Updated: Aug 26, 2019

Almost every New Year we get a flock of positivity thrown at us across the board. Promises of “this year will be better”, and resolutions. An overwhelming amount of us say to ourselves, this year.. this is going to be MY year.

Photographer: Glen Laird

I would be lying if I didn’t have the same phrase in my head as we entered 2019. Of course I had been planning and training for events this year way before the New Year rolled in! 2019 held a lot of new challenges and opportunities:

  • Battle of the Nations X: The second year of women’s 5v5 buhurt and the outstanding possibility of Swords of Cygnus, Team UK, placing this year thanks to our team having grown in number and strength through training over the past year. I also managed to land the spot of Longsword duellest for UK this year! Quite possibly my favourite of all duelling disciplines. My excitement for BotNX was positively palpable and I had been training all year for this event!

  • Recording of my Alt Rock band, Flowerpot‘s EP : Trouble. We had been writing and gigging, skimping and scraping and planning to fund the recording, mixing and mastering. All to finally get our material out and available for new and old fans to listen to at their leisure and this year we would get it recorded, released and ride the momentum to take the band even further this year!

  • The goal of passing my probation period at my new job and becoming a knowledgeable planner and an asset to my team. This I was most excited for as it’s the first job since moving to Bristol that I could see turning into a longterm career, that would pay the bills and still give me funds and time to pursue my hobbies and dreams outside of the world of ‘work’. (After all, it’s all work at the end of the day, just a lot you don’t get paid for!)

  • Reigniting Warrior Women, under a slightly adjusted format of a blog rather than a magazine. With events happening both local and around the world, I still feel the desperate need to spread good news, fresh perspectives, education and to supply an outlet for many people in what can seem like an overwhelmingly chaotic and drastic time to be alive.

  • Dynamo Cup at the end of the year, labelled the most prestigious HMB event in the world, held in Russia. An event I’ve had my sights set on since I found out about it but have been waiting for my training and armour to be up to standard before taking on!

  • Bringing together a far bigger project, one made of many smaller parts. Something that is connected on a large scale, yet each smaller part can stand on its own. A spiderweb of conspiracies for good

The list could go on and on, I have always been FULL to the overflowing brim of ideas! And this year, in 2019, this was the year that the pieces would start to fall into place and I would see dreams turn to reality!

Photographer: A.M Photography

Although the year did not start strictly to plan, it still was following the path I’d envisioned. In January Flowerpot got into the studio and recorded our tracks. February was full of training and UK tournaments, and I even managed to land a few medals. March again full of training. I was exceeding expectations at work, I FINALLY was accruing real savings for the first time since moving to Bristol 5 years ago. Organising to host my own small buhurt demo event, with the unweavering support from my club ISCA Men At Arms, set for the weekend before BotNX. I was feeling more fit then I had in a while, strength was improving and mental health was on the up in general. Life was, still turbulent, but full of positives that kept me going!

Photographer: Sarah Blandford

Coming to the end of March.. I noticed something a little odd. What with taking my fighter training seriously I was working with a good friend and PT from Denmark, (Stronger by Sojborg, I HIGHLY recommend him if you’re serious about changing your lifestyle to become overall healthier and fitter!), to get my workouts and nutrition in check in the run up towards BotNX. This included me weighing myself once a week just to keep track of how my body was responding to everything.

Friday 29th March, I weighed myself the same as usual and noticed I had put on a significant amount of weight compared to previous weeks.. I questioned Jordan asking “Do I look like I’ve put on weight to you?”, he looked me up and down and said “No, I’m sure it’s just muscle you’ve gained”..

I am by no means an expert, but having weight trained the year previous and experienced muscle gain through training before, I felt something was off for sure. And then a realisation hit me, a nagging in my heart and soul.. Shortly after the weigh-in we popped to the shops and I managed to go into Boots while Jordan went to B&Q. Perfect, no reason to raise any concern or suspicions for him. I covertly bought a clearblue double home test and slipped it in my rucksack along with the other purchases and then met Jordan to walk back home. 

At this time, my mind is half racing and half in pure denial. “No, can’t possibly be.. it will turn out to be nothing I’m sure of it. I can’t be surely. It’s just my body adjusting to training.”

Now, this particular Friday I had a gig with Flowerpot, so it was pretty much a ‘preparing for the gig’ day – hair cut/dye, shower, clothes, makeup, vocal warm ups all before I was getting picked up. You know the sort of routine. I decided that I would take the first test just before my shower, that way I knew I wouldn’t raise any suspicions.. So that’s what I did. 5 seconds passed. 10 seconds… another 10. I was trying not to get too worried, “after all it can’t happen to me, there’s so much I have to do before I’ll be ready for a family, maybe next year will be the year to think about it but not this year.”

