Happy Mothers Day

To all of my fellow mummies out there, have a wonderful day with your loved ones.

This day is for you all.

Those of you who have ten kids or just one.

Those of you who, like me,  have carried and lost a child.

Those of you who are still trying to become a mummy.

Those of you who no longer have your mum here on earth with you.

Today is the day where we celebrate you and all of the motherly figures in our lives.

My love to you all.

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The Women In My Life

Today is International Women’s Day and in keeping with what this day means, I thought I would take the opportunity to share a little about the inspiring women in my life. I am lucky enough to be surrounded by strong, independent ladies, who inspire me every day to be better and do better.
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My biggest inspiration is my mum. She taught me what it is to be mum. She has been my best friend for my whole life and has always done her best to provide myself and my  siblings with whatever needed, doing her best to keep us grounded at the same time. After struggling in a difficult marriage with my step-dad for over 20 years, she finally made the decision to move on with her life and make it better. She never judges anyone for their mistakes and would take your secrets to the grave. She is the best person I know and the first person I want to talk to when I’m sad or upset. I love her with all my heart and soul, and thank God for giving me such a wonderful mum and role model.
My sisters, like my mum, are all very important women in my life. Far left is my sister Jo. She had her first baby (my niece) when she was just 18, and another (my nephew) only a few years later. Despite being so young she has turned out to be the most dedicated and loving mum you could ask for. She has taken motherhood in her stride. She’s strong, stunning and makes being a mummy look easy. In the middle is my sister Claire. She is an ambitious, funny and a gorgeous young lady with a heart of gold. She’s never happier than when she’s giving to others. I am so proud of her. Lastly, at the far right is my youngest sister Aimee. She is beautiful, head-strong and just outrageously funny. She is the life and soul of every party and truly cherishes her relationship with her sisters. I love them all dearly and wouldn’t be the person I am without them in my life.
This is my husbands grandma Elizabeth. The reason I picked this wonderful lady is because she has overcome so much adversity in her life. From moving back home to Scotland from Australia when her mother fell ill, to fighting and winning the battle over breast cancer, to burying her daughter and my husbands poor mum when she died. She has been a solid maternal figure in my husbands and his brothers lives since they were born and has often put their needs before her own. Not only is she a genuinely good person, but she is also a well read and very articulate lady who can converse at length about a multitude of topics from the likes of art to politics, literature to football. She is just a wonderful person who I feel has made me a better person from just having had her in my life.
The above photograph is from my wedding day and to the right of the picture you can see 3 photo frames containing the images of 3 very special women in my life.
The first is my gran Marion. She was my step-dads mother and a women who over the years I grew very close with. She was a published writer, poet and a damn good cook. She had lived in New York & California and had an abundance of the most interesting life stories you have ever heard. She encouraged me to do well in school and helped with the majority of my English assignments. She was a fabulous lady & a very inspirational person in my life. I miss her dearly.
The middle picture is of my gran Rose. She was my maternal grandmother and was one of the most special women I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. Now when people think of their gran, they often think of an old lady, who likes to knit and play bingo. A lady who is old fashioned and set in her ways. This was not my gran Rose. She was the funniest, quirkiest, most outrageous gran you could imagine. She had a wardrobe full of clothes, shoes and coats that wouldn’t look out of place in a high end boutique. She was beautiful and never left the house without her face being made-up to utter perfection. She smelled of expensive perfume and she could party as long and as hard as any 18 year old I have ever known. She was just a brilliant person to know and such a fun lady to be around. She battled with cancer numerous times in her life and finally succumbed to the terrible disease at the very young age of 67. There is not a day goes by when I don’t think of her, and mourn the loss of her… even after 17 years.
The final picture in the far left is one of my husbands mum Julie. She was 38 years old when she was taken from us and it’s still one of the most shocking experiences of my life. She was an unconventional mum to my husband and his brother. She was their biggest supporter, their best friend and their confidante. The first time I realised how special she was, was when I had lost my gran Marion and I felt like my whole world had fallen apart around about me. She took the time to speak to me, comfort me and assured me with time that I would feel better. She was a wonderfully kind lady who we all miss very much.
So there you have it. These are the women in my life who inspire me the most, even if it wasn’t for as long a time as I’d have liked. I can only hope that everybody has women like them in their lives. I know for sure that my life has been a richer one for having had the privilege.
Happy International Women’s Day ladies… Keep inspiring us!!!

You’re Doing Your Best

Having a baby was not a decision that we took lightly. It was literally years of discussing the idea, weighing out the good and the bad points. Deciding when was the right time and then ultimately beginning the process of trying.

My husband and I have been together for 17 years. We were high school sweethearts and so we had a long time to make up our minds about having children. We started trying in our early 20’s. It didn’t happen.

We tried over and over again, reading all the books, buying the ovulation kits, visiting the doctor. You name it, we done it. We were successful on a few occasions getting that little line on the stick to appear but unfortunately none of them stuck.

