28 February 2017

Monthly Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Each month I will have your horoscopes from the man himself, Russell Grant. 

Starting to look like a real magazine?

Russell Grant's Monthly Horoscopes March 2017

ARIES March 21st - April 20th

Try not to make unfair demands on your nearest and dearest in early March. Temperamental behaviour could drive a wedge between you and your best friend, romantic partner or business partner. You'll spend a little more money than usual during the first half of the month, possibly to replace some broken technical equipment. On the 12th, the Full Moon will help you wrap up a work assignment, paving the way for a possible promotion. Get ready to step into the spotlight. If you've been contemplating a makeover, schedule one for the 28th, when the New Moon will help you find a style that enhances your best assets. You'll have difficulty balancing your personal and professional lives at the end of the month. No matter how much you ask for understanding, your partner will be irritated by all the time you spend at work. They won't be gracious about the sacrifices you're making to climb the ladder to success.

TAURUS April 21st - May 21st

Overindulging in food and drink will be give you cause for regret at the start of March. Practice moderation or you could experience physical challenges. If you're preoccupied with a past disappointment, find healthy ways to lift your spirits. Working on creative projects will be the best thing for you. Take a trip to the craft store and stock up on supplies. The Full Moon on the 12th marks an exciting turning point in your love life making this a good time to get engaged or married. If you're in a serious relationship, your amour might give you a lavish token of their appreciation. An unexpected expense will arise during the second half of March; resist the temptation to borrow money from a friend. On the 28th, the New Moon could land you a lucrative opportunity that allows you to repay a debt. Don't discuss this assignment at your regular job; it's best to keep it under wraps.

GEMINI May 22nd - June 21st

At the start of the month, friends will try to pressure you to do something irresponsible with your hard earned cash. Keep your money safe in the bank, where it will be protected from chancers and opportunists. If you're single, a friendship could turn romantic when someone you've known for years will make a move on you. Relocating to a different neighbourhood is a possibility on the 12th, due to a supportive Full Moon. Although you'll enjoy living in a more cosmopolitan area, it will take time for a good friend or romantic partner to get used to this shift. Toward the middle of the month, your social life will be abuzz with excitement. Go to as many parties and casual get togethers as possible. You'll enjoy mixing and mingling with a wide variety of people. The New Moon on the 28th will mark the beginning of a group association that is very stimulating. Join a book club or volunteer organisation.

CANCER June 22nd - July 23rd

An erratic boss or manager will put too many demands on you in the early days of March. Don't be too quick to agree to overtime. Your family need you close to home. By standing up for your rights, you'll earn the respect of your superiors. You might even be given a surprise promotion. You'll make great career strides after yielding impressive results with a tight budget. The Full Moon on the 12th could find you graduating from a class or making some other kind of step forward professionally. Someone who is impressed by your work will offer to form a partnership with you. If you're put in charge of a group, don't bother copying the competition. The secret to your success will be offering unique products and services. On the 28th, you'll be given an exciting career opportunity. Your personal life will suffer in the early stages of your new job. Your loved ones will have to become more self-reliant.

LEO July 24th - August 23rd

It's difficult finding an opportunity to use your expertise. Instead of holding out for the perfect job, it will probably be best to accept some part time or temporary work in early March. With a little patience and persistence, you'll find the sort of position you are looking for. It's simply a matter of making the right connections. Money from an inheritance, insurance refund or legal settlement will help tide you over during the first half of the month. A big pay cheque could arrive near the 12th, when the Full Moon ensures you are handsomely paid for a job well done. Don't let a loved one pressure you into buying something you can't afford in the middle of the month. It's important to conserve your cash at this time. On the 28th, the New Moon will attract an opportunity to travel, study or both. This is a great time to apply to an academic program that is possibly located overseas.

VIRGO August 24th - September 23rd

Throwing money at a problem will not be an instant fix. You will need to have a difficult conversation with someone close to you in early March. Finding new ways to save money is critical to the health of your relationship. If you're single, stop trying to buy people's affection. You deserve to be with someone who loves you for your personality, not your bank account. Be compassionate and encouraging to those you love. By tempering your criticisms with kindness, your bond will grow stronger than ever. The Full Moon on the 12th will find you reaping the benefits of a self-improvement program. Splash out on a new outfit, tablet computer or smart phone; you've earned a reward. A brilliant idea for an invention could occur to you in the middle of the month. On the 28th, the New Moon will mark a fresh beginning in a relationship. Let down your defences with someone who has proven their loyalty.

