Eternal Mothering

The threshold ⁣
Of motherhood⁣
Is crossed.⁣
Our being ⁣
From the moment ⁣
We share space ⁣
With another. ⁣
Yet who will also mother us?⁣
When they stay,⁣
We are joyous.⁣
If it’s not their ⁣
Time to stay,⁣
We grieve and we grieve. ⁣
And we’re grateful they chose us for a while. ⁣
And always,⁣
We will be their mother. ⁣
But in the pain who mothers us? ⁣
When our lives⁣
Are graced,⁣
And they join us earthside,⁣
Mothering consumes us. ⁣
Through breast or bottle ⁣
We feed them. ⁣
Through voice ⁣
And song ⁣
We comfort them. ⁣
We guide them,⁣
Teach them.⁣
And who mothers us?⁣
Sometimes our mothering is inspired. ⁣
Sometimes not so. ⁣
Sometimes our love is welcomed,⁣
Sometimes rejected. ⁣
Sometimes there’s the indifference⁣
Of familiarity.⁣
Then, who mothers us?⁣
They find their own way.⁣
We encourage their flourishing. ⁣
We cheerlead them on their path, ⁣
With the blessings ⁣
From a mother’s heart. ⁣
A mother’s heart,⁣
Who will always ⁣
Yearn for the cuddles,⁣
Singing together,⁣
Giggles and play. ⁣
Because who mothers us?⁣
And we hope,⁣
When Larkin says⁣
We fuck them up,⁣
That it’s minimal,⁣
And that they grow, ⁣
And that they flourish, ⁣
And that they thrive on their path. ⁣
Through all our hoping,⁣
Who mothers us?⁣
At day’s end, ⁣
Do we even notice⁣
The child within,
Longing too to be mothered?⁣
Our mothering, ⁣
In all its guises,⁣
Never rests.⁣

Harry, My Angel

Harry, My Angel

***Trigger warning. Contains description of baby loss***

The blue lines

Announce your presence.

But I know you are

With me,


Any pee on a stick


Displays life.


Such a quiet


In my womb.

Always quiet.

All 21 weeks

We are together.


Your peacefulness

Tells me

There is unease.

That you’re not meant to stay.



When we hear

The words




A knowing shock

Overtakes me.


Awake with you

For the week

I still

Hold you

In my womb.

Still giving you life.


The day arrives.

Remember, remember

The fifth of November.

A homely room

For two.

No, for three.


“Take this pill”

They say.

The pill

To ensure

You are

Born sleeping.

Too shocking

To comprehend


You come


That same day.


“You don’t

Have to endure


They say.


A live birth,

In another room,


No pain relief.

For hours.


Oh the blinding


Until finally,

The big needle

Gives some respite.



Explode outside.

While inside

Oh so peacefully,

You arrive.


Forever sleeping.

So tiny.


Dressed as an


I hold you close.

I kiss you.


We say goodbye.

And then,

They take away

Your physical body


There are no tears.

Just a chasm,

So deep,

No emotion

Can surface.


No baby

To hold

On the journey home,

After birth.

Just your tiny

Hand and footprints.


In the days after,

Life-giving milk


From my breasts.

How utterly



But still no tears.

Until I see

Your toy-sized


And finally,

We weep.


“ARC is the only national charity helping parents and healthcare professionals through antenatal screening and its consequences

Around 800,000 women in the UK become pregnant each year. More than 40,000 will be told there is a risk their baby has a serious fetal anomaly. Naturally, this causes a great deal of anxiety and uncertainty. Most parents will ultimately be reassured the pregnancy is progressing as expected. Sadly, some will receive the devastating news that their baby has a serious, sometimes lethal condition or might be told that the outlook is very uncertain.

ARC offers non-directive information and support to parents before, during and after antenatal screening; when they are told their baby has an anomaly; when they are making difficult decisions about continuing with or ending a pregnancy, and when they are coping with complex and painful issues after making a decision, including bereavement.”

Wave Of Light

Isn’t it strange that we live in a time when communication has never been faster, never been more immediate, or more intense; yet there are still so many subjects that remain taboo.

Baby loss is one of them.

Whether through miscarriage, still birth, termination due to anomaly, or neonatal loss. It’s hard to talk about and even harder to hear about. What do you say? How do you react? Do you open a conversation or politely change the subject?

