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, 25 August 2012

A Big Bunch of Firsts

Feeling under pressure. This might be a jumbled up bag of thoughts. 

A big ball of anxiety knot has taken residence in my stomach and making me very snappy. I find it hard these days to distinguish between what is normal pressure, and what just feels like pressure for the 'new me'. I used to be far more of a coper than this, although some might disagree. These days I find myself getting worked up before something has even begun.

Currently the triggers seem to be uni, work and parenthood. Just the normal things then, ridiculously over-magnified no doubt.

I've forgotten how to be a student, I've lost all my confidence. I'm in the middle of an assignment and I can't tell if what I've written is complete drivel. It is two years since I've studied last. When Anabelle died I had just completed half of my post-graduate diploma. Then half way through Module 4 studying no longer was my focus and instead I was planning my daughters funeral. I deferred for two years; until the next cohort of students reached the half way point of the course. I would resume my studies at Module 4 with them.

Those two years have passed and I'm back at uni, back doing Module 4.

That very first day of lectures was pretty enormous. I can't tell you how relieved I was when the first people there with me were people who already knew me. I didn't have to explain who I was, where I had been or why I was returning now.  But it was a hurdle none-the-less. You know the 'last time I was here, Belle was here with me' hurdle. Module 4 has reminded me much of being pregnant with her. Lectures I'd previously sat through two years ago before my world fell apart.

Module 4 has felt like a big deal. I somehow need to prove to myself despite everything that I'm still capable of this, that I haven't lost so much of myself from two years ago that maybe I thought I had. That underneath it all, 'just me' is there somewhere.  Adding 'student' to my repertoire of roles has been exhausting. I've discovered I can barely concentrate compared to the last time I was studying. It is an entirely different process now, priorities of course are different now, and essay writing is fairly low down on the list when there is Alexander to look after.

But I'm getting there. I will be surprised  pleased to scrape a pass, but at least I only have another 1000 or so words to write! Then of course completing my planning ready for the upcoming autumn term. Its that time of year pressure. So much to do and so little time to do it in.

And then there is my ongoing obsession with Alexander's development.  I sometimes can't tell if we've supported Alexander correctly; which is ridiculous seeing as I'm a teacher of children functioning at the earliest stages of development like Alexander. I should know. Somehow it is very different teaching and supporting your own children. I worry far more about getting it right with him; in school I feel much more professionally secure for the most part planning for my class. 

Yesterday was a big day.

I took Alexander for his first settling in session at nursery. The same nursery we had chosen for his sister to attend when I had returned to work. It seems entirely ridiculous and naive now that we had gone to the bother of choosing a nursery for our unborn child.  How sure we were that she was coming home and would attend.

But we stuck with our choice for Alexander, convicted in our previous choice that it was the best place for our children.

Yesterday we walked through the nursery doors, walked into baby room and sat down; and instantly my thoughts turned to Belle. Somehow is felt like I was there for the first time with the 'wrong' child. Two weeks from now, when Xander has his first proper day at nursery I will take a photo of him all ready to go for his first day at nursery. A milestone for him, that our other baby didn't get. A photograph I should've already taken once. I hate it when I have these thoughts, I feel so guilty sometimes,  my hurt for Anabelle's firsts that were taken away from us isn't fair for Alexander and his firsts. I'm not being fair. 

But that the way it is.  Every time Alexander has a first, the reminder of firsts Anabelle didn't get the chance to have is never far behind.  Like yesterday. After nursery we took Xander to get his first pair of 'proper' shoes, although he is still mainly in the bare feet stage I figured that for the time he does wear shoes now they should be supportive.  It was exciting, they look so smart, he was so pleased with himself standing in them, looking at his feet as if to say 'What are those!' But underneath the excitement for Alexander I wistfully looked at the little pink shoes I would've loved to have bought for his sister too. I know it is gender stereotyping, but in this instance I don't care. I would've loved to have instilled a love of beautiful shoes in Belle that I have. 

And that is also the way it is. While I obsess that Alexander is developing as he should do, celebrate and squeal every time he does something new, I wish that his sister could've got to develop at all, could have had her first visit to nursery, her first visit to the shoe shop.  Yesterday was another big hurdle day. 


cazzy said...

Hi Caz I wasn't going to type anything but it feels rude not to- I had forgotten Anabelle was born in June. I did think of her as we celebrated Poppy's second birthday and reading back some of your posts I had a little cry. The power of mumsnet - we'll probably never met but I think (hope) I will always remember Anabelle and how lucky I am to have Poppy. xxxx

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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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