Posted in 2 years old, baby loss, Health Review, health visitor, life after loss, motherhood, mothering a rainbow, Mum Blogger, mummy blog, parenting, parenting after loss, rainbow baby, telford

Health Review

This morning we took Ellie for her 2 year health review at the local baby clinic, ever since she’s been born I have had awful feelings about health visitors.

When Ellie was first born we saw 4 different health visitors in the first week, none of them knew our background and I felt myself explaining Jason’s death over and over again and as any bereaved parent would tell you it is so hard when you bring your rainbow baby home finally that reliving those moments for strangers is too much. I must say the majority were sympathetic, offered support etc but one HV really got to me and even with knowing our story I still felt as though Ellie was going to die too as they were so rude and abrupt, I remember sobbing over the fact that she was jaundiced slightly and that HV had convinced me death was inevitable.

You could say since then I have felt very wary and apprehensive whenever health visitors are mentioned.

Ellie’s 2 year review went well, the health visitor was lovely and although again she didn’t know Jason’s story I chose not to tell her as I didn’t want it to become a battle of whether we needed more support or not. Ellie was great and stood proudly to be measured and weighed, we talked through her development which isn’t a concern at all however she did focus on Ellie not being able to jump yet… She does jump but isn’t confident taking her feet off the ground, I know this will come with time and that she doesn’t take steps one foot on each step but again she is quite small for her age and the steps seem pretty big in comparison.

I’m afraid that she is going to end up short and dumpy like her mama 😂 Ellie is on the 75th centile line for her weight and is a healthy 2stone now however her height is only on the 25th centile line. I never expect her to be tall, myself and her Daddy are only just 5ft and a half really so genetically she will need help getting things off the top shelf lol.

I felt myself fighting over our bedtime routine, mainly because I know what we do currently works to a certain degree, Ellie has a bath, watches In The Night Garden and cbeebies Bedtime Story (or The Simpsons), we read a couple of stories and then we sit in her room and wait for her to fall asleep. It’s not ideal at all but it works. She still doesn’t sleep through the night but has stopped waking up crying she knows she can come in to us and she settles instantly. I never wanted to co-sleep, I know the risks and the debate that goes on and I am still very against the idea however you do what you can to ensure you get sleep and Ellie simply misses us and wants cuddles in the night, it is a natural instinct as a parent to hold your children close; even more so when you had to leave one of your children in a hospital and watch as they lay in a wooden box unable to hold, unable to see or hear them cry. I believe if things were different I would be a different kind of parent but seeing as this is the life I’ve been dealt I will never give up a chance to hold Ellie and soothe her when she needs me.

I am proud of my girl and the milestones she has achieved already, I love watching her grow and develop, I love her personality and her independence even if that does mean she is stubborn and has a temper to match her fiery hair. She is my reason for breathing, she saved me in ways she will never know and she is perfect.

Whether she can jump or not!

Posted in motherhood, mothering a rainbow, Mum Blogger, mummy blog, parenting, parenting after loss, rainbow baby, Rainbow Mummy, telford

On The Eve Of Your 2nd Birthday

Dear Ellie,

Tomorrow you turn 2 years old and I honestly don’t know where the last 2 years have gone, it feels like I blinked and you’ve suddenly become a real toddler. A walking, talking, shouting, opinionated toddler and I love you so much!

Ellie, you will never know how much you really saved me, before you were born I was stuck in a life of sadness and grief and I had very few reasons to feel genuine happiness. Now you are here there is light even in my darkest times; I have a reason to feel happy and that reason is you.

These last few months have contained lots of milestones and the terrible twos have definitely shown themselves in more ways than one. We have heard a lot of “no” and “mine” and you are so strong willed I had to spend 45 minutes on Sainsburys car park while you had a full-on meltdown over not wanting to sit in your car seat (thanks for that!) You throw yourself to the floor crying when you don’t get your own way and have started hitting/kicking out in anger. Let’s not even get started on nappy changing or feeding!

Bedtime is still a struggle however you have started sleeping through on the odd occasion for roughly 9-11 hours in your own bed in your own room! We have no sleep routine because you fight it so much and you always seem to be asleep when I finish work to pick you up. You do love bedtime stories, yours and Daddy’s record is 10 books in one sitting but you’re favourite seems to be “Where’s Tim’s Ted?” which I know off by heart. I love watching you reading because already you are showing such a great understanding of emotion, noticing when a character is sad. You love a bath before bed, splashing around and blowing bubbles, I just wish I knew how to wash your hair without it becoming world war 3 in the bathroom.

