Mom's 'Rainbow Baby' Newborn Footprints Is Reminding Mamas of Loss That They Aren't Alone

Sacred Spaces Birth Support & Photography
Sacred Spaces Birth Support & Photography

When Kacey McComas lost her baby in a stillbirth, she was understandably devastated. But a new project done in collaboration with photographer Stephanie Capps, after getting pregnant again, shows just how much the heart can heal, even after a traumatic loss. The pair recently teamed up for an emotional rainbow baby photo shoot right after she gave birth and it's sending other moms of loss a clear message: "You are not alone."

  • Capps tells CafeMom that for any photo projects that deal with grief, she often tries to meet her subjects wherever they currently are in their journeys.

    But Capps, who owns Sacred Spaces Birth Support & Photography, says that for this collaboration, McComas actually came to her with the idea of a rainbow footprint photo shoot. 

    The mama had just given birth to her rainbow baby boy, Ezra, who was conceived a year after an anatomy scan showed that her unborn daughter, Phoenix, had died. It had happened at around 15 weeks, though McComas says the cause is still unknown, even after genetic testing.

    At 21 weeks, Phoenix was delivered stillborn.

    "I had not heard of rainbow babies until after my loss," McComas says. "In fact I was very unaware of many things involving miscarriages and stillbirths until I experienced it myself."
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  • During her pregnancy with Ezra, McComas says she knew she wanted to do something special to honor his life, as well as that of Phoenix, as soon as he was born.

    "I cannot remember exactly how I came to the idea, but I did a lot of Google and YouTube searches about rainbow baby births," McComas says.

    She soon came across a rainbow ink pad on Amazon, and planned to stamp Ezra's little rainbow footprints after his arrival. The heartwarming moment was captured by Capps, shortly after Ezra's homecoming, and the photos have quickly gone viral after being shared online.

  • Both McComas and Capps hope that by sharing the heartwarming photos, they can help give hope to other women who may be dealing with similar grief.

    "As a photographer and doula, it is important to me to educate women," Capps says. "Sometimes that education includes giving them permission to feel sadness and process grief."

    McComas adds that she feels no shame in sharing her story -- only hope that she can help others.

    "I am always willing to share about my journey of loss," she says. "Women deserve to know that there are others that can relate to their journeys of loss and know their pain."

    In addition to honoring Phoenix's memory and capturing baby Ezra's first photos, the ink pad idea also gave the family another priceless keepsake: his tiny newborn prints that they could add to his baby memory box.

  • Opening up about her loss has also helped bring added meaning to young Pheonix's life -- however short it was.

    "Any time that I can use anything we experienced or learned in my journey of loss, grief, and joy of welcoming a rainbow baby is an opportunity for Phoenix’s short existence to make a difference and to live on," McComas adds. "I hope that others can find in our story that bit of hope that you can rise from the ashes as something beautiful and that rainbows do come after storms. I truly treasure these photos because they are a reminder of that."

    Capps can't agree more. 

    "I don't want mamas to have to be alone," she says. "So by sharing photos like this, we are reminding mamas who have experienced loss 'You are not alone.'"

    To see more of Capps' maternity and birth photography, you can visit her Instagram page.

rainbow babies