#MySundayPhoto 1/3/15

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My photo is of Baby’s single palm crease compared to my palm creases. I know there is a big size difference but it’s still really visible. This is a common characteristic of children with Down’s syndrome and since this month is home to World Down’s syndrome day (21st March) I thought this would be a great way to start it. 

This little crease is one of the many things I love about Baby because it’s just so blooming cute. 

Nikki x 

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My opinion on the mother who gave up her son with Down’s syndrome.

Over last few days I have seen many stories popping up on my news feed about the father who refused to give up his son because he had Downs syndrome.
I have also read the story about how his wife has now filed for divorce and most recently I have read her side on the events that have unfolded.

Being a parent of a child with Down’s syndrome I feel for both these parents to be given this life changing news about their son. I remember and know how lost, scared and alone I felt when the doctors told us our daughter diagnosis.
I can only describe it as being as if the whole room just freezing in one moment, while everything else carries on around you, like all the air and sense had been sucked out of the room and your left wondering the big question of WHY?
I can only imagine how much harder it is to be in a country like Armenia that hasn’t yet begun to accept or help families that have children with disabilities.

I agree with everybody that is giving Samuel Forrest support and commendation because I do believe he deserves a round of applauses and I take my hat off to him. What he is doing is amazing and I think it is great that he want to take his son back to his home country New Zealand and give him the best possible start in life. Don’t we all want that for our kids!

But I don’t agree with the way everybody in vilifying the mother Ruzan Badalyan. It’s not right or fair. This woman is still probably coming to terms with everything. I don’t think she is horrid or sick because she felt ashamed of her child, because in all honesty I was ashamed when my daughter was first born. I was worried about what people would think and I was scared that people would blame me, like it was all my fault and I had some how caused my child to have Down’s syndrome.

Even though I knew this wasn’t the case and that it was a genetic abnormality that has happened well before conception and actually happened when my husbands sperm or my egg cells were dividing and becoming sperms and eggs.

The day my daughter was born was one of the scariest and happiest days of my life. I am not ashamed that for a brief second the thought of giving her up had crossed my mind. I was a 26 year old mother with 3 other kids. How was I going to cope? Would I be able to give her everything she needed to look after her?
Luckily that second pasted quick and those thoughts pasted with it. Unfortunately with time and thoughts new ones come along and the seconds tick by.

See when you are in that situation and your head is whirling with hundreds of questions or thoughts you never know which to pick and which to say. I remember fearing that my husband would judge me, hate me, blame me or worst leave me because I had given him this child that wasn’t the child we had spent the last 9 months dreaming, talking about and planning for. In one moment that was all gone and was replace with dread, uncertainty and FEAR!

That’s why as a mother of a child with Down’s syndrome I can’t hate this woman because I can empathise with what she is and has been going through.
I do believe what she did was the right thing to do for her and child. He will hopefully grow up in a loving home with his father and maybe his mother. You never know what the future holds. in a country where his family can find medical help and support that he needs. Instead of his mother and family struggling on in a country that doesn’t help family’s of children with disabilities and her not being able to give him the care he needs to flourish and grow.

For this woman I don’t feel hatred or anger or even disappointment. All I feel for her is sadden because she won’t be able to see or feel the happiness and sense of amazement you get we her little boy smiles at her, holds his head high or gives her cuddles and kisses. She won’t feel the sense of pride that her little boy has taken in and archived something that other would be easy but for him is difficult. But most of all I feel sorry for her because she will never know how it feels to truly love and accept someone for who they are.

I know this because since having my daughter she has opened up my world to true beauty and shows me how truly amazing she is.

Nikki x

Breastfeeding a 1 year old and I’m not going to stop!

Dear people passing comment in how I feed my child!

I firstly want to say how “happy” I am that you decided to express yourself and tell me your opinions and thoughts in me breastfeeding my child!

I would now like to express how I feel about some of the comments that you made and I would like to put you straight.

Yes I have a 1 year old
Yes I am still breastfeeding
and no I don’t have any plans to stop!

I know to some people breastfeeding can be a taboo subject (“it’s too sexual”) and a few really don’t agree with it in public (“put it away, it’s disgusting!”).
I’m sorry but if my child is hungry or thirsty and they want breastmilk, I’m not going to hide away in the toilets or let her suffer to appease you.
Just like you can’t leave me to happily care for my child with out making your unhelpful comment.

I will point out that breastfeeding is one of the most natural things in the world and it is actually recommended for you to breastfeed your child until they are 2.

