Three Years Later - What I would tell my eighteen year old self.


 Throwback to the 10th October 2017, the day I took a pregnancy stick unaware that two lines would appear. The day that would change my life forever and the day I realised I was going to be someone's mummy at only eighteen/nineteen years old. 

Three years later a lot has changed, I have learnt a lot about people, parenting and life in general so I thought why not compile it into a post that may help someone who may find themselves in the position I was in three years prior.

 

When you become a parent, not only do you meet a brand new person in the child you have birthed but you will also meet a whole new version of yourself - This for me took a long time to adjust too. Before having children you are rightfully selfish and once you have a child that soon changes. Simple things like just popping for a shower to wash your hair can feel like a mammoth task whereas before it was a simple task. It took me ages to find the 'new/old me' after having Maci and truthfully I don't think I have fully found her yet and I am writing this three years after finding out I was pregnant. It takes time, don't be so hard on yourself.



 You will realise who your true friends are - When you are pregnant and have a baby it will become apparent who your 'true friends' are. This was another one that I found hard to adjust too. Friends who you think will always be there for you and who say that they can't wait to be an 'auntie'/'uncle' will soon vanish. Now this can't be said for all of them, a select few will stay around and support you throughout this tough time and will love your child like their own and of course you will meet other parents along the way which you will call your friends so don't be too disheartened. People change and that's ok

 

Your idea of the 'perfect family' may change - Now for me when I found out I was pregnant I was so excited to raise Maci with someone and to share the experience becoming parents, but sometimes things don't always go to plan and individuals don't turn out to be who you once thought they were and that's okay. This for me is one of the biggest lessons I have had to learn. Sometimes people's intentions are completely wrong and they simply don't want the same thing as you. This does not degrade you as a person or as a mother as long as you do all you can every day for your daughter. Although if you do find yourself in a dramatically different situation than what you once thought, don't forget that it is perfectly normal to 'grieve' what you thought you initially wanted. There is absolutely no shame in being a single parent. Now if someone asks me what my idea of the 'perfect family' is I simply say, 'whatever you are content with'. For me, three years later, that is myself, Maci and Peggy and I wouldn't have it any other way.

 Things that seem like a big issue right now, won't be in years time - Now I think this stands for most things throughout life but I think we sometimes forget it. It is so easy to get consumed by things that seem like a massive issue in the now but you have to ask yourself, will it matter it in a year or two? You don't want to spend your time being consumed by worries, especially when you're a new parent who is trying to find their feet in your new role. Take each day as it comes... 

 Finally, I would like to say to my 2017 self that things will be tough over the next few years. You will have days where it will seem impossible but trust me, things will fall into place. You will survive the Hyperemesis Gravidarum, you will give birth to a beautiful girl who will become your best friend, you will get help to cope with the traumatic birth, relationships will break down but you will flourish from the crappy situation, you will move into a beautiful home and you will continue to raise Maci by yourself and you should be so incredibly proud of yourself and the little girl that you helping to grow every day. 

Until next time,  

Storm

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Having some 'self care' time! - AD Trenza Braidbar Southampton

 Hello,

For those of you who are parents you will know how tough it is to get some very important 'self care' time. Recently I was invited along to Trenza Braidbar in West Quay, Southampton and safe to say I jumped at the chance to actually be able to sit down for a while, child free and have my hair transformed into an amazing creation. I certainly was not disappointed. 

It is important to note that Trenza Braidbar do not just do 'crazy and colourful' creations but they do also do natural braids but for me, I wanted to try something a bit out of my comfort zone hence the vibrant masterpiece that Nicole created for me. Trenza also have a mother and daughter package for those of you who have older little ones who would enjoy having their hair braided.


You can find Trenza Braidbar near the Apple Store in West Quay, Southampton.

So next time you have some spare time, why not book in with Trenza Braidbar. It is truly incredibly how confident I felt whilst having my hair in this bubble braid, I instantly wanted to have a photoshoot!


Massive thank you to the lovely ladies at Trenza for making me feel so comfortable and allowing me some much needed 'me time'.

Until next time,

Storm

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My Story - Birth Trauma

 What is Birth Trauma?

'Birth trauma is a shorthand phrase for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after childbirth. We also use it for women who have some symptoms of PTSD, but not enough for a full diagnosis. In most cases, what makes birth traumatic is the fear that you or your baby are going to die. We very often see birth trauma in women who have lost a lot of blood, for example, or who had to have an emergency caesarean because their baby’s heart rate suddenly dipped'Birth Trauma Association

Now this is a topic that I have touched on many times on my Instagram but a topic I have not talked through in depth as such, simply because I could not find the words and I could not figure out how to write it down with any sort of structure, so I do apologise in advance if this post some what jumps from point to point.

If you're new here you will not be aware that on the 13th june 2018 I gave birth to my daughter, Maci. Who weighed 8lbs 11oz a week before her due date. I struggled with Hyperemesis Gravidarum throughout my pregnancy which resulted in me not being able to work and most days barely leave my flat at the time, it was extremely isolating and a terrible time.The condition itself definitely left a permanent fear of being sick and feeling nauseous. I was so excited to give birth, as any expectant mother I had dreamt about what would happen and that amazing moment I would be able to hold my beautiful baby for the first time. Never did it cross my mind that I would have a very long labour, resulting in 1500+ ml blood loss, episiotomy and a forceps delivery. I have a whole post about my birth story so please take a look if you would like to know about it in more in depth. 


You're probably wondering why I have only chosen to speak about my ordeal now, well the lovely Jodetopia contacted me and asked if I would like to take part in a collaborative post all about Birth trauma and forwarded me some questions (below) which of course I willingly answered because it is so important that this topic is spoken about more widely. 

How long ago was the birth in which resulted your birth trauma?

