Letter to my daughter

The last year has been an emotional rollercoaster journey for me and most of it has been in secret, behind closed doors, only discussed with close family and friends. It seems there is a taboo on infertility even though it is such a huge issue affecting many women. So I thought I would break that silence. Here is a letter to my unborn child.

Dear Mattie,

I thought I would write you a letter as i will never get to tell you these things in person. I have been dreaming about you for so long that you seem real to me. You started to seem real when I started trying IVF in October last year but my heart started aching for you many years ago. But with each failed relationship, with each year of trying to conceive you seemed so far from reach. Over the last year, with each operation and each procedure I seemed one step closer to holding you in my arms.

I was looking forward to telling you all about these dreams and how much you were wanted and loved right from the start. I started a blog/scrap book to show you all the photos and bits of info I have about your dad. Someone who I will never get to meet but I had hoped you would when you were 18. Someone who was kind enough to give me this gift of allowing me to get closer to my dream.

I had long internal arguments with myself whether or not it was selfish to want you. I was worried that you would experience the hurt and heartache this world has to offer. But I convinced myself that there was enough beauty and kindness in this world, and the world would be more wonderful with you in it. I admit, I wanted so much to see parts of me in you, and the wonder of getting to know the other half of your genetic makeup. What would you be like? Would you have my wild, independent streak? Would you have the kindness and thoughtfulness of your sperm donor dad?

I wanted to share our family history with you. I wanted you to know your part in the world. It has taken me some time to understand where I fit in. I don’t feel I quite fit in any one family, but have a foot in each door. I had hoped that us two together would be a family, the family I dreamed of all my life. You were going to be called Mathilde Eugenie. A Danish name to remind you where you came from, and my Great Auntie Brenda’s middle name who I really wish you had met. She was an awesome, strong, inspirational woman. I picture you having a bit of her in your personality.

I was looking forward to showing you the world. I wanted to share my love of nature and my love of all things to do with water. I wanted to take you swimming in the rivers in summer, with the birds and the seals. I had pictured us  taking the canoe for trips out, like your great grandmother used to. I wanted your grandfather to teach you to sail. And you grandmother to share her love of her garden and crafts.

I knew it wouldn’t be plain sailing and there would be hard times we would have to get through. That we wouldn’t always see eye to eye. But I was looking forward to debating the ins and outs of life with you and navigating life’s rich tapestry together, until you didn’t need me anymore. And maybe, in my twilight years, you would be there for me and I would become a grandmother myself.

But Mattie, you weren’t to be. You made it to 7 weeks and 4 days. Your little heart started beating but you weren’t strong enough for this world. It’s hard to let you go. I know I have done everything possible but it seems its not meant to be. I will think of you always. Whenever I get asked, “do you have any children?”, I will respond no, but I will be thinking of you little one. You have taken a big piece of myheart.

I miss what never was.

DSC_1256 (1)

New Year’s Resolve..utions?


So tomorrow is the start of 2014, and most people will be thinking of new starts and new resolutions. But apparently, 88% of those who make resolutions fail. That’s pretty high.

In the Medieval era, the knights took the “peacock vow” at the end of the Christmas season each year to re-affirm their commitment to chivalry. On further research I quite like the idea of a Code of Chilvary, representing individual training and service to others and the knightly virtues of honour, courtly love and courtesy. But what are the top New Year’s Resolutions this year?

According to a survey (http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/) these are the ones the ones for 2014:

1          Lose Weight
2          Getting Organized
3          Spend Less, Save More
4          Enjoy Life to the Fullest
5          Staying Fit and Healthy
6          Learn Something Exciting
7          Quit Smoking
8          Help Others in Their Dreams
9          Fall in Love
10        Spend More Time with Family

Yup, they all sound pretty familiar. Then I found the 10 alternative New Year’s resolutions published in the Metro (http://metro.co.uk/2013/12/31/ten-alternative-new-years-resolutions-for-2014-4243057/):

1. Invent your own language
2. Stay exactly the same weight
3. Pledge to stay single for a year
4. Spend more money
5. Stay in the same job
6. Give up being one of those boring people at the NYE party who says ‘I don’t make resolutions’
7. Work more
8. Accept the fact that life is messy and imperfect
9. Get better at something you’re already quite good at
10. Take up drinking. Or eating cheese and chocolate before bed

These ones sound much more realistic. The TED inspired ones also appeal to me (http://blog.ted.com/2013/12/30/your-ted-inspired-new-years-resolutions/) So what will mine be? I think I will go for just two:

  1. Be kinder to myself
  2. Be kinder to others

Not sure how I will measure the success come December 2014 though!

Feathery Dreams

Mâle Eider à tête grise (Somateria spectabilis)

Naked bodies sweating out
Fears into feathery pigeon
Holes of thought.
Freudian slips
Of silk on Egyptian cotton.
Dreaming of flower beds:
Soft, earthy mattresses,
Warming bulbs and tubers.
Billowing pillows and
Down escaping from seams.
Dreams flying away on wings
Of eider ducks.

What is Social Enterprise?

I think social enterprise is more a way of doing business differently, rather than an entity.

Craig Dearden-Phillips explains how a social enterprise shouldn’t just be reserved for the ‘cultists’ who speak only of doing good and social impact, but should be more encompassing to include all those progressive businesses that want to make money for themselves and make a big social impact at the same time.

From my experience it’s about making balanced decisions in the board room. For example, a decision that would make the most profit might need to weighed up with the decision that would create the greatest social impact. These decisions aren’t always opposing but I have found in practice they often are.

We need to move towards a world where having social objectives in the DNA of the business is part of the norm. A world where we realise the business decisions we make do have knock on effects both positive and negative that ripple far and wide.

Ultimately, social enterprise is about people.


People like lists

I attended some training this week about writing or ‘doing words’ and how to get your message across. I learnt about structure. Here is a good structure to shape your writing:

  • The problem.
  • The consequences.
  • The solution.
  • The call to action.
  • Back up argument to counter any NO response.
  • The big, inspiring picture.

This serves for selling a product or service, asking for funding, and even selling an idea internally to the rest of your team.

I also learnt that people like lists! Here is a list I found today that struck a chord with me:

  1. Nothing is going to be perfect.
  2. We cannot control the chaos. But we can control ourselves.
  3. Action creates positive emotion.