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.

Friday, 28 December 2012

X's End of 2012 Update

Its been a while since I've written a little Xander growing up blog, so as we're nearing the end of 2012 I thought now would be a good time to update with what he has been up to since his birthday. 

Where to begin? I've made a list! This week I've spent time sorting out his 12-18 month clothes ready to start phasing them in over the next few weeks. His 9-12 months has lasted him well and been worn for the longest so far, but he's had a little growth spurt recently and the arms are getting too short. Not the legs though; Xander clearly has little legs like his Mummy's side of the family! 

We also think he might be an emergent lefty like his Mummy, as he seems to be predominantly playing or picking things up with his left hand at the moment. 

Alexander now has a total of 6 teeth.  Cutting another two in October and the sixth tooth just over a week ago. He is still full of dribble and we're getting through bibs like nobodies business so I'll continue to blame teething for the time being; he could do with some more bottom teeth!

The poor baby had a very rough week during October half term when he cut the two teeth while being very poorly at the time. It was the week after his MMR vaccination and I've never known him so under the weather. Full of cold symptoms, projectile vomiting, loose nappies, fever, temperature, completely off his his milk and food which is completely unlike him. For a few days the only thing I could get him to eat was little fruit pots. To make matters worse we were away on a cold 'up North' holiday in Crimdon Dene, in a caravan without decent heating or washing machine. Nightmare! 

Up until two weeks ago Alexander was still breastfeeding morning and bedtime. A fortnight ago we mutually decided it was time to drop the morning feed so now at 14 and a half months old he is down to one feed a day, to go to bed. Never would I have thought I would have still been feeding him now. When I look back to how I felt about breastfeeding this time last year, to still be feeding now is quite astounding for me. By the time he was 6 months old I knew I wanted to aim to feed him until his birthday, his birthday came and went two months and a half ago and we're still feeding. For now it is firmly part of his bedtime routine and he still often feeds to sleep, so for the time being we'll keep going with it; it feels somehow wrong right now to take something away that he obviously finds comforting and sleep inducing, besides he hasn't stopped being a baby simply because he is a little over one now. 

At the moment I think my 'upper limit' is 18 months, I had no plans to become an extended breast feeder, and I don't think that is something I want, as much as I enjoy that quiet time with my boy at the end of the day. For me 18 months is when he becomes a proper toddler and time for us to move on from breast feeding to sleep. 

He is such a grown up little boy in many ways now, but in others still very much baby like. He's in a transition stage now between baby and nearly toddler. Absolutely gorgeous in every way though. He is so cheerful and cheeky, an amusing and loving little boy. 

If you ask Alexander for a kiss or cuddle now he will throw himself at you, burying his face in you going 'Awww'. He gives the best cuddles spontaneously too, to us and to Fiz, and is so genuinely affectionate and loving. Love that boy so much! 

He has learnt the names of more familiar people now and will look at Daddy, Mummy, Fiz, Bampi and Nana when asked where they are. For Christmas we have bought him a talking photo book we hope will encourage him to start saying our names too. In the last few weeks we have had one definite and meaningful Da-eee and one definite meaningful Mum-ma. Typically he hasn't attempted it again since, but hearing him call for both of us was heart melting. 

One Saturday morning we were all in bed have morning snuggles. Jon got up to go to the toilet and when he came back, Xander looked straight towards him, so excited and exclaimed Da-eee. For me is was more a whiny Mum-ma because I was in the kitchen; he was reaching through the gates towards me, calling me to pick him up, but still, it was still heart melting. I picked him up and smothered him in kisses! 

His understanding of language and identifying objects is improving all of the time. He seems to have generalised that a phone is a phone, and whether it be a toy phone, or one of our mobiles he will now pick it up and put it straight to his ear and say 'uh'. It is so cute! We're trying to get him to say Hiya into the phone. He is such a techy baby as he loves Facetiming Daddy! 

He loves singing and his current favourite songs are 'Horsey Horsey' when he is on his rocking horse and he'll join in by rocking back and fore, 'Twinkle Twinkle' and he'll join in my twinkling his little hands, 'This is the way the lady rides' and he'll join in at the end by anticipating and throwing himself backwards when the old man falls in the ditch, and 'If You're Happy and You Know It Clap Your Hands', and obviously he joins in by clapping his hands.  I know he was late clapping his hands and waving bye bye but I was so proud and excited when he joined in clapping games and started waving bye bye when we asked him to just over a month ago when he was 13 and a half months old. 

