Why I Sacrificed Breastfeeding



This post was inspired by the supportive Instagram photo by Channel Mum of then Mummy-to-be Meghan Koziel - a Breast Cancer survivor, who plastered a sign above her hospital bed explaining to midwives/nurses and other Healthcare professionals who maybe involved in her care, post delivery, that she cannot breastfeed as she had a mastectomy. All in a bid to prevent the heartache of being asked "why" she wasn't breastfeeding her Newborn baby girl Kendra. Ultimately deciding to beat them to it with a very honest and open explanation that breastfeeding simply wasn't an option for her. The sign reigns positivity in the notion that #FedIsBest in a beautiful poem that gets the point across perfectly;

"Though Breastfeeding is a very special task,
Please be aware before you ask,
Our miracle baby will be formula fed,
And it will not affect the future ahead!
This Mommy is a Survivor..."



It made me wish I had drawn up a similiar sign for above the NICU incubators after my baby girls (3 years apart - identical premature deliveries) were whisked from the operating theatre to receive the specialist care they needed to support their premature arrivals. For it may have prevented NICU staff from asking me, adding to the emotional turmoil of not meeting my own little miracle(s) I carried for 34 weeks until they were each respectively 4 days old - why I hadn't brought them expressed Breast milk for nurses to administer through their feeding tubes - too premature to know how to latch to breast or teat.

"Mummy Guilt" is a built in emotion us Mothers are plagued with from feeling our baby's very first kick. That moment you realise you created, and are solely responsible to bring a tiny life safely into the world, to love and protect that precious life with every part of your very being. Motherhood is giving 110% 24/7, with complete selflessness, running on empty and often second guessing if you're making the right decisions for that little person in your arms, at every turn as they grow. But first they need to grow...

Midwives instill in new Mums-to-be that Breastfeeding is the ONLY way to give your little one the best start in life. The benefits of breast milk far outweigh those of formula, breast milk even has the ability to adjust to your baby's changing nutritional needs as they grow week-by-week.

"The sheer pressure to breastfeed in general is daunting enough for the average new mum. Many women feel like they are failing their little one at the first hurdle if they cannot establish or get on with breastfeeding. Some women's body's cannot keep up with supply and demand, working Mum's beat themselves up for turning to combination feeding to put food on the table for the rest of the family."

Then there's some women, like me who didn't even have the choice of breastfeeding.

I fell within the 2% of Mum's who couldn't breastfeed for medical reasons. The particular issue was that my specialist multi-disciplinary team for my progressive muscle-wasting condition, told me upon asking if I could come off at least some of my medications that make me "comfortable" and help control some secondary complications of MD, that not only would it be dangerous for me to come off the medications that sustain my good quality of life during both my pregnancies, but also that breastfeeding was off the table as all the drugs would be transferable to baby through my breast milk.

It was hard enough preparing to be not just a new Mum, but a Disabled New Mum who then also couldn't provide the most natural, womanly thing in the world, that show how magnificent our body's are, that they don't just grow babies in the womb but provide an endless source of complete nutrition outside of it. It made me feel like I failed before I even gave birth. I tried not to dwell too much, as I'm forever the optimist. It's no secret medically I shouldn't of been able to carry my girls to term anyway. But it DID tug at me emotionally that I didn't even have the option to try. I even contemplated making myself bedridden, going back to a very low point in my life where I was in that much pain I didn't want to be here, just to come off my meds - sod my quality of life for my child. I questioned if that was the Right thing to do for my baby. Putting them first as you should. Talking with my specialists, they were firmly against coming off the meds, predicting I'd be in that much pain, I may at best barely be able to do a thing for my girls and at worst it may cost me my life as I'd be stopping heart medication aswell.

I had to sacrifice breastfeeding to be the best Mum I could be in Every. Other. Single way, possible.

I thought I came to terms with it by the time they were due to be delivered - prematurely, as mine were high risk pregnancies. Until my 1st visit to NICU when a nurse who didn't know me asked me if I'd brought expressed milk for baby. It plummeted me into doubting myself, the choice that really wasn't a Choice at all to sacrifice breastfeeding.

