Finally Having Confidence to Share My Beautiful Angel Baby

I set up this blog as a way of expressing my emotions, to try and help me deal with how I felt about certain topics and experiences. I never in a million years thought that I would use it to open up about the horrendous time of my life, June 2014.

Why have I decided to write about this? … because I find it impossible to talk about still. Sat here writing this, is one of the most difficult things I have ever done.

Myself & my partner had found out that we were expecting our first child together, we were over the moon! I already had my daughter from a previous relationship, and finding out that I was going to have my second child meant so much to us all, especially after a shitty few years.

Finding out about our pregnancy just before the start of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil meant that I would be going solo to my first midwife appointment, as the other half had booked to go to Brazil.  He was so excited for this, being a huge football fan! Obviously, I would miss him like crazy, but it wasn’t for long and I planned to keep myself busy until he got home.

A couple of days before he left, I was 7 weeks pregnant at this time, I started to get sharp pains in my stomach. To any pregnant woman, this is the scariest feeling ever!

I rang my midwife and was advised that as I had no bleeding, just to monitor how strong the pain was, and if it worsened, or any blood loss, to ring back. A few hours later, we had gone around to my parents house with my daughter for a nice Sunday afternoon with the family before my partner flew Brazil. I was still aware of the cramping pain, and was finding it really difficult to hide my fear and anxiety, despite trying to put on a smile and enjoy the afternoon. Without going into too much details, i went to the bathroom and found that I had started to lose blood. I couldn’t believe (or maybe just didn’t want to believe!) my eyes …. ‘Why me? Why is this happening? What does it mean? Is my baby okay? What do I do?!’ … I was petrified!

I went downstairs, and pulled my Mum to one side. ‘Mum, you can get bleeding during your pregnancy and still be absolutely fine can’t you? It doesn’t mean that anything is wrong does it?!’ … I will never forget the look on my Mums face. ‘Ring the hospital Laura, you need to be checked straight away!’ Of course this was too much for me to hear and I broke down. It’s normal to think the worst, and I had all sorts running through my head.

All I remember people saying to me was ‘Don’t worry, it’ll be okay, try not to think the worst.’ – I know that it is difficult to say ‘the right thing’ at times like this, but I honestly wanted to slap anyone saying this to me!

I called the early pregnancy ward and was advised to go in straight away to be examined. My heart was racing and the tears wouldn’t stop, as much as I wanted to be brave and try and believe that this was just a silly mistake. My partner and my sister came to the hospital with me. I still remember the journey. Meant to take about 31 minutes, felt like about 131 minutes!

I arrived at the hospital, and walking from the car park to the ward felt like an eternity. I felt like everybody that I walked past was staring at me, and I had this overwhelming urge to scream and shout and anyone who so much as looked in my direction. I walked up to the reception desk, and was asked ‘Hi, are you okay? What’s the problem?’ … having to explain this sensitive subject at the desk, in front of a crowded, silent waiting room,  was so difficult. I gave up talking and just turned my back to the desk to hide my tears. I am an emotional person at the best of times, but I am also a very private and proud person, and find it impossible opening up. Once we had managed to string a sentence together which made any sense at all, the receptionist responded ‘Is it urgent, it’s Sunday so there is no scanning available, and there is a long wait as you can probably tell by the amount of people here?’ …

Well that question certainly shocked me! ‘Is it urgent? Are you for real?! Of course it is otherwise I wouldn’t be here would I ?!’ To which she responded ‘Take a seat and wait for your name to be called then Please.’

The lack of empathy, the stone cold attitude and sheer ‘couldn’t give a shit!’ response of this ‘woman’ will stay with me forever.

I don’t expect a big cuddle and pat on the back, but a little bit of compassion wouldn’t have gone a miss.

I waited for just over an hour, and then was called through to one of the rooms. I again had to explain what had happened. I don’t think I even managed to get two words out, and my other half had to explain for me. She said that she would need to examine me and check if the neck of the womb was open or closed to determine if I was losing our baby.

People say that once you have had a baby, you lose all of your dignity and don’t care who looks ‘up there’, but this was not the case for me. As already explained, I am such a private person, and this was such a huge step and so hard for me to do.

My partner asked if I wanted him to leave the room. I felt awful but I said yes. I didn’t want him to have to hear the nurse possibly tell us that we were losing our baby. We had both been so excited! I felt like such a let down to him if I couldn’t even carry our baby properly.

I was examined, she looked at me and asked if I wanted my partner to come back into the room before she explained her findings. ‘I’m losing it aren’t I?! I know it!’ … She sat us both down and said that my cervix was closed, and that this was a really good sign! It meant that I wasn’t having a miscarriage! Our baby was going to be okay !!! I cannot explain how that made me feel! We were over the moon! We rang the family to tell them the amazing news, and then went back home and enjoyed the rest of our Sunday evening together.

 

A few days later, and the other half set off for Brazil for the World Cup! How exciting!! I tracked his flight, (in a caring and non stalkerish way) and although I felt sick at how much I missed him after such a short space of time, I was happy for him that he was getting to go on this amazing adventure of a life time.

I woke up the following morning, and remember walking back into the lounge with what used to be my morning brew, extra strong tea, no sugars, instead I had changed for Lemon Green Tea, in my attempt to cut out caffeine from my diet.  I got a strong shooting pain down my side and it took my breath away. Not again! … I can’t possibly be getting more of those cramps!! I ran straight tot the bathroom and expected to be losing more blood, but there was nothing. I had a shower and got myself dressed, and the pains continued. I decided that enough was enough, and rang my midwife. I was hesitant to ring straight away, because I didn’t want the same reaction from the hospital as last time ‘Is it urgent?’ I spoke to my midwife and she told me to go to the hospital to be checked out.  All of my family were at work, and again I didn’t want to be an inconvenience. So my friend came to the hospital with me.

I had been totally put off the hospital I had been to a few days earlier, and was scared to even go back there, and so went to a different hospital. The staff this time were lovely! So caring and understanding, and it helped to relax me with their constant reassurance and I was glad that I made the decision to go to this hospital instead.

They took me to a ward, and felt my tummy. They said it felt okay, and so wanted to scan me just to make sure baby was happy and everything was well. They had given me morphine to ease the pain, the physical pain should I say. It did nothing for my worry and upset obviously. I had limited contact with my other half, partly because he was in another country, but mainly due to the signal that I had in the hospital on my mobile, so I was ringing and texting to keep him updated with what was happening, as and when I could.

There was quite a long wait. My Mother in law came to see me as soon as I told her what was happening. This was quite weird for me, as my previous ‘Mother in Law’ was an absolute waste of space and we didn’t get on at all! So for my now Mother in Law to come and see me, in hospital, meant a hell of a lot! She knew that obviously my partner was in Brazil and was unable to get to me, so came on his behalf and gave me a big hug. She left shortly after, and I promised I would keep everyone informed. I told my friend to go home too, as she had children of her own to look after and collect from school., and I felt bad making everyone wait around for me.

So my wait continued.

