Category Archives: Loss of Millie

Sleep On Your Side Campaign

This is going to be yet again one of those controversial issues, some people will agree with and some won’t. It shouldn’t be controversial or be questioned, but it will be. It happens every time new research is released.

#sleeponside campaign

I’ve lost two children, one aged 9 months through a choking incident and one during pregnancy, a miscarriage; but I support a lot of campaigns regarding the loss of children because at the end of the day, no one should suffer child loss if it can be prevented in any way.

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Today the fabulous charity Tommy’s released new research that suggests that sleeping on your side is better than sleeping on you back during pregnancy and the new research shows that sleeping on your side helps to prevent stillbirth.

I’m sharing this so that you all see this video clip and it may one day help you or help someone you know.

This is obviously not the only reason Stillbirth can happen and we’ll never know all the reasons but it is A reason and something that is so simple and something that may just prevent it happening to you.

I know, as I write this and as your reading it, you will either be thinking that it’s great to have found some reasoning behind some still births or you’re thinking that you don’t believe it but why risk not listening to the most up to date advice about something so sad?

Personally, I couldn’t sleep on my back during pregnancy anyway, especially during the last 3 months as the weight of my bump put pressure on my back and I could hardly move if I fell asleep like that, so my body practically forced me to sleep on my side.

An important thing to remember is DON’T PANIC if you do wake up on your side, your body naturally moves in your sleep and you can’t help that, but if you do wake up on your back – re-position yourself to your side.

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So, take a look at this video clip and pass the message on. Click here to view

” Although researchers cannot say for certain why the risk is increased, there are several theories. In the third trimester, when the woman is lying on her back, the combined weight of baby and uterus (womb) puts pressure on the main blood vessels that supply the uterus, and this can restrict blood flow/oxygen to the baby. Other possible explanations include disturbed breathing during sleep, which is worse when a woman sleeps on her back and in overweight or obese women, who also have an increased risk of stillbirth.

The advice to pregnant women is to go to sleep on their side for any episode of sleep in the third trimester, including:

• going to sleep at night

• returning to sleep after any night wakenings

• day time naps

As the going-to-sleep position is the one held longest during the night, women should not be concerned if they wake up on their back, but should simply roll back onto their side.

The MiNESS study did not find a difference in risk between sleeping on the right or left side. One of the previous studies did show that sleeping on the right increased the risk, but as this was not found in the other three studies, the Tommy’s campaign recommends that women can go to sleep on either side.”

Source (Tommy’s) and for further information, click here

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Fifth Anniversary

If I could just have one more minute with you,

I would tell how much I love you, so much, so utterly so, you would hardly believe it was true.

If I could just hold your hand one last time with our fingers clasped together,

I would hold them so tight that this feeling would last not just for a little while, it would last forever.

If I could just watch you one last time from a corner and see you wiggle your little bum when you dance,

I would give so much to freeze that moment in time as a family to give us all one last chance.

If I could have just five seconds with you to see for one last time that amazing smile upon on your face,

I would take a camera and keep snapping away until I had too memory to file away in my memory bookcase.

If I could just … I would my darling xxx

Remembering Millie on her 5th anniversary with a heavy heart and a river of tears. x

Text MILL05 £3 to 70070 to support Millie’s Trust on Millie’s 5th anniversary.

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Eve of Millie’s 5th Anniversary

It’s here again upon us, the eve of the date that I detest,

Every year I hope that it will get easier, that it won’t sit so high upon my chest.

But it starts a ticking clock a few weeks ahead of time,

In this mixed up, swirly world that’s known as this confused head of mine.

I sit and watch the clock as the minutes tick on by,

As once again I question, why was it us? Will I ever actually know why?

The tears they keep on flowing as we can’t stop this slow descent,

Into a mist of awful fogginess, wondering if we’ll ever genuinely be quite content.

There’s a piece of us always missing from our used and broken heart,

But we’ll always keep it open, so she knows, we’re never quite as far apart.

5 years , it’s Millie’s 5 year anniversary tomorrow and I just cannot get my head around it.

To us, it only seems like yesterday but an an eternity since we last felt her touch.

Please text in your donation to Millie’s Trust for Millie in memory of her on her 5th anniversary xxx

Text MILL05 £5 to 70070

(Donation can be changed from between £1 to £10)

Thank you for remembering her at this time of year xxx

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( Due to be dispatched w/c 23rd October 2017)

Hi, My name is

Hello.

My name is Joanne.

And I have mental health problems.

Seems easy that doesn’t it?

It’s not. It’s hard. It’s really hard.

It’s one of the hardest things that I’ve ever had to admit to myself.

That I had problems and I needed help.

That I needed help more than I could ever have imagined.

The trigger of my illness? My daughter suddenly passing so unexpectedly. Things I saw on that day. Things I didn’t want to see. Things I didn’t want to hear. Things that I had no control over. Things that I couldn’t stop. Things I couldn’t change.

Of course I was grieving for my daughter but I thought I was normal. I thought everyone grieved like I was.

