Grateful for life – birth journey

Trigger warning: traumatic birth story

I realised today how lucky I am to be alive in the time of modern medicine. I mean I’ve always known how lucky we are but it’s not until I experienced what could have been a very threatening situation that I realised just how fragile life can be.

Without modern medicine I realise I would have been one of those mums that you see die in child birth in programmes set years ago. I would have been the mum that bled out and left her baby on this earth without a mum.

I have kind of just pushed past it gratefully in my conscious mind and life. But as time goes on, I realise it’s actually hit me harder than I thought and reality sinks in at just how serious things could have been.

One of my biggest fears for child birth was of course death and I’m sure it’s the same for everyone giving birth. My other huge fear came from an episode of call the midwife. After giving birth the mother’s placenta became stuck. In an effort to get it out the midwives pulled on the cord and ended up inverting her uterus and pulling it out before pushing it back in again. Well you can imagine my horror when mine got stuck and the midwives began pulling the cord. Eventually the cord snapped off inside of me and pulling was no longer an option.

They tried to manually get it out whilst giving me gas and air but the pain was unbearable and they weren’t able to get to it. They tried multiple times and each time I screamed for them to stop.

I feel so lucky that there was a whole team on hand to take me down to theatre to get it removed. From the time of giving birth at 3:45am until theatre at around 5am I was still bleeding and my husband was starting to panic. I remember blood pouring off of the table in theatre and the team telling me not to worry. In that moment I had to put complete faith in the team of doctors and nurses, essentially fighting to stop the blood loss. I had already been talked through the process of a blood transfusion and the complications that can come with it.

As someone with OCD I was pretty certain I would need the transfusion, it would all go wrong, and I would die.

So many hours of just using gas and air for pain relief, because of my fear of an epidural, and yet I was going to now need a spinal block anyway. It felt soul destroying.

The hardest part for me was not the thought of death, but the thought of leaving my husband and new born baby alone. In those moments, all I could think of was how I had done this to him and how scared he must be.

My husbands face, whilst holding our newborn, will haunt me for the rest of my life. I don’t think I have ever seen him so scared and I hope to never again. I wanted to reach out and touch him, hold his hand, but he was too far away and the medical team around me were moving quickly. We didn’t kiss goodbye, we both knew we were too scared to. Too scared that it would be the last time, too scared we weren’t strong enough, too scared we would both start crying.

My husband told me later that he couldn’t kiss me goodbye because that would mean I wasn’t coming back. In that moment we looked at each other as I was taken away, that tiny moment of time we shared in eye contact said all we ever needed to say. It’s like we said 1000 words to each other in a millisecond. We knew what we would tell each other at the end,  we knew every word we would say if we only had the time.

I pray I never have to see that look on my husband’s face again as he held our baby in his arms, feeling so alone. All I could say to the midwifes and nurses was can someone please look after my husband he’s scared, can someone please help my husband, can someone stay with my husband. They promised they would look after him, and to their credit they did.

It’s moments like this you truly realise how your true heart feels, when you’re so close to loosing everything. My heart told me I had to stay on this earth for him, that I couldn’t bear the thought of him being alone. And not just alone but alone with a new baby, that to me is too tragic and it happens still too often.

The doctors told me this could happen to me again and that it would be a risk for our next pregnancy. It’s something that really plays on my mind now. I know I want to have more children but now I have to weigh that up with the chances of ending up back in theatre and not being as lucky next time.

I know that with the intervention of the team in theatre and with modern medicine that it’s unlikely I would have died but its still teriffying to know that I could have and would have without our modern day science.

As time goes on I think I’m still coming to terms with it. Reality is hitting me hard in the face that without going to theatre to have my placenta removed and blood loss stopped our story could have been a very different one.

I never want to fear kissing my husband goodbye again, I never want to see that very real fear in his eyes again, I never want to leave him in such a vulnerable position with our baby in his arms.

To make it all worse we’re in a pandemic so we couldn’t even have other family there to support. He just had to sit there alone for over an hour, holding our baby, wondering what his future was going to be like and if it was going to be very different from the one we imagined. I’m so grateful to the midwives that checked in on him throughout that time and who supported him.

I’m grateful to the medical team who helped dress me for theatre, washed blood from me when I was unable to move from the waist down, who held my hand, made jokes to help me smile, wrapped me in blankets to keep me warm, moved my legs for me when I couldn’t, lifted me from bed to bed, made sure I could feel no pain and treated me as though I was family.

