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.

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Bodnant Gardens

We are currently on holiday and so far the weather hasnt been great but this morning we decided to take a drive out and explore. We couldnt decide whether to take Ellie to a nearby zoo or to visit one of North Wales National Trust places. Seeing as we have NT membership we opted for Bodnant Gardens and decided we would do the zoo after depending on Ellies mood. We never made it to the zoo as Bodnant Gardens was just so beautiful.

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Bodnant gardens is a 20 minute drive from where we are staying in Pensarn but is close to Llandudno and Colwyn Bay in Conwy.

I must admit the car parking did scare me a bit. I am not used to parking at the top of small hills and having cars in fromt roll back slightly didnt help me feel comfortable either however the staff were great at directing people to the next spot and I found they were easy to drive in to, maneuver Ellie out and they werent too tight to reverse out either when the car park was quite busy.

To start with the walk from the carpark to the entrance is designed to fit in with the italian style gardens and once through the main entrance you are greeted with spectacular views.

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Ellie was given some stickers as part of their Childrens Summer Holiday activities which I thought was amazin as usually she isnt included due to her age. She didnt understand byt she loves stickers! Children were getting stuck in with their art challenge to make art from foliage and other natural objects and some were so creative! Ellie must have been inspired as she spent most of her time picking up stones or pine cones and “tidying” them up on to the grass!

The gardens are hidden away in the Snowdonian foothills and cover 80 acres of land and is home to many different types of flowers and trees. As hubby is growing in confidence with our little garden at home he was loving taking note of all the types of flowers he liked and which ones we have at home.

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Ellie enjoyed smelling the poppies ❤

We did find it quite tricky getting around some areas with the pushchair however this was mentioned by the lovely staff member we spoke to in the entrance. There were quite a few steps but usually there was a ramp quite close by. There were some slopes too steep for wheelchairs and pushchairs so we didnt attempt those areas. Ellie spent quite a bit of time in the pushchair as she was having a grumpy morning but she did pick up after lunch which meant she was able to explore as well.

Lunch was a sausage roll (shared with Ellie) a coffee for Luke and a carton of orange juice for E because I am an awful parent who forgot to pack her nuby cup! Thankfully there has been lots of shade and it wasnt too warm. Lunch was nice, an average lunch with quite a steep price (£10 for everything) however we didnt mind as it isnt ooften we dont take a picnic on our adventures and we didnt technically have to pay for entrance either.

We carried on walking after lunch and found some beautiful water features including a waterfall. The views were stunning and so well kept, which is expected of a national trust property.

 

The water gardens each looked unique and had different types of flowers surrounding them, not one part of the gardens looked the same which made it so much fun to explore. Walking around made me feel like we were in Italy or in a scene from Letters To Juliet. Even though it was busy it felt peaceful (or it did once Ellie had stopped having grumpy moments) and we could have spent all day there.

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In fact we did spend a good 4 hours just walking around the gardens and watching Ellie take it all in which we weren’t expecting.

We were so pleased we ventured out somewhere different today and would definitely recommend it to anyone in the area!

Here are just a few more pictures as I took so many it would be a shame not to share them.

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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 motherhood, mothering a rainbow, mummy blog, parenting, parenting after loss, product review, Uncategorized

Scrummies – Review (Gifted)

Weaning Ellie was so much fun, I adored watching her experiment with finger foods and then with her cutlery. She has always been such a curious little girl and has enjoyed trying new foods however recently she is much more fussy and depending on her mood she wont even eat food I know she likes. Ellie has always been keen on eating fruit and so when choosing a snack I try and find ones that are also 1 of your 5 a day and arent full of sugar. Even in some well known baby/toddler brands they can have lots of hidden sugars and when Ellie is really hangry it has been easy to just grab her a biscuit from the cupboard.

Scrummies are a fruit based snack that contain a mix of dried raisins and cranberries that are then flavoured using natural fruit juices making them 100% natural! They also come in six fruity flavours; strawberry, cherry, blueberry, apple, raspberry and blackcurrant. What makes these Scrummies even more appealing is that they are 1 of your 5 a day, they contain no added sugars and they are 100% vegan! They are a perfect snack suitable for 12 months +.

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Ellie can be quite fussy and they first time she tried the Scrummies she refused them, I found the blueberry raisins to be a very powerful flavour (but seeing as I don’t like blueberries I still ate a few). Ellie took some time to eat the cranberries as she had never had them before and is definitely going through the fussy eater stage so I was worried she wouldnt try the other flavours however she now goes through an entire pack really quickly and loves them.

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I have found Scrummies are perfect to send for her lunch as they are individually packaged and I know she will definitely eat something while I am at work.