On the maternity ward surrounded by other Mothers - babes in arms, learning how to establish breastfeeding. Hearing and seeing other Mum's have all those special moments was so gut wrenching. I remember laying in bed, silently crying as I was the only Mum without their baby. There was just so much going on at once. The comments over where the milk was that I SHOULD of been able to provide my baby girl(s) could of easily knocked me over the edge and spiralled into Post-partum Depression. Mummy guilt can take you into some very dark places...

When my milk suddenly came in all at once regardless 3 days after birth, I was overwhelmed. I received no instruction on what to do with my obviously useless milk supply. My body clearly not getting the memo! When I asked a midwife to change the bedding as it was literally everywhere and I was so engorged it was painful to breath, the midwife was patronising towards me. "Aww pet, has your milk come in? Aww I'm sorry cot." No help or advice. It wasn't until I was released from hospital that I was able to try old school methods of drying up my supply I'd found after a bit of Googling. Yes I stuck cabbage leaves in my bra and my PAs tried not to laugh! Eventually it took binding my breasts for two weeks for it to properly dry up and no longer cause me pain. My body must of been so confused....

Thankfully by the grace of God, despite the emotional rollercoaster, I came to terms with the fact I couldn't breastfeed through no fault of my own. Both girls were formula fed from day 1 and have no health concerns as a result. Nothing drastic happened and they didn't miss out on anything evidently as they've both grown and thrived! At the end of the day, it mattered more that I could be an active, loving, happy Mum to them by staying on my medication, than it was to be able to breastfeed.

Me as a new Mum. I'm sat propped up on the sofa, Abbie then a few months old in the crack of my elbow, my arm supported by a nursing pillow, feeding from a bottle using formula.

For any Mum's-to-be reading this in similar circumstances, dealing with the fact your baby maybe born prematurely or perhaps is in NICU right this moment. Did you know you can request your little one receive breastmilk from a donor via your local human Milk Bank? There's thousands of selfless mothers out there who over-produce and instead of letting that gift go to waste, they choose to donate it specifically for premature babies who'd benefit greatly from all the goodness and immune fighting capabilities breast milk has to offer - that sadly formula falls short of. 

Don't worry, every woman is medically screened for their viability to donate, as does the milk itself go through rigorous health and safely screening. UKAMB is a charity that works closely with NHS neonatal intensive care units all across the country, aswell as being proudly supported by NICE. Find out more below πŸ‘‡ 

I would of so taken this option if somebody had told me about milk donors when my girls were born. Now I'm telling my readers so you know all your options to make the best decision for you and your baby. Whatever conclusion you come to, breast isn't always best, but #FedIsBest in every circumstance...
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Related Links -

UKAMB
Saving the lives of premature or sick babies across the UK thanks to their incredible human milk donors.
The FedIsBest Foundation
identifing gaps in current breastfeeding protocols and guidelines, aiming to provide families and health professionals with the most up-to-date scientific research, education and resources to practice safe infant feeding with breast milk, formula, or a combination of both. #FedisBest


Favourites Of An Ambitious Turtle | Sept 2018

Thumbnail Image split with title text on one size ontop an autumn leaf scattered wood table, opposite is a photo of a homemade unicorn cake with girly eyelashes and all coloured pipping
It's crazy how fast September whizzed by. It seems like a blink ago we were all sweating to death in the 3 month long freak heatwave. Now the littles are all a year older, all set in the new school year and I'm back to being up at crack of dawn on the dreaded school run. Missing summer already! Here's my round-up for September…

Fashion

Just as I finally kitted out my wardrobe full of weather appropriate attire for the summer, we're plummeted into needing to pull out the knit wear again! I'm still trying to adjust my wardrobe in general to my new mum bod (currently on a weight loss journey but more about that in a later post). So I donated all my autumn/winter gear that was just making me feel fat and bad about my new figure, instead of it being a constant reminder every morning that I'm no longer a stick insect! Being able to give clothing that was still in good nick to charity is always a good feeling and means although I cannot enjoy my old faves anymore - someone else can. Win-win πŸ‘

