Six years …

Six years ago today Dan and I got engaged, just 5 months after we went on our first date. When you know it’s right, you know it’s right 😍. Just 4 months later (less than 9 months after our first date) we got married in the most gorgeous place in Seattle – we cannot wait to go back there one day.

This is just a little message to say, go with your own feelings. Many people had their own opinions about whether we were rushing things and even whether we would last… 6 years down the line and we are still standing and we’ve proven all those people wrong. 


Unfortunately many people split up after losing a child, their marriage cannot cope with it and we totally understand how it can get to that stage – I’m not going to lie, we got very close to it a few times after some huge rows but it all came down to the same thing – losing Millie and what it had done to us individually but we have stuck together and little Leo has been our rainbow to solidify everything again.

Do something for me. Always make sure that you are always happy, make your own decisions and don’t let other people’s opinions influence you – if we had, we might never have got married! 

Our 6 year anniversary is in September, so in just a few months and it’s another huge milestone for us … Every birthday, Christmas and anniversary is a massive achievement now for us. 

Look forward, not back and always be happy xxx

Constant Miss, Organ Donor List & Christmas … Talk about a mix bag of topics

Sometimes it just hits you like a ton of bricks and over the past few  weeks, I feel like I have been hit by a hundred ton of them. Some days, I just feel like I’m walking round in a daze, others I find myself doing a million things to distract myself so bedtime can come quicker. 

I miss my daughter so much, when I feel like this nothing feels right at all. It’s not just emotional reactions, it’s physical. My body feels like a lead weight, my shoulders are tight, my jaw feels stiff, the tears won’t stop falling (normally at bedtime) and my hands get so jittery that I can’t stop moving them.

This photo above is one of the last ones that I took of Millie, about a week before we lost her. I was going to London for the night on my first day back at work and I hated the fact that I had to leave her, I didn’t want to – so daddy put her in my case to pack so I could take her with me 😀

They came to the train station with me and I remember standing there with them on the platform not wanting the train to pull in then I wouldn’t have to leave her – but it did and I cried most of the way to London. Just over a week later, we lost our little girl and I was never going to get to see her again. I could never have predicted this when I was crying over the fact that I wasn’t going to see her for one night when I took this photo. 

Why am I feeling like this at the moment? I honestly don’t know. Maybe it’s just coming to that time of year again that we hate. October to January is so hard for us, Millie’s anniversary of her passing and funeral, my father in law passed a month later and his funeral, Christmas without our daughter, New Year without her and then mid January it’s her birthday. All this heartache in such a condensed period is not good for the soul.

Maybe it’s because a few weeks ago, we got Leo’s letter through saying that he was officially on the Organ Donor List and that brought back memories for me about when we tried to donate Millie’s organs and I know this is still in my mind at the moment (but because she had to have an autopsy we couldn’t donate Millie’s ) – I’ll go into this more one day. I know this has been playing on my mind since we got the letter – stirred up too many memories I think. 


Or maybe it’s because it’s coming to the period that we should be weaning Leo. And honestly, I can’t face it. I’m not comfortable doing, it knocks me sick at even the thought of it. We bought a new High Chair for him and it’s still in the box – I don’t want it up, I don’t want to look at it. To be honest, I’m very surprised that we even bought it. I must’ve been having a good day. One of the flashbacks/nightmares I suffered an awful lot with was seeing Millie in my nightmares sat in that highchair that it happened to her in. I know I never physically saw her but your mind is good at playing tricks on you and I see the pain, hurt and struggle on her face in my head and it absolutely breaks my heart that I wasn’t there to help her, that I wasn’t there for her when she needed me the most. 

Of course, we will eventually wean Leo, he’s just on the verge of turning 6 months and we obviously know that this age it is suggested you wean. He’s already trying to grab food and staring at it when he sees any. We haven’t waited because of the recommend guidelines, we’ve waited because after what happened to Millie, we just aren’t comfortable yet. Millie was such a competent eater when she passed away, we started to wean her at 14 weeks, so by the time we lost her, she was a great eater. This is part of the reason that we struggle so much, she never struggled eating when she was with us – which is why we will never understand what happened to her that day. She was 100% medically fit and had absolutely no medical issues at all, yet we lost her. This is why we, I myself in particular, are struggling with the concept of weaning Leo. 

It could be because Leo is currently giving me heart palpitations when I look at him in his cot as he has developed the same habit as Millie and it seems that he likes to sleep on his front at night – we are currently still sleeping in his room with him and believe me , it’s giving me sleepless nights listening to him turn over! 

