It’s been a while …

Firstly I want to apologise for the radio silence the last few months. I can honestly say that this last year of my life has been the worst…. Ever….

Last year I wrote about my cousin and his fight with Leukemia. Soon after that blog he was told he was in remission, sadly four weeks later he was back at James Cook hospital having a brain tumour removed and about to under go more treatment. 

Gavin was so strong, no matter how many tests returned with bad news or treatment plans, chemo, radiation and so on were thrown at him, he continued to fight and smile. 

During the last few radiation treatments in December he became ill again. 

 Two days before Christmas we found out that the Leukemia had returned and that it was terminal. 

We were going to loose him. At 27 years old one of the most brilliant sparkling lights I had ever known had to leave us. 

I have lost grandparents to cancer, finding out that we had to say goodbye to my little cousin, someone I saw more as a little brother  was different. Que full melt down. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t want to believe it ….. How could we ever say goodbye.  

Immediately my stomach rejected the lunch I had just eaten, and worst of all I had to watch his sister, my cousin break the news to us and her heart. 

I cried. I cried for Gavin, I cried for his partner of 9 years, I cried for my Aunt and Uncle who are amazing wonderful people and didn’t deserve this heartbreak. I cried for his sister.  

I am not a cryer, but since then the tears just haven’t stopped.

He came home for his last Christmas, still not really believing it was real! Constantly searching or hoping for a glimmer of a miricle something to save his life. 

It never came. 

  
On the 20th of January 2016 the bravest person I ever had the privilege of knowing left this world and gained his angel wings. In the process he took a peice of us all with him. 

I can’t describe the pain that followed and still is with us, we are totally broken. He’s left a massive hole in our lives. 

I wanted to share this because I feel ready to start to write again but also to tell the world about Gavin, the beautiful brave warrior that fought this shitty illness to his last breath. 

He is my inspiration to live life as well as I can, to never forget the importance of one more day.

To quote a recent meme I read on Facebook. 

If love could have kept you alive, you would have lived forever. 

Be thankful for everyday you have, even the bad ones. Appreciate your loved ones …. Make the time to see them!!

Until next time ❤️🌟

 
 

 

Surviving heartbreak…my guide to 11 years of trying for a baby. 

Firstly thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the messages and e mails I have had in support.

Really deciding to blog about the miscarriage was a form of therapy for me, to get it out of my head and try to heal! I had no idea how many people out there it would touch and it does make it worth it. The amount of support that you my lovely readers have given me is amazing and it really helps me too. 

It’s such a taboo subject often uncomfortable for some to read, but for as long as your stories come back to me and the thanks messages I will continue to write. 

The intention was not to blog about fertility but about my life up here in the countryside however it’s such a huge part of my life it’s hard not to write about it. 

I am often asked questions about handling certain situations from both perspectives and the truth is ….. I’m no expert. The titles a little naughty because have I really survived ? I don’t know. But I wanted to try and give you some of my 11 plus years experience of trying for a baby because if that’s the one thing I succeed in, helping others from my experiences, it’s something positive to come out of it. 

Honesty is not always the best policy. 

While it’s true to say having open dialog for me with those around me having kids is important, give yourself time. I have found a lot of the thoughts in reaction to something people say or do are usually irrational and not my real feelings. It’s like a little monster trying the fuel the anger fire so that you don’t have to deal with the pain. 

It passes normally for me and I start to sort through my feelings, then that’s the time I feel ready to talk. 

Learn to accept that people do not know the right things to say! 

This goes for both sides of the coin. From my point of view early on I would get defensive and hurt when people said anything to “try and help” here are some examples:

“Don’t worry time is on your side it will happen!!”

“I have a friend who has been trying for x years then bang pregnant at 40!!”

“Oh god be thankful they are a bloody nightmare!!”

“What I would give for one kid free weekend”

Worst- “you’d hate it no more handbags for you!”

Worst still “stop trying it will happen”

While all of the above are from the heart, genuinely people do not know what to say.  What one might say to one friend might not be right for another. For me I am lucky in that I haven’t felt jealousy to the point of resentment but I know some people who have and it just makes an all round awkward. 

