My Rainbow Baby


The four most devastating words I’ve ever heard are, “There is no heartbeat.” And just like that the floor dropped out beneath me. I didn’t cry at first. After all, I was staring at the ultrasound screen seeing my baby boy. Surely the doctor was wrong? But in his kind and sympathetic eyes I saw the truth. My baby was gone.  I thought we were safe. I thought the statistics were in our favor. We had heard a heartbeat at 12 weeks. We had told our girls. We had named him Jacob.

Time inched along over the next weeks and months. Waiting seems to double the hours of a day. When I finally saw a positive pregnancy test, I thought I would feel better. That the void in my heart would somehow be filled. Yet, I felt more anxious and worried. What if it happened again? I pushed the pregnancy out of my mind whenever possible. But then severe morning sickness wouldn’t allow me to forget. Coupled with anxious and nervous feelings, I guarded my heart and braced myself at each doctor’s appointment. We delayed choosing a name, I avoided buying maternity clothes, I procrastinated decorating the nursery. I was waiting for the floor to drop out again.

Slowly the nausea lifted, and I finally began preparing for our baby. But the worry never lifted. I was mentally anxious all the time. My outward exterior seemed calm and positive, but inside was chaos. Even during labor, I convinced myself that somehow something would finally go wrong. After he was born my very first question was, “Is he okay? Is he okay? Please tell me he’s okay.” 

Then the doctor told me there was a golf ball sized KNOT in his umbilical cord.

Immediately, people gathered the see. My baby boy had made it to 38 weeks with a knot that could have siphoned off his oxygen supply at any moment. The odds were against his survival, yet he slept safely in my arms. Only 1 in 2,000 deliveries will even see a tight knot, and you can do nothing to prevent one from forming. Most knots go undetected on a normal ultrasound.

He was born at dawn on a rainy morning, but by that afternoon a rainbow appeared. Unbelievable but true. I could see it through my hospital window hovering over the lake. Only recently had someone told me the term that referenced the child born after a loss: rainbow baby.  My tears flowed with thankfulness. God winked at me that morning.

That rainbow was a visual promise for the future because I had forgotten where my hope truly lies. The Lord had knit him together and only the Lord could protect him. That knot was a visual reminder of the truth that no amount of anxiety or worry can change the future or control the present. I can’t say that I never worry, but I try to walk in confidence with the One who holds the future. My rainbow baby reminds me daily that true beauty can still follow a storm.

We named him James meaning “the one who follows.”

James is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Jacob.

But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob; he who formed you, Israel:

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;  I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;

and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.

When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;

Do not be afraid, for I am with you” Isaiah 43:1-2

{Pictured above is the actual knot and the actual rainbow}


  1. OH Girl! I can so relate. I have children ages 21, 19, 17, 15 and 5…two miscarriages between the 15 and 5 year old. And, now, I know that our 5 year old is our rainbow baby. I love that! Have you heard the song Glory Baby by Watermark?? It ministered to me tremendously during that time.

  2. Just wanted to say I can relate so much. My rainbow daughter had a true knot in her cord I went in for minor contractions something seemed off. They said she was in distress. They tried to induce but it only caused more distress. I ended up with an emergency csection. The nurses in the following days kept mentioning the true knot as though it was a miracle she was here. Upon looking into it I realized just how luck I am that I get to raise her. I truly believe her angel sibling was looking out for her.

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