This mom-to-be did a rainbow photoshoot to honor her 6 miscarriages.

Losing a baby is hard. Remembering them shouldn't have to be.

When Kevin Mahoney asked photographer JoAnn Marrero to photograph his wife Jessica's "rainbow pregnancy," Marrero knew she had to find a way to make the shoot particularly special.

A "rainbow pregnancy" is what a pregnancy after a miscarriage (or several) is often called because it's the embodiment of hope and light after what may have felt like a storm of grief and loss.

By this point, Jessica and Kevin had already weathered six storms.


Photo by Ian Waldie/Getty Images.

The couple have one son, Corbin, but when they tried for a second child, they miscarried six times. So when, on the seventh pregnancy, it looked like Jessica was going to carry to term, Kevin wanted to do something special to commemorate their rainbow baby and all the ones who came before.

Since JoAnn was their friend and neighbor — and an accomplished birth photographer who offers free photo sessions to new parents weekly at the Yale New Haven Hospital NICU — she was the perfect person for the job.

JoAnn stumbled upon the idea to use smoke bombs to create the rainbow-inspired photo shoot while looking for a gift for her own son's birthday.

She knew the smoke bombs would create an extraordinary effect, so during a day of newborn mentoring with her friend Mary Mahoney of Pebbles and Polka Dots Photography, she set out to make it happen.

"Bringing this photo to life was definitely a concerted team effort," JoAnn wrote in an email.

"Mary shot off the first colored smoke bomb and — oops! I forgot to tell her they were double-sided," she explained. "There was dense, vibrant smoke everywhere."

"Note to everyone trying this: pull the ring and run!" she added.

Notice the woman being inundated by smoke. Photo by JoAnn Morrero and Mary Mahoney.

The photo shoot was a bit of a trial by fire, with several duds and everyone choking on smoke at one point or another, but...

The end result was spectacular:

"Through our rainbow haze, Jess stood with composure and her pregnancy glow came shining through like the sun," wrote JoAnn.

According to the American Pregnancy Organization, 10-25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage. Despite that awfully high number, society still seems to treat miscarriage as a taboo subject, which makes it that much harder for those who experience them to grieve the loss.

The photo shoot was a huge success in so many ways; it brought joy to expecting parents and cast a brilliant light on weathering the storm of miscarriages — a subject that is too often kept in the dark.

The numerous women (and men) who offered up their own rainbow baby stories in response to the photos are a testament to the power such meaningful symbolism can have.

"This touches my heart," wrote Becky Rose Dailey. "I was blessed with 3 rainbow babies including the one I'm pregnant with now. Such an amazing picture. Thank you for sharing."

"I'm currently pregnant with my rainbow baby and this picture is so meaningful and stunning," wrote Marie Annin.

"Holding my 10-day-old rainbow with tears in my eyes. This is breathtakingly beautiful," wrote Erin Johnson.

Hopefully JoAnn's inventive work and Jessica's experience will inspire others to find a way to open up about their miscarriages. As products of love and hope, they deserve recognition.

More
Instagram / Katie Sturino

Plus-size women are in the majority. In America, 68% of women wear a size 14 or higher. Yet many plus-sized are ignored by the fashion industry. Plus-sized clothing is a $21 billion industry, however only one-fifth of clothing sales are plus-sized. On top of that, plus-sized women are often body shamed, further reinforcing that bigger body types are not mainstream despite the fact that it is common.

Plus-size fashion blogger Katie Sturino recently called out her body shamers. Sturino runs the blog, The 12ish Style, showing that plus-sized fashion isn't – and shouldn't be – limited to clothes that hide the body.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture
via Twitter / Soraya

There is a strange right-wing logic that suggests when minorities fight for equal rights it's somehow a threat to the rights already held by those in the majority or who hold power.

Like when the Black Lives Matter movement started, many on the right claimed that fighting for black people to be treated equally somehow meant that other people's lives were not as valuable, leading to the short-lived All Lives Matter movement.

This same "oppressed majority" logic is behind the new Straight Pride movement which made headlines in August after its march through the streets of Boston.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Photo by Kelvin Octa from Pexels

Newborn babies don't seem to do much beyond eating and pooping and, of course, hiccupping. A lot. Parenting advice on how to cure a baby's hiccups runs the whole gamut. It's recommended parents try everything from nursing to stop feeding the baby so much, from giving the baby gripe water to letting the hiccups play their course. But when your baby hiccups too much, you shouldn't freak out. There's a good reason why.

A new study published in Clinical Neurophysiology found that hiccups play an important role in a baby's development. Researchers from the University College London found 217 babies for their study, but only looked at 13 newborns with persistent hiccups. Ten of those babies hiccupped when they were awake, and three hiccupped during their "wriggly" sleep. We have no idea how the scientists got any work done with all that cuteness lying around.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via bfmamatalk / facebook

Where did we go wrong as a society to make women feel uncomfortable about breastfeeding in public?

No one should feel they have the right to tell a woman when, where, and how she can breastfeed. The stigma should be placed on those who have the nerve to tell a woman feeding her child to "Cover up" or to ask "Where's your modesty?"

Breasts were made to feed babies. Yes, they also have a sexual function but anyone who has the maturity of a sixth grader knows the difference between a sexual act and feeding a child.

Keep Reading Show less
popular