Social Media Bullying

When we were at school there wasn’t such a thing as social media bullying, therefore if you was bullied as soon as you got home you didn’t have to deal with it again until the next day.

Now don’t get me wrong , It was still horrific and I was bullied quite severely myself. However now if you are bullied then it doesn’t just stop at the school gates.

I have personally seen a large amount of bullying across and different array of social media platforms and as a Mum to a large number of children it concerns me that it could happen to them.

What is classed as bullying?

Now this is a question I myself asked a teacher regarding Harry when he went through his difficult times of bullying. I had emailed a teacher witha list of several things that had occured from having abuse hurled at him, to having all of his school items thrown in the shower and the response from the teacher was ” I can see how this could become bullying” As you an imagine I was not impressed with that response.

I promptly emailed back and asked if he would kindly set up a meeting with me to discuss what he considered bullying as just because somebody hasn’t been physically hurt it doesn’t mean that they aren’t being bullied.

Oddly enough that meeting never appeared, a short while later one of the bullies physically attacked my son and I feel that had the school have responded correctly in the first place and acted on the things that had already happened this could have been prevented.

Types of social media bullying

As a blogger I use almost every social media platform. This blog post is purely to help raise awareness of the things I have personally witnessed and is not intended as a professional piece.

Whilst using social media I have come across some pretty horrific comments, pictures and awful abuse hurled at people. I myself have been on the receiving end of some of it.

One comment I received at a time when I was partcularly low already, I was already debating my abilities as a mother when someone commented about how my children would be better off without me. This comment had a humungous affect on me, one I am not going to go into too much detail about but it just shows how deeply those little words can affect somebody.

More recently I have been called ugly, fat, people have written things such as they can’t tell if I’m a man or woman, they have spread rumours and lies around about me and it has had an affect on my personal life, social life and even some friendships.

Monitoring our children

Now as much as I would love to tell you all of the things I have seen have come from children I would be lying. Some of these things are coming from full grown adults, people who are parents themselves. The same people who are absolutely incredible in the eyes of everybody else and portray themselves as amazing across social media then are clever and send these things via private messages.

With this in mind I wondered what we as parents could do to help protect our children from social media bullying. Here are a few things that I personally do, whether or not you wish to do the same is up to you or even if you have any other fantastic ideas to help keep our children safe please write them in the comments below.

  1. Keep an eye on messages. Now I know this may seen very obvious but it’s very easy to become distracted and not check for a short while. Alongside social media bullying there is also a risk of people pretending to be somebody that they are not and posing a more serious risk. Always remember to check others and any other filtered / deleted chats. Whilst our children need and deserve privacy they also need to be safe.
  2. Show them videos online of the consequences of not being careful online. There are many videos out there showing the dangers around social media and if I see something I feel with educate or help my children stay safe then I sit with them and watch it.
  3. Monitor their pictures and posts uploaded on social media. I always try to make sure if there are any comments I read them. Anything I see that doesn’t appear to be friendly I question. Even if sometimes that means going directly to the persons parents.
  4. Turn off commenting. This is something I would do in severe circumstances. Whilst social media is great for sharing things with friends and family it is also VERY public so by turning off commenting you are not allowing trolls to write things that could ultimately affect the well-being and mental state of your child.
  5. Set their profiles to private. Many social media platforms automatically create your profiles as public but all of them have the option to become private meaning that people can only see the material your child is putting up once they have been allowed to access the page. For example Annabelle is given very clear instructions not to add or respond to anybody she doesn’t know personally.
  6. Have their accounts signed into your phone so that you can check and keep an eye on things. Now I know many won’t agree with this but for me it’s important. I once caught one of my children talking to a stranger, the child in question assumed it was ok because it was a friend of a friends cousin. You can never be too careful of who they are talking to. This also means you can monitor and make sure they aren’t bullying people themselves.
  7. Remove social media all together, If you see it’s all getting a little bit too much andthe comments, pictures etc are starting to affect them then remove all social media. Trust me when I say you wont be the most popular parent in the world but you will give them that little bit of cooling off time and break away from the stresses of it.
  8. Report any vile or upsetting pictures and comments that you see. Most if not all social media has a reporting button next to posts/comments. When you report it they then decide whether it should be removed or not.

