Tag Archives: relationships

Dear baby…

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Dear baby…

Dear baby,

We’ve been so scared, your Mummy and Daddy. Last year was sad for us and you have been so very precious from the moment we found out about you.

Every milestone has felt like a huge achievement – you’re already the thing we’re most proud of and the most valuable thing in our lives. Mummy is a big worrier anyway, and she’s lost sleep, cried, refused to get excited (don’t be offended please, Mummy was just trying to be brave). She’s been the opposite of her normal self – so pessimistic and cautious. But now, halfway through your stay in Mummy’s tummy, we’re slowly letting ourselves smile and mean it. We’re talking about names, thinking about what we need to buy for you, how to decorate your room. You’ve become a part of us – you’ll make our family of two (plus Archer, your fur sibling), a family of three.

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But there are a couple of things you need to remember to help Mummy and Daddy be brave:

  1. Keep growing – get big and strong and ready for this big bad world you’re joining. Stay healthy and safe in there.
  2. Take care of Mummy – your kicks and roly-polys are already starting to provide reassurance to Mummy. It’s your way of saying ‘Hi there guys!’ and it’s  brilliant.
  3. You are not a rainbow baby – some people might talk about you as if you are. You are not. We will always be a little bit sad about what happened before you took root and decided to make Mummy your home. But it has nothing to do with you. From the moment we first saw that little nugget on the screen all those months ago, you started a whole new chapter for Mummy and Daddy, and we love you for it. Your job is not to fix us, your job is to simply be wonderful, beautiful you.

We can’t wait to meet you, to get to know you. We know we’ll be tired and grumpy and that it’s going to be hard work getting used to you, but you’re going to be worth every second.

All our love, already and always,

Mummy and Daddy xxx

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Hiding my light

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Hiding my light

So 15 October was the day when people all over the world lit candles to create a wave of light – it’s part of baby and pregnancy loss awareness week. Obviously this is a cause close to my heart, an incredibly worthy cause and one that needs more people to talk about it. However, I didn’t join the wave, no candles were deliberately lit for this cause in my house, and here’s why.

In the last 6 months (yes our first miscarriage was 6 months ago in November) the miscarriages have defined who I am. How I feel. What people say to and around me. My reaction to my friends, to TV, to songs, to films. My relationship with my husband. My friendships. My health. There have been some positive lessons learned – friendships have been cemented by the love, support and normality that’s surrounded us. Me and my husband know for certain we can weather anything – because we’ve been through more in our 2 year marriage that most couples cope with in a decade. I know for certain I’m ready to be a mother – because I’ve grieved the loss of my unborn children and everything they could have been. As I’ve talked about previously, we’ve also learned some hard lessons – we’ve been disappointed by people. But it’s made us tougher, more resilient, better at saying no to those people.

My point is, the last 6 months have either been spent pregnant or grieving. That’s not to say the grieving has stopped. I still have my moments, and I’ll never forget our pain. But on Saturday 15 October, the weekend before my birthday, I wanted a weekend about me. The Hilary I used to be – laughing til I cry. Acting like a wally. Enjoying all the cheesiness and tackiness life has to offer. So I planned a birthday day out to Dreamland in Margate – the birthplace of tack and cheesiness. I went on fairground rides with friends all day, drank prosecco, came home for a takeaway with friends. Played Cards Against Humanity. It felt really nice. It did me and my husband the world of good. We felt like, even if just for 24 hours, we were back in the game. Part of the gang again – there were no kid gloves or eggshells allowed.

After an extra couple of days off and some brilliant time with my husband where he spoiled me, I feel genuinely relaxed for the first time in a very long time. I’ve got some kind of peace. I’ve been reading the ‘7 days, 7 stories’ Tommy’s stories that appeared on my newsfeed and acknowledging that this experience is happening around the world and talking about it and addressing the pain is a positive move. One of my very favourite couples in the world announced their pregnancy and while it still hurt that the universe had been so unfair to us, that was quickly overshadowed with genuine joy. Other people deserve happiness and a family. Resenting the people we love will only add to the things we’ve lost. It’s a pointless exercise that will eat away at us and prevent our (and their) happiness.

