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.
Expecting another rainbow August 2016.

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

Sunday, 3 April 2016

A Turbulent Week

A week ago they told us baby looked like it was a girl. You can imagine that there was a day or two of denial, disbelief that we would actually get that chance to have another girl; just wanting to wait until it had been definitely confirmed by a consistent answer a week later at my next scan. 

And then inevitable excitement kicked in, allowing myself to build my hopes up, imagine all the things that have been missing from my life for nearly six years, girly things. Knowing what we would name her. Thinking about what I would do to the nursery. Tentatively dipping my toe into a bit of online window shopping and allowing myself to look at the girls clothes that I haven't been able to do for all these years. 

Then we didn't get that consistent answer. 

This week they told us baby looks like it is a boy. 

It has been a very turbulent few days for me. 

Mostly it has felt like an extremely cruel joke has been played at my very fragile expense.   

The over-riding emotion being anger. So angry. 

Angry that Belle was taken from us. Absolutely grief-stricken again for her, the girl, the daughter I had already had once upon a time and robbed from me. Deep and raw reopened wounds. Nearly six years already that wasn't supposed to be like this. Hurting beyond hurting. Once again thrown back to 2010. The year that ruined me and broke me in so many immeasurable ways.

Then so guilty, because believe me, more than anyone I know this gender malarky isn't really what is important. 

And feeling so foolish and stupid for entertaining the thought of a girl. I've never really believed we would get another one, I never thought it would work out like that for us and I should have known better than to get so sucked in to a hope and a wish again so quickly. 

I did know better before that scan nearly two weeks ago. I was totally ready and prepared for the answer to be another boy, despite everything else that meant. I could've managed the emotion around that, because before we tried to conceive this baby I of course knew neither gender was a guarantee and who it would be is who it would be. 

Then they said girl.

Then they didn't. 

And what I couldn't manage this week was the swing from one to another. I was totally unprepared for the answer to change after a week of making space in my head, anxiety increasing about a girl pregnancy and then building another imaginary life for a girl.  

So it has taken me a few days to adjust again. To settle again. To let all that hurt, emotion and anger out; wishing no-one had ever dangled the carrot of pink in-front of me, wishing the only answer I had ever heard was a boy. 

Because hearing only boy would've been ok. Wonderful. All the things I said in my previous post.  

To hear girl first, and then not, was cruel. I hadn't prepared for that. 

So right now we're still waiting on another scan for some sort of consistent answer. 

My gut tells me it will be a boy, of course, after all that is harder to mis-identify on a scan. But who knows, it was clearly hiding the week before and after this week of old wounds being well and truly being reopened I need another scan to tell me again to be sure.  

At least this week my husband finally gave some boy names some serious consideration and therefore either way now, this baby will have a name ready when we once and for all know who it is. A possible name has helped my head and heart calm down tremendously and today I can totally imagine my little trio of three wonderful boys, if that is indeed who it is. 

Watch this space. 
Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Who is this little baby going to be?

It seems pertinent tonight, the night before we hopefully find out the gender of our little baby, to re-share this post (please click the link).  

Pertinent because FB reminded me today that six years ago, on this day, that we found out that our first child was a daughter. Six years and a day later we're might find out who our final child is. 

And of course our feelings surrounding finding out feel somewhat chaotic - trying to determine what our emotional response will feel like either way. 

Knowing this baby is already who they were always meant to be, that they are who they are; explicitly already a huge part of this family. I'm left in no doubt that either way - a little boy or a little girl - will feel like they were always a part of us as soon as they arrive, just like Zachary did. Ours. Loved beyond measure and completing our family in its incompleteness. 

But tomorrow I could very well be facing the reality of all of my 'what ifs' in my post in October. If I am - I'm still none the wiser how I go about finally finding peace with it, grieving it and putting it to bed. Acceptance. 

I do know that regardless I will continue to love my life of raising boys. My wonderful boys. 

I do know I'll continue to feel robbed of my girl. Because I am robbed of my girl - even if we have another one. Robbed of Anabelle doesn't change.  There was a life with a daughter that was supposed to be. 

Tomorrow we hope we'll be announcing who our baby is.  Either way, boy or girl, please be mindful that each and either comes with all the complexities of grief attached too. 

