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, 27 May 2012

Seven Months Old

A seven month old baby boy. Can you believe it?!

A mere month ago we were celebrating his half birthday and I was saying how we were going to be practising sitting up. And now sitting up my boy is! At 29 weeks old, Alexander stayed upright on his own for the first time. Wobbly at first and briefly, but now, three weeks later he is getting steadier all the time and sitting up for a good five minutes or more on his own. And when he's had enough of sitting up (or loses his balance!) he does a little faceplant type roll and puts himself on his front.

He loves it, he thinks he is very clever; which of course he is! *smile*

In keeping with the physical theme, all around now he is much much stronger. He is loving standing up now with very minimal support, he does all the leg work (pardon the pun) we're just there lightly holding his hands or hips. He is definitely moving into the 'I can do big baby' things now. He is also trying so hard to discover crawling. He just hasn't quite got the idea of getting his knees up underneath him and pushing his arms up at the same time, so instead of crawling at the moment a strange 'breast stroke going nowhere swimming' action is going on! hehe! I'm sure crawling won't be long now, maybe in time for his 8 month update?!

His little character is really beginning to shine through. Xander is a little charmer, cheeky chappy who thinks nearly everything is funny and is forever smiling and laughing and enjoying game playing. At the moment a favourite little game is singing and doing the actions to 'Row, row, row your boat', or indeed any song, but Row Row is definitely the favourite for now! 

Our cat Fiz and Xander are starting to become firm friends. After spending six months more or less ignoring him, or at best giving him the odd glance and sniff, Fiz has decided Alexander is worth getting to know after all. Quite regularly now she gives him little kisses, sits near him for a time and allows him to reach over to her and doesn't react while he grabs clumpfulls of her fur or tail! It is like she knows she has to treat him differently to how she would react to us grabbing her in the wrong way.  Its really quite cute to watch them equally fascinated by eachother now. I must remember to try and get more photos of them together. 

It is safe to say Alexander LOVES his food. He has an enormous appetite and his jump in weight gain over the last month goes to show! Hehe! Over the last few weeks he has gone from under double his birth weight to quite a jump over it. At seven months old he weighs 19lb 4oz, which is around two and a half pound heavier than the previous month and jumped up a whole percentile line to middle 50th. 

It is nice to see him enjoying his food, even though he has little interest in feeding himself.  My little man is quite impatient, so although he has shown he is able to finger feed himself, he has already figured out that Mummy doing it means he gets it quicker, and therefore we have full on strops if I expect too much independence at mealtimes! Lazy baba! He is getting there though. He is much more willing to attempt to give himself a drink and readily reaches out for his bottle or cup and helps to hold it now. 

We have had a month of it with eczema and dribble rashes though. Our poor boy has had a very sore face, we've been constantly applying different creams and vaseline in an attempt to clear it up.   After almost a month of persistent rash getting nowhere we took a visit to the Doctor, who decided his dribble rash was infact a little infected and prescribed an antibiotic cream, only this made everything ten times worse and two days later the whole underside of his face was red-raw.  A weekend trip to out of hours later we came away with a course of antibiotics and a steriod cream to try instead... pleased to say we're much much on top of it now, but still not gone completely.  

Teething and hot weather is no good for curing rashes! 

On the teeth front, we are still toothless despite all the signs. Dribble galore, pulling on gums etc. The two bottom teeth are visible in the gums but are really taking their time about erupting through. Maybe we'll have a toothypeg by 8 months?! 

Alexander is such fun at the moment, we're really enjoying his company. Jon (and me!) are forever exclaiming how lush he is...*gush* 

Cheeky handsome baby boy!

Saturday, 19 May 2012

S is for...

... St. Lucia...

We honeymooned here.. Beautiful, really a holiday of a lifetime. We won't mention Jon's almost deathly experience and two week stay in hospital on our return, now we'll just focus on the amazing first eight days we spent in St Lucia.  

Jon and I haven't taken many 'proper' holidays together. We've done lots of weekends in London, a week up in the Lakes and drove over to France a few years ago. This year we're planning to go up North, next year we're toying with the idea of driving over to France again and euro-camping, but this is the only 'proper' fly-away holiday we've had so far. Our honeymoon. 

These are some of my favourite honeymoon photographs!

Our resort - helicopter ride view! 

Resort side beach

Sunset 'Pirates of the Caribbean' Ship Ride 

The view from the beach side bar!

A different way to lounge in the pool!

In the helicopter

Sunset

Our wedding rings

Married 3 days here and about to fly away!

Our bed when we arrived! 










Thursday, 10 May 2012

R is for...

... rainbows...

It reminds me of a poem I wrote in the very early months after Anabelle's death, I may have posted it before. All about colour, or indeed lack of at the time. Life was grey, faded, black even. In a whirlwind of hurt and pain it was very difficult to see beyond the storm or dream of rainbows. So black dominated. 

Black does not dominate any more. A forever present colour, living alongside us, but now not the only one. Now we have rainbows, we have Alexander.  He is what is described as a rainbow baby; the child who came along after his siblings death. Infact you may remember before we knew he was a boy he was called Bow as in short for Rainbow.  Our child that doesn't get rid of the storm, but fills our lives with colour once more.  And I enjoy that colour so much. 

Our son is such a joy. We can't get enough of him, loved so much we could burst. Somehow there was strength and carrying on; he's the blue I talked of finding...


