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BRAND IN FOCUS // BATOKO


B A T O K O 

I recently came across Batoko whilst pointlessly scrolling  browsing through Instagram. The prints of the swimwear stopped me in my tracks – “James, holy moly, loooooook, these swimming costumes! They are so pretty – if only I’d seen them before holiday!”. Our big holiday may have been and gone, in a flash, but a swimsuit like one of these certainly wouldn’t be! I went on to look at the Batoko profile, first point of call – are they UK based? YES – Batoko were founded  off the North West Coast (as in, where we now reside… ish).  Before my second point of call (price), I was again, stopped in my scrolling tracks… these swimsuits are RUBBISH?! They’re actual RUBBISH!

No, no, it’s not what you think! They’re still epic swimming costumes… but even more-so now  that I know they’re made from ACTUAL RUBBISH that has been dished from our ocean. This brand are actively protecting our marine life. This isn’t just cool or ‘neat’, this is revolutionary.

Here is what Batoko say, in their own words:

Living by the sea, plastic pollution is something we witness everyday on our local beaches. Plastic bottles, bags, cups, straws, food wrappers, balloons, containers, toys, polystyrene, fishnets, ropes, textiles and micro-plastics. You can bet that every item of plastic you can think of is in the sea and with each tide comes a stark reminder of an issue that is otherwise out of sight, out of mind.  

“We create high quality swimsuits that are not only flattering and fun to wear, but are helping change the world for the better”.

Of the 300 million tons of plastic that’s produced globally each year, it’s estimated that less than 10% of this is recycled, with an astonishing 8 million tons of disposed plastic waste entering our oceans annually. The greatest issue with this is that plastic doesn’t degrade. Once we’ve made it, used it and binned it – it stays with us, breaking down into smaller toxic pieces that pollute our environment for generations.

The Batoko Mission

We’re part of a positive process that is attempting to clean up our oceans and help reduce the negative impact of plastic on the environment. We want to show that slowing down the production of new plastic materials in favour of using existing sustainable resources, is the way forward.

“All our swimwear is 100% recycled from plastic bottles, fishnets and post-consumer waste such as carpets and other textiles. Recycling helps reduce energy usage, reduce consumption of new raw materials and reduces air and water pollution (from land fills and marine waste)”.

Our swimsuits are printed digitally which is an ecological printing method designed to reduce water and waste. Our inks are free of harmful chemicals and we consciously print the designs onto the fabric after it’s been cut to minimise production waste. Our fabric is vegan, too!

Marine Conservation

We are a proud member of the UK’s leading marine charity – the Marine Conservation Society (MCS). The MCS work to ensure our seas are healthy, pollution free and protected. To date they have helped pass a number of government legislations such as the 5p plastic bag policy, gained protection for endangered Basking Sharks and secured 50 marine conservation zones in English waters. MCS organised beach cleans have also removed 6 million pieces of litter from UK shores. Each year a proportion of our profits made from our recycled swimwear go to supporting this amazing organisation, helping to ensure a healthier future for our oceans.

 

 

Conscious Fashion

Rather than adhere to the pressure of a disposable, fast-fashion culture, we are going against the grain; consciously keeping our collections small and introducing new designs at a slower and much more sustainable pace that’s kinder to the planet and the people that make them. This also allows us to focus on quality and the individuality of each swimsuit design, enabling us to tweak and improve along the way – ultimately putting the value back into clothing and keeping the Batoko spirit alive for years, not just a season.

The People

We work with an audited factory in China that takes necessary measures to avoid both environmental degradation, along with following and respecting the labour principles set out in the BSCI Code of Conduct which ensures a fair and safe working environment for all it’s workers. This ethical business behaviour ensures that all workers have increased awareness of both their labour rights and human rights, along with access to grievance mechanisms if they feel their rights are not being met. BSCI principles also include fair pay, no forced or bonded labour, no child labour or workers below the legal minimum age, decent working hours (observed by law), no discrimination and equal opportunities. We feel a great amount of responsibility to maintain a stable business relationship with our supplier, which is turn gives the factory a reason to invest in continuously improving it’s working conditions.

