Monthly Archives: October 2015

Mummy’s been brave today 

This blog doesn’t need many words … 

Check out the photo …. 

  
Leo looks as though he is about to eat you 😁

Mummy + High Chair = Many Tears …

If you have followed our journey,  you will understand why this photograph is so significant … Up until today I have been unable to have Leo in a high chair due to the flashbacks I suffered from Millie being in a highchair that day…
So today is a huge step for me … Don’t be too over excited for mew though … I couldn’t feed him in there (to be honest, I’m struggling a lot with feeding but I’m not worried, we’ll get there eventually) so I just let Leo play with his teddies in there today whilst I cooked Step 2 …..TICK … If you remember a post a couple of months ago …Step 1 was actually letting Dan put the high chair up in the first place … It’s taken me this long to get Leo in the bleedin’ thing …

So today was a big day xxx

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That time of year again …

“Wow, your dad sat up in bed and held Millie today, the first time in weeks that I have seen him do that….” 

Memories, they can make you smile or cry, laugh or hurt. The run up to Millie’s anniversary this week has been been like a film playing in my head that I have seen before. Remembering certain things we did together over those few days, people we saw, clothes we wore – the playback list is endless.

Sitting with her grandpa is something that is engrained in my memory because Frank (Millie’s grandpa) was dying of cancer the day we lost Millie. Telling Dan what had happened when I had visited Frank in the hospice that day, the day before Millie passed made us both smile because for weeks, Frank hadn’t had the strength to hold her properly because he was growing weaker by the day and we knew he didn’t have long left to live … We never expected him to outlive his newest granddaughter.

We lost Frank exactly one month after we lost Millie.

  

(Millie and her grandpa Frank, June 2012)

The minutes have gone by so slowly this week and every time I’ve looked at the time over the past few days, I could tell you exactly what I was doing at that time … 

Lunchtime 22nd October , sitting with Frank in the hospice and seeing him hold Millie and smiling at her … 11.40 ish am on 23rd October playing back the conversation in my head that Dan and I were having on the phone, him telling me that an ambulance had been called for Millie … 12pm being stood in Piccadilly train station struggling to get hold of that place were Millie was to find out if I needed to go there or to hospital … 12.30 taxi journey to hospital … Just before 1pm flying into the hospital and telling them I was Millie’s mum … Just after 1pm being shown Millie after not even being told she had passed away … 2.30pm in a family room with people giving me medication to calm me down and cups of tea to stop me from passing out, just after 4pm .. Dan finally walking through that door and having to accept reality … I could go on and on and on but the more detail I tell you, the more you will be sat there crying. One day I will write more and tell you more about what happened that day but right now, well it’s just not the right time for me 

In some ways, the days before her anniversary are worse because I start to think about all the things we would have done differently if we knew this had been coming.

1. We would never have taken her to that place in the morning.

2. We would have hugged and kissed Millie all night and not let her go.

3. I would have chosen to stay at home and not return to work yet after maternity leave. 

I can carrying on writing this list and for a long time in my head I did. I wrote it and re-wrote it and punished myself with it but the truth is and this is the harsh reality 

… That we cannot change any of it. 

We cannot go back and not to go work that day, we cannot go back and leave her with family instead of that place , we cannot go back and give Millie more hugs… What happened … happened …and as much as we want to change every little thing about that day, about that week;  we can’t, it’s just not possible. 

An anniversary is not a celebration and neither is Millie’s birthday. It is a day of remembrance for us, a day of sadness, a day of thinking about what we lost when we lost Millie. We were broken, broken in a way that we never thought we would recover from. 

This is the third anniversary we have been through now but the hardest pain hasn’t stopped yet this year because all those feelings will be back again on the 3rd November, the day that no parent ever wants to go through, the day we buried our baby girl. 

Every year on Millie’s anniversary we ensure that we are down at Millie’s resting place at the time that we official lost her – 12.52pm. It’s an act of respect for her from us, we weren’t there at the time we lost her but will be with her at her resting place every year until we join her. 

This year we obviously had an extra welcome addition with us – Leo. Leo comes down to Millie’s resting place whenever we go and he always will. I’ve taken a photograph of him this year on Millie’s anniversary guarding her balloons before we let them off for her.

