Parents

Here Are Some Of The Most Beautiful Ways Parents Have Honored Their Rainbow Babies

After tragic losses, these parents celebrated their beacons of hope.
10/28/2016 11:46am ET | Updated October 28, 2016

For parents who have struggled with fertility issues and loss, there is perhaps no more beautiful notion than the rainbow baby.

A rainbow baby is a child born after a miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death or infant loss. Just as a beautiful rainbow is a symbol of hope at the end of a frightening storm, a rainbow baby gives parents hope after they’ve suffered a terrible loss.

In honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, we’ve put together a list of some of the most creative and beautiful ways that people have honored their rainbow babies.

Keep scrolling for 11 powerful photos and stories of parents who celebrated hope after loss and raised awareness of an important issue.

After enduring six miscarriages, Jessica Mahoney celebrated her rainbow baby with a breathtaking maternity photo. Photographer JoAnn Marrero used colored smoke bombs to create a rainbow backdrop. She hopes the photo brings “light, inspiration and hope” to others struggling with fertility issues and loss.
Ashley Maisonet Photography
Bella Maia Anderson posed for this rainbow baby-themed maternity photo four years after losing her newborn, who was diagnosed with a fatal condition in utero and died shortly after birth. “I would like to hug every mother who has lost a child if I could and to tell her I understand her pain,” the mom said. “We may never fully understand why things like a baby dying happen but we must press on to make our lives, ourselves and our world better.”
Jen Priester Photography
After a previous pregnancy ended in a miscarriage at five weeks, Cathy Matthews gave birth to a health baby girl named Charlotte. She celebrated her rainbow baby with a joyful newborn photo shoot. "I would hope our Charlotte could be a beacon of hope to others who miscarried and are still hoping for two pink lines,” Matthews told HuffPost.
Macy Lynn Rodeffer
When Macy Rodeffer learned that she was pregnant, she decided to announce the news with a photo that acknowledged her four-year struggle to conceive. The mom-to-be posted a photo of her IVF medication in the shape of a heart around an ultrasound photo and onesie reading “Worth the Wait and Wait and Wait.” Rodeffer's journey to parenthood involved three miscarriages, a diagnosis of male factor infertility and severe endometriosis and surgery to remove a large ovarian cyst.
Teresa Creech Photography
Photographer Teresa Creech captured this gorgeous image of an expectant mother, who wanted to remain anonymous. Creech had photographed her family a year earlier through Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, after the mother gave birth to a baby who did not survive.
Luisa Dunn Photography
When baby Savannah was 2 weeks old, her parents brought her to a rainbow baby-themed photo session. Photographer Luisa Dunn offers these rainbow baby sessions for free to families welcoming a newborn after loss. Working with these families has been "an honor," she says.
Vaughn Dabney
After having a miscarriage at 16 weeks and giving birth to a rainbow baby, psychologist Jessica Zucker developed a line of "Rainbow Babe" and "Rainbow Mama" shirts and tote bags to help break the silence around pregnancy and infant loss.
K.D. Elise Photography
Mirranda Reinhardt from K.D. Elise Photography incorporated a rainbow theme into baby Alexis' newborn shoot after learning that she was a rainbow baby. "Her mama says that looking at photos like that helped her get through her own years of loss," the photographer told HuffPost.
Autumn Tolliver Safley
While pregnant with her rainbow baby after two miscarriages, Autumn Tolliver Safley wore a shirt with a rainbow heart and the words “You’re looking at a rainbow!” over her stomach. The celebratory shirt gave hope to a stranger she encountered in Hobby Lobby, who was also struggling with fertility issues.
Luisa Dunn Photography
Luisa Dunn photographed baby Leo, who came into the world early at 32 weeks and spent four weeks in the NICU. Leo's older brother Oscar, had tragically only lived one day after a "perfect pregnancy, but complicated birth," Dunn explained.
Annie Jane Photography
Jeremiah and Emily tapped photographer Annie Jane to photograph their rainbow baby, Emma Kate, who was born after "a storm of infertility and miscarriage."
Celebrities Who Opened Up About Their Miscarriages