A Mummys View

Telling it like it is

I am Supporting the #Blog it for Babies Campaign

Having been reading blogs by a  number of lovely parent bloggers of late, (namely Mammasaurus, HPMcQ and Mother.Wife.Me) about the Save the Children campaign Build it for Babies and the subsequent Blog it for Babies campaign I felt inspired to get involved and share my birthing story again as part of a Blog it for babies initiative to raise awareness of the campaign.

But before I post my story here’s a bit of information about the Save the Children Build it for Babies campaign.

In Bangladesh 1 in 19 children don’t live to see their fifth birthday because of limited access to basic healthcare services. This means that preventable diseases are claiming the lives of innocent young children and babies.

Save the Children is appealing for £1 million to build life-saving clinics in some of the poorest and remotest areas of Bangladesh.

The clinics will reach:

  • 21,500 women of child-bearing age with family planning services
  • 3,000 pregnant women with antenatal care
  • 2,190 newborn babies with postnatal care, breastfeeding support for their mothers and antibiotics when they become ill
  • 2,218 infants aged up to one year, by helping their mothers to breastfeed and wean them safely and reducing the chance of life-threatening diseases such as diarrhoea and the risk of malnutrition
  • 43,600 people in the area with information on how to stay healthy and where to get help if they do become ill
Not bad reading is it?! So here’s my stab at raising the profile of the campaign by sharing my birth story…
Below is an extract from my post Oh My God My Baby’s Coming Early posted back on March 14th 2012.

I had to have a c-section due to problems with my hips and back meaning that I may have struggled with a natural birth. It just so happens also that my daughter was breach so it kind of sealed the deal anyway if there had have been any question about it. However what I didn’t bank on was the fact that it would all happen sooner than expected!

At 37 weeks I had an appointment with my consultant who felt that the baby was measuring on the small side so they decided to send me for a growth scan and booked me in for the next day.  At the scan I was told that my amniotic fluid levels appeared low and they were concerned about the blood supply from the placenta as this also appeared low. I was asked to go along to the day assessment unit straight away for a CTG (listen to the baby’s heart beat), the results of which luckily came back fine.

I was booked in to see the consultant again the next morning and when we arrived he had a chat to us and said he didn’t think there was any immediate serious concern but since the baby was measuring on the small side and I had just hit 37 weeks he felt it better to be safe than sorry and that we should just get her out. He picked up the phone to check availability for a c-section the next week and I suddenly then heard him say “tomorrow? yes sure”. He put the phone down and said “How does tomorrow first thing sound?” I immediately laughed in a rather hysterical manner and looked at the midwife in the room, I genuinely thought he was joking but from the blank and serious expressions staring back at me I soon learned he wasn’t!

With an appointment scheduled and a shake of the hands my husband and I left the room in a state of shock, I’d been expecting to have at least another couple of weeks on maternity and hadn’t long been finished work. However it seemed my little girl was going to make an early appearance! We were sent back along to the day assessment unit for my bloods to be taken and consent forms to be signed etc. The ladies were lovely and made us feel at ease, even making us a cuppa! After an hour or so we were done and dusted and headed out to prepare ourselves for what was about to happen. I did in fact spend the whole day in a bewildered and hysterical state of shock and fear, rushing to prepare for the arrival of my little girl the following day!

That night I just couldn’t sleep, I kept thinking of the fact that the next day I was undergoing major surgery let alone about to become a mum! I suddenly started panicking about what if something went wrong and started muttering about not having a will to my husband and what I wanted to happen! I’ve had several operations on my hips over the years but not for quite some time and I suddenly felt very vulnerable. I don’t think my behaviour put him entirely at ease but I felt I needed to express these things!

The next day after a restless nights sleep and being nil by mouth from the early hours I headed to the hospital. I was greeted by a lovely nurse called Claire, she showed me to our recovery suite and helped me settle in. She was lovely, so calm, so friendly, instantly made me feel at ease. All the necessary checks were done and we were left to sit and wait until the theatre was ready. We were first in but we had to wait until an emergency c-section was completed so we ended up being called a little later than expected. It seemed like an eternity! I can’t even recall how we passed the time!

