We've been working on a special project this week. Parents celebrating a pregnancy after the loss of a child may refer to their little one as a "Rainbow Baby" ~ something beautiful that comes after a storm or loss. I had a mom-to-be reach out to me with this special request for gender announcement scratch-offs that she could mail to some close friends. After the loss of their son, they are pregnant again! Her only request was that the cards incorporate a rainbow and clouds.
Here's her story:
"(Our son) should be 3 months old. But instead he's been in heaven for almost 8 months. No one should ever have to go through the pain of losing a baby... it has been an experience that has taken us to hell and back, but brought us closer to God. And now we have what seems to be a perfectly healthy rainbow baby on the way. God is good. (Our son) is healthy, whole, & happy in heaven. And we are beginning to feel peace with his death and our future.
We have a 2-year-old daughter and we didn't find out her gender until she was born. I was 1000% sure she was a boy, and was totally shocked and surprised to see a baby girl! With our son who we lost, we had them put the gender in an envelope and we waited a while to open it. I knew he was a boy. Sweet buddy. And this time, I'm so sure it's a girl!! I just love the surprise – I typically hate surprises but this is the last real surprise left in the world & I couldn't imagine doing it any other way. I thought I'd mix things up this time and send the gender to the ladies who have been the most supportive through losing our son and shockingly learning I'm pregnant again. And since they don't live near me, it's (hopefully) going to be a piece of cake!"
She plans on having the ultrasound technician mail them out to her closest friends who were a support to her during that storm... so they will find out months before her delivery, but she and her husband won't be finding out the baby's gender until the day that baby "rainbow" is born! Talk about self control!
Because these cards are so special, we're doing something different. With every set purchased, $1 be donated to the March of Dimes. We wanted to use this opportunity to give to an organization that supports parents who are grieving, and is proactive about sharing best practices in perinatal health through education, research and support.
I was amazed to read that about 33% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, and each year in the United States alone more than 2,200 infants die from SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) through causes that cannot be explained.
A number of dear friends and family members I know have experienced the grief of miscarriage. I too have experienced sudden loss of a different kind in my own life. I also know that despite what you believe in the midst of that grief, you can still experience joy again in time. It may sound like a cliché, but rainbows can still be seen after the storm... just as God used one as a promise to Noah and his family thousands of years ago that never again would they experience such devastation.
It's been such an honor working on these cards, and I hope that they will be a treasure to those who receive them.
For those of you who are interested in the technical specs of our paper good, these are printed on an ultra-thick satiny stock with rounded corners, and a special spot varnish to create shiny raindrops!
Wishing you rainbows after your storms!