Pestle and Mortar’s Hyaluronic Serum…the truth.

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Why I Chose Pestle and Mortar’s Hyaluronic Serum

It was one of those products I kept eyeing up…for months I kept saying will I buy into the hype? Or is it just an expensive serum? I had been just getting over a bout of dermatitis on my face and I was genuinely anxious about using a quite active product. Continue reading

Eskimo 3 Kids Review

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About 4 months ago I started the boys on Eskimo-3 kids. It was purely by chance actually. I was working at one of our stores Grand Opening when I spotted a large display of the Eskimo-3 products. I had heard of its advantages especially the fish oils for concentration before, but apart from that I didn’t know a whole lot about the product. So I got talking to the rep that was there on the day and she explained some of the benefits the Eskimo-3 Kids has. Keep on Reading!

An Open Letter to my Kids

The last few weeks has got me thinking about your futures and the world ahead of you all. The world has become a scary place and even though the beauty of ¬†your youth shelters you from a lot of the hatred or evil that is happening in the world I can’t help but think your generation has a lot more stress and worry than any generation before.

I know there is no rule book for growing up and even if there was, lets face it, those rules would not be followed at the best of times. But there is advise or suggestions that me as your mum would love if you could try and remember throughout your life.

The boys are still very young and hang on my every word but there won’t be many years left that they will do this. Chloe you are heading towards the stage of your life that you will think I am the most unfair and unbearable mother who wants nothing more than to make your life miserable. But I promise I am only looking out and after you and the ironic thing about it is, you won’t realise this until you are much older. It is hard to watch that little girl who played with her Sylvanian Families from morning to night grow up into an independent young woman who needs me less every day.

 

So if you’ll allow me, here is some words to remember…

 

Boys right now your career aspirations are as varied as an astronaut builder to a pirate. As you grow remember to keep that creative and eclectic side to your career aspirations. Hey! who knows if they find life on another planet there could be room for a building company to take up the tender!! Whats NASA’s number??! There is so much more to life than a 9-5 job, right now age 6 you have no reason to doubt your ability to be anything in this world…remember that in 20 years, because as you grow older life will try and suck that invaluable confidence from you.

Chloe you are thinking of a career as a midwife, I think this says so much about you as a person. A caring, selfless young girl who loves to bring joy in to people’s worlds…on a good day ūüėČ My advise for you is the same, whatever you choose to do make sure it makes you excited to wake up on a Monday morning for work, that’s a good starting point.

Keep hold of your good friends, when you are older your oldest friends will be like family. Good friends especially school friends will know you inside and out and you can be yourself around them and if you are anything like me that means you can be as weird and as daft as you like!

Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you and allow you to shine and be you. Grow up at your own pace, if you are not ready to do something or something makes you uncomfortable that is your gut telling you something. Listen when your gut is telling you something, its like me ALWAYS USUALLY RIGHT!!

In your life keep some traits with you, be empathetic, have genuine concern for people, be kind, be conscientious, try not to procrastinate to much (a little is okay), be as creative as you can, be open with others and most especially with yourself and always remember your brain is the same as any other part of your body, if you think at any stage of your life it feels off or something is broken, talk to someone and try and heal it. Always remember its okay not to be okay sometimes, but what you need to do is as simple as this…talk.

If I could ask you to make sure you did one thing EVERY SINGLE DAY it would be this…to laugh. To have a genuine belly laugh at least once a day, I promise it will do you and the people you are with the world of good… but remember to involve the people you are with in on the joke because well, you will be seen as a bit of a weirdo sporadically breaking out in tears of laughter everyday!!

Travel, feed your soul with travel. Travel the world’d most mystical, concealed and far flung places that’s not listed on any travel books. Fill you life with adventures and not things. There is a quote that goes:

“Travelling, it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller”

Remain close to each other as siblings, Chloe tell your brothers all about their Granda Dessie they never met. You are the only one who can tell them what he was like as a Grandad and the funny traits and memories you have of him. Remember to always think of your sister who watches over you, remember you are all very lucky to have a guardian angel like Grace looking and watching over you. Keep her memory alive long after I am gone. Look out for each other, you are family and family means being there, whether you want to or not, its just about being there.

Always keep your heart open and your mind open. Chloe remember you will kiss a lot of frogs (well hopefully not too many) before you find your prince, but if you need a benchmark for a good man, look no further than your dad. That song by Picture This “Take my Hand” when he says “I’ll treat you like your father treats your mother”… I love that line because if you find someone who is even a quarter the man your dad is you are on to a winner.

 

Boys, try and not upset too many girls (or boys). If you say you are going to call them, please call them! Don’t play games, be a gentleman. Its always important to hold a door open, pull out a seat, give her your coat. It may seem like a bit of craic but do not pretend you are your brother (they are identical twins for readers who do not know!) if you are going on a date. It will not be hilarious I promise you! Oh and always, always, always, put the seat down!!