“We’re Rubbish. Literally”.

Sustainable Materials

We use recycled and sustainable materials wherever we can. For shipping, we use 100% recycled poly packaging from Eco Enclose. Eco enclose recycle their mail bags from post-consumer and post-industrial plastic waste, giving new life to material that has already been used rather than it ending up in landfill or in our oceans. They are the most minimal packaging option in terms of size and weight; lighter than their paper counterparts, so more energy efficient. We ensure that the mail bag fits to size with no excess space, essentially working as a protective sleeve for your swimsuit during transportation, nothing more. The mail bags have an extra strip which allows you to reuse the packaging. As they are recyclable, you can pop it in your recycling bin after you’ve finished using it to ensure that it get’s a another new life after use.

Join The Movement

Keep in the loop by following us on instagram or by joining our newsletter. We’re obsessed with our customers photos (or ‘postcards’), so don’t hesitate to tag us @batoko if you wanna show off your awesome new recycled swimsuit, we like to show you off too!

 

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I MEEEEEEEEAN!

How absolutely amazing is this? This is more than just a fad… a ‘fashion with a conscience’ trend, that we so often see in passing; that sadly doesn’t continue after the trend has frazzled out. This is something really quite major. And I’m so excited by this brand and its ethos. I just can’t quite believe how brilliant it is.

I briefly touched upon our recent horrific experience regarding global  sea-life during our trip to Florida. I wanted to do something for the better in support of our incredible oceans… well, I am completely aware that this is just a small step to ‘helping’ the cause, but its better than nothing, right? And such a brilliant step in the right direction.

Please do follow BATOKO across their socials:

Web: www.batoko.com

Instagram: @BATOKO

Facebook: /batokoswimwear

Twitter: @BatokoSwimwear

And without further ado, here are my Top 3 pieces from their online collection(s). Some pieces are in the SALE, so be quick!

Wild Cat batoko
WILD CAT SWIMMING COSTUME // WAS £40, NOW £30

 

 BATOKO BANANA LEAF
BANANA LEAF  SWIMMING COSTUME // £40

 

BATOKO Orca
ORCA PRINT SWIMMING COSTUME // £40

 

 

I want to finish this post by saying THANK YOU to the wonderful people at Batoko. Thank you for creating something so extraordinary, so special and so important.

Peace & love
C
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DISCLAIMER // This post is absolutely not sponsored By or affiliated WITH BATOKO, in any way shape or form, I just had to share how awestruck I am by thIS INCREDIBLE ETHICAL brand. Please check them ouT!

Web: www.batoko.com // Instagram: @BATOKO   // Facebook: /batokoswimwear // Twitter: @BatokoSwimwear

 

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MISCARRIAGE & ME // AN UPDATE: 5

“The thing you’re most afraid to write…. write that”.

Following the horrendous confirmation, that I was in fact, miscarrying what should have been our second child; I wrote my first blog post: Miscarriage & Me. I didn’t know what to do with myself, I couldn’t get the words out of my mouth. I was exhausted, but could not sleep. “I’m fine” was the biggest lie (and probably still is!) and most-used words that I spoke. Bashing my feelings out on the keyboard of my laptop; my experiences of our Miscarriage – and being 100% honest, no matter how gruesome –  was what I was afraid to write. Because writing it made it all the more real. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t in denial of what was happening – it was just so  bloody surreal. But I am so glad I did get it all typed up. Not only was the process of writing the blog posts cathartic AF, but they actually helped people. Who knew the internet could be such a lovely place, in such dark times?

Today marks one year since we finally saw the words we so wanted to see. Pregnant 1-2 weeks popped up on that Clear Blue Digital Pregnancy Test (other tests are available… ).

ONE WHOLE ENTIRE YEAR.

365 days of trying to remember the much-wanted baby… and trying to let go, simultaneously.

