Taboo

So it’s been 8 months since the wedding. The best day of our lives. I won’t lie, the come down post wedding was really hard. The honeymoon was so relaxing. So fabulous. It was exactly what we needed, but then reality sucks you right back in. 

Suddenly one month after the wedding. I found myself staring at a positive pregnancy test and I felt somewhat dumbfounded. It wasn’t that we weren’t trying, it was more the shock that it actually really worked. 

What surprised me the most was how much you have to pee. All the time. I literally couldn’t sleep longer than 2 hours before my bladder was pushing down. 

Aches, anxiety. Strange emotions. Protective of something you can’t feel or see. Worried of everything you eat and trying to stay calm. 

10 weeks in and not a sign of morning sickness. I was beginning to think I was a lucky one. That somehow I’d escaped the rough side of pregnancy. Two weeks until the scan I was feeling home and dry, getting excited to be nearing the second trimester. 

Then during a date night with the bear, a trip to the bathroom resulted in tears as I saw spots of blood. I’m calmed that this can be natural. Can be just a breakthrough bleed. But then the cramps started. 

Trips to the doctor and then emergency search for a private ultrasound scan as I just couldn’t wait for the NHS one. Only to reveal my little one was only 6-7 weeks not the 10-11 we thought. 

A rip roaring cry emerged. A primal growl I didn’t even know I had emerged. This was not good. Somehow I had confirmed something that had been lingering in my mind. My lack of symptoms. Sometimes morning sickness can be reassuring! 

Next stop A&E as the pain forced me to all fours. Pain coming in waves, cramps and contractions confirming that my body is preparing to say goodbye to my pregnancy. 

Despite that it didn’t let go. And sadly it took an emergency surgery ERPC (Emergency Removal of Product of Conception) how glamorous a name to remove it. 

Now, 5 months later we are still trying to conceive again. What seemed so simple before seems to elude us. 

Coupled with the loss, I discover I’m BRCA2 positive. In layman terms I’m a genetic carrier of the breast and ovarian cancer gene. My risk far outweighs the general public. I need to start thinking of my options and smart decisions. Do I want to do an Angelina!? 

Why is my life so complicated all of a sudden. Newly wed and clouded with loss and confusion. All I want is to glow in being a wife and focus on extending our family. But instead it’s hospital appointment after hospital appointment and talking through choices until your no more clear than you were before. 

Having lived through my mums breast cancers twice and seeing her struggle and defeat it is a very grounding reality of the risk. 

But a 10 hour surgery for natural reconstruction following a bi-lateral mastectomy is not any easy call to make. 

And delaying starting a family at 35 is hard. A year minimum until strong enough to start trying. Then how long to conceive… I could be 37… my risk of healthy pregnancy… 

So here I am writing this down, sending this into the ether of the world, trying to make sense of emotion and desperately searching for a rational conclusion. 

I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to not do something.  Do I see a fertility doctor. Do we try and get pregnant and then focus on surgery. 

At the same time I cling to work and my marriage. Try to have stability wherever I can. 

To be continued…. 

The Wedding

It happened. It really happened. #ToriMarriedBear

I honestly can’t quite put into words how incredible being married feels. It’s only been two 1/2 weeks and I love it. 

Despite months and months of preparation, nothing prepares you for this feeling. A wholesome, secure feeling that radiates from within. It has somehow consumed the almost daily anxiety I had. Whether this feeling is shortlived I can’t say, but it is and has made me feel amazing. 


The day, as everyone told me, was a blur. Too fast. Too much to take in. Too incredible to completely comprehend. Feeling like you constantly need to press pause to just take everything in. Absorb the emotions. Photograph in your brain everyone’s reactions. Play over and over the ceremony. It’s all just over before you can catch your breath. 

Our dream was to be married outside in our favourite Cotswold hotel, The Hare & Hounds in Tetbury. The place we became a proper couple, decided to live together, to buy a house and then in fact get married. You could say that the hotel is as much part of our relationship as the Bear & I. There was no other alternative. 

