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Becoming a NICU mum

Becoming a NICU mum

This isn’t how it was supposed to pan-out.

We all anticipate how our babies will arrive and try to envisage that spectacular moment our little creation enters the world.

Then fate cruelly interjects and suddenly the dream bubble that’s been floating above your head for the past few months is torn in two and is replaced with the sound of beeping machines, the hustle and bustle of a busy ward and the reality of this tiny fragile human-being with wires and tubes protruding ever limb on their helpless little bodies.

It’s a massive shock to the system and you’re expected to just take it in your stride. As if becoming a mum for the first time or adding to your brood isn’t enough to take on board, now there’s the fear that this little part of you, won’t make it.

When they are born, that’s the helpless moment you lose the ability to protect your little one safely inside your body, the moment they leave your body, the responsibility then leaves you and is passed on to the nurses and doctors, which although we are grateful for, is heartbreaking, because all we want to do is cuddle our little bundles of joy and keep them safe in mummy’s arms.

With a “normal delivery” mum’s are so excited to finally meet their new addition, but during premature birth we have the fear of the unknown, knowing your baby may not breathe or be born with long-term health complications.

You would be judged for saying this isn’t what you wanted to happen, but I can’t quite understand why someone would pass judgement on the feelings of something they have no understanding of.

We don’t feel disappointment and sadness because this premature baby has become an inconvenience to our lives, quite the opposite.

It’s sadness for our baby and disappointment that this person we love more than anything else on the planet it having to struggle through the early days, weeks, months and sometimes even years of their life.

We call them fighters, because they are.

We call them miracles, because they are.

We wouldn’t change them because we love them in a specially particular way after being astounded by their strength….

But would we, if we had the choice wish they had never had to go through this?

Of course we would!

I look at Jack now, my waters went with him at 25+5 weeks and he was born at 29+5 weeks, spending 40 days in NICU and I’m still astounded by what he went through as a 3.5lb preemie. But the heartbreak of seeing my tiny baby squeal in pain with needle after needle, knowing his body couldn’t provide what he needed to keep him alive breaks my heart and I’d of taken it all for him if I could.

Nobody hopes to become a NICU mum, but once you are one, all you do is hope.

Hope that your little one makes it through the fight for their life.

I’m just one of the lucky ones my fighter made it through unscathed.

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Tips for the pregnant bride

Most women dream about looking a million dollars on their big day, getting in great shape to fit in their perfect dress, well I’m not most  women, I was 28 weeks pregnant at my wedding!

So now I’ve been there and done it, I’m sharing some tips to make sure you enjoy your day and look after yourself at the same time.

Tip #1 – Flat shoes

I know, I know…heels elongate your legs, look much prettier and let’s face it they just make you feel better about yourself when you’re wearing them…unless you’re pregnant, then they are blister breeding, ankle swelling shackles of death. Plus if you’re anything like me, your balance is off in pregnancy so it’s best to be in flats. If you have your heart set on heels, just wear them down the aisle, trust me get some comfy shoes for the evening…you’ll thank me later!

Here’s the DIY Converse I did for my wedding:

 

Tip #2 Rest & take the help

Leading up to my wedding I planned everything down to a T, I made sure everyone knew their jobs and delegated, so all I had to do was sit back and enjoy, trust me no-one is gonna say no to a pregnant lady! I stressed up until the night before, then I got as much sleep as possible and just let the day flow, there’s no point stressing on the day, because you won’t enjoy it as much, plus stress & hormones don’t mix! So put aside your pride and take all the help offered!

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Tip #3 Eat

This is important for all brides, but if you’re pregnant it is especially important to keep yourself hydrated and fed, you are making another human being after all. Plus you don’t want to lose part of the day needing to lie down or going dizzy and needing to go hospital. If you want to eat you eat, even if you have to nick a slice of wedding cake, no-one’s going to argue with a pregnant lady!

