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, 28 June 2014

Her Birthday

Anabelle's birthday was stressful. Of course it was stressful, but this year, it was stressful

It felt like everything was against us. Time was against us. The house took over.  Jon went out in the morning to do jobs. The electrician decided to phone late that morning to announce off the cuff he was available that afternoon to do the safety certificates on the old house ready for the rental. So as we were leaving to decorate Anabelle's garden we ended up taking money down the old house ready to pay for the certificates. 

We got almost 1.00pm, we still hadn't been to her, and I proceeded to have a meltdown. It all got too much. It felt ruined. Topped off with her balloon popping and half the day gone and us just not getting anywhere. 

My irrational need to make the day 'just perfect' and full of things for her, when it can never be perfect. There wasn't enough time left to do everything I had wanted to do for her birthday, so her birthday walk got cancelled. It spiralled out of the control until I was shouting angrily at Jon in the car, with Xander getting upset in the back saying 'No Mummy' - not my finest hour by far. 

But it all came together. Just about. 

My favourite bit was eating KFC on a picnic blanket on top of her garden. Why have we never had a picnic up there before? It was a lovely way to spend time up there. We placed flowers, a candle,  a bird house and bird seed. We placed her huge number four balloon, the boys sent their sister balloons and listened to her new story there. Sleep Little Angel. 

We came home and created her home garden. Pink Dahlias, candles, windmills and gifts from our friends of a beautiful stepping stone and butterfly solar lights. 

We visited the new house and named it for her and placed the bell for Belle on our front wall. She is there before we are!

We had birthday cake and Xander blew out her four candles. We finished the day sat in the garden with my family, with her pink candle lit in her huge lantern. 

But despite all this I feel flat. I feel like this year her birthday hasn't been done justice, we didn't do it well enough for her, it has been and gone and now July is here. 

At the moment I feel like we're making a mess of things for all the children. 

Today was the day we buried her. And this is the first 28th since that we haven't marked the day in some way. Instead today, the 28th has been forgotten, worse, the boys have been neglected, Alexander left feeling unsettled and cross that we're not there enough at the moment and instead we've been frantically cleaning and readying our old house for our tenant and key handover on Tuesday. The house, houses, are taking over, and I'm beginning to resent the time it is taking me away from my children. And there is no end in sight. 

Tomorrow we desperately need some time altogether. For all our sakes.    

Sleep little angel, and I will sing, of summer and winter and autumn and spring.
Of stars and every quiet thing, of frost and primroses I will sing. 
Friday, 20 June 2014


This year I'm feeling kind of numb.

I'm struggling to formulate my thoughts or process my feelings. Instead of the violent tramatic reaction to her birthday and everything surrounding it like last year, this year I don't know how to feel. I'm not sure where I'm at. Tonight I feel a bit lost.

Disbelief maybe. Four years.

Last year was raw and painful. I suffered nightmares, images of my baby girl in that deep cold ground. Flashbacks vivid and real of those days. I suffered, I hurt. I got hurt. I lost some more.

This year I feel numb. I feel tearful, heavy and exhausted. But I feel numb. Like I've blocked it out somehow.

We are now just minutes away from my precious Anabelle's birthday.

This week has been busy. Too busy. We've moved, we've been out late every night packing, moving and cleaning. Burning the candle at both ends and up umpteen times a night with Zachary. There is too much going on. Too much bustle, not enough time for quiet reflection. No time left to feel. So instead there is mainly numbness.

This year I fear there may be a delayed reaction.
Monday, 16 June 2014

The Date That She Died

I never quite know how to respond to the date that Anabelle died. I don't want to mark it like I do her birthday, but I know it is coming. And it arrives, and it hangs over me all day like a black cloud, getting darker and darker through the day and sets off the storm for the week. 

It hangs there and the days of build up, and flashbacks to her birthday starts. 

My rational self knows that this date is not my fault. I know I had seen a midwife just twelve or so hours before Anabelle died, and the midwife told me we were ok. I listened to that, I used that appointment and a heartbeat monitor to reassure myself when I was worried in that evening. I know there isn't really anyone to blame. But when the date arrives, and these few days after it, it is really hard to shift the blame from my shoulders. 

Last Autumn my counsellor talked of the need to forgive myself. But I don't know how, or what it will take to forgive myself for this day. I'm not writing this to be reassured that isn't and wasn't my fault, because today, that is no comfort.   

It should have been different. I should've listened to those instincts that felt something wasn't quite right. I shouldn't have foolishly and falsely reassured myself. I shouldn't have talked myself out of going to the hospital until the morning.  I shouldn't have been worried about making a fuss. I shouldn't have gone to sleep, leaving it too late and letting her die.

I slept and my little girl died and I can't forgive myself for that. 

