Monthly Archives: November 2015

Just one of those weeks 

You know when you just feel like you’ve just had one of this weeks … Well it’s been one of those weeks.

Earlier in the week it was my father-in-law’s anniversary, so obviously that always throws us slightly, in particular Dan of course – but it always brings back so many memories of such a hard period for Dan and I. 

I always feel really guilty about attending Frank’s (my FIL) funeral as I don’t remember much of it to be honest – it was exactly a month after Millie’s funeral and to be honest, I was still very disorientated and heavily medicated on anti-depressants and sleeping tablets. I was struggling getting through the days and nights and couldn’t really understand what had happened to us with Millie. I always feel guilty because I never cried at Frank’s funeral – purely because I think I’d used all my tears for Millie, I felt like I would never cry over the loss of anyone again. I got on really well with Frank and he was a great loss to all of us after his battle with bowel cancer. 

  
But we headed on down to Frank’s resting place (which just happens to be right next to Millie’s) and laid some beautiful roses for Frank and Millie and a Poinsettia, more so because they last well outside at this period of the year. 

Then the day after Frank’s anniversary – we had a funeral to attend, one of my grandma’s lovely friends who aways wrote us such lovely cards and letters. 

This was the first funeral that we had been to since Frank’s and I wasn’t sure how either of us were going to react. To be honest, I’m not comfortable in churches as  after our daughter was taken from us, I’m not a believer. How can I be? I know some of you will question that and have opinions in my lack of belief, but until you are in my shoes (which I hope you never will be) you can’t be sure of how you will think. 

I broke down when this lovely lady’s casket was brought in, the flashbacks in my head started and I couldn’t look at it because it just reminded me of being at Millie’s funeral and the tears started. It was so hard being there but as hard as it was, we are glad that we went along. We made the decision on the morning that we weren’t going to go to the actual burial as I know that I couldn’t have coped with that, it was just too much for me and I know that it would have sent me over the edge and I didn’t want that.

And Leo attended too with us (albeit he fell asleep, but he was there) So that’s a first for him, his first funeral. I’m comfortable with this and Leo will always attend funerals with us throughout his life. I always attended funerals growing up as a child, I always visited family members at the Chapel of rest and I was there when my grandad died. I think it’s good to see the circle of life and again, I know this is a parent’s choice but I am glad that I had the chance to attend whilst growing up, especially now because I’m not sure how I would have reacted when Millie passed with regards to her funeral if I hadn’t have done. I understood that there were practicalities to take care of and quickly. 

Then there was yesterday. 

I was tootling along on my way back from a visit to the office and I let a car out of a side street whilst I was singing along in my car .. But I didn’t realise who I was letting out.

Within seconds, I realised I had let a hearse and funeral cars out and that it was the funeral director that had looked after Millie (he has some specific registrations that I know are his) and then I clocked the casket and that was it, the floodgates opened. 

It wasn’t even that it was a casket, it was the type of casket – it was extemeley similar to what we had for Millie and I couldn’t help remembering what it felt like to be in that car following my daughter’s last journey. 

It’s horrible, honestly, it really is – when  I can be having an okay day and then something can happen in a matter of seconds that completely flips my mood in the opposite direction to what I was in even seconds earlier. 

So that’s why I’ve had one of those weeks.

But there have been some good parts and there’s been some smiles. My favourite part being that Leo is catching on to waving back at me, something that we never really saw Millie do. I was extremely lucky one day and caught this photo of Millie.

 

But it was a total fluke, Millie just happened to lift her arm up as I was taking the photo, so it’s very deceptive as it looks like she is waving. 

We’ve spent all day today at a conference where I gave a presentation about paediatric first aid and I received a standing ovation , wow, that made me cry. 

On another note, you know, some people don’t like that Dan and I have picked ourselves up off the floor after what happened to our daughter and that we have done what we have done and we know that this is a minority of people and that thousands of other people support us all the way, whether it’s for the charity that we put our heart and soul into, the way we talk about what we have been through or just the fact that we are grieving parents that have survived.

