Monthly Archives: July 2015

Group B Strep Awareness Campaign


One of my aims with this blog is to raise awareness of stillbirth, baby loss and anything connected to it. Since launching myself on Twitter a couple of weeks ago, I have learnt about a charity called Group B Strep Support and their ‘Why Guess’ campaign. July is Group Strep B awareness month which is possibly why I have heard so much about it. So whilst we are still in July (just) I wanted to pass on the information I have learnt to you all (another example of me devouring information on a website!), and hopefully engage your support.

In a nutshell, Group B Streptococcus is a normally occurring bacterium which is usually harmless and can be found in around 20-30% of people. However it can be passed from mother to baby around birth, and for those babies that develop Group B Strep infection it is potentially life-threatening.

Here come the numbers:

  1. Group B Strep is the most common cause of life-threatening infection in newborn babies, causing septicaemia, pneumonia and meningitis
  2. Every week in the UK, one baby dies from group B infection
  3. Every fortnight in the UK, one survivor is left with long term mental or physical disabilities

Whilst many developed countries routinely offer pregnant women testing for Group B Strep, it is not offered in the UK. According to the charity, the test would cost £11 and if Group B Strep is detected, then it can be treated with penicillin. £11? I mean that’s not expensive is it? You can buy an 8 piece KFC bargain bucket for £10.99 (not sure why I used KFC as an example, I hate it!).

So you might be thinking, hmmm, one baby dies a week, that’s actually just 52 babies a year. Compare that with the 700,000+ babies born each year. Maybe that is why the test is not justified (I don’t know .. I am just speculating!). And although the test may seem cheap to us – £11, when you multiply it for every pregnant women that comes to well over £7 million a year. Now I’m not Jeremy Hunt (and I’m extremely glad I’m not – that guy is one seriously unpopular Health Secretary dude) and I don’t have the NHS purse strings. I don’t know exactly how much everything costs …. although I am guessing that they have one seriously LARGE budget. I do have friends who work for the NHS (and work bloody hard too) and they tell me how frustrated they can get with the money and time which is wasted.

And what I do know is this. I know the pain of losing a baby. I know the pain of having your dreams shattered in a heartbeat. I know how it feels when all the excitement of a newborn comes crashing down around you. I know that if Ewan had died because of an infection which could have easily tested and easily treated ……………. Actually that I don’t know. I can only imagine. Disbelief, horror, frustration, anger. Along with all the other awful feelings that bereavement brings.

So for that reason, I signed the petition asking for the NHS to routinely provide tests to pregnant women to prevent any more avoidable deaths. If you agree with me, then please do the same.

Group B Strep Petition

At the time of writing, there are over £190,000 signatures. Wouldn’t it be amazing to help push this up to their target of 200,000?

All the Group B Strep information has come from the GBS Support website if you want to read more. You can follow them on Twitter @GBSSupport and on Facebook

I think this is a really worthy campaign. I hope you do too. If you do sign the petition, I’d be really interested to know – leave a comment below, or on Facebook/Twitter.

And just a final thought for all the angels who have been taken, and the families who have been affected. My heart goes out to you all. Much love.

A Lasting Lullaby

Last night (or should I say the early hours of this morning), Baby Rainbow aka Jude wouldn’t settle. He’s started with a cold I think and was pretty grizzly. This is not a usual occurrence as despite not yet being 6 months, he is an excellent sleeper. Sorry! I am one of those annoying mothers who has a baby that has slept through from an early age.

Anyway I ended up bringing him downstairs, trying my best to soothe him to sleep. I paced up and down (clocking up 1500 steps on my FitBit in the process!) and after all else failed, I started singing. It’s not that I never sing, I just don’t sing to him a lot. The one song that pops into my head when I do sing to calm my rainbows is a lullaby that my grandma used to sing to me. As I started, I had the most vivid recollection of her. I always do whenever I sing or hear this lullaby, as I associate the song with her. I could picture being in her spare room, dark but with the light coming through the door. I think (but this could be my mind playing tricks) that there is a pink eiderdown and grandma is sat on the top of the bed, singing to me:

Moon stars“Go to sleep my baby,  Close those pretty eyes, God is up above you, looking at the beauty of the skies.

Great big moon is shining, Stars begin to peep, It’s time that little Rachel Smith was going to sleep. “


My memory is at least 30 years old, yet it is so clear it could be from last week.

