Limb Difference

Fifty Shades of Motherhood

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Featuring

  • Limb Difference

“I thought I had completely ruined my babies life before it had even started.” Carla is joined by her cousin and fellow mummy blogger Stephanie Osler in todays episode. She discusses her journey about finding out during pregnancy her son would have a limb difference. She talks about when she found out, right the way through to when he was born and where they are now. 

Here are Stephanie’s Social Links:

https://www.instagram.com/afarmandababy/?hl=en

http://afarmandababy.blogspot.com

You can find the Limb Difference Charities Stephanie mentioned below:

Upper Limb

https://reach.org.uk

https://luckyfinproject.org

Lower Limb

https://www.stepsworldwide.org

https://findingyourfeet.net

Here are Stephanie’s recommended Instagram Accounts to follow:

@thriftyyorkshiremum

@mummaizzo

@vanessamcleod_

@orlandocyborgashley

 

Carla: [00:00:00] Hello, and welcome to 50 Shades of Motherhood uncensored, unhinged and unapologetic motherhood chats around the highs, the lows, the struggles, everything really.

[00:00:35] This week, I have a special guest who also happens to be my cousin and a fellow blogger, Stephanie Osler, and Stephanie will be discussing her journey as a mother through finding out her son had a limb difference while she was pregnant with them, right the way through to after he was born and where they are now.

[00:00:58] So I’m really excited to share this episode with you and hopefully raise awareness on limb different. Hope you enjoy it.

[00:01:12] Hello. And thank you for listening to 50 shades of motherhood today, I am joined by my friend, my cousin and fellow blogger, Stephanie Osler and we will be talking about limb difference. Hi, Stephanie. 

Stephanie: [00:01:32] Hello.

Carla: [00:01:33] How are you?

Stephanie: [00:01:34] I’m good. Thank you. How are you?

Carla: [00:01:36] I’m good thank you very well. I’m just kind of enjoying this. I mean, we’ve not had a proper chat for ages, so I’m looking forward to this for this reason as well. Cause obviously you’re my cousin but, time when you parents it’s like you get kind of sucked into your own worlds and we haven’t actually had a catch up for ages. Um, um, we haven’t spoke about. Um, this either properly.

[00:01:59] So I’m really looking forward to , having this chat with you anyway. So Stephanie, um, can you start by telling, um, Our audience a bit about you. 

Stephanie: [00:02:09] Yeah, so I am obviously Carla’s cousin and I am also a Nicu nurse. I trained in children’s nursing and qualified in 2010 and then moved over to be a neonatal nurse. And then kind of have stuck in the same job for about. Uh, nine years, which is quite scary. 

 Carla: [00:02:33] Wow.

 Stephanie: [00:02:33] Its quite a long time to be somewhere. 

Carla: [00:02:36] I feel too young to be nine years, like in a job, God. Wow. 

Stephanie: [00:02:43] 10 years qualified this year. And then I only worked at one other place for about a year before I moved over into neonate. So I was like, I dunno, I don’t feel old enough. I don’t feel like I’m mature enough either to be like that far, into a career and also be a mum. 

Carla: [00:02:58] I know. I still feel about 16, honestly. I really do. I look forward to my weekends, getting drunk out. Honestly, I don’t think I’ll ever grow up. So I totally know what you mean. Yeah. So Stephanie we both have, um, you’ve got your little girl Izzy and I’ve got George that were born around the same time.  Um, and that was a normal kind of textbook, I suppose, pregnancy for you? Um, yeah, every time when fairly smoothly with that one?

Stephanie: [00:03:31] She did. She was actually born on your wedding day. Wasn’t she?

Carla: [00:03:33] She was

Stephanie: [00:03:35] I was like, are you kidding me?

Carla: [00:03:41] It was crazy wasn’t it. 

 Stephanie: [00:03:43] Yeah. It was mad. It was like, Oh, I was, I was literally gutted. I sowanted to come to the wedding, but yeah. 

Carla: [00:03:52] Oh God. Could you imagine if you had it on that drive? So Stephanie lives down South and it must be like a four or five hour drive. And Stephanie is a twin as well. Sorry. I’m like telling everyone about yeah, but Stephanie, Stephanie is an identical twin, so she’s got a sister Emma and her mum actually was traveling somewhere when she went into labor with you two. So that could have very easily happened again.