I was seen by various nurses, gynecology teams and consultants. They had now explained that they thought that I was having an ectopic pregnancy. The fear and realisation that again, I might possibly never meet my baby kicked in. I was heart broken, and felt so alone. Why had I told everyone that I didn’t need them? Why did I insist that they all go home?

I remember watching the clock alllllll day! Finally at 7:25pm, they came to tell me that they had managed to fit me in for an internal scan to check on baby, and see if I was having an ectopic pregnancy. Lay there, in the darkened room, with no one to hold my hand, I was a nervous wreck and was shaking like a leaf. Then finally, on the screen I saw it, my little babies beating heart! Everything was as and where it should be, and baby had a lovely happy and healthy heartbeat! She told me that I was 7 weeks and 6 days pregnant. I was grinning like the Cheshire cat and couldn’t wait to get myself back to the ward and ring my partner and the rest of the family to let them know that baby was absolutely fine!

I was discharged and made my way home, skipping all of the way! Finally, I had the reassurance that I needed. Our beautiful little baby, a happy healthy heartbeat and a ‘normal’ pregnancy. I got home and gave my little girl the biggest squeeze of her life.

With my partner now home, we got on with everyday life and counted down the days until our scan.

Wednesday 16th July, it was finally here, my partner would finally get to see our baby wriggling around on the screen. I told him what to expect and said that with my first born, I had expected to see nothing but ‘a blob’ on the screen, but it was amazing how clear you could actually see them!

I sometimes think how hard it must be for men to emotionally connect with pregnancy. A woman obviously carries the baby, and boy do you ‘feel it’ during pregnancy, but you have an automatic connection to your unborn child from the second you see the positive on that pee stick! One that you can’t really explain. It is just the most surreal and amazing feeling in the world!

But I felt like this scan would be ‘that moment’ for my other half. He could finally see how real this was and see our little creation for the first time.

We had to have our scan at the first hospital I had attended, as this was where we had booked in for our pregnancy. The journey back to this hospital for me was quite hard to deal with. I was full of mixed emotions, over the moon that we were going to have a sneaky peak at our baby, but also remembering the last time I had done this trip and the fear I had felt. I was so glad that I had my other half to hold on to.

We arrived & sat waiting patiently. The wait for scans during pregnancy is never pleasant, and seems to be a life time! We were called through to the scanning room. Eeeeeeeeeek! So excited ! I more a less ran through and jumped on the bed, pulled up my top and couldn’t wait. On went the cold gel, and the sonographer began to move the doppler around on my tummy. I stared eagerly at the screen. Then she removed the doppler. Strange, I thought, she hadn’t even asked me or my partner to look and hadn’t pointed out ‘This is babies head, here is the legs, this is a little hand’ How odd! …

‘I’m really Sorry but there is no heartbeat.’

Even just typing that, it is a moment that I will never ever forget. I can still hear her saying it over and over in my head. It is like a nightmare that I can’t wake up from. She must be wrong! I had seen the baby and the happy heartbeat a few weeks earlier and our baby was doing fine! I sat up and wanted to run out of the room. ‘I need to have someone else come and just confirm it Laura, can you lay back down for me please?’ Oh yeah, you’ve just told me that my baby is dead, but of course, I will lay down on the bed and wait for one of your colleagues to come and confirm that for me, no problem! The second sonographer repeated the scan, cold gel, doppler and remove …

‘I am really Sorry Laura, I’m afraid there is no heartbeat. Can you see here, that is the fetus. Your baby stopped growing at about 9 weeks, I’m so sorry.’

I got up and wiped myself down, quickly grabbing all of my belongings. I wanted to get out of this hospital. Then they explained that I had to sit in the waiting room to be seen by a doctor before leaving.

They ushered us out of the scanning room, at the same time another sonographer was bringing in the next happy, excited couple to have their scan and see their baby. I felt disgusting. It was like we were not important anymore. Our baby was dead and so we weren’t worthy of their time anymore. We were put in what I can only described as a ‘generous sized cubby hole’ … I was a mess. My partner was trying to console me and keep it together for me. We waited & waited & waited … but when you have just been told that your baby doesn’t have a heartbeat, the last thing you want is to be stuck in a tiny, little ‘room’ with the door open, opposite the scanning room, listening to excited couples about to and just after seeing their babies. It was pure torture. And so I ran. I made a run for the nearest exit. One of the sonographers shouted after me ‘Laura, you can’t leave, you need to wait!’ …

Why the hell should I?! They couldn’t bring my baby back to life, and I didn’t want to be surrounded by all of these happy, pregnant people. It was hell! My partner explained that I wanted to get out and go home and arranged for the doctor to give me a ring once I was home. I can’t remember much about the drive home if I am honest. I do remember stopping off at my Mum’s shop, for what should have been such an exciting time, I should’ve been stopping off to show her the scan picture of her new Grandchild. Instead, my other half said the words,’They couldn’t find a heartbeat.’ My legs gave way, and i just fell to the ground outside of her shop. I cried hysterically and just didn’t know what to do. I felt lost, hurt, upset, useless and like I had let my partner down massively.

My partner and my Mum took me into the shop and I can just remember them holding me and saying nothing. My Dad rung as well to see how our scan had gone, and I could hear my Mum explaining. I didn’t know what to do. It was like I had been punched a million times over. The pain is one that you honestly cannot explain, and I genuinely wouldn’t even wish on my worst enemy.

Once I was home, the doctor called and spoke to my partner. I couldn’t speak to anyone. I closed up and just wanted to shut the world away. They explained that I had had what is called ‘A Missed Miscarriage’.  This was why I hadn’t had the usual sign of heavy blood loss, and why upon inspection, my cervix was closed. This was evil, and cruel, and I had never heard of this before now. What a mean and twisted way to lose my baby, without giving me the obvious signs as a ‘heads up’.

I couldn’t believe it, and kept flicking between the pain and torture, and then denial.  They must have gotten it wrong. I had seen my baby! I had seen the heartbeat! I hadn’t had any more pains or cramps or bleeding. They had made some kind of mistake.

 

But once explaining to my partner what everything meant, they gave us options …

(1) I can either wait for my baby to pass naturally from my body, but they can’t tell me when that would be.

(2) I could take a pill which would ‘encourage’ the passing of our baby.

or

(3) I could have what is called a D & C (Dilation and curettage). This is a procedure to remove tissue from inside the uterus.

 

They wanted to take what was left of my baby. I couldn’t come to terms with it at all. That morning, I was all excited and super happy to be going to see our beautiful little baba, and that afternoon, doctors were discussing how to remove what was left of my baby as soon as possible to avoid risk of infection. I don’t know if it was denial or just my emotions being all over the place, but I didn’t want them to take my baby out. This would mean that it was real, it had actually happened, and I was no longer growing my baby inside of me. Either way, I refused. There was no way I was letting them do this!

My poor partner, who at the end of the day, was going through the same pain as me, was so supportive and explained how important it was for me to go and get checked out. I couldn’t let myself get ill by increasing the risk of infection, I needed to stay strong for my little girl.

The next morning, we were asked to return to the hospital. The journey was long, again. And then we arrived, we asked for directions of where this specific department was where we needed to be. Little did I know that it would share a waiting room with all of the lovely, heavily pregnant women who were there for their antenatal checks!

