Tuesday, 31 January 2012

A Sprinkle of Snow

As the title suggests, there was a sprinkling of snow during my walk today. Normally I'm so hot during my walk that I take off most of the layers that I pile on before leaving the house, but today they stayed firmly on!

Cannot believe I've walked 95 miles! Thursday will be the 100 mile day, which is so exciting, can't believe it's here already!

Thanks again to you all for your support. I really am blown away by your generosity - your donations are so, so important to Tommy's and they really will help their fabulous work to continue.

Hoping to pass the £600 mark by this time next week, so let's get February off to a flying start with some more donations! Every little helps, dontcha know!

www.justgiving.co.uk/1000milesmummy
x

Monday, 30 January 2012

92 miles!

Yay the 90 mile mark has now been crossed and I'm well on the way to celebrating my first 100! Today's walk was pretty cold, as you can imagine judging by the weather forecasts, but it was sunny and surprisingly refreshing. We stopped off for lunch at the local pub before going for a walk around the park. I love weather like this, where the ground shimmers and the light catches every glimmering leaf and twinkle of an icicle! Beautiful.

Often when I'm on my walks, I find it gives me a great opportunity to really clear my head and organise my thoughts. I'm studying for a history degree and I really value the peace that I get during my walks as it allows me to really think through my answers. Similarly, my mind often drifts to the families who have suffered terrible losses, the ones who inspire my fundraising each day and really keep everything in perspective.

On beautiful days like today, when walking past the play area in the park, it's hard not to think about the children who will never play on a swing, or feed the ducks, or see the twinkle of an icicle. There are so many people affected by infant loss, I try to remind myself often of just how lucky I am to have this life - it could've so easily been so different.

I'd love to raise £550 by the end of January (end of tomorrow!) - only £25 to go!
Please give anything you can to www.justgiving.co.uk/1000milesmummy

Thank you!
x

Sunday, 29 January 2012

£500 and beyond!

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I've now raised £515 - can't believe how generous everyone has been! When I first started out with this challenge, my aim was to raise £500 by the END of 2012! Who would've thought that I'd have exceeded it before the end of the first month! Fabulous, thank you all so much! Long may it continue!

There are several ways you can donate to my challenge:
- Just Giving - www.justgiving.co.uk/1000milesmummy
- Text - just send "MAMA50" followed by £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 to 70070 (this is a free text so will only cost you the amount you donate, which will come off your credit/bill)
- If you know me in person, then feel free to give me cash so that I can total it with the rest of the donations

Remember - if you're not in a position to donate a lot, it doesn't matter. Every penny really does count, so anything you can give will put a smile on my face and help to continue the amazing work that Tommy's do.

As ever, I'm looking for people to share their experiences of stillbirth/premature birth or pregnancy complications so that I can continue to raise awareness of Tommy's' fab work on my weekly guest blog. If you'd like to take part, or know someone who would, please email me at heathercook@hotmail.co.uk or comment below.

Finally, thanks again, you're all stars!
89 miles walked wahay!
x

Saturday, 28 January 2012

What a week!

Wow well it's been quite a week - last night I was interviewed by BBC Radio Merseyside about my challenge (video below)



Plus I broke my next target and have now raised £420 which is just fantastic! Thank you to everyone who has donated and supported me this far!

Twitter has been buzzing all day and I've had so many re-tweets, so thank you!

I've now walked 86 miles - can't quite believe it myself as it definitely doesn't feel like I've walked as far as that! That's the equivalent of me walking from where I live in Southport to just beyond the Isle of Mann!

I had a photographer round this morning for my local newspaper so I'll hopefully be featured in there this week, I'll post a link when it's released!

Thanks again for all your brilliant support. If any of you are getting paid over the next couple of days then please do consider sponsoring me, I'd love to reach the £500 mark! Only £80 to go! www.justgiving.co.uk/1000milesmummy

x

Friday, 27 January 2012

Feeling peaky :(

Urgh well I woke up this morning feeling a bit groggy and unwell, and it's just got worse over the course of the day. Think I caught a chill during yesterday's hail-stoney walk, so today I'm definitely suffering for it! Went on another walk today - the way there was quite dry and refreshing, but it absolutely chucked it down on the way back, and I'm just shattered now! Definitely in need of an early night, just hope it doesn't develop into anything and I can continue my walking this weekend!

I'm seeing a photographer from my local newspaper tomorrow which I'm looking forward to, and I've also been featured on the local news website: http://www.southport.gb.com/southport/news_list/Southport_mum_raising_money_for_Tommy%27s_Baby_Charity-51091514.htm

I'm in the process of contacting lots of media outlets about featuring my challenge so hopefully that'll generate more interest.