Protecting our children

Whilst it is literally physically impossible to be with your children 24/7 and monitoring everything they do we can only try our best. If I ever found one of my children writing insulting or upsetting remarks to anybody else then I would make sure they didn’t have the tools to do that again.

Maybe if more parents monitored their childrens behaviour and put things in place to prevent others getting hurt instead of leaving them to it we could all enjoy the world of social media a little more

Everything in this post is my own thoughts and feelings.

Thank you for reading

Cheryl

Leaving school and making choices

Gareth and I went out for dinner the other day and conversation quickly changed to the children and where they were in their lives. One of the topics of conversation was Harry leaving school and having to make the decision between going to 6th form or college.

During our discussion we mentioned how Harry had his heart set on becoming an act,his overall dream being to play The Doctor in Dr Who. Obviously the acting world is tough, in fact any kind of performance related work is tough and the odds of actually making it are slim.

Harry Dressed as The Doctor

Career choices

I was just like Harry at his age, I was determined I was going to become an entertainer and nobody was going to stand in my way. The school careers officer visited and told me how it was a tough business and that I should probably think of a back up career just incase.

Obviously back then I was a 15 year old know it all who didn’t need any advice and simply thought ” well I’ll show him” I didn’t take his advice and thought I knew better. Leaving school I went onto college but left after a short while because I had finally landed my dream job.

I had sent out letters ( yes you know pen on paper and posting through the letterbox and everything) to every holiday park in the UK asking them to give me chance until finally somebody was willing to give me the chance.

The job was everything I dreamed about and more but as the career advisor had said, it had a short shelf life and at the age of 22 my entertaining career was over. Guess what? I didn’t have anything to fall back on. So now at the ripe old age of 37 I’m living a life where I feel like I could have achieved more, I could have worked harder and been settled into a career.

Time for a chat

With all of this in mind we decided that evening we were going to sit Harry down and stress the importance of following his dreams but also having a back up in place.

He walked in from school and we simply asked, ” what are your plans for the future” Fully prepared to have to battle him with facts and drumming it all into him.

However he shocked us completely when he said ” I’m going to study performance and computer science, that way if I don’t become an actor then I will have a career to fall back on”

We let out a sigh of relief before telling him it was a great decision. So now he is in the process of deciding whether to go to 6th form or college to study. Since a very young age he has been adamant he will go to university so I guess we sit back and watch what develops.

As always I will guide him and offer his advice but this is the first time ever I have to completely take a step back and let him make the decisions that are best for him himself. I’m not 100% sure I’m ready to step back too much just yet.

When did he grow up eh?

Thanks for reading

Still learning about myself at the ripe old age of 37

As you may or may not be aware I haven’t blogged for quite a while now. This is due to several changes in my life leading to me going on a little bit of a self discovery journey and boy have I learned a lot about myself.

In March this year I decided it was time for to stop doing what pleases everyone else and instead focus on what makes me happy. I’m not going to lie that began what can only be described as a crazy year.

The first thing I did was returned to work, I absolutely loved being at home with my children but I wanted to earn my own money. Buying my children things from the cash I had earned myself. So I started working in a local shop.

Then I decided to stop caring about other peoples thoughts and opinions on me, yes literally just like that! I spent far too much time dragging myself down from other peoples comments and the way the treated me or spoke about me. I’m not going to lie that was a huge weight off my shoulders. I realised that no matter who you are or what you do in life there will always be someone there trying to knock you down, make rude or snide remarks or relaying their versions of stories to people.

It took me some time but I realised that the problems these people had lay with them ,not me. I know I’m a good person, I know those closest to me can confirm that and in all honest those that don’t like me? Well that’s life. No everyone is going to like you are they?

