The Childless Mother

Dealing with infertility and finding happiness


Rockliffe Hall

The Childless Mother At Rest – Thank Goodness for Rockliffe Hall! 

It’s no surprise to anyone that knows me that I do like a little luxury. We work hard and travelling and taking some time out are our escapes from the real world.  It also won’t surprise anyone to know I am happiest when it’s just my husband and I somewhere we can relax. 

It’s a test to any marriage dealing with the loss of your babies and infertility. I am sure it could easily rip you apart. I feel down time together is so very important as well as talking to each other. 

Through every loss and disappointment I fight the urge to curl into a ball and never leave the house, my mum would tell you that I never take enough time to heal. I don’t think that’s true. I feel like if I don’t keep moving forward and dwell too much on the what if’s of a situation I would never be able to function, to simply live my life. I perform my part well, and unless you read my blogs I doubt very much you would even know how broken I am. 

What and If are two of the most haunting words for people in our position, what if our babies had lived, what would our lives be like now? What if we were a “normal” couple. Whatever “normal” is, what would that feel like? 

What we will do every now and then is find a way to escape through travelling. We love to spend time at nice hotels and feel pampered, to look at the positives of our life. To enjoy each other. To be together and not be thinking about the stresses this life can throw at you. This weekend we did just that at a beautiful hotel near to us. 

Driving away from the town centre of Darlington in County Durham, out into the beautiful English countryside there is a treasure set back away from the rest of the world. This is one of my favourites places to go – Rockliffe Hall. My escape and safe haven. My new addiction.   

The impressive red brick facade whispers of the history of this 18th century building.  The interior is rich, beautiful and pure luxury. The attention to detail is incredible. I felt the stress trickle out of me before I even have the room key even in my hand. 

The room we had was in the New Hall, they spacious and oooze indulgence as well as wonderful little touches such as a hand written welcome note on the dresser. There is even a TV in the bathroom! A TV IN THE BATHROOM!!!! 

It’s at these moments, when I allow myself to stop that often the pain does resurface. I do allow myself to let my mask slip. I don’t think that’s a bad thing,  I need these moments to sort through the painful memories that I normally have safely tucked away in a box at the back of my mind. 

We all deal with such things in our own way. I do what I do everyday to survive it. There is no right or wrong. I like to relax and I enjoy this sort of experience, I feel like it recharges me for the challenges ahead. 

This time not only did we experience the spa and treatments to take care of that relaxing. We ate at all of the restaurants (sorry Slimming World!).

The food is just amazing but more than that, the staff are exceptional. From check in to check out they make you feel so very comfortable and that nothing is too much. I can not sing the praises enough. They really do make the experience. 

I love food. I am trying to loose weight at the moment for treatment but there wasn’t any way I would go to Rockliffe Hall and stay on plan, sometimes you just have to choose life! Enjoy it! Then get back to it! 

The breakfast was lovely. We have a little in joke about poached eggs. I love them but often when eating out they are never “right” my husband holds his breath while I cut into them for the first time and is pleased when the beautiful yolk spills out 😂😂! It’s amusing to watch and this weekend they were so good! The choice was extensive and I did have fruit to start with! So I was a little good 😬😬. Also when you get ketchup in a jar, you know you are in for a treat! 

The Orangery is the flagship restaurant and is hugely popular. With 3AA rosette there is no wonder why. My husband is SUCH a fussy eater. I was so nervious to take him there as I was positive he would look at the menu and walk out. He was very brave and agrees to try the chef Richard Allen’s nine course taster menu. While not all of the dishes were to Ben’s taste, the experience would be one we will never forget. It’s so much more than just food! It’s like a stage show you get to eat. 

The personal touch is outstanding. The Food and Beverage Manager knew our names and a little about our stay, our waiter was knowledgeable taking us on a delightful journey with him through each beautiful course. It was exquisite. My particular favourites being the desserts!

Every detail of this evening was beautifully prepared and presented. 

We ate in the other two restaurants the Brasserie and The Club House. Again the food was scrumptious but the real stars were the staff. 

We stayed three nights. We laughed, we ate. It was perfect. 

While on this journey, you can get caught up in the end goal. Sometimes it’s easy to not enjoy the life around you. We are nearly 13 years into this now. How much more time would we give to getting a child? I don’t know. I refuse however to not enjoy the journey where we can. 