Yes I was scared, so scared that I was going to die, but I was teriffied that I would be leaving my husband for good and that I would never hold my baby again.

I’m so grateful, grateful for human curiosity and modern medicine, grateful for health workers who really are miracle makers, grateful for every extra second since that day that I get to spend with my new little family when it could have been so very different, grateful for my husbands strength and endless love, grateful for my own strength that I really didn’t know I had.

In those moments I was absolutely teriffied I was also at my strongest. I stayed calm because I really had no choice. I asked all the right questions before signing to give consent to be taken to theatre. I processed everything that was going on around me, through the fear and pain and focused on staying earth side.

Recovery has been hard physically. During pregnancy I was diagnosed with SPD meaning my pelvis moves unevenly and twists, which is both extremely painful and restricts my movement. Having to deal with that on top of internal stitches and my insides contracting and healing has been painful and exhausting. I have had to go back to hospital because my catheter used in theatre has caused some trauma, which means even more blood loss. I have been dizzy, ‘spaced out’ and extremely tired. Add a newborn baby to the mix and sleep definitely becomes a commodity.

Mentally I have had the dreaded baby blues and spend a lot of time crying for what feels like no reason. A lot of time also crying because I miss my husband and being able to hold on to him for more than 5 minutes without having to change a nappy or feed a baby. Of course I love the nappy chages and feeding but it doesn’t take away the fact I miss just having a cuddle with my husband.

I think the birth experience has made missing him more intense because I feel like I almost left him and so I just want to hold onto him forever and never let go. The thought of him returning to work absolutely breaks my heart. I don’t ever want to be separated from him again, not taken away on a hospital bed, not for work, not taken away for even a second.

This post has gone on for a long while but it honestly helps me to conceptualise how I’m feeling and why I may be struggling so much at the moment. I think I understand more now why the baby blues have been hard for me, because I almost left my baby and husband and because I never want to leave them again.

I dont know how I’m going to make it through when he does go back to work but I also know that, just like going to theatre, I dont have a choice and that I will find the strength to get through it, even if I’m fighting through tears.

Matthew I love you and I will do all I can to never have to leave you and Harper so scared and alone again. If one day I should have to go away you know every word I would ever say to you. Just how absolutely madly in love with you I am, how you make me so so proud every day and how you’re the kindest most incredible human. Thank you for being my all and for being Harper’s daddy, we love you past the stars forever.

I purposefully removed the ’till death do us part’ from our wedding vows and changed it to ‘infinity and beyond’ because I plan to be with you and hold you in my heart forever.

To infinity and beyond my love.

XxXxX

Try Something

It’s been about 8 months now since I started my new role and over 8 months since my last blog so I thought it was about time for an update.

In my last blog I spoke about how it’s OK to be scared of change and to take those adventures. I explained that sometimes adventures and scary changes pay off and that sometimes they don’t. If they don’t then you have to find a new adventure.

I’m pleased to say that this new venture has really paid off and I’m really enjoying my new role and the people. Of course I miss my old work family too but I’m so glad I made the decision to not let fear of the unknown hold me back.

There were times at the start where I felt a little lost because my anxiety would tell me that I wouldn’t fit in. However at every turn my anxiety was proved wrong. It’s funny how nothing ever turns out quite as bad as your anxiety tells you it will.

It seems the more you begin to have faith in yourself the more the world listens because your behaviours change along with the way that you treat yourself.

I always talk about development in work and how 70% of what we learn is on the job and through doing. Only 10% is actually through formal learning with 20% being social. So I challenge you today, or this week, to do something outside of your comfort zone. Something that will challenge you. It doesn’t have to be huge, it can be something small like taking a different route to work (which to some will be a huge challenge) or having lunch with someone new. Perhaps you could make that phone call that you keep putting off?

Take the opportunity to remember this moment and how you felt before doing it. If it goes wrong then that’s OK, you will still have learnt something from it, even if it’s just what not to do. If it goes right then you will also have learnt something.

Don’t leave the development of you or the betterment of yourself in someone else’s hands because only you can follow your true journey to see where you have come from and where you feel you want to go. And if you’re not sure where you want to go then try something because in doing nothing you are still making a choice about where you’re going.

Start today

XxXxX

A Circle of Worthless

Find your Rainbow 🌈

So looking through my drafts it says I wrote this on the 2nd January 2017, almost 2 years ago.