I know getting to the hospital earlier may not have changed the outcome. But it would have been her only chance to survive. It is the biggest thing I could have done differently to give my darling baby girl a chance. 

Today I've approached the date that she died by keeping busy. Too busy.  Feeling manic almost. Tonight I'm exhausted, mentally, emotionally and physically.  Even though I don't want to mark this date, the events haunt me, the turmoil and memories, the longing for things to be different tortures me. 

It is always going to haunt me. My heart aches for her so much. 

I need to sleep.
Saturday, 14 June 2014

So We Are Moving

We didn't know it yet, but two days from now, four years ago we were about to be temporarily moving in with my parents while we navigated the death, birth and funeral of our baby daughter.  

Tomorrow, we're temporarily moving in with my parents again. The timing feels significant somehow. Somehow some sort of circle.

This time, we're moving in while we renovate what will be our new family home. We're moving. It has been a long time coming, and much needed move for the space factor, not to mention moving back to our home town. We're of course thrilled, but tonight, our last night sleeping here, the last night putting my babies to bed in their first home too, I'm feeling overwhelmingly sad too. This is the house where we moved in together, we got engaged here - actually here in this living room, Belle died in this living room while I slept on this sofa overnight, we've had our babies here and bought our rainbows home to here. All those milestones, memories, moments. Our lives have immeasurably changed in the seven years we have lived here.

And now, although we will still own it, this little house will become somebody else's home. A tenant is moving in in a few weeks and it is time for us to go and get the house ready for them. 

The new house we have bought will not be ready for some months. We were somewhat naive when we assessed the level of work that needed doing to it. We knew it was unkempt and dirty, we accounted for a fortnight of deep cleaning, decorating, and changing some floors; but, with a Vendor that made no effort to take their rubbish and many belongings with them, it has turned into more or less a full renovation as more grime and damage was discovered. So here we are; the night before the move to Mum and Dad's. 

The new house will be perfect. I'm excited about transforming it into our home, even if the task at hand seems never-ending and overwhelming just now. It will be just how I want it, and feels totally meant to be. Despite the dirt on viewing, and clearly not kept anywhere near to my standards, both of us were able to look beyond it. It had potential, it was a good size house on a great size plot, it is in a fabulous area with good schools for the boys. It just felt right. 

Then we realised it was number 21 on the street. Anabelle's number. 

This just confirmed to us that this was meant to be our house. We're moving to number 21, and it feels like our little girl is moving with the family; her number and her part in our new home. Perfect. So, next weekend, on her birthday it will be named in her honour. We're moving to number 21, and our home will be called "Mehefin" - welsh for June. 

Anabelle's birthday. 

Friday, 6 June 2014

Here We Go Then. June.

June the first arrived without much drama. I was feeling surprisingly calm and maybe ready to weather the coming storm. I have more than enough to keep me distracted this year; what with organising a full house renovation not to mention Alexander and Zachary. 

Then by Tuesday I was feeling out of sorts. Tuesday was not a good day in the Morgan household. I was grumpy Mummy. Zachary was grumpy. Xander was grumpy. It made for probably the worst day I've ever had with the children. I don't say that lightly. I had zero patience and it left me feeling horrible, sad and guilty. I didn't like myself by the end of Tuesday. It was a long day.  I should be more grateful than anyone that I get to be Mummy to those beautiful boys. The boys who are my world and more. But Tuesday I needed space, I needed sleep. Tuesday I was feeling overwhelmed and stressed with everything and other than the house stuff I couldn't really put my finger on why. 

Wednesday, Thursday, today have been happier, back to normal Mummy days for the boys. But everything has felt more effort than usual; Everything is overwhelming. I'm struggling to concentrate. Getting us all up in the morning, dressed, out on time, fed, to bed on time. The routine this week has completely fallen apart and the boys are suffering for it. They need me to start pulling it back together.

Yesterday I realised why. It is June. 

It is June, and that is why just normal every day things are now feeling a monumental effort. 

It is June, and my baby girl is four, should be four this month. 

Ten days from now, four years ago, my darling daughter died. Another five days after that she was silently born. Another seven days after that we buried her. My Anabelle. 

It is June, and the 'foreverness' of that reality hits again. 

Subconsciously my mind and body have acknowledged the month, but its taken me the week to catch up and figure it out. Everything about this month is so hard, that even when I want to be better at it, my subconscious self cannot do it. My body already feels tired. Today my back aches, my arms are heavy. I haven't done anything out of the ordinary to feel achy; this is the physical manifestation of the utter grief and turmoil I know is to come as the next few weeks pass. 

So this week, and next week, the week after that, and the week after that. Please excuse me. Please accept that I may be over-sensitive, grumpy, impatient, even horrible. I will struggle, I will be teary, I will cease to cope in parts, I will be black, I will grieve as if she left me yesterday. I will re-live those dates again. 