LIBRA September 24th - October 23rd

You've been enjoying being in the spotlight, but this has made a close friend rather jealous. An angry outburst could occur at the beginning of March, making you worried about the future of this relationship. Try imagining what this situation must be like for your loved one. A little care and compassion will go a long way. On the 12th, the Full Moon will bring important information to light. At long last, you'll be able to address an important family matter or wrap up a property deal. A demanding relative's behaviour will create problems in your personal life. Be ready to defend your best friend or romantic partner to your kin. The New Moon on the 28th is excellent for signing an agreement, embarking on a relationship or hiring a professional. Don't lend money to a loved one at the end of the month or you will regret it. You don't want to feed someone's bad habit.

SCORPIO October 24th - November 22nd

Work will be erratic at the start of the month. Costly outings with friends won't be an option. Do everything in your power to conserve your resources during the first half of March. Trust the advice of your best friend, romantic partner or business associate. With their encouragement, you can get out of this financial slump. A group project will come to a successful conclusion on the 12th, thanks to a supportive Full Moon. Employment prospects will dramatically improve after this; you could land a job with terrific benefits. The New Moon on the 28th could mark the first day of an exciting new role. Your ability to think on your feet will serve you well in this position. It will be a relief to escape the boring routines that have dogged you at previous companies. Working with unusual situations and offbeat people will bring out the best in you.

SAGITTARIUS November 23rd - December 21st

Friends probably won't approve of a romantic relationship at the beginning of March. Being torn between these two spheres will be difficult. Be good to yourself during this stressful time. Brisk exercise will help you relieve tension, even if it's taking a fast walk in your lunch hour. The Full Moon on the 12th will mark an exciting staging post in your career. Don't be surprised if you're given a rise, promotion or both. Landing a new job is another possibility during the middle of the month. Your love life will heat up near the 28th, thanks to an energising New Moon. You'll have to make the first move on the object of your affection. If you're already in a relationship buy your amour a token of your appreciation. Choose something geared toward their tastes, not yours. If you don't have any good ideas, ask their best friend for advice.

CAPRICORN December 22nd - January 20th

Throwing your weight around will be a big mistake in the early days of March. Having a reputation for honesty, fairness and generosity will open more doors than pulling power plays. Dealing with some serious business for a family member will be helpful during the first half of the month. Your tenacity will help you cut through the red tape of a big bureaucracy and officialdom. Near the 12th, the Full Moon could mark a legal decision being given in your favour. This will strengthen your position and give you a greater measure of control over your personal life decisions. Go out and celebrate this victory with your nearest and dearest. Domestic life will be especially rewarding toward the middle of the month. The New Moon on the 28th would be a perfect time to make some home improvements or buy a piece of property. There will be money available for some beautiful fixtures or furnishings.

AQUARIUS January 21st - February 19th

Angry words will be exchanged on social media. Think twice before posting a sarcastic remark on Facebook or Twitter. You don't want a bad joke or a thoughtless comment to undermine your reputation. A home repair project will be completed faster than you expect during the first half of March. By the 12th, the Full Moon could send a nice windfall. If you have a business or romantic partner, they'll get a pay rise that greatly improves your standard of living. Alternatively, you could receive an inheritance, tax refund or royalty payment. Use this money to take a relaxing vacation. You're long overdue for a break. The New Moon on the 28th may prompt a passionate declaration of love. It's a great time to propose, get engaged or exchange marriage vows. Do you already have a partner? Taking a mini-break will be a wonderful opportunity to reconnect. Escaping the pressures of home will allow you to fully focus on each other.

PISCES February 20th - March 20th

At the beginning of March, unexpected expenses could come thick and fast. Money will be tight and there won't be many opportunities to enjoy creature comforts. Professional demands will be significant. If you play your cards right, you could negotiate a pay rise. The Full Moon on the 12th will signal a turning point in a relationship. You may decide to move in with a lover or even a good friend. Getting engaged or married is another possibility. If you already have a serious partner, you can realise a goal you've both had since the early days of your courtship. Work assignments will be more plentiful during the second half of the month; you'll be able to build up your savings account again. The New Moon on the 28th will give you a chance to earn a steady salary from artistic efforts. You'll enjoy getting paid to create beautiful things for others.

