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.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Because She's Worth It

“It will all be worth it in the end” was a phrase that was often said to me when I was suffering horrendous morning sickness. I don’t know why it’s called morning sickness, because I suffered all day; including getting up in the middle of the night to be sick too. I didn’t disagree, I felt rotten, but I was pregnant and that was special – of course it was going to be worth it. Besides, I knew morning sickness had a high probability of being part of pregnancy before we started trying for Anabelle.  I know full well I’ll probably suffer with it again when we’re pregnant with number 2.
I heard it again when I was in hospital at 31 weeks with a threatened premature labour. June was so cruel. I was admitted 10 days before Anabelle died because she had gone quiet, I was having early contractions and her heart rate was dipping. At one point I was being prepped for theatre for an early delivery but they were treating us and Anabelle picked up, the contractions became less intense and slowed down. It was ok. I was kept in for a few days and given steroid injections to mature Belle’s lungs just in case. The steroid injections were the most painful I’ve ever had. But it was “all going to be worth it in the end”.
Going through our head then wasn’t the possibility that our daughter could die; oh no, we were so very concerned for the life-long problems she could face if she was born so early. The uncertainty of her early weeks and beyond. We had a visit from a neo-natal doctor who told us exactly what would happen if Anabelle had to be delivered. I wasn’t really reassured about the long term.  The problem being I know too much from my job.
Now a huge part of me wishes she’d been delivered then. Those two little words creep in “What if” – would she have survived if she’d been born that week? The worst thing of all is that my threatened premature labour was just a horrible co-incidence in timing, it wasn't related to her death the week after. I know the best decision for Anabelle had been made that week. She had picked up and settled down, she was ok, I had a scan, the scan was ok, she was safer inside me than out. Or so it seemed. No-one can foretell the future can they.
Then a week after I was discharged I was hysterical. Anabelle had gone quiet again – the day before she died I had a midwife appointment, her heartbeat was found straight away, a little fast, but not fast enough to worry unduly. During that day she got quiet. We had a heartbeat monitor at home and before I went to bed we listened in; and there was her little heart. She was ‘ok’ – we made the decision that if she was still quiet in the morning we would go to the hospital. How I wish now we’d gone that night. I find it quite difficult to live with, this guilt I didn’t keep her safe or go in early enough. Even though I know in reality that the outcome probably would’ve been the same in the end. They wouldn't have got her out unless they had to, and her heartbeat was there in the night.
The morning came and I put the heartbeat monitor on again. Nothing but silence.
I tried to reason with myself that maybe the batteries were low or something. But in my heart I knew; mother’s intuition?
We got to the hospital and I was straight on monitors. They thought they found a heartbeat, it was slow for a baby but it was there and our hopes were raised. But in reality they had found mine. My heartbeat which was raised a little fast for an adult. We were sent for an emergency scan and it confirmed what my heart was already telling me. Our little girl had become an angel.
But it was “all worth it in the end” – not in the traditional sense, but we still met our daughter. We had gotten to know her, in her 32 weeks she had become such a part of our family, infact she’d become the main feature of our family. She still is. She’s made us a family. Me and Jon loved her more than we thought possible already. Bonding and love starts at conception, from that positive pregnancy test. We loved being pregnant with Anabelle.
Every trial and pain in pregnancy is worth it and I just hope everyone realises that. I appreciated everything with Anabelle, but think how much more I’ll be aware of how precious my time is when we have number 2. Anabelle has taught me to take nothing for granted and that it really will all be worth it in the end.


Marie said...

So much of what you say strikes a chord with me. So much was similar to my time with Joe. The what-ifs are so painful, and I'm so sorry anyone else has had to go through this.

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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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