Monday, 31 December 2012

Reflecting on the year gone by...

Highlights and Lowlights:

The end of the most horrendous year, for not just me, but my entire family. I don't think we will ever encounter another year worse than this year. I don't think much worse things can happen, unless we have a replica of what happened but that is thankfully most unlikely.

The whole year wasn't dreadful though.

It began badly, being admitted to hospital with severe hyperemesis gravidarum (sickness) - I hadn't kept anything down for 4-5 days and it had been over 24 hours of throwing up even sips of water. I was admitted to hospital to go on a drip and get my fluids and salts etc back up. It was the admission to hospital that made me tell my employers at the time that I was pregnant, earlier than I had wanted to. It went horribly wrong after they knew I was expecting, and made life incredibly difficult for me. I was also suffering terribly with SPD (symphysis pubis dysfunction), and decided that in the end dealing with the SPD, the sickness and the stress of idiotic employers that the best thing to do was to quit work. It was stressful financially at first but we soon settled into things.

A good time however was our first foreign family holiday. Taking William to Benalmedena was certainly not the usual sun holiday that I had been used to, but it was a lot of fun and we really bonded. The weather was great, the food was great, and we went to some really fab tourist attractions, like watching dolphins performing to music and holding a baby croc!


My birthday was not great. I had got to a point where I was so uncomfortable and really had enough of being pregnant. Harry was lying awkwardly as we now know he couldn't engage and carrying him around was getting very difficult. I had a lovely visit from a good friend visiting from London, but we had to cancel the romantic meal we had planned as I was feeling so dreadful.

You all know the story around my going into labour, and the birth of Harry and the terrible, sad events that followed.
If you want to remind yourself here is the story in full:

Other memorable points throughout the year were the events for the Harry Cunningham Trust : the walk, the fete, the ball.

As well as all the fantastic awareness we have raised for the condition vasa previa, and the work with the National Screening Committee to hopefully begin screening pregnant women in 2014.
See here for the highlights of my media efforts thus far: 

Lessons Learnt:

  • Don't take anything for granted
  • In times of hardship, you learn who your true friends are
  • When hearing horror stories while pregnant, never assume that these things happen to other people, and not you.... It can so easily be you.
  • The grief journey is one that never ends, or gets easier
  • You will remember the one you have lost every single day
  • Do not test the patience of those grieving
  • Watch what you say to those who have lost: nothing will make things better, saying things like "you're young you can have another baby", "well he was poorly, it was for the best", or "let's try to forget about it" are NOT helpful
  • When someone has lost a baby at any stage of their pregnancy, it is still a loss. They are still grieving. Bear that in mind if you conceive before they do... it is an incredibly hard time and being happy for pregnant women when you are grieving the loss of your baby, at any stage, is more than difficult.
Hopes for 2013:

  • To continue to fundraise with the Harry Cunningham Trust
  • Raise further awareness of vasa previa and hopefully include the screenings at the 20 week scan for those women at risk
  • To remember Harry in positive ways
  • To spend more time with those who mean a lot
  • To enjoy every minute with William
  • To be happy....

Saturday, 1 December 2012

TV Adverts! Do they drive you mad?!

Just wanted to share something that I have found myself feeling these past few weeks, being bombarded with kids toy adverts on tv pretty much all day long.

So, I see the baby doll adverts... Seeing these little girls cooing over their dolls, rocking them to sleep, feeding them, changing their nappies. I remember loving my dolls when I was little. I used to love feeding them their bottle, with the milk that disappeared, dressing them in the lovely dresses I had for them, tucking them into their pram or cot.... It was my favourite game. And when I was little, all I wanted to be when I grew up (apart from an actress or ballet dancer) was to be a mummy. Just like my mummy. And I do feel really lucky to be a mummy, as I know so many people who are struggle with that life-dream. But, I wonder if I am alone when I see these adverts for these dolls now, when I think gosh I hope these little girls don't ever have their mummy dreams smashed to bits like I have. I hope they don't dream of being a mummy and get their hopes up, only to have them snatched away, moments after giving birth to their baby that they loved so dearly... I have to snap myself out of these thoughts as I worry about them eating away at me. I am told by my counsellor that these feelings aren't MY feelings, they are my grief, and they will pass in time.

I hope they do...

Watching bloody Pampers adverts gets me too, or formula milk adverts. A new mother in the blissful moments with her baby. I feel jealous. I had wanted those moments with Harry, and I didn't get them. I was cheated out of those moments, and here are those mothers parading their happiness on my TV. Ugh....

The one that was the most horrifying though, was watching an advert for a game called Dino Bite. A game where you are saving the baby dinosaurs from the massive T-Rex trying to eat them... And I quote from the advert "if you don't save the babies in time, you lose!".............. you lose? OK that's great. I lose my baby, so I am the loser. I remember sitting there after the advert a bit confused. Great. I am the bloody loser.