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.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Lucas Elias Morgan

The day before you were born. 
Last Tuesday we arrived at the hospital not knowing if Lucas was actually going to be born on that day at all anymore. Pre-Op on the Monday revealed that there wasn’t a SCBU bed currently available and that without one my c-section wouldn’t be able to go ahead, just in case a 36 week grown Luc needed a little more support. But bed situations can change quickly and we were told to come in at 7.30am Tuesday morning anyway. So we did, already nil-by-mouth (on the hottest day of the year so far!) not knowing if it was really going to be the day after all. 

It was a long day. But luck was in and at 11.30am we were told a baby was being discharged on SCBU and a bed would be available for Lucas at around 1.00pm so we would be taken to theatre at around 1.30pm.  Then the wait got longer as an emergency needed my slot. But finally, at 4.00pm we made it into theatre and Little’s journey into the world began. The operation was smooth, and unlike last time blood loss was normal and no drain or pressure bandages were needed to control the situation. Phew!

A few hours after you were born.

You at exactly a week old, to the minute!

Fast forward a week and our new Little is already over a week old. 9 days old today. Time seems to speed by faster and faster with each baby I’ve had. Apart from currently being back in hospital (I came over very poorly Tuesday afternoon and was readmitted with probable infection, but feeling much better now after antibiotics and will be home again later today…), it has been a wonderful week; meeting our tiny little boy and getting to know him.

He is absolute perfection and we were totally besotted from the moment we laid eyes on him. Isn’t it remarkable how much hearts can grow with each baby that joins the family?! A family now bursting with rainbows, I feel so lucky to have these three beautiful boys, my boys, and brand new Lucas has definitely stolen the hearts of his Mummy, Daddy and big brothers. I’ve been so proud of Big and Small. Both of them have been so loving and gentle, so interested in their new baby brother. Both of them wanting to hold him whenever they get the opportunity.

Three Little Rainbows
Xander has so naturally cradled him in his arms on the sofa, watching TV and gently caring and stroking his head while he’s held him. He is so proud to be the biggest boy and able to look after his baby brother.

Zac loves that Luc is ‘tickling him’ while he’s holding him – Luc’s little arms waving around and catching Zac in the face, and making him laugh. Zac has been less impressed with Luc’s cries though – telling me he doesn’t like it.

And it is still hard to believe this little baby is the last that will be mine. Already I want time to slow down, just a little. So I can savour every moment of my last new-born days. Oh Little Lucas. How you will be spoiled. My baby.

Lucas Elias Morgan, you were born on Tuesday 19th July 2016, at 16.32, weighing a surprising 7lb 6oz (initially anyway…) and 50cm long. The shortest and smallest of all of you boys!

Only seconds old!

You made a very beautiful and noisy arrival, shouting and crying instantly and keeping it going far longer than I remember your brother’s crying after birth. You cried all the way through your check over with the baby doctor and didn’t really calm down until you were wrapped up and back in my arms. You didn’t need that SCBU bed they were reserving for you, just in case. You were just perfect and fine and wonderful.

We spent a few days in hospital, giving Mummy the chance to recover from the big operation, you a few days to adjust to the world and us both the chance to learn how to feed together. Then on Friday 22nd we were ready, and Daddy, Xander and Zac all came to collect us from the hospital so we could take all of our rainbow babies home together.

Going home with all of ours Rainbows

Unfortunately, you lost a lot of weight in those first few days, almost 12% and over the ‘acceptable’ loss limit. Meaning we were flagged straight away for extra midwife visits. But we were still waiting for my milk to be properly in (which always has come in later than most) and play catch up, but you haven’t gained really again since. So at just over a week old you are a tiny little 6lb 9oz.

At the moment no-one can really explain why you are not picking up the weight. It is probable that your 7lb 6oz was slightly artificially high in the first place and you haven’t really lost as much as it looks; Mummy was on a drip for a lot of the day waiting to be taken to theatre with you and apparently it is surprising how much of the fluid passes through to baby in a short space of time, making you puffy and ounces heavier than you might’ve been that day otherwise.  

Your latch and attachment have been checked and are good, my milk supply has been checked and is plentiful. All your cues and signs are spot on – you are alert and active, bright eyed, lovely tone. You are flying through wet and dirty nappies. You are well and happy, waking yourself two-three hourly to be fed. There is nothing to suggest there is a problem. On the whole you are breastfeeding well and it is a mystery why you’ve not gained when I’m being told we’re doing everything right. Its so frustrating, and a bit disheartening, and daily weigh-ins are becoming a little bit stressful.