The newspaper article

You may or may not have seen myself and my children in a few national newspapers. I was approached by a company who explained that they thought my story of trying to become a mother would be inspiring to others so I agreed to speak to them and have some photographs taken.

All of the kids thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the process, having photoshoot. Filming the short video. I was actually quite shocked at how naturally they all took it. What I didn’t realise when I agreed to the newspaper article was that the TV show that myself, Harry and Ellie had filmed was going to be aired the week after the release of the article.

The TV show

WOW what an experience, It was absolutely crazy from start to finish. We were obviously aware of the TV show a long time before it was aired but were sworn to secrecy, at the time we were filming I was still blogging so that time I told you about a weekend away in London with my kids. It was to film the show.

In London ready to film

It was so amazing to be shown all the different things from the lighting to how they create the sun shining through the windows. Not to mention the actual filming itself.

Now obviously we were prepared for any negativity from the TV show and were sat waiting but it didn’t come! In fact the reverse happened, we received nothing but positive and supportive messages from everybody.

Sadly the show didn’t change our lives quite as much as we had hoped but we all absolutely loved being part of it. It was very strange going shopping and people recognising us but that has all died down now. Although we would love to do more TV, I think we’ve caught the bug!

Spending time for myself

As well as all of things I have been doing with the children I also took some time out for myself. I was spending weekends in Doncaster with friends, having a really great time. I met some incredible people and many of whom that will hopefully be friends for life.

These guys meant the world to me because they took me for who I am. They loved me for who I am. I literally just spent that time having fun and being myself. Still at the stage of other peoples opinions don’t matter, whenever I felt like someone was being negative or maybe not as true towards me I would simply just cut them out.

Learning about myself

There has been so much happened over the course of the year that would literally take me forever to tell you but I’m sure I will get round to it or things will pop up and I ease myself back into the blogging world.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that I am so hard on myself. If people made comments or said things about me I took them directly to heart. This was leadng to sleepless nights and a huge amount of stress.

I would beat myself up over conversations or things I had done when really there wasn’t any need to . Ok so some people may not like me, others might not like the things I do in life but as long as I’m happy who actually cares what other people think?

I’ve learned to be kind to myself, to focus on the positive parts instead of the negative constantly. I also learned that its ok for people not to like you. Other peoples opinions do not need to impact on your life so much that it actually makes you ill.

I no longer care what people think of me. I’ve always said I’m like marmite. You either love or hate me there doesn’t seem to be anything in between and I’m ok with that. As long as I have my family and my children around me I’m the richest girl in the world. Anybody else who enters my life and is special is just an added bonus

Thank you for reading and I’m glad to be back 🙂

I Have a Hangry Toddler!

I’ve heard of people becoming hangry but have never witnessed it until recently. I’ll be honest here I wasn’t even convinced it was a real thing but it definitely is.

Bethie is the grand old age of 2 and I genuinely thought she was going through the “terrible twos” stage when recently she started throwing full blown angry, stomping , bottom lip, screaming the house down tantrums.

Angry or Hangry?

I’m not kidding you when I say I’m surprised nobody has knocked on the door to check she’s OK. For someone so little she has one hell of a scream on her. In fact a couple of nights ago she wound herself up so much that she was actually sick straight down her Daddy’s top who was trying to comfort her during her tantrum.

Due to previous experiences with Ellie when she was a toddler and her tantrums turned out to be lack of hearing whenever any of my kids throw any kind I strop I automatically look at what could be wrong. Are they in pain or discomfort? Is there something just not quite right.

She’s a hangry baby

So I checked her ears, asked it anything was hurting and ruled out all of those thing ( well as much as I could with a child shouting “go away mummy!”

It turns out after a couple of days of watching when these kick offs happen it’s always around dinner or tea time! My little princess isn’t going through the terrible twos or being a little madam she’s actually hangry!