Yes, I was at the hospital to have my baby removed, and they sat me with all of these gorgeous baby bumps! I couldn’t cope with it at all, and ran out of the hospital. Why the hell would a hospital be so inconsiderate?! Do they not take into account how it feels to have lost your baby, and be there to discuss ‘your options’ of removing your baby, and at the same time, looking at how happy and healthy and perfect all these growing bumps are?! It is sick if you ask me!

The other half was right by my side, and somehow talked me into coming back in to the hospital and we waited for our appointment. Eventually, my name was called, and we went into the room. The doctor, who did not have English as his first language, said, ‘Alright, so you have had some sad news, it’s okay though!’ … no, it really isn’t ‘okay’, I am far from ‘okay’…

He explained all of the options available to us, and also our options of what to do with our baby afterwards. We were told we could either sign for our permission for the hospital to ‘Discard of the remains’, or we could ‘take the fetus away with us.’

He gave us a few minutes to talk privately. We spoke about how it was best for me if we opted for the D & C, as it may bring a certain amount of closure to the situtation and help me start to deal with the loss. If I am 100% honest, I was still telling myself that they were wrong, and that my baby would’ve made its own way out of my body if there was something not right. To me, my baby was still alive. Of course, this wasn’t the case, and I was just giving myself false hope and clinging onto a baby that had already grown its angel wings and was so cruelly taken from us.

The procedure itself, physically was fairly straight forward, and I wasn’t awake throughout, which was definitely for the best. I remember coming back around after the operation, and that realisation hit. I no longer carried my baby. My baby was no longer part of my body and had been removed and taken away from me. It may sound daft, but it is like I never got to say bye. I had met my baby, I had watched the flutters of its beating heart, and I was already so attached to them.

I couldn’t wait to leave the hospital. It carried nothing but terrible memories for me. The staff had been so heartless, showed absolutely no compassion to our situation and dismissed us like we meant nothing. From the moment of ushering us out of the scanning room and sticking us in a little room and leaving us there to think over and over again about what they had just told us, to torturing us and making us sit in a waiting room full of bumps and babies whilst waiting for ours to be taken from us.

I have never returned to this hospital, even for my following pregnancies I was encouraged by midwives to book in there, but couldn’t bring myself to it.

From leaving the hospital, I had no follow up checks or appointments or calls, nothing, not one person from the hospital thought to check if we were okay, how we were coping with our loss. I feel like unless your baby is born or past a certain stage of pregnancy, then you are just expected to ‘get on with things’ and like you haven’t actually lost anything, as you never ‘had it in the first place,’ This is totally incorrect obviously.

I remember a few weeks later, having a family meal and my baby niece getting passed around the table, I struggled big time to even be around her, which sounds awful, but then she was passed to my partner. It is a picture which I can never forget, he looked so perfect holding her, the way he looked at her, he looked so natural. I should’ve been able to give him that, and I had let him down. I had to leave.

Even still to the day, I know I haven’t dealt with our loss. It pains me to be writing this, but given that it is ‘Baby Loss Awarness Week’, it felt like the perfect time for me to try and make a start on being honest with my feelings.

This year, charities running ‘Baby Loss Awareness Week’ want to talk about better bereavement care for people affected by pregnancy and baby loss. This is so important, and could help so many people out there. They believe that there should be high quality bereavement support services and care available for everyone wherever they live in the UK. Everyone should have the chance to have the support they need, when they need it, for as long as they need it.

I definitely bottle up my feelings when it comes to our baby loss. I find it so difficult to talk about how I feel even now.

Yes, I have 3 other beautiful, healthy, amazing children, but it doesn’t ever replace that feeling of loss and pain. I often sit and wonder about if it would’ve been a girl or a boy, what they would have looked like, what they would have been into. I remember my baby every single day, i can still see the fluttering heart on the screen, and each year on what would’ve been their birthday sit and think how we should be celebrating.

Then I feel guilty because I had fallen pregnant with our son, when I should’ve still been pregnant with out first child, so I start to think how he wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for our loss, so how dare I be so upset?

I feel awful when I think of how I treated the people closest to me at the time. I snapped at people because they didn’t react the same way as me. Shouted at them because they didn’t cry and show their emotions like I did, told them they obviously didn’t care because they weren’t expressing themselves like I was. I have learnt that everybody reacts differently, and just because they don’t cry and kick and scream and shout, doesn’t mean that they don’t care. That is just ‘their way’ of dealing with the pain.

 

This is a pain that will never go away and even now sitting here writing this, I don’t know what to do next or how to deal with how I feel, how do I cope with all of the questions that I will never be able to answer, and will I ever feel like I can talk about my loss with my family or friends? Right now I feel selfish, because although we all suffered, I was the only one to see my baby alive and healthy and so how can anyone else ever understand my pain? Everything was ‘fine’ and ‘normal’ and ‘healthy’, what did I do wrong between then and losing our baby? Was it my fault? Was it because of the stress and upset I put myself under because I worried too much? Did I cause this loss …

 

It is SO important that awareness is raised of pregnancy and baby loss, and that the correct support and aftercare is provided for people needing this.

I feel massively let down by the staff at our first hospital, and although I understand that cuts have been made to the NHS, and may not be entirely their fault, little things like compassion go a long way and mean a lot to people in situations such as ours, their actions and attitudes are inexcusable.

 

Don’t suffer in silence and don’t ever feel like you are alone x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bashed for Bottle Feeding Baby …

Well, it seems that glamorous, new Mummy, Amy Childs, comes under fire again.

Can she do anything right at the moment?

First she was criticised for appearing to be using diet shakes only days after giving birth to Daughter Poppy., this was not the case.

Now she is getting scrutinised for posting a photograph on her Instagram of bottle feeding her baby.

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Credit: Instagram – @amychilds1990

Now some people don’t see an issue with this Mummy & Daughter pic and are full of compliments towards how well she is looking.

Whereas others, ‘The Mum of Year Brigade’ as they have been labelled on social media, have attacked the glamorous Mum for being ‘Neglectful.’

Reading this really drives me mad if I’m being completely honest.

Remember when ‘The Brelfie’ was trending, breastfeeding Mum’s were slammed for being exhibitionists and apparently rubbing it in other parent’s faces that they were unable to breastfeed.

They weren’t criticised for being ‘Neglectful’ for taking a selfie during feeds.

Yet a bottle feeding Mother, taking a harmless photograph of herself and her Daughter, sharing a moment, and suddenly all hell breaks out and she is the worst type of Mother going?

Personally, I am a breastfeeding Mother, and do I think she is neglectful? No!

I think she probably just thought, perfect opportunity for a nice selfie, whilst enjoying the sun in Ibiza with her baby.

Trolls have accused her of ‘wasting valuable bonding opportunities with her baby.’

Now come on, if we are all being honest, who hasn’t taken their eyes of their child whilst either bottle or boob feeding? … and if you can’t put your hand up and admit the fact that you may have either browsed Facebook or done a bit of online shopping, or even just replied to those texts that you’ve been struggling to get two minutes to reply to, then you’re a liar!

