Here’s to strong women…


As we celebrated International Women’s Day this week, it got me thinking about the journey we went on to finally welcome O into the world, as well as my first year of motherhood. We have been so fortunate to have had an abundance of amazing women who were involved in this journey and this post is just a little thank you to them.

Amanda – our acupuncturist.  You listened to my worries.   You allowed me to nap on your table whilst sticking pins in me.  Introduced me to some herbal remedies.  And basically just chilled me right out.  Not only did you prepare my body for carrying our baby but always offered balanced advice.

Doctor Gill – our consultant at the clinic. You filled us with confidence.  You listened to our worries and you answered all of our questions.  You never brushed off our concerns and you were open to all discussions.  We are forever grateful for your positive outlook and knowing that we would get there in the end.

Becky – our sonographer.  You scanned us when we were going through the many appointments to get us ready for IVF treatment.  We then decided to have all our private pregnancy scans with you.  Since having our babe you supported us with the early and hard-going, days of silent reflux (Becky is also a Midwife and has a great blog and we are regular commenters on the ol’ Insta.  Becky you might not realise how much you helped us on our journey.  Talking to us like we weren’t just ‘another patient’ and telling us your dating stories (good and bad) really put us at ease.  You are really good at what you do and there is no one else I would have rather have had my internal vaginal examinations with.

Rose – a nurse at the clinic. We were going to the clinic for a good while and she was one of the few who made us feel relaxed, had a chat and would say hello when you saw us at the clinic even if you were just passing by.  You were always friendly and comforting and answered all of my questions.

Zoe – our community midwife.   Being our first baby and me being me, I had all of the questions, all of the time.  You made us feel at ease and nothing was ever too much trouble.

Team Aurora – the hospital team. Midwife Nikki who looked after us for our C-section.  You allowed us to use our own cord tie and boxed up our placenta with no questions asked and didn’t bat an eyelid at our ‘two Mums’ status.  Midwife Shelley you let me squeeze the life out of your hand during my epidural and held up our baby girl with the biggest smile on your face as she came out of the sunroof.  The consultant (whose name we sadly don’t have) who was the only person who did not try to talk us out of a C-section and by a stroke of luck also performed the operation – you have no idea how much your support with our decision put our minds at rest.

Emma, Sammie and Sophia – local boob group. You girls saved my nipples and were integral in the amazing and fulfilling journey of breastfeeding that we have been able to go on.  We have now reached one year ‘Golden Boobie’ status and we are still going strong.  Without your help and support in the early stages, my nipples would have been in shreds for much longer.  We are forever grateful for your help and advice during what was one of the toughest parts for me postpartum.

Insta Mums, Mamas and Mommies – I know everyone says it but the sense of community and support that I have found on Instagram is amazing. We started damseldamseldaughter to document O’s first year and beyond but it has meant so much more than that.  Whether it’s a comment, convo or understanding and seeing others in the same place as you, it really has helped.  I hope that I have been able to lift others up sometimes too.

Vicci B – our friend.  You were there from the start. You knew the journey we were going on and how long it took us to get where we wanted to be.  Your positive outlook always helped to pull us through and we got there in the end.  You were the first person, other than us to touch our Babe’s skin and hold her little body in your arms.  I will never forget when you dropped my pasta in a sink of dirty washing up water though, during my heavily pregnant ravenous stage. Never.

Katie – Hypnobirthing buddy and now friend. We bonded over our dislike of being stroked whilst listening to stories about butterflies during the classes.  I am so grateful that our local class was full and we needed to go further to attend classes or else we wouldn’t have crossed paths.  Our Babes are besties and I class you as one of mine.  You are eternally positive, you listen to me whine and we both always have biscuits, cakes or chocolates (maybe all three) in.  You are an amazing Mama and I hope we have countless adventures to come in the future.

Mum – I knew that it would be different when our Babe came along. But I didn’t envisage our relationship being completely turned on its head.  You have been a massive support to Zoe, O and I.  Whether coming with us to London to look after O so we could go out on our first night baby-free to see Emeli Sande. Babysitting whilst I do some housework.  Going out with me so I could get out of the house in the early days or just tell me I’m being ridiculous at times (I know, hard to believe).  I have a newfound respect for you not only as my mum, but as a mother and a woman.  I am so glad I get to share this journey with you and O has you as her Nanny.  I love you.

Zoe – Mama. You are water in my coffee (I have it black decaf, no sugar, for those wondering), the butter on my crumpets and the nuts in my Cadbury’s Whole Nut.  This is the hardest thing we have ever done.  And in the midst of sleep deprivation, falling off nipples and learning how to wing it like a pro, there is no one else I would rather be doing this with.  We have been tested, as I think every couple are and we have not been our best selves at times, but we are doing our best.  You are and will be an amazing Mama to O and I know I will be naggy Mum and you will be fun Mum, and do you know what I’m ok with that.  Thank you for all you do for us.  We love you, you have our hearts always.

So that’s it for our little round up. We have been so lucky to have such strong women in our lives and specifically on our journey to becoming mothers.  I am so happy that O will have such strong women in hers.

This day will continue to be a very important day to us.  But it more than just celebrating on the 8th March each year.  It’s raising our daughter to be kind, caring, inclusive, intelligent, resilient, nurturing, fearless, determined, strong and brave, every day.  It’s  challenging the systems, stereotypes, perceptions and people for them to understand, to think differently to practice equality in every single aspect of life.  It’s celebrating the strength of all women, whatever that looks like.  Always.

Here’s to strong women

May we know them

May we be them

May we raise them

Happy International Women’s Day