2 weeks ago Alice turned 1 and it’s taken me a little while (what with the move and everything), to sit down and write up about that day! I keep seeing the cute little pictures we snapped of her with her cake, and she looks so scrummy I couldn’t just miss it out. Each one gives me a feeling of gratitude for her in our lives and I had to share when Alice turned 1!

The day was simple and filled with her favourite things, which turned out to be just right. Whilst I toyed with the idea of a little tea party (or even soft play) and mixing things up from our usual traditions on first birthdays, the combination of being in a new place, just moved house, and the fact it is only 1, it seemed best to keep it simple and low key. After taking the kids to school, we caught a train to the coast and met my Mum where we had a little boat ride, shared some fish and chips and ate seafood together. Alice loves fish and loved being spoilt with fresh ocean delicacies, a little sausage and a few sneaky licks of an ice cream at the seaside!

We rounded the day off playing together with bubbles in the garden, and a tacky caterpillar cake (which she devoured in seconds!). She received a new wooden walker and some building blocks, a couple of outfits and lots of love!

With each new major milestone that Alice reaches, our lives are filled with mixed emotions beyond that of the usual “time please slow down” emotions. But mostly she is reminding us how fun life with little kids in it really is. So at 1 year old I want to remember how she claps whenever we say “yay”. How she cries and laughs at the same time when she sees milk! How she laughs her head off when we pretend to do spiders on her arm, and how she smiles so sweetly at us! I want to keep in my heart how she touches our faces and is never short of a cuddle…how she loves megs and Ethan and gets so silly with them. I want to remember how she practices standing in her cot at night tome instead of sleeping (yes I see you Alice).

Alice turning 1 wasn’t easy to lead up to, but having a 1 year old is so much fun and the last couple of weeks have been a blast – Happy (belated) Birthday Little one, we have loved the last 12 months with you in them!


I’m writing this on the eve of Alice’s birthday (Tuesday), and I can’t quite believe we are hours away from her turning one! Tomorrow she will no longer be my little baby, but instead an official toddler, and my heart isn’t quite ready for that. I have never particularly been a parent that gets too emotional over my children aging and until recently I have been okay with it all, but this time I feel a physical aching about one of my kids getting older…perhaps it’s not knowing if she’s the last of my babies, perhaps its because she’s our rainbow?

Today, and this week really, is a big reminder that losing a baby continues to affect you years down the line. I don’t think for a second Alice would feel any less appreciated or loved to know I was thinking and feeling all of this the days leading up to her birthday, and knowing her now, I feel she knows what we lost and how her presence is a gift in our lives that balances that all some days. Of course I sit here feeling excited that we have known her for a whole 12 months and can see what a huge blessing she is and has been. We are all super excited to celebrate with her, but I would be lying if I didn’t say how incredibly hard it is too. Tomorrow is another 1st. It’s a milestone we never saw with Poppy, and as I have been hanging up 12 to 18 months clothes ready to go into her new little closet, or as I look to buy a birthday card with a number 1 (which I haven’t yet) it all just feels a little much.

This time last year I lay labouring in the LGI utterly terrified that another one of my babies was going to be born dead. I ran through my mind the events of birthing her sister, still wondering how it was all possible. As the midwives assured me all would be well, I then began hoping she would at least not look like her. I had taken the risk to try again and thought I was ready to give it all another go, but the racing thoughts and the anxiety were a reminder of how hard this chapter was actually going to be. We were moments away from knowing if she would arrive safely and if she was to come home and whilst that meant that I was excited to meet her, I was also incredibly worried too that life would cheat us again.

In contrast to the anxiety of stillbirth all over again, nothing prepared me for the flood of joy she would bring. I for so long felt empty, and whilst she could/can never fill the hole her sister left, she does a blumming good job of filling my empty arms. Its this aspect of her turning 1 that I especially struggle with – an independent little tot that squirms away from the long cuddles she has kept me in good supply of. Its the whole “losing” another baby to toddler hood as well as the milestones we never saw.

For 12 months Alice has filled my arms and expanded my heart. She has given me back a portion of lost confidence, and increased the joy in our home and lives like no other. Through her I feel I know her sister better, and yet through her there are hundreds of little moments that remind us of all we lost and continue to miss with not having her here (Many of which I was completely unprepared for). But I realise I would grieve whether Alice (or any other kids) were born to us following the loss of Poppy, and I would much prefer to take the risk and have the reminders along with the joy and comfort they bring, than just the empty pain of grief alone!

 Despite the last 12 months of increased wonderment at what could have been, Alice has helped me to see in new colours. She has shown me what I am capable of, and what my new normal looks like. She has helped me to have more confidence in remembering and including her sister and has taught me new things and interests. I feel like she has given me the direction I have lacked in life since losing Poppy and she has certainly helped me to heal a little more. With all of this she has enabled me to help more people in baby loss and pregnancies after loss.

Ultimately though since we were expecting her, she has given us reason to hope.

She brings joy where there was none and she brings energy and calmness all at the same time. She is tender and loving, funny and cute, and at 12 months she has 6 (yes 6) new teeth! She has conquered both going up and down stairs now, has had her feet measured and is able to walk only holding on with one hand. She will only drink coconut milk and is terrified of toy dinosaurs (much to her siblings amusement!).

Alice Grace is by far the best risk we ever took!

