Sunday, 22 October 2017

Influenster x Rimmel London VoxBox

As a makeup enthusiast, there's nothing I like more then trying a new range after its release. I was lucky enough to be sent the new Rimmel London range complimentary from Influenster for review purposes! I've only recently discovered Influenster. So I was pretty impressed that my first VoxBox was from a well known brand like Rimmel! So lets talk about it... 
Where to buy: Superdrug | Boots | Feel Unique

Lasting Finish Breathable Foundation 110

I really like the concept of this foundation. The bottle is smart and simple and you can easily see how much product you're working with. The applicator on this foundation is what really peaked my interest. The lid features a large doe foot applicator meaning there's no need to waste any product pouring it onto a sponge or the back of your hand. Simply swipe the product onto your face and you're ready to blend! This is a medium coverage foundation which can be built up and is easy to blend. It doesn't feel heavy on the skin and when set, lasts all day as a flawless base. I received the lightest shade - Light Porcelain (pale girls unite lalalalalala!). It's a bit more pink toned then I'd usually use but it evens out nicely by the time my makeup is finished!

Lasting Finish Breathable Concealer 001

I also really like the concept of this product. After removing the lid, the end of the packaging features a sponge which also makes for easy and precise application. Squeeze the concealer until you see product coming through on the sponge, apply to desired areas and blend away. I personally always finish with a Beauty Blender after, but that's just because i'm a paranoid wreck. In general, if you're out and about or on the go, all you need is this concealer so you can apply, blend and get on with your day in just a matter of seconds! Again, I went with the lightest shade and its perfect for me. Its a nice coverage that covers spots, blemishes and dark circles quickly and easily! 

(lol I'm super hairy)

Kate Sculpting Palette in Coral Glow

I'm not usually drawn to palettes like this, I get that they're convenient but I usually like to use a different range of products to contour, highlight, blush etc... So trying this was totally new for me! This trio is super handy for putting in your bag if you know you may need to touch up throughout the day. I really like the highlight shade but its not as vibrant as i'd like it to be. For casual everyday makeup looks this could work really well, but I didn't find the colours pigmented enough to use this palette as a staple piece. This could be perfect for makeup beginners though! ... I really like the rose gold packaging! It's so pretty. 

Moisture renew lipstick in Vintage Pink 180

Its not a secret, I'm a bit of a lipstick fiend. I dream of the day I have a room in my house dedicated to the little individual tubes of goodness that house the beautiful colours and formulas inside. I'd never tried the Moisture Renew range before - I'm usually more of a matte girl myself - but I was pleasantly surprised! It didn't feel sticky on the lips and sat really nicely - I barely reapplied! I absolutely love the shade, its great for Autumn and really wearable. I'm definitely going to pick up a few other colours from this range! 


I really enjoyed exploring these products. This is a great range with something for everyone and Rimmel always price their items really well so they are always super affordable! A big thank you to Influenster for sending these products out - I can't wait to see everyone else's thoughts! You can sign up for Influenster here: Click me!


Sunday, 15 October 2017

Love Libby is Back!

Ciao Bella. It's been a long time since I wrote a post here, and for a long time I thought i'd never write a post again. I've never told you I was the most dedicated blogger out there. I get bored of things easily and often "lose my mojo". It happened again back in February and I thought it was gone for good. Luckily, a few weeks ago I began to crave the blogging world again and knew it was time to focus on a come back. 

So whats new?
I got a new job! Previously I worked with Autistic young men in their 20's, supporting them to do independent tasks in their day to day lives... I loved it, we had a laugh every day, my team were great and the boys were such sweet hearts. However, there's only so long you can spend working 24-48 hour shifts including over nights for minimum wage. Unfortunately, after 18 months, my time, patience and passion was dying so I decided it was time for a change. I've gone back to the childcare profession that started my career - something I said i'd never do - and I'm loving it again. Sure, everyday is filled with snotty noses, poo-y nappies and wet pants, but its also filled with smiles, cuddles, "I love you's" and "thank you's". I'm enjoying going to work again and finally feel like the only way is up. 

