I debated for a really long time whether or not I should write about this topic. My hesitation stems from the fact that I’ve not personally experienced a miscarriage, stillbirth, or death of an infant. I’m an outsider to the grief and heartbreak that accompanies these life-altering situations and the ripple effect it has from then on. Not only am I an outsider when it comes to the emotions, but also some of the terminology as well. Some frequent terms I’ve heard when it comes to this subject are Sunshine baby, Angel baby, Rainbow baby, and Golden baby.
Of these four names, I’ve most commonly heard of angel baby and rainbow baby. I think angel baby has been the most straightforward name to me, but the term rainbow baby has become (in my opinion) more and more common in the past couple of years. It has had me questioning if I have my definitions right. In assuming I’m not the only one who isn’t quite sure of the meaning of these terms, I ultimately chose to insert myself into this topic on our blog to educate, despite my lack of personal experience.
A sunshine baby is a baby that is born before a miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death. This baby signifies the sunshine and calm before the storm. And because they remain the youngest after such a loss, they tend to bring a lot of joy, sweetness, and moral support to families going through the grieving process.
An angel baby is the baby that has passed away whether before being born or shortly after.
A rainbow baby is the baby that is born after a miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death. This baby signifies the peace that comes after a storm. I’ve often heard moms describe these babies as ‘healing babies’.
A golden baby is the baby that is born after a rainbow baby. This baby signifies the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, and the luck parents feel at having two healthy babies in a row.
I know that not all of these terms are widely used, but in researching the topic, I was fascinated at the phrases and meanings that many families use. Perhaps some of these don’t adequately label all of the feelings and roles that some of these babies fill, but I found the sentiment very sweet.
Not all families experience all four of these, and many families experience multiple combinations of babies surrounding an angel baby. No matter the combinations, or stage of the storm, the love associated with such a difficult life trial undoubtedly dives deep. And though the hurt may never fully go away, it’s a miracle that many are greeted with rainbows, in various forms, to suggest that peace and joy are not forever lost.
Personally, I think women and families going through the storm of loss are among the strongest on this planet, some may even say SUPERHEROES.