* I will only be updating my parenting after loss experiences sporadically now as I feel getting to 12 months, with all of the firsts has most definitely being a roller coaster and one I needed to share. I expect on big milestones and family adventures there will more moments for us that I will want to share again that convey life after loss (with all of its struggles and beauties intertwined).  But please know that choosing to have another baby after Stillbirth was a choice we struggled with since days after she died. It has been a challenge and trigger of grief I never anticipated. As much as we love and adore our little Alice, she does hold the keys to both healing and painful reminders of losing her sister. It isn’t wrong to feel or acknowledge that, it is a known fact of having a baby after one has died – the joy (rainbow) suddenly coexists with the storm. The pregnancy was incredibly stressful, and labour emotional, but it has been worth it and life feels far better these days! HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALICE – Thank you for all you bring to our lives! 

I really thought I had another week before I would be publishing this post, and then yesterday I was reminded that in actual fact little Alice is 11 months old today – oh how my heart broke a little!

This milestone has crept up on me and I don’t think I am actually ready for the next 4 weeks, and subsequently the countdown to her turning 1. I suddenly feel at that stage where you look at your baby and realise they soon will no longer be a baby, but instead a toddler. I can’t believe how fast it has gone and especially with these last few days of sunny weather, it seems 2 minutes ago that it was July 2016 and we were having her. I am genuinely sad to be saying goodbye to having a “baby baby” and my baby becoming a tot.

These last few weeks Alice has really amazed me with her development and has made a lot of progress. On Saturday after lots of whining, she realised she did in fact love the beach and spent ages splashing with the kids and stomping in water with Grandma. It was such a beautiful day, and she was absolutely shattered after a day in the sun and playing on the beach with family, and I am so glad she finally chilled out!!!

This last week or so we have also witnessed her victory on several occasions of conquering the stairs, followed by signing “food”, “more” and “Mummy” on a regular basis, and now clapping of hands too. She is a speedy confident crawler and is constantly pulling up on things and taking the odd steps towards cruising around the furniture too. She is slowly getting better with Nathan and I leaving the room, when previously she would be almost sick with screaming and tears. But mostly it is a lot of whimpering and crying when either of us are out of sight, and we roll our eyes a little at her neediness (Sorry Alice).

I am trying to adapt to her more needy nature and snuggly personality, which for a while now has been at times wearing. I realise that breastfeeding and wearing her so much in her first 9 months have created a great bond and attachment, but I struggle with the fact she screams her head off and becomes distressed if she’s not next to Nathan or I. Grandma’s, Aunts and others have the same effect and its only ever us she wants, which of course makes it impossible to go anywhere or do anything without her right there next to you!

The other day she spent a good 20 minutes nestled down on my chest and cuddling, and it was lovely and really nice, it was also a moment I realised in that she is different to the others, and I shouldn’t try to change or fight that. Whilst she plays silly with them, she obviously needs more closeness and feels safer and more content snuggled (or at the very least close) with Mum and Dad! I do love that she loves us so much, and over her short life with us it has been most healing to have her gentle, loving personality in my life, but on the flip side it gets rather wearing too to not be able to just get on with things! I hope we can build her up to being okay left a little while with family at least for things like dates or even just a walk!

So yes – just 4 more weeks and our little rainbow will be a whole year old. It’s the first time we haven’t talked about another baby in the next few months and the first time I have really felt the sadness of losing these baby days with age. Usually I am excited for the next stage and looking forward to them getting bigger and finding independence, whilst developing their little personalities and loves in the world around them…and whilst I do look forward to all of this with Alice it almost opens that wound a little more that I don’t have a baby anymore. It feels very weird to let that go of that and allow her to grow up in to the toddler stage. She has papered over the cracks for so long that its hard to think of life without me having my little baby and instead one of chasing around a quickly growing tot called Alice!


As a stay at home mum my days are spent with our little ray of sunshine, Alice. It has, and still is a huge adjustment to have gone from 2 crazy energetic kids to one small chilled out baby. I love my role, but some days do feel a little bit of drag. Most days though I enjoy the freedom, feel blessed to have this time with her and love the time to get things done together.

Like both of her older siblings, parents and the majority of our family, she LOVES her food. Weaning has been straightforward, easy even, and she will eat pretty much anything! I have gone from buying mostly jars and pouches in recent weeks (convenience) to serving up whatever we are having. That or left overs from the day before, and its working so much better (and she loves it all the same)!

With meal time being one of her favourite times of day (to the point that she will cry when I say “all gone”), I have noticed that as I sat her in her Bumbo seat (and now her high chair), she starts to dance. Like a little dinner dance.

It begins with a few leg kicks, some bum bounces and ripples up to her arms before a little squeal is let out. With eyes fixated on my every move, her little body wiggles around in anticipation for what will be served up today, and I can’t help but smile at how excited she is.

Once the food arrives, and as she enjoys each morsel, the dance goes from a full body zumba-esque to a simple toe tapping. It has kind of become a joke with us all – “ay up the toes are tapping, dinner must be ready” (said in a forced Yorkshire accent)!! And It’s all rather cute and joyful.

It is one of those things that make me smile each meal time, and one of the many ways she brings joy to our home.

There really is nothing cuter than a little baby dancing for her dinner. It is an ordinary moment in our days together, an ordinary moment at meal times, and something I don’t remember the others doing. I hope I always remember her doing it though and especially the joy and laughter it brings to us all! Thank you Alice for your love of food and dancing tendencies to brighten our days.




The Ordinary Moments