Brit Mums Live 2013 Part 1: A Rambling Gush of an Overview

You cannot find peace by avoiding life

This weekend I attended Brit Mums Live.

I bought my ticket before Matilda died and on the day of her funeral when bloggers from all over the country came to stand by my side I knew that I wanted to still attend.

My sponsor, the lovely Keira from Mama Designs, came to Tilda’s funeral and I asked her then if it would still be okay to go, without my beautiful, Snoodie wearing, baby.

It was of course okay and I am very excited about working with Keira over the coming months.

Because of her sponsorship I was able to go to the two day conference, because of her kindness and friendship I was able to get myself out of bed on the first day and make my way there.

I did not arrive at Brit Mums alone.

After a little look at Platform 9 and 3/4 I met the lovely Susanne, Ghostwriter Mummy, who has not left my side since Baby Tilda died. Until Friday our friendship had been words and actions online apart from a few snatched hours and an emotional reading at Tilda’s Goodbye. On Friday we met each other, held each other and cried. And it was wonderful because I knew in that moment that she feels as strongly about me as I do about her. A life long friendship has been made.

We had a lovely lunch and talked about all manner of things. I could have quite happily stayed there all day. There is so much more that I wanted to say.

But we made our way to The Brewery spotting other possible Brit Mums along the way.

We found the venue and the queue to get in. The sun was shining, it felt good to arrive with a friend.

Once inside there were more cuddles from more friends, tears were shed and smiles through tears were shared. So many well wishers and memories of Matilda Mae.

I am glad that I did not give into my fear. I am glad that I had made the day.

True courage is not the absence of fear.
it is taking action in spite of fear

Last year I loved the conference and felt that I learned so much about blogging.

This year I wanted to find out more about writing and taking my writing journey where I want it to go.

I wanted to learn about writing a book, I hoped I might find out if people thought I had the ability and content needed to write a book, I wanted to find out how to blog better for charity and how I can use my blog to help other people like me.

My favourite Friday session was the Conversation with an Agent. I really liked the man leading the session and could imagine sitting with him, telling him my story, sharing my book ideas and being given good , clear, constructive criticism along with inspiration and ideas. I wonder if might like to meet me for a coffee? I wanted to enter the Dragons’ Den but was worried I would just get too emotional and scare a potential agent away.

Anyway …

That was my Friday highlight.

That and meeting two extraordinary women that I have long admired from afar. The very lovely, Emma (Crazy with Twins) and the wonderful Tamsyn from Anecdotes of a Manic Mum. Both these ladies made me smile, cry and laugh, and talk, really talk. And Tamsyn tweeting that I ‘ate her winner!’ will be a magical, emotional moment that stays with me for always.

On Saturday I missed the beginning of Katie Piper‘s keynote but I am glad that I did not miss it all. Through floods of tears I listened to her story and so many of the things she said rang so true for me. I felt like my heart was breaking all over again. I could not breathe and I knew a panic attack was coming. I had to run out of the room.

It was the poem about her old face, I could have written every word for Tilda.

I miss you.

I think about you every day.

The fun we used to have, those memories I have of you,

I will always treasure.

I know, I know you are gone forever (but never forgotten).

Sometimes I wonder if we will be reunited in Heaven?

The words that broke me were when she said ‘I want to wear you again, take you to the supermarket’

I would give anything to wear Tilda again and do the everyday things we used to do.

Hearing those words fill the room just snapped my heart all over again.

With the help of my friends I made it back into the room to hear Katie continue to talk about her journey

To listen as she thanked her Mum

And to be part of the standing ovation that saluted her.

What an awe inspiring, amazing woman.

She has made me want to do the same.

To turn the awful horror of Tilda’s death into something positive

To make a difference some how

For families still complete and babies still alive

I want to support The Lullaby Trust in their fight against SIDS


The Katie Piper Foundation aims to:

Progress intensive rehabilitation and scar management for burns survivors
Provide information on and access to non-surgical treatments for burns and scars
Campaign for consistent clinical care
Develop a support network for people living with burns and scars
We help people with burns and scars to reconnect with their lives and their communities.

I want Tilda’s death to mean something.

I know now that this is how I am going to survive.

Saturday afternoon was what I had been most looking forward to. And the sessions did not let me down.