Credit to Russell Grant -


Feature: Word From The US

Hi all, this is a brand new feature from Jade which will be a monthly spot on Bad Mum magazine and it will feature Jade's view on her family life living in the US right now. 

This will be so interesting and to have a point of view on what is happening now with the world, and how it will affect families, especially children. 

Over to Jade! 

And the Hammer Keeps Falling

I woke up at 5am this morning, slightly afraid to look at my phone, just in case yet another hammer had crushed one of our freedoms in this country again. I suppose I got a few hours of respite because it wasn’t until around 10am on the West Coast that that awful woman was confirmed as the new education secretary. A person who has no intent on actually improving the already terrible education system in this country, but actually wants to actively make it worse. I shouldn’t even be surprised anymore, I mean with everything that has happened here in a few short weeks, who would be? But every day I feel the noose tightening around us, corralling us into a pen, forcing us to kick out in anger, with shouts of “resistance” and “stand up” to them.

I am Jade, 38 year old mother to two little girls with another child on the way. I am not married, but in a very happy and loving relationship and we promise each other every day that we will do our best to bring our children up to be happy, healthy, caring and loving individuals. Doesn’t every parent, though? We also are not your typical, average US citizens. Actually not at all! I immigrated to the US on a temporary visa in 2005, falling in love with NYC on landing and never leaving again. My other half is an immigrant from Mexico, arriving in NYC in 2006. 

We are immigrants (please don’t ever call me an ex-pat, that word has no meaning to me), and we fell in love with each other, and have created a family together. Living in NYC for all of those years I loved the multi-cultural, multi-ethnic melting pot of people from all over the world, living and working hard together in one small place. I loved riding the subway and seeing newspapers in at least 10 languages at any given time. I loved being able to eat an authentic American-style diner breakfast followed by street tacos for lunch and a spicy curry for dinner. I loved my Yemeni deli friends who would walk me home if I felt unsafe at night, my French diner friends who would whip me up an omelette at any time of the day and night, and my Irish friends and bosses, our little bar full of people just like us. Some people call NYC a “bubble”, I just called it the perfect mix of everything that I love, a small part of every part of the world, all in one place. We were all New Yorkers, running around trying to make the best of things.

Becoming a mother and then moving away from the city changed a lot for all of us. Granted, if you can’t be in NYC, California is probably the best alternative right now, because it will always be the most progressive state. But we aren’t in a big city like LA or San Francisco, and while I have heard that where we are is the most diverse city around here, it still feels very segregated. Or maybe I just feel that way because of the Trump signs that appeared around us once the election process was in full swing last year. I don’t know, but I don’t feel comfortable here anymore. 

I mean when a presidential candidate is calling the love of your life a rapist and drug addict, says that he wants to remove birthright citizenship meaning that my kids would effectively lose their right to live here, and calls many of your friends terrorists, while speculating that it’s OK to “grab a woman by the pussy” (amongst so many other things), I don’t see how anyone who isn’t white and male can actually feel safe and comfortable here anymore. But there were enough people who thought he was up for the job, so here we are.

I hear people say “oh but it’s OK, you came here the “right” way” (if only they knew), or “but it’s OK your partner works hard and contributes to this country not like others” (oh my gosh you have absolutely no idea what it is like to come here as an immigrant do you?), or even “oh but YOU will be OK” (and what about all of the millions who won’t be?!), it literally makes me want to vomit. Have we come to a point where nobody else matters anymore? That none of the executive orders that have been passed in the last few weeks matter until they actually hit you directly? Has the population of this country become so apathetic that it is fine with just watching one civil liberty be washed away at a time, thinking that it’s OK because the great US of A will never be ruled by a dictator, because “Land of the Free” and all that?

We aren’t rich, so we will be counting on the public school system to educate our children, and I can’t see us being able to move to the best school areas just like that. We are immigrants so technically we do not have a voice when it comes to electing officials (although that hasn’t stopped me writing and calling as often as possible). We come from different places in the world and want to make sure that our children are proud of us and their heritage, not made to feel like they are second-rate citizens because they are not white and male. Racism is so ingrained in this society, sadly even within supposedly progressive movements such as Feminism, but I still can’t believe the comments and slurs that I hear people make quite naturally, on the internet or in real life. It’s NOT normal and never will be. As long as we are here I will do my utmost to fight it, but we are making steps to go somewhere where we feel safer, and where we feel our children will have better chances. I have settled in new places so many times before that leaving one home for another doesn’t faze me anymore. But doing it with a family in tow is a whole other story!

