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, 14 September 2013

I've Forgotten Her...

... well not her, but I've forgotten exactly what she felt like. How precisely tiny she was. 

Back in July I overcame one of my biggest hurdles yet. I held someone elses new(ish) baby for the first time. I say newish because the little girl I held was already three months old. Still small, still new, but not quite brand-new newborn.  

Today I faced another step along the mastering new babies path and held two very tiny newborns; my friends five-pound-something twin boys. Proper newborns, one day shy of two weeks old. And not just proper newborns, but the very very small kind. 

Very very small like my Belle, only she was even smaller again. My tiny 4lb 5oz baby girl. 

I felt surprisingly mostly unfazed by the babies themselves. I instantly just felt comfortable enough to whip them into my arms for snuggles and enjoyed these small sleeping babies. I think it shows how far I've already come since my first baby in July, although I will of course acknowledge the fact they were boys and not girls makes it different mindset, and a different hurdle. Easier I guess. 

They made me very broody for Zachary; my newborn-to-be to stay safe for another 10-11 weeks before I can hold him.  They were an excellent, insightful, oh my goodness, introduction to toddlers and newborns! Alexander was totally mesmerised by the fact there were two babies and just wanted to keep touching them and having his own cuddles. It was actually quite stressful! Haha! Continuously reminding an almost-two-year-old about gentle hands and being on pins that he was going to pull one of the Moses baskets over as he leaned over them to watch the babies! Luckily the twins parents were much more relaxed about Xander around their babies than Jon or I were!   

To say Alexander with Zachary is going to be busy is an understatement! But maybe we'll be more relaxed with our own newborn and toddler? Tips for management of those tiny days with the two of them welcome!

But of course these beautiful tiny boys have made us think of Anabelle. The closest babies to her size we've seen since we had her. Today Jon had tears in his eyes as he remembered our tiny daughter on his bare chest. I gulped that I couldn't remember enough, not in the way I want to. I'm struggling to explain quite what I mean. How can I convey that I remember and I forget all at the same time?

Anabelle: 4lb 5oz and 44cm long. 
I knew I had forgotten how really small she was. The her size was escaping me.  The boys felt absolutely miniature, their clothes smaller than newborn and I know she was another pound smaller again and in smaller clothes again. I know she was small, I know she was tiny on me. Half the size again her brother was as a newborn. But I had forgotten what tiny felt like. Of course I had. I have equally forgotten how small Alexander once was. Evidence that looking at newborn clothes again for  Zac and being wowed that they were once big on Xander. Just as I'll forget how little Zac once was in years to come too.

But it is so much harder accepting I've forgotten exactly how small she felt and was, because Anabelle never grew. 4lb 5oz is all she ever was or will be and I wish so hard I could hold onto that. That part of her, everything she was, all we had of her. 

Why is it so hard to retain this feeling of her size in my memory?

What else will begin to fade with more time? It frightens me that we could 'lose' even more of her in this way.

Darling girl. I miss you. 


Anonymous said...

Your memories will never totally fade. You will always remember your precious firstborn. I promise you with all my heart that you will never, ever forget her.

My Gareth (one of my twins) was just 4lbs 1ounce born at 38 weeks. I have a little knitted hat that was his. It was white but is yellowing with age.......whenever I think I have forgotten I get that little hat out of its 'hiding place' and hold it. I remind myself how he fought so bravely for almost 8 months to stay with us.

You have come a long way down this 'crappy path' of bereavement. You are doing so well and so is your lovely hubby. Sometimes though we kind of go back to the beginning and think about how awful it all was (and still sometimes is).

I think about you often and am sending my love, as always. xxxx

Love Shabbs xx

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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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