#GiveAHug – World Prematurity Day 2013

What’s in a hug?

A hug is a precious, meaningful gift.

A hug shows you love someone.

A hug shows you care.

A hug to say sorry.

A hug to say thank you. 

A hug to start a life.

A hug to save a life.

A hug means so much. To everyone. 

When your baby is born, the very first thing you want to do is hug them. Hold them tight, never let them go. I remember those first hugs like it was yesterday.

Unfortunately many parents don’t get to hug they babies when they are born. Born too soon. 15 million a year. 60, 000 right here in the UK. 

Can you imagine not being able to do that? Not hug your baby for weeks? I can’t. 

Bliss are there to raise awareness. Of those babies born too soon. Too small. Too sick. 

So for all those babies, give a hug. To anyone. To someone who needs it. 

Those precious babies and their families.

To find out more about this years theme of Give A Hug, please visit this link.

My first fundraiser for Saying Goodbye

You may remember I blogged a few months ago that I had just signed up as a fundraising coordinator for Saying Goodbye. Well I started planning my first fundraiser pretty much straight away, it was to be a bake & craft sale. Looking back, I think I aimed a little big for my first one, but at least I’ve now learned the do’s and don’ts for next time! 

The sale was last Saturday, and I had a pretty manic week sorting last minute bits out, I stressed myself out for no need really! I did so much baking, and then I had to sort tombola tickets out, print lots of signs out, and I just got myself in a total flap. And then the day before, I had 3 stalls drop out, when I hadn’t recruited that many in the first place so I was feeling a little disheartened and convincing myself it was going to be a big fat failure. Still, the show had to go on! I made sure I had everything ready and boxed up on the Friday night though, so I wasn’t running around like a headless chicken on the Saturday morning. My Mum came and looked after little man whilst I was there.

The event started at 12.30pm but we were there to set up from 12pm.  One of my lovely friends came to collect me and all my bits to transport to the venue, and there were already people there setting up when we arrived. The weather wasn’t too bad at this point, it was slightly spitting with rain, but not too long after it started absolutely pouring it down. I think this might have managed to put people off a little! I had a steady stream of people attending, and the stalls that were there were great. I had a general craft stall, a jewellery stall, a baby accessories stall, and a card stall. I also had a face painter in attendance. And then there was my bake stall with lots of goodies! It seemed to be the cupcakes that went down the best though. I also had a teddy tombola. Everybody loves a tombola, so this was great for people and everyone had a go. It was especially manic here nearing the end! 

All in all, including donations from stalls and raffle ticket sales online and offline, we raised £172.23, which I am very pleased with for my very first fundraising event! 

Now on to planning the next one…

Jumping for Matilda Mae #MMSkydive

A few months ago I blogged about The Lullaby Trust and the loss of Matilda Mae. Today 9 very brave and inspiring ladies have jumped out of a plane to skydive in her precious memory. 

As I said in that post, nobody should ever have to lose a child to SIDS; I still just cannot imagine the heartbreak and emotional turmoil the family have to go through. Matilda Mae & Edspire’s story has touched me so much, and even now I am sat here in tears writing this. 

I would say, let’s help to get #MMSkydive trending on Twitter, but this already happened early this morning and I have been joining in the tweeting whilst following the ladies jumping out of a plane. I’m a bit late to the blog today but please please go over to Twitter and congratulate them, and send your wishes to @Edspire; she is of course also one very brave lady, so in fact there are 10 very brave ladies taking part today. Also if you are a blogger, get blogging! 

You can donate to the team over on their JustGiving page. Of course they have already smashed their target but let’s get that total higher. 

Saying Goodbye

I first came across Saying Goodbye at the end of last year, not long after I miscarried. Saying Goodbye are part of The Mariposa Trust (whose other division is Growing You – aiming to support those who are pregnant following the loss of a baby). The Mariposa Trust was founded by Zoe & Andy Clark-Coates who have suffered 5 miscarriages, but are now blessed with two precious girls. Saying Goodbye offers international support to those who have lost babies at any stage of pregnancy, at birth, or in early years. They also hold remembrance services at Ministers & Cathedrals. I haven’t been to one of the services yet as they are a little far away for me, but I hope to in the future. 

When I saw at the weekend on their Facebook page that they were looking for fundraising volunteers to join their team, I jumped at the chance. For one reason, that lately I have discovered a great joy in fundraising and helping others, and secondly, they have helped me so much with my emotions since my miscarriage. I recommend visiting their website and social media sites if you have ever suffered baby loss, or even know somebody who has.

I am so proud to be a part of such a great team and can’t wait to get planning and fundraising to raise money for such a fantastic cause. Look out for updates on my fundraising activities after they have taken place! I already have a couple of ideas in mind…

My Race For Life

Yesterday was Race For Life Day! I’d been training for this for…….. Oh wait, I didn’t! BIG mistake. 

We signed up as a team of 3 – me, my friend (L) and her cousin (S). Well, it turns out those two are a hell of a lot fitter than I am! Me, L, hubby & little man turned up around an hour before the race started, parked up and then waited for S to arrive. It was so busy with a heck of a lot of people taking part and all their spectators. 96.9 Viking FM radio station were also there, spurring everyone on. When we got to the start line I was all pumped up, I thought “Yeah, I got this in the bag!”. Erm… 

Me & L before the race
I race for…

We joined the jogging line as we were determined we weren’t walking all the way, but weren’t going to run it either! Well, we started off walking until everyone in front of us got going, then got going at a nice pace, jogging. And then my lace came undone! So of course I stopped to tie that up, and went off jogging again. We were jogging then walking, jogging then walking, and just before we got to the 1k marker my other lace came undone so I stopped to fasten that back up too. And then I started feeling ill – I felt so dizzy and faint so I walked a little, but L & S wanted to be off jogging but didn’t want to leave me behind. I felt really awful about it at this point as I didn’t want to feel like a failure or that I was letting them down by walking, so I told them to go off ahead and I’d catch them up, but they didn’t (bless them). I got my breath back so started jogging with them again, and then I got a flaming stitch in my side so had to walk again! I told them again to go off ahead, that I’d be fine. This time they did. I honestly wasn’t too bothered. I thought I’d be terrified of doing it by myself but it actually felt okay. I saw them jogging off into the distance and then they just disappeared! 

I carried on alternately walking & jogging, and then just before the 4k sign I jogged past hubby who shouted my name so it gave me some encouragement! I got to the 4k sign and thought to myself, “Right, I’m jogging this last 1k” – I was clearly kidding myself! So off I went walking again. Then I got to the last corner and saw the finish sign and just went for it, I was determined I wasn’t walking under that sign. I didn’t jog though, I ran, I really did go for it! L & S were at the side cheering me on like my own little fan club, so it spurred me on a bit more! I crossed the finish line at 47:30! And then went and collapsed in a heap on the grass…

L & S found me and told me they finished at 44 minutes, so I was actually quite proud of myself as I walked a lot more than they did but still only finished 3.5 minutes behind them.

We did it! 

Thank you to all our sponsors, we managed to reach our target.

I’m doing it again next year, but I’m definitely going to train this time, and lose a lot more weight beforehand! 

Proud of my medal!