Perfect differences

Ok, so not the best start to 2018.

There is no kidding the fact that our 2 year old can without a doubt be challenging at the best of times, just like any other toddler.

Before Joshua started going to the childminder, I told the childminder that Joshua has Chromosome XQ28 and suspected autism. The childminder was adamant that she could cope with Joshua and I was thrilled that he fitted in somewhere so much. My biggest worry for Joshua was that he wouldn’t be accepted by the other children. If I say he can be a little bit boisterous, that still maybe a bit of an understatement. But, a lot of it comes from the frustration from the lack of speech. But at childminding, he seemed to be doing great and he was happy to go which was brilliant.

Screen Shot 2018-02-26 at 12.10.55

Joshua does not always find going to new places easy, but he grew to love his childminder and his new friends, it became like his second home 3 days a week. I loved all the paintings he would bring me home, including the 4 sets of dirty clothes that would be bagged up because he spent most of the day jumping in the water bucket, whatever the weather. My little water baby.

In fact, it was all going great, until Monday 15th January, the childminder suddenly decided she could not handle Joshua any more and gave us a days notice to find another childcare service. Are you thinking what I thought? Yes, IMPOSSIBLE. Not only was it impossible, but right before my 3 week teaching placement. NOT IDEAL. Yeah, so apparently parents were complaining that they didn’t want there children around Joshua and that their children did not want to come to nursery as they found Joshua too much at times. YES, THE PARENTS! Would you believe it?! We’re all in the same boat right, all we want is for our children to have the best start in life.

The childminder said that the other children actually loved Joshua’s company but she felt that she would loose too much business if Joshua was to stay in her setting as parents threatened to leave. All that the parents and the childminder was successful in doing that day, was teaching children that it is expectable to exclude children for being slightly different.

Our experience definitely flicked a light switch and made me realise that children with difficulties are still not fully included into every setting. But Joshua now goes to a new nursery 2 days a week which by the way is great and he is doing so well. We have been practising his speech at home (with Makaton and visual cards advised by the speech and language therapist) and Joshua now copies almost every word we say, which is AMAZING!! Some children just need a little bit more support and guidance but all children can succeed in life. From this, I have made the decision to set up my own nursery for ALL children but suitable and accessible for children with difficulties. Slightly different career path, but I am excited with what the future holds.

It is not right that from 2 years old, my child has already experienced being an outsider. We should be empowering one another, not ripping each other apart.

Am I the same as you? Are you the same as your friends? Are we normal? The truth is, no we are all different and there is no such thing as normal. This world would be an extremely boring place if we were all the same.

Joshua is the funniest and most charismatic little boy that I have ever met. His personality shines through already and he will be the child who is successful in life. He has already over come more than you could imagine. He is going to shine so bright, just you step back and watch.

Screen Shot 2018-02-26 at 12.11.59

All my love as always,

Sophie xx


Christmas caos with a toddler

These blog posts seems to be getting not only weeks apart but months apart. Seen as though I’m on holiday and have some spare time, I thought I’d update on our Christmas caos and my baby turning 2.

I’m 100% sure that I must’ve blinked one day and my baby suddenly turned 2 years old. I’m scared to blink again in case he suddenly turns 18!! Joshua tuned 2 years old on the 21st December. Joshua spent his birthday at the farm with his nanna because this mama had to work all day which was devastating but a needs must before Christmas. But, I knew that he would love every minute of the farm after all animals are still his favourite. Although, I’m not entirely sure if he needed to actually visit the farm considering since his birthday and Christmas our house has generally turned into a farm with the amount of animal toys he got. But hey ho, he enjoyed it as I knew he would.

I felt like he just opened presents for a whole week. It even got to the point after Christmas, he was sad when he walked down the stairs to no presents to open. After all, babies and toddlers do love the wrapping paper and the boxes that the toys come in. I really don’t know why us parents spend so much money. Not the best feeling when you’ve spent so much money on their toys and they cry when you put the boxes and wrapping paper in the bin. Amazing really though. It just goes to show that we are very spoilt and very lucky with everything we have. As we certainly do not need it all.

But anyway, our gorgeous baby is 2!! And he even finally says mummy and daddy which may not seem much to a lot of people but this is such a massive achievement for Joshua and we could not be prouder. We have waited so long for this. Having said that, it’s not brilliant when all your hear at 2 in the morning is “mum” “mum” because he wants his milk bottle. It never seems to be daddy, funnily enough. I must have slave written on my forehead.