Next installments will include themes such as divorce, marriage, multiple citizenships, visas, birth all mixed with the general feeling of a country in turmoil, not knowing what is going to happen next.

Social Media:

Website, From the Inside:
Instagram: lunajadeX
Twitter: @jadeannahughes 


24 February 2017

Huge Welcome to...

Hi ladies, my internet is back on now so I forgive Doris! It is Friday! Wow, this week has gone so quickly, I cannot believe it is nearly March already...scary! 

So today I have a guest post from Kirsty from @winnettes again! I can relate to this post as I too had the same pain for the last two months of my pregnancy and Jake was in hospital for the first week of his life (also, had tongue tie) so I completely get how hard it really is! But I cannot imagine having that pain for months on end. 

Thank you Kirsty for being so honest and sharing with Bad Mum! 

I want to share with you...

This is a post that has been on the ‘tip of my fingers’ for a long time.  It isn’t something I really want to write but at the same time I want to get it out of my system.  There are many stories like it, I know I am not the only one but I can only write from my perspective.  

I am going back nearly four years which gives you an idea of how hard this time is to reflect on for me and to be perfectly honest I am only writing it because Hubby and I finally managed to talk about it to each other at the end of last year. 

When I was pregnant for the first time I suffered severe pain in my pelvis from about 27 weeks pregnant.  I’m not talking about the ‘normal’ aches and pains; I had searing pain with every step I took.  When I sat down I would have relief for all of two minutes before I started to ache again.  If I rolled over in the night I wouldn’t wake up because of the weight of the bump or the ‘usual’ difficulties associated with rolling in bed.  I woke up because it felt like someone had skewered me with a machete.  I struggled on assuming this was the discomfort all the books were referring to until one day at work I couldn’t do it anymore.  I worked in the hospital as a nurse so all I had to do was make my way over to the maternity unit from the ward.  A walk that should take no more than 5 minutes and that is at a serious dawdle took me closer to 20 minutes (it may have been longer!)  

After a long day spent in hospital being told I was probably in early labour; I wasn’t! Then being told everything was normal; it wasn’t! And that the pains would get better and go away; they didn’t! I was sent on my way.
I think this was the start of it all.  I hadn’t been taken seriously and I hadn’t been helped.  After that I saw a GP at 34 weeks who referred me to the physio department of the same hospital but after much chasing they claimed they never had the referral and I was never seen.  The next medical interaction was at my 38 week midwife appointment.  By this time I had spent close to 11 weeks in increasingly debilitating pain! By this point I couldn’t walk on my own, I needed support, I couldn’t go to the toilet in the night without being pushed out of bed and paracetamol wasn’t doing anything to help (it never really had).

I know now that I should have sought more help.  I should have screamed and shouted.  But no one seemed that worried.  No one seemed to consider the pain anything other than normal.  I thought I was going mad.  I took my remaining annual leave and started my maternity leave early after my initial hospital admission as (despite the doctors assurance I could continue in my nursing role)

Hubby and I decided it was best if I didn’t go back.  I had spent 7 weeks stuck at home on my own with very little by way of company, my friends worked, I was the only pregnant person I knew outside of the NCT and they were too new for me to be able to completely open up to.  Looking back I can see now that I was depressed.  I often wondered why I had thought this would be a good idea.  No one expected me to have children, certainly not in my twenties.  I never really considered myself particularly maternal so what was the point in all the pain?

I realised how bad I was at my 38 week appointment.  I was called into the consultation room by a student midwife (a first year; poor girl I must have put her right off).  I thought she seemed a little nervous but I couldn’t really work out why.  I though perhaps she was on her first community placement.  She kindly asked how everything was going and could she help with anything? At this point the qualified midwife was still out if the room dropping off another patients sample or something.  

For the first time ever Hubby spoke for me.  I am fiercely independent but that day, and perhaps for weeks previously, I had no words left.  There were just tears.  He started to explain as the Midwife walked into the room, all smiles and a little bounce in her step.  She took one look at me and it was as if someone had come and punched the wind right out of her.  All she said was, ‘Well this isn’t right! Tell me exactly what it wrong.’  It was kind but firm, she instantly knew something needed fixing and she was going to be the one to do it.  As Hubby explained my journey to that point I calmed down enough to talk.  I described the pain, described how I couldn’t walk, how nothing eased it anymore, there was no way of not being in pain anymore, not even for 5 minutes.  She listened and perhaps that was all I needed.  To be taken seriously.  