I have been thinking a lot about the evolution of moving on from experiences in a healthy way. There was a time in my life when I tried to get over things by justifying them or bribing myself to accept certain things because “it could be way worse.” Then there were the times I spent trying dissect every little piece of something, hoping that if I could break it apart into small enough pieces I could maybe take those pieces and build it into something other than what it was. Right Now, I practice
@cleowade

—–

So, hows it all going? During the horror of miscarriage, I thought we’d never try again. It really hurt me in a way I didn’t think I could ever be hurt. It hurt both of us. Well, I’m finally feeling well enough, physically, to try again. I KNOW (!!!) Cycle-wise, it’s a bit all over the place still. I have ALWAYS been a 28-day cycle girl. Always. Even once my periods returned after having Eli, it was straight back to 28 days. Since my ERPC however, they’ve been a bit all over… 28-34 days seems to be the norm. My latest cycle being 31 days. They’re still beyond painful though, so nothing ever changes there! So do I need ovulation kits?! Or do we just wing it?! I feel really quite naive all of a sudden… any help would be greatly received with regards to this. I do remember we did the “Temping Method” when we were trying for Eli, but tbh, I cba with that!

Mentally, how’s it going? That’s another story. The mental battle of ‘trying again after loss’, is a cruel mistress. The battle of so desperately wanting to hold our own second child in our arms, rather than just in our hearts is, thinking about all that could go wrong… well, it’s pretty heart-wrenching. I’m scared. I’m really bloody scared. I have so many ‘what if?’ scenario’s going on, that I’m making myself dizzy. And quite tearful when I think about how things could well go. We haven’t even ‘tried’ yet and I’m already beside myself with worry. I’m guessing that’s normal though – for trying for that all elusive Rainbow Baby – even if you weren’t a born worrier to begin with! The fact Eli so desperately wants a baby brother or sister is very encouraging though, it’s certainly helped the process along. And I know he’s going to make THE BEST big brother, ever <3

So, what’s the whole point of this blog post?

Well, I wanted to just give myself a little reminder that, 365 days ago, we were so ecstatically happy. And we can be again, I know we can.

And if you’re going through the same pain of Miscarriage, but  can’t find the words to speak out loud…try bashing them out on the computer keyboard instead. There is ALWAYS someone there to listen, to offer help and support. Especially if you use such amazing resources like Tommy’s or The Miscarriage Association,

Sometimes the words, they come… sometimes they don’t. And for everything in-between, I have to acknowledge my favourite poet, Rupi Kaur, who is just a genius when it comes to getting the perfect collection of words together for you.

@Rupikaur_

 

Peace & Love

C
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BRAND IN FOCUS // HUSH | SUMMER ’18 – MASSIVE COMPETITION!

WIN… a Stay for Two in Malibu

To mark the launch of the new HUSH capsule summer collection,  they’re offering you the chance to win a trip to California’s Pacific coastline, with a five-night stay at the Surfrider hotel and flights included! HOLY MOLY indeed.

Opposite the eponymous beach, with sweeping views down to Malibu Pier, sits the Surfrider hotel: your Californian beach house fantasy come to life. If Nancy Meyers made (another) movie set in a beach house – this would be the set.

There are still shades of the 1950s motel in the vintage surfboards casually propped around the place, but the rest has been made over in impeccable coastal-inspired taste: think natural textures, crisp white cotton bed linen, wicker chairs, over-sized rattan lampshades, white-washed wood, and sea-view terraces for two. Plus – of course – those luxury touches no self-respecting boutique hotel should be without.

It would be easy to while away the hours swinging in your own hammock and soaking up the view, but then you’d miss the Roof Deck – the in-house bar and restaurant serving organic Calfornian fare (don’t worry – it’s residents-only, so there’s plenty of space for lounging up there, too). If you can be lured away from that view, the hotel can arrange picnics, hiking adventures, and – of course – surf safaris.

If you’ve come over all California dreaming, simply enter your details in the form for a chance to win.

Just an amazing prize!

To enter, simply fill in the form on the HUSH website, here.

