The Week That Was: March 29, 2016

I’m a bit late with the weekly update this week, because…life.

Hugo’s Anniversary

Hugo's garden on Sunday - lots of bright colour to celebrate our little boy's life.

Hugo’s garden on Sunday – lots of bright colour to celebrate our little boy’s life.

Sunday marked the second anniversary of Hugo’s death. It is a day that has loitered with sinister intent in the lead up to it, with thoughts of the events that happened during the days leading up to Hugo dying.

Those thoughts culminated in a post – I Thought We Had More Time – it was one of those posts that just flowed out. I cried a lot writing it, but I know my brain would not rest until the words had come out. The response to the post was overwhelming – thank you. I am particularly touched that so many health professionals have read and reflected on it; I am glad because while nothing clinically could have been done differently for Hugo, there was a lot of insensitive behaviour and I hope other families may be better treated as a result.

Hugo’s life was far too short. However, his legacy has had such a tremendous impact, and I wanted to celebrate that. I asked people to raise a glass to Hugo, and was astonished by the number of people who joined in.

The pictures posted on social media featured favoured alcoholic tipples; some Hugo cocktails; tea; coffee; hot chocolate; and all sorts of other beverages. I didn’t care what was inside the cup or glass, the very fact that people had taken time out from their Easter Sunday to remember Hugo, and celebrate his life was very special indeed. A huge thank you to everyone who took part – it really does mean the world.

Your love and support helped the day pass peacefully.

Raising a glass to Hugo.

Raising a glass to Hugo.


Blimey, it’s been a hardcore week for workouts!

Last week’s PT session featured a lot of arm work – press ups from a medicine ball, and kettle balls as well as the usual boxing. Oh my goodness my arms ached the following day!

The day after that I went to spin class, which was led by a different instructor to usual. This instructor had us doing chest presses and tricep dips using the handlebars as support. I survived the class, but my arms were defeated. It was difficult to dress; I couldn’t do my hair; and I had to cancel seeing a friend because I was unable to drive. Thankfully the pain lasted only a couple of days.

I surprised myself on Sunday by feeling glad the gym was open (being Easter Sunday). With the anniversary of Hugo’s death, I was feeling manic and stressed, not knowing what to do with myself. Rather than eat my body weight in chocolate, which is what I might have done before (and it’s fine to do that sometimes), I headed off for a circuit session. It was particularly satisfying to take it all out on the battle ropes!

A few weeks in to my training programme I am feeling the difference in my body – I am doing moves I never thought I would be able to; inches are disappearing and I am feeling stronger – physically and emotionally. The emotional side is due to endorphins, but also having a constructive outlet for my stress (hurrah for boxing!).

Wrote myself a list about why I like to work out – and yes, the last one is directed at you, Mr Fertility Consultant 😡

A photo posted by Leigh – Headspace Perspective (@leighakendall) on


My CBT therapy has gone really well, with various aspects of my wellbeing that are monitored by a survey each week improving. It’s not all perfect, though: some aspects have deteriorated, while others have remained the same.

Happily, I am starting EMDR therapy next week. In the simplest terms, EMDR is about reprogramming the brain to be better able to cope with the memories of a trauma. With PTSD, the trauma memories feel ‘frozen’, meaning when you experience a trigger it is like being there all over again, usually inducing a panic attack.

That has meant I have done my best to avoid my triggers, because panic attacks are scary and exhausting. But avoiding triggers is exhausting too because of always having to be on high alert.

Evidence suggests EMDR has excellent success rates, so I hope it proves to be successful for me, too.


As I mentioned last week, it is awards season in blog land.

The team behind the MADS awards have the wonderful idea of tweeting the names of people who have been nominated in the various categories. I am really chuffed to have been nominated in the Blog Writer and Best Writer categories (being nominated does not mean I have reached the final because nominations are still open – they close on April 8 – but you’ve got to be in it to win it!)

I was honoured to be a finalist in both the Best Writer and Outstanding Contribution categories at the MADS last year – there is still time to make a nomination (the more the merrier and all that)

If you would like to nominate me in the MADS or the BiBs, it would be wonderful. Making nominations in both awards is straightforward, but to make it even easier here are some links:

  • Nomination form for the MADS and details of the available categories. I’d love to reach the final in the Best Writer category again. You also need to make a nomination for Blog of the Year. To make a nomination in whatever category you need my blog url –
  • You can read more about the categories for the BiBs – I’d love a nomination in the Inspire or Writer categories. To make a nomination in for the BiBs you’ll need my blog url, as above, as well as my Twitter handle – it’s @leighakendall. You’ll also need to include a link to your favourite post from my blog, which is entirely your choice. Nominations for these awards close on April 13.
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2 Comments on The Week That Was: March 29, 2016

  1. Hannah Budding Smiles
    April 1, 2016 at 8:21 pm (4 years ago)

    It’s wonderful that Hugo’s Legacy is making such a difference my lovely. Well done on the gym stuff, sounds like you’re absolutely smashing it! I hope your EMDR is helpful and that you feel some benefits from it. You’ve definitely got a couple of MADs and BiBs nominations from me xxx
    Hannah Budding Smiles recently posted…Tickle Tots Wet Bag Review For Cloth NappiesMy Profile

  2. Kaitlyn
    March 30, 2016 at 6:26 pm (4 years ago)

    Hello Leah! I am excited that you are starting EMDR and want to wish you good luck with it. I did EMDR after my Sacha’s birth and death, and it was enormously helpful. However, it was also unpleasant at times, and could often be tiring and stressful – in fact, I got in the habit of scheduling my general CBT appointments for after my EMDR, so that I could process what I went through in EMDR with my regular trusted therapist. I want to encourage you to fight through it even if it is difficult… Many people do drop out and give up, because it is hard. You have done so many other hard things, though! If there are times that you feel unable to make an appointment, reschedule and keep the next one… You can do it, and all the evidence points to it being effective – which was my ultimate experience.


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