She said the pain was certainly never going to go away until the baby was born, that the pain will get progressively worse and that it sounded like I had symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) or Pelvic Girdle Pain as it is now called.  She apologised for what I had been through and dealt with it.  All of it! Within a few minutes I had a physio appointment for that day at a different hospital, I was booked in to give birth at the different hospital and I had a consultant appointment to discuss pain relief and induction at the different hospital.
By the afternoon I had a pelvic support belt and a set crutches so I could walk without hanging off Hubbys arm.  The next day I saw the consultant and was given codeine for the pain and booked in for an induction at 40 weeks.  Which incidentally I don’t believe I needed, I think Ellie was coming anyway.

I will say that this time the pain did go away straight after birth, although I admit I may have been more focused on the delightful pain that comes with stitches.

I have written about all of this before but what I haven’t ever dared admit before was what happened afterwards.  Everything up to this point left me in a very dark place.  I have two bump pictures, one from each pregnancy and each taken in the hospital, waiting to be induced.  Pregnancy pain sent me into a pool of unease so I never wanted to document any of it.  The real issue was that this extended in to the postnatal stage with Ellie.  I loved her, I wanted her, I never doubted our bond.  But it wasn’t easy, she had a bad tongue-tie, feeding was nearly impossible and all the images you have of being a mother are shattered.  This is of course normal in so many ways, how can you really know what something will be like if you haven’t experienced before?  

I simply feel like I was on a back foot, handicapped at the first hurdle because a thick sheet of black had already descended in my head before she even arrived and it hadn’t yet lifted.  The first few weeks were the hardest and slowly things did improve but not before I shut myself off from the world.  Not before I had lost every part of my brain that I could recognise as me. They say a picture speaks 1000 words; well I have a few that I still struggle to look at because of the words they speak to me. 

The second pregnancy was worse with pain.  SPD started in early pregnancy and by 14 weeks it was in full swing.  I had the lot this time and by the 20 week point I could hear my pelvis click and feel it physically grinding against itself at the front. This time it didn’t get the better of me, I did scream and shout until I had what I needed and then I screamed some more to be induced slightly early.  It is not a decision I regret in the slightest because it was right for me, my family and the baby.  

The pregnancy was physically harder but I knew the signs of the darkness coming and I managed to keep it at bay.  Yes things were hard after Trixie was born, this time the pelvic pain didn’t instantly go away, something I put down to the fact that the SPD was worse.  Truth be told it still hurts now a little, particularly when it is cold.  There are certain movements my hips still struggle with and I can’t sit down for too long without them hurting.  I did speak to an osteopath about it but he said he wouldn’t fix me, not because he couldn’t but because there was no point.  He said it would be a waste of my money as any benefit he made I would undo simply by being a mum looking after young children. 

Pain is a funny beast.  The physical discomfort is actually a very small part of its effects; the psychological damage it can do over a period of time is incredible.  One thing I did learn from it all is pregnant women don’t waddle naturally, pregnant women that are in pain waddle!

We are not having a third baby, I underestimated the SPD the first time but I am not prepared to put myself through it again.  I have no doubt in my mind I risk becoming bed ridden and I know some people find that hard to understand and a little dramatic but I know my body.  

Our family feels complete, I only ever wanted two children anyway but I will admit I occasionally wonder if I would feel differently if my pregnancies hadn’t been that hard.  I guess I will never know, these are the cards we have been dealt and I accept that.  My body couldn’t do it again and there isn’t a single cell in my body that wants to try…. Not even my ovaries!


23 February 2017

Feature: Insta Shops!

Behind every small business there is a story. I am intrigued to learn more about these stories and find out just who the people are who create these amazing small shops that we have come to love. 

Every sale leads to the owner doing a 'happy dance' so I am reliably informed. Every sale is a direct contribution to an individual family and a boost to those whose dream it has been to start a new venture. 

Who knew instagram hid a secret world of shopping? Not me! In the 2 months I have known I have become a self confessed insta shop addict. 

I want to share some of theses amazing people and their insta shops with you. So each week I hope to introduce you to the person behind another amazing shop.