Truth – there is no right thing to say and give your friends and family a break, if they say something truly hurtful to you then talk it out. But accept they just don’t know how to make you feel better. It’s not intentional. 

There is no time limit on grief. 

This is something I have noticed more and more as time goes on. In my early twenties everyone would say – it will happen give it time. Now in my mid thirties mainly people avoid the subject or in some cases I get the impression they feel like I should just get over it and move on. 

Until someone has gone through this it’s impossible to understand. If they don’t have that needed for children, again it’s hard. 

There is no time frame , it’s not for anyone else to tell you how long you should keep that dream alive. Don’t waste time thinking about why they don’t undestand. You can’t control other people’s thoughts and what they say. You will know when it’s time and that’s the only opinion that matters. 

Try not to go over the top with happy when someone is pregnant

This is something I have been guilty of repeatedly. While of cause I feel genuine happiness for new babies trying to brave face it can be exhausting. I am not suggesting being miserable but I have found over the many many new lives I have welcomed most people will look at me gone out like they are waiting for the crack if I’m over the top happy, if you genuine are that over the moon great! If not don’t fake it too much. Deep breathes be cool! Look at the little bundle of joy – those little dudes are cute. It helps. 

On the flip side – to those friends and family having the kids don’t try to hide your joy. We already feel so much guilt that you have to be in this situation because of our issues, to hide the news or hold in your happiness isn’t fair on you and makes us feel worse. Ok maybe not a Ta Dah I’m pregnant deal with it bitch, but talk it out and hope they can be happy for you. 

I think this is an area to be honest, be considerate your news may sting and give your friend or family member time to adjust. But let them deal, you can’t change your news and have a right to be happy, don’t assume they don’t want that for you. 

This is one of the saddest parts for me, everyone in my life has to deal with my problems. I hate that. 

Try not to avoid being around kids. 

Firstly let me say if you really can’t handle being around kids, maybe get a little help to cope. It’s hard sometimes but I have always emersed myself in the children I knows lives. I would have missed out on so much if I hadn’t.

I can name a few times I have sat in a room full of mums and felt like an alien with nothing to contribute to the conversation but the good times far out weigh the bad moments. I have had so much joy from the kids in my life that it’s sad to think some of my fellow sufferers are missing out because it’s too painful. 

Recently when all four of my nieces and nephew were staying there was a moment when we were all snuggled on the couch my hubby included, watching the movie Home and I felt so happy. Those moments make some of the pain so much better and the love those kids have for us definitely makes it easier to deal with the rest. 

Give yourself a break! 

I don’t know about you but I spend a lot of time beating myself up. You can not change what is, you can not control what others say or do. You can only focus on your thoughts and feelings. 

As much as it isn’t my fault I can’t sucessfully have children, I can not control what my body does. I have spent a lot of time beating myself up! This is a hard lesson to learn. I haven’t chosen this for myself and my husband, in fact that’s the most frustrating thing – I haven’t controlled any of it. There was no choice here!!

I still feel enormous guilt to my mother whom only had me so will never be a grandparent. To my husband who will never be a father. To his brother who will never be a uncle to our children.  To my best friend who so desperately wants this for me. Time has helped me realise I can not change this, the guilt has to stop. I have to take responsibility to deal with my feelings. 

Finally ……. Let it out. 

I have always had my writing and art, letting it out for me doesn’t always mean talking. But find a way to release the pain that works for you. 

Through the worst bits of this miscarriage and I am far from done even now, but I feel a real distance from everyone. I don’t really want to be around a lot of people, I feel best in my house. Which I know to some may seem wrong but to me it’s getting through it as best I can. It is important to let it out in some way however. 

This weekend I had some time alone while my hubby was out and I wrote a letter to my lost babies and took it to the river at the bottom of my road. For the first time I let it out, that monster that’s clawed at me from the inside for  years for every heartbreak, every loss, every “smile and get through it” moment, for every degrading procedure, for every moment of agony, for every time I have felt that vice like grip around my heart. The anger at the world for why me???? – the one thing a woman should do and I can’t. 

I cried, I sobbed – for an hour and a half at the waters edge until there was nothing left and then I burnt the words and let them fall into the water and float away. 