Once we finally got the nod hubby was dressed in his scrubs and a final bump pic was taken for good measure. I had my pre-med done and the  lovely hospital gown donned! I was walked down to the theatre, bare bottom showing to all, to have my spinal put in and was shaking like a leaf! However the fabulous team that met me again instantly put me at ease. I just remember a lovely calming voice of a Scottish nurse and a really friendly anaesthetist, they were like a welcoming committee and chatted to me and really relaxed me totally. The only one freaky moment was the fact that I almost lost consciousness as they were putting my spinal in, I kept telling them I didn’t want to go to sleep and I was going to sleep and then I started to keel over so they grabbed me and laid me down quickly and I came back round. Turns out I had a slight dip in my blood pressure but it corrected itself (freaky though!) Once I was settled they brought my husband in and he sat by me at the top of the bed. The large sheet shield went up and neither of us could see anything. A nurse sat with us at the top end talking to us, as did the anaesthetist, it was all very jolly and surreal. My husband tells me that they hit play on a CD player and David Bowie’s “Changes” came on. I began to feel a bit of tugging and pulling but nothing too bad and then suddenly at 10.09am I heard a cry, it was my baby girl, MY baby girl, I was a mum! They hit stop on the CD player, it had all taken less than the time the track had taken to play out! Incredible! My little girl was wrapped in a blanket and handed to my husband who sat with her against my shoulder. We both just sat in utter amazement staring at our daughter, all the tiny 5lb of her! It took a further 40 mins or so for me to be sewn up and all I can remember is at one point my legs being lifted in the air, I could see them rise above the sheet that had been put up but couldn’t feel them, it was surreal, it was like one of those magic acts where body parts suddenly become separated from one another. I just looked at hubby and in a rather slurred voice said “are those my legs?” to which he started laughing and that in turn made me laugh too!

After around 20 / 30 mins my husband was taken back to our recovery suite by Claire with our daughter so she could be checked over, weighed, cleaned and dressed. By the time I was wheeled back round hubby was sat holding our little girl. It was then that I got my first chance to hold our daughter, skin to skin and try her on the breast, It was an amazing experience! Do I wish I could have held her instantly? Yes. Do I feel I lost out though? No. I still got my moment with my little girl and the important thing was that she was safe and I was safe.

The rest of the day admittedly is a bit of a blur… the drugs were great! ha ha! I remember being brought tea and toast quite soon after coming back to my room and my husband standing holding our little girl as we listened to screams coming from down the corridor. We joked that it was all quite quick and painless really! We spent a few hours in the recovery suite before being wheeled to the labour ward at around 4pm. The flurry of family started, the first being my proud mum and dad to welcome their first grandchild, followed by my sister and her husband and my best friend and a family friend. Our inlaws arrived the following afternoon after a mad dash back from France and they were over the moon!

The first day I didn’t feel much pain but over the next few days I was very uncomfortable, I take strong pain killers anyway for my back and hip so what they were giving me wasn’t doing a thing and I had to ask for something stronger. I don’t think I expected it to hurt as much as it did, every day I was in agony and smiled through the visitors before finally bursting into floods of tears when they left. I think the first night was the hardest, I had the crib laid next to me and could hear my daughter being a little sick, it sounded like she was choking and freaked me out. I was in such agony I couldn’t move to get to her and had to buzz the nurse to come and het her for me. I didn’t like that! However the next night was easier and the electric adjustable beds were a god send! It was quite hilarious watching myself and the girl I was on the bay with taking it in turns through the night to raise up and down like something from Dracula!

When they first got me up out of bed it was horrible. The stitches felt so tight I literally couldn’t stand up straight! I begged the healthcare assistant to stay in the bathroom for me… dignity out of the window! I think I was disillusioned too as I didn’t think I would bleed as much having had a c section… naive! I actually stayed in hospital for 5 days to get my pain under control. I know many women who have been out in 2-3 days no problem and with little pain, but this was just my experience and I felt comfortable knowing I had help close by. Having spent those 5 days in hospital I had got a good handle on looking after my daughter and excellent support breastfeeding so felt comfortable on returning home.