Bagging Striped Jumper with a solid block of colour in mustard yellow across shoulders and upper chest, the rest of the jumper is thick block white and black stripss


Pretty much everywhere clothing wise was an assortment of mustard. Mustard jumpers, corduroy skirts, women's pinafores, even mustard tartan coats and tights. Absolutely everywhere. To be honest mustard has never been a colour I've tried before so when I saw this striped mustard number in New Look, I thought I'd give it a try and you know what? I quite like it! It was definitely more money than I usually care to spend on myself (since gone down to £12 see above link πŸ‘†) but I'm trying really hard at the moment to get myself back after years of focusing on my littles and putting myself on the back burner. I'm 99% sure every Mum of young children can relate to that feeling of losing yourself, your identity with motherhood. It's so hard to get that balance right of putting your littles first but also taking care of yourself. Such a hard balance…

Products
As September was the big birthday month, including for me - I turned 30! AHHHH! My mother-in-law treated me to a fabulous technics make-up box which looks so professional and will surely last me a good few years! Totally spoilt for choice with eye shadows now, which is great after Ava managed to get into my make-up bag recently and my 2 small eye shadow palettes were just beyond saving…

Memories

Abbie Starting Year 1

I cannot believe my biggest baby girl is in Year 1 already. I know its clichΓ© but time with Abbie in particular has just gone so fast. She's grown at least 2 inches over the summer, so we had to fork out for a whole new uniform (with the exception of school jumpers) to make up for it before the new term began. She has adjusted really well to her new classroom enviroment, new teacher and thankfully some of her Reception friends are in her class this year too! The only sad bit about this big milestone is because of the situation with my failing powerchair, it's constant unreliability outdoors meant I wasn't able to take her on her first day this year.


To learn more about what's going on with my chair, why I'm fundraising for a new one and think you in anyway can help please click the link below πŸ‘‡


An flyer asking for assistance from local Bolton residents to help me organise a family fun day in aid of the new powerchair I'm trying to raise funds for.

Abbie & Ava's Joint Birthday Party

Handmade unicorn cake with girly eye lashes, cartoon facial features, covered in colourful piping for the hair and a purple edible glitter horn made out of icing.
My daughters birthdays are just 4 days apart! Nope we didn't plan it that way… So I've resided myself to that fact, financially it makes more sense to do mostly joint parties or family get together and save the separate doo's for the bigger age milestones. Such as many years from now when they'll be turning 16 and 18 within days of each other! I'm breaking a sweat just thinking about how much planning that's gonna take….

Abbie turned 6 and Ava turned 3. The girls Auntie is incredible at baking and made the girls a joint birthday Unicorn cake using a receipt from This Morning. The girls absolutely loved it. We didn't have a party as such, just family over with their cousins etc and opened presents and such. It was lovely and great to see everyone too!

My Surprise 30th Birthday

Then it was my turn! If you don't follow my socials (highly recommend you do! Hit the buttons at the top of this page to add and follow) I actually share my birthday with my youngest daughter Ava. Whilst she turned 3 on 24th Sept, I turned the big 3-0! Oh my goodness I really never saw myself at 30. Definitely of the mindset of having numerous medical “experts” drill into you that you have a life-limiting condition and won't reach this or that age. My lady “deadline” if you will (pun intended) was 30 and here I am still kicking about! It goes to show despite textbooks, x amount of cases or prognosis, you are you and you follow your own path regardless.

Photo of me at the table, Ava on my lap both wearing nice smart casual attire during surprise family meal at the restaurant
My family arranged a joint surprise birthday party at a local fancy restaurant The Retreat here in Bolton, along with my father-in-law who turned 60 this month too. I wasn't kidding when I said there's alot of birthdays for us in September lol! I give them their due, they did manage to keep it a surprise right upto the moment we got there, it was nice it was literally a 10 minute roll from our house. We took the girls too which made it extra special. I had a lush mojito mocktail and a delicious lemon chicken dish, which I shared with Ava. Yes, even on my birthday Mummy doesn't get her food to herself but in all honesty I get more gratification over the fact she's eating something, even if it is often my food! That's toddlers for you.