Can’t wait to get your hands on the new collection? Shop Hush Summer in the Never Concise Shop, now!

Good luck!

C
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*words from the HUSH Blog.

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CELEBRATING THE NHS ON ITS 70th BIRTHDAY

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Today, our wonderful NHS turns 70 years old. I want to say thank you, in so many ways, but where do I even begin?

From the births of newborn’s in our families, to the NHS managing the old-age of our Grandparents; through to my Dad and my Father-in-Law both undergoing Triple Heart Bypasses; the NHS has saved the lives of many dear to us.

Over the past year alone, both our families and our friends, have spent a lot of time in the amazing hands of our incredible NHS. James and I, ourselves, both spent time in hospital for our various ailments. I was in and out of hospital with many appointments and intervention and finally my operation for my long, long, long, Miscarriage, over the course of 3 months at the back-end of last year. We started our move to Manchester, this year, with a trip to A&E, resulting in James spending the night and day on a hospital ward on several drips. Bringing this up to recent days, very recent days in fact, my Dad went through his first Hip Replacement operation on Monday of this week. He was home by Tuesday evening. Miraculous. And mostly thanks to the care he’s received, no doubt. He’s literally just texted me “Slept through the night, good eh? Love Dad xxx”. He’s sleeping better than me, that’s for sure! Also, shout out to my darling Tessa who has been feeling the love and care of the NHS recently too.

Post-operation // Broomfield Hospital // October 2017

During my own 32 years on the planet, the NHS has been there for me so many times, I wouldn’t dare to even count. From having my own feet ‘corrected’, routine appointments as a child and all the immunisations, the many chest infections, X-Rays and various types of Scans, chopping the top of my thumb off (at nursery with a potato peeler, hey, it was the late 80s, zero health & safety then pal!) Ear, Throat & Nose issues, having an Adenoidectomy aged 6, sodding Acne, orthodontic treatment and the horrible train-tracks braces I had for 3 years,  treatment for Hay-fever, hearing-tests, eye-tests (and yes, I do need glasses), adult immunisations, The Pill and all the issues that come and go with that, my Smear tests, Endometriosis investigations,  my anxiety, my pregnancy and the birth of Eli (oh and the aftermath that could have resulted in me losing my life), my Miscarriage. For every single ailment, no matter how big or small, how urgent or trivial, I have always been treated as a human being, treated with the utmost care, compassion and sensitivity.  Even at my absolute lowest, my most vulnerable, with blood dripping down my legs, a Nurse ran to my aid and cleaned me up without batting an eyelid, then gave me a cuddle afterwards. NHS Nurses and Doctors have gone above and beyond their call of duty for me… for us as a family. 

Oddly enough, James received a referral letter for a  hospital appointment just yesterday – he will be seen at Trafford General Hospital here in the heart of Manchester; the place we’ve very easily fallen in love with and now call home. What’s the significance I hear you ask? WELL, low and bloody behold – on this day, in 1948, the NHS was born and launched at this very hospital.

Health secretary Aneurin Bevan

5th July 1948 – The NHS is born*

When Aneurin Bevan (above), the health secretary, launched the NHS at Park Hospital in Manchester (today known as Trafford General Hospital), it was the climax of a hugely ambitious plan to bring good healthcare to all.

For the first time, hospitals, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, opticians and dentists are brought together under one umbrella organisation to provide services that are free for all at the point of delivery.

The central principles are clear: the health service will be available to all and financed entirely from taxation, which means that people pay into it according to their means.

*Historical references taken from NHS History website.

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The thing to also remember is, our wonderful NHS wouldn’t be able to function without SO MANY different people in SO MANY different roles. The Nurses & Doctors, Dentists and Optometrists,  are of course central to the NHS, but then there are the admin staff, the porters, the cooks and the cleaners…  and not forgetting all the many volunteers. You all deserve something a lot higher than a ‘medal’,  that’s a certainty. Heroes. Inspirational. Wonderful. Wonderful. WONDERFUL PEOPLE.  We are so lucky to have the NHS and everyone who works within the discipline. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you all, and we are forever in your debt.