I'm just £5 away from the £400 mark now - PLEASE give whatever you can, it'll be a real boost if I can hit this before the weekend is over, and it'll also sound good when I'm interviewed for the local paper! Can I hit £400 before the end of January?! I definitely think so! x www.justgiving.co.uk/1000milesmummy 

Thanks! x

Thursday, 26 January 2012

80 Miles!!!

Wow! I can't believe I've walked 80 miles, how exciting!!

Today was probably the most difficult walk so far, and thankfully my friend was with me to take over pushing the pram half way through. It was absolutely chucking it down, and not only that, but it was hail-stoning too, plus there was quite a wind blowing against the pram which made it really difficult to walk. It really was the most unpleasant walk so far, and I'm just hoping that these forecasts of snow don't hit Southport - I don't know how I'll get on with pushing a pram through that!!

I've been contacted by my local newspaper about the challenge being featured (hopefully) next week, which is great! I've got a press release written and ready so if you'd like me to send it to you for your local news then please let me know. I'm aiming to raise some publicity about the challenge so that we can get as much raised as possible!

So far I've raised £385 which I'm really pleased about - pay day is approaching for many now, so if you'll be getting paid in the next couple of days, please do consider giving whatever you can to www.justgiving.co.uk/1000milesmummy

Thank you!
x

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Heidi and Aidan's Story

Becoming MAMA

In May 2009 my life was about to change forever. I was 36 weeks pregnant with my first baby and had everything ready for his arrival. I was a healthy young Mum having a wonderful pregnancy. I developed gestational diabetes as it runs in the family but my sugar levels were very good, being managed by diet alone and all my antenatal appointments had been filled with excitement.  I went to work excited as it was my last day before going on maternity leave and my leaving do was being held that evening. I popped out quickly in the afternoon to see my Midwife for a check up but to her dismay, she couldn’t find my baby’s heartbeat.
Aidan James Eldridge was born still the following lunch time on the 15th May 2009 weighing 5lb 4oz. His death is marked as “unexplained” on the post mortem results but it is thought that my placenta had stopped working. The shock and devastation that followed cannot be described & my life was completely turned upside down.

I had no idea that babies were still dying in the UK, or how common it is. The UK has nearly the highest stillbirth rates amongst high income countries. 6,500 babies are stillborn or die shortly after birth each year which results in 17 every day which is 1 in 200 births. These figures remain unchanged over the last 10 years.
I have since been blessed with another son, Tobiah (Goodness of God) who arrived safely into the world on the 1st October 2010. During this pregnancy I made sure I was well educated & armed myself with as much knowledge as possible so I knew the warning signs & when to get checked by my maternity team.
Last year I decided I wanted to help prevent stillbirth affecting other parents.  From attending Sands meetings I noticed that there was a common link in baby loss which was the reduction of babies movements and that many Mums were receiving inconsistent advice from their Midwives. I did a lot of research and got in touch with my local hospitals to present my findings at their MSLC meetings which resulted in them changing their practises on informing Mums the importance of monitoring movements. I also learnt the true value of Midwives, and how they need support & vital education, just as much as expectant Mums do. This led me to set up MAMA Academy, the pregnancy school!

MAMA (Mums And Midwives Awareness) Academy has just been born to provide vital education to both expectant Mums and healthcare providers.  We aim to help Mums have a healthy pregnancy and keep Midwives up-to-date with all the latest guidelines, studies and research.  We are currently on facebook and will be launching an educational website in the next couple of months. We shall also be helping to raise awareness of baby loss but in an educational way. Our mission is to make a difference in the world and see the numbers of baby loss decrease by the end of the year.

You can make a difference too by sharing our page on facebook and supporting Heather on her incredible challenge for an amazing cause. Your money for Tommy’s will assist in vital stillbirth research which will help 17 parents in the UK every day.

Thank you for making a difference

Twitter: @MAMAAcademy
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MAMAAcademy

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

74 miles!

I'm so, so sorry I'm only writing this now! I've been writing an essay all day and totally forgot to update the blog.

Just found out that GO Outdoors are sending me some 1000 Mile Socks to help with my walking! Thank you so much, and thanks to Jenni Saunders for appealing to them, you're a star!

Sorry it's a short one, but thank you for all your support!
x

Monday, 23 January 2012

71 miles!

Wow can't believe I'm at 71 miles already! Although I'm really starting to feel it now, legs are so tired! Had a very stressful afternoon yesterday as Lola dislocated her elbow, so I had to take her up to A&E to get it put back into place. Very worrying at the time but she's absolutely fine now, thankfully! Poor little thing, she was so brave, I'm a very proud Mummy!

Today we walked into town to buy Lola's little friend a birthday present and we also spent one of her Christmas vouchers in Next, she tried on her new clothes in the fitting rooms for the first time which was really cute!

