Monthly Archives: September 2017

Oh, the guilt!

Could I actually feel guiltier than I do?

Pregnancy is full of amazing moments, watching your baby move in your stomach, mum looking “blooming” lovely, hair and skin glowing, energy to carry on going to the gym, eating healthier etc. etc.…

Actually, no. My experience is the complete opposite

Being totally honest, I cannot stand being pregnant. People often presume that being pregnant especially after child loss should automatically mean that you would enjoy every second of the pregnancy and treasure everything that is happening, that you should be grateful that you have the opportunity to have another child again and be thankful for being able to have this experience again.

That’s exactly why I feel so bloody guilty. I lost Millie and had a not very enjoyable pregnancy with Leo, alongside the crappy physical experience that I had with nausea, sciatica, iron problems and exhaustion; I also had an awful time with my mental health and struggled to bond with the little man Leo growing inside me because of our previous loss of Millie. I couldn’t wait to just have Leo in my arms, to not only stop all the physical pain I was in but also because I knew that my mental health would be so much better once he arrived.

Then there was the miscarriage. Sadly, 12 weeks into my third pregnancy last November, I suffered a missed miscarriage that was not only physically hard but affected my mental health yet again. I was extremely embarrassed that my husband was watching me miscarry in the bathroom (I don’t even pee in front of him) but I needed him more than anything by my side, I couldn’t have gotten through it without him. It felt demeaning, I felt useless that I couldn’t protect my baby again and I was also filled with so much sadness that my husband was watching me lose his child.

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Then I got pregnant again earlier this year – and the cycle began again. I was diagnosed with HG, it turned out that I had huge problems with my iron that meant my body wasn’t doing what it should be with it and that was causing exhaustion. You might think here, she was just a little tired. It wasn’t that. I physically did not have any energy. I couldn’t shower, I couldn’t get dressed, I couldn’t come down the stairs and some days I couldn’t even lift my arms. Eventually after a few months, I was put on some medication that took a few weeks to work but my energy started to come back and I began to function again. I was so glad because I felt so guilty that I couldn’t play with my little boy Leo, he spent weeks seeing me laid up in bed or with my head down the loo, some days he even learnt to hold my hair back whilst I was throwing up. This type of illness played havoc with my mental health, it took a huge nose dive and some days I just didn’t want to wake up (when I did sleep) because I felt such a burden to my little family.

Click here to purchase Millie’s Trust merchandise VAT FREE for the final day until 9pm 30th Sept 2017. 

My hair comes out when I brush it when I’m pregnant, I can’t stand my skin, I can only eat certain foods and then the heartburn kicks in. I honestly feel like I am genuinely keeping Gaviscon in business and have been for the past few months. The hospital has given me tablets for the heartburn, they were great; for the first two weeks. Unfortunately now, they seem to wear off pretty much as soon as I have taken them; not fun.

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Then there is the bladder jumping. Yes, this little man seems to like partying on my bladder during the early hours of the morning, pretty much every day. This was okay in my last pregnancies, as I could get to the bathroom pretty quickly but now, I’m on crutches.

Did I not tell you that bit? No, well, just to add to the fun, my body is trying to wear me down even more by adding Sciatica and SPD to my list of pregnancy problems. Again something I was coping with until recently when my legs starting to go from underneath me, in particular if I had been asleep in bed during the night. It soon became where I couldn’t walk to the bathroom without having to hold on to pieces of furniture or the walls to get there. After a very quick referral (thank you NHS and Wythenshawe Midwife/Consultancy Teams) to a physiotherapist, I had a few sessions and was straight away given a support belt for my stomach (I really wish that I had the nerve to put a photo of it here – but believe me, it is the least sexy thing that you have ever seen. Think Tubi-Grip that you have when you sprain your wrist, except this one is big enough to go all the way from your boobs, across your stomach and to your hips).

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Dan just laughed. I don’t blame him. I look ridiculous.

Then came the crutches. Well this is lots of fun, with a toddler. Not.

I also have to use them every day even if I have no pain, so I don’t counter-act the benefit on good days. I feel like a total spanner. 8 months pregnant with this huge bump and on crutches – no wonder people are looking at me in sympathy.

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Chester Zoo was fun this week on my birthday. Dan hired me a mobility scooter. Oh the humiliation I was thinking … but actually it was a great idea and we got around so many more animals than if I would have been hobbling around on crutches. Leo thought it was hilarious and he got to have a little sit on it before we left.