Reading this back it makes me realise what quick, life saving action was taken for my little girl and what fantastic support I had from the staff at the hospital, from the minute I arrived to the minute I left. Women in Bangladesh aren’t as lucky as we are but with the support of Save the Children’s Build it for Babies campaign more support than ever before and life saving action can be taken for these mothers and mothers to be. What’s good too is the fact that we can help make this difference, by spreading the word, raising the profile and encouraging people to support the campaign.
If this has inspired you to support the campaign, you can do so in a number of ways:

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ONE Thrive: Food.Farming.Future Campaign

Last week I received a message from the lovely Mummy From the Heart regarding a new campaign called Thrive: Food.Farming.Future. It’s being run by One.org, a grass roots campaigning and advocacy organisation that is giving a voice to those that are not heard at the moment, and for whom Mummy From the Heart is a mum ambassador.

The campaign, which will run until 2015, calls on each of us to play our part to break the cycle of hunger and poverty, by tackling the root causes.

Millions of people world wide are locked in a vicious cycle of hunger and poverty. Poverty means parents can’t feed their families the nutritious food they need and this can leave children hungry and malnourished. Malnutrition leads to poor development and shorter, less productive lives, which in turn means less likelihood of escaping poverty and so the cycle starts again.

Facts:

  • More than a billion people, that’s 1 in 5 of the world’s population (20%), live on less than 79p a day ($1.25), meaning a billion people will go to bed hungry tonight.
  • 178 million children won’t reach their full development potential before their 3rd birthday and as a result their little brains and bodies will never fully recover.

ONE is calling on African leaders, donor governments and the private sector to focus on thirty of the world’s poorest countries that have smart agriculture and nutrition plans, which are tested and affordable, and to put them into practice. These plans could work, but for them to do so they need political leadership and financial backing and the Thrive: Food.Farming.Future campaign is insisting on both.

The aim of the campaign is to use our collective voices and to make a noise to urge leaders to take this action, hoping  that by 2015:

  • We could see 15 million fewer children chronically malnourished
  • and 50 million people lifted out of extreme poverty

As a mother I know I would do anything to help a child who is hungry or in need, no child should ever have to suffer, every child should have love and support and a voice. Many of the children in the world’s poorest countries don’t have a voice so together we can give them one and help save their lives.

How you can help:

  • Sign up and offer your voice to ONE.org We, the general population, can help them to put pressure on African leaders, donor governments and the private sector. ONE’s strength is its collective action – one plus one plus one quickly adds up to a lion’s roar.
  • Spread the word with a blog post and through other social media – please put a post on your blog and / or share about the ONE Thrive Food.Farming.Future campaign through your other social media outlets. See this Google Doc for some simple information you can use in your post. If you do blog about this then please link back to Mummy From the Heart as the campaign can use her blog post full of linked up posts to show to our Government and influential institutions that there is a strength of opinion in our blogsphere. Our voices count! (Tweet #LetsThrive)
  • And finally Sign the petition

Together we can make a difference! There’s living proof you can watch a great video here

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I Did Something Yummy for CLIC Sargent

Well, this weekend was my Yummy Mummy Coffee Morning in aid of CLIC Sargent (the children’s cancer charity). I’d spent 3 weeks arranging the event after I’d seen the campaign advertised in a magazine.

I canvassed lots of people I knew and invited them along and managed to get a host of fantastic prizes for a raffle, including a fabulous art set from Muralart, Jamie @ Home, Partylite, Avon and Phoenix Cards prizes, as well as a baby sign language voucher and spray tan voucher.

We had a truly gorgeous day for it so were able to open up into the garden, thank god as I had gone a little overboard on the numbers I’d invited! My fab neighbour lent me chairs for both inside and outside and I set up the swing and slide for any little people attending.