Food makes everything better

Instantly the second you give her something to eat she transforms back into the cutest, sweetest child you could ever meet. This is something very new to me, I certainly haven’t ever experienced a child that is that bad when they want something to eat. They usually just tell me!

She even hands out forks to everyone and tells them to sit at the table the second she sees the oven turn on, then it’s an agonising tantrum filled wait whilst the food cooks. It’s not even like she isn’t used to the times we eat because we eat around the same time each day.

Happy when her belly is full

Does anybody else have a hangry baby?



The Vintage Tea Room – Oakengates – Telford Review

As a family we rarely get the chance to get together, with it being Christmas my brother travelled up to see us with his family. My sister in law Tina turned 40 in November and wanted a celebration with the rest of us so invited us to The Vintage Tea Room In Oakengates for afternoon tea.

My brother Neil, niece Rose and sister in law Tina ready to enjoy their food

The place

The tea room is situated near to The Place Theatre meaning that there are plenty of car parking spaces right next to the little coffee shop.
Inside it is very beautifully decorated exactly as you would expect a little tea room to look with pretty flowered wallpaper.

As it is Christmas time the window sill was laden with tiny little tea pot ornaments and some small but cute Christmas decorations. To the side is a hat stand with loads of different kinds of hats. The kids had a great time trying them all on. Freddie made us all laugh when he put this hat on that went over his eye then was shouting “where is everyone?”

Freddie trying on the hats

Today the tea room was actually closed but they opened up especially for us , this is above and beyond what you can expect from anywhere. They are actually closed until January so took time out of their own days just to open and serve us.

All of the tables were decorated with lovely table cloths and very cute little cups and saucers. My daughter Ellie even commented how it was very posh and she felt like she didn’t quite fit in there ( She’s a proper Telford girl so doing posh must have killed her)

The kids waiting to start their afternoon tea

The Food

Everything was already laid out on the tables when we arrived with the sandwiches wrapped to make sure they were kept fresh. We were given a mixture of sandwiches including tuna & sweetcorn, cheese and cucumber and ham. Not forgetting they had taken the crusts off everything. Bethie isn’t a fan of cake but she certainly made short work of the sandwiches that were all very fresh.

The second layer of the cake stand held scones with clotted cream and jam in little tiny dishes for you to spread them yourself. There were plain scones and fruit scones to choose from. I went for the plain scone but had a serious case of eyes bigger than belly as I’d underestimated just how large they were.

The food. cakes and scones

On the top of the cake stand was the part that everyone looks forward too with Victoria sponge and chocolate cake. The Victoria sponge was light and fluffy and the jam very sweet. If I had one criticism it would be that it was lacking a little bit of cream. The chocolate cake was possibly the most chocolately chocolate ( how many times can I say chocolate) in the world. Very delicious but unfortunately by the time I got to it I’d already stuffed my face so handed it to Ellie to finish off.

Customer service

From start to finish Nikki and Natasha were very attentive ( unlike me because I’m not 100% that’s their names, I blame the fact I’ve had far too much sugar) Nothing at all was too much trouble, they made sure that everyone had drinks with a choice of tea,coffee, orange juice and blackcurrant juice. Freddie has a bit of a poorly tummy today so Nikki got him a glass of water then spent some time talking to him and making sure he was ok.

Opening on what was supposed to be their closed time for Christmas just shows what kind of people they are and my whole family are very appreciative.

Pretty tea cups

Would I recommend them?

I’ve had a few afternoon teas, from a disastrous experience at one hotel to an incredible experience at another but this little tea room definitely had the atmosphere you would expect from a little tea room and it felt a lot cosier than being in a large hotel.

I would definitely recommend the place to my friends and family so if you’re looking for somewhere to either treat yourself or someone else give them a shot

Thank you for reading

x

** I did not receive anything in exchange for this review, all thoughts and feelings are my own

2019 New Years Resolutions

In a few short days it will be a new year and along with that comes resolutions. For those that have been following me for a while you will know last year I set achievements rather than resolutions. I’m going to be honest I can’t even remember what they were and after a searching through old posts etc I still can’t find them.