So that’s it! Just a snippet of advice for you as you grow up. I don’t know it all nor do I declare to (that’s a lie!), but if you find you are ever lost or needing guidance take a peek at this.

Finally, and this is very important. Throughout your life if the occasion ever arises or you just feel the need to say it, these three words are so important…

¬†“MAYO FOR SAM!!!!”

Love you lots

 

Mum

xxxx

Thank you for reading and if you liked this post…I would love you to share it! Tracey xx

 

 

 

 

 

Mum’s Getaway

One of the girls is getting married at the weekend. My group of school friends are going to be together again for a whole weekend! Myself and the hubby are heading away for TWO nights, count them TWO nights in a beautiful hotel to spend TWO days with some of my best friends, oh did I mention we are going to be kid-less, yep its gonna be Kieran and Tracey minus the three Ts aka the teenager the twins and the toddler!!

I am so bloody excited! Have you ever watched a woman prepare herself for a few nights away on her own? Especially a woman who has kids? Its a thing of beauty…

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She has mentally laid out everything she wants to wear for the weekend, the outfits she has planned are probably not in her wardrobe yet. They are probably hanging on a gondola in Penneys or River Island or in her cart in ASOS.

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She has sorted out what she is wearing for the journey, she has maybe purchased some new mascara or foundation. She has definitely gone out and bought new pyjamas, that goes without saying!! I mean you cannot take off for a few nights without sporting some new striped pjs with a cute quote blazoned on the top…right? I mean I think it may be a law or something!!Image result for penneys pjs with quote

All the appointments have been made, the plucking, the waxing, the tanning, the hair and the makeup… all timed with great precision around who may be available to watch the kids for those much needed hours.

Eyebrows become sisters again, as opposed to conjoined twins… lips are made bald, eyelashes suddenly grow an inch…you name it, if it grows its plucked and if it doesn’t grow enough its extended!! and they say women are complicated??!!!

The car journey to wherever the destination might be is another exciting factor. To those who are without offspring yet, a simple car journey might not seem like an exciting thing. BELIEVE ME from a mum of 6 year old twins and an almost 2 year old (the 15 years old is car trained now, she sticks in her headphones and tunes out *lucky her*) having a car journey with your other half or friends or even alone, is BLOODY BRILLIANT!!!! Its not just the fact you can listen to whatever music you want, no, its the simple fact you can listen to a song from start to finish without pausing it to shout at whoever is over on whoever’s side that they shouldn’t be. Or sort out who’s turn it is to have that feckin Super Mario Brothers game…or push the toddlers head back when he sleeping (now to be fair the teenager can do this, but she’s usually pretending to be asleep), or looking for a garage because someone really has to do “A POO MUMMY!!!” Oh the wee wees are grand, find a nice bit of road to pull in and open the doors and away with them, the poos, well the poos are something else. PANIC STATIONS to find a petrol station… mums you can all relate right?!

So having the peaceful car journey belting out the hits from 1999, being frizz free and tinted to within an inch of you life…what else… oh yea being yourself. There is nothing quite like being the person you were before you had kids, or a job or responsibilities…being around the right people will always bring this out in me. The belly laughs, crying from laughing, having a good gossip and just been genuinely carefree for those 48 hours. I adore getting away with the hubbie and its been years since we got away on our own, but add in being with the girls from school and its the perfect weekend for me. I will be Tracey again for a couple of days, not mum, not a co-worker, but Tracey, me, myself and I. Sometime you lose sight of being “you”, being so busy with kids, work, caring for parents whatever it might be, so to have a couple of days in a year where you are you is so bloody important. For you, but especially for your kids, you need to re-charge too. (I don’t know how this turned motivational!!)

Anyway back to preparing for your weekend away, if you are like me you know exactly what time you will be hitting to road at and you have whoever is lucky enough to be childminding for you aware of this time…in fact you may not need to head away so early but who needs to know this??!! You will have carefully packed everything neatly, your new clothes including but not limited to some new knickers and pjs, toiletries, makeup in a cute little makeup bag, brushes, straighteners, hairdryer, heels, trainers, pumps, extra tan and an extra 3 pairs of jeans and 4 tops cos…you never know!! Everything is done the night before leaving out your toothbrush and light makeup for the journey.

Hitting the road time, you say your goodbyes and give your littlest ones kisses…then the first pangs of guilt appear, “oh look at their cute little faces!! I’m gonna miss them so much!”, then one twin sits on the other twins face and all hell breaks loose…yep those will be the tyre marks from mummy and daddy screeching out of the drive…”See ya in a couple of days!!bring you back something niiiiiice…byyyeeeeeeeee!”

