Advanced search

Feel weird about using the term rainbow baby

(198 Posts)
crumble9 Wed 13-Jun-18 21:49:23

Just as the title says I guess, my DD is a rainbow baby, but I find it hard to say for two reasons

It makes me sad to think she could always going to be associated with that loss. She's only 5 months but IMO frigging awesome. I want her to be special because she is special in her self.

Secondly, while what we went through was so tough for us (ovary removal, miscarriage and ectopic scare) I almost feel like there are people that go through so much more heart ache. And that me using the term undermines what they're experiencing/experienced.

But on the other hand, I don't want to airbrush out our miscarriage. It's a part of our journey, I would feel guilty not to remember.

Would you use the term? I obviously don't go round telling people, but trying for another DC often comes up at baby groups and I feel I have to explain as to why I'm nervous of trying again - when I explain they then call her a rainbow baby.

I'm going on a big holiday with the family soon, and they don't know about the miscarriage, I want to tell them but don't know how to tell them without affecting the way they see DD or feel sorry for us..

Or am I completely over thinking things confused

JessieMcJessie Wed 13-Jun-18 21:52:38

This may sound harsh but I think it’s a twee term. I fully understand how special such a child is but don’t think there’s any need to label it like that. If you don’t like it don’t use it and just don’t repeat the term when others do. My brother was born after my Mum had a premature baby who passed away. Nobody ever felt the need to call him a rainbow baby but the other baby was always acknowledged in our family. Sorry for your loss and congrats on your Dd.

2cats2many Wed 13-Jun-18 21:53:04

I can't say that I've ever heard of the term, but I wanted to say that I'm very sorry for your loss.

Disabrie22 Wed 13-Jun-18 21:53:04

I think you can use whatever terms help you with your loss - don’t worry about it - I have many friends with Rainbow babies as they call them and have never judged - just supported. I’m so sorry for your loss and glad you have your rainbow baby to enjoy xxxxx

SeriousSimon Wed 13-Jun-18 21:56:34

I personally don't like the term and wouldn't use it. The reason is that it lumps in miscarriage with both stillbirth and infant death which I find pretty horrifying.

nottinghillgrey Wed 13-Jun-18 21:58:16

Do people actually introduce their children as 'rainbow' baby?

I know online they will say they are my rainbow baby, but surely that doesn't carry over into RL? Wouldn't you just be like oh meet X when you introduce a baby?

bluemascara Wed 13-Jun-18 21:59:25

I don't like it at all, but I'm not sure why. I also don't like references like 'mom to an angel baby'
I can't explain why but I just can't identify with it.
I've got 2 living children and I've had an ectopic, which had to be removed via surgery. If I have any more babies I certainly won't call them my rainbow. They will be my little baby who I will love as much as the rest.
The wee one I lost is a little angel in my heart. I guess the difference is putting it on social media?? I really don't know!
It's strange. I wonder if it's a term which has evolved with the increased use of social media

ZibbidooZibbidooZibbidoo Wed 13-Jun-18 22:01:01

I hate the term but would never say that to someone who used it.

You don’t have to use it OP. It was something that was made up, your DD is only a “rainbow” baby if you buy into that idea and want to think of her as one. Alternatively you can just think of her as your daughter, born after a lot of struggle and loss x

zeeboo Wed 13-Jun-18 22:02:57

I use the term as my dd2 literally brightened the sky of our family after three losses. But I don't go around saying it or telling people. I've told her that God saved her up and sent her to us as she was so awesome and we needed an awesome kid because we were sad but other than that, it's only ever something I've mentioned on FB when posts about babies after loss come around.

crumble9 Wed 13-Jun-18 22:03:06

I think that's what I don't like about the term, lumping everything together.
We had a tough time but I can't even compare what we went through with the heart brake of still births and other losses

I've never introduced her as that, but often meeting new mums stuff like the pregnancy journey comes up, and they automatically used the term.
I can't bring my self to say it all went without a hitch, I feel like I'm being dishonest to myself.

I think social media has increased its use, I've only heard it in the last few years

ReggaetonLente Wed 13-Jun-18 22:03:52

Mothercare were doing bodysuits with ‘rainbow baby’ so I do think it’s definitely not just an online thing.

MMmomDD Wed 13-Jun-18 22:06:58

OP - sorry about your loss and all you had to go through.

I do think you are overthinking a bit.
First - the more your DD grows up - and the less time you spend in baby groups where walk of babies/conception/birth is a big focus of conversations - the less often this would come up.
And the miscarriage memories will stay with you - but will not be as prominent - as your DD’s will be growing up and developing, and making friends, and starting school, etc.

As to your family - it’s up to you, really. Share with them, if you feel like you want to. They won’t see DD as any different because of that. Babies have this way - they make family coo and be happy and focused on them....

Your DD won’t always be the rainbow baby....
My bear friend’s DD is now 12. She was that - although we never used the term.
Now - years later - of course the memory of miscarriage sometimes makes her sad, but at the same time - she can’t imagine her life being anything else than it is.
She has the daughter she was meant to have.