A boy means we're never having a girl. We won't deny there won't be sadness attached to never having an earth girl. But we will also be excited! We'll have our little trio of boys - and I can really imagine Alexander and Zachary as a three!  A real band of brothers. It will be beautiful, even if I will be well and truly outnumbered.  (However for the first time ever we don't have a name ready at this stage if it is a boy, Jon is completely uninspired and vetoing all of my suggestions - this is making me twitch that we might have an unnamed child at this point in our pregnancy!) 

A girl is a whole other can of worms.  We will be undoubtedly excited. Another chance of pink in this family, another chance to experience raising a girl.  A biggest brother who is adamant he is getting a sister and that he wants a sister. Along with a whole concoction of emotion around girls in general,  the girl we should already have had. A daughter after a dead daughter - I'm not really sure how I go about those potential feelings yet either - how much I still have to deal with. We will be terrified in equal measure. After all my track record of successful girl pregnancies is zero.  (We do have a girls name though, so pleased to be at least sorted there if it is pink.) 

Tomorrow is a big important exciting day, either way, but please be mindful I might also feel over-sensitive to some things, whatever the gender for a while. 

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Pneumonia and all that Jazz

What a month!

This is the first time in weeks I have felt remotely well enough to sit at the laptop long enough to record the saga that has been life! The Morgan's have been an ill bunch. We have been plagued between us with the usual concoction of winter germs; general coughs and colds for us all, a ear infection each for both boys, a bout of tonsillitis for Jon, and for me.... an horrendous cold that after a week turned into a pretty severe pneumonia infection. February 2016 completely written off. 

In London, no less. 

We had tickets for the Strictly Come Dancing tour at the O2 on Valentine's Day. The day before I had been feeling somewhat better; still full of cold, but not as yuck as the few days before that. So we decided to go, abandoning the idea of tubing into London for a shopping trip, but still making the show and still having our first overnight away in three years. Only the Saturday night I hardly slept, so Sunday morning got up feeling pretty low again. Keep going I thought, sleep in the car on the way down. Take a nap in the hotel before the show when we get there. 

We arrived around lunch time and I could barely face three or four mouthfuls of my dinner. I knew I was going downhill again. So I took some paracetamol and packed myself off to bed in the hotel room. I didn't sleep much, between coughing, feeling sick and an ever increasing chest pain. But still determined was I to make this show! We got to the show, feeling horrendous. Took more paracetamol. 

From what I remember the arena and the showmanship of Strictly was impressive - but the details of the show itself, I couldn't tell you. I sat there feeling more and more unwell through the first half, distracted by the pain in my chest, breathing becoming more erratic, heart getting faster and faster, totally unable to get comfortable. By mid-way through the second half I just wanted to get out of there. 

So we left early. Clinging to Jon fearing I was going to collapse. By this point the pain in my chest was unbearable, I couldn't breath properly and felt really quite frightened. Managed to get to the tube, Jon practicaly dragging me along and me feeling almost hysterical. It was one stop then a line change, then two stops to the hotel. We did the one stop, and I knew it was absolutely time for a Doctor. So back to the hotel was abandoned and instead we bundled into a taxi for the nearest A&E - and even at this point feeling worse and worse almost by the minute. 

A GP triaged us straight away on arrival, and within a few minutes I was through to their 'majors' section of the emergency department being hooked up to drips and machines, and poked with needles for whatever tests they were doing. My temperature was 39. something and my heart rate astronomical. I had initially thought my heart rate was around 155bmp on arrival (and that would've have been crazy enough) - Jon has told me since that actually it had been 177bpm at its fastest! 

After considering a blood clot verses a chest infection the Dr decided secondary infection was most likely given my weeks worth of nasty cold and temperature. So I was sent off for a chest x-ray which concluded, along with the through the roof infection markers in the blood results, that I had developed a severe pneumonia. 

Being pregnant meant limited ineffective pain-relief options at around 4.00am I caved and gladly took the Oramorph I was offered, knowing from previous experience it would make me woozy and sleep within minutes. I needed that break! 

I was admitted to the ward in unfamiliar surroundings, in London, not even knowing what hospital I was in for the first 24 hours. (I was in Newham University General Hospital). It is surprising how comforting the familiarity of your local hospital is should you need a hospital - it felt a very different experience being so far from home. 