We now occasionally let a ‘when’ creep into conversations about our future family, not just ‘ifs’. It doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten. It doesn’t mean it’ll change anything when the time comes again – we still need to be cynical and prepared for the worst and we’re still healing.

But for the first time in half a year, we feel like us again. Defined by the things and the people we love, not by our pain.

Celebrating soulmates

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Celebrating soulmates

It’s a popular notion that a soulmate has to be something romantic. And often it is, but I don’t think that’s always the case. Additionally, I don’t think we have just one soulmate, I think we have a few.

The Ancient Greeks got this, I reckon that’s why they had 6 words for love. It’s ‘philia’ or deep friendship that I’m talking about here.philiaWhat is a soulmate?

For me, a soulmate, for whom you feel ‘philia’, is someone who just gets you. With them there’s no judgement.

Wherever you are with them it’s a safe haven – what’s said to a soulmate stays with a soulmate.

You can rant and rave your heart out about your colleagues/family/in-laws and they know you just need to rant. They don’t judge you or call you names for it, they let you vent. You can act weird and while they might call you out on it, they accept your weirdness (some of them might even out-weird you).

Their advice is honest, frank and fair. It isn’t always what you want to hear but it doesn’t hurt to hear it. They deliver it with compassion, understanding and often a good dollop of humour.

Even on the days when you feel like nothing can make things better,

your time with them is like the tightest bear hug.

You leave feeling like a weight has lifted, life makes more sense and you can face another day.

My soulmates

For me, my husband is absolutely one of my soulmates but that’s not based on our romantic connection, it’s based on our friendship and mutual respect and understanding. He tells me when I’m headed down the wrong path. He backs me up when I’ve been wronged and helps me respond with dignity (instead of like a crazy banshee); and he supports my dreams and aspirations. With him,

I’ve never felt small, or insignificant, or worthless. I’ve just felt loved.

These are the reasons why he’s my soulmate. (Throw in the fact that I fancy the pants off him, that I love him beyond ‘philia’, and that he’s the only person I want to see when I wake up and when I fall asleep; et voila, one husband!)

Read through the things I’ve said about my husband above (before the husband-specific stuff)  –  I bet the people who spring to mind aren’t necessarily romantic partners or interests.

This year has really highlighted to me who my soulmates are. They’re people whom I feel completely comfortable around. People who have never been the root of any anxiety attack or worry. People who tell me it like it is, but with kindness; leaving me safe in the knowledge that they’re not going away to talk about me or hurt me. They’ve watched me cry, listened, understood when my pain has made me unreasonable but gently steered me away from saying anything to hurt my loved ones or myself. They’ve talked me through my options and helped me heal myself.

It’s like going to the GP but without the 10 minute appointment limit and cold stethoscope.

Instead they’ve just helped me uncover the answers I already had.

I guess my point is this – when you’re hurting, or confused, or need a sounding board; remember the incredible resource you have in your soulmates. Don’t take for granted how valuable they are and don’t think that just because you’re in a long term relationship, you can only rely on your partner. If you’re fortunate enough to have an awesome partner AND one or two incredible soulmates, you’ve got all you need.

Love and laughter

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Love and laughter

So it’s been three weeks since our awful hospital stay. 23 days since the ultrasound room, 21 days since the day of pain and loss. 24 days since I last remember feeling genuinely happy and hopeful. Since the weekend that broke our hearts and stole our hopes and dreams. During that three weeks there have been a lot of tears, a lot of ‘what if’s, and a lot of politely smiling while people fumble through inappropriate question asking and platitudes. But in the last few days, something miraculous happened.

