Saturday, 28 September 2013

Let's get this show on the road

My PSS stall 
 After a lot of planning and preparation, it was finally time to get my show on the road. I got everything ready the night before - Pregnancy Sickness Support leaflets, posters, roll-up banner, t-shirt ... and travel potty. The last item is of course not strictly PSS-related but I find it's always best to be prepared when in the early stages of toilet training a 2 year old!

I decided the best approach would be to ease myself in gently (and build up gradually to the task of lecturing student midwives in February!). So, I chose a very familiar and friendly place as my first Road Show venue - my local playgroup, Pop in and Play. It's fair to say that it's a regular haunt of mine (perhaps second only to Costa Coffee!) as I've been there almost every week since Little Miss was a tiny baby and she's now two and a half. The ladies there are all so lovely and they work very hard to make everyone feel welcome. I really don't know what I'd do without my coffee and toast on a Friday morning!


I'm delighted that my first Road Show event was Pop in and Play and I would like to thank Penny and all the wonderful ladies who run the playgroup, as well as all the mums and dads.

Little Miss and her playdough worm 
My next event is on 18 October. Keep an eye out for updates and please sponsor me. Thank you.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Coffee afternoon 2013 and a big "thank you"

In March this year I held a coffee afternoon to raise money for Pregnancy Sickness Support.  It was the first time I had ever done this kind of thing and I had no idea what to expect. How many people would turn up? How much money I would raise?

Well, I didn't run out of cups ... or cake (which was my main concern!) and I made over £160.

I was struck by two things:  First, I was surprised to discover how many people who came had either suffered themselves, or knew a close friend or relative who had suffered, from bad pregnancy sickness or HG.  If only I had known when I was pregnant, particularly the first time round, that it was not just me then maybe I wouldn't have felt so desperately alone.

Second, I was overwhelmed by the support I received from friends and family.  Pregnancy Sickness Support is a charity that is very personal to me.  However, I also understand that there are many other worthy charities and that people may prefer to donate their money to other causes.  So I was touched to receive such a positive response.  Everyone was incredibly generous - even people who couldn’t come along were handing me money and cakes in the school playground. It meant a lot to me that others were so amazingly supportive of a cause that is very close to my own heart.
So, I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who supported my coffee afternoon in any way, whether by coming along, baking cakes or donating money or raffle prizes – you all know who you are!
As part of my Nine Months of … challenge I will hold my second fundraising coffee afternoon to coincide with HG Awareness Day in May next year.  I hope that I can make it even more successful than the first.

Please support our 'nine months of…' campaign by donating here.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Positive developments and raring to go

Even before the official launch of the Nine Months Of campaign, I was busy contacting different organisations to try to arrange to see them as part of my PSS Awareness Roadshow.  It is surprising how time consuming this is and I was starting to get a little disheartened that I had put in a lot of time and effort without having any dates fixed in my diary.

So I was over the moon to receive an extremely positive response from Birmingham City University.  I am delighted that they want me to contribute to their midwifery course by speaking about HG and Pregnancy Sickness Support to 60 (yes, SIXTY!) of their student midwives as part of their studies.  The focus will be on my own personal experiences of HG, how midwives can best care for women suffering from HG and, of course, the resources and support that Pregnancy Sickness Support offers.

I am particularly excited at this opportunity because, of all the groups I contacted, student midwives are perhaps the one I wanted to speak to most.  As future midwives, they will be an important point of contact for women suffering from any level of pregnancy sickness and are therefore a key factor in whether a woman receives the treatment and support she needs. 

But I have to admit that with the excitement comes a little trepidation at the responsibility I have to those women who will be looked after in the future by these students. It is crucial that I convey to the students not only the enormous and devastating impact that severe pregnancy sickness and HG can have on a woman, her family and their daily lives but also what midwives can do to help. If successful, I will hopefully (indirectly) help many women in the future to get the support, information and treatment that they need. Thankfully the training is not until February and so I have plenty of time to prepare.

Having had such a positive start to my campaign, I feel inspired and raring to go. Keep an eye out for updates on my blog and please sponsor me if you can spare a pound or two.

Please support our 'nine months of…' campaign by donating here.