By Amber Pryor | Photos: In The Moment Photography by Leila
Pregnancy after the loss of a child is a tapestry of emotions.
A rainbow baby, a child who is born after the loss of a sibling, represents the light, hope, and joy returning into the lives’ of their family. These children are called “rainbow babies,” because the beauty of the rainbow does not negate the ravages of any storm. When a rainbow appears, it does not mean the storm never happened or that we are still not dealing with its aftermath. It means something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy, and hope.
Captured in unforgettable images of color, energy, and hope; Rebecca (red), Michele (orange), Stacy (yellow), Zahra (green), Cayli (blue), and Taylor (purple), are six Northern California moms who came together to celebrate the arrival of their precious rainbow babies, under the artistic direction of local photographer, Leila Steffens of In The Moment Photography.
The women were all encouraged to come together for these memorable photo shoots, by Gavin Ferguson, husband to Stacy and 106.5 The End “Wake Up Call” morning show host, when he learned they were all expecting again. “I contacted our family photographer, Leila, when Stacy was inspired by a similar, yet unrelated photo online,” said Ferguson. “I felt this was a special way to not only commemorate our journey, but to send a
message of love and hope to others who have suffered a similar loss; last I checked, our image and message had been viewed by over a million people online.”
The photos, which show the six women pregnant and then again holding their little ones eight months later, truly represent the nature of a rainbow baby pregnancy, as described by these mothers and their photographer.
“During the first shoot, I wanted everyone to look happy, but knew it wasn’t a regular maternity shoot,” said Steffens.
“We were all anxious, not joyful,” said Zahra, mother to angel baby (a child lost to miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal or infant death) Roya, and rainbow babies, Emir and Cyra.
“Pregnancy after loss is a rollercoaster of emotions,” said Taylor (mother to angel baby Bailey and rainbow baby Rylan). “While pregnant with Rylan, I found myself not wanting to get attached for fear that something would happen again. I still cherished every second I was pregnant, but after you suffer a loss you tend to always think the worst and worry about every little thing.”
“We all had reserved smiles in our first group photo,” added Rebecca; mother to sunshine babies (children born before infant loss), Charlotte and Sawyer, angel baby Tucker and rainbow baby Morgan. “But as each baby arrived among the group, we became reassured (especially by Gavin and group texts of each newborn as they arrived) that everything was going to be fine. You can see the difference in our smiles in the group photo after they [rainbow babies] were in our arms; no more anxious mothers, hope had won.”