Tag Archives: charity

Amazing!

I am often amazed at the way that people treat Dan and I and what we have done since Millie’s passing. We have some people that are supposed to be close to us that couldn’t be further away from understanding what we have been/are going through, especially at certain times of the year. Yet total strangers often surprise the most with their sense of understanding towards what has happened to us and their generosity in supporting our charity in whatever way they can.

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Today, despite my not being able to walk very far at the moment (Click here to see why) and being not far from my due date, Dan, Leo & I ventured down to V12 Hair Boutique in Cheadle Hulme who for the 5th year running are this year supporting Millie’s Trust by holding a 24 hour salonathon!

This is an amazing event that they hold every year and what I find the most amazing about it, is that the first time that they did it – they didn’t actually know our family and the charity hadn’t even been running for a year but their belief in us and what we were doing was outstanding.

I asked Vikki (the salon owner) why they did what they did for us and this is what she told me.

“This is now my 5th year opening my salon doors for 24hours to raise money for Millie’s Trust. We offer all non chemical hair dressing services for a full 24hours and accept donations for our work. I felt that I wanted to do something that was a challenge  so when I had a dream I opened my salon for 24 hours, I thought “why not?” Let’s do this! I chose Millie’s Trust as it was a local charity and not even a year old.I had no idea how it would go and set a target of £250, I think the first year we raised £1500! Not too bad from a dream!

As the years have gone by we as a family look forward to the challenge, (even though we ask why we do it to ourselves at 4am)

Click here to join the Facebook Event Page 

When I first started this for Millie’s Trust I didn’t know Joanne and Dan but over the years we have become friends raising money for their wonderful charity that started up when they tragically lost their daughter Millie.

We also run a raffle and ask as many local and national business’ to support us and the response we get is fantastic. (so if you can donate anything, please do get in touch)

We love doing it, decorating the salon and getting clients old and new together for a community event. We even have regulars that come to the event at 3am for a hair cut, every year without fail!

I once gave Joanne the choice of date, never again! She picked (without knowing I might add) the weekend the clocks went back, yes we ended up doing 25 hours! Thank you Jo!

So, please if you have a few pennies to spare, we know that the girls will appreciate every single penny and it will keep them going through the early hours of 2am, 3am, 4am etc whilst they are still washing, blow drying and cutting hair! Can we help them hit their £500 online target???

You can donate by clicking here

Or donate easily by text

TEXT

HAIR12 £5 to 70070

(£5 can be changed from £1 to £10)

If you are local and on your way home from a night out tonight, pop in and say hi and throw a few pennies in a box or have a 3am wash & dry 💕💕💕!

All in Millie’s memory xxx

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Thank you to everyone who has made a donation, supported us in anyway or held a fundraiser in our daughter’s memory in the last 5 years. 💕💕💕

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.

 To read We got his hair cut blog, click here

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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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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.

Smiling and Crying in unison 

I thought the hardest part of having another baby after losing Millie would be the first few weeks and getting used to being a mum again. Before I had Leo, I still couldn’t stand babies crying, children laughing and parents hugging their children – it all just hurt too much. I was wrong about the hardest part though. 

I think now is the hardest part, don’t get me wrong, up until now, it has been awfully hard but things are hard now in a different way. Things are hard now because Leo is turning into a “proper little person”. He has started to smile back and react to us talking to him, his face is turning into a little boy’s face, he’s getting stronger every day,  he’s getting ready to roll over and he kicks like a newly training footballer! And I love every minute of it, even though it is heart wrenching sometimes. I watch him smiling and I see Millie in his face. I watch him kicking and remember Millie finding her legs. I see his eyes light up when he realises mummy or daddy are there, just like Millie used to do when we walked into a room. ( Leo discovered the mirror yesterday )  

I love seeing Leo turn into this perfect little person, he really is a little treasure. But every time he does something new or reacts to a new noise I find it so tough not to burst out crying. Seeing your child develop is one of the proudest things that a parent can go through. Until I had Millie, I never understood this but as soon as your baby is born and gives you that first look through their eyes, grips your hand for the first time or reacts to your voice and looks at you, your heart falls in love again and again which means it can be broken over and over again. 

