Posted in baby loss, baby loss awareness, grief, life after loss, motherhood, mothering a rainbow, mummy blog, parenting, parenting after loss, rainbow baby, Somewhere After The Rainbow

Frankie’s Story

Please welcome Frankie to the Somewhere After The Rainbow Guest Series.

You can find Frankie over on Instagram or her website.


“It’s fine to talk about them

You can talk to them too

In your heart they can always be right there with you.”

  • These Precious Little People, by Frankie Brunker

I’m Frankie, mum to three beautiful children. We lost our first baby to unexplained stillbirth at full term nearly five years ago. Esme gave us the strength to try for another baby, and we were relieved beyond belief to welcome her little brother Jago into the world alive & well 13 months later. It took a lot of courage to embark on another pregnancy, but the hope outweighed the fear once again, and we were very fortunate to take home a living daughter too, Ayla, who is now 17 months old.


Parenting after loss has been a total headf*** at times – filled with emotional challenges because of my ever-present grief & the overwhelmingly bittersweet joys that come with making precious memories with your living children – but also more guilt, isolation and self-doubt than I ever realised was possible. Counselling, the love of (and for) my family, and peer support have all got me through some very dark days, and I now feel I have a much better handle on my depression & anxiety but I try to never take for granted all the blessings in my life.


I’ve experienced a deep desire to reach out & support others going through similar as a result. Part of that has been volunteering for JOEL TCP, and they have been incredibly supportive of a long-held dream of mine to create a bereavement support resource for families.

My son has already started asking questions about his the sister he will never get to meet & having the book These Precious Little People will, I hope, prove to be something that reinforces her place within our family & gives us ways in which to think about & honour her memory. I hope it helps many other families as well.

Thank you Frankie for sharing your story. These Precious Little People will give other families a way to remember and hopefully help support siblings/cousins/younger children in explaining the death of a child.

If anyone would like to look in to the book more, click on the above picture.

Posted in baby loss, baby loss awareness, grief, life after loss, motherhood, mothering a rainbow, mummy blog, parenting, parenting after loss, rainbow baby, Somewhere After The Rainbow, Uncategorized

National Rainbow Baby Day

Today (22nd August) is National Rainbow Day, which follows on from Baby Loss Awareness Week and Day of Hope.

When I was pregnant with Ellie I didnt like the term rainbow baby, I didnt like the idea of Jasons life/death being thought of as “the storm” however the term is widely known in the baby loss community and becoming more known in the public eye too so it is easier to call her our Rainbow instead of explaining our story repeatedly.

A rainbow baby doesn’t take away the pain from the loss of a child. I have said before that I have grieved harder for Jason since Ellie was born I carry more guilt because she is alive and he isn’t but in other ways it does ease the pain. My arms are no longer empty, my heart is fuller than ever and my smile isnt always fake. She has given me a new reason to live when all I wanted was to die.

So today I wanted to celebrate her. I live to make my children proud and I want Ellie to grow up knowing everything I do is for her. My worry is that she will grow up feeling like she is second best or having to compete with Jason for my attention however I also want her to grow up being able to talk about her big brother and know about him, I need him to be included just as much as I need Ellie to know she is our reason for living.


For me, Ellie has made me feel like I can be happy again, she makes me smile and feel more love than I could have possibly thought I could give. Since Ellie arrived I have been able to listen to music without crying, I can focus on the lyrics and find some happiness within the sad. I don’t drive to work with the tears flowly freely, in fact I dont cry as much as I used to at all. I want to go out and make memories but I still find celebrations and family meals etc hard. I am still reminded every day of the things we are missing out on but it is easier to handle now I have someone who gives me cuddles when I am sad.

When Jason died I thought that was my only chance of hearing anyone call me mum and it was gone; hearing Ellie call for her Mama is something I will never tire of no matter what time it is.

She reminds me of how much I love her Daddy and how much our family means to me; sometimes in the crazy life of parenting it is easy to forget about the love you had before children but when I see how much he makes Ellie laugh and how big his smile is when he is with her it makes me feel like I am 15 again and in this early stages of love.


Ellie has filled my life with happiness, love and so much laughter that I never thought I would ever feel again. I will always be so grateful for my rainbow baby, for her beauty, for having her brothers nose, for reminding me how lucky I am to have held them both and loved them both as long as the stars shine in the night.


I am also always reminded of those who don’t have their rainbow and my heart hurts for them so much. Our babies are our lives and for a grieving parent the longing to have their baby is intensified. Please know I share your pain and wish I could take it away and bring your beautiful babies back to you. I wish none of us knew this pain and I hope you are able to feel true happiness once more.


Posted in baby loss, baby loss awareness, days out, grief, life after loss, motherhood, mothering a rainbow, mummy blog, parenting, parenting after loss, Somewhere After The Rainbow, telford, Uncategorized

Holidays After Loss

Tomorrow we travel to North Wales for our family holiday, we are all packed up and the car has had its check. I have spent all week feeling giddy at gettinf away and feeling the sand between my toes. Ive felt excited at taking Ellie to spend the week in a caravan and make memories with her. Last years holiday was very stressful and Ellie cried for half the week we were away so this year I am hoping she enjoys it too.