So definitely not the London adventure we planned. Paying out for extra hotel room stays for Jon and myself as an inmate for three nights just waiting for the IV antibiotics to do some magic and to be well enough to travel home. Three long days away from the boys; the longest we have ever been apart. 

All in all February has been horrendous. I had no idea how long it could take to recover from pneumonia and have felt shocking for weeks. Just ill, low, continuously breathless and exhausted. After the initial antibiotics were completed I picked up a little for a few days only to get really low and feel really ill again a few days later. Another visit to the GP, another blood test with raised infection markers, another course of antibiotics and a pregnancy complicating recovery. It has felt never ending. 

That course of antibiotics finished at the weekend and the last few days I am feeling so much more well in myself, and generally brighter. I'm still feeling shattered and normal general stuff still feels an enormous effort; I'm definitely not back to normal, and my Dr has said I need to take everything slowly and easy for another good few weeks/month but hopefully the corner has been properly turned now and soon I'll feel back to my usual self. Well as usual self as you can feel getting increasingly pregnant anyway. 

Which brings me to that. 

Pregnancy seems to be progressing well so far, remarkably given my poor health - although that hasn't come without its surprises the last few weeks either. I finally saw my consultant (after an epic complaint I'm back under the care of my previous consultant, which is just as well given the new circumstances!), to receive feedback from my c-section with Zac that I really should have had at his birth; during the operation a small tear was discovered on my womb, threatening to rupture. How lucky were we that he was born when he was! Obviously this alters the care plan for this baby and he/she will now be born at 35 weeks - to reduce the risk of my womb over-stretching and tearing again. 

I'm still getting my head around it all to be honest. As if third trimester wasn't as stressful enough as it was. I'm really going to have to be careful as I get bigger and bigger this time. 

I was still feeling so unwell when I saw my consultant and so shocked that I hadn't been told (it really would've have altered our family planning decision had we known about the tear previously), and absorbing the 35 week birth plan with senior staff presence already on the notes, or earlier if I present with contractions as I have before, that at the appointment I didn't ask any questions about it.  I don't know what the monitoring plan is other than early birth, or what symptoms or signs we're looking out for.  We're seeing consultant again, together, on the 23rd March, so we'll be going with our list of questions then. 

As usual, I don't seem to do things by halves. This baby will arrive, all being well, mid-July. Which considering my mid-August due date seems incredibly early. It also means I'm already half way though. I do wish I was 'better' at being pregnant.  

Now if I could start feeling baby movements any day now that would be great too. 

So that's us. How has everyone else been?! 

Monday, 1 February 2016


2016; the year we're getting one bigger. 

Baby Morgan the 4th (and last!) is due to join us this summer. Of course it is a very long road until then with no guarantees, we know that, but at the moment we're feeling hopeful. Excited even. I'm so looking forward to a tiny little baby again and cautiously excited about having a summer baby, a summer baby that hopefully stays with us. This little ones due date is just a week after Belle's, which means I'm going to be hitting milestones at almost the same time as hers, meaning I'll be 32 weeks around her birthday. At the moment I can't predict how that is going to affect me during June, for Anabelle's birthday or the pregnancy, at the moment I'm trying to think brave. 

But brave is becoming harder as the care I had with the boys has not been forthcoming so far on this pregnancy. I'm feeling increasingly angry about the situation. The suite at the hospital and consultant that saw our two boys here safely seem to have washed their hands of me. On ringing them to tell them I was expecting again I was met with the news of some sort of 'department restructure' and that my consultant would no longer be my consultant and my notes would be handed over to whoever the new one would be. They couldn't give me the name of that new consultant or even when I would be seen by them, just that I would 'have to wait for an appointment through antenatal clinic'. Considering I was seen at 6 weeks for an initial meet and early care plan for both of the boys I've been struggling quite a lot with this change of care; feeling quite foolish that I presumed my continuity of care on Llanfoist with Miss Rich would continue.  

