Shortlisted

Shortlisted

Certificate ABI

 

I woke up this morning to the email confirming I had been shortlisted for the Author/blogger category of the Butterfly Awards and I haven’t been able to wipe the smile off my face since!

I’ve never been great at accepting compliments of receiving praise. I’m not sure if it’s a Scottish/British thing, a woman thing, or just a me thing. But this is different. I feel so proud of myself because I’m nominated for speaking out about miscarriage – for raising awareness and for showing women (and men) that they are not going through those terrible times alone.

I started this blog as more of a diary to be honest. I never once thought people would read it, let alone comment and follow. It sounds cliched but I would never have been shortlisted if it wasn’t for all of you. The people that read my blog and take the time to comment and pick me up when I’m low, or think positive for me when I don’t have the strength to do it myself. If it wasn’t for this blog – and all of you – I wouldn’t be where I am today. It’s saved me from venturing into some dark corners when in reality – it would’ve been the easy option. Everything you read in this blog is complete, unadulterated honesty and I’ll continue to do that because the more we speak about it, the less taboo it becomes.

So from the bottom of my heart, thank you to all of you who stop by my page. I’ll continue to blog and speak about my ups and downs of miscarriage and I.V.F in the hope that it saves even just one person from feeling alone. I know that’s what I needed when I started this (and what I still continue to need at times).

(Ok so this post was cheesier than a day at the stilton factory but I just couldn’t help myself.)

**If you want to read more about the awards – or even buy a ticket – check out the website here: https://finleysfootprints.com/

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Tough times

Tough times

It’s been a difficult few weeks and I just haven’t had the heart to write. Hubbys contracted hours were halved literally overnight so we had to come to terms with the fact we’re going to be making a LOT less. I work sessional hours so I have no guaranteed hours but I’m trying my hardest to accept whatever and whenever. We go on holiday in 3 weeks and we still don’t have everything saved up. The last thing I want to do is be relaxing on a beach telling Kian we don’t have enough money for his ice cream cone. (OK so maybe it’s not that extreme but still… I’m an excessive panic)

I got my period last week. But of couree I STILL can’t get an appointment for this cycle. I’ll be in Greece when my injections are due so now I need to wait until August. Fuck.

Also. Why am I still not pregnant naturally? If there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be falling then why the hell is it not happening?

 

Happy Mug

Happy Mug

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So I received my mug a few days ago (from the MugSwap – check previous posts) and admittedly I was spoiled. The lovely Cyan from almostpregnant (I still can’t thank you enough) gave me a beautiful box with a mug – of course – with the words ‘think positive’, some snuggly socks, a cute little pineapple necklace, a flapjack, a handwritten card and these amazing IVF notecards. I still haven’t wrote in them yet, as half of me wants to fill them in so I can keep them in a little baby making/IVF memory box, but the other half is too scared to ruin them! Point is, I was seriously spoiled.

I’d had a rough day. I found out I might not get funding for my course next year which means I’ll need to use my student loan to pay my fees which of course now means I’ll need to work more days than I do now and it’s already a struggle and that’s before I’ve even started IVF.

Opening the box made me smile. And take a minute. I’ve been through so much already, I can get through this. Sure it might be a struggle and it might be hard, but this is one of those struggles where I actually have an end date. A date where the struggling and the juggling will be over.  We’re normally not the group of people who deal in certainties, but this is certain. It’ll be hard for a year, but then I’ll be qualified and working a job I love.

I have Cyan to thank for this moment of clarity. She reminded me why I started this mug swap in the first place – to show people we’re not alone in our struggles whatever they are. To show each other we’re here for support, advice or even just a listening ear. Whatever we need. And while my down day was college related and not – for once – baby related; it still gave me the same feelings of self doubt, panic and anxiety. The mug reminded me to think positive, the IVF cards reminded me I am strong and the necklace – well that reminded me to fuck it, and pour myself a pina colada!

Quote-a-day (number 2)

Quote-a-day (number 2)

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There’s me talking about how the 3 day challenge is so much easier to stick to and how excited I was to do it, and suddenly I’m 4 days in and only have 1 quote!

My excuses – work, college, weekend, wine(s), a really good film, a christening and a birthday. I think you should let me off.

But here it is. Better late than never. Quote number 2:

“A day without laughter is a day wasted”

This was of course from the late, great Charlie Chaplin. I kind of wish I’d left this until the last day to finish on one of the greats, but I just had to put it in. I guess it sets me a challenge for tomorrow right?