So I will sign off, with a heart full of love and admiration for our truly marvellous NHS – Happy 70th Birthday; AND MANY MOOOOOORE

C
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SALE // ROUNDUP

&Other Stories // SALE

 

 

River Island 

Liberty London

Pretty Green Ltd

 

 
 

 

Oliver Bonas Ltd





 

 

 

 
 

 







 

 
 

 




 

Enjoy!

C

xxx

 

 

 

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BRAND IN FOCUS // CAROLINE FLACK x RIVER ISLAND

River Island is delighted to announce an exclusive collaboration with TV personality and presenter Caroline Flack.

The flirty and fun holiday collection, co-designed by Flack with River Island‘s in house team of creatives, consists of laid back retro tee’s, vibrant tropical prints and authentic denim staples with a twist.

Launching TOMORROW, the 19 piece collection has beachwear pieces to take you from poolside glam to lunch in the sun, and sexy yet sophisticated dresses that are fit for a romantic date night or partying away those long summer nights.

River Island x Caroline Flack launches in selected stores and online at www.riverisland.com from 30th May 2018.

Shop the River Island x Caroline Flack collection

C

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BRAND IN FOCUS // &OTHER STORIES x HOUSE OF HACKNEY

Not shy of a good collaboration, one of my favourite fashion brands, &Other Stories has joined forces with one of my favourite interior brands, House of Hackney. Having looked through the entire collection, I can say its as bold and brash and opulent as you might expect!

This is a whole collection of summer must-haves that encourage a style filled with playfulness and extravagance. Founded in 2011 by wife-and-husband team Frieda Gormley and Javvy M Royle, House of Hackney is known for championing bold print and colour.

PS. Every look in the co-lab has been inspired by the zodiac, aligning each star sign with a maximalist summer style horoscope. Discover yours here.

Here are some of my favourite pieces.

&Other Stories x House of Hackney // Bag  – £35
&Other Stories x House of Hackney // Jacket – £110
&Other Stories x House of Hackney // Dress – £110
&Other Stories x House of Hackney // Mules – £79

 

&Other Stories x House of Hackney // Skirt – £79
&Other Stories x House of Hackney  // Swimsuit – £35
&Other Stories x House of Hackney // Dress – £69

 

&Other Stories x House of Hackney  // Culottes – £69
&Other Stories x House of Hackney  // Dress – £79

This collaboration will be available online and in selected stores from May 24th.

Make sure you don´t miss it by signing up for the &Other Stories  newsletter.

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Wife and Husband team Frieda Gormley and Javvy M Royle, House of Hackney, talk to &Other Stories.

How do you describe the spirit of the co-lab?

Like a heightened version of nature. This collection show how women are walking to the beat of their own drum. We want those who wear our pieces to feel wonderful, strong and feminine.

What’s the inspiration?

We’re inspired by Victorian psychedelia, in particular Victorian paintings with flowers that don’t exist in real life. Just exquisite flowers created from the painter’s imagination.

Is dreaming up flowers something you’ve tried?

Yes, actually, in this co-lab one of the flower prints is based on the poppy but the rest are flowers that don’t exist in real life. They’re heightened versions of blooms that nature in fact hasn’t created. Yet.

You’re influenced by the author Virginia Woolf, in what way?

The collection is influenced by the style that Bloomsbury artists, like Virginia Woolf, wore when going on country retreats or when she was meeting up with her artist friends around Bloomsbury. The Bloomsbury Group was a crew of true bohemians and free-thinking artists who had meet-ups around Bloomsbury, London, at the start of the 20th century.

How would you style the co-lab pieces?

We love the bohemian mood of the pieces. Playing with the proportions, like wearing the blue velvet jacket with one of the floral dresses. Throwing on a pair of the flat mule shoes, which feels very modern, adding accessories like the small bag with vintage zebra print. And why not tie one of the scarves around your head?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C

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MONKEY // IS MISSING IN TRANSIT

THIS IS A PLEA ON BEHALF OF ELI HILL.

