Saying Goodbye…

“A heart break isn’t always as loud as a bomb exploding. Sometimes, it could be as quiet as a feather falling and the most painful thing is, nobody hears it except you – Anon

On Wednesday the 2nd of January 2013, our lives changed in the most difficult and heart breaking way ever. I have spoken about this in previous blogs although not in detail, because I didn’t feel ready to share that part of our lives with the world.

But here we are a year later, and we are ok. We are living each day as it comes. We got through it. We are coping. And so I now feel strong enough to be able to share our story with you in the hope of helping someone else who may be feeling or going through the same thing, and to let you know that you can, and will, get through it.

On the 2nd of January 2013 , Paul and I lost our baby. 

I remember settling down to watch the new series of One Born Every Minute with a cuppa and some leftover Christmas chocolates. I felt awful, and had done all day, but put it down to an over indulgent Christmas and New Year.  Paul had just taken the boys up to bed and we were all looking forward to getting back to normal after the New Year break.

The theme music started. And after that,  everything is a blur.

Paul found me collapsed in the toilet about 20 minutes later. I was as white as a sheet, my clothes were soaked in sweat and I was drifting in and out of consciousness. I had lost so much blood. Too much blood. We both knew what had happened, but neither of us said it.

I remember the paramedics rushing up the stairs to me, being hooked up to drips and monitors and taken in an ambulance to A&E. I remember being so embarrassed by the mess I was in and constantly apologising to the paramedic, who couldn’t have been nicer, or more understanding. But the sympathetic glances, and the gentle “It’ll be ok” told me straight away that nothing was going to be alright.

I remember not crying. I just felt completely numb. It was as if I was watching this happening to someone else.

I remember lying in the cubicle in A&E, with Paul trying to make me  laugh (as we always do in the most awful situations) and just having a feeling of complete emptiness come over me. Helplessness. Guilt. Sadness.

And then the doctor came. And the tears came. And they didn’t stop for a long time.

We had lost our baby at a little over 12 weeks gestation.

We had no scans. No medical notes. Nothing, physically, to remember the fact our baby actually existed. But the loss of our baby broke our hearts. There was no reason. It wasn’t anyone or anything’s fault. But a part of us will never fully recover from it.

January, February and March came and went. I wasn’t living my life. I was simply getting through each day as best I could. I was dragging myself out of bed for the sake of my boys and Paul and getting to the end of the day before breaking down in tears again. The guilt was unbearable. You feel you should been able to protect your own baby from everything and anything. And I couldn’t. I didn’t.

In April, I started this blog with the hope of sharing our story and giving and receiving help and support from others who were going through the same thing. I have a post drafted from that first blog day that I have never been able to publish. I just wasn’t ready. I wasn’t coping.

But here we are, a year later. We’re stronger than we have ever been as a family. We got through it. And I feel I can finally post about this. About our loss. There are still days where the pain just hits you all over again.  We struggled at Aiden’s nursery concert in June seeing all the newborn babies. We struggled at the beginning of July around our due date. I have still never been able to watch One Born Every Minute. Maybe one day.

As for our family plans, we’re lucky to have our two beautiful boys. And we appreciate them every single day, and hug them even harder now.  But we will always remember our third baby. The little one who was there, but who never got to stay.

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Little Snowdrop

The world may never notice if a Snowdrop doesn’t bloom,
Or even pause to wonder if the petals fall too soon,
But every life that ever forms or even comes to be,
Touches the world in some small way for all eternity.
.
The little one we longed for was swiftly here and gone,
But the love that was then planted is a light that still shines on,
And though our arms are empty our hearts know what to do,
Every beating of our hearts says that we love you.
.

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Saying Goodbye is a charity offering support and services for anyone who has lost a baby in pregnancy, at birth, or in the early years. Saying Goodbye is for all parents who carried a child, but did not get to meet them. For those who held their baby, but did not take them home, & for those who did take their little ones home, but they did not stay. 

Saying Goodbye has brought to the UK the first national set of services – all services take place in cathedrals and are held by ministers. These are a fitting tribute to all babies who have been lost.

Please LIKE the www.facebook.com/SayinggoodbyeUK page

Web: www.sayinggoodbye.org

Twitter @SayinggoodbyeUK

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-Z0IrXDGVA

My best friend has decided to run the 10k on the 11th May 2014 and raise money for this amazing charity! If I can start my training soon I will hopefully be joining her! Every small donation helps and will go towards providing help and support for other families out there who are going through the devastating effects of baby loss. Please help her to reach her fundraising target by donating here, and a massive thank you if you do:

https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/sharondownes1

If you have been affected by baby loss, in any way at all or at any stage of pregnancy, and just want someone to speak to, cry with or vent at, then please feel free to email me at thesouthsidegirl@gmail.com or get in touch with the amazing people at Saying Goodbye. The help and support they offer is incredible.

