A Mummys View

Telling it like it is

DysNet – Bringing Together the Dysmelia Community

So, many of you who regularly read my blog will know that I am a disabled mummy and was born with hip displacyia or CDH as it was known then), so I have a lower limb abnormality you could say.

I am certainly up for supporting charitable causes and so far in my very small blogging life I have been involved in the #Blogitforbabies Save the Children campaign, the ONE Thrive campaign, I’ve held a Yummy Mummy fundraising event for CLIC Sargent and devised and launched #Blogging4Madeleine in support of finding Madeleine McCann.

I was recently contacted by the lovely Tania Tirraoro who told me about DysNet a new online community to support people with limb differences (otherwise known as Dysmelia) and with having a limb abnormality myself I was only too  happy to help.

The DysNet site went live on Monday 21st May and aims to provide up-to-date information, support and research for people with limb differences throughout the world.

I think this is a great tool, as I remember how my family felt when I was younger and they were coming to terms with my disability. They came across a wonderful charity called STEPS who provided and still continue to provide fabulous support to people with lower limb abnormalities. So, in the current digital age that we live in and with so many people turning to the world wide web for answers to their questions, the launch of a website like DysNet is fantastic in helping provide support to people who either have had Dysmelia for some time, or who are just experiencing it and want to find out more and have that same support that my family had all those years ago.

It is hoped that individuals will contribute to the online knowledge base to share expertise and resources that could benefit others that are in a similar position. By sharing experiences, guidance and advice, lives can be improved and fulfilled, my own experiences are testament to that.

DysNet is also launching an online community called RareConnect. It will be a trusted and monitored environment for everyone involved in Dysmelia to make connections. It will be available in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish, meaning the support can be spread wider, breaking down language barriers and opening up new connections and opportunities.

If you are affected by or want to find out more about Dysmelia then please do visit DysNet

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My Pregnancy Story – Part 3 – The Second Trimester

My Pregnancy Story – Part 1

My Pregnancy Story – Part 2

So the first trimester was behind us, the 12 week scan complete and we’d shouted it from the roof tops. The second trimester certainly was a busy one and brought with it lots of fun!

This trimester included my sister’s hen party (April 2010), one that I was organising, with her other heavily pregnant bridesmaid! Bet everyone thought it was going to be a barrel of t-total laughs! However we pulled out all the stops though and had a wicked time in Edinburgh. Costumes, party bags, restaurants, activities, accommodation, travel, we did it all for a dozen girlies and were very proud but very shattered by the end of it! I think my daughter was scarred for life before she was born though listening to my sister on the karaoke for two hours! She was bouncing around inside my tummy like crazy, which went rock solid in shock! I actually bowed out at the clubbing and headed back to the hotel with my mum and best friend who had come along for support.

(May 2010) With the hen do over and my sister’s wedding fast approaching it was time for my Bridesmaid dress fitting. Luckily I had bought the dress a couple of sizes bigger then I needed but as the weeks wore on I was a little panicked that room was getting tighter and tighter. I wasn’t entirely convinced that there was much more material to “let out”. I had visions of my sister going mad at me! However, I just made it by the time the day came. It was a beautiful day and we got great weather for it. My sister looked gorgeous and her rather bold and bright colour scheme worked amazingly well and looked stunning! I was five months pregnant on the day and the other bridesmaid was seven months! It was very long but we made it through. The only panic was when I left my reading in the wedding car and realised once we were all in the church and the service was under way! It was baby brain of course that made this happen! I had to send my hubby dashing out to get it for me and he arrived back with less than 15 seconds to spare, the look of sheer fear captured on my face during the first half of the service was classic. I am good at ad-libbing but not that good! However, that aside it all went well, but whilst I am usually the life and soul of the party, with bad hips, bad back, swollen feet and a big bump I took to the dance floor a couple of times but did retreat to the bar and big comfy chairs at the end of the evening, leaving many of our family and friends to continue to dance into the small hours.

I also discovered the joys of nearly new fairs during this time! They are amazing! There’s a one held near to us twice a year in aid of charity and some of the things you can pick up are great, never worn clothes, still tagged for a couple of pounds, toys in immaculate good working condition, for the time that kids are in these clothes or play with the toys, you can’t go wrong. I went to my first baby fair during my second trimester with my mum and dad and picked up a Fisher Price Rainforest Bouncer for less than half the price I would have paid new, and it became a god send in helping to settle my little girl when she was born.  I also got a fab ergonomic bath seat too, which was brilliant for when my little girl got bigger.

