Nearly there again

You know when something is driving you completely crazy and you just cannot get it out of your mind? I’m feeling a little like that at the moment and the emotions my head are going through are absolutely heartbreaking.

Asher is 8 months old

Millie passed away at 9 months.

This is totally messing with me at the moment. I keep spontaneously bursting into tears at random reminders.

I struggled a lot when Leo was the same age but this time I have realised that I am struggling even more and I think that it might be because Asher looks so much more like Millie than Leo ever did.

Sometimes I look at him and it’s like having Millie sat in front of me, it’s the strangest feeling ever.

Millie was 286 days old when she passed away… we just need to get passed that many days and I know I will start to feel a little better. I know exactly what date Asher’s 287th day will be; I know, I sound like a crazy lady but I worked it out when he was born and then haven’t really thought about it until he turned 8 months old a couple of weeks ago.

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I know it sounds ridiculous but it’s like a barrier for me, a wall that I need to break us through.

I think I’m doing okay and then something starts to niggle at me and I can’t work it out. Then bang, there it is – the answer that has taken me a while to figure out and this is what has happened over the last few days, it’s hit me like a brick wall.

I’ve gotten through these feelings and mixed up emotions once before with Leo – this time, I can see that there will be a positive outcome at the end and I’m glad that this time I can see past that date.

I’d love to know your feelings about how you dealt with this with your children, how you got passed that milestone with your younger children when an older child had passed away, maybe I won’t feel as nuts as I do reading about your journeys xxx

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A civil case

We’ve got a little bit of news to share with you and it’s with a very emotional heart that we have decided to share this with you.

Following Millie’s Inquest ending in December 2013, Dan and I decided to pursue a civil case over what happened to Millie. We decided to keep this from the public because it was private to Dan and I as a family. To be honest, even very few family and friends know that we have been doing this, so this will be a little shock to some of those reading this.

Many people thought that we stopped everything after the Inquest but we didn’t as we wanted to feel as though we achieved a little bit of justice about what happened to Millie and to feel that we fought for her, we know as parents that you will no doubt understand this.

Unfortunately we will never know exactly what happened to Millie that day and as a parent that is completely heart breaking. What we do know is that we dropped of our perfectly healthy precious daughter at Ramillies Hall Nursery to be looked after, and never saw her alive again.

We have decided the time is right now to talk because the civil proceedings have been going on for many years behind closed doors now and unfortunately we are now heading towards a trial in the summer of this year.

As Millie’s parents we genuinely believe that more could have been done for Millie when she started to choke on her lunch and we will never stop believing that. We believe that Millie received minimal first aid treatment from the staff at the nursery and she was then held and given no CPR before the ambulance arrived.

Dan and I sadly watched CCTV footage of Millie being taken to the ambulance, footage that the jury at the Coroner’s Inquest didn’t get to see. On this CCTV, to Dan and I, Millie looks like a rag doll and we believe that before this point that Millie should have been receiving CPR as she had symptoms of not breathing normally at this point.

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Throughout the years that we have been pursuing the civil case, we have often been in positions where we have felt pressurised to drop Millie’s case and believe me, we have been so depressed about it all that at some stages we nearly have; but we pulled through and fought our own mental health illnesses to continue for our Millie.

We have continually felt as though the nursery had a lack of respect for us as a family, starting with the fact that they chose to keep the nursery open the day after Millie died there, as though it was business as usual and we have had to have the police involved to stop relatives of staff working there spreading rumours about Millie the day she passed away and us as a family.

This is one of the hardest things that we have ever had to write about in a long time because we never thought that we would talk about it but with the impending public trial- we feel it’s the right time for us.

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We would like to thank you all for your support to us since Millie passed away and we hope to continue to have your support going forward.

Joanne & Dan Thompson (Millie’s mummy & daddy) xxx

With thanks to Rozita Hussain Solicitors.

Read my Blog, It’s True, here

Loving the snow!

I know a lot of people don’t like the snow because it disrupts the work/school day but I love it. I always have. I know you might think that I’m odd, I love the cold wintry days and can’t wait for snowy days to come every year – and they don’t, they just never come.

