Thursday 13 September 2012

Wedding Gifts & Baking Therapy!

This week has been a real mixed bag... 

I returned to work on Monday, which hasn't been easy (physically or emotionally) but the week is almost out, and once the weekend is here I'm planning to totally chill! 

Excitingly, on Saturday we had our wedding gift delivery from John Lewis, which was like all our Christmases and birthdays rolled into one!! 

We were so touched and delighted by everyones generosity & are so pleased with all the fab gifts we picked! We spent all weekend unwrapping, and finding places for everything. 

I thought I'd share a few of my most favourite gifts with you ... 

Our new baby! Kitchen Aid mixer from my lovely Mummy! :-) 

Gorgeous English Rose Cath Kidston bedspread from my lovely sister! 

Two totally awesome house bedside lamps from Philippa, Penny & Liam's work friends

Sweet Mr & Mrs frame from Gemma & Anthony 

Rob Ryan couples mug (only make sense together) from my Mother & Father-in-Law

Amaze-balls ice cream scoop with sprinkle storing handle! from Danni & Charlie :-)

That really is just a few highlights, we got so many amazing gifts and are truly blessed to have such awesome family & friends! 


In order to help get through the past month of tough-ness I've been busy baking my heart out. 

Baking really is therapy to me. I get to zone-out in my favourite room of the house (kitchen), be creative & ultimately get lots of pleasure from feeding others (especially husband) said creations! 

Added bonus is I now get to use our awesome Kitchen Aid mixer...! 

I baked a giant cupcake for WI on Thursday last week, it was our groups one year birthday & we had a bake-off competition at our AGM. I decided to make a cupcake as I thought it was very 'WI' and decorated it with handmade sugar roses, as our group name is The Scone Roses! 
I was pleased how it turned out as it was a first attempt. Really fun to do and best of all I won the competition! :-) But I must admit there were only 7 entries, and all were scrummy! 

My winning Scone Roses WI Birthday Giant Cupcake! 

I couldn't stay out of the kitchen after that, and so here are my other bakes of the week.....

Carrot cake made from Felicity Cloake's 'Perfect' recipe in The Guardian 

Jam Tarts (Strawberry & Lemon)

Profiteroles and Choux buns! (first attempt at choux pastry too, it was YUMMA!)

That's a hell of a lot of 'treats' in a week - luckily being back at work has meant back to walking 4 miles a day, and back to having a staff-room full of friends willing to 'try' my kitchen efforts. (Although, I must admit it was only the carrot cake this week that made it in to work!)


I treated myself to a gorgeous new book last week - it's a beautiful hard back edition of the new 'The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit', based on Beatrix Potter's most enchanting character the mischievous bunny in the blue coat! It has been written by the wonderful Emma Thompson (Actress: Nanny McPhee, Sense & Sensibility etc) and it is the sweetest thing! Lovely to see one of my favourite childhood characters being bought back to life! 

(Also note my awesome Cath Kidston soldier PJ bottoms featuring in this picture!)

And finally, my little kitty Pickle otherwise known as Fluff-Face sitting in the laundry bin, as cats do! Cute picture & thought I'd share. 

Hope the over-all loveliness of these pictures have bought a smile to your week!




Tuesday 4 September 2012

A very difficult post ...

I've been quiet on the blogging front recently in terms of posting anything except pictures from the wedding, as they make me smile. It's been a really really tough few weeks, in fact, the toughest I've ever had to endure. And I'm hoping that writing this will partly help me to come to terms with what we've lost.

Liam & I found out we were expecting our first baby just a few weeks before our wedding. We were extremely excited & felt incredibly lucky to have fallen pregnant so quickly, and with such lovely timing (the best wedding gift ever!)

However, on the last full day of our honeymoon in Cyprus, it all started to go wrong, and a few short hours after touching down back in the UK, we suffered a miscarriage.

