Summer Holiday Clubs & Camps-Why I Won’t Be Participating

So, it’s that time of the year again.  Kids are coming home with leaflets in their bags, events are being set up and shared on social media.  What are they for?  Summer holiday clubs.

Sports clubs, holiday clubs, holiday camps, fun activity clubs-you name it, there’s something for everyone.

So why won’t I be even debating on sending my children on one of these?

Continue reading “Summer Holiday Clubs & Camps-Why I Won’t Be Participating”

Today I’m Thankful For….. #5

I’ll be honest, today I struggled to find things I’m thankful for.
It’s not been a bad day as such, just a kind of nothing day where nothing much happened. I think I’ve scrambled three together though.

 

My resilient daughter

Seriously, this child.
She was definitely sent to try us, aside from her rather challenging behaviour, she’s  constantly poorly at the moment, and today it would appear she has come down with Hand Foot and Mouth (we think).  Coming up to three weeks in nursery now, she’s only had 3 days where she’s been free from illness, which is tough to watch, but she just gets on with it!  We think she probably started coming down with whatever this is on Friday, after we remembered today hearing her complaining about something hurting, that now has a spot on it.  She has spots on her hands and feet, and a mouthful of ulcers, but not once has she got upset, or fussed about any of these things!  She’s the same child i tell people about all the time, a story about when we viewed our current home; She was 18 months old, toddling around, and, as we viewed the kitchen, she’d climbed to the top of the first flight of stairs, fallen down them, got up at the bottom and run off.  She’s made of some kind of tough-stuff and I’m so thankful she never seems to suffer too much with things.

A Sunday lie-in
I can hear parents everywhere questioning what one of those is.  My kids never let us have one either.  Except for today, when my husband nudged me awake this morning, and whispered “it’s ten to 9!”
I turned over and didn’t even bother opening my eyes to acknowledge it-no sleep is ever enough for me-but just the thought that they’d both slept in, getting the rest their little bodies need after a horrible couple of weeks of being so unwell, made me so happy!
It also gave us the energy to be better parents (not that we’re not bloody marvellous anyway), more patient, happy, motivated parents, meaning we had happier more content children.  Even if this only happened this morning, and they’re both up at 5am tomorrow, we can at least remember it as the “Sunday that was”.

My dad
There’s already a blog about this amazing man, here-My Dad, but I very rarely write much regarding him in general.
At 61 years of age, he’s a massively successful man in his work as a child support worker and family liaison officer, a qualified counsellor, a loving Husband to my equally awesome Step-Mum, an amazing family man, and Grandad to his four Grandchildren.
Sometimes, I find, life just takes over a little. We get ill, then he gets ill, so we sometimes go for long periods of time not seeing each other, even though he’s only half an hour away.  He’s busy, working all week, and, I rarely get a weekend where we’re all free at the same time.  This doesn’t affect his relationship with me in the slightest.  He’s still attentive, caring and loving, and there’s rarely a day where we don’t speak.  His Grandchildren love him as much as anyone else in our family, and he and his Son-in-law (my Husband)  have an amazing bond too, which is all I can ask for really.

Recently, in events beyond my control, he’s been put through the mill a bit.  I worry constantly he’s not OK handling all the stress (even though he tells me he’s fine), and I get so angry with people taking advantage of his good nature.

He never loses it, he never gets angry or takes it out on me or anyone else, he’s always the same Dad to me he has been my whole life.
He’s proud of me and the things I’m doing and achieving.  He’s supportive of my decisions, and advises me when I need him to.  He listens to me while I rant for half an hour about something bugging me, then gives me the bang on the head I need to continue being strong.  His support knows no bounds, and I don’t think he realises just how much he is loved and respected, not just by me but by so many people.

I’m thankful because he’s my Dad.  And I’ll thank whoever or whatever gave me him for the rest of our lives.

 

 

So that’s all for today’s ‘thankful for’ post!  Don’t forget you can join in to!
You can go onto my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or comment at the bottom of this post to join in thinking of something you’re thankful for.  Don’t forget to use the hashtag #MFBthanful so I can find you easily too!

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Xx MFB  xX

What’s Your Phobia?

During the Celebrity Big Brother launch night the other evening, and noticing the gorgeous Calum Best was wearing a vile velvet suit, I realised having a phobia of velvet is actually quite weird!
When you would avoid Calum Best because he’s wearing a velvet suit, there’s something not quite right there!

