My pregnancy loss.

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In November 2008, I was told my pregnancy was twin, however one was smaller than the other, we were in regularly for growth scan and the little fighter was growing but at slower rate than the other.

Unfortunalty in Jan 2009, we recieved devistaying news the smaller twins heart beat could not be found. The consultant said the other twin was doing well and had two options, carry on with the pregnancy and deliver the other baby (which would shrink naturally) when the other twin was due, or to terminate the other twin.

Well I strongly do not believe in terminations so we went ahead, it was hard or so hard. I even blamed myself a lot thinking it was my fault I could not keep the other baby growing etc etc.

Throught out the rest the pregnancy I was classed as high risk due to the other twin and my BMI. So we had regular scans, midwife appointment etc etc, but still I dreaded these appointments incase I heard the news again.

At around 30weeks we had decision to make again, upon delivery of the healthy baby there would be some signs of another baby, (although be unclear it’s was a baby). Myself and partner made a decision for the hospital to dispose of the remain of the other twin, a decision that was right at the time but now almost 7years on I wish I didn’t decide that way.

In July 2009, I had a great natural birth, Ava-May was born at 4:58pm , on the 24th, weighing 7lb 61/2oz. I did natal hypnosis which was great for keeping me calm after the changes over the pregnancy. I had a few issues after the birth and slow recovery and thought was the end of issues.

That was until I realised, there really was no support for me. First finding out having twins, then becoming singleton pregnancy. Then issues after the birth I felt so alone, misunderstood n heart broken.

I searched my own guidance to recovering from a loss from S.A.N.D.S online. When I came across baby loss awareness week and the global wave of light. This was a great release knowing there was others out there like me, struggling with grief at same time as joy….

Fast forward 6 years, my children Ava-May (twin 1) and my Son now 4, and I visited the national memorial auberitum. There it was S.A.N.D.S memoral garden, we visited. Ava-May has always know about her twin, she releases a ballon on her birthday for her twin to have a play with. She asked if we could make a stone too like ones we saw. I thought this was very fitting as assecced S.A.N.D.S online help, this took us a while to do, as I kept putting it off, unsure how I would feel going back.

Then in July 2016, I stopped via social media a S.A.N.D.S Staffordshire and noticed there family day at the S.A.N.D.S. Garden,  so thought be great way to return and place our stone, along with two close friends for thier loss. Both my children helped sort the stones, picking and painting them.

The day came, the children were excited to be going back to the national memorial arboretum, Ava-May took responsibility of the stones in her back pack, requesting to place her twins and Ryin asked for our friends.

We meet the Staffordshire support team, best thing I have done. Discussed a few things with them and felt like such a release. I really was not along in feeling there was no grievance support. The Staffordshire branch only 4years old, but I was welcome to join there monthly meetings even though my loss is now over 7 years. They were discussing where’d they are taken the branch, in funding training for midwifes and other hospital pregnancy/maternity team in grief and more.

Every year I fundraise for S.A.N.D.S and this year donated £200 to the Staffordshire branch, to help support this training. I am also now looking into accessing the meetings and gaining further support from them.

Eventhough my loss has been 7 1/2 years it’s still raw, why me? What if? How? All these questions and emotions really do stay with you forever. However, you really are not alone. I have come to connect with May people even globally via social media who are gone through miscarriage and still birth. And many like me recieved no support.

So let’s hope the global wave of light and local S.A.N.D.S Staffordshire are able to reach out to more.

 

babyloss awareness week 9-15th October,

wave of light, 15th October, 7pm.

More infor and support:

http://www.staffordshiresands.co.uk

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Babyloss Awareness Week 2016

 

 

 

 

Married mum of three, writes first novel to raise awareness of the unseen side of domestic abuse/coercive control.

 

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Hull based mother and business owner, Jennifer Gilmour, has spent the past eighteen months writing her first novel with the aim of not only raising awareness of this insidious behaviour which brings hidden misery to so many but of bringing about changes at a national level. A ‘survivor’ herself, Jennifer is well aware that changes to national policies and working practices are needed so that situations in which women (and men) present in emotionally abusive situations are recognised and dealt with appropriately and with compassion. Jennifer believes that particular training needs to be focused on recognising the perpetrators of this behaviour, as often they are very persuasive people who are able to manipulate the services themselves.