Tonight my anxiety feels like a huge weight on my shoulders, filling me with dread that Ellie will cry for most of the week again, wondering whether this heatwave will make it too hot to go anywhere or the rain will FINALLY come and we will be stuck in the caravan unprepared for such wetness.

Tonight I am reminded that a family holiday should be different, a thought that feels like a knife to the heart. Oh how I wish life was different, I wish more than anything I was walking Ellie and Jason across the sand on our family holiday. Tonight I have spent time packing permanent markers to write his name on a stone. I write the names of so many babies to take them on our adventures, I plan which beach I will write his name in the sand to be washed away later.

Tonight I am reminded that while we go away my sons ashes are in a memory box, hidden away so no harm can come to them.

There is always someone missing whenever we do anything as a family and unfortunately there is nothing I can do to change that other than planning ways to take him with us. This year I am going to be brave and not act as subtle as I did last year. Hubbys counselling is helping and I feel much more comfortable doing things for Jason on our travels.

Posted in baby loss, baby loss awareness, grief, life after loss, motherhood, mothering a rainbow, parenting, parenting after loss, rainbow baby, Somewhere After The Rainbow, Uncategorized

Pete’s Story

Please welcome Pete to Somewhere After The Rainbow. Pete is a wonderful dad to Poppy and Reuben and he bloga over at Daddy To A Rainbow And A Star

Joy and sadness forever mixed together.

When you become a parent you never think you’ll have to parent a child after the loss of another child. Sadly though this cruel world throws that ball to 1 in 4 families. My wife Emily and I welcomed our daughter Poppy into the world in October 2016. She was with us for 3 days but sadly she died in our arms due to a devastating brain injury. She sustained this because during labour decelerations of her heartbeat were missed. Our world shattered.
After Poppy died I felt we’d never have to joy of bring a baby home. I miss Poppy each and every day and wish she was here. I’ll never see my first born grow up. You grow fearful that you might never get to parent a child on earth. I’m still Poppy’s Dad but I just have to parent her in a very different way.
A year later we were able to bring our rainbow baby Reuben home. Poppy’s little brother was our light in the darkness. Now we are 6 months into our journey of parenting after loss. It’s a very different experience then how you expected to be as a parent. I’m now parenting 2 children but only one is with us.
The early weeks and months of Parenting After Loss were filled with fear, worry and bundles of nerves. I had the usual parenting worries of nappy changing, feeding, holding etc etc. On top of that though I had the worry of losing Reuben like I had lost Poppy. Fearful the same thing would happen again. Just getting Reuben home was a massive milestone. After losing a child you never think you’ll be able to bring another baby home.
Even when home with Reuben the worrying is magnified compared to normal. Every sound, every noise was followed by me thinking “Is everything ok?”I’d worry at night that he wasn’t breathing. However I’ve found that I’ve been less of a worrier over these things. I still worry about Reuben and that something bad might happen. It just lingers more in the back corners of my mind.
Parenting After Loss is like grief. Feelings do come in waves. There is more complicity in this though. Along with the worry you have the thoughts of what could and should have been. I miss Poppy and I think about how she’d be with her little brother. With each milestone Reuben hits I’m overjoyed but get sad I’ve not been able to see Poppy hit the same milestone. It’s so bittersweet. Joy and sadness forever mixed together.
One thing I have found though is that I try to enjoy everything with Reuben more. Even if thats getting up at 5am with him. Yeah it’s early but it’s an extra hour with him before work. I want to make the most of every second I get with him. Part of me is slightly scared it could be the last second. After you experience the worst thing in life you can’t help but worry it’ll happen again.
Looking ahead with hopes and dreams for Reuben is hard too. Part of me is so scared to look to his future for fear that he might not get to have it. That sounds odd I know but you just never stop the worrying. It’s never-ending. That is not to say that I don’t have days where I might not worry about losing Reuben. You are just so aware of how wrong life can go. How cruel the universe can be.
What I’ve found is that while I do have the parenting after loss anxieties, I’m not as anxious as I thought I would be. At times I’ve been more chilled that I expected. I think I feel so lucky to have Reuben that I want to cherish all my time with him rather than spend it working. That is easier said than done though.
I have guilt that I’m neglecting Poppy and her memory though. We used to visit her grave every day but now we can’t. I know she understands why and she is happy we have her little brother. It doesn’t make it any easier though. I try hard to include them together as best I can. I also talk about Poppy so reuben knows who she is. The biggest fear alongside the fear of losing your rainbow is Poppy being forgotten.

I’ll end with a small quote.

When it rains look for rainbows, and when it’s dark look for stars.

When the sadness and tears of missing Poppy are there I can look at my rainbow Reuben. He brings utter joy and makes the darkness lighter. When the dark is there look for my Poppy Star. Shining down on me, guiding me along my parenting after loss journey.