This year I actually do have full blown resolutions and reasons for each one so I thought that I would enlighten you all on my quests for 2019. Enjoy and please feel free to let me know yours.

Positivity

2018 was a really tough year for me, I thought that after losing my Mum last year that any year would be better than that. However I was wrong, I hadn’t dealt with the death of my mum properly or grieved. This mixed with other stresses such as a change in home circumstances. Caring for someone with a severe mental health problem had a massive affect on me. I spent hours not sleeping, worrying what other people thought of me and focusing too much on the bad stuff but without actually confiding in anyone. This resulted in me having a massive breakdown.

Visiting the doctors , sure that I was actually going crazy all I heard was you’re not crazy you are just incredibly stressed with very little support. I didn’t believe them. I didn’t believe that stress could affect you in that way and so badly. It turned out they was right. Once I stopped stressing about the small stuff things started to fall into place and I came out the other end.

So next year I will not be focusing on anything negative, from people close to me to events happening around me. I’m not going to sit and stress or stay awake at night worrying about them. Instead I will decide if I can fix it and if not then I’m not even going to give it a second thought. I refuse to spend another year feeling anything less than my worth. 2019 will be a year where I focus on the positive things happening rather than the negatives.

Weight loss

Those who follow me will know I’ve had several attempts at losing weight and despite my absolute determination to succeed I have failed. So what’s different this time? Well I can’t say too much right now but my face will be seen a lot more in 2019 and I know if anything negative will be said it will be about my weight. I refuse to give people that as something to target me for.

I also have a fancy dress event coming up where 2 of the outfits will look absolutely ridiculous on me at this size and I flatly refuse to be the fat ugly one in a sea of beautiful people. Nobody wants to see an overweight clown with rolls everywhere do they?

Also health benefits play a big factor. I hate the fact that I always feel so sluggish and have zero motivation to do anything. I suffer from Asthma and as much as I hate to admit it, the heavier I am getting the worse it’s becoming. I’ve managed it quite well for years but the last 12 months as my weight has increased I have struggled more and if I’ve become ill with a cough/cold its taking longer to shift it.

My head is also becoming a problem. When I lost weight previously my headaches settled down. As the weight has increased I’ve noticed them becoming more severe again and the last thing I want is another huge needle in my spine!

My aim is 5 stone but I’m not unrealistic and have decided to set myself smaller goals of 2 & a half stone. Once I’ve hit that one I will go for the last 2 & a half stone. I’m really excited to see the new me and I’ve already decided to treat myself to a complete makeover once I’ve lost the weight. New hair, new nails, new clothes the works!

Returning to work

Whilst blogging has been fantastic as a distraction whilst I’ve been unable to work due to becoming a carer and my own health problems. I don’t actually gain any money from it. I’m not quite confident enough in my writing to turn it into a full time income ( although the opportunity is there if I take it with both hands) So I want to go back to actual work , in the real world.

I’ve lost a sense of myself and who I am as Chez, not just mum. Not only that but despite not working right now I have a huge issue with being on benefits. I get they are there for people who need them and without them I wouldn’t have survived the last few years. I strongly believe that they are there for those in desperate need.

My niece has incredibly severe learning difficulties, her mental age is that of a 5 year old but she came into my house last week and told me all about her job volunteering in a charity shop. How she works Monday – Friday 11-5pm and some Saturdays too. She cleans, irons , hangs up the clothes and helps around the shop. This was a defining moment for me where I thought if she can work with all of her issues then really I don’t have an excuse.

Not that I’ve needed one I’ve been itching to get back into work for a very long time but it just hasn’t been practical. 2019 there will be no excuses, I WILL return to full time work, I WILL get back my confidence and I WILL turn my life around. I’d be lying if I said returning to work will make me worse off than I am right now ( how ridiculous is it when you’re better off out of work than you are when you’re in work?) But if need be I will get two jobs!

