My 2012

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New years day 2012; my husband and I had everything to look forward to. Our 20 week scan was booked for the 3rd of January and our baby was due in May. We were very excited about what the future held for us. Little did we know how differently things would turn out.

The 20 week scan revealed problems with the pregnancy, there was very little fluid around the baby, which meant there wasn’t room for him to grow properly.

January & February became a whirlwind of visits to Southampton hospital with endless scans monitoring the progress of the pregnancy.

Jacob Ashley Auckland was born on the 26th of February at 27 weeks. My baby boy was too small to survive in this world. Instead of welcoming a new person into the world and experiencing sleepless nights, we organised a funeral.

It was (and always will be) a very sad time for us. Some of the people around us that knew of the pregnancy didn’t know how to handle it, they didn’t know what to say or do (they still don’t). There are no guide books to tell people what the right thing to say is and at which time it is appropriate. By far, the worst reaction of all is silence. Many people were simply amazing, the Doctors, Midwifes, Colleagues and our immediate Friends & Family. To begin with we just wanted to hide and cut ourselves off from the world.

Whilst all the hospital visits and scans were going on I was very overweight and one of the most painful things for me to endure, and has haunted me ever since, was lying on the bed with the Doctor scanning my stomach and the Doctor saying the words that the ‘mothers build’ was making an already difficult situation even worse. Scanning my baby was already very hard, due to the lack of fluid and the way the baby was lying.

Those words have become burned into my brain and I repeat them to myself as an almost daily mantra. Part of the reason I’m writing this is that I need to remember that feeling, so that I can use it to motivate myself. A feeling of utter humiliation and a complete lack of control. As I lay there I promised myself and Jacob that I would never allow my ‘build’ to be an issue ever again.

Almost immediately after the birth I set about making a difference. I learnt about Keto and have been following this lifestyle ever since. Since March of 2012 I have lost almost 4 1/2 stone. I still have 1 1/2 stone to go before I am satisfied, but I am very happy with my progress, my life has completely changed and this time I’m not going to yo-yo. I devour as much information about nutrition as I can and I’ve found that this is a lifestyle that truly works for me.

Everything that happened in 2012 was very much a direct result of what happened in the first two months. I very quickly realised that I had two choices, I could either dwell on losing Jacob and beat myself up about it forever or I could do my best to pick myself up and look forward. I decided to take each day as it came and try to make each one a little better than the one before. I have days where I just cry, and I don’t expect that will change. They will become less frequent, but they will still happen.

Before I got pregnant I took other people’s pregnancies for granted. I would be told that someone was pregnant and I would promptly forget about it and think no more about it, then a few months later a little person would appear. Now, looking back I remember vaguely being told of people having “difficult” pregnancies but I didn’t really comprehend what that meant. To me, we live in an age of superstar Doctors, Nurses and hospitals, things don’t go wrong. Now it’s happened to me, my eyes have been opened. The figures are mind-boggling, 1 in 5 pregnancies ends in miscarriage and these figures are probably low as these don’t take into account the pregnancies where the woman isn’t even aware she is pregnant as it’s happened within the first 4 week’s.

Since losing Jacob, I have learned about the same thing happening to other people and it happens more often than you might think. We were lucky we had 7 weeks to prepare for the inevitable (although I didn’t realise that until afterwards), many others don’t get any warning.

I planned to write about several things for my 2012 review, but now I’ve written this, for me, 2012 was all about Jacob. It changed me, it’s changed the way I look at things and I get very sad when other people take things for granted.

I promised myself that I would try and take something positive out of what happened and one of those things was to learn and better myself. I really love what I do, and the role of a front end developer is an ever changing one and it does so at a blisteringly fast pace. Keeping up is a job in itself.

Jacob is with me all the time in my head, it might sound silly but he’s there when I get nervous before starting an agility run, he was definitely there when I got up and spoke in front of the amazing people that attended the Insites Christmas party. Thinking about him gives me the strength and courage to face anything, as things can appear futile in comparison.

Thank you

To the lovely Laura KalbagRachel Shillcock and Chris Coyier for inspiring me to write a post about 2012, and also to Chris Murdoch. Most of all thank you to my best friend Adam Auckland.

The future

I don’t know what lies ahead in 2013, but I do know that life goes on and it’s much better to embrace that than to fight it.

This is my first blog post, it wasn’t easy to write, my grammar is terrible, and I apologise for that, but I will learn and improve and I will write more.

2013 is going to be about getting myself out of my comfort zone.

Thank you for reading.

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