Don’t get me wrong, I have spent more feeds staring down lovingly at my baby girl than I have playing Candy Crush, and Amy has probably spent more feeds cradling her baby than her mobile phone, so give it up keyboard warriors.

Why should she be publicly slammed for her selfie?

Leave the poor girl alone!

She looks absolutely amazing, and if I had a body like hers 3 months after giving birth, I’d be papping myself doing every task imaginable.

It’s not like she was using one of these disgusting ‘Bottle-holders’ …

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Now, they are vile, and damn right lazy!

I have 3 children, and if I didn’t have the time to sit and feed my baby, I wouldn’t have had another child in the first place, cause let’s face it, you wouldn’t have time for sex either right?

 

 

 

Life Unfairly Lost After Confronting Louts

Well, it’s not often that I have to disagree with my Mum (anything for a quiet life!) but a few weeks back, we got into a discussion about confronting yobs outside your property and what we would do if this happened to us.

My Mum has known me for 31 years, and so has a pretty good idea on my personality by now.

She had brought up this subject to try and warn me about the dangers of challenging antisocial behaviour.

We live in Manchester  and back in August 2007, not too far from us, a father of three, Garry Newlove, had confronted a group of teenagers outside of his home in Warrington after suspecting they were vandalising his wife’s car.

Garry was beaten to death as a result of this, leaving his Wife and three daughters without a husband and a Dad.

More recently, just over 24 hours ago in fact, Mike Grimshaw, a young father from Sale Moor, was stabbed to death after approaching a group of yobs outside of his house, and asking them to keep the noise down.

Mike was stabbed in the neck and left for dead.

Neighbours tried desperately to save him, but unfortunately, his injuries were fatal.

Since, a 16 year old has been arrested and is being questioned regarding the murder.

 

So yet again, the question arose, ‘What would you do if a group were outside your property causing trouble or being loud?’ ‘Would you ignore them?’ ‘Would you call the police?’ or ‘Would you go outside and deal with them yourself?’ …

When I first had this chat with my Mum, I stuck to my guns. I was adamant that, as I have in the past, if there was a group causing annoyance outside my house, or vandalising my property, I would be straight out there telling them to politely ‘Do one!’

I have never really been the shy and retiring type, and if something needs saying, I am not afraid to speak out.

If someone is destroying something I have worked hard to pay for, or in some cases, still paying for, like hell am I going to let some low life scum bags damage that for their own amusement.

Likewise, if they were to be loud and disrespectful, causing any disturbance to my children sleeping perhaps, I’d be out there, telling them to keep the noise down, or go and make a racket elsewhere!

In the words of my lovely Mother ‘This is why I worry about you being a stroppy cow! You are not frightened of challenging people but I bloody wish you were!’

 

Well, Mummy dearest may have gotten what she wished for.

Myself and my partner were discussing this last night, after the sad news yesterday of Mike Grimshaw.

Why is this happening time and time again? How is it fair that people are losing their lives after standing their ground to these delinquents?

Maybe the best thing is to just let them do what they want and get away with it?

After reading about all of the incidents in the news, it does make you think, maybe I am best just turning a blind eye, or depending on the severity, ringing the police and waiting for them to deal with it.

Is it really worth your children being left without a parent? …

 

I have to say, sadly times have changed.

Where as in the past you could’ve stood up for what you believed in and perhaps dealt with these thugs yourself, nowadays it is just not worth the risk.

If you are ever in doubt, ring 101 (Non-emergency police number) or 999 if it is an emergency.

Never feel like you are wasting police time by reporting antisocial behaviour.

It is a crime! Sadly sometimes a crime which costs lives.

 

 

Deadly Kiss: Is Kissing your child on the lips really such a bad thing?

With the newspapers reporting this week that a 18 day old baby has died after contracting Meningitis HSV-1, we are yet again asking the question of, is it right or wrong to kiss your child on the lips?

Parent’s, Nicole & Shane Sifrit, are warning other’s not to let people kiss your baby after they tragically lost their daughter, Mariana earlier this week.

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HSV-1 is the virus that causes cold sores, but rarely does it lead to viral meningitis, according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

They describe the early symptoms of the virus to include sleepiness, nausea, fever, lack of appetite and headaches.

Babies younger that one month and those with weaker immune systems are more susceptible to the illness.

Many people harbour HSV without ever knowing they have it. Since they can transmit the virus without having symptoms, infection can be spread unknowingly to contacts.

Nicole told WHOtv.com: “Don’t let people kiss your baby and make sure they ask before they pick up your baby.”

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Personally, I had never thought twice about kissing my children on the lips, and have to admit, it is something I always do.

I never saw an issue with showing affection to my children and smothering them in kisses.

If I am honest, it does make me cringe slightly when I see other people kissing my children on the lips, especially after the stories recently of how poorly it can make children, and worst case, even resulting in death.

Many celebrities, including Katie Price, Jennifer Garner & Sarah Jessica Parker, have all been papped kissing their children on the lips.

It has hit the headlines quite a few times recently, after both Victoria & David Beckham shared photographs on social media kissing their 5 year old daughter, Harper.

Now again, when this all blew up, I jumped straight to the defence of The Beckhams. ‘Why should a father have to defend himself for kissing his daughter?’ ‘Why should any mother be criticised for sharing a loving picture of her and her daughter kissing whilst wishing her a Happy Birthday?’ …. it was ridiculous!

Infact, I wondered why the hell it had even crossed anyone’s mind that this was ‘so wrong’?

David replied to the negativity he had received by explaining that he and Victoria are ‘always very affectionate towards our brood’.

And why the hell not?!

Well, Dr. Charlotte Reznick, a psychologist at the University of California UCLA said
“A ‘peck’ on the lips from parents can cause confusion.
If you start to kiss your kids on the mouth when they are young, when do you stop? It’s extremely confusing.
Children grow up and stop being babies. When they reach 5 or 6 years old they become aware of their bodies and sexuality. Reznick said they can actually become stimulated by a kiss on the lips.”

What an absolute load of crap! I’m Sorry, but show me any documentation, the slightest bit of proof that backs up that kissing your child on the lips can lead to problems later on in life.

Dr. Fiona Martin from Sydney Child Psychology Centre is in total disagreement with the Reznick, and thinks it’s absurd that parents kissing their children on the lips can be considered sexual. “It is normal and healthy to show affection for your children. You are communicating to your children that you love them,” Martin explained to a local newspaper of Australia.

Likewise, Dr. Heather Irvine-Rundle, suggests that Dr. Reznick’s conclusion is outrageous. “It does not take into account relationships that are safe and trusting. There is nothing sexual about kissing a baby on the mouth.”

I understand that some parent’s do not believe in kissing children on the lips due to fears of contracting diseases such as Herpes & Meningitis, that I can totally sympathise with.

It has made me reconsider whether I should be kissing my children on the lips? But truth be told, its a natural thing to me and my partner and I don’t think that is something you can just switch off instantly.

I was brought up in a very loving family environment, full of kisses and cuddles, and always wanted that same warmness for my family.