Do I feel better!? Not completely, but it’s helped. Perhaps opening the flood gates needs to happen because brave facing it is exhausting. 

So have I truly survived heartbreak? Well yes I think I have, it might not be pretty and not everyone can understand but I have done the best I can.  

I do truly believe one day it won’t hurt so much. I was almost there before this last loss. 

There isn’t one formular to surviving or supporting someone through this, I suppose that’s my point. Try to put yourself in the other persons shoes for a moment before speaking or acting. 

Being human doesn’t come with a handbook. No one knows the right things to say or do all the time, we just do the best can. 

Ask for help when you need it. 

Talk it out when you feel ready. 

Forgive those who may say or do the wrong thing. 

Mostly forgive yourself!!

Until next time xoxo 

It’s ok …… It’s really ok

Its been a while since I have put pen to paper, in truth this has taken me hours to complete.

The truth is I am drowning in my grief.  

I can’t tell you why this miscarriage is worse than the others, but it is. I can’t tell you why I feel so angry that I want to smash up every pot and pan in my house, but I do. Mostly I can’t tell you why this time the tears just seem never ending, I loathe the self pity I am feeling and the logical part of me screams – get a grip – but I can’t!!! 

Quiet is not my friend, if I have too much quiet I have time to think and analyse everything. So I’m filling my time with noise!

We recently found out someone close to us is pregnant. I should feel joy but with one month between our babies all I see is an endless amount of milestones that I won’t get with my baby but I will be reminded of, scans, growing tummies, knitted booties, balloons and banners! The wound is so deep now I don’t know how to heal it. 

I want to be happy for them, I’m angry at another thing this condition has taken from me. At a time I should be excited for them, I’m so consumed with grief for my baby I can’t breath and I can’t be happy.  That’s not fair to them and then the guilt kicks in. 

It’s such a lonely place to be. I have support but it’s hard for people to comfort me. I feel like I am completely alone and I know I will be allowed a certain amount of space to be upset but at some point I know people will expect me to be ok, if I keep saying I’m ok maybe one day I will believe it. 

I’m so over this feeling – 11 years of desperately wanting something, the ups and downs of almost getting it and then it being ripped away. Months of truly painful cycles that seem useless. 

The ache is so intense now it feels exhausting to keep this act up of I’m ok. I hope it doesn’t last. 

I have some great kids in my life, I love them so much but it’s not the same. As mad as you may think I am but – I will never know how hard night feeds are, I will never be the one a child runs to first when they are hurt or ill. I won’t feel the joy of watching my baby sleep on my husbands chest. The pride of first days of school. 

My god daughter who is 5 was staying over at our house with her three sibling asked me,

“Why are there no toys at your house?”

She was deadly serious, her little eyes all confused. I told her because we don’t have kids. 

She paused and thought about it for a while, little brow still drawn in confusion she replies,

“But you have us, we are your kids too!!”

It was such a bitter sweet moment. I love my best friends kids, she has four and they are beautiful little people. We spend a lot of time with them and I love having them stay. It melts my heart that this little beauty cut through my pain with one hug and sentence. 

So I know I will love this new baby I hope it will help to mend my Swiss cheese heart. I just hope it’s soon. 

I will get past it but for now just quiet between you my lovely reader and I, I am remembering my lost babies and allowing the grief in. I hope that doing this will give me the strength to move forward. 

I’ll never forget you little bean, I never got to name you or hold your hand. But I will hold you in my heart forever. 

Until next time xoxox 

Race for Life Muddier and what it means to our family….

TEAM GAV

This weekend my cousins and one of our friends ran the 5k Race For Life muddier in Newcastle, the plan was for me to do this also making it my 5th race for life but since the miscarriage I am struggling, racing 5k without training seemed silly. So I decided to photograph it and then tell our story.

Our family is by no means alone in being touched by cancer, though it seems to be particularly cruel to us. We lost both my Granda and Nana to this dreadful illness! It has taken my great aunt and I have lost friends to it. Perhaps the most devastating was the diagnoses of leukaemia for my 26 year old cousin Gavin in Jan this year.

