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, 10 November 2011

The Wrong Alternative

I've had a bad dream. 

A dream where my life is the same but different. An alternative life; but not any better, not one I would choose. 

Between 3.45am when I settled Alexander back to sleep and 5.45am this morning when he woke up for his next feed; Anabelle was alive.   Anabelle was alive, but Alexander was dead. 

For some reason they were there together, but still exactly as I know them both. Anabelle was still her 4lb 5oz tiny self, and Alexander was still as he is right now.

Anabelle was the one in my arms, with her eyes open taking the world in, the one making cooing sounds and Alexander was in his moses basket being wrapped and covered in blankets ready to be taken away from me. Silent and still.

 For reasons I cannot fathom in real life; I couldn't put Anabelle down to hold or look after him, I wasn't being the Mummy to him I should be. I was asking other people to pick him up and wrap a blanket around him. I'm not even sure who the other people were. 

My identical babies were in the opposite places. They were them but not quite looking like themselves. Something wasn't quite right about either of them. Something felt uncomfortable. 

And then I woke up. But at least it was to the sound of Alexander's voice. 

I knew it was a dream but I woke up quite tearful. Even if it is 'only a dream' I've seen my son dead. The night time has decided to show me my worst fears and give me something I long for all at the same time. Long for; but not like that, not exchanging my one baby for the other.  

The only alternative life I want to dream about is the impossible one where I have them both. The one that can never come true. 

You see I've had many crazy moments since Alexander has been born; or really just ongoing crazy moments from when he was inside. The poking and prodding hasn't stopped. I've lost count of the number of times I've given him a little shake to make him move when he's been in his stillest of sleeps, or the number of times I've put my face close to his to feel him breathing or removed blankets to see his chest rise and fall.   

My absolute number one fear right now is SIDS. We've moved on from the fear of him being born asleep of course, now I've perceived his biggest risk as cot death and I'm terrified it might actually happen.

I know in reality all parents have a life of worry for their children, but is this how his life is going to be indefinitely? Me moving on from being frightened of one scenario of death to the next? Because for me is always about death. 

I think I'm going to feel out of sorts today. 


Lynn C Schreiber said...

Oh, sweetheart. How distressing for you. Massive (((hugs)))

I don't think it is the same, but when my daughter was born, I did the poking and prodding too. I had a little mirror that I would hold over her face to see if she was still breathing.

So, yes I would agree that all parents worry about their children, and that this in itself is bad enough.

I guess for you the best thing is to acknowledge these feelings of fear, to allow them and to accept them as normal. And then try to live your life despite them.

Anonymous said...

There's so much anticipation over a forthcoming birth, and the huge high of the actual birth, that the following weeks and months can feel strangely flat in places. When the Congratulations cards have been taken down, the visitors have stopped; you are so tired, your body feels so bashed, and so odd without the bump - it's a strange time. It's even stranger for you because of missing Anabelle so much and the paradox between being an Angel mummy and and Earth mummy. Perhaps when you are on your own, and Alexander is safely napping (and out of earshot not that he can understand as such, but even so) say out loud ALL the negative and sad things you have been thinking - let them out, literally. Make a decision that you will not feel guilty about anything you say no matter how awful - you need to let it out. It will probably come out in a jumble but talking about it (even to yourself) will help. That or a sympathetic, non-judgemental ear of someone else. I can feel your torment and worry and all I can say is it WILL get better because Alexander will interact with you more and more and that really pulls you out of yourself. Hugs xxx

Shell Louise said...

I'm so sorry you had to go through this. What a horrible dream.

I haven't been through the loss of a child so I can't say I know what you're going through there but I can relate to the worry about different death scenarios and they happened with all 3 of my babies.
I could be totally relaxed then all of a sudden, it was like a movie would start in my head and I would be watching something horrible happening to my child, or watching myself finding my child dead due to one reason or another. It would feel so real sometimes that I would start crying.
When it happened with my first, I figured it was because it was my first and everything was so new but then it happened with my next two and I thought it must be down to my hormones or something.
I've talked to other mums who said they went through the same thing, which made me feel better because sometimes I would worry that there was something wrong with me.
When they each got past their first birthdays, I must have started to relax because it didn't happen as frequently and finally stopped altogether.

Alexander is gorgeous. Congratulations xxx

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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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