But saying that ‘we shouldn’t kiss our children as it is sending them mixed messages’ and ‘it is considered a sexual act’, I’ve never heard so much crap in all of my life!

It is yet again, a topic which divides us all.

Some people totally agree with the fact that we shouldn’t be kissing our children on the lips, and should stick to kissing foreheads and cheeks.

 

 

And equally, there are those of us who think, each to their own, and kissing a child on the lips is simply a show of affection.

 

 

What do you think? Kiss of death? Or just pure love for your children?

My view is that as parents, it is perfectly normal to want to kiss your child and show your love towards them.
But, I agree, do not let others kiss your children on the lips.
Explain your concerns if you are worried, and do what you think is best for your child.
No one can tell you right from wrong, that’s down to you to decide.

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The Summer Survival Guide …

The summer holidays are in touching distance, and whilst some parent’s are super excited (I know I am!), some parent’s find the long break from school quite a daunting prospect.

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Not necessarily because they don’t want to spend time with their children, but other stress factors which come hand in hand with this.

Including;

  • Childcare worries
  • Children complaining of boredom
  • Constant eating out of house and home
  • Injuries, bumps & other incidents
  • Travelling with kids (a pet hate of mine!)
  • Toileting inconveniences
  • … the BIG one …. the expense !!

The summer holidays needn’t be so worrying for parent’s.

These days, there is so much on offer for families, whether that be summer camps or daily events, the choice is yours.

Now, in Manchester, we don’t get ‘that many’ sunny days. So when we do, we like to make the most of them!

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You can choose to spend day’s at home, or go out for the day (depending on the mood of you, and your children).

My little one’s absolutely love getting a bucket of water and a pile of paintbrushes, and ‘painting’ the garden for me.

They paint patterns on the patio and up the walls, and even try decorating the cat (if he stays still for long enough!).

Other simple garden activities, that will keep little one’s occupied include;

  • Water guns – Buy a few cheap water guns at the start of the holidays, and keep them handy on the off chance we get any nice weather, fill them up, and let the children entertain themselves whilst burning off lots of energy!
  • Chalks – Once they have finished creating their masterpieces, it’s also fun to get the buckets of soapy water out afterwards and wash it all away, 2 activities in 1!
  • Dens – Give them some old bed sheets or blankets, and let them make dens. My eldest is obsessed with making dens, and this keeps her busy for hours!
  • Gardening – Supermarkets sell child sized gardening tools, which is a great way of encouraging them to help you with that tedious chore. Let them help with the weeding and planting some new flowers.
  • Washing the car – So simple, and does you a favour (whilst saving a few quid – or that’s the idea … I end up tipping my car cleaners which turns out more expensive than a cheap go in the car wash, but 9/10 the kids do a better job!)
  • Paddling pool – Again, buy one at the start of the holidays, and whip out first thing in the morning when the sun comes out. Keeps them happy all day.

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For those wet, miserable (typically Manchester) days, the kids can still enjoy a wide range of activities, such as;

  • Puddle jumping – My 6 and 2 year old, love nothing more than sticking on their wellies and puddle suits, and splashing around in the garden or at the local park. Peppa Pig and her little brother have a lot to answer for!
  • Library – My local libraries are running a really good selection of children’s activities and events over the summer break (Story/Rhyme time, crafts, animal handling, outdoor plays, Lego workshop’s, teddy bears picnics) and also offering children chance to sign up for a ‘Reading Challenge‘. This is a fun way to keep your little one’s interested in reading over the holidays, whilst gaining a medal and certificate at the same time. Winner, winner!
  • Museums – Take a visit to any local museums, find what your children may be interested in, and see if any are holding themed days or activities.
  • Check if you can visit your local fire station. Children love to watch real life superhero’s!
  • Most leisure centres are holding multi-sport camps each week. This solves childcare and boredom worries! Contact your local centre and check availability and timetables.
  • Life sized portraits – Stick a roll of paper to the floor, and draw around each other, cut them out, colour them and stick them up.
  • Slime – Make gloop, mixing cornflour and water, and add food colouring of your choice.
  • Baking is an old favourite
  • Decorate some cheap terracotta plant pots using paint or materials of your choice (shells, buttons etc).
  • Theme days – Encourage children to dress up and plan meal times around your theme.

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If you are feeling adventurous, or want a treat day out, they do not always need to break the bank. Try some of the following;

  • Get a play pass for your local theme parks (Gulliver’s World near me if offering special price ‘Summer Tickets’)
  • National Trust parks offer a huge range of children’s activities, including; outdoor Theatre days, Bear hunts, Craft Workshops and much more! Check the National Trust website for more information on your desired park.
  • Cheshire Ice Cream Farm – Free entrance, play passes bought from reception or can be booked online beforehand for different activities. Amazing place, lot’s to do for all ages and of course … delicious ice cream!
  • Zoo’s are always a hit! Knowsley Safari Park is one of our faves! Get up close to all of the animals, and afterwards, you can get out and enjoy the fairground rides or enjoy the sea lion show maybe? For all you brave people (crazy people in my opinion) there is also a bat house, where you can venture through and have the bats flying past you …. not my idea of fun, in fact, i almost knocked someone out the one and only time I braved this, by running so quickly past them, throwing my arms around! … but, each to their own.
  • Farm – Take the children to look at the farm animals and enjoy a picnic if the weather is kind.
  • Redhouse Farm, Chesire – Famously known for the amazing ‘Maize Maze’, also offers bouncy castle fun, face paints, tractor rides and much more !
  • Chill Factore – Offering ‘Snow Camps’ for children 6+, or you can take children of any age for a play in the snow activities. Wrap up warm and have lots of fun here!
  • Trampoline Parks – Offer special ‘Tot’s Time’ and also have lots of offers on during the summer. Local to us is Oxygen Freejumping, who are offering 20% off prices all summer, when booking online in advance, using code: FAMILIES20.
  • Trips to local parks (I have recently found Stamford Park, Stalybridge. We love it here as it has water fountains for the kids to run in and out of, sand pits and swings,slides etc. It is well maintained and a fab day out!)

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Things Not To Be Missed:

  • One Big Summer Weekend – Comes to Manchester Friday 28th July – Sunday 30th July – Exchange Square (Outside Selfridges), will include Clownfest, Food Festival, Live music, Flower shows & much more! 10am-6pm, free entrance, small charge for activities.
  • Beach on the Park – Heaton Park, Manchester. A giant beach is coming to the park. Will also include character appearances from Moana and Paw Patrol. Opening 22nd July, 12pm-5pm, for the whole of the summer holidays! Attractions will be priced individually or you can get an unlimited wristband for the day, for £8.99.
  • National Play Day – Torkington Park, Hazel Grove. Will have Face painting, Arts & Crafts, Sport Skills and refreshments!
  • Barton Square Beach – The beach is open now until 25th August and is free of charge. Offers activities such as; Water walkers, Boats, Bumper Cars & much more!
  • Sunday Funday – Manchester Airport Viewing Park – Every Sunday, 11am-5pm – offers bouncy castles and lots of children’s activities. Free of charge but parking is pretty ridiculous on site so may be worth sussing out parking elsewhere or using public transport.
  • Trafford Centre Emergency Services Day – Returning to The Trafford Centre, August 3rd, 10am-4pm, let your children come down and meet the emergency service teams and hop on board fire engines, ambulances and even have a nosey in a police car.