 Balloons by B for Balloons, Stockport 

I’ve taken this photo because I want these for Leo when he is older so he can see that he was always with us on Millie’s special day. I know full well what some of you are thinking right now “well that is just strange” .. But is it? How do you know? Believe me, until you are in our position where you have to visit your child at their resting place you have no idea how you will feel, how you will act or what you will do. We have unfortunately met a lot of grieving parents since our journey began and every one of them does something different from the next person and you know what .. That is absolutely fine and no one is in any position to judge because we all have to do what we feel is best for us to get us through our tragic journeys. 

Distraction … That is my key. Distraction during this week is what keeps me sane. With the biggest lovely distraction this year being Leo … Leo has made a huge difference to us this anniversary because we have be strong for him. He’s too small to understand why we cry and he will be for a long time but one day we will tell him everything and he’ll grow up knowing all about his amazing sister.

Another distraction this week for me was being a model in a charity fashion show.
(Photograph by Joanne Thompson, follow me on Instagram – MILLIELEOSMUM ) 

Modiste in Bramhall held a fashion show in The Bubble Room and raised a fabulous £762 on the evening but they had asked me to take part in the show, something I have never done in my life or never actually wanted to, haha. 

But I said yes. The reason being is that firstly I can’t seem to say no to things I get asked to do for our charity and secondly because I thought it would be a good distraction for me this week and it turns out that it was! I can never say no to things because of the amazing people that do things for us, like Modiste hosting the show and Paul Bell, the photographer stepping in it at last minute and catching some fab photos for us. 

The fashion show was on Wednesday evening so just a couple of days before Millie’s anniversary, so it was good timing to have my mind somewhere else for a while. 

  
 (Photograph by Paul Bell) 

On Saturday (the day after Millie’s anniversary) we held a balloon release in memory of Angel children and over 100 balloons were released in a local park to us and it was absolutely beautiful but so sad knowing that each and every one of these balloons had been donated for a child that had been taken too soon.

 (We adhered to all UK balloon release guidelines)

One of the other things that we do on Millie’s anniversary is not see family or friends. We find it hard enough dealing with our own emotions and feelings on this day and we know that we need this time as our little family time and although some people may not understand this, it’s a decision that Dan and I made together. I even turn off my phones and respond later because I just don’t feel the need or want to interact with anyone but Dan and now Leo. It is really lovely that people text or us or leave us messages online but they are still there the day after and we always respond … But when we are ready. 

Again, other people will be different and being surrounded by family and friends might be good for them, whatever it takes to get through the day. 

We still have a lifetime of anniversaries to get through and we will; we will get through every single one of them together as a family. 

Millie will always be part of our family and nothing will ever change that. 

 

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This year, we have yet again launched our text line for Millie’s anniversary and you can still donate until Monday 26th October 2015 when it will be closed 

Text MILL03 £3 to 70070

(You can donate between £1 and £10) 

All donations greatly appreciated.

  
Tickets now on sale for the Christmas Market here 

Honesty hurts sometimes 

I’ve honestly struggled to sit down and write over the past couple of weeks because every time I’ve tried to I’ve just sat here and cried. 

October is a really tough month for us and I think it is always going to be. I try and keep myself as busy as possible every minute of every day because when I sit down and stop, my mind gets all muddled up and emotional; my heart hurts, my chest tightens and my whole body crumbles. 

I’m doing it again, I’m sat here crying whilst writing but this time I’m going to carry on. I’ve just put Leo down for his afternoon nap and I can hear him gibbering to himself and I love that so much. If he wakes up in the middle of the night, I lie in bed listening to him whilst giggling at all the new noises he is making before he drifts back off to sleep .

He is so much like Millie at the moment and that’s really hard. 

 (Millie, just before she passed away)

Donate for Millie’s Anniversary

Text MILL03 £10 to 70070 to donate to Millie’s Trust (you can donate £1 to £10)

The way he looks, some of his mannerisms and the new skills that he is developing on a daily basis. I always wondered what time would be the hardest with him in this first year and this is probably becoming one of the hardest periods because he is so similar in age now and he is doing things that Millie was just before we lost her. I know the next couple of months are going to be a struggle, I can feel it getting harder already. I’m crying a lot more than usual, I’m more worked up and I’m struggling with certain aspects of being a mum again.  