The last time that we got snow like this was just as I got together with Dan, my husband – that was 8 years ago, I had to cancel a date because I was snowed in. πŸ˜‚

There are so many things that I want to do with my children, so many things that I want to show them. My love for snow is one of the things that I want them to see.

Something so simple, so free and so fun. I hope they grow up to love it like I do and love playing in the snow together as they get older.

But it’s one of the things that I never got to show Millie, it’s one thing that she never got to see – and that hurts. The pain that hits me when I teach or show my other children things that I never got to with Millie, is indescribable, there are just no words for it … I could try to describe it but there there are just none that I can think of that can communicate the feeling and the thoughts strong enough.

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So that’s why this morning, at 7.30am – when I had been waiting for an hour (I’m surprised that I lasted that long to be honest, I was like an excited child when I opened the curtains) for him to get up, I went in and poked Leo and told him that we could go and play in the snow! (Yes Dan, I woke him up – and I’m not sorry 😘, love you 😘)

Before Dan had even finished his shower, I had Leo up, dressed, fed with his wellies, all-in-one and coat on! I don’t think Dan knew what was going on – or he thought that I had gone a little mad!

But look how excited his little face was πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™

Join us on one of our charity challenges this year – click here for details πŸ’•

Dan’s breakfast was ready for him and then I sorted myself out for the weather outside and Dan and Asher were soon ready for the snow too πŸ˜‹.

Within a few minutes, we were out in the white stuff and watching Leo’s face brought tears to my eyes and I couldn’t stop thinking that I hope that Millie is sat on her cloud watching us and laughing at us, being cheeky and throwing some extra snow down for us.

Enter my competition to win a personalised Soft Toy!

(I bought the sledge weeks ago, the last time that we were supposed to get good snow – and we got none!)

I totally know full well that I annoy people on social media when it snows, I annoy all those people that end up late for work or school, the ones that are wet when they get to work and the ones that only like the sun and heat … but am I sorry?

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Nope, not one little bit – because I get to show my children something that I love … and something that still actually makes mummy truly smile … which only a few things do nowadays. So if the snow allows my children to have lovely memories and photographs of mummy smiling through their childhood – bring it on πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•.

Enter my competition to win one of these soft toys

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Why not purchase a Millie’s Trust hoodie to keep you warm in this cold weather – click here to purchase x

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 πŸ˜€) 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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Millie’s Trust course availability here – Now taking bookings for Level 3 Paediatric First Aid up until July.

Buy the Millie’s Trust First Aid Kit and other products here!

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.

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

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

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Christmas Eve

Twas the night before Christmas …

Presents wrapped, Reindeer dust scattered, vegetables peeled, meat ready for the slow cooker and a key left for Father Christmas to be able to get into our house.

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Candles lit, decorations left and flowers ready for Millie’s resting place tomorrow.

Always two sides to our Christmas…

And Mummy daddy are absolutely shattered and on the Amaretto and Quality Street already!

Merry Christmas everyone 🀣

Let’s see what tomorrow brings, x

Read my last blog, Six, that many? by clicking here

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Six, that many?

Looking back now, it’s hard to believe that we are just around the corner from our sixth Christmas without our little girl.

We were at Millie’s resting place yesterday and a lovely lady came to talk to me who recognised me from a newspaper. We got chatting and she told me that she was visiting her son who has in grieving terms, not long been buried, she was so sad. It hurt me to see her in so much pain and knowing that there’s nothing that you can do to take it away. Her son was a lot older than Millie, in his twenties but still no age to lose your life and a parent should never have to go through the indescribable pain of losing a child, no matter how old or young they are or in fact, you are.

Instead of preparing ourselves for Christmas by hunting out the latest gifts that our children want, an extremely large number of us are hunting out flowers or plants that might just last outside over Christmas a little longer than usual, we are placing little Christmas Trees and outdoor lights around our children’s resting places and we are laminating cards to last in the rain or laying them down knowing that within 24 hours they will be destroyed but hoping that our children will have read our words in them, in some strange and mysterious way that they are involved with our lives.

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For the first three years after we lost Millie, we didn’t celebrate Christmas. We didn’t put a tree up, we didn’t see any family or friends or exchange gifts or cards. We didn’t acknowledge it, it was just another day to Dan and I.