This time last week was our final day in Billericay, and subsequently, the last day we saw Monkey. During the commotion of saying goodbye, along with poor Eli being weighed down with, what can only be described as “everything bar the kitchen sink”, Monkey was set down in his classroom as he handed out treats to his fellow classmates and we then dashed off on our journey straight up to Manchester.

By the time we realised he was MIA, it was too late and the school had closed for the day. Eli put on a brave face and cuddled me in the hotel that night, instead of his beloved pal, Monkey.

The next day a member of school staff kindly posted Monkey back to us (last Thursday) via Royal Mail (somewhere in #Billericay, though exact location is TBC). This is the last known sighting of Monkey. To say we’re devastated that he hasn’t (YET) turned up is an understatement. Eli and I are basically sat in the front window, every day, waiting for his return. I keep telling Eli that Monkey is having a lovely time, on his jollies, building sandcastles, having some “me time”, before he joins us in our new Mancunian family home…

Monkey has been there every single day for Eli (and sometimes, for me and @jameshill.tv too!). He was given to Eli by our wonderful friend @goshb many moons ago. Since then Monkey has been to there to cuddle Eli through the night when we couldn’t, when Eli had one of his many hospital appointments, he’s been there through FOUR house moves – including one to Berlin and back. He was there for Eli on his first day of nursery and on his last day at school. He was there through the vaccinations, chickenpox and the wedding’s and the birthday’s and the halloween’s and at the table with us on Christmas Day and not forgetting the crazy car journey’s we all enjoy. Monkey has played in the snow and on the beach, at the museum and at the park. He’s seen the loveliest sunsets and fireworks. They had picnic’s and parties. Through the tough time and the fun times. Monkey was always the one who could fix it, make everything ok. Even when Eli dressed him up in his undercrackers and socks, Monkey never once complained.

We know Monkey is of the @jellycat variety – we’re not sure which ‘design’, but we do know that its now retired. We’re facing the stark reality that the ‘original’ Monkey may not turn up (Royal Mail, SHAME ON YOU, if he doesn’t). I have tried contacting our local Royal Mail depot, but unfortunately I can’t get past the automated robot as I don’t have tracking… and apparently,  they cannot look for specific parcels in your depot without the tracking either.

So here is the plea.

Do you or someone you know have this EXACT monkey? We’re more than happy to purchase, we just want Eli to have his friend back by his side – its bee an especially hard week for him, considering the move from Essex to Manchester without any real-life pal’s yet.

We can’t believe we’ve managed to leave him and hopefully he is *just* delayed in transit, but if not, please do help. If your child has lost something that they find pure comfort and love in, then you’ll understand. Eli is heartbroken (as am I).

PLEASE SHARE – #GetMonkeyBackToEli

Thank you for reading
C

xxxx

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BRAND IN FOCUS // HUSH | SUMMER ’18

I’m super excited to bring you HUSH’s new summer collection, designed with their signature easy chic that will be perfect for the warmer months (hopefully) ahead.

Update your wardrobe with a new range of floaty dresses, simple cotton tees, denim shorts and beautiful beach cover-ups, as well as a stunning new range of mix-and-match swimwear, sandals and seasonal accessories. Embrace the laidback cool of Tulum with this season’s collection, shot on the spectacular Caribbean coast of Mexico.

You can also get FREE delivery to all UK addresses (and free returns) when using the code SUM18 – a chance to try on whatever you’ve got your eye on, in the comfort (and warmth!) of  your own home while we wait for the sun to arrive.

What’s even better? HUSH are also kicking off the new season with an amazing competition, read on for details below.

 

WIN The Shoot!

To celebrate the launch of the HUSH Summer collection,  they’re giving away a five night stay at Papaya Playa Hotel in Tulum, the gorgeous location of the summer shoot, along with flights and a £500 hush voucher – so you can experience their summer campaign in person.

Just an amazing prize!

To enter, simply fill in the form on the HUSH website, here.