I must say however I went to one of our local NCT baby sales (as did some friends) and we all couldn’t get out quick enough, it was chaos! A cramped, jumble sale free for all, I haven’t been back to one since but love going to this other one I have found, it’s much more spacious, organised and you can see who you are buying from too.

It was during my second trimester that I also heard there was a baby fair being held in my local town and that Water Babies were going to be there so I couldn’t wait to go along and find out more. I found the event really interesting, there were lots of different companies there, from those offering services to those selling products. I signed my little girl up to Water Babies straight away (well I was told there was a huge waiting list after all so being on it before you born is a head start!) as I always knew it was something I wanted to do with her, I also bought a Gro bag sleeping bag (the best invention ever!) and a fab Cuddle Dry cow print towel that has a nifty clip that allows the towel to be essentially worn by you so you can lift your little one out of the bath, against you and wrap them up nice and warm and dry. This was brilliant for me with my hip and back problems as it kept the towel close to me but allowed me to use my hands to steady myself when getting up and hold my little girl. I also came across a company promoting Aloe Vera drinks and got talking to them about my hips etc. They recommended I try one of their products and said it would really help me, so me being me I bought a bloody great big jug of the stuff. All I can say is, I am one to give anything a go but oh my god this stuff made me gag! Needless to say, it unfortunately went to waste and my hips stayed painful!

One of my very good friends also had a little girl during my second trimester and I was over the moon (April 2010) to meet little S, she was gorgeous and I couldn’t believe that the little bump in my tummy would soon be here in my arms too and, in time, that they would be playing together! It was so exciting! Little S was the first of 6 babies that I knew of at the time that were en-route within the coming 6 months, it was lovely to think that “mini” would have so many new little friends and I would know so many people going thorugh the same thing at the same time.

I have been hugely lucky to also have friends who had had children already and very very kindly passed clothes on to me, so much so I had bin bags full and drawers full! My little girl almost had an outfit for every day of her first year and I had to politely tell people that their generosity was very kind but I definitely had enough for her at that point! However… ahem… despite being inundated with baby clothes I still couldn’t help a few sneaky outfits in the sales, just to say they were ones I had personally picked out.

Becoming a new parent means all sorts of new contraptions and gadgets as well. A trip to Mothercare and Mamas and Papas with hubby to get an idea of what we may need was frankly hysterical, I really wish we could have got CCTV from the store. EVERYTHING, and I mean EVERYTHING we touched either fell over or fell apart. We were like two chimps trying to work out how high chairs and travel cots worked, with very little success! We however finally decided on our nursery furniture and ordered it from Mamas and Papas, I was very excited! Hubby not so much so as it meant losing his beloved office!

With the nursery furniture bought I went into major nesting mode, I suddenly wanted the house immaculate, doors and skirting boards painted, garages and sheds cleaned out, cupboards and drawers emptied of all those things you never use. I drove my husband insane!!! I actually had a list of everything that needed doing and step by step points as to when I wanted it done by… ok can I blame it on the hormones???!!! However it worked and kept us on track. You don’t realise how much clutter you accumulate and how much space you need. We gradually dug out what had been the office and dumping ground and began turning it into our little girl’s nursery. It was so exciting! My friend very kindly offered to paint us a mural too, she is very talented. I knew I wanted it complete by the end of July just to know it was done, and considering she came the beginning of Sept and we were on holiday in August I am pretty glad I set that goal!

However the highlight had to be the 20 week scan (May 2010) and suddenly seeing (and hearing!) a much bigger, actual baby looking back at you and bouncing about happily. The run up to the scan was daunting, was the baby still ok? would they find anything wrong? The hospital we go to doesn’t have a screen so that the mum can see what’s happening so I told my hubby to take in as much as possible to relay back to me and to enjoy the experience and looking at his face when that screen went on I certainly knew he was very happy indeed. He was in total awe, staring in amazement and later told me just how much he could see, even inside our baby’s head and down the spinal column, it blew him away. After an anxious 20 – 30 minutes of me laid watching my hubby and the sonographer’s faces and desperately trying to work out what they were seeing and thinking, the sonographer smiled and confirmed all was ok and asked if we wanted to know the sex, to which we nodded excitedly. “Well, baby is playing up a bit but to the best of my knowledge and from what I can see I would say it’s a little girl” she said. Hubby and I knew it, we just knew it! We were over the moon! From the day we had first met we always pictured we would have a little girl, from the 12 week scan, we just knew it was a little girl and now we knew that little bit more. The sonographer asked us if we would like a picture to which I excitedly said yes please! However it was at this point that little “mini” decided to show her stubborn side and curled into a tight ball. The more the lady tried, the tighter she got! So… whilst I would love to end this part of my little story by sharing a fab 20 week scan pic with you… I’m afraid that’s all folks!