On October 15th each year, the end of Baby Loss Awareness week, in honour of every soul not able to stay in this world, a wave of light is created. At 7pm your own time, we are invited to light a candle for an hour and connect around the globe. This is a huge step towards having the conversation, but gently.

What has struck me, in conversations, in work with clients, in reading courageous posts by others who have experienced baby loss, is that often we are encouraged to forget, to “move on”, to try for the next baby. It’s all part of the picture of discomfort and why it’s remained taboo.

But, without honouring every soul that has blessed our womb space, without opening the possibility of finding peace in our heart, how do we heal?

It’s nearly 14 years since my tiny Baby Harry was born sleeping, at only 20 weeks. We were given photos of him, and his hand and footprints. These stayed in a memory box, only for my eyes and the eyes of my family. They are treasured, yet painful, yet beautiful memories of a moment held in time; a moment that left it’s resonance for many years.

My experience of baby loss was heightened with losing my Mum to cancer three months before Baby Harry, and my Dad who died suddenly three months after Baby Harry. With six months of all consuming trauma and grief, I guess I was on a mission to healing, and in all honesty, survival. It’s almost unbearable for any one person to be faced with so much grief in such a short space of time.

My healing journey unfolded organically; the right therapists came at the right time. These are the therapies and choices I made; everyone will have different needs, so this is certainly not a blue print, but hopefully an aid:

Counselling – I was extremely lucky that the hospital offered a counsellor in the maternity unit for supporting baby loss. She truly was my lifeline.  I realise not all hospitals offer this, so seeking a bereavement counsellor is an opportunity to be safely witnessed in grief.

Homoeopathy – There were three bereavements to juggle. Often not knowing which one was emerging at any moment, sometimes all three hitting at the same time. But, medication was not an option for me; so working closely with my homoeopath was how I stayed afloat. Finding the right remedy at each stage of my process was her skill that I held with such gratitude.

Nourishing bodywork – connecting to the right massage therapist kept me embodied with my physical experience. so I didn’t lose that part of myself.

Nourishing food – But still holding the importance of a fine organic bar of dark chocolate and all the endorphin release that can bring!

Solitude – To allow the aching tears to release, to allow myself the space to sob and sob and sob, without explanation, without guilt. With each sob I knew this release was a necessity and didn’t hold back.

Exercise – I started seeing a personal trainer and started kickboxing – the endorphin release here was a gift and the rage had an outlet.

EFT – Tapping gave me the opportunity to work through the trauma in a way that wasn’t overwhelming. Working through episodes that held the most charge during that traumatic time.

Psychotherapy – During my next pregnancy, I was on a high all the way through. After she was born though, I entered an almighty slump. Whether it was Post Natal Depression I’m not sure, but I sought support as soon as I could. It was time to move beyond counselling and explore with more depth. The gratitude I hold for my therapist will always be so deep. After losing Baby Harry, my menstrual cycle had been truly nightmarish, with all consuming pain most months. It was my therapist who wisely suggested that I was reliving the pain of Baby Harry’s delivery each cycle.

Womb Massage – When my Womb Massage teacher lay her hands over my womb during my training, this was the portal to the most profound healing in my baby loss journey. After a few sessions, my womb cleared the traumatic imprint held of his birth, my cycle eased and the pain subsided.

Family constellation work combined with EFT – It’s hard to describe the power and resonance of speaking with Baby Harry and “hearing” what his words might have been to me. This has led me to a place of complete peace with him.

Honouring my baby – A couple of years ago, with guidance, I went to his graveside and held a little ceremony, which, due to the family constellation work, centred on forgiveness. It’s a peaceful place to be.

Menstrual Cycle Awareness – My life would never be the same after losing Baby Harry. Of course it would never be the same, just as with any huge life event. We inhabit a space following baby loss where we can run the gamut of emotions. There may be pure sadness, guilt, confusion, resentment, moments of acceptance followed by moments of all consuming pain. The list is endless and purely personal. Menstrual Cycle Awareness has been a source of guidance; when are the emotions most acute? Recognising that emotions arise and shift over the ebb and flow of the cycle. Perhaps the feeling of acceptance is present in the summer (ovulatory phase) of the cycle, only to cross over the next day to autumn (pre-menstrual phase), when maybe guilt and resentment take over. The awareness is a container towards acceptance.

