Why I Won’t Call My Son a ‘Rainbow Baby’

With all six of our babies, we announced our pregnancy early before doctors considered it “safe” to do so (that so-called ‘magical’ [12-week] mark when chances drastically reduce for having a miscarriage). And with all six of our babies we’ve known we were risking public grief should something go wrong. But we’ve never once felt a moment of regret for being open or honest about our lives.

Celebration is best done in the company of others; mourning is, too.

Adriel Booker 38 weeks pregnant rainbow baby belly

Even now at [39] weeks and three days pregnant, I still have moments of fleeting unease — when did the baby last move? (Poke, poke — you’re still okay in there, right darling?) There have been times I’ve wanted to go into labor just so I could see him breathing on the outside even while knowing the safest place he’ll ever be is within my womb, protected from the world. The mind is a funny thing. So is the heart.

But mostly these days I simply feel ready. Ready to hold this child in my arms. Ready to give him a name that will speak of his identity and point toward his destiny. Ready to see my sons greet their little brother and grow into a new version of themselves. Ready to see my husband cradle a newborn again. Ready to have a baby at my breast. Ready to share him with the world outside.

I may be eating my words in a few weeks but I even feel ready to be awake in the night, knowing what an incredible privilege the sacrifice of motherhood really is. I understand it better now. I’m ready to lean into it.

Ryan Adriel Booker 38 weeks pregnant rainbow baby belly brothers

In the loss community, the term “rainbow baby” is often used to describe babies born after miscarriage or stillbirth. The metaphor is happy and it works for a lot of families as they see their new rainbow baby as a gorgeous gift after a storm. I’ll probably never use the term rainbow baby for myself personally though. I blame that on the [B]ible.

The Word Rainbow Has A Different Meaning to Me

The first rainbow we see in the [B]ible is the one that comes after the great flood detailed in Genesis. Whether you believe the story is fact or myth is irrelevant in being able to clearly see its intention. God speaks to Noah of promise and hope and a new beginning, yes, but he also gives Noah word that he’ll never again flood the earth. That promise came with assurance that history wouldn’t repeat itself in the same form. It was the hope Noah needed to lead his family into something new, not forgetting the past but knowing it would never happen again. Although bizarre from a literal perspective, I love the story and can easily recognize its beauty and find plenty of application for my own life and for humanity.

Adriel Booker
Adriel Booker
 Adriel Booker is a writer, speaker, and difference-maker living Down Under with her Aussie love and littles where they lead an inner city missions community in Sydney. She writes about motherhood and parenting, miscarriage and loss, faith and spirituality, social justice, women's issues, tiny house living, creativity, and making the most of our everyday lives on AdrielBooker.com. Adriel also leads the Love A Mama Collective—an online community of women empowering women in the developing world, particularly in the area of maternal health. Sign up for Adriel’s Love Notes or find her on facebook or instagram.

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