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A Little More … Vitamin Drinks for Kids.

“Little Ones Need a Little More…”

Last week I received a package from the lovely girls at Tea and Cake PR. We were excited to get the opportunity to review a new range of vitamin-enriched drinks designed especially for children. Now, I’m all for ways of getting my boys to achieve their daily vitamin intake, but I have always been wary of these kind of drinks, as they tend to be laden with sugar.  But on reading the press release and the ingredients list, I realised this wasn’t the case!

The “A Little More” range is one of the first drinks of it’s kind, making it an essential item for mum’s shopping trolley. This new drink for kids is a refreshing blend of natural fruit flavours and spring water. For parent’s who struggle to get their children to enjoy fruits and vegetables, these multivitamin drinks are the perfect solution.

These fresh new drinks not only contain the core essential vitamins to provide overall health and well-being, but they are also made with no added sugar and spring water – perfect for those thirst quenching moments. Each drink is naturally flavoured – orange, citrus or mango and passionfruit – to ensure the taste is not compromised.

It can be enjoyed by children over 3 years of age. The small, easy to carry bottles, complete with a convenient sports cap, make it a perfect addition to any packed lunch, picnic or simple daily nutritious treat.

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This range includes Vitamin C, Multivitamins and Vitamin D.

As soon as we opened the package, Aiden grabbed the citrus flavoured Multivitamin drink. In his own words “Yes mummy, I really like that.” I decided to have a taste myself and found it to be quite pleasant, with a strong citrus flavour. It did, however, leave quite a strange aftertaste in my mouth but Aiden didn’t agree and really seemed to enjoy it. Overall, the mango and passionfruit flavoured vitamin D drink was his (and my!) favourite.

Now, one thing I did notice, was that Aiden did become slightly hyperactive after these drinks, which was always my worry. Despite there being no added sugar in these drinks, there was sweetener listed on the ingredients list (NOT aspartame, but sucralose). Aiden is quite sensitive to sugar (an apple can sometimes send him loopy on a bad day!) and I don’t know if it was just a hyperactive burst, or if the drinks had any affect on him.

Overall though, I think these are a fantastic idea! A great way of getting those extra vitamins into your little ones, and maybe a more tooth-friendly option that the usual chewy vitamin gums. At £1.09 from Tesco stores across the UK, they aren’t exactly cheap, but I would probably buy them if I saw them on a special offer.

For more information visit www.moredrinks.co.uk. They also do a range of vitamin drinks for adults which are definitely worth a look!

The Southside Girl x

Being on the other side of the lens….

Yesterday, I posted a picture on my Facebook page. This isn’t an unusual occurrence in itself – my timeline is jam packed full of pictures of the boys, Paul.. and food (shock horror!) What was unusual, for me, was the … Continue reading

Fat Fighting Friday – Week 8

Well, I’m going to be completely honest here (as usual). This last week has consisted of this:

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And a wee bit of this….

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Now, I’ve had a bloody amazing time. Paul is off work on holiday so we’ve been indulging in a wee bit of eating out and then I had my cousin’s fiancée’s hen night on Saturday. Which, as you can probably tell, was fab! I did go with the best of intentions…but as soon as the cocktails were brought out I was a goner! I don’t get out with the girls much but when I do – I more than make up for it!

So Saturday included cocktails, champagne and vodka, as well as an Indian buffet. Whoops. Sunday, therefore, was a complete and utter write off as I had the official hangover from hell. And again, I ended up picking all day at anything that didn’t make me want to throw up. Lovely, I know.

I just couldn’t get my healthy mojo back but decided to attempt the gym and even managed to swim 50 lengths at the swimming on Tuesday. All in the name of damage control.

Realistically, after last week’s fab weight loss, I had thought I would probably maintain this week if I’d stuck to plan. So i went to weigh in expecting a 3-4lb gain. So, I was MORE than pleasantly surprised to find I had maintained last weeks weight. No idea how right enough! Unless it comes back and bites me on the arse next week!

