October 18, 2019No Comments

Moving forwards after loss

After we had Olivia it took us 18 months to fully accept we had a child! It also took that length of time to heal from birth and to recover from post-natal depression. So when our daughter turned 20 months we tried again for another child. We never intended for Olivia to be an only child. We wanted her to grow up with siblings. We naively thought that this time around would be different and that we wouldn't have any losses. But when I turned up at the hospital four months later for an early scan I was informed that I could die imminently due to the baby escaping out the womb and bursting in my abdomen. I had an emergency laparoscopy to remove the blood (as that was all that remained) from my abdomen. None of my tubes were damaged and the doctors couldn't see how the baby had got out so when I awoke from surgery they thought I was still pregnant. But sadly later that day they confirmed I was not and that I had indeed had a tubal pregnancy. They just called it a "medical mystery" and sent me on my way.

Two months later I fell pregnant again. As soon as I saw the positive results I knew instantly it was too soon after the ectopic pregnancy. I was still grieving, still in pain. I was forced to have another early scan because of the risk of ectopic reoccurring. But they informed at the scan that there was an issue with this pregnancy too. There was too much blood in my womb, and sure enough two weeks later at eight weeks, I lost my sixth child.




I sat in my car on my drive and uncontrollable tears rolled down my face. It was like a slow rolling waterfall. Two losses. in Two months. We buried the baby in a plant pot and it is to this day still in my garden. A black cloud descended over my life for the next three months. We stopped trying. We tried to focus on what we did have. Olivia. We planned day trips and holidays and tried to bury our grief in every day of just getting on with life. And of course, as with all tough times, it seems as if everyone else is supremely happy, just getting on with their lives making babies. Of course, the truth is, we are all fighting a battle no one knows anything about.

I hit rock bottom on our trip to Italy. I literally could not hold myself together. My anxiety was through the roof. I couldn't control myself on the flight. I was beside my self with fear. I was so worn out by grief that it was now affecting every part of me emotionally. I was a wreck. A short flight to Florence and I was in tears the whole time. I don't like flying at the best of times but this was ridiculous. When we arrived, I was exactly the same in the car. I'm a terrible passenger but I had completely lost control of all rational thought. It was so bad on the flight and in the car, my husband looked up train journeys back to England.

That week in Italy I realised things had to change. I had to change. I couldn't live with the grief anymore. It had to go. I had to find a focus. I had to move on. I need something to hope for.

During this time I had a friend I was becoming increasingly closer to. She also was finding a new way forward in her life. And she started to share with me some of the things she was discovering. From personality tests to decluttering, how to courses on mum life, makeup courses, I took them all. I also realised during this time my love for interior design and calligraphy. My husband had signed me up to a calligraphy course which I went to after Italy and I just fell in love. I took a short course in Interior Design and loved it. It all gave me a new focus. My husband had also found a new focus, meditation, and we took a course together. All of this learning was over about three months and in that time we tried to fall pregnant again. After four months we were pregnant. But there was no woo hoo. We didn't talk about. We just got on with life. I didn't go for an early scan. We just waited and we waited. And soon enough the 12-week scan came round and right now I am five months pregnant. I am also now studying to be a fully qualified Interior Design.

October 24, 2018No Comments

Post Natal Depression: The Dark Side

It is what it says it is. And I think we all experience it differently because we are all unique. So for me, I was totally overwhelmed, unable to accept that this child was mine. I felt like a caregiver rather than a mother, I was drowning in decision making. For the longest time, I just didn't feel like Olivia was mine. It took 18 months until I fully took her in, fully accepted her. She is everything and more we could have asked for. Everything I had been praying for right before my eyes living and breathing and yet there was some kind of disconnect within me. Psychologists concluded that because of my miscarriages I was unable to fully embrace her, after months of counselling, I took her in fully embracing everything she is. She is truly incredible. My rainbow baby.

