Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Monday, October 22, 2012


As it is World Prematurity day coming up, I wanted to write a a post about something that matters to me, Something that affected me quite deeply through out my NICU journey.However, I haven't posted about  it much on here because when your childs life is saved, above all else you are grateful, grateful for every day that medics studied a text book, grateful for every decision they made and their commitment to medicine in general..So when I write this post I want to make it clear that this is not a criticism of the staff involved, it is a reflection of the chronic shortage in the cots available to Neonates in the UK today.

Dear Government,

Thank you so much for agreeing to give Britain's tiniest babies a chance at life. When my baby was born, she weighed just 1lb 7oz and we were terrified that she would not live.

It was a shock to hear we couldn't stay close to home, that we had to travel 150 miles to receive the care she needed, we naively thought our local hospital could help us, but they couldn't, they could barely help us at all.

When I was driven through a snow storm in the back of an ambulance, I thought my baby would die but she stayed with us until we made it safely to the other end. Thank you for providing us with this ambulance.

I won't lie, it was hard being so far from home. We had to leave our other child, our animals, our places of work... but  more than anything else, we were grateful because someone, somewhere might be able to save our baby, so thank you for that.

When after a few weeks our baby got sick, she had to be moved somewhere else, It wasn't that the doctors didn't give her a good care, they did but she needed looking after by surgeons and the other doctors, they weren't surgeons so they couldn't help us.

The change of hospital was scary because the nurses and doctors, they didn't care like the others, they didn't know our baby. They didn't know us. To them she was a 'thing' and we were 'the things' family, the ones who had to be kept informed.

But they did keep her alive and warm and we are so grateful for that.

A week or two later,the doctors,(the surgical ones) they told us that she had to leave their hospital. She was still small, sick and wouldn't take any feeds but they needed to make space for the sicker babies, the one's who weren't going to make it unless they went there. But they did arrange an ambulance to take her back to the first hospital, so thank you for that.

When we got back to the first hospital, the nicer one, her incubator wasn't where it was before, she had been put somewhere else now.She didn't really belong there, by the window but she didn't really belong anywhere really, not anywhere at all.

Then, only a short while after that, the doctors, they told me it was time to for her to leave their hospital too, to move closer to home. Only I didn't want to move closer to home, I wanted to stay there with the doctors and nurses who knew her. I worried that she wasn't ready,that she hadn't been tolerating milk for long. I pleaded for her to stay but they couldn't help us any more because they needed the cots for the other babies, the ones who lived close by.

The day she  moved from the hospital we didn't get to say goodbye to the doctors and nurses who saved her. When we arrived hoping to see our baby be put safely  in to the transport incubator she had already left and there was another baby filling her space.

I liked that hospital but I wish there had been time to say goodbye.

I liked hospital  number three too, we were there for a week but sadly we couldn't stay.

Our baby found it all too much you see, the move, so she had to go and be with surgeons again, different ones this time, and hospital number four.

It was old there, chaotic & smelly.

But they kept her warm and alive so thank you for that.

Thank you actually, to all the doctors and nurses in hospital 1,2,3 and 4 and especially to 3, our local (ish) hospital for working with the impact of hospitals 1,2 and 4 and for not sending us to hospital 5 even though that would have been the usual practice according to protocol.

Thank you for all of that.

But dearest Government,whilst I am grateful for all of these things I want you to know this.

When you agree to give these tiny babies a chance a life, you fill their parents hearts with hope. But when you cart  fragile, tiny babies up and down the country like you know you do Every Single Day you put their tiny lives at risk and your promise becomes a dangerous game of Russian roulette.

So when you say, you do everything you can to save the lives of babies born under 28 weeks. Please honour that effort by putting your money where your mouth is and give Neonates the resources they need

Because a life is a life..

No matter how small.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Getting The Most Out Of Your Pumpkin!!

For ages now I have been meaning to get more thrifty, I've never been much good at cutting costs but seeing as how One-day Hubby and I are now buying our own house, we I am going to have to be a bit more disciplined when it comes to spending.

This year, I thought Halloween would be the perfect opportunity to show off my penny pinching potential by demonstrating to you lovely readers just how many uses I can get out of a pumpkin.

Picking the right Pumpkin
It all started here. Determined not to find myself stood before a box of  pumpkins  asking myself the same old question 'Which pumpkin is the biggest and looks easiest to carve? I tried to learn more this year and find out which really is the better buy. It turns out that smaller does mean more tasty so I ditched the idea of taking home a monstrous wide boy and grabbed myself a few small but mighty pumpkins for the exact same price.
Year on year I have come away from pumpkin scooping with an aching wrist and splattered wall, leaving me frankly lacking in enthusiasm when it comes to the fun part - The carving. So  you can understand my excitement at the discovery of the ice cream scoop. Talk about revolutionary!!