The colour in my life has faded,
It’s now all miserable shades of grey,
I struggle to find the sparkle,
Since Anabelle flew away.

We were expecting a beautiful girl,
Expecting a life full of pink,
But now the grey has descended,
And tears are always on the brink.

My life used to be bright,
With yellows and reds and golds,
Full of beautiful rainbows,
Until the day I was told.

How do I find the gold and sparkle?
How do I fight the grey?
Find the strength to carry on,
To find new pink or blue one day.

I still want to see in colour,
But it seems so far away from here,
The entire colour is now in heaven,
My beauty Belle took it with her.

And yet I see a little light,
It shines right near my heart,
Highlighting the fading colour in me,
Anabelle and I are never really apart.

A tiny little pink remains with me,
Anabelle coloured my soul,
She remains forever with me,
Restoring the colours is now our goal.

The red of love is still overwhelming,
For my Jon, for Belle – our family,
It’s the red that keeps me going,
Without it, I would not be.

A sign of white and roses,
Brings memories of smiles,
Weddings and circles and angels,
Shining bright in the sky for miles.

I must continue to find the colours,
To fight grey and find rainbows again,
And to especially find my sparkle,
For my Anabelle, my precious gem.



August 2010

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Q is for...

... Queen (The)...

I think I would consider myself a royalist. In as much as I would rather have a royal family than a president, although I cannot articulate why.  I like the royal history of this country and am fascinated by previous Kings and Queens, particularly the Tudors (Henry VIII and Elizabeth I) and the Victorian eras. I also think our own Queen's reign has been fascinating; so much has changed in this country in the 60 years she has now been on the throne. I quite admire her; I think her and Prince Philip are remarkable people for their age. 

This year we are celebrating the Queen's (and my Mum's!) golden jubilee. 

I would quite like my own Kings and Queen's party one day.  I regularly subtly hint to Jon that I would like a Kings and Queen's ball for my 30th birthday in a few years time. I could quite see myself the princess! haha! 
Tuesday, 1 May 2012

P is for...

... poems...

I've written a small number of poems since Anabelle died. I never thought myself the writer, I hadn't written a poem since junior school! But one day, one kind of just started, I'm not sure how or why but it felt like a release. Somehow therapeutic to let the words flow in a different way. I suppose poems visualised my pain. Writing in all its forms has easily become my way of organising and processing my grief. 

I hadn't written one for a long while, maybe not even for a year; but in December, after a rough couple of days in a low place I found myself writing one in my head again. I'd been struggling with the perception that 'everything must be ok now' because we had Alexander. Many well meaning people throughout December told me that Christmas would be better this year now we had Xander, or after Christmas said we must've had a much happier Christmas this year. This perception that everything was better. 

And to some extent it is true, we did have a much happier Christmas is many ways. Our son was here, we celebrated with him, we enjoyed Father Christmas trips, opening presents and spoiling him - we did all the things we as parents with our baby were supposed to do, we wanted to do them, it was important that we celebrated his first Christmas to the full; but not any of this negated the pain we felt with Anabelle's absence.

By Boxing Day I was exhausted, feeling dark and low. I was all done with putting on the happy face, now I needed time to grieve my daughter. Another Christmas where she wasn't. 

You see there is really no such thing as better. There is different, there is happy, but not better. 

There is still sad too. That doesn't get better. Now there is two conflicting experiences going on; amazing joy for our boy and broken despair for our girl. These almost parallel lives collide often, delicately intertwined. Still grieving parents, and new parents again all rolled into one. There are many fragile moments. In all our happy there is pain. 

She should be here, there is no escaping that. Alexander being here doesn't stop that being true, or painful for us. 

Anabelle's death influences everything, we probably enjoy our son all the more because of her. She taught us to be parents, to appreciate what really matters, what we want to remember the most. We don't want to remember his baby days as being tired or how many difficult nights there were. We want to remember that we soaked up everything about him, that I held him all day if he wanted me too and didn't care about this supposed 'rod I'm creating for my own back'. We want him to 'remember' being soaked in love. 

We are utterly in love with him, we gush, we goo, we make the effort not to waste a moment of him because we know it could've all been so different. It could still all turn so differently. My fear of his death is nearly always at the forefront of my mind, maybe obsessively so, maybe one day I'll calm down, maybe I won't. It is always going to be a fear, our first child died, we know that pain only too well. 

The delight and miracle that he is because he lived and came home is paramount. We appreciate that to a degree that probably only another angel parent can. 

So things may appear happier from the outside, you will see us smiling and glowing again, after all Alexander is our sunshine, our rainbow.  But Anabelle is still here, still our child, still missed, still loved, still everything

And today it is May, which means she is two next month. Next month



Please don’t tell me she is in a better place
It’s not always a comfort to know.
She may be in Father God’s keeping,
But the hurt isn’t any less so.

Heaven is a long way from here,
A lifetime to wait ‘till we’re there,
We journey the days on the earth,
With only one of our babies to share.

Joy and sadness aside one another,
Pleasure tainted by forever pain,
Everything conflicted in parallel lives,
And lots of mixed up emotions remain.

We are parents of number one and two now,
Although it might not quite seem that way.
One of each, such a blessing I’m sure,
If only number one could’ve stayed.

So I’m Mummy to my little baby angel,
And to my precious little man,
I promise to love and honour you both,
Always the very best ways that I can.

December 2011







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Caz
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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