As his birthday is so close to Christmas, it is just caos. I brought Joshua’s wooden toy kitchen from Asda in our local town and that wasn’t the best experience in the world. I swear I nearly lost an arm that day. I made the decision to order everything else online. Far too busy in the shops for me at Christmas time, especially with a pram. It’s miles easier having these big parcels delivered straight to your house.

I used to be so chilled at Christmas when I was younger. I used to wonder why my mum was so stressed. I just always wanted to tell her to relax as it’s Christmas. But since being a parent, the definition of Christmas should be stress. I now understand. If only it was as easy as Santa sorting everything out for you. But unfortunately he is not nice enough to pack away all these toys he brought Joshua for Christmas. He gets far too much credit. In fact, they were all still left in their packaging. How inconsiderate. He could have at least built us a new toy cupboard to store all of these endless amount of toys.

We even had a white Christmas. How wonderful. Well, maybe not for me as I couldn’t move my car for about a week but at least Joshua loved it. Kind of. He liked watching it. Just did not want to walk on it. But it looks pretty and that’s a good photo opportunity I guess.

But my goodness. Isn’t Christmas special with a family. Watching my baby on Christmas Day and Christmas Eve was the most magical thing in the world. Family really is everything. Christmas with a child is truly the best that it has ever been for me. I feel so incredibly blessed.

Thanks for reading.

Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and new year themselves.

As always all my love,

Sophie X

Joshua’s first week of nursery

Been a hectic few weeks, hence why I haven’t blogged in a while so have a few thing to catch up on.

To start, here’s all about Joshua’s first week at nursery.

Screen Shot 2017-10-09 at 20.35.54

I got far to use to having my little sidekick by my side 24/7. I was dreading his first week with the childminder while I was at University. In my first week, I felt like I left half of my body at home. I spent 99.9% of my week worrying about Joshua and wanting to get back to him as quick as I could. Turns out that on a primary PGCE, you do not have the well-needed 3 hour free time like you do on an undergraduate course. No, when they say your day starts at 9 and finishes at 5, they are not kidding. The best part of my day is coming home to my gorgeous happy little boy.

Screen Shot 2017-10-09 at 20.36.05

The taster sessions were fine, I went with him on his first day and only left him for an hour on two more days. I was only up the road, so I knew it would be fine. She said he was brilliant, he was a bit shy with the other children but loved participating in all the messy play activities and listening to story time and song hour. When I picked him up, he had the biggest smile on his face, he looked like he had so much fun which is all I ever wanted.

Dropping him off on his first day was absolutely heart-breaking. I was re-thinking everything. It generally took me about 10 minutes to pluck up the courage to get out of the car. When I finally did, he recognised her and the other children and ran in and made himself right at home. His childminder sent me pictures of him throughout the day so I could see how much fun he was having. When I collected him, he ran straight up to me, nearly falling over he was running that quick. He jumped straight into my arms giving me the biggest cuddle he had ever given me. I felt so loved and it was such a special moment that I will never forget. When we got in, I had never seen him so tired in my whole life, he looked like he needed to sleep for a whole year. That tired, he fell straight asleep in my arms and then went to bed and fell asleep on the floor.

I felt slightly better dropping Joshua off the following days. When we pulled up outside, he knew where we were and he would scream in excitement. The childminder said that he has settled in extremely well even if it does take two off them to change his nappy because he is such a fidget bum. He’s eating like a king and still tries to taste all the other children’s food, I don’t know where he puts it all. Joshua goes on days out constantly and paints pictures for me almost every day. Receiving these paintings are the best gift that any parent could ever wish for. I get so excited to get home to look through his personal dairy to see what he has been up to throughout the day and what painting he has made for us.

Screen Shot 2017-10-09 at 20.36.15

I know how hard it was for me to leave him. But Joshua is coming on so well. The childminder is brilliant. She is even supporting us with his communication by using Makaton and visual cards with him. She even works towards the EYFS which is extremely important for us in terms of his development. His childminder continues to send me pictures of Joshua throughout the day. Knowing Joshua is happy and enjoying himself is what keeps me going.

Screen Shot 2017-10-09 at 20.36.26

All my love as always,

Sophie X

The bond between a dog and a baby is not scary, it is beautiful: Our Tilly and Joshua

‘A dog is the bestest friend you could ever have. A loyal loving companion that cares for you more than themselves. A special creature whose time in your heart will far outnumber its days on earth.’

Screen Shot 2017-09-11 at 19.56.35

We were a bit wary bringing our new born baby home at first. Our dog Tilly has never really been around babies or toddlers before. I never left them alone together or let Joshua get too close to her. Tilly has never been vicious before and we know that she wouldn’t hurt a fly. But, you can never be too careful, especially with a new born baby around. We always tried to give her just as much attention and affection as before, as the last thing we wanted to do was to make her feel unwanted or left out. After all, she has always been a big part of our family.

As Tilly began to realise that Joshua was here for the long haul, she became extremely protective of Joshua. We noticed that she would guard his room on a night to make sure he was fine and she would even cry at our bed when she heard him crying in the night.

Joshua is memorised by her. Even at just 5 months old, he would watch her every move and just want to spend all of his time with her. Joshua has always watched us give Tilly cuddles. Now he absolutely loves giving her cuddles himself. He just puts his head on her says ‘awww’ and just smiles… It’s absolutely priceless

Joshua is now 20 months old and absolutely idiolises Tilly. He chases her around the room, throws her ball for her and he now even tries to say Tilly’s name when he walks down the stairs on a morning. Joshua tries to put Tilly’s lead on her collar before we leave the house as he much prefers it when she comes with us. If it’s a place where she can’t come, Joshua always makes sure that he waves goodbye to her and strokes her head before we leave. Joshua likes to share his meals with Tilly and Tilly of course can’t resist. He has even been known to fall asleep on her a couple of times.

The pictures say it all in this blog. I didn’t need to say an awful lot. Tilly’s and Joshua’s bond is unbreakable. It is special. Unbelievably special.

They do everything together. Where there is a Tilly, there is a Joshua not so far away…

Screen Shot 2017-09-11 at 20.01.05

All my love as always,

Sophie xx



Living with Multiple Sclerosis: The story of my mum

‘To the world you are a mother, but to your family, you are the world’

Screen Shot 2017-08-30 at 19.29.03

3rd March 2014 mum had us all frantic after being rushed to hospital after losing sensation in the left side of her body, dangerously high blood pressure and intense headaches, all causing her to have dizziness and slurred speech. Mum was either crying in pain with her head between her knees or trying to communicate with us without stuttering.

Mum was emitted onto the stroke unit for a suspected mini stroke. She was sent for an emergency CAT scan to find out the damage the stroke had caused. The doctors explained that the CAT scan showed lesions on the brain. Lesions on the brain refers to any type of abnormal tissue in or on the brain tissue. The doctors were unsure on the cause of the lesions so she was sent for an emergency MRI scan for more answers.

Months later, 1st August 2014 to be exact, is a day I will never forget, it was the day my mum was diagnosed with the dreaded relapsing remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS). We were heartbroken. As, for my mum, she was distraught. Absolutely broken inside. She thought her life was over. We had been living up North for 6 years by this point and she loved it but, after the diagnosis all she wanted to do was run as far away as possible. She didn’t want to live here anymore. She didn’t want to be near a hospital that had given her such terrifying and devastating news. So she moved away, my mum and sister moved back down South. I missed her like crazy. I just wanted her close to us so we could support her but when my mum’s heart is set on something, she will do it. We saw her all the time though. If we weren’t visiting her, she would be up North visiting us.

Screen Shot 2017-08-30 at 20.01.55.png

It didn’t take long. Just under a year later, she told us she felt lonely down South on her own and she was moving back home where she belonged. There was something different about her. That smile and positivity that we all know and love was back. She didn’t lose strength by choosing to live closer to family. That decision made her strong. In fact, the strongest women that I had ever met. She made us all proud. She began to accept that a person can still be strong even if they do need a little helping hand from time to time. Having her family around became everything to her. Her family has always been the most important thing to her but we needed her just as much as she needed us.

Walking into a local café with my mum was a massive achievement shortly after her diagnosis. I was so proud of her. She brought the tray of drinks over to us. On the way over, she walked into a table and her hand was shaking, so I got up and helped her. Two old women were shouting “it’s not the place to bring a drunk woman”. I was absolutely disgusted that people could be so rude. I even remember attending a theatre show with my mum once. That particular day, she was very unwell, so she used the disabled toilets as she was very off balance. Some woman in a wheelchair turned around and said “these are the disabled toilets, the normal women’s are up the stairs”. I mean how rude. Just because she isn’t in a wheelchair does not mean she doesn’t have a disability. There are many struggles that my mum faces daily as it is without rude people knocking her confidence. We need to support one another not knock people down. Stop judging.