Photo of a custom made rectangle cake which reads "Happy Birthday Fi 30 and Dougie 60" in icing
It was a really lovely night and the first surprise party I've had so that made if all the more special. Brilliant memory to add to the photo album!

Have you enjoyed anything in particular this month? Why not share some of Your faves from this month below... πŸ‘‡


Travelodge, Waterloo London | ♿ Review

Thumbnail of the accessible hotel room, visible is the king size bed, ample floor space, a large window and desk. I am sat next to the bed wearing a floral jumpsuit in my powerchair smiling.
On the 12th July 2018 I was amongst 40 fellow MDUK Trailblazers who headed to Parliament to celebrate #TrailblazersAt10! Commuting all the way from Greater Manchester for the main event meant I had to stay somewhere local overnight and that's how I ended up in the most   incredibly   spacious    accessible hotel room I've stayed in to date!

If you know me, you know 99% of the time I try and stay overnight (childcare permitting of course) to combat pain and fatigue so I'm ready for the main event - whatever that maybe. This time was in London for my 1st trip to Parliament to celebrate 10 YEARS of tireless campaigning for young disabled people’s access and equality in the UK.

Muscular Dystrophy UK hand-picked the Travelodge, Waterloo Rd London for its prime location and high access features rated by other Trailblazers who've stayed previously. With the House of Commons literally within rolling distance, just across the River Thames, made this particular hotel ideal for the myself and the 3 other wheelchair user Trailblazers housed here who came from all across the country for this grand occasion. Also nearby is Big Ben and Southbank, amongst a wide variety of shops and restaurants should you desire.

Photo of me driving along Waterloo Bridge in my powerchair on route to the House of Commons. The river Thames murky waters are visible against a clear blue sky. I'm smiling, wind blowing my long straight brown hair back, wearing a formal white floral dress and charity VIP layard around my neck.
On route to the House of Commons via Waterloo Bridge 


Entrance, Lobby & Bar


The Travelodge, Waterloo Rd has step-free access via automatic doors right from the street, leading into a contemporary and stylish lobby flooded with natural lighting from the surrounding large windows. 

The modern layout of the interior of the hotel and strategically placed scatter seating, in the lobby, made navigating my powerchair a breeze. You have two options to check-in, either; use the self service kiosks or if you prefer talking to a real person, there are 3 manned reception desks full of friendly staff eager to assist. I find self service kiosks too high to navigate, so I chose to check-in with a member of staff. Sadly I was left peering over the top of the desk while discussing my booking as they didn't have a lowered desk for wheelchair users. 

Check-in time is the standard 2PM, as we arranged relatively early (for once), we expected to have to wait and perhaps grab a drink from the bar. Much to our surprise we were informed the accessible room was actually ready for us, meaning I could go right up to our room and have a much needed rest before getting ready for the big event. 

Our room was on the 3rd floor that is accessed by 3 average sized lifts just beyond the bar area. Although we never actually used the bar or restaurant to dine, I did grab a soft drink or 2 that evening. The bar staff were very friendly and came around the bar to hand me my drink personally or kindly offered to bring it up to our room to prevent me trying to juggle carrying it and operating the lifts. 

Accessible Room 

Once inside 1 of the 6 accessible rooms of the Travelodge, I was blown away by how spacious it was! I could of literally invited 3 other wheelchair users in there and still have room to zip around. 

The room featured a king sized bed (which as you can see by the photo is 2 twins pushed together). The beauty of that actually being a make-shift king bed is if you were travelling with a PA/carer for example, the beds could be easily separated and re-arranged to fit your preference. Or even if you needed 2 PAs/carers for personal care, they could nudge the bed over a little to gain access to both sides to better meet your needs. This bed situation also gets 3 🌟 🌟 🌟 's from me for having enough underbed clearance for a mobile hoist. Something that is always tricky to find in hotels when you need to be hoisted for transfers. 