 It could be because you are slightly premature and need a bit longer to catch up and get over this blip. But at the moment you’re being topped up with 10ml of expressed milk after a feed. Which you hate, and don’t want. But it is in effort for you to start a little weight gain.  Maybe you will just naturally be a slow gainer.

At a week old you are wearing early baby up to 7lb size clothes comfortably, even quite roomy. You feel so small when your brothers went straight into newborn up to 10lb clothes! Although I expect as soon as you start gaining you will jump straight into the next size!

At a week old your favourite things are milk, Mummy and cuddles. You love to be tucked into my top and sleep right against my chest.  So far you have made it pretty clear you are less than impressed with nappy changes and absolutely hate the idea of a bath! We think you’re going to be a thumb-sucker – already we’ve caught you sucking away lots of times and your little hands are always up by your face; just like they were in nearly all of my scans.

Night-times have been variable, but more or less the expected kind of nights from a newborn. You’re currently averaging around three get-me-ups between 11pm and 6am (and there have been more too!) Not totally terrible at all, but I do feel pretty exhausted after a week now! The trickiest part is settling you back into your Moses after a feed. I’ll admit many a time there has been Mummy giving up on the idea and letting you sleep where you feel safe and reassured instead.  

In those first few hours with you I kept seeing all of your siblings in you. Different looks, different angles and flashes of all of your siblings are in you. You have such delicate small features baby boy. I’m biased of course but you beautiful. Such a pretty baby. You do indeed look very much like Zachy especially out of your brothers when he was born. But even more so, you look like Belle. You look more like Belle than either Xander or Zachy did.  Others have said the same to me. It has been quite breath-taking at times, and incredibly emotional at others. You’ll learn lots about your big sister as you grow.

You are our third rainbow baby, Lucas, I know we pushed our luck to have you and you’re here safe and sound and I couldn’t be more grateful. You’re so incredibly precious, and perfect and Mummy couldn’t be more in love with you.

My darling tiny boy. You’ve completed our rainbow family.


Sunday, 10 July 2016

The End Of All Pregnancies

Our 32+4 week bump - the biggest milestone day.
We're into July and the month our little Lucas is going to be born; we're mere days away from his planned arrival now. It feels so close, almost within touching distance. But still so so far.  

Today I am 34+6 weeks and by most timelines half way through the third trimester now. But for me and the plan we're nearing the end.

I'm in a strange place of wanting the days to speed by, when anxiety is getting the better of me and I'm convincing myself he has gone. For everything to keep going to plan, smoothly and with no surprises, to just have him out and in our arms, home, breathing and screaming and growing like his brothers. But it still seems so far, knowing he could still be taken from me in a moment. 

And then on the other hand these are the last few days I will ever be pregnant. And then I want the days to slow down, just a little. So I can soak up this lovely bump, feeling him kick from the inside, watching him move. Knowing he is the very last little baby I will grow. 

Third trimester has been kinder to me in some way to previous pregnancies, but much harder in others.  There have been a few incidents of me winding myself up about his movements and on the verge of ringing for a reassurance visit, only for him to have a kick around as I'm reaching for my phone. Already the little monkey. 

June was as emotionally horrendous as I anticipated it might be. I couldn't really pull apart what was 'that' amount of pregnancy related vs. Belle's birthday and grief related but I spent much of the month feeling panicky and unwell in myself. It was a long few weeks but thankfully since her birthday I've calmed down a lot again and have been feeling much more on a even keel. 

But this third trimester I've been lucky so far to escape any overnight hospital stays (touching wood for these final days); there has been no dramas that have needed me to rush to the hospital outside of my regular routine visits and for that I am thankful. Our family, our other little boys need that relative calm. 

Lucas is growing well, although slower now than the other boys and seems to be tracking a similar size to his sister - at least he was estimated only a few ounces heavier than she was at her 32 week birth vs. his 32 week scan. A scan earlier this week is still predicting a smaller baby at birth, compared to Big and Small. I cannot quite believe it after a whopper of a Xander Big (36+2 weeks and 8lb 13oz) and a smaller but still fairly sizable Zachy Small (37+2 weeks and 7lb 9oz) - but all measurements over the last six weeks have suggested he is going to much smaller again.