 Stephanie: [00:04:21] Yeah that’s it. Yeah. They were going up to Scotland. Um, we, we were early, so we were like 32 weeks. So like you’d travel, if you were that pregnant, if you have a normal pregnancy, I mean, I had Izzy at 36 five, so, um, she is technically premature, but not like I could still have easily had another what four six. Six five, six weeks left of pregnancy, but she came a bit early, which, I mean, it was great because she was smaller. So I feel like, you know, 

 Carla: [00:04:53] yes, yes. Safe for the fairy. Yeah, no keep it all together. Yes. No I completely get that. Um, so on to, when you decided to start trying for another baby, so was that. Was that a decision that you made to start trying or did it just happen? 

 Stephanie: [00:05:15] Yeah, it was. So we knew that we wanted to have kids quite close together. Cause there’s five years between me and my younger brother and five years between Dan and, um, his younger sister. So we, we both were like, Oh, it’d be nice. If they were closer together, they might have more to like get on with. Um, so we very much wanted to have another one and we would have tried earlier. Um, but Dan had started his new jobs. So we want to take into account getting paternity leave. All, those sorts of things. It was very, very much planned and we fell pregnant really quickly, um, to our surprise. So it took a few months to fall pregnant with Izzy. And I think you just assume that it’s going to be the same for the next one. Um, so we were like, Oh, well, See what happens? Start trying. Now it could be a few months, second, baby, you just don’t know what’s going to happen. And we fell pregnant straight away. And, um, yeah. Amazing. And it’s funny isn’t because as soon as you see those lines, you feel so protective of that tiny little baby in there.

[00:06:17] Don’t you, you just feel like you don’t want to do anything. You don’t want to push too hard when you poo.You don’t want to do anything.

Carla: [00:06:24] Yeah, I totally get that. I know what you mean. It’s like, you just think what if they fall out? I

 Stephanie: [00:06:31] Don’t push too hard. 

 Carla: [00:06:34] I know that. Yeah. A hundred percent. Um, yeah. Oh no, totally. And as soon as you see those lines yeah. That’s it. Then you picturing your life as a family of four.

Stephanie: [00:06:45] Yeah. Completely. And you’ve got, I think because we had Izzy in my head, I had an idea of what my baby was going to look like. Wasn’t particularly bothered if it was a boy or a girl just kind of had this image of just the idea of a baby I had in my, my head. Obviously you don’t know what they’re going to look like but still when you imagine things like go going for a walk through the park, you can imagine that baby, that’s going to be in that sling while you’re running after your two year old type thing. And then, yeah, so it was kind of. Yeah, everything in my head was a certain way.

Carla: [00:07:22] Yeah. Yeah. I think, sorry, Stephanie. I know, I know what you mean with that. It’s um, you kind of just picture things and you don’t think of anything else getting in that way. And it’s just going to be babies going to be born then, and we’re going to go from walks and then we’re going to be doing this, that, and you picture it all. Don’t you it’s like when I was pregnant last time, I was like, Ooh. What kind of Christmas outfit could they wear? How old will they be? Three to six months. You know like all that kind of thing. 

 Stephanie: [00:07:54] How old is the eldest one gonna be when this baby’s born. Cause Izzy was early. I was kind of working out case if this baby is born at this time, this is when the birthdays will be apart from each other. Like, you’re just completely, like, I dunno, you just go into another world don’t you, you just do 

 Carla: [00:08:11] It is lovely. It really is a so nice. So you were obviously very happy after finding out that you were pregnant, so, Mmm. How. What’s the next, I mean, how was your pregnancy and tell us a bit about what happened during your pregnancy so we can gain a better understanding of, of your journey. 

Stephanie: [00:08:34] Okay. So, um, I had a very good pregnancy. I did have a tiny amount of morning sickness. I was sick twice. Um, once was whilst I was driving my friends back from a party. You could imagine. 

 Carla: [00:08:50] Was it the smell of alcohol that made you sick or? 

 Stephanie: [00:08:54] I don’t know what it was. I’d had. Um, probably a couple of drinks of, um, appletizer, you know, pushing the boat out.

Carla: [00:09:00] Yes, of course those bubbles.

 Stephanie: [00:09:03] I don’t know if it was that. Um, but we were driving home and we were getting to a roundabout and I was like, Oh my God, I’m going to be sick. And you know, when you’re like a massive roundabout, it’s like hard to stop and get out the car and be sick. So I continued driving and just vomited everywhere. Yeah so I was sick then and then I was sick one more time out of a car this time, a bit later on. So on the whole a really good pregnancy.

