People's Stories!, Pregnancy and Baby

Danni’s Birth Story

Danni, 26 shares her traumatic birth story to raise awareness for other pregnant women.

Danni is one of my best friends whom I met through the Colostomy UK support group via Facebook. We have been eachother’s rocks through our pregnancies and everything that she has been through, we have gone through together! *please note any triggers before you read about trauma, surgery and birth*

About 2:30am on the 11th November 2021 I finally had enough of feeling unwell and my gut was telling me something was badly wrong. (For those of you who know I’m a Type 1 Diabetic and have been for 16 years now) I checked my ketones and they were extremely high which is VERY dangerous for a Diabetic let alone a PREGNANT Diabetic.

Josh (Danni’s husband) immediately called for an Ambulance who said that because I was still breathing, it would be a 6 HOUR wait and that I wasn’t classed as a priority. I then rang my family who rushed me straight into A&E and even though I explained my situation to the Receptionist, I was told it would be a long wait. Knowing full well I was in something called DKA by then, which again is VERY dangerous and life threatening.

I eventually got seen by Triage about 15-20 minutes later who understood my situation and quickly got me onto a bed in the main A&E bit of the Hospital. I had NOTHING done other than bloods and my health started quickly deteriorating (throwing up black stuff with blood in it) which I mentioned SEVERAL times to the nurses. Maternity didn’t even come down to do a check on Jackson even when I told them I hadn’t felt him move AT ALL for hours.

By about 9am my amazing Diabetes Team came to see me and noticed how ill I was, they then rushed me into Resus and proceeded to work on me trying to get me stable. Maternity came down and I will never forget my Midwife’s face when she put me on the baby monitor. Jackson was in severe tachycardia and I was also in pre term labour.

DKA (Diabetic Ketoacidosis) masks the normal symptoms of everything especially in Pregnancy. I was also in severe tachycardia so the Surgeons came down and decided to get me straight up to the operating theatre and do a Cat 1 C-Section which means a threat to life unless intervention can be done.

I had to have a spinal (where local anesthetic is injected into the spine) because it was too risky to put me under general anaesthetic, which I was kinda glad about because that meant I could have Josh by my side in theatre while they saved both mine and Jackson’s lives!  Myself, Josh and our families will be forever grateful that me and Jackson are now safe and healthy.

The reason why a full investigation is being done by the NHS and PALS is because the A&E staff should have done so much more, being busy is no excuse before someone comments that. The nurses were talking to eachother quite a lot so I know they weren’t rushed off their feet and when I was being violently sick they just stood there looking at me. I also wasn’t allowed Josh with me even when I was in critical condition.

Just wanted to share my story, I’m VERY grateful we now have our little family, I do have PTSD from the Trauma but hopefully that goes away in time.

Very proud of Danni to raise awareness of such a traumatic event in aid of helping others!

Pregnancy and Baby

Knowing The Necessities and Accessories With A New Born

Before having my new born, there was SO much items I got either free, gifted or bought. It’s amazed me just how much I haven’t needed! In this blog, I’m going to help you prepare for a new born with what items are necessities and accessories.

Firstly, let’s talk about accessories; things that look lush but don’t serve much purpose or that are really not needed so much.

  • Changing mats – where these can be practical mostly for traveling and easy to take to places e.g visiting family, they are actually quite messy when changing your baby and they have an accident. Due to being waterproof the accident stays and your baby gets messy so easily and it takes longer to clean up as well as longer time cleaning your baby.
  • Feeding pillows – where these look super comfy and cute, it actually makes feeding a bit more difficult and they take up quite a bit of room.
  • Prep Machine – where this looks super cool and a good bit of electronics to have in the house, a kettle is much better due to being much more sterile and you don’t have to worry too much about cleaning and worrying about any bacteria that may get trapped as it would in a prep machine.
  • Joggers or jeans type outfits – for a newborn these are great for a photo shoot or a day out but practically speaking, it is a lot more difficult and time consuming to put these on! New borns have accidents and also suffer with colic so the tight waistband of these can make your baby a lot more uncomfortable.
  • Fancy bottles and teats – this is the most important lesson I have learnt! Don’t buy too many of these until you have had your baby. When in hospital, there are two different types of teats and you will learn what works best for your baby whilst in hospital. When you go home, you can buy what works best then to save wasting money on bottles and teats!
  • Fleece type blankets – where these are good for walks in the pram, practically for moses baskets and cribs these aren’t ideal! Your baby over heats so quickly with these and can cause your baby to become dehydrated and unwell very quickly.
  • Pre made milk (if you are formula feeding) – I thought this would be most handy to have! The pre made milk takes longer to heat up than what it does to cool down a fresh made bottle with powdered formula.
  • Maternity clothes – over priced and buying a size or two up saves you A LOT of money. I personally found the maternity jeans SO uncomfortable.

Of course, every baby is different so some things that one baby likes, another may not. For safety and great advice, read those booklets your health visitor gives you! They are packed full of great information and are so helpful.

Now for the necessities! Things that you need close by at all times and a stock of!

