Even though more people are beginning to talk about pregnancy and infant loss, it's still a difficult subject. The loss is hard, and it never goes away, even after having another child. Rainbow babies, those babies born after miscarriage, still birth or neonatal loss, are a blessing of course. Many parents have begun to explicitly honor their rainbow babies during the newborn photo shoots. One photographer brought together a group of mothers and their rainbow babies for a special shoot and the results are nothing short of amazing.
Newborn and special event photographer Ashley Sargent has experience photographing rainbow babies. Because of the previous shoots she's done, she wanted to create something that really honored those moms and their babies. She also wanted to show other moms going through a similar experience that they're not alone.
"A lot of parents recently have been saying that they want to somehow incorporate that their child is a rainbow baby into their shoot," she tells TODAY. She also mentioned a shoot she'd done, surrounding the baby with flowers in rainbow colors to signify their status as a rainbow baby. "Once I posted that, we had so many mothers that just started commenting on the pictures and started talking about their own rainbow children," she adds, mentioning the mothers "all started pouring their hearts out."
And thus her idea was born. Sargent gathered 40 mothers and their rainbow babies for her powerful images. Each woman and her rainbow babies, dressed in the various colors of the rainbow gathered in a field in the town of Fyffe, Georgia. After photographing the mothers and children, Sargent had each mother release a balloon in remembrance of the babies they lost. The balloons were also rainbow colored.
“I asked them to take a balloon and remember the children that they had lost and to let go of all the feelings and the pain and the hurt that they went through and to let go of the balloon,” Sargent says, adding that it was the most emotional part of the photo shoot.
In addition to the photo shoot, which Sargent shared on Facebook, there was a video shot by videographer Britt Burns. The moms involved in the shoot had an opportunity to share their stories openly and honestly.
"I told the women when they signed up for it, that they had to be willing to let their stories be told and let their voices be heard," Sargent explains. She knew the shoot would go viral because of its message. Based on the amount of reaction to the post, it's safe to say Sargent was right. But her goal was for other mothers going through the same thing to feel less alone, which it's safe to say she accomplished.