My mum has suffered with almost all the symptoms of MS. She’s had optical neuritis, fatigue, numbness and tingling, muscle spasms, stiffness and weakness, mobility problems, problems with thinking, learning and planning, anxiety, bladder problems, bowel problems and speech and swallowing difficulties. Some days are worse than others. Every day is different. MS is unpredictable. My mum always says the key to good health is happiness and positivity. And that she is.

My mum even now attends an MS society and has joined many MS online groups. We never thought she would join anything like these so that’s an achievement in its self. She was sceptical at first but she will now openly admit how much they help. She said that she no longer feels alone and there are many people she can speak of all different ages going through MS just like herself. None of our family fully understand MS, but we are all willing to learn. My mum is learning what it is like living with MS. The rest of us, we are learning how to live with a relative with MS. Like I said, MS is unpredictable and we have to take each day as it comes.

Screen Shot 2017-08-30 at 19.49.41

I’m not going to sit here and tell you it’s a walk in the park. It’s far from it. Every day is a learning day. But, my mum’s confidence just improves day after day. Of course, she has many knocks along the way but she just overcomes everything that she is faced with. She is the best nanny to my little boy and the best mother to the four of us. She is our inspiration. The best mum we could have wished for.

Screen Shot 2017-08-30 at 19.45.25

All my love,

Sophie xx

Why being a young mum didn’t ruin my life

Being a mother is not about what you gave up to have a child, but what you gained from having one’.

Screen Shot 2017-08-26 at 14.23.06

It’s been a rollercoaster of a 3 years and yet, I would not change a thing. Not a single part. We have learnt so much about ourselves and we are a stronger family than ever. Don’t get me wrong, being at university while having a baby has been one of the hardest decisions that I have ever made. Not including all of the obstacles we have faced along the way. But, I would do it all again to achieve what I want.

Screen Shot 2017-08-26 at 14.22.56

I’m not saying a degree certificate is the most important thing in the world, but it was important to me. Everybody has their own ambitions and you will get there in the end. Having children earlier than expected changes nothing. You can still do exactly what you want to do. I feel like a real winner as I have achieved exactly what I want and I even got the biggest reward of all. My little boy right by my side the whole way.

Screen Shot 2017-08-26 at 14.23.12

I never thought I would be sitting here writing this today but I achieved a 2:1 in my Early Childhood Studies degree at Teesside University. To most people, I am a girl called Sophie that graduated from university while having a baby. But to Joshua, I am his mummy that graduated from university. That means more to me than anything. I much prefer my new title. Being a mummy has been the biggest achievement of all and no one could ever take that away from me.

Screen Shot 2017-08-26 at 14.22.40

Graduation day couldn’t have been more perfect. It was so emotional. There were many times throughout the three years that I thought there was no chance on this earth that I will be graduating. But i did. And, I loved every minute of it.

I was lucky to share my graduation day with not only my amazing mum, dad and fiancé by my side but also the biggest part of my university experience. My special little Joshua.

Screen Shot 2017-08-26 at 14.23.24

Falling pregnant at 19 was terrifying, I may have met my Joshua a little early than expected but I guess it just means I get to love him a little longer. Joshua has far from ruined my life. Our life starts here and I cannot wait for what the future holds for us all. For now, I have decided to put myself through one more year of hell. I am going back to university in September to do my Primary PGCE. Hopefully this time next year, I will not only be a mummy but also a qualified SEN primary school teacher.

Please believe in yourself. You can achieve anything you want to do. And do not forget, young mums are just as capable as anyone else so please believe in them too.

All my love as always,

Sophie xx

Chromosome XQ28 Duplicated Syndrome: The story of our perfect little boy.

When the neo-natal unit took our babies bloods before he left the ward, we thought nothing of it. We were just so excited to finally bring our little boy home with us and start our new life together. It was amazing bringing our Joshua home. He has always been a good sleeper and his cuddles are the best!

Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 11.02.11

At 7 weeks old, just a few days later from his bronchiolitis recovery, we received a phone call from a genetic specialist trying to arrange an appointment to see Joshua. We tried to carry on but the appointment was always at the back of our minds. We knew Joshua had his bloods taken, so we did not know what might possibly show up. You always find yourself thinking about the worst case scenario. But we just didn’t know what could be wrong. We spent the days leading up to the appointment thinking the worst. It just felt like one thing after another. Hasn’t he been through enough in his little life already?

Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 11.02.20

At the appointment, the genetic specialist told us that we needed to listen very carefully as it is all a lot to take in. Joshua sat on our knees. We did this as a family. Like everything else. We all needed each other.

The genetic specialist explained that Joshua’s blood tests were sent off for genetic testing for a suspected chromosomal abnormality because of his small head circumference. The results found that Joshua has a rare chromosomal abnormality called Chromosome XQ28 Duplicated Syndrome. We had no idea what he was talking about. It felt like he was just throwing letters and numbers at us. It was the most daunting experience of our lives. He told us that it is extremely rare and there is no cure or medication. All they could do for us is offer support and yearly observations to watch Joshua’s development.

As if we hadn’t already been told enough bad news, the genetic specialist told us that it is likely that Joshua will never be able to sit, crawl, walk or talk. He suggested that we prepared ourselves for the worse. One specialist even told us that the life expectancy for Chromosomal XQ28 Duplicated Syndrome is 12 years old. Our hearts shattered into a thousand pieces and we did not understand how life could be so cruel to our Joshua.

The genetic specialist told us that Chromosome XQ28 Duplicated Syndrome affects mainly men as it is the X chromosome affected. The reasons for this is because females have two X chromosomes so the non-faulty X chromosome takes control. Therefore, females usually become just a carrier. For a male it is different. As males only have one X chromosome, research so far has suggested that a boy will definitely be affected. Having said that we have recently found out that I carried the faulty chromosome and it was my dad that actually passed the faulty X chromosome to myself. The main health issues my dad has struggled with in his life have been asthma, skin conditions and allergies. Joshua uses an inhaler as he regularly wheezes, suffers with eczema and is allergic to cow’s milk. Joshua also suffers with absent seizures and irregular fits. There are many similarities between their health issues but nothing extreme that can’t be dealt with using medication or treatment.

Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 11.03.01

Joshua has already been so strong in his little life and he continues to make us proud every single day. It may have taken Joshua slightly longer than other babies but he has always met his milestones in the end…

We were over the moon when Joshua turned over for the first time at just 5 months old…

Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 11.03.08

Joshua continuously amazes us every day and at 7 months old, he even sat up for the first time…

Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 11.03.15

Joshua crawled for the first time at 10 months old whilst following his daddy into the bedroom. We couldn’t believe it…

Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 11.03.24

Tears strolled down our eyes when 15 month old Joshua walked for the first time. His timing could not have been more perfect! Watching Joshua walk from one chair to another chair in the hospital in front of poorly nanny was the most memorable experience which I will never forget…

Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 11.03.31

We still don’t know what Joshua’s diagnosis is fully going to mean for his future, but we do know that our son is the most sensitive, caring, compassionate and loving little boy in the world. He could not be more perfect in our eyes. I can guarantee that we are going to have many more obstacles thrown at us that we will need to face. But, it is nothing that we can’t deal with. As a family.

Joshua proves doctor’s wrong day in and day out. He learns something new everyday. As a family we now appreciate just the tiniest of things. Everything Joshua does, we are so proud of.

Joshua is our world. Our little miracle.


All my love as always,

Sophie xx

Bronchiolitis in babies should be taken more seriously: Our story

After bringing Joshua home from the neo-natal unit at just 11 days old, Joshua became much more alert and was continuously gaining a healthy amount of weight.

Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 19.20.58

After just a few weeks, Joshua started becoming very uncomfortable during and after his feeds. He developed a rash on his neck and was extremely constipated. I spoke to the GP about this, and they suggested to try Infacol as it is most likely colic. We tried Infacol for a couple of weeks but Joshua’s feeding just got worse. He started to vomit after all his feeds and began losing weight. He developed a persistent cough and his breathing became rapid which was beginning to have an affect on his sleep. He became restless and extremely irritable.

Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 19.28.23

Myself and Joshua’s father decided to take Joshua to children’s A&E on Monday 18th January 2016. We wanted to ask the doctor for their advice about this, as Joshua was becoming very reluctant to taking any feeds. The doctor sent us away and told us to try some warm water between each feed, which we tried for 5 days, which didn’t make any difference at all.


On Saturday 23rd January 2016, we noticed that Joshua started to struggle breathing. He seemed to be having to put a lot of effort into each breathe. Joshua didn’t seem as alert as usual, all he wanted to do was sleep but he was so irritable. We knew something was not right. Due to this, we decided to take Joshua back to children’s A&E on Monday 25th January.

Joshua was very unwell, by this point his breathing became extremely wheezy and heavy. The paediatric nurse was useless, she carried out very few observations and told us that it is probably just a cold due to the change in weather. We waited hours after hours in an empty children’s ward with Joshua. We mentioned all Joshua’s symptoms to the nurses, they could see that he was struggling to breathe. He was still only weighing just over 4 pounds, they should have observed him more carefully knowing he was in the neo-natal unit just a few weeks before.

Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 19.23.59

We waited 3 and a half hours in total for the A&E doctor to come, even though Joshua was really struggling. The doctor claimed that Joshua was 100% fine and he suggested that because Joshua was born 3 weeks early, he must just have immature lungs and bowels. The doctor even had the cheek to say that we are being paranoid ‘young’ parents. He assured us that we could go home and not have any worries. We were sent home at 3am in the strong winds early hours of the morning. Myself and Joshua’s father were very sceptical, we felt that something was wrong but we trusted the doctor, he knew best. You would like to think anyway.

Joshua still did not get better when we were home, his breathing just got heavier and heavier. We decided to take Joshua back to the hospital in the morning on Wednesday 27th January 2016 for another opinion. The doctor was brilliant and within 5 minutes after carrying out all her observations, she knew Joshua was very poorly. She said that Joshua should have been in days before. We told her about our last experiences and she was mortified. She said that he had something called bronchiolitis and needed oxygen to support his breathing, he was very very poorly. BRONCHIOLITIS. What an earth is that?

Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 19.11.15

Joshua was emitted immediately onto the children’s ward and rushed to an emergency cot in a separate room. He was placed in a room right in front of the nurses reception so that they could get to him straight away when there was an issue. He was placed onto a CPAP machine to help him breathe and he had to be fed through a tube. We weren’t able to touch or hold him in case of any infection. It was devastating. All I wanted to do was comfort my baby and make him feel secure. Every time I saw how fragile and breathless he was just broke my heart. But, we felt so relieved that he was finally getting the help we knew he needed.

Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 19.11.40

Holding him for the first time after 3 days was the best feeling in the world. He had to learn how to feed again. It just felt like one step forward and three steps back. But, of course our litter fighter did it. In fact, Joshua made a full recovery and was able to come home with us a week later. The doctor prescribed Joshua Nutramigen milk as he is lactose intolerant which explains the vomiting and unusual rashes.

It was a shame that these symptoms were not picked up sooner, Joshua showed almost every symptom of bronchiolitis, yet it was still brushed away as a ‘cold’. They didn’t even pick up his allergy of cow’s milk. We were shoved off just for being ‘young’ parents, but it could have risked his life. Joshua’s chest has never been the same since, he is now 20 months old and has to use an inhaler every night. We couldn’t have been more right, we are just so thankful that our baby made a full recovery…. I’m glad we never gave up.

All my love,

Sophie xx



My pregnancy experience: Recognising signs of pre-eclampsia

Screen Shot 2017-08-16 at 17.10.50

Walking into the lecture theatre for the first day of term for my second year of university was the most nerve-wracking experience. I knew at some point I needed to tell people that I was pregnant. I was nervous enough about becoming a first time parent at 19 without people judging me.

As time went on and my bump began to show, people always stared. I knew exactly what they were thinking. They did not even need to say anything.

Screen Shot 2017-08-16 at 17.11.48.png

I made the decision to go and speak to the lecturers and get support around assignments and exams. Surely they could not judge me right? That’s what you would like to think but I could not have been more wrong. They suggested over and over again that it would probably be best if I deferred a year. They even started to put doubts in my mind about my own capabilities. With the lack of support, I am not surprised with the high amount of university drop outs.

Being the stubborn person I am, I decided I was not going to defer. There was no chance that anyone was going to talk me out of dropping out and I became more determined than ever. Everything I now did from this point onwards was for my baby. We shortly found out we were having a healthy baby boy and we could not have been happier.

Screen Shot 2017-08-16 at 17.11.15.png

Pregnancy was normal at first, just the usual morning (or should I say all day) sickness and fatigue. Having my friends was the best part of university. If I ever missed a day, they would all send me their lecture notes. They all soon became my biggest supporters. If anything, it brought us all closer together.