 

So, all in all, no reason for splashing the cash everyday and certainly no excuse for boredom. ENJOY the summer holidays and remember, to help you stay sane …

  1. Always plan a day ahead.
  2. Have a picnic ready for any hot days.
  3. Always save messy play for an hour before bed, that way they can be bathed straight away, and ready for bed!
  4. Plan ‘Lazy days’ once a week. It is fine to have days at home, don’t pressure yourself to always be out spending money. I used to think I had to be somewhere everyday, doing something different, but sometimes kids just like to entertain themselves and have ‘free days’.
  5. Invite friends around, other wise you might go a bit stir crazy without any adult conversation.

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But most of all, ENJOY and HAVE FUN! Quality time with children is what they remember, not how much you spent!

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Thank you xx

 

Dinos ‘Don’t Quite’ Soar at Jurassic Kingdom …

As you may have already noticed from previous posts and pictures, we have a dinosaur crazy 2 year old.

So when we heard about Jurassic Kingdom coming to Phillips Park in Manchester, we were thrilled and instantly knew that we NEEDED tickets!

With our tickets booked, I took to the Jurassic Kingdom website to check out the selection of attractions.

The experience is described as ‘A spectacular outdoor dinosaur experience aimed at family audiences with over 30 impressive installations of animated dinosaurs with electronic moving parts. Animatronics include arms moving up and down, tails swaying side-to-side, heads moving up and down, eyes blinking and jaws opening wide with roaring sound effects. Making for a truly awesome educational and entertaining Jurassic experience!

With that in mind, we were eagerly counting the days …

FINALLY, today was the day!

We booked weekend tickets as we wanted to take our eldest (although, as a very girly girl, we weren’t sure how much she would enjoy it).

We kitted Ellis out in his favourite dinosaur t-shirt, hat and wellies (as true Manchester style, it was raining).

 

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And we were off!

Altogether, there was myself, my partner Justin, our 6 year old, 2 year old and 6 month old, and Nana & Grandad. So as you can imagine, it was not a cheap day out.

Tickets are slightly lower priced if you buy them online, and had cost us £63 in total, the youngest two got in for free.

The event offered free parking, which surprised me, but it was close to the park and we managed to find a space straight away.

We setup the pushchair for our 6 month old, and decided to brave the reins for the 2 year old. We followed the signs to the entrance, and walked with the crowds of people heading to see the ‘amazing animatronics’.

After carrying the pram down some stairs (Would’ve been fun if I had chose to go on my own!) we were inside the park.

We showed our printed out tickets, and headed into the actual exhibition …

The first thing that we came across was a small sit on dinosaur and a dinosaur egg which the little people could climb inside. There was a big queue of children, eagerly waiting to have their pictures taken on these, and of course, we had to join the queue.

No sooner had they climbed onto the dinosaur and inside the egg, there was an impatient parent pushing them out of the way to squeeze their child on, in order to hurry on around the rest of the exhibition.

We walked further down the walkway and came across a few more animatronics, Ellis was amazed!

He screamed with excitement and was very keen to give the Brachiosaurus a cuddle.

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Obviously we had to chase after him and stop him from going past the little blue rope surrounding it, and try to explain that he wasn’t allowed to touch the dinosaurs.

Telling a two year old that he can not get up close and personal to his favourite thing in the whole wide world, as you can imagine, wasn’t an easy task as we walked around the 30 animated dinosaurs.

We trudged further along the pathway, and in the distance saw the impressive looking T-rex.

Now this was what we had been waiting for.

Ellis’ best-loved friend!

He is forever screaming ‘T-REX, T-REX!!!!!’ whilst running around the living room, or walking around The Trafford Centre.

We pointed it out to him, and well, we didn’t quite get the reaction we expected …

 

He was absolutely petrified, and so after a few minutes of trying to encourage him, we gave in and said ‘Bye bye T-rex!’ like Ellis insisted.

We walked passed a Euoplocephalus, which if I’m honest, with his missing/broken eye, was looking his age!

There were a few Pteranodon located in the trees, which looked a lot more realistic than the other half-hearted efforts we had passed.

I mean, without being too graphic, the T-rex had genitalia to make it look life-like, yet they made no attempt to disguise the metal frame and cables which it was attached to.

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When looking on the website, the different dinosaurs are shown in their natural habitats.

Some are stood in sand, some surrounded by boulders and others in the middle of foliage.

It seems that on their travels around the world, they lost all of this, and just went with the basics, travelling light.

This just looked feeble in my opinion.

So far, I wasn’t impressed, as you may well have gathered.

It was as if every corner that you turned, you were expecting to come across the high light of the exhibition.

Upon reaching the half way point, there was a cove like area which had various food vendors and different activities, to wake the children up a bit.

There was a large sandpit, excavation area, where you could dig for fossils. This was a bit of a wash-out due to the wet weather.

There was a couple more smaller sized models which the children could climb inside (but again the wait time for these was much longer than a 2 year old is prepared to wait).

Also, in the centre of the field was a gruesome looking raptor attack. The kids obviously loved this, and it triggered one or two questions, but once again, the cables and socket covers were all on show, which really dampened the realistic look.

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We managed to find a table and sit down for a quick coffee and food stop.

The food was really nice, I was pleasantly surprised.

The 2 year old and 6 year old spotted a dinosaur which you could actually climb on, unlike the many others, which had signs stuck to their heads or chests, warning not to climb or touch (this didn’t really add to the authenticity of life-like dinosaurs but hey-ho!)

Walking over to the queue of the ride on dinosaur, we could see that there was an additional charge for this attraction, and again, the children got fed up of the wait, so we gave up, and continued our adventure around the park.

We passed some interesting signs, and more really ‘convincing’ looking models.

After seeing a couple more shoddy looking beasts, including a Carnotaurus and a Pachycephalosaurus, we were back at the T-rex, though this time Ellis decided it wasn’t so bad, and went for a closer look.

Result!

Overall, I was really disappointed.

I feel the whole experience was massively over hyped and for the price you pay, it isn’t much of a ‘Spectacular experience’ as described on their website.

I have summed up the highlights & the ‘not-so’ amazing points below:

The Good:

  • For dino mad ‘younger children’, you can’t go wrong. The dinosaurs move and make sounds, so it pleases the fans!
  • Free parking
  • Food vendors were good quality
  • There was a huge selection of animatronics, and they were spaced out so never felt too crowded.
  • The Manchester exhibition is situated right next to a park, and so after your walk around the event, the kids loved playing on here.

