Today the moms of the girls I consider Zoey’s sisters gathered to meet and celebrate a new life. A little rainbow baby. Hattie’s little sister. And we laughed. And we cried. And we talked about our girls.
The three of us have only all been together twice. Once when we met baby Evey. And today meeting Matilda. But it’s a safe place. Where we can talk about our girls and nobody will try to change the subject. There are moments you could have looked in that room and it would look like any group of friends greeting the new baby. Smiling. Hugging. Putting hats and bows on her perfect little head. But if you stopped to listen, you’d hear the other side–the catch of sadness when we told stories of our girls.
And yes it hurt. She reminded me of Zoey in some ways—her long toes. The cute little baby noises. The way she turned her feet. But she was so much heavier. And holding her reminded me of the emptiness of my own arms. I can only imagine how her mom and dad feel right now. They’ll always feel the loss of Hattie. But through the darkness there is light. There is a rainbow.
Rainbow Babies are the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it does not mean that the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and the clouds. Storm clouds may still loom over but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy, and much needed hope.
And Matilda is amazing. Beautiful. Wonderful. 8.9 pounds of hope. Hope for joy again. Hope to smile. Hope to watch her grow.
I cried on the way home. And as I reached up to wipe the tears, I noticed my hands smelled like baby—that sweet, pure smell. And at that moment, the song I often sang to Zoey came on the radio.
I just wanna make you laugh
I just wanna see that smile
Babe, we’re only here for a little while
I just wanna hold you till we fall asleep
I want love. I want us. I want you. I want me. I want peace.