Thumbnail of the accessible hotel room, visible is the king size bed, ample floor space, a large window and desk. I am sat next to the bed wearing a floral jumpsuit in my powerchair smiling.
Next to the bed(s) are wall mounted bedside tables with handy wheelchair level plug sockets and light dimmers/switches. I do wish the bedside tables were bigger though as they're difficult to reach from bed if you were to put your phone on charge and need it in the night. You'd need to pop it on your bed really. Also in the room you'll find a drop-down clothes rail in an open closet, a vanity area with mirror and hair dryer organiser which is right next to the large window with a view - perfect little area to apply your make-up with ample natural lighting cascading. To the right of the window is a full sized desk with tea and coffee corner, phone and desk chair. There are plenty of level access plug sockets throughout the room aswell.

Do be mindful that if you're bringing extra electricals such as wheelchair chargers or portable ventilators, then consider bringing an extension cord. I'm glad I took mine as there was no-way my ventilator cord was going to reach from the sockets by the desk to the bed! 

Bathroom



I somewhat expected them to have compromised on the size of the bathroom, seeing as the bedroom area is so spacious, but I was wrong! The bathroom is equally spacious and features a low sink and toilet with both fixed and pull-down grab rails. Also a wheel-in-shower with drop-down shower seat and level access shower controls. Unfortunately these types of shower seats aren't supportive enough for my level of disability, so I rang down to reception who have mobility aid company numbers on hand and helped me hire an actual shower chair on wheels to arrive that same day. Very impressed by the level of staff dedication.

Overall I give this hotel a 5 star accessibility rating (my favourite features being the ample space to maneuver and underbed clearance for a mobile hoist) and without a doubt would 100% stay here again when/if my campaign work brings me back to Central London.


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About Me Graphic: Image of Fiona Anderson, straight brunette hair, pale complexion in natural lighting. Beneath reads, "Hi, I'm Fi. A Disabled Mum of 2 navigating life and motherhood, sharing advice, resources and first-hand experience to spread the message of how rewarding and totally do-able parenting can be with a disability"
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Lucy At Home UK parenting blogger

Ideas to Retro-fy your Home

In order to achieve more with your home decorating and designing, you often have to look to the past. There are so many great ideas from the history of interior design that you can embrace and steal from. Simply making a few key changes to your space will genuinely have a massive impact on your home. We’ve some some retro ideas and additions that you should definitely consider, so scroll down to find out more about them.

Do Something With Pastel Colours

Pastel colours are great if you’re going for a 20th century style because these were used a lot in the 50s and 60s. It’s a particular good idea to employ pastel colours in your kitchen. This is where you can do lots of new and interesting things with the design and try to combine the new with the retro; that should always be the aim.

Add Some Mid Century Modern Pieces to Your Living Room

Sticking with the mid century theme, you should look for pieces from this style and era that can work really well in your living room. A mid century dining table or a sofa can really stand out and become the focal point for your entire living room. Some of these items can be costly, but it’s possible to pick up bargains online if you’re vigilant and keep searching.

Find a Vintage Light Fixture

A vintage light fixture can add something completely new and interesting to a room. It becomes a feature item hanging from the wall rather than just another light that everyone has seen a million times before. Vintage Lighting comes in all styles and variations, so you should explore and see what you can find. Make sure that it feels in keeping with the rest of the decor in the room.


Embrace Retro Audio

Retro audio is another thing that you should look to add to your home. Retro speakers simply look so much cooler than the modern ones. And if you can combine these with an old record player, the home will look, feel and sound so much cooler. It’s definitely something to consider if you’re a music lover too. Records and record players are rising in popularity once again, so jump on board today.

Use Classic Black and White Floor Tiles in the Kitchen

The kitchen flooring can be spruced up and made interesting by this retro classic idea. Black and white checkered floor tiles always look great because they never lose that old style and charm that people love. It’s easy enough to find tiles like these and you can have them fitted by a professional if you don’t know how to. Regardless, the finished outcome will be stunning.