Just can’t wait? Shop the new Summer collection in the Never Concise Shop, now!

Good luck!

C
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Miscarriage & Me // Update: 4

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It’s been a little while since I mentioned our Miscarriage. 160 days, in fact, since my last post on here about it all. Because you don’t need me to tell you, life just has to move along. Especially when you have an Eli AND a James to look after too (!)

Since the end of the miscarriage, so much has happened. I’ve had the most spontaneous evening with Harry Styles, The Retreat, Bonfire Night, Christmas, New Year (fresh slate),  proposed move to Manchester (happening sometime, SOON!), followed by a stay in Manchester Royal Hospital (James, after a visit to A&E), a birthday surprise for my Papa and Mother’s Day. But here we are, almost half way into March. A month I’ve been desperately trying to not think about. But it’s here now and I have to face up to it. So by bashing this all out on the keyboard, I’m hoping I can get some kind of cathartic release.

So March. What’s the significance?

Well, my due date would have been, TODAY, 15th March.

So I knew that, at some point in March, whether that baby came early, or today, or indeed like their Big Brother, Eli, and arrived super late –  we knew had prepared that to have a brand new baba, in March. Today our arms are empty.

But obviously, this is not the case. This isn’t what’s happening this March, at least.

Today, I’ve had messages of love and support and care and its been so nice. I’ve had the head tilt, which has cheered me up without anyone even realising (a la Richard in Friends, see my reference, here) (SIDE NOTE // does anyone else live their days through quotes from FRIENDS? I can’t think of a day when I didn’t reference it at least!)

How have I been?

 

  • Well, physically, I felt battered and bruised for a few weeks post-operation – really exhausted. I slept through the day a lot. Mentally, I was totally drained. But I had to keep going – especially for Eli. I also overate, no rhyme or reason, but I couldn’t stop eating. Boy am I paying for it now as I try and shift off the pounds! Though, I’ve lost 10lbs in 5 weeks, so I’m getting there slowly.
  • Cycle-wise, my periods returned, a few days out from when I expected and they are still a bit strange. As I mentioned lots before, my periods are exceptionally painful (Endometriosis) and usually with an excessive amount of blood loss. While the pain has been the same (!!) as before, the blood loss is somewhat scant. So I’m wondering whether some endometrial tissue was removed during the ERPC operation? Who knows – but my body is still keeping me on my toes.
  • FYI – just after the New Year I received my ‘invitation’ for my Cervical Screening Test. I went to book it and was told to wait until 3-4 months AFTER the ERPC, to allow for the cells around the cervix to regrow following a miscarriage.  I had my Smear test last week – awaiting the letter back. But as usual, it was smashing, no problems with the procedure at all. It took around 2 mins, tops.
  • Following my operation I had a spate of infections (chest/ear/lung/so many colds). It culminated with a Spirometry Test and our darling Coco heading to a rescue centre to be re-homed. The diagnosis was COPD and I have a lung age of 61. Shockingly, I’ve never smoked and I’m only 31. Since Coco was re-homed however, my symptoms have dwindled and I feel much more healthy again! I’m sorry to say its all probably quite likely that I had a pet allergy 🙁 But I’m pretty impressed with my recovery and taking just one inhaler a day now. (Also, it goes without saying too – Mum’s ARE always right, damn!)
  • I became jealous, I guess, and sad – wouldn’t ‘luck’ just have it that so many friends (and IG strangers!) were announcing their pregnancies and births? Of course it would.  Though, as it is fairly obvious, I do absolutely  love a baba (I wouldn’t be craving my maternal duties again if I didn’t!) and it’s so wonderful to see these new babes coming safely into the world. I am honestly over the moon for everyone I’ve come into contact with who has told me of their happy news! But then I feel the intense guilt for feeling this sadness… part of me can’t help but think, this should also be us. We could be sharing our happy news right now too. Aren’t emotions bloody brilliant, eh?
  • Mentally – I’ve all over the place.
    • I’ve had a weeks and weeks where things have been great! Actually never better! But the closer we’ve come into March, the more vulnerable I’ve felt.
    • This week, I feel low and sad and diminished.
    • Without this being a completely sombre update, right now, I feel like I have this big black cloud hanging out with me – following my every move. I can’t shake it off.
    • I’ve had lots of tension headaches, back & neck (tension) pain and intense dreams – when I’m able to actually sleep, that is.
You can always count on Rupi Kaur to put your feelings together for you.