At 27 weeks pregnant, my body started changing. I didn’t feel as healthy as I felt at the beginning and I knew something wasn’t right. Over and over again, the midwife would send me straight to the hospital with high blood pressure and protein in my urine. From this point onwards, I really struggled. I knew that I needed to keep attending university as much as possible as I had some important deadlines and exams coming up.

At 33 weeks pregnant, I developed intense headaches. I could not even sit in a room with the light on. I knew I had no choice but to go to the hospital. The midwife took my blood pressure twice and told me that the blood pressure monitors must be playing up as my blood pressure could not be that high. The protein in my urine now went from +1 to +2. Yet, the doctor still sent me home to ‘relax’. I could not relax, what didn’t they get about that. I spent almost every day in and out of the hospital worrying friends and family. I was even given an emergency scan as my little boy was weighing much less than they would have liked. Is this not enough signs? Clearly not, as they sent me home once again a few hours later.

Screen Shot 2017-08-16 at 17.12.08

Finally, at 37 weeks pregnant, the doctor diagnosed me with pre-eclampsia and dangerously high blood pressure. For me this was far too late. I was screaming I was in too much pain. They made the decision to induce me. I did not expect that. Looks like I’m having my baby. When my waters finally broke the following morning, I now had a bigger problem on my hands. My fiancé. He decided to pass out on me as he has a fear of pain and even passes out at the dentist. Great, it is just what I needed.

Screen Shot 2017-08-16 at 17.12.48.png

I remember bleeding on the way to the delivery suite. The worst thoughts were going through my mind. But I knew that I needed to be strong for my baby and that I was soon going to have him tight in my arms. Our babies heart beat kept dropping and the doctors and midwives were preparing us for the worst as he was really struggling with the contractions from inside my tummy. The contractions were agonising. That bad, I needed a catheter as I could not even get up to go to the toilet. I was only 2cm dilated… How could this be?

I was shouting at the doctors “I NEED A POOP” but they did not believe me as they said it was impossible to be having that sensation so soon as I was only 2cm dilated. They told me that I could potentially still be in labour for another 18 hours so I need to try and stay as calm as possible. My heart literally sank in that moment. Most of the pain was down my back as he was back to back. Ouch! But I stood my ground and asked them to check and I felt the sudden urge to push. Guess what! I was right. I was now fully dilated and it took a whole two pushes to push my tiny little Joshua James Munroe out.

Screen Shot 2017-08-16 at 17.35.00.png

The midwife placed Joshua onto my chest and all the pain just disappeared. He was everything and more. We could not stop staring at him, he was absolutely gorgeous. The relief in the midwives and doctor’s eyes was so noticeable. Tears strolled down myself, Joshua’s daddy and my mum’s eyes. All I wanted to do was hold my little boy and never let him go from that day onwards.

The midwife carried out all her observations and weighed Joshua. He was 4Ibs 1oz. He was a dot. But the most gorgeous dot that I had ever seen. The midwife told us that Joshua had low blood sugars and low temperature and he needed support from the neo-natal unit. He needed to be placed in a hot cot attached to a drip. Joshua was that tiny, the neo-natal unit provided premature knitted clothing for him to wear. Every parent’s worst nightmare knowing your child is not well. It broke my heart leaving Joshua in the neo-natal unit.

Screen Shot 2017-08-16 at 17.21.58.png

Walking into my new hospital room on the post-delivery ward was devastating. I thought that once I was on this ward, everything would be fine and I would have my little boy right by my side. Instead, I was in an empty room on a separate department from my new born. It broke my heart watching all the other newly mum’s nursing their baby. The hospital did try which I am grateful for. They requested that I was put in a separate room. It didn’t take away the pain though walking past the other mum’s every day and watching them take their babies home just hours after giving birth. I spent a few of my hospital days completing assignments and handing them in online.

We spent Christmas and new year in the special care unit. They even gave Joshua his own Christmas stocking full of toys. Joshua thrived in special care and was allowed home with us 11 days later. We were thrilled and to top it all off, I even achieved a 2:1 for my second year of university.

Screen Shot 2017-08-16 at 17.23.05

If pregnancy has taught me anything, it is to believe in yourself. After all, you know your body more than anyone. Trust your instincts.

All my love,

Sophie xx

Holidays with a toddler is not as easy as it looks..


