(This is a bit of a long post. But if you read through it all, it is totally worth it.)
There is a reason many newborns are photographed with rainbow coloured themes. Sometimes it is just because people love colour but other times it is for a more meaningful reason.
In the world of newborns, a “rainbow baby” is a baby that is born following an angel baby. In the real world, a beautiful and bright rainbow follows a storm and gives hope of things getting better. The rainbow is more appreciated having just experienced the storm in comparison. Beautiful miss Xaliyah is one of those rainbow babies. She is the baby of my dear friend Melissa, who I have known since primary school. Xali is the long awaiting addition to their family. Xali came to visit me in the studio at 9 days new, and came back for some family photos at 6 weeks (as her doting Daddy works away). I really wanted to write something meaningful with these photographs that reached out to let others trying to have a baby know that they are not alone. Infertility and loss is a whole other world that often takes you by surprise it is often suffered in secret and can be a long hard road, but it is more common than you would believe. But I struggled to find the right words to use…
And then Xaliyah’s mum sent me something she had written herself and it was perfect! Melissa loves to write and the whole time I have known her she has always been good at writing. (we were both A student nerds in school lol) . I couldn’t imagine better words to go with these precious photos of their rainbow baby.
“Our Baby Rainbow Xaliyah
It’s hard to comprehend when no matter how much you want something that there is nothing you can do to make it happen. No matter how hard you wish for it or how much you think about it, it won’t just manifest into reality. I married my soul mate in 2009 and we wanted to have kids together as soon as possible. I was lucky enough to have already given him a ‘trial run’ as a Dad as I already had a son who was my world and I couldn’t have just married anyone, they had to, for want of another word, “marry” us both. After seeing the love he had in his eyes when he looked at my son Zayne, even though he wasn’t the same blood, it was obvious that he would do anything for that boy and I couldn’t wait to have another baby with him.
In December 2009 we finally conceived that baby. From the minute we knew we were going to be parents it was like the next chapter in the fairytale was unfolding, we argued over names, laughed about nappy duties and couldn’t wait to find out if we were team pink or team blue. We told big brother and he was eager to join in on the excitement. At 12 weeks that baby was no longer going to be Earth bound and left for the stars in a cruel twist of fate on my husband’s birthday. I may never get to see that little ones face in this lifetime but I had imagined what they would look like for weeks, that was our baby, part of me, part of him. My heart felt like it was ripped from my body the day my 4 year old learnt the reality of life and death when he was told that he wasnt going to meet his sibling anymore.
Two more years went by before we would conceive again, finally we’re having a baby. Four days later at the six week mark, that baby also left for the stars. Shattered was not even close to what I felt. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be, but it’s all we wanted. People would try to console you with words of wisdom, common phrases included: just be grateful you already have one child, obviously they had never had a conversation with a six year old who wanted to know why all his baby brothers and sisters went straight to heaven and didn’t want to play with him. Or the age old “its for the best, there was probably something wrong with it” aaah no, there was nothing “wrong” with my babies, they were beautiful, they were our children and we loved them beyond words. “You need to just relax, it will happen when it happens” no see there is thing called infertility – it doesn’t just fix itself. Eventually you just want to give up, you feel like every single person you know is pregnant, every drug addict you know has 6 kids, every friend you have that has kids stays away from you because they don’t know what to say to you and they’re tired if hearing about how much you want another baby.
In 2013 after trying everything in the infertility world and after every test possible – our last option was IVF. Our first round worked and I knew I was pregnant just 7 days later, then the fear sets in, will I get to meet this baby? Everyday is a milestone and its the longest 40 weeks of your life for any pregnant mum, its a whole lot longer to a mum who has 2 angel babies. On the 19th of July we met our Rainbow and there are no words for the love that fills our family. Now I have people say “wow such a huge age gap between your kids”, I just smile and say yes, thinking to myself it was a long and stormy 8 years between our Rainbows.”
Congratulations Melissa, Luke & Zayne on the arrival of your precious Rainbow Baby Xaliyah. Thankyou for giving my the honour to capture these memories for you! <3