It got me thinking however, about what other weird phobias people have.
So, off I went to ask my beautiful blogging pals!

It would appear my other phobia of bridges (I worry they’re going to collapse with me on them-and they’re usually over water, which would make me even more screwed as I can’t swim), isn’t one shared by anyone else.
My cotton wool phobia however, is shared by Lisa over at The Love Of A Captain and Amy over at All Things Amy, but additionally, Lisa also has a phobia of marshmallows, and Amy also has a fear of polystyrene!!

 

Coral over at Way Too Much Luggage has a phobia of nail files (the sand paper feeling ones-glass ones she’s good with) and balloons.
Balloons is quite a common one, Coral’s phobia of these started when she saw clowns at a circus when she was little.
She’s unsure when the nail file phobia started, but the feeling of them make her shiver!
Emma over at Me, The Man & The Baby, has a phobia of toad in the hole (I know, weird right!).  She thinks it stems from her mother’s toad in the hole from when she was smaller-and lets face it, we’ve all not eaten something since having it as a child for fear of feeling the same disgust we felt when smaller!

On the subject of food, Tracey over at One Frazzled Mum is scared of eggs!  Once again she’s another with no idea as to why she’s scared of them. She doesn’t eat them at all and can’t even cook them.  This time though, its not down to a parent cooking them badly-her mother said that even when she was a baby she wouldn’t eat them!

Lucy over at Hello Beautiful Bear has a phobia of World War 2!  So traumatised by watching videos and studying it at school, have made her really very scared of the whole event!  She had nightmares all of the time, hated anything to do with it, and really hated History lessons at school that were covering it!

Rebecca over at Meadow Daisy has a massive phobia of butterflies.  She says the wings are all fluttery, flappy and powdery and just thinking of them makes her want to cry!!!

One of my most favourite ones, because of how much her reasons for the phobia made me laugh, was from Janet over at Mummys Monkey.  Her phobia is of beards.  Yep, you read right-beards……
When questioned as to why beards are so frightening for her, she answered, and I quote, “Well what are they trying to hide under there? And most serial killers have them. Obviously I know not every bearded man wants to kill me but still…”

Faye over at Glossytots is who I’d choose as my winner (if this was a competition).  Her phobia is frogs.  She’s no idea why she’s scared of them, but her phobia is so bad, she passes out if she sees one!
Once a friend of hers, thought it would be funny to take her to a pool of frogs…which backfired slightly when Faye had to be taken away in an Ambulance!

Cat over at Rock and Roll Pussycat has a phobia of wet paper!
For her it’s the texture. She can cope with paper if her hands are cold and completely dry, but if they are slightly wet or sweaty and she touches paper, the phobia comes out!! For some reason, newspaper and white A4 sheets of paper, are the worst offenders!

Beth over at Twinderelmo has a phobia of tomatoes!  (I’ll be honest when I say I laughed a little at her explanation as to why).  She said she’s convinced they’ll pop open and the pips will go in her mouth-she can’t even hold them!  Her phobia stems from someone at school picking a dirty slice of tomato up off of the floor, and the pips going everywhere.

Finally, Helena over at Babyfoote has a phobia of plastic bags.  When I asked her why, she said the phobia is of bags that she doesn’t know the contents of. Bin bags at the side of the road, plastic shopping bags tied up in woodlands, parcels (especially big ones) that are unexpected and covered in plastic.
If they’re in an unexpected place and she can’t see what’s inside she won’t go near it (so instead, sends her other half). She just can’t risk finding dead puppies!

I’ve laughed at some of these (especially Janet’s), but ultimately, these are still peoples phobias, and, if this blog has proved anything-it’s that phobias come in all shapes and sizes, and have various effects on people!
These people are genuinely frightened by their phobias, regardless of how funny or odd they might seem!

Do let me know if you’ve any odd or random phobia’s!  You can share them with me over on the Facebook page here, on my Twitter page here, or leave me a comment at the bottom of this page!

Thank you to my lovely blogger girls for getting involved with this-it’s been enlightening to say the least!

X

The Mummy He Used To Know

 

Baby Loss Awareness Week-Day 6


When I had my son, I’m not ashamed to say I was pretty petrified.

