A Texas mom was overjoyed as she celebrated the upcoming arrival of her rainbow baby under a shower of colorful confetti.
Brittany Ashmore posed for a confetti-filled maternity shoot earlier this month while about 32 weeks pregnant with her second rainbow baby, a name for healthy pregnancies or children that follow a miscarriage or infant loss.
“I could not help but smile and I was filled with joy, knowing that I was carrying another child,” Ashmore, 32, of Houston, told TODAY. “Seeing the pictures, I come to tears almost every time.”
The joyful photos were the brainchild of Ashmore’s photographer friend, Lauren Giles.
Giles, 34, sought to give hope to other women by creating images that celebrated the happiness and relief of a healthy pregnancy and baby after a loss. She wanted the pictures to generate conversation about pregnancy loss, which is not always discussed openly and can leave women feeling isolated. (Mission accomplished, as the photos went viral.)
“Confetti to me is a celebration and this is definitely worth celebrating,” Giles said. “I wanted rainbow confetti to fall from the sky as a symbol of the pure joy of what was happening now.”
The photo shoot was personal to both women: Now mothers of two children each, both had two miscarriages.
“It wasn’t just a pretty picture with confetti in the air,” Giles said of her photographs of Ashmore. “It was a feeling and emotion of pure joy.”
“Every mother that has experienced just that pure, thrilling joy of that healthy heartbeat or holding that baby after such a hard journey, it’s an emotion that is indescribable, and I wanted to capture that through my lens,” she added.
That’s why she chose a model who had gone through what she had.
“It wasn’t just this beautiful mama standing there pregnant,” Giles said. “It was someone that understands and felt what I felt years ago, and her smile was captivating because it was real.”
Giles underwent in vitro fertilization in 2011 and lost the pregnancy to a miscarriage. The next year, she got pregnant on her own, and again lost the pregnancy. Told she may not conceive on her own, she did just that and now has two sons, Noah, 4, and Ryan, 2.
Ashmore has a son, Oakland, who is 7, and a 3-year-old daughter, Ainsley. Her miscarriages came after each of her children were born, making Ainsley her first rainbow baby.
To celebrate the impending birth of her second rainbow baby, Ashmore posed on March 12 as two confetti cannons shot rainbow-colored confetti high into the air.
“It felt like an answer to a prayer that this was happening and that I was being given a chance to have another child,” Ashmore said. “And that after enduring so much pain from losing one that I would be blessed with carrying another, it symbolized hope and faithfulness.”
Giles says the images turned out just the way she hoped.
“I see absolutely pure joy, just bliss, relief, and I see a very grateful woman,” Giles said. “It really does to me look like a celebration falling from heaven.”
TODAY.com contributor Lisa A. Flam is a news and lifestyles reporter in New York. Follow her on Twitter: @lisaflam