Gavin luckily has responded well to treatment, and is recovering well! Still a ways to go but the outlook is bright. Sadly that’s not the ending for a lot of people out there fighting this illness and it leaves you feeling so helpless. Watching someone you love go  through something so gruelling is  not something I would wish on anyone. So we decided to take part in this race to raise much needed funds for Cancer Research in the hopes that our money will help to better outlook for others, just as I am sure the research in the past has helped with Gavin’s treatment!

I find the Race For Life events very emotional, listening to the stories on stage from people who have lost family members, cancer patients or survivors it is heart breaking but also very uplifting to see so much support and everyone working for a common goal. If you haven’t taken part in an event by now – do it, it will be an amazing experience!

Please consider Cancer Research whenever you donate, they are so important!

Please show my family some love – I am so, so proud of my cousins for finishing this race, may I add my cousin Louise (Albino on her shirt) has now completed two of these last week and this weekend!! legend!!

Until next time xoxoxo

Itchy feet …… That old familiar feeling 

I left home at 18. It was the hardest and scariest thing I ever did but on reflection it was also the best thing I ever did. It gave me the courage to do things I don’t think I would have ever attempted if I had stayed in Barnard Castle.

It led to me traveling, I moved abroad, with a job offer, a plane ticket and £100 cash …… I just hoped for the best! It turned out to be amazing! But the only down side is, now that’s all I want to do, absorb as much of this beautiful planet as possible.

I am “settled” but I am lucky that my love of traveling has “rubbed off” on my husband Ben. If anything I have turned him into a monster! He no longer is happy with the package beach holidays by the pool he wants to see as much as possible!

The realities of being a grown up (I use the term loosely because I don’t believe I am that) mean that you have responsibilities, I think as you get older you are more aware of ties to your normal life and therefore the chances to pack up and go traveling six months at a time are limited. 

There are of cause pros and cons to both lifestyles things you gain, things you miss out on. So here I am trying to find a balance! Not every adventure involves a backpack and slipping off to Asia for half a year! While this is an amazing experience …..it’s such a long flight ….lol

Still….. every now and then I get this feeling, usually followed by frivolous spending!!! It’s one of the few things not having children has given us. The opportunity to just pack up and go (work permitting)!

 I realise how much beauty we have around us sometimes, I still have to give myself a kick up the bottom to get out and see what’s round and about – again NOT every adventure means traveling for miles, beauty is to be found everywhere if you look hard enough and I suppose that’s the point of this blog. Me proudly shouting to the world

“Look at where I live, isn’t it beautiful?!”

Here are a few recently taken shots and some from our travels near and far away, just because it is Friday and most of you will hopefully have time this weekend – GO HAVE AN ADVENTURE!!! Leave the SatNav at home, get lost, go down that road you might have wondered

“where does that go?”

Don’t worry about wifi or phone signal have a blast and then when you get home – Post me some pics 🙂

Follow me on FB, Instagram and Twitter 🙂 citygurlgonecountry

Rome Castle St Angelo
Rome Sunset
Coppola St Peters Basilica , Rome
NYC
Sunset, Lake District, England
Woodland near my house, looks Magical! I think there is a troll in there somewhere!
Inside the castle, Barnard Castle
View from the castle wall, Barnard Castle
Barnard Castle

High Force Waterfall, Teesdale.
Looking out of the castle, Barnard Castle
Yellow Cab, NYC.
Grand Central Station, NYC – early morning rush.
Memorial for 9/11, NYC.
Liberty Bell, Philadelphia.
Smithsonian, Washington DC.

Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC.

Top of the Rock, My husband photographing me as it turns out, while I am photographing him! sneaky! lol
Through Virginia, USA.
In the Blue Ridge Mountains, a beautiful farm!
Smokey Mountains.
Stormy day in my home town, start of a rainbow.
gonecountry

Sunset over Ulswater, Lake District, England.
Who’s that trip trapping over my bridge??
                        

Until next time xoxo

Passing time. Pulling myself together!

So it’s been a week. While I have been dealing with losing our baby, I have had a lot of time to kill recovering. I spent a lot time editing pics and I thought I would share them here. 

