|Moving on after divorce, with the help of Elesi|
Divorce is tough. Even the amicable ones are hard.
It breaks hearts, divides families and makes us second guess ourselves. For me, a light went out inside and I didn't laugh, sing or dance for a very long time.
One of the most difficult parts for my girls and I was leaving our beautiful family home and watching it sell and having to start from scratch. The family home was a place filled with memories, the venue for parties and games, stories, hugs, smiles and tears as well as latterly, much unhappiness. This was where they grew up, built snowmen, learned to ride bikes. It was the backdrop for every living memory they had. It's where Natty was actually born almost 15 years ago.
We moved out with very little, but one friend remarked that what we did take was mostly sentimental. Photos, children's art and twinkly lights. We rented a small bolthole for a bit, and three years later have now have moved into our permanent home.
It's lovely, stable, warm and calm but needs a lot of work. Welcoming 1960s charm is everywhere, it has the feel of a much-loved grandparent's house, but that includes Bakelite electrical fittings, textured wallpaper and quirks like a loo that flushes hot water!
Please welcome Elaine Walsh and read her beautiful story below, as she tells us about the early days with her daughter Síofra, who has inspired her to help other new parents.
|Síofra and her Mum Elaine|
When my daughter was born I wondered why I wasn’t feeling that strong bond as we lay beside each other in the hospital.
Myself and my husband had desperately wanted our own child. We went through IVF unsuccessfully. We were thrilled to be pregnant. So I really wondered why I wasn't besotted. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to see past her diagnosis. I judged myself really harshly for even thinking like that.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I didn’t realise that because I had a cesarean birth I hadn't felt the explosion of Oxytocin, the naturally occurring love hormone, that mothers experience when they give birth vaginally. It creates that bonding feeling.
Three years later, I have come to understand that it was more probable that the lack of Oxytocin in my body and the fact that she had to be lifted from my body was the reason that I struggled to bond with her. And that it had nothing to do with her extra chromosome.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
|Win 6 months Twinkl Ultimate Membership|
Here at Downs Side Up we love to bring you news of innovative ways to help your child develop and communicate more easily.
We also love to offer you a freebie, especially if it's an educational freebie. So enter our competition at the bottom of this post to win 6 months Ultimate Membership with the resources experts Twinkl. This fantastic prize is worth £50.
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Our dear friend Lloyd Page wrote this glowing review of our book I Love You Natty which first appeared on Independent Consultant Nurse Steve Hardy's blog here. Steve supported Lloyd to write this fabulous piece.
|Lloyd Page and his copy of our book I love You Natty|
Lloyd works for Mencap, write books, trains medics, tell lots of jokes and has a learning disability. He is one of a handful of people who checked in on us daily during lockdown to see how we were doing.
Despite being hospitalised with Covid-19 himself, Lloyd is always thinking of others. This is what he thinks of our book:
George Webster show us why we all need to see ourselves represented in the media.
|The following article first appeared in iNews|
“It’s my friend George! He’s the same as meeee!” my daughter Natty squealed, as we tuned in specially to watch CBeebie’s newest presenter teach us how to blend a smoothie.
Natty’s college-aged big sister Mia perched between us on the edge of the sofa, each of us grinning with the sort of pride you only feel when a family member appears on your screen.
Like any professional kids’ TV show presenter, 20-year-old George has all the right characteristics to get BBC pre-schoolers and those with special needs glued to their screens; effervescence, bubbly charm, a quick wit and a trendy vibe that his viewers aspire to emulate.