This week I even went out and bought a few smaller newborn/early baby clothes to pack in the hospital bag for Lucas to wear, figuring the newborn/up to one month we had stock of will be ridiculously enormous on him by current birth weight estimations! 

But saying that I do feel somewhat smaller at this stage compared to how I remember feeling with the other boys. I've certainly carried a little differently this time. I keep being told you cannot tell I am pregnant from the back and Lucas is all out the front, in a round beach-ball shape and carrying lower than I have before. Maybe that is my muscles giving up on me and unable to hold this a 4th time bump up anymore! 

My pelvis has struggled hugely with this pregnancy. The pelvic girdle pain that started the day of my last pregnancy update hasn't gone away.  Although some days have been better and easier than others, and the bump belt from physiotherapy has helped - I have been forced to slow down and accept that my body cannot cope with full on busy days. As a result of pelvic weakness and the increased tear/rupture risks in the third trimester this pregnancy I've been signed off work since. Any busy day means I pay for it in the evening and the next day, and I'm really at the stage now where any length of walk or climbing the stairs leaves me feeling in quite significant discomfort, especially if the walk has involved any sort of upwards incline. Honestly, between this and the constant feeling of exhaustion sometimes I feel like an old woman and have definitely found this pregnancy the most physically challenging and difficult out of the four. 

Heartburn has been getting worse over the last two weeks after barely being an issue up until now. Still mild in comparison to Zachy's pregnancy but now enough to see me reaching for the Rennie's sweets after most meals and disturbing my sleep (along with the usual discomfort disturbing sleep and multiple trips to the toilet!) I still feel fortunate to have got to nearly the end without it being as horrendous as last time though! Even now at 34 weeks I'm still having the odd morning where I'm getting up feeling horrendously nauseous and still vomiting on occasion too. The latest into a pregnancy where morning sickness has continued to feature - although mildly now - and I've basically accepted it is clearly here to stay until the end. I'm dreading my c-section morning and being nil-by-mouth because the only thing that really settles the yuckiness is a little breakfast. 

So we're nearly there, but I'm becoming increasingly nervous of the major operation ahead of me. There is no other way and he has to come out of course, but suddenly the enormity of being sliced open again and the pain and recovery afterwards is feeling a bit overwhelming. I'm anxious about the previous scar tissue, the potential tearing issue and the amount of bleeding that led to the pressure bandages and drain being left in in my last operation and how horrific it was when said drain was removed. Oh how I hope that isn't needed again! 

I'm nervous about his slightly premature birth, even with the steroids to prepare him. I'm hoping that he of course escapes the need for a stay in SCBU, not really sure how I will react if that becomes a reality and I'm separated from him, but knowing that nothing is guaranteed. Mostly we're just waiting with baited breath for those beautiful just born cries. 

And then afterwards. Oh how I feel like I've forgotten everything there is to know about a newborn and wondering how on earth I'll survive the sleep deprivation with two bigger boys plus school runs! I'm glad we have the summer holidays of allowed lazy and slow mornings to adjust to a new baby before a full on back to normal September with Big starting full-time school. 

Days to go and our house is not ready. Some serious nesting needs to start happening this week! Car seats and other newly bought baby equipment still sit in boxes not ready. The only ready thing is our hospital bags and his little wardrobe of clothes - and by his, I mean two drawers in my wardrobe we've emptied and re- oganised for him because a nursery is still a long way off this time. The big boys' bedroom needs revamping first so we can reclaim the nursery furniture for Luc! 

How differently the urgency is to get these things ready from first to final child - when I look back at how organised we were for Belle, and indeed Xander, and somewhat Zac. My standards of preparation are clearly slipping! Poor last baby already even before he is born! 

We're nearly there. I'm allowing myself to feel excited, I cannot wait to meet out littlest boy and see if his 4D scan lives up to how identical to his big brothers, especially Zac as a newborn, we're expecting him to be. 

And then I cannot believe we'll never be doing this again, despite the trauma and fear pregnancy has represented for us. Growing these babies and having these bumps has been so precious.

Our last baby and nearly into a new chapter of our lives over the next few years. Babies to children and beyond. 

Raising boys. 

Our little Luc coming to complete our beautiful set of rainbows. 

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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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