I really want my children to grow with strong work ethics and knowing that if you want nice things than you have to work for them. There have been several occasions this year where I have literally have less than ÂŁ5 to feed my family for a few days, no petrol in the car and the gas and electric already on the emergency.

NEVER will I find myself in that position again! .

Heres to 2019

So these are my resolutions and my reasons behind them. I actually have A LOT of things to look forward to in 2019 and I’m excited to reveal it all to you when I’m able. For the first time in as long as I can remember I can’t wait to see what the new year has in store for me.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

Don’t forget to tell me your resolutions

Thanks for reading

x

I’m ditching the treats this Christmas

Christmas time is generally a time where we all stuff our faces, ignore the scales. Make ourselves feel sick from all the treats and from over indulging. I am not exception to a little festive food frenzy however this year I’ve decided to ditch the treats. I thought I’d share with you all my reasons why.

Self – Confidence

Anyone who knows me in real life will tell you that I come across as being very outgoing and confident. Beneath this exterior is someone that all of those people wouldn’t even realise was there.

I have serious issues with my body and myself in general but one thing that I really don’t like is my body. I’m not a body confident person. In fact I hate the way I look that badly I avoid looking in mirrors that go further than my shoulders. Even when I’m having a shower or a bath I generally try to avoid looking at my body because I find it disgusting.

Strangely enough the only thing I really like about my body is my stretchmarks. They are the one thing that I am not self conscious about because they tell a pretty incredible story.

As a result of my dislike for my body shape my confidence levels have plummeted. When I’m out with friends ( which isn’t very often) I am fully aware of the fact that I’m the “fat friend”. Finding something to wear is a nightmare. There are so many beautiful clothes out there in all shapes and sizes but whenever I try something a little different I just think it makes me look huge so I tend to stick to dark colours.

By ditching the treats it is helping me gain confidence. With every inch and every pound that I lose I can feel an excitement within myself of how I will look once I reach my goals, the clothes I can wear and taking photographs where I don’t hate the way I look.

I’ve taken before photos and plan to take one every month so that I can physically see the difference and change to spur me on.

Entering the public eye

In the new year I have some exciting things coming up in the new year where I will be in the public eye more. One thing I know for sure that people will pick on ( apart from my fast growing grey hair) is my weight. I would love nothing more than to be able to reveal this new slim me to everyone. To show people that with real determination you can achieve it.

I won’t be doing any faddy diets, the will be no syns, points, cabbage soup. Definitely won’t be any milkshakes ( I’ve tried it before and it triggered my migraines massively) I will be going by a rule I have seen so many talk about and it makes perfect sense when you think about it.

Each day I will aim to burn off more calories than I consume. I’ve been doing this for almost 2 weeks now and already I’m creeping towards the half a stone loss. It’s actually interesting how you change your choices just because of the amount of calories in something.

Not too long ago I’d have thought nothing of popping open a full can of Pringles and demolishing the lot. Ordering take away for the family and indulging in 4 slices of pizza as well as sides. Now before eating anything I check the calories in the food. If it’s high I find an alternative choice.

I don’t deny myself from anything I want and if I want to have a treat then I will. Everything is now in moderation so instead of a large chocolate bar I may just enjoy a couple of squares. If I’d like to have crisps instead of having 2 or 3 bags ( yes I really did have a 2 bag rule whenever I had crisps , it always had to be 2 bags) Now I go for a small bag with low calories.

I have to dress as a clown!

No, I’m not joking. In June I’m going away with my friends. Every time we go there is a theme for fancy dress. I always have to play it safe and wear large and frumpy outfits. Last time we went the theme was Alice in Wonderland and I struggled so much to find a mad hatters costume that would fit me and still look nice rather than an oversized nightie.

The other nights theme was Wizard of Oz , I actually loved my Dorothy outfit but not as much as I’d have loved to be able to wear something a little more sexy and flattering.