 (Leo with Mummy)

After Millie passed away, we put some of Millie’s clothes aside that she had recently worn, so we could keep the smell of her as long as possible – still today, nearly three years later, they are the same.

Recently though, Leo has developed a very similar smell, particularly in the evenings. It must be the combination of milk and dribbling from teething and it is completely knocking me for six. I can’t find fully the words to describe how it makes me feel. I pick Leo up if he is upset for a cuddle and I hold him so tight like I always do but his smell makes me break. I stand there singing to him or talking to him whilst he is calming down or falling asleep on me whilst I stand crying above his head because the smell is taking me back to those final days with Millie and it hurts me so much. It hurts me because I miss her so much but it also hurts me because I don’t want Leo to see me upset and I am trying my hardest to smile through the pain when I am like this and with him. 

It’s getting harder being out and about too. I have been all over the place this week because we are so busy and I’ve noticed the effects of seeing and hearing ambulances are having on me again. I’m starting to freeze when I hear them and I really have to concentrate to ignore them and make the noise go away; it takes me back to a place where I don’t want to be and it’s so hard to carry on as normal. 

I’m struggling with Leo’s weaning, I really am. I’ve tried. I am trying but sometimes it’s just too hard. Dan put the highchair up but I haven’t used it, to be honest, I can’t stand the sight of it but I know I will get there, just like everything else. On the other hand though, Dan is ok with Leo being in his highchair so as long as one of us is using it with him (albeit when I’m not in the house) – I think that’s ok.

One thing I have noticed though, is that if we eat out anywhere, we always get offered a high chair – which is standard in a restaurant. As you can imagine, I aways refuse – this has made for some interesting looks from the staff – especially because of the size of Leo and the fact that I would rather have our little (not so little) boy sat on my knee all the way through our meal than put him in a highchair.  The staff are alway nice enough when I refuse though but it must really confuse them. 

The one thing I have been able to be ok with Leo having is Frubes, you know the yoghurt in a tube. He loves them – and I’m ok with that. But the rest of weaning, that can wait until after Millie’s anniversary because I’m just not comfortable now and that’s what I need to be for it to work and for us to get through this stage. 

This week has been particularly hard as well because we were obviously following what was happening with the gorgeous little boy Jacob Jenkins, who unfortunately lost his life after choking in a restaurant. 

When we heard the news that he had passed away, it was like a punch to the gut. The feelings that were with us that first night and the next few days after losing Millie came flooding back and knowing exactly what his wonderful mum and dad were going through absolutely rocked me because it is the most horrendous thing to happen to you as a parent. 

We were contacted by a lot of media following Jacob’s passing – because of Millie and to be honest, I really struggled. I wanted so much to give those interviews because of the subject matter but it absolutely broke my heart throughout the day talking about what had happened to Millie over and over again (more so because it’s nearly her Anniversay) and then knowing how Jacob’s parents were feeling. 

I didn’t want to upset his parents by talking about this on the news but it’s such an important message to get across to people. By the end of the day on Thursday I was in pieces and I had kept myself together but after my third visit of the day to Media City, I finally broke down and cried in the car on the way home – in fact most of the way home but once it had all  flooded out, I was ok. I have also since heard that Jacob’s parents are ok with everything I talked about on the news and this is such a relief for me to hear.

I really hope the nastiness online stops with regards to his parents, they don’t need to see or hear things that are being posted online. One thing that has always stuck with me after Millie passed away is that I read a comment that said something along the lines of “the mum should be sterilised for putting her baby in nursery at 9 months old – that’s far too young”. This comment nearly destroyed me at the time I read it because I was in such a bad place and it really could have caused me to end my life. I really started to believe that is what people thought about me. For every 1000 comments there will be one that is nasty but unfortunately that is the one that will stick with you. I know now, but it did take me a long time to understand, that the people that leave comments like this are just sad, lonely, bitter and twisted people who have nothing better to do with their lives than to be opinionated about others. 

Our hearts really are with Jacob’s parents and I hope they get through the next couple of weeks using the love that they have for on another – that’s the only reason Dan and I got through those first few weeks. 

So, in less than a week now, it will be Millie’s third anniversary – I honestly can’t believe it’s been that long already. 