I’d just like to say thank you to everyone single one of you that has supported Dan and I over the past few years in whatever way you have done xxx

This week has been tough. Too many tears X

Don’t forget to visit http://www.milliestrust.com before midnight tonight and use the code PINK10 to receive 10% discount in our online shop.

Excl.course bookings

  
 

Raindrops and wellingtons 

A few months ago, I wrote about a game I play when it rains “racing raindrops” – you basically pick a raindrop in the window, someone else picks another raindrop and you watch them race and whoevers raindrop reaches the bottom of the window first, wins! 

As you can see, I like very uncomplicated games 😀

Along with this game, I spoke about how great muddy puddles are and that I know I’ll love watching Leo jumping in puddles and getting filthy when he is older! 

And then a little boy called William heard about us and what I’d written from his mum and they got in touch with us and William had a proposition for us! 

Firstly they showed me this fabulous photo …

  

How great is this photo? Children playing in the great outdoors and getting absolutely filthy and covered in mud. They look like they are having so much fun! I want so many photos of Leo like this whilst he is growing up.

William’s mum then told us that he wanted to save his pocket money up for Leo to buy him his first pair of wellies so that he can enjoy jumping in muddy puddles! 

But part of the deal was that I had to buy some washing tablets too because he knows that I am going to need them because William’s mum is always cleaning his clothes and shoes after he’s played out! 

So the washing tablets are on my shopping list and check out Leo’s new wellies below that William has bought him 😀

 

But wait for it, William’s generosity didn’t stop there as he knows that Leo has a big sister and he said it wasn’t fair if he bought Leo something and didn’t get Millie anything …. So this also arrived to our office this week – addressed to Millie X 

 

What a beautiful bouquet of flowers. I have taken these down to Millie’s resting place and told her all about what a lovely boy William is. 

This is such a lovely story to tell you guys when you constantly hear about so many bad things going on in the world. These amazing gestures from a child of just 7 years old arriving to our office this week, really made our week – William also hand wrote us a letter – so I wrote one back to him to say thank you.

I know that William now reads our page when his mum lets him and I’m sure that he will see this, so I want him to know how amazing he really is and I know his mum is extremely proud of him.

Thank you William from all of the Thompson’s, especially Millie & Leo xxxxx

Racing Raindrop Game Instructions

1) It has to be a rainy day 

2) Find a window 

3) Find a friend 

4) Pick a raindrop

5) Watch them race

6) Winner is the first to hit the bottom of the window

What lovely things have your children done that have surprised you? I’d love to hear some more of your stories, leave them in the comments for me.

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Nearly older than big sis X 

Millie was just 9 months old when we lost her. 

Leo is 9 months old today. 

 
Milestone number 12833379440 (there’s been that many, we’ve lost count).

It’s been so hard getting to this stage, but we aren’t exactly there yet, still a few more days to go. 

I know the exact day that Leo is the exact same age as Millie … 286 days old … So I also know that the day after Leo is technically older than his big sister. In fact, I’d worked this out a few hours after Leo was born and it’s been a date stuck in my head ever since. 

I thought the period running up to Leo being 9 months old would be the hardest but now I’m not too sure. Don’t get me wrong, it has been so hard but so beautiful at the same time. Millions of tears have fallen but at the same time, millions of smile have been seen too from all of us. 

 

We’ve watched Leo develop over the past 9 months, just like we watched Millie. We’ve seen him smile, giggle, roll over and so much more – all things we watched Millie do.

Pretty soon, we will be entering the next stage of development with Leo – the stage we never saw with Millie. 

So is this next stage going to be harder? More tearful? 

Honestly, I just don’t know. 

What I do know though, is that we have done ok in the past 9 months, in fact a lot better than we ever could have imagined. 

So here is to seeing Leo take his first steps, say his first words and so much more and with every new thing he learns, we will be so grateful that he is here. 

Lots of love to both our kiddies, we love you so so much. 

Love mummy xxx

A reindeer called Ralph???

Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, has a very shiny nose …

They are all over the place now … Christmas songs I’m talking about. Most shops that I’ve walked in to this week have been playing them ... Santa Claus is coming to town … Walking along … Walking into a winter wonderland … All I want for Christmas is you…. 