The full airport process is time consuming enough without adding a toddler to the equation, especially a child with an intolerance. By the time the tested/scanned milk bottles have been given back, they are normally half empty and freezing cold. To add on top of that, pretty sure we’ve not had a positive experience yet where the security men/women actually know how to secure the bottle lids properly, so that it doesn’t make all the rest of the food in the bag soaking wet. Just what you need for a tired and hungry toddler right.

There is no such thing as a 10minute toilet or food/drink break when travelling with a toddler. Oh no, it’s more about running around like a crazy family trying to find out what gate your plane is flying from before your too late because security has taken that long to get through. All for what? To sit on the plane for an hour to wait for the calm late passengers dawdling.


Isn’t it really stressful sat next to ignorant passengers that always huff and puff as soon as your toddler makes the slightest bit of sound. I will never know how these people expect families to go on holiday. If that’s not stressful enough, under 2 year olds do not get their own seat space. Instead, they are expected to sit on their parent’s knees. Hours of achy, tingly sensations whilst your toddler is sat on your knees really does do some damage to your legs. Rule out any scheduled walking trips for days after. Maybe try to have a few peaceful days relaxing on a sun bed and reading a book. Who am I kidding? There is no such thing as relaxing on a sun bed and reading a book on holiday with a toddler by your side. In fact, I don’t even think I remember what a book looks like. Instead, there is no other option but to suck up the pain and deal with it.

Parents are able to leave their child’s pram outside of the plane so that they can use the pram right up until they get on. When the plane has landed, parents have to collect the prams from the baggage carousel. I will never understand the reasons for this. Just because I have arrived in a foreign country doesn’t mean we have suddenly developed super powers in holding a fidgety and tired toddler for an hour whilst we wait in ques for our luggage.

That’s all before starting your holiday…

For parents they think that it is normally just easier to book a coach or taxi transfer beforehand. We did this. We booked a private taxi transfer with a children’s car seat from the airport to our hotel. It is easier than dragging our toddler on to a sweaty coach with no air-con waiting around for other passengers. Typically, the taxi turned up without a car seat so yet again we had to request that we needed a car seat as we do not trust him sitting on our laps for an hour as the driver suggested.

It is always a nightmare when arriving at the hotel for the receptionist to tell you that you have to pay for air-con. When it says air con is available on the website, it actually means available if you are willing to pay for it. For parents, air con isn’t a choice, it’s a necessity. Parents have to pay for air con if they actually want some sleep in the night.

Parents always think that as soon as they arrive in the hotel room, the stress is finally over and they can now begin to relax. But it isn’t that easy. Even simple things that you never thought about before you became parents are now an issue. The marble floor is one of the biggest issues about abroad hotel rooms. You have to watch your toddlers every move, as the marble floor could do some serious damage if your child fell over.

Sitting around the pool can be a slight task for parents. Parents would be lying if they said they weren’t slightly envious of how peaceful the adults looked without children. It isn’t as fun though is it? I mean come on, who wouldn’t rather spend their day running around like a lunatic, getting up every two minutes covering their toddler in sun cream and entertaining them by diving in the pool and making a fool out of themselves.

Parents always think that with a toddler it is easier to go out and about and explore rather than stay in the hotel, however it is still not as easy as it looks. Parents could literally just be walking to the top of the road, yet parents still take a full pram full of necessities. There is no such thing as a quick stroll, it usually takes about an hour to prepare even just a 5minute walk. I know I certainly do, after all you never know when your toddler is going to need 3 spare dummies in the space of half an hour. Food places are not always easy to find abroad, especially for toddlers that are fussy or have intolerances. We always manage to find our most top rated place in the end though, even if it is judged based on if they have free wifi so that our child can watch pepper pig on the tablet.

Screen Shot 2017-08-14 at 18.30.41

Parents would be lying if they said it was easy to take their toddler abroad. Having said that, children learn a lot from going abroad. Whether it is your toddler trying new food, swimming in the sea for the first time or learning to fly without fear. So if I haven’t put you off, if parents have the opportunity to take their child away, go for it! I promise you the benefits and the happiness of your toddler far out way the struggles that may put some parents off.

We were lucky enough to take our little boy to the Greece (even to the exact restaurant) where we got engaged, when he was in my tummy. This was one of the most memorable and special moments in our life, being able to share it with our baby.

Screen Shot 2017-08-14 at 18.35.05

All my love,

Sophie xx