I found some gorgeous sexy clown outfits and my friend Charlie decided that would be the theme for our next weekend away. The costumes are gorgeous and I’ve got my eye on a few of them. Going as a clown at this size is not going to happen.

Firstly I will struggle to find one in my size and even if I do it will just look terrible. My friends and I only get together every few months so I would love nothing more than to surprise them when they see me in June with a smaller frame.

My Health

Growing up my Mum was always an overweight lady. I remember spending many nights watching her poorly, struggling to breathe and going through pain. Feeling powerless because there was nothing I could do to help her. She had a list of conditions as long as her arm and each one made her life very difficult. She had gone from a confident bar lady to someone who could barely take care of herself.

The weight I’ve gained recently has had an effect on my health. I’ve got constant backache. The more I weigh the worse my headaches are. My asthma becomes worse and I really don’t want my children to have to watch me the way I had to watch my mum.

I used to get jealous of friends doing things with their mums because my mum wasn’t able to. Don’t get me wrong she did the best she could and I have many memories of before she was ill from dancing in the living room to dancing on tables on holiday but it all stopped once she got so poorly.

I want to be there at the bar and dancing with all of my kids. You know those 80 year olds that still think they’re 19 with their glow sticks? That’s going to be me! The kids already tell me to turn my music down instead of it being the other way round.

No treats for me

So this Christmas everyone can keep their chocolates, cheeses, snack and more because this Chezzie wants to find herself again. I want to be able to dress less like an old lady and more than that I want to feel confident within my own skin.

I’ve set myself a little promise that when I hit my goal I’m going to treat myself to a makeover, new hair, new clothes, nails and more. I will do this, if I can make it through the next week without caving and giving in to the temptations then I know I have a much healthier, confident, fun future ahead of me and I can’t wait to see what it has in store for me.

I joined a new gym too so I’m trying to fit in as many sessions as possible, it’s VERY addictive. I was excited to see they would be open on Xmas eve and again on Boxing day. Whilst everyone else is pigging out and having food naps I will be sweating my arse off on that bloody Arc machine and lifting weights,

I don’t think I have been more determined to succeed than I am right now. I’ve already turned down Papa Johns Pizza and chocolate orange ice cream and I’m not even bothered about it. Choosing the healthier options is actually spurring me on and making me experiment with more colourful and tasty meals.

Thanks for reading

x

Birth Stories – Freddie

This week I have decided it would be nice to share my birth stories with you. With 5 children every single one has a completely different experience and whether you’ve already have children or whether you are currently pregnant/planning a baby hopefully reading these will help you. We’ve already had Harry , Ellie and Annabelle so now it’s time for Freddie.

The pregnancy

When I first met Gareth he never wanted children. He told me he had never seen himself becoming a Dad but once he got to know Harry, Ellie and Annabelle he fell in love with them and it completely changed his mind on the subject. It wasn’t long before we spoke about having a child of our own.

Little did the people around us know but we started trying quite soon after meeting but it just wasn’t happening. Every month I would track my periods and fertility windows religiously. I dread to think how much money we actually spent on pregnancy tests. I even went through a phantom pregnancy where I had all of the symptoms, the weight gain but the tests were still showing negative. 

A trip to the doctors confirmed that it was a phantom pregnancy. I always thought until this point that phantom pregnancies were psychological. However the doctor assured me that the reason I felt I was pregnant wasn’t in my brain it was my body actually tricking me into believing it.

By this point I think it’s safe to say that I was downhearted and that I felt maybe my previous fertility problems had resurfaced. Gareth was upset too because as much as he loved the other children he really wanted a child of his own.

Mummies little chunk

Then I started getting pregnancy symptoms again. This was a week before my period was even due but I just had a feeling that this wasn’t another phantom pregnancy and it was real.

