Living Through a Miscarriage: A Year On

One in four women experience miscarriage. Yet it's something that we still don't seem to speak about.

Having suffered the loss of a miscarriage myself, I can definitely say that it is one of the loneliest experiences that I've ever had to go through in my life. It's more than likely that the first three months of a woman's pregnancy is spent hiding nausea, hiding the fact that ever so slowly her clothes are starting to feel tighter and having to make up excuses for why she's so tired.. all the time! And just like that, sometimes with no warning at all, her pregnancy journey is over and she's left to put on a brave face whilst trying to continue with day to day life.

"I'm very sorry, but there seems to be no heartbeat."

Those are the words I heard at my 12 week scan, as I lay looking at the blank monitor, the day before my miscarriage.

I miscarried on July 20th 2018, a year ago today.

Because this is a subject no one speaks about, we have no idea what to expect. In all honesty, I believed there was some kind of process in place for when tragedies like this happen. Someone to reassure women that things would be OK, some kind of aftercare, details of a counsellor of some sort or even advice on next steps, maybe. But none of that was offered and I was sent on my way to wait for my miscarriage to happen. Very quickly, I befriended the internet as I tried to search for other women like me who I hoped had shared their experiences, as I tried to prepare myself for what would happen next.

No one can prepare you for the utter heartbreak that follows and the complete devastation. You can recite all of the positive affirmations and be aware of all the ways in which you 'should' be thinking in order to 'move forward', but in that moment, it doesn't make the pain any less painful. Dates that used to mean nothing to me, now hold such a huge significance in my life. Days like yesterday. Days like today.

Wherever you are when these days arrive, usually results in you smiling through the pain as you join that important work meeting, or smiling as you spend the day telling everyone you're fine, whilst you're not. The memories and events that took place are now imprinted within my mind; and there doesn't seem to be anything that doesn't remind me of our unborn baby and the plans we'd started to make. I was left with feelings of anger, hurt and disappointment. I felt and still do feel a bit lost and helpless and I still cry about it. Nevertheless... none of that changes the facts.

With every conversation, with every scroll through Instagram, with every sight of a newborn baby, you try to mask the fact that your heart has been shattered into a million pieces and you proceed to 'carry on', because that's what you're supposed to do, right? "Because while losing a friend or relative activates an immediate support system of sympathy and understanding, losing a baby can bring a lonely silence." This is a sentence that has stuck with me, because it's the most perfect description of miscarriage as a whole. For many women, barely anyone would have known they were pregnant to start with, so how do you even begin to share the news that you've lost a baby that no one even knew you were carrying? And because people don't know that you've experienced the grief of a miscarriage, you get asked the following questions constantly (especially as a 32 year old woman), "when are you going to start a family?", "no kids yet?" To which you feel like replying, "I do want children, actually. I lost a child xxxx amount of months ago." Furthermore, not everyone wants to have children, so how about we just stop asking people such intrusive questions!

It's been such an emotional, crazy journey for me and I felt even more alone before I started speaking about my miscarriage.

Of course there are good days and bad days, but I believe that pregnancy immediately puts your life into perspective, in terms of what's important and the things that aren't so much. Learning to heal and grieve is a process that I'm still working through and we don't always get these things right, but that's OK, because we're only human. As long as we are acknowledging our feelings and are putting in the work to process them, then we're on the right path. Do whatever positive and productive thing it is that you need to do, to keep you on that path. On our most recent holiday, we were away on the date we had found out that I was pregnant the year before; so we decided to write a letter each to our unborn baby and send the letters off in the sea. It was most beautiful moment and extremely emotional as we got out a lot of things, some of which we hadn't even said to each other before.

Most recently, I've started taking the time to read again; and the Calm app has really been helping me focus and find time for myself. Time to gain clarity, reflect and in all honesty forgive myself for all of the hurt that I've been holding on to. It's not easy, but I know I will get there in time.

I speak and write about my miscarriage for all the women who don't feel as though they can, or feel ashamed, helpless and isolated. Whatever the reason may be, I just want you to know that if you have suffered from a miscarriage, you're not alone and that WE are the one in four.


On Why Our "Friends" Don't Support Us

Yes, I am going there. But I'm keeping it short and sweet!

Now, I know we always see comments about this on social media. We see the memes and jokes, but we also witness this kind of thing with our own eyes; in real life. We witness the way in which people begin to move wild when we start achieving greatness.

Why is it that we have people in our lives who don't support us when we do great things? I often ask myself how this is even possible; and to be honest... I don't know the answer. The end.

I'm joking lol. But in all seriousness, how? 

Speaking from my own perspective, I'm the kind of person who loves to see people winning at life. I don't even need to know you. If I see you achieving things, no matter how big or small; I am genuinely happy for you. You'll see me on Twitter or Instagram all up on people's posts with emojis, liking or retweeting their greatness. So obviously when it comes to my friends, I am their biggest hype woman!! How can I not be? Even if this greatness I am speaking of is something as simple as them slaying an outfit; I am there! So when it comes to their achievements, I can't even imagine not being on the sidelines cheering them on with my pom poms; because I will always be as proud of them as I would be for myself. And that's the truth.

Now, life has taught me that we can't always judge others according to what we would do, because everyone is different. However! If you're supposed to be my "friend" and I see you witnessing my accomplishments and pretending you haven't seen, then I'm judging you! #SorryNotSorry. Remember people, there's no hiding place (especially on social media). We see you watching the greatness! 

If you tell a "friend" about something you're proud of and the reception you get is anything other than joy, they're not your friend. If you're starting a business or sharing your work and your "friends" are just scrolling on by, they're not your friends. And more importantly, if your "friends" are unable to simply tell you that they are proud of you, THEY ARE NOT YOUR FRIEND! It's really that simple; and I just had to shout to make sure everyone at the back can hear me. You don't need to ask your real friends for their support, because it comes naturally. Real friends want to see you win and they don't hold back on letting you know that they are proud of you.

We are all at different stages of our lives and everyone is achieving different things at different rates, and that's fine. I also know that social media can sometimes be hard whilst we're navigating through life. As they say, "comparison is the thief of joy." However, nothing anyone else is doing should stop us from doing what we need to do; and it definitely shouldn't stop us from celebrating the achievements of others, let alone the people closest to us.

With that being said, for every "friend" who isn't happy for your success or doesn't support you, I can guarantee that there will be even more support from people that you least expect it from. This is where your attention should be redirected, because those little acts of kindness deserve all the gratitude. And remember, if no one is clapping for you, clap for your own damn self because you are doing great and you are amazing!

If you've done something that you're proud of, or you're just doing your best during a hard time, comment below so I can celebrate you! x


Five Things I Achieved When I Stopped Letting Fear Hold Me Back

Life can be hard; let's start being honest about that. We spend a lot of our existence being told how we should be living, trying to chase what is "expected" of us; and if the things we are doing don't fit that expectation then we feel shit. I find it quite ironic that all of the things we've been told that we "need" in order to be successful and happy, in actual fact can leave us feeling quite the opposite. Unfulfilled and unsatisfied.

The achievements I am most proud of are the ones that I decided were important to me. The ones I talked myself out of numerous times, due to fear. The ones that lingered in my mind and stayed there until I would address them. The thoughts I had that scared me, that I knew if I plucked up the courage to see them through, would make me really happy. The ones that I knew would help me to grow.

Passing my driving test

I started my driving lessons when I was about 20 years old. I took my practical once and failed. After this happened, I was so in my feelings about failing, that I let my theory run out and didn't get back into a car until I was 29! 

Every year I'd say, "This is the one! I need to just get it over and done with!" But me being me, scared of failing. I kept letting the time pass. Have you ever been so worried about perfection that you avoid doing certain things out of fear of failing? Then you don't end up getting anything done and it's just one big cycle? Well, I am also that person. Or I was. 

When I got to 29, I decided that I had to pass my test or at the very least be ready to take my test before I turnt 30. So I started revising for my theory... AGAIN! Then I started my lessons. The difference was, this time I kept it quiet so I could focus, meaning I felt less pressure and I had a deadline to work towards. 

Once I got back into the car, everything came back to me pretty quickly and my instructor and I decided that I was ready to take my test not too long afterwards. I failed the first practical I booked onto. I was so upset (because I'm just an emotional person lol) but I was more determined to pass ASAP than I felt sorry for myself. I literally went home that night and booked the closest date I could find; AND THIS TIME I PASSED! 

I ended up passing my driving test three months after my 30th birthday. But if I hadn't set myself that goal, I'd probably still be making excuses and probably still wouldn't have my driving licence.

No matter how long it takes or how scared you are; don't give up! 

I travelled abroad solo for the first time

I love to travel! I love it, I love it, I LOVE IT! Does anyone else get really agitated if they don't have a trip planned or one to look forward to? Me too! So, in December last year, when I saw 2018 was fast approaching and I had no trip in sight I decided that I needed to book something ASAP! I wanted to get away and it had to be in January.

Instead of coming back to work after the Christmas break depressed about being broke because of that stupid early December pay, and spending the next four weeks eating tinned soup in the cold; I was going to Tenerife. Alone. "I did it!", I told everyone as I hit the confirmation button with my heart racing. I'd never travelled abroad alone before. I had thought about it, but never knew if it was something I'd ever have the courage to do. I felt so proud of myself, but I was also nervous.

I chose Tenerife because it wasn't too far, was still hot in January and I hadn't been before. This was something else I could say I did when I turned 30. I mean, I was officially a grown up now!

I had the most amazing adventures on that trip and made sure I experienced something I'd never done before, everyday.

Do the things that scare you and don't wait to enjoy the things you love. Life is happening now!

I decided to leave toxic situations 

You guys may or may not be able to relate to this, but as I get older I really start analysing my life, thinking about my happiness and how I really feel about certain situations. I can't really explain it, but I guess I just want to be sure that I'm being honest with myself and living my truth.

Naturally in life, change happens. Friends come and go, circumstances change and certain things we thought will last forever, don't always work out that way.

Change can be scary and it's so easy for us to stay in situations that make us feel comfortable; but that doesn't always mean that they're right for us. Deep down I feel that we know when something feels right and if it doesn't, naturally we question that feeling. But then what? What happens after we've questioned that feeling? Do we choose to ignore it or to address it? 

The only way we grow is to face what makes us feel uncomfortable or even unhappy. So I really started addressing the things that didn't sit right with my soul. 

I began with trying to work on my own flaws, because sometimes we are the toxic person; to others and to ourselves. Everything isn't always someone else's fault and when we learn to admit that, growth is inevitable. I had a serious look at the people around me and decided that in order for me to be my best self, I would have to love certain people from afar. Just like any relationship, not everyone is supposed to stay with you on your journey. And I left my job. Now this was hands down one of the scariest things I've ever done in my life. I had no job lined up, I wasnt 100% certain what I'd do next, but I knew I was unhappy, extremely unfulfilled and something had to change. From the minute I decided it was what I wanted and needed to do; I didn't have one ounce of regret and it was the best decision I ever made.

Take control of your life because no one is going to do it for you.

I shaved my head

This is quite a short one because I've previously written about it here.

Since then, I've cut my hair even shorter and I'm even more in love! 

Shaving my head was something that I'd been scared to do for a long time and the fear came from a place that was based on the opinion of others. Others, whose opinions mean nothing because I'm still bald and beautiful! (Yes, I said it lol) Do those people who's opinions we take into consideration need to give us permission to live? Do we need their acceptance? No. So why should we even care what they think.

If we're living our best lives and people are judging us for doing so. Who really has the issue? 

Don't worry about what people think. You don't need their validation to be yourself! 

I started my blog

And here we are! 

I had a blog about seven years ago and to be honest I had no idea what I was doing. I enjoyed posting, but I genuinely believed no one was reading it and after a while I gave up. 

Fast forward seven years and I'm back again, but with a completely different mindset. Now I'm blogging because I have so much to say and I believe that I can empower people and spark interesting conversations through my stories. Even if only one person is touched by my words, that means the world to me.

Since I've started this blog the feedback has been great, but even better than that, people have reached out to me with stories of their own and have told me how reading certain posts has made them feel. That in itself is more than enough motivation for me to keep going.

I won't lie, it is a bit nerve-racking putting yourself out there and being so open, but I feel like there's no point in me blogging and sharing stories with you if I'm not being authentic and telling my truth. Sometimes that truth might not be pretty, but I can only be me, so I hope you stick along for the ride.

Stay true to yourself and don't give up on your dreams. 


Being Black in White Spaces

plural noun: microagressions

a statement, action, or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a certain marginalised group such as a racial or ethnic minority.

I started writing this about a week ago and it's taken me a while to post it because I've found it hard to articulate certain feelings; and as I began to reflect on certain experiences, the world continued to show it's disrespect towards black women and I am just tired. Can black women just live without the world trying to constantly police our behaviour, emotions and greatness?

When I think of my past experiences of navigating through life in predominantly white spaces, I usually see a version of myself which isn't whole. I see me, but not always the full authentic version. In fact, in most cases I am fully conscious of my appearance (this includes the way I am dressed, my hair, my accessories), the things I say, the way in which I say them and how they will be perceived. The sad truth of the matter is that none of these things were ever on my radar until they were made apparent to me. This happened from a very young age. Now this may sound strange to some people and you might even be confused as to why this is; so I'm going to go ahead and explain. For the sake of this post, I will be speaking about being black in your environment of work.

Now most people come into work everyday and the only thing on their minds is that they wish they were still in bed or where they're going to get their first morning coffee from. My experience of  working in predominantly white spaces is having to psych myself for a day of unnecessary comments (aka microaggressions).

Can I change my hair in peace?

From braids, to fros, to wigs, black women are known for having various hairstyles, and I for one have had many. But changing your hair as a black woman is one of the most tiring things in the work place. Before you've even stepped foot in the door, someone is waiting with a comment. Now don't get me wrong, there are a lot of genuine compliments, which is fine with me. I appreciate them. It's great; and I can get on with my day. But spending the whole day having to justify my appearance, listening to all the comparisons to any black woman with hair and answering unwanted questions like, "can you wash it?", "did it grow?", "does it hurt?", "is it real?" and the worst one of all, "can I touch it?" is exhausting to say the least. I am not a pet. And do you know how weird that sounds? Most of the day is spent trying to politely decline a hand in your hair or trying not to be rude as the hand has already entered your scalp. I remember the first time I went into work with my natural hair. I was so nervous about coming into the office that I ended up being late, as I needed to build up the confidence to go in. It wasn't even that I was nervous about going out on the street with my natural hair, but the thought of going into the office gave me so much anxiety. I remember putting up a post that evening. The caption read, 'something so simple shouldn't feel so hard.' And it shouldn't be so hard. But it is, because the truth is, in that kind of environment you are surrounded by a lot of ignorance. It was only three years after this, that I was asked by a senior member of staff, "so when are you gonna do your hair then?" when I came into work with an afro on the day of a work event. I was so taken aback I didn't even know what to say. When you ask me to "do" my hair that is growing out of my head, are you asking me to make it more European? More straight? More palatable for you? More white? I'm tired of seeing black girls and boys, women and men just like me, being discriminated against for merely owning their blackness. When people are being refused jobs, excluded from schools and are made to feel uncomfortable for something so natural that no one else has to deal with, then clearly there is a huge issue.

I am allowed to express my emotions however I choose to.

I can't even count the amount of times I've been patronised or dismissed for giving my opinion or speaking with passion about something. It's very unlikely that you will voice an opinion without hearing any of the following responses, "alright! calm down", "oohhh, someone's [insert stupid description]", and my favourite of them all, "no need to be so aggressive."  Just say that you can't stand black women having a voice and go; because I'm bored now. To be a black woman is to be constantly critiqued for simply just being; but it is also remaining unapologetic and self assured in times of adversity. It has taught me that regardless of the situation I am in, to always speak my truth no matter how it makes anyone else around me feel; because our light should never need to be dimmed to make anyone else feel comfortable. It was only on the weekend that we saw Serena Williams being portrayed by the media as a tantrum throwing, masculine, difficult, "angry black woman" for speaking up about a blatant case of discrimination. This genuine passion and upset for the things that we believe in is always dismissed and reduced to us being irrational.

I just want to feel comfortable.

It isn't unusual to be made to feel uncomfortable by people who just have no idea how to conduct themselves around people of colour. If someone has a certain preconception of you, their ignorance will never fail to make an appearance. It may be as a passing statement or more often than not "banter". A classic example of this, is a time that a colleague felt the need to shout repeatedly that they were having "jerk chicken tonight" because they were in close proximity to a few black people. What are we supposed to do with that information? It's just awkward for everyone involved and really unnecessary. You also don't need to tell me that my hooped earrings make me look "ghetto",  turn up your nose at my food choices or ask me if my partner is a "rude boy" [if I had a side eye emoji, it would go right here!].

If you're going to speak to me, speak to me properly.

For anyone that isn't aware, you are allowed to interact with black people just as you would interact with anyone else. You don't need to start a conversation by telling me about the latest hip hop or RnB song you listened to and you also don't need to start speaking in a way in which you think I will "relate" to. I can't tell you the amount of times I've witnessed colleagues approach someone of colour and either try to mimic their accent whilst speaking to them, or turn on the worst ever "road man" accent [insert plenty of outdated slang]. You also don't need to click your fingers in an attempt to be "sassy" or call me "girlfriend." It really is OK for us to simply not speak at all, if you have nothing constructive to say to me.

The worst thing of all, is that many people don't feel that they are able to call out this kind of behaviour when it happens to them, for fear of being labelled as "angry", "aggressive" or any other stereotype people tend to attach to black people; in particular black women.

"The journey towards understanding structural racism still requires people of colour to prioritise white feelings."
Reni Eddo-Lodge, Why I'm no longer talking to white people about race

As individuals, I feel that it's so important to stand up for what is wrong, regardless of whether it affects us or not. An injustice is an injustice, no matter how big or small and unfortunately people of colour aren't blessed with the luxury of privilege to be able to ignore race, hence these conversations. It is also important to recognise that we don't all experience life in the same way.

Time has taught me that change doesn't come from turning a blind eye to things and pretending they don't exist, it comes from speaking about issues regardless of how uncomfortable they may be for yourself or others. I may not have always had the courage to do that, but that is what growth is about. 


How To Get Bikini Body Ready

OMG, I'm sooo bored of hearing that phrase! What does it even mean?!

According to this statement, we will never be ready to go to the beach, on holiday or live our best lives unless we fit a certain kind of aesthetic. But what happens once we get there? Do we begin walking on air and feel that all of life's problems have been absolved? No. Because in reality, we have always been 'bikini body ready' and what we are striving for is actually much deeper than what's on the surface.

I say this as someone who used to believe that once I lost weight, happiness would then follow.

Growing up, I always had a love hate relationship with my body. In fact, if I'm being totally honest, there wasn't much love involved. I actually hated it. 

I hated that I didn't look like all the women I saw on TV and in the magazines, I hated that I was usually the biggest out of all my friends and I hated the constant battle with myself over what I thought I was "supposed to" look like. I was always trying to "fix" something. From the age of 18 well into my late 20s, I was an on and off gym member. I'm not a huge fan of the gym but I always believed it would be the answer to my problems. Going to the gym was what adults were supposed to do, right? 

At first I went purely for the enjoyment, but as time went on I noticed that the gym started to become a means of punishment. Punshishment for the way I looked. I would use it to remind me of all the things I didn't like about myself and it was the place where I would go to remind myself that I still didn't look good enough. But I kept going, because obviously once I lost weight it would all be worth it. I would wake up at half five in the morning and spend an hour in the gym before work. I did that multiple times a week. I would even travel into the city on my weekends (who was I?!) And guess what! I did lose weight. And people gave me compliments about my appearance and I'd feel good for a little while. Then I'd look at myself in the mirror and still be unhappy with what I saw, because I still didn't look like the images that are forced down our throats on a daily basis. 

Even after losing two stones I still didn't have that euphoric feeling that I'd been expecting to feel. As time went on and my love of food stayed, I gained back some of the weight I'd lost, so I tried out The Body Coach, then I joined Slimming World. My weight has always fluctuated and I've always had a belly, boobs and thighs. To be honest, I don't actually know what I was trying to achieve because regardless of any weight loss I "achieved" I was never satisfied. 

My wake up call came one evening after I'd come home from my Slimming World group. I remember this evening in particular because I had come home distraught, literally breaking down in tears. I had put on one pound and I felt like a massive failure.

I've never really been someone who cared about the scales. I would usually just judge my weight according to whether or not my clothes were getting tighter. So on top of that judgement, I was now in pieces because of a number. One pound!! I couldn't believe how upset I had gotten and it scared me, because until that moment I always thought I was doing all of this stuff for my own good. But in actual fact, all I was doing was hurting myself. I'd spent so many years telling myself that I wasn't good enough and trying to change parts of who I was, that I didn't realise all the ways in which I had held and was holding myself back.

It was time that I had a real serious conversation with myself.

How many times had I compared my body to someone else's? How many times had I said that I hate a particular part of my body? How many times had I beaten myself up for going to the gym but not staying long enough? How many times had I tried stupid diets which left me starving, but it would all be OK because "you'll lose weight"? (10 cashews in a stupid little Tupperware container isn't a real snack!) And how many times had I tried to starve myself before a holiday? The list is endless, but I had had enough. 

I'd had enough of not showing myself love. 

Every single thing I had been doing involved me focussing on my exterior, but happiness was never going to come from me losing weight or toning up my stomach, my arms or my thighs. It was going to come from me appreciating my body for what it was and building a healthy relationship with myself, according to my own standards and not what society told me to be! So I began to remove anything I deemed toxic from my life. I stopped buying magazines that pushed this nonsense narrative, I began to unfollow people and accounts who promoted this kind of toxic behaviour and made me feel rubbish about myself, I began to take social media breaks and I started focussing on the things that I believe to be of importance. These are the things that make you who you are and have absolutely nothing to do with your physical appearance. Are you a decent human being? Do you care about others? How have you helped someone recently without expecting something back? Are you pushing yourself towards self growth? And most importantly, are you happy? Mental health is so important and we sometimes neglect that whilst we worry about things like whether or not we're posing at the correct angle, the amount of likes on a post, whether or not our bellies are flat enough, comparing where we are in our lives to others etc etc, all the while forgetting that these things hold the least significance towards our value as a human beings.

None of the above is to say that being conscious of our fitness and health is wrong or that as if by some miracle we will no longer have negative thoughts, because working towards unlearning the toxic behaviour we've been conditioned to believe is the be all and end all of life is a journey. As I mentioned in a previous post, it is always important that we ask ourselves why we're making the decisions that we make. And if any of these decisions are coming from a place of negativity or self hatred, maybe we need to rethink these decisions and focus on why we feel the way that we do.

One thing I know for sure is that losing weight didn't bring me happiness, but filling myself with love did! 

Leaving situations that cost me my peace brings me happiness, working on loving myself brings me happiness, checking myself for own toxic behaviours brings me happiness, sharing my stories and feelings with people brings me happiness and going on a damn beach and living my best life, regardless of what size I am brings me happiness. Do I look like a magazine cover girl? No. Does that mean that I'm not "bikini ready"? Hell no!

Life is happening right now and time isn't going to wait for us to realise how amazing we are,  so let's try not to waste anymore time worrying about who we aren't and what we don't have and instead focus on what we are blessed with right now. 


My Missed Miscarriage And The Lessons It Taught Me

On holiday in Morocco at 7 weeks pregnant (June 2018)
As I lay looking at the monitor, I knew what I was expecting to see. I knew that our 12 week old baby should've been the size of plum, because I had all the pregnancy apps. I knew that even though I wasn't able to feel anything yet, our baby was moving around inside of me. I knew that my stomach was growing and my body was changing. I knew all of that and more, but what I didn't know was that my body had been lying to me, because as I lay looking at the screen, all I saw was darkness.

July 19th was the day of my first scan. It was a Thursday and I was exactly 12 weeks pregnant. That was the first time I ever heard the term "missed miscarriage".

We found out I was pregnant two days before my birthday. By then I was just over four weeks pregnant. My partner Omar and I were so excited. We were expecting our first child! It was the best birthday present I had ever received in my life.  Finding out I was pregnant felt like such a blessing; I felt so grateful. From that moment, I became a mum. I was carrying our baby and every single problem or fear that I had ever felt in life suddenly disappeared.

The weeks seemed to go slowly as I eagerly counted down the days, waiting for new updates on our babies development on my pregnancy apps. With each hospital appointment and midwife visit, it began to feel more and more real. As much as I was excited, I also felt a lot of anxiety. It just seemed really strange to me how I was supposed to be 100% relaxed until the 12 week scan. I just wanted to see what was going on inside of me, kind of like some reassurance, I guess. I literally couldn't wait for that day! We would finally be able to share this huge secret we'd been keeping and we would finally get to meet our baby.

When that day came, I remember sitting in the waiting room looking at all of the pregnant women, all at different stages of their pregnancies. I'd been broody for the longest while and here I was, surrounded by motherhood, and I was finally a part of that. As we sat there, we spoke about how many scan pictures we would get afterwards, how excited our parents were and about how we were going to tell our friends. I still felt a bit nervous, but I was so excited.

The nurse called us in and I lay on the bed holding Omar's hand tightly. This was it.

As the nurse performed the external scan, she then informed me that she'd like to try an internal one. I tried with every fibre of my body to stay positive. We were looking at the monitor, but we still couldn't see our baby. Omar and I looked at each other and my eyes started welling up. He gave me a look of reassurance, but the more questions she started asking me, the more my eyes filled up. She kept speaking to me, but all I wanted to know was whether or not our baby was OK. After what felt like a lifetime of silence, she said these words, "I'm very sorry, but there seems to be no heartbeat."

I was so confused as I stared at the dark screen with tears streaming down my face. I didn't understand how that could be. My body was telling me that I was pregnant! That's when she went on to explain that I had experienced a missed miscarriage. A missed miscarriage (or a silent miscarriage) is when your body still thinks that you're pregnant, as you haven't yet showed any physical signs of a miscarriage, such as bleeding or cramps etc. But the reality is, your baby may have stopped developing any number of weeks in-between. In my case, our baby had stopped developing at around 6 weeks old. It was like my body was latching on and didn't want to let go. I felt so heartbroken. How could this one day that we'd been waiting for for so long, turn out to be the worst day of our lives?

As she left to give us our privacy, we embraced each other, both in total shock. I couldn't even find the strength to put my clothes back on. We walked back through the waiting room of pregnant women and I tried to hold myself together. One minute I had a baby and now I didn't? I couldn't make sense of it. As we made our way home, I saw a woman carrying her young baby and I cried. I felt so ashamed. What was wrong with me? Was it my fault? What happens next? On top of all the hurt I was feeling, I felt scared and lost because no one had prepared me for what was about to come next.

The next morning I woke up with mild stomach cramps, and as soon I got out of bed, I started to miscarry. I had never seen so much blood in my life. It just wouldn't stop. I'll never forget the pain I felt that day. Luckily, I had Omar with me, but we were both in total shock. I wasn't aware that this would happen so soon, or how it would come about. The only information I had, had come from my night of googling "what happens after a missed miscarriage?"; no one had warned me of the next stages. As I continued to miscarry throughout the morning, I received a letter in the post for my 16 week midwife appointment. I just wanted the ground to swallow me! The bleeding continued throughout the day and got so bad that I ended up going to A&E. I spent the rest of the day in hospital and just like that, I was no longer pregnant.

Being pregnant was the best feeling in the world and this experience has been more than heartbreaking, but it has reinforced that you need to try and find the blessings in all situations you go through in life. I'm not writing this post for sympathy, but for anyone who has gone through a miscarriage or knows someone that has, in the hope that it will help someone.

When I went through my miscarriage, I felt so isolated because I didn't realise how many women had experienced the same thing I had. I felt like our future plans came crashing down in the space of two days. Miscarriage isn't something that's really spoken about, but when I started speaking about my experience, it became apparent that this wasn't so "rare". It gave me comfort to know that there were other people who understood my pain and could relate to how I was feeling. If this is something you are going through or have gone through (as a mother or father), just know that it's OK to feel how you feel and you are allowed to grieve for as long as you need to. Please just try to channel that energy into something positive, as it is so easy to fall into a dark space, but that place isn't somewhere we want to stay.

I feel eternally grateful to have an amazing partner and family and friends who were so supportive and understanding. But it's so important to just talk about these things, because it's happening to women every single day and not everyone may feel that it's even possible to share such a story, and it should be.

I want you to know that no matter when you miscarried in your pregnancy, your pain is valid, you are not alone, it wasn't your fault and you are still a mum/or dad.

It's now been five weeks since my miscarriage and I still cry for our unborn baby, but more than anything I'm so grateful that our baby chose me, even if it was for a short time.

I hope you find some comfort in knowing that you are not alone, if this is something you have experienced.

Thank you for reading this far and feel free to share your own experience, if you'd like to



(VIDEO) My Big Chop: The Day I Decided To Let Go

I've had short hair in the past and as a black woman I think it's pretty standard for us to change up our hair styles quite often. 

For years I wanted to shave my hair off, but in between transitioning from relaxed to natural hair, the braids, the wigs, the natural fro; I always seemed to have a reason why it wasn't the right time. It was always in the back of my mind to shave it off, but I always wondered what people would say (I'll save this for another post).

The closer I got to turning 31, the more I couldn't shake the feeling. So, four days before my birthday I finally decided to do it.

This is what happened.

On my journey of self love, cutting my hair was about learning to accept myself fully; as I am.  I love my natural hair, but there always seems to be judgement about what our natural hair should be like. Is your fro big enough? How loose are your curls? How long is your hair? And I feel there is a definite under-representation across the board, of women with hair like mine.

It always amazed me how people would react when I would even mention that I was thinking of cutting my hair. It was like I'd said the most absurd thing ever. "Why would you cut your hair?" ermmm.. why wouldn't I? "What? Bald?" Yessss!

My natural hair makes me feel powerful and has taught me to embrace my blackness in so many ways, however cutting it off has made me feel even more empowered. It helped me to realise that there were times where I wasn't wearing my braids or my massive fro out of self love, but out of validation. I believed that I would look more "attractive" in pictures or when I was going out, more "feminine", more "appealing".. but to who?! As Chidera Eggerue (aka @TheSlumflower) says in her book, What a Time to be Alone, "I do not owe anyone "pretty". Whichever state I choose to show up in will always be enough." And aint that the truth!

Part of growing involves being honest with yourself and checking yourself and your own toxic behaviour. I believe it's important to always ask yourself "why?" you are doing something when you choose to do it. 

Your beauty and all of the reasons why you are an amazing person, have nothing to do with your exterior and everything to do about what is on the inside. 

I cut my hair off and I have never felt more confident and beautiful. 

I hope you know that you are beautiful too.

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