Once again, please donate anything you can: www.justgiving.co.uk/1000milesmummy

Thanks!
x

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Feeling brighter

Well after yesterday's struggle and exhaustion, I wasn't exactly looking forward to my 3 miles today, but I think my hot bath last night did me good as I actually quite enjoyed it. Once I'd got over the hurdle of the first mile or so, I got into the swing of it and just powered on. I only got rained on during the last couple of minutes of the first half before seeking shelter at my cousin's house. The walk back was dry although it's still really bitter - really cannot express how much I'm looking forward to the weather being warmer!

Anyway, I've discovered a new way that I can prevent my hair from getting absolutely soaked/turning into an afro during my walks. It's not the most stylish of solutions and if you're at all fashion conscious then I definitely wouldn't recommend it, but basically I wear a hat with ear flaps that tie under the chin, then tuck all of my hair into it at the beginning of the walk (before it's started to rain or got caught in the wind). It gets pretty hot and uncomfortable after a while but it's a good tip for if you're walking to somewhere that requires you to look half decent!

I had a dream last night that someone donated £60 - want to make it a reality?! Then go to www.justgiving.co.uk/1000milesmummy

68 miles done, over and out!
Thank you!
x

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Exhausted!

I think all the walking has finally caught up with me. I'm so flaked out this afternoon, Lola is in bed having a nap and I just feel exhausted! Walked another 3 miles today, half of which was spent battling against the wind which was blowing against us, which was made worse by the rain and the fact that I had the rain cover on the pram. I might as well have stuck a sail on the pram! It was horrible. The way back wasn't too bad, at least it didn't rain! The wind was behind us which was better, but it was still very difficult to keep control of the pram and I almost got pushed into the road at one point! Plus Lola kept rocking back and forth which made it even more difficult to keep momentum going. Oh dear, not a good walk today!

But - 65 miles have been done now so yay! Fast approaching the 70 mark and I think I'll be at about 90-odd miles by the end of the month, so that'll really feel like an achievement. I think as I enter February I'll get a boost from knowing that (hopefully) the worst weather is behind us. At the moment I feel like I'm constantly ducking and diving the rain and having to take ridiculous amounts of clothing out with me just to stay warm! Can't wait until the Summer and I can go out, wait for it...without a coat!!! Amazing!

Please sponsor me at www.justgiving.co.uk/1000milesmummy - I've raised £325 now which is just fantastic, so so pleased! It really does give me a push every time I see that total go up, so please give anything you can. Thanks! x

Friday, 20 January 2012

I knew it!

I just knew, after yesterday post, I'd get caught in the rain! I walked to my friend's house in light rain but then it really started chucking it down. Luckily I avoided the worst but it was still miserable on the walk back, I had to wear two coats! I've had a bit of a mad week this week, had to temporarily move into my mum's house but have finally moved back today and I'm enjoying the comfort of my brand new sofas! Feeling very chilled and ready to settle down for Corrie before I do some uni work (boo!)

I've now walked 62 miles yay!

Please sponsor me at www.justgiving.co.uk/1000milesmummy
x

Thursday, 19 January 2012

59 miles

59 miles done and I'm feeling smug at having just narrowly avoided the rain wahoo! We walked 4 miles yesterday into town and back (my friend joined us which was lovely) and then 3 miles today. It's been pretty cold this week, well actually, for the whole of the month! But this week has felt especially cold and brisk. Luckily I've now got it down to a fine art and I'm managing to duck and dive the bouts of rain that are expected on the weather forecast. I bet I'll get my come-uppance tomorrow and get caught in a massive downpour!

I decided to power walk the first 1.5 miles today, which was fine until I began the walk back and my legs were still burning! I had to stop off at a cafe for an emergency Diet Coke and some polos!

I've now raised £315 yay! Thanks for all your comments about yesterday's guest post from Gemma, there'll be another guest feature next Wednesday. Remember, if you'd like to share your story regarding stillbirth, prematurity or anything else relating to the work that Tommy's do then just get in touch. Awareness is key!

To donate, please go to www.justgiving.co.uk/1000milesmummy

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

"This is the story of my beautiful Jack" by Gemma

This is the story of my beautiful Jack's birth.

Weds 12th Aug, 3 days overdue and I have my first sweep but I am closed and posterior so other than a small show nothing happens. The midwife says that they usually do sweeps every 2 days but because she is not my midwife and mine is not back from hols until Monday that I can wait until my next one, bit disappointed but except it.

Mon 17th Aug, 8 days overdue. I call my midwife to arrange for her to come and do my second sweep, she says as she has only just come back off holiday can I give her a while and she will call me back to arrange to come over. 12.30 - still no call, 2.30 still no call so I ring her and leave a message. 5.10pm she calls me and says she had been too busy so didn't make it (never mind that I waited in all day for her!) and she will come on weds to do the honours.

