A look back through the years

My arrival in the world was quite a surprise for my mum. She only discovered that she was having twins after my sister was born and the midwife said “hang on a minute, there’s another one!” I love the fact that every time my mum tells this story, she also says that it was the best moment of her life. My parents had intended to call my sister Kerrie Louise, but instead they named her Kerrie and me Louise. We were born two months early and spent our first few weeks in the neonatal unit.

Through the years - Little Hearts, Big Love

At 6 weeks old we came home for the first time.

At 3 months we were christened and became aunties when our nephew John was born.

Through the years - Little Hearts, Big Love

At 15 months, we both started walking.

Through the years - Little Hearts, Big Love

At 2, we were both bridesmaids for the first time at our cousin’s wedding.

Through the years - Little Hearts, Big Love

At 3, we enjoyed regular visits to see our grandparents, great-aunts and great-uncles in Chatham.

At 4, we were bridesmaids again at our sister’s wedding and started school for the first time.

Through the years - Little Hearts, Big Love

At 5, we helped my grandparents move house after Nanny had to have her leg amputated.

At 6, our Nanny died. We stayed with my Grandad for a few days after the funeral. My dad had to go back home to work. I was so upset by him leaving that I tied him to the chair with my skipping rope and told him that I wouldn’t love him anymore if he went. When he came back a few days later, I wouldn’t speak to him at first. I still remember the pain I felt about him having to leave to this very day.

At 7, we started piano lessons and Brownies.

At 8, I broke my arm playing football.

At 9, I took my first piano exam.

At 10, my sister and I celebrated our birthdays during a school trip to Swanage – our first birthday without having our parents with us on the day.

At 11, I chose to go to a different secondary school from my twin sister.

At 12, I became the target for school bullies.


My teenage years

At 13, I changed schools and went to my sister’s school where I was much happier.

At 14, I played Cecily in a school production of ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’.

Through the years - Little Hearts, Big Love

At 15, I started writing my first ‘novel’ which I still have it. It makes me cringe slightly to read it, but it also brings back fun memories of writing it which make me smile.

At 16, I passed 11 GCSEs and started my A Levels.

Through the years - Little Hearts, Big Love

At 17, I went on holiday to the Isle of Wight, where I was crowned ‘Miss Whitecliff Bay.’ I met R, my first serious boyfriend, later that year.

Through the years - Little Hearts, Big Love

At 18, I headed off to university to study Biomedical Sciences and joined the ballroom dancing society.

At 19, a couple of weeks into the autumn term, a tall guy called Michael turned up midway through the beginners’ ballroom class. I ended up dancing with him. He asked me if I’d been to many classes before. I told him I was one of the demonstrators! Later that year, R and I got engaged.


My twenties

At 20, I started doing acrobatic rock n roll with my friend Gavin. We entered our first competition and came second – beaten by Gavin’s girlfriend Alex who was dancing with Michael.

At 21, I split up with my fiancé just before the end of the summer holidays. By the end of Freshers’ Week, Michael and I were an item.

Through the years - Little Hearts, Big Love

At 22, I was costume designer for a university production of 42nd Street. I learned dressmaking by jumping in and making 50 dresses in the space of four months!

At 23, I passed my driving test and went back to university to do a midwifery degree.

At 24, I was my twin sister’s birth partner when her first daughter was born.

At 25, I danced with Michael at Blackpool Tower ballroom. We had a wonderful holiday travelling all around the country visiting the seven wonders of the canal network.

At 26, I did a fear of flying course and went in a plane for the first time. I also qualified as a midwife. A few months later, I was my twin sister’s midwife when her second daughter was born.

At 27, my friend Lindsay and I enjoyed a girls weekend away at the holiday park ten years after we’d first met there as teenagers.  It hadn’t changed!

At 28, I performed my first leading role when I played Victoria in the musical “Follow That Girl”

Through the years - Little Hearts, Big Love

At 29, I visited the WW1 battlefields in the Somme and Flanders with Michael, who proposed to me on Armistice Day.


Married life and parenthood

At 30, I married my gorgeous hubby. My dad made everyone cry with his brief but moving speech. He died just a few months later. I’m so glad that I have the video of his speech so that I can still hear him telling me how much he loved me.

Through the years - Little Hearts, Big Love

At 31, I fell pregnant with Jessica. Our world was turned upside-down at our 20 week scan when we found out that she had a severe congenital heart defect.

At 32, I discovered what it meant to be a heart mummy, putting my faith in God and the hands of skilled surgeons. One pioneering in-utero surgery at 28 weeks to give Jessica a chance to survive and three more open-heart surgeries after she was born.

To us on the day we became heart parents - Little Hearts, Big Love

At 33, I had the joy of celebrating Jessica’s first birthday. A few months later we discovered that we were expecting another baby.