So when you decide to ask me “Are you planning on stopping soon?” Or “Don’t you think she is getting a bit old to breastfeed?”
My answer is simply

NO!

See my daughter is only 1 year old and our breastfeeding journey started out as a rocky one.

From the night she was born, I had many health professionals telling me “she might not breastfeed” because she had Down’s syndrome and due to her stay in neonatal, she was tube feed for the first few weeks. Meaning I had to express every drop of milk just so I could feed her. This was before I even got to hold her.
Once I was able to try and feed her. I was jumped at the chance but again it was full negative people telling me “it might not happen”.
I came close to giving up because I just wanted my baby off the NG tube and feeding for herself, because then she could come home.

Luckily after 3 weeks we made a break through when she started to take a bottle of my expressed milk. I knew once she was home I would get her breastfeeding from the comfort of my home, without negativity or professionals breathing down my neck. It took a while, a lot of tears and stress that pushed to the point of giving up. But we got there and at just over 5 weeks old I got my baby fully breastfeeding.

Because of the struggles we went through and because she is my last baby. I am not going to give up this opportunity to make my daughter happy and give her what she needs. Just to make someone I don’t know more comfortable.

Yes I will be discreet. In public I may cover myself with a shrug or blanket. That isn’t because I’m ashamed or for your comfort but mine. (can’t be getting frozen nips now can we)

So next time you want to make a passing comment about how someone else cares for their child. Please walk pass me and actually say it to some one who wants to hear it. I’m busy listening to the happy murmurs of my feeding child πŸ™‚

Yours sincerely

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The woman breastfeeding her 1 year old.

Nikki ❀

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Baby’s 1st Birthday

On Saturday was a big day because it was Baby’s first birthday.
I was so nervous on the day because I wanted her first birthday to be great and full of happy memories.
That way we could move on and leave the unhappy memories of her birth and after wards behind us.

I had been planning what to do on to celebrate for a while. My mum an I had come up with a plan to have a little tea party at her house. The only problem was that she’d could only do it on the Sunday and was inviting family round.
So at start of last week I decided to have a “little” get together at my house on her actual birthday. Inviting all my friends and there kids.

It’s safe to say the “little” get to together turned into a big party with a bouncy castle.
As the weekend drew closer all my planning was in place and we spent the night before her birthday decorating the house with balloons, banners and built most of her big presents. So the were laid out for her to play with.

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On Saturday morning (her birthday) my hubby had got up super early and took the boys to their swimming lessons and left me and girls in bed.

Baby didn’t sleep too much longer after he left and I was soon up and eager to run down stairs and open all her presents with her. (even if she was more interested in boxes and paper)

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I loved seeing her playing with some of toys we got her but when her older brothers got home the kids soon pushed in wanting to play with the new toys.
We left them to play for a little while but soon removed all new toys because they wouldn’t stop arguing or let Baby have a go. I had planned to remove them before all other kids came for party anyway because I knew they would cause arguments about sharing.

The weather wasn’t the best in the morning as it kept raining and I was so worried the party would be a wash out. By 1pm though the sun was trying to break through clouds and the rain had mostly stopped. Then then bouncy castle arrived and I was shocked at how big it actually was.

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I had booked an adult grade one because I knew I would want to have a go and most of my guests were big kids like me.

The party started at 4pm so my kids and I got a few hours of playing on it with out anyone else. Which was great fun even though I had to keep stopping so I could get the food ready.

Soon enough the party was in full swing and we all had great fun bouncing on bouncy castle, playing pin the tail on the donkey and of course singing happy birthday with the cake.

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The party was a great success. Everyone had loads of fun and my house was completely packed.

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But everyone had great fun. Specially the birthday girl πŸ™‚

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It’s hard to believe it has been a year an she is 1.

Nikki ❀

Difficulties in life

Day 27: Have you had to overcome something difficult?

This prompt had me thinking about the all the things I have found difficult in my life and that I had overcome or just learnt to deal with them.

Growing up I found a lot difficult because I was teased, tormented and bullied throughout my childhood. Primary school was horrible because all my bullies lived in my area. Which meant I couldn’t escape them. I barely went out because if I did I would be followed and teased. They would throw stones and mud at me, at my house and I didn’t help matters by getting angry and screaming, shouting or rising to their bullying.

When I went to upper school I thought it would be a fresh start and a new me.
Unfortunately I ended up going to same school as my bullies and was even put in the same form class as most of them. Upper school was rough until I reach 14. By which point I had made a group of friends and I started going out away from my area. I would go iced skating on a weekend where I made even more friends.