I was 23, had taken the pregnancy for granted, (not that I thought that then obviously), and it was our first baby, so we really had no idea what we were doing.

We did all the things you don’t do with your following babies, we were overcautious, over worried, frequent flyers to the doctors for every sniffle our little baby picked up.

Overcautionsness aside, I was a good Mum, I did everything by the book (literally, I had every baby book going).  We were good parents, we loved being parents, it felt natural, even though he hadn’t been planned, it felt planned once he was born.

 

Fast forward a year and a half and we fell pregnant again!  This one also wasn’t planned, but as soon as we knew, we once again, without realising, took it all for granted.  Our first was straight forward, no issues, no complications, no need for worry, so we began planning.

Names chosen, double pushchairs looked at, a loan applied for (and accepted) so we could move somewhere bigger for our growing brood, how we were going to announce the news, due date estimation, scan date estimation, the list is endless.

We told a fair amount people (because why wouldn’t we when we’d had such a great pregnancy with our first baby!). Then, 8 weeks later, we had to tell them that all we’d planned was basically for nothing.  We’d taken it all for granted, and now, we weren’t having a baby.

To our son, everything was normal, nothing had changed, he was still him and we were still us.  I never cried in front of him, even through the toughest times, not once.

 

Fast forward another year, and the year that passed slowly, with us trying to have another baby.  It consumed us, it made me neurotic, wanting something so badly, that I didn’t know I wanted until we’d lost our second baby.

Then came the day the two lines appeared, and the emptiness, nothingness was there, because I’d lost hope.  We told the bare minimum this time, barely feeling a reason to tell people in case it happened again, but doing so because we thought we might need support.  3 days later, we told them the news we’d been expecting.  Another lost baby.  We’d been expecting it, but we still felt the loss like the last.

Once again, our son knew nothing, I didn’t cry in front of him, even through the toughest times, not once.

2 months later, those lines came up again, and this time there was no hope.  I was waiting for the blood, the pain, the agony, the devastation.  And, as with the other two, that day came once more.

I was done.  A shell of the woman I once was, but no less of a Mother, and once again, my son never saw me cry, not even through the toughest times, not once.

We stopped trying, and I know what everyone says, “just stop trying and it’ll happen”.  The issue being with that bullshit unhelpful advice, was, that it wasn’t getting pregnant that was our issue, it was me keeping my babies in!

Oh the advice, the advice that people gave me, or the reasons they concocted for why they thought we we’re having so much trouble-it was constant, and constantly not needed.

Christmas came around, and because we weren’t “trying”, I ate too much, and got well and truly drunk!  For the whole of that festive period, I relaxed, and instead of being the fake Mum that hides her feelings and puts on her funny Mummy voice, I had fun with my boy and my family, and blocked out the last year and a half of hell.

 

A month later, and those two lines came back, and even though we’d stopped “trying” I still felt nothing once more.

Every day, I spent every toilet trip checking for signs of another baby that didn’t want to stick.  Every day, I would look for symptoms of something going wrong like it had with the others. 

As the pregnancy progressed, so did the anxiety.  And as it progressed, day by day, the Mummy that our boy knew before, was lost a little bit more.

There were tears, but still never in front of him, that’s something I managed to hold back until he was in bed, then I’d sob for the babies I’d lost and for the possibility of hope, I didn’t want to lose once again.

His 4th Birthday came, and I had a little bump showing, but still hadn’t told anyone except parents and best friends, because I’d convinced myself the “bump” was a bad thing, that it meant something bad was going to happen.  I was sick, but i convinced myself that instead of that being a pregnancy progressing well sign, it was something bad happening that would eventually culminate in my now “normal” fear.

Our little boy had lost another part of his Mummy on that birthday.  I didn’t know then, but the fear, the sickness, the anxiety, had made me forget how to override my emotions, and, although we celebrated his special day-and I have photos proving we did-I barely remember it.  I pretty much missed my sons 4th birthday because of what was happening to me. 

8 more months of this feeling, 8 more months of a daily anxiety, a panic actually, that this would be my last day of being pregnant.  Every time the baby moved, I worried it would be the last one I felt.  Dreams, terrible horrible nightmares, of bleeding, pain, lost babies, plagued me for months.