The funny thing is when your weekend is over and you are heading home there is nothing nor nobody you want to see more than your kids…”oh my cherubs, I have missed them so much, they probably cried for me every night…” now 60% of this is probably the nerves being gone from the copious amount of white wine consumed over the past few days and some of the fear lingering in your soul. There will be big kisses when you walk in the door…2 minutes later the tales start…Jamie said a bad word, Cian was cheeky to nanny…then someone sits on someones face and guess what its the sitters tyres that are now screeching out of the driveway while shouting “see ya next year!!”…

Welcome home mum, but hey at least your still hairless and somewhat tanned *in patches*for another couple of days right?!

*mum frantically searches diary for the next wedding or event*

p.s. Happy Wedding Day Jacinta and Tom xx

 

Grace’s Story

On the 19th of March 2014 I spent 12 hours with my 4th baby, my 2nd daughter and the person that would literally change my life. 

I was 22 weeks pregnant when we found out Grace was terminally ill, she had, after many,  many examinations by professors of fetal medicine, thanatophoric dysplasia. This condition meant her long bones were measuring short (at 23 weeks Grace’s week measuring 12 weeks) the fatal part of this condition causes the chest cavity to not grow enough for her heart and her lungs. So ultimately upon birth when babies try and inhale for the first time, my baby girl would die immediately from respiratory failure as her chest cavity would crush her lungs. I’m sorry if this upsets anyone reading but unfortunately you cannot pretty up this condition. 

I couldn’t bear this to happen my baby, my dad died 2 years previous from lung cancer and I watched him take his last breath. How could I watch my tiny baby struggle to breathe and then pass away… I couldn’t. 

I asked when I would be induced and my consultant sympathetically told me they can’t induce early if there is no risk to the mother as its against the law in Ireland. My baby was dying, her movements were weakening and she would inevitably die from respiratory failure but this wasn’t enough to stop her hurting anymore. I had to be at risk. I was at risk everyday that I met people asking if “I had my bits bought for the baby, how long have you left, the twins must be excited for a baby brother or sister…”  I nodded and smiled knowing the baby in the bump they were admiring was not going to be in the pram I had my eye on or sleeping in her brother’s moses basket. I spent 4 weeks nodding along to people’s excited questions. 

 I was slowly losing my mind. 

Because of the fact I couldn’t be induced at home with my family around me I had to go somewhere where they understand what me and my baby were going through… We travelled to Liverpool on Paddys weekend amongst hen parties and revellers… We arrived to Liverpool women’s hospital where the midwives took over my care, they were angels to me and my little girl. I remember saying  to my husband that morning before the final scan to check Grace, they may have made a mistake in the two hospitals we were in in Ireland, we might get good news, her chest may be growing and allow her organs to grow. 

The professor scanned me for over an hour and he confirmed the diagnosis along with the devastating news that Grace’s lungs were no longer in her chest cavity, he couldn’t find them so they were either crushed already or just didn’t develop. I knew having an early inducement was 100% the right thing to do for that tiny baby at that moment. 

After 36 hours of an agonising labour, pain I would gratefully repeat over and over again… Grace arrived silently into the world at 4.45am, she was stunning the most beautiful little angel with a button nose and chubby cheeks. She had dark hair and gorgeous plump lips. Her face was perfect and her body was tiny, she was so peaceful. I have never experienced feelings like that before, I was holding my child and felt content but she was never going to look into my face, or yawn or cry for food. She was still. 

We held her all day long and talked about what life she would have had. A priest came and gave her a little blessing. We named her Grace Saoirse because she was free. We had a nap that day with her beside us and dressed her in a beautiful outfit the midwifes gave us… The outfit I brought was way too big. She was wrapped in a teddy her sister gave her and a teddy Grace gave me… 

At 5pm we had to leave her, we were booked to fly out the next morning. The hospital had  a little nursery made up for Grace, it had a cot and a dressing table, teddies and a beautiful mural of angels on the wall. After we said our goodbyes, last cuddles and kisses to her we placed her in her cot all wrapped up cosy with her teddy.  My midwife came in and took over looking after her. 

I sometimes can’t believe I actually had to do this, I had to leave my baby in another country. How cruel it is that we had to do this, it actually leaves me speechless. 

We arranged Grace’s funeral from the prayers right to the music I wanted played. It took place in a church in Liverpool and the priest who blessed her did her funeral and a midwife attended. We couldn’t go because we simply couldn’t afford to. I has to wait 3 weeks for Grace to come home. Her ashes arrived by courier… A man knocked at my front door with my daughter’s remains waiting to be signed. Again I say I find it hard to believe this is something parents have to go through, did I actually have to sign for my daughter’s ashes like an order from ASOS… 

The next few months were a blur, I can still feel the pain and darkness of those months. The feeling of drowning and anger… I can still feel them because I still go through these feelings but I’ve learned how to control them and cope with them now. 