Until next time! 😉

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See It Snap It Love It – FUN – Number #1

With my lovely new camera and hobby of snapping away for my photography course I now have absolutely no excuse not to join in See it snap it love it hosted by Dear Beautiful Boy

So seeing as though this week’s theme was fun and I am back from hols just in time to join in I thought I’d share one of my garden fun photo’s with you.

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The Gallery – Picture Postcard – Entry Number #1


So I’ve often seen The Gallery Linky hosted by Sticky Fingers but have never felt confident enough to take part with some of the amazing photo’s that I have seen being shared.

However I have finally taken the step I have always wanted to and have signed up to a photography course and invested in an entry level camera.

So whilst on our recent holiday in the Lakes I snapped away and got this lovely pic of a duck that was right outside our lodge one morning when I opened the living room curtains. I would never have been able to capture the colours the way I have on my normal camera so I am well chuffed with my beginners efforts.

So here’s my numero uno Gallery post

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Garden Fun

Despite having the lurgy we’ve been enjoying some fun in the garden this weekend in this fab weather

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Book Review: The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Friends My Very First Annual #FictionFriday

It’s that time of the week again where we hop on board with @Home Dad and join in his#FictionFriday blog hop

This week I’ve decided to feature The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Friends My Very First Annual (The World of Eric Carle)

Anyone who has read the Hungry Caterpillar knows what a popular classic this is. Well this annual brings the story (and that of the Very Lonely Firefly too) to life. Children can add stickers to each page of the book as they read, as well as colouring and counting pages at the back making it great fun and educational too.

My little girl and I read the book every night over a couple of weeks and each night she added stickers to one of the pages. I hadn’t read the Very Lonely Firefly story before but think it’s great!

I can recommend this annual to any parents, it will keep your little ones entertained for hours.

If you like book reviews why not check out @ Homedad’s Fiction Friday’s

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My Pregnancy Story Part 2 – The First Trimester

The reality of my pregnancy settled in after a few days and it was strange, but within a week or two and over the weeks following I was already noticing changes.

My breasts were so so painful, I had to go out and buy a maternity bra very early on as I couldn’t bear the under wire in my existing bras. I remember pulling up at a local retail park to go into Mothercare to be measured and seeing a guy from work, I had a mini panic and sat in the car for ages before scurrying into the store in case he was still about, saw me and realised I was pregnant. Looking back this was hilarious! a) he probably wouldn’t have recognised me or had a clue who I was b) I could have been popping in to buy a present and c) what man would give a damn or remotely think about it anyway! That’s just how irrational I was!

I was CONSTANTLY going to the toilet, how no one in my office realised anything I have no idea, I was up and down like a yo yo, my bladder must have been the size of a pea! On an evening I must have gone almost half a dozen times through the night!

By week 6 I was  exhausted it was literally taking all the energy I had just to get home on a night from work. I had really greasy skin and hair and felt tremendously bloated and gassy. I looked back on a picture after I’d had my daughter, and again how no one suspected I have no idea! I looked awful! I was slightly freaked out though when a colleague came to me one day and said she had had a weird dream that I had a baby. How I didn’t manage to look like my jaw had just hit the floor and remained totally calm (when inside I was screaming oh my god she knows!) I don’t know! I finally started to look human again towards the end of the first trimester though thank god!

My appetite became unreal! I was constantly starving and even one day drove across three lanes at the last minute to get to a McDonald’s Drive Thru on my way home from work because I just couldn’t drive past it (I really felt the NEED for a McDonalds if I happened to see one). I then went home and had a full tea after scoffing a cheeseburger! However as the weeks went on in the first trimester I also had occasions where I felt so bloated I just couldn’t physically eat any more. It finally levelled out around week 10 but by week 12 I definitely had to buy maternity trousers as my own wouldn’t fit any more, getting up from the desk with my trousers unbuttoned was getting a bit risky!