In the past month you have found a whole new word bank and new words are being said every day, I love the conversations we are having and I can’t believe how much you understand too. It’s taken a while to get to where we are with your speech, I think your cheekiness has meant you just couldn’t be bothered to do it whereas now you literally don’t stop. Last night you started singing “Baby Shark” at 6am while you were still fast asleep, it was so cute and so annoying all at the same time. You break my heart when you sing “Twinkle Twinkle” but it is one of your favourites so I have learnt how to sing it back to you without crying, one day you will be more aware of some of the things that trigger us but I never want to stop you from doing something just because your brother died.

You have the most cheeky smile and already know how to wrap us both around your finger. You make us laugh and smile with your amazing personality and I have loved watching the girl you have become. I can honestly say this time is my favourite so far, you are your own little person, with your own likes and dislikes, thoughts and you certainly know what you want. I love watching you play and you have such a caring nature that fills my heart with so much love.

I remember the day before you were born so clearly, feeling so nervous and scared that you wouldn’t make it and the days that followed became harder too. I have spent the last 2 years wondering whether that day would be my last day with you and I hate that this is the mother I am. I find being your Mama the most rewarding and also the hardest; I am filled with guilt every time I get annoyed or impatient with you which I know is part of parenting but knowing my time with you could be cut short at any moment makes it so much harder.

Ellie, you are quite frankly my ray of sunshine and also a total pain in my backside sometimes. You deserve to have the most wonderful life, filled with love, happiness and laughter and my promise to you is that I will do everything I can to make sure that happens. You are loved beyond measure and always will be my beautiful girl.

I’ll never know what I did but I do know I am so lucky to be your Mama! ❤

Happy 2nd birthday Ellie.

xXx

Posted in A Life Without Down Syndrome, baby loss, baby loss awareness, Baby loss awareness week, Blaw2018, grief, life after loss, motherhood, mothering a rainbow, Mum Blogger, mummy blog, parenting, parenting after loss, Pregnancy, pregnancy after loss, pregnancy and infant loss, Pregnancy Loss, stillbirth, telford, Wave of light, Waveoflight

BLAW 2018

Wow what a whirlwind week of emotions it has been. It has been amazing to see so many people raising awareness as much as they possibly can, especially when some of those people are ones who have supported me and welcomed me talking about Jason.

This week there has been so much discussion around baby loss, in parliment, social media, radio and on TV and it has been a long time coming! There is still so much taboo around baby loss however I do still feel like most of the conversation has been around stillbirth and miscarraige and once again neonatal loss is widely overlooked. Jason lived, he was not stillborn and there is still so many unanswered questions about how babies suddenly die after being born alive that isnt researched and I feel strongly that the baby loss community can be very split in terms of how babies die.

Ive not felt like I can join in with this year blaw as much as I would have liked, ive been amazingly busy with work and life in general which has meant my mental health has taken quite a hit; which has meant grief has come along for the ride and I have found myself feeling much lower than usual. As a result I have had to take a step back and think about what is important for me and my family at this time and knowing I am going through another wave of guilt and grief is enough without trying to support everyone else too.

Tonight is #waveoflight and I have lit my candle for Jason, my tiny little twinny bean and all the other babies who sadly are no longer with us.

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Posted in baby loss, baby loss awareness, grief, life after loss, motherhood, mothering a rainbow, Mum Blogger, mummy blog, parenting, parenting after loss, telford

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This week has been super exciting and super busy! While planning our christmas gift guide has taken up quite a large part of my spare time lately it has also urged me on to do something I have been unsure of for quite some time.

Many people know I started blogging for me; to find a way to control and rationalise my own grief but also to shout Jasons story as far as I could. I promised my boy I would love him forever and always keep his memory alive and I will always do that.

I also wanted a space to offload, share my experiences not only on life after loss but also on parenting, specifically after loss as this is something not well spoken of. I say it all the time; being a parent is the best and the hardest job in the world but parenting after the loss of your own baby/child makes it much more difficult. You have all those feelings and emotions that come alongside being a parent but also the guilt too. Every negative/sad thought you get is enwrapped with guilt. Its a tough life!

I am so proud of where my little space has taken me, I have already worked alongside some fantastic brands/small businesses and hope to continue to do so in the future. I love being able to honestly share our views on these products too.

I have toyed with the idea of buying my own domain name for a while and this week I finally did it! There is something so exciting about having a space on the internet that it completely mine! I know this will open up a whole new world for me and my little blog and hopefully means I am able to share Jasons story to a far greater audience too.

