Tag Archives: rainbow baby

Photo of the week #2

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…Or in this case photos, show Connies new found love for the blue sequinned handbag I recently brought her…

   “I love my new handbag, mummy…”

 “I like putting my purse, cards and even  my doi doi in it…”

   “I like looking in it, very closely, to see what I’ve put inside…”

  “But best of all, I love wearing it as a hat!”

Connie Rose, 15 months.

 

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Week 35: Getting There…

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“Your baby weighs around 5.7 pounds. The protective fat layer will make up about 15 percent of her weight at birth. Your baby is probably sleeping about 90% of the time. There isn’t much room to move around anymore, although you will still be feeling regular movements. If you notice a dramatic increase or decrease in movement compared to your baby’s normal daily activity, call your doctor immediately.

If your baby has dropped you’ll be breathing easier now and experiencing less indigestion and heartburn. This is a sign that your little one has descended into your pelvis. Women often experience a nesting stage as delivery approaches. This sudden burst of energy may lead you to do your spring cleaning early, but save some of that extra energy for labour. You’ve probably gained about 25-30 pounds by now, but rest assured, much of this will be lost in one day. The rest will also come off fairly easily and even quicker if you breast feed.” -My Pregnancy App, Health & Parenting Ltd.

This week has been a little more positive than last week. Although I spent much of Wednesday night and Thursday night crying and having strange panic attacks I was lucky enough to have Andy there to support me as always, my rock 🙂 No matter how far past the point I had Harry I get, it doesn’t change anything, it never stops me worrying.

I know from so many sad tales in my support groups that life isn’t that simple. I’m sure I will feel different once I have had her and take her home, but until then I can’t shake the overwhelming feeling that someone will take her away from me. This pregnancy has really tested my strengths.

So towards the end of the week, the distraction techniques were back in full swing! And I’ve had a productive week/weekend to make up for last weeks awful slump!

Princesses room is basically almost complete! The cot is up, shelves are up, wardrobe fully stocked, changing unit fully stocked and my mum has up cycled a lovely wicker chair for us which fits in perfectly with the decorations.

The pictures are up and all others little decorative bits are out; the only bits remaining to sort are a socket which needs a new cover and the ceiling light needs a new plastic bit fitted to it (can you tell I have more to do with the decorative aspects of the nursery as oppose to the maintenance side of things?!) but hopefully, (hopefully!!) I should still make my deadline for it to be complete by Friday 30th May.

In other good news, the pram is here! Yay! Me and mum spent about 45mins (no exaggeration!) trying to figure out the instructions before giving up and managing to work out how to put it in all it’s various positions by ourselves in about 5 minutes! Silver cross instructions- you are crap! Haha.

Happily the pram is brilliant and should last her until she’s old enough not to need one anymore. We chose a silver cross 3D and I’m so glad we did! It’s great; easy to change positions, easy to put up and down. It can go in a lie down pram position, upright pushchair position and it has a car seat that clips on to the pram for ease when your out and about shopping etc.

It also came with a load of extras, like a hood, foot cover, rain cover and thermal changing bag. I love it! I’ve had a good practice putting it in all the various positions.

Symptom wise, baby is still hiccuping multiple times a day, my PGP is still hurting, I’ve started getting period pains every evening and I’m still not rushing to the toilet during the night but certainly making up for it during the day!

Highlight of the week? Things are all coming together, pram and room included in that!
Low of the week? Panic attacks 😦

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7 Things You Should Never Say To Someone Suffering Child Loss…

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Now, try to picture yourself in this position, if you please. Your plans for the future have just crumbled away. You’re devastated. You (irrationally) feel responsible; you can’t really believe it’s happened. You’ve just lost your baby.

You’re emotional, you’re grieving, you’re in a lot of pain; but, more than not, you’re unbelievably angry. Angrier than you’ve ever been in your life, angrier than you ever imagined you could be. You’re angry that this thing has happened, confused and numb; angry at yourself… And then, some prick says the wrong thing.

As a parent suffering the loss of a baby, trust me, I know these feelings all too well. The last thing you need when you’re in such a vulnerable state is to then have someone make an off-hand comment that cuts you down to the bone. Not biting back takes the utmost restraint. I lost my baby almost a year ago and I still find myself on the receiving end of some almighty clangers from ill-informed “well-wishers”.