I want to blog about this a) because I think talking and being open is an important part of the healing/grieving process, and b) because since our miscarriage I have been overwhelmed with the amount of friends, family & work colleagues who have said "I've been there too". Most of whom I had no idea had suffered in the same way we were. It really is a taboo subject, and perhaps too painful for people to share. However, I think it's incredibly important to know you're not alone in times of despair, and if this post reassures even just one couple, or provides information or awareness then it's done it's job.

I cannot express in words properly or effectively how much grief I felt at losing this little person we had wanted & loved so much. And although the pregnancy was only 8 weeks along, the loss we feel is tremendous as it was our baby in there, and our vision of the future. You can't help but get excited when you find out you're expecting... you make plans, think of names, and imagine all the things you are going to do with this baby that you've made with the man you love. It's not just the baby itself that you are grieving but the idea of it too; all those hopes and dreams for your near future are dashed in an instant.

I also feel a deep sense of failure, why couldn't I protect this baby of mine & keep it safe until full term? Is there something wrong with me? Will I ever be able to have a healthy baby with my lovely husband? I know all these feelings & emotions are normal, and I'm aware I'm "going through the motions" ... With hormones raging, lifting & dropping all over the place, what with all the physical aspects of suffering a miscarriage it really couldn't be a more traumatic time.

The hardest part for me was experiencing the physical & visual aspects of the miscarriage itself. Seeing the physical loss, and experiencing the pain & fear is so debilitating. I also found on the flip side that when the bleeding stopped I felt more bereft, like it really was all gone, lost, no longer part of me.

I have to say I have found the professional support, information & care aspect of miscarriage both disappointing & lacking in many areas. Simply finding out the best course of action when the pregnancy showed signs of failure was very difficult...a midwife who didn't answer her phone, a hospital without the resources to scan me during the night, having to ring my GP to request a scan as the hospital won't pay unless you're past 20 weeks, having to wait in a waiting room full of happily pregnant women for a scan which I was already convinced would tell me my baby had died, followed by a brutal scan with a consultant who explained nothing properly, made no eye contact with me, was extremely cold & lacked any empathy. It was a truly horrible experience made even worse by the lack of care and understanding.

My miscarriage had other complications, which were eventually explained to me, and which will need follow up scans & possible treatment before we begin trying again. This is an added worry & until I know that we're safe, well & ready to try for another baby I don't think my anxiety will settle.

Upon being discharged from hospital, I asked the nurse & consultant what to do about the appointment I had already made with my midwife, when i was happily & safely pregnant. (This was the same midwife who didn't reply to any of my calls/distressed messages when the pregnancy began failing!). The appointment was my 'booking' appointment, and was due last Friday, at my home. The hospital staff ensured me they would let all relevant people (my GP, midwife etc) know about the miscarriage & I wouldn't have to worry about any of that.

Lo & behold, on Friday morning I get a jolly phone call from the midwife asking if she can come slightly earlier to our arranged appointment at my house!! I had to reply that I didn't think there was a lot of point to her coming & had to explain to her myself that I'd miscarried. No one had informed her like they were supposed to. I hung up from that call & sobbed & sobbed. It was not a position I should have been put in, and another appalling outcome of my treatment by my local NHS.

I am in the process of writing an official complaint, but writing this has helped me to process it all again. And inspired me even further to try and make sure other women don't have to experience the failings of the NHS like I have.

For women out there suffering in silence please talk to someone, I have sought support from family & friends, and had some medical intervention from my GP to prescribe me some sleeping pills (as I haven't been sleeping since the miscarriage), and some advice to take some time off work to help recover physically & mentally from what's happened. There is also support available on The Miscarriage Association website, and a helpline you can call (web address below).

I truly hope that other couples have received far better & more understanding support from their care providers, and would be interested to hear from other Bedford-based women who have suffered similar negligence.

Thanks to those of you who have been providing love & support to us through this horrible time.

Keep on hoping for a positive pregnancy blog from us in the near future.

Lucy xxxx