First up we have NCDF Made with Love.

 This is a small shop selling handmade baby clothes at affordable prices.

Who is behind NCDF and what does it stand for?

The creator is 29 year old Nicola Metcalfe.

Nicola lives in West Yorkshire with her Husband Chris and two sons, Dylan (9) and Fynley (5 mnths).

NCDF stands for Nicola, Chris, Dylan, Fynley.

So what was Nicola's inspiration to start this small business?

Nicola Says; 
With my first son I was very young. I grew up with 3 sisters and had no boys around so when dressing my son, I played it safe and just went with baby blues and stripes for all his clothes.  

After becoming pregnant with my second child and finding out it was a boy I decided to look for something different. I wanted unique clothing that was different from the cliche of boys items sold by big retailers. I looked at handmade clothes and was shocked at the cost, they were just not within my budget.  

After searching for a long time, I came across a wonderful lady who sold the most beautiful fabrics. I bought the cheapest sewing machine I could find and just began making my own. 

I loved them, it became an addiction. I began to share some pics of the clothes on Facebook and Instagram and people showed a genuine interested.  My husband told me to just go for it and try making an outfit for someone, so I did.

When did you start up as a small business?

I started this in May 2016 and began selling one or two a week. But now thanks to social media and the online community spreading the word, I make around 50 a week.

Wow that's impressive. Is this your full time job or something you do in addition to another position?

I am currently on maternity leave from having my second son, so this has been something I have fulfilled from home alongside being a mum. However, I am due to return to my previous full time job very soon so it will become a part time venture for now.

Do you pre-make items?

As all items are custom I do not pre-make make anything. People usually like to discuss things first with me. Each item is specially made for that customer.

What kind of requests are you asked?

I get a lot of messages asking for special orders such as aeroplane fabric for their babies first holiday, rooster fabric for the new Chinese year etc. If i can source the fabric they want I am willing to do it.

What variety of items do you currently offer?

At the moment, I make leggings, bibs, hats, rompers and dresses.  
Shortly I will start making small blankets from jersey fabric.  

What does the future hold for NCDF?

Although I am still small in comparison to some of these shops, it is obviously progressing.

Im unsure what the future holds but for the moment I am still sat at my dining room table with my machines listening to all the wonderful songs on Disney Junior.

Have you enjoyed working from home?

I have found that being solo in this business is extremely time consuming. I work double the number of hours than your standard 9-5! But I love it.

It has allowed me to take my child to and from school every day, to go to school events and to watch every new thing my baby does. I have the flexibility to nip out for a coffee with my sisters if I want to. So I have enjoyed it, yeah.

Do you have anything planned for NCDF in the future?

I am really hoping to get to 1000 followers very soon. When I do I intend to search for Brand Reps and Enthusiasts, that love my items and want to support and spread the word for small businesses.  In return, there will be lots of freebies and big discounts on purchases for them.

I once participated as a customer in a market night event you did. Will there be any more?

That was my first and I absolutely loved it so I do intend to do another very shortly.  

Where can we find you?
Facebook: NCDF_made with love
Instagram: @NCDF_madewithlove

Thank you Nicola for being our first insta shop and lettings us get to know more about you.

I highly recommend her clothing, I have purchased from her for my twins not long ago. 

She does a fab Twin offer. BUY ONE GET ONE HALF PRICE (as long as same main fabric is used, cuffs can be different).

Go support Nicola, you won't be disappointed. 

If you know any fab insta shops that you would like to see featured here, email me at or DM me on instagram @twinsagainuk. 


21 February 2017

Huge Welcome to...

Hello all and I am back! I got through the week...just and Jake is back to preschool. But at the age of three I am already hearing "Mummy, I don't feel well" to not go back to school! You are three; how do you even know how to bunk off school?! I didn't work that shit out until I was in college (I know, I was a late developer!) 

Today I have a very brave and honest post on PND from Annarose from A Parenting Survivor on Instagram. This does involve the subject of abortion which Annarose doesn't advocate or disagree with but needed the article to be real and honest.  

I have said a million times and I will continue to, the women that are brave enough to speak out to help others need to be congratulated as doing so will go on to help others seek help. I have published a few PND posts now and I really do hope it helps at least one person to go on to seek help and support.

Over to Annarose and thank you for sharing with Bad Mum! 

