That’s probably not the way to start a blog but to be honest, I can’t think of another way-I’ve been waiting to find a time when I can speak about what I went through.
And now words seem to fail me. Continue reading
As some of you may know, I have had three miscarriages between having my Son and Daughter.
There were times, during each one (as every time is different), where I questioned the changes my body-and mind-were going through. Asking is this normal? is a constant question that runs through your mind. Continue reading
Today we celebrate our 12th anniversary. 12 years of memories-the best days and the worst days. I can’t list 12 years worth of memories-so here are just some…….
On the 28th of March 2005, an 18 year old me, and a 19 year old you met in our local town. We’d known each other (on and off) since we were 7
Within a few months (6 to be exact), we were on our first holiday together.
The 6th of October 2005 you asked me to be your wife. We didn’t even live together but I knew I wanted to marry you.
At the end of March 2006 we moved in together. Our first flat and we loved it.
5th June 2009. Our world changed. I was pregnant. Unplanned but so wanted we realised we really wanted to be parents.
17th June 2009. You supported me during one of the toughest times. Nanny dying, while I was pregnant and planning our wedding was tough. But you stayed strong for me.
1st August 2009. The day i became your wife.
One of the best days of my life-becoming one with you.
7th February 2010. Our son was born. Kye George Peter Willson, bundled into our lives and turned them upside down. Another of my favourite days-watching you become a Daddy was one of the best things I’ve ever seen.
28th September 2011. Our family was growing. Another baby on the way. Our hearts were fuller then they’ve ever been. Plans for our new arrival were underway.
26th October 2011. Our new baby was gone. 8 weeks 3 days. No heartbeat. No baby.
Once again you were so strong. You kept me going when my world had crumbled.
1st September 2012. We tried for so long to have another baby after we lost our angel. We fell pregnant again. But just days later we lost another angel. I was distraught. You were strong once more.
7th November 2012. Another lost baby. I was done. Numb. No more babies for us. You said we’d see what happened. I was done.
27th January 2013. Emergency appointment at the early pregnancy unit. A scan showed a beating heart. Another chance-our 5th pregnancy.
27th September 2013. Olivia-May Barbara Willson-our rainbow after so many storms. Our family was complete and so was my heart.
Following Olivia’s 1st birthday-I realised something was wrong. I wasn’t feeling myself and I wanted it sorted.
Since my first visit to the doctor regarding how I felt, up until today, I’ve had counselling, and I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety and depression all caused by my miscarriages.
You give me the support I so often need, so much that I often worry you’re too strong too often.
Since being diagnosed with those mental illnesses, I’ve bought my website. I now write anything I fancy, any time.
You often tell me how clever I am. How good my writing is. You don’t realise how much those words mean to me.
I now go to blogger events, often having a meltdown before every single one, and have regular anxiety and panic attacks. But you always have hope and faith in me. You tell me I can do it. You tell me I’ll be fine. You’re always right but you know I’ll not remember the next time I’m facing that battle-so you tell me again and again each time.
You work so hard for our family. I know it’s not easy. I’m so proud you’re so hard working and a perfect role model for our children.
12 years have passed and we’re not the same people we once were. So much has changed. We’ve changed. But we’re still us. We’re still one. We’re still together.
I am grateful for you, I am thankful to fate for bringing us together. And I love you today, and every day.
Happy Anniversary Baby xxx
With Mothers Day fast approaching, those with children, throw themselves into celebrating-seldom giving thought to those who aren’t celebrating as they should be able to.
With 1 in 4 women losing a baby during pregnancy or birth, that’s 1 in 4 women, not celebrating being a Mum on a day that should be theirs.
Then there are those women who’ve had babies before their losses, in between their losses, or after their losses. Those that are told to be happy that they have children-to be grateful they’ve already got their babies. Those that are questioned on how they can still dwell on their losses, when they went on to carry their children to term.
This Mothers Day-we all might spare a thought for those struggling through the day-regardless of circumstance.
Every Mothers Day, since I’ve had my children, I receive a card and some gifts from my Son and Daughter.
Something that I don’t mention, is the slight tainted feeling surrounding not just Mothers Day, but most celebrations that my children take part in.
In complete honesty, I long for the cards and gifts I’ll never get given, from the children I’ll never meet.
I know what people would think/say; how can I long for things from three little blobs on a screen. Three little “things” that never grew, were never held, never nursed, never seen.
My answer will always be; because those three “things” were always loved, always wanted, always mine.
Yes I have two children-but I’m a Mum of five. I carried five babies-regardless of how long for, or the outcome. I have two babies celebrating Mothers Day with me here on Earth, but three angels I wish I could celebrate with too.
I understand that it doesn’t make sense to some. I understand people’s assumptions that I should be happy with the two I have.
Most of me is happy-I focus on my two little ones, and the joy I feel when they burst in excitedly, with shouts of HAPPY MOTHERS DAY MUMMY!!!
But the day-to-day grief that has filled my life since we lost our three little ones, is hard enough, without it being amplified during celebrations such as Mothers Day.