I was plagued with “women’s troubles” from a young age and so was under no illusions that it would be a difficult journey, however I didn’t think it would be as hard as it was. After two clear cut miscarriages and another 2 suspected ones later, we fell pregnant. We had honestly given up hope that it would ever happen for us, but it did. It didn’t however go quite as we had planned and our son was born very ill and very prematurely.

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My boy spent 4 and a half months in hospital, growing from the tiny 1lb 9oz scoot that he was born as, to a healthy 8lbs 3oz when we left. It was a roller-coaster ride, and even more so when we got home.

Much like when we were trying to get pregnant, I had read ALL the pregnancy books. I bought the most expensive nappies and wipes available. Had all of the white and pale blue designer baby clothes washed, ironed and hanging beautifully in his nursery, which was fully decorated and already had a library’s worth of classic books housed neatly on the shelves.  I had bought and prepped all of the pots and containers for making my own pureed food and I had planned every step of the weaning process and how I was going to tackle it.

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Almost all of my planning and forethought was a complete waste of time. My son, having been a preemie had very sensitive skin, too sensitive for those expensive nappies and wipes I had purchased. His designer clothes ended up covered in vomit and poo stains. His nursery, albeit beautiful, wasn’t used for the first year of his life at home as he slept in his crib next to me every night. Those beautiful and expensive books I bought are now dust collectors, as he has very little interest in books due to his ASD. And those dinky little pots and containers I had bought for all the steaming and pureeing my own baby food, were thrown out when I realised that my ASD son was not only a VERY fussy eater but had several food aversions and food allergies too.

I bet you’re wondering what my point is?

Well it’s this… Give yourself a break!

Having a baby is the most wonderful, thrilling and heart wrenching time of your life. We build it up so much in our heads that it gets completely mind boggling. What they’re going to look like, when they’re going to speak for the first time, when they’ll take their first steps.

Then there’s the worries. How am I going to afford a baby, what if I can’t buy them those designer clothes, whats the best pram on the market, what if they don’t reach their milestones.

I may be a mummy to just my little boy, but he was my rainbow baby and so I believe I am a mummy to 2 other unborn angels. As well as this I have an enormous family and have been surrounded by babies my entire life. It doesn’t make it easier. Whether it’s your first time or you already have a team of tiny humans that scream mum at the top of their lungs… ITS HARD!

My boy is 2 and because of his condition, he has a very simple and structured lifestyle that my husband and I keep to. He eats pretty much the same breakfast every morning after his medication (porridge with fruit) and then its time to get dressed for the day.

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After that he’ll play on his own for a few hours – which basically means he runs around the livingroom pulling everything out of it’s place.

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He has lunch, if he’s in a good enough mood not to refuse it and then goes back to playing. When his daddy comes home from work at 5.30pm we have dinner together and then it’s bath time.

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This is followed by some cuddling on the couch before he gets dried and has his skin moisturised. We’ve recently added Vicks BabyRub into the mix before bed. Matthew has trouble getting to sleep at night and this product is not only moisturising but is a soothing comfort for babies. It contains extract of Aloe Vera and fragrances of Rosemary & Lavender, all soothing scents. We use it on his chest and tummy and it definitely makes a difference. Matthew goes off to bed much more relaxed and ready for sleep.

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By the time the bedtime routine is done and over with my hubby and I are exhausted. We, as parents run ourselves ragged all the time… making sure every single detail in our child’s’ life is perfect when in actual fact their needs are so very basic.

So here’s what’s important… And by important I mean this is all that your baby needs.

  • love – kisses, cuddles, singing them nursery rhymes… you name it, just lots of it.
  • clean/ warm clothing – even if that’s hand-me-downs from family members.
  • food – whether that’s a boob or a bottle – FED IS BEST.
  • a regular wash – in the bath or in the kitchen sink followed by a good moisturiser for their delicate little skin – we use Vicks BabyRub for Matthews chest & tummy and Epaderm for the rest of his body.
  • a roof over their head.
  • a registered GP – for when those snotty noses and high temperatures need more than Calpol.

That’s it. Everything else is just a bonus. When it comes down to it, all your baby really needs is your love, and if you love your child you will make sure they get everything else that they need.

I hope that any new first time mums reading this can take some assurances from what I’ve shared in this post. You can only do your best… And 99% of the time your best will always be good enough. I wish I was able to go back in time and tell myself the same thing… But alas, all I can do is learn from it and move on, making sure to give myself a break every now, pat myself on the back and remind myself that I’m doing the best I can…

And so are you!

Well done mamas!!!

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*This post is an entry for BritMums #VicksBabyRub Challenge, sponsored by Vicks BabyRub. Specially designed for babies aged 6 months and over, Vicks BabyRub is available at Boots, Superdrug, Tesco, Asda, Waitrose and all good pharmacy chains.    RRP £3.99.



Mothers Day Gift Ideas

So it’s a week away folks and if like me, you are stuck for ideas on what to buy your lovely mum, wife, mum-in-law, gran or other important motherly figure in your life then look no further. I have done some internet and high-street scouring and have come up with a few ideas to suit all budgets.  Hopefully these should suit any of the important women in your life and will let them know how much they mean to you.