It’s always good to look back sometimes to see how far we’ve come. I can honestly say I feel differently now in a good way. Don’t get me wrong, I still do have days where I feel this way, but certainly not on a daily basis like I did back then. I’ve also been helped by the most incredible woman who has taught me that feedback is a gift and that you don’t always have to accept it. Now I see feedback as an opportunity rather than fear it – more on that another time.

I thought it was worth a post anyway, to show that even when you feel like this you can still turn it around so that you don’t have to. Sometimes you just have to learn to find the rainbow in the rain.

XxX

Sometimes I feel totally worthless, like I bring no benefit whatsoever to this earth or to what I do. Sometimes receiving ‘constructive’ feedback, to me I just hear ‘you’re so stupid’ ‘how thick can you be’ ‘I may as well have done it myself’ ‘what’s the point in you being here’ ‘you’re like a child’ ‘do you have no initiative’ ‘do I really have to explain this to you again’.What’s the solution? I honestly don’t know. Can people perhaps sugar coat their feedback more? Possibly. But would that really make a huge difference? When all is said and done I will still be receiving feedback on something I need to improve upon.

I seem to lack the ability to defend myself sometimes, even if I’m right, not wanting to appear ‘defensive’. So I take the blame myself, perhaps I didn’t position that right, maybe I should have explained better, no honestly it’s completely my fault, I probably am just totally useless. Further reinforcing my belief that they think I’m useless.

I often wonder what happens once that door is closed behind me. Do those I work or interact with roll their eyes like ‘she’s just not getting it’ ‘spoon feeding her again’ ‘argh she’s so exhausting’ ‘she’s so lazy’.

Day by day I get this impression that I’m just not good enough and I never will be. I’ll always be the one riding on the coat tails of other’s successes. And anything I do create myself will just be pointless, completely off the mark and wrong.

So why am I here? Why do you want me here? I’m continuously a burden that you have to help and that is totally and completely annoying. To top it off I bring no benefit whatsoever because anything I ever do will never be good enough.

So in the end I stop trying. I stop trying to be great. I stop trying to be my best me. And I stop trying to have a purpose. Because when I do try it’s never quite right and it’s just another example of a time where I’m wrong. So I accept that I am useless, that I am stupid, that I’m totally unqualified and that I’m totally worthless. It’s easier to produce nothing than to produce something that is totally pointless.

And then I feel isolated. Wondering what the person next to me or in front of me is thinking about me. I can’t concentrate so I stare at a blank screen reading the same line 10 times until I realise people must think I’m mad or most likely lazy ‘she’s not doing anything’ ‘waste of oxygen’ ‘here I am working my ass off and she’s just sitting there again.’

It’s funny, I’ve only felt this way for the past year. I was always so confident in myself and my work. Always ready to take on the next adventure or fight the next battle. But something changed in me in my last 2 roles. My only regular feedback was the negative kind and anything positive just, didn’t need to be said. You can only face so much negativity before you start thinking ‘what’s the point’.

It’s a vicious circle. A circle that I’m not sure I will ever escape. I’m not good enough = anything I do will be pointless = don’t do anything through fear of doing it wrong = she’s lazy = what’s the point of her she’s just a burden = I’m not good enough. And so on.

The only way I will ever get out of this circle for good is to accept that what people think of me is not who I am. Sure I can try really hard and produce something really worthwhile but it’s only a matter of time before I will fall down again. So the only way to truly escape is to accept myself as I am and to not be driven by what others think of me and place my worth on the value of what others think.

Easier said than done.

XxX

Should you expect the world?

My husband throughout his life has always prepared for failure. If he doesn’t get his hopes up then he won’t be so disappointed if he doesn’t get it. We couldn’t be more different on this front. When I prepare, I prepare for success. I literally pour my heart and soul in. If I’m unsuccessful yes it can be devastating but after lots of practice you learn to move on quickly to the next venture. I have failed in job applications, exams, friendships, love and life in general. But I have succeeded more times than I have lost.

In the words of Thomas Edison there really is no such thing as failure, only learning how not to do something. If you ‘fail’ 100 times you have really just learnt 100 ways not to do something.

My husband may have less disappointment in his life, but that can mean his victories aren’t quite as emotional. They are tarnished by anti disappointment methods. He reduces the suspense whereas I build mine up so that when I do finally succeed it’s a huge accomplishment.

