I wonder what ?

There are many things that I struggle with dealing with the loss of my children, in particular Millie. With the baby that we miscarried, I don’t seem to have the same struggles, I have different struggles, like never knowing what they would even look like when they were born or seeing what colour eyes they would have.

I think maybe this is because we didn’t know whether the baby was a boy or girl. We gave the baby a unisex name because of this and it still breaks my heart when I think of our loss with this baby. Don’t get me wrong, I know that all types of baby/pregnancy loss are horrendous because you start to plan your baby’s future as soon as you see that positive line but for me with Millie it’s different because she had been with us here for 9 months and one of the biggest struggles that I have is not seeing her grow up.

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Now I know that seems a really obvious thing to say but it’s the little things that many people take for granted when you have children.

Would she like having plaits in her hair?

What would her voice sound like?

How tall would she be?

Would she like wearing dresses or be a total Tomboy living in jeans and getting covered on dirt like I was?

Would she have her daddy’s smile or would she sleep the same way he does?

Would she like going to the football with him at the weekends?

This seems to hit me the most when it’s around her birthday and not long after her birthday this year, my mum passed me some photos.

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Many of them made me laugh, photos of her on her wedding day, of my Auntie (yes, you Auntie Linz 😀) as a very young girl but then I came across some of me when I was small. What was odd though, is that these random photos that my mum had brought over were of me when I was 6, the same age that Millie would have been this year.

My mum hadn’t even looked on the back of the photos and seen the age, she’d just picked a few up to show me …

Strange isn’t it that this is the one I saw?

Do your children look like you or have the same mannerisms? I would love to know what you have in common, it’s such a beautiful thing that our children look like us and often act like us.

If like us, you have angels, what is it that you imagine them to be like?

x

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It’s here again

I’ve had a cracking headache for three days now, it just won’t go away.

I know why I’ve got it. It’s Millie’s birthday tomorrow. She should be 6…

Sometimes I think that the day before is almost harder than the actual day itself.

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It absolutely breaks my heart to be running around buying things for her birthday, things that we don’t want to buy her but do.

Flowers, so many flowers. I don’t know what else to get. At least we can make her sleeping place extra pretty for her.

Stressing out if people have remembered our baby girl’s birthday or whether she’s become a fading memory to people and nobody will visit her except us tomorrow.

I stood in Clinton’s today for the 6th year running, crying trying to pick her birthday card.

We choose teddies that are wrapped in cellophane to keep the rain out.

I picked up balloons that she’s never going to get to run around playing with in front of us like Leo does, laughing and smiling.

My heart is broken this evening.

I’m broken.

Give your babies an extra hug this evening.

xxx

Text MILL06 £2 to 70070 to donate to Millie’s Trust (£2 can be changed to anything between £1 and £10)

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Epic love for family photographs

Many of you took a liking to my fabulous photograph that Sharon Wallis of Bramhall teased us with last week and now we have seen the final photos including an amazing one of Daddy and Asher, these are so special as we have similar ones with Leo and I regret so much not having them done with Millie – it never even crossed my mind to have professional shots done with Millie when she was born.

So, I’ll leave this one here.

Look how fabulous it is. We all go on about that mums should have their photos taken with with their children; but dads are equally as special and they should too.

To see my photograph click here

And if that wasn’t enough to melt your heart, check out the one below of big brother looking after little brother.

I’m so in love with all these amazing and special photographs. Sharon has a truly amazing talent to be able to capture images as stunning as these.

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Photo Credits: Sharon Wallis

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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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Without a Child – Mother’s Day 

In a perfect world this 2017 Mother’s Day, I would have my 5 year old daughter Millie running into our bedroom with a plate of toast that daddy made & a handmade card that she’d made at school with some flowers that she’d picked with her daddy; my crazy little whirlwind 2 year old son bringing me in whatever he came across as he ran from his bedroom to give me a kiss and I’d also be extremely tired after having a restless night because I’d be 6 months pregnant.

That’s how it should be, in a perfect world. But it’s not. And actually, not many people live in a perfect reality but many of us struggle to see that. 

In my reality. My lovely little whirlwind son will come bounding into our bedroom with a million books just as he does every morning and he’ll give me a big sloppy morning kiss and jump into bed with us. 

Later that morning, we’ll pay a visit to our daughter’s sleeping place and instead of her giving me flowers, I will give them to her and lay them on her resting place to keep it looking beautiful; this I find extremely hard on Mother’s Day but I still do it. 

The cemetery is always busy on Mother’s Day but with people laying flowers on their mother’s resting places – the way it should be. The reason we are visiting the cemetery places us in a minority group on this day, a group that we would give anything not to be in.

I won’t be tired because of a restless night being 6 months pregnant either because I sadly miscarried just before 12 weeks in November 2016. To read more about this click here 

We won’t go out for a meal or go somewhere fun like many families because four years after losing Millie and even after having Leo, I still struggle seeing families so happy on these certain days and I spend all day crying. Daft, I know – especially because many of these families probably have their own sad stories. I find it hard still being around families on these days that have these lovely big families – because we should be a noisy family of 4 (nearly 5) and we aren’t – our card has been dealt much differently through no fault of our own.  I’m not jealous, or angry – it just hurts, so much. 


I know that things will be different in a few years, especially when Leo is at school and he’ll make me things for these special days & he’ll come running out of school with for them, so proud of what he has made. He’ll suddenly one year be old enough to bring me breakfast in bed without daddy’s help & even pick his own card for me and choose where we should spend Mother’s Day together – I can’t wait for this; because it will make Leo happy and in turn it will make me smile and enjoy the day more. I genuinely am looking forward to this. 

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This year is my 5th Mother’s Day without Millie and my 3rd one with Leo. If you do the sums you will realise that I had 2 Mother’s Days being a mum but without a child in my arms. They were the hardest; being a mum but not feeling like one. 


This day is tough for so many who are thinking about their own lives right now and how different they would be if their children had survived, their pregnancy had continued or their infertility hadn’t stopped their dreams. 

Women who have lost children.

Women who can’t have children for medical reasons.

Women who have suffered pregnancy loss.

Women who want nothing more than to be a mum but it’s just not happening for them. 

A mother should never have to experience a Mother’s Day without their child, they should not have to wake up on this day feeling even less of a mother than they already do. I can say that from my heart because that’s honestly how I felt the first Mother’s Day after losing Millie and part of me still feels like that today even after having my gorgeous boy. A part of my being a mum will always be missing, no matter how hard I try. 

Mother’s Day is so commercialised that it is everywhere and you cannot avoid it even if you want to and for many that is tough. 

Think about those close to you this weekend that might be struggling a little not having a child with them for whatever reason that may be and drop them a quick text letting them know that you are thinking of them. 

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