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The physical pain that I am in though isn’t a laughing matter. It’s excruciating some days and it makes me cry. It makes me really sad that I can’t play with Leo like I want to.

After all that – I’m not even sure that I have captured all the reasons that I don’t like pregnancy here – but you must get the idea.

To all you mums that completely adore being pregnant, I totally envy you – I really do. I wish I could enjoy my pregnancies; it would be great.

But to all those mums who feel even the slightest bit of guilt like myself, I’m with you, I feel your pain and it will all be over soon, even if it doesn’t feel like it.

Bring on the Pink Botegga Prosecco and Camembert Cheese! I cannot wait. That’s all I can say!

Saturday 30 September is your last chance to purchase VAT free merchandise and Qualification Course places for Level 3 Paediatric First Aid and Emergency First Aid at work. You have until 9PM on this date to purchase VAT FREE. This includes are limited edition giraffes too, so please click here to purchase to save pennies before the increase.

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During October Stickerscape will be supporting Baby Loss Awareness UK 2017. Every sticker sold during this month we will donate £1 to the The Miscarriage Association (charity no. 1076829) and Millie’s Trust (charity no. 1151410).

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We got his hair cut … finally

Well Leo, with the help of a very lovely young man at Famous Henry’s on Turves Road in Cheadle Hulme, today we managed to get your hair cut 🙈.

Up until about 5 or 6 months ago, Leo didn’t mind this but recently he just won’t let anyone go near it and it has driven me mad. We’ve tried various places but nothing seemed to work, I didn’t know what we were going to do.

So, I called the Barbers and explained that I had a toddler who was really struggling every time we tried to get it done and they said, “bring him down and we’ll see what we can do” I said, we’d pop in during early evening as I had to get home from work and Dan and I would take Leo down together as it’s a 2 man/woman job and with myself being 8 months pregnant, there is no way that I could handle him if he tried to escape from us!

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We headed on down there expecting the worse, a huge tantrum, screaming and the tears … what we didn’t expect was some extremely lovely barbers who talked to him, calmed him down and worked with us parents to make this as best of an experience as we all could.

We did have the tears, don’t get me wrong … and they were proper tears whilst holding daddy’s hand, the barber talking to him and mummy playing with toys in front of him attempting to get him looking straight ahead. Those tears, are totally heartbreaking!

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But between all three of us and discovering that it’s the noises of the clippers in the shop that he didn’t like …. we managed to get a smile through the tears and a gorgeous little haircut …

Don’t give up mummies and daddies if you’re struggling with the haircuts … you’ll get there, we have 😀

Thank you Famous Henrys xxx

Update: The barber’s name is Warren 😀

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We have some news!!!

October will see us into Millie’s 5th anniversary and December will see our charity turn 5 years old. We honestly cannot believe that it has been 5 years since we last saw our daughter’s gorgeous smile or heard her stunning laugh.

We could never have imagined when we started Millie’s Trust that it would grow so fast and gain so much support. I remember the first training kit delivery we had and then a few months later the manikins being sat at our dining room table. It was at that point that we decided that we needed to find an office to build the charity from. Within a couple of months we had our first office space, a few months later we expanded into next door and in July 2014 we moved to our current head office venue to create an internal training room and hire some

staff!

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Well, things are changing again. We’ve grown tremendously over the past few years and we’ve been after a bigger venue or a second venue to create more training space.

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A couple of days ago, we completed on a second venue in Cheadle Hulme Precinct, not far at all from where we had our short and happy time with our daughter – it feels like a mark of respect to her on her 5th anniversary to be opening near her home – because the whole charity has been built on her and the legacy she has left behind.

After a very stressful few weeks trying to complete, we finally got the keys! Yippee!

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Now we are on a tight deadline of 4 weeks to furnish and set up the venue before we officially have an open day on Saturday 14th October 2017 – I cannot believe this has all fallen in the final part of my

pregnancy, talk about stressful!

The venue will give us opportunity to host even more qualification courses, new courses and my own personal favourite, more courses for children!

We are very excited about our new premises opening and we hope to see lots of you there for the opening day and popping in to see us and may be pick up some Millie’s Trust goodies.

We cannot thank every that has supported us over this past, nearly 5 years as you have helped our charity thrive and be able to continue to grow and provide life saving courses.

With the new office opening, we’ve decided to upon a wish list up on AMAZON with office supplies on that we will need for our new place. This is your opportunity to purchase something directly for Millie’s Trust to use rather than a donation as we know some people like to do this. If you’d like to take a look to see what is on our wish list click here, you can purchase things on it starting at just less than £2!

