Our third installment to the Somewhere After The Rainbow guest series has been written by Anna. Anna is mummy to Amelia and Beatrice and is such a wonderful mummy and person in general! You can find her over on Instagram
You can’t go back and unwalk that path.
The most perfect baby girl
On 12th February 2017, I announced the birth of our beautiful daughter, Amelia Tanton. She was born weighing 558 grams and measuring 31 cm long. She filled our lives with a love that we could never have imagined and her loss had utterly broken us.
The hospital had already warned us that, at 23 weeks’ gestation, they would not attempt to resuscitate our baby upon her arrival. I learned that she was going to die whilst she was still moving inside me. The sadness and guilt that I experienced that day was overwhelming; I just wanted her to know how desperately I had tried to keep her safe and how much we wanted her.
When Amelia was born, she lived in our arms for 1 hour and 7 minutes. She was cuddled, stroked and kissed. I didn’t say “hello” as I couldn’t bear to say “goodbye”. I simply told her over and over that I loved her. Amelia wriggled her legs when she heard my voice and I hope that she felt surrounded by warmth and kindness. She met both of her grandmothers and we wrapped her up and rocked her until it was time to let her go.
Loving our rainbow
I fell pregnant for a second time just 4 months after Amelia was born. Trying for a rainbow baby didn’t feel like a choice; I needed to bring a living, breathing baby home. My second pregnancy was fraught with worry. At 15 weeks, we were told that I had a big bleed on my placenta and that we should prepare to lose our second baby. At 19 weeks and 6 days, after close monitoring, I was finally diagnosed with a weak cervix. A life-saving cerclage was put in place. And, on 20th February 2018, at 38 weeks and 5 days, we finally welcomed Beatrice into our family.
Beatrice brings joy to our lives every single day. At exactly 15 weeks old, she loves to kick, roll and play. She enjoys stories, songs and pretending to stand and walk. She’s always cheerful in the mornings (a lesson to us all!) and is a very determined little girl! She makes me laugh all day long and I am so proud to be her Mummy too.
I work hard every day to ensure that intrusive thoughts are kept under control. It is incredibly easy to imagine different ways in which your baby could be taken from you when you’ve already experienced grief and trauma. As my midwife once told me during my second pregnancy: “you can’t go back and unwalk that path”. I remind myself that I can only do my best to keep her safe and enjoy her every day.
Sometimes, I see Amelia in her little sister. A look or an angle can take me right back to holding her big sister. At first, I found this difficult and gave myself a hard time for it. Was I looking for a baby who had gone? Was I failing to accept that she had died and that I would always grieve for her? I still struggle with that from time to time, but am doing my best to be kind to myself. After all, I have no doubt that, had Amelia lived, I would still hold Beatrice in my arms as she slept and admire the features which remind me of her big sister. Because that is simply parenting a second, much-loved child.
A rainbow baby is perhaps the greatest blessing
So, if you too are parenting after loss, or are thinking about embarking on that journey, or love somebody who is, remember to go gently. It’s certainly not easy, nor does the fog of grief lift entirely. And perhaps you wouldn’t want it to. But a rainbow baby is perhaps the greatest blessing and a reminder that the sun will shine again.
Amelia and Beatrice’s Mummy, Anna x