Category Archives: The Red Head Diaries

The Red Head Diaries

Follow My Lead

Since our daughter died and I’m not afraid to talk about our journey, the social media interaction has become less and less…well so has face to face communication too.

The unfollow button. The button you use,because you can’t quite cut the apron strings. But you don’t really want to see what is being said.
The supposedly unnoticeable unfriending. Which actually turns social media in to anti social media.
It is more obvious than being “culled” when the communication dwindles to almost nothing, you grab your torches and lanterns to find these lost souls,only to find they’re still within reach but really no longer have interest in what you have to say.
Just a number. Bumping into them in the street, even the short sharp “hi” has been fazed out.

Why do we keep such people within tapping distance?
Often share our deepest thoughts with,but receive nothing back.
Keeping people who cannot even be bothered to hit the like button to show you still exist to them.
Why are we so scared to permanently delete from our friends lists. To let almost strangers linger in our midst.

What are we hopeful for?
Hopeful that the 3000 friends will rally around,support and comfort, sadly we all know that doesn’t happen.
It is almost like a false sense of security. Friends who you think have your back,the friends who unfollow are most likely the ones you need to protect your back from.

Social media can end up being the most wonderful, supportive place.
But it can also be the most loneliest.

Before you unfollow and give your friends false feeling of friendship,ask yourself exactly why do you still want to be friends and not hear about their life,their day?

Because if you can’t handle everything about them,then maybe there’s no friendship after all.



The Red Head Diaries

Mother’s Day

A day where children,partners appreciate the women behind the children. To spoil them give gifts, show some extra love.
The cute cards made from nursery.
The last minute bunch of flowers because dad may have forgotten.
Most embrace the day,enjoy it as an excuse to be pampered. Or a day where the children can show their love for their beautiful mummies.
Others hide away because the wrong chocolates were given, the card wasn’t was perfect as they’d liked. Quietly seethe because they haven’t been spoilt as much as they’d hoped for.

It’s a funny kind of day.
I’m the daughter of a mum I don’t have the best of relationships with,something I can’t talk about, I just can’t be that open about that just now, I’d like a girlie day like others and not feel guilty or crap….
I’m the mum who’d like to swap all gifts I may receive for a cuddle with our daughter. I’d like to not have to visit a grave to have all my children in the same location.
I know I don’t *have* to. But in 2012 our daughter was alive. I had a Mother’s Day card,with her foot print in,almost like it was made by her,with her helpers you know like the ones they lovingly bring home from nursery, so proud because they made it,for their most important person in their life.
I didn’t see her on the actual day,because I had to rest. My husband went that day instead…plenty more mother’s days they told me.
“Next year it’ll be different” they said.
They weren’t wrong.
I would love to give her a kiss. Include her in our group hug or bundle…
Mother’s day 5 minus one.

So many emotions of how we came to be at this point. So many tears that only my husband have seen and dried.
Cherish every moment, arms around the neck and sloppy kisses are all we ever need.
For empty chairs,and heavy hearts are everything I never wanted.

As always I wish things were slightly different.
But I am so lucky to have four pairs of arms around my neck. And a husband who puts up with me.
Spending the day with them all plus my lovely mother in law.

Who has been amazing. Many,many people complain about their in laws but she truly is awesome!
She has held our hands every single step since Melody died. She sees my older two children as her own grandchildren. And when she tells people how many she has she always includes Melody in the number. Never afraid to mention her,never once gotten uncomfortable, never ever expects us to “get over it”.
The children think she’s fabulous too!
She really is worth her weight in gold.
Hope she too enjoys her day.

Happy Mother’s Day to all my lovely Mum friends…especially those who are minus one (or more).

The Red Head Diaries

I have a tail…

OK,not really a tail.
But for any babywearers out there,they’ll understand probably a bit more…

I have a weight issue, an issue that is nobody’s fault but my own.

I love cake, cream teas and chocolate. Size 22 and I hate it, hate shopping, no confidence to embrace it, so end up looking and feeling frumpy.
Living in jeans and maternity leggings, in the hope the leggings aren’t too thin to see my back side and thighs through…believe me it is not a good look.
When I was pregnant with our newest baby, I lost so much weight through being sick, I was determined to use that as a reset, to continue lowering the weight.
Well, I put it back on, not all but most of it.