Jennifer’s Huffington Post article went into more depth about life after domestic abuse and living with the unseen ‘bruises’. She states that, “This is why it is important that not only are the agencies well equipped to recognise abuse and coercive control but that there is support to protect those at risk as well. I was lucky to be supported by Hull DAP, which takes on medium risk cases as well as high risk cases. In many parts of the UK. This is not the case.”

Jennifer’s book follows the story of Rose who is stuck in an abusive and coercive relationship referred to as Isolation Junction. After years of emotional abuse, the self doubt about her future and the erosion of her confidence, Rose takes a stand. Finding herself alone, penniless and frightened Rose wonders how she will ever escape from the situation to provide a better life for herself and her children. With 100 reasons to leave and 1000 reasons why she perceives she can’t – will she have the courage to do it? And will she find the support to regain control and confidence?

Jennifer Gilmour was born and educated in Hull before moving south to attend university. Now happily living in her home city with her husband, three children and a hamster she runs an Internet business (Blissful Gifts and Services) and is a top performing Consultant for Jamberry.

Website: http://www.isolationjunction.co.uk
Kickstarter campaign which is live right now: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/690571062/isolation-junction
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/isolationjunctionbook
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/JenLGilmour

Huffington Post Blogger Profile: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/author/jennifer-gilmour

Strawberry picking

Summer brings lighter nights, warmer days and STRAWBERRIES my children and I favourite fruit.

On Monday I took my son and minding children to Canalside farm, in Great Haywood. As I noticed searching the Internet they apwere doing pick your own strawberries, it was closest place I could find.

The canalside farm is a family ran farm, farm shop and cafe next to the Trent and Mersey Canal, just 10 miles from where I live.

You go through the farm shop and collect your boxes for picking. I have never done pick your own but feel it is a great way to further show children where fruit and vegetables come from. I have grown strawberries and raspberries at home for the last couple of years, but the ones at canalside WOW.

Out the back of the farm shop lies tunnels upon tunnels, we followed the signs for the strawberries, going past raspberry tunnels, we also shopped courgettes. Getting a request go go back when the raspberries are ready.

The strawbetties for picking we signposted and there were loads, some ready and some not so. There were all in raised planters great for my son to reach but smaller children needed to be lifted.

We talked about which ones to pick and why, we made extra game in finding the biggest and smallest strawberry we could find. We even tasted a little cheeky strawberry…heheh.

The canalside prides itself on it strawberries and I can see why… They are amazing. Once our boxes were full we headed back to the farm shop spotting the boats on the canal. The boxes were weighted and paid for. Ryin requested not to go home, (lucky packed a picnic)

We sat outside the coffee shop and the children loved watching the trains go past as they munched there sandwiches and eating more strawberries.

I can highly recommend the canalside farm for strawberry picking. We shall be returning for raspberries and more.

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Mini Me Yoga Staffordshire

Mini me yoga workshop

Well where do I start…

As I’m admin for a parent page on Facebook, I was contacted by Emma McIntosh from  Mini me yoga Staffordshire to advertise one of her yoga sessions within the group…well with being child related I agreed.

Then I became curious… What was it all about… I had heard and seen and tried adults yoga but children’s?! What was different? What were the benefits?! As a single self employed mum I often find my daughter struggling with some behaviour issues so I dropped Emma an email asking the above.

I got immediate response and was full of information about how can help children as well as she told me about her 2 hours mini me workshops, to help me teach and guide yoga in the home… At first I though yea bet it’s pricy, all added extra after sales etc but no £45 2hours and I did not feel any pressure to join the workshop. I explained me personal situation for times to go etc and was explained it could be tailored to my availability esp if I could find least3 other people interested.