My timer went off on my phone, and I tentatively looked down at the test… Two pink lines..   

…”….. F*@K…”

My mind went into overdrive, tears started to roll down my cheeks. “I’m not ready, dear God please, I’m not ready, I can’t coupe with this! I’m letting everyone down! There’s only a month until BotN, I can’t let the team down now they need me! And what about Jordan, we’ve not even ever been on holiday together! This is too big, this changes everything. What about work?! I’ve not even passed my probation period yet! What am I going to do!? I’m not ready, I’m NOT READY!!”

Needless to say, I did NOT feel in the least bit ready. Fear and guilt crowded my mind as all I could think about was all the people I would be letting down because if I really was pregnant, it meant I could no longer do a LOT of things I had planned. I managed to keep myself to myself as I got ready for the gig. I felt simply awful. I even considered a secret visit to a clinic.. “no one would have to ever know, then I wouldn’t be letting anyone down, it would be so much more simple to just get it done…” 

Stop. Talk to someone now! Get this off your chest!

I took a moment to consider my options, I needed to talk to someone I could trust had my best interests in mind and who wouldn’t judge me. Someone who would be the voice of sense and reason in this erratic situation in my own head. I knew everything deep down, but I needed to hear it from someone else. And someone who I could confide in so that if I did chose the worse option, they would be there for me and not hate me for my choices.. Only one person came to mind at the time. I messaged a close friend of the buhurt world, one who had no other connections to my life other than buhurt. All the while praying to God for the strength to deal with my situation and to hear what I needed to hear.

Long story short, he told me what I needed to hear. “As much as I believe it’s your body, your choice, there are two of you that this effects. You need to talk to Jordan.” 

My heart sank.. of course I needed to tell Jordan, I already knew I couldn’t live with myself not telling him. But it was another thing that I ‘knew’ that was making it all the more scary for me. I knew that if I told him I was pregnant, he’d want to keep it. I know, I know, that’s a wonderful and beautiful thing, but at the time, when I was terrified of this earth shattering event, I still didn’t know what I wanted.. and thought that telling the man I loved with all my heart would mean I would no longer be able to chose for myself.. 

The day went on, I took the second test, just to make sure.. still 2 bright pink lines. There’s very little chance it was 2 false positives.. I decided not to deal with it anymore that day. I would confront my fears and tell Jordan the next day, it would do neither of us any good blurting out such news only for me to disappear for the night leaving both of us alone with our thoughts when we needed to talk about things. 

So Saturday morning comes around, I’m up early as usual, this time full of nerves and contemplating how best to bring the subject up with Jordan.. After he’s had his coffee at least Steph, the man deserves his ‘wake-me-up’ before you hit him with this 10 ton truck!

I literally let him have a sip of coffee before I can wait no longer! 

“Jordan, I need to talk to you..”

He looks concerned, really worried. You usually only hear that sort of statement when something bad is going to follow. Apparently his mind was racing trying to work out what he’d done, if he’d upset me in some way or done something seriously wrong..

I pull the test out of my bag, still in the foil packet. He looks puzzled and I realise he has no idea what I’m holding. So I pull the stick out of the foil packet and hand it over to him.. silent.. 

He looks at it.. “Seriously!?” he says. I nod. “I want to keep it” … The words I was both dreading and hoping to hear.. We spoke some more, he reassured me that although he obviously wanted to keep the baby, he would support me in whatever I chose to do.. 

Shortly after I messaged my mum and my sister separately asking if they were free for a chat that day. I had to share the burden a bit more in order to get my head straight. 

Photographer: Mike Martin, MUA: Kelli Kaleidoscope – Alternative Model, Location: Rex: The Concept Store

I am so blessed. Nothing but love and support from my family. Reassurance that they were there for me, my what a massive surprise but it was a happy one. They loved me and would do whatever they could to help. 

It took another day or two to come to terms with everything, and even then I remained in a little bit of denial for a while, but that’s for another story. I was so glad that I shared my news with the people I did. They gave me the support I needed in my time of frantic panic. Yes this was a life changing event. Yes, of course I was not ready for this, but almost no-one ever is! If you wait until you’re ready to start a family you’ll be waiting forever! Yes, this tipped my planned year every which what way, but then in life things almost never go to plan anyway and it’s usually for the better!

On the 29th March 2019, my life changed forever, and I am so happy it did.

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