It is embarrassing. Breastfeeding, trying desperately not to grab the first Cadbury’s bar I come to,” boost my feeding” calories. But really, they’re just bars of added weight,that doesn’t do anything.
Then our baby begun having allergies, to dairy to begin with. The yummy dairy free goodies I’ve found have a lot of fat in them. Nice,but not good on my ever tightening jeans! Doesn’t help that local to me,shops only have a small selection of each “free from” goodies.
Then of course I had to go gluten free for baby too. So my diet has been slowly changing shape…quite literally.
I,myself have noticed a difference becoming gluten free,less bloated for a start.

Anyway, the weight has taken an age to come off,especially as I’ve no willpower. My husband and I decided we’d tackle it together, restart our My fitness Pal apps,I purchased the 30 day shred from Aldi.

Day 1 Taught me to be better prepared in the bra front,the children sure had a giggle with that one.

Day 10 You’re never prepared for stage two. Stage two is there for some kind of torture,to see just how far you’ll get to breaking…everything.

Am on day 17 today, so just after half way. Jillian Michaels certainly knows how to kick your ass/abs with having never met you!!

20 minute work out sessions every day,which is actually just over 20 to include warm up and cool down.
Not only have I managed to set aside this time daily,but I’ve earned a “badass breastfeeding” status, feeding your clingy baby whilst doing a segment of abs must warrant some kind of prize.

OK,so I’ll update further when I’ve completed this first stage of new fitness…5kg gone in 35 days
But as per title,I have tails!!
Tying off my Natibaby Woven baby carrier,I didn’t really notice,but seeing my shadow I saw something dangling, thinking it was my coat…but no it’s longer tails from my carrier knot,slightly longer tails I’ve never had.

Crazy thing to he excited about,and I’ve not noticed my weight loss,until I noticed my new woven tail today.

Do I recommend the 30 day shred? So far,yes!

No photo,the world is absolutely not ready for that just yet.


The Red Head Diaries

Valentine’s… Finding The Rainbow.

One Of Those Dates.

Four years ago, I was, as always, looking forward to Valentine’s with John. Was our first as husband and wife. We were to receive our wedding album too. Exciting, newly-wed thoughts.
Valentine’s ended up being the first of many dates that I would forever remember, as part of our mini daughter’s journey.
Dates desperately trying to cling on to. Simply because we don’t have the other dates, like first steps, first words, you get the gist.
Diagnosed with early Pre-Eclampsia. In as little as 12 days our lives began to change.

Valentine’s Day 2012 was the last time, I felt excited for the day, spoiling my husband. Spoiling him a little more than I (hope) do every other day.
Of course the cliché,  “I don’t need a day to show my love”. But it is still lovely all the same.

Still, from that year Valentine’s to me was the bottom of the list. John would always shower me with extra love, I can’t help feel guilty not being overly interested, when he still spoilt me. I realise I am so incredibly lucky.

The heavy feeling that has weighed me down ever since, I hate feeling this way, the days that should be fun haven’t been, because they’re always associated with losing our precious Honeymoon Princess.
This year I decided to fight it. Feel the warmth. Be Happy.
On a day that is for love. That’s what I have.

Love for her, Melody.
Love for my children, who surround me in laughter and singing with of course some shouting!  (We don’t live with Mary Poppins!)
Of course the Love I have for John. Together almost Seven Years, married almost Five. It has been one hell of a ride.



(Treating the children)

So for me Valentine’s Day this year, is my turning point. A point where I carry my grief beautifully, there are ugly points, the dreams, the memories the broken hearts.

But to embrace this life I have, fall in love with the new vision I was given, a vision, that dare I say only “certain” parents get.
Love the flaws, love the growth that children do….because growing is what they ARE meant to do.

Leading me to…

Accepting the beautiful rainbow baby term. It is something I have fought with since the birth of Melody’s little sister. How can she be a rainbow when the storm isn’t over?
Some quotes state after a miscarriage or stillbirth…which Melody wasn’t either, it didn’t feel right.

But looking at the girls, especially our newbie, they are so full of colour, how can they be anything other than Rainbows. With the struggles we’ve had with Miss Calliope, she really is an extra bright rainbow.
With My older two children, who are too my rainbows.
How can Valentine’s Day be full of anything….but Love.

I’m off to have lunch with my most favourite people.
Carrying Melody with me too…
Happy Valentine’s Day.


The Red Head Diaries

A journey down under…

Sadly not to Australia….
Of all the helpful children’s books, the fun short stories. Classics.
The Gruffalo every night,read by her Dad to help the tiny human sleep.
Zog read at times during the day,followed by several versions of Frozen picture books have found their way into our household library.
I’m even having a bash at my own children’s book/stories.
But never in my almost 11 years as being a mother,did I expect to read a book about Poo.
Not Winnie The Pooh either.
Poo has his own story, Poo is needing a hand to get back to his family in Pooland. (Of course,where else?)
He plays poo games,and even likes to read.
But is lost, needs to return home,to his mummy and daddy.

The book… Available to print (Poo goes to Poland),was a recommendation from a health care professional,in the hope it would encourage our rather stubborn to poo in the “big girl’s” toilet.
We have mastered most of the toilet training milestones…
Long journeys, day time,sleeping in the car..staying dry were. And even most nights she’s dry.
But getting her to poo in the toilet itself has been far from easy.
Being the very headstrong diva that she is.
Princesses don’t poo. Who knew?! Although we are along way off from being too posh to push and manual washes for vanity.

The short story about poo has so far not had any impact,to her another story added to her little mind a mind already full of stories.
To her, Poo is just another character… The Mouse or Olaf.
One Day she’ll realise,and learn what she has to do. Until then princesses do not poo in the toilet.

Toilet Training.
A whole different adventure.

The Red Head Diaries

One of Those Days.

A bitter-sweet kind of day if you like.
Today I applied for a secondary school place for my eldest daughter. So many say, they want time to stand still…to stop. I’m one of those people who is glad to be stepping into the next chapter with her. The challenges I am guessing that will come with a teen…although I’m sure we’re almost there…
I feel so incredibly lucky to have such a wonderful young lady in my life. I hope I can make her just as proud too.

Bright, beautiful and bossy….she made me a mum, we have our moments, of course we do.
I love this girl…
The missing application.
The other chapter of a different story, leads us to not receive that primary school application. No unique number, or primary school choices. A silence. A day that hurts a bit more than the rest. Another milestone never reached. Nothing I can do to change this. I’ll always being thinking the what ifs…
Some people have absolutely no idea, just how lucky they are.
I miss my “three year old” today.
Feel just a little more broken today…
Looking through the youngest’s newborn clothes as she progresses into the next size, it had me thinking that I don’t have Melody’s “coming home dress” to put in her memory box.
So currently on the look out for it.
Huge long shot, I know but worth a try.
Tomorrow will be brighter.
This Lady bug turns 2.5 today…
She is as bright, beautiful and bossy as her older sister.
Who brought us more light and smiles, when everything seemed so dark.
She is three months today.
We’re (both) still battling with tummy sensitivities, from the HG and just being one of those things.
It has been a difficult start through anxieties of being a bereaved parent, lack of sleep and the diet issues. But I think we’re turning a corner.
She smiles the most beautiful smiles, she’s on a never ending growth spurt, and is keen to be doing the next thing. Rolling, being nosey and so excitable.
Yet she is such a sensitive little thing, from her tummy to needing lots of reassurance.
She may have been a surprise, but she is amazing..
Happy three months sweetheart.
The Red Head Diaries

Six Years

I know I did a blog similar to this last year, but this guy really does deserve a mention….or two.


Just over six years ago, I did a “friend cull” on social media, I needed to break away from parts of my past and for some reason I bypassed John. I wasn’t sure who he was I assumed he was a friend of my brother’s. John remained.
Shopping for a couple of weddings, I put up a status “Shopping for all these weddings, all I have to look forward to is my divorce” I felt unwanted. John, for the first time commented…”I give good hugs xx”
I didn’t know what to think. Our conversation began, nothing in it, just friendship. Which at the time was important to me (of course, it still is).

Fast forward to 6 years ago today, we had been to our local nature reserve, returned to my house, where we became a couple.



We married in 2011. Was perfect to us, though of course there are a few things we would have changed, but certainly not our commitment to each other.



We then fell pregnant (again) with our honeymoon baby, sadly our marriage was hit with the trauma of having a premature baby, then of course losing her.
But John held my hand throughout, never once let go. I have never seen him turn to walk away. At times I cannot believe my luck. I feel I don’t deserve someone so kind and loving.
Remaining calm throughout my next pregnancy, stressful as it was he was amazing. I couldn’t have wished for a more supportive person.
We were getting our lives back on track, some calm was restoring, we were rediscovering ourselves again, of course we re-discovered ourselves a little too much! Leading us to sadly have an early miscarriage, I was the one who felt surprisingly calm this time. I wanted to hold him and never let go.
Dads are always forgotten in regards to miscarriage and baby loss. I make sure he is never forgotten.
We (very) soon fell pregnant again, turning into my most challenging (and final) pregnancy. Hyperemesis making me feel out of control of my life and my body. Yet John stayed, ensured I was rarely alone, helped me to bed, to the toilet, and everything else in between. At times I felt scared that it would push him to walk away…though he never, ever gave me any reasons to think this.
In fact he tells me every single day that I am amazing and sexy (crazy weirdo)!!
Her birth terrified me once again, pregnancy after a loss, without the HG is no walk in the park. One again he remained calm.
I am so proud of this man, I know he is struggling a little at the moment. But I need him to know how much we all love him, and how proud, me and the children are of him.
John you are my hero, the girls’ number one man. I love you so much….I don’t care if this is soppy.
Thank you for being you.
Happy 6 years together