Everything is tainted-it has been from the day we lost our first angel.
Everyday is a challenge-it always has been.
But everyday is filled with love-love for my children, my husband, my family and of course, love and constant recognition of my angels.
I’m content in my world, and will continue celebrating another Mothers Day as a Mum of five.
For more information on the work Tommy’s do-head over to their website https://www.tommys.org/.
Last week, I had an interview with a well known women’s magazine, who want to run a story about my miscarriages, and mental health issues following my losses.
My initial reaction was that I would do it-I didn’t even think of saying no.
I’ve come to realise just how important talking about miscarriages is.
I get that it’s so very personal to people. That moment you not only type those words you’ve been thinking for so long, but know that you’re going to have strangers look at them, is basically terrifying.
I remember the first time I wrote down my feelings regarding my miscarriages-the sheer panic that people were going to judge me. That they were going to comment negatively on me releasing feelings that I should keep to myself. People who didn’t want to hear the intimate details of what my body went through, and subsequently what my mind then went through.
To date, I’ve never had one negative comment, one hateful message, one person telling me they don’t think I should be posting about my experiences.
If anything, I’ve received more than my fair share of positive messages and comments. Women messaging me telling me my posts could be written about their stories, about their personal experiences.
I knew going in to this that nothing would be secret anymore. My deepest darkest secrets would be out there in black and white, for the world to see-and I know now how much of an amazing thing that is to do.
I’ve never felt so alone as I did when I lost my three babies-so abnormal when I realised I had mental health issues.
Talking about these things, sharing my story, has not only made me realise I’m not alone in any of it, but that by talking, just talking, big things will happen.
Right now, researchers are working to find out why these things happen. Their hard work is going to change the amount of women who suffer with complications during pregnancy-meaning further issues will not arise-meaning less women suffering with mental health issues following their trauma.
Just by talking and sharing, we can raise awareness, for those who have already suffered, and for those who may suffer in the future.
Just by talking and sharing, we can help those researching baby loss issues.
Just by talking and sharing, you can help one woman feel less alone than she did yesterday.
Keep talking, keep sharing, and together we can change these things.
Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for, we are the change that we seek.
As I mentioned above, change is coming-and it’s thanks to people like the researchers working alongside Tommy’s that are making this happen. Find out more about the research HERE, and how you can help HERE.
Yesterday I received an email from a fellow blogger, asking me to run her story of her feelings following her second miscarriage.
Right now, she’s unable to blog her feelings herself, not wanting her family to know her current situation. Some may find this unusual. but in actual fact its really normal to want to keep that anonymity, especially when the initial news of an impending pregnancy wasn’t announced.
Here’s her story;
More and more I am wondering “What If?”
What if things had been different?
What if I had carried my baby to term?
Today would have seen me reaching the 36th week of my pregnancy.
And, as my due date draws ever nearer, I am filled with the pain and emotions of my loss.
I am constantly wondering why.
Why did it have to be this way?
I didn’t want any more children.
My family was already complete.
We were happy the way we were.
But even though it wasn’t planned, the news of my pregnancy filled me with SO much joy.
And also fear.
How would we cope?
How would my family and friends react?
I already have a large family, and the response from others was likely to be one of disappointment and a chorus of “You’re pregnant? AGAIN??”
The fear was crippling.
The idea of having another baby, starting again when my other children were all about to be in full time education, the sleepless nights, etc.
But then there was the love.
The very idea of this beautiful little baby, completely innocent and pure.
Growing inside of me.
Just waiting to be born, and loved, and cherished.
Today I would have been 36 weeks pregnant.
But I am not.
Instead, at 11 weeks gestation, my baby died.
No longer growing.
No longer mine.
And all that was left…. IS left…. is pain.
Guilt for being afraid of other people’s reactions.
Guilt for not rejoicing in our news and sharing it sooner.
It would have been hard, but it would also have been perfect.
We would have adjusted.
We would be getting ready to welcome our baby and celebrate the life he or she had ahead of them.
Instead, we never had the chance to share our news.
And so I suffer alone.
This is my second loss.
But, for reasons unknown, it has affected me a lot more than my first.
Perhaps it is because the news was only our own.
Our baby had not been shared with anyone else.
The next few weeks are going to be incredibly difficult.
The tears keep on falling.
And the pain will always be there.
So yesterday, after what actually happened to be a rather mundane day after the events on Wednesday, I received an email from a lovely lady at Tommy’s!
Basically, myself and Tommy’s have worked together for a little while, with them running campaigns to raise awareness for baby loss and other pregnancy issues, and me, well, I blog about them.
The email said I’ve been shortlisted for a Mums Voice Award, at the Tommy’s Awards 2017.
This award is given to a Mum, who has spoken out about her own pregnancy experiences, and in doing so has helped and given hope and support to others.
I have been invited to the awards ceremony next March, which will be hosted by Giovanna Fletcher, and I’ve obviously confirmed I’ll go!
The winners will be announced early next year, and, although its not the main factor of how they choose their winner, there is a way you can get involved.