Blogging with heart for support I feel I am something of an expert on. I have blogged through NICU, SCBU and raising premature twins. I have blogged about successfully breastfeeding said twins in the hope that it will help others. I have blogged about having three children under two, about baby loss, cot death, planning a baby’s funeral and helping toddlers grieve. I have also written our story for my own selfish reason for the comments and tweets and conversations that have helped me get through the last 5 months. The last 3 years really. The love and friendship I have found in this amazing online community I am certain has changed my life. My online friends seem to know me better than anyone and are always there, 24 hours a day, to give me the help and support that I need. In the 48 hours after Tilda’s death I spoke to you beautiful people more than I spoke to anyone else. Thank you x

The panel in blogging for heart were all more than qualified to be in their chairs. The session was a passionate one. The stories compelling, hard to tell and hard to hear. They were real.

The sessions lead by bloggers for me made the most impact throughout the weekend. Apart from the lovely agent man who I would like to take me out for coffee!

The Blogging for Charity session was amazing and there was so much that I wanted to say. If there is a charity close to your heart do not be afraid to approach them. Tell them your story and what you would like to do for them. Blog about them and send a link to your post. Let them know that you are there and that you want to help.

It is not going to be all about big trips to foreign countries. So much money and awareness is needed for charities and challenges here in the UK.

You can help to solve problems that are close to your heart.

Every single one of us has a voice that we can use to make a difference.

i have taken part in campaigns for Save The Children and Tommy’s but mainly I work with Bliss and The Lullaby Trust because they are the causes I know and understand. They are the ones that I am able to help the most because I understand the needs and the pain of the people they are trying to help.

If there is a cause you would like to champion, you have ideas and passion and want to make a start. I urge you to get in touch. Sometimes a tweet is all it takes. Look what happened with us and The Lullaby Trust.

Tilda has been dead for 5 months next week. We have raised close to £15000 in her name and the total is going up all the time.

Make the call, send that tweet or text and make a difference to someone somewhere today.

And if you want to support Bliss or The Lullaby Trust then please just let me know x

Saturday ended with the bloggers keynotes. I love hearing the posts read out loud. I really enjoyed Actually Mummy’s post but the highlight for me was Merry, Heather and Susanne getting a standing ovation for their tribute to Baby Tilda and the strength of online friends, and the time to remember Kerry.

I always knew that I would find the tributes hard.

I was stronger for Tilda’s tribute than I was for Kerry’s.

I was missing them both this weekend and hoping with all my heart that somewhere out there they are together and my MM is being looked after by another beautiful MM taken too soon.

They are both lighting up the sky and living on in our hearts.

It was an absolute honour to be a blogger this weekend.

And to feel part of such a wonderful, community.

Thank you x

20 thoughts on “Brit Mums Live 2013 Part 1: A Rambling Gush of an Overview

  1. Oh Jennie it was an honour to meet you, and to know you were ok with my speech. Thank you for your lovely words on Twitter afterwards. I am stunned by your composure and courage. I had no idea what I was going to say to you when we met, but you made it so easy. You are a remarkable mother and you will do important things, I know it x

  2. Thankyou for mentioning me. I’m so glad you felt you could talk to me. I remember when we were talking one to one and it got emotional someone interrupted asking if you were ok. I bet they thought I was a horrible cow for making you cry, but you said you need to talk and you need to cry, so we carried on. I felt that whilst I have not been through the things you have, we had a connection when we talked. Both bloggers, both emotional people who write from the heart and bare our souls, both mums of twins and both with similar aspirations of book deals. I could have chatted with you for hours. And hopefully we will have lots of laughs together at the MADS.

    ps. Can I come to coffee with nice book man too? Xx

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  4. I feel so emotional reading this. I’m so glad you made it to Brit Mums and that you got so much out of it, Jennie and I feel more determined than ever to raise money for The Lullaby Trust in Matilda’s name in a whole variety of ways, starting with my Violin Marathon. We must have dinner soon, I long to see you! Well done, brave lady. x x x x x

  5. Oh Jennie, this is a fabulous round up. I’ve been feeling very emotional about it all. I’ve only just found out today everyone stood up after Sue and I finished speaking about Tilda. I had no idea as I just fell into your arms and wasn’t aware of what was happening. My only regret from the weekend was that I didn’t spend as much time with you as I would have liked but I know you had Sue looking after you. I’ll treasure all the times we did spend together and thank you for the lovely card. It’s an honour being your friend Jennie, it really is and I’m honoured to have read for Tilda again xx

  6. Oh Jennie. What a beautiful beautiful post. I am so happy that I was able to spend the weekend with you!
    Speaking on behalf of you and Merry was utterly terrifying but something that I would do again and again if you needed me to. I promised you I will help you to build Matilda’s legacy and I intend to do that. You were amazing this weekend.