Just before I went 15 I started hanging out with and older group of people and going out to the pub and night clubs. (I would lied to my parents saying I was sleeping at friends or my sisters and would lied about my age to get in)
I know now it wasn’t the cleverest thing to do but back then just knowing I had somewhere I could go to be me, have fun and meet new people really helped my confidence. (it also helped 15 year old me survive my school days. It was the fact of knowing I had been out clubbing all weekend while my bullies where drinking cider on cold park benches because they couldn’t get in to clubs and I could. Petty I know but I was 15)
After high school things looked up. Obliviously I didn’t do very well in my exams due to partying nearly every weekend and not revising or working in class due to bullies.

I got in at a local college doing art and finally managed to get away from my bullies. I was happy for a while. Until I ended up meeting T’s dad and fell pregnant at 16 and very early into relationship. He was only 17 at time and we had a very volatile relationship (not all his fault). We weren’t good for each other but stayed together throughout the pregnancy and afterwards. After birth I was suffering from postnatal depression and didn’t really want to be with him or him me but we stayed together for T and because I was petrified of being a single teenage mother. Mainly due to the stigma that is attached to being a single teenage mum, I already had people commenting on bus or giving me stares when I was shopping.
Eventually we called it a day when T was 18months old and I was left alone, broken and with a baby to look after.

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I hit an all time low. Fortunately I had a great friend who dragged me out of my depression and helped me learn to love myself, my life and figure out what I really wanted. (read about it here)

After that life still had some difficult times like when I fell pregnant with P at age of 20, while I was still a single mum and I had to go through the pregnancy, birth and raising 2 children on my own.

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But when P was 4 months old a friends of mine asked me to go to a college open day with her and we both signed up to redo our GCSE’s.
It was that day that my life started to turn around. I was finally doing something for me to better myself and I loved it.

From then on my confidence grew and I realised I learning was fun and how much I had missed out on in school. Plus 5 months down the line I met the love of my life (my hubby). We have had our ups and down like any normal couple but he has made me the happiest I have ever been. With his help and support I finished college 3 years later with 5C grade or above GCSE’s, 2Alevels and 3Aslevels. I also left college heavily pregnant with our first daughter (not that we knew she was a girl at time).

After that I spent my time being a mum and I planned to look for a job when E was a bit older. She had other ideas though because when she was 3 months old she was rushed into hospital with a high temperature which was caused by a water infection. It was after that she was sent for test and found to have vesicoureteral reflux and duplex kidney. (you can read about it here and here)
Although it was easy to live with and just meant she was prone to water infections or UTI’s. As long as she took her antibiotics she would be fine unless she became resistant (which she did twice!).

One of the most difficult times though was when she was 10 months old. We had gone to hospital because she had a high temperature again and we were sat talking to nurse, when E suddenly went ridged in my arms and started to seizure because her temp had spiked.

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At the time I had never felt so helpless and scared that I would lose one of my children. The hospital were great though and whipped her into a room and brought her temperature down.
Or the first time she a was put to sleep for a cystoscope and screamed to whole time fighting against me, the mask and the doctors. She was strong for a 1 year old. Eventually she settled and went limp in my arms because she was asleep. I left the room with tears streaming down my face because of how upset she had become and because I couldn’t be with her.
E has since had more tests another op and is doing well on her antibiotic.

But for me personally the day Baby was born and the weeks after where the most difficult things I have overcome. (read about it here)
You see after an easy pregnancy and semi easy birth (or as easy as birth can be) I was given the shocking news she had Down’s Syndrome.
Because of me not knowing much about down’a syndrome I was scared of what it meant. I had never really been round anyone who had a Down’s Syndrome. I thought my life was over, that people would blame me because I had carried her for 9 months, that my husband would leave me saying it was all my fault. I was scared I would reject her and that I wouldn’t be able to fully love her because of her condition. I worried that I wasn’t a good enough mother to be able to cope with everything she would need because I didn’t feel like I was a strong enough person. I was scared for her and what kind of life she would have and this was all within an hour of just giving birth.
I hadn’t even had a chance to properly clean myself up and I was already having to change and reprocessing all the dreams and hopes I had thought up while I was pregnant. (or so I thought at time before I researched and learnt more about her condition and realised DS isn’t anything to be scared of)
My head was a mess of confusing and conflicting thoughts because when I looked at her I still saw my baby, I had created her, I wanted the very best for her and she was apart of me no matter what. She was mine!

