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 January 2013

#5: Accomplishments

What was the last major accomplishment you had? 

Um... 

Oh dear, this is not going so well. Question 5 on what should be day 10.   Certainly this venture will not be considered a major accomplishment. Maybe I could at least challenge myself to finish the months questions by the end of the month... we'll see. 

It is so difficult to celebrate your own achievements isn't it. As I sit here I struggle to think of something I could consider a major accomplishment. There are things I'm proud of no doubt; most recently, for example, my approved pay progression in work. But is it major? What constitutes as major? 

If I look back over our lives this last two and a half years I'm proud that we are surviving. We are holding our heads above water, but not only that we're beginning to sometimes float again.  

I'm proud of the day I first left the house on my own after Anabelle died. That was major. Major. From not being able to leave Jon's side, in hysterics if he hadn't replied to a message within a few minutes, imagining he was dead too, unable to cope with the noisy busy baby filled world, to taking a trip over to Asda on my own. 

I'm proud of the day I went back to work after Anabelle. Cutting my maternity that wasn't short, facing people, putting on a professional face again. In hindsight I was not functioning at work at full capacity for many many months after I returned, possibly not until I returned for the second time after Alexander's maternity leave, but I was there. I'm proud of my return to work after Alexander. I feel absolutely settled and engaged in work again, something I didn't really feel between babies. Although there are days when I feel guilty because I've only seen Alexander for an hour or two before bedtime, I know he gets the best out of me on the days I am home, work gets the best out of me the days I'm in work. For the most part I feel I'm achieving a fair balance. 

I was proud when I returned to university recently. When Anabelle died I was half way through my Post-Graduate Diploma in Special Education. After two years of deferral, I returned to complete the last three modules, and I hope my next accomplishment will be a graduation at the end of this academic year. Sometime in the near-ish future I hope to complete my Masters. Now for anyone who is subjected to my assignment progess tweet updates when I'm in the woe of essay writing will probably be thinking I'm mad, but I think it will be really good for my personal and professional development. I've always wanted my MA. I seems silly for me to get this close and not bridge onto a masters programme to complete a few more modules and a dissertation to turn diploma into masters. Of course, of first I actually have to pass the diploma!

I am proud that we have very nearly raised £10,000 for Sands since June 2011. Anabelle's Angel Day, her version of a first birthday party, was incredible. The support was incredible. I was gobsmacked on the day when the first count came to just shy of £5000. With part matched fundraising since, gift aiding and other separate donations we are approaching the 10k mark. Her fundraising page is still open at http://www.justgiving.com/anabelles-angel-day. Sands do a wonderful work. Immediate support for families by providing memory boxes for bereaved parents at the hospital which allows precious one time moments to be caputred. They provide 'befrienders' available online, telephone and local support networks and groups for families, they provide support through a next pregnancy, and indeed support with being a rainbow parent too. In the early days the online support forum was my sanctuary. Today I visit there less but I know it remains important to very newly bereaved parents, as well as continuing to support the longer bereaved if they continue to want it.  They organise national and local remembrance services which provide comfort to so many families.  This is without mentioning the research they fund to reduce the number of babies dying to stillbirth and neonatal death.   As I mentioned in my previous blog, next month I plan to access the rainbow baby support group, even two and a half years on from Anabelle death I need Sands and the services they provide. I hope Anabelle's 10k has helped to make a difference somewhere, what an amazing thing for little tiny baby to accomplish!

What do you think my major accomplishment is?

(I rarely edit my blogs other than to rectify glaring grammar or spelling errors! Tonight I've edited to add about Sands and the fundraising! I can't believe I had forgotten to write about it as something I'm proud of!) 





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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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