Carla: [00:09:28] Did they know you were pregnant then? I’m guessing

Stephanie: [00:09:32] Yeah.

Carla: [00:09:32] I was good to say that otherwise they’d be like, Oh my God, get out. She’s got a bug or something. 

Stephanie: [00:09:38] Yeah, so they’re my work friends. So at work, because we do a lot of x-rays and deal with a lot of stuff that probably shouldn’t be around pregnant people, people tend to know really early.

[00:09:49] Um, but I told these girls anyway, because, um, they’re part of my closest circle of friends so they knew, thank goodness. Cause could you imagine explaining why you produce that much vomit after drinking appletizer while you’re driving?

Carla: [00:10:05] I mean, that is that’s incredible. I remember when I was really sick with a bug actually, and I actually got in the driver’s seat, we were going on a long journey, but I actually started driving to kind of get my focus right. And I was never sick again, because that is actually meant to be better, you know? Like, do you have a focus? Yeah. Um, a focus on, um, I get quite travel sick. I think that might be why, but it’s, yeah, well, I don’t know, but it works for me. So that is quite quite something. Yeah. I would like to actually see a video of that. Be quite funny. So, so then obviously what stage were you at at pregnancy then? Were you under the 12 weeks?

 Stephanie: [00:10:46] So I was under 12 weeks. Um. So , part of me feels like this is kind of relevant to the story. Um, the, I around I think, seven weeks, this was before then that I was sick, but around seven weeks I was at work and, um, I was trying to be sick, but couldn’t be sick. And I didn’t feel great. So I got up to go and get help from the bathroom. Cause I was like, I can’t stay in this room on my own. Like only one person knows I’m here because I’d said, Oh, I’m just nipping out to toilet to who I was working with. And as I left, I, I got up and left the toilet and I fainted and I fainted right into the door at reception and straight onto the floor.

Carla: [00:11:33] Oh god.

 Stephanie: [00:11:34] Yeah. So it was, it was quite dramatic. And part of me is like, In hindsight, I’m like did that has something to do with, um, the baby. Did I knock the baby? Did I something happen with my blood pressure that made something go funny. Did I? Like what happened. But people do faint when they’re pregnant.

Carla: [00:11:54] I fainted with George. I didn’t know I was pregnant though, and I’ve never fainted in my life. So it’s a really weird thing. Have you fainted before then?

Stephanie: [00:12:04] I fainted before, but not like that, like I just went it just went black. 

Carla: [00:12:09] Oh, it’s horrible. It’s it’s very strange. Very strange situation. Yeah. So, Oh God, that would be something that play on your mind later. So tell us about going for that first scan that did you go for any early ones or was it just straight to the 12 weeks?

Stephanie: [00:12:25] Straight for the 12 weeks and the 12 week scan was absolutely fine. So we were, we were measuring perfectly, um, from what they could see, they could see everything, our dates were literally bang on what we thought they would be. Um, and we were just, booked in for our next 20 week scan. And from 12 weeks to 20 weeks, um, I was just. I just felt like you normal pregnant person there. So I don’t really like being pregnant because I don’t like how it makes you feel. So I was happily pregnant in the sense that I had a very healthy baby. Um, my bump was growing. I felt pregnant, which I think was a good sign. And my bump was expanding. 

 Carla: [00:13:07] Yeah. But emotionally inside. Oh God, I’m a right bitch. You know? During pregnancy. 

Stephanie: [00:13:14] Oh my god yeah.

 Carla: [00:13:15] Well, it’s like almost like I have them few days, like PMT. But being pregnant. It’s like, God, I honestly, I just can’t even smile. Even if I find something funny, I can’t even raise my lips. It’s really weird. So that might like run in the family actually. Um, so yeah, so everything else was good though. Other than poor Dan, like having to put up with your mood swings then?

Stephanie: [00:13:45] . Yeah. Yeah. And just feeling tired, you know? Yeah. Then we had our 20 weeks scan and we went in obviously absolutely fine. And we had a trainee sonographer. Um, so we had her and then she had the like, I don’t want to say proper sonographer, the like qualified one. 

Carla: [00:14:13] Yeah, I know what you mean.