Last year, I could not stand them, this year I’m finding myself humming to them and I even caught Dan singing to one of them this week in a shop that we were in; how things haved changed. 

As a lot of you will know, we’ve been unable to celebrate Christmas for three years because we lost Millie, it has just never felt right because she never even got her first Christmas and it’s just been another day for us ever since …. But this year, yesterday … There was this 

 
Yes, that is Leo, Dan and myself with The Santa Claus himself .. Yes the real one guys 😀

6 months ago, I would’ve have said that this probably wasn’t going to happen …But yesterday it did, thanks to a lovely lady named Kerry and we owe her a huge thank you. 

Kerry has been a follower of ours since we began and she wrote (yes, wrote to me, I loved getting a letter in the post – actual letters don’t happen that often!) to me a few weeks ago and asked to help us make Christmas special for us and for Leo as she knew we were struggling … And it just happened that she works within a Reindeer sanctuary, so she invited us over on their press day for their launch for this season. 

So yesterday we woke up at 6.30am and I actually felt excited about our visit, I’ve not had that feeling for a long time, it felt special .

We then packed up the car and headed off to spend the day at this amazing place called Blithbury Reindeer Lodge and our little man got to see the big man arriving himself into the reindeer sanctuary with 7 reindeer (this was the only day Santa arrives like this as he’s boarding at the Blithbury Reindeer Lodge until Christmas Eve.) 

As Santa arrived, Leo and his cousins got very excited and Leo couldn’t stop smiling – this was so lovely to watch but also so hard because I see Leo experiencing new things and I absolutely love it but my heart also breaks when he experiences something that Millie never did. 

As soon as we arrived we got to meet some lovely reindeer including the actual Red Deer, from the film Braveheart, Albert, who resides there. 

We walked through the doors of this magical place and were met with not only some of Santa’s Elves but also some gorgeous baby Reindeer from Scandavia and some beautiful home grown ones too! 

Leo got a very special present from the sanctuary but we’ll tell you about that in a few weeks closer to Christmas. 

We were very lucky yesterday with the rain holding off until the end of our visit, this made sure our visit was even more enjoyable! Picking up some feed on the way round we got to some of the older reindeer, in particular we loved the white ones, we thought they were stunning.   

Then it was time for Elf School – learning about how Elves work in Santa’s workshop and what reindeer like to eat. 

Then Leo went to meet Santa for the first time. This is how he reacted …

 
Seriously though, he loved it and we have to say that Santa was absolutely fantastic with Leo and with us. Santa knew all about what we are going through and he made everything very extra special and told Leo what a good boy he’d been this year!

Then he sent us into his special elf workshop, where we have to say the presents were amazing and the elves had worked really hard to produce some fabulous presents this year (in fact the best we have ever seen in an elf workshop).
 
Then he met Ralph, this is Ralph 😀

What was so lovely to see is how well the animals are looked after at Blithbury and I didn’t know until yesterday that they are such chilled out animals and so beautiful and soft. 

Our special visit soon came to an end when Leo needed milk and a long sleep with his reindeer friend that he had picked up on the way round!  

So what a milestone for us. We never want Leo to miss out on anything growing up because of the sadness that Dan and I experience because we lost his big sister. 

We want him to experience everything the world has to offer (within financial reach, of course, lol) but seriously though, Christmas is a huge thing for families and we want Leo’s first Christmas to be so special, just like Millie’s would have been-no matter how hard it is for Dan and I.

We aren’t sure at all what we are going to actually do on Christmas Day. We know we want to stay at home and just be our little family and I suppose everything else will just fall into place around us. We just want Leo to enjoy it and obviously to build all those memories for us of all of Leo’s special days. 

So thank you so much to Kerry and Blithbury Lodge (click here to visit their website and book to visit) for our special visit and making us so welcome. 

And Christmas .. We think we can just about survive you.m

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Brave Mummy

My mummy was brave today. She took this photo of me after she was brave.   

 

Today I am 8 months and 21 days old and this is the first time that mummy has put me in a highchair and let me have some food in it – I ate Puréed Parsnips and I loved them. It took her 8 months and 10days to actually let me just sit in my highchair, you can read about that here.