Grace’s ashes sit on a shelf in our living room and we bring her to our bedroom at night, there are photos of Grace in every room of our house. I sleep with her teddy every night, I actually brought her teddy away to a hotel before callum was born and he was taken to the laundry with the bed sheets, I was getting into bed at home when I noticed he was gone, the hotel found him in the laundry and posted him home from Athy! 

Grace is very much part of this house like any of the other kids. Unfortunately due to the cruelty of this country none of her family could meet her and say goodbye. 

She blessed us with callum almost a year after she passed… She gave me callum when I didn’t even realise I needed him. She’s my motivator, my gut, my soul, my heart, my courage, my bravery and my eyes… She’s changed the way I look at things. I’m not the same person I was before Grace, I miss that Tracey but I’m learning to love the one I am now. 

This is Grace’s story she was with me for just 28 weeks but she left me with a lifetime of love. Losing her could have been the reason I stopped living… But having her is the reason I get up every morning. 

If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever xxxx

Benny the Begrudger

The notion of begrudgery fascinates me, I went to look it up the meaning of the word and it is listed as an Irish informal word. I always thought of it as a very Irish thing to do but it seems the word was formed to describe a uniquely Irish tendency. Even as I type here the word is underlined in red because WordPress does not recognise it!

So why are Irish people so begrudgent? When the Euro Millions was won recently you could feel the begrudgery in the cold misty air. If small talk could trend on twitter “Sure, that’s too much money for one person to have” would be number one and “It‘ll bring nothing but trouble to them!” would have been number 2. This is begrudgery in its purest form, trying to reduce a persons happiness by adding doubt or misery to the situation. Now don’t get me wrong, I was one of those people who said the above statements. I am not sitting here pretending to be Holier than Thou. But think back, was your first thought after hearing 88 million was won in Ireland, “Shite! I should have done the fekin lotto! That could have been me!”

Just think about it though “That’s too much money for one person”…¬†do you think the person/s who won that money rocked up to Lotto headquarters and said “Listen lads, that too much money for me, I’ll just take half, cos it’ll only bring trouble to me door”. No I doubt they did nor they will. What they do with their money is nobody else’s business, obviously, if you lived in another country, but as they probably live in Ireland they wont be able to take a piddle in their newly furnished bathroom without someone commenting on it!mrs-doyle

I was born in the 80’s and as such my earliest memories hail from the Lycra laden decade. This is where I am sure begrudgery was at its peak! The following is a comprehensive but not exhaustive list of “begrudgery victims” if you will:

  • Farmers (any farmer, no matter if they had 1 duck or a herd of cattle. They were all labelled as “Big Farmers” who do nothing but cry over the great spell of weather everyone else was enjoying!

 

  • Young people who went to third level. “Oh yea! a secretarial course wasn’t good enough for them! They’ll be off to Dublin now to study for a “BIG JOB!” (Whatever a big job is?!)

 

  • Emigrants. The economy was diabolical for the majority in the 80’s and early 90’s. These young people who flew off to JFK from Shannon or Dublin were given an emigrants wake and the people were so upset for their poor mothers. “Fair play to them, they’ll send a couple of dollars home every month for their mother when they get settled”, you’d hear them say. The first visit back home be 1 or 10 years later, these heroes who flew off to make their fortune working in ‘Merica’ were labelled as “Big Shots” or they’d whisper, “Look at them, the yanks are home thinking they’re better than us. Its far from coffee they were reared! They’re not in Man- HaTTan now!”

 

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You know how we have a metaphorical ‘devil’ and ‘angel’ on our shoulders? Well I truly believe the minute we hear someone else’s good news, achievements or basically doing anything that is outside the (their) box, this little leprechaun shaped figure peeks out from the side of our head. Lets call him Benny, Benny the¬†begrudger. Someone opens up a business in a small village or town, up pops Benny. Someone has a huge white wedding inviting hundreds of people, up pops Benny, someone goes off on their second holiday of the year, Benny nearly breaks his neck popping up here! Someone starts a blog and uses their social media to push their blog (yes, yes I know, why not?!) Benny pops up “Who do they think they are ‘blogging’, what do they know about what they’re trying to talk about?!” Having Benny there doesn’t make us any less happy/delighted for their success or happiness and we will all nod our heads and say “Fair play to them“. That’s the outward emotion, Benny, well Benny is definitely kept inward for fear people would think less of us!

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We all do it, including myself on a daily basis, but I am trying my best to be aware of it when I do it. If I see a mum at the school gate looking slim and glam I’ll try not to give her a side eye and presume shes had lipo/personal training cos how else does she look so well. When I see people getting their dream job, ¬†I will stop wining “why can’t I find a job, haven’t I studied enough? Aren’t I smart enough, young enough, blah blah blah”... Instead I have been focusing on how they deserve the job and my turn will come from the many interviews I rock up to, I will stumble upon my perfect job. Its hard bloody work trying to get rid of Benny, he’s in our DNA as Irish people, he’s running through our veins along with Barry’s tea and Tayto.