Turns out that I wasn’t though.

I was one of the lucky ones. If you can call me that. I didn’t feel lucky after losing our daughter. Although I was lucky. Lucky to get quick access to an amazing NHS psychologist – because if I hadn’t have done, I know that I wouldn’t be here today.

That might sound dramatic. It’s not though, it’s the truth.

My darling husband realised that I wasn’t functioning as I should be. That I wasn’t grieving like he was. That I was different. That something was wrong.

I didn’t want to believe it. I’m glad he made me go to the doctors though. It saved me.

I was diagnosed with

Severe Anxiety

Severe Depression

Severe PTSD

Panic attacks

Complex Grief

So, as you can see. It turns out that I wasn’t just grieving.

It’s roughly 4 years down the line now since my first psychologist session, when I didn’t really say much,I just sat and cried and then got angry. It’s a little different nowadays I talk more, I pour my heart out sometimes. I was there just last week. It’s not an easy fix to deal with mental health problems.

It’s hard work.

Its emotional.

It’s heartbreaking.

It’s torturous.

But as the old saying goes, “it’s good to talk”. It truly is.

Some days I can’t function. I feel like I’m failure as a wife, as a Mum, as friend … as everything.

These illnesses nearly cost us our marriage, nearly cost us the chance of having more children. I could’ve ran away. I wanted Dan to be with someone who could make him happy. Not to be with someone who cried herself to sleep most nights, that woke up and didn’t want to speak to him, that didn’t want to socialise. I wanted to leave so he could be happy. But he loves me more than I could ever have imagined and he stood by me and he’s my rock.

Social media is full of all these fabulous photographs that are photoshopped, edited, filtered – often we only see what people want us to see. They want you to see that their life is perfect and oh so happy.

So here is an unfiltered, unedited, unattractive photograph of what I looked like after a very recent anxiety attack and this is after nearly 5 years of having them. I took this 3 weeks go, not knowing if or when I was going to show it – but today seems right to do so, on World Mental Health Day. There was a trigger for this attack, I’ll talk about it in another blog when I’m ready …

After this attack, I was burnt out for a couple of days. It’s not like this just for a few minutes, the after effects always last a few days and it takes a while to piece me back together – but Dan and Leo always do this for me and help me through it.

So now you’ve read this, I’ve said this before.

Time to text that friend who you might not have heard from in a while, that might have been distant, that might have seemed rude last time that you spoke to them.

They could need that text more than you could imagine tonight. Offer them a brew. It might take them 3 months to take you up on the offer, but they will, when they’re ready. Let them know you’ll wait.

Mental Health does scare people, that’s not a surprise at all.

But the person it scares the most, is the person who is suffering and they might not even know it.

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Read one of my recent blogs here, Unexpected Reminders

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Baby Loss Awareness 2017 – Let them talk

Baby loss, pregnancy loss, child loss.

Let’s not talk about it.

Society says so.

Society calls for it.

It makes you uncomfortable.

It makes you scared.

It makes you …

Oh wait, hang on a second… it’s not about you.

It’s about your friend who is broken hearted as she puts the clothes away for the baby she longed for who’s heart has just stopped beating.

It’s about your brother that has just watched his wife/girlfriend curled up on the floor in the bathroom or keeled over the toilet feeling the life of their child slip from her and he’s confused and struggling because there is nothing he can do to take this pain away from her.

It’s about the new mum who is leaving hospital whilst her milk is coming in but who has had to leave her baby behind in the morgue.

It’s about your son who’s packing away the unused cot and pram that he saw his unborn child in, his future taken away from him in a split second.

It’s not about you, it’s about them.

Let them talk. Let them cry. Allow them to feel that they are not alone. Tell them that you are there for them. Listen to them. Let them sleep on you. Let them curl up and be where they need to be.

Remember their loss.

Remember their child’s birthday.

Remember their pregnancy due date.

Remember their loss date.

Remember that they will never forgot.

A baby is a baby no matter how far along in pregnancy that they may have survived.

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These babies have a Mum and Dad and they’ll always be a Mum & Dad and they will never ever forget.

I will always be a mum of four, it doesn’t matter that you will only see two of my children holding my hands whilst crossing the street.

You cannot see them, but I have an angel on each shoulder watching over us. One is my Millie, my daughter on one shoulder whom we lost when she was 9 months old and on my other shoulder sits my unborn child who I miscarried at 12 weeks, a child with a name that only I and Dan know.

Be kind.

Be brave.

Let them feel that they are not alone.

Let’s talk about it.

Tell me about your babies that you’ve lost.

Child loss is an unbearable experience, a situation that you don’t ever want to believe that you could be in. I’ve been their twice in completely different situations, one extreme to the other.

They both hurt. It always will.

Baby Loss Awareness Week

9th-15th October 2017

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Read my last blog UNEXPECTED REMINDERS HERE

Text MILL05 £5 to 70070 to support Millie’s Trust on Millie’s 5th anniversary this October.

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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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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