My mummy was crying the whole time though, I’m not sure why, maybe it was because I wasn’t sharing them with her;  although I did try and throw some back at her that I had in my hand 😀.

I love my mummy. I know she was brave today.

Love Leo xxx

A blog just because … 

Not much to read on this blog but just had to blog. 

The sound of silence drove me mad after we lost Millie.

Just been stood in the kitchen chopping up carrots and all I could hear was Leo giggling in our living room because Daddy was playing with him.  It made me smile as wide as my face. 

Never thought I’d smile again like this again over something so simple. 

Now our house is full of Leo giggling, crying, shouting and Rolo (our dog) running around and barking. I love all these noises.

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Some of the best things in life are free 

You may remember a few months ago that Leo had to spend the day in hospital and have a little procedure (you can read about his hospital visit in my previous blog by clicking here) and this is Leo’s cute hospital outfit in the photo below in the recovery room.

 

A little while later, I received a message from a lady that told me that she was stood in the lift with Dan and I in Royal Manchester Children’s hospital on this day but didn’t want to disturb us as we looked a little upset. She went on to ask me if i would mind asking people to donate blood, platelets and bone marrow. 

Now, we get a lot of requests to talk about certain issues and charities and we rarely do but this story struck a chord with me because of what she told me next. 

She told me that her son, Jacob was about the same age as Leo and that he had been diagnosed with Acute Leukaemia and has spent a lot of time in the last few months in hospital where he has needed blood and platelet transfusions. Then I started to think, so many thousands of people are going through this in their lives, in hospital with children who are ill and is there anything that we can really do to help?  So I asked Katie to bear with me as I had an idea, so the idea led to this photo today happening

Oh and I got Dan to join in too ..

 Yep, we donated bloody today and it was Jacob that encouraged us. Now this was some feat for me as I have a huge issue with wires and tubes after seeing Millie in hospital … But I did it. 

 I know this sounds completely daft, but I had never even thought of children needing blood transfusions.  (Jacob currently needs 80-100ml in each transfusion he has, today Dan and I both donated about 480ml)
I was astounded to learn that only 4% of the adult population give blood …as I am pretty sure that when in need, we of course would take it without even thinking twice.

I have to admit though today was my first time giving blood (not Dan’s first time though) not because I haven’t wanted to but because everytime I’ve wanted to; something has stopped me. I was stopped previously because I’d had a tattoo recently, or been to a country that meant I couldn’t donate for a few months, I was pregnant or had a baby in a certain period of months … But last month I realised that I wasn’t in any of these catergories and nothing was stopping me so I found out a date and today was the day. 

And the best thing is, is that it is totally and utterly free to do and most people do probably fit the criteria to donate. See Criteria here.

It takes at the maximum just a couple of hours of your time (an hour if you book an appointment) and you are absolutely fine afterwards. You are extremely well looked after in these clinics (thank you to all the lovely members of the blood donation team at Stockport County Football Club today) and everyone is so friendly. 

And here is my proud moment, this is MY blood that I donated today, for some reason I look like I am holding a baby. Heehee

   

That is about a WHOLE PINT, but I’m good, it’s fine and it is completely safe to donate this amount of your blood. 

So, little Jacob, he is doing okay at the moment – in fact he has just had bone marrow donated from his 3 year old brother! How amazing is that. Ethan even got to press the machine to start the bone marrow transplant! “Ethan gave Jacob a kiss in the cot and completely unprompted Ethan whispered ‘you’re welcome’ !! Such a sweetie. Here is Jacob and his big brother Ethan who is a real life hero. 

 
Dan and I are actually both on the Organ Donor List and have been for many years and we actually tried to donate Millie’s organs when she passed because she had to have a post mortem, we were unable to. 

But we will be continuing donating blood in the future as we don’t see any reason why not to when it is so important and you never know, one day we might need some blood ourselves. 

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If you would like to donate blood, you can find all the information by clicking here for the UK

If you would like to join the bone marrow donation register you can by clicking here 

If you would like to join the Organ Donation Register, click here for information 

If you do partake in any of the above because you have read my blog, please do let me know.