It makes us unique¬†and granted to hear us go on it can be funny. Even reading this, Benny is peeping through…isn’t he??!!

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How’ya lads I’m Benny!

So that’s my little tongue in cheek look at begrudgery, hope it gave you a giggle anyway! Any more thoughts or musings on it leave a comment!

Tracey xx

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My week as a teenage mum…

I was almost 6 months pregnant when my mam found my pregnancy book in my room, she fired it on the table and asked “who’s is this??!” I had contemplated using the old line I used the time she found my box of 10 silk cut purple…”I’m minding them for a friend!” But I knew there was only one way out of this situation and I was sure she’d notice the newborn crying my box room eventually…so I came clean, I defiantly declared “Its mine! I’m pregnant! in a ‘what you gonna do about it tone’. I was ¬†19 and had just moved back from my college house back home.¬†download-21

I love being a young mum. Now. I love the look people give me when I line up at parent teacher meetings. I love the way my old teachers ask her did you have a sister that I taught and she answers with “No, but you probably taught my mum!” Its great being 35 with a 15 year old daughter, we have certain things in common like makeup and TV programmes. We have the same daft sense of humour and can snort (mainly me) and giggle about something for much longer than its actually funny. Now don’t get me wrong just because I am a young mum doesn’t mean I am a walk over. I am just as strict as an older mum might be, maybe more (ask my daughter she’ll happily concur!).

Yep its all shits and giggles now but when I had just turned 20 sitting home on a Friday and Saturday night with my parents watching the Late Late or Winning streak wasn’t the best of craic. I had Chloe the week before my 20th birthday. I was a teenage mum for a week!

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While my friends were out dancing and drinking Smirnoff Ice I was bathing a ¬†baby and praying the colic wouldn’t keep her up all night.

Although at the time missing another Saturday night dancing to Nelly’s “Its getting hot in here” was the worst thing in the world, myself and Chloe grew up together, I matured into a somewhat confident mother while she grew into an independent little girl. images-17

Its such a novelty to say my daughter has been by my side throughout all the highlights of my life, getting married to her dad, getting my degree, watching her twin and baby brothers grow up, masters, and this blog. Now its my turn to watch all the milestones in her life begin and I cannot wait!

But its funny how life comes full circle, most of my friends who were dancing their asses off in oversized belts and flared jeans 16 years ago are now up to their eyes in bumps,nappies and pre-schools and I, well, I’m still buying nappies, BUT,¬†I now have not only a great little buddy in Chloe but also a live-in babysitter! No more pleading phone calls to grandparents to let us out to the cinema for a few hours. Happy Days!

I will never forget the feeling when the nurse told me I was pregnant all those years ago in LYIT’s doctors room, I was scared, angry, nervous, nauseous, all of the emotions and 9 months later¬†I gave her life, but really, she gave me mine.

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Tracey xxx

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Its not just a statistic, its Me.

To lose a baby. Its such a common phrase to say, but when you have a miscarriage or a stillbirth, its feels like such a wrong turn of phrase to use for your own baby. But what else do you say? I had 2 miscarriages and a stillbirth and I didn’t “lose” any of my pregnancies or babies, they died. Miscarriage and stillbirth has been in the media lately due to Kim Marsh’s hard hitting and raw portrayal of a mum “losing her baby”. Obviously it wasn’t a portrayal she went through the horrific experience of giving birth to her sleeping baby at 21 weeks. She is now campaigning for babies in the UK born before 24 weeks to be issued a birth cert. The same law is in place here, ridiculously.

Miscarriage and stillbirth (and I use those words separately because they are not the same) are so very common, but yet there is still a problem talking about them. People don’t know what to say so they say nothing or sometimes say the wrong thing unknowingly. Women who have early miscarriages feel like because people may not have known they were pregnant, they cant speak about their loss. But they want nothing more than to talk about the baby they should be still pregnant with, they know exactly how many weeks they should be or the size their baby should be, be it a peanut or a melon. But they’re usually just sitting there with friends or work colleagues nodding their head to how everyone’s weekends went. When a woman is further along in her pregnancy and has to give birth to her sleeping baby, a lot of people in all their well-meaning ways, avoid talking about the baby or saying the babies name. I don’t know if its an Irish thing, traditionally women were told to move on and try again, whats the use in dwelling over it, put it out of your mind… Bereaved parents are sometimes treated like lepers, people avoid them rather than talk about what has happened them. People want them to “Get over” their loss as soon as possible, so things stop being awkward.