Inside I had areas set up for a Partylite candle pool with a percentage of the takings going to CLIC Sargent as they are their nominated charity, a Phoenix Cards box for people to purchase cards from (again with a percentage donated to the charity) and a Jamie @ Home stall not to mention the fab cake stall! I’d asked everyone to bring cakes and boy did they bring cakes!!!! In fact I still have cakes left! Lots of cakes!!!!

Unfortunately in the run up to the event a few people contacted me to say they weren’t able to come for a variety of reasons, which meant numbers attending did drop somewhat (I don’t know if that was a blessing for the space I have or disappointing that we could have possibly made even more money), however the support from those that were able to come, or couldn’t come but still supplied cakes or donated money in advance was fantastic and we raised an amazing £150!

I am thrilled to be able to send the money across to CLIC Sargent, knowing that it will make a significant difference to many little lives. It only takes £20 to supply a play specialist, who through the use of toys helps children undergoing treatment understand what is happening and will happen to them, so our £150 will be able to help put quite a few children’s minds at ease in what must be a very scary time in their lives and that means a lot to me knowing that we have been able to do that!

I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone that got involved! Having been involved this year I am sure I will sign up again next year to Do Something Yummy

If you did something yummy too why not share it with us and hopefully we can encourage more people to sign up next year!?

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Yummy Mummy Coffee Morning

The stage is set, bring on the yummy mummy’s for the CLIC Sargent Yummy Mummy Coffee Morning as part of Yummy Mummy Week. #dosomethingyummy

Yummy Mummy Week  takes place 10-18th March 2012. Yummy Mummy and is a week long fundraising event where mums are being asked to get together with friends and family and ‘do something yummy’ for CLIC Sargent.Tomorrow I am hosting a coffee morning for this amazing cause and hoping to raise lots of money!

CLIC Sargent provide invaluable support to children with cancer and their families.

No matter how much raised all monies help make a difference to people who are going through a very very difficult time in their lives.

£20 could pay for a CLIC Sargent Play Specialist to help a young person undergoing treatment by using toys and photo’s to explain what will happen.

£400 could pay for a family to stay at a CLIC Sargent Home from Home for a fortnight, so they can stay together near the hospital during treatment.

I’ve raised money for various causes over the years including Tommy’s baby charity and Marie Curie Cancer Care and like knowing that I am making a difference and helping others. I hope to regularly take part in CLIC Sargent’s Yummy Mummy Week and make it bigger and better each time!

I’ll report back on how we get on but in the meantime why not check out more information about CLIC Sargent and how you can help support them.

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Be a Yummy Mummy and Raise Money…

I love doing my bit for charity so when I saw that the children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent are calling on all Yummy Mummies out there to get together and hold a Yummy Mummy coffee morning to raise money for the charity I couldn’t resist.

The charity are asking mummies to hold events, no matter how big or small between 10th and 18th March so I am opening my doors to my lovely mummy friends and hosting a coffee morning of my own. I am really looking forward to it and will of course be writing a post event update!

At present however I am calling to all the other mummies out there to jump on board and host your own event to help raise money for this fantastic cause!

Every day 10 families are told their child has cancer. As the UK’s leading children’s cancer charity, CLIC Sargent is the only organisation to offer them all round care and support. That’s because they’re there every step of the way:

During treatment – providing specialist nurses, play specialists, Homes from Home

In hospital & at home – offering specialist social care and support in the community – services for young people, holidays, grants

After treatment – helping survivors, supporting those bereaved

I was shocked to hear that every day 10 families receive that news, it must be heartbreaking to receive such news and I can’t even begin to imagine how I would feel or cope. However to read that 8 out of 10 children now survive cancer and that charities like CLIC Sargent are out there offers some form of reassurance that work is being done and people have someone to turn to.

However without support charities like this can’t continue to provide the services they do. If between 10th and 18th March you can take a couple of hours of your time to bake some cakes, put the kettle on and have your friends round or set up a stall at work and raise even a small amount, you will be making a huge difference to those who need it most!

Links:

Yummy Mummy Week launch

Yummy Mummy Week Event Information

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