Our beautiful baby daughter Anabelle was born sleeping June 2010.
Blessed with the screaming arrivals of our gorgeous rainbow sons,
Alexander October 2011 and Zachary November 2013.

Diary of an Angel Mother, Rainbow Mother.
Heartbreak. Joy. Death. Life. But most of all Love.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Topsy Turvy

I'm having the sort of July that would normally tell me it is June. 

Last month I mostly felt numb. So busy in a craze of figuring out exactly what renovation the new house needed and preparing the old one for our tenant, I didn't have time to feel.  It passed by with but one moment of huge wobble on her birthday. 

But these last few weeks my moods are extreme; happy one moment, but then I've lost count of the rolling tears, strops, anger, impatience, worry, anxiety and worst of all panic.  

These months are back to front. Reaction delayed maybe. Stress maybe. 

It is clear heightened stress is not something I cope with well anymore. Was I always like this? I can't remember. The new house is crazy; the expense, the work we've decided to do, living at home again. It is all somewhat overwhelming. Things I should be able to take in my stride take me time to get my head around. I know I worry needlessly lots of time. I struggle when things are out of my control, and I guess this is all part of it too. A feeling of being out of control.

Delayed birthday grieving, heightened stress. 

It is time to pull it back together.

Maybe August will be my month for feeling on a more even keel again this year. 

Friday, 4 July 2014

Zachary @ 7 Months

My darling baby boy is another month older again. Time zooms on by. My return to work is looming on the horizon, albeit just one day before the summer break. So not really until September at all but already I'm dreading leaving both of my boys. Somehow feeling worse about the prospect than last time and really not wanting this maternity leave and precious time with my children to end. If only there was a magic wand to keep me at home hey. 

As well as feeling emotional about that I'm also feeling nervous about Zachary. Although getting much better at being left with other familiar people for the moment, he isn't at all ready for a whole day without me. He still breastfeeds 3-4 hourly and is much more reliant on milk than Alexander was at the same age.  This day in work the week after next will be 'interesting' to say the least and I'm just hoping he won't be too distressed until Jon can bring him to me in the lunch time and then when I get home late afternoon. I know things could quickly change by September as he gradually gets more established on food, but this one day before the summer break could be very tricky for him.  

Zac appears to be much more a milk monster than Xander. Xander LOVED his food when he was weaned, couldn't get it in quick enough, would scream for more inbetween mouthfuls, scream blue murder when the bowl was finished and his portion sizes grew at an alarming rate. In stark contrast Zac is taking to food very slowly. Only last week we introduced a third meal and portion sizes, although slowly growing, are very hit and miss. Some meals turn out to be just a taste, yet others can be a full bowlful! Just now, he'll still happily take Mummy milk over a meal. Infact quite often he'll start eating, get upset and food is abandoned. Food is very much something he can take or leave and isn't bothered when its gone... I'm sure that will change in good time!  But with Mummy milk still being his main form of nutrition a whole day away from me isn't the greatest prospect for him, or me, or Jon! 

But, with another month of atrocious sleep we have introduced a 'dream-feed' bottle. So, I suppose if all else failed Jon could see if he would take one in the daytime too. Yes, sleep still isn't great. With nights of Mummy up every two hours from 11pm becoming the regular occurrence, we needed to try something different. So although not hugely consistent, and Zac only wanting 2-4 fl.oz (compared to the 9 fl.oz Xander would down at the same age!) it seems to have somewhat helped.  The last week has seen only one or two wake ups - which is a vast improvement! 

It has been a month of big changes. Baby small now shares a room with his big brother instead of sleeping next to me, and everyone has moved into my parents house while our new house is renovated. Huge changes for such a little person! 

My beautiful boy, at seven months old your weight gain has slowed down and this month you are 19lb 6oz. You are such a delightful gorgeous little thing and Mummy is totally fascinated watching you play and explore. 

You are getting stronger and better at sitting up all of the time, and you are finally on the move! After spending so long being just a smidgen away from rolling over, you did it and now there is no stopping you! You are no longer a 'find you where I left you baby' and no sooner are we turning our backs you have zoomed across the entire room and getting up to mischief, usually getting your hands on something you shouldn't or trying to play with your big brothers toys; much to his disgust! Oh how he loves you Zachary, but he isn't afraid to tell you they are his toys and gives you one of yours to play with instead.  It is going to be interesting seeing how your little brotherly love relationship develops now you are getting into everything!

Your play is getting better all of the time. You are so much better at manipulating toys now, your fine motor skills are just emerging and you are learning to clumsily press buttons to make things sing to you or light up. You are starting to get cause and effect and remembering how to play with your toys, remembering what they do and what you like. It is such a joy watching you shake your rattle with such enthusiasm! You are so purposeful now. 


Your favourite toys are becoming everything and anything you can get your hands on, but you have a definite soft spot for your giraffe and elephant off the animal train Mummy and Daddy gave you for your half birthday, they make great clicky noises that you love!

You are such gorgeous company Zachary. You have a infectious little laugh and a wonderful little personality beginning to shine through.  