Tues 18th Aug, 9 days overdue. Still no signs of Jack so go for a long walk around Topsham with mum and then for tea and cake! Go home and have a hot chilli for tea to try and get things moving! About 7pm start having contractions, really strong but not very close together. When they start to feel unbearable I call the hospital and they tell me to have a hot bath, which I do, after about 15mins the contractions are too much to bear so get out of the bath and make our way to the hospital, picking up my best friend (birthing partner) on the way. Mum (other birthing partner) meets us there. We go into the examination room where we have to wait about 30mins to be seen as the midwife was coming in from home. Cope with contractions by being on all fours on the floor!!
Midwife arrives and says she is going to check babies heartbeat, the doppler does not seem to  be working so she goes to get another machine, still no heartbeat - I am now worried, she goes and gets a doctor and a scan machine, 15 excruciating minutes later the doctor turns to me and says just one word - sorry.
Who knew that one word could make your world fall apart and all your hopes and dreams fall away.
Me and DH are left to take in the news and then I am given a shot of morphine - from here thins get a little hazy. We were taken to a different room away from the delivery suites so I wouldn't have to hear other ladies giving birth. I am given oral morphine which I tell everyone is delicious and then promptly throw up!
I am then hooked up to self administered morphine and my dad arrives.
I labour through the night on morphine and gas and air. At about 6.30am I am ready to push so DH and Dad leave the room and an hour later at exactly 7.30am Jack Peter is stillborn weighing 6lb 9oz and measuring 52cm. He has a mop of black hair like his dad and is beautiful.
After having 2 stitches for grazes and being cleaned up, I spend some time with my baby. I stay another night in the hospital and leave on Thurs 20th with locks of hair and hand and footprints - no consolation; I should be leaving with my baby boy.

Friday 18th Sept was Jacks funeral, just a small blessing to say goodbye.

In terms of why this happened to Jack, they found some clots in the placenta and the umbilical cord but no indication as to why he died, I have no clotting disorders or anything. During my pregnancy with Milo (Jack’s little brother) I took a baby aspirin every day and was closely monitored, extra scans etc. Unfortunately I had an anterior placenta so his movements were muffled and I turned up at the hospital often for a quick check! I was also not allowed to go overdue and Milo arrived by C-section at 38 weeks, my little ray of sunshine!

We love you Jack, always xxxxx

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

52 miles!

I'm soooo tired today! Think all the walking and fresh air has finally hit me and I'm shattered! It was really cold today, too cold really, as Lola wanted to walk by herself some of the way which meant she wasn't wrapped up in her blanket in the pram, so she ended up freezing and got very upset! Didn't help of course that she wouldn't put a hat on or keep her hands under her blanket! I even wrapped my scarf around her but she wasn't interested. Bless her, she cried all the way home, we were both very glad to get back into the warmth! Hoping this cold weather starts to improve soon as it really does get to your bones after a while. I'm just about to jump in a hot bath before sinking into my sofa for the evening!

In other news, a friend has just recorded some footage that was meant to be shown on BBC News about her son's stillbirth and the campaign that she's now started to try and educate mums and midwives. The BBC have just informed her, however, that they already reported on stillbirth back in April 2011 and so it's too soon to report about it again.

What a sad reflection of today's media. This is why awareness campaigns are so important - the message about stillbirth is being lost and the help that expectant parents need just isn't provided universally in the correct way. The media argue that stillbirth 'puts people off their breakfast' so to speak. It's not the sort of thing that they want to have to report on as it's not a nice story. And that's true. It isn't. But for 17 families a day, it's more than a story. It's reality. And those 17 families don't just miraculously recover from the trauma after a few weeks or months. They don't recover after the birth of a subsequent baby either. The loss of a child must be the most devastating experience imaginable, and I think the lack of empathy and support shown by our media is awful.

Please donate to www.justgiving.co.uk/1000milesmummy
x

Monday, 16 January 2012

49 miles (and a new sofa!)

Had a lovely day today! The weather was freezing this morning when we went out for a walk, but again the air was so crisps, it was really refreshing. My new sofas were delivered this morning, they had to take the window pane out to get it into the front room but we got there eventually!

This afternoon, we went to play with all Lola's friends and had a great time. I'm really beginning to adjust to walking 3 miles each day, some days I even look forward to it haha!

Another short post tonight as I've got an essay to get cracking on (sigh!) but thanks again for all your support!
www.justgiving.co.uk/1000milesmummy

Thanks x

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Week 3 begins!

Wow can't believe it's only week 3, feels like I've been doing this forever!

We went on another (very cold) walk this afternoon, I stupidly opted for pumps instead of my walking boots so my feet were absolutely frozen by the end of it! We stopped off at my house on the way round to get Lola some crisps as she was getting a little bit restless, she's full of cold so needs lots of cuddles! But you wouldn't think it looking at this photo...!



In other news, a friend suggested today that it would be a good idea to promote weekly or monthly donations rather than just one-off donations. That way, it's not such a big lump out of your pocket all at once, it's spread across a longer period of time. Every donation really does give me a boost - remember that I'm going to be doing this for the whole year, so I need lots of support and need to know that I'm continuing to raise money, even if it's just a couple of pounds a week!

So if you don't want to pay in a lump but would like to give something, how about considering a small amount each month, say a couple of £, or perhaps 50p a week, or whatever it is that you want to give. I'd really appreciate it and Tommy's will benefit so much from the money raised!

I've now raised £305, so just £195 to go until I hit my original target of £500! So exciting! Please keep sharing with your friends and ask people to support by donating to www.justgiving.co.uk/1000milesmummy

Thank you so much! x

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Brrrrr!

Wow, today was cold! I even had to de-ice my car this morning, first time in about a year! Still, having said that, I wasn't actually that cold during my walk. I think it made a big difference that the air was quite still, there wasn't much of a breeze and so it didn't feel as bitter as it did at the beginning of the month when it was howling. I didn't even have to wear a hat today! Although I did stick my walking boots and 3 pairs of socks on - I braved it in pumps yesterday but wasn't prepared to freeze my toes off today!

So that's 43 miles done as of today, we're almost half way through our first month woo!

Still not hit the £300 mark but I'm sure we'll do it soon, maybe I should post some more photos of me shivering in the rain to make you feel sorry for me!!

The link to donate is www.justgiving.co.uk/1000milesmummy

Thank you!
x

Friday, 13 January 2012

40 miles!

Wow 40 miles done! I'm having a bit of a 'mare at the moment so not finding as much time as usual to write the blog this week, but rest assured I'm still walking my 3 miles each day!

The weather was lovely again today, it was quite cold but very dry and crisp, great walking weather as I always end up boiling so it's nice to have a bit of a chill in the air to cool me down!

This will only be a quick blog tonight as Lola is asking me to draw her a picture! But please take the time to share my challenge with your friends so that we can raise as much money as possible! www.justgiving.co.uk/1000milesmummy

Thank you x

Thursday, 12 January 2012

37 miles done!

I'd just like to start today's post by saying thank you for the lovely feedback you gave about yesterday's guest blog. The Wednesday guest blog will be a regular feature from now on and I'm glad so many of you received it so well. Stillbirth isn't an easy topic of conversation, but it shouldn't be a taboo, and I'm really pleased you all seem to feel the same!

Today's walk was lovely - it was quite chilly to start with but the sun was shining so it was really nice. We went to a new activity at our local children's centre, Sticky Fingers, which Lola really enjoyed! I treated her to a gingerbread man on the way back and she's now having a nap. She woke at 4am today before finally going for a 3 hour nap at about half 7 so I feel a bit out of sync!

Two milestones happening (hopefully) this week!
I'm just £10 away from hitting the £300 mark - it would be amazing if I could get to £300 before the end of the week! Please, please give anything you can to www.justgiving.co.uk/1000milesmummy
I'll also be walking my 40th mile tomorrow which, I'm fairly certain, is more than I've ever walked in such a short space of time in my life! The numbers are climbing and by the end of the month I'll be close to triple figures! Very exciting!

Thanks again for your support
x

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Guest Blog - Stacey & Benjamin's Story

It was a dreary, normal Monday afternoon in cold November. I was 41+2 weeks pregnant and walking to a routine antenatal clinic to organise inducement as I was getting impatient to see my first bubba. Little did I know I would be meeting him very, very soon, but not in the way we all expected. I was in there just a few minutes when my midwife wanted to check on his heartbeat (didn't know it was a ‘he’ at the time). We couldn't find it. I'm quite big so I thought it might be that she thought there was too much water, but deep down I knew he was gone. She sent me on my way to the hospital on my own (bearing in mind I was only 18 at the time), so I called my mum, who was the closest one to me with a car, in tears saying “My baby has gone, I need to get to the hospital”. How she wasn't pulled over for speeding, I don't know.

We got to the hospital and they took me in straight away for an emergency scan, only to confirm what I already knew. All they said was “I'm sorry”. I just curled up into a ball and didn't want anyone near me or my baby until Gary (my DP) got there. He worked two hours away so it took him ages. My daddy had already warned him outside the hospital and I remember his face as he walked into my room. That’s a look I never want to see again, and we just hugged for what seemed forever, then they gave me some medication and sent me home!

I was to come back on the Wednesday for an inducement so they gave us a room. There was me, Gary, my mum, my dad, and my dad’s mum. My nan was fantastic, she never left my side the whole time, I love my nanny. Some family members came to visit but most of them just didn't know what to do or say so that didn't really help that much. I told all of the midwives and family members that I wanted it to be born on the 11th, and if I was to lose my baby, I wanted it to be on Remembrance Day. They all told me if it doesn't happen that way, it doesn't happen that way, but I was determined and after a nice short labour that shocked everyone, as they told us to prepare for a long painful labour as I would have to do it all myself, Benjamin was born on 11/11/04 at 2.55am and weighed a nice 6lbs 3oz.

The days after that are all such a blur, I get the odd flash back now and again but nothing really that clear. We buried Benjamin on the 16th of December. It was a small ceremony with the chaplain who blessed Benjamin when he was born. I wrote and tried to read out a poem (mum had to finish it for me) then we finally said goodbye.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

I'm past the 30 mile mark!

31 miles now complete yay!
Today, we walked to my Mum's and round the park. It was drizzling all the way there and had just started again towards the end of the walk back - definitely not as pleasant as it was yesterday! But I'm feeling energised - at the beginning of the week, I was exhausted and had nowhere in particular to walk to, so I have to admit that I wasn't feeling very motivated when I woke on Sunday morning! But I'm feeling good again, we've had some more sponsor money in and we're not just £25 away from having raised £300! Thank you so, so much to everyone who has given so far!

Tomorrow's blog will be slightly different. Instead of me giving you the round up of the day's walk, I'll be featuring a story from a lovely lady, Stacey, who I met online through some of the charity work I did last year. Stacey's son Benjamin was stillborn - the work that Tommy's do and the research they carry out is so, so vital for the welfare of our unborn children. Ultimately, Tommy's research could hold the key to eliminating stillbirth in the UK - the awareness that they spread is so important for expectant parents, and hopefully Stacey's story will help to explain a little more about what it is that Tommy's are trying to prevent, and why the challenge and the money raised from it is so important.

You can sponsor me at any time here: www.justgiving.co.uk/1000milesmummy

Thank you!
x

Monday, 9 January 2012

4 miles today!

Yes, I went a bit mad and walked 4 miles today! I was invited to my friend's house so decided to use the opportunity to do my walk - luckily the weather was actually really pleasant. It stayed dry and I even saw blue sky! Really enjoyed today's walk, it's definitely getting easier now that I'm into the routine of it, and walking a variety of different routes also helps to keep it interesting. My walking boots now don't hurt at all and although I can still feel a stitch niggling, it hasn't developed into a full-blown, buckled-over-in-two stitch like it did at the beginning! Having said that, it'll probably start again now!



By the time we set off to walk home, it was half 4 and it was getting dark, but the air was so crisp and the sky was really clear, it was really nice walking in it. Looking forward to tomorrow's walk! 28 miles done wahay!

Over the last couple of days, I've had a few questions about the challenge; "are you walking 1000 miles or 3 miles a day?" etc - so to clarify, here it is:
I'm aiming to walk 1000 miles in 2012 by walking 3 miles a day. If I walk 3 miles a day for the whole of 2012 then this'll bring me closer to 1100 miles. My aim is to do 1000 miles - with a toddler, I need to be able to account for illness, lack of sleep and anything else that might prevent me from walking for a day or two, so in order to make sure that missing a couple of days wouldn't result in me failing the challenge, I've set myself the task of completing 3 miles a day so that I'm pretty much guaranteed to get to 1000 miles, even if I do have to miss the odd day. I plan to carry on walking even after I've hit 1000 miles as I'd like to see just how much I can do in one year. Anyway I've waffled on but I hope that makes more sense!

As always, your sponsorship really is the key to the success of all this. I'm so grateful for all your support so far, please do keep sharing my blog and encouraging your friends to sponsor! The link (as if you didn't know it already haha!) is www.justgiving.co.uk/1000milesmummy

Thanks! x

Sunday, 8 January 2012

3 more rainy miles!

Well I knew what to expect today - my weather app said it was going to be drizzly all day, and so far it has been! I couldn't decide where to walk to, I was going to go to the park but then decided it was too wet and I wouldn't have a chance to dry off and sit down midway (I like my comforts!) so instead we walked up to the shops. Lola was given a Next voucher for Christmas so I thought it was an ideal opportunity to spend it!

This was pretty much the dreary view that we had the whole way there and back:



When we got to the shops, Next wasn't open so I treated myself to a dress in Topshop instead (I also had a voucher for Christmas - woo!)

We went for a muffin in Costa and Lola stretched her legs a little, then I decided to try and get back before the heavy rain set in. It was wetter on the way back and pretty miserable, but we managed to avoid anything too heavy - my clothes are still on the radiator though!

24 miles down, 976 to go!

I say it every time but PLEASE keep sponsoring me - it gives me a real boost and a kick out of the door each day if I know that I've raised some money, even if it's only a small amount. Your support and comments are always greatly appreciated too, it really does make a difference. Please keep sharing my blog! Thank you!
www.justgiving.co.uk/1000milesmummy
x

Saturday, 7 January 2012

21 miles done!

Yay! My first 21 miles are now complete! Only another 979 to go!
Our walk this morning was a quick one - I had to drop Lola off at my Mum's so that I could go to Liverpool for a university tutorial (as it turns out, the tutorial was cancelled, but I only found out once there - doh!)

The weather was okay, there was a 50% chance of rain but I managed to time it right so that we avoided it.

So how would I sum up my first week? Eventful, successful, surprising, motivational and inspiring. I'm totally blown away by the response the challenge has had. To think that I'm just £15 away from hitting the halfway mark of the fundraising target I'd set for the entire year is just madness! I've now got over 260 followers on Twitter, over 50 on Facebook, I've had a blog written about me and been invited to take part in guest blogs. The support I've received is unbelievable - people offering to write to companies for sponsorship, others offering to promote my challenge to their friends, not to mention the amount of re-tweets I've had! Celebrities who have re-tweeted so far are:


Sid Sloane (CBeebies)
Dr Hilary Jones
Sadie Frost 
Tamsin Outhwaite 
Angela Griffin
Lisa Faulkner
Sarah-Jane Honeywell (CBeebies)
Ryan Thomas
Keith Duffy
Annabel Karmel
Carol Vorderman
The Jeremy Kyle Show
One Born Every Minute
Kate Silverton
Lauren Laverne
Dean Piper (Sunday Mirror)
Natalie Cassidy
Emma Forbes
Savannah Miller
Arlene Phillips

And that's just in the space of one week!
This coming week, I'll be starting a new feature on my blog. Each Wednesday will be the turn of a guest blogger, someone who has experienced stillbirth first hand. I want to share their experiences in order to highlight just how important Tommy's' research and work really is. If you'd like your story to be featured, please get in touch by leaving a comment below or email me at heathercook@hotmail.co.uk 

That leaves nothing else to say except thank you so, so much for all the support and encouragement you've given me so far! I'm really excited about continuing the challenge. Please keep spreading the word and donate anything you can to www.justgiving.co.uk/1000milesmummy - thank you! x

Friday, 6 January 2012

Miles 16, 17 & 18

Just got back from our Day 6 walk! The weather was lovely this morning, we set off quite early as it was lovely and sunny when we woke up, the wind has really died down which made such a difference, and it stayed dry for the whole walk! As usual, we dressed up nice and warm and Lola looked very cosy in her pram!



I decided to walk up to Hesketh Park which is a lovely, Victorian park near our town centre. I love the route up to the park from my house, we pass lots of big old Victorian houses which I just love. Unfortunately, some are now in danger of demolition which I think it a real shame. Perhaps next year I should walk to raise money to renovate them?! Here's one of my favourites, recently shut down as a nursing home, hopefully it won't disappear



As we were walking round the park, I got so thirsty that I had to steal a bit of Lola's drink! The park cafe was closed, so I decided to conserve some energy by one of my favourite spots - the fountain. It's recently just been done up and I love the view out onto the lake. We really are lucky to live in such a lovely town. So here's the view:



So we've not been home long, Lola will be going for a nap soon and I'll be catching up with some uni work. We've so far raised £180, £30 of which was this morning alone! Please, please donate anything you can, I'd love to hit £200 by the end of the week!: www.justgiving.co.uk/1000milesmummy

I've also got a guest blog today over at Antenatal Online - check it out here: http://antenatalonline.co.uk/blog/2011/35/meet-the-1000-miles-mummy

Thanks again everyone, and thanks for letting me warble on about my lovely Victorian town! x

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Day 5 complete!

Today is my little sister's birthday - she's 20 - happy birthday! My little girl is also 22 months today, madness!

I couldn't decide what time to set off this morning - my weather app said it would rain from 9-11 but outside it looked pretty clear, so I decided to take the plunge. I walked to my Mum's house to give my sister her present. The walk there was so windy and horrible - pushing the pram was a nightmare as the wind was constantly blowing against us, at some points, I couldn't even move! The pram cover kept blowing off and to make matters worse, I found out that I can't stream Spotify on my phone unless I pay premium, despite the fact that it worked fine yesterday. So I walked with no music on yet still had my earphones in as it muted out some of the wind!

My weather app said the winds were 50mph and it felt like it too! My friend has had her shed roof blown off today, and the park looked like it had taken a beating too with branches sticking out of the pond!

I stayed at my Mum's house for a little while and then decided to put Lola down for a nap. While she was asleep, I walked back home to complete the 3 miles. This time I was walking in the same direction that the wind was blowing, so it was so much easier, plus I didn't have the pram which made it almost enjoyable! The weather was dry, still very windy, but quite warm towards the end of the return walk, so it was quite pleasant.




My feet were also hurting a lot less today, think I've finally started getting used to the walking boots, they felt a lot more comfortable than usual!

Please, please keep donating! www.justgiving.co.uk/1000milesmummy
I'd love to raise £150 by the end of the week - is this possible?! Please help! Whatever you can give will make such a difference

Thank you! x

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

12 miles down, 988 to go!

Just got back in from my fourth walk - this time I decided to walk up to Tesco to buy a birthday card for my sister. I checked my weather app which said that it should be dry between 9am and 10am, so I set off just after 9am. My feet weren't as sore as I was expecting, they still hurt but I don't think I've done any more damage!

We were almost at Tesco when it started to drizzle, and it continued to drizzle all the way home. It was quite refreshing though, really, as I was getting pretty hot under all the layers! Lucky I went when I did though as it's just started chucking it down, don't fancy walking in that again!

So that's it - 12 miles down and only 988 to go! Please keep sharing my blog and supporting my challenge by donating. As fun as this is, it's also really important. Today, 17 families will lose a baby at a very late stage of pregnancy, some within days of their due date. This cannot be allowed to continue. The work that Tommy's do is fundamental for the protection of babies during pregnancy. Please give anything you can! www.justgiving.co.uk/1000milesmummy

x

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Day 3 - Wind!

Today I was joined by the lovely Alex who stupidly agreed to walk 3 miles with me in what can only be described as gale force weather! He very kindly pushed the pram for me the whole way into town though, so I can't complain! We were walking against the wind the whole way there which was horrible, really cold and poor Lola's eyes were watering by the end of it!



We decided to stop for some lunch at Marks & Spencer's which was such a relief, it was so nice not to have to walk almost horizontally just to make it through the wind! Lola had a good time too eating her pizza while Alex and I thawed out.



Before we set back off on the other half of the 3 miles, I decided to stop off at Primark seeing as I lost my gloves this morning. I bought a lovely warm hat, a big fluffy scarf and some mittens, as well as some thick socks as my shoes were starting to really hurt my feet again. In the end, I looked like this:



Lovely and warm but I looked absolutely ridiculous!
At least it didn't rain!

Please keep sharing my blog and donating via Just Giving: www.justgiving.co.uk/1000milesmummy
I appreciate every penny you give, it makes such a difference going for a walk and knowing that people are sponsoring me!

Thanks again x

Monday, 2 January 2012

Day 2 - Ouch

After starting the day at 5:30am (thanks Lola!), I was pretty tired but I know that walking the 3 miles only takes me about an hour, so it's not a massive sacrifice and doesn't take up much of my day. I've decided, rather than just ambling around the place with no destination, to try and build things into my walks so that I can get things done at the same time. So, thanks to the death of my phone last night, I decided to walk up to Carphone Warehouse to start the next chapter of phone-life.

I was better prepared this time, I wore my walking boots which last saw the light of day in August 2008 and were still caked in mud from Leeds Festival! This meant I no longer had to fear puddles, which was a relief as there were a lot of them. Luckily, it wasn't raining today, it was pretty windy though and my ears soon started to burn with the cold.

I took shelter in Carphone Warehouse for half an hour or so, during which time my judgement seemed to lapse and I entered a 24 month contract on a new phone despite originally planning to just get a monthly rolling sim. But hey ho, that's life!

So me, Lola and my new Samsung Galaxy SII had a nice stroll home, but by this point, my walking boots were really starting to grate at my ankles. I wouldn't mind, but I'd followed my mum's advice of wearing extra socks and I even put a plaster on each ankle before I set off. They're not blistering yet but no doubt they will be by the end of the week! So I'll be having a hot bath tonight to try and pamper them, my poor feet are going to fall out with me this year!

Please share my blog with your friends and donate anything you can to www.justgiving.co.uk/1000milesmummy. Some are giving a one-off donation, others are donating a little each month. Whatever you can spare, it'll be greatly appreciated and will give me the strength to continue with my challenge!
Thanks x

Sunday, 1 January 2012

First 3 miles completed!

Well we've just got back from our first three mile walk in the pouring rain! It wasn't too bad when we started, it was gloomy but dry. I made sure I was prepared by taking two coats (one waterproof, one warm), the pram's raincover, gloves and hat, so I assumed that if it did decide to rain, we'd both be relatively dry and comfortable.

Lola was fine tucked under her rain cover, she even felt it necessary to gloat a little by giving me her hat, scarf and blanket because she was so warm! I, however, got absolutely soaked! I've had to mop the floor in the dining room because my coat was dripping so much by the time I got back. I've also discovered that the shoes I thought were waterproof are not waterproof at all! So needless to say, my radiator is now covered in trainers, socks, trousers (oh yes, my jeans got soaked too and began to chafe!) and coats!

But I feel good - the challenge has well and truly begun now, I'm 3 miles in so only another 997 to go (shudder!)

Let's hope they're not all as sodden as today's walk!

Please, please, please support me by sponsoring the challenge here: www.justgiving.co.uk/1000milesmummy - Tommy's desperately need funds so that they can continue to save babies' lives

Share with your friends and thanks for reading!
x

Dry as a bone!

Soaked to the skin!