 

I hope you will continue to follow me and read, it means so much to me that people have viewed my posts and I hope you are as excited by my upcoming gift guide as I am ❤

Posted in baby loss, grief, life after loss, motherhood, mothering a rainbow, mummy blog, parenting, parenting after loss, telford, Uncategorized

To the Mum/Dad…

To the Mum/Dad…

To the Mum/Dad who’s baby won’t stop crying in the middle of the night – You are not alone.
To the Mum/Dad who’s fallen asleep while feeding – You are not alone.
To the Mum/Dad who feels like they don’t know what they are doing – You are not alone.
To the Mum/Dad who isn’t the parent she thought she was going to be – You are not alone.
To the Mum/Dad who’s child has screamed while out in public – You are not alone.
To the Mum/Dad who’s toddler refuses to eat their food – You are not alone.
To the Mum/Dad who cries themselves to sleep because they don’t feel good enough – You are not alone.
To the Mum/Dad who drinks cold tea and eats one handed while the other is feeding someone else – You are not alone.
To the Mum/Dad who feeds their child fish fingers and chips or goes to McD’s once in a while – You are not alone.
To the Mum/Dad who doesn’t plan out daily activities – You are not alone.
To the Mum/Dad who isn’t “Instaperfect” or a “Pintrest Mum” – You are not alone.
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Parenting is really hard, harder than I ever imagined it would be. I imagined I would have all the patience in the world yet I find myself shouting at Ellie when she’s having a meltdown rather than trying to talk her round like I would the children at work. I thought I’d be doing fine motor/sensory play all the time and making activities to build those necessary skills but I don’t. My house isn’t always tidy and I know I spend too much time scrolling on my phone, I am far too critical on myself and more often than not convince myself that Ellie would be better without me.

I often wonder if I would have been a different type of parent had Jason lived. Would I have had more patience? Would I have got annoyed as quickly? Does my guilt and grief affect my parenting in this way now that Ellie is here and Jason isn’t? I often wonder whether Ellie would be able to be without us if she had a living sibling or would she have still been as needy and therefore parenting would have been so much harder. Would I have more time for Jason knowing his needs would have been far more demanding or would I eventually lose patience with him too? I often wonder what kind of Mum I could have been. I know I am different because he isn’t here and I hate myself for not being better for Ellie.

In actual fact, everything I do is for my children. Ellie would never be better off without her mum, fact! I spend so much time on my phone trying to find new places to go or new recipes to try (and probably still too much time on IG but I still need me time). I might shout at her but that is usually because she has spent HOURS screaming and throwing herself to the floor because I won’t let her do something dangerous or I’ve said no to watching Peppa Pig for the 100000000th time. I might lose my patience when Ellie has days where she is clinging to me from the minute she wakes up to the minute she goes to bed and that is including nap time because there are times where she won’t sleep without being near me. I might need more time to sit down and feel the need for 5 minutes of complete alone time….but Ellie probably spends at least 15 hours of her day with us (including the middle of the night) and it does drain you, emotional, physically and mentally drains you!

No parent is perfect, how can they be when we are all doing the same job to the best of our ability? I’m definitely not perfect and I haven’t met anyone who is yet but as long as Ellie is happy and feels loved I am doing a pretty good job of being her mum and she will always feel loved and wanted.

Posted in baby loss, baby loss awareness, grief, life after loss, motherhood, mothering a rainbow, mummy blog, parenting, parenting after loss, telford, Uncategorized

Mother of 3

I am a Mum.

To the outside world I have 1 daughter.

To people who know me I have 2 children.

Not many people know I should have 3 children in my arms not just in my heart.

I have been struggling with this for quite some time now.

I talk about Jasons death to anyone who will listen and I write about it a lot to help raise awareness and hope it can comfort other parents in some way knowing they are not alone. I know I am lucky to have Ellie, safe and here in my arms and I love being their Mummy but there is a baby who isnt spoken of, mainly because I focused on growing Ellie and making her arrive safely. Recently I have found myself grieving for the baby I dont talk about and part of this grief comes from Tommy’s new campaign; #Togetherforchange. This new campaign calls for more people to be open about their loss/losses and to challenge the stigma that is associated with all types of baby loss. As a mother whose baby died after birth I find this campaign is more relatable to those who have suffered miscarriages or stillbirth but I also know that Tommys goal is to get ALL people talking openly about all types of baby loss.