It’s not the most popular lullaby I don’t think but it is simple and beautiful. I have also since heard the phrase ‘Angels up above you” and so I now sing this as it makes me think of Ewan and my grandma, together looking down on us.

2 Rainbows, dreamyIt worked a treat, well after about 50 repetitions and Jude finally dropped off. Before heading back upstairs, I just took some time to stare at his beautiful face and count my blessings.




The charity we never knew existed

We found out Ewan had died before he was born. His heart stopped beating when I was 32 weeks pregnant. We were in hospital at the time and after the ultrasound, we were taken to their Serenity Suite for an explanation on what would happen next. It was at this point we were given a leaflet by one of the midwives ‘When a baby dies before labour begins’. It had been written and published by a charity called Sands – the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society. This was the first time I had ever heard of them. I was still reeling from the fact that I thought stillbirth ended in the 1920’s. Yet here we were in the 21st century, discovering otherwise. And not only that but a charity dedicated to stillbirth research, supporting families and training professionals. The booklet helped to prepare us for what was to come. The birth, creating memories and keepsakes, the funeral, post-mortems. Things that clearly we didn’t have a clue about.

Sands logo

We elected to go home instead of staying in hospital for the next 48 hours. That night in between speaking to friends and family, I read the booklet from cover to cover. Although we had been given some of the information in hospital, we had been too dazed and in shock to take it all in. Afterwards I went on the Sands website and when in the early hours sleep deserted me, I read virtually every single webpage. There was a section called ‘My Story’ in which bereaved parents and family had written about their personal experiences. I think I looked at all of them. I needed to find out what they had been through. How had their babies died? It was as though I could gain some comfort in knowing other people had a similar experience to us. It helped to know that we weren’t alone. With each story I cried fresh tears, joining in their grief along with my own.

Reading the website I realised that whilst stillbirth is not common, it isn’t as rare as you may think. There are more instances of stillbirth than SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) or cot death as it used to be known. In the year Ewan was born (2011) there were 3,811 stillbirths compared with 723,913 live births. In the same year there were 244 unexplained infant deaths (this includes sudden infant death). All statistics are from the Office for National Statistics website.

In the days after Ewan’s birth, we had to plan his funeral. We kept it a very small affair with immediate family and a couple of close friends. Someone rang and asked if we wanted flowers or money donating to a charity. Before then I hadn’t really attended a lot of funerals, so wasn’t familiar with the practise of donating money. It seemed fitting to choose Sands as a charity and so set up a Justgiving page in memory of Ewan. We told our friend and then decided to message the link to a few people, just so they didn’t feel as though they needed to ring with the same question (we quickly realised how some people found it difficult to make initial contact with us). I still have a copy of the email I sent the day after Ewan was born:

In Memory of Ewan

Hi everyone  

I’m more or less 100% sure that you are all aware of our recent news. If not then the link below will explain everything further.   We have had lots of extremely kind words, cards, text messages, emails and phone calls. We have also received a lot of flowers which have been a comfort to us both, brighten up our home and look beautiful. However we are starting to run out of space! A few people have asked whether we would like flowers at the funeral or a donation to charity. As such this has prompted us to set up a Justgiving memorial page in Ewan’s memory. We have chosen the charity SANDS (the stillbirth and neonatal death charity) – the information on their website, leaflets from the hospital and hospital facilities have already helped us enormously. If you would like to visit the page and/or donate then that would please us both tremendously however there is no pressure if you don’t.


We set up a system with Justgiving that I received an email every time a donation was made. Within an hour the first email came, then another, and another and so on. We were completely taken aback with how quickly our friends, family and work colleagues responded and also how generously. The page suddenly became a tiny ray of hope and joy to us. We got more excited with each donation and each landmark – £500, £1000. The amount kept rising! We said to ourselves ‘Look at our clever boy. He’s raised so much money’. It cheered us that something positive was coming out of a negative.

Justgiving (2)

To date the total on the page stands at £7111 plus gift aid of £679. This includes money from a quiz we held a few months later, donations from guests at a friend’s wedding (instead of gifts) and a friend’s baby sweepstake! We are so immensely proud of our son for raising this money and never dreamed it would be so high. We would have been happy with £500.