I don’t remember those months for anything other than the fear and emotion.  I couldn’t tell you from memory, what we did with our son for the majority of it, but once again, I have photos convincing and reassuring me that we did do things!
Our daughter was born, easily, with little complication, and all the fear and anxiety from the pregnancy was gone.  My son could have had his Mummy back.  Instead, she was replaced with a sad Mummy.  A Mummy that was anxious and sad in general, rather that for the reasons she’d felt during her pregnancies.

He still never saw me cry. Not even on the worst days. 

And he’s never seen me cry.  Now, 6 years (and 8 months) old, he’s not seen me cry once.
The Mummy he once knew, however, when he was his sisters age, is gone.  He doesn’t remember her, he was too small.  He assumes this is always the Mummy he’s had.  And, I think that hurts me more than anything.  Because, I’d love to be that Mummy I once was.  I’m still fun (his friends say I’m hilarious-and I’d have to agree with them-I’m a hoot!)  But I miss that person, that woman, that wife, that daughter, that friend, I used to be.


 Following my miscarriages, not once was I offered aftercare in the form of someone to speak to, someone to listen, helplines, information leaflets-nothing.  I firmly believe I would not suffer with mental health issues now, so badly, had I been offered these aftercare services as soon as I’d had my miscarriages.

This needs to change.  People, women, partners, families, they need help following such an awful trauma, and there shouldn’t be any reason why they’re not offered any.

Help save someones mummy, someones wife, friend, daughter, and help raise awareness and funds to aid research into these aftercare services and baby loss.

 

For support and advice from Tommy’s the baby charity, click here

For support and advice from The Miscarriage Association, click here

Miscarriage ~ My Truth


I was a mummy already-to a beautiful baby boy when our lives changed.  He was unplanned, just as our second baby was.