Together For Change Video

As I said above a lot of the stories linked to this campaign are miscarriage or stillbirth stories and it got me thinking about my own little baby who didnt make it. My tiny little bean who should be 20 months old and probably as mischievous as their twin sister. At 8 weeks we had an early scan due to be high risk and monitored more closely after my perfect pregnancy with Jason still resulted in his death. I was so anxious waiting for that early scan, expecting the worst because thats all I knew. It felt like hours waiting for that scan, we hadnt told anyone about the pregnancy as we knew it wasnt guaranteed but decided if everything was okay we would tell our parents. Even then I knew being pregnant again was going to be difficult, I wanted Jason more than ever, I wanted to be pregnant with him, to change the outcome and have him with us.

That was the day we found out we were expecting twins! I had always joked I would end up pregnant with twins but we were quickly told while one baby was growing well, the other had stopped growing at 7 weeks 5 days and there was no heartbeat. Its not until now that I think back to that tiny bean but at the time I just wanted the other baby to be okay and told myself they died to help the other survive, it gave our babya higher chance of living and taking them home. I do still believe that if Ellies twin had carried on growing my chances of them both surviving would have been slim.

I watch Ellie growing up and wonder what she would have been like if her twin had survived, if she had a living sibling to play with and then I feel guilty that once again my body stole any change of a living sibling from her.

 

We had  what is known as Vanishing Twin Syndrome. This basically means that the remaining twin continues to grow as it should but the fetal tissue from the non-surviving twin is partially or fully reabsorbed.

We werent given any explanation at the time, I didn’t know whether this baby would be miscarried, I didnt know whether I was going to bleed or what was going to happen and in fact nothing happened, at our 12 week scan the tiny bean had disappeared and there was just an empty sac, we may not have ever known about Ellies twin if it hadnt have been for that early scan.

As a loss mum I will always wonder what my life would have been like if all 3 of my children had lived. I find as I talk and write about my babies I want to include that little bean more and more but stop myself as its not common knowledge about our little bean and I dont think I could take the questions from people thinking I am pregnant, so that is where this post comes from, not completely random or looking for attention just trying to share the fact that I am the mother of 3 children but only ever get to hold one of them in my arms ❤

 

If anyone feels like they need to sharw their story or seek support then please head over to the Tommy’s  Support group on Facebook which is so supportive.

Posted in baby loss, baby loss awareness, days out, grief, life after loss, motherhood, mothering a rainbow, mummy blog, parenting, parenting after loss, Somewhere After The Rainbow, telford, Uncategorized

Holidays After Loss

Tomorrow we travel to North Wales for our family holiday, we are all packed up and the car has had its check. I have spent all week feeling giddy at gettinf away and feeling the sand between my toes. Ive felt excited at taking Ellie to spend the week in a caravan and make memories with her. Last years holiday was very stressful and Ellie cried for half the week we were away so this year I am hoping she enjoys it too.

Tonight my anxiety feels like a huge weight on my shoulders, filling me with dread that Ellie will cry for most of the week again, wondering whether this heatwave will make it too hot to go anywhere or the rain will FINALLY come and we will be stuck in the caravan unprepared for such wetness.

Tonight I am reminded that a family holiday should be different, a thought that feels like a knife to the heart. Oh how I wish life was different, I wish more than anything I was walking Ellie and Jason across the sand on our family holiday. Tonight I have spent time packing permanent markers to write his name on a stone. I write the names of so many babies to take them on our adventures, I plan which beach I will write his name in the sand to be washed away later.

Tonight I am reminded that while we go away my sons ashes are in a memory box, hidden away so no harm can come to them.

There is always someone missing whenever we do anything as a family and unfortunately there is nothing I can do to change that other than planning ways to take him with us. This year I am going to be brave and not act as subtle as I did last year. Hubbys counselling is helping and I feel much more comfortable doing things for Jason on our travels.

Posted in days out, motherhood, mothering a rainbow, mummy blog, parenting, parenting after loss, telford, Uncategorized

Charity Shop Christmas

It was hubby’s first day off today and officially we have started our summer holidays!

We kicked off the hols with a drive to Bridgnorth, its about 20 minutes away from where we are but we’ve never actually been. Hubby has discovered the joys of bargain hunting since changing his job and taking a huge pay loss and wanted to have a nosey in some good charity shops.

We were undecided between Bridgnorth or Shifnal and as bridgnorth has significantly more shops (Shifnal is very small) thats where we headed.

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Ellie slept in the car which is giving me hope she will sleep when we are driving to Wales for our holiday but whos kidding she probably wont that day 😂. We woke her when we got there and she loved people watching in Greggs. We had to stop for a greggs breakfast deal of cause.

