Photographer JoAnn Marrero captured a powerful image that is quickly becoming a symbol of hope for mothers everywhere. The photo features a pregnant Jessica Mahoney in a stunning magenta gown. After suffering six miscarriages, Mahoney is finally pregnant again with her second child. To celebrate, Mahoney worked with Marrero to create an epic, rainbow-inspired photoshoot—complete with real smoke bombs in a vibrant array of colors. The lively and colorful burst represents the concept of the rainbow baby—a baby born following a miscarriage, stillbirth, or any tragic infant loss.
“A rainbow baby is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravage of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it does not mean the storm never happened or the family is still not dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds,” Marrero’s mentor, Mary Maloney (of Pebbles and Polka Dots Photography), eloquently explains on Facebook.
Already, the response has been huge by both rainbow expectant mothers and maternity photographers who want to replicate Marrero’s extraordinary snapshot. That’s just what the mothering model herself wished would happen. “Six babies lost to have the honor to carry this rainbow baby,” Mahoney wrote to Marrero about her experience. “I hope my story helps someone else to know they are not alone, as the journey of loss and infertility is dark and lonely.”
Mahoney’s brave photoshoot has encouraged other mothers to share stories about overcoming the tragedy of miscarriage. A rainbow connection, indeed.