I lost my best friend. My beloved Granddad passed away. Although it fills me with selfish peace to know he is finally free, my heart is also eternally broken that we'll never hear him sing for us or roller skate along the sea front again.

I've flown the nest! After 5 and a half years, me and D have finally decided to live together. It's taught us a lot and we've learnt things about each other even though we thought we knew it all. There's ups, and downs, but our relationship has survived so many tests over the last few months that moving in together has made us stronger then other. Here's to the next 5 years of tantrums, arguments over dinners and spooning in bed. 

So, whats new on the blog? 
Love Libby has had a new makeover - shoutout to Pipdig for the new theme. I'd been toying with purchasing one for a while and decided to finally bite the bullet. I'm glad I did. I *think* I'm finally happy with how my blog looks... For now (I'm fussy and fickle... I'll probably hate it in a few weeks).

Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat finally all have handles that match. Although "lovelibbyxx" worked for a while, I outgrew those kisses on the end and I'm now finally available in 1 place... Welcome to the world, lovelibbyUK.

Scheduling is done and dusted. I've given up with scheduling, there was a time I thought it was the smartest thing to do. But honestly? It put me under to much pressure. If I ever reached the point that the posts ran out, all I'd do was think about it, then think about not having time to write anything new then think about the fact I wasn't producing any content. It was to much and quite frankly, un-needed stress. 


So here I am, back in the online world, seeing how the blogging life treats me again. It feel's good to be back. 


Monday, 27 February 2017

Create Perfect Curls With John Freida Frizz Ease Range!*

If there's 1 thing that goes in and out of style more often then I have hot dinners, its our hair. From how its styled to the colours we dye it, it is an ever-changing part of life that most of us love to keep up with. We've had the dip dye phase, the balayage phase, the block fringe phase, the structured bob phase, the Blair Waldorf headband phase and the undercut phase to name a few.  I know some people still have these hair styles, but in the past a few have been more hyped then others by everyone and their mothers. So when Zoella discovered her chopstick curler in late 2016, everyone needed curls springy enough to send you to space.

When my hair is in its natural state, it's curly. Just like Zoe's, but messier. My hair is in tight-ish ringlets that look like they've not been brushed in about 3 days. People have always said things like "omg i'd love curly hair", no darling, you probably wouldn't. Because that hair that looks like its not been brushed in 3 days, probably hasn't because...

*Image taken from google.

So yeah, anyway... Even when you have curly hair, you want curly hair - it's one of life's biggest struggles, because to achieve said curly hair, you need to go through the struggle of having straight hair first. And something else that comes with curly hair? Frizzy hair. frizzy hair that sticks out in all directions no matter how long you hold a straightening iron on them. Finally, I've found the perfect products that genuinely do beat the frizz and enable my hair to hold its style through the day. So this, chums, is how I plan to do my hair for the rest of my life *inserts crying/laughing emoji*

Step 1 - In the shower, in the bath, over the tub, however you want too, pick up that amazingly coloured tube of John Freida Forever Smooth Frizz Ease Shampoo you picked up after my amazing not so professional photo's inspired you to buy and squirt that magical angel lotion into your hand. Like with any shampoo, simply run it through your hair and massage until you lather that baby up & feel like a bubbly goddess, preferably while singing Abba as loud as possible.

Step 2 - Next up, its time for another tube of angel tears. The John Freida Forever Smooth Frizz Ease Conditioner, my favourite step. Depending on how much shampoo you used, I'd say use half that much in conditioner. Run this through your hair as well from root to tip (no not just the ends). Now, wait a few minutes for the magic to begin to happen. Before I wash my conditioner out, I usually brush my hair through to make sure there's no tangles and the product is evenly distributed. Whatever you've done, brushed your hair, shaved your legs or cleaned your teeth, now you need to wash the conditioner out and get yo' butt out that bathroom. 

Step 3 - Starting with your hair soaking wet (much like in the above photo), its time to use the John Frieda Frizz Ease Original 6 Effects Serum. Now, the bottle advises using 1 pump - but I use 3. It does advise you to use 1 pump then more if you need to, but I squirted the first 1 pump and felt like there was nothing in my hand so I improvised, and luckily it worked for me. Pump into your hand then rub your hands together so you know you're getting an even amount of product on both hands. Next run your fingers/hands through you're hair (avoiding your roots), and you're ready to style. 

Step 4 - Time to get poker straight. After completely blow drying, I personally use the Remington Keratin Radiance Straightener - I have always been a big Remington fan, they don't break the bank and do a perfect job. I do however feel its about time I explored a different brand. Anyway... I straighten my hair in layers to ensure there's no hidden kinks or balls of frizz lurking anywhere that will later bite me on the bum. 

Step 5 - Time to get curling. I use the BaByliss Ceramic Curling Wand Pro - the barrel size goes from thin to thick so its great for creating different looks. Today I went for the mid curls. Again I do this in layers to create bouncy curls all the way through. So splitting my hair into layers again, wrap my hair around the wand and I hold each curl for around 20 seconds before letting it drop. 

There you are - lovely curled hair that is going to last you all day. My hair feels like silk ribbons, smells great and looks the healthiest it has in a long time. In the above no make up selfies you can tell the difference between leaving the curls as they are and brushing them out for a more wavy effect. We all prefer different styles... Whatever style you feel like going with today, weather it be the curls, the waves or even just keeping your hair straight, John Frieda is on hand to cover your back. I've found that my hair stays in place all day (well at least for the 14 hour shift I did at work). I don't need to worry about my fringe pointing in the wrong direction or someone wanting to take a selfie to find my hair portraying me as a mad scientist. Without sounding dramatic, the Frizz Ease range may have just changed both my life and hair care routine forever.

* A huge thank you to John Freida for sending me out these amazing products to discover! I can't imagine myself using anything else, ever again! I'm really impressed, and so's my mum (lol)! Don't forget to follow @JohnFriedaUK on twitter to find out even more!*

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Wednesday, 22 February 2017

So...? Fragrance Body Mist Review*

Gone are the days that we rely on our Charlie Red or Versace Red Jeans cheap but sweet perfumes. Sure, i'm sure some people still use/own them, but unfortunately, we are currently living in the day and age in which a bottle of your favourite perfume can cost you anything in the region of £80-£100! Luckily, So...? have released an alternative that you are going to love, and isn't going to break your bank.

Going back 10 years or so, So...? was the You couldn't turn a corner or walk down a corridor at school without almost choking on the thick cloud of So...? Kiss Me that Sadie had just sprayed, which everyone kept in their inside blazer pocket. The body spray obviously, we weren't classy enough to bring the Eau De Toilette to school. It was every school girls best friend after PE and every school child's life saver on sweaty summer days spent in hot IT classrooms. I remember 1 year, my Christmas list read "So Kiss Me body spray but other flavours", yeah, I called them flavours. So...? Sinful was my fave, and I was the odd one out at 1 point for opting for that over Kiss Me. I'm also 90% sure there was a So...? body spray in a turquoise-blue coloured can which smelt good, but for the life of me can't remember it nor find any trace of it on the internet - did that exist? Or am I making it up? Anyway...

Where to buy: Boots  Superdrug

Fast forward to 2017 and that teen hit brand So...? are still doing things and they've grown up, just like us! I was quite shocked to notice that the So...? Body Spray's are still on the shelves in Boots last year. Shocked, but glad, that they've pulled through. So when I discovered they'd released brand new body mist's, I was pretty shook. 

The body mists are completely different to the body sprays. They're packaged in clear plastic bottles decorated with a graphic to match the scent and the pretty and classic So...? logo. Each bottle contains 100ml of product which all smell #amazeballs. Is amazeballs still a thing? Am I still trendy? The clear and pretty graphic makes each bottle really easy to identify and means there's no faffing about trying to find your favourite. They're bright, vibrant and pleasing to the eye. 

With 6 scents available, there really is something for everyone, the body mists are avaialble in:
Rose Petals
♥White Petals
Pink Grapefruit 

My favourite? I can't decide between the Vanilla and the Watermelon (no surprise really, I'd own watermelon everything if I could). Each of them is great, but everyone always has a favourite (or 2)! Personally, I think the scent's last *most* of the day. However, I do sometimes need to remember that a body mist will never have the staying power that the latest YSL perfume has, and that's okay! These bottles are so cute you can pop them into any handbag to top up if you're not feeling fresh enough! I also find them great to spray on my bed pillows and around the room if i'm just on my way out. Nothing smells better then a watermelon smelling pillow after a long day. 

Overall? I'm impressed! So...? have grown so much as a brand since my changing room days and I'm glad I've re-discovered them! You can pick these bad boy's up in your local Superdrug for just £3.99 each - I don't think that's a particularly outrageous price for so much product that is going to last you a good while! They're also available in Boots - if you're quick you'll get them for half price! 

A huge thank you to everyone at So...? Fragrance and the team behind @BloggingGals for hooking me up with the whole So...? Body Mist range! I'm really impressed, and I think these are going to really compliment everyone this Summer! Don't forget to follow Blogging Gals & So...? to find out even more! 

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Saturday, 18 February 2017

Mac Dusky Rose x9 Eye Shadow Palette | Review & Swatches

It's no secret - I don't think (?). I like eye shadow. More like, I'm quite into the eye shadow scene. If I won the lottery, I'd buy every palette on the shelves before anything else. From post's like this one, it's no secret that i'm also a big Mac Cosmetics fan. So when I unwrapped a gift on Christmas day that turned out to be both from Mac, and an eye shadow palette, I couldn't wait to give it a review...

Easy on the eye - I mean come on, it looks soooooooooo pretty - this palette is not all you'd expect. The Dusky Rose x9 palette is a premade palette that retails at £25. Not a bad price tag for a "high quality" palette that you should be able to make multiple looks with. The outer box is classic Mac, sleek black cardboard with white lettering - unless limited edition - you wouldn't expect anything more. The palette itself is plastic packaging, with a clear pull up lid featuring the classic Mac logo, very simple but does the trick.

I wish I could tell you that with all these colours combined, this was the palette of dreams. Unfortunately, I can't. This is quite possibly the worst palette to ever live in my collection. The shadows are very chalky and the pigmentation... to say it's terrible is the understatement of the year. I hate writing negative posts, but when reviewing a product I do have to remind myself that not all produts are going to be something to rave about. I'm really not bashing Mac, in general I love their products. I probably always will. However, after hearing such good things about the palettes you can make yourself with their single shadows, I don't know how they've gone so wrong with their pre-made ones. You physically can not use this palette to create a look. I actually compared it to a Primark pre-made x9 palette and they were pretty much on par. 

I could sit here and talk about every shade and how I like it, like I have here, but I genuinely don't think it's worth my time. When buying a "high end" palette, you expect much much better colour pay off then this. I know that all products need to be tweaked here and there for them to be the best of the best but these have been out a while now and Mac clearly just don't care. Maybe they don't sell enough of them to notice, maybe its on a to-do list or maybe they just don't care, either way, the formula of this is a complete disaster. For the first time in a while, I do not recommend you buying this.

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Friday, 10 February 2017

The Body Shop Seaweed Oil Balancing Clay Mask | Face Mask Friday #1

This so, nearly, went up late... But that wouldn't be like me at all, would it?

When I think of The Body Shop, the first thing I think of is the array of scents that great your nostrils as you walk through the door. That, and the thought of "what do I look at first?". Always greeted by a friendly face, no matter what they say to me, I'll always find myself in 1 of 2 places. Either at the face masks or at the body butters. What better way to kick off the Face Mask Friday series with one of my all time favorites from The Body Shop 

Where to buy: The Body Shop

The one i'm talking about in particular is their Seaweed Oil Balancing Clay mask. Designed for oil balancing (my t-zone can be awful!) this fresh feeling mask will make you're skin feel and look as soft as a babies booty. The tub its housed in is sturdy but smart. A simple blue pot, white label and black lid. They knew they didn't need to do anything fancy with this! At just £10 a pop for 100g/ml of product, I do feel its great value and won't break your bank! Before my face mask collection started growing, I was using this at least twice a week and a pot normally lasted me around 2 months. That's a simple £5 a month - not a lot if you ask me! 

This is one of my all time favorite body shop products. A staple of my skin care. As well as balancing my oil fueled t-zone, this mask will battle with you're spots and blemishes, revitalize dry and dull patches and leave you feeling fresh as a daisy. Now when I first picked up this mid-sized pot, I wasn't sold. I wasn't that sold by its appearance either. However, all it took to change my mind was that first use, it was like fireworks went off in my head. I just felt, so... Fresh. I'm now on pot number 3! Rest assured... A little goes a long way, don't waste it! Are you looking for a good cleanse that isn't going to leave you feeling too tight? Then this is for you. I wish I could bath in this and use it 24/7, but that would be a waste! If you find The Body Shop a little pricey, and this one pot will set you back £10. However, I tend to find that using their app and being on their mailing list has always meant I've got at least 1 promo code to use, every order I make. 

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Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Being Pregnant At 19 & Dealing With Miscarriage | TMI Tuesday

Being a 23 year old female with a few friends here there and everywhere, every week, someone I know announces they are expecting. Although the joy of having a child is without doubt, magical. Unfortunately, some of us do not make it to the end of pregnancy and that something we need to remember. This is a different kind of blog post for me. A fresh new TMI Tuesday series that falls on the anniversary of my own tragedy.

I have never had a problem with girls/women having children early in life. I just never thought i'd be 1 of them. Growing up I'd always wanted to travel, get married and then have a family. However at the end of October/beginning of November 2012, that completely changed.

Note - THIS MAY BE TMI FOR SOME. About 2 weeks before any of this happened, my parents decided to end their 20+ year marriage. My mum was preparing to move out of our family home, it was a big shock that it was actually happening, it also made the coming months much more complicated.

I'd had a pregnancy scare before, so I had a spare test at home. At the time I was getting up every morning at 5:30am to get to work for 7:15. That morning my alarm went off, I checked the time and took a pregnancy test. It was not pre-meditated and I didn't actually realise what I was doing until I was mid-toilet, it was like I woke up and just knew. I took the test and left it on the bathroom side. I didn't look at it. I got my shit together, picked up the test, put it in my pocket and left the house, half way up the road, I discovered I was in fact pregnant. In a state of shock, exhaustion and generally running late, I didn't think of it. I got to work and my closest girl friend asked what was wrong, I replied nothing. I didn't want to tell anyone, it was her birthday and I hated the idea of making it all about me. But she kept asking, and I eventually told her. I confided in 2 of my other colleagues, we were all a bit shocked. 1 of them went over the road on her lunch and picked me up a second test so we could be positive. There it was again, In the toilet at work - a children's day nursery - I held in my hand, another positive test. I had no idea what to do. 

The girls were ecstatic - I was happy, happy but scared. I had no idea how to tell my strict parents, or my boyfriend - we'd not even been together a year! I remember going home that night and my dad had to take me to some appointment or another anyway (perfect timing), we spoke to the doctor and I asked him to leave the room to discuss another "issue", obviously as my dad sat in the waiting room he saw me go to the toilet to do another test. The doctor confirmed it, there was a little person growing inside of me. I left the doctors and said nothing. My dad asked me about it, suspiciously - I had to think fast and I told him I was being tested for an STD! I was hoping it was all going to go away. I was 19 years old, working full time, making money and going out every weekend with my girls. Was I just never going to have a life again!? 

We got home and I remember my mum asking me about it - my dad had obviously told her, and I confessed. My heart was in my throat and I was shaking. I still hadn't told my boyfriend, I needed to tell someone. I was so worried that as soon as I told him, he was going to leave me to it (of course I was worried, I was 19 and really, I was still a child), I couldn't do anything without him, especially not this. I literally told mum, left the house and got on a bus to Darren's. He asked how I got on at the doctors and I told him I'd speak about it when we got to his - he wasn't thrilled and was concerned about what was wrong. I ended up blurting it out in the middle of the street at 9pm, knowing it was going to lead to a night of talking when I needed to go to work the next day. Neither of us knew what to do, I remember he told his family and they were super happy & supportive. Mine, not so much. 

My parents were not thrilled in the slightest, after a few days both me and Darren had decided to keep the baby - I say this, but I have never been supportive of abortion, but when in the situation it is something we considered, I'm not gonna' lie. Every night I would get in from work and they'd have another reason as to how I couldn't cope/couldn't afford a child/I hadn't lived enough to have a baby, they had a point but I had a solution to every problem. I remember my dad confiding in his best friend and the advice he got was "kick her out, she got herself into it, she can get herself out of it", I think this really opened his eyes. The next day I came home expecting the same conversation. I think my mum did to. They were both sat on the sofa, she did all the talking, I did all the answering. All of a sudden my dad just said "If you've decided to do this I will support you", it was over whelming. My mum was not impressed but I'd cracked one of them, that's all that mattered, I was no longer going home to a house full of people that couldn't accept my decision, I was finally going home to a parent that had my back. In all honesty, it is the moment of my life that taught me to respect my father and that he really did have my best intentions at heart - I had never had this impression from him in my whole life. My mum was just going to have to get over it. She had me do additional tests, I was literally only 3 weeks gone - I must have found out at the end of the second week! We were finally excited, we were going to have a baby in the family again to love and laugh at. Days went by, my mum moved into a pretty little flat up the road and all was good. Plans to sell our family house were scrapped, it was decided we would scrape together and keep it. We would have somewhere stable to raise our child that was really our own. We had a space for a new generation of being to create the best memories of its life, just as I had done. We had our own space where we would all be able to be together & build a hole new relationship with another new - to the world - person. 

Then came the next step - how was I going to tell my boss? I confided in the girls a lot. One day we just decided I was going to do it there and then. I sat in the office and cried, I wasn't able to say the words. I just felt like I was going to lose my whole career. Fortunately, my boss was super supportive and said she'd do whatever I needed day by day to get me through. Weeks went by, we told other people, it was all good. I remember my nan told my dad she thought I would be an amazing mum, it brang tears to my eyes. We didn't do the whole traditional wait till you've had a scan then get prepping - we just didn't think anything would go wrong. My auntie took me shopping, specially, in Windsor for baby's first outfit, and a few other bits. All my Christmas presents were money/vouchers - everyone knew i had to be organised! Everything was just falling into place. 

Time went on. We saw the midwife and arranged for a scan for 2 weeks time, I was around 11 weeks pregnant, I'd just not been able to see the midwife sooner so was late on getting booked in for my first scan. I remember, it was the 7th of January - the day after my mums birthday, we were buzzing. My mum came with me and Darren, I thought that if I could get her involved she'd warm to the idea a lot more. Me & Darren went in alone at first, we wanted first look at our little rolo for ourselves - you don't even want to know where the Rolo part came from - but its different from "bean"! I remember laying there when she put the gel on my tummy full of excitement. The nurse was super chatty for about 2 minutes, all of a sudden she stopped talking and looked at us. Tears filled Darren's eyes and I didn't understand what was wrong. The nurse told me that she could not find a heartbeat with the ultrasound and that she wanted to do an internal scan to be safe. TMI - It was cold, it was uncomfortable and when you're crying, it's just unpleasant. After no luck, the nurse left the room to try and find another doctor, I told Darren that I needed my mum and he left the room. She knew what had happened, I don't know weather it was the nurse leaving or our tears, she just knew. The same nurse came back, stating she wasn't able to find anyone else. She said I needed to come back in 2 weeks for another scan as confirmation. I asked "so is my baby dead?!". She told me she wasn't allowed to tell me without a confirmation scan but as I left she took my hand and told me "I'm so sorry you have experienced this" we all knew, there was no need for a confirmation scan really. I wanted to get on with life, I went to work for the afternoon! Well, I tried to, I was there all of 10 minutes before leaving again, I couldn't stand the sight of the beautiful children I worked with every day. 

10 long, gruelling and cruel days later (Jan 17th - hence this repost date) we finally went to the hospital. We had the scan and it was confirmed, I had had a missed miscarriage, our baby had stopped growing at 6 weeks but my body didn't register it, I was being sick through the day, my boobs were still hurting and my tummy starting to grow - I was practically pregnant with nothing. I was given 3 options, I could either take some pills to pass the baby at home, surgery or I could wait for nature to take its course. By now I was 14/15 weeks "pregnant" - it'd been weeks since my baby had stopped growing and there was no way to tell when my body was going to "let go" naturally. We opted for the tablets, I took 2 there and then and was to return the next day to have a pessary inserted. That whole 24 hours was a blur at the time. So we went back the next day, to the maternity ward. I remember 1 of the nurses calling my name saying she just needed me to fill in a form. She took me into a room and then told me she'd just said that to get me front of the line! I panicked and would not do a thing without my boyfriend in the room - they actually laughed at me! But complied. What felt like 2 seconds later they'd inserted a pessary and I was getting ready to go home. Now if you know me - I am sooooo afraid of pain. I've never been in hospital or had an injury - you can poke me and it will hurt. I asked the nurse "is it going to hurt?" She smiled and said "it's just like having a period! You'll be fine" I took her word for it, and left. 

I told Darren, "I feel like I went into this hospital with our child, and left without him". I was already numb, and the worst was yet to come. I had no idea how the evening was going to go and I'm not one for suprise. After a 5 minute walk to the car it hit me. The pain I was in was unbelievable. Basically the method I had gone for "induces" you to give birth, if you like - I was literally having a "contraction". It was snowing and I lived 20 minutes from the hospital on a good day. It took my dad an hour to get me home - respect to him for putting up with an hour of my screaming to be fair. I was so scared. My mum came over, my dad left, they swapped houses for the night! I had to just wait for the baby to pass. It could be 10 minutes, 1 hour or 12 hours. I'll refer to them as contractions properly now - they were 10 minutes apart, coming and going - they were contractions. Every twitch I got I rushed to sit on the toilet, screaming, I was crying, my mum was crying, it was the slowest most painful moment of my life, I just needed it over. After about 6.5 hours and A LOT of pain killers, I sat on the toilet and heard a "splash" like sound, I knew it had happened. I couldn't look, and as directed by the hospital - my mum flushed the toilet. As soon as this had happened, all the pain was gone. I couldn't believe I was still alive, the pain I'd been in! I went downstairs and had a cigarette. Cigarette over, I needed a harmless glass of water! All of a sudden my mum was in shock, blood was dripping down my leg all over the kitchen floor, I hadn't even noticed, I literally couldn't feel it! - it wasn't over. I again returned to the toilet to another "splash", that had to be it. My mum ran me a bath. I got in it and the water filled with blood, I just had to go to bed and sleep, it was awful. 

After 3 days and lots of flowers later I was still in pain. We were worried as we were told if this was the case we'd have to go into hospital. I rang the maternity department at 9pm, unable to move at the time, who directed me to go to A&E. So I did, me, my mum, my dad & Darren - a family visit to the hospital, great! I was seen straight away and moved to a bed - amazing for an A&E experience. However we did have to wait an hour to see a specialist. She had a look at my lady bits and assured me I was fine, she instructed me to come back the next day to Gynaecology to have a scan! They needed to ensure there was no parts of the baby left. 

So there we were, the next day, back at the hospital. Darren had gone to work - I didn't see the point of him coming for a scan of nothing. I saw a really friendly doctor but she wouldn't scan me. She said it was to soon & she wasn't sure why I'd been told that at A&E. All was well, she gave me some pain killers, took some blood and I was ready to go on my way. I decided I needed the loo before going home so off I went. I sat on the toilet and just remember seeing so much blood with a few clots. I literally knocked on the doctors office and said the words "I don't know if I should tell you this but I've just lost a lot of blood". Her face dropped and she immediately called a nurse for "emergency assistance", WHAT?! All of a sudden I was laying on a bed in her office and they were trying to get a cannula in my arm - I wasn't having any of it! I HATE NEEDLES. What felt like 5 hours later, I had a big needle in my arm, was sweating my body weight out, holding my mums hand, crying like a 5 year old with 2 women between my legs. The doctor told me my body hadn't taken to the tablets I'd taken and she was going to have to remove what was left, I was mortified. After a scrape and a lot of rooting around - it was over, it turned out I'd passed barely anything at home!!! I lost a lot of blood and was put on a drip, next thing I knew we were going up to the ward to keep me in for 6 hour observation - I only came in for a little scan!!! We were luckily given a private little room and we just had to wait! Hours passed and I really did begin to feel better, but I was weak, I couldn't move, I wasn't allowed to eat/drink - I couldn't even sit myself on the toilet without my mum coming with me. What a state. In a huge whirlwind the doctors had a look at how much I was bleeding, pulled the awful needle out and discharged me - I could finally rest at home! The nurse on the ward, was unfortunately the nurse that had previously laughed at my panic! She was stunned when she saw me back in a bed! It was time to rebuild our lives. We all had a little cry, my mum left and me and dad spent the night laying on the sofa demolishing a Chinese. I never realised how much I relied on my family until this very moment. 

Coping was terrible - every day was a battle to get out of bed, I was signed off of work with depression for 2.5 months in total - I almost lost my job completely! My friends didn't know what to say to me, I went weeks without hearing from anyone. I can't blame them - how can you even attempt to make someone feel better when everything that gave them happiness has been stripped from them? We both made the conscious decision to put the news on Facebook - not the norm but, - the last thing we wanted was people blowing up our phones with "let me see a photo!!!" texts, we were sad, we didn't want everyone making us sadder. I had nothing to fill my days with let-alone any joy or excitement left in me. We disposed of all our "baby prep", ate a lot of takeaways, drank a lot of vodka and watched a lot of films. I had no idea how to get through each minute. The only coping strategy I had was to really mourn. I'd lay in bed at night crying so much I was screaming, whaling, no one knew what to do with me. My mum said I was literally hard to love after a while! I was literally like a walking piece of stone. After a few weeks, we named our baby, we spoke about him, gave him a gender and spoke about what would have been. My parents had no idea how to take my pain away until my dad tuned in, he got the whole identity thing and went along with it. 

Going back to work was a tough one. I had spent 2 years building loving, caring and banter filled relationships with 27ish pre-schoolers, I wanted to be strong for them. My collegues, more like friends, had no idea what to say to me, first day back. Every child & parent wanted to know where I'd been for months! But I had to hold my head high and get on with my job *and have a daily cry or 2 in the cupboard out of sight*. They all really got me through it. I taught amazing, kind hearted children and had a really close 20 woman staff team that had my back. It took a long time for me to return to work, and it was the scariest thing ever! But I don't think i'd be half as strong as I am now, if I hadn't. I needed them to show me that I could get through it, and I needed to know just how supportive they were. 

Here we are, 4 years later, still together and planning our future. To this day, we speak about our beautiful baby every day, there is not a minute nor second that go's by without us thinking of him. When we discuss having children in the future we keep our baby's memory alive and talk about having "another baby" rather then just "a baby". Good or bad, everything happens for a reason, and this has just defined who both me, and Darren really are. Although sad, I speak about this with love in my heart & experience in my mind. Our baby will always be our baby, here or not. I have learnt that really, deep down, your family do want what's best for you, even if it takes a tragedy for them to show it. The loss of a child effects more families then you will ever realise, for some they can never speak about it. I am an incredibly honest person, I have discussed this experience with friends, but not so much family. I don't think anyone but my parents & partner will ever really know what happened on the other side of the front door that night. Some children are just to special to be born into this world. 4 years on, we have not had another chance to have another baby, but like everyone, our time will eventually come. 

Thank you for reading my little story. It's nice to finally speak about this openly, in my own words, after all of these years.

Dedicated to Oliver Long, 20/01/2013.X

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