that I can vent to without holding anything back. Sometimes it’s a therapist who will have an unbiased conversation with you about what you are feeling and how you are reacting.
Write the Vision: Anxiety and fear causes us to not want to think about anything baby related until the baby gets here. Peace will allow you to write down your plan for your baby; What will they look like? What will you do? Where will you go? A daily schedule! Write the vision and prepare for it!
Affirm the Positive: Yes, after such a tragic loss we know all the negative possibilities. Remind yourself of the positive outcomes that can happen and affirm that they will happen!
Practice Gratitude & Joy: Decide that no matter what the future may hold, as for today you are grateful to carry this baby and you will carry out the day in joy to prove it! Watch how bright your days will be.
Be Selfish: Do what you want and need. Take small breaks from people and life, pamper yourself, be transparent no matter how awkward it may make someone feel. Only you know the pain you feel, don't ignore it, just push yourself through it.
Be Still & OK: Be ok with where you are in your journey. Be ok with no wanting that baby shower or not being able to say that you are excited. Be ok with the tears that still may fall, don't bottle anything up but in that remember to Be Still. Trust God in all you do and know that he has a plan far beyond your control. When you feel overwhelmed, its probably because you are doing too much, sit back, relax and let him do his job.
The struggle to embrace the idea of having my own rainbow is still scary but I have to remember that no matter how I feel, it is God’s promise that matters. His promise that he would never alter my world in that way again! The promise that he will do what he says, even if it takes 7 years. So today I choose gratitude and joy as my default emotions, even when I find myself wanting to feel fear, anxiety and uncertainty instead. I’m truly thankful for this amazing blessing but have to admit that every day I wake up wondering what emotion will come out of me. This isn't a story about how I have it all together, its a call to action, to ask you to join me in positivity and light as I remember my Simeon and prepare for my Rainbow.
This post was written In honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and all the mommy's who have lost a child and struggle between the happiness of carrying another and the guilt and fear of moving on.