A rainbow baby is the term coined for a baby born after a miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss from natural causes. Considering a rainbow baby newborn session? Let me tell you about the first one I had the honor of shooting.
One of the greatest things about being a photographer is the privilege to bless people with images that they will cherish for a lifetime. My friend, Rachel, is one of those people. Rachel’s had a difficult year. On February 15, 2018, she learned that she was miscarrying her pregnancy. What followed was a very difficult time, as many who have suffered miscarriage can attest. Rachel and her husband, Devin, have four beautiful and healthy children at home and they had dreams about a fifth child to complete their family – sadly, this baby was only meant to be loved in heaven but the loss paved the way for the arrival of sweet Liam, who joined the DeBacker family a scant year later on February 13, 2019. When Rachel was in the midst of the darkness of losing her precious baby last year, she had no idea of the sunshine that would eventually arrive in the form of Liam. I had the privilege of visiting them in the hospital and doing Liam’s Fresh48 and, after delivering the images from that session, I received the following text from Rachel:
I keep coming back to look at these pictures and each time I instantly tear up and wasn’t sure why (besides the fact they’re gorgeous and I’m hormonal still). Then last night it clicked – the day you came for pics was exactly one year since my miscarriage. I didn’t think it was going to hit so hard because another baby would be here but grief and sadness have a way of sneaking in even the best of moments sometimes. But the images you sent – they’re so beautiful and peaceful that I can’t help but see God’s love and care for me shining through. Those perfect little baby fingers and toes and old man squishy face are visual reminders that He was taking care of me (and little Liam) throughout the last year. His plan brought me this sweet baby in the perfect timing for me and my family and restored my hope. I think that’s why they grab me so hard. It’s a visual representation of hope, love, and faith. Thank you, friend, for this gift.
Reading Rachel’s words again make me tear up and, though I don’t know the pain of suffering a miscarriage myself, I have firsthand experience of being a friend and a sister to those who have – and the futility of easing a momma’s pain through that time is a kind of heartbreak in itself. You can’t take away that pain from someone, you can only be there and save space for her. That’s why the beauty of being equipped to celebrate and document her joy of coming out of that season is so breathtaking. I couldn’t do or say anything to ease Rachel’s pain from losing her baby but I can freeze the precious moments of welcoming new Liam so that she can come back to them over and over and re-experience her joy and, yes, her pain. Without the fire of last year, she would not have the new life from this year. It’s beautiful and wretched and joy-filled and agonizing and holy, this process of living.
Shortly after his Fresh 48 session, Liam joined me in my Burtonsville studio for his rainbow baby newborn session. Please help me in welcoming young Liam Finn Ames 💙
Liz Viernes Photography is based in Silver Spring, Maryland, and specializes in maternity, fresh 48, posed and lifestyle newborns and first year milestone portraits.