How It Began
Seeking the Rainbow started in September 2019. It was a month after we lost our triplets at 23+4 weeks gestation due to a womb infection. I thought I was coping well but found myself sinking into darkness. I missed our babies, missed being pregnant, and the ‘Whys’ and ‘What ifs’ kept running through my mind. Perhaps I was guilty of having done something wrong – I was meant to protect them. Yet, I couldn’t save them.
During one weepy afternoon, feeling alone in the presence of family, I realised that I wanted to do something. I wanted to do something that would honour our babies’ short lives, albeit in my womb. I wanted to give hope and provide support to parents, mothers especially, who have lost their babies far too prematurely.
As many as 25% of pregnancies result in pregnancy loss, with 80% of them occurring during the first trimester. These statistics refer only to the ones that have been documented as many losses happen before a woman realises she is pregnant.
Often, with pregnancy loss, a mother can feel shame and guilt. In some cultures, there is a stigma attached to miscarrying or stillbirth. As a result, many choose not to speak of their grief or share about their angel babies.
Facts suggest that miscarriages tend to occur because of chromosomal issues with the foetus. Other times, it may be due to problems with the uterus or cervix, or to health complications.
As for stillbirths, which is less common, they may happen due to genetics, infections or problems with the placenta. For many cases however, there is no known cause.
For parents who are going through the grief of losing their baby and losing their dreams of expanding their family, there is a tendency to wonder about what could have been. A mother may turn to self-blame, thinking that losing the baby was her fault. A father may feel a sense of helplessness at not being able to take control of what had happened.
What I hope to achieve with Seeking the Rainbow is to bring awareness to such loss. There may be a woman at work, secretly mourning the passing of her baby. The man behind the cashier at the grocery may have just lost his infant daughter. That teenage girl with the nose ring? She may have just miscarried. No one will know any of this if we don’t start talking.
There is no shame is pregnancy/infant loss. It is something that happens far more often than people care to acknowledge. It shouldn’t be a secret. By sharing, we keep the spirit of our children alive. They did exist, and we should not be ashamed that they came and went, albeit too prematurely. We grieve their early departure, but even as we do, we need to search and cling onto hope.
You see, hope is not always loud and bright. Hope is in sharing with family, friends and even strangers. It is in talking with others, relating to them, even when we feel most alone. It lingers in our daily choices – to carry on even when the burden is heavy. Hope is in the moments where we feel most vulnerable because that is where courage and growth emerge. It is also when we need that space and quiet, when we take time for ourselves to be still, that hope can shine.
Hope can be found everywhere. We just need to seek it out. By raising awareness about pregnancy/infant loss, discourse can be brought to the fore so that no one will ever feel alone.
I want this platform to be a place where mothers, and fathers also, can share their stories of pregnancy and/or infant loss; I want parents to draw hope of life after loss; and I want women who have gone through the pain of losing their child, to know that they did their best, that they are not alone. We, are never alone.
I hope that Seeking the Rainbow will also help shine a light on pregnancy and infancy loss. By raising awareness, I pray that women will not feel ashamed or inadequate because of what has happened. I want them to rise above the grief and find the strength to carry on; for their angel babies, for their children, for their future children, and if not, for themselves. I want them to hold on and trust that after the storm, there will always be a rainbow.