A “Rainbow Baby” is a term that is used to describe a baby who born into a family following a previous pregnancy which resulted in a miscarriage, premature birth, still birth, or infant death. The rainbow symbolises the hope that this new baby brings to the family without forgetting the impact of the storm of losing a child. Baby Loss by miscarriage is something which is very close to my heart and something which happens to more people than you would imagine. It is also a subject that is rarely spoken about.
This year, I have been offering one FREE Rainbow Mini Shoot every month in memory of and to honour my own Rainbow Twins. I will be continuing to do these shoots in 2020 and currently have Rainbow Babies booked in for January and March 2020……….but due dates in other months will still be considered. These are always booked on a first come first served basis. To apply for these shoots, I do need you to apply by e-mail with your due date and a little explanation about why you deserve to be considered for one of these FREE Rainbow Mini Shoots.
Here is our next very precious little Rainbow. Mabel Jean Iona and her Mummy’s story.
In 2015 we unexpectedly fell pregnant with our little boy Monty, who was born in 2016 after a problem free pregnancy and a little bit of a troublesome delivery. But he was here nonetheless, and we started our parenting journey.
As he was approaching 2, we found out number 2 was on its way. Although a little worried about the age gap we quickly became excited and had started to think about how different our family would be again, going from 3 to 4.
Our dating scan had been postponed by a week as there had been snow, so one Saturday afternoon, me Ben and Monty headed for the hospital. I’d done everything I needed to look after myself, and had no signs to suggest anything would be other than normal at the scan. As I’d had such a straightforward pregnancy with Monty, I naively turned up to this scan expecting the same. Although I knew the purpose of the dating scan, I never considered that we would be the people being told “your baby has no heartbeat”.
Our baby was just over 13 weeks and the following week I had to go into hospital and essentially be induced to give birth to our little baby. We had a horrid few weeks involving emergency hospital admissions for complications relating to the miscarriage, and also attending a communal cremation for the baby. I was really uncertain whether to attend the service, not knowing what to expect and being openly upset in public. But we both found it really helpful, although a little surreal. We also planted an olive tree in the garden and had his name entered into the book of remembrance.
Life went on, as it does with a 2 year old, and it wasn’t long before we had another positive test. Excited but nervous and googling any little symptom we booked a private scan for reassurance when we were around 9 weeks, on what would have been the due date for the baby we lost .I hadn’t had many pregnancy symptoms but hadn’t really registered this as a concern as I’d looked lots into the statistics of reoccurring miscarriage and we were deemed highly likely to go on onto have successful pregnancies.
This time, the baby was measuring small for dates, size wise putting us at 6 weeks with no visible heartbeat. We were advised to make contact with the EPU, who booked me in for a scan the following week to check for any growth, as it could have been my dates were out. Although hopeful, I knew 3 weeks was a big difference. During that wait, Ben had booked for us to go on a surprise holiday for my 30th, which we still enjoyed, but it was hard having the uncertainty of this pregnancy hanging over us.
I’d resigned myself to the fact it wasn’t going to be good news, so laying down on the couch and being told they could see no baby at all and it had been reabsorbed by my body, I didn’t even cry. I was irritated, angry and upset about the loss of the baby but also the “time wasting”. During this loss, I was very pragmatic, I hadn’t allowed myself to get particularly exited, hadn’t thought ahead to when the baby would be born, or how Monty would be becoming a big brother. Probably all as a way to protect ourselves from another potential loss. So when I went for surgery, I wasn’t particularly upset, and just saw it as a medical procedure with no real emotional attachment.
Fast forward to the beginning of 2019 and another positive pregnancy test. Unsure of how to think and feel given our last 2 losses I contacted the EPU for an early scan. In my mind, if it was going to be bad news again I’d rather get it “over and done with” so it was a huge relief when a heartbeat was found. The pregnant progressed as it should and on the 21st of September our lovely little Mabel was born.
I’d already contacted Tracey Anne regarding the rainbow shoot and was so happy she was offering it to us. I had no hesitation in handing Mabel over to Tracey Anne for the photos. She had done a Newborn Photo Shoot for Monty so I knew how gentle and understanding she is of newborn babies. She and her assistant worked so quietly and quickly and were able to get some beautiful photos of Mabel.
I’m so grateful that these shoots are offered, allowing us to have some amazing photos to treasure but also as a different way of raising awareness of miscarriage and infant loss.
I no longer think ‘What ifs’ because that may mean Mabel not being here, but choose to remember the babies how they were, perfect and safe .