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25.11.12

Sky News and Me

When I woke up on Thursday morning I was in a real down mood. Weeks of broken sleep and poorly boys in some form had got to me, and as a result sent me into an emotional, anxious mess.
It was also the morning I was to meet my new therapist. My fourth therapist in a year, so understandably I was feeling anxious about this too and ready to be let down.
As it turns out, the therapy session was really positive, something I'll write about separately, and once I left my appointment I parked up for a bit to catch my breath, listening to my Ellie Goulding album which is always sure to put me in a good mood.
And then I went home.

My husband had a meeting in the city so wasn't going to be home until around 1.30/2. My mum had been looking after the boys for me but left for work at 12.
I was feeding Harry and noticed a Twitter notification on my phone.
A few dms and a telephone call later and I was scheduled to be interviewed by Stephen Dixon the very next morning. A cameraman was due to arrive at my house at around 8am and I would go LIVE on Sky News at 8:40am. I would be talking about my birth experience with Harry and about the campaign to introduce screening for Vasa Praevia at the 20 week scan.

My mum was shocked and told me to really think about it first.
But I couldn't. I had to say yes.
When I was 15 I had my school work experience working with adults with head injuries and brain damage.
I loved it so much that I volunteered in school holidays and whenever else possible.
My A Levels then got in the way and I had to give it up but the feeling of giving up my time to help people, or sharing my time I should say, was amazing.

I'm never going to run a marathon.
I'm never going to jump out of a plane.
But I could go onto national news and talk about this campaign, this condition and my experience.

I didn't feel too nervous. I guess part of me thought they wouldn't turn up, or that they would drop me in favour of someone else.
But at 8am the Satellite Truck arrived.
This was happening.

I had a phone call with a lady at Sky News, running through what we would be talking about, whilst the cameraman set up.

The cameraman was amazing. Such a lovely guy and really put me at ease.
If I'm honest, I was quite looking forward to wearing an ear piece and pretending to be Holly Willoughby for a while.
I was an A Level Media student, and for our GCSE coursework was the Floor Manager for our Christmas school broadcast so this all fascinated me.

With my earpiece in and a microphone clipped on I sat on the sofa, camera in front of me.
Then I heard a voice;
"Hi Lauren. Can you hear me?"
"yes I can"
It was a very weird experience. Especially to think that there were people in London who could see me, just sitting in my lounge, yet I couldn't see them.

I then became nervous.
I was shaking.
I find writing about Vasa Praevia and Harry's birth quite easy, it doesn't matter if I cry, no one can see me. But this was a different level. I was talking about it, to a lot of people.
3 people(ish) spoke to me through the ear piece, and then I heard the item my interview would be coming off the back of.
The piece was about Henry Samat, a baby boy who lost his life due to undiagnosed Vasa Praevia.
My eyes filled with tears and I told the cameraman that I couldn't listen to this, he told me there was no way of switching it off so I distracted myself and then heard the words:
"Here you go Lauren....."
I was on.
Looking at the camera was hard, when talking to people I don't always look them in the eyes, or look at them at all, I look around, I don't know why. Nervousness maybe? Or just habit?
But it's weird looking in a camera. It felt a little, well, silly.
I didn't know whether or not to smile, I tried to relax but then didn't want to look like I had rubbish posture and didn't know what to do with my hands.

I felt like I stumbled over my words quite alot, I wasn't sure how much detail to go into or how long I had to talk, so I kept it brief, whilst trying to give as much information about our experience as possible.
There was also a delay so when I stopped talking, there would be 2 or 3 seconds until I then heard Stephen reply.

As we came to the end Stephen asked after Harry and stupidly I responded
"He's really well, although he's not very well at the moment"
I really hope that people know that I meant that he is doing really well development wise and so on but is poorly. I felt really silly after watching it back.
I also asked my husband to go and get him, we had wanted him on  my lap or in the same room but he was too unsettled and as soon as I sat down with him he stuck his hand down my top. Although, one thing I am yet to do is breastfeed on National TV so it's a shame I couldn't add that to my list.

Once the interview finished I burst into tears. The feeling was overwhelming and I felt maybe I had let down the whole campaign by not saying the right thing.
Then in my ear I heard a voice saying I had done really well.
Although we were now off air London could still see me.
And hear me.
How very embarrasing.

I was then asked to do a few prerecorded bits, I think I messed these up so much that they weren't shown but still it was a cool experience.

Am I glad I did it?
Yes.
Would I do it again?
Yes.
Would I recommend it?
Yes.

The Sky team were absolutely amazing and I've felt so well looked after by having tweets and emails from the team to thank me.
Without their support before, during and after the interview I probably wouldn't have done it.

The odd thing was that it only hit me that night that I had been on Sky News.
SKY NEWS!
We watch Sky News everyday.
And not only that, my family in Somerset saw me.
And my lovely internet friends saw me.
And my beautiful friend Sarah recorded the show so she could see me.

I can't believe how completely supportive and amazing my internet friends were and seeing their tweets and messages after the piece made me feel on top of the world.

My real life friends didn't bother to watch. But that's fine.
Really.

I know that my piece and my tweets following meant at least 3 people then went on to Google the condition and although 3 isn't many, it's still an achievement.

If you saw it, or look at the photos, I promise I'm not really as grumpy as I looked.