So as I held her in my arms and tried to make sense of it all plus get her to latch on for her first feed. During which she started getting very sleepy or so I thought. Within seconds I noticed she wasn’t sleeping but turning a grey colour and her lips were going blue. (the scariest moment of my life so far)
My mother and husband ran to get doctors and she was whisked off to neonatal to be given oxygen support.

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She deteriorated through the night and went from only needing a bit of support to be completely ventilated on nearly 95% oxygen. She stayed like that for 2 days and in hospital until she was 23 days old.
I wasn’t able to stay with her in neonatal and was left in a room alone with only my ever confusing thoughts.

The hardest thing I have ever had to do was leaving her in the hospital when I had to go home. That night walking into my house and seeing everything I had laid out for her was torture because at that point I didn’t know if she was even going to make it home. (you can read about it here)

Eventually Baby got better, came home and quickly expelled all the fears I had after she was born. She showed us just how amazing she is.

So here are some of my most difficult and scariest moments of my life. I know to some they might not seem that bad or difficult but they were to me and I have overcome them all.

One thing I know is that I am glad for all the difficult times I have had in my life because they have taught me something about myself, shown me how strong I am or made me realise something I was missing.

Did you learn anything from a difficult time in your life? Did you come out the other side a stronger person?

Nikki ❀

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My 10 favourite blogs

I am linking up with Emma at outnumbered as part of the #BEDAoutnumbered challenge.

Day 21: What are your 10 favourite blogs?

I have many different blogs I read and link up too but my 10 favourite are:

1. Life As Alice
This is the blog of Alice. She is an amazing person who is a mum of 2. She has a teenage son, who has Down syndrome also. I love reading her blog seeing her pictures and just generally see what she gets up to. (not in a stalkery way) We became friends first through a DS support site and it was through reading her blog and her advice that I was able to create mine. I have never met Alice but I hope to one day and her amazing son. Her blog gives me hope, makes me smile and let’s me know that sometimes it’s ok to cry about DS. Her blog is worth a read I promise.

2. mumturnedmom
This blog is by Sara. She is a lovely woman from Scotland who has moved over to America with her family. She run a weekly linky called #theprompt I try to join as often as I can or when the creative juices are flowing. I’m not always able to come up with anything though but she still includes me in her list every week to ask me to join. I love reading all the different ways she is creative with her prompts. Writing poems, short stories or just telling is about her life. It in a great read.

3. The Reading Residence This blog is run by Jocelyn and is a great read. She blogs about life, about family, reviews and competitions too. She also host pleat of Linkys such as word of the week which I try to join every Friday and bring back paper I love reading what she has done over the week on a Friday and I try my best to join in to her linky.

4. PODcast
This is a blog run by Charly. She is a amazing a other who has an great talent for taking photographs. She runs and joins a number of Linkys join so I can’t help but come across her amazing blog. It’s differently worth a look.

5. Onedad3girls
This is a blog run by Darren. He is a father of girls and loves taking photos. He has run a linky #mysundayphoto that I join religiously every week and I love looking at his photos on a Sunday and reading his blog posts if I have time.

6. Zena’s suitcase is a blog on a mother who has an older childer plus 2 younger children close to E and Baby’s age. She hold some Linkys that I have joined in the past but have be absent from recently 😦 (I should really aim to finish the draft I have been typing for this linky) I live reading her post and because I know that we go through very similar things. She has helped me a lot in past too answering my nearly endless questions about blogging and adding me to groups on Facebook.

7. Downs Side Up
This is a blog run by Hayley. She is a fellow DS mummy and I have only tweeted her a few time but I love reading her informative posts about life with a child with DS. I have also watch her and her daughter on TV join her linky for #TeamT21 when I type a post that involves DS or my daughter.
Her advice and post gave always help be through times of uncertainty.

8. The Oliver’s Madhouse
Is a blog run by Jaime, she is a mother how write review and blogs about parenting. I love see all the thing she gets up to or reviews with her family and have used some of her views when I have been looking at or pick something out to buy. Great blog!

9. brummymummyof2this blog is run by Emma or Em. I love reading about her adventures with her kids and the thing did gets up to. But the thing I loved the most is her sarcasm and wit. Most of her post have me Laughing Out Loud and always manage to out a smile on my face. Trust me she us a blogger you don’t want to miss out reading.

10. internetburnette I have this linky #BEDAoutnumbered to thank for this one. Because without this linky I probably wouldn’t of found this blog but I have really enjoyed reading about her life abc getting to know some more about her. So much so I have started following her blog.

So there you go my 10 favourite blogs.

What are yours?

Nikki ❀

blog every day in August