Again, this next week is a busy one. Saturday is mine and the hubby’s first wedding anniversary so we’re planning a wee night away and then it’s my cousin’s wedding on Wednesday. Weigh in is Thursday. Plan – stay away from the wine! And the cocktails! Would love to lose 1.5lbs next week to get into that next stone bracket so Slimming World head back on!

As a side note, I did receive a new wee gadget in the post this morning! The new Fitbug Air which I have been sent to review. Looking forward to getting out and getting more active and seeing how it goes. Will be doing a review on here within the next few weeks so keep an eye out on that!

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The Southside Girl x

Fat Fighting Friday – Weeks 6 and 7

Sorry about the radio silence last week folks! Got to admit, after weigh in last Thursday, where I lost yet another half a pound, I was a bit disheartened and decided to take a wee break and refocus.

On Friday, I had my usual trip to Curves Shawlands for my workout and my first months weigh and measure. I was absolutely dreading it – mainly because I was in such a downer after only having lost the half a pound the day before. Well…. I cried after getting my measurements. Over the moon doesn’t even cover it:

Bust – Lost 1.75 inches 

Waist – Lost 1.5 inches

Abdomen – Lost 2.5 inches

Hips – Lost 1.5 inches

Thighs (x2) – Lost 5.00 inches

Arms (x2) – Lost 0.5 inches

Total loss of inches in 4 weeks – 12.75INCHES!!

I have also lost 9.5lbs in the 4 weeks since joining Curves, my body fat percentage has dropped by over 2% and my BMI has dropped 2 points aswell. All i can say is definitely take your measurements! I was so close to giving the diet up but after finding out my measurements it gave me the kick up the arse that I (desperately)needed.

So, after this I went home with a new determination. I knew I only needed 2.5lbs to get my 1stone shiney, and i needed to get it this week for my own sanity! So i wrote out a meal plan, stuck to it all week (even taking my wee Tupperware dishes full of SW food when I was out with my friends and to a BBQ – don’t worry, they laughed and made fun of me too) and began writing a food diary again this week. I also tried to up my water intake as I’ve found Diet Coke (which Im slightly addicted to) has started playing havoc with my body and is really affecting me migraine-wise. I had no Diet Coke for 4 days this week and felt a million times better for it… (Although I did celebrate my weight loss today…with a diet coke. What.a.twat.)

Anyways, onto weigh in today. Well I am now the proud new owner of these….

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I stepped on those scales…praying for the 2.5lbs. And I nearly cried when I realised I’d lost a whopping 5lbs!!

Yup, FIVE WHOLE POUNDS!

Plus, I got Slimmer of the Week which I never expected to get!! Over the moon!! That takes my overall weight loss to 1stone 2.5lbs in 7 weeks. I have 4.5lbs to my next shiney (1and a half stone) but am being realistic that next week I will probably either have a small loss or a maintain to even things out a bit. But, I’ll set a wee target of 1.5lbs off, because that’ll take me into the next stone bracket. YAY!

What I’ve Been Munching:

We had a taster at class last week and I stressed out the whole week before it trying to decide what to make. I’m not the best cook…my own children and husband rarely, (okay, never) eat my concoctions so I was terrified of letting other people try it – and risk food poisoning! So i decided I’d keep it simple and make up an easy cous cous salad. Well, it went down amazingly! People really seemed to love it, and it’s so quick, easy and filling so I thought I’d share the recipe on here (Sorry, no pics, it got munched too quickly 😉 )

What you need:

Cous Cous (amount depending on how hungry you are 😉 )

500ml of vegetable stock

1 onion (chopped)

1 clove of garlic (peeled and chopped)

1 pepper chopped (or you can use frozen peppers)

1/2 can of chickpeas (drained)

Fry Light

Handful of cherry tomatoes (halved)

1 lemon (or lemon juice)

What you do:

Make up your vegetable stock using boiling water and a vegetable stock cube.

Empty the desired amount of couscous into a bowl and pour over the stock until it is about an inch above the couscous. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave.

Meanwhile, fry your garlic and onion in fry light for 2 minutes before adding your peppers and frying for another 5 minutes until soft. Add half a can of drained chickpeas and cook until soft (about another 5-7minutes)

Remove cling film from bowl of couscous and fluff up with a fork. If the couscous seems too dry, simply add more stock and leave again. Once it is ready, add the cooked vegetables and stir through.

Then add the halved cherry tomatoes and the juice of 1 lemon and mix through.

Can be eaten hot or cold.

So the plan this week is to just stick to plan! I have a hen night on Saturday but am planning on being on my best behaviour (ha.ha. I know) The hubby also stops work for two weeks holidays tomorrow so am dreading him being about as he is very persuasive when it comes to the old “let’s just have a takeaway…” chat.

