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When Your Rainbow Baby Dies

July 7, 2014

Kaden was my rainbow baby. My child after the storm. The one that was going to fix it all. The pain. The brokenness. The trauma.

The ache of starting motherhood at the beginning with a tiny one.

He was the answer.

Definition: A “rainbow baby” is a baby that is born following a miscarriage or still birth.

Saturday he would have been 11 months. I sat in church the next morning, and a woman next to me gently placed her hand on my shoulder as we prayed quietly. I didn’t know her, I wasn’t praying out loud. Yet her and her husband prayed for Sam and I, for whatever we faced that we would trust God in it. I was blown away by their love.

I stood, feeling the weight of her palm on my back and tears streamed down my cheeks. I remembered all those Sundays, sitting there when I couldn’t stand anymore, so pregnant and happy with Kaden. Feeling him kick and move. Grabbing Sam’s hand during the sermon to have him feel. We’d grin at each other and I’d mouth, “He’s being crazy!”

It was all going to be ok. Kaden was perfect, my pregnancy was nearly over, everything went smooth.

Here I am, 11 months later, and I feel very stuck in grief. Perhaps you don’t see this, because stuck in grief can look a lot like healing or “back to normal.” But if I compare my grief of the twins with Kaden, I’m in a very different place. 9 months into losing them, I made the little video of their lives and set it to music. I cried in therapy as we talked about them and the hospital ordeal every session. I worked on it. I started to get “well”. I found out I was pregnant and worked harder to be a healthy Mama to the new baby and Bella.

I can barely talk about Kaden in detail. His 3 weeks on earth haunt me, follow after me pleading to be remembered. And I just can’t right now. I think about him all the time, he’s everywhere I look. But the intricate moments of his life are pushed aside. The intense grief and pain is fleeting, because it’s so heart wrenching I can barely let myself skim the surface of a memory.

I don’t feel guilty over this. I sincerely doubt any of those memories in the hospital will ever leave me, so I’m not afraid of forgetting. What I fear is eventually having to really, truly face all of this. To physically talk about him more than just a few sentences to where I’m crying so hard I can’t breathe. The pain of his death is so intense it’s like suffocation, so surreal that the moments reality hits truly stops me in my tracks.

My rainbow baby died too. He’s never coming back. Ever. All those times I sat by him in the hospital and thought about just snatching him up and leaving, running as far as I could and proving to everyone he could make it, nuzzling his neck, pumping next to him – it’s all over. I just have flashbacks and memories I can’t think about left now. A little bin of his things in the closet. An urn on the shelf next to his brothers.

When your rainbow baby dies, it’s unlike anything else you’ve faced. It’s the strangest feeling to know what is about to happen to you again – to already have walked that road before. I know what this is like. But I just am not ready to walk the whole thing again. Not yet.

Just to look at this picture and think, “He’s gone, that was it” makes me want to scream at the heavens and pound my fists into a God that allowed him to be taken away, and yet I know still aches for my pain as well. And nothing I say or do matters – he’s still gone.

Kaden 3 days old

Oh sweet baby boy. I miss you so much that I can’t even believe my heart is still beating when I see how very real you were.



  • Megan

    July 27, 2014 at 3:48 am

    My heart breaks for you. I’ll never have my own rainbow baby die to complications after I lost my baby, so I can’t imagine you’re pain. It’s been nearly 11 years now and it’s still difficult for me. But God had given me a lot of peace and I know that my story – like yours- will be testimony to someone else. We are lucky enough to know Jesus holds our babies in his arms until we can.

  • Allison

    July 14, 2014 at 6:13 am

    My heart is so heavy in my throat reading this. I don’t know your pain. Not at all. So to have your pain make me ache this way … It takes my breath away realizing how much more intense it is for you. All I can offer is love. I don’t know that you are supposed to heal from this, or if anyone possibly could. But I wish peace for you. Not acceptance. But a feeling of calm when you think about Kaden. And, from what I’ve read, it really seems like you are finding yours. Slowly. At the pace that is right for you. And I respect you for that.

