Twitter ID: @leighakendall
Height: 5′ 3”
Hair: Wavy shoulder length, dark brown.
Is this your first blogging conference?: Yes, I’m going courtesy of the kindness of the lovely Kylie from Not Even a Bag of Sugar (@kykaree).
Are you attending both days?: Hopefully, yes.
What are you most looking forward to at BritMums Live 2014?:
What do you most hope to gain from BritMums Live 2014?
These two questions are best answered together. I restarted my blog in April this year following the death of my baby son Hugo the previous month.
Hugo had been born when I was just 24 weeks’ pregnant because I had severe HELLP syndrome, a rare pregnancy complication that nearly killed me. I’d never heard of it before, either.
Writing offered me a way of sorting out my feelings, because it was difficult to get any kind of grief or trauma counselling. For me, it was a case of write – or explode.
The blogging has offered me an online support group that I never could have imagine, and has been invaluable.
Since HELLP syndrome hit me, I’d planned to blog to raise awareness of this evil, but thankfully rare, condition. I’ve been succeeding in that aim but another, unexpected, outcome is how resonant my blogs have been with people who have had similar experiences.
Most of my hospital experiences were excellent, but there have been several issues that could have been avoided through very simple things like better communication. I’ve been using my blog to raise awareness of these things too, and it’s also helping give other people a voice on social media.
Naturally, I’m absolutely heartbroken about losing my much-wanted, much-loved son. I’m also passionate about using my experience – and channelling my anger, grief and frustration at the unfairness of it all – to make a positive change for other people.
I’m really interested in the Inspire sessions at the conference, and how to utilise my blog even further to advocate for change, and help make a difference. Having never been before, I’m not really sure what to expect, but I’m hoping to get lots of ideas – and tell lots of women about the signs of symptoms of HELLP syndrome.
However, I’m a bit scared too. The conference will be the first significant thing I have done since Hugo’s funeral. I’m worried about it all being too much.
My memory and concentration are terrible at the moment, so please forgive me if I seem zoned out – it’s the way my brain functions as a result of everything that has happened rather than rudeness, honest!
What are you wearing? I haven’t planned any outfits yet but being short and curvy and knowing dresses suit me best, I’ll be wearing a dress of some description.