I love my husband, we make an amazing team. We deserve to take some time to enjoy ourselves. I know this may not be possible every weekend, it’s not the cheapest activity. I do however believe in value for money and I do believe you get that at Rockliffe. A rare treat for sure, but one I hope to repeat again very soon. 

I am already dreaming of my return….. until next time Rockliffe Hall xoxo

A little relax and luxury….for my sanity.

I spend so much time in my own head and when you are dealing with infertility and loss, that time can be punishing.

I have never been very good at relaxing, at switching off the outside world and having a little me time. If ever I did, those bad memories and feelings surfaced and it would send me on a downward spiral.

What they don’t tell you when you are trying for children, when it doesn’t go to plan, no one ever sits you down and says how incredibility hard it will be to remain sane.

A wall started to build around me the first time I was told I had lost my baby, a barrier to keep the feelings from really going in. Then when it happened again, the barrier was reinforced to a point that sadly I began to expect it and nothing reached me, like I was looking from the outside in. After many losses I as almost immune to the pain.

The baby I lost in 2015 smashed through any protection I had and finally I lost it, after 12 years of trying for children after all the heartbreak and shattered dreams. My heart felt like it could take no more. I was broken. The ache of my empty arms almost unbearable. How would I ever recover from this, the end. No more. I had, had enough.

The loss that you feel in the days and months following loosing a baby, it isn’t just the loss of the tiny embryo growing, its all of the possibilities that little bean holds. The life you would have had with them. When I finally accepted that it was just not meant to be the hole in my heart, at first, felt like it would consume me. People often talk of heartbreak, of having a broken heart. I never realised just how physical that pain could be.

To move forward I had to look for ways to keep myself going, goals and life achievements. I made changes to my job and how I spent my time. I found ways to relax and start to enjoy life again. I did not want to look at the last 12 years as a waste, more of it shaping me to be a stronger person!

I would encourage anyone in that dark place to find something that makes them feel even a little bit of happiness. For me I focused on the things I could do, that I could enjoy without having a child.

My friend took me on my first spa day, I am going to be honest, up until that point I didn’t think I would enjoy it. Too much time to be still and in my head with those hurtful memories, not a good thing! How wrong I was, it really helped me to relax and start to heal.

Learning to relax was now a focus for me and taking a couple of spa days wasn’t the worst thing in the world! We are so lucky in the North East to have so many lovely places and I am even luckier that I live 30 mins away from one of the best I have ever experienced.

Rockliffe Hall is just outstanding!


It is everything you would expect from a 5 star hotel and more and I was so impressed I wanted to mention it here on my blog. It isn’t often we can take time out, time is so precious. So when I do take time out to relax I want it to be the best possible time and after Saturday I left feeling amazing, and like I wanted to do it all again Sunday!! lol

Having PCOS I don’t like being touched so having facials and massages is very uncomfortable for me because I am constantly thinking of my wobbly bits and hair growth but I truly felt at ease. The staff are so friendly and really added to the experience of the day.

I had for the first time the hot stone massage, I will never go back to the usual massages! The ambience of the therapy rooms just oozes relaxation from the colours selected to the lighting and smells all contribute to a truly pleasant experience. I was so at ease with my therapist and surroundings I didn’t even think about my issues and almost fell asleep, probably would have if it wasn’t for the cold stones used in between the hot ones!!

There is no better feeling enjoying the relaxing atmosphere around you and not needing to go somewhere or to do something. Just quiet time …..wellllll almost quiet, I was with my best friend and niece so as quiet as we can be! I left in a Spa coma and a conviction that I would return very soon.


I forgot for a while to take care of myself, I was so focused on the end result I didn’t think about how much of me was sacrificed to get there. You still have to find a way to unwind and enjoy life, even through the roughest moments. Be kinder to yourself. I punished myself for a long time feeling like I was faulty, that I couldn’t do the one thing that women should find the most natural. To conceive and carry a child.

I am not completely healed, will I ever be after so much loss? I don’t know. I do know I will keep trying to be at peace with it, if that takes a lot of spa days at Rockliffe Hall, then who am I to argue?? Maybe I will see you there!!

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