Talking to a friend last night, she asked if we were still raising money for Sands. When I thought about it, I realised it was quite some time since our last fundraising venture – we both took part in a local 10k run two years ago and raised over £400. Although recently Dylan’s nursery had a fun day and half the money raised was donated to Sands. Adam has also just started a monthly donation and I have recently booked another quiz night for October. But it made me think how I would like to use this blog to help further raise awareness of stillbirth and the work of Sands, along with other stillbirth and baby loss charities. If just one donation is made as a result of this blog post, I will be over the moon.

Sands 10k

The understanding and help we gained from Sands was invaluable and if we can help to raise money to support others, again this would be a great comfort to us. And of course, be ever more proud of our beautiful Angel.



Stateside and Steam Trains

This is my first Out and About post. One of the aims of writing my blog is to document (partly for me to read in years to come!) but also share the various fun things we get up to as a family. I love to write about places we visit and if we go on holiday, I’ve barely unpacked before I’m on Tripadvisor uploading photos and carefully composing my reviews.

So I am starting with our jaunt into Yorkshire last weekend. We are only 7 miles from the border so it isn’t too far or adventurous! We first paid a visit to the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam railway and then moved onto Billy Bob’s Parlour for food and play.

Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam railway

This was the perfect trip out for Dylan. Like most boys aged 3, he absolutely loves trains. Any type of train really. Steam, diesel, electric, miniature, toy. He isn’t fussy. It wasn’t our first ride on the railway. We visited 18 months ago for the Santa Special. Dylan was a tad too young to fully appreciate the experience and was more interested in trying to run up and down the platform than board the train. Oh and he cried when he met Santa.

Fast forward to Sunday and he was definitely much more interested in the build-up. Typically he had fallen asleep in the car but quickly bucked up at the sight of the train yard. Aboard the train, we sat in one of the old-style carriages (with a corridor) facing each other. It wasn’t too busy so we had one to ourselves. The seats were plush and velvety. We delighted ourselves in plonking down Jude on his own (only for a few seconds, he can’t sit up yet!). He looked so adorable.

The journey from Embsay to Bolton Abbey is 15 minutes. Ok, it’s not very long. But for the attention span of a 3 year old it was perfect. Jude sat on our knees for the journey and seemed to be taking in the passing scenery with great interest. Dylan delighted in shouting out everything he could see – cows, sheep, fields, trees, rivers. Unfortunately there weren’t any tunnels (his absolute favourite) but there were a few bridges which kept him more than happy.


Bolton Abbey is a bigger station so we got off to have a bit of a walk, look inside the ticket office and watched the engine chugging back to the other end of the train. We decided to get the same train for our return journey. Jude paid less attention on the way back as he announced his hunger and demanded feeding.



The ticket office at Bolton Abbey

The railway is run by volunteers and all those we met were friendly and welcoming. The guard who came round to check our tickets was happy to talk to Dylan and explain what he was doing. We didn’t use the buffet car (we’d brought our own snacks) but the prices seemed very reasonable. Both stations are in great condition given that they were built in the late 1800’s. I’m not sure if they were ever in a bad state of repair, if they were then they have been lovingly restored.


The beautiful Yorkshire countryside from Embsay Station

The visit definitely got the thumbs up from both boys (even though Jude was less aware!), and given it is only half an hour away from home, I’m sure we will make a return visit, maybe at one of their themed events.

Billy Bob’s Parlour

A confession. Billy Bob’s is one of our favourite places at the moment. This was our sixth visit of the year so far, and is unlikely to be our last! Given its proximity to Embsay station (less than 2 miles), it would have been simply rude not to have combined the two in one trip.

After our first visit last year, I wrote a Tripadvisor review giving it 5/5 and said that it managed to combine two things that rarely go together – fantastic kids play area and amazing food. Usually soft play areas are great for the little ones, but offer up the usual fair when it comes to food – sandwiches, pizza, chips and the like. Alternatively you can find a great restaurant with fab food, for both kids and adults, but there is nothing to do to keep them entertained. Billy Bob’s can do both with ease.


Starting with the play areas. There are two – outside and indoor (the barn), so you can visit in all weathers. We have been in July and January and Dylan has had an equally good time. I’ve no idea how much all the play equipment cost (probably a lot) – it looks amazing and appeals to both boys and girls. All carefully crafted by wood there is a plane, bus, train, digger, pirate ship, ark, castle (the list is not exhaustive!). There are swings outside and a huge slide in the barn (which the children have to climb huge bales of hay to get to the top), as well as an area for mini tractors and trailers. There is a separate area in the barn for older children too. Obviously I haven’t spent much time there yet but at a quick glance there are plenty of rope swings and more hay bales. There are plenty of places for adults to sit and observe, although of course they can always get stuck in with the kids on the equipment.