A few weeks of upheaval are in store for our family. Not only are we going through the emotional upheaval that happens each June, this year we're also moving in with my parents over the next weeks while our new home is renovated. It is just unfortunate timing, rather than bad planning, that this is all happening at once. 

Please hold our hand and be our friend.  

And today, please remember beautiful Cerian, her Mummy, Daddy and her precious new little rainbow brother.  Wishing her a happy 4th birthday. 
Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Zachary @ 6 Months

My baby boy had his half birthday! He celebrated the day by having his first breakfast (baby banana porridge), having a new toy (the Fisher Price animal train) and a lovely afternoon spent at the boating lake having a walk and a little go on the swings, and then moving out of his moses basket into the travel cot. Oh how I wish time would slow down just a bit. This maternity leave is flying by, these baby days are flying by. 

This month I'm feeling pretty exhausted. After saying nights had improved, no sooner had I said it, then they deteriorated again.  A good night is currently two wake up; although three, even four wake ups are more usual. 

Up until his half birthday he was still in the Moses basket, (yes he did look ridiculous), the poor boy was fairly squashed, but with an imminent house move we expected to be sooner than it has happened (I'll do a post on this soon!), we were just trying to stretch him out in the moses without needing to build the cot, to then dismantle, move and build again. He had been happy enough in there until just after 5 months old, but the last few weeks he was spending much more of the night in bed with me, than he was in his moses.  So we admitted defeat, and have come up with the travel cot as a half measure for the next few weeks. 

We hoped the extra space in the travel cot would improve the night wakings, but no, it appears this boy is not going to be a 'sleep through the night' kind of baby anytime soon. Nevermind. The gorgeous boy he is makes up for all those difficult nights, even if I am pretty desperate for more than 2-3 hours sleep in a row now! 

My darling boy, you are half way to your birthday and I can hardly believe it, before I know it I will be planning that very special day for you. Your first year is going so fast my baby small. At six months old you are 18lb 4oz and have already been in your 6-9 month wardrobe for almost three weeks already! And your eyes have changed. They are beautiful dark blue, but in the middle there are little flecks of yellow and green now. Really beautiful.

So you're eating little one! Not very much but you're enjoying what you've had. I think you're going to be messier to wean than Xander - you are already much more eager to be holding the bowl and the spoon and giving this feeding thing a go yourself.  You've had a week of breakfast so far and this week we introduced tea as well but you really are only having very small portions at the moment. From the offset your brother wanted more and more food - crying when the bowl was finished, but you have started off more slowly - much happier being a milk monster than food monster just now. I'm sure this will change soon enough! 

 This month you've become very attached to Mummy. Not wanting me to be very far away, even when you are with Daddy. My little baby small - at the moment you really are Mama's boy! 

Well, when you're not being your brothers boy! You two are going to be as thick as thieves - you spend so much of your day unable to take your eyes off him. This month you have really discovered rough and tumble play together - lying on the floor and Xander will tickle your tummy, you will squeal and grab out at him, pulling his hand towards you, or pulling his hair or face. So he lies his head on your tummy which you think is just wonderful. 

You are getting stronger all of the time.  You are getting very good at sitting by yourself and having a good go at some sort of forward motion when you are on your tummy. If you could only co-ordinate yourself a bit more I'm sure you would be army crawling! You try so hard to push yourself forward by lifting your bottom and pushing your feet. You finally rolled little one - from your tummy to your back - but of course, every time I try to catch it on video at the moment you get grumpy and cross. After months of trying you still haven't *quite* managed to roll the other way - you are just a smidgen away from managing it. I can't believe how many times you have been practically there only to flop back onto your back! You are far too happy being stationary at the moment to worry about moving too far! You love lying on the floor to play and watching the world go by. I'm not complaining - I know there will be some real chaos when I have two mobile boys!  

This month we have discovered you are getting ticklish. It is very funny. Daddy has been tickling you just under your arm pits and your squirm and squeal and laugh. Just beautiful. We've also discovered you think Timmy Time on Cbeebies is very funny, you gurgle and laugh along to that too. You are just so fascinated with everything in life at the moment - this must be the best bit about being small; for you and Xander everything is a little adventure. I love that. 

Fiz has discovered you and insists on sitting next to you on the bed at every opportunity. You seem to love her soft fur and pull at it in clump-fulls. I think she secretly loves the attention you give her - although she would complain at such rough handling from anybody else!

Your favourite things at the moment are sucking and chewing on your fingers or muslins. And wet wipe packets - you love crinkly things at the moment, so wet wipe packets, your Ladybug are your favourite toys just now. Nappy changes are spent with you scrunching the wetwipe packets in your hand and your equally fascinated scrunching the Ladybugs wings. 

You really are becoming a little baby boy now, a wonderful little boy. 

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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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