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.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Shelving Therapy

Monday we shelved counselling after another three and a bit month stint. 

With Zachary due imminently my focus has to be elsewhere; preparing for him, and then when he hopefully comes home I'll be in the full throes of newborn joys and chaos at home, with little time for appointments.   So for now it is shelved, but not forgotten. Not off the books like the last time I finished. 

Progress made? Hard to say really. All the immense pain and bewilderment is in a different place. June. We've talked a lot about my children, how they all individually make me feel. We've talked about other peoples children, and babies and pregnancies and how they make me feel. We've talked about how Anabelle colours everything in our lives, how even the most wonderful days are tinged with sadness that she isn't here too, we've talked about friendships, we've talked about fears and anger and expectations of other people. We've talked about the insensitive things that have been said to me over the years; from friends, others and professionals. We've talked about the taboo and lack of understanding about the everlasting impact of a baby born sleeping.  We've talked about time moving on. We've talking about me 'letting go' of June and all the things I cannot change. We've talked about the new challenges lying ahead for our family again, as time keeps moving on and the world keeps changing around us. We've done lots of talking. But progress. I'm really not sure.  

I think at this point, my counsellor and I both recognised that I'm not there at the moment, so it is difficult to work through it at the moment. It isn't June and for now I've reached another calm before another storm. We've recognised that my mental health and grief is 'seasonal' or at least temperamental with peaks and troughs and triggers. Sometimes I function like I'm back at the beginning, but now, November, I've finished unravelling and have put myself loosely back together again for a time. Maybe I need to be unravelling for her to do any real work with me. 

I know there will be a storm ripple over Christmas, possibly bigger than other years when newborn adrenaline has worn off at the same time as Christmas and grief will be battling surgery recovery and extreme tiredness too. This year I'm pre-empting that new Mummy hormones are going to be mixed in together with the Christmas grief and anxiety, mixed in again with readjusting to our family growing while not growing all at the same time. Happiness and sadness of becoming a family of five but only a physically a family of four. While I process the excitements of seeing sibling bonds develop between my boys while being pained that it is something I should already have seen with my girl and boy. 

I expect another ripple over Mother's Day, these ripples traditionally short and ridden with some composure - but the biggy? The biggy is June. I get anxious just thinking about June. Because June won't be 2014. Not really. It will be living 2014 while reliving 2010 at the same time. That is where I need help. 

So we're taking a break. And I'll return to counselling again after Easter, to support me through May and the build up to Anabelle's fourth (!) birthday and the crisis point I may reach again through June. Maybe by returning to counselling again then I can avoid the epic measure meltdown I crashed into last June. 

Why do Anabelle's birthdays feel harder each year? Time hasn't healed. Isn't time supposed to heal? 

It is a clique I don't understand. Not really. Of course there has been some healing. I function day to day, I have lots of happiness and joy in my life it is true. But scratch the surface away, get to June or other trigger points and there is no healing. I have lots of pain too, pain I can't see ever being any better. Just pain upon pain as another year passes. Another birthday and my little girl isn't really the age she is supposed to be at all. A birthday without real celebration is so foreign to me. 

We've agreed 'therapy' is probably something I'm going to need on and off for many years to come. Maybe forever. I'm not sure how that makes me feel. Slightly unhinged maybe; but then maybe that is the reality of living after immense trauma, maybe always a bit fragile under the surface.

For now I'm well enough to leave it be and I'll return to it again when the blackness re-descends.

So maybe we have made progress, in at least I know I won't be waiting for the meltdown to pieces to have happened before accessing help next time. Next year we're going for prevention rather than cure. Or if we can't prevent, at least somebody professionally riding it with me. There is progress. 


Anonymous said...

I hate that you are going through this, at the same time as loving the way that you write and your beautiful, honest style.
You mentioned surgery recovery in your post - are you planning a section for Zac's birth? I have been wondering what decision you would make, having had both kinds of birth. That will be me in March and I am still completely undecided. I would love to hear your thoughts on how you made your decision.

Caz said...

Hi Leah,

Yes, we're having a planned section this time. With Xander I was induced early and following 15 hour labour and 2 hours pushing we went to emergency section, so this time I've opted for an elective. Although there wasn't a huge amount of option; I could've waited to labour naturally this time (they won't induce me after previous section) but my consultant didn't want me going beyond 37-38 weeks so section was the simplest plan for me.

Caz x

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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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