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At the moment Ellie has a clear favourite and loves the apple flavoured Scrummies however blackcurrant are a close second.

You can order Scrummies from the Clearly Scrumptious website

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.

 

Posted in motherhood, mothering a rainbow, mummy blog, parenting, telford, Uncategorized

Teddies

Usually babies become attached to a specific item by the age of 1; I assumed as Ellie has never been bothered by teddies and hadnt grown attached to anything specific she wont feel the need to carry something around with her. Once again I am proven wrong and at 19 months she has decided her George Pig teddy is HERS. It goes everywhere with her; to bed, in the car, shopping and even to soft play!

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According to research babies and toddlers become attached to transitional objects around the same time that they develop fears and anxieties yet a teansitional object such as a teddy or blanket can provide them with a sense of security. A familiar object when the world is suddenly so much bigger than just their house. I imagine its like walking in to a room full of strangers and not wearing any clothes, your sense of security has gone along with your clothes.

Im not bothered about Ellie having a transitional object that makes her feel safe in unknown situations however I am worried about her losing it somewhere and not having another yet I dont want to have multiple teddies just in case.

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At this moment in time she isnt fully attached to a single object but more like she is attached to certain tv characters. Ellie is slightly obsessed with Peppa Pig and has a couple of peppa soft toys already. Today she took Mummy Pig to soft play and wasnt bothered about George until we got home and she saw she had left him.

I actually find it quite cute when babies/toddlers show an attachment to something. Ellie pretends to feed George, she hugs him after she has thrown him on the floor and is started to show empathy towards it. I know that attachment to “things” can become an issue as they get older but for now I am going to encourage her new found love for George Pig ❤

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It’s Okay

It’s okay to not enjoy every bit of motherhood. It’s okay to sometimes lose your shit. Being a parent is much harder than I ever imagined it would be.

Today was one of those particularly hard days where I have lost it. After having a morning at work that went relatively well (the child I support joined in with sports day, ate her lunch with everyone else and played outside!) I then picked Ellie up to find her asleep so I had to wait which was fine as she woke up about 10 minutes later anyway. She cried from the minute she woke up, proving to me she was still tired so I rushed her to the car in the hopes she would sleep on the way home…no luck there.

She then continued to moan and cry from there. She has refused to eat her tea but managed a mini milk and she got so worked up she has been sick. I decided to try and lie with her in my bed as this sometimes helps settle her and we watched 6 episodes of Waffle the Wonder Dog until she cried for Daddy and wanted to come back downstairs…her sleep routine has been nonsexistant due the heatwave so she hasnt been falling asleep until at least 9pm sometimes 11pm 🙈.

I feel like such an awful mum because she has really worn me down tonight and hubby hasnt been much help…however saying that he is currently upstairs with the little cherub trying to get her to sleep now.

Ellie is also developing anxiety when I drop her off for work in a morning which also isnt helping my mental state! She clings on with such force and cries for me and it really pulls at my heart, I drove to work this morning in tears because she was crying at the window. I wouldnt mind but she stays with my mum and has done for a year now! I keep telling myself it is a normal toddler behaviour but it still kills me every time she does it.

I am not embarrassed to say I find being Ellies mama hard, partly because I cant mother Jason like I want to but also because she is difficult too. I just hope that she remembers me with all the loving moments we have together rather than the times that I havent been the most patient.

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

Thank You NHS

This year the NHS turns 70. For anyone not in the UK the NHS is our free healthcare service and is such a lifeline to so many people.

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I must admit I am quite a careful person so have never had to use A&E or the hospital as a child. Of cause we visited the doctor and the dentist (all free for children) and had a slight blip when I sprained my knee cartlidge on a bouncy castle but as a whole I am a very careful person…never broken a bone on my body.

Having a brother with DS meant that actually we have had a few trips to the hospital for different things, even a very scary trip to Alder Hey Childrens Hospital when he was 18.

Of cause Jasons death made me question how reliable our NHS was, if it was so great why did my baby die? Yet I knew and still know that the amazing staff at our hospital did everything they possibly could, I could not blame the NHS for Jasons death because they didnt cause it. I couldnt fault the paramedics who tried so hard to help me deliver him at our home, nor could I fault the nurses who stitched me up. I could not fault the consultant who tried to get Jasons heartrate up or my midwife, Vicki, who looked after me during both my pregnancies. They were amazing during my pregnancy with Ellie, from the consultant care to delivery.

We really are so lucky to be able to access free healthcare in the UK. The staff are unfortunately overworked and underpaid and get more grief than they deserve.

Without the NHS I could have died giving birth to Jason and I will always be grateful to them for both my children.

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