  • Size 1 nappies – have a good stock of nappies! Even in your hospital bags for going into hospital. Try a few different brands or stick to one, whatever works best for your baby makes a happy baby. It’s handy to store some next to your bedside; which I’ll elaborate on in my next point.
  • A storage caddy – these are so handy for keeping items close by, keeping them tidy and organised! In my caddy I have nappies, sudocrem, nappy sacks, wipes, sleep suits, vest suits, bibs, coconut oil, bed time oil, a fresh towel, the red book, cotton wool pads and soothers.
  • Lots and lots of hooded towels – these are fantastic for nappy changes (any accidents are quickly absorbed) as well as their main purpose at Bath time.
  • Coconut oil – this is a great way to keep your babies dry skin at bay and really good for massage time! It contains no perfumes and is totally natural.
  • A bath support sponge – you can get these on amazon and I’m so glad I got one! You can use them in the sink, bath or in a baby bath to keep your baby supported during bath time. Making bath time so much easier.
  • Drawers specifically for baby stuff – however many drawers you have, it’s good to keep your baby’s clothes, nappies, bathing items etc in their own drawers so it is easy to find them.
  • Variety of sized clothing – now this is a BIG one! Different places are differently sized with clothing and it is super frustrating. So it’s good to shop around and get a variety of sized items.
  • Cellular blankets – you can never have too many! You’d be surprised just how many you use and go through daily.
  • An electric or cold water steriliser – both of these are just as good as the other. The cold water steriliser is great for keeping items in there for upto 24 hours if you don’t need them constantly and the electric steriliser is great for items you need sterilised quickly.
  • Tummy time play mats – there are such varieties of these to choose from and are great for keeping your baby entertained when they are wide awake.
  • Maternity pads/breast pads – these are a MUST. Normal pads simply don’t cut it, where everyone does bleed differently, there are some days you may bleed heavily and the maternity pads are super absorbent. The breast pads are handy when you leak and although I didn’t leak very much, it does help having them in your bra to avoid any staining on your bras and clothes as well as keeping you fresh.
  • Nighties – I found these far better than pyjamas especially in hospital due to frequency of needing the toilet and vaginal examinations.
  • Granny type pants!! – post partum these are a god send. If you are a c section mumma, even better; these help with recovery by not putting pressure or rubbing on your scar as normal underwear would. (If you are an ostomate, Vanilla Blush briefs are amazing for recovery after a c section by helping keep your bag away from your wound/scar.)
  • A nappy changing bag – any will do but SUPER useful when you are out and about.

When it comes to baby chairs, bouncers, prams and car seats always make sure they are certified and within date if you are getting any second hand. There are so many gorgeous ones to pick from within any budget. If you are receiving benefits you should sign up for your best starts card (this may only be limited to Scotland – this I am unsure of) and make sure you get your MatB1 form. Scotland also has the baby box scheme which your midwife will give you to sign up for and you will receive it at around 34 weeks!

As I am a first time mum at just over 2 weeks I am sure there will be so much more things I find useful along the way as Odin grows up and so I will make sure to blog about those. It’s been such an exiting journey and I’ve loved how the most simple items have been the most useful for us!

Until next time, Alannah x

Pregnancy and Baby

Welcoming Baby Odin!

We are so very happy to announce that my beautiful little boy was born on Wednesday the 13th of October at 12:48pm weighing in at over 8 pounds! We have named him Odin George Edward Laughton and he is just gorgeous!

I was in hospital for 2 weeks prior to my c section as I had gotten really unwell. I also had contractions for a whole week which took my breath away when contracting! Luckily, I never dilated nor did my waters break – both of which is good in my circumstances of not being allowed to go into natural labor. My C Section wasn’t near as bad as I had thought it out in my head to be and being put under General Anesthetic wasn’t traumatising for me at all. The staff were so amazing and really went above and beyond to make it comfortable for me. Waking up afterwards was really rough, I was vomiting really hard because of the mucous stuck in my throat and being so tender, I couldn’t cought it up. I stayed in recovery over night and they were so great in helping me look after Odin with feeds, nappy changed and burping him. The day after the surgery was the worst pain wise due to my womb contracting back and shedding the thick lining that forms during pregnancy! It didn’t take them long to get my pain under control though and yesterday (16th of October) we got home!!

It is so surreal, I keep thinking I’m dreaming! Being a mummy is the most amazing thing in the world and nothing beats it! Being a mummy is something I have wanted for so long that we didn’t think would ever happen for us. Now, I have such a healthy baby boy despite being so ill during my pregnancy! It’s such a blessing as well as a miracle and having a rainbow baby (baby after loss) makes him so special to us. The late nights/early mornings and nappy changes are all such a blessing even if I am tired, just being a mum and caring for my baby makes everything so worth it!

I am so thankful to all staff at Aberdeen Maternity Unit for the amazing care Odin and I had! From the domestics, kitchen staff, cleaners, nurses, auxiliaries, midwifes, doctors, surgical team and everyone there! I also met three great new friends during my admission who I still keep in contact with. Jaimie was also able to stay for three nights at a hotel very close by thanks to the NHS Aberdeen and NHS at Dr Grays in Elgin and we are so grateful!

