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.

Sunday, 31 July 2011


I did it. I made myself go into Anabelle's room and sort the pink from the neutral.  

I knew it was coming, I knew I had to stop putting it off; after all the next thing to build up to is turning it into a little boys room. These things need to happen in stages; not all at once. I'd never cope with them all at once.

So yesterday afternoon, probably fueled by the adrenaline of anger, I bit the long time coming bullet and proceeded with stage one. 

Stage one meant picking out the pink accessories, the pink toys and putting them in piles on the landing. Ready to move into the attic; hoping they'll get to be used for a second daughter one day.  Stage one meant sorting through Anabelle's clothes, picking out the white and neutral bits for Alexander and boxing up the pink, flowery and girly bits to go in the attic with her toys. 

It wasn't her clothes that really upset me. I approached it as a job that needed doing, methodical, practical. Focused.   Blimey Anabelle had a lot of clothes! Between what we'd bought and borrowed she was already challenging my wardrobe! A typical girl as her Daddy would say.  I'd forgotten just how much there was, what we'd bought. 

Of course we'd been through them before and already picked out the bits that were really Anabelle's.  The bits that meant more to us than the rest. In the weeks after her death we compiled her memory box and added the outfit we'd planned to bring her home in, her first dress, her "Daddy" t-shirt, the matching outfit to the one we'd buried her in.   So many tiny beautiful clothes she never even got to wear. 

What upset me more than anything else, and unexpected by me, was her shoes.

The tiny little shoes I'd lovingly chosen; because being the typical girl I am I love shoes and wanted her to have cute pairs just like Mummy, So Anabelle already had pink sparkly 'trainers', pink sandles and white and pink pram shoes. I held them in my hands for the first time since she was born. I realised that although aged 0-3 months they were more or less double the size of her feet; enormous for her. 

Anabelle's tiny little feet were only the size of my thumb; length and width.   Those beautiful shoes, now boxed away for the attic, made me realise once again just how tiny my daughter was, arriving far too soon, arriving asleep. 

So now we have two boxes of clothes. One full of pink things for my girl who'll never need them, the other full of whites and the few boy things we've bought for Alexander so far. I hope this time the clothes don't have to stay in the box. 

Stage one is complete; now for stage two we have to build up to painting the pink, blue. 


My New Normal said...

I can only imagine how difficult that was for you. When my son died I had some wonderful friends who came in and cleared out his room while I was in hospital. I am eternally grateful that they spared me that job. I'm proud of you for doing it on your own.

Sara said...

I was a woose about this aspect too. I literally cut and run. Moving out of our flat 4 days after we lost Griffin. All the baby stuff went to a womens' refuge our stuff went in storage and we lived with my mummy for a few months.

Caz said...

My husband did the bulk of hiding away. After Belle was born we moved in with my parents for a few weeks to be looked after. One evening while I was still up there he came down and put all her stuff in her room and shut the door so I wouldn't have to see it when I came home.

I couldn't look at it for a while but I couldn't part with it either. I still can't part with it. Even if we never have another daughter I think it will forever live in our attic and move with us when we move. Maybe I'll feel differently as the years go on, but for not, moving it from her room into the attic was enough.

I think you were both brave to do things your way too. xxx

Anonymous said...

We have the memory box from the hospital, 2 boxes of newborn stuff, all the baby books & a hamper someone bought us sat in a corner of our dining room. Next to my bed the bottom drawer is full of baby clothes-all neutral as we didn't know the sex, I never open this drawer. My husband packed away the Moses basket & the car seat is still at the in-laws. A big order had been delivered from boots a couple of days earlier; nappies, steriliser, bottles, breast pump, muslins, my sister in law took it all back for a refund. I don't know what we're going to do about getting things ready for this one, I am inclined to leave it all for now.

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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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