I have always enjoyed finding a good bargain, usually in poundshops and have never really gone out to specifically look in charity shops (the ones in Telford never seem very good for toys.) Yet we found so many things and Ellie got excited shouting “me me” at every thing we saw. We picked up quite a few bits to take on holiday to keep Ellie entertained in the caravan, no wifi means no peppa pig so we need plenty to stimulate her and we certainly found some great toys.

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Everything except the Disney Junior ereader will go on holiday with us. The e reader is being stored for christmas or birthday as it looks brand new. While Ellie is so young I am all for charity shop toys as she rips and breaks things so easily and we find things dont stimulate her for as long as they should. Shes always been such a curious bean that she flitters between toys quickly.

I have spent ages looking for those sticker books with the reusable stickers for her as she loves placing stickers everywhere so I did get excited to see the Peppa and Ben and Holly Magnet books for £1.50 each. We got all this for less than £15 which after selling Ellies old cot mobile literally cost us nothing!!

Id love to hear about your bargain buys or any money saving tips you have to keep the kids entertained over the summer ❤

Posted in days out, life after loss, motherhood, mothering a rainbow, mummy blog, parenting, parenting after loss, rainbow baby, telford, Uncategorized

My Summer Bucket List

Its no secret how excited I am for this Summer. I love being a teaching assistant and developing childrens minds however I would be lieing if I didnt admit that the holidays are a huge bonus. Having 6 weeks off has always been boring and i usually crave routine and work before September comes however I am determined to enjoy this extra time with Ellie and Luke and have written a bucket list of all the places I would like to go, some places we probably won’t get round to visiting and some I know we will go to. I am excited to share our adventures honestly and hope to find some new treasures along the way.

Summer holiday bucket list!

These are in no particular order:

1) Monkey Forest/Trentham Gardens

2) Local National Trust places such as Attingham, Wightwick Manor, Benthall Hall, Sunnycroft etc

3) Ice Cream Farm

4) Cardingmill Valley

5) Lavender Field – Newport

6) Chester Zoo

7) Cbeebies Land/Alton Towers

8) Ty Mawr Country Park- Oswestry

9) British Ironworks Museum – Oswestry

10) Rhyl

11) Colwyn Beach

12) Bodnant Garden

13) Rhyl Seaquarium

14) Bodafon Farm – Conwy

15) Thomas Land/Drayton Manor

16) National Memorial Arboretum

Of cause money doesnt grow on trees and this list is quite long, I am not expecting to cross everything off, there are also short trips to the park and things I would like to do in the house such as messy play, crafts and we will definitely need time in to chill out too!

We are going on holiday the second week to Pensarn and I am excited to find some new walks and places around there too. Some of the places on my bucket list are near the caravan too.

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Last year Ellie had only just began crawling so we were very limited, this year she is far more curious and so adventurous and I can’t wait to make memories with her.

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Id love to hear your Summer Bucket List if you have one or a regular spot you like to go to in the holidays.

Posted in grief, life after loss, motherhood, mothering a rainbow, mummy blog, Nhs, parenting, parenting after loss, rainbow baby, telford, Uncategorized

An unexpected trip

Today did not go the way it should have. Today should have been a normal day, work and then a quick shopping trip to Tesco to stock up on food for our holiday. None of that happened due to a trip to A&E instead.

As we were leaving this morning Ellie had tripped over my foot and bumped her head on the side of the door frame. I could tell she wasnt okay as she cried immediately which is unusual as she doesnt normally cry when she falls. I ran to get a cold flannel to act as a compress and that was when we noticed the lump on her head was getting bigger and blacker. Ellie cried most of the way to the hospital and I tried as hard as I could to suppress the uneasy feeling I was getting.

I hate the hospital; to me no matter how much I think about Ellie’s birth it will always be the last place I saw Jason, the place I left him in all alone.

We arrived at A&E at 8:10 and after frantically trying to find it (work being done at the hospital so everywhere was different ugh!) we were signed in and waiting for the triage nurse. Of cause it didnt take long for it to fill up and we werent seen for over an hour. This was okay because Ellie was obviously feeling herself however it baffles me why a toddler with a head injury isnt priority.

It was over 3 hours of waiting before we finally got back home and felt reassured that Ellie would be fine. Actually by the time we had seen the nurse her bump had gone down quite a lot and was already starting to bruise.

Im so grateful that we have the NHS and although we had a long wait it meant we had piece of mind that she had been seen by a qualified nurse and that means so much when you have lost a baby.