Such a beautiful happy baby boy and we all love you very much. 
Saturday, 28 June 2014

Her Birthday

Anabelle's birthday was stressful. Of course it was stressful, but this year, it was stressful

It felt like everything was against us. Time was against us. The house took over.  Jon went out in the morning to do jobs. The electrician decided to phone late that morning to announce off the cuff he was available that afternoon to do the safety certificates on the old house ready for the rental. So as we were leaving to decorate Anabelle's garden we ended up taking money down the old house ready to pay for the certificates. 

We got almost 1.00pm, we still hadn't been to her, and I proceeded to have a meltdown. It all got too much. It felt ruined. Topped off with her balloon popping and half the day gone and us just not getting anywhere. 

My irrational need to make the day 'just perfect' and full of things for her, when it can never be perfect. There wasn't enough time left to do everything I had wanted to do for her birthday, so her birthday walk got cancelled. It spiralled out of the control until I was shouting angrily at Jon in the car, with Xander getting upset in the back saying 'No Mummy' - not my finest hour by far. 



But it all came together. Just about. 

My favourite bit was eating KFC on a picnic blanket on top of her garden. Why have we never had a picnic up there before? It was a lovely way to spend time up there. We placed flowers, a candle,  a bird house and bird seed. We placed her huge number four balloon, the boys sent their sister balloons and listened to her new story there. Sleep Little Angel. 

We came home and created her home garden. Pink Dahlias, candles, windmills and gifts from our friends of a beautiful stepping stone and butterfly solar lights. 

We visited the new house and named it for her and placed the bell for Belle on our front wall. She is there before we are!

We had birthday cake and Xander blew out her four candles. We finished the day sat in the garden with my family, with her pink candle lit in her huge lantern. 

But despite all this I feel flat. I feel like this year her birthday hasn't been done justice, we didn't do it well enough for her, it has been and gone and now July is here. 

At the moment I feel like we're making a mess of things for all the children. 

Today was the day we buried her. And this is the first 28th since that we haven't marked the day in some way. Instead today, the 28th has been forgotten, worse, the boys have been neglected, Alexander left feeling unsettled and cross that we're not there enough at the moment and instead we've been frantically cleaning and readying our old house for our tenant and key handover on Tuesday. The house, houses, are taking over, and I'm beginning to resent the time it is taking me away from my children. And there is no end in sight. 

Tomorrow we desperately need some time altogether. For all our sakes.    



Sleep little angel, and I will sing, of summer and winter and autumn and spring.
Of stars and every quiet thing, of frost and primroses I will sing. 
Friday, 20 June 2014

Numb

This year I'm feeling kind of numb.

I'm struggling to formulate my thoughts or process my feelings. Instead of the violent tramatic reaction to her birthday and everything surrounding it like last year, this year I don't know how to feel. I'm not sure where I'm at. Tonight I feel a bit lost.

Disbelief maybe. Four years.

Last year was raw and painful. I suffered nightmares, images of my baby girl in that deep cold ground. Flashbacks vivid and real of those days. I suffered, I hurt. I got hurt. I lost some more.

This year I feel numb. I feel tearful, heavy and exhausted. But I feel numb. Like I've blocked it out somehow.

We are now just minutes away from my precious Anabelle's birthday.

This week has been busy. Too busy. We've moved, we've been out late every night packing, moving and cleaning. Burning the candle at both ends and up umpteen times a night with Zachary. There is too much going on. Too much bustle, not enough time for quiet reflection. No time left to feel. So instead there is mainly numbness.

This year I fear there may be a delayed reaction.
Monday, 16 June 2014

The Date That She Died

I never quite know how to respond to the date that Anabelle died. I don't want to mark it like I do her birthday, but I know it is coming. And it arrives, and it hangs over me all day like a black cloud, getting darker and darker through the day and sets off the storm for the week. 

It hangs there and the days of build up, and flashbacks to her birthday starts. 

My rational self knows that this date is not my fault. I know I had seen a midwife just twelve or so hours before Anabelle died, and the midwife told me we were ok. I listened to that, I used that appointment and a heartbeat monitor to reassure myself when I was worried in that evening. I know there isn't really anyone to blame. But when the date arrives, and these few days after it, it is really hard to shift the blame from my shoulders. 

Last Autumn my counsellor talked of the need to forgive myself. But I don't know how, or what it will take to forgive myself for this day. I'm not writing this to be reassured that isn't and wasn't my fault, because today, that is no comfort.   

It should have been different. I should've listened to those instincts that felt something wasn't quite right. I shouldn't have foolishly and falsely reassured myself. I shouldn't have talked myself out of going to the hospital until the morning.  I shouldn't have been worried about making a fuss. I shouldn't have gone to sleep, leaving it too late and letting her die.

I slept and my little girl died and I can't forgive myself for that. 

I know getting to the hospital earlier may not have changed the outcome. But it would have been her only chance to survive. It is the biggest thing I could have done differently to give my darling baby girl a chance. 

Today I've approached the date that she died by keeping busy. Too busy.  Feeling manic almost. Tonight I'm exhausted, mentally, emotionally and physically.  Even though I don't want to mark this date, the events haunt me, the turmoil and memories, the longing for things to be different tortures me. 