She should be running around being cheeky with her pigtails in, coming in dirty from playing in the garden with mud in her hair. But she isn’t. We have to visit her resting place where she sleeps that we keep as beautiful as we can for her. We take Leo down too as he will always know who and where his big sister is. 

So, in preparation for that and to raise awareness of Millie’s Trust around her anniversary, we are asking you to please use our logo (below) as your Facebook profile picture to infiltrate Facebook with pink giraffes.

   
 
We are now also starting our Anniversay text campaign to raise more pennies in her memory for the third year running.

Donate for Millie’s Anniversary

Text MILL03 £5 to 70070 to donate to Millie’s Trust (you can donate £1 to £10)

Thank you so much for your support at this hard time of the year for us and we are looking forward to seeing all these pink giraffes on Facebook for Millie’s anniversary. 

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Pride of Britain Awards

Last year we sat at home like many of you guys and cried throughout the Pride of Britain Awards 2014, never for one minute thinking that we would be there in 2015 … 

But we were, all dolled up and ready to collect an award in our fancy frock and suit.  

It was the most surreal evening out that we have ever had, I felt like I was in a TV with all these famous faces walking past me, it was extremely strange. 

We have to say though, everyone that we met were extremely friendly with us and so kind. The host of the show, Carol Voderman was so lovely and down to earth, we met her the night before the awards at a special dinner for the award winners and that put us a little more at ease. 

 
This was a tough night emotionally for us but also mentally because whilst we were in London, it was the first time that we had left Leo with someone, it was terribly hard on us. Luckily, we were able to take Leo to London with us and our lovely friend Sam came with us to look after him in the hotel, we knew she would look after him like she does her own daughter.. But even so, the first time is always the most nerve wracking, more so in our situation but Leo seem to have the time of his life with her (see photos below that were sent to us whilst he was with her)   

So we had a little champagne, nerves flipping in our stomach whilst we decided if we were brave enough to ask celebs for their photo with us … But we couldn’t let you guys down, we know are you expecting celeb pics, so here are a few 😀 Do you know who they are?  
Then we saw a celeb who lives locally to us so we had to get her too! 

 

We are so not like this normally, I never ask anyone famous for a photo, lol.

So as the night went on, our nerves trebled… We knew we were award winners number 11 on stage, so around award number 7 , I stopped the wine as I didn’t want to stumble across the stage when it was our time. Walking up those steps to stand in front of 900 people after they had just watched a clip on why we were there was so tremendously nerve wracking, standing on that stage and looking at celebrities crying their eyes out in front of us because of what they had just learnt about us was an unbelievable moment for us … It just proved to us though that celebrities are just human beings like you and I. 

We had the fabulous Jeremy Piven and Catherine Kelly (who is gorgeous in real life by the way)  present our award, which was fabulous as we have seen every episode of Mr.Selfridge and we are so looking forward to the next series! They were such wonderful people that made us feel so at ease, here is our official pic 

 

One of the most friendly celebs we met on the evening was Natalie Anderson A.K.A Alicia from Emmerdale, real lovely Yorkshire lass 😀

 
Natalie has also very kindly mentioned us in her Hello! Blog this week too, so kind of her. Click here to view (Thank you for that Natalie, you never know, she might read this) 😉

We were very honoured to meet various amazing people on the evening that have done some tremendous things in their lives, from saving lives, to raising millions of pounds to raising awareness of various topics. Every single person involved in the evening deserved to be there so much and you’ll see why when you hear their stories when you watch the awards this evening. 

I’m not going to natter much longer as I know you are dying to watch the awards this evening (8pm on ITV). We’ll be there with you in our pyjamas, on our sofa and maybe with a takeaway – bit different from Monday Evening when we received the award. 😂

So, I’m going to leave you now with a few photos from a famous address that you may recognise … 10 Downing Street .. And for those of you that want to know what breakfast at Downing Street was … Cheese and Ham Toasties 😁

We were quite excited at spending some time here, what a place to receive an invite to. We obviously couldn’t take our cameras inside but we did manage to get out photos outside and we do have the official media ones to.

It’s a shame that we couldn’t take Leo with us but it was far too early and he was only just waking up as we left for our visit and he needed his milk … You never know, we might get to take him one day. 

And SamCam? She was lovely 😀

Enjoy the awards xxx