Alexander is a speedy little crawler and quite the escape artist if he spots an open door! We've had to put a gate up across the kitchen because he had become such a terror with crawling everywhere he shouldn't be and I was worried he was going to burn himself or fall over on the tiles as he was obsessed with climbing up the washing machine. I think we still have a while to go until Alexander is walking but I'm not at all worried. I know he'll do it when he is ready. I think it is just a case of confidence now and a little bit more development on balance.   His cruising and physical skills are all otherwise fine. He is climbing up and over and on everything now!  Alexander will walk for quite a way just holding onto one of our fingers but isn't ready to let go! If you let him go he lowers himself down to his bottom. He is very occasionally standing unaided for a few seconds so I'm sure it won't be too much longer now before he stands independently properly. 

Nursery reports weekly about how socially confident he is. I love that he is making friends and enjoying so many new experiences there. He seems to have buddied up with another little boy in his room and the staff tell me they make a mischeivious little pair. Wherever the one goes, the other follows and they empty toys baskets and drawers around the room in tandem. Today there was only a few children in Nursery (yes, bad Mummy, its the holidays and I still sent him. In my defense I had to do some work on my assignment which is next to impossible with him at home!) so all the rooms joined together and the babies were with the older children. Alexander wasn't at all phased, when I went to pick him up he was one of the youngest children in the room, big boys and girls playing all around him, him looking tiny in the thick of it but playing amongst them. I love that he has such confidence already. I'm so very proud of him.  A week Friday he officially moves up to the older babies room and I think he's going to be just fine with his continuing nursery adventure. 

He has been so spoilt again this Christmas. He still has six presents to open! He's been so appreciative of each gift, taking his time, enjoying unwrapping them, desperate to play with the new treasure inside. Impatient that Daddy isn't getting the box off quick enough and then completely immersed discovering the new game. It's so lovely to watch him play! If we've dared offer him another present to open while he is still engrossed in the previous one he's pushed the wrapped present away and frowned at us as if to say 'but I'm still playing with this one.'   I love that each gift has been loved by him. I think I'll be a little sad the year that magic wears off and the name of the game becomes ripping all the wrapping paper off in one go and presents are finished before dinner time.  

Our house currently resembles a toy shop again, we have a lot of tidying away and sorting of old baby-ish toys to do to make room for his new older baby toys, but it is safe to say Alexander seems to be developing a real love of cars and books. He is going to need a new little toy box just for his cars before long, he pushes the cars around the floor making a 'brrr' noise; what a typical boy.  I love it! Nature or nurture I wonder? 

Well I think that just about brings us up to date for now. He has grown so much this year, our still tiny newborn baby last Christmas, and our nearly toddler baby this Christmas. I'm so looking forward to all the new things he's going to do in 2013 too. 

Wishing you all a blessed and peaceful New Year, and sending love from all the Morgan's.











Thursday, 27 December 2012

Christmas This Year

The low hit earlier than expected.

Last year I hit the low on Boxing Day, after the main day had been done.  This year, I hit the low Christmas Day night. Christmas Day had been lovely, hectic, but lovely. But somewhere after everyone had gone home I felt that overwhelming hurt that our little girl had been missing again, always missing. Overwhelming sadness that we hadn't done enough for her or her brother this Christmas. Irrational I know. We'd had precious family time in her garden, our quiet moment of the day, but sometimes nothing feels enough, because nothing fixes the pain. 

Somewhere in all the busy-ness Jon and I hadn't found that quiet moment at dinner to pull Anabelle's cracker, a moment missed. Then somewhere in all the busy-ness Jon and I hadn't found that quiet moment, just with our son to open his main present.  And these two things were the trigger to streaming tears for another Christmas.  

So Christmas Day; quite lovely, Christmas night; pretty diabolical.

Bet lets focus on the lovely. Our little family Christmas 2012.

Xander was mesmerised by the sparkling reindeer dust outside before he went to bed, enjoyed cuddling up for 'The Night Before Christmas', he slept so well that come 7:30am we had to wake him up to tell him Father Christmas had been. He was simply delightful all day, as he always is. We visited Anabelle and took her presents to her, Belle as spoilt as her brother and remembered by so many. We are always so touched and grateful when friends and family take the time to remember our two children. Xander helped to open one of her presents, a present for her to him. A bell for Belle to remind him of his sister. 

Here we are two days later and Xander is still opening presents! Completely spoilt baby! He has loved everything he has opened and really appreciating each new toy. He is so desperate to explore them and very impatient waiting for Daddy to get them out of the packaging! And if you offer him a new present to unwrap while he's still engrossed in the previous one it gets pushed away until he is ready! His favourite presents so far have been his Happyland Farm and Toot Toot cars, but everything really, he's just loved everything!

And we love him. For all the pain in our lives our beautiful son brings more joy and is more precious than he could ever know. 

The Night Before Christmas

He's been!

Wakey wakey baby Xander!