I've now had my dating scan in normal antenatal clinic and still have not heard from my new consultant, still have no name of my new consultant. Just that this nameless and faceless consultant will be reviewing my notes and the midwives have left notes on my file that I wish to be seen as soon as possible. As far as I'm concerned this is unacceptable. How am I supposed to trust the judgement of a consultant I know nothing about thus far?! Not to mention that I'm going into the second trimester with no care plan in place, which means I can only presume at the moment that the care I've had in second trimester; the swabs, extra doppler scans, extra checks, will not be happening. 

At the moment I'm not feeling particularly safe for the long run. I hope my fears will be unfounded and when I finally meet my new consultant they will be lovely and put in place the care plan that I had for both boys without question. But at the moment I'm feeling very much low priority, and that Llanfoist have abandoned me because I now have two living children.  But this new baby matters just as much, this new baby as far as I'm concerned is at as equal risk of dying as the boys were, needs as much monitoring because no-one knows why Anabelle died - whatever apparently randomly killed her, could kill this baby - and because it is blatantly obvious from even a quick scan of my notes that my mental health as this pregnancy progresses will need as much monitoring, reassurance and support as before. While I accept there is no medical reason for extra care at these early stages the practice of pulling the carpet from beneath my feet and leaving me feeling vulnerable stinks. I shouldn't have to fight for continuity of care or identical care to previous pregnancies. 

I'm on the verge of officially complaining.  

The first trimester has seen sickness both nausea and vomiting, especially in the early morning and late evening and constant waves of nausea and occasional sickness during the day. If I was going to rate it I would say probably joint second; Zachary being the worst, Anabelle and this one jostling for second and third place depending on what sort of day I've had and Alexander of course being the easiest regarding the sickness for the lot! At 12 weeks I'm already adopting the pregnant shape and a definite little bump is appearing; now if only I could find my maternity clothes! 

This one has seen a whole new set of symptoms that I don't really remember having with any of the others, a few weeks of a metallic taste in my mouth and hugely sore boobs on a level I've not known in early pregnancy before. But the biggest difference I think on this pregnancy is how tired I am - of course I've felt tired in previous pregnancies, but this isn't in a 'the boys have run me ragged' or a busy day type tired, but like my body is absolutely physically exhausted and times when I literally cannot keep my eyes open - the house is currently going to rack and ruin, I'm permanently behind on the chores because I cannot find the energy to do anything after the boys are in bed; and there has been lots of nodding off on the sofa, in the car and going to bed earlier and earlier. 

At 9.10pm this is becoming a late night for me tonight! 

Now does anyone want to play the nub theory game? 

Saturday, 9 January 2016

My Rainbow Small is TWO!

My beautiful baby boy is two.

On Friday he was two years, six weeks and a day old; exactly the age his big brother was the day Small was born.  I can’t really believe it – it is a weird feeling knowing that I had a newborn when my previous toddler was this age!  Xander seemed different at this age somehow, older, less baby like. Maybe this is because he was the only one here and I had no-one to compare him to, but  either way Zachary still feels like my Small. My baby; still so young in so many of his ways – often still content to play led on his back with his feet in the air on the carpet!

Zac continues to be cheeky and feisty and determined. Once he has set his mind on something there is little hope of deterring him – even when you think you have distracted him with something else – he doesn’t forget, and within minutes is back aiming to do whatever it is that he wants to do! Of course this means we’ve seen some ‘terrible two’ tantrums like we never saw with Alexander! Zachary really is a different kettle of fish!

He is a happy, adventurous and mischievous little boy. Zachary loves a joke now, he loves to run off in the opposite direction and have you chase him, giggling to himself as he goes, he loves to run and hide and play boo, he loves to tickle and rough and tumble.  He absolutely adores chasing his big brother around the house and playing rough and tumble games with him! Zachy, is as often the ring-leader of some mischief, as Xander!

Zachary and I gave up feeding just shy of 23 months. I felt so much more emotional than I had when Xander and I stopped, although I can’t really explain why; maybe because it had gone on so much longer and had been so easy right from the start.  The 18 month upper limit went well and truly out of the window because Zac had showed all the signs of still needing that connection and comfort – and so there felt no real reason to stop. But I knew when the time was right, over a few weeks he was spending shorter and shorter time feeding before going into his cot for bed, so it felt like the right  and gentle time for us both to swap to bottles. Thankfully the transition was easy and painless for us both, but still now a couple of times a week he pulls at my top and says milk, not really seriously asking I don’t think, and he accepts that milk is 'all gone' straight away, especially as the weeks have gone on. Now I think it is more about that he is making a statement that he remembers - it amazes me that he continues to remember that time we had together 3 months on.