And now onto the food. Excuse me while I drool for 5 minutes. Oh the food is amazing. Adam and I are busily working our way through the American themed menu. So far we have sampled pancakes, nachos, the Coney Island hot dog, burgers, pulled pork, onion straws and our current favourite, the Brooklyn Deli-wich (New York style bagel with pastrami, pickles and a tonne of other wonderful toppings). Every time we over-order, although we are getting a little bit better. The portion sizes are huge! Dylan tends to opt for pancakes or a puppy dog off the kids menu. The boys also fill themselves up with a huge banana milkshake. I have still yet to leave room for one of the amazing sounding desserts and only once think I have managed some ice cream (the parlour is the home of the Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream Company).

The diner itself is what I imagine most 1950’s American eateries looked like. There are booths that fit up to 8 adults and it has also recently been extended and houses a yellow American school bus… which you can dine in! We have yet to experience the this – maybe we will tackle it when we don’t have car seats, buggies or high chairs to contend with …. that’ll be in about 3 years then! The service is super quick and always with a smile.

We often arrive early, let Dylan have a play for an hour, eat and leave time for another play before heading home. On Sunday we took a risk, didn’t book and luckily we nabbed a table for 4pm. However usually I book via the website, which is a great new-ish service they offer.

We trundled back into Lancashire, full to bursting and happy with our afternoon’s adventures. Well almost everyone was happy. Jude cried solidly for 30 minutes which was a tad traumatic for us all (mostly for him). Bless him, he just wanted a cuddle!


A Lancashire Lass

So I’m a real Lancashire lass, born and bred. Although I spent the first years of my life near St Helens, Merseyside, I was actually born across the border in Ormskirk, Lancashire. We moved to Burnley when I was three, and aside from this, a three-year spell at Loughborough University and a 14 month round the world backpacking trip, I have always lived within a 5 miles of Burnley, the place I class as my hometown.

As a teenager, like a lot people, I didn’t think much about where I lived. I thought living in a city would be far more exciting, or by the sea even (influenced by an intense diet of The Famous Five and Mallory Towers!). An old cotton mill and coal mining town in the ‘grim’ North of England was quite boring in comparison.

On the West Coast of Australia

On the West Coast of Australia

My long-term plans did not involve living in East Lancashire. Whilst I didn’t quite look down my nose at friends who hadn’t moved away, I was superior enough to think that I would fly the nest and see the world. I left to go to university, and it was there I caught the travelling bug. On my return from backpacking, I had grand ideas of another long-term trip abroad again (I’m sure I wasn’t the only one to have that dream crushed by reality!). But also on my return, I started to look at my surroundings with different eyes. I had visited some amazing places. Blazing sunsets on the west coast of Australia.

Flores, Indonesia

Flores, Indonesia

Lush, green rice fields in Indonesia. Volcanic mountains in Hawaii. The first dewy sunrises of the day in New Zealand. Surely my hometown couldn’t compete with these? Ok not exactly, but I suddenly had an appreciation of how beautiful the Lancashire landscape was. I took notice of the rolling, vivid green fields and hills, the clean air and how the sunrises and sunsets, whilst maybe not as spectacular, could still compete with those abroad.

Anyway in the short-term, I decided I wanted to move down to London. I had quite a few friends in the capital from both university and travelling, so decided it would be the ideal place. What is it they say about the best laid plans of mice and men? My move to London never materialised. Because of a boy. Yes love (well at the time I thought it was love!) got in the way. So as I result I stayed in East Lancashire. We broke up 18 months later but by that point I was ‘stuck’. Stuck because I’d bought a house.

Now (without the bitterness of a newly ended relationship) I appreciate how lucky I was. I had my own house at the age of 25. I wasn’t sharing. It wasn’t rented. It was my own. Well, mine and the Nationwide Building Society. I had also started working in Further Education at a local college, supporting young people in their education, lives and careers, and realised I had found a job which I had a passion for. I then went onto find real love, got married and properly ‘settled down’. Things started to fall into place.

Adam and I decided we wanted a bigger home. Although our two bedroomed terrace was sufficient for the two of us and our two kittens, we knew we wanted to start a family in the not too distance future. However putting the house on the market in the middle of a recession meant that it took well over a year to find a buyer. But thankfully we did and we found our perfect home in a nearby village.