Love my Toot Toots
Happy Christmas Anabelle

A bell for Belle, to Xander

Loving Christmas


Belle's cracker and candle. 


Mummy Daddy and Xander

Mummy Daddy and angel Belle




Tuesday, 18 December 2012

This Christmas

A week today until Christmas Day. 

This year, despite my evident huge low at the moment in lots of areas of life, for Christmas I am excited. Actually excited for Christmas with my boy. He is such a little explorer now and plays beautifully, so I'm excited to watch him explore all his new toys, excited to enjoy him, and spoil him. You know what, I didn't think I would ever be able to say that, not about Christmas; excited for Christmas. That is definite progress right there and it warms my heart. 

I feel a little guilty for being excited, but I know being excited for what I can do with Xander doesn't negate the pain for what we can't with Anabelle. Is guilt always going to be part of this angel/rainbow Mummy experience? Somehow again this Christmas we will make a mish-mash of reconciling our two worlds. Alexander having a part in Anabelle's Christmas and vice-versa.  

This Christmas I'm going to expect the Boxing Day emotional crash of last year, I know the low has to come, but I'm going to embrace the positive feelings too this year. I'm going to embrace our family Christmas traditions and love and celebrate with both of my babies through the festivities. Its the only way I know how to do things! 


Monday, 17 December 2012

Counselling

Jon thinks I need to go back to counselling. Hurt and grief and missing her now so consuming again he is concerned. We're in different places. He has reached acceptance; I'm a million miles from there. 

I'm not sure I want to, or can, ever accept my daughter being dead.  I can't move on from her. Despite everything I have in my life, and the joy that surrounds so much of what we do with Alexander, part of my existence is stuck, there in June 2010, where she is. When I had her, held her, when she was real; not the photographs, rituals and headstone she is now. 

I haven't been to counselling since Anabelle's first birthday. I sort of stopped going without meaning to stop. I cancelled one week because of illness and just never rebooked another one. I didn't quite mean not to go again, my counsellor text a few times to remind me she was there; I'm not sure why I didn't book another appointment, I wasn't better. But then a few weeks past and it felt harder to ring and make an appointment. 

Then I got more and more pregnant with Xander, ended up in hospital at 32 weeks, and then the daily hospital visits just to keep me half sane until he was born took over. Then he was born, screaming, and my dream of being an earth Mummy took over, on a high as it were, completely immersed in Xander and everything that he is.   

Counselling was forgotten. I figured I was doing ok without it anyway. 

But now we're not so sure. I'm struggling to balance the absolute joy of being a rainbow Mummy to Alexnder with the despair of being an angel Mummy to Anabelle. I'm so desperately missing my girl, my pain and fear for the future and what forever means is putting enormous pressure on my family.  Eighteen months since my last appointment I might have to pluck the courage up to go again. To make that phonecall, to make an appointment, to talk about these last eighteen months and what I'm not coping with right now. 

Maybe this is going to have to be my new years resolution 2013. 










Sunday, 9 December 2012

Tired of Hurt

Anger. Grief. 

The circular pattern, once again we're in phase angry. 

This last month or so I've been so angry, on and off, when I'm not being distracted by festive build up, when I have too much time to think, or triggered by something. Physically hurting painful grief. Feeling emotionally fragile. 

It is never going to end is it and I'm so tired of hurting. Once again the 'foreverness' is overwhelming. 

I don't know how to accept that this life is the way it is always going to be. One of our babies forever missing from our lives. 

I don't know how to accept how it is, over how it should have been

I don't know how to stop being angry. Angry that instead of having a world full of pink, like an average family with daughters, my daughter is dead and pink for us means grave decorations or symbolic gestures of remembrance in our home. 

Seemingly at the moment I'm coping less and less with this. Our version of having a daughter while watching most other families version of having a daughter. 

Our version of pink is becoming a fine line between being all I can do to include Anabelle in our family to feeling ridiculous because she isn't here, so what does it matter anyway? A fine line between our version of pink feeling like something I have to do or feeling completely meaningless and silly apart from being a ritual. A fine line between helping me cope or hurting me more. 

I know it sounds like I'm whining, but it isn't fair. 

I should be buying my almost two and half year old baby girl dolls and prams, toy kitchens and special dresses for Christmas, not have to steel myself in imaginary armour to buy for other people's daughters while having to buy angel decorations, pink trees, tinsel and lights just to somehow include my own in the festivities. 

What did we do to deserve this version of our lives? Why couldn't our family have been 'normal' like most others? I don't know how to be a bereaved parent forever, reaching this point again and again with the circular pattern of hurt and grief. 

Don't scratch me too deeply at the moment, believe me I'm outwardly being brave so often, but underneath there is too much going on leaving me feeling vulnerable to a very public outpouring of hurt before long. 
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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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