He is a delight.

My darling Zachary, today you are two years, six weeks and two days old.

A fully fledged toddler now. On your birthday you were 83cm tall and 24lb (although I know you have grown a little bit and put on a bit more weight since then, as we had your two year check this week!), still my small; still only tracking between the 9th/25th centile for height and the 25th centile for weight.  Like the health visitor said this week – it doesn’t look like you’re ever going to be six foot and appear to have inherited Mummy’s genes for size!  Your Small nickname suits you!

At two years old you love books. Your favourite for such a long time was ‘What the Ladybird Heard’ and you could tell me all the noises that the animals on the farm said – more recently over Christmas this favourite seems to have changed to ‘Stickman’. Another Julia Donaldson fan in the making!  

You love colouring in and often ask to ‘cuger’.  You also love to paint. You are such a creative little boy and are so excited to have your hands and feet painted to do prints. You love glue and sticking.

Ironically though, for a little boy who loves to paint if anything else messy is on your hands you shout ‘uh uh uh’ at me with your hand in the air until I’ve got a wet wipe and wiped the speck of whatever it is off – you do not like having dirt on your hands.

You love puzzles and cars and dinosaurs and still love Peppa Pig. We have the cutest video of you dinosaur roaring just like George from Peppa from back in the summer holidays the day after we had taken you to Peppa Pig World – what a wonderful time you had and have since had the best time at your Peppa Pig themed birthday party too.  


More recently you have discovered In The Night Garden and have a ‘must take everywhere’ companion now in your Iggle Piggle cuddly toy. If you’re lucky we’ll get tickets to the live show in the summer and hopefully you’ll get to meet your real life friend.

You love singing and dancing and bop away to lots of different tunes. You are such a joy to watch and my favourite time of the week with you is Tuesday mornings when we go to Happy Hands music class. You are so confident joining in. Often now you ask Mummy to sing you a song and join in with me with your own singing and actions; your favourites have been Horsey Horsey, Twinkle Twinkle, Wheels On The Bus, Row Row Boat and Baa Baa Black Sheep.

I’ve lost count of all the things you can say now and it doesn’t matter what you can’t say yet because you understand everything!  You are joining lots of words together and often saying three word sentences now. You have such an ever expanding vocabulary – including of course the frequently used word ‘MINE’ – you my little one have some serious personal space issues!

Sharing at two is never going to be your forte, (although your sharing skills could also be a lot worse), your main issue is not liking other children getting too close to you when you are engrossed with a toy. I find that if you start playing with a set of something with someone else at the same time you can tolerate their presence, e.g. the toy kitchen, or duplo, or cars, but if they try to join you after the fact then you push away to keep them at arms length.  Taking turns is something we’re doing lots of work on at the moment!

You are so clever Zachy. Already you know a few shapes such as circle, star and triangle and are doing puzzles designed for much older children with minimal help. You love imitating counting, and get your pointy finger ready to touch count things in books or your toys. You are beginning to recite the order of the numbers (sometimes skipping a few) if we start you off on one. Remarkably you also already seem to recognise what a number ‘looks like’, because if you see one written down you tell me it is ‘six’ –  six is your favourite! It usually isn’t six, but you already seem to be able to distinguish that numbers and numerals mean something as symbols. You don’t know the names of the colours yet (apart from everything is blue, so you know blue is a colour, but not what blue is!) but you are colour matching and quite deliberately finding matching colour bricks when building with your duplo. We’re playing lots of colour games at the moment to help you with colour names and recognition. All of a sudden there seems to be this burst of brain activity from you and I can’t wait to see what you know by the time you are two and a half!

You are our wonderful beautiful boy 
and we couldn’t love you more.

Keep keeping us on our toes little man.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

My Rainbow Big is FOUR!

I have just been back and read Alexander's three and a half update. Talking about finally cracking toilet training not long after his third birthday and starting his nursery class at school - this feels like a lifetime ago now. What another six months it has been, and more than ever Alexander seems so grown up in so many ways now . His ways have matured so much and I think the year between three and four has seen his understanding of the world and how is works grow more than ever before. 

School especially has seen his world get so much bigger. There are new adult influences in his life now and he loves telling his teacher Miss Jordan everything! At parents evening recently in the days after his fourth birthday she had nothing but praise for him. She had such lovely things to say about our family; Alexander talks endlessly about what he gets up to at home and his teacher mentioned how obviously loved he is from everything he says. It was such a lovely thing to hear! 

Equally what he is learning at school shines through at home, Alexander has so many 'school-isms' now, for example, telling us that only one person it allowed to talk at a time, or asking us to 'clap to 100'. He spontaenously uses welsh in his interactions with us, asking us if we're 'wedi blino or hapus' or what colours we like using the welsh colour names. Our boy is bright; already working towards Reception rather than Nursery level targets but beyond that she said he is happy, enjoying and involved with everything at school and friends with everyone. What more could we ask for?! 

My beautiful Big.  At four you are 36lb heavy and 101cm tall. How you continue to change and grow! It seems such a short time ago that you were my baby, and now all of a sudden  you are four! I look at your brother now, just about to turn two - the age you were when he was born, just two and six weeks old - and I cannot believe this was you just two short years ago. How quickly little ones become big. 

In these last six months you have learnt the art of compliments and humour. My lovely boy you get the fun of a joke now and like to tease Mummy and Daddy! On the flip side you are always telling us you love us and always telling Mummy that she is beautiful or pretty. You are kind and sensitive (for the most part, lets be honest you have your moments!) You love teaching your brother how to do something, the sweetest recently were showing him how to put one of his 4 piece animal puzzles together, showing him and then encouraging him have a go himself too! You are so protective of him still and quite the pair together now he is getting bigger; either playing a wonderful game and shrieking with laughter with each other or fighting over the toy you both want. But you're wonderful and your bond is so precious. 

The absolute worst insult apparently at your age is 'You're not my best friend anymore' - which we have heard lots of in this last few months whenever you are cross about being made to do something, or have to go somewhere you don't want to go, or if we have to tell you off.  This is an age of sensitivities to friendships and ever increasing awareness of gender stereotypes and roles. We've always tried quite hard to not dictate your world knowledge by boys or girls things but after two terms in school it is there; your favourite colour is now blue and no longer pink, Mummy is a princess and you are a Knight, sometimes you say you only like boys because you are a boy - but other times you only like girls! Apparently you are very fickle at this age! 

You're just so much more aware of your world now, you're beginning to question what you see around you and starting to become more and more aware of that which is pretend and that which is real.  You've even questioned if your sister is real or pretend. I know by the time you read this you'll understand completely, but at three and a half/four I'm so very aware how confusing the make up of your family must be for you sometimes. Of course you're questioning how she fits and if she is real if she is not here. 

Your pretend play is as fascinating as ever to listen too - you still love your little characters and they're becoming more and more adventurous; or you are becoming louder! You are becoming ever the 'boy' and playing more with your little cars - you are beginning to move on from Toot Toot now and have your own little collection of big boy cars instead; a collection I'm sure that will grow and grow. Your very favourite thing at the moment is Lightning McQueen from Disney Cars and your little Lightning car often comes out of trips with us or sleeps under your pillow. 

You are loving school, thriving and learning so much.  I could not have been prouder at parents evening when Miss Jordan was telling us about everything you are achieving at school. You continue to blossom my boy.  Your teacher says you love to be involved in group discussions and that you are a right little chatter box in school loving to answer her questions,  she has noticed how your confidence in yourself has soared in these last few months too! I love that about you, I love that you feel secure. You are enjoying learning Welsh and hands on experiments, problem solving, exploring and outdoor play are just your thing too! 

You have started learning to swim - your progress in the pool has astounded me. We started AquaTots classes just after you turned three and a half. That first week you clung to me like a little chimpanzee but within a few weeks you were swimming around the pool with a woggle around you without me holding you, another few weeks after that and the woggle had gone and now you are swimming with just a belt. Your confidence has come on leaps and bounds in the water and around your fourth birthday you were just beginning to swim on your back cuddling a float but without a belt, and attempting a very short way swimming with nothing at all towards a wall with your swim teacher there to catch you. It is amazing! We're so proud! 