My emotions played up from very early on and I had many random outbursts, hissy fits and tears! Sometimes I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at something and would even cry because I felt so happy! My husband had no idea what to do with me and my colleagues probably thought I had been possessed by a mad woman!

I tried not to obsessively read up about my pregnancy or get too ahead of myself but I did buy the “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” book and found it really informative and helpful. I loved reading up what stage my baby was at each week and what size they were. I even managed to have willpower and not secretly jump to the next week to read up in advance. It was like my little treat every Sunday evening / Monday to read “the next chapter”. Most women tend to not want to do much until they’ve had their 12 week scan and I was no exception but as soon as it was drawing near I couldn’t help but start to write lists about what we would need, what we would need to do etc etc. I went into full on planning mode the week before the scan was due! Early nesting perhaps?!

As the scan date got closer I got really nervous, I kept thinking back to the fact that I had drank on new year and exerted myself dragging that bloke up the hill in the snow.

I was paranoid I had inadvertently affected our baby but when the day arrived and I laid on the sonographer’s couch I was in total awe at the little tiny baby on the screen in front of me. It was so perfect and so clear, you could even make out what appeared to be eyes, nose and mouth. When the sonographer pointed out the little heartbeat hubby and I just looked at each other and grinned. I felt like I wanted to cry with happiness but I just grinned and grinned. I remember my husband being totally blown away when he saw our baby do a little jump and he held my hand and told me how pleased he was to now have two precious little things to look after. I felt so special.

When we announced our news that night we were inundated with dozens and dozens of congratulations messages, it was so overwhelming! The same week as the scan it was Mother’s Day and hubby bought me a book of nursery rhymes, then a week or so later my friend bought me baby clothes for my birthday, I was thrilled and it really dawned on me that I really was going to be a mummy!

I spent lots of time signing up to the baby clubs such as Bounty, Emma’s Diary, Huggies, Pampers, Sainsbury’s Little Ones, Boots Parenting Club and the Mothercare Baby and Me Club, to mention a few (I think I may have got carried away!) and got excited when I received info and vouchers in the post.

We made our first purchase just after the 12 week scan, it was the Babystyle Oyster travel system and Britax Baby safe Plus SHR car seat, they were lightweight, compact and easy to fold and unfold, great for me with my mobility problems. My parents very generously bought it for us as their gift to us too which was very kind of them. I didn’t really shop around much for the system. We went to three stores and two of the three recommended the Oyster for my needs and it kind of sealed the deal. I was quite impressed with the speed in which we made the decision!

Throughout my pregnancy I had to be under a consultant due to my hip problems as they weren’t sure how well I would manage a natural birth or if I would need a c-section so I had to be monitored for a decision to be made later down the line. It meant additional appointments with a consultant as well as my midwife but I felt happy for the support. At the end of the first trimester, week 14 we had our first meeting with our obstetrician and we got to hear our baby’s heart beat for the first time, we weren’t expecting it and it was so moving! There was a little tiny person growing in my tummy, a little life taking shape, surreal and beautiful! Hubby couldn’t take his hands off my tummy, lovingly stroking it and often saying “our baby’s in there”. Somehow we just knew it was a little girl too, but at that point as it wasn’t confirmed all we knew for sure was that it was our little “mini” and this is what she affectionately became known as. I couldn’t wait to feel my baby move, I wondered if I would be freaked out or if it would feel a bit alien but at the same time I was desperate to truly feel my baby, but for now I would have to wait, they say patience is a virtue…

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Sunshine Award

I’m very excited to have recently received the rather gorgeous Sunshine Award from the lovely Fab40Foibles.

The Sunshine Award  is a lovely orange flower that bloggers give to other “bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere”.

To have only been blogging for 3 months and to receive such lovely recognition from other fabulous bloggers is amazing and frankly overwhelming.

To keep it all I have to do is follow three simple rules:

  1. I must thank the person who gave this award in a blog post. 
  2.  Do the Q&A below
  3. Pass on the award to 10 deserving and inspiring bloggers, inform them and link to their blogs.

Thanks 

Thank you so so much lovely, lovely Fab40Foibles. I am truly honoured and thrilled to have been thought of by you. You have been a sweetheart and very supportive since I entered mummy blogosphere so thank you truly for helping me on my way and supporting me.