Postnatal Depression (PND)  

“To be honest, I’m not actually feeling that great. The whole walk over here I was veering on and off the pavement - half from morning sickness but mostly from praying that I would get hit by a car so I wouldn’t have to deal with this anymore”

I remember very clearly the moment I told my midwife how I was feeling and her reaction. I don’t know what I expected from her but I know it took a lot for me to admit it. I had hit rock bottom. I could barely lift my head with the waves of nausea and fear that seemed to be gripping every part of my body. I was suffering from dreadful morning sickness. The previous night I’d needed to vomit but I’d left a pregnancy magazine in the hallway between my bedroom and the bathroom. It had gotten that bad that even glancing at the happy smiling woman on the cover holding onto her chubby pink baby was killing me. It felt toxic. I couldn’t bear to be near it, see it or touch it. Vomiting over myself in my bed was more preferable than crawling past the damn magazine. So I did.

“Oh dear, that’s a shame. I’m sure you’ll be fine”

When you finally get the courage to admit your feelings to someone, you feel like it’s going to be a cataclysmic event. Most people don’t feel depressed for a couple of days and then decide to seek help. Most people let it go on for weeks and months and don’t realise that the utter sinking feeling, the dark suffocating cloud, the total bleakness and lonely, empty void is actually a thing. Has a name. Well I didn’t. Most people struggle until it becomes unbearable and when you finally tell people it’s like a tidal wave unleashing itself.

Depression and I were old friends. Throughout my pre and early teens we had an unhealthy relationship. When depression first started to sink its claws in I honestly thought I was losing my mind. I convinced myself that I wasn’t normal, that I couldn’t tell anyone what was happening to me because if I did, they would say I was mad and I’d be taken away from my family. Like an expertly abusive partner, it had me in the palm of its manipulative hand. Keeping everything secret, holding it all in, never admitting to anyone the full extent of my utter despair. It took me a long time to deal with and manage my depression as a child. I sought no help so I received no help. I beat it but it left some dreadful scars.

So when those same feelings started to grab at my soul again many years later and the familiar blackness descend, I knew this time I would have to seek help because it wasn’t just about me anymore. I knew I had to open myself up for judgement, inspection, and maybe even derision. The old fears reared their ugly head. You will be called mad, you won’t be allowed to keep your child, you are a bad mother…but this time I was an adult. When it told me to keep quiet, I was able to tell it to jog on. What I didn’t expect however was the absolute patronising dismissal from my midwife.

“Hello…, I’d like to make an enquiry please about…about booking an abortion”

Six or more years ago, if you searched depressed and pregnant it took a really long time for you to find any sort of proper information. There was one website which was basically a chat room full of comments from terrified, desperate women, destroyed by prenatal depression. Some had abortions booked and were searching for guidance/reassurance. Some had gone on to have abortions and were looking for validation/comfort. Some lone voices had been through it, got through the other side, had their baby and the depression had lifted. There was judgement, name calling, nastiness. I clung, clung onto one thread from a woman promising that if you just kept going, just gave it a few more months then you would get through it like she had been able to. I must have visited that page about 10 times a day. But depression is depression and when my partner came home from work and found me too scared to crawl past a pregnancy magazine, paralysed in a panic attack that had me hallucinating my 11 year old self had walked into the room and sat on the bottom of my bed, even he knew enough was enough. Ever so gently, he allowed me to voice the unthinkable. Say the unspeakable. Just weeks previously we shared tears of utter joy at this new path in our lives. Now we were blinking into an abyss neither of us had anticipated. When I made the call to the clinic I was repeatedly asked if I was sure. I could barely talk and I think the staff member could sense my state of mind. She was kind though. Kind, gentle and non-judgemental giving me many assurances that I could call and cancel at any time.

The following day my letter arrived from the hospital with the date of my first scan. It was the same date as the abortion was booked. It felt like more than a coincidence. I was at a crossroads.

“Hello, I’d like to cancel my appointment please, I’m sorry but it’s no longer required.”

I don’t believe that anyone who considers an abortion, wants to be in that position. No one chooses that path wilfully or willingly. The guilt was overwhelming but I felt helpless without choice. Instagram hadn’t been invented, there was barely any information on the internet, I had no idea what it was that I had and my Midwife had dismissed my admission that I wanted to die in less time than it took me to tell her.