Come and visit us some time soon!

Read Toilet training adventures blog here!

It doesn’t go away.

The schools are back again this week and so are all the first day at school, moving up a year, first day at secondary school etc photos on social

media and they are all so lovely and I genuinely do love seeing them but I only take a fleeting look as otherwise the tears will begin to fall.

Last year Millie should have started primary school. We know where she would have gone, we know she would have thrived there … except she never took her first step through the door.

I stupidly thought it wouldn’t hurt this year, it does though. It’s never going to go away. The what ifs, the lost school plays, the blank pages of her life. It’s so painful to handle.

And then I had the miscarriage. Am I going to feel the same when that baby should have started school, moved up a year, gone to college? I’m guessing so. The miscarriage wasn’t just something that goes away, we gave the baby a name that no one knows and I’ll carry it in my heart forever.

I know that we’ll be the proud parents when Leo starts school in a couple of years, it will be an utterly scary time for us – more so than other parents but we’ll do it and we’ll be posting the pictures just like every other parent. We’ll cry, I’ll be tortured not being with him all the time but he has to grow and become whatever and whoever he wants to become and we’re not going to put anything in the way to stop that.

Enjoy taking your photos and showing your precious treasures to the world, you should be so proud, you made those little people.

But,

If you have a friend or acquaintance that you know has lost a baby, child, pregnancy and they should be overcoming a huge milestone like starting school this week, drop them a text, let them know that you’re thinking of them.

Even if they do seem strong on the outside, they’re not. Trust me xxx

To read my short blog from when Millie should’ve started school last year – click here

To see the next available Emergency First Aid at Work courses in Stockport with Millie’s Trust – click here

Toilet training adventures with a two year old!

Three weeks ago we entered the murky world of toilet training and we’d been told all the horror stories and we were prepared for the worst, at least we thought we were.

This is quite a long blog … so keep with me if you want to see what’s it’s been like toilet training my 2 and a half year old boy Leo. I promise that it’s worth the read.

I’d read some things about what to do, what not to do, how to reward, how to encourage him … to be honest it was an absolute minefield & there is so much conflicting information but we went for it anyway with all this info in the back of my mind and my plan was just to pick out and use bits of it once we worked out what Leo had in mind!

We had planned to do this back in April, but I was far too ill with my pregnancy and I was in bed an awful lot and I didn’t think it was fair to leave it for Dan to do pretty much on his own, that would have been far too stressful and unfair on him.

To be honest, I’m glad we didn’t as I think this was the perfect time to start with Leo, at 2 years and 5 months, he was showing all the signs. Uncomfortable in his nappy when wet, pulling at his pants and telling us that he was doing a wee in his nappy.

For many months Leo has been following us into the bathroom and shouting “wee wee” whilst we were in there, so he had worked out what the bathroom is used for at this point – so this was a good start.

So, we stocked up on underpants, wipes, stickers and made sure we had something to clean the carpet with 😂.

Lessons we learnt in just the first day 🙈

1) You need far more underpants than you could ever anticipate (cue last minute trip to the supermarket) 

2) Daddy needs to learn not to tickle Leo and make him laugh during this process (wet floor incident) 

3) Do not purchase a variation of cartoon characters on underpants because when you put one on – they want another character on within minutes (Totally went wrong mixing paw patrol with diggers and monsters and animals) 

4) Don’t underestimate your child actually liking sitting on the potty – this afternoon must have resulted in at least 15 sessions on the potty just because he discovered he got to pull his underpants up and down if he sat there … resulting in absolutely nothing in the potty at all. 

All in all, a pretty successful day ending in Leo realising that he knows when he’s going to need a wee and rushing for the potty… oh and an underpant wash cycle …

The following days ….

The next three days were spent with at least one of us at home with Leo as we had decided he needed to be able to tell us properly without all the extra visits to the toilet, that he needed to go before we ventured out.

These three days then consisted of us being up and down, up and down I don’t know how many times with false alarms with him.

Many times he’d sit on the potty for a

micro second and then say “done!” – it actually drove us a little mad but you can’t not risk letting him go on the potty because that will be the one time that it ends up all over you sofa!

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After about 5 days, we stopped having as many false alarms which was great and probably half of the times he said he needed to go, we actually got something in the potty. By this day we had gone down from about 15 pairs of underpants a day in the first 3 days to about 3 a day, so actually very quickly he stopped dribbling in his pants, which was great for our washing machine as I think it had gotten fed up of being on and wanted to go on strike.