  • Lisa

    July 11, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    We will never forget him Diana. He was such a beautiful little boy. Thinking of you and Kaden and sending love.

  • Brook

    July 9, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    I find myself reading this again and again and my heart breaks for you over and over. I weep for Kaden. You are both so close in my thoughts and prayers. Sending you love and light.

  • Karen Dennis

    July 9, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    Where is the "I'm sorry for your broken heart" button, or the "much love & hugs" button, when you need them? You have been through so much & I'm so very sorry for the losses you have endured. God is there right beside you, holding you, loving you, helping you, ALWAYS! It's His promise & He always, always fulfills His promises.

  • Rebecca Taylor Miller

    July 9, 2014 at 4:52 am

    I never got to hold my Samuel, but he was supposed to be my Rainbow baby. After two miscarriages in the previous seven months and the surprising death of both my FIL in Sept. and my own Daddy this past Christmas Day, I just KNEW that the pregnancy I found out about exactly two weeks after Daddy's passing was our Rainbow baby. My whole family needed him! Everything was going well. I asked God to make me nauseas so I would know my HCG was high enough to carry him. Boy, was I sick. Everything looked great until my twelve week appointment. Little Samuel had died, and my body didn't even have the decency to tell me this time. 🙁 I opted for surgery, not having the emotional strength to do it by myself again. It turns out I had a partial molar pregnancy. A tumor was growing along side of the baby, producing HCG that made me so sick. I can get cancer. At this point, I only have four months left of observation. I'm hoping the cancer cells are gone. We lost Samuel, and I will never understand why. I do know our God is faithful, and He has our babies. I just have to hold on to that, my husband, and my four year-old son who doesn't understand why babies can't stay in mommy's tummy. Thank you for posting. I am so, so sorry you know this pain.

  • Erin O’Brien

    July 9, 2014 at 12:13 am

    wow! I don't know what to say other than I

  • Shauna

    July 8, 2014 at 11:51 am


  • amandahoyt

    July 8, 2014 at 6:30 am

    Tears & love

  • Sarah Scott

    July 8, 2014 at 11:53 am

    I cannot imagine this pain. I'm sending you every strong feeling I have left.

  • Jenny McClamroch

    July 8, 2014 at 11:30 am

    I'm so sorry Diana. You are right, he was real. So very real. Such a beautiful little boy. Many prayers for you!

  • Ali Cepeda Martinez

    July 8, 2014 at 5:07 am

    Your last two sentences have put into words what I have cried every day for three weeks for my sweet boy. Thank you for your honesty and openness. Kaden was beautiful.

  • Emily Reed

    July 7, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    Diana, I so admire your ability to be so raw in your emotions. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I can’t even begin to imagine your pain. I know there is nothing I can say. You are in my prayers. Sending you lots of love.

  • Sherri

    July 7, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    Nothing I can say will help you through this, but please know that so very many of us hang on your words and offer a prayer for comfort and peace that I hope will eventually come for you. xo

  • Ashley May

    July 8, 2014 at 3:06 am

    I read your posts all the time and always think of you, and your family but nothing ever seems comforting or fitting….I wish I had something…Sending you hugs, everyday. <3

  • Ramona Dee

    July 8, 2014 at 2:58 am

    I have never stopped praying xoxo

  • Kayla Hall

    July 8, 2014 at 2:57 am

    I lost my rainbow baby in March. Ezra James. His ashes sit on my shelf as well.. you are prayed for sister..

  • Lisa Maere Forgie

    July 8, 2014 at 2:53 am

    There are no words Diana, that I, or anyone else, can speak that can take away your pain and grief. My prayers are always with you and your family, but know, strong mama bear, that you are not alone in your journey even though it often feels like you are.

  • Lisa (@LisainLouKY)

    July 7, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    No words seem appropriate. I am lifting you, Sam, and Bella in my prayers.

  • Kwombles

    July 7, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    Hugs and prayers.