The retro style your redesigned home offers will immediately draw attention whenever someone steps through your door. It’ll not only look great but also hold that timeless style that so many homeowners want to achieve. So if you want to make the most of your home, maybe you should go retro.

I Risk My Life Everytime I Venture Out | #FitToBurst


Did the title grab your attention? No, it wasn't clickbait. No, I'm not being dramatic and no, there isn't another way out of this vicious cycle that I haven't spent 14 years trying to make work to improve my situation.
" My name is Fi, I'm a 30 year old Mum of 2 little girls living in Bolton, Greater Manchester and I was born with an extremely rare, progressive muscle-wasting condition. I am totally dependant on a powerchair to mobilise, am completely non-ambulatory (unable to walk) and need help with most aspects of daily life. Including toileting. "
Maybe that last sentence made you cringe. Us Brits don't like to talk about such "crude" things as toilet habits, but we ALL have to go. It is a basic human need that needs met and we all have the right to suitable toilet facilities that are safe, hygienic and enables us to maintain our dignity. All except those who cannot use a bog standard disabled loos that is!

Up and down the country parents of profoundly disabled children are getting their #PantsDown4Equality in order to use shock tactics to get the powers that be's attention to the fact the very toilets their children need, Changing Places are very few and far between. Whilst profoundly disabled adults like myself, Carrie of 'Life On The Slow Lane' and Kerry of 'My Life, Kerry's Way' are bearing all in articles such as






Aswell as appearing on news stations such as ITV Granada, to get society to realise there's a very REAL and desperate problem here that needs swiftly rectifying before somebody loses their life.

It was only last week 13 year old George broke his leg after his Mum couldn't find a nearby Changing Places toilet. In desperation his Mum decided to lift her dear son onto the loo to save him the humiliation of having an accident in public, only the unthinkable happened... Due to George's low bone density (very common in those who are non-ambulatory), his femur broke simply from being manually lifted from his chair to use the toilet.

George's Mum, devastated, recalls the moments after the accident her son screaming in pain, "My knee, my knee! I've broken my leg Mum!"
"George was so panicked he didn't care his dignity had just gone out the window. Still having to do his business, he encouraged me to get a waitors help to lift him from the loo back into his powerchair, where we put ice on it right away. Miles from home I had no choice but to take him to the A+E. I rang for a taxi and the driver was so amazing that he wouldn't accept the fare. George was admitted and the next morning transfered to our local (Southampton) hospital nearer home, where his regular orthopedics team is. Dr's predict George will need 6 weeks or more in plaster, followed by months of stretching and physiotherapy before we can even think about getting him back in his stander and back to baseline. I have not lifted my son in over a year prior to this, he's fully hoisted now. In this situation I felt I had no choice, he simply needed the toilet then and there, and couldn't wait until we got back to the hotel where I'd hired a hoist. We all get caught short at some point... If there was more Changing Places, this would of been 100% avoidable. I would of hoisted him using the hoist provided in the safety of his sling and his dignity would of been preserved.
Every major town, city or large public space should have a Changing Places toilet by law!" 
Collage image shocking an x-ray of 11 Year old George's broken femur, a photo of George laying on his side on an A+E trolley, face not visable to protect identity. Screenshot of the original story from his Mother that was circulating on Facebook.
Photo Credit: 'Ordinary Hopes' Facebook page with permission of George's Mum
George's Mum shouldn't of been put in a position where there was no suitable toilet facility nearby for her son. As it stands there are only around 1,400 registered Changing Places toilets in the whole of the UK. Incidents like this are prime examples why this is such a desperate situation for families. Did you know ¼ of a MILLION profoundly disabled children and adults in the UK need a hoist and adult size changing bench to meet their toileting needs away from home?

Those that know me may remember from leaving off in Part II of my last blog on this topic, I was being made to jump through hoops like a preforming monkey via the NHS, trying to convince them to put me through a medically unnecessary surgery to insert a Suprapubic Catheter (SPC) through my lower abdomen. I get why they've made it difficult for me, I do! I'm high risk under general anesthetic, I'm respiratory compromised and use a ventilator 12hrs a day and I am NOT incontinent. You're probably thinking now I've lost my mind. Why would I want this surgery so bad? I wrote my last Changing Places related blog in Feb 2018, I'd requested the surgery way back in July 2017. It's now September 2018 and my referral (finally at the RIGHT hospital to meet my complex needs) has been rescheduled FOUR different times because this apparently isn't urgent.