And I’m not alone; which is why I decided to do a little research into the worst things people could possibly say to a parent suffering a loss. Between drawing from my own experiences, combing the web and with the help of lots of Angel Parents, I’ve managed to put together 7 things you should never say to someone suffering a loss; in the hope that people will take note and think twice before they inadvertently say something harmful to the next suffering parent whose paths they cross…

 

7. “Mysterious” Comments

“Everything happens for a reason”, “It wasn’t meant to be”, “Its God’s plan”, “It was probably for the best” etc etc etc. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong! I’m in the middle of grieving for my baby and the last thing I want to hear is your bullshit theories on how it will be ok in the end and my baby was supposed to die because there’s some big other plan out there for me and him?

Everything does NOT happen for a reason, sometimes life is just cruel.

The premature death of my child was not meant to be.

If “God’s Plan” for me is to make me suffer abominably for no reason, then I want no part of his plan.

And my baby dying was not “for the best”, you can not relate the word “best” to this pain in any way shape or form.

 

6. Time Heals
Guess what? It doesn’t. I have spoken to women who range from losing their baby’s last week to losing them over 30 years ago and not one of them agrees with the “time heals” phrase. As time passes we find ways to cope with what we’ve been through and after a while find ways to start functioning normally again but not a day ever goes by where we don’t think of our loss and crave one more cuddle from that baby. So by insinuating that after a few years everything will be hunky dory is a really bad move.

 

5. Tough Love
I’ve been lucky enough not to have been on the receiving end of much of these; most of the hurtful comments I’ve received I’m sure were not intended to be hurtful at the time, but there are some people out there who are genuinely tack-less. Firstly, if you’re lucky enough to have never experienced a loss you truly have no idea how it feels and are, therefore, in no way qualified to advise someone to “move on” with their grief.

Secondly, we are all different, individual humans; it may take some people longer than others to get to a functioning state again and by telling that person “to get back to some sort of normality” you are actually most likely causing them to regress into their grief instead of encouraging them to move out of it!!

“Don’t you think its time to move on with your life?”
“Cheer up!”
“Don’t you think you should get back to some sort of normality?”
“You can’t change what’s happened, so move on”

Do I need to spell out why these are hurtful? Do I need to explain why telling someone, who’s in possibly the most vulnerable state they have ever been in their life, to “Cheer up” is not very nice? Compassion is key.

 

4. At Least You Have Another Child
You cannot compare children. End of. So statements such as “At least you already have one”, or “You’ve already got one baby why do you want another anyway?” are entirely unhelpful.

Some parents with other children may draw from them a feeling of comfort, yes. But that doesn’t mean to say their pain is any less than a childless couples.

 

3. Ignorance on the Subject
Child loss is not a favourite topic of conversation for anyone to speak about, but the fact that people are so afraid to talk about it and don’t talk about it is why people end up so ignorant on the subject. Something I really struggled with after losing Harry was the insane amount of ignorance people had. For the most part, they didn’t have a CLUE what had happened.

Some people didn’t seem to realise Harry was even a baby. That made me so angry and upset, not because I wanted their sympathy just because somehow I felt it made Harry “less” of a baby; a nonentity almost, which couldn’t be further from the truth. There is a wealth of information out there- if you are unsure what has happened do some research, ask someone. Get the terminology right!

 

2. You’ll be Pregnant Again in No Time!
Only with child loss do people ever suggest, insinuate or assume that having another baby will make everything better and this, in particular, is guaranteed to get you daggers at the very best or a punch in the face at the very worst from a grieving parent. At no time when a parent, grandparent or friend has passed does anyone ever suggest getting another grandparent might be the answer to their grief; so why the hell do people assume another child will make it all better again?!

Be careful how you tread. Not everyone is easily able to get pregnant again after losing their child. It may have been their one and only chance at IVF that failed or for numerous other reasons they may feel unable or be physically unable to ever get pregnant again.

Let me assure you, having another baby does not “make everything better” and assuming that it does is not only disrespectful to the parent, but also to the child that died and the child that succeeded if the parents have chosen to have another. I cannot stress enough how offensive this misconception is. It reminds me of a family getting a new pet after their old one has been put to sleep. Essentially you are comparing my child with something as easily replaceable as a goldfish!

 

1. Failing to Acknowledge
We all know that child loss is a difficult subject for most to talk about. You might be worried you’ll put your foot in it and say the wrong thing; you might be worried that by mentioning it the parent will break down in floods of tears and you’ll feel responsible, or you might not really understand what’s happened.

Whatever the case, every woman I have spoken to (and I include myself in this) has said that the worst things people can do is ignore and fail to acknowledge what has happened. In fact a few people have told me that not only have people seemingly ignored the elephant in the room, they’ve actually had people cross the street to avoid talking to them. Not only is this is extremely hurtful it’s entirely unnecessary.

So what should you say and do?

