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, 15 February 2013

The Alarm Went Off

Alexander's angel care monitor alarmed last night. Again, for the umpteenth time over this last month. It isn't faulty, its just all over a sudden he is moving more in bed, migrating to the furthest point of the cot possible, up against his headboard, and the sensor has stopped picking him up. 

Each time it alarms my heart beats a little faster, leaping across the landing to him. To check. To check it is the mat losing him, rather than us. 

Rationally, I know we're going to run in and find him pressed up against his headboard. But there is that bit of me that is absolutely terrified every time; because one time, it could be the worst thing. 

Jon thinks with it alarming so regularly it is time to give up the baby monitors, that he might be getting too big and too mobile for it now. But I can't. I'm not ready to give up the sensor mat. The nights he sleeps without it I don't sleep as well. It is my sanity for the dark hours; while there is no alarm sounding I know he is still with us, I know he is safe.  I would rather it falsely alarm a million times than have it not be there when it needs to be. 

On the other hand we haven't used our video monitor for sometime, the plug broke, but with a baby that mostly sleeps through, and a breathing mat beneath him I felt ok about letting that one go. However, worryingly Jon says the night before last it alarmed again, and I didn't stir. I didn't hear him. Jon says it took him a long time to come around and realise what the beeping was, because it felt in the distance. Our boy was lying there for minutes and minutes with the alarm going off and for the first time no-one rushed in to check on him. (Amazingly, most of the time Xander sleeps through the alarm and the commotion of us rushing in to him!) 

I'm not berating Jon for that. He is more together than I am at the best of times and is a heavy sleeper, but usually I'm not. That night I was and I didn't hear him through the wall. 

Of course, he was just up against his headboard again, but what if he hadn't been? What if it had been a real alarm and we didn't go into him quickly. The alternative, my sickening fear, SIDS. It happens. Just this week I've heard of a beautiful little girl lost to cot death, Matilda Mae. 9 months old. It happens. Our circumstances are so different, but Her mother's blog, her tweets, mirror so much of my own pain for my own girl.  I know her pain. 

Right now Jon is  on the phone to Motorola ordering a new plug for the video monitor again. Realising that just once I haven't heard the alarm is enough, and now I need the monitor back by my bed so I can hear him, all through the night, whatever the reason in an instant. Over the top for a 16 month old? Maybe, but my sanity needs it. Am I always going to be this frightened he might die? Probably. 

I remain fearful Xander could die; that accident, illness or cot death could take him. My two biggest obessions; SIDS and Meningitis. I do not presume him safe. I do try and keep a reign on these feelings, although it may not sound like it here. I try and separate rational thought from irrational, I try and keep it all perspective and in relation to my grief and risks. But it is measures like these monitors that help me for now, and for now, there is no harm in it. He is still a baby. Still my baby. 

When will he be too old for monitors and alarms? I know he can't sleep on them forever. I also know one day he won't be sleeping just a few meters away from me. When will I have to trust that he is going to grow up, grow old and outlive me. So much fear. 


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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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