Once I got scooping with this, I saw I could get a whole lot more pumpkin for the money. .Most impressed with the neat little curls that transpired, I popped them in  a roasting pan with some garlic, onions and sweet potato. Upon completion of the carving, the walls of the pumpkin cavity were approximately three quarters of an inch thick. 


Smidge loved exploring the slimy texture of the pumpkin seeds in her sand and water table and ever since Amy mouse showed us how this contraption doubles up as a floor cleaner, it's handily lived in our kitchen. 

Soup Donation
Once the Pumpkin,Garlic,Onion and sweet potato had roasted in the oven, we stuck it in a blender with a pint of stock. It made the most delicious soup which we took to the Mum's who are staying on the local Neonatal Unit. As I made the soup on behalf of our local support group, it came out of our 'gestures' budget,  meaning I got the pumpkins for absolutely free *Oh Yippers!*

Savoury Snack
We then washed the seeds and dry roasted them, later you can add salt or paprika for a cheap but tasty snack.

Do you think the trick or treaters will be impressed?

The Works Of Art
When it came to carving I used the craft knife (as it's much easier to cut small pieces). I noticed it's better not to not try and cut all the way through the wall at once. It's easier to cut in at an angle too so you can remove small bits at a time when working on smaller areas.
We didn't use templates or stickers this year, just picked  designs we liked and drew them out in biro. Not being  natural artists, I had to 'wipe out' our markings a few times, However, the usual case of pumpkin- pattern- template dyslexia thankfully didn't occur. 


Mr G's  Evil Effort

Shape sorting made easy !


Monday, October 15, 2012

Baby Loss Awareness Day

Today is Baby Loss Awareness Day and to honour it, I'd like to share with you a story of a baby named Harry Cunningham.

Harry was cared for at our local Neonatal unit, he was born early at 35 weeks gestation. Sadly, there were complications during his birth that set him on a path to tragedy and the little boy that should have been taken home to his family instead became an angel.

Since Harry's passing a few months ago, his Mum Nikki has blogged and campaigned tirelessly to raise awareness about a condition called Vasa praevia. It was this condition that cost young Harry his life.

Take a moment to imagine how devastated you would be, to carry a baby for 35 weeks. To fully expect to bring that baby home. Nothing that anybody could say to you could take away the pain of the sudden frightening reality that it isn't going to happen.

But as a Mother to that baby, you would at least want to know that there was no possible way your babies condition could have been prevented. You would at least want to know that their sudden passing was a cruel twist of fate that could not have been avoided.

Now imagine that you found out that that this was not the case, that three extra minutes with a sonographer could have bought you a healthy baby. That your baby could very easily have been saved by a few extra checks.

Wouldn't you be devastated? Wouldn't you want to do everything you could to make sure this never happened again?

I would and I know Niki Cunningham does too.

So if you do one thing today, please go to her website and sign her e petition. Help her to help others.

Don't let Baby Loss be one of those things that doesn't matter because it didn't happen to you.

I wonder how many of my readers will take thirty seconds out of their day to do something for baby loss Mum's and to honour the life of baby who was taken too soon.


I know the Cunningham family cannot praise the paediatricians and nursing staff on the Neonatal Unit enough for their dedication and effort throughout Harry's short life. However by the time he came into their care he was already extremely unwell.

My candle for the wave of light and especially for the Cunninghams. I loved the way the reflection created a star like effect!

* Please read and support Niki on her blogging journey by following this link

* Please sign the e-petition requesting that screening for vasa praevia to be put in to effect in the U.K by clicking here.       .

* Learn more about the Harry Cunningham Trust by clicking here

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

That Question

Ever experienced those moments where you bump in to a fellow Mummy and there you stand, buggy to buggy nattering away. If you make it past the pleasantries stage then it's only a matter of time before the ego crushing killer question weasels it's way in to the conversation, the answer to which is never as honest as I would sometimes like it to be.

Yes I'm talking about about the old 'So what do you do?' Question.

What do I do? Well lets see, I shop for buy one get one free offers. I stay inside my house (a lot) and I mess it up constantly. I make animal noises,such as oink oink, baah baah and woof woof. I scoop up chewed on crayon and vacuum up dog hair pretty much all day long. I am a woman who wipes hand prints of her leggings approximately seven times a day and then will go to the supermarket wearing those very same leggings and look like an utter frump, making others feel smart in their primark clothes.

No I don't have an I-Candy pushchair and my car may be missing a hub cap or two but I do consider it's worth it because I get to spend the days with my daughter.