Ironically, it was booking the abortion that gave me the breathing space I needed to make a clear decision. In that moment, I was back in control. I had taken charge of my body. I was back to deciding who, what and when. For the first time in weeks, there was a stillness in my mind. Aside from the constant nausea and vomiting it’s hard to explain the feeling. I think it stemmed from the fact that I had begun to feel lost. I wasn’t just me anymore. I felt like everything I was and everything I had was slipping away. My identity was going, my body had been claimed by someone else. I’d spend almost the entire day in tears and almost the entire night wide awake and frozen with fear. I just felt utterly alone and completely detached from everything. I was losing myself and I was terrified. I wanted it all to stop. I wanted it all to end and honestly, I just wanted to die.

Looking back, I think it was purely my experience with depression that saved me and thinking about the whole time again, I’m not really sure how we made it all through. I knew I was depressed, but I didn’t know about pre-natal depression. I knew it could go away, but I didn’t know how to do it as a pregnant person. The turning point came when I admitted how I was feeling to my partner. My depression didn’t want me to tell other people, it wanted me all to itself so it could consume me, isolate me and destroy me. Telling someone I trusted, that cared about me above all others, was like that tidal wave I mentioned earlier. I let it all out and was able to share the pain with someone I loved that loved me back.

“Okay now, I know you are tired but you are going to have to give me one last push and then your baby will be here okay”

It’s a terrible tragedy my Midwife didn’t take me seriously and my life (and that of my unborn child) could have taken a dramatic turn had I not had the support of my partner. I ache for the women that might have gone to her before or after me in the same situation that she also fobbed off and made to feel stupid. I often think about the mums whose comments I read on that chat room – what did they do, how did they cope, did they go through with it? I rejoice however in the Insta community and the knowledge that there is a huge amount more information out there now. When I became pregnant for the second time, I was prepared. And when I told this Midwife that I had struggled with Prenatal Depression with my first pregnancy she was understanding, compassionate, supportive and extremely helpful. It was a completely different experience. It saddens me though that we still don’t talk about depression enough in pregnancy and afterwards. It took up until the day of the bookings before I cancelled it. I still felt no attachment to the baby growing inside me, I still felt a black cloud around me, I was still vomiting hourly but, and it’s a big but, I didn’t feel alone anymore. I felt stronger. I booked myself into CBT counselling. I talked regularly to my other half. I made myself get up, get out, get fresh air. I used all the tools I had developed when I was a child to get me through it. And I was lucky that I caught it before it did consume me and I am grateful that I had that support to tap into. I wanted to see my child on that scan screen. I wanted to feel happy again. I wanted to be a mum.

My daughter was born 6 months later. Healthy and happy to a healthy and happy mum. 


17 February 2017

FEATURE: Wake Up Gigs - For parents!

Hi all, sorry for the lack of posts this week but every time I go near the computer I hear "Mummy Cbeebies now?" because he wants to play the game on here! So sorry if this is rushed at all! 

Today, I have a feature from Wake Up Gigs for parents (sounds heaven!) 

Over to you! 

Wake Up Gigs!

Adam and I live in Stratford with our 18 month old son Edwin. Since having him we've found it's been a bit difficult to find as much time to enjoy the night life that we enjoyed, particularly going to gigs to see live artists. We've found that people whose life circumstances mean that staying out after 7PM is no longer viable as with full time jobs and bed times, it's increasingly difficult. This cuts out a huge potential audience for the live music scene which has dominated the world since the birth of pop. We've missed going to gigs so much that despite having no experience in the industry whatsoever we've set up our own! 

Therefore we launched Wake up Gigs, bringing reputable new live bands and artists to parents in a comfortable venue. We think music is more than just for festival season and should be available to all throughout the year in a city like London. We believe parents should be able to enjoy live music with their families as they did when they were child free! 

We had our first event on Sunday 13th November and we were lucky enough to have MALKA ( wonderful Shanade Morrow as well as a trio called the Pips. Importantly we believe the artists should be paid fairly, and offer a flat fee. Our launch was at Concrete, Shoreditch, we raised over £600 pounds for Barnardo's and the feedback from parents was so positive. 

The launch was such a success that we will be hosting again on Sunday 5th of March with three new artists (Joel Sarakula, Itchy Teeth and Peluche), with profits to Barnardo's.

For more info please contact Adam and Sarada at wakeupgigsldn for all the details! 

Thank you! 

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