In order to help decide the winner, Tommy’s have asked me to ask my readers (that’s you beautiful lot) to email firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line “Mayflower Blogs”, and a sentence about why you’d love me to win the award!
I’d just like to add, this is beyond a dream to me.
Most people will know, the reason I blog, and the reason I started blogging, was because, based on my own experiences, I know how hard it was to lose one baby, then two, then three, and feel so terribly alone, with no one who knew what I was going through to talk to. I couldn’t sit by and watch others go through that, and I knew, if just one person in a similar situation read my blog, and felt less alone, then I’d helped.
To be shortlisted for this award based on that reason, is testament to why I write what I write, and I’m eternally grateful for Tommy’s putting me forward for it, and for those that vote for me who believe I deserve it.
Today’s blog is for the baby charity, Tommy’s who are leading a campaign to raise awareness of reduced fetal movements during pregnancy. The campaign is supported by Kicks Count and NHS England, alongside the hashtags #movementsmatter and #KickMeBabyOneMoreTime.
This is a campaign particularly close to my heart. As some of you may know, I have been pregnant 5 times. During the first pregnancy with my son, I wasn’t aware at all of checking the amount of times my baby moved. In all honesty, I sailed through that pregnancy, and didn’t give a second thought that anything could go wrong. As I mention in a previous blog, The Mummy He Used To Know, I pretty much took the entire pregnancy for granted (without realising of course).
Then over the following couple of years, we endured the traumas of three recurrent miscarriages. And I suppose that’s where everything changed. I ended up with severe anxiety, and, when falling pregnant with my daughter, I panicked constantly, from beginning to end, that we were going to lose her.
That’s when I did some research into reduced fetal movement. I wanted to make sure I was feeling my baby girl move as much as she should be, and what to do when those movements were reduced.
On only one occasion, did I have to act upon my concerns for my baby, when, along with horrific pain, a temperature and faintness, I hadn’t felt her move for the best part of an afternoon. I did all the websites told me to do, ate something sugary, drank a cold drink, laid on different sides. Nothing.
I called the maternity unit in my local hospital and was told to come in. In fairness I was pretty adamant I was coming in, so I’m not sure I gave the leading midwife much choice! In all honesty, the pain was bad enough to take me up there but the reduced movements, alongside my already anxious mind pushed me further.
The pain ended up being a urine infection, (another beautiful pregnancy effect, people fail to mention will more than likely happen to you!) The reduced movements, were nothing serious. The midwife said the pain I was in with the urine infection were more than likely masking the movements, and I was so focused on the pain I just hadn’t noticed her moving. All was fine, and I went on to have a healthy baby girl.
The difference between my story and so many others, is that sometimes, a mum-to-be won’t go and get checked. 52% of women asked, during a recent survey, have said, they would be worried about looking for help when they notice reduced movements due to a fear of “wasting midwives time”. Please don’t worry about wasting anyones time. Midwives are there to care for you and your baby, go to them if you think anything is wrong with your baby during pregnancy. Trust your instincts.
You are never wasting a midwifes time with your concerns. You know your body, and you know the baby growing inside you. If you think there’s a problem, get it checked. The age old quote “it’s better to be safe than sorry” should be imprinted on your mind during pregnancy. The alternative just isn’t worth the risk.
In a recent study, around half of women who had a still birth, said that they had noticed that their babies movements had slowed down.
For every 220 babies born in the UK, 1 is stillborn, and in the UK we rank 24th out of 49 high-income countries for the amount of stillbirths that occur.* For a country with such an impressive healthcare service, this isn’t acceptable. 1 in 220 is not ok!
That’s why this campaign has been set up. To raise awareness of reduced fetal movements and to help mums-to-be, whether this is their 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th baby, that they must seek help if they feel something is wrong.
In Norway, a similar campaign was run, and it cut the rate of stillbirth down by a third-we could do that here in the UK too!
Tommy’s have provided me with this lovely link to a video about reduced fetal movements. Please take a look as it explains so much about what I have highlighted so far.
There is no specific number that everyone must follow to count the number of movements a baby has. You know how much your baby moves. Personally, both of mine, moved more in the afternoon and evening than they did in the morning. Your baby may be different. All pregnancies are different, and what is a normal amount of movements for your baby, will not be the same as another mums. Comparing them and panicking because your friend/family member has a more active baby isn’t how this works. You will know your baby has reduced the amount of movements, because you become aware of their natural individual pattern.
If you’re reading this, currently pregnant, and think you could do with getting checked out because you haven’t felt your baby move as much today, call your midwife. If she’s not available, call your local hospital maternity unit. Be insistent. Explain your concerns and that you would like to be checked out. Do not put that phone call off until the next day.
As I said, this sort of information wasn’t available when I had my son, but it was when I was pregnant with my daughter. I recommend using this information for yourselves, but also spreading the word to your other mummy-to-be friends, who either may not have a clue about any of it, or may have been misinformed in the past and need clarification.
Sharing this, could save a babies life. We could prevent that 1 in 220……
*Statistics taken from Tommys research.
To find out more about reduced fetal movements and the Tommys campaign-click here.