  • Cyndi Schultz

    July 8, 2014 at 2:47 am

    I understand the words you wrote, deeply. While my rainbow babies are alive and healthy, I am still stuck deeply in a grief for the twins that I lost to get to where I am today. I followed u and your story on twitter and was so excited for you when Kaden was born and so devastated with you when Kaden died. I think of him and you very often and think you're so brave in your honesty. Kaden must be so proud of his mama in her grace and humility.

  • Marlen

    July 7, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    ((Hugs)) I can offer no words, but know I am praying for you.

  • Margaret

    July 7, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    What a beautiful, beautiful baby. I am sitting here sobbing for you. Sorry doesn’t even begin to convey it. I am praying for you.

  • Carolyn Cheeseman

    July 8, 2014 at 2:37 am

    Oh dear friend, No words. Just love and prayers for you. Love xo

  • Anna Lowell

    July 7, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    Diana, my heart breaks for you. Thank you for being so vulnerable and honest. I do not truly understand your loss, for I have not experienced it. But I know One Who has experienced it. Death was never meant to be part of His perfect world, but it came into His world because of sin. And while He could have turned His back on us, and left us to the choice that we made, the choice to reject Him, instead He chose to send His Son to die for us. I do not understand what it is to be separated from my child, to have empty arms. But God does know exaclty what that feels like, for His arms were empty while His beloved Son hung on the cross for our sins. His heart knows this ache. So, I am praying that you can run to God and find solace and comfort from One who understands perfectly, even when you cannot find answers. In your last sentence, you spoke of your son being real in the past tense. He is still very, very real. He is not here in this world of grief and suffering any longer. He is in the arms of a God who loves him, with two brothers at his side, and he is waiting there for you. May God be with you, strengthen and comfort you as you grieve, until your waiting is over and you are reunited for the rest of eternity.

  • Tara

    July 7, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    There are no words that I can even think of. Tears in my eyes and pain in my heart for your loss. He was precious.

  • Faith

    July 7, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    I can’t begin to understand the pain you’ve gone through. I think of you and your beautiful family often. Sending you love & light.

  • Lori Leissner

    July 8, 2014 at 2:26 am

    I have no words to make it better. I just want you to know I hear you and have cried for you and pray for you.

  • Nicole at Mommy Moxie

    July 7, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    Oh friend, I thought of you on Saturday. Thought about Kaden and that room at Children’s and the fact that you got dealt such a sh*t card (because I mean, seriously, is there any other term that fits that doesn’t involve an eff bomb?!?). Like Casey said, know that you’re not alone, that we’re wrapping you with love and prayers and more love. xoxo

  • Janet

    July 7, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    Hugs. Praying.

  • Kristin Anne Smith

    July 8, 2014 at 2:23 am

    No words seem appropriate friend…so I pray and ask God to continue to be with you in each moment.

  • Jennifer

    July 7, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    So many tears I can’t see what I am doing. I can’t even begin to understand what you are going through. I am praying for you and your sweet family.

  • Casey

    July 7, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    I think of you and pray for you every day. I know I’m not alone in begging God to be with you in this. So I know you’re not alone in this either. We’re walking with you. Somehow. Loving you. Always.

  • Amy

    July 7, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    No one should ever have to lose a baby, much less more then one. We just had our 7th miscarriage in April and sometimes I feel like I’m drowning it hurts so bad. I can’t even fathom how you must be feeling. Sending you lots of prayers.

  • Jennifer @ Also Known As…the Wife

    July 7, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    I can’t imagine even a minute portion of your pain and any words I can come up with seem so inadequate. Just know that I still think of you, Sam, and Bella often and the pain you must live with. <3

  • Stephanie Sutton

    July 7, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    This post took my breath away. No words. Praying.

  • Jenna Hatfield

    July 7, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    “What I fear is eventually having to really, truly face all of this. To physically talk about him more than just a few sentences to where I’m crying so hard I can’t breathe.”

    Oh, Diana. Yes, that. Please know that you are always being covered in love, however much or not enough that may be at any given moment.

    1. kayla

      July 7, 2014 at 8:59 pm

      I feel bad because there are times i don’t want to talk about it for this same exact reason..its like you took the words right out of me.

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