Yet, 2 little lines on a pregnancy test, didn’t scare us the second time around.  We knew we wanted two babies, and as our first little bundle was so amazing, we knew we could have another.
I was so excited!  I booked in to see the midwife to get my dates all sorted out, and soon after, I saw her and she confirmed our new little one was due in June!
We told our parents, and our close friends and family, and I began rooting through baby magazines, taking vitamins, and planning double pushchairs and where the new baby would sleep.
My husband, the excited Daddy to be, got a loan, to pay off all our debts and to get us out of the horrid flat we lived in, so we could start a new life, with our complete family.
A month later, when the sickness was just starting, and we were all into the full swing of how more amazing our little family was about to become, something changed everything we knew and the people we were.
I was collecting up socks for the washing basket, and as I lifted the basket to take it through to the machine, I felt a strange little sensation in my tummy.  To this day, I swear I could hear this “pop” sound.
I put everything down, and calmly went to the toilet, almost knowing something wasn’t right.
There, on the tissue, was enough to stop me in my tracks.  Blood.
I walked out of the bathroom and stood outside was my little man, asking me for juice.  I got his juice, sat him on the sofa, and put his favourite programme on, while I shook to my very core, and mentally located my phone.
I called my husband, who never answers his phone at work, but who, happened to be on a break.  “I’m bleeding love, you need to come home now”.
I then called my mother in law.  “I’m bleeding, I need to go to the hospital”.  I asked her to watch our son, and she came straight away.
I sat on the end of my bed, cradling my little bloated tummy in my arms, and pleaded with our baby to stay.  “Please don’t leave me, please don’t leave me“, I repeated over and over.
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The journey to the hospital was filled with my nerves, and my husbands optimism that we’d got it all wrong.  He kept telling me some women bleed during pregnancy, but I knew the truth.
I had a scan, a blood test, and was told there was no heartbeat or baby anymore.  They said that I could’ve got my dates wrong, and to come back in 6 days to check again, but I knew the truth.
When we got home, my husband told his mother what they’d said at the hospital, and I just couldn’t take it.  “I know the truth!”
Within days, I bled more, and the pains worsened.  We celebrated Halloween with our boy, and I just got on with it.  I ignored the pain, drugged myself up with painkillers, and acted normal.
4 days later, I physically lost our baby, and mentally, the floodgates opened.
We went back to the hospital and they confirmed what I’d known all along.  Our baby was gone.
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We were offered no form of help, to aid us in dealing with our grief, or to explain our next steps.  We were sent on our way to continue our lives.
In the months that followed we went back to normal-the only difference being, I was now desperate for a baby.  Instead of grieving for our precious little life we’d lost I put my efforts into buying ovulation tests, tracking my cycle, and trying to get pregnant again.
Months and months went by, and when we didn’t have any luck, I actually convinced myself that the miscarriage had damaged me somehow.  Then, 10 months after we lost our baby, I got those two important lines on a pregnancy test once again.
Expecting to be elated by this, excited perhaps, grateful we’d been given another chance, I instead felt nothing.
We told my dad, we told my husbands parents. Instead of it being news I wanted excitement and happiness from, I told people in case I needed support, if the same happened again.
This time I didn’t go to a midwife straight away, I allowed myself to work out my dates, because I needed to make sure I was aware in case we lost another.
A few days later, that’s exactly what happened.
There was no hospital trip this time.  There was just more pain, more blood, more heartache.
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As soon as it was all over, we went back to trying, and within a month fell again, and lost again, and I felt….nothing.
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“I’m done”, I thought, deciding I would put my time into bringing up my son, and not bother trying ever again, because there was no point!
People were often sympathetic, some, not so much.
“Maybe they were all girls, and you can’t carry girls”.
“You’re trying too hard”.
“Think positively instead of assuming the worst will happen”.
It was, after I’d had the third miscarriage confirmed, I was offered tests to see the cause of the miscarriages, which medically now had a name-‘recurrent miscarriages’.
I had a blood clotting test which came back fine and the tests were set to continue to see if they could find a reason why this kept happening to me.
On Christmas Day night, that same year, after a large amount of alcohol, baby number 5 was conceived.
I found out a week before our sons 3rd Birthday in February 2013, and promptly began throwing up pretty much all day every day.
I had no attachment to this new pregnancy.  I lived each day believing this one would leave us too.
We were referred to the Early Pregnancy Unit, where we had scans at 6, 7, 8 and 11 weeks, and all progressed normally.  We saw its little heart beating, but all I kept thinking was “this is going to be so much harder to lose, now we’ve seen its heartbeat”.
Our 12 week scan date came around, a milestone we hadn’t made with the three miscarriages.  And there, in the middle of the screen, was this little blob,  still with a heartbeat.
My husband squeezed my hand, clearly optimistic again, but I still couldn’t bring myself to be excited, to be happy, to feel anything.
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The pregnancy progressed.  I got fat.  The sickness continued way past 4 months.  Our 20 week scan came around, and I was put under consultant care because of my history.
The day we found out we were having a little girl, I thought my head might explode.  For so long I’d battled with the worry I couldn’t carry girls, and wouldn’t have another baby.
We went to Primark to buy something for our daughter, and I walked around in a complete daze for around 20 minutes, before announcing to my husband, “I need to go home”.
I had scans constantly through the pregnancy, and as I got bigger, felt her kicking, and in one pretty amazing scan, saw her beautiful face, I started to allow myself to feel like I was going to have a baby!
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After a beautiful labour, on the 27th of September 2013, our baby girl was born!!!!!!
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Fast forward 3 years and I am a content mummy to a wonderful 6 year old son, and 2 year old daughter.
They’re happy, healthy, and make me and their daddy proud beyond words, day in, day out.
Fast forward 3 years however, and I’m not the person I once was.
I have been diagnosed with PTSD, which I was told was down to the trauma caused by each miscarriage, and the lack of follow up care given from professionals.
I have severe anxiety disorder.  Brought on from being so unbelievably paranoid and anxious during every pregnancy, including our daughters, which has spilled over into my life since them, also bringing with it, social anxiety and panic attacks.
I also have mild depression currently.  I say currently because, those who have depression will understand, the moods that come with it, fluctuate day to day.  I have been told I never grieved for those babies we lost, instead I got on with making the next one, fuelled by that rather than stopping to be sad for the children we lost.
There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t wonder, what they’d have looked like, what they would’ve achieved, who they’d be as they grew.
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The lasting effects and my continual mental health issues, surrounding the recurrent miscarriages, could’ve been prevented, had I received proper after care and help following the losses.
More needs to be done to help women in these situations, more information is needed, and tests should be carried out quicker and sooner.
I want those women, who share in my experiences, who feel let down, who need help right now, who see similarities in my story, to know, you’re not alone, you’re never alone – please find someone to speak to, and get help for what you’re going through.
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