I sat with this a while and booked my daughter (6) onto a free 30mins session, I thought she would enjoy it as often doing exercises in the house and talking about p.e. lesson at school. I the process I looked and requested more information about Emma’s workshops, what entails, how can I practice it at home. Then I just bite the bullet it really is one of them workshops that have to be tried to really know. I mean what’s 2hours out my Saturday morning, to try something different.

The workshop day came and wow nerves kicked in, I was going to a new place Bramptoon museum to do a workshop with strangers… Totally out my comfort zone. I rockets up nurvous, scared but excited at the same time.

Emma was amazing, I was totally put at ease when we meet, she explained a lot more about it and really made me relaxed. This workshop was really about implementing 15minutes of pure peace and tranquility into a child’s day. Not the sort of yoga I expected. The session had a few other people ranging from mums, yoga teachers, and people in education or care, we each went with different objective.

The session was brilliant, fun and creative. Once we started all worries etc had gone, probably cos got told to think like a child… (Something we all forget to too…just be and play)

Emma guided us throught every stage of a 15minute programme, explains at each stage why it’s done, the science and benefits to it all, open to questions every time. How the smallest of things can make such a difference, experiments to try, how used every day household things… And how yogo ain’t yoga but great fun with children. Getting us to reconnect with ourselves.

Emma taught us 3 games and used some fab Mini Me Yoga Magick Yoga Cards, also explaining there uses and changing idead for the age of your child working with… We went on a safari animal spotting, paired game and fun poses off the cards. Not forgetting the music links to them all. The Mandela colouring and energising water.

This workshop was a real eye opener, yes it was based at us teaching and supporting the children but the inner feeling of peace I got from it was not expected…Added bonus.

I went with the vision to use at home with my daughter but seeing and feeling the great benefits, I am practicing with my daughter with the aim to introduce it with the children I childmind, if it will lift my worries, anxieties and helped me sleep that night. It will certainly benefit the children I look after every day after a school day having new things full them up…. I have booked Emma to come do a session with the children within some school holidays, and they are all looking forward to it.

Kids yoga

After my session my daughter did her 30minutes with Emma, Avamay knew a little from school but seeing her face after, not wanting to leave and talking so much about what she did was brilliant.

We are doing it at home one night a week and she is loving it, often telling me to extend the session, adding bits in and totally loves the magic water.

I love how the sessions have helped us two to spend more quality time together, have a laugh and calms us nicely after a busy day.

fully recommend Emma’s sessions and kids yoga, here are the links, website full extra information too and links to experiments.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MiniMeYogaStaffordshire/timeline?ref=page_intern

website: http://minimeyoga.com

 

 

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Children love to be active – so let them!

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I have been personally working with a Virtual fitness trainer Debbielucas from mum plus one to help increase my fitness levels for the last 3/4 weeks.
I have found her service fab, so I have asked her to do me a little write up for family fitness etc. Here you are.

Children love to be active – so let them!

Did you know that most children would rather take part in physical activities than any other activity?  According to research findings from Bailey 1999a and 1999b physical activity play is the first to appear and the most frequent expression of play in infants.  They also found that children would rather succeed in physical activities than in classroom work.
When your children are running around being “wild” do you ever stop to consider the benefits other than the fact that it wears them out?  For instance, being physically competent influences social acceptance in children.  It can also contribute to physical, mental and emotional well-being.
Physical activity can help children develop an emotional awareness of themselves and others as they learn to interact and work together through play and sports.  They have the opportunity to feel a sense of pride and achievement and learn how to approach new experiences.  It’s also an excellent way of improving concentration levels, self-confidence and communication skills.
Physiologically there are numerous benefits, as there are with adults who exercise.  For instance, improving bone growth and density, promoting healthy growth and development of muscular-skeletal and cardiorespiratory systems, reduced risk of coronary heart disease and development of coordination and motor skills.  These are all fairly well known facts but what about other benefits such as improving cognitive functioning whereby movement helps the organisation of spatial information which can lead to later improvements in maths and language abilities.
So what’s stopping children from achieving all of this?  There are lots of factors coming into play but here are some of the main ones:
Parents!
  • We have a tendency to want our children to sit quietly so we can.
  • We usually don’t exercise as much as we should, if at all.  Children pick up on this.  You are a role model and they emulate your behaviour.  If you don’t do any physical activities it doesn’t encourage them to either.
  • Our attitude isn’t always very supportive towards our children being active because it means we might have to get involved or take them out to a group somewhere.
  • Parents are busier than ever these days and don’t always have time to run around with their children or take them out.
  • Lack of awareness of body shape in adults and children.  The British Medical Journal reported that only a quarter of parents recognised that their child was overweight.  Even when the child was obese, 33% of mothers and 57% of fathers saw their child’s weight as ‘about right’ (Jeffery, 2005).
Nutrition
  • There’s no escaping the junk food that’s out there but parents should learn to limit it and be responsible for what your children are eating.  Poor diet at an early age usually leads to poor diet when they are older.
  • Your child won’t take part in activities if they are uncomfortable either physically or socially.
Screen time
  • Children now have a multitude of gadgets available to them from a very early age, which is great for learning possibilities, but terrible for physical activity.  Children spend too long in front of a screen being incredibly sedentary.
Older siblings
  • We’ve probably all done it.  Made sure that the older sibling gets to go to clubs and activity sessions or to play with friends because they need the entertainment and the younger one is side-lined because you tell yourself that they’ll get to do all of that when they are older too.
So what can we, as parents, do to help our children be more active and reap all these wonderful rewards?  It’s easy!  Encourage them.  Give them opportunities.  Let them run around with their friends regularly even if they don’t go to structured sessions.  Activity doesn’t have to cost money, your kids can be creative and make up their own games if you let them or help them along.  You just need to give them the time and space to do it.
Don’t forget, you can always get involved and play with them too, they’ll love you for it!  You’ll get some amazing family-fun time and can all get fit and healthy together.  So what are you waiting for?  Get out there and have a go!
mum plus 1
Mum plus One (pre/postnatal and mummy fitness)

Easter millionaire shortbread

Creme eggs, chocolate, shortbread and caramel….yummy.

When I was a child I remember going to butchers with my dad and if been good we used to share a slice of millionaire short bread…

Looking at my newsfeeds this week I saw creme egg short bread and just had to make…and my goodness they are delicious and a lot easier to make the caramel than I ever expected.

I orginally got the recipe from Kerry cooks but made slight personal preference changes, so here is how I made.

Stage 1: Shortbread

6oz soft butter,

6oz plain flour,

1 1/2 oz caster sugar

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence.

I creamed the butter and sugar together then added the vanilla essence and slowly folded in the flour, to make a dough.

I greesed 15 muffin tins, (I used silicone mounds) made my dough into 15 balls and flattened into the base of the tin. Then cooked for 20mintties at 180^C. These must then be left to cool, I left in fridge for good 45minutes.

Stage 2: Caramel centres.

397g condensed milk ( normal sized tin)

5 1/2 oz caster sugar

5 1/2 oz unslated butter

Mix and melt all three ingredients over a low heat. Once melted together bring up heat to medium, constantly stirring, the mixture with thicken and turn a golden brown colour, this can take a good 10-15mintues ( be careful it does not burn). Too high heat will boil, keep heat medium. Once thickened like a thick gravy, remove from heat. I added staright onto of shortbread as were straight from fridge. Smooth all caramel to cover all of the shortbread.

Stage 3: chocolate tops

3 1/2oz milk chocolate

4oz plain chocolate

3creme eggs

combine and melt chocolate slowly to your preferred method, (microwave or pan) add to top of caramel and smooth.

I placed the Creme eggs in fridge once bought, then remove and chop or crush and place on top the chocolate. Leave to child at least 2 hours.

Stage 4: Enjoy

Once chilled for at least 2 hours pop from muffin tins and enjoy….took me right back to my childhood.

 

 

Our day at Lower Drayton Farm trip

Lambing event

During half term we were invited to Lower Drayton farm Lower Drayton farmfor there lambing event, thank you to Sara from FYI families FYIFamilies.

Well where do I start, my two love animals… We went with a little girl I childmind…

Lower Drayton farm is just off junction 13 off the M6,  head West toward Penkridge on the A449, turning in between the big farm signs. The children loved the bumpy road, when they say on website a working farm 100% true there, hehe.

The main attraction is based on the farm land, car park is a field. The reception and shop is a little cabin, with small cafe attached.

The farm opens up, with play area including cars, little trikes, zip wire and small animals ducks etc to the right, ahead to the right is a park area with climbing farm and an old fire engine (children’s best part of the park).

To the left is a enclosed area where there were pregnant sheep and mums and lambs. A few pens with pigs, piglets, and  goats. The baby lambs for feeding were in another cabin opposite the goats.

We joined the feeding at just the right time, the staff feeding were brilliant, they made sure each child who wanted to was able to feed one of the older lambs. The children were able to hold the bottle themselves and the staff watched to check lambs were not taken too much. Within here there were some smaller lambs, the children asked if they could feed these, the staff spoke to the children about these lambs being young and needed to be taught how to feed so were able to support the staff in feeding, this was brill for the children as visited other farms and not able to be so hands on. While this staff member was support feeding with the children and other member brought one the older lambs for the children to pet and was very open to questions the children had. We spend a while here, asking questions and watching the lambs, feed and sleep.

We then took a walk around the nature trail, found bug hotels, wild birds, turkeys, fairy toadstools… The children’s imagination was going crazy, the stories they told each other as we walked was brilliant and all due to the surrounding inspiring their minds. We then walked back for picnic time. We had pur picnic in car due to been cold but plenty outdoor picnic spaces and cafe.

After picnic, we headed to the park, climbing, swinging, zipping and a great adventure on the fire engine, the children took turns being the driver and fire fighters, going on many jobs. While we were waiting for the tractor ride the children were able to use the larger go-carts, and see some of the other smaller animals by this track.

We ended our day with the tractor trailer ride. His ride really gave us a sense of how big the farm is and how much is actually going on behind the ‘commercial scene’. The tour takes you into two of the farms fields and through the cow shed where we were able to see some young calfs, the diggers doing daily jobs (my son loved the digger). We were told due to the season a little less to see so the ride was mainly based around the animals, until crops were growing where would be told more, so was great to see them adapt to the season.

In the first field, we got to meet some horses, pints, imus and lamas. The guy told us all about there feed, then animals and further plans, he knew the animals well and made sure each were able to feed as well as going around the trailer so all could see and even be able to stroke the horse.

Then off to the next feild to see some more cows, again our guide was well well informed and told us loads about the bread of cows, lifestyle, breaking, food and that clowns can swim… I never knew that. The cows were over the stream he was able to call them to feed and get them close for us all to see, open to questions and told us lots again.

The trailer ride lasted a good 30minutes and very informative. A great way to end our trip. Along with a final visit to the pregnant sheep, where my daughter asked the gentle man loads more questions about when they babies would be born, how many etc. He was great, one of the sheep were in labour but still be a waiting game, so he said he would take some videos for us to see the following day is mum had her lambs. Low and behold my daughter was getting me to constantly check the farms facebook page and loved it the following day when we spotted the video of the new lambs.

a full day out with lots to do, warmer sling days and possible Autumn months be a great day out there as trailer ride will show off more of how this working farm is really good and helping kids to understand more about animals, flowers and crops.

 

 

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Large scale mark making

Every child loves to make marks.

what child does not like to draw and make marks. I look after children rangin from 18months to 10years.

Each and every child loves to draw. I have a chalk wall in out play den, chalk board out in the garden and the children have access to pens, pencils, paper as and when they like.

Over the half term we decided to go large scale…one spare wall, a roll of lining paper, and box of pen… 2hours of content laying and creating.

I drew form ‘frames’ on the paper and left open spaces too… All children loved this.

We had creations from televisions and remotes and their favourite to cartoon. To a picture frame and a self portrait. A cookies and a favourite meal on a circle.

the youngest child loves to explore the marks she made and had fun learning how to take off pen lids and replace them.

This have been a great way to display the children’s creations and give space and time to add more to them. It’s still up a week later and children are using it as a great way to aid conversation between each other on what they created.

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