Stephanie: [00:14:16] It was all going to get checked anyway. And I was like, that’s actually fine. I have no problem with students of any kind, doing anything. I just think like, that’s great. Cause that means things get looked over twice. And I remember her putting the probe on my belly and her going, Oh, I just love baby feet. And I remember seeing definitely one foot. Could kind of see the other foot, but he was moving. So I just didn’t really think anything of it. I just saw baby feet moving and it just makes you go well, gooey. Doesn’t it. When you see your baby in there you just, aww, there they are. So then they went on with the rest of the scan, um, head to toe, I can kind of pick out stuff on scans cause we do sound scans, um, at work on babies, so like head scans and stuff like that. So I quite like watching and picking things out.

[00:15:04] And I know roughly from my daughter what they were going to say and what they were looking for. And I could see that the baby had a brain. I could see that they’d had a heart that was ticking. They had a nose, they had eyes, they had a stomach. I could see all of that. I saw that they had four limbs. Um, and then that’s, as far as my thought process, went. To be honest. 

 Carla: [00:15:27] That’s all you look for. I mean, I wouldn’t even think to look for anything else cause that’s, yeah. It’s so hard to see on those scans too. Isn’t it really? To pick things out.

Stephanie: [00:15:38] Yeah. That’s it. And they scan in certain ways don’t they? So that they can get the picture that they want. It doesn’t always make sense what they’re looking at. And then they said, I can’t remember what they said, but they sent us on a walk to come back. And I didn’t think much of it because,

Carla: [00:15:53] Sorry, Stephanie just quickly. Did you find out the gender at this one as well? 

Stephanie: [00:15:58] No.

Carla: [00:15:58] Oh Right. Okay.

Stephanie: [00:16:01] I think because I was such a mess. We did get a scan where you could actually see we’ve got scan picture where you could actually see his willy.

Carla: [00:16:07] Oh, bless them. There you go. You didn’t want to know, but have a look at his penis. Yeah. Oh, so, so sorry, Stephanie, I’ve ruined the moment then that you’re saying. So, so they sent you away then did they?

Stephanie: [00:16:25] Yes. They sent us off for a walk because they wanted to get some more images. And with Izzy they’d said the same thing. Cause she wasn’t in a great position for them to check like her kidneys or something like that. So I didn’t really think anything of it. I just assumed baby wasn’t in a great, um, position to get all of the images. So when off for a walk and we came back and, um, We got into the room and it’s weird because you go in just like, Oh yeah, no, that’s cool. Let’s sit down and get your belly out. Um, for them to have a look. And she, I guess there’s no easy way to say it, but she just kind of said they can’t see one of the feet that you don’t think babies got. Mmm. Two whole feet, but they can see something. She said that. She is pretty sure that everything else looks okay. Cause limb differences can be associated with other problems that they can have. Um, kind of like genetic problems. They can have heart problems. They can have other things, um, kind of coexist with it. And she said she couldn’t see any of that. Um, and then she got the scanner out to show us the. The feet. And at this point I just completely broke down. I’ve never felt anything like that in my entire life.

[00:17:45] It was literally like somebody pulled the rug out from underneath you. Cause I just did not see it coming and it just it’s just got to me and I just cry. 

Carla: [00:17:57] Did you cry then and there then? Did you just straight away? 

Stephanie: [00:18:01] Straight away. And the first thing I said was, was it something that I done? Was it my fault? Because all I kept thinking was like, well, it was me. Like I was supposed to be protecting my baby. Nothing was supposed to happen to my baby. Um,  Like in that moment you flashed back. So I was like, I’d fainted. I, it was on antidepressants for postnatal, depression, and it can in very rare cases cause complications in some pregnancies.

[00:18:35] Um, I’d possibly been around gases at work where there’s no evidence that it affects a baby, but obviously it’s quite hard to, to test you test whether it affects, the baby or not. No pregnant woman’s going to be like, Oh yeah, just give me a woft of that and see what happens to my baby. 

Carla: [00:18:54] Exactly. Gosh..

Stephanie: [00:18:57] So like in that second, I was just like, Oh my God, is that my fault? And then. Because she couldn’t a hundred percent say that she was sure nothing else was wrong. I just was like, I don’t, I just did not know what to do with myself. I felt like an absolute failure. I felt like I had completely ruin this boys. Well, my babies life, before it even started, I’d already, he’s going to start on a back foot. He’s gonna not be the same as everybody else. And it’s like, I don’t know why I thought that because I don’t think anything less of other people like that, but I know that people can be cruel.