We had gone to the local town centre as we needed to visit the bank and whilst Gareth was in the bank I nipped to get a pregnancy test and went to the loo. I took the test and watched as the line went into a cross. I was right I was pregnant! I decided to take a photo of the test and made my way back to the bank where he was waiting to see someone.

Without saying a word I just showed him the photo of the test. What I didn’t think about was the fact that he hadn’t been through this before so he looked at me blankly before asking what it meant. Nodding my head you almost saw the penny drop that I was pregnant! 

The pregnancy itself was fairly straight forward. No need for any lumbar punctures this time round. I was sick but literally only once and my god did I do it in style. 

We’d decided to find out the sex for several reasons. The first being my ex-husband never wanted to find out the sex with the older ones but I had really wanted to know. Also Gareth had it in his head he wanted a little boy and I figured if we found out and it was a girl it would stop him feeling the way I did when Harry was born. There was also logistics of would we need to move house or not.

Entering the scanning room I was nervous , I knew how much it meant to Gareth that this baby was a little boy and I was panicking about what would happen if it wasn’t.  There was really no need. The second the scanner was placed on my stomach it was almost as if he was showing off. Before we saw anything else we saw his winky! In fact I swear he was doing the helicopter with it.

Labour

Earlier on that morning I had gone for a bath and I had no idea why but I just knew I was going to go into labour. There were no signs of it at all. No pains, nothing I just knew. I came out of the bath and said to Gareth that I thought it was going to be that day, he was very sceptical because there was nothing to indicate it all  and we had already had a false alarm.

Around 3am I woke Gareth up to tell him I was in labour. I have never seen a bigger look of panic before. I’d sat downstairs for a couple of hours before that with little niggles but nothing major and hadn’t said anything to him.
Being a first time Dad he shot straight into panic mode, asking if I had everything , trying to rush me to the hospital and was very frustrated when I sat on the kitchen side drinking coffee before heading to the hospital.

My Dad turned up to tale us to the hospital and the pains were getting very intense by this point. Dad’s a bit of a joker so when he said he had taken a wrong turn I didn’t believe him but he really had! I thought I was about to give birth there and then.

Birth

For the first time ever I really wanted an epidural this labour was more painful than any of the other 3 so as soon as I arrived I asked if I could have one. On my notes it stated how I had a high pain threshold and that I’d had easy labours previous so the midwife wanted to check me first to see how far dilated I was.  There was a student midwife there and  was asked if I would mind her taking over my care. For me letting the students work on me is very important. They can’t get qualified without a certain criteria so without a doubt I said it was fine.  This decision was a fantastic one because she was absolutely incredible. 

Anyway , when I was checked I was already 7 cm dilated so there was no big pain relief for me just good old gas and air. For the first time ever my waters hadn’t popped so I didn’t really believe I was that far gone.

Freddie’s labour was super fast and as soon as he came out the midwives commented on the size of him, it even took 2 of the midwives to carry him to the scales. I was lay there wondering what kind of giant I had given birth to, but he turned out to be 9lb 7oz

sleepy baby

We had to stay in! 

During my pregnancy with Freddie I received a letter saying that during Annabelle’s birth they had discovered that I was a carrier of Group B Strep. I had absolutely no idea and it hadn’t been mentioned before this point so I was quite shocked. As a precaution during my pregnancy they did a test and it came back positive. Because I gave birth so quickly there wasn’t enough time to get the antibiotics in meaning that we had to stay in overnight to be observed. At first I was devastated , with all of my other children I had never needed to stay longer than a few hours and I’m not the biggest fan of hospitals after regular lumbar punctures but I knew I had no choice because I needed to know he was safe. Whilst I was there it felt like I was staying in a hotel ( only with a newborn and a very sore foof!)  The meals were delicious and everytime he woke for a feed a nurse would bring me a cup of coffee, I was quite sad when they said it was time to go home.

Everything was fine and we went home 24 hours later, Freddie Robert Hopkins was born at 06:56 on 13th July 2014

Thanks for reading 

x

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