The Bad (and The Ugly!) :

  • The informative signs explaining dino-facts could’ve been more child friendly & colourful, as oppose to small print and no pictures.
  • The cables and bases of the models should’ve really been disguised as to ‘set the scene’.
  • There were a few of the attractions which had eyes missing and ride on’s which had been damaged, looked really poor and was dispiriting to see.
  • As an attraction for children, I would’ve liked to see more in the way of interactive exhibitions and perhaps allow the children to be able to touch some of the dinosaurs (Under supervision of course).
  • There was a 9D experience by the entrance, but yet again, this was an additional fee and ridiculous queues.
  • I pictured it, as it was described, as a festival type event. I assumed there would be face paint attractions and dinosaur balloons for sale … but there wasn’t any of this.

 

I wouldn’t go again personally, but if you have little children (I would say under 6 or 7), and you can find a discount code (there are a few available at the moment) then it’s worth giving a go.

The major downfall was the lack of authenticity. I just feel a bit more effort could’ve been made when setting up the dinosaurs habitat.

It was a nice way to start the summer holidays, but I wasn’t as amazed as I was expecting to be, and felt a little bit deflated afterwards sadly.

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Research Reveals That We Do Not Talk To Our Children Enough…

A recent poll carried out by family brand ‘Fruittella’, reveals that British relatives spend only 44 minutes a day talking to each other, despite spending more than 8 hours a day together.

The poll was put to 2,000 relatives of children aged 4-16 years old, and results alarmingly show that conversations between parent’s and children before school, last only 9 minutes.

During an evening meal, that extends to 11 minutes, and that’s for those who still make the effort to sit around a table together,  bedtime a further 10 minutes (Usually stalling tactics to delay bedtime) …

I know my 6 year old tends to leave it until bedtime to talk about really important matters, such as, “Mummmmmmmmmmm, you know today, a unicorn ran across the school field and we all had to all jump on an aeroplane, fly around the world and then walk back, but don’t ask my teacher, because she will say she can’t remember.”

 

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Unsuprisingly, 9/10 parent’s say they wish they could spend more time with their children than they currently do.

87% say they would like more meaningful chat on a regular basis.

Some parent’s even say that conversation with their children after school is just ‘impossible’ and usually only gets reactions such as; ‘I can’t remember’ ‘Not sure’ or ‘I don’t know’.

 

Generally, it is believed that early evening is the best time to get your child to open up and have a chat.

My little girl goes into great detail, and we have some really lengthy discussions before bed.

 

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She must think I was born yesterday, and am not aware of the fact that she is only telling me half of this stuff as it means she gets to stay up a bit later.

But, to be honest, I think I would feel really guilty if i didn’t stay to listen to the story of ‘Child A pushing Child B off the climbing frame’ or ‘How school had tried poisoning her with  witches food at lunchtime.’

 

 

A spokesperson for Fruittella said, “There is no greater pleasure than hearing about how they have made a new friend, a skill they have mastered or a funny thing that has happened’

 

Fruittella carried out the research to encourage parent’s to take an extra 2 minutes a day, to sit down with their children and chat about all the great stuff that they do that we don’t normally hear about.

 

I made a little jar for my children (only the eldest one really understands and makes use of it, but we encourage the toddler to join us too!) which contains question cards.

 

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She picks out three cards each night (we don’t ALWAYS get around to it to be fair, but we try our best if we are home) and this encourages fun conversation.

It beats the regular ‘What did you do today?’ ‘Who did you play with?’ and ‘What did you eat?’.

The cards include:

  • What is the best thing that you did today?
  • What was the funniest thing that happened today?
  • What games did you play at playtime today?
  • What made you smile today?
  • Did anything make you sad today?

 

Some days in our house, with three young children, it seems like a big rush to get everything done, a military operation almost, but conversation with your little ones is so rewarding and beneficial to both us as parent’s, and them as little tiddlywinks!

… and come on, what’s two extra minutes of your time? They’re not little for long, make the most of it I say.

 

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The Marvellous Miracle of Messy Play …

Messy play is often defined as ‘children using all of their senses in the process of exploration, especially the sense of touch, by offering different materials.’

Experts encourage messy play from birth to three especially, and say sensory stimulation is key to early learning.

 

Examples of messy play activities include;

  • Gloop (Cornflour & water)
  • Jelly
  • Shaving foam
  • Baked beans/ spaghetti/ pasta
  • Sand/ water
  • Ice cubes
  • Finger painting (edible paint can be used)
  • Playdough
  • Bubbles
  • Mud kitchen/ soil
  • Puddle play

 

 

 

As a qualified nursery worker with over 10 years experience, I have done my fair share of messy play, and now offer this to my children. We love every minute of it!

 

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Today, I did ‘Jelly play’ with my 6 month old.

I setup a small paddling pool, stripped her off to her nappy and let her loose!

She had a whale of a time.

 

 

 

I had a bath ready and waiting, so straight from the sticky mess to bubbly bliss (which again can be used as a messy play experience).

 

 

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Some adults find it quite stressful, and the fear of clearing up afterwards can be somewhat daunting.

 

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This shouldn’t deter parent’s,  the benefits (listed below) are absolutely incredible;

  • Children learn important information about the world around them.
  • Stimulates senses
  • Helps children to relax (parent’s not so much apparently!)
  • Enables children the opportunity to express their feelings.
  • Helps to develop hand/eye coordination & fine motor skills.
  • Builds on children’s confidence & self-esteem.
  • Allows children to investigate through their natural curiosity.
  • Great way to learn concepts, such as; hot, cold, full, empty etc.
  • Can encourage babies to try new foods (add food purees or new foods to highchair table and allow them the opportunity to explore for themselves)

 

As children get older, messy play can also help with counting, investigating space, measuring, questioning and naturally encourages children to use scientific processes to explore.

 

Adults need to remember that what can often look like a huge mess to us, is truly a great learning experience for a child.

 

Clinical psychologist, Claire Toi says,” A small child’s life is riddled with do’s and don’ts – how lovely for them to be presented with an activity that has no right or wrong way of doing things.”

… and what a fantastic way of putting it!

Children of all abilities can be involved with messy play, so no need for anyone to feel excluded.

 

Messy play classes are now on offer from organisations such as ‘Messy Monkey’s’ & ‘Splat Messy Play’ and can therefore be a great social opportunity too (for children, and Mum’s & Dad’s!)

 

The brain learns from body experiences, so get adventurous and get messy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Give Me Space’ – Parent-led campaign for safer parking facilities for families …

Back in October 2016, whilst 7 months pregnant with my third child, I was horrified to exit my local Tesco supermarket, return to my car and find that I couldn’t even open the doors.

It was just before 5pm, on a Tuesday evening.

I had done as I always do, and when arriving at Tesco, drove to the parent and child spaces, only to find that they were all occupied.

So, I drove around the car park and found a normal space, and parked up.

I had purposely chosen a spot which had vacancies either side, to lessen the struggle with an ever growing baby bump, a 16 month old child and a 5 year old to get out of the car.

I went inside the shop, got my shopping and exited the store.

Approaching my car, I realised a white van had parked next to me, and it seemed at a very unusual angle.

Once I actually reached my car, I could see that there was no possible way that I was going to be able to open either of the doors on my drivers side, which is where my son’s car seat was fitted.

 

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The van had parked on an angle with its rear end inches from my door.