Drying the tears

You see, today, it’s been exactly 5 days since I last cried. And more than that, over the most recent weekend, me and my husband laughed, we took the mickey out of each other, and we felt…..’normal’. Neither of us is naive, we know that there will still be bad days – the next pregnancy announcement amongst our friends and family, the due dates of our lost babies, and (when it’s time) the next pregnancy for us. But for now, we’re starting to heal.

A slow process

Don’t get me wrong, the happy you might see for a day, an hour or a minute is not as it used to be. There’s still a permanent dull ache in my heart that doesn’t go away. For my husband, he’s angry that it can’t just happen for us as easily as it seems to for our friends and family. No matter what’s in our future, we’ve both fundamentally changed and nothing will erase these experiences from our hearts and minds.

Every single conversation brings up a momentary ‘what if’ that hurts. Some mornings I feel like my very biological make-up has changed and I’m now made of lead or stone. Everything is just so heavy. There are random moments – in the office, at home, with friends – when an emotional wave washes over me out of nowhere, and it feels like my heart physically sinks into my boots.

I still ask questions out of the blue of my husband “We’re going to be OK aren’t we?” or “I just want us to have a baby – what if we can’t?”. I’m the woman out of comedy sketches, desperate to hold my own little one. Only it’s not so funny anymore. But this sadness doesn’t keep me in bed anymore. It doesn’t immediately generate tears. I acknowledge the ache and the heaviness, and force myself up and out into the world.

Take care of you

I just wanted people to know that it does get better. Life going on feels like the worst thing in the world when you’re in that ultrasound room, receiving that heart shattering news. You just want everything to stop – the whole world to acknowledge the immense pain you’re suddenly feeling. But actually, when the world keeps turning and you realise you have a life to return to, it’s a positive thing. It’s healthy, and necessary, and like it or not, just what you need.

Just be careful with yourself. You’re understandably fragile and no matter how many good days you have (and you will), you still need to listen to your body and your heart. If you feel like telling someone at work what’s happened so that they stop asking about your ‘lovely tan and holiday’, do it. Their awkwardness is their problem. You lost a child. If you get home from work and need to go straight to sleep because just ‘being ‘has exhausted you, curl up and do just that. If you have one too many glasses of wine with your best friends and suddenly realise your miscarriage is all you’ve rambled on about for an hour, don’t feel guilty. Your friends love you and understand that they have a vital role in your recovery.

You’re grieving, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You’ve suffered a huge physical and emotional loss. Take care of yourself and your partner and you’ll suddenly realise you laughed today. And it’ll get better.

 

A year in review

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A year in review

Last year’s post at this time wasn’t particularly positive – and with good reason. So instead, this year, in no particular order, I’m sharing my favourite moments:

The birth of the babies

It’s been a year of arrivals for people I love dearly. So here’s to Riley, Sofia, Joshua, Elizabeth and Beatrix (and a special shout out to Chipette, who’s on her way and due to meet us all in February).

Babies

My very own (four legged) arrival

For my birthday in October, my lovely hubby surprised me with a house rabbit. Aside from my engagement ring for Christmas a few years ago, Archer is my favourite present ever. The little furball has become a fixture in our household, even featuring in some selfies.

Archer

An American adventure

In November/December we travelled across the pond to spend some quality time with our lovely, lovely American friends. Cue an epic road trip, in-truck munchies, numerous photos, lots of laughs and a sad parting at Baltimore airport when we said goodbye. Followed shortly by incredible memory-making and sightseeing with my lovely husband.

Niagara

If you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere!

That’s right ladies and gents, I’ve been greedy on the holiday front this year. Back in May we went for an extra long weekend to the Big Apple with my best friend (and sister in law) and her hubby. We walked and shopped til we dropped (literally in Gemma’s case), we saw, we drank, we ate and we celebrated. It was awesome.

New York

Another Castle

In August my brother married his gorgeously stylish girlfriend Jenny. The event itself was fabulously swanky; and the hen, stag and bridal shower that surrounded it, oodles of fun! Congrats guys!

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An epic year

And the Robinsons celebrated a whole 365 days since our very own beautiful day in 2014. Despite family drama, a house move and new jobs, we survived! We celebrated by eating and drinking our way around Jersey (and seeing even more fab friends!)

A new job

After some very happy years in my previous role, it was time for me to move on. I secured a new job, in a new sector, and I was terrified! But seven months in I feel happy, settled and excited about what my team will achieve this year. Go us!

new job

Etc etc

It’s been a year of making memories for us. We were determined to have fun and to celebrate being young newlyweds with a wide circle of beautiful, caring, fun and hilarious friends and family. And we’ve fulfilled our promise to ourselves. From drunken selfies with Naomi, to rugby watching with Angelo. From submitting Disney-themed piano bar requests with Cat and Clare, to celebrating both my sister’s and my brother’s 18th birthdays. And from finding my dad a permanent and appropriate  place to live, to celebrating Christmas with him eating and joining in at my table. It’s been a year of highs – they may not write a book about me, but this chapter will always make me smile.

Happy

 

Here’s to you, Mr Robinson

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Here’s to you, Mr Robinson

Today we celebrate our first wedding anniversary. One year ago at this time I was sipping on champagne, wearing a onesie with ‘Bride’ written on the back and chatting to some of my favourite women in the world. I couldn’t wait to become Mrs Robinson. And I was right to be excited.

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We had an incredible day. As cliched as I know it is, it was genuinely the best day of my life. And I can say that with some authority, as there have been a large number of days since which have been utter shit. If you’ve ever read my blog, you’ll know that it’s been an amazingly hard year for my family. However, that’s not what I’m going to tell you about. This post is in celebration of my Mr Robinson. It’s an anniversary gift of sorts, which I hope says everything I don’t say enough, and offers a little insight into what I think makes a good husband. (And before I start this list, it goes without saying that I fancy the pants off him – no need to go into detail, my younger siblings and mother are probably cringing already).

1. He just knows

There have been times when I’ve been so battle weary, so tired and emotionally drained that there are no tears left. I’m not angry, I’m not sad, I’m just exhausted – right down to my bones. He knows at those times that I simply can’t hold a conversation. I can’t make a decision, or answer a question. At those times, without any prompt or request, he just squeezes me in a huge bear hug. It’s become one of my favouritest things about him (and yep, I said favouritest).

2. People love him

It sounds really patronising, and I’ve wracked my brain to make it sound less so, but to no avail – whenever he meets my friends or colleagues or family for the first time I just feel so bliming proud. He asks about their lives, he has funny anecdotes to share, he’s sincere and caring and generous. I’m so proud to be his wife. Even now, nine years into our relationship and a year into our marriage, I look over my shoulder and expect to catch my metaphorical fairy godmother telling me I’ve outstayed my wish.

andrew and hilary at cake boss

3. He’s a wally chops

The very fact that I just used the phrase wally chops tells you that I can be a bit of a silly sausage. In my husband, I’ve found an equally quirky character. He laughed when we were packing to move and I wrapped myself up in bubble wrap and shouted “Babe, I’m ready!”. When I sing the entirely wrong words to a song (Labrinth’s “Throw ones on it” line in Earthquake, anyone?) he just smiles and sings the same words next time. When I decide it’s necessary to skip down the road, he grabs my hand and joins in. He doesn’t bat an eyelid when I pull my pyjama bottoms up under my boobs, pull a gurning face and dance across the living room. In fact, if I’m lucky, he yanks his shorts up to his chest and joins in.

4. He’s kind

It’s a really simple point. Any man who doesn’t just understand why you need to send your sick/heartbroken/depressed friend some flowers, but also transfers you money so you don’t skint yourself sending them; is worth hanging onto. He sends me pictures of cats and dogs that need adopting because they’ve been abandoned or abused. He remembers to ask me how my siblings/friends/family are when they’re going through some crap. In short, he has the biggest heart – it’s one of the best things about him.

andrew sticking tongue out5. He makes me laugh

I appreciate that a lot of people are funny. I mean, I crack up at James Corden and Allan Carr on the TV. But when I’m having a really bad day, even they don’t make me smile. My husband on the other hand, can make me smile even when I’m crying my heart out. He knows just how to drag a smile out when I’m adamant I don’t have any left. Frankly, he’s hilarious.

