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.

Sunday, 7 June 2020

In The Dead Of Night

3.00am and awake.   Partly because I worked until almost 1.30am tonight to finish writing my class reports. Partly no doubt because I took a long nap this afternoon. But mostly because I feel so unsettled. 

No, worse than unsettled. Tormented. 

I took myself to bed this afternoon because I could barely breathe. Between feeling constantly nauseous, my chest racing and feeling shaky, I haven't known what to do with myself. On the verge of a panic attack for most of the day.  Now here we are at 3.00am and I can't stay in bed for exactly the same reasons that put me there 12 hours ago! I'll try and sleep on the sofa in a bit even though I know at this point that at least one of my boys will be up for the new day in 2 hours. 

June has kicked in with a vengeance this week.   

Increasingly feeling that urge to run away again. With nowhere to go. 

The last three to four days have been increasingly horrendous. 

Every year. This never ending cycle. The reality of life after trauma. 

The June 2010 the replay. 

Today (or yesterday, as it is now) the 6th. The first major "what if" day among many of them; should of, could of, wishing something different had happened in hindsight day. Wishing a different decision had been made, wishing the dice had fallen another way.   Wishing even though I know there is no guarantee the outcome would have been any different if a different intervention had happened today. 

Swinging between almost wanting to feel grief in its full force because I need to feel it as part of this June process. But feeling so very tired of feeling so utterly broken and damaged. Feeling so tired of trying to function for the sake of everyone else.  Needless to say patience has not been my forte this week. Nor is it likely to be for the weeks ahead. 

Helter-skeltering. 

Probably not helped this year by the big plan changing. 

Probably not helped by the insanity of 2020 in general. 

Probably not helped by the Welsh 'Back to School' announcement this week that definitely set the Corona anxiety part of whatever this is into full drive. Although ironically being in work Friday and whilst writing reports into the evenings this week has been when I've felt most calm, in-control and like myself. Apparently my professional hat is helpful. 

Because it will mean changes to our now settled home routine; even if we've decided the boys won't be returning, it will mean I'll physically be in work more often. It means another increase to our household risk, and June is not the month for me coping with even a hint of increased risk. Because even though I know we're a low-risk family for Corona, so was Belle a low-risk pregnancy and still the absolute worst thing happened.  When you live with the fear of one of your children dying daily as a reality and you've been that tragic 'one in .....' before it becomes entirely believable and likely that tiny risk proportion could be you again. However irrational and ridiculous that is to anyone else. 

Probably entirely exacerbated by the daily "Belle's birthday" packages that have been arriving. Because what is normal about any of it really?   Items to create the 10th birthday that never was party two weeks from today. All the frills and fancies of a garden birthday party without the birthday girl. All for the benefit of her brothers. 

I still cannot get my head around Ten.  

Ten. 

I keep saying it emptily in my head and not knowing what thought to follow it up with. 

Just Ten. 

You might think I should be better by now. A decade on. But here we are, still barely able to cope at all when its all stripped away through my re-live month of the year. 

Its now 4.00am, and I guess I just try and go to sleep again. 
Thursday, 21 May 2020

A Month Today

A month today will be Belle's 10th birthday.  

Which just seems so ludicrous. Ludicrous that a whole decade has passed by.  Ten years living without her.  Ten years filling my life with my boys, but living without her.  I cannot even fathom ten years today. 

I feel massively under-prepared for her birthday. 

Coronavirus has pulled her birthday plans from beneath our feet.  

We had booked a beach hut styled cabin in the Gower for her birthday weekend this year. Something different, something special for such an important milestone birthday.  I had agonised over changing our, her birthday routine. Had felt enormously guilty that we wouldn't be home to decorate her garden on her day. 

But when it came down to it, it felt the right thing to do.  If she had been alive we would've aimed to make her 10th birthday different, and that bit more special. Made a fuss of going into double figures and all that. So it felt only right that we do something really different any how.  Just like we will do for the boys (and you know, come the Autumn I will need to think a year ahead for Xander's double figure birthday plans!)  So back in August (!) we booked the cabin and started thinking about how we would theme a 'Mermaid Beach' away birthday for her.  I imagined spending the whole of her birthday on the sand. 

Clearly we're not going now.

We've been offered a change of dates and re-booking. But we've made the decision we're cancelling completely. If we cannot go for her 10th birthday weekend, we cannot face going at all. It wouldn't be the same. 

Ironic really that I have spent so many of her birthdays these last few years with the urge to run away. Then the year we bite the bullet and book an away birthday we end up more locked down and restricted than ever! And more-so willingly restricted because leaving the house is enormously stressful anyway and of how desperate I am to keep the boys safe slash hugely anxious I am of the boys becoming ill at the moment. But that is another blog for another time. 

Now I feel like I'm running out of time to create a Mermaid extravaganza in the garden instead. Every time I start browsing online for ideas I start feeling panicky. There is a lot saved in a list I need to start picking through.  Last week I ordered her first gifts; something for our wall, and a Mermaid "10" birthday rosette. It sent me down a black hole for a few days, drained and exhausted.  That moment every year where I start choosing items that probably wouldn't have even been on my radar had she been alive. You know, like a mermaid ornament to go up the grave.  

Today I've set myself the task of ordering the bits for a birthday cake, so cake toppers and whatever are here in plenty of time. Because that is the other stress isn't it in all this Coronavirus nightmare. Not all parcels are arriving in a timely fashion at the moment!  Today its feeling too much. 

It is really difficult this May to pick apart what is May / June anxiety and what is Covid anxiety. What an intense 10 weeks we've lived already. Everyone. Of course everything feels heightened at the moment in whatever part of this insane situation we're all feeling overwhelmed by.  But the usual spiral has started the last ten days too. And then on top of that the guilt for the boys, more than ever this year when little about life is normal, that they need me to be strong and normal and not going to pieces for the best part of six weeks or more. 

Birthday build up Twenty Twenty; feeling like everything is out of my control, panic, chest racing, restlessness, impatience, poor sleep.  And feeling angry. So angry. 

Here we go nearly June.
Sunday, 15 March 2020

Little is Three and a Half


Time keeps whizzing on by and Little Lucas is more than three and a half years old. As now has become my usual standard, this update is nigh on two months late and we're nearly as close to his birthday as we are to his half birthday just gone! 

It is insane how much Lucas has grown up these last six (eight!) months! Isn't three a beautiful age? Still a baby but not all at the same time. So curious and full of discovery. Changing so quickly all of the time, speech becoming more advanced, process of thought expanding all of the time, figuring his little world out. He is such a little wonder of delight!  And growing so fast; becoming a bit of a giant in fact! Ok, not a giant, but he seems so very tall all of a sudden! 

Little Lucas. Or not so little considering you're coming up a meter tall. On your half birthday you were 99cm, and to be honest, the way you're growing it wouldn't surprise me if you've already hit or surpassed the 100cm mark these two  more months down the line! 

So much has happened since your third birthday.  The year of three is whizzing by at an alarming rate and I find myself not ready for you to grow up quite so much.   We're on the verge of receiving your Reception placement which just blows my mind; six months from now you'll be in school full time. I wanted to spend the rest of this school year enjoying some summery Mummy and Lucas afternoons, but our world is going in to some very bizzare and unheard of times so I'm not sure how many adventures will come to fruition. I'll be making the most of you just the same though! 

Since you've turned three you have had your last day at Acorns Nursery and started your Nursery year at big school. You haven't looked back; quite literally! Every day you walk through the doors without a backwards glance. You are loving Nursery life and thriving, making friends and enjoying all the experiences that Mrs Evans offers you. I think your favourite thing to do in Nursery is play on the bikes outdoors, if your constantly dirty knees trousers are anything to go by!   Nursery milestones are already passing by and your first Christmas concert was just gorgeous, you were a superstar, joining in all the singing and all the actions. For weeks afterwards you kept singing the little songs; you sang them to Belle in her garden on Christmas Eve and you even sang them to Father Christmas on the train on Christmas Eve Eve too.  



As well as starting Nursery we took the step of starting you at a childminder for two afternoons a week too. It was made an easier decision by the fact she is longtime friend of Daddy's! You absolutely adore her and you tell us weekly that you love Jo! It has definitely been a good move for you and has given Nana and Bampi a little bit of a break.   




You are such an affectionate little boy, Luc.  You are always asking for kisses and cuddles and giving kisses and cuddles. You tell us countless times a day that you love us.   Sometimes I know you're saying it because you just want to find something to say, but mostly you are just bursting with love for your family and special people!   I love how you identify family members as "my", sometimes protectively and possessively so, but in a good way!   I especially love how you refer to your brothers as "My Xander" and "My Zachy". Heart burst! 




You my boy are a little wild child and dare-devil. I find myself allowing you to do things that I wouldn't have entertained your brothers doing at three! This is undoubtedly why you are constantly bumping and covered in bruises, you seem so accident prone. But my boy you are so desperate to be as big as brothers, I've said it many times before.  It is delightful now watching you three together, and especially beautiful watching you and Zac bond more and more.  You just seemed to have gelled and clicked. Ok granted, you also seem to argue a lot because your interests are aligning, but mostly you are becoming a little team. 

I love watching you spot each other through the fence of the Year 1 yard after Nursery pick up time; Zachy runs over and you give each other a big hug through the fence.  I think you're going to be little buds when you're in the Infants together next year,  I'm sure Zac is going to rise to the occasion and really look after you. Oh you really look up to them both, and simply adore playing with them. Your Xander and your Zachy. 




At three and a half your favourite colour is still orange! You love Thomas the Tank and Sonic the Hedgehog. You spend hours playing with your wooden train tracks and have quite an impressive collection of Thomas and Friends trains now (and I'm pretty sure we haven't finished our collection yet!). When you're not playing trains you are playing Sonic on your Fire Pad, I find it astounding that a three year old can play a computer game with much more skill than me!   




You love books and stories and have developed quite a love of The Cat In The Hat, The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo's Child, Superworm and so many other Julia Donaldson books. Recently I packed away all the "baby" books and took them to my class in school, because you want proper stories now. You certainly won't let us forget that you are a big boy! 

You also love singing in the car and have quite a collection of favourite songs now, maybe no all of them appropriate. I don't know whether to be amused or horrified that you most often ask for "Bonkers" by Dizzee Rascal. Probably because bonkers and crazy are your favourite words and you are incessently cheeky Mr Lucas. Haha. Otherwise you love singing along to Shotgun, Old Town Road, The Greatest Showman, Moana, Frozen 2 and so many more that I cannot remember from the top of my head!



I hope I can always remember you at this marvellous age, all the funny things you say and how your little mind works.  You are so cheeky, so affectionate, so inquisitive.  A bit of a drama King too at times for sure, but you're such lovely company. I know you live in anticipation of your fourth birthday (you've mentioned your four balloon hundreds of times since your third birthday and constantly announce the next thing you would like for fourth birthday, "When its my birthday" or "for my four birthday" haha!), but I would quite like to enjoy these last few months of your three-ness. 




We love you enormously our beautiful baby boy.

My Little One. 

Mummy and Daddy xXx 


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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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