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Dreaming a little NICU dream

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The NICU Club

Four years ago, I was sitting alone in a hospital side room after just giving birth.

My baby was down the hall after being admitted to NICU and the echoes of the distant baby's on the ward were deafening.

I was frightened, had no idea what was happening and was all alone.
LonelyAlone with the fear my baby might die, alone that I knew no one who had gone through this. Alone with the fact I didn't know what the hell was happening.

I had no one I could text, call just to ask what do I do? How should I feel? Should I be this angry? This resentful and bitter anger bubbled beneath the surface because I felt I was being robbed of my start to motherhood.

I shut down, didn't want anyone to visit. If they did I shut myself away in my room and sent then down to NICU with my partner.

I couldn't face the questions, the pity.

Then during our time no one professional came to see if we were okay. A few leaflets here and there, a quick visit from a chaplain but the loneliness was palpable.

I am a finalist!

I have to admit over the last few years of blogging, there have been many ups and downs.

Sometimes, the blog has taken a back seat whilst I revaluate if I really did want to keep sharing the finer details of our lives.

I have blogged whilst having a part time job, being pregnant, a mum of two and now I can say that I get paid to blog for other people which is a dream come true.

Writing is my passion, especially when I am writing about something that I am so driven about.

There have been many crashes of confidence, nights in tears whilst I compare myself to the others making the big bucks of social media, the ones getting the book deals handed to them, or featured in all of the publications that I crave so desperately to be part of.

But, despite that I kept going, and have found my niche, and through this have met some amazing people, have featured and written for some great bloggers and websites and get to do something I love whilst hopefully helping others and making a difference.


Guest Blogging for Tiny Tickers

For those who regularly read the blog, you will know that I have shared my story and raised a lot of awareness for the charity Tiny Tickers.

They are a frankly amazing charity which is striving to help diagnose babies with undetected heart conditions and supporting families when they are getting that life changing diagnosis.

We used their THINK HEART campaign when we went for a foetal medicine scan with Harlow to check whether he too, would have CHD or not.

One of the most frequent questions we get about Elijah is why his condition wasn't picked up in the scans. Why it wasn't until 12 hours post birth that he was having cyanotic episodes and was admitted to NICU to be diagnosed.

The answer? No one knows, it just didn't show, get picked up and actually we were told the majority of TOF patients are diagnosed post birth.

Here he had a scan and was then diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot when we received the diagnosis it felt as though our world was crashing in around us.

I d…

Dear Elijah, on your fourth birthday.

Dear Elijah,

I cannot quite believe that I am writing this a letter to you, on your fourth birthday.
It feels as though you have been in our lives for what seems like no time at all and as if you've been there our whole lives; all at the same time.
We have all come so far since the day you were born, the following long days we spent in hospital at your side.
I think things have changed in the last year.
It hasn't been the easiest has it?
There has been a lot of emotion.
A lot of anger from me, and from you.
You are so smart, so sensitive and I can see how frustrated you get with the world.
And with me, when you don't understand why you cannot always get what you want, why I say no.
It's hard to see the disappointment in your face when your dad leaves for work or I tell you Mummy cannot play as she needs to work too.
I know it's been hard, I haven't been myself and your brother can be hard work.
He can be demanding and I know I've had to side-line you at ti…

5 things I want you to know about being a NICU Mum, this #nicuawarenessmonth

5 things I want you to know about being a NICU Mum, this #nicuawarenessmonth

In less than four days’ time, my eldest child will celebrate his fourth birthday.
Birthdays are always emotional especially when looking back, I class his birth as one of the most traumatic times of my life.
I recently wrote about how four years it still haunts me.
I didn’t just become a new mum, I became a NICU (Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit) Mum.
It was a title I didn’t ask for and we were part of a club we didn’t ask to join.
I have now spent nearly 4 years writing about our story on this blog, and for other publications and websites.
I have tried to raise awareness of the issues that affected us, I have tried to bring about change but ultimately and I hope I am right in saying I have helped other NICU Mum and CHD (Congenital Heart Defect) parents.
I have tried to process some of the emotions surrounding our NICU experience and use them to do something positive.
I had so much I wanted to say this #nicuawareness…

Why are NICU parents like me so unrepresented in the media?

Very excited to be featured on the front page of the #parentvoices page today on the @huffpostuk about a subject very close to my heart regarding the underrepresentation of #nicuparents in the #media.
"Why aren’t we talking about NICU? Why as a NICU mum do I feel like I have failed because I cannot live up to the images I see every day in the media?
Why aren’t we talking about NICU in antenatal classes? Why are we leaving new parents to be ambushed after just giving birth to find yourself in the unknown territory of the NICU ward?
You’re thrust into a world you didn’t ask for, you didn’t know anything about at a time you should be celebrating the happiest time of your life."
With it being #nicuawarenessmonth now is the perfect time to raise these issues and start a conversation that could lead to change. .