Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Who Supports Who in this Journey?

Tommy's the baby charity has released a new campaign #TogetheForChange it's an incredible campaign and covers a number of areas around baby loss. Some I can connect with and some I can't, however I feel the importance of the campaign is finding what helps for you and what supports you. 
As I have shared previously, we miscarried, early over a year ago now, since then we have had small signs of pregnancy, but again they haven't resulted in a full term pregnancy so again we move through more loss, something, for whatever reason isn't working and the result in this is us not  having what we want and hope to become. Sam and I are strong in how we work through this, there are hard days, we don't always show them to others but we manage and cope in our own way and that is mainly focusing on what we have and what encompasses our life right now. 

Were so far into this journey now people are on their 2nd child, we have a list of who we know will be soon and how we're going to cope with that when it comes, another well of feelings exploding as the baby dust has struck again for those lucky souls out there and were happy for them, so happy but sad it hasn't happened for us.

For me the strongest part of this campaign was the information around jealousy, a word I don't connect with, I don't feel I am jealous but I am envious. I worked with a fertility counsellor for some time and she stated the word jealousy, I remember I repelled away, my body moved backwards, as the word felt ugly, which in result made me feel a part of me was ugly. I quickly replaced it with envious, I do want a baby, I do want to be a Mum, I do want a child but I don't want what others have, as it's not mine,  for me this means I don't feel I am jealous of their baby, that's not my baby. I am just envious of not having something I would really like and like to become, a mother. 

For me one of the hardest parts that comes with this journey is people's side head looks or awkwardness around wondering why we don't have children, 8yrs and no kids, we know people put us in that bracket of the one's who don't want kids, or know something must be wrong so don't ask, which in itself is hard. The taboo around infertility still lives on and I wish it could change. 

The other part is the sadness other people feel for us, or assume we will feel. This irritates me the most, like we're going to break as another person has falling pregnant. I don't always want to hear someone has cried for me as they are pregnant and I am not, or that they didn't know how to tell me due to the discomfort it feels for them. That really isn't the thing that's going to break me, you don't need to rationalise my grief or make me feel I have to support you as actually this journey is mine and your pregnancy is yours, your gift. I also hate when people ask Sam how I am doing and will I be okay, it's bizarre what assumptions we come to when others are going through baby loss and pregnancy loss.  People just care and that's what I have to remember but I know I find people going through similar experiences are people I want to connect with as they understand and don't make these wild views on what's going to make me cry or hide away. Sam works in his own way, and I admire him for it, he has friends and families children he loves and is Uncle Sam too them, but I know when I share another baby has been born he is pleased to know it's healthy and well but that's all he can manage, he says he knows its rude but I know it's his protection, he has to keep himself safe to manage the well of emotions in there. 

The campaign Tommy's are running speaks open and honestly, I know I have days when being around teeny babies, or talking about them is too much, I can't manage it,  and I don't want to hear about it but then there are days when it's all I want to do, as on those day's it's okay. No one can ever understand this journey were on as it's ours and we don't expect people too but compassion and awareness is a great tool and can really help.

Video for Tommy's below.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Care - what does it look like to you?

I have woken today with a heavy heart and a reflective mind, it's a question I have been asking myself for a while, what does care look like to me? How do I know others care or show they care and how do I muddle through this world of friendship, family, work, life knowing how to care for others and how they care for me.

Care: the provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance, and protection of someone or something.

I know I show care through communication, it's my go to, whether that's dedicated quality time with someone, words of love, support and commitment to being present and loyal.  I believe this is the way I also look after myself, being honest and real with how I think and feel and ensuring I listen to what's best for me. Allowing myself quality time and commitment to my needs and time allows a better me.

In my work I show I care through counselling, I feel it's my gift to support and empower young women and men to overcome trauma and find their way back into this world after horrific abuse and assault. However how I care in my work is different to my care in friendships as I don't expect anything back from my young people, just for them to attend and commit to finding their path to recover.

This post links similarly to another blog I wanted to write and have been hesitant as I know it feels a tricky one to navigate, female friendships, I guess when I reflect on female friendships they have changed, grown and lost, they have been some of the biggest life lessons and some of the biggest hurts but when I look at them all communication was either the growth or loss in them all.

I feel I also don't help myself as I am aware of my strength and commitment to my own care, life has brought up so many challenges that I have had to navigate a lot of self development and find what's important to me, my values and morals have defiantly been challenged and tested and it's taken me time to find what the core of them are, I feel I am close, not fully there but I know what's important and one thing is there being a balance in friendship, a balance in care, that it's not just a one way process. I know I am a person who likes to support others but recently I have realised I don't always get that back and why that is I will never know.

When I moved back to Newcastle it wasn't easy, my main community i was friends with before had moved away and I knew another friendship group was changing, i didn't feel a place there. It was a new challenge for me and once again it felt I was starting again, I guess that's a reflection in itself the amount of times I have made changes in my life which means I have had to find new friendships and make new connections. Sometimes I feel I am constantly navigating this world and I know I have a few very close ones, I do still miss my core favourites, I guess that's where my love language of quality time comes in, making sure I spend time away and commit to the importance of those friendships.

We bumble along in this life, enjoying and embracing it, friendships change, people change but does the way we care change? How do we chose how we care and what navigates us to this way of being. I guess for me I have realised there's only so much I can give and if it's not equal I question the importance and place for it.

Maybe I am always going to be reflecting and questioning this, as I move through life I make stronger friendships with more meaning and depth then I have ever felt, we look for different aspects in people as we grow and I thank the ones around me, holding, supporting and communicating through this tricky stage of life.