I was diagnosed when Olivia was nine months old. I had a few assessments, mental health nurses and doctors and health visitors, I was prescribed drugs, but the last thing I wanted was that. So they said if I didn't take them I would need to come up with a plan on how I was going to get better. I promised them I would exercise! I had three months of therapy with a psychologist. I had a mental health visit every week and then every month and now to this day, I have a weekly visit from a volunteer to keep my mental health on track.

By the time I was diagnosed I was pretty ill. I had reached a very dark place, I'm almost nervous to write it. I was at the point of suicide. I had just lost all hope of being capable, of fully accepting life as it was and I was totally overwhelmed by this tiny amazing human. We had no help, no family or friends nearby. And those who did drop by were totally unaware of my drowning. Looking back I wish someone had waded into my life, had seen the despair, had stayed a little longer and done the washing up, perhaps walked the dog, or brought some dinners over. But no, everyone just thought we were happy because the one thing we had been longing for had happened. Olivia was here living and breathing why would anyone think I was depressed or struggling?! (friends have since said these exact things to me). I know now I need to ask for help. Everyone is well meaning but if you don't actually say the words, 'help me', 'please do x-y-z', no one is coming to rescue you. Well at least in my case. I honestly felt like I couldn't talk about how I was feeling or thinking because I was supposed to be happy and have this amazing connection with my child, after all, I had longed for her, waited for her, had four miscarriages and carried her 10 months in my womb! (she was very very late).

I had the suicide all planned out and it seemed very ordinary to me. My escape, my way out, something I could control. It was only when the health visitor showed up to a routine assessment on Olivia did she notice something was very wrong. The very next day I was surrounded by doctors and mental health workers, my mum flew into the country. It was like labour all over again, you know when everyone rushes in to get you ready for theatre because this baby has to come out NOW. It was like that, like my suicide my dark friend had to come out NOW and everyone was onboard. I often referred to the depression as my dark friend because it felt so familiar and it felt strange to say goodbye to it, but little by little I came to terms with my miscarriages and I eventually fully accepted Olivia as my daughter.

I hope you have the strength to reach out and if not I pray someone reaches in. However hard it seems there is always a way out. I researched suicide and in amongst how to do it are websites telling you not too and one of them said if 'you're younger than 37 your best years are ahead of you', and explained the research, and I just thought wow 'the best really is yet to come'. It took months for that to sink in, but it definitely stopped me in my tracks.

And here I am two years to the day that I was diagnosed, and I am having the best days, and by that, I mean family days, days at the beach, at the farm, at the park, just spending time with my family and soaking it all up because its the only one I have.

October 3, 2018No Comments

Miracle rainbow baby

After almost 5 years and four miscarriages. Olivia, my daughter was born. She is almost three now. Before she came along there were many days where I honestly didn't think I was going to have children. I was in despair. With each miscarriage my longing for a child only increased. And the questions became intense, 'why not me? whats wrong with me? when will we have our own child?'. Hope deferred. Four times over. And our fifth pregnancy, it's hard to describe the intense anxiety within. I had numerous panic attacks in the first trimester. I want to tell you I was strong and focused. But I wasn't. Every twinge, every time I went to the toilet, my mind would just go to that place of fear.

My husband and I decided not to buy anything for the baby until after 28 weeks. We wanted to get to a place where we felt comfortable with the idea that this was really going to happen. We didn't have a baby shower but opted for a Welcome to the World party instead when Olivia was 10 weeks old.

We were never really at ease until Olivia was born (35 hour labour, episiotomy and forceps, yes cover your eyes and cross your legs!!). I'll spare you the full birth story, but needless to say she arrived safe and well weighting 9lbs and 12oz. Yes thats right she was huge!. She's still on the 98th centile to this very day. During my pregnancy the consultants were concerned about her size. But in the end all was well. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and I only wish I had relaxed more during the pregnancy.

We just couldn't believe she was real, that she was here. It took a full 18 months for us to accept that she was ours and she was here to stay. She is full of life, exuberant, bold, confident, and she knows her own mind at the age of two! We couldn't ask for more. But since she's been born we've known that we would like a sibling for her to grow up with. She is our miracle rainbow baby.