Downs Side Up Uncovered

It's that time of year when we begin thinking about World Down Syndrome Day which is coming up on the 21st March. The date represents the 3 of chromosome 21 that individuals with Down's Syndrome have. 

To raise awareness it is also Lots Of Socks Day, or Different Socks Day as I prefer to think of it. For we are all unique and play an equal role in life's colourful tapestry.

We can all get involved in this, wear different funky socks, dare to be bold, get your school involved, your colleagues.
I've decided to do some fundraising for 3 major charities; our local support group, the CDSSG, the Down's Syndrome Association who help families on a national level and Down Syndrome International who work globally.

What am I going to do? Run a marathon? Cycle from Lands End to John O Groats? Sit in a bath of baked beans? Sky dive? 

No. I don't have the time or the stamina for the first two options and I'm not very keen on beans, and I did a sky dive for charity when I was at college, so...

I'm going to be taking my clothes off for a photo shoot. I'll be protecting my modesty with a multitude of differently coloured socks.  Yep, that's right, I'm getting my kit off Calendar Girls style.

Yep, that's right, I'm getting my kit off Calendar Girls style.

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!


How on earth did this all came about? It's is a question I have been asking myself the last couple of days as I nervously prepare for the hoto session.

It began last year at the Britmums Live Brilliance in Blogging Awards ceremony, where I met Kate @kateonthinice for the first time. Kate and I really hit it off and shared a giggle over a glass of bubbles. We are both quite different, but our personalities slotted together, and it felt like I had always known her. It was a very rare evening where we felt like women, friends, writers, not only Mums.

Kate's blog The Naked Mum is a wonderfully supportive community for Mums trying to value every aspect of their lives, whilst supporting one another. She's had an idea to ask one blogger a month to pose naked, a way of showing that we are not just mums, but women, wives and partners too.

Kate says we should try things outside our comfort zone. It's better than regretting not doing them later on in life. And after all, in writing a blog, one lays ones feelings bare every time you press the publish button.

But more than that I want to show that Mums of children with Down's Syndrome, in fact any disability, are just like everyone else. We have wobbly bits and bits we like to hide, there are the unwanted pounds, places we are proud of, bits we don't mind flaunting, bits that have been stretched beyond return but most of all our wonderful bodies have made and nourished our beautiful children, just the same as everyone else. I am yet to find the green scales replacing skin.

Natty gets her first taste of breast milk at 4 days old

I remember when Natty was born, that I felt ashamed of my body,  foolishly guilty that it had not got it quite right. I have also suffered 5 miscarriages. By getting naked for this year's WDSD I am burying that ridiculous notion and I hope it helps other women celebrate the wonder that is creating all and every life.

I also help to raise awareness for World Down Syndrome Day and raise some money for those wonderful charities. Please sponsor me.

Hayley x


  1. Brilliant post, Kates experience and blog about her boudoir shoot gave me the idea to do one as well, and it was the best experience ever. A local friend had a baby 8 months ago and at a week old she was diagnoised with DS, so it has really highlighted Downs syndrome to me and fantastic things like this. Enjoy getting your kit off!

    1. Oh thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed your shoot, I am getting a touch nervous now x

  2. Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant! You are an inspiration Hayley! X

    1. Thank you for your support. I am just a touch nervous now. Still the money and awareness is rolling in!

  3. I am very honoured to be Hayley's photographer tomorrow on this wonderful and inspiring occasion. I am looking forward to depict this super-woman, who challenged the world perceptions, in her feminine and gentle self! Can't say I don't have trembling knees before this important job, But we will be aiming for meaningful, artistic, fun but tasteful images. Fingers crossed!!!

    1. Thank you Maryna for all your time and patience yesterday. It was a long and emotional day but I think it will be worth it. I actually ache today from all the posing!
      Much love

  4. Good luck with this - will look forward to the results lol!

    1. I spent all day naked yesterday and I was terrified and also found it strangely emotional. Flashbacks to the birth day I think, and why I was doing it of course.
      Will see the pics later this week I hope.

  5. Love you as you know. Love the idea of you trying poses you may never have tried before. Hope you get loads of support cos you so deserve it.

    1. Support and thanks. Kate you have tapped into something so important. Women want to be celebrated for who they are.


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