On that same note, I have never ever weighed less than P. When we first started going out (okay, we were 16) he had a 28inch waist and was ridiculously skinny. Just saying Mr M… you better watch your back 😉

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Onwards and downwards… I’m a happy camper today.

I'm this happy :)

I’m this happy 🙂

Hope all your weight loss journeys are going well! Would love to hear how any of you are getting on! And if you are having a bad week – don’t give up. Try and stay to group, write a food diary again and stick to it. You’ll be back on track before you know it.

The Southside Girl x

Fat Fighting Friday – Week 4

So, one month into the diet and I’m still plodding along – this has got to be some kind of record for me! I’ve been trying to go to the gym 4 times a week, and am starting to notice the inches dropping off – extremely good sign! Although, it might be a bad sign for the old bank balance if I need to buy some new clothes! Got my first official measure at the gym in a couple of weeks so majorly excited about that!

Well, at today’s weigh in i lost another 2lbs! Totally over the moon! I’ve not been as hard on myself this week, and have been enjoying my syns and have finally realised I don’t have to deprive myself of anything – and it clearly worked! That’s 10.5lbs off in 4 weeks without feeling like I’m on a diet! What I’m beginning to realise is that the Slimming World plan is more a lifestyle change than a diet – and it suits me perfectly!

Already, I’ve noticed a massive improvement in my asthma…I’ve always been a “carry your steroid inhaler around in your hand for your 300 puffs a day” type of person. I’ve not had to use any of my inhalers for over a week now – seriously, that’s a record. I’m also a weird one who suffers from all the symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, without actual having polycystic ovaries – yeah, if you work that one out please share! Anyway, I’ve already noticed a massive improvement in all of these symptoms aswell. Before you know it I might even become a walking, talking picture of health!

So, it’s 3.5lbs to my stone award – a bit too optimistic to go for it next week? Possibly. Still going to give it my best shot though!

What have I been munching this week?

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I discovered these wee beauties in Asda last week. They are delicious! After putting all the nutritional information through the Slimming World syns calculator, these came out at 0.5 syns per fillet. Well worth the tiny syn value! Also, cod is a super speed food so great for boosting weight loss! They also have garlic and herb cod fillets which are on the shopping list for this week so I’ll let you know how they are aswell! I had mine with roasted potatoes and a huge pile of white cabbage (tip: I use Fry Light Buttery and put a couple of sprays on my cabbage. Obviously not as good as real butter but still lovely!). Was yummy! Find the fish in the ASDA frozen section, on offer at £2 just now.

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Also this week, the new Slimming World magazine is out! It’s a fab edition with amazing recipes, and a fantastic feature on how to survive the weekend whilst sticking to plan! I’ll be reading that tomorrow night (instead of enjoying my wee wine Friday!) Get it from class now for £1.95, or it should be in most shops next week, priced at £2.75.

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P.s if someone would like to buy me the dress the girl’s wearing on the front cover – feel free 😉

The Southside Girl x

Fat Fighting Friday – first week weigh in!

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Well, I have just completed my first week on the Slimming World plan. Truthfully, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten as much as I have this past week. The difference is it is now all healthy, home cooked meals and as I’m still in my honeymoon period with the old diet, the thought of a takeaway doesn’t appeal to me at all. Yay!

I still don’t have a clue how this plan works. I’ve been eating full plates of pasta, potatoes, meats, vegetables, a ridiculous amount of fruit, yoghurts until they’re coming out my ears…. and this week I’ve managed to lose (drum roll please….)

4.5lbs…. yes, that’s right….

FOUR AND A HALF POUNDS!!!

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Yes, that is disgusting. But that is no longer stuck to my backside so i am one extremely happy camper!! Some people might not think it’s alot, but that 4.5lbs also means that I’m now down into the next stone bracket which is lovely to see on the scales. It’s still a monstrous amount…but it’s less monstrous than last week so it’s smiles all round and right back to it!

This weeks plan is to start exercising, keep drinking loads of water and try to knock out a few new meals from the Slimming World website and the aim is to just keep the scales going down in the right direction.

I’ll be putting a couple of meal ideas and recipes on later today. If a novice (and seriously bad) cook like me can get a handle on this…i recommend it to anyone!

Like I said to my friend, I just can’t be arsed being fat anymore. So, it’s onwards and downwards from here….

SMILE!

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The Southside Girl x