Or maybe it’s because I’m about to turn 30 next month and I feel like I’ve been through more than I should have done at this age. I never expected to suffer through a trauma like we have. To be grieving over my child. I wanted the perfect little life, the perfect family and I had it and then it all got screwed up in a matter of seconds and this has aged us both tremendously.

We’ve been married for 5 years next month too and we were talking about it tonight and Dan said feels like we have been married for 50 – and he’s right. We had only been married for 2 years when we lost Millie, we were still relatively newlyweds but we lost that so quickly when grief took over. 


I look back at these photos and it feels like a lifetime ago, not 5 years. I look at how happy we were on that day and I wish that we had a bottle with that happiness in it, along with the happiness that we had the day Millie was born – just so that when we have sad days, like I’m having at the moment – we could open it up and let a little out and just feel like that again for 2 minutes – that perfect happiness. 

Everything is always tainted with grief in our lives and it always will be. When we had Leo earlier this year, we of course were so amazed by our little son and we loved him straight away so much – which was a complete relief to me as I had struggled a lot through my pregnancy thinking I wasn’t going to be able to bond with him because I was so scared – but although we were happy , it was also tainted with so much loss for Millie. Maybe it’s a different type of happiness we experience now – it’s certainly not “normal” happiness. I don’t know, maybe it needs a new name “Grief happiness” “Tough Love Happiness” (feel free to suggest a name here) 

At least nowadays we can laugh and smile – for a long time after losing Millie we couldn’t and if we did , we immediately felt guilty and stopped. Every new experience we took on we felt guilty for, we didn’t enjoy birthdays and we haven’t celebrated Christmas since we lost Millie – in our minds, we were programmed to think “If Millie isn’t here to enjoy this, then we shouldn’t either.” – I’ve since learnt that this is known as Survivor’s Guilt, which I learnt through my Pyschology treatment  was actually one of my symptoms of the PTSD that I was diagnosed with.

We’re not sure how we are going to do Christmas this year, we of course are going to do it for the first time in 4 Christmases but we know whatever we do, it won’t be big or fancy or spent with anyone but ourselves, it will of course include our Chrismas Day visit to Millie and will just be enough for Leo. I’ve even bought Leo a couple of Christmas presents already – which has been hard in itself as Millie’s are still here untouched – the ones that  we had bought her that she never got to have.  

We’ve still got plenty of time to work Christmas out… (although not according to Facebook with all the statuses I keep seeing that include how many Saturdays there are until Christmas 😀) 

I just think there is a lot going on around us at the minute and it’ll be good to get a break at some point in the next few months when we can fit one in. It’s all the little things that affect me that start to mount up and that’s when I crash and burn… But I see it coming now, so I know when to stop and re-evaluate things.

My mum sent me a photo earlier today, think it sums me up perfectly.


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Never Ending Cycle of Life

There are so many special events throughout a lifetime for your children, the day they begin to talk, when they start school, move to high school, graduate university, get engaged, get married, have children; the list is literally endless but for Millie, she was never even given the chance to get started.

I am so proud of my little baby girl, I am so proud that she came into my life and I got to see her smile, I got to hear her laugh, I got to see her wiggle her little bum when she was dancing. I am so proud of everything that she was and I hate saying that as I want to still be saying that I am so proud of everything that she is, but I can’t because she is gone.

I am genuinely sat here in tears whilst I am writing this because as I am writing, I am flicking through video footage of Millie and once again I can her laugh, I can see her gorgeous smile appearing and I am watching her little bum wiggle and I miss every tiny cell of her body, it tears me apart that Dan and I created this amazing little human being and she was ripped from us in an instant and we never even got a chance to say goodbye.

Led in front of me right now, is our newest little addition, little Leo and he is fast asleep and I can hear him breathing and every breath I hear come from him is a treasure to me, only a parent who has lost a child will understand that. I want all the things for Leo that I wanted for Millie, that has not changed, what has changed is how I think. I try not to imagine Leo growing up and experiencing all these things that Millie missed out on because , for my own sanity, I have to concentrate on one day at a time and cherish whatever Leo is doing on each and every separate day.

For 2 years, Dan and I haven’t done birthdays or Christmas, we couldn’t face it. I couldn’t face going out and looking for presents for my family and friends, especially the children. The pull from my heart to my eyes strengthened so much if I even thought about trying to shop for child; my heart made my thoughts turn into tears. This wasn’t just for the younger children, this was for the older ones too – I couldn’t face looking at things that I was never going to be able to buy for my daughter, toys that I would never be able to see my daughter play with or clothes that she could never wear.