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I confronted my inner thoughts last week, which involved a whole lot of sobbing my heart out – and vocalising exactly I’m how feeling. I’d bottled it up, probably since November. It feels better to share – even if the other person doesn’t say anything at all – just sharing, feels so good. Though, the only person getting the brunt of it all at the minute, is poor James. And of course, he feels all the feels too.  A baby, our new baby, could have been in his arms, too, making him a parent all over again.

I didn’t have a follow up after my ERPC, I didn’t actually even speak to my GP about the trauma we’d been through. (Should I have? Should I have been sent an invitation for a follow up appointment of some kind? What happens in your local authority? ). I feel like maybe the grief is only just hitting me now – perhaps because when the due date has been and gone, then it all becomes real and in turn, gives us some kind of closure. Because that’s the end of the life-cycle, as it were. If that makes any sense at all. This all got me thinking, I have nothing physical to ‘show’ for my loss. So I contacted PALS at Broomfield Hospital, to see if I could access my medical records, notes, multiple scan imagery. See if there is any ounce of explanation following my ERPC (and the subsequent investigation that was to allegedly follow).  I kept my eyes firmly closed for a lot of the scans and procedures – willing it to be over. Anything any specialist pointed out or illustrated on the screen was a blur and didn’t register with me. Apparently I should have been offered copies of my scans – I’m now wondering if this also would have helped mark our loss and support our grieving process. Also, you can also ask (or may be offered) a Certification –  according to The Miscarriage Association,  this is a kind of ‘ death certificate’. For some parents, the sadness of pregnancy loss before 24 weeks is increased by the fact that there is no documentation that acknowledges the loss of their baby.  We recommend that NHS trusts create and offer some form of certification for parents who would like this. Tim Loughton MP has recently tabled a Private Member’s Bill which includes a request for a report on whether the law ought to be changed either to allow the registration of pre-24 week pregnancy losses (so it’s a personal choice) or to require it (so it is a legal requirement). The Miscarriage Association ran a survey on this to collate personal views – more details on this can be found, here.  The PALS team at Broomfield got in touch with a really lovely email – which was followed up by a call today from the Matron of Gynaecology. She’s invited us into the hospital to go through my notes and any questions / concerns, with my consultant (who was also the consultant we had for when I was pregnant with Eli), Miss Joshi. I was taken aback by the phone call and became quite emotional with the Matron. The kindness of strangers will never cease to amaze me.

To our Baby Briston-Hill (PRAWNER #2), you never did arrive in our arms – but you will be forever in my heart. I will live in wonder of who you would have been  – you’ll always be my favourite what if? my little darling.

Our little fam is pretty special – I’ll be squeezing these two extra hard today 🖤

Thank you for reading thus far; and thank you for the bags of support and love we’ve received. It means the world 🖤 Eli is going to be the BEST big brother (EVER) when it happens. And not a single one of us can wait. As the wonderful mind that was Professor Stephen Hawking, so perfectly put it,

“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.”

 Professor Stephen Hawking

So this is what we’ll do.

All my love,
C
✖✖✖

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Support networks:
The Miscarriage Association
Tommy’s, The Baby Charity
Cruse, Bereavement Care
SANDS, Stillbirth & Neonatal Charity

Donate:
You can donate directly to The Miscarriage Association, from my FACEBOOK PAGE, HERE.

See also:
READ MORE >> Miscarriage & Me.
READ MORE >> Miscarriage & Me // An Update
READ MORE >> Miscarriage & Me // An Update: 2
READ MORE >> Miscarriage & Me // An Update: 3