I remember after my baby girl died, I met up with a friend for coffee months later and while we gently talked about what happened, she didn’t shy away from talking about Grace and saying her name throughout the conversation. It was the first time I had heard somebody else say her name in a normal conversation bar her dad, it was so comforting and I felt a little bit like myself, because I am a mum, wouldn’t it be strange if people didn’t mention my other living children in a conversation, wouldn’t it be strange if they purposefully avoided saying their name? Yes it would and that’s what it is like when people avoid talking about the loss of a baby. OF COURSE the parents may not want to talk about it, but mention their loss, don’t go out of your way to avoid it.
Even now when I mention my miscarriages or Grace I can see people shift in their seat just a little, simply because they don’t know how to speak about it with me or maybe they are worried mentioning my babies name will make me burst into tears. Remember women want you to speak their babies name, they want you to recognise they have had a miscarriage or a stillbirth, it is not taboo. Maybe there’s a stigma with it because they cannot see the hurt. If they broke their leg, people would see the hurt and the pain. When my friends called to my house after Grace died, one of the first things I did when they arrived was show them her pictures, it seemed to settle their nerves, they could see her and saw how beautiful she was and talking about my loss and her was somewhat easier.

Miscarriage and stillbirths, like most taboo topics need to be talked about more. Make it okay for a woman to feel its okay to talk about her pregnancy with her friends and family, even though she may not have gotten to hold her baby from that pregnancy. Allow her to talk about her babies beautiful chubby cheek or long fingers, even if that baby never took a breath, allow her to speak about her child like any other mum, don’t feel like you need to steer the conversation away from pregnancies or babies. These women have not moved on from their losses they have simply learned to live with them and part of this is to talk about their babies and their losses. Long gone are those days when women were told “try again a healthy baby will heal you”.
I now find it therapeutic to talk about my losses. I had a missed miscarriage at 12 weeks and 4 months later I miscarried again. We had just gotten married and couldn’t wait to extend our family, I naively thought it would be as easy as it was to get pregnant and give birth to my oldest daughter 8 years previous, by our 1st wedding anniversary I had suffered 2 miscarriages and was in A&E with a suspected third. Luckily that was to be our twin boys, they hung in there and were born 6 weeks early healthy and happy. Naivety got the better of me again when I was pregnant with my forth baby, I was shitting myself sitting in the sonographer’s room at my 12 week scan that I would see nothing on the monitor again, but all was fine, strong heartbeat and no problems. I¬†could relax and enjoy the rest of my pregnancy. Grace was born sleeping¬†at 28 weeks in March 2014, hers is a story that I replay in my head at least¬†twice a day. One day I will tell her story because it deserves to be told. For right now though, I am content enough to say this much about my angel, she was a stunning little baby, dark hair, gorgeous little lips and a button nose. Perfection. She was perfection.

So that is my two cents about pregnancy loss, I suppose if you could take away something from this bit of a ramble, it would be to ask that friend who you know lost a baby, how are they now or just give them a hug…or if you lost a baby, talk about them, talk about your pain, if that’s what you want to do. If you want, talk to me. Message me, rant to me whatever you want. PM me on Facebook or Instagram or whatever, but if you want to talk about your loss and you feel you cannot to your own family or friends, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I have added some websites that may offer more professional advice or help.

Lots of Love

Tracey xx

Miscarriage Association of Ireland

Feileacain

The Weight on my Mind.

xti9b3rAh January, a new year, new starts, marketing departments within all areas are limbering up to deliver their “New Year New You” mantra. Whether it be beauty regimes, healthy eating, fitness, gym gear, running apparel… the list goes on and on. If you think about it its the sloth like activities we displayed during the last 2 weeks of December they are trying to poke guilt at and yes the majority of us ate and drank to excess and in general were very static on some couch or high stool somewhere around the country but that along with a couple of weeks on holiday if you were lucky enough during the whole 52 weeks of the year is the only time that we do go to the extremes with food over such a long period. It just so happens this Christmas excess falls right next to a New Year, its pure coincidence and a money maker for different industries. That rant is the science bit of New Year guilt!

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I was thinking about resolutions and the fact that I don’t make them because I think they are pointless, but then I began to think back. Four years ago I gave up smoking on January 4th, two weeks later I began a fitness journey in my local gym because I felt I couldn’t afford to pile on any more weight from quitting smoking which I had done before. It was initially 28 day program, complete clean eating and 3 sessions in the gym every week. I was a size 14/16 (I am only 5 2) that first day I was introduced to a burpee by the May/ June I was wearing a size 12 comfortably and I was the fittest I had ever been in my 31 years. Was it a coincidence that this journey began in the New Year? If you smoked you know you need to be ready to quit the fags, a new year does will not help your mindset in any way if you are not ready to quit. I guess I was ready and the gym were offering the program coincidentally in January?!