26 months ago, 13th June 2018.

Did you seek, or were you offered, help for your birth trauma? If so, would you be willing to explain a little bit about the help that you have received?

I was not offered any help initially despite the traumatic birth that I had and only being a teen mum. I can’t remember who mentioned it to me (possibly saw it on social media) that my local hospital offered a service called ‘birth afterthoughts which was a service in which you could ask for a nurse/doctor to sit down with you and go through your labour and delivery notes with you. Now this is definitely an appointment that took a lot of thought about attending, it was very triggering and emotional although I came out of the appointment understanding why things happened a little bit more and feeling a bit less ‘robbed’ of the experience of giving birth.

Would you consider yourself ‘recovered’ from your birth trauma?

No, I don’t think I will ever ‘recover’ from the ordeal. I find myself talking about it less nowadays just because I don’t think it is healthy to keep reminding myself of the events but this does not mean I block it out completely because I feel like that is even more damaging. It has definitely impacted by decision about having more children though If I was to ever meet someone again.

If you answered no, do you think it will ever be possible for you to be ‘recovered’ from your birth trauma? What would ‘recovery’ look like for you? (see above)

Do you think that your birth trauma has affected your relationship with your child?

It definitely did in the new-born days, I was not able to be the first person to dress her, feed her or even hold her. Even to this day I do not know what her first ever outfit was and that does upset me. I had to have blood transfusions meaning I felt ‘drunk’ as such for the first couple of months of my daughter’s life, it was a very strange time and I would not wish it upon anyone. I remember every time I spoke about the birth I would always get the reply 'Oh well atleast Maci is ok' which of course was true but I couldn't help but feel ignored despite what I had experienced a short time before. Regardless of the traumatic birth Maci is now two years old and we could not be closer, so if you are reading this and you’ve got a new-born, please do not be worried about the amazing bond you will have with them in the future.

Any advice for other mums out there still struggling with their birth trauma?

The first time I realised something was truly ‘wrong’ was when I watched a video by Louise Pentland on YouTube where in which she spoke about birth trauma and every single point she mentioned brought me to tears. It was a relief that I wasn’t alone and that there was not something wrong with me that I felt this way. I personally struggled finding much online content about the subject which is why I am taking part in this project to help raise awareness and hopefully start a conversation. And finally do not feel guilty, it is nothing you did that resulted in a traumatic birth. I remember thinking that maybe if i did 'x y and z' that it may of of resulted in the induction which then caused everything to happen so quick.

Anything else you'd like to add?

I would like to add that you are not alone, birth trauma is more common than we think but for some reason it isn’t spoken about. It is not something to feel guilty about or ashamed of. We all go into pregnancy and birth with this ‘perfect’ idea of what it is, although very rarely this happens. I think it is very wrong that midwives and other maternity staff do not prepare women for what may happen, despite how scary it may be, it is the reality of childbirth and I believe that it would have been a lot more beneficial to me (being only 19 at the time) to of had the various outcomes explained to me before I was signing a consent form about to be operated on.

This truly is a subject that I could speak about for a long time but I would like to say that my direct messages/emails are always open for anyone who thinks that birth trauma may be affecting them.

Helpful links -

 Birth Trauma Association

Birth Trauma and Post Natal PTSD

Louise' Video


Until next time,

Storm

Instagram


Two Whole Years Of Maci

Hello,

It seems like only yesterday I was sat writing my pregnancy announcement and now I am creating this post to celebrate the fact that Maci turned two last week and I'm not quite sure how that has happened. I now have a two year old, Maci is no longer classed as a 'baby' but she will always be my little 8lbs 11oz baby Maci. 


I could never of imagined what would of happened in two years since Maci was born, we have moved house twice and we are now hopefully in our 'forever home', relationships broke down and life got somewhat complicated but despite all of this Maci has thrived as a little girl and is the most caring and entertaining soul. I certainly did not bring Maci into this world planning to be a single mum for her first and second birthdays but life always finds a way to throw a curveball at you and this was ours, I am lucky enough that Maci is not aware of the situation but I certainly am and it has helped me become a stronger and more independent person and for that I am thankful. 


Maci's birthday's are always an emotional day as is any child's birthday but Maci's especially because I always remember the absolute hell I went through to bring her into this world and quite honestly how lucky I am to be able to celebrate her birthdays with her. I won't go into depth about my whole birth 
story but you can read the post here - My Labor and Delivery Story


Maci had a lovely birthday despite having to maintain Lockdown conditions due to Coronavirus, we spent the day in the garden with our dearest family and friends, opening presents and enjoying eachothers company from a distance. Maci's birthday cake was from Patty Cakes UK, the cake topper and unicorn confetti was from Wildoneandi (AD) and last but no means least the incredible balloon garland and '2' was from Luxe List



Here's to another year of adventures from Maci and I.

Until next time,
Storm


AD - Fathers Day with Funky Pigeon

Hello,

With Fathers day fastly approaching it can be a tough and emotional day for some families although Funky Pigeon cater for every type of family type which I really like and appreciate. I have kindly been gifted a couple of lovely gifts from their Fathers Day range. These gifts are from Maci to my dad, her grandad. 


This key ring is a super affordable gift, the quality is excellent. You can easily upload an image from your device and edit the placement until you're happy! 


The second item  I chose was this customised cushion, im one of those people who always think you can't have enough cushions. The cushion once again feels of very good quality material and the image isn't pixalated at all. Overall, I am very happy with these two items and I am excited to see my dads face when we give them to him on Fathers Day.

Funky Pigeon also have a wide range of other gifts available for Fathers Day such as; 


Customisable Balloons and much more! There really is a gift for everyone.



This post contains gifted items with obligation to post. All opinions are those of Storms Blog.

Until next time,
Storm