The Red Head Diaries

One Month Today!

I actually cannot believe how quick this past month has gone!
And so thankful that she is growing as she should.
I hear a lot of “they must slow down” “or why do they have to grow” or even “they must stop growing”
No I like the growing bit!
I prefer the growing bit…
So Calliope’s life begun officially, one month ago today.
Just under 6lb of gorgeousness!


15 hours old!
I think she has slotted into the family well.
Although it has been a little harder on me than expected.
I came home the day after my c-section, felt too nauseous to stay on the ward, but felt surprisingly well after the caesarean and being sterilised too. I could walk upright for a start.
It felt wonderful to be home,
To not be pregnant any more.
But the nausea stuck around longer than I liked, it wasn’t as instant as I had hoped.
And mentally I still felt too worried to eat. Hyperemesis really took it out of me.
Finding certain foods, smells even thoughts take me back to being sick, its horrible.
Saving face for the rest of the children, I needed to feel normal straight away.
That bond took some coming too, I’d been so sick and scared during my pregnancy that I’d almost switched off from the birth and from her.
To begin with every time I looked at her I could see Melody.
Melody only chubbier, a lot more heavier.
I felt heavy.
I knew then that no matter what people who have never lost a child would say about replacement, moving on and completing the family, it’ll never ring true, the hole in my chest will remain, Melody sized, no amount of children will replace her, or mend it.
I can live with that, I’m not bothered if other people can’t.
We have progressed through the month, her gaining weight, (6lb 13oz 9 days ago)which makes me proud being able to fully breastfeed again, although she is very addicted, it has been hard work, of course it still is.
But I am relieved/glad to say she is worth it.
I have gotten very frustrated at times, having spent months needing assistance, months so used to being sick, it has been hard to do the post section resting I am supposed to do.
Leading to set backs with pain, and lots of tears, mine of course.
It hasn’t been easy.
Then returning to “the real world”. Feeling lost and completely out of the loop.
Leading me back to feeling guilty on only relying on my two favourite local adults.
They are worth their absolute weight in gold.
Stuck it out through the HG, now helping me to stand, when others choose to turn and run.
They *still* want to stick around…
I will be glad when I can put it behind me and I’m back to full health
(plus side I weigh less now than I did before pregnancy, every cloud I guess!!)
I feel so lucky in that respect.
I am hoping after these next few days I’ll be able to relax a little. The last of the big milestones.
A huge mountain to climb,
Five Day old bunny picture
(baby-grow was her biggest sister’s preemie one)
Still crying!
One Month bunny picture


She maybe the noisiest boob monster I have come across,
she is incredibly cuddly, she hates nappy changes, but hates to have a dirty or wet nappy.
She is so beautiful like her siblings.
She is my little girl, our little ray of sunshine.
We cannot remember life without her.
Happy One Month Baby Girl.


The Little Sister…..18 months….

Eighteen months ago today our little ‘rainbow’ was born, screaming, and incredibly hungry.
She showed us all smiles and a different kind of happy,
show her older siblings that wishes can come true
Although as time has passed by she actually isn’t a rainbow,
but indeed a wonderful addition to a family who is and will always be missing a pair of feet.
A storm that will lessen in severity, but will never leave, rainbows come after a storm.
It has been an incredible ride, of parenting incredibly differently.
Attachment parenting, and baby led weaning, a whole new but wonderful world.
A world where she’s not growing “too fast” but in deed growing.
Growing into a Disney Princess-loving little girl.
Who likes dancing and singing. Loves her brother and sister dearly, and has learnt that “kisses to Melody” makes her giggle.


She’s crazy and headstrong, and can take up a whole double bed..
She doesn’t sleep for long, day or night, but although I am exhausted,
we would not have it any other way.
Happy 18 months lady bug…
thank you for staying, making your siblings laugh once more