Two months of daily if not hourly weather watching ensued. I have never been more interested or scared to watch the weather. We say English people can talk more on the weather than any other nation and I can quite believe it. Somehow. Despite all the threats of cold, rain, cloud, thunderstorms and generally typical English spring weather. We awoke to beaming sunshine. Our outside ceremony seemed totally possible. Nothing would stand in our way. With a ceremony booked for 3pm we just needed the sun to stay with us. With my girls around me, we popped a cork and set about getting ready. The hair & makeup artist, Holly Anderson, arrived promptly at 7.30am and with seven of us to make up set about making as all look and feel amazing. The best bit was being able to have my wedding day present from the Bear. Opening it on the bed to find the most exquisite Claudia Bradby pearl necklace. So chic, elegant and yet a hint of blush pink to add a modern twist on the so thoughtful wedding gift. I love them so much. Sadly the pearls didn’t match the rest of my outfit so I wore them up until I got into my dress but have worn them every day since.By 9.30am I couldn’t stay in the room. I skipped over to the wedding venue room and inspected the weather and grass. Everything was looking good. Better than good, my dream for the room had come together and  with my maid of honour and mum had a little cry of sheer happiness and a little bit of surreal knowledge that this was all for my wedding. My florist arrived shortly after 11am and whilst the tables and button holes were incredible the bouquets were not what I expected or briefed. I was so disappointed. I love flowers and had diligently made a whole PowerPoint presentation to the florist on what i wanted. I couldn’t fathom what had gone wrong. I felt slightly faint and a little ashamed that this could upset me so much. So I decided not to look at them. In retrospect, I can now see that they were pretty and worked with the theme but can’t quite get over that they weren’t my dream flowers. The ones I had lusted over for more than a year. But I guess that’s the thing about fairytale weddings. Sometimes despite our best efforts the reality isn’t always the same. I told myself I’d rather have the weather and everything else ok with the day. As long as I can zip up my dress it will be fine. At 11.30am it was my time to get in the hair & makeup chair. Despite having a trial it felt really exciting and all of a sudden very very real. With my hair done, my makeup perfected and my hair piece affixed it felt like a thousand butterflies had been released in my body. The only thing that stood between me and the alter was now my rather snug Pronovais dress. 5 months of dieting had resulted in 2 1/2 stones of weight loss and a hope and prayer that I would be able to zip up and breathe in my beautiful dress. With some slight miracle of last minute stress weight loss the dress zipped up a dream and I even had to have the shoulders sewn tighter. I breathed a huge sigh of relief. I had hardly slept in days with worry it wouldn’t fit. Rather crazy but believe me in the run up to the wedding nothing in your head is very rational. Suddenly it was 3pm and I was about to get married. I bustled out the door and greeted my dad. I’ll never forget the look he gave me. That proud amazement was quite overwhelming. I still had to get through walking down the aisle and my vows. This stuff is not for the faint hearted. 