I don’t ever think Christmas will be a huge thing for us, it hurts too much. It’s hard to make plans with other people as I can’t predict how many times each of us will break down and cry and many people (thankfully) cannot understand why this happens. We’re more comfortable just having our own little Christmas in our own home.

The fourth year was different, we put a tree up and did a little bit of Christmas because we now had Leo. We couldn’t not do it for him. We’ve always said that we don’t want Leo’s (and now Asher’s) lives to be any different or miss out on on things because of what happened to Millie.

Christmas is something that Leo and Asher’s friends will celebrate and take part in and we don’t want our children to feel left out and not to be able to enjoy this time of year, especially as they get older.

I’m not religious, not at all. I did wonder,like many of us do and we had Millie christened but once she passed away, that was it for me. I couldn’t believe in something so cruel, something that could take away a child from loving parents, so as you can imagine Christmas will never be associated with religion in our house.

There will never be any Christmas scenes, any prayers and certainly no bibles. It will always just be a fun day for our children where they get some presents and are allowed to eat more chocolate than usual!

It’s extremely hard that first Christmas after you lose a child. Everything you see or hear, tears your heart out. Children getting excited looking at toys or coming out from visiting Santa, families enjoying big family Christmas meals and songs on the radio that can make you spontaneously burst out crying in the middle of a supermarket after playing just a few notes or words.

Waking up on Christmas morning, there are lots of tears before any of the fun. The tears fall as soon as we wake up for the missing part of our family, our precious daughter. We cannot help but think about how we won’t see her face running smiling into our bedroom, or the shock on her face when she sees that Father Christmas has been or how happy she realises she can be when she can have chocolate for breakfast. None of it. We never got to see it, we never will and we still miss it like it’s an existing memory. That’s the thing with us though, we don’t have any Christmas memories with Millie because we never got to see her first one. All we know, is everything that she will miss out on, everything she will never get to see or experience and although these thoughts are with us every day in everything that we do, they became ever so more prominent at special times of the year.

We’ll visit Millie a couple of times on Christmas Day, normally in the morning and then in the evening to light some candles. She’ll be left a card and lots of gorgeous flowers from us and at home, she’ll have a Christmas Stocking, just like we all will. Although it won’t be filled with special treats like all the other ones, it’s still hers and it will still be there.

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We’ve also got our other little star, the baby I miscarried in November 2016. I love my family so much, but it’s hard not to see what should have been, that we should have 4 children all laughing around the table with us, that there should be twice as many presents in our living room from Father Christmas and that there should be twice as much mess as there will be. I’d love to see twice as much mess and twice as much chaos in our home at any time because that would mean that we wouldn’t have any sad memories from the past and that all our children would be here with us.

If you are lucky enough to be able to celebrate Christmas with all your children around you, send a little love to the people that can’t. Christmas is an emotional time for anyone who has lost a loved one but a Christmas without a child that should be there is unbearable as you think about all the missing futures that they should have and even just the missing smile from around the table.

As much as we will laugh, smile and play with our little ones on the day, a piece of us will be with our missing children and there’ll always be a part of us that can’t quite get to that happy place that we all crave to get to, that perfect life that we all want.

I sign Christmas cards (any cards) off with Millie’s name in them, she’s a huge part of our family and always will be. Some people might find that odd and think that we shouldn’t do it, but I don’t care. Unless you have lost a child, I don’t care for your opinion when it comes to how we should we grieve or how we should act. Losing a child, is not the same as any other type of loss or any other type of grief, far from it.

Six Christmases down the line since we lost Millie and we are still trying to figure out what and how we want to do things without Millie here.

My heart is with all those parents right now who are experiencing their first Christmas without their child. The pain of all those firsts is a pain that will never leave me and will always hurt. I wish that I could tell these parents that the pain will go away but it doesn’t,not at all.

You learn to live with the pain and your life is built around it. You learn how to deal with your pain to get you through these special days and you will discover what is the right thing for you to do on these days and whatever you decide that is, is perfect – for you and always will be.

If I could line you all up and give each and every one of you a hug this Christmas, I would … I feel your pain, I feel your miss.

From one grieving parent to another xxx

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