Our beautiful baby daughter Anabelle was born sleeping June 2010.
Blessed with the screaming arrivals of our gorgeous rainbow sons,
Alexander October 2011, Zachary November 2013 and Lucas July 2016.

After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows
Heartbreak. Joy. Death. Life. But most of all Love.

Thursday, 23 September 2010


Even the title of my blog should not be. There should've been no such thing as "After Anabelle"  But here we are, 3 months and 2 days since I gave birth to her sleeping.

Tuesday (21st) felt pretty significant to me, every 21st since has been hard to get through, but something about Tuesday and it being 3 months made it especially so. How could a quarter of the year gone by without my girl already?

You see, life, even when the most catastophic thing has happened to you, it continues to tick on by. The clock doesn't stop.  People say "Life Goes On" - those three little words, but do they not realise my life has been shattered into a million pieces? Life going on for me includes trying to find the pieces to put it back together again with one huge piece forever missing and never being able to be put back. How do you live forever with a gaping hole?

I think a lot about the things people say - and forgive me, I'm not trying to be ungrateful for people trying to be kind, I realise people often do not know what to say and they are doing their best - but often it is just words with little thought behind it. And believe me, I've been guilty of it to in the past. Because it is the things people say to eachother when they are grieving.

"I'm thinking of you" - For how long?  How long every day do you think of our awful situation, that we live 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Do people really put themselves in your shoes? Thoughts are fleeting, for just the moment they are out of the mouth. I sound mean, I know, but as soon as the thinking finishes back to lives they go. Besides, this is so horrific it is impossible to imagine.

"We are always here/You know where you are if you need us" - but in truth, people are not always there. I have very good family and friends, but they cannot possibly be always there. Their lives have carried on, the messages from the majority start to dwindle, they have other stuff going on, other responsibilities. It is difficult to intrude on that with my grief because quite often I don't even know what I want or what I need, and I know I can be uncomfortable to be around, I've noticed how people become uncomfortable around the topic of a dead baby.  But also people think others are there and keep their distance...  and so you end up spending time with people you maybe never have before, or hardly did before. People closely in your life become different. 

Then there's the other's that are down right hurtful, even if the intention behind them is not to be.  People cannot think behind the weight of these words - because they simply cannot understand, and I wouldn't wish them to, because to truely understand they to would have to lose a child also. -:

"You can try again" - Yes, I know I can - but how exactly will that fix Anabelle being dead?  It is not a baby shaped piece of my life missing, its an Anabelle shaped piece.  I could have another 6 babies, but it would not ease my pain of losing my firstborn child.   Another baby will, (God willing), fill my empty arms, but it would not heal a broken heart, like I've already said - A piece has gone forever. And besides, another pregnancy, a new baby, just opens up another whole can of worms doesn't it...  

"She just wasn't meant to be/There must've been something wrong with her" - Oh the pain when I hear these words.  I carried my daughter for over 7 months, she was meant to be. She moved, she kicked, she responded to her Daddy's voice. She knew us, and we knew her, she was so very much wanted. We loved her. We still love her.  She'd been named for 12 weeks when she died, she was very much already a little person to us. Belle was perfect, there was nothing wrong with her to me. Maybe its easy to say this to me because very few people ever met my baby, maybe they cannot realise just how real she was - but Anabelle was alive, for 32 weeks, growing and waiting to meet the world, a baby that fell asleep inside her Mummy, a baby I laboured and gave birth to.

I got increasingly angry about the last comment, so I was quite brave, I put an album of Anabelle on my facebook page, not really sure what reaction I would get. But determined to make the world recognise her too, not just as the lost baby, but a real baby, with a real face, real hand, real feet, real everything. Afterall, Belle is my daughter and I am so proud of her - as far as I was concerned she was going to be celebrated as she would've if she'd been born screaming.  I needn't have worried about the reaction, lots of beautiful comments about my beautiful girl. But people surprise you - those I would've expected to comment on her picutres never have, and those I wouldn't have expected to say anything are the ones who have been the kindest.

Me and myself - we're different now.  Things that once got me so riled or upset have no meaning now - trivial things just cannot matter. Its difficult to care about the little things anymore, even when they seem big to other people.  You see, all my efforts got into surviving the day - painting on that "I'm ok" face to go out into the world and do "normal" things.  This will come across as selfish, and maybe it is, but there is very little energy left over to get excited about some happy news or sad for somebody elses frustration.    But my daughters death is all consuming.  Life now was supposed to be different. Anabelle was supposed to be around a month old now not gone 3 months already.   My daughters room is full of the things we had bought for her but my daughter is not.

Maybe next time I will go back to the beginning, but for now I will leave you with this.

I have a list of wishes, given to me from a lady on SANDS.  I won't list them all, but maybe from time to time one or two will crop up. 

I wish you understood that losing my baby has changed me. The truth is I am not the same person I was before and will never be that person again. If you keep waiting for me to get back to ""normal" you will stay frustrated. I am a new person with new thoughts, dreams, beliefs, and values. Please try to get to know the real me-maybe you'll still like me.


ChocOrange said...

Just read this post, although I know its quite old now. I don't know what to say, everything seems trivial really but I think your post is a really interesting insight into how people who have suffered feel and cope. I hope things are better for you day by day although I know never totally better. Looking forward to seeing a happy Bow-shaped ending for you, not taking away from Anabelle's existence of course.

Lealea said...

Hi. I have recently given birth to my 3rd son Rocky. He was stillborn and reading this first post of yours rings so true. I hope you don't mind me reading through all of your blog. It helps to see how others are also dealing with this devastating situation. X

Caz said...

Hi Lealea.

I've just found your blog. Rocky is beautiful and I'm so sorry you've had to join this world of angel parenthood.

Of course I don't mind you reading through my blog. I hope somehow it helps you know what to expect on this journey. I started this blog to help me, but now I'm always pleased if it can help others too. I'm two and a half years down the line now, the pain never goes away, but I hope you can see the raw edges do soften.


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After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows. I'm Caz, Mummy to beautiful angel Belle and my wonderful rainbow boys, Xander, Zachy and Luc. Wife to Jon. Twitter @cazem Instagram @cazzyem
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