It may pop up on social media, but it probably doesn't mean what you think it does. A "rainbow baby" is the infant who comes along successfully after the devastating loss of a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth or death. It's the bright, colorful ray of light following a storm. Local mom Laura Riddle Pickering's family was overjoyed when their rainbow baby arrived a month ago; little Jocelyn (pictured above) was an abundance of joy following a long, anxious journey.
Two weeks following the news of her pregnancy in December 2014, Pickering had a miscarriage. "It was one of the saddest, most devastating experiences of my life," Pickering says. Even though her pregnancy was only two weeks along, she and her husband had already named the baby Cameron Angel. For many couples, the news of a forthcoming arrival is life's greatest joy. Pickering used the holiday season to celebrate the birth announcement to her family. "Elf on the Shelf revealed the pregnancy to our two older kids. We made plans for Cameron's nursery and bought gender neutral sleepers. Then … the baby was gone." Pickering reflects. She reached out to friends who shared their miscarriage experiences with her and found comfort and support from her husband. Months later, they decided to try again. "Our odds of having another baby were very low," Pickering says. "Our OB/GYN estimated a 3 – 6 percent chance of having another baby," she adds. This time around a routine procedure revealed an ectopic pregnancy for Pickering, leading to the removal of a Fallopian tube. The baby was gone. She emerged from that loss more determined than ever.
An arc of colorful light burst forth in the spring of 2016 when Pickering discovered she was expecting again, yet her excitement was guarded. She and her husband held tight during the early weeks, both of them braced for the possibility of another loss. At 39 years old, Pickering also worried about the possibility of still birth. A lot of prayers were made … and answered. "I worried up until the moment I held my beautiful, perfect, healthy, little baby girl," says a teary-eyed Pickering. "She truly was our miracle. They say that after every storm comes a rainbow. Jocelyn is our rainbow baby. We feel so blessed to have her, and we don't take a single moment for granted."