Anyway, this quote. It’s a good one isn’t it? We need to laugh. We need to smile. And we need to remember that no matter what we’re going through, there’s always a reason to be happy. My husband makes me laugh. A lot. My friends silly texts make me giggle. Sticking on a stand up comedy or an episode of Friends does it for me too. Catching my dog trying desperately to catch her tail. Watching Kian pretend he’s a stuntman at the park. In all honesty it took me a while to see it, but everywhere I look there’s reasons to laugh and smile and just be happy.

What are some things that make you laugh?

I’m officially 2 days late. I’m hoping by saying (writing) it out loud – it will somehow jinx me and bring on a heavy flow.

I’m not saying I want my period to come – I just hate the waiting. And the constant checking of the toilet paper. Man, I miss the days of just wiping and flushing. Isn’t it funny the things you take for granted. Wiping and flushing has got to be in the top 5.

“Why don’t you just take a test Nicola?” says the voice in my head, and I’m sure some of you are thinking it too. Truth be told, I have no answer for that. Fear maybe. Risk of disappointment.

Maybe it’s because I don’t have any and it’s Sunday so I’m putting off getting dressed for as long as possible.

I don’t want to jump the gun. It is only 2 days. 99% of the time, I’m a 30 day cycle, but there’s always that 1% that likes to wind me up.

Ach maybe I’ll get dressed and buy a test.

Maybe I’ll wait.

Mug Swap

Mug Swap

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I’ve wanted to do a mug swap for ever, but I kept missing the deadlines, or they were U.S only so, I’ve decided to host my own! Well, I hope to – if enough people are interested!

For those who don’t know, it’s pretty simple. Each person receives a bit of info about a persons likes & dislikes etc and you find the perfect mug for them and send it out! Some people add a little handwritten note, another small item or a little teabag/coffee sachet etc if you like, but finer details would be decided later!

I thought it would be a fun idea for my miscarriage/I.V.F family to take part in something, so I’m just wondering if this sounds like something any of you guys would be interested in? Please comment, and include anyone else you think would be up for this too! (they don’t need to have a blog – just an email address is perfect!)

Oh, and no personal info would be sent to anyone else – only the person that was sending the mug to you. It won’t be published here or anywhere else! This would be open to everyone but you could opt out of international postage if you preferred!

If you’re interested, either comment or send me an email and hopefully we can get at least 10 people involved! Nikkihayes86@gmail.com

Butterfly Awards

Butterfly Awards

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I can’t believe I never mentioned this before. I guess my heads been in the clouds a little.

Anyway, around 2 months ago I received a notification that Hubby had nominated me for a ‘Butterfly Award’. They – amongst other things – recognise people that bring awareness to miscarriage or baby loss via blogs/books/social media/making keepsakes/etc. I’m nominated under the blogger category.

I know that my blog is pretty tiny in comparison to some – I have around 150 followers – but my husband knows how much the blog means to me. If I’ve ever had a bad day he always says to me “You should blog. It helps you”. And he’s right. It always does, and I hope it helps other people too.

If anyone is interested – you can attend the Butterfly Awards ceremony without being nominated/shortlisted. Just pop over to their facebook or website and you can purchase tickets. You can also sponsor or donate there too.

https://finleysfootprints.com/

Starting treatment

Starting treatment

8th May 2018. My final appointment before I begin treatment. Can I scream a little? Do a dance? Or should I just smile to myself? I quite fancy the screaming if I’m honest. 

My next appointment will last around an hour and we’ll do a detailed medical history and then they’ll make sure I’m emotionally stable and secure enough to have a child (my previous rants don’t count right?). Once that’s been confirmed I need to phone them on the first day of my period then BOOM. Treatment! (Unless they’re fully booked in which case I’ll go 4 weeks later).  

I can’t believe we’re finally here. It’s finally happening. I have to say that it’s been incredibly quick (I.V.F wise – the whole TTC thing has felt like a lifetime at times). I had my first appointment in October and treatment will begin around June so that’s about 8months. Considering this is a free NHS provided treatment I’m pretty impressed! 

 

**side note – I took part in another Miscarriage Association about coping (or not) with pregnancy after loss. It’s a great campaign so check it out if you’d like support/info 

https://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/story/nicolas-pregnancy-loss-story/ 

https://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/your-feelings/pregnancyaftermiscarriage/ 

Misconceptions

Misconceptions

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I unfollowed someone on Instagram yesterday because of her pregnancy announcement. 