Address The Subject
Firstly, it’s important that you address the elephant in the room. As mentioned earlier, it’s WORSE to say nothing. If you’re really worried you’re going to put your foot in it or you’re really uncomfortable with the subject, a simple “I’m sorry for your loss” will suffice to any grieving parent.

One parent told me one of the nicest things said to her by a friend was “I’m sorry we never got the chance to know him, we’ll never forget him though”, another said “I can’t imagine what you’re going through, I’m so sorry. If you need to talk I’m here for you.”

Understand What’s Happened
If you’re completely clueless on what’s happened but want to offer your friend or relative some support and understanding during this most difficult of times, do some research. There is so much information out there! Child loss is more common than you might think! And get the terminology right for Christ Sake, the next person to refer to H as a miscarriage will live to regret it.

If you have questions its ok to ask! “Do you mind if I ask you a couple of questions about your baby, as I don’t really understand what’s happened?”- This is perfect, it allows the person on the receiving end to then prepare themselves for some prying questions or to turn around and say “Actually I’m not ready to talk to about it yet, sorry.”

Most parents would much rather people asked questions if they are unsure! I, personally, am much happier when I know everyone in the room completely understands what happened with Harry. It means it’s less likely for someone to upset me with inaccurate information.

Don’t Compare Pregnancies
When dealing with a rainbow pregnancy, a straightforward “Congratulations on your pregnancy” will be a welcome thing to hear to any newly pregnant couple. Avoid saying anything along the lines of “This will be different” or “Now you can move on!” and definitely avoid comparisons with the pregnancies.

If you feel like adding more, “Let me know if you need help with anything” or “I’m so happy for you!” is fine.

Remember Important Dates
Amongst the most touching things friends and family can do to console a grieving parent, is to remember important dates. If you’re not comfortable going into the topic a simple text saying “How are you today?” on the anniversary of the death, birth or due date is welcome.

Anything along the lines of “If you need to talk today, let me know” or “Thinking of you both today” is greatly appreciated.

Listen
There will a point, especially if this person is a close friend or family, where they may open up and have a good rant to you. The most important thing to do here is to listen. Try not to give advice unless they ask. Be compassionate.

Lots of women said that sometimes all they wanted or needed was a hug. It’s the simple gestures that show you care that mean the most to people.

Care
A common response I received when asking what the best things people had said were, was a friend texting or emailing every day to just say “How are you today?” or “ Do you need anything?”

This is something so simple yet so deeply appreciated. People can often get lost in their grief and feel so terribly alone. It’s comforting and reassuring to know that there are people out there who are genuinely upset for you and genuinely want to offer you support. Friendships are really tested at times like these and you really find out who you true friends are when you go through an experience like this.

Don’t Forget The Men
It’s easy for the attention to be on the woman here because the woman is the person experiencing the physical loss as well as the emotional loss but men get affected by child loss too!

Men have a hard time when going through loss. They often get overlooked when not only are they suffering too, but they’re also the people trying to hold their partners together through grief. Never forget to be compassionate to the male in the relationship.

A Final Word…
Please heed this advice and SHARE it. One of the greatest things you can do to support a friend or family member through a time of loss is to help spread the word and put an end to the unnecessary and hurtful comments that are thrown around.

On behalf of Angel Parents across the globe, thank you for reading.

Week 21: A Rainbow for my Rainbow…

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Week 21: A Rainbow for my Rainbow…


“Your baby weighs almost a pound now, even if you’re having twins. Movements of your baby are deliberate and with the purpose of preparing its motor skills and coordination. Even though hair is growing on your baby’s head, the colour will be white as the pigment has not yet developed. Your baby’s skin is wrinkled and is of a pinkish-red colour, but still translucent. The limbs are proportionate, but your baby is still very thin, weighing approximately one seventh of the final weight at birth. Your baby’s brain is beginning to have a period of rapid growth and delevlopment.

Your uterus has reached about an inch above your belly button. Leg cramps can become an unpleasant issue for women around this point. From now on its possible to have some leakage from your nipples at any time; this is just your breast preparing to breast feed your baby. If you are experiencing back ache it’s likely to be bothering you more. Your lower back is experiencing a lot of strain. Your physiotherapist may recommend a pelvic support belt to help ease your pain, especially if you suffer from PGP (Pelvic Girdle Pain). If you haven’t noticed them yet, stretch marks may be beginning to appear.” My Pregnancy App- Health and Parenting Ltd

We kicked off this week with another set of scans which all went well! I posted the pics in one of my previous blog posts, but if you want to check them out (and didn’t see them before) the link to the post is here. We finally got a good view of princess face on so the sonographer was able to finish checking for all anomalies and everything seems fine 🙂

