Famous model and TV personality Chrissy Teigen recently announced she is pregnant with her and John Legend’s third child, a “rainbow baby.” What is the meaning of this term and why is it being seen as a ray of hope not only for Teigen and Legend but also for many parents out there?

Back in 2020, Chrissy Teigen was beyond elated to be pregnant with her son, Jack — she admitted she and her husband, John Legend, refrained from naming their child until after the delivery, but this time they were too connected with their unborn baby. But in October of the same year, Teigen shared the heartbreaking news that they had lost their baby boy. The then 34-year-old revealed how she had been experiencing bleeding in the previous month of her pregnancy and despite their every effort to save their child, they couldn’t succeed. 

“We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we’ve never felt before,” she wrote in an Instagram post. “So he will always be Jack to us. Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever. To our Jack — I’m so sorry that the first few moments of your life were met with so many complications, that we couldn’t give you the home you needed to survive. We will always love you.”

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Needless to say, it was a traumatizing and very painful experience for the couple who were halfway into their pregnancy and harbored no doubts about the future they would have shared with their unborn child. This is what makes their current unborn child a “rainbow baby” — a heartwarming rainbow after a storm that felt neverending. 

What Is a Rainbow Baby?

Rainbow baby

To be precise, a rainbow baby is nothing short of a miracle for a family that has lost a child due to a miscarriage, because the child was still-born, or passed away a few days after birth. Only a parent who has gone through this agonizing experience of losing their child knows the true meaning of getting pregnant again or adopting a child. They didn’t just lose their child, they lost their hope, their happiness, as well as their certainty of actually having the future they envisioned with their child. 

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For them, the arrival of a new baby is, for the lack of better words, a life-changing experience as it renews their wounded hope and throws open the gates for a flood of emotions we can’t even begin to explain. 

“It’s called a rainbow baby because it’s like a rainbow after a storm: something beautiful after something scary and dark,” as explained by Jennifer Kulp-Makarov, M.D., a board-certified OB-GYN, reproductive endocrinologist, and infertility specialist in a chat with Parents. “It’s an extremely emotional and devastating experience to lose a pregnancy [or baby]. To create a life or bring a baby into the world after such a loss can be amazing—like a miracle for these parents.”

Mostly, there is a physical reason why a parent loses a child, like in Chrissy Teigen’s case, she suffered a partial placenta disruption and experienced severe bleeding that needed constant transfusions. Thus in order to ensure the same doesn’t happen again, parents bend over backward and do everything in their power to erase any and every cause that would or could harm their child. And more often than not, this is a long, tiring journey as well as a rather emotionally as well as physically painful procedure for the parents, especially the mother. 

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When Chrissy Teigen announced her pregnancy a few days ago in a heartwarming Instagram post, she revealed how she had been taking constant IVF injections in the past months. “Every appointment I’ve said to myself, “ok if it’s healthy today I’ll announce” but then I breathe a sigh of relief to hear a heartbeat and decide I’m just too nervous still. I don’t think I’ll ever walk out of an appointment with more excitement than nerves but so far, everything is perfect and beautiful and I’m feeling hopeful and amazing,” she wrote.

While the process of IVF stimulation isn’t painful, it is nonetheless extremely taxing due to the effect injections have on hormones. and in turn, emotions, as they are put through the wringer.

This extreme hard work and physical pain, not to mention the emotional rollercoaster parents have to endure is what makes the arrival of the rainbow baby beyond special. 

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend’s ‘Rainbow Baby’ Gives Parents Everywhere Hope

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend in the hospital

Anyone who has followed Chrissy Teigen and John Legend’s journey on social media since they lost their baby boy in 2020, knows that the usually chirpy couple went through a tumultuous emotional ride. Every time the duo openly talked about their harrowing experience, they were also supporting those parents who actively hide their emotions following the loss and deal with their trauma in hiding. 

Teigen has been criticized by a few for sharing images from the hospital when she lost her baby, but as Legend aptly said in an interview with The Guardian “it was a powerful and brave thing that Chrissy did to share that because it made so many people feel like they were seen and that they weren’t alone.”

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Teigen herself disregarded anyone’s dislike of the photos she shared as they were the representation of the trauma she “lived.” Moreover, she posted those photos for people “who have lived this” and “need them.” She further stated that in spite of the few naysayers, there have been many people, even total strangers who have understood her pain and encouraged her, but she knows “many women that won’t get these quiet moments of joy.”

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend’s unfortunate experience of losing their child halfway through their pregnancy is something many across the globe will relate to. Often, when a couple loses their child, they are stuck in depressive thoughts like how they are possibly infertile, incapable of carrying a full-term pregnancy or will never be able to deliver a healthy baby. It is a vicious cycle of negative notions and bleak thoughts, a pit that feels so deep it becomes impossible to get out of it. 

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But the couple is not only sharing their difficult journey with the world in hopes of finding closure but also to support those who are forced to live through this time quietly and on their own. And now that the couple, after facing many hurdles, tears, and troubles, is finally about to have their third child, it is renewing the faith of parents who have lost their child as they know that there is light at the end of the tunnel after all. All they have to do is persevere and not lose hope until they find it. 

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend’s Parenthood Journey Will Continue to Inspire 

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend with their children in family photo.

Knowing the couple, we can expect that after their third child takes birth, we will be joining Chrissy Teigen and John Legend as they navigate being parents for the third time. Once again, sharing their experience would help parents acknowledge that parenting a rainbow baby is no easy feat but also realize that this difficult terrain can be navigated. 

The experience of becoming parents again is indeed a joyful experience but it is, to an extent, influenced by the child they never got to make a part of their lives. While the pregnancy or the arrival of a rainbow baby (via adoption) is going to be special, parents tend to feel nervous and overprotective when it comes to the child. Their happiness is tainted with the understandable and expected fear of losing their child yet again. 

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More often than not, parents either don’t understand the trauma they are experiencing or have a hard time truly acknowledging it, which is followed by the inability to explain what they are feeling. This forced internalization of their pain only serves to isolate them at a time when they need to feel supported. To that, add the stigma and shame people who have gone through a failed pregnancy are subjected to and forced to live with.

As a celebrity, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend continuing to share what comes next will empower every parent out there who has lost a child and/or is getting ready to welcome a new life. Imparting fashion advice or sharing intense workout videos is one thing, but to actually muster the courage to lay bare your pain and make another wounded soul realize they deserve to become a parent? To give them the hope and the guidance they seek? 

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