So what is the right approach? There is no magical formula to protect ourself from disappointment or learning how not to do something. But I truly do believe that without knowing sadness you cannot experience true happiness. You have to accept the peaks and troughs. Protecting yourself all the time is denying yourself the right to actually live.

So I set my expectations high. My expectations of myself and of others. Yes this means I have further to fall but, when my hopes and dreams do come through, they’re pretty darn amazing.

Not everyone can live up to your hopes or expectations. So you do have to learn to let things go and to forgive, as I mentioned above, to a new venture. It can mean that I’m judged for expecting the best from people but that doesn’t make me a bad person or mean that I should be demoralised until my expectations are lowered.

One of my favourite quotes of all time comes from the film ‘Did you hear about the Morgan’s’. When trying to overcome divorce, our resident sex in the city gal, Sarah Jessica Parker, says that perhaps she needs to scale back her expectations, to not expect anything from him and for him to not expect from her to; make the marriage work. Just as she is about to accept a fate of low expectations and therefore a life without those highs and joys, a wise man (Sam Elliot one of my faves!) tells her:

‘you should expect everything from each other!’.


This quote really resonates with me. I am so passionate about making the people I love feel special and happy that I literally expect the world from myself to them. Of course I’m not perfect and I can royally screw up sometimes and also I can’t keep everyone ecstatically happy all of the time because there is only one of me. I also have arguments like other people and disagreements which detract from happiness from time to time. But the point is, my intention is there. Where I can and where I have the opportunity to make the people I love feel amazing I do.

In giving the world, do I expect it in return? Yes I do. Know that I don’t give the world to receive it, but as I am always preparing for the best and for success, I naturally expect and see the good in people. Unfortunately not everyone shares my passion. And as I mentioned about falling a long way before… If your expectations are high then your pain from the loss is even higher.

There are some things that you can’t just quickly move on from. My husband tells me that I should just stop expecting such high results and stop giving them so that I can’t get hurt. Just accept that’s the way it is and move on. You don’t have to give the world to them and they don’t to you. The problem is, I will never stop trying to give the world because it makes me happy to see others happy. It makes me happy to make someone smile, to create a happy tear, to give motivation, to empower, to push people to achieve, to push people to be the best they can be.

Not everyone wants the world from you. Some people would just rather a continent or a small island and they don’t want to give you the world. Sadly for me it’s all or nothing. I wish I could just give a piece of myself, to just be around from time to time and smile where necessary. But that’s not who I am and that’s who I will never be. Because the in between genuinely makes me miserable and depressed. Either you’re with me in my life through our individual ups and downs or you’re not. I was also not created just for the downs when you decide you want me, or for you to ride on the back of my ups. This is a mutual swapping of the earth here. 

Handing out planets on the corner.

XxX

Happy Places

Today I wanted to talk about Disney World. Why? No particular reason other than its a happy place to talk about and we should all have our happy places.


Every year my husband and I visit Disney World in Florida. It’s not cheap and it takes a year’s worth of saving, but when visiting a place is special to you then you do all you can to make it happen. 

To us Disney world is an escape. A break from the world we live in where all we see on the news is war and hate. This doesn’t mean we turn our back on the world of course. It simply means we take a moment away from it to just be ourselves.



Disney is often described as an escape from the ‘real world’. But when you think about it really, what is the real world? In our day to day lives we are fed media lies and unnecessary information about unnecessary things. Working in businesses, that if the world were to have an apocalypse, no one would care about. When we’re at Disney we are living in the present every moment. With each other with no external pressures and being who we truly are. We are not tied to a need to appear a certain way or act a certain way. We can just be who we are with fun, love and freedom.


It might not be everyone’s cup of tea but everyone has that one place that is special to them, where they can be themselves more than ever. And if you don’t have that place then find it. Maybe it’s a friend’s house. Maybe it’s even your own (if you can still let go of the pile of bills on the side). 


We’re always so excited to go back to our ‘real world’ where the clouds part and you can see the wood through the trees without any outside worries.

In fact, we decided to get engaged and married in our happy place where we could just truly be us. 


I’m so excited for 2017 where we get to visit my best friend’s happy place in Vegas to watch her get married and to visit Disneyland in California for the first time having new adventures and making memories.

To happy places all over the world

XxX 

Tower of Terror ride queue and EPCOT