I had a little panic attack when my cervical scan pulled up a shorter measurement than it had before but, after a phone call to my consultant, she assured me it’s perfectly normal for my cervical measurements to decrease at this point and that my results (38mm) are still very good. However, she did offer to do another cervical scan for me at my next appointment with her the day before I go on a little local-ish holiday to put mind at rest for the break. I see her again Thursday 13th Feb, which means I get to see princess again too- bonus! 🙂

The bump is getting bigger, which I love. No sign of any stretch marks yet… I have a little routine where I apply baby oil in the morning, first thing after a shower, and last thing at night before bed. I also apply bump cream during the day at work. It’s not a vanity issue- I just love massaging my bump! It makes princess kick and stops my growing skin from itching, but if helps prevent stretch marks I’m not complaining!

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In keeping with the whole positive-energy-over-negative-energy vibe, I’m still trying to channel my creative streak. This week I’ve decided on new decor for the hallway, living room and kitchen.

I’ve gone with a kind of American Diner theme in the hallway and kitchen. I adore old fashioned, shabby style plaques and bright coloured advertising tins, so I the idea is to select some of my favourites and some that I think represent mine and Mr W’s tastes and passions and intersperse them with lovely, glossy black and white photos of our friends and family. I’m also in the process of asking my step dad if I can rummage through his collection of vinyls and steal any unwanted ones to put on the walls too!

I took the idea from the 50’s American Diner restaurant we have nearby. Every time we visit I find the decor just as interesting as the food! I’m a very visual person and I love looking at all the different pieces around the room, imagining what it was actually like to live in time period. I love the way they cover the walls from top to bottom in different pictures, vinyls and tins. It’s chaotic, colourful, bright and interesting- exactly what I’m looking for!

I want the living room to have a relaxed, peaceful and clean feel to it. I want it to be a light, airy, comfy space that people can feel happy and at ease in. The words romantic/shabby chic spring to mind. We’re lucky enough to have the benefits of two windows and a full glass back door which enable a lot of light into the room during spring and summer.

The colour scheme is going to be a lot more laid back and soft in this room; lots of cream and mink colours with shabby chic tables and of course my big squishy sofa that should be here in a few weeks. We’re going to keep a little bit of colour in the room by leaving the bright purple feature wall that we already have painted- even in one of the most serene rooms of my home I still want to keep a little bit of colour!

This is all a massive work in progress which should keep my mind pretty busy up until the birth of baby wood. After the living room, kitchen and hallway I want to spruce up the bathroom and our bedroom; then finally decorate princesses room ready for her arrival. This will be my last port of call. I have tons of ideas already stored up in my head but I don’t want to act on any of them until I get to the 30/34 week mark- I have good reasons for my superstitious behaviour!

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I’m actually looking quite forward to going for the week soon. It should be a great opportunity for me to relax and unwind as well as hopefully finding some more inspiration. We are staying in a little cosy cottage with a log fire and the town is supposed to be idealic, with cathedrals, castles and beachfront nearby. I’m always calmer, contented and more at peace when I’m near the sea, I find it incredibly comforting- Probably one of the reasons I chose to get married on a beach!- Even without the sun shining its bound to keep my spirits high!

Although I try to stay positive at all times it’s hard not to have a mini panic attack every now and then. Especially as I come closer to the 24 week mark which saw the arrival of Harry.

I noticed something strange but bizarrely comforting this week. This baby is classed as my rainbow baby (a baby conceived after a loss) I haven’t seen a rainbow in at least 2 years, maybe longer. I’m sure they were still about but I just didn’t happen to see any. In the last 3 weeks I’ve seen no less than four big beautiful rainbows and everyone has appeared either the day or day after a particularly big freak out.

I like to think this is a little sign telling me not to worry, that everything will be fine. A rainbow for my rainbow. It’s more than likely nothing more than a huge coincidence but I’m not hurting anyone by taking comfort out of it, so I do. Plus rainbows are lovely colourful, natural things- from what you know about me, I’m sure it doesn’t come as a surprise that I think they’re beautiful!

Highlight of the week? Seeing our beautiful princess in our scan. As lovely as it was to see the back of her head and bum for three consecutive scans (the most beautiful back of head and bum ever!) it was wonderful to see her face!

Low of the week? Realising half way through a wee at work that I had forgot to lock the bathroom door… Those footsteps in the corridor reeeeally helped speed things along! If you ever need waking up a “danger wee” is definitely the way to do it! Will I ever get my pre-baby brain back?