So here goes:

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This is the Ted Baker Porcelain Rose Garden Toiletries Collection and you can get it from Boots for the bargain price of £25. There are loads of goodies inside the beautifully presented gift box including Body Washes, Body Lotions and even a beautifully soft and silky Eye Mask. The scent from each of the products in this collection is incredible. It’s the perfect gift for the lady in your life who enjoys a nice bubble bath, luxurious body lotions and the perfect nights sleep.

This is the Saharan Palette from Juvia’s Place. You can find it on Beauty Bay for £30 and it is the perfect gift for the makeup loving lady in your life. The colours are so pigmented and so creamy that you can literally sweep a makeup brush across your eye and your look is done. It’s simply beautiful. I’ve added a couple of photographs I took after my sister (a makeup artist) recently applied it to my eyes. You can see from these images just how pigmented the colours are.

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Books are always a good shout… That’s if they’re into/ have the time to sit down and read a book. But these ones in particular I’ve found wonderful. For the sake of a laugh and to enjoy some hilarious levels of honesty, The Unmumsy Mum is the winner. Both of her books will leave the mum in your life with a sore belly from laughing and quite possibly a reason to exercise their pelvic floor muscles to prevent pee leakage in the future. It’s currently £3.99 on Amazon. Happy Mum Happy Baby is another great account of the real and often heartbreaking circumstances around trying to get pregnant. It’s written by the brilliant Giovanna Fletcher (other half of Tom Fletcher from McFly and sister of Mario Falcone of TOWIE). Its currently £4 on Amazon. Finally I can’t recommend Fearne Cottons Happy & Calm enough. They both deal with Mental Health in the most refreshing and enlightening way. They are perfect for someone who sometimes struggles with life, as well as someone who has their “Sh*t together”. Simply put… they are like Yoga in book form, and you can get them from £3.99 on Amazon.

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This is the Soap & Glory Hello Super Spa Set and who doesn’t love Soap & Glory??? This scrumptious set costs £21 on Amazon and contains the following items:

  • The Righteous Butter Body Butter
  • The Righteous Butter Creamy Body Wash
  • Sugar Crush Fresh & Foamy Body Wash
  • The Scrub of Your Life Body Buffer
  • Face Soap & Clarity Facial Wash
  • Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Gloss in Candy Queen!

Buy it now… Thank me later!

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So if Bath Products, Makeup and Books aren’t your mums thing, then you might find that this little tipple will do the trick. Premium Pink Distilled Gin… What a wonderful creation!

You can find this little beauty in Sainsburys for the bargain price of £16.50. Get it while you can, because it’s a popular drink at the minute and is often quite hard to come by.

No wonder… It’s DELICIOUS!!!

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And finally… Flowers!!! Who doesn’t love flowers?!?! They’re pretty to look at, they smell incredible and if your mum is anything like me, the mere the sight of a bouquet will make them feel happier. This particular bouquet is from Aldi, cost £8 and it is the very definition of Spring with Tulips, Hyacinth, Roses and Daffodils all bunched together to create the most intoxicating aroma you can imagine.

Flowers are sometimes the easy option, but if like me they just love flowers then there’s nothing wrong with going down this route.

The important thing to remember when shopping for this special day and the special mum/ motherly figure in your life, is that you have to get them something that shows how much you care. If that’s an expensive Spa Day with Champagne and you’re able to stretch to that size of budget then by all means go ahead. If you’re cash poor and can afford nothing more than a nice card with some heartfelt words written on the inside then that’s perfect too.

Just remember it’s the thought that counts, and it really doesn’t matter how much money you spend. As long as you put thought and effort into whatever you do, your mum will be grateful regardless.

D x


Being Brave

So I’ve decided to branch out with my blog and create a page on Facebook as well. When this all started it was a little Facebook Group where I was updating friends and family on what was going on with my son after he was born early.

Although not massive, it gained a fair amount of new followers, some were friends of friends and some were just strangers who had stumbled across my little part of the internet.

After almost 2 years on my little group, I decided to start this blog and instead of just speaking about Matthew, I made it a bit more personal to me as well. It was daunting sharing things about myself on Facebook, where all of my friends and family were able to so readily see it, so I wanted to be a bit more private with what I shared. This was the perfect platform for that.

However, after thinking about my goals for this year (or my “non-resolutions” if you will) I decided that 2018 will be the year when I finally stop caring about what other people think of me.

And so, with a nervous belly and lots of trepidation, I have created my own page on Facebook and I intend on sharing on it, the way I do here. All the ugly truths… as well as the more fun and silly posts I share. Everything!!!

So it would mean the world to me if you would follow me over there as well, if you use Facebook of course. The followers I’ve gained here have been immensely supportive of me and I can’t thank you all enough for that.

I’m excited about this little venture… It’s not a big deal to most people, but to me it’s massive!

Facebook Page – The Preemie Mummy