Camp Street

The Sold sign outside our terraced house

Adam and I moved in February 2011, less than 3 weeks after Ewan died. I should have been 35 weeks pregnant struggling to pack a box let alone lift one. We didn’t expect to start our new life in our new home as grieving parents. It turned out to be a positive step for us. A fresh new start. We were able to decorate (which we hadn’t initially planned on with a new baby) and I spent those early days in painting therapy! We were also able to explore our new village and surroundings. Although we were familiar with the area, we didn’t know it awfully well. We could put on our walking boots, set off from our front door and head off over the nearby fields. It was so refreshing.

Now, four years on I think we would struggle to live anywhere else. We are only a mile from the nearest motorway, yet half a mile from glorious countryside. The village is perfect for raising our rainbows. Our favourite place is the park, which I would say is 300m from our front door. It is so easy not to have to get in the car, but instead roll down our hill with the pram (pushing it back up the hill is definitely more of a challenge… but helps with losing the baby weight!). There is a river (perfect for throwing stones), playground, duck pond, picnic benches, waterfall and big open spaces. There is even a bear! Perfect for going on a Bear Hunt. I sat down last night to pick out some photographs of the park to include. It was so difficult because I have so many! Dylan would probably go every day if we let him and even though Jude has been plenty of times already, albeit asleep, we can’t wait for him to discover it for himself.

IMG_0555 IMG_2508 IMG_0133 IMG_0091 Dylan and bear Jude first park visit

If there are days when life gets hard, I look around and I am thankful for our lovely surroundings. Despite any hardships we may have, we are lucky beyond belief to live in a beautiful village, in a beautiful county, in the beautiful North of England. There is nowhere else I would rather be.


What’s in a name?

Growing up I didn’t really have a nickname. But that didn’t last for very long when I started university. It was a bit of a ritual to be given a nickname in the first few weeks. And almost 20 years on (ok that really makes me feel old!), mine still refuses to be forgotten. To be honest I don’t mind. I quite like it actually.


Don’t worry, I’ll explain. Without boring you too much, in Fresher’s Week there was an event at the Student Union bar. I’d maybe had a wee bit too much to drink (it was Fresher’s Week after all) and maybe got a wee bit too feisty with some students from a ‘rival’ hall of residence. A few weeks later it was reported in our Hall newsletter that the Ginger Ninja from Burnley had started a fight. And so the Ninja part stuck. Ok so the part about me starting a fight wasn’t strictly quite true, but I wasn’t going to let an elaboration of the truth get in the way of a good urban legend … and a good nickname!

Some of my close friends don’t even use my real name (I think they have forgotten what it is). They have even taught their children to call me Auntie Ninja. I wonder if they will still use it when I am sat in my rocking chair with grandchildren at my feet!

2 Rainbow picture

Two rainbows (I didn’t take this… I wish I had!)


So where does the title of my blog come from? An Angel and Two Rainbows. The name describes our children. Our Angel – Ewan, our eldest son who died before he was born and his two younger brothers Dylan and Jude, our Rainbows . The term ‘Rainbow baby’ is used to describe a baby that is born following a still birth, infant death or miscarriage. I had never heard this term before until I became pregnant with Dylan (our second baby). The rainbow represents beauty, colour and brightness following the darkness and misery of a storm. I keep finding these words below on the internet. I’m not sure where it comes from:

“Rainbow Babies” is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm.

When a rainbow appears, it doesn’t mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath.

What it means is the something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds.

Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of colour, energy and hope.

I can’t remember when I first heard the term, but I think it is such a lovely description. Some friends of ours tragically lost their baby boy about 18 months after Ewan died. A year later they had a baby girl – they gave her Rainbow as a middle name. How beautiful and special for her.

I’d been musing about a blog title for a few days and wasn’t happy with anything I thought of. Then, when I was out for a run, with my head clear the name just popped into my brain. I knew straight away given the things that I wanted to write about, it was the perfect name. I was so happy that I ran an extra lap around the reservoir!

When I was pregnant, Ewan was always our number one boy’s name. I remember being on holiday when I was about 8 weeks pregnant and we started to tentatively and excitedly talk about names. We knew we probably shouldn’t at that early stage. Anyway there was no contest with Ewan and Adam and I were in complete agreement.