Oh and in case your thinking that must mean I'm a good Mum, very patient, it doesn't mean that at all. I get tired like everyone else.There are days when I really don't want to go oink oink,baah,baah, and woof woof and Smidge very well knows it but I try my best and it doesn't matter if I don't get it one hundred percent right all of the time, what matters is that she and I are working at things together and if that means that things arn't always perfect then that's okay because life isn't perfect and neither are situations or people.

It's not that I didn't have a good job or that it wouldn't be in our financial interests for me to return to work, I did and it would. However, I choose not to.

What I choose is smelly nappies and the dishes that need washing, I choose toddler tantrums and jam smeared leggins, I choose putting the doll in the pram, taking it out of the pram and then crying because it got  stuck. I choose jumping in puddles because one more wash wont hurt and putting a decent meal on the table at the end of it all. 

I choose sounding like I'm the voice over in trainspotting.

I choose Stay At Home Mumism. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Bit Of A Fling

You're going to be disappointed in me but I'm afraid I've been unfaithful. I want to say it was spur of the moment decision but in truth I did have time to think.

Word get's around quickly, so I won't beat around the bush but it's true, I ran off with another blog.

Of course I want to tell you I only toyed with the idea,that I wasn't really serious but that is simply not the truth, I really did go all the way.... and publish my first post.

I'm ashamed to say I was going to string you both along for a while until I knew what I wanted but  my plans were shattered when I was cruelly exposed by that damned Google reader and it became clear that half my readers had already discovered my secret other.

So here I am torn between two blogs...

On the one hand, Diary Of A Premmy Mum is like the pair of shoes that fit perfectly on my feet, They don't look so great to the outside world but I'm comfortable in them.

Yet I see that there are far nicer shoes out there. Shoes that are colourful , shoes that hold purpose..Shoes that open up possibilities.

Do shoes really do that?

I guess what I'm really wondering is...Is it time to try something else?

The chart that goes with the shoes.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Mad Blog Award Finals.

Apologies for the delay in getting this post up, I've been in hiding since the late hours of Saturday morning when I woke up with a sore head, a sore throat and an all round totally hung over feeling, the result of  a fabulous night at the Mad Blog Awards.

I didn't win of course but fortunately, I was so drunk on the free wine  by the time they announced the winners, that my runner up status was very well received indeed.

The night in itself was brilliant, I was quite nervous in the lead up to the event as I didn't know a soul going and I was fretting about the possibility of being left standing around like a spare part but I need not have worried, I met some very lovely parent blogger's and they all made me feel very welcome.

Check out this pic..It's me ready for the event ( just before my dreams were shattered...)

The hotel where the awards took place was super posh, So posh in fact, one old lady even frowned at me in disgust to see me in my dribbled on jeans before getting changed for the event. (Sorry old lady but I only own one posh dress.)

At 7pm, the exclusive bar was opened and all the finalists filtered through, We were given lovely, lovely champaign to drink, Of course, they didn't have to ask me twice, I was ready to celebrate!
( have been practising at home for months in fact )

Later we went through to a dining hall, where there was a board with a seating plan, there were two big projection screens that span out live tweets, it was very social media ish and I felt like something of a fraudster being there, what with my 36 twitter followers (but I love each and every one of you!)

At the centre stage there was a podium of sorts, with a mega sized Mad Blog back drop, it was very professional looking and I was super excited to see who was going to be up there making speeches.

Sitting down at my table I got to know some other bloggers' and I was very lucky to be seated beside the hilarious Emma from adventures of an unfit Mother and the equally lovely Lucy, Author of Lulastic. Our table had a brilliant laugh, and we proudly finished every drop of wine on the table, quite an achievement really.

A shocked Emma managed to scoop the award for best family life blog and we were all delighted for her, I can't say I knew the other candidates but I  thought her a very deserving winner and I'm definitely going to be following her and the others' from now on!

A three course meal was served over the course of the evening, which was very scrummy and the table waiters did a very impressive job of getting all the meals out on time.

After all the winners were announced, the lights went on and a guy with a camera came over and started snapping shots of Emma. I was a little bit surprised to see he didn't maintain his professionalism as he started to get a little fresh with with her...

However Emma took it all in her stride,( the good natured girl that she was ) but it certainly caused a few raised eyebrows on my part..until it became evident the guy with the camera was actually her husband..  Damn red wine Who let him in? 

Like Cinders,I left at midnight to get a lift back to One day Hubby's sisters. Shockingly Mister G was waiting in the car, I stumbled towards him, apparently stammering 'give the loser a hug...' He embarrassingly recounts.

Any way, All in all, A jolly good time was had by all. If I was ever lucky enough to go again, (which is probably highly unlikely) I'd probably make more of an effort to stay sober enough to remember everyone's names, but then again... that really wouldn't be much fun would it?

A slightly tilted shot of the ceremony!