Day 6 … new territory … an outside trip!!! We hadn’t planned this, it just happened to be that I needed to go to hospital to have an ANTI D injection (for those of you that have been lucky enough not to need this during pregnancy, it as an awful injection that can make your arm go really numb and heavy) so Dan & Leo came with me then I didn’t have to drive back with a dodgy arm. So off we went, bag packed with lots of spare clothes & underpants and a thin towel laid on Leo’s car seat; just in case. 20 minutes to the hospital, no accidents and three times whilst I was in my appointment Leo told Dan he needed a wee …..Dan took him to a public toilet all three times and twice he did nothing, but the third time he did 😀😀 success! So it sounds like we are doing well, which we are but keep reading as we had a very public incident that will make you either laugh or cringe!

Very quickly Leo was happy doing number ones and numbers twos in the potty and he’d also taken to liking going on the actual toilet in the bathroom (with one of the toddler seats hooked over the top). Although we have had to be very strict that he only flushed the loo when he had actually deposited something in there as we discovered that he kept asking to sit on it and jumping off within a couple of minutes because he liked to watched the water spinning around the toilet and saying bye bye to it! Cute the first few times, but not the twentieth false alarm – especially when mummy is heavily pregnant and is suffering from Sciatica and SPD!

Hand washing he likes to do anyway as we’ve already got him used to doing that a long time ago. He’s quite happy to hop off the toilet, flush it, put some squirty soap on and then dry his hands on the towel. In fact, he’s a bit fussy and doesn’t like not to dry his hands!!!

So fast forward quite a few days and he’s doing really well, asking us to go for a wee wee or a poo poo and most of the time he was spot on and he needed to go! I did keep wondering how we were going to get around he fact that he liked to take his shoes, socks, trousers and underpants off if he went to the toilet – how was this going to work in the outside world? Hmmm …. to be honest, he eventually got bored and this habit dwindled away.

My friend Sarah (hi Sarah) recommended a specific potty to us , check it out here on Argos, it’s great for travelling about with as it has a lid on and a lock so you can keep hold of what you need to until you can dispose of it! Again, Leo took to it really well and decided he liked to carry it around. I’d already decided that Leo wasn’t just going to tell me that he needed a wee there and then so I would have to get the potty out there and then in the middle of a shop or restaurant, I personally think that you might as well teach them properly all in one go and that includes teaching them that they may have to hold on for a few minutes until you get to a bathroom. So even though, we had this Potty with us, we made him come to the public toilets with us and then he’d decide whether to hop on a toilet or use his potty in the toilets – and it’s worked!

For anyone who knows my local Tesco (if you don’t, it’s a double story superstore) twice in the past week Leo has let us get all the way upstairs and to the back and then told us he needs a wee and we have to come all the way back down, leave the trolley with security and nip into the front of the store to let him have a wee; but he’s told us and got there with no accidents.

Millie’s Trust price increase for all soft toys, level 3 Paediatric First Aid courses, first aid kits &a much more kicks in on 1st October due to VAT registration. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE NOW before the increase! (Limited edition soft toys included)

Let’s talk about accidents. Well actually, rewards first. So if Leo got to the potty on time and did something, he got a sticker of his choice and we just used the side of the door in the living room so we could watch them build up – three weeks in though and he’s now no longer interested in getting them.

Accidents, we’ve obviously had a few – but not actually as many as we had expected. Apart from the first few days when he would wee right through his clothes, most have been missed potty pee and if a bit ends up on the floor, he really doesn’t like it when that happens, he gets upset.

Then we had the park incident.

🙈.

