And… September. Neither of us are really loving that we are in September for so many reasons. As winter approaches, we approach our two biggest challenges of the next few months – Christmas, and Leo’s first birthday. Every degree cooler, and every day closer, just fills with a little bit more dread. With the sun leaving us, we just realise that another season has passed, and another one begins. Time – its not our friend right now.

Time is an odd thing. Its only been a few weeks, but looking back at lasts month’s challenge update – I barely recognise the words.

Read more about the challenge here, and read my original blog post here.

FUNDRAISE : Raise £5000 by Leo’s first birthday

We are currently sitting on £6,991.56 with some amazing achievements by our friends lately. Dare I say – who fancies donating £9??!

So what has happened this month… 

  • Our friend Adi and family completed the Birmingham Colour Rush in August, and has smashed all expectations with a current total of £1,055. We are blown away and so so thankful for their efforts!
  • We held a Tommy fundraiser in our local community, which was great fun! We raised £155 despite a lot of rain! It was great to finally get cracking on some Tommy’s fundraising, ahead of some cycling events next year.

And what is coming up… 

  • Our friend’s Siobhan and Sam are gearing up to the River Ness 5K THIS WEEKEND in aid of MAMA Academy – Leo’s first event for MAMA! If you fancy donating that £9… send it their way, please!
  • October is Baby Loss Awareness Month, and we (as Team Leo) are taking part in Miles in Memory for Aching Arms. It is a ‘do as much as you can, raise as much as you can’ type event, whether its walking, running, cycling or swimming. We’d love some company (and some healthy competition) so if you’d like to join in, just join this Facebook group here.
  • … and training in underway for the Oxford Half Marathon in aid of SANDS in October which is already sitting over £850!

There is always something happening, and we know that people have already been so generous – but do give us a shout if the cause inspires you to do something, no matter how small. We’d be so grateful!

WELLBEING : To do everything I can to be healthy mentally and physically in general 

The biggest step on this on is that my Cruse Bereavement counselling has started. I initially have 8 sessions, weekly, on a Wednesday afternoon. My first session was last week, and so far, so good. I’m not really sure what to expect, but I have felt calmer this week. This could be the counselling, or that I’ve stopped drinking a green tea that was giving me heart palpitations?! Either way, its a win!

I am slowly getting there with a lot of things, whilst I hate the phrase that ‘time is a healer’ because its ultimately a load of bollocks – time does help in some instances. I am potentially preparing to returning to work, something even a few weeks ago felt very scary. We have also been able to enjoy events with more ease, and relaxation, and a lot less anxiety. I take this as big progress, as it has been incredibly difficult at times to attend even the smallest of events.

We are looking for a quieter few months socially, as a way to balance out the Christmas/First Birthday struggle. We are working on sussing out what makes us feel most comforted about how to approach those two things.

STUDY : To research stillbirth and IVF 

There hasn’t been much of this going on recently, but there has been a fair bit of writing. I have written a blog about Aching Arms for the Silver Lining Hub which should be released soon, my #misCOURAGE story and our story for The Miscarriage Association, as well as a few other bits a pieces. I’ll share them on social media when things go live – but its been good to collaborate and get involved in different ways of sharing our story and the things that we have learnt – especially giving our latest lost the attention that it deserves.

VOLUNTEER : To enquire about working with a charity or organisation to help others

This weekend, I attended the Aching Arms AGM as a volunteer. I really wanted to go to be a bit nosey and understand more about the behind the scenes of a charity, and particularly one that we volunteer and fundraise for. It was a great opportunity to meet others involved in the charity, and understand its growth. I’m amazed by how much it has grown this year, and am proud to have contributed, even if just a little!

REMEMBER : To participate in some local & National SANDS remembrance events & take part in Capture your Grief in October amongst others 

Leo the Lion has been on some more travels, and we have seen his name written in a good few places. I also visited my mums hometown of Folkestone, where my sister now lives. We haven’t been back as a family for just over a decade, and as the place that we shared many a childhood memory with my grandparents, it would have been somewhere we’d have loved to take Leo.

I got quite excited at the prospect of taking a small windmill and placing it on a hill that they would always visit, and taking his footprints to the beach. I quickly then got so emotional about how that is something that excites me, and how normal it has become that this is our way of parenting and loving Leo. Its brilliant that we have found a way, but also so, so wrong that it has to be like this.

Next month, as Baby Loss Awareness Month, there is quite a bit happening and I will take part in Capture Your Grief on social media, and share them here too. It is something that I wanted to do months ago, and became part of this challenge – and I can’t quite believe that we are actually just a few days away. Again, time.

Not the fullest of updates, and it doesn’t really feel like much has been achieved this months. Its been up and down with anxiety, events and all sorts. I am so pleased to say that one of the highlights has been being able to meet and talk so openly to some of our new found friends – they are a constant support, and without them, I’m sure I’d be rocking in the corner that most people think I rock in!

3 thoughts on “5for5 Challenge : Month Seven

  1. I’ll be intrigued to hear how you get on with Cruise. My husband keeps toying with the idea of going but he has yet to take action to get on the waiting list! I hope it helps xx


    1. I’ll keep you posted, I have another session tomorrow. I think with anything like that, personality plays a huge role as does an open mind. I do like that they are there for a bereavement specifically. I find that very validating. Less counselling about my “troubled childhood” and more support about loosing Leo. I’m just glad we weren’t left hopeless after contacting them, which was how we felt with every other avenue… xxx

      Liked by 1 person

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