DollyDayScream Wed 13-Jun-18 22:07:33

I'm not the parent of such of such a child, so perhaps I'm not best to say.

However, IMO I would personally dislike to be defined as a surviving sibling. No one asks to be born and to be constantly reminded that you are the precious survivor, might be an unwelcome burden?

But, I am not a such a child or such a parent, so I don't really know how that experience affects you.

OkMaybeNot Wed 13-Jun-18 22:08:36

I don't use it.

As far as I remember, it was coined as a term for babies born after a stillbirth (please, someone correct me if I'm wrong) but has since been used as a term for babies born after miscarriage, too... Which, whilst heartbreaking and traumatic in its own right, is not the same as a stillbirth. I would feel I was being disrespectful, and so I never have.

Just my own feelings on the matter. I'll never judge anyone for using it in that way, though. People cope in different ways.

eurochick Wed 13-Jun-18 22:10:18

I've never seen the term outside MN. I don't particularly like it. It saddles the child with the sadness that went before somehow.

I've realised writing this that my daughter is technically a rainbow baby as I had a miscarriage before her. The thought had never crossed my mind before. My advice would be to forget about the term and enjoy your baby.

Sayhellotothesun Wed 13-Jun-18 22:12:10

You do you. If you don't feel it's right for you, don't do it. Also don't judge others that do. That way, everyone's a winner.

Sorry for your loss sad flowers

OliviaBenson Wed 13-Jun-18 22:12:48

It makes me uncomfortable too but then who am I to comment as I've never had to suffer such a loss.

What I do dislike is naming the rainbow baby after a colour or rainbow related thing specifically for that reason. I've know it happen a few times. That's a lot of pressure to put on that child. I'd never admit that though.

Medea13 Wed 13-Jun-18 22:12:54

I would never use this term. Imagine the deleterious effects it would have on the child, growing up with the pressure of that kind of weighted maternal (or paternal, parental, or familial) regard. And the spectre of the dead child or foetus forever haunting their own existence.
A friend of mine was conceived as a sort of "replacement" child after his parents' first born son died of cancer aged 7. The parents didn't use this term, but his mother very much treated him as a replacement nevertheless and he has a lot of issues because of that, even 30 years later.

Sayhellotothesun Wed 13-Jun-18 22:13:10

Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry. I typed the above and now I feel awful. I didn't mean everyone's a winner insensitively, just in relation to everyone feeling comfortable with what term they choose.

ZibbidooZibbidooZibbidoo Wed 13-Jun-18 22:13:31

My bear friend’s DD is now 12. She was that - although we never used the term.

If you never used the term then she wasn’t that, was she?

Ontopofthesunset Wed 13-Jun-18 22:14:20

You don't need to use it. It's not an official designation. It wasn't even around when I had my miscarriage 18 years ago. Your baby is just your baby. They don't have to be defined by what happened before.

I think it's twee, but I wouldn't judge anyone for wanting a term to acknowledge what they had been through.

HyacinthsBucket70 Wed 13-Jun-18 22:15:06

I think it's a horrid term. And I can't imagine it was termed by someone who'd been through it as it's just so .... glib.

I had 2 more children after my stillborn son, and they were their own unique little people.... nothing to do with rainbows. To me rainbows are things of beauty..... there's nothing beautiful about a pregnancy after a loss to me, it's a thing of terror and despair mostly.

crumble9 Wed 13-Jun-18 22:17:37

Sorry to everyone who has also experienced loss 💜

Thank you @MMmomDD
Your post helps me put things in to perspective, I am over thinking things, I've just been putting off telling them, and my stomachs drops when people ask me about another DC

@OkMaybeNot - I think that's exactly why I struggle with it, I feel like it's disrespectful to those who have gone through much worse

and of course if other people wish to use the term that's not something I would ever judge in any way. I'm by no means saying the term shouldn't be used, just that I'm torn personally over using it with regards to DD

ChanklyBore Wed 13-Jun-18 22:19:48

There isn’t always a huge difference between a miscarriage and a stillbirth.

Sometimes there is one breath of difference and sometimes one minute.

You can’t compare losses or decide which is worse. OP, I don’t like the term, although I am a parent of two rainbow babies. I want to stand in the middle with all the other people who feel like a fraud talking about miscarriage and who feel like a fraud talking about stillbirth, like neither of those terms will ever fit. We are the mid-pregnancy losses and the TFMR families. I get to feel disrespectful to people who have had still births and people who have had miscarriages and never use terms around pregnancy loss because there is seemingly no term to explain....

So based on that I suppose rainbow baby is as good as any.

wellhonestly Wed 13-Jun-18 22:23:02

You don't have to use any term you don't like.

My miscarriage doesn't sound anything like as traumatic as yours (although it felt devastating at the time). The term "rainbow baby" wasn't a term I had heard when DS was subsequently born, and I don't think I missed it.

I do mention my previous miscarriage as context if it comes up in conversation; the nurse at hospital had told me it's unfortunately quite common, and lots of people told me about their own experiences when I went back to work, which I have to say was oddly comforting.

flowers for you, wishing you all sorts of continued joy with your LO.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: