Author: tonibear1415

Wave of Light 2017

Wave of Light 2017

Today marks the end of babyloss awareness week. For those of us unlucky enough to have experienced babyloss, everyday is awareness day.

It lives with you. Even if you have a sunshine baby (before a loss) and/or rainbow baby (after a loss) you never forget your angel baby/ies.

People expect you to move on, to get over it, but how do you say goodbye to someone you never met? How do you stop wondering what you missed? 

My favourite part of this years campaign has been what to say and what not to say to someone going through babyloss.

The amount of shitty things that were said to me after both losses was insane. I was the one grieving and yet i had to smile and nod at the downright awful and often stupid things people said to me. I was often reminded people were ‘just trying to help’ but they were hurting me even more.

So, here is a list of what NOT to say

  • Everything happens for a reason
  • At least you know you can get pregnant
  • Try not to dwell on it
  • It was early, dont think of it as a baby
  • Its just a heavy period
  • You need to look to the future
  • Its time to move on

Things you SHOULD say/do

  • Im sorry for your loss
  • Its ok to cry
  • Im here for you
  • Use the baby’s name in conversation
  • Dont shy away from talking about the loss
  • I wish i could do more to help
  • The pain will get easier to live with 
  • You need to grieve

So here are my candles for my angels, surrounding my rainbow. They will burn for the next hour as part of the worldwide wave of light.

I also have a more permanent reminder of my angels

Mr Me designed this for me 10 years ago. I kept meaning to get it done but life and IVF and loss got in the way.

After Little T was born I added the colour for Milo and Millie and the 3, for the 3 T’s (me, hubby and little T)

I couldnt be more pleased with it.

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

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Mental Health

Mental Health

Yesterday was #worldmentalhealth day. A day where people are encouraged to talk about thier issues with mental health and everyone is reminded how dibilitating mental health problems can be, but how very normal it is too.

1 in 4 suffer with mental health problems and im one of them.

I suffer with depression (for which im medicated) and anxiety. Ironically, my anxiety was through the roof yesterday.

Im not sure what triggered it. Perhaps the lack of sleep ive been experiencing (due to insomnia, not Little T). In retrospect ive ‘not felt comfortable in my skin’ for the last 48hrs so i should have realised it would end in a full blown attack.

For me, the physical/visible symptoms consist of

  • Increased heart rate
  • Clenched teeth
  • Tensed muscles, particularly in my legs
  • Wringing hands
  • Fidgeting

The non physical/visible symptoms are

  • Doubting myself
  • Questioning all my decisions, past and present
  • Thinking people are upset/angry with me
  • Not wanting to leave the house
  • Not wanting to be alone
  • Unable to communicate my feelings 
  • Fearful of everyday activities

Little T is a great distraction. During the day im so focussed on him, there isnt time for my mind to wander, no time to question or doubt my decisions. Then he goes to bed and the anxiety monster rears its head.

Ive been averaging 4hours sleep the last few weeks which has taken its toll, ive kept myself super busy during the day in order to ignore the warning signs, but yeaterday it caught up with me.

Im lucky, Mr Me is very unerstanding and supportive. He goes out of his way to make things easier for me when im suffering. Whether that be rearranging social events or just cuddling me and reminding me of my good qualities. 

Im very open, ill happily tell somone about my mental health problems, if the opportunity arises. Sadly, in our society, that doesnt happen often. Its another taboo, something people dont want to admit to and that society doesnt want to hear.

It makes no sense. Its an illness. Same as a cough or cold. But as its not visible, people struggle to understand.

But its OK to talk, its time to break the stigma. These illnesses lead to sucicide or self harm, how can we not talk about that?? 

Days like yesterday are vital. Thing is, EVERY DAY should be mental health awareness day. 

You never know what somone is feeling, what demon they are fighting, so be nice, always.

I come across as very confident, for example, but most days there is an internal war going on in my head. Some days are better, the meds help, but some days, like yesterday, it wins and i lose

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

When you realise what you’re missing

When you realise what you’re missing

Its my birthday on Saturday, which means today is the start of Baby Loss Awareness Week. Itll forever more be a bittersweet week for me.

Theres a saying ‘you dont know what youve got til its gone’ which is a great saying that applies to most situations.

Except when you lose babies before having a live one to take home.

The grief is devastating, but you dont really know what you missed out on, until you take home a baby.

I love little T so so much, and to watch him learn and grow gives me so much pleasure. More and more i think about Milo and Millie and how they wouldve developed.

Would their eyes have started blue and changed to a rich brown? 

Would they be dying to sit up? 

What wouldve made them laugh? Or cry? 

Would they have slept through by now? 

I now understand what i lost, what couldve been. Its pretty painful all over again when i think of all the cuddles i missed out on, l the smiles i didnt see. It never goes away, the pain just lessens in severity. 

Loss, at any stage, is just horrific. No parent should ever have to lose a child. More so though, no parent should feel they cant talk about their loss.

In todays society, its still a taboo to mention miscarriage, early or late. Talking about stillborn babies makes people uncomfortable. As such, bereaved parents are made to feel they must just get over it or forget it.

How do you just forget a person? Regardless of gestation, that baby was a person to his/her parents! Should we just forget when a grandparent/parent/aunt/uncle/brother or sister die? No! 

So why is it different when the child is in utero? Put simply, it isnt.

So if you or someone you know loses a baby, talk to them about the loss. Dont worry about upsetting them, they are already heartbroken. 

You are already likely to know someone who has suffered a loss as it happens to 1 in 4 pregnancies. 

All life is precious no matter how fleeting.

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

#IVFis40

#IVFis40

So this year marks 40 years since the 1st IVF baby was born.

In honour of National Fertility Awareness week, i wanted to share some of my experiences/memories.

Ive done a whopping 9 cycles. 3 of those resulted in no embryo transfer. Of the other 6, 3 worked. Im INCREDIBLY lucky to have such good numbers. Sadly, only 1 pregnancy made it to term. The other 2 were lost at 21 weeks.

I remember after being referred for IVF i cried. I honestly thought we’d make a baby the normal way (or as i now say, traditional way). We had no idea there was a problem at the time of referral either.

Then at our 1st meeting at the clinic we are told i have polycystic ovaries (but not the syndrome) and he has poor sperm in terms of count, morphology and mobility. We have 0.01% chance of making a baby tradtionally.

Then the wait to cycle. I think the waiting was one of the worst things for me. Youve got your head round the idea and then you have to wait. Wait your turn. Get knocked back due to clinic being full/bank holidays/clinic closing for a clean/incubators not working/hormones inbalanced/uterine lining too thin…all of those were actual reasons i couldnt start a cycle or why i couldnt have an embryo transferred.

The 1st time i was naive. I got 23 eggs, the most that day. But only 13 fertilised. Youre not warned the numbers drop so fast. I got ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome but didnt tell the clinic in case they cancelled my cycle. I was really quite poorly but i was also desperate. Itd been 2.5yrs of trying by then. By transfer day i had 3 embryos left and a touch of OHSS. The transfer went ahead. 10 days later my period started.

Little did i know itd take another 6 years and 8 cycles before i brought a baby home.

I started out shy, taking my knickers off for a scan, WHILST on my period, was mortifying! By the end, id take my knickers off as easy as most people take off a pair of sunglasses when entering a room.

I knew all the acronyms, i was a huge contributer to online communities, i read all the research, ate brazil nuts, pineapple core, avocado, whatever the lastest study revealed. 

I lived, breathed and loved IVF. Im still an advocate for talking about infertility, and now, sadly, terminations for medical reasons and late miscarriage.

I went abroad, to Cyprus, for my final 4 cycles of IVF. I met a wonderful team at my chosen clinic. They blessed me with 2 pregnancies including the one who made it to term. They are like family, and i like to think im paying for thier kids to go to uni!! Haha! 

They were the best of times but also the worst of times

Even now, with my miracle rainbow baby sleeping upstairs, im still jealous of a pregnancy bump. 

I have 5 frozen embryos, im exceptionally lucky. But im not sure i can do anymore IVF. Its emotionally draining, its a lifestyle not just a treatment. Its scary and hard and consumes your very being.

Im so grateful for IVF. I am truly lucky to live in an age where treatments get better every year. Still, i wouldnt wish it on my worst enemy.

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

Break Up! 

To my darling Jeans, 

Im sad to say, its over. We had a long run, probably 20 years or so, but its just not working for me anymore.

You no longer make me look good, you make me look a state really.

Its not you, its me. My thighs are bigger, my tummy flabby and unruly. In fact if we are placing blame, lets be honest, its Little Ts fault.

He made my body blow up and it just wont go back down. You are unforgiving, you give me a builders bum, you fall down and give me a ‘saggy nappy’ look.

Ive met someone else. Leggings. They hide a multitude of sins. They are ‘Mum attire’.

Ill never forget our time together, you sparkled, you ripped, you toned, you frayed, you were boyfriend, skinny, bootcut, there were jeans for every occassion.

Except post birth. Mum Tum and you are just a disaster.

Ill remember you fondly, and maybe one day, we can meet again and have a more positive relationship.

Until then, 

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

More grief…

Does it ever let up? 

Last night, my fur baby, Splash, died. It wasnt a nice passing.

It was expected, he was diagnosed with a serious heart complaint earlier in the year, was on 5 medications a day, but i still wasnt prepared. 

We couldnt get him to a vet in time. He was gone when Mr Me arrived there with him.

As such, im following my normal grief pattern, im numb.

He was 10, had a good life and never wanted for anything. 

But he also saw me through the toughest years of my life

At times, him and his brother were my only reason to get out of bed. My only reason to function.

Between them they offer me company and friendship and so much love.

He wasnt just a pet, he was my friend. My fur baby.

I wish he had gone in his sleep, rather than being aware and struggling. 

I wish i could feel sad. We have lost a loved one once a year in 3 of the last 4 years. Im not sure im able to process more grief right now 

I keep looking for Splash and hearing him. Thats not great. Dont think its really sunk in.

Rest in Peace my lovely friend. Thank you for the memories.