  7. What a fitting post for such a fitting event and weekend. Again, another emotional read. Thank you so much for sharing, I’m new to blogging but already massively enjoying it and the friends I am making. x

  8. Oh jennie I couldn’t read this without tears pouring. I was so overwhelmed to meet you. You and tilda, because she was so present, ike her baby arms were carrying you, around your neck giving you heavenly kisses telling you she is there all the time, in spirit, not in body, but her presence I felt so strongly and so vastly and so vividly it was like I could see her. Your pain, there is no comparison. You should have won and not eaten my winner! But I am so glad for typos!!

    I love you dearly and it was such an honour to meet you and your heaven baby…

    I do so hope we will meet soon again.

    Until then I pray for you all the time, my kids have something for you guys so I need your address. Inbox me it?

    So, so much love strong lady,

    Tamsyn xxxxx

  9. I’m so glad I got to meet you Jennie. As I said, you were the person I found to be most like her online self because it really is you. So truthful, so honest and open.

    It really did feel like Matilda was there all weekend. I didn’t even know for sure if you were in the room when Katy Piper read the poem, but it made me think of you and baby Tilda too.

    The standing ovation was so well deserved for ALL OF YOU. I liked Actually Mummy’s talk too. It made me want to rush home, back to my baby and children. Thankfully, I returned Sunday and they were all safe.

    Yesterday, I should have unpacked, paid bills, washed clothes, tidied, uploaded photos and blogged. I didn’t. I had a bath and a play with Izzy. Then we had a blanket on the settee day – feeding, playing and singing.

    I wish you could do that with Matilda. I really, really do. But her beautiful memory is so alive in all of our hearts. As the bus took me home on Sunday, the sky was lit up bright as the moon was at it’s closest to Earth. It was a beautiful sight.

    Thinking of you as always.



  10. I am so glad you had such a good experience – is that the right thing to say? I kept looking over at you, I wanted to say hello, I stood close to you on a number of occasions, but my nervousness and shyness got in the way. I am sorry for that – I really wanted to meet you. That’s my biggest regret of the conference, not having the courage to say hello to someone as brave as you. I felt a bit of an idiot. You were in my thoughts a lot over the weekend, especially during the keynote speeches. X.

  11. I am so pleased that you found the weekend so helpful, and inspiring – particularly the sessions within the room that I was frantically trying to keep in order! ;-) I am glad I managed to finally meet you even though it was all too brief, I do so wish I could have spent more time chatting to people instead of waving my arms about like a lune xx

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  13. I don’t think there was a single person at BritMums Live this year who wasn’t thinking of you at some point and hoping you were okay. I only found your blog after people started blogging and tweeting about Maltida Mae and it breaks my heart to think of everything you must have gone through and still be going through.

    I spent most of Oscar’s newborn stage in constant fear of SIDS… my cousin died 5 weeks before I gave birth to SADS (the adult version) aged 24. It rocked our entire family and it was just so clear in my mind how precious life is. Then at 38 weeks I was diagnosed with OC and words like “increased risk of stillbirth” were thrown into the mix. I know how much fear I had around just the thought of losing my baby and so I cannot even begin to comprehend how overwhelming the reality of it must be. I see your posts and my heart goes out to you, even when I do not have the chance to comment. You amaze me with your strength and courage and your passion for sharing it all so that someone else may avoid the same heartbreak you have experienced.

    I’m glad to hear that BritMums Live gave you a chance to come together with friends xx

  14. Jennie, thank you for sharing such a thoughtful post. I wish I could have said hello in person. It must have been difficult to come in one respect but I hope the love and support of blogger friends made it a positive day. xxoo

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