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, 29 March 2014

Another Mother's Day

Is Mother's Day ever going to feel better? 

I want it to, if only for Alexander and Zachary as they get old enough to understand what it is and when they'll have some expectation of it being special. This is probably the last year of special days meaning little to Xander and therefore my being able to ignore the ones I want to, like this one. Next year, he'll get that Mother's day means something special. Or at least should.

I want it to be a happy day with my boys, Jon asked me if I wanted to do anything this year, but I don't, apart from put some flowers on my little girls grave. Maybe we should've planned a day trip or something, change the focus, I don't know. But once again this year I'm approaching it with twisting anxiety and guilt. Every time an advert reminder come on the TV, or I walk in a supermarket with their 'Mother's Day' display right at the front of the store,  my stomach feels a ball of knots. 

While I feel I should be focusing on the boys and how blessed we are to have them; how much I love being their Mummy and how much I'm enjoying everything I get to do with them, instead all this feels overshadowed by my absent baby. How much I miss her. I want Alexander and Zachary to feel enough on Mother's Day, but they can't. And I feel so guilty about it because they are so very precious to me too.  

Mother's Day just makes me feel so incomplete, uncomfortable.

Why does it even exist? So much pressure. 



Thursday, 20 March 2014

Love You Forever

A few weeks ago, I discovered the book 'Love You Forever' - I read this article, discovering it was written as a song to Robert Munsch's two babies born asleep. A testament to the enduring love of a parent, even when there is no baby to keep.

So what did I do? I bought the book. 

A mother watching her son grow, from a baby to a toddler, to a child, to a teenager, to a grown man with a baby of his own. The same continuous song throughout his life; I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be. 

A song that could also be sung to all my babies throughout my life. My Anabelle, who will for always be a baby. Then my boys, who won't stay like babies, they will grow, they are growing but will always our very precious rainbow sons. 

I worry you know, that I'll be unable to let my boys go. 

That the more they grow the more independent they want to be, I worry constantly about what might happen to them when I can't protect them anymore. My heart is in my mouth watching Alexander at the park just now; he is desperate to climb, he is getting higher and higher and more daring and I'm scared to watch him fall. Because of course, the fearful irrational part of my mind doesn't see a simple fall with cuts and bruises and scrapes. I see head cut open, unconscious, dead. 

I'm fearful of the day they'll want to play out the front on their own, or play around the block, or go to the park across the road. I'm so fearful to let them out of my sight incase they are stolen from me. I'm bad enough now at rainbow babies or soft play - where he can't escape from, and out of sight means 'playing in a house' or 'the other side of the slide', not really out of my sight at all.  

I'm fearful of the grown up stuff too; programmes such as 18-30s holidays get me in a right tizz; worrying it will be one of my babies drinking until they need their stomachs pumped, drunk and falling off balconies to their death, drunk and going into the sea and drowning, I'm fearful of them learning to drive - knowing full well how their father behaved as a teenage/young twenties driver, and how some of my friends did when we were that age too. I'm fearful of their career choices, praying they won't want to go to the forces. I'm so fearful that another of my babies will be taken away from me and all the terrible ways it could happen throughout their lives.

I try hard not to be that Mummy, outwardly at least, but sometimes I wish I could wrap them in cotton wool forever. Keep them with me forever where I can keep them safe. But they will grow, they will leave. I will have to trust them to not do anything to endanger their lives.  I worry I'll be seen as a that horrendous over-bearing type of mother-in-law, the one who loves them too much, still struggling to let them go and give them to the families they will make for themselves. I'll try not to be, but I can't promise my anxieties will ever change. 

Maybe I would have always been this afraid. But some how I don't think so. Their sister died and it changed everything. Something so very precious was taken from me and it colours everything. My grief stricken heart is so very over-protective of my boys. Or maybe it is over-protective of itself. Or maybe it is over-protective of both boys and heart, because my boys are the glue holding all those broken bits of heart together. I can't apologise for that.

So the book. An ode to the babies he couldn't keep.

And now an ode to Anabelle my little 4lb 5oz baby girl forever and Alexander, and Zachary. My boys who will become big strapping men to the world, but still my little babies forever to me. Stay safe my precious boys. 

I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be. 



Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Zachary @ Three Months

It is funny. Every time I'm ready to pen down Zachary's monthly update I go back and read about Alexander. It is fascinating that his monthly update could be almost identical to Zachary's. It is like reading about my little baby now and then! 

Much less the newborn baby now, Zachary is spending big chunks of the day awake, happy and engaging with his little world and falling into his own little pattern. We introduced a bedtime routine around the same time as we did for Xander and so far Zac is taking to it exceptionally well. He is fairly independent at settling to sleep; happy with a cuddle, dummy or hand in the Moses with him and goes off to sleep quite quickly. Unlike the days of Xander old that required endless rocking, white noise, vibration etc etc.  (I'll bet I'll have jinxed that now by writing that!) So far he is going to bed around seven and then sleeping through until around 1.30am or so. Sometimes a bit later.   

Nights at the moment after that are a bit hit and miss depending on when he has had his last poo... The feed at around 1.30am can be the one and only for the night, or, like last night it can be the first of three wakes ups before 7.00am.  Currently Zachary is only pooing once every 3 or 4 days. Although I realise this is perfectly normal for a breastfed baby, when he does finally go it is epic! An excellent night or two of sleep follows a poo day with just the one wake up that night, after that his tummy seems to begin to gripe a bit and he has the smelliest wind (that could compete with his Daddy!) and nights are a little more unsettled until he goes again. 

At this point with Xander we had started giving him an 11.00pm bottle dreamfeed, at the time it saved our feeding journey and I went on to feed him and loved it until he was 17 months old. My feeding journey with Zachary has been so vastly different, easier from the word go. I love every feed, I love now how he pulls off and often beams one of his beautiful smiles at me, looking right into my eyes so full of love.  Experience this time and different baby, but introducing a dream feed hasn't felt necessary, at least not yet.  Some how this time is is easier to accept the way things are night by night. But ask me again next month when we're hitting the expected 'four month sleep regression'! 

My beautiful boy, at 3 months old you are 13lb 8oz and Mummy has just put all your 3-6 months clothes into the drawers. You are such a happy and clever little boy. You've become a right little chatter box and spend lots of every day cooing and gurgling at Mummy, Daddy or Xander. You have such a lovely soft little voice, but you can be very loud too! You've learnt how to have a 'conversation' and will take turns to chat with us. Xander is definitely your favourite person, you don't take your eyes off him. You love watching him play and get quite excited about his attention now. You are going to love being brothers together. 

At 11 weeks old you discovered your hands and you seem to like the taste of them. Infact quite often you'll reject your dummy in favour of sucking on your fist of fingers at the moment! Your hand to mouth co-ordination is actually getting pretty good now and you seem to want to nudge the dangly toys off your gym into your mouth.  

Your favourite toy this month is your baby gym mat. Especially the monkey toy hanging from it. You spend ages staring at his face and chatting along to him. You've rolled onto your side a few times on your playmat, the first time aged 11 weeks old. You are getting stronger all of the time and holding yourself up really well, even seem to be trying to pull up sometimes when you don't want to recline! Although your head still gets tired. 

You are getting busier and busier every day and Mummy is noticing you falling into your own little routine and pattern now. You are having approximately four naps during the day now and going to bed around 7.00pm and sleeping for lots of the night. 

We're totally in love with you little man. You and your brother bring such joy to our little family every single day and I love being Mummy to you both so much. If only being a stay at home Mummy could last forever! 




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Caz
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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