I had my midwife come round today to check on us and the same tomorrow. I also have family coming over today to help us put things away and clean the house. Jaimie had major surgery just over 3 weeks ago to move his Ileostomy from the right side to the left and so he is still quite tender. My c section wound is a little sore but mostly it is my back that hurts which a hot water bottle really helps! The bleeding after my section has also not been too bad at all which is a huge relief as I was so worried about that prior!

Over all, it’s been the hardest but most amazing experience in my life. ❤

People's Stories!

What’s Your Story? Meet Abbie!

My name is Abbie Louise Crystal, I’m 26 and I live in South Wales. I’m a model influencer and blogger. I live at home with my mum and dad and we have a beautiful little blue staffy called Nico, he is 5 almost 6 and I wouldn’t be without him! He’s been there through thick and thin with me and is my little baby! It’s mad how something so special can change your life for the better. I studied at the University of Cambridge for professional dance and my favourite food is Chinese. Dancing is my passion especially choreographing, I also love to chill out by having a pamper with face masks, tanning and skin care. My hobbies are mainly reading ,running and working out when I’m well enough to! Here is my journey with Inflammatory Bowel disease;


I was diagnosed Crohns Disease and Ulcerative Colitis two years ago, I also have Depression and Anxiety, Vitamin b12 Deficiency and bouts of really low blood pressure which is making me faint often. Being a dancer, I was active multiple times a day and so that’s when I knew something was wrong with me because my body started lacking energy and although I would eat, I still would pass out! My dance teacher was terrified along with the dance girls in my team. In 2019, I was training for the world championships in Blackpool when I started experiencing stabbing pains in the bottom half of my stomach and my back. I thought it was just a stomach bug and so I told my mum not to worry and continued doing my dancing and carried on as normal as I could. It wasn’t causing me any problems until I ate and that’s when it would get really bad for me. I couldn’t hold anything in, it was just going right through me and when I went to the loo, I was bleeding a lot from my back passage. This is when I started to worry especially one night when it started to get worse, so I got rushed in to hospital. Little did I know it was really serious and I was about to enter the most terrifying months of my life.. Months went on where they did so many tests including cameras to look inside me ( Endscocopy, Colonoscopy and Laparoscopy) I had so many biopsies that I wasn’t able to get out of bed for over four weeks at a time. It came August 2019 and I was admitted to hospital for the first time to have an emergency camera and that’s when they found out that my colon was so inflamed and had lesions the size of a 50p coin! My bowel was also covered in thousands of little ulcers. It was a week later that I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis after the result came back. I thought all was well and took the medications I was prescribed and got on with it! Something started to feel not right again and then found out that I wasn’t quite out of the woods just yet. 2020 was just around the corner and I started getting weaker and weaker, the weight started to come off rapidly and quickly and a lot of my family and friends were noticing. My parents got so worried as I was hardly keeping anything down and I was passing out all the time so I rang my doctor. They came did some more tests to see what was going on and to figure out what was causing the bleeding and decided to start me on steroid enemas 6 times a day to control my bleeding and 11 oral steroids to control the inflammation in my bowel.

I then got admitted again (the 7th time in a couple of months) to have another emergency camera where more biopsy’s were taken which involved more cutting, more prodding and more emergency incisions. This is when they found Crohns Disease on the left upper side of my colon and so now I was dealing with not one but two forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Hospital was my second home for a long time and still is from time to time when I am unable to keep things stable at home. I cannot thank my doctors enough for being there at my time of need especially through the covid restrictions due to the pandemic that we were all in! To this day, I experience many many flares and different injections, medications and enemas every single day of my life but that’s part of my life now and I’ve learnt to accept it is part of me! Illnesses do not define you as a person, they only make you stronger. I am constantly in pain 24/7 and it can be draining. This disease has affected my social life in a big way because I can’t eat out without needing to go to the loo. My family have been so supportive with the whole diagnosis and I’m so lucky to not had major surgeries just yet but I do know that it is part of my future. It has also knocked my confidence and my ability to deal with being Chronically Ill and has also been hard adapting to a new life as before, I was such an active girl and it’s so hard for me not to do what I’m used to like my fitness and dancing. The most annoying part for me at the moment is that I can’t lead a normal life like I used to, due to being ill with no energy and not going out of the house due to the affect it has had. I now lack the ability to socialise with people at events and have found that people attitudes are sometimes not the best as they don’t really know about the illness and what it entails.


The positives that I have found out of having Crohns Disease and Ulcerative Colitis is how it’s learnt me how to love myself again, to look after my self and do self care. I am also overwhelmed by the support I have had on this journey and my biggest lesson I have learnt is to not abuse your body and to look after it! You never know what’s around the corner. I’ve now started my new injections called adalimumab and have only been on them for a month, the side effects are mental but hoping it will keep me in remission longer than I have been previously!

Thankyou so much for reading my story and continuing to support me. Please always check the signs of bad tummy’s and bleeding as it could be something really serious, if left and it’s not tested and treated it can be fatal. You can follow Abbie’s journey through her instagram here.