The Questions

Favorite Colour: I am not too sure to be honest but I guess when I think about it I like pinks and lilacs but think it depends on my mood as I also like red so I guess warm tones of some variety?

Favourite Animal:  My cats, they were my first babies. I do also love penguins for some unknown reason! lol!

Favourite Number: I don’t know why but 3 always seems to spring to mind???

Favorite Drink: I love a good cup of tea or a nice refreshing diet coke

Facebook or Twitter : Facebook to share more in-depth, Twitter to have good banter

Your Passion: Organising… is that sad? yes, yes it is… oh dear! (and my family too of course!)

Giving or getting presents: Both.

Favourite Day: “It’s only bloody Friday!”

Favourite Flowers: I love Lily’s and Tulips

Now to the roll call, 10 (ahem ok 11) bloggers, not already listed on Fab 40 Foibles list, who I think deserve the sunshine award:

Tea&Biscotti

Love From Mummy

Mummy Daddy and Me Makes Three

Ready Steady Mummy

Mammasaurus

The Fabulous Moms Guide

Me The Man and The Baby

Mother Wife Me

The Crumby Mummy

The Mummy Blogger

Actually Mummy

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#Listography – Top 5 Things I Love About Kids

The lovely Kate at KateTakes5 has just released her latest #Listography and what a fab one it is too! She’s asking “What are the top 5 things you love about kids?”

Lets see…

1.) Innocence

The pure innocence that children have, the wide eyed wondrous stare as they see the world around them for the first time. The fact that they need and rely on those that love them so much. I love this, I love that my baby girl needs me and that I am helping to shape her world.

2.) Laughter

The contagious laugh that kids have. I love it, when you hear a baby giggle, you can’t help but join in and the more you join in the more they giggle. It’s beautiful and infectious, you could bottle it and it would be a best seller!

3.) Imagination

The mind of a child is a wondrous thing! They have invisible friends and can make play out of nothing. To watch a child as they play can be fascinating. The imaginative ideas they come up with is just fantastic. The fun that a kid can have with two dining chairs and a sheet is brilliant. It’s a cave, no it’s a cave with a bear, it’s a spy’s hideout, it’s a magic hideaway… it’s lovely and so cute to watch!

4.) Their Straight Forward Approach

I love the fact that kids say it like it is. I am sure it makes parents cringe when their little one comes out with something like “Mummy why does that lady have a beard?” for example but I can’t help but smile. It’s not funny for the person involved obviously, but it again shows the innocence of children. They don’t intend to set out to offend, but they are curious about the world around them and question it to understand it more. The fact that there are rules of right and wrong and etiquette really doesn’t mean a thing to a child, they just say it like it is.

5.) The Toddler Toddle

My little girl still has that funny toddler stagger, where balance is still being learnt and sometimes she appears to be on fast forward charging ahead with her body while her feet try to catch up. Friends and family love watching her and I have to say it is very cute, I could watch her for hours.

If you want to join in why not hop on over to KateTakes5’s site and link up

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Book Review – Martha and The Bunny Brothers I Heart School (Clara Vuilliamy)

It’s that time of the week again where we hop on board with @Home Dad and join in his#FictionFriday blog hop

This week I’ve decided to feature Martha and The Bunny Brothers I Heart School by the very lovely and very talented Clara Vulliamy

You may have read my post a month or two ago about how my little girl was officially a member of the most prestigious bunny club Well to seal the deal we of course had to go out and buy Clara’s book  to find out more as it all sounded so exciting and I have to say we weren’t disappointed!

Martha and the Bunny Brothers I Heart School is a fantastic story of Martha getting ready for her first day at school, whilst she is very excited about her big adventure she’s also worried that her little bunny brothers will miss her while she is away so she creates a fabulous club just for them, full of lots of fun and activities to keep them amused and entertained, what a lovely big sis!

The book is beautifully and simply illustrated and really helps teach little ones whilst engaging them in the wonderful story.

I am thrilled to have come across such a talented lady on my blogging journeys and love having her latest book as a new addition on our book shelf, I know it’s going to remain a favourite for some time. I can highly recommend Martha and the Bunny Brothers I Heart School to any parent out there with a young child.

If you like book reviews why not check out @ Homedad’s Fiction Friday’s

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