Dewstow Gardens
My favourite memories with you this last six months are our Mummy and Xander Wednesdays in the summer holidays. What a special summer we had. Each week was themed and filled with new adventures, but Wednesday's were extra special for you. Zachy went to nursery and we had a big boy only day out and you were so excited. Together we went to Dewstow Gardens where you loved the stepping stones, we visited some castles and explored, we went to Techniquest, on a special bus ride where the driver let you sit in the drivers seat and pretend to drive the bus, and to the farm. 

So many lovely memories, I loved our Wednesdays and spending some quality time with my big. 

What a fabulous little boy you are. 

Raglan Castle


Bus Ride Day

Greenmeadow Farm

And now you are four. 

You had a lovely birthday. We had a Fireman Sam themed party, including a visit to the fire station which you loved. What a treat to be able to sit in the huge fire engine. The day after that we went to Legoland for your birthday daytrip - you were in your element, going on all of the rides and just thoroughly enjoying your treat. You loved telling people we were there because it was your birthday and so sweetly thanked us for taking you to Legoland. Such a happy day, I already cannot wait to take you to Legoland again next time! 

I love your birthday darling boy, you'll never realise just quite how precious it is to us - the celebrations and sharing each year of your life with you!

Now a month has already passed since you turned four and there are already only eleven months to go until you are, gasp, five! Funnily enough you have already started telling me you are nearly five! Haha! 

Looking forward to another wonderful year with you, my ever growing up boy! 

Our beautiful boy Big, keep being fabulous! 
We love you, always and forever.

Your birthday video - Being Three Was A Very Good Year

Thursday, 5 November 2015


I know I'm very late bringing this workshop to a close now; but I'm determined to finish it. 

I think I have needed something like this for a long time. Something to focus my thoughts and make me make time for my mind and revisit areas of my grief; to show my how my grief is different now, to show me where the rawness has softened and open wounds are becoming healing scars.

It has made me open Anabelle's memory box for the first time in a very long time, years really, at least two. Not since her 3rd birthday when I completely lost myself in the trauma of grief. I've handled things of hers I wasn't sure I could bear to see, her first dress, the coming home outfit that never was, re-read the letter that we left with her and look at the book full of things I put together for her.

I didn't manage to watch the DVD the photographer gave us of our pregnancy photos, or the video I put together on her 2nd birthday, I didn't dare listen to that music. But that is ok too. The box out of the cupboard was enough; at the moment Anabelle's box is on our bedroom floor and hasn't yet been returned to the cupboard. Maybe before it is returned to its home I'll empty the box completely and look through the contents in their entirety. Maybe that can be my 'Sunset' activity over these next few days.

I no longer really believe in the stages of grief that the counsellors talked so much about in those early days. Sure, they exist, but not in a beginning to end type journey, where they tell you eventually you'll reach acceptance. Maybe that is true of some grief, but not the soul-changing forever life changing grief after the death of your child. I don't think I'll ever truly accept my daughter died, not in that way. 

I see my journey more as a pendulum swing now; always hitting somewhere along this curve.  Sometimes hitting the better more positive places than others.

The approach to and the month of June might always be my nemesis. The annual trauma when my mental and emotional health take a battering. Her birthday each year feels harder,  it leaves me bereft, its a place where I cannot find healing. I there, in all those those stages there on the left hand side and there at the bottom. June is my crisis. Bewildering, chaotic, spiralling out of control, heart hurting and chest hurting painful, breathing painful, exhausting, frightening even. Crisis. I'm not well in June.

But right now, today on the 5th of November, I'm at the top side of the right and I'm well.  New strengths, developing new patterns, new plans, feeling hopeful and its a good place to be.

This workshop, this summer, this autumn, has been good for me; like a little confidence boost. A recognition that I am healing in parts and I've taken so many more positive steps than I realise; especially this last two years. Steps forwards and steps backwards and turning points.


Today I saw this on a friends Facebook wall, and it seems very apt. 

At least for today I feel like I am winning.

Day 30. Capture Your Grief. Reflection. 

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I'm Caz, Mummy to beautiful angel Belle and my wonderful rainbow boys, Xander and Zac. Wife to Jon. Twitter @cazem Instagram @cazzyem
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