This year though, we are attempting it, for Leo’s sake – to ensure his normality of life is there as he grows up. We seem to be doing ok so far. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t easy, I still cry, I still come home with headaches because I have tried to buy someone something and it has stressed me out so much because my head has been in a totally different place. This week it has been a set of twin relatives eighteenth birthday , two absolutely gorgeous, articulate and intelligent girls and we went to their 18th birthday party. Looking at them hurts, it hurts that I will never ever see my little girl turn into this beautiful woman who is so excited for her 18th birthday party, a party that I can never throw for her. It hurts that I can’t see her get excited about passing her driving test or take her to look around universities (that’s if she wanted to go), see that’s the thing , I will never know if she wanted to go into further academia, she might have just wanted to throw a rucksack on an go travelling and to be honest , she could have done exactly as she had pleased and I wouldn’t have tried to stop her, because all I wanted for her was to be happy and enjoy her life.

Then it comes to the dad’s to look so proud – hearing their dad talk about them with so much pride in his voice , so ecstatic that his daughter’s have grown up to be polite, stunning and amazing human beings. You don’t know how much that hurts me as a mum, it hurts me because I know it hurts Millie’s daddy, I can see the pain in his eyes when he sees things like this, I know that his heart is breaking and all he wants to do is stand there and cry, just like I do. I detest the fact that I cannot do anything to ease my husband’s broken heart, to stop him feeling this excruciating pain. We have sadly learnt how to keep our poker face on now in the moment, the tears stay put until we get home. Mine came in the shower later.

Just over 12 months ago, one of my truly best friend’s got married, I’ve known her for close to 20 years and when I have needed her, she has been there supporting me every step of the way. At her wedding I was one of her bridesmaids and I was genuinely honoured to have been asked by her, as (I don’t actually know if she knows this) I have never been a bridesmaid before. When she asked me, of course I said yes, there was nothing to even think about. Later that night, I cried, I cried so many tears because I knew that my daughter would have taken my place if she was still here, I know she would have been a little flower girl/bridesmaid tottering down the aisle, stealing my place of a bridesmaid from me, but that would have been OK, she would have been entitled to steal it from me and I would gladly have let her. It was me though as a bridesmaid that day, it was I that was the bridesmaid because my little girl had left us way before her time, before her mummy. It hurt that day, it really did.

HB Wedding Me as a bridesmaid with Dan, (the eyes say more than the smile here)

But back to proud dads. My friend kept completely to tradition that day and kept her dad away until she was ready, until she was ready to show him what a beautiful bride she was (she really was).

He walked through the door; the look on his face when he looked at her, the look that he couldn’t believe that this stunning bride was his daughter, his little girl – that it probably didn’t feel like two minutes ago that he was teaching her to read, to ride a bike and to tie her shoelaces. But here she was, all grown up, ready to create this whole little new family and become someone’s wife.  It’s really funny because this was such a lovely moment, it really was and I will never forget that split second look on his face as he beamed his “proud dad” smile for the first time at seeing his daughter in her wedding dress. The reason it’s funny? Because this was like a dagger to my heart for Dan, it didn’t affect me as much when the mother of the bride was in the room, it was the dad. All I could think about was how Dan was never ever going to get this moment with his precious daughter, how he was never ever going to do that “proud dad” smile as he saw his daughter in her wedding dress for the first time. It hurts me more when I know Dan is suffering because we lost Millie. I blame myself, I know I shouldn’t because it wasn’t my fault but your head does crazy things to you, my head makes me think, well if Dan had never met me or married me then he would never have had to go through this pain. I know, it’s stupid because we could never in our wildest nightmares have predicted what happened to Millie but it doesn’t stop your brain thinking it.

The closest we ever got to seeing Millie in anything remotely similar to a wedding dress was at her christening and I am so glad that her great-granny bought her this amazing gown, she looked absolutely gorgeous in it, I am sure that you will agree.


I know that this is going to be a never ending cycle, there will always be something that will be coming up that Millie should be involved in or that Millie should be doing. People like to say that “it must get easier” – for your information it doesn’t get easier in the slightest, you just learn to live with it. The pain is still exactly the same, the same as what is was on 23rd October 2012, just after 1pm when I found out Millie had passed but there are tricks that you learn, tricks that you learn to use to in front of other people and to be honest, a lot of the time, the tricks are to benefit you, not us …..

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