At 34, I gave birth to Sophie in a pool at home with two lovely midwife friends, my twin sister and hubby supporting me. Jessica got to meet her baby sister a few minutes after she was born. A few weeks later, we went to the children’s Christmas party at 10 Downing Street thanks to an invite received via Jessica’s community nurse who worked for the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice charity.

Being a heart dad: a personal reflection - Little Hearts, Big Love

At 35, I became a blogger and rediscovered my love of writing in a whole new way!


Thank you to Mel at Le Coin de Mel whose original post ‘Introspection’ inspired me to write this. I was also recently nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award by Run, Jump, Scrap and Awesome Austerity and for the Versatile Blogger award by Hope from a Butterfly (thank you all for the nominations). I thought I would share the seven facts requested through these awards via this post instead.


And then the fun began...


34 thoughts on “A look back through the years

  1. What a lovely post! I am a cry baby and this has definitely got me a bit teary. I love the picture of you in the birthing pool with your wee girl looking on. I really admire the way you deal with the topic of congenital heart disease in your blog. I know it’s an important part of who Jessica and you both are but you don’t let it define either if you. She is lucky to have you 🙂

    1. Thank you – it is definitely a big part of our lives but I try to keep things as normal as possible. And thank you too for your lovely comment about Jessica being lucky to have me – I always feel very much like it is mostly the other way around! 🙂

  2. Awe I absolutely loved this! What a journey you have travelled so far & you are only yet at the beginning! Thanks so much for sharing xx

  3. Louise, what a cool post. I read Mel’s a few weeks ago and really enjoyed reading hers too. I love the pic of you on stage mid-song! What an exciting and moving life you’ve had. That is lovely that you got a recording of your dad speaking to you. I’m so sorry he died… This is a wonderful format for a blog post and I’m sure we’ll be seeing more like this.

    #TheTruthAbout xx

  4. This is such a lovely post, great way to share your life so far, and it’s got me all teary. I love that you were a surprise baby, and I’m so glad your dad was there at your wedding day and someone videoed his speech, you must treasure that video. #twinklytuesday
    Sabrina x

  5. Oh wow what a fantastic post, I love this!!! Louise are you still practising as a Midwife? x

    1. Thank you – no, not practising as a midwife anymore – haven’t practised since I went on maternity leave with Jessica. My usual excuse is that it was because childcare was too difficult given hubby works unpredictable hours but I think even if childcare had been a practical option, I would have still wanted to stay at home with the children.

  6. What a fantastic post! I used to holiday on the Isle of Wight and we regularly stayed at Whitecliff Bay! Those photos of your births are stunning- what precious moments to have captured. x

    1. Thank you – I loved Whitecliff Bay, stayed there several times and have such happy memories of it 🙂

  7. Oh my goodness, I was in tears reading this earlier and had to come back to reply. It started with your mum saying you were the best news, it became a blub when you tied your Dad up and was a full blown sob by the time you were your sister’s birthing partner!! This is truly beautiful. The pictures are touching and the words clearly heartfelt!! Thank you Louise for sharing such a lovely life story so far xxx

    1. Thank you Lisa – sorry to make you cry! It was lovely to look back over the years and remember those things x

  8. Oh I love this Louise! So lovely to get to know you a bit better. I’m sure your journey into motherhood – particularly as a heart mum, kind of defines you at this point in time but wow! You are such a creative person and you’ve done some wonderful stuff. I love your little love story too – I bet you two do a mean jive! Thanks so much for sharing this with #thetruthabout Xx

    1. Thank you Sam – it was nice to remember some of the things I’d done before becoming a mum. Hubby and I do like to get up on the dancefloor and strut our stuff at parties – we don’t often get the chance to nowadays! Lovely to link up to #thetruthabout again 🙂

  9. Ohhh my, I absolutely loved reading this! What a gorgeous post – how do you remember all those things! Mine wouldn’t be half s interesting as yours! You looked so beautiful on your wedding day – I love your dress! Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

    1. Thank you Lisa – my mum helped with some of the really early memories but having kept a diary since I was 8 made putting an age to things a lot easier! Glad you liked my wedding dress – my sister made it for me. Lovely to link again 🙂

    1. Thanks Aby – my mum helped me with some of the earlier memories and I’ve kept a diary since I was 8 years old which made it easier too! 🙂

  10. Hi Louise, what a lovely look back. What a surprise your Mum had; double trouble! I’d never heard of acrobatic rock’n’roll before, but I’m guessing it’s very physically demanding.

    All the photos are special, but my favourites are the last two of you with Micheal and your new borns….Lovely!

  11. Without trying to sound too over dramatic, this may well be my favourite post I’ve read in all the years I’ve been blogging. I’ve learnt so much about you, it was beautifully written, I laughed and cried. You are such an awesome lady xx
    I can’t imagine the shock your mum had at you popping out! How fab!

    1. Oh wow, thank you so much for such a lovely comment and I am so glad you liked my post so much. That’s just made my day! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.