I’m Kayleigh, The Writer behind Candyfloss & Dreams
I help encourage and support pregnant women who may have had a difficult first birth or classed as high risk make informed decisions, access support and provide the tools to make their next birth a positive experience. Throughout my blog you will find plenty of topics from pregnancy updates to hypnobirthing and if you would like to connect with other pregnant women and read positive birth stories you can join our Facebook Community.
At the start of my second pregnancy I was told I was, again, high risk due to a BMI of 40+ and due to my previous birth ending in an unplanned c-section. I found the experience really traumatic but eight years later found myself pregnant again. Whilst I was high risk, things were very different and I was determined to change my narrative surrounding pregnancy and birth. I wanted to have as positive experience as possible so I started taking measures to reduce my anxiety and surround myself with a positive, supportive environment that would help give me the tools I needed to have a positive second birth.
In between my pregnancies I have been vulnerable.
I left a volatile relationship in July 2012 which resulted in me becoming a homeless single parent. I moved back to my home county of Hampshire, where I still live now with my current partner, Adam and my daughter Evangeline. I was living in a women’s crisis centre for ten long months where I had various counsuelling sessions to manage and cope with my anxiety and adjusted to life as a single parent, battling residency arrangements, trying to make new friends and, eventually, dating. We moved in to our council flat in June 2013 and since then life has gone from strength to strength.
For the last three years I have turned my blog into my business and developed a real passion for sharing my story in the hopes it will help other women that have felt vulnerable, been homeless or had the courage to leave a toxic and abusive relationship. I have written honestly about my daily struggle with social anxiety which I thought would flare much stronger in my second pregnancy as I thought I might be reliving the trauma of my previous birth. I’ve also discussed what it can be like living in a hostel with 21 other vulnerable families and shared how my life has changed for the better.
Adam and I found out we were expecting a baby in January 2018 and were thrilled. Having a new baby will bring on plenty of challenges as our family grows from three to four. Around the time our baby is due Adam will be starting a three year Criminology degree, my daughter will be returning to Junior school and our life will be hectic, but I can’t wait. Currently in the third trimester of my pregnancy I have not let anxiety get the better of me and have had a positive, yet high risk, straightforward pregnancy and plan to have a positive birth no matter how it happens. I’m looking forward to sharing my positive birth story with you in October 2018.
During my pregnancy I was told that due to my high BMI I only had a 15% chance of a successful vaginal birth after caesarian. I didn’t want to have major adominal surgery for my second birth and looked into how I could increase my chances. I’ve learned a lot about my maternal rights during this pregnancy which doesn’t seem to be common knowledge as I’ve also read a lot of pregnancy and birth stories of women in a similar situation to me, that have felt they haven’t had their voices heard and didn’t know they had rights during the decisions made in their pregnancy.
I’m currently writing a book. I’m regularly writing about my pregnancy and experiences on my blog and some of this content will be included in my book, however, I am writing about how having a high BMI doesn’t define your pregnancy and how you can still have the positive birth you want, however you want. I outline the risks I have learned through various medical studies, talking with midwives, consultants and my doula as well as documenting how my high BMI pregnancy is going. There are things you just don’t realise will be asked when you’re overweight and pregnant and that you can still have a really healthy pregnancy despite having a high BMI. However, larger women often feel like they have some of their rights taken away or they have a real limit when it comes to their birth preferences despite a huge lack of research for women with a high BMI. I felt it was important to let other women know that they can still make informed decisions, they can still have the birth preferences they want and that the more we talk about it, hopefully, the more positive birth experiences
I now desire to help other women as much as I can and I am looking into training as a Hypnobirthing Teacher and Doula so that I too can help support other women during their pregnancies. I can’t wait to share this journey with you.
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