Sunday, October 28, 2012

Rainbow Babies

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I came across this beautiful term a few weeks back. Rainbow Babies are those born to families after the loss of a child. Like a rainbow after a storm, these babies bring about hope and light in the midst of gloom. They don't deny that a storm took place or erase the fact that the family was/is going through dark days, but offer colours, positivity and joy.

Many people know that October is the recognized month for Breast Cancer Awareness, however a lot do not know that it is also a recognized month of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness, especially in the USA and Australia. Over the past month, I've read many stories of strong women sharing their stories but last week, it hit home a lot closer because a dear friend lost her baby.

Even though it wasn't my own, I felt the pang. I've heard her speak of her little one and the hopes and joys she had for her child. And yet, now it's just... suddenly gone. So many questions, so many whys, so many what ifs. We all know the intensity of a parent's love. Now imagine that intensity to be of pain and hurt. 

When she told me, I didn't really know what to say. I've read enough to know that we shouldn't say "don't worry, you are still young and will soon have another one" or "the baby is now an angel looking after you" or "it was for the best". All the things that I know people think will make the grieving parents feel better, but in fact makes them feel worst. If I haven't read stories from women who have lost their kids that these are the things that they hate hearing the most, I wouldn't have known too.

And I guess that's where Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness comes in. There's no such campaign in Singapore {I think} but I believe that we still need to be aware as it definitely still happens here. We need to be aware not to remind the grieving of their sadness, but to let them know that they are not alone, and many others have gone through it too. We need to be aware so that proper support and resources can be given, and we learn through all the experiences how to cope.

Singapore is pushing hard to promote strong family foundations, but family isn't always about happiness, playing and spending time together. Family is also about supporting one another through bad times like pregnancy and infant loss. Not just physically with our hospitals and medical professionals, but emotional and mental support too. I think more still needs to be done in this area.

If you or someone you know are going through this painful period, here are some resources you can look to. Let me know if you have others so I can add it to this list.

Child Bereavement Support {Singapore}: Support network set up for bereaved parents
Remembering Our Babies {USA}:  Official Site for Pregnancy & Infant Loss Day
Bears of Hope {Aust}: Support & guidance for families that experienced loss of their baby
PILARI: Articles, support & resources for pregnancy & infant loss

I pray that all parents that experienced pregancy and infant loss will be blessed with their Rainbow Babies.

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6 comments:

~Summer~ said...

Rainbow babies, that's an awesome way to put it. Agree with all you said, Ai. Thanks for inspiring and sharing!

MummyMoo said...

Thanks for creating awareness about this term. I have had friends and relatives lose not only one child, but one after another - only to be blessed with a rainbow baby just when they are at the end of the bend.

God works in mysterious ways. He will always provide, be it in strength, or a little one to call our own.

Madeline Heng said...

Awesome post! Thanks for sharing Ai!

Ai Sakura said...

Summer: I'm glad to have others who shared too!

MummyMoo: Yes, God is good all the time. Sometimes we fail to understand, but He always works according to His plan.

Madeline: No prob :)

Kylie Purtell said...

Rainbow Babies really is a cool term to use. I don't think it matters how many babies you have, even to lose one is just heartbreaking. My Mum has 5 children but had 7 pregnancies, two of which ended in miscarriage and she still thinks about them and wonders what if to this day.

Veronica @ Mixed Gems said...

This is a beautiful post, Ai. I think all countries should have the support network and celebrate October as remember dance time. Does Singapore have any organisation taking photos like Heartfelt?