• Endometriosis •

I’ll be honest, this one is a touchy subject. I’m 20 years old, and I’m scared shitless. I’ve been suffering from chronic bleeding & pain since I was 14 years old. I was told by gynaecologists that I was ‘too young’ for my problems to be anything serious. One gynaecologist even gave me a prescription for yet another pill without talking to me for more than two minutes & told me ‘you’re dismissed’. I feel so much pain that some days I can’t move, I start vomiting, and even sometimes faint. I bleed for months at a time & experience clots the size of my fist. Despite all of that, nobody would listen.

My GP sat across from me about two months ago, told me I have endometriosis and that I probably can’t have children – at just 20 years of age. So, I found a gynaecologist that would listen to me. On the 30th of this month I’m due to have an operation, because this doctor is somebody willing to do everything he can for me to help my endometriosis, avoid a hysterectomy and have a chance to have a baby.

We are praying that the operation goes well, that I stop experiencing pain and heavy bleeding, that I won’t have to consider a hysterectomy (which is the option after this surgery) & that I can prove my doctor wrong so that in the future if my husband & I want more children, I can carry our babies.

To say that this is emotionally straining, is to say the least. I am blessed to have my husband supporting me, although I surprisingly haven’t received the same support from other women. I have been asked if it’s ‘just period pain’, I’ve been told I ‘need to be fired’ because work colleagues think I’m faking it all, and my mother of all people hasn’t asked me once if I’m okay in all of this. There is such little awareness surrounding endometriosis, and as women I think we really need to step up & start supporting each other in this subject. If any mummas out their have endometriosis, or have experienced something similar, please comment and tell me your story.

Autumn xx

• The ‘M’ Word •

A little backstory – When Payton first started trying to say my name, we would repeat ‘Can you say Autumn’, & every time without missing a beat she would reply ‘Water’, and so my name was officially changed throughout the entire family to ‘Water’ because that was what Payton wanted to call me.

Fast forward to March 2017 (exactly 1 year since ‘Water’) – Payton started to occasionally call me the ‘M’ word. Mum. It would slip every few sentences, & I would correct her adding ‘Water’ to my response. For example, ‘Mum I want a drink’ would be answered with ‘Water can get you a drink sweetie’. We figured this will pass in her own time, & we will continue to gently correct her.

Payton is a very switched on little girl. As months went on, the phase didn’t end & the ‘M’ word didn’t stop. She began to ask things like ‘Did I come from your tummy’, and very quickly switched on to the fact that she came from her Mummy’s tummy and that I was her stepmum. I don’t know how, but her little brain has the whole situation sorted out and under control. She is incredible.

The ‘M’ word is now the only thing she will call me. She very proudly tells me she has two mums. & I know very well I am not her Mum, and I never will be. I made it clear from the beginning that yes I am here to support her, provide for her, love her unconditionally but one thing I’m not here for is to take her Mummy’s place. For now, however, I have one very strong willed stepdaughter who knows exactly what she wants in life and exactly how she feels, and who are we to take that away from her? As I tell her Daddy, we never know what my name will be in 6 months or even a years time. Water, to the ‘M’ word, to who knows what!

• I Do •

Absolutely nothing prepares you for the level of emotion you feel on your wedding day. Its literally 12 months of preperation for a single day of a hurricanes worth of emotions. & it is so goddamn worth it.

Im proud to say in all that emotion, I only had one (almost) bridezilla moment. Standing in my hotel room, with my photographer & it starts raining. I mean pouring with no signs of stopping with just 10 minutes left until I’m meant to be standing next to my husband, on the beach saying my vows. My photographer (who was absolutely incredible by the way) suggested we think of relocating the ceremony, in case the rain didn’t ease up. & that was when my bridezilla hormones started to rise, so I told him not to talk to me about the rain or ceremony location until it was time to go. & by the grace of god, or some kind of higher power, right on 5pm when we were all (my husband, celebrant, our 2 witnesses, our photographer & myself) standing in the hotel reception wondering if we should just do the wedding right there – the rain stopped & we ceased our moment. It was the most spontaneous ceremony, as we ran out into the hotel garden & rearranged their seating under a shelter with our makeshift signing table being the hotel barbeque.

I wouldnt change a single thing about our day. Not the fact that we eloped, not even (if it was in my power) the rain, & certainly not that I got to stand in front of the love of my life and proclaim my love for him.

Autumn xx

Photographer: Chris Harding @ Catch a Star Photography

Celebrant: Tarnya Bennett @ I do for you weddings

Hair & Makeup: Shannon @ Aurum Bride