He’d been absolutely brilliant, so Leo and I had gone over to our friends in Didsbury whilst Dan painted the nursery and we decided to go to park. For around an hour in my friend’s house, Leo kept going to the potty and saying he needed a number 2 … but it never appeared. I decided that we couldn’t just stay in all day waiting, so we decided to risk it at the park. We walked around and everything was going well until about 30 minutes in and he shot me a look from the top of the slide and shouted “poooooo” and it was extremely obvious what he was doing with the face he was pulling and I could just not get to him on time. In just those few seconds, he had completely filled his pants and it was all over his legs. What was I to do? I had absolutely no choice but to strip him there and then, there was absolutely no chance that I was going to be able to get him in anywhere without getting myself covered in, well, you know what! So I stripped him, his trousers went into a carrier bag, I actually threw his underpants away in another bag into the bin as I could not face the drive home confined in a car space with that smell, half a packet of wipes later, underpants in the bin and new trousers on – off he went. Phew – could’ve been worse…. It was though, it got worse! Much worse 😂. Within 10 minutes, he did the exact same thing again – he was obviously too excited to be on the park and that was more important than finishing his toilet episode! Cue a repeat of stripping and cleaning and him running back off. 5 minutes later …. AGAIN! You honestly could not have written it and by this point I was actually laughing. What was the point in getting angry or mad ? It wasn’t Leo’s fault and I couldn’t do anythin to stop it. The only difference this time is that I had ran out of wipes and out of trousers 🙈! Luckily my friend had some wipes on her and I had one pair of underpants left … this whole hilarious situation led to Leo walking to the car looking like someone out of The Village People – take a look below 😂

Luckily, it was a warm day, our car was only a few minute walk away and my friend was up for a laugh 😀! I can honestly say that there really is no point in getting stressed out, it’s going to happen & probably in one of the most inconvenient places ever possible! Other mums in the park were just smiling and laughing with me as we just got on with it.

I wasn’t worrying about what anyone was else was thinking about what must have looked like some bizarre comedy sketch because Leo was my priority to get him clean, comfortable and warm again.

There’s absolutely no point in judging other people when you see someone in this situation because you’ve probably already been in it yourself OR you will one day be in it yourself! At least my friend got to see what’s likely to come in 12 months with her son, haha!

So now, we are just over three weeks in and he’s pretty much cracked it. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still having the odd accident here and there – this seems to be when he is excited or really distracted and waits until the last minute to tell us – more so with me because I take longer to get him to be potty as I can’t walk very fast at the moment; but we are pretty much on only 1 pair of underpants a day now 😀!

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And, as an extra bonus, he’s unintentionally pretty much gone dry during the nighttime too. We have stopped him drinking after 6pm and he’s in bed around 7pm and sleeps for about 12 hours and comes running in every morning saying “wee wee” and off he hops straight onto the toilet for a wee. I have put an absorbent sheet on his bed and swapped him to the nighttime pants, which if he wet himself, it would wake him up as he’d be uncomfortable, but so far, no nighttime issues!

So what are my top tips?

1. Don’t stress out about it, there is absolutely no point as it won’t work.

2. Don’t show any anger or disappointment if there are any accidents. We just said “oopsy daisy” or “oh no, you missed, it doesn’t matter, we’ll clean it up” and this has seemed to work. If you get distressed so will your child.

3. If you have a room with no carpet – base your Potty in there as it’s far easier for Operation Clean Up!

4. Have different potty/toilet options if you can – I think this is why it didn’t bother Leo when he needed to go into public loos. We had a normal potty at home, another one in the bathroom that he can use as a step too but this one plays music 🎶 when he did a wee in it and the carry potty – as well as him being able to use the big boy toilet.

5. Definitely invest in stickers as a reward, I know some people have used sweets but we prefer the sticker method. (He also gets a big hi 5 when he wees and this makes him really happy)

6. Underpants – Do not underestimate how many underpants that you will get through in those first few days, hence our emergency dash to the supermarket after getting through 15 pairs on the first day!

7. When you do venture out, don’t forget your potty and lots of spare clothes.

8. Stock up on plenty of wipes and take them EVERYWHERE with you.

9. Big hugs if they get upset when they have an accident.

10. Don’t be embarrassed if what happened to me in the park happens to you, it’s inevitable – it will 🙈. Just get on with it, clean up and start again!

So that’s it, our toilet training journey in just 3 weeks! I’m sure by the time baby arrives he will be an expert and that was the plan, to get him trained now before baby comes into the equation!

I hope you’ve picked a few tips up and Good Luck with your toilet training journey if you’re just starting! I promise, it’s not as bad as some make it out to be xxx

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Message about Millie’s Trust

We have unfortunately come to that point where our charity needs to register with the taxman for VAT purposes

As of 1st October 2017, all our merchandise and our Level 3 Paediatric First Aid Courses will have added VAT on top 😞.

We don’t want to increase these prices but we now have to.

If you’re planning on ordering products such as soft toys and first aid kits for Xmas/birthday/celebrations/births over the next few months, you can still purchase without VAT until 30th Sept so please do xxx

Remember the anniversary Giraffes are limited edition and when they are gone, they’re gone x

To purchase products before the price increase – click here