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I am a marketers dream when it comes to weight loss to be fair. I have been self conscience of my weight since I was 11 years old, I have an old diary that goes in to great detail about how 11 year old Tracey thought her thighs were huge and they wobbled way too much. This complex continued on my whole teenage life, but the thing is when I was 16 and thought I was obese I was 7.5 stone??? I genuinely thought I was heavy. Looking back at that girl I feel for her because whoever or whatever got in her head at an early age made her not like what she seen in the mirror, I wish I could go back and stand behind that young girl and clear the shit from her head to see what everyone else saw, a gorgeous young girl. BUT that’s why hindsight is such an amazing thing right?! After I had my first daughter I did pile on real weight, emotional and pounds. I was 19 I had just had a baby my friends were off doing their thing at the weekends, so I just ate to fill an emotional void. I did this until I was 22 and I discovered CURVES…remember that? I lost quite a bit of weight and I was feeling good. I went back to college and I simply did not make the time to work out so over the next 4 years studying for my degree the weight crept on again and the demons were back in my head. By the time I had finished my final exam I was eating meal replacement bars and shakes twice a day as my wedding was the following month. It was pure panic. The crazy diet thing was nothing new for me though, I was always on some fad from a young age: cabbage soup, Atkins, starvation, celebrity slim you name it I put it in a soup or a shake!¬†download-18

In recent years my struggle with weight wormed its way towards my mental health. I found I go through phases of anxiety and being very down where I see nothing positive at all. I might have 5 bad days a month but they were a real struggle. When I began working out 4 years ago I did not have a bad day the whole time, I had moments where I felt shitty but working out had giving me a balance in my mind that was worth so much more than losing all the weight in the world. I gained some great friends from being at the gym. It cleared all the crap my brain was storing up for me, I didn’t need as much sleep and I slept better, I had more energy than ever before and in general I was a better person, for me and my family.

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I became pregnant with my second daughter Grace towards the end of that year and we lost her at 28 weeks, when I felt ready to go back to the gym a few months on I could not get back into the mindset I had the year before. I half halfheartedly went to class but I may as well have stayed in bed. When my youngest was 10 weeks old I once again went back to the gym, that’s 17 months ago now and I am not looking back. Yes there have been weeks where I just about made it in to one class and my weekend cheat meal would spill over to the middle of the following week and I felt it not only in my jeans but in my head, I would wake up full of dread for the day. I now know how to mind my mind as well as my jean size.

The past few weeks of eating too much and not moving enough has caused that shitty black cloud to form over me once again. So I have decided its not a new year resolution I intend to make rather an update to my current operating system! I aim to get rid of the bugs within my system and delete all the crap to free up some more space for positivity and balance. I am looking forward to cutting out sugar, wheat, dairy, alcohol and caffeine from my system for at least 30 days and getting back to gym this Thursday to try and hit at least 4 sessions per week. I feel like shit right now, but I know how I will feel in 2 months and that feeling tastes so much better than any Chinese or chipper does. I know  EVERYONE is on the same bandwagon right now but I feel by writing this all down it will give me a little bit more of a head start on getting back to fitness, eating better and a better mindset.

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I will always have an issue with my weight even if I ever get down to my target jean size, its imprinted in my brain, its never going to leave me. But I will live with that niggle as long as I retain that much longed for mindful balance. I always thought losing weight would cause me to have a more positive outlook but in actual fact, working out creates mental positivity that in turn helps with losing weight and being healthier and feeling good about myself when I look in the mirror.

Its not just about losing the weight from my hips and mum tum anymore, whats more important for me is losing that weight in my mind that causes that dreaded imbalance.¬†So…my 2017 update begins Thursday¬†with my first workout at 7am at my gym¬†Functional Fitness¬†and I am genuinely looking forward to it! I am going to try to keep my social media updated with meal prep and plans etc. so if you would like to join me please do!

Thanks for reading and a very healthy and Happy New Year to everyone

Tracey xxxx

 

 

 

Which twin are you?

I thought about writing a post giving advice to parents about tips for twins or who may be expecting twins but to be honest apart from the practical stuff like product advice its pointless as the only way to raise multiple babies or (single babies) is through the good old accounting concept of trial and error! Keep plugging away until you figure out what works for you and your babies. I personally do not like baby advice books especially Gina Ford, soz Geen! Yes it is true when you have twins you need a damn good routine down early on, but figure that routine out for yourself not based on what a woman who has not had the joy of 2 screaming babies during witching hour. Yes I did buy the book when they were born and on page 3 of what looked like a military itinerary of navy seals for newborns I googled her and was delighted to find out she did not have twins…WTF? There were a few twin mammies I connected with on Facebook and I would have been lost without them.So instead of an advice post I’ve decided to basically gas on about my twin’s last almost 6 years amusing little lives.