Love, Little Miss PMA (Mummy) xxx

PS im so grateful Smudge is still with us

Anxiety is Motherhood

Anxiety is Motherhood

This weekend has been full of new experiences…

Little T got his 1st cold and a cough. (Think im now getting the cold too!!!)

Luckily my Mum was here to keep me calm and Calpol was administered, Little T was OK and nothing awful happened! We even managed a trip to the pub. 

#badmum haha

Today, as he is nearly 16 weeks, we put Little T down upstairs for the 1st time.

Id put the baby monitor stuff away believing there was no way i could let him sleep in a different room to us. But here he is in the crib in our room…

Thankfull for technology!

Im managing, just. Its hard, seeing him on a screen rather than peering into his moses basket but i think its for the best. We both have to get used to it. Ive managed not to put the sensor mat on too, but only because i can see him breathing on screen!! 

And he is fine. He went to sleep after half an hour and a few pop ins from Mr Me and I. He is non the wiser, away in dreamland! 

Big steps though. Im kinda super proud of myself! 

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

But, what if?

But, what if?

Awesome bank holiday.

Down to Bristol to see the fam. Little T was a dream. Drinks were flowing, laughs a plenty were had by all.

But, i was late. A fair few days late. I mentioned this to Mr Me on Sunday, i couldnt possibly be pregnant, could I? 

Theres a 0.1% chance we could conceive on our own, and i thought we had avoided my fertile window. But we were worried.

In the last week we had come to a decision. We dont want another baby. We dont want to go through the anxiety of another rainbow pregnancy, we dont want to go through the IVF stress of will it/wont it in order to achieve a pregnancy. We dont want to risk another loss. Little T has seemingly not got Mr Me’s blood conditions or my asthma, would the next baby be as lucky? 

Our lives are pretty awesome just now. Little T is a great baby, sleeping through the majority of nights, happy and content. 

On a more selfish note, i cant face the 1st 8 weeks again, im enjoying being able to have a glass of wine, drink coffee, eating paté and soft cheese. I like being able to afford nice holidays and having a spare room. We work well as a 3, Mr Me and I have found our rhythm again. All in all life is pretty perfect.

Was that all about to change?

2 under 1? Really? What would we do? Financially it wouldnt really be viable. Id be permanently exhausted. A tandem pram costs a grand. How would i cope heavily pregnant with a 10/11 month old? 2 in nappies?!! The exhaustion of pregnancy, on top of parenting exhaustion? We were terrified.

The T word (termination) came up. It would be an option. But could i really go through with it after all we had been through? I didnt think so. 

Only one thing to do, test and find out.

Cue a family trip to the Trafford Centre and Boots. A latte later, and there i am peeing on a stick in a Costa coffee toilet. Classy but I had to know whether i could have a glass of wine at lunch!! 

Never ever have i hoped for a negative test. Those 3 minutes were agonising. 

1 line!! Whoop! Mr Me’s sperm hadnt made a miracalous recovery! Pass the wine!! In fact pass me 2. (It was nice wine)

So, what this taught me was: A, i really am not ready for another baby, and B, i need to get back on the pill ASAP but it looks like ive not ovulated so it may be a very long cycle!!! 

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

Famous!! 

Famous!! 

This weekend was our 1st trip away as a family. I was super nervous about a 3 hour drive and staying away from home with Little T.

He was a dream, however, and loved all the attention.

We went down to Bristol for a Ruby Wedding anniversary party. Lots of Mr Me’s side of the family were very taken with Little T, who lapped it up!!! 

I barely saw him for hours as he was passed around, and Aunty Sarah wanted to keep him.

Check him out on The Ingham Family vlog

The Ingham Family Vlog

He’s famous! 

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

9-8, 5-8 (not a math problem)

9-8, 5-8 (not a math problem)

14 weeks! 

Little T burst his way into the world 14 weeks ago and forever changed our lives for the better! 

I really struggled with being a Mummy in the beginning. I found it hard to accept my new role, to accept the change in relationship between Mr Me and I. I was warned id be tired, but i didnt understand, i was warned it was hard, but i didnt understand.

Now i do. Im permantly tired, thats the new normal, so i can cope with it. Sleep deprivation is a thing of the past, because we are used to it. For example, i got 3ish hours last night whereas Little T got 11. Go figure. Think i was waiting for him to wake for a feed all night, not daring to believe he’d sleep through.

One off or is this the start of 11 hour nights? The latter would be amazing but i wont count on it, yet.

Since allowing myself to love him, im finding my new role as Mummy, so rewarding. I love watching him learn and grow, although it seems to be going so so fast. Everyday, his smile melts me, i cannot believe we made something so so beautiful and clever.

The last few years seem like a bad dream. Ill never forget Milo and Millie, how could i? They helped shape who i am, but our rainbow, Little T, glows through those dark clouds, and makes those times seem so distant, that the grief is manageable, the pain dulled somewhat.

So at 14 weeks, my little man can smile and grab, hes so close to rolling over but hates tummy time. He loves music, and the car, he has a favourite toy, and being the centre of attention is his forte. He is the most amazing waste of time, i can spend hours just watching him. I cant believe how lucky i am.

Im so happy.

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx