Hi, I’m Sarah, founder of Bide & Bloom, which I first created to help me open up about life after baby loss and secondary infertility. My blog also explores the meaning of self-care and, more recently, it’s become home to a series of guest posts, which I publish as part of #thebigselfcareshare.
By day I run a digital design studio with my partner Jonathan and we’re parents to the bright and beautiful Cora. By night I research and write to try and make some sense of the last two years. Before 2016, ‘recurrent miscarriage’ was a term I wasn’t familiar with, however, it’s a very real part of my life now, and trying to grow our family has taken us down a difficult path. My first blog touches on our story.
Being inside your own head after experiencing any kind of loss or trauma can be lonely. I’m surrounded by supportive family and friends, but with nobody to turn to who shared my experiences, I needed an outlet, and the online community has been something of a safe haven for me. Of course, the very act of hitting publish on a post is enough to fill me with anxiety, but within minutes of sharing I’m comforted by a kind comment on my feed or a message to say “me too!” There are so many of us out there who are struggling with self-care, forgetting to be kind to ourselves or simply refusing to be as we’re operating from a place of guilt or, even worse, shame. And so it’s encouraging to see that there’s an appetite for change, for people to open up about their mental health.
My mental health is something I’ve always had to be mindful of. But no more so than now. Fortunately, the bereavement and perinatal counselling I had in my late twenties and early thirties gave me the tools I needed when I lost my son during my second pregnancy. I recognised when it was time to seek help again, I found wonderful support through charities and the greatest support to me (as I know I can turn to it whenever I need it) is my journal.
While it’s always been there in some shape or form, self-care was a term I didn’t really buy into. But since understanding what it means for me, whether that’s writing, yoga, dark chocolate, running or enjoying a healthy (usually family-sized) bowl of porridge, it’s grown into an almost daily, mindful practice. It helps me navigate back to a place of security and strength, where I can continue living life, enjoying experiences and making memories. Even when shite happens.
When we’re struggling it’s easy to absorb any negative thought and feeling and make it our reality. But at our most resilient we can tap into the knowledge that things might work out in the end. Perhaps they won’t work out the way we had hoped or expected them to, but I genuinely believe that what’s for us won’t go by us.
And that’s where Bide & Bloom comes in.
Bide – to stay; to dwell; to endure
Bloom – to flourish; to prosper; to thrive
Now that I’m having to dig deep to find patience and stillness and work on my health, ‘Bide’ is a word I can truly identify with. It grounds me.
‘Bloom’ has so many positive connotations, especially in improving fertility. But more than that, it honours our little buds, the babies we couldn’t bring home, the tiny humans who will always have a place in our hearts. This is a space where their short lives can have a lasting impact. Because that’s where self-care truly started. With my babies.
My hope is that this space will offer something positive that others can perhaps benefit from. Upcoming blogs include books that have helped me, tools that lend support and stories that can inspire.
Thanks for reading.