From the minute they were born 6 weeks early I have had people approach me and say the usual things, “Oh are they twins?”, “You’re busy!”, “How do you do it?”, “How do you tell them apart?” , “Do twins run in your family?” and I have always nodded and smiled, “yes they’re twins, yes they are identical”, “Haw haw I can always tell my children apart” (that is a a lie, I cannot ALWAYS tell who I am looking or talking to), “They are identical so no genetics involved!” (here I might throw in a ‘any woman can get pregnant with identical twins, its just chance!’…just to watch the blood drain from their faces!).

I remember ¬†two things about the day we were told we were having identical twins. Ducks and McDonald’s coffee…I had an early scan at 5 weeks and again at 8 due to some spotting, we had already had two miscarriages in the months previous so we were keeping our hopes low. I was lying there hoping against hope all was alright and she said everything is OK aaaand there are two babies in there… jaw. floor. dropped. We got the printed scan picture and there looking back at me were what looked like 2 little ducks floating on a lake. We floated out of the room and ended in McDonald’s at 10.30am I ordered a coffee (which was as it turns out the last coffee I would consume for 30 weeks, ¬†it made me sick and I’m the Lorelai Gilmore of coffee addicts so this was a shock to the system!) But I digress…

I have often thought how would people react if you told them exactly what having my two wild boys is like! Now don’t get me wrong, my Dad used to say I won the lotto having these boys and that is a perfect way to sum up how I feel about them. I know I am blessed that they are healthy happy little boys, but sometimes I look back on the last almost 6 years and think mother nature has a beautiful way of helping you blur out the hard times! From the minute they grew legs and arms in my belly they took chunks out of each other and this has been happening since! Their teacher recently said¬†at a meeting “they are always telling on each other!” and this is because they simply do not like each other. They love each other and they are rarely apart even in the same room, but they do not like each other. Here is one of the first examples…I had a beautiful Out n About Twin buggy and I was delighted with it, after 4 months I had to change it to a double buggy that had TWO separate seats…yes I had to purchase a new double pram because my infant sons did not like sitting so close to each other…they bawled and bawled when they were next to one another. I found a pram with two separate seats and what was better they could face separate ways! They didn’t like being in the car either, I remember my poor mother would have to chirp out twinkle twinkle on a loop sitting in the car with them while I ran into Tesco (good auld Tesco!). They cried constantly when they were out, singing was the only thing that would calm them for a short period. I still have the ¬†nursery rhymes CD in the car..ya never know!!

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When I think back to when they were newborns and babies I remember how hard it was of course, trying to feed one while the other screamed, juggling getting them into their car seats and out again…but this was expected, I was prepared for this. Also I have to admit they slept, from about 8 weeks they slept through the night, so once you get your sleep well lets face it you can do a lot more than not, right? So the actual keeping them fed, clean and rested was not too bad and lets face it, you have no choice so you have to get through it.

The crying and screaming while in public was the first sign they wouldn’t be shy quiet boys…I had to stop going anywhere I used to including shops and cafes (the ones that I could fit the hummer version of buggies into that is!). Some people thought I had emigrated, I met a lady I worked with before I got pregnant with the twins during the summer and she thought I had died! OK… OK!I am exaggerating, but only slightly!

They walked at 16 months and that was probably the last time I saw my wedding ornaments or had clean walls! I had to change the buggy again around that time to a tandem (one in front of the other) because they were just to heavy for the other one and I missed being able to push my buggy through things like my front door. This new buggy brought about a whole new series of problems, Cian sat in the back seat because he was the quieter of the two, this did not stop wigging or kicking Jamie at every opportunity from his seat. Jamie being at the front was usually acting out a claw machine toward any item he passed, grab and go.

dsc_0308Its funny NOW looking back at things they got into but the amount of visits to Westdoc used to make me blush, here is a condensed list of complaints, and please don’t judge me!

  • Jamie got the little blue cap of a Bic pen stuck up his nose…we did not see this happening just noticed the little piece of blue plastic hours later, did not bother him in the slightest.

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  • Cian somehow got his hands on the oven cleaner that was way up high and in a plastic bag…he licked the top of the bottle…
  • Jamie drew all over Cian’s face with permanent marker…he was trying to draw eyebrows and a tash to be fair.20141222_121425
  • Their Granddad wallpapered my sitting room, 1 hour later they scribbled all over it with biro…not the same one that was up his nose.
  • They broke my mother’s fridge freezer.

 

When they turned 2 I bought two separate buggys (are you keeping track? yep Toymaster loved to see me coming!) now this was luxury! Sure, I always needed my mam with me when we went out but hey I wasn’t complaining!

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The last few years they are so much quieter, but the mischievousness and the twinkle in their eye will never fade and you know what, as much as I may complain, I wouldn’t want it to.

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