A Manic Week

Phew! This week has been manic. It has shown me a glimpse of how it feels to be a working mum. My blog and #HugosLegacy work is like my baby in the sense of how they occupy my time, and I like to help them grow and flourish in the absence of a living child to care for.

Return to Work

This Tuesday was supposed to have marked my return to work after 15 months. Understandably, this was something I was very nervous about, and I had done my best to prepare.

Unfortunately my return to work had to be postponed by a day because Martin has somehow hurt his back. I took him to A&E on Tuesday morning because he was in so much pain and could barely move. It transpires he has a problem with his femoral nerve; bless him, he is still in lots of pain and discomfort, and it is one of those things that is difficult to do much about in the short term.

The postponement was one of those things in life that cannot be helped. It meant I needed to psych myself up twice over; on Wednesday morning I was incredibly nervous.

As with many things, the anticipation was worse than the reality. Just going to work, crossing that threshold marked a major psychological achievement for me.

Preparing my bag for work - including a framed photo of Hugo, of course.

Preparing my bag for work – including a framed photo of Hugo, of course.

I am fortunate that my manager, my team, and my colleagues are wonderful, kind, supportive people. I have been welcomed back with hugs, been told I have been missed and that is good to have me back. The return has so far been low-key, with people being very sensitive to my needs by not probing too far, and reassuring me it is fine to take time out, time away if needed.

A positive development is that I will be working mainly on patient information and experience, which is my passion and offers another opportunity to make a difference.

About to leave for work on my first day.

About to leave for work on my first day.

I am doing a phased return for the first few weeks to help me get back in to the swing of things. There are bound to be plenty of ups and downs, but possibly the most challenging part – starting back again – has been done.

#MatExp and #FlamingJune

June is a month of action for the #MatExp campaign. Every month, technically, is about action of course but June has been dedicated to action as a way of maintaining the brilliant momentum the campaign has already attracted.

On Monday we launched the new MatExp website. I had started building it only the previous Wednesday – it has been quite a project! Fortunately my fellow volunteers on the campaign are a wonderful, inspirational, hard working lot. We – the wider #MatExp community – are passionate about making a difference to women and their families.

You can find out more about #MatExp on the website; join our Facebook group, Tweet using the #MatExp hashtag. Everyone is welcome to make an action; there are no right or wrong answers, no one is ‘in charge’, and no action is too small. My action focuses on bereavement support for parents.

I was delighted to discover the #MatExp website had been mentioned at the NHS Confederation Conference

PND Hour

I was honoured to be asked by lovely Rosey to co-host #PNDHour about baby loss on Wednesday evening. #PNDHour is a brilliant Twitter concept created by Rosey to provide mutual support for those experiencing all kinds of pregnancy-related mental health issues.

The number of people – those who had experienced loss at all stages of pregnancy, and after, as well as those who had not lost a baby but wanted to know how to better support those who have – was incredible. It became difficult to keep up, and the chat lasted a lot longer than an hour because there were so many sad experiences shared and support needed. Tweeters talked about the taboo that still surrounds baby loss and feeling unable to talk openly about their babies, and the struggle to find support to help them move forward after their loss.

I will be compiling a more detailed summary on my blog soon – there are several areas for improvement around the provision of and signposting to better emotional support after loss. The chat also highlighted that health professionals also need better support to support women and their families. These tweets give a flavour of the discussion – I will link it with #MatExp.

Being a Best Writer Finalist in the MAD Blog Awards!

I found out I am a finalist in the MAD Blog Awards just before #PNDHour was due to start. I had just enough time to say “Wow!” before I had to get tweeting! I am so proud and pleasantly surprised to be a finalist – please would you consider voting for me?

So, that’s my manic week! I am pretty shattered now, and going forward trying to figure out how to find a balance with everything.


Prompt: ‘To be a…’


Word of the Week: Manic

The Reading Residence
Mums' Days

0 comment on A Manic Week

  1. Becky Cowley
    July 7, 2015 at 2:00 pm (6 years ago)

    I’m so late commentating I know! I have probably missed loads since this post and I aim to catch up.
    Just wanted to say a big well done for all you have acheived, are acheiving all in the name of your brave Hugo.