It is always going to haunt me. My heart aches for her so much. 

I need to sleep.
Saturday, 14 June 2014

So We Are Moving

We didn't know it yet, but two days from now, four years ago we were about to be temporarily moving in with my parents while we navigated the death, birth and funeral of our baby daughter.  

Tomorrow, we're temporarily moving in with my parents again. The timing feels significant somehow. Somehow some sort of circle.

This time, we're moving in while we renovate what will be our new family home. We're moving. It has been a long time coming, and much needed move for the space factor, not to mention moving back to our home town. We're of course thrilled, but tonight, our last night sleeping here, the last night putting my babies to bed in their first home too, I'm feeling overwhelmingly sad too. This is the house where we moved in together, we got engaged here - actually here in this living room, Belle died in this living room while I slept on this sofa overnight, we've had our babies here and bought our rainbows home to here. All those milestones, memories, moments. Our lives have immeasurably changed in the seven years we have lived here.

And now, although we will still own it, this little house will become somebody else's home. A tenant is moving in in a few weeks and it is time for us to go and get the house ready for them. 

The new house we have bought will not be ready for some months. We were somewhat naive when we assessed the level of work that needed doing to it. We knew it was unkempt and dirty, we accounted for a fortnight of deep cleaning, decorating, and changing some floors; but, with a Vendor that made no effort to take their rubbish and many belongings with them, it has turned into more or less a full renovation as more grime and damage was discovered. So here we are; the night before the move to Mum and Dad's. 

The new house will be perfect. I'm excited about transforming it into our home, even if the task at hand seems never-ending and overwhelming just now. It will be just how I want it, and feels totally meant to be. Despite the dirt on viewing, and clearly not kept anywhere near to my standards, both of us were able to look beyond it. It had potential, it was a good size house on a great size plot, it is in a fabulous area with good schools for the boys. It just felt right. 

Then we realised it was number 21 on the street. Anabelle's number. 

This just confirmed to us that this was meant to be our house. We're moving to number 21, and it feels like our little girl is moving with the family; her number and her part in our new home. Perfect. So, next weekend, on her birthday it will be named in her honour. We're moving to number 21, and our home will be called "Mehefin" - welsh for June. 

Anabelle's birthday. 


Friday, 6 June 2014

Here We Go Then. June.

June the first arrived without much drama. I was feeling surprisingly calm and maybe ready to weather the coming storm. I have more than enough to keep me distracted this year; what with organising a full house renovation not to mention Alexander and Zachary. 

Then by Tuesday I was feeling out of sorts. Tuesday was not a good day in the Morgan household. I was grumpy Mummy. Zachary was grumpy. Xander was grumpy. It made for probably the worst day I've ever had with the children. I don't say that lightly. I had zero patience and it left me feeling horrible, sad and guilty. I didn't like myself by the end of Tuesday. It was a long day.  I should be more grateful than anyone that I get to be Mummy to those beautiful boys. The boys who are my world and more. But Tuesday I needed space, I needed sleep. Tuesday I was feeling overwhelmed and stressed with everything and other than the house stuff I couldn't really put my finger on why. 

Wednesday, Thursday, today have been happier, back to normal Mummy days for the boys. But everything has felt more effort than usual; Everything is overwhelming. I'm struggling to concentrate. Getting us all up in the morning, dressed, out on time, fed, to bed on time. The routine this week has completely fallen apart and the boys are suffering for it. They need me to start pulling it back together.

Yesterday I realised why. It is June. 

It is June, and that is why just normal every day things are now feeling a monumental effort. 

It is June, and my baby girl is four, should be four this month. 

Ten days from now, four years ago, my darling daughter died. Another five days after that she was silently born. Another seven days after that we buried her. My Anabelle. 

It is June, and the 'foreverness' of that reality hits again. 

Subconsciously my mind and body have acknowledged the month, but its taken me the week to catch up and figure it out. Everything about this month is so hard, that even when I want to be better at it, my subconscious self cannot do it. My body already feels tired. Today my back aches, my arms are heavy. I haven't done anything out of the ordinary to feel achy; this is the physical manifestation of the utter grief and turmoil I know is to come as the next few weeks pass. 

So this week, and next week, the week after that, and the week after that. Please excuse me. Please accept that I may be over-sensitive, grumpy, impatient, even horrible. I will struggle, I will be teary, I will cease to cope in parts, I will be black, I will grieve as if she left me yesterday. I will re-live those dates again. 

A few weeks of upheaval are in store for our family. Not only are we going through the emotional upheaval that happens each June, this year we're also moving in with my parents over the next weeks while our new home is renovated. It is just unfortunate timing, rather than bad planning, that this is all happening at once. 

Please hold our hand and be our friend.  

And today, please remember beautiful Cerian, her Mummy, Daddy and her precious new little rainbow brother.  Wishing her a happy 4th birthday. 
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Caz
I'm Caz, Mummy to beautiful angel Belle and my wonderful rainbow boys, Xander and Zac. Wife to Jon. Twitter @cazem @tonofunstweets
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