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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“I am a poser and I don’t care, I like to make people stare”

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A slightly silly start to this blog post, but I do love this song and it is kind of what I wanted to talk about.

As my blog title suggests I’m a little bit of a goth (unless you are totally unaware of it being a play on “murder of crows” and are one of the odd breed who think it means I want to kill goths), and so no stranger to standing out in a crowd, or at least, that’s how I used to be.

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A mother who is still not a mother

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Some of you may not have read my previous post on this, if you haven’t then it’s probably best you do so you understand the context of this. What I’m about to write will probably garner me some hatred, but I need to get it out, and maybe it’ll help someone else in the same situation to know they aren’t the only one. I cannot be the only one.

Quick summary, my daughter was born 10 weeks early by emergency caesarean which was done under general anaesthetic. As a consequence I didn’t see her until more than 24 hours after she’d been born, and I couldn’t hold her until she was 3 days old. She then stayed in special care until she was 6 weeks, during which time I had immense trouble bonding with her, most of the time it didn’t feel like she was even mine – after all I hadn’t seen her birth. She’s home now, and it’s harder than I ever imagined.

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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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When is a mother not a mother?

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Nearly two years ago I was rushed into theatre, given a powerful epidural and had my first child pulled out of me with what appears to be a cross between a plunger and a vacuum (ventouse delivery). It all sounds pretty horrific, and I did find it quite upsetting at the time. However the moment my son was placed in my arms it was love at first sight and I was riding a wonderful high of maternal love for a few months after his birth. I was extremely lucky, and I knew this. Though I don’t think I knew just how lucky I was. Despite a horrific pregnancy and a scary birth, I still got to experience something which might be common place in the movies, but isn’t necessarily so in real life.

Seems my luck didn’t hold for birth number two.

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