6. He thinks I’m beautiful

God help him, even at my absolute worst he thinks I’m pretty. When I know for a fact I’ve put on half a stone. When I have a spot on my chin that would need its own passport on a foreign trip. When I’m sweaty and have random hairsprayed curls stuck to my drunken, sweaty head. Even at those times I’ll catch him looking at me and it gives me butterflies. He looks like he’s won the lottery. Christ knows why, but he sees something in me that I rarely believe about myself.

So here’s to you, Mr Robinson. Happy anniversary! Thank you for all that you’ve done for me. Thanks for managing me at my most high maintenance, and loving me when I didn’t even love myself. Thanks for pushing me to be the best I can, and encouraging me to follow my dreams. Thanks for giving me so many laughs, for building beautiful memories, and for just being you. Let’s keep doing what we’re doing – here’s to many more anniversaries!hilary and andrew in K box

My dad’s cooler than your dad

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My dad’s cooler than your dad

So it’s Father’s Day, which means millions of insta-filtered images of Daddies and their not so little ones all over your Facebook feed (no judgement here – I’m the queen of the sentimental social media post).

fathers-dayGiven the year my family has had, I appreciate my blog has been already been pretty father-focussed. Nevertheless, I need to let you know something very important.

My dad is cooler than your dad.

I’m sure yours is lovely. I’m sure his hugs are warm, his jokes embarrassing and his taste in 70s rock music hilarious. But mine wins. He’s weird and funny and thoughtful and has a heart the size of the universe. He wears his pants on his head during video calls and pretends he can’t hear me when I put his hearing aids in. He’s useless with remembering dates but knows the names of every pet he’s come into contact with. He has the most enormous blue eyes you’ve ever seen and hardly any teeth. We’ve had exactly one argument in my whole life and it was over a boy who wasn’t good enough for me (Daddy was right). I’ve been to Cyprus, Corsica, Los Angeles, York, Orlando, France, Butlins and Dymchurch with him. Before the accident, since the accident and every day until I’m old and grey I’ll thank my lucky stars for him. Here’s why:

1) He went to the very first Isle of Wight Festival during his kaftan-and-long-hair-phase, with no worldly belongings and jumped the fence to get in and watch Jimi Hendrix.

2) He once poured a whole bowl of popcorn over my cousin’s head during a sleepover. No reason. He just thought it would be funny.

3) Even after his accident, and despite the fact I’m a 30 year old woman, he still tells my husband and mum to take care of me when we leave after visiting.

4) When he was a baby, my Granny left him in his pram outside a shop (it was the olden days….aka the 50s). A gypsy woman stopped by and told my Granny that my dad was beautiful and had “eyes like poached eggs”. Granny was always weirdly proud of this story, rest her soul.

5) He went to a posh boarding school and features on a hard-to-find recording of Alleluia with the choir.

6) Once he went to New York in the winter and took only boat shoes and no socks. Suffice to say he had to winter-fy himself when he arrived to 2 feet of snow.

7) His middle names are Miles and Wade…and he hates them.

8) He rarely calls people by their actual names. I’m Bomps, my brother is Diddy, my sister is Tam-Tam and one of my school friends when I was about 13 was always Furry Feet, due to a pair of fuzzy shoes she owned.

9) When my sister was a baby he’d grab her wellies, take her outside and go puddle jumping.

10) He is genuinely my very best friend in the world. Even now he gives me insightful advice, the best hugs, makes me cry with laughter and is always there when I need him.

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So to summarise…my dad is totally cooler than your dad. We win.