In my defense, I never blocked her so you know – progress. 

We used to work together and it’s not that I’m unhappy for her – I just don’t want to see the picture updates. I don’t want to see the scans, the bumps, the pram, the clothes she’s buying. I don’t want to see them. Not yet. 

I felt kind of down for a few minutes – Ok 10 maybe – and then do you know what? 

I was okay.  

Totally fine actually (I still didn’t follow her again, but that’s neither here nor there). But I think that’s okay, I think that’s normal. I won’t sit here and lie to you that it’s easy to hear of pregnancies, or to look at people’s social media photos because it’s not easy. I don’t think it ever will be. But it also doesn’t make me feel the way it used to, and that has to be a good thing doesn’t it? 

It’s okay to be a little selfish at times, and it’s ok to not always be nice to everyone. You need to do what makes you feel good. Or what makes you feel even just a little bit better. 

I know I’ve earned the right to be a little selfish sometimes. Fuck it. Fuck everyone else’s opinions. Do what you want to do. 

 

28..01.2018 

Over the past few years I’ve encountered a fair amount of misconceptions, or judgments relating to my miscarriages and I thought I’d share some. My top 5:  

  1. I hate being around children 
  1. I hate pregnant people 
  1. I’m too fragile to hear about your own pregnancy 
  1. There must be something wrong with me – I probably just can’t carry boys. 
  1. I’m not upset anymore. It was ages ago, and it wasn’t even a baby. 

So these things come up a lot. A lot. It’s hard to break the stigma around miscarriage and I know not everyone means to be nasty or hurtful. A lot of people just don’t know what to say, or are too scared to ask so they make their own judgements. But if you’re curious – here’s my answers: 

 

  1. No, I happen to love children. I’m studying childcare, and more often than not, I find them more fun than adults. Yes babies are hard, of course they are – but that doesn’t mean I hate being around them. 
  1. I do not hate pregnant people.  But imagine you losing your wife or husband or you recently went through a horrendous break up – seeing other people happy and in love would have an affect on you for a little while – you’d be a little upset. It’s normal. Same with me and pregnant people. After a loss it’s a little difficult. I’m not the devil. I’m human and I’m flawed. Just like you. 
  1. I am not an idiot. I’m more than aware that people get pregnant. I’ve been dealing with it for a long time – you can tell me. I might not be 100% happy all the time, and I may even ignore your social media pages for a little while but, I’m  more than capable of hearing about it and I’ll deal with it in my own way. And I can be happy for you. 
  1. Please do not try guess what is wrong with me. Nurses don’t know. Doctors don’t know. Teams of specialists don’t know. You certainly don’t know. Yes maybe your auntie “couldn’t carry boys ” (although how they ever found that is beyond me) but I’m not your auntie. I’ve had miscarriages. I’m now struggling to fall pregnant. There is nothing wrong with me. I am like millions of other women around the world. I’m  normal.  
  1. Ok so just don’t. Don’t ever tell me it wasn’t a baby. Don’t tell me how to feel. Don’t tell me how long I can feel sad. Don’t assume anything. I lost my children and I can never change that. But your assumptions and your judgments don’t help anything. If you want to know anything – just ask me. 

Anyone else deal with something similar? I know I’m not the only one!

 

 

Accepted

Accepted

I have news. Wonderful, wonderful news. We’ve been accepted for IVF! We’re officially on the list! It’s just a waiting game now. 

I know this is no way a guarantee that I’ll have a baby, but I already feel so much more positive about everything. 

So, why did I qualify if I’ve been pregnant multiple times in the past few years? I know people might be wondering about this. I’ve been trying for 3 years now with no success and no explained cause for my miscarriages or my new sudden struggle to conceive – so that essentially qualifies me as having some form of infertility. The fact I have a stepson also doesn’t matter – it used to, but they’ve changed that rule. (I should say that this is Scotland’s rulings, so anywhere else could be – and I think is – entirely different). 

I’m in the process of getting blood tests, and my next appointment isn’t until February, but it’s all pretty exciting. I’ll qualify for 3 rounds of free IVF on the NHS (we’re exceptionally lucky in this country), so I hope with all my heart that one of these will be successful! I’m so excited and nervous and happy and scared and anxious and giddy and every other emotion you can fit in to my little body – except sad – no, I’m not sad.