  2. hannah mum's days
    June 12, 2015 at 6:05 am (6 years ago)

    You really deserve to be in that finalist group, Leigh, you do so much for others and the #PNDhour sounded amazing. I’m really glad to hear your week back has been OK, your colleagues sound so lovely and I hope you settle back into it when you’re ready. Finally love to your fella, the back incident sounds awful! I hope he gets well soon xx Thanks for linking up love xx #TheList

  3. Sara (@mumturnedmom)
    June 9, 2015 at 12:13 am (6 years ago)

    What a week you had Leigh, and you’ve coped amazingly with all the busyness and the emotion, inspiring as ever. Huge congratulations on the MADs and I hope that this week is a little calmer for you x Thank you so much for sharing with #ThePrompt x

  4. Merlinda Little (@pixiedusk)
    June 7, 2015 at 6:39 pm (6 years ago)

    You are so busy! I love your shoes from before and I love seeing them now again. Goodluck with the Mad Blog Awards =) #wotw

  5. mummyshambles
    June 6, 2015 at 5:50 pm (6 years ago)

    Blimey, that was a manic week!
    I’m glad that your return to work went well. You look pretty fabulous in that photograph!
    Congratulations on being a finalist in the awards..my fingers will be crossed for you. X

    • Leigh Kendall
      June 7, 2015 at 7:29 am (6 years ago)

      Thank you! Still catching my breath…thanks for your kind comment xxx

  6. Kim Carberry
    June 5, 2015 at 8:39 pm (6 years ago)

    What a week! I’m so glad the return to work went well….Even though it was a day late. I hope your hubby is feeling better. You do so many amazing, wonderful things! Congrats on being a finalist in the MAD Blog Awards! I have already voted and of course it was for you!

    • Leigh Kendall
      June 7, 2015 at 7:55 am (6 years ago)

      Thanks Kim. Martin no better yet unfortunately…but we will keep on keeping on! Thanks so much for your kind comment xxx

  7. Hannah Budding Smiles
    June 5, 2015 at 8:24 pm (6 years ago)

    What a week my lovely! You continue to do wonderful things and you’re so inspiring, #HugosLegacy, #MatExp, your blog and your work will continue to go from strength to strength all because of you. I’m so pleased about your MADs nomination and I voted as soon as I could, fingers crossed!xxx

    • Leigh Kendall
      June 7, 2015 at 7:55 am (6 years ago)

      Thank you so much lovely Hannah – you are always so wonderfully supportive and I really appreciate it xxx

  8. thereadingresidence
    June 5, 2015 at 7:07 pm (6 years ago)

    Manic indeed! A very busy week for you, and an emotional one, too. So pleased your return went well, and I think you’re right in that the first hurdle was likely to be the hardest. And you know you’ve got my vote, lovely lady xx Thanks for sharing with #WotW

    • Leigh Kendall
      June 7, 2015 at 7:54 am (6 years ago)

      So manic and emotional on so many levels. Thanks so much, lovely Jocelyn xxx

  9. Life as we know it
    June 5, 2015 at 6:15 pm (6 years ago)

    I’m glad your return to work went well and that your colleagues are all so understanding and ready to support you. You are doing stellar work in keeping Hugo’s memory alive and helping those who have suffered the loss of a beloved child or pregnancy. Your MADS nomination is very well deserved x

    • Leigh Kendall
      June 7, 2015 at 7:33 am (6 years ago)

      Thanks so much Louisa – really appreciate your kind comment xxx

  10. Harriet
    June 5, 2015 at 4:03 pm (6 years ago)

    Congratulations on surviving this week, Leigh – you have done well. I really like your back to work outfit; it’s a gorgeous dress and you look wonderful! I have been wondering how you coped with your return, so it’s great to hear that you got such a warm and sensitive welcome back xxx


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