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.

Saturday, 12 February 2011


It has been a weird week.

Thursday we had our conclusion appointment regarding Belle’s death and all the tests that have been done on me since. These last test results were just to confirm everything we already knew; no reason can be found for my daughter dying.

She had no chromosomal abnormalities, I have no blood disorders. Our little girl was perfect yet she didn’t make it. Granted only a short little life.

I still cannot shift the feelings of guilt and failure, I feel like I massively let her down. I knew this appointment was going to confirm no reason, as I’ve said before we’re not sure we even want a reason – it changes nothing, but WHY is a pretty big question that will forever be unanswered. We’ll learn to live with that though; what choice do we have?

The last few days I’ve been playing the day before her death through my head again. All the what ifs, all the things I could’ve done differently.

I could’ve made more of a fuss at my midwife appointment that she had started to go quiet. It had been about 3 hours at this point since I’d last felt her move – but the midwife had found her heartbeat so I thought 3 hours wasn’t long enough to start getting hysterical.

I could’ve asked the midwife to send me into hospital for another check-up when she commented that Anabelle’s heartbeat was slightly faster than it should be.  A normal baby range is 110-160 in the womb, Anabelle’s at this last appointment was 170. The midwife commented, but said it wasn’t enough to be unduly concerned.  12 hours or so later Anabelle was dead.

I could’ve gone to the hospital Tuesday night instead of waiting until it was too late on the Wednesday morning. Anabelle had continued to be quiet all day. But the midwife had found a heartbeat, and we had found a heartbeat on our machine before going to bed. She was there; so I put it down to her having a quiet day, sleeping, running out of room to be moving around too much – because that is what the baby book says.  We agreed that if she still wasn’t being very active in the morning we’d go in. The morning came, the heart monitor went back on and we heard nothing. Our nightmare began. I should never have waited for the morning.

I could’ve spent the whole night in bed, surrounded by my pillows supporting her. Instead that night I ended up on the sofa because Jon’s snoring was keeping me awake. It is ridiculous, but this week it is this that I’ve been beating myself up about the most. In the light of a confirmation of unexplainable death, did I somehow squash her or suffocate her because I wasn’t supporting her properly on the sofa?

Anabelle’s death feels like my fault. I somehow feels like I killed her.

Rationally I know this isn’t true, but I had one job to do – get her here safely and I couldn’t do it. It leaves me doubting my ability to look after any baby through pregnancy. My judgements for Anabelle were so wrong that day. What if I make wrong judgments and let another one of my beautiful children down? I’m not sure I trust myself to read the signs.

The appointment this week has put us in an uncomfortable place. I spent most of Thursday sighing; not sure how to be. Almost 8 months since Anabelle was born and it all amounted to a short consultant’s appointment telling us nothing. It seemed final. Nothing medically anyone can do or say for her anymore. They don’t want to see me now until we’re pregnant again.

This morning her headstone draft has arrived through the front door. We need to sign to confirm all the details and give the go ahead to proceed.

Another finality. 


Tasha said...


This was never your fault hun xxxxxxxxxxxx

Marie said...

18 months on I still have these thoughts, I'd still give anything to turn back time. Logic doesn't come into it. Here's to the pain subsiding a little for both of us x

My New Normal said...

I am constantly playing the what if game. What if I had called the doctor when I noticed he wasn't moving as much instead of believing the baby books. What if my scan had been a week later. What if my scan had been a week earlier. You can drive yourself crazy. I truly believe that we did all we could do for our babies. If we knew something was wrong we would have acted. But we didn't. It's not our fault.

It's not your fault.

Unknown said...

Caroline, every mother who loses a child blames herself and plays the 'what if' game. What if i had had taken him straight to the hospital? what if i had stayed up with him instead of going to bed? etc. 21 years later i still wish i could replay that day and the day that followed and do things differently - but it wasn't my fault!!! and it wasn't yours either.
There's a saying that i read recently - 'when a child is born, so is a mother' and that's who you now are, nothing can change that - just hold on and believe!! when i had my daughter i spent over a year expecting her to die or be taken from me, just as her brother had before her, but guess what? she didn't - she's 21 this year! and i went through it all again when my second daughter was born and she's almost 18 :-)
you are and always will be a mother xxxx

Anonymous said...

Your baby left you so suddenly, I don't think anyone in your situation would have done anything differently. It was out of your hands. ((Hugs)).

Nanny Davies/ julie said...

caz you and jon did nothing wrong!
please do not keep blaming yourselves for your tragic loss.you will go crazy if you keep playing the what if game.
you are and always will be Anabelles loving parents who cherished every moment you had with her.

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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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