 

 

I was furious. This person had parked a marked works vehicle in such a manner that there was no way anybody could’ve gotten into my car via the drivers side, let alone me being the size I was at the time.

So I decided to take some photographs and capture the company name and registration number.

I became stressed, as obviously, 5pm on a school night, the children were reaching ‘witching hour’ and I was keen to get home.

The only option I had, was to open my passenger side rear door, and ask my 5 year old daughter to climb over her car seat and sit her little brother in to his and attempt the complicated safety harness.

Luckily, Lilly was capable of doing this, although she became worried that she might not have fastened the seat belt correctly.

I then fastened Lilly into her seat. Phew, all in! …except me! The heavily pregnant woman with a big baby bump.

I had to climb over the passenger side seat, over the handbrake and gear stick, and finally into my seat, after putting unnecessary strain onto my bump.

I was so upset.

I sat for a moment to catch my breath and calm myself down before setting off for home.

Whilst stationary, I saw a workman returning to the van. I wasn’t going to just let him get away with what he had put me and my family through!

So I wound down my window and shouted ‘You haven’t parked very considerately have you?’

His reply ‘So?!’…. and he went to walk away.

I shouted again, ‘I have just had to struggle to get my children into the car whilst 7 months pregnant you idiot!’

He then spouted a load of obscenities, of which I won’t lower myself to repeat, and he attempted to maneuver his badly parked vehicle and reverse out of the spot, and sped away.

 

I was then able to get out of my drivers door, ensure Ellis was correctly fastened in to his car seat, and head for home, after what had been the most stressful shopping trip of my life!

 

This is unfortunately a very common problem which families and pregnant women encounter on a regular basis.

 

A parent-led campaign has been setup by business owner and mother of two, Lisa Roberts.

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The campaign titled ‘Give Me Space’, was created after Lisa suffered a similar experience to myself, and she thought ‘enough is enough!’

Lisa said: “When heavily pregnant I returned to my car to find that the cars either side of me had parked so close there was no way I could squeeze my bump through either gap. I was faced with trying to enter the car through the boot (impossible) or phoning my partner to come and rescue me. Not a great start to the day.”

After carrying out extensive research by conducting a study of 2,000 parent’s and caregivers, it revealed that 4 in 5 share her frustration and 83% would like the government to introduce change.

Lisa found that 90% of parents more often than not cannot find a free parent and child space.
Of those who can’t, 93 per cent then struggle to get their children out of the car safely, due to lack of space to remove car seats and pushchairs.

 

The figures are astounding!

What’s more, 52% of pregnant women who answered the survey said they have been forced to apply excessive pressure on their unborn children, by squeezing through tight gaps or climbing through their own cars.

The campaign is designed to bring together the views of affected families, which will be presented to government and urge them to introduce official recommendations regarding parent and child spaces in public car parks – similar to guidelines already in place for disabled drivers.

 

 

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Currently, there are no recommended guidelines as to how many parent-child spaces public car parks should have.

 

Whilst trawling social media sites, I found that not everybody agrees, and some even think there are ‘too many parent-child and disabled spaces’, and this is coming from ‘a serving U.K police officer’.

Also, people joking about how precious us parents get upon finding people parking in these spaces using excuses such as ‘not my fault I can’t park’.

 

 

‘Give Me Space’ simply ask for families to follow these three simple steps;

 

 

Surprisingly, it isn’t just supermarkets that have this issue.

I found that visiting Wythenshawe Hospital for my antenatal checks during pregnancy, that the spaces they offer are ridiculously narrow.

This is a very busy car park at the best of times, but even so, the small spaces make it very difficult for heavily pregnant mothers, of which they obviously see many of on a daily basis.

 

Something needs to be done, and ‘Give Me Space’ is working towards making this change happen with your support.

The spaces don’t even need to be close to the entrance, I would happily walk from the other end of the car park if it meant having more space for my children.

 

 

Have a read all about the campaign at http://www.givemespace.net and sign the petition to stop this on-going issue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Talking terrorism with children in the approach to peak holiday season …

Let’s face it, this is not a subject which we ever thought about discussing with our children.

But after the recent attacks around the U.K, terrorism is one of the most serious threats we face in the world today, and with holiday season fast approaching, police, the foreign office and the travel industry are telling British holiday makers to be alert and be prepared.

As a mother to a very inquisitive little 6 year old girl, terrorist attacks and threats were unfortunately something which I had to sit down with my partner and decide how best  to inform yet not scare her.

Thankfully, the other two are oblivious and just happy watching Baby TV or dinosaurs singing on YouTube.

 

It is terrifying enough for us, let alone little people with imaginations which work ten to the dozen about the simplest of things, such as ‘Which bow to wear in my hair today? Where shall I hide this dinosaur? Which toy should I chew first?’

 

 

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With a partner who is heavily involved in news and the goings on around the region, the Manchester bombing was something which effected our household massively.

Whilst constantly wanting to have the news on the second my other half left for work, so to keep an eye on everything happening, it was hard, because little eyes were around and I wanted to shield them from the horrific scenes and deeply upsetting appeals from family members looking for loved ones.

 

One part of me wanted to protect my children from the nastiness of the world, and thought ‘Ignorance is bliss!’, but then on the other hand, I was worried that my six year old would hear whisperings at school and become anxious and worried.

 

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A four minute film has been released this week, depicting a firearms attack at a hotel, which stresses to holiday makers to RUN, HIDE, TELL.

 

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It may seem self explanatory and pretty basic, but this could be life-saving advice.

 

The short film has received mixed views. Some say ‘Too much scaremongering’ ‘Making people scared to go on holiday’ and ‘Should we even mention this to our children?’

 

 

Personally, I wouldn’t show this film to anyone 11 or under.

So I took to the internet to see what alternatives were available, to aid parents in approaching this difficult matter.

 

I came across a book called ‘Please explain terrorism to me’, by author Laurie Zelinger.

 

 

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Zelinger is a certified phycologist and has a range of books which tackle sensitive everyday situations, and complemented with colourful artwork, explains new and frightening concepts, in an age appropriate manner, helping parents to reassure their children.

 

I love it ! I straight away purchased this and was really impressed with the strategic setup of the book.

Dr. Zelinger provides parent coaching to further the dialogue in her P-E-A-R-L-S of Wisdom section (Prepare, Explain, Answer, Reassure, Listen, Safeguard) where parents and caregivers are given scripts to guide them, as well room for individuality.

 

This book is aimed at a much younger age group than the recently released film, and I think is a must buy for any parent looking for advice on how to explain this horrendous subject in a diplomatic and sensitive manner.
I purchased ‘Please explain terrorism to me’  at http://books.telegraph.co.uk/Product/Laurie-Zelinger/Please-Explain-Terrorism-To-Me–A-Story-for-Children-PEAR/20533020 .

 

 

 

Some parent’s have also decided that they will watch the film for themselves, and then decide together, how best to explain to their child, as lets face it, no two children are the same.

 

 

It may seem daunting and we always tend to have the ‘It won’t happen to me’ attitude, but I feel much happier having discussed this with my little girl.