Honesty, trust, mental health and health care professionals

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Have had a less than positive experience recently with a local hospital, which is a shame because on the whole we’ve always had a lot of help at this particular hospital. And we’ve been there a lot!

But this particular problem is pretty big, and does make me nervous about going back there. Given the health problems my daughter and I have had this is not a good thing.

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My gentle boy and my strong girl

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You are both so little still, both still under 3, and already I can see that society is valuing some of your traits over others.

This breaks my heart, because you are both so much more than stereotypes, you are incredible and complex and will only get more so as you get older. I hope that I can bring you up to not be ashamed of parts of you just because they don’t conform to gendered expectations. Nothing about you is wrong, society and it’s small boxes are wrong.

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One year on

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Today is the 24th of January, a spectacularly uninteresting day to many I imagine. For me it was the start of a traumatic experience, an experience that is still ongoing, but there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel.

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World Prematurity Day: Bonding can be hard

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Monday 17th November 2014 is World Prematurity Day, a day for talking about around 15 million babies born prematurely worldwide. My daughter is one of them, and while I was aware of premature babies prior to her birth I was most definitely ignorant to how hard it could be for the families of these tiny little miracles. I learnt the hard way, and it could have been harder still, I am very fortunate to live in a country with an amazing health service where babies like my little girl stand a good chance at life.

Around 60,000 are born in the UK, and the best charity to follow about this is Bliss, also a wonderful charity to donate to, they have been a fantastic support through some very tough times and do a lot to help families with babies in SCBU, including working with doctors and nurses to make sure care for prem babies and their families is as good as it can be. I am writing my story to share, and I advise you to follow them on @Blisscharity for more stories.

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Mothers’ Day – pain and joy

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Mothers’ Day is a hard one for me, my own mother died 2 years ago. She died 3 weeks before my first child was born. So my own motherhood is intrinsically linked with the loss of my mother. Obviously it would still be linked if she’d died before or after that, but the proximity of the two events makes it hard to think of either in isolation, and if my grief didn’t already take a fresh pummelling around my son’s birthday then Mothers’ Day turns up at the same time. All three events happen in March. This is not my favourite month. But it does make me think, a lot, about motherhood and it’s joys, conflicts and troubles.

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Let Books Be Books – where’s the harm?

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I was very lucky as a child to have a mother who adored books, and she passed this love of reading on to me. I would read anything I could get my hands on (my mother ended up hiding her horror collection from me), from The BFG to Little Women, Goosebumps to The Famous Five, The Hardy Boys to The Hobbit, you name it, I read it.

If you’d told me that I couldn’t read certain children’s books I’d have been very disappointed – and probably have snuck a read anyway.

Like I say, I was lucky to have been brought up by my mother. Turns out I was also lucky to have been born when I was.

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The ISP Porn Filter or why you cannot have a Unicorn

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After the government have gone to so much effort to pester ISP’s into creating a default filter in order to “protect children” from the evils of the internet (mostly porn), three ISP’s have started implementing it. So what is the result? Well, unsurprisingly really, it turns out the geeks were right and the filter is a deeply flawed idea which doesn’t fix the problem it is meant to, and in fact creates new problems.

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