We found out that Ewan had died two days before he was born. Friday 14th January 2011. We spent the weekend at home before we went back into hospital on the Sunday to give birth. We decided to finalise names before going in. Adam and I had an agreement early on that we would be honest with each other and talk about anything, no matter how we felt. We talked about how we weren’t sure whether to use the name Ewan (I think I was the one who brought it up). Because it was our favourite name. The one we had always wanted. If we used it for our baby who wasn’t going to live, then we couldn’t use it again if we were lucky enough to have another boy. So we started to think of other names. I can’t even recall what the suggestions were. It doesn’t really matter because we quickly realised that none of them seem right. So we decided to go with our first choice.

A few days later after Ewan was born, Adam said to me that he was so glad that we went with our hearts and chose our favourite name. Because it was our special name and our angel was, and will always be, so very special. If we had chosen any other name, it would have been like saying Ewan was second best. When he was anything but. In hindsight it now seems almost ridiculous that we had that initial conversation. Why did we ever think that we wouldn’t call him Ewan? But also in hindsight I remember that we were in a state of real shock and despair, and that helps me understand.

Whilst we were able to pick Ewan’s name easily, it took us a long time to agree on Dylan and Jude, our two Rainbows. Not down to me I might add. Adam was the fussy one (you know the episode of Friends where Ross and Rachel are trying to pick names? – Adam veto-ed almost everything I suggested!). I love all three names, but Ewan? It’s just that extra bit special.

The start of something new – my first blog post

So this is it, my first blog post.

I imagine most people reading this first post will know me personally. And perhaps be wondering why I am starting a blog? I’ll do my best to explain.

I have always enjoyed writing in some capacity. As well as loving English at school, from the ages of about 11 to 13 I kept a diary. I wrote my innermost thoughts and feelings … ok, so actually that bit isn’t strictly true. From recollection my first diary wasn’t very in depth. I spent more time detailing what I had eaten for my lunch at school and what time I went to bed, than exploring my adolescent emotions. But that did change over time. When I discovered boys! I kept my diary hidden under my mattress. At the time I thought it was an awesome hiding place. Oh how wrong I was. With two older brothers in the house, you can imagine I wasn’t the only one who knew the contents. Anyway I gave up writing a diary. I’m not 100% why – probably because I knew it wouldn’t stay hidden for long!

Until now, the only other times I have written a diary/journal have been on my travels. When I was 20, I spent a month Inter-railing in Europe one summer with three friends. We all wrote a diary every day. A couple of years later I backpacked around the world and catalogued every day of my entire journey. Eight countries over fourteen months. It was a mammoth undertaking and at times hard work. I used to refer to it as the millstone around my neck. But now I am so glad that I took the time and effort to do it. Occasionally when I’m in a reflective mood I go up into our loft, find my battered diaries and lose myself for an hour. (I just nipped up to take this photo and got caught up in my Indonesia adventures!)


My round-the-world travel diaries (in all their battered glory)


Recently I embarked on the #100HappyDays challenge (it is still ongoing!) for the second time. It has struck me how much I have enjoyed composing my post each day. I have also recently started to read a few blogs (mainly mum/parenting related!) which have fired my enthusiasm for writing and made me wonder whether I could do it too. So here I am, having a go!

Me and Jude blogging

Setting up my blog, with Jude’s ‘help’









I want to write about a variety of things. About my family – my children and my husband (if he’ll let me) and the fun things we get up to. About my life as a working mum (ok I am on maternity leave at the moment, but that won’t be forever) and my attempts at juggling work, home life, parenting and keeping fit. I want to write about the beautiful corner of the country where I live (Lancashire) as well as our jaunts out and about. Maybe I will also write about our two cats and how they are sometimes harder work than the rest of the family put together!

There is also one significant subject I want to write about. Our eldest son. Our angel. Ewan.

Ewan was born in January 2011. But we never brought him home. He was stillborn.

I want to use my blog to share our story, how it affected us and how time helped us to heal. Not entirely. Because there will also be a piece missing.

But we learnt to laugh and love again. And we were so incredibly lucky to go on and give birth to two healthy and happy boys. Our two rainbows. Dylan and Jude.

Anyway I hope you will enjoy my posts and musings over the next few days, weeks and months to come. I am looking forward to developing the look of my blog – admittedly it’s a bit basic at the moment and I’m just getting my head around using WordPress. I also have a logo/heading being designed, which I am very excited about. Hopefully it will be ready to showcase soon, but I just couldn’t wait any longer to post. Impatience is my middle name!