 

County Bridge Barnard Castle
 
 I have a couple of more meaty blogs but I am struggling to finish them at the moment, my concentrations not great so hopefully you can forgive me and they will be with you soon.  Until then hopefully you will enjoy these xoxo

woodland near to my house
Barnard castle, County Bridge
  

High Force, Teesdale
High Force, Teesdale
    

woodland next to High Force waterfalll, i always imagine fairies and woodland creatures
woodland near where I live
The castle walls
Inside the Castle
Inside the Castle
View point from the castle walls
The view from Barnard Castle walls

Moving forward

So it’s been a weird sort of few days. The decision to share the news about us loosing another pregnancy was not one that was made easily. Tears filled most of the last post, but I am pleased I shared it with you. The love and support has been amazing and while I’m still not ready to face the real world I am so appreciative of the support and love shown to me. 

I feel terrible if I am honest, the thought of working tomorrow fills me with the type of dread Sunday evenings can bring. It’s a tricky one because I work from home so effectively I can work from bed but I work in advertising sales for media, deadlines and targets – I am not ready for. 

I am incredibly empty inside. After multiple losses and thinking I had finally come around to the idea of never having children, to find out it happened again I am lost. It felt like it was the last chance. I have all of the usual questions. 

What if I hadn’t stressed about work so much?

What if I hadn’t been out last weekend?

What did I eat? Is it my diet? 

Logically I know enough to know it’s none of these things, but my heart ……. ooh my heart disagrees. 

But the fact remains I am grateful, for my husband mostly, my mum and family, my best mate Amanda, my friends and anyone that’s messaged me or sent love over the last couple of days. 

To anyone suffering alone, please find someone to talk to. I’m not saying what I have done is for everyone but believe me when I say suffering alone isn’t a good choice. I have done that the last couple of times – I didn’t tell anyone and I feel like this time I am baring all of the heartache at once. Find someone you can talk to, scream, cry, shout, let it out of you. 

Apologies for the off topic couple of posts, we will resume normal service next week. For now a couple of edited pics that have kept me occupied. 
 

Rome
  
Rainbow
  
Lola hasnt left my side ❤️
  
River by my house
  
tree within Raby Castle and maybe fairies?? 😁
  
Flower at Smithsonian Zoo Washington DC
      
Lola on guard next to me
 

Heartbroken – today I lost another pregnancy. 

Today has been rough. 

Today I found out that I have lost another pregnancy.  

I’m laid here unable to sleep. Wanting to get these feelings out but wondering how appropriate it is for me to upload a blog on this topic while it’s so fresh in my head, before the tears have even dried. 

Something a friend said to me has made me start to type, she called me brave for talking about it openly on social media. The truth is I don’t feel brave at all, I feel like my hearts smashed to pieces.  

It’s sometimes such a taboo subject, almost shameful to talk about but throughout our full journey I have shared my story. Mainly because I have gained so much support from my friends through social media – they have gotten me through some tough times. Also to know you are not alone, others can understand your pain. 

I understand the need to keep it quiet and not talk, In fact saying the words out loud today seems harder than typing them in here. It’s a personal choice, for me writing helps me. 

I’m just trying to make sense of it all – to me it feels like some sort of cruel joke. I’m surrounded by happy mothers and families, yet I remain unable to give that to my husband. 

The physical pain I endure not just now but regularly wouldn’t seem so bad if I knew that one day I would be rewarded for it, for now it’s a reminder of my failure. I’ve cried so much today that at this point I’m in danger of dehydration!! 

I can’t think about it in too much detail or I think I would loose it completely.  💔💔

It was very early days, not that it makes me feel any better I feel like I have been pregnant for 10 yrs, waiting for this baby to arrive but it never has. It feels like I am always loosing my child, maybe I will always be loosing it. 

I have a recurring dream, I have had a baby finally and I am changing it on our bed, but I keep loosing it in the bedding. Doesn’t take a qualified counsellor to read into this one.  

How much heartbreak should we have to endure to have a family? Just when I think I am past it and ok. What if I am never ok? What if my heart hurts like this forever?

In the next couple of days I will find a way of locking this up in a safe place and move on, but for now, just for tonight quietly alone writing this I will allow myself to fall apart a bit. 

Not brave tonight – that starts tomorrow when I find a way to dust myself off and find my smile again.