  
I’m not sure what it’s going to be like in the future, I can never know that, no one can and I know now that there is no point in worrying about it because the future is coming whether  I like it or not. 

Right now I feel like the first 9 months is going to be the toughest for us – this development period is going to be heart wrenching for us every time Leo does something new – I can’t wait for him to do new things and I love it when he does but it is so painful as well as such proud moments when Leo achieves his new development milestones.

Then once we get passed Millie’s age, I know it’s going to be tough again. I don’t know whether it’s going to be tougher or the same kind of toughness we have/are already experiencing. Ask me again after Leo turns 9 months and 12 days old, well , 9 months and 13 days old as he will officially be past Millie’s age when she passed away on that date. I know when that date is, I worked it out the night that Leo was born … 

      Once this date has passed, that’s when we will experience new things that we never got to experience with Millie. 

We never got to see Millie take her steps unaided.

We will get to see Leo takes his first unaided steps. 

We never got to hear her first word.

We will get to hear Leo’s first word 

We never got to see her open her Christmas or Birthday presents. 

We will get to see Leo open his Christmas and birthday presents. 

We never got to see her ride a bike for the first time

We will get to see Leo ride his bike 

The list is endless for Millie but I know in my heart that we will get to see all this with Leo. We will get to experience all the things you should as a parent, we will get to be the proud parents when he passes his driving test, sits his exams, gets engaged, gets married , has babies of his own – I know it’s all coming. 

I do live in fear. I really do. I live in fear that it is all going to come crashing down around us all over again. I live in fear that I couldn’t live if my heart was broken again like that. I live in fear that I am cursed , that’s what it feels like sometimes , because what are the odds on losing a child in the way that we did, they’re actually about a million to one … But we were that one in a million and we wish so much that we weren’t. 

Even though I live in fear, I am not going to let the fear take over me. I am not going to let the fear take over us or to take over Leo’s life. 

Leo is going to go to school and not be hime educated because I’m scared to let him out of my sight. 

Leo will go on school trips with his friends, so he isn’t the odd one out because his mum is scared. 

Leo will be allowed to visit the cinema when he he old enough alone with his friends. 

Although for now, we have one huge hurdle to get over. Leo is 14 weeks old tomorrow and   in that same time over again, we should really start to thinking about weaning him but right now even the thought makes me feel physically sick. 

We actually weaned Millie at 14 weeks (before the comments start about this being young, it was our personal choice and it worked for Millie) and by the time she passed away, she was a very competent eater – that’s why we will never understand what happened whilst she was eating that day. Dan and I will never know exactly what Millie went through in those final minutes of her life. 

But for now, I just have to concentrate on Leo taking his milk – to be honest, this is hard enough right now … We’ll get through it though, the weaning I mean, that’s the first step. 

But as much as we can, we will enjoy every single minute of Leo developing and experiencing new things and he will never ever lose out on any part of life because of what tragically happened to our daughter, his sister. 
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As a lot of you know, every year in October ( Millie’s anniversary month ) we run a “Millie madness” fundraising month where we try and raise as much money as possible in honour of her anniversary. This year will be the 3rd year that we have done this! We are getting started early this and we have been organising a virtual race! The idea is that with this one you register and when you have completed you receive a limited edition Millie’s Trust Medal ( which you can see by clicking below ) 

We are asking you to run, swim or cycle as far as possible and see how many miles we can collect as one massive team! The idea of these is that you can complete at any time in October or do something everyday in October and add your miles up at the end of the month and you don’t have to travel to a start line to do it!!! 

We would love to see your photos throughout Millie’s madness month on how you are completing this challenge. 

For  full details, please have a look at the link below and don’t forget to register so you don’t miss out on a medal! ( I’m already signed up ) x

Anyone want to join our virtual run ! Limited edition medals available and limited places! 
Check out the medal you get too! 
International entries accepted 

Virtual challenge link, only 500 medals available so book soon x 

http://www.virtualrunneruk.com/enter-millie-s-trust