I had somehow picked 4 inch heels and an outside ceremony. Thank goodness for Clean Heels to stop me sinking into the grass. I had to literally kick forward to stop my dress trapping my legs. No one teaches you how to walk in your dress! One thing is for sure go to the toilet a billion times before you get zipped into it as you don’t want to try it when you are in it. But with my dad at my side telling me jokes the whole walk down towards the aisle to keep us calm, I have never appreciated him more. The ceremony was magical and rather blurry.  Trying to look at Bear, not cry and say my vows was a challenge. Thankfully the mother of one of my bridesmaids is a registrar and had agreed to marry us. Without her guidance and reassurance it would have been hard. All I seem to remember next is looking and seeing our wedding staring at the photographers. Desperately trying to see if everyone is enjoying the Pimms and Champagne on the lawn and secretly really wanting one. My cheeks ached from so much smiling, you honestly can not stop yourself beaming like a Cheshire Cat.  Like a blur suddenly it was time to enter our reception. Everyone was smiling and I was desperate to go and chat to everyone. I barely ate a thing. We were whisked off again to have some couple photos and when we returned the main was being served and I can’t quite believe that the day was half gone. We cut our cake and I could not wait to try it.  After 5 months of dieting the idea of an unadulterated feast on cake frosting was almost too much. Quite simply I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever tasted. Be it the artistry of the baker, the magic of the day or my sudden desire for sugar I can’t tell you. All I know is there was absolutely nothing remaining after the wedding. Three tiers, Chocolate & Guiness Velvet, Chocolate & Salted Caramel with a top tier of Apple & Cinnamon. I know I stole away 2 pieces for the Bear & I to devour after we had hung up our dancing shoes. Feeling faguely guilty yet in the knowledge that it was our cake we’re allowed to take it. The evening called for outfit number two. There was no chance I would try to whirl my huge train around on the dance floor. Big huge Pronovais dresses are not built for power ballads. So I slipped into a vintage inspired Amanda Wakeley gown, gorgeously embellished and very twenties in style. We had a surprise in store, with a live band, Three Bags Full, as well as a DJ and they did not disappoint. Everyone was up, laughing, dancing and having such a great time. Our dream had come to life and even our photographer said she really wanted to stay and party as the atmosphere was so infectious. 

I’ve never felt so exhilarated. If this is love it truly is the definition of bliss and security. I never knew marriage would be so elating and grounding. Someone said to me ‘welcome to the best club in the world’ and he could not have been more right. 

It’s now 2 1/2 weeks since we said I Do and I’m still smiling. I can’t wait for our next adventure. What I do know is that marriage is great and I couldn’t have found a more perfect day if I’d tried to pull it kicking and screaming from Pinterest.

Garden Renovation : Part One 

Before today our garden was beginning to resemble a jungle. Since buying the house in the depths of winter last year we haven’t raised a finger to the garden. With the house now becoming a home, we have been anxious to get outside and cut through the weeds to reveal its inner beauty. 

With a long bank holiday weekend begun, we joined the DIY army, at our local Homebase store. Our last garden had been a small walled courtyard affair so suddenly we needed garden tools, lawnmower, a hose… Basically everything! This was our trolley after only 10 minutes… 

We fell for some new garden furniture, which we realised after filling our trolley so rapidly, will be an online purchase. 

After a quick stop off to deliver an Easter Egg to the Bear’s dad. Off we ventured to the jungle. 

Like total amatuers we approached with caution. With the Bear on the lawn, I tackled the wild flower beds. 

The lawn before we tackled it. 

   

After a fair bit of research we had opted to buy a Flymo Hover Mower, they float above the grass (apparently) and is light weight. Even I could move it around super easily. You can check out the lawnmower buying guide we used here

The bear set the mower to the highest setting, as our grass was jungle length. This can be reduced so you can achieve a short beautifully manicured lawn. Well we are hoping this is the case.    

We are pleased with the result so far. A great arm work out too! 

My weeding task is rather epic and so I started in one place and aimed to get it cleared today so we could start a new section the following day. 

You can see the bed before I took a fork to it.  

  

This was really really hard work. Forget Nike Workouts on your phone. This was a toning muscle worker. Thankfully we had inherited a compost heap so we had somewhere to put the weeds! Below you can see the result of my labour. The plant I left in the bed is a bamboo, really cool. My mum, an incredible gardener, had identified it via FaceTime two weeks before.    

   

Above you can see the lovely spring planter we bought, they really offset the slate beautifully. 

Tomorrows task… Take down the glass side of the shed. It’s just too dominant in our little garden. We have a gorgeous (my favourite) Cherry Blossom tree behind the shed so removing the glass half will reveal its glory.         

Plus, of course the weeding continues! 

To mine, and the bear’s surprise we can’t wait to get back out there. Weather permitting.