Category Archives: Millie

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

Join us at our Children’s Christmas party where we have exclusive use of a play Centre.

Full details in the image below.

Click here to book your place (places are limited)

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.

Donation can be changed from anything from £1 to 10.

To read Eve of Millie’s 5th Anniversary Blog, Click Here

You can also donate to Millie’s Anniversary Project using the link CLICKING HERE

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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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Read my Guest Blog for October here

Click here to purchase our limited edition Giraffe especially for Millie’s 5th anniversary

( 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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Donation can be anything between £1 and £10

Visit the Millie’s Trust Shop here

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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Millie does it again. 

Dan and I receive a lot of messages on a daily basis and we genuinely do try and respond to anything that is directed personally to us … this message that we received recently had me crying on my sofa at home when I read it. 

Our little girl Millie, (in the pic below,  really is an angel saving lives) 


Messages like this really hit us hard and truly emphasise the original reasons why we set up Millie’s Trust after we lost our precious daughter. 

I don’t have much more to say because I think this mum’s message from Dublin says it all…

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 💕💕💕 This little girl also turned one yesterday … something our daughter never got to do 💕💕💕 

(Message is from early December) 

“This is long…. please bare with me.

I did a Millie’s Trust Paediatric First Aid course on 21st Nov 2016

Last night, was the worst of my life. But thanks to Millie’s Trust Paediatric First Aid, My night had a happy ending. My 10 month old baby girl, my princess, my world. Stopped breathing after choking on her food. She’s been unwell with a croup for a few days now and a little off her food. The only thing she’s been eating is sloppy breakfast cereal. In the middle of her tea last night she coughed. I saw the food come up in her mouth and braced myself for the reflux of food coming my way (as she has done a few times over the last few days) But that didn’t happen. I wish it did. I saw the food almost vacuum back into her mouth. I expected her to swallow, but she didn’t. He mouth stayed open and she started to gag. I though she was going to be sick. But she didn’t. There was nothing. It was like a silent movie in slow motion. Nothing happened, then she started to go blue. I lifted her from her high chair and put her down my knee with her head in my hand and started smacking her back. Nothing. I turned her over and thrust her sternum (sp?) Once. And once was what it took. Up came the food and she started to vomit. She was gasping for air and coughing. Every cough seemed to make it worse and she couldn’t catch her breath. I called 999 for help, i didnt know if it was all up or uf she needed more help. God love the poor responder who couldn’t get my address because of my acccent and the crying coming from me. Katie laid in my arms for a while whilst the responder monitored her breaths with me. Making sure the blockage was all gone. The fire brigade and paramedics arrived and took her from my arms and gave her the once over while I fell apart crying. The rest was a bit calmer while they checked her airways and made sure she was OK. (She’s was wheezy, but calm. A bit too calm, I wanted her to be kicking and screaming, but she just seemed still) they took her to the hospital to check her over, xrays and observations regularly, to make sure nothing had aspirated into her lungs, and make sure that I hadn’t trapped any air there with my check compression. Thankfully at 1am they released us. She is non the wiser from her ordeal. Mummy & Daddy are wrecks.  But we’re thankful for the knowledge I was given, and pray to God that I never have to use it again. Dr said I saved her life. But I don’t feel good. I just feel sick. I feel completely sick. I urge anyone, with a child / baby of any age. Get a Paediatric First Aid course. Today, tomorrow. Asap. You never know when you or someone you love might need it. I know I sound like an advert. But I don’t even want to think about “what if” 

Please all hug your children a little tighter as I will be doing!! “

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@MILLIELEOSMUM

This was the original review following this lady taking part in our course in Dublin in November.

“Completed a paediatric First Aid course today with Millie’s Trust It was a very detailed course with plenty of explanation, not only on the how, but ‘why’ the First Aid is done the way it is. We were a small group, but that made it more informal and we could relax and enjoy the experience. I hope I never have to use it, but it’s good to know that I have it under my belt with the knowledge that I could help someone. Dan & Joanne are Hero’s. To go through what they have and still have the power to motivate others to educate, they will change the world. And probably saving hundreds of people/children in the process. Will be buying my 1st aid box as it made me realise today how little I have stocked. “

To donate to Millie’s Trust, click here 


To buy our first aid kit, click here 

We would also like to say a huge thank you to The Bridge 1859 in Dublin who donated the venue for this course … without their generous donation of a room this lady might not have been able to attend a course at the time she did and the outcome could have been much different. 

If you are a business who could donate a room for the day to allow Millie’s Trust to run a course at your venue, please get in touch 

To read a previous blog, click here 

READ MORE ABOUT MILLIE’S MARK

Why apply for Millie’s Mark…

Our daughter Millie’s legacy is an amazing thing and we are so proud of Millie’s Mark and what it means to parents. 

We are very thankful to every single person that signed our petition and played a part in making this happen. 

Now is the time to ask YOUR NURSERY to apply.
Today has been the first official panel for Millie’s Mark (after the first 10 awarded in the pilot scheme) and we will soon be able to announce the first nurseries of 2017 that have been awarded. Exciting times 

To hear about why the nursery or pre school that your children go to or that you work in should apply for Millie’s Mark, click here 


To apply for the mark, click here