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Tip #4 Pick a comfy dress

I borrowed my dress from a friend who was pregnant when she got married, it had a lot of give around the tummy and was strapless, it was a lovely dress but I knew it might get heavier by the evening so I bought a £30 back up dress from Amazon, it had one shoulder and was very lightweight and breathable, I was so glad I brought it.

Tip #5 Be prepared for comments

The main comment everyone will ask you is “Was it planned that you would be pregnant at the wedding?” or leading up to the wedding you may get “Don’t you want to postpone until the baby is here?” or the one I unbelievably got more than a few times was “Oooh what if she’s born at the wedding?” I was 28 weeks pregnant at my wedding, considering I had been 29 weeks when my eldest was born, this was more of an insult than just a passing comment, but as hard as it was (especially with hormones) I had to let it go, just realising no-one means any harm, they just don’t think before speaking, it’s not worth letting it ruin your big day. All that matters is you are marrying the person you love…

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Tip#6 Be prepared for an early-ish night

Most people party until the early hours at their wedding, I was ready for the car to pick us up by 9pm. Don’t get me wrong I loved every minute, but I was pregnant and exhausted…I wanted my big comfy bed and spa hotel, which brings me to my last tip…

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Tip#7 Make your honeymoon your babymoon

For those that don’t know a babymoon is a little break for mum and dad-to-be before baby comes, so unless you’re loaded you probably can’t afford one as well as a wedding. So if you were planning a honeymoon make sure it’s actually to rest, not an activity filled adventure. We went to a spa hotel an hour away and had 2 nights of massages, relaxing and lots of food.

Most of all this goes for all brides…enjoy the day! So you are pregnant, so what?! What is more special than walking down the aisle to the person you love with your baby growing inside of you.

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A break from blogging

So  I’ve had a bit of a break from blogging the last few months. I’ve really missed it and feel there are so many things I have missed recording about my little monkey’s.

To re-cap I have two little boys Jack (2.5 yrs) and Michael (1.5 yrs) and write about all the trials and tribulations of being their mummy. Since I stopped blogging things have changed quite a lot, I am now expect a baby GIRL!

I will talk about my pregnancy more in upcoming posts but I’m still in shock it is a girl!

I just wanted to write a quick post about why I haven’t been blogging for a while, there has been no major reason other than life just getting in the way.

So now I have my 2yr old, 1 yr old, 20 weeks Pregnancy and my wedding in 8 weeks! Safe to say I have plenty to write about…..

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Dealing with death

Sudden or expected, death is always devastating.

You never know how you’re going to deal with it, there is no right or wrong way everyone deals with it differently.

I always felt quite lucky I’d never had to deal with death, the most traumatic I’d experienced was our family dog dying at 10 years old.

Then 2013 came, experiencing a Molar Pregnancy & a Miscarriage I thought grief couldn’t get much worse, I was wrong…

On April 1st 2014 my Father died suddenly aged just 50.

He was just sat there in bed next to my mother, his head leant back slightly and tapped the wall, that was it…he was gone!

Paramedics were there within 2 minutes and performed CPR for 2 hours, but there was no hope his heart had stopped.

The Coroner report stated he had Ischemic Heart Disease and Atherosclerosis, which we were unaware of.

Following his death 8 months ago, I still haven’t had a major outburst of grief, don’t get me wrong I’m devastated, but I can’t let my self deal with his death, I push it to the back of my mind and pretend he isn’t gone.

Am I doing myself no favours? Will it damage me in the future to not deal with his death? Or am I protecting myself and my children from the real pain of his death?

I mean I was 7 weeks pregnant when he died and then my son was born exactly 6 months to the day he died, so I put it down to that, but my son is 11 weeks old now and I’m still no closer to facing up to it.

My partner’s nana has just died at the grand old age of 89, even though it doesn’t really matter what age someone is when they die, it must be comforting knowing they’ve had a full life, but it was brought fresh feelings of grief for my Dad.

I suppose I will never deal with losing the first man I ever loved and it’s even more heartbreaking knowing my children will grow up without their Grandad

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