Image of catheter kit tubing, urine bag, syringe attached to small balloon that keeps it in place internally.
Photo Credit: Google - Suprapubic Catheter kit
All Urology, GPs, District Nurses etc involved in my care are very worried about my recurrent UTIs. Having almost back-to-back infections for 14 years caused by having to hold it all day, every day I wish to venture out the house has took its toll on my already immunocompromised body. I'm allergic to the cillens so I can't have those, I've become resistant to 8 other common antibiotics. They told me last year they're at a point with me where they're running out of treatment options. I've spent the last 3 weeks on 2 courses of antibiotics, only to finish and still be no better, in fact the infection is so bad from it carrying on so long. Obviously these antibiotics no longer work, the GP now believes I've developed yet further resistance to another "good" one that Was working for me over the past 3 months. I have red flags for mild sepsis. While the GP awaits lab work and urine culture's to see what very limited antibiotics we could try next, if I get worse over the weekend, he's told me I must call an ambulance to get to A + E as soon as possible. Sepsis Kills!

Although I fight along side so many wonderful and fierce campaigners for Changing Places to be made MANDATORY, the truth for me is my body has endured far too long without these facilities. My body won't wait any longer and that's why I'm forced to opt for life threatening surgery to give me a way out of needing a hoist and adult sized changing bench (only provided in Changing Places facilities) to toilet with dignity. I will never stop fighting along side great voices like Rachel of 'Ordinary Hopes' and Laura of 'Mum On A Mission' just because it's sadly too late for me. We are paving the way for a better future for this generation of disabled children, so they won't need to spend a life time being changed on a filthy toilet floor or opting for surgery for something society could easily rectify.

If Britain stopped having standard toilets as being a 'human right' in all new public buildings, there would be an uproar. Who am I kidding? It wouldn't happen! So why is it happening to us? What makes ¼ MILLION disabled people so unworthy that the government doesn't automatically agree that Changing Places is our access to a suitable toilet and therefore OUR basic human right? Words fail me.

My girls sitting in the bus station, eating sausage rolls wearing pretty summer dresses. Ava, 2yrs old has Ash blonde hair in curly pig tails and her big sister Abbigail has long hair brown hair in a standard pony with a blue headband.
With a lump in my throat I confess my worst fear is that if I don't get this surgery soon, I could surccomb to sepsis and my precious little girls would be left without a Mum. Being a realist, I know and accept my condition I was born with, in itself is life-limiting. I am forever on borrowed time with my family. It would be a real tragedy if sepsis through lack of Changing Places took my life sooner than my actual condition! If that happens, I hope that my story helps pave the way for Changing Places becoming a human right for people with disabilities, and nobody ever has to worry about toileting away from home or risking their lives again, the way I and countless others have no choice but to do each and everyday to live a 'normal,' for filling life. For if Changing Places were common place, you wouldn't be reading about how detrimental lack of suitable toilet provision really is, right here, right now...

Changing Places, Change lives, Changing Places ultimately SAVES lives!

[IMAGE: Changing Places logo which redirects you to the official website to learn more]


Disability can happen to anyone, at anytime, in any situation. One day you or a loved one could be needing these facilties. Please make a difference NOW, by signing the petitions above!



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Related Links

What is a Changing Places toilet?


Suprapubic Catheters

Scroll down on the above link to download Carrie's experience + guide to understanding SPCs
About Me Graphic: Image of Fiona Anderson, straight brunette hair, pale complexion in natural lighting. Beneath reads, "Hi, I'm Fi. A Disabled Mum of 2 navigating life and motherhood, sharing advice, resources and first-hand experience to spread the message of how rewarding and totally do-able parenting can be with a disability"
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Navigating Baby