My intention is to spread awareness of baby loss of any kind, and hope that the women and men this journey has touched are acknowledged.

It is uplifting, although painful to read, as more and more baby loss stories appear on social media. But a ripple effect has been created. Others are inspired to share, taking us all a step closer to healing the collective pain.

With the huge amount of work I have been open to over the years, I can put my journey into words, without tears. Instead, I have such gratitude to Baby Harry, and love for those walking a similar path to me.

I invite you to light a candle at 7pm for an hour on 15th October and bring about a wave of love and healing.

It truly is my honour to offer support to women after baby loss with Abdominal Massage, EFT, Aromatherapy and Menstrual Cycle Awareness.

Come and Meet My Good Friend Trauma

My friend Trauma? Really?

It’s an incredibly hard concept to fathom that companionship can develop with trauma. How can you possibly build a deep and comforting relationship with an event, a feeling, a pain, even a thought that has had such destructive consequences on your whole being?

Trauma is one very powerful force.

You experience the cause, you move through the shock, you may be left with the physical scars, but you’re also left with the memory, often developing into Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (in this piece, however, I wont be discussing PTSD). You try everything your conscious self allows to “deal” with it. This could be counselling, psychotherapy, medication, natural remedies, homeopathy, meditiation, healing, whatever you chose as your methods of care. But something remains, you just can’t seem to extricate yourself from the repetitive thoughts, the replaying of the experience in your memory, over and over again, until it becomes a narrative.

It becomes your story.

At this point the relationship may shift, it feels as though your story has entered every cell of your body and becomes such an intrinsic part of you that an uneasy friendship starts to form.

It might be a deeply uncomfortable bedfellow, but you begin to find that you can’t be without it. It gradually takes on a persona of its own and eventually you find yourself having the urge to say to people “Come and meet my good friend Trauma…”

This friendship has power.

Maybe it gives you an identity, a purpose; you actually feel safe with the discomfort as it shows you’re alive.

Beware though, trauma isn’t exclusive – trauma hooks up with a bad crowd – the leader being your inner

critic – you know the one who shouts, sometimes far too loud at you, and for women, mostly when you’re premenstrual, but she can pop up at any time! Trauma hangs out with her.

Sometimes it consciously doesn’t feel right to give up the trauma.

It’s too hard to step away from the friendship. How will I be able to feel after breaking up? What’s there to replace the strength of the attachment? Maybe I’ll actually feel lonely without this companionship. You may even feel an intangible connection that is almost imperceptible but far reaching, perhaps there’s a generational or even ancestral link that binds you to your friend?

This relationship can keep you in a cocooned world.

In a world where you don’t have to expose your true inner self. I don’t mean that self who is holding hands with the trauma, but the one who can fly, who can create, who truly feels life, sees colours in their full brightness, see beauty around them, the one who allows the world to be seen in HD, rather than through a slightly fuzzy-screened 1970s cumbersome tv. That self is kept hidden away.

But what happens when you want the friendship to end…?

I had my story, my own relationship that developed when I lost both parents and my baby all within six months of each other. I recall times, months after, when I had to just cry and cry and cry. I’d momentarily check in with myself – which loss was I crying for? The wrenching sadness of not having Mum? The deep emptiness of losing my baby? The sometimes debilitating disbelief of Dad passing so unexpectedly and suddenly? All traumatic events individually, but squeeze them in to a six month period and you have yourself there some deep dark trauma!

Sometimes I would just be sobbing from the overwhelm of all three. But with each sob, I knew I was where I had to be. Comforted by the trauma; my new friend sat with me as a cried those tears – not just for the losses, but for almost every sadness I had felt throughout my life.

The friendship deepened and sadly pervaded so many areas of my life that it almost stopped me growing. As my personal work on healing the trauma developed, the realisation came, that what had become integral to my being, actually no longer served me.

I spent years trying to free myself from the now unwanted friendship, but the companionship persisted.

We will each have our own methods of breaking off the friendship with trauma.

For me counselling and psychotherapy, and many other forms of treatment each eased feelings and emotions, but the friendship persisted. As my journey continued, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) or tapping and Womb Massage come in to my life. Both of these therapies finally facilitated the much longed-for break up with the wholly unhealthy friendship I had with trauma.

The dichotomy of trauma being an uncomfortable yet deeply reassuring companion is breakable. It is possible to see the beauty again and to fly.

I understand that this will not be everyone’s experience and I wish those who do and those who do not identify with this premise, a peaceful journey in your healing.

As I work with these therapies alongside my Aromatherapy practice, I continue to be moved and in awe of how beautifuly they allow someone to be held in their experience. Witnessing shifts, whatever the source, is so incredibly heart-singing. If you would like to get in touch and see how these nurturing and healing therapies can support you please do contact me

For a list of therapists trained in Fertility Massage click here


Top artwork: “Moonlight Walk” by Lucy Calhoun

Lower artwork: Lisa Rough

Breaking the Uncomfortable Silence

“We all have our stories, histories, journeys that lead us to where we stand today. I didn’t expect to share part of mine so soon on here, but reading an article led me to want to scream out – why was judgement being made on such a defining decision in my life?

As a word of care and warning, some of this may be hard to read, but sadly the subject of baby loss in any form never makes comfortable reading.

The article which prompted me to write this, is brilliantly written. I am so truly grateful to the women who bravely contributed their baby loss stories, allowing much needed awareness to be shared.

But there is a frustration. Why does an article written with such tenderness about stillbirth and miscarriage, change its tone when referring to baby loss due to finding anomalies, and making the choice to terminate the pregnancy? As I read on, the reason for the change in tone was very clear.

The word “feticide” was standing there starkly staring me in the face – foetus killer.

Why include such a punitive word in a beautifully touching article?

When I was pregnant with our second child, we discovered at the 20 week scan that our baby had brain, heart and kidney defects, he didn’t have a stomach and after he was born they were unable to tell us his sex as his genitals were too deformed (test results told us later we’d had a baby boy). He had Trisomy 13 or Patau Syndrome, a chromosome disorder resulting in the baby rarely going to term and if they do their life expectancy is very short. With barely an organ working in his poor little body, how our baby had lived to 20 weeks was unfathomable.

I know of women who have chosen to wait for their baby to go to term, die in utero, or at birth. I know women who have chosen not to see their baby after the birth. For me, all I could do after birthing him, was share a tender moment with him, giving him a cuddle and a kiss. He had been born sleeping and as tiny and unexpected looking as he was, I will always be grateful for that time with him. I have photos of him and his hand and footprints which I cherish. Whichever decision is made in this desperate situation, there is no right or wrong, and certainly not worthy of judgement.

So, seeing that punishing word “feticide” made me angry, misjudged and sad that once again those who have experienced baby loss, through anomaly and termination, go largely unrecognised or castigated because they took part in the decision to end their baby’s life.

My children know about their brother, he will always be part of our family. Just last weekend we went to visit him at the beautiful Memorial Woodlands where he is buried. For the first time, I asked to be alone with him. Later that night I wrote:

“As I stood by my little boy’s grave, I thanked him, for all he had given me. For his footprints, on paper and in my heart. We had journeyed a harsh, physically, emotionally and spiritually painful path together. But finally without tears, I told him that I could allow just the sadness, now that I had released the trauma. But also now it’s time to learn, teach, raise awareness, be proud of what he has given me. I am honoured that I kissed him that night, because that’s all I could have done.

My tiny little boy, truly rest in peace son.”

Surely, not the words of a killer.

Around 800,000 women in the UK become pregnant each year. 40, 000 of them will be told there is a risk that their baby has a serious fetal anomaly. Antenatal Results and Choices is the country’s only charity to provide non-directive support before, during and after screening.”

I wrote this blog for my previous website in February 2015. Sadly I can no longer find the link to the original article. At the time I was in contact with the author. She was incredibly apologietic about the inclusion of the word “feticide”. She had meant to take it out of the article and did so. The hospital, that one of the mothers she interviewed, had used the term. It still feels shocking that such an emotive word could be used by a hospital, even if it is the correct medical terminology. Sending love to those who have had to make this life transforming decision.

Artwork by Charlie Leboff, Baby Harry’s big brother