Amy Antoinette - A Motherhood & Lifestyle Blog: November 2012

29 November 2012

Christmas at Chatsworth House

Last week Matt and I spent a few days in the Peak District. First on our list was visiting Bakewell, followed by a trip to Chatsworth House. After becoming late fans of Downton Abbey, it was lovely to see a grand house reminiscent of the one made famous by the TV series and take a stroll around the grounds. Unfortunately it was a bitterly cold day with howling winds, so we didn't manage to see all 150 acres of the gardens. We'll have to return again in summer and enjoy a picnic. 

Upon entering the house we were greeted with a magnificent Christmas tree and a corridor filled with swags of holly and mistletoe. The lower floors of the house had been transformed into lavish and beautifully decorative tributes to thirteen favourite pantomimes. Tales from Beauty & The Beast, Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel & Gretel, Sleeping Beauty and more were brought to life in a delightful way. Guides in costume wandered the halls and interacted with guests - the Fairy Godmother even had a selection of dresses and fancy dress outfits if you fancied transforming yourself into a character! If you're wanting some festive cheer I'd really recommend visiting Chatsworth, they've done a wonderful job of combining the magic of Christmas with the fun of pantomimes.

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27 November 2012

Winter Essentials

1. As soon as the weather turns cooler, I swap my favourite Vivienne Westwood pumps for some boots. I've just found out about Rockport shoes and love these chic boots from their Winter range.  
2. Winter calls for comforting candles and soothing scents. I'm enjoying Pumpkin Pie, Sugared Apple and Christmas Cookie this year.
3. A fur stole keeps chills at bay and adds a touch of glamour to any outfit.
4. I resisted the onesie for a long time but I finally succumbed its charms. There's no denying it's perfect for snuggling on a cold night!
5. I love how cosy socks get a fairisle makeover in the Winter months.
6. My ears really suffer in the cold, so a fur headband keeps them toasty and warm.
7. There's nothing like coming home after a cold day shopping and settling down with a hot drink. My particular favourite for this time of year is hot buttered rum - click the link to read my recipe and try it yourself!

What are your winter essentials?

25 November 2012

Life Lately - Bakewell

Firstly, thank you all so much to the kind people behind the hundreds of comments, tweets and emails I've received since I wrote my last post. Some of you also shared your personal stories of similar experiences, it helped me know I'm not alone. Your love and support has really touched both myself and Matt, it means so much to us to be in your thoughts and prayers. 

Last Friday we attended William and Noah's funeral along with our families. It was a heartbreaking moment stepping into a hearse which held our babies in a tiny white casket, so surreal and so wrong. Although plenty of tears were shed and it was such a sad occasion, we had a lovely service for our boys and it was the perfect goodbye. We've visited their grave a few times since and it has brought some peace knowing they're at rest together alongside other babies who were taken too soon.

After the funeral we planned a few days away together in Bakewell, a small village in the Peak District. We stayed in Glendon Guest House, a beautiful three story house where we enjoyed a cosy four-poster bed and fluffy pillows for some much needed rest and relaxation. As expected, Bakewell was filled with charming stores, bursting with shabby chic decor and quaint furniture. We also took a trip to Chatsworth House which had been decorated for Christmas and featured lavish tributes to family favourite pantomimes such as Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Peter Pan, which I'll be sharing with you in another post.

I'm going to try and get back into the swing of blogging regularly, it provides some momentary light relief from the darkness and brings some sense of normality back into my life. At some point I may also write about my pregnancy and birth experience, I feel it would be a cathartic process.

But for now, here's some pictures from our time in Bakewell...

11 November 2012

Always Loved, Never Forgotten

I never imagined I'd be writing about our babies in such a tragic way, but life can take unexpected turns, and although we always held out hope amongst the uncertainty, it ended in the worst possible way. After a complicated twin pregnancy, filled with many scares and hospital stays, I gave birth to our baby boys, William and Noah, at 23 weeks + 2 days, in the early hours of 1st November. There are no words to describe the pain we feel, the sadness of holding our tiny sons knowing it was for the last time, or the heartache of having to plan our babies funeral. There is nothing which can be said or done to ease the sorrow, we can only let the tears fall and hold each other.

'A Pair of Shoes'
Author Unknown

I am wearing a pair of shoes.
They are ugly shoes.
Uncomfortable shoes.
I hate my shoes.
Each day I wear them, and each day I wish I had another pair.
Some days my shoes hurt so much that I do not think I can take another step.
Yet, I continue to wear them.
I get funny looks wearing these shoes.
They are looks of sympathy.
I can tell in others eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs.
They never talk about my shoes.
To learn how awful my shoes are might make them uncomfortable.
To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them.
But, once you put them on, you can never take them off.
I now realise that I am not the only one who wears these shoes.
There are many pairs in this world.
Some women are like me and ache daily as they try and walk in them.
Some have learned how to walk in them so they don’t hurt quite as much.
Some have worn the shoes so long that days will go by before they think about how much they hurt.
No woman deserves to wear these shoes.
Yet, because of these shoes I am a stronger woman.
These shoes have given me the strength to face anything.
They have made me who I am.
I will forever walk in the shoes of a woman who has lost a child.