[00:19:45] Carla: [00:19:45] Yeah. I totally, know and  understand what you mean. Because like back to, rewind to what we were saying at the very start and you picture this image. And that it’s almost like you’ve lost that baby that you pictured and then you’ve got another one maybe, like you just didn’t picture that. 

Stephanie: [00:20:08] Yeah. 

Carla: [00:20:10] And it’s I mean, yeah. So how, how, I mean, did they, did they look into doing another scan straight way or?

Stephanie: [00:20:19] Yeah. So we were quite lucky because our scan was, um, the week leading up to, I think it was leading up to Christmas. Um, and. They so, so St. Peter’s where we had the, um, initial scan they link with, um, St George’s hospital to go for fetal medicine scanning, um, and stuff like that. So we, luckily I think the next day, or within a couple of days, we had an appointment for the next scan so that it would be done before Christmas, which I thought was really lovely. They’d literally, I think they’d squeezed us and or we were just  extremely lucky. So we went to the scan and I just remember feeling really deflated, like they were scanning me. And I remember just, not really feeling a lot, just, I dunno, just.

Carla: [00:21:14] Were you disconnected do you think from your bump then?

Stephanie: [00:21:18] I really think so. And I think the disconnect, like you said, kind of happens so quickly. That I didn’t really realize what it was. I just kind of just thought I didn’t really feel much better. I was protecting myself that actually it was going to be worse than we thought. So what’s the point of bonding what’s the point of like caring too much, if it’s going to be something worse.

Carla: [00:21:43] It shocks you though some news like that. And I think naturally you probably put your guard up a bit as well, like you say. 

Stephanie: [00:21:50] Yeah. No, definitely. 

Carla: [00:21:54] So. From there. Sorry, Stephanie, I keep interrupting you. I’m a nightmare for that. So please just shut me up, but carry on. 

Stephanie: [00:22:02] That’s all right. Um, so yeah, so then we went for the 20 week scan there and  obviously it’s quite a busy hospital. It’s a London hospital and the appointment was two hours late. So you could imagine you’re sat there like, Oh my God, I want to get this done. And I’m sat there thinking some people are here for their normal scans and some people are here because. They found something out, you know, when you’re just people watching. Yeah.I wonder if anybody’s in the same situation as us, um, and there was a slight chance that depending what they found, you might have to have an amniocentesis and stuff like this. So your head’s kind of like a wash with all this stuff. 

Carla: [00:22:41] Can I just ask  another question Stephanie how long was this? Sorry if you’ve already mentioned it from the last scan to this one. How long did you have to wait?

 Stephanie: [00:22:50] Only a few days maximum. 

Carla: [00:22:51] Right. And what were, what were you like in those few days? Just finding everything really difficult or did you just kind of get on with things?

Stephanie: [00:23:00] I just wanted to put Izzy to bed and then just go back to bed. I just really wanted to just be just by myself, watching TV, not thinking about it, just, you know, just kind of ignoring it in a way. 

Carla: [00:23:18] Yeah. And just being on your own and feeling sad on your own and not talking about it and yeah, just, just getting the, because you don’t know what’s going to happen. You didn’t know what on earth you were coming to. So that’s, that’s really difficult, even if it is only a couple of days thats a long, long time when you you’ve got something growing inside of you that you can feel and, you know, you just. Oh, God. Right. So sorry. Carry on. 

Stephanie: [00:23:45] Yeah.  So, so we had the scan and it was an extremely thorough scan. We had that we had like two or three people scan us. We had like the specialist, um, registrar, another doctor, and then the professor guy came in and he did a scan and, Mmm. Yeah, it was. Really good. They really thorough they were like a hundred percent. There’s nothing else wrong with him. It’s just as foot. They said that the only thing that we’d need to watch for is because they can’t tell which toe it is. Cause he’s got one toe. They don’t know which toe it is. It could, could have been the little or the big one. They thought it was a big one initially. Um, but they weren’t sure how his ankle would develop. So they said the only thing that might need to happen when he’s born or as he gets older. They’ll just have to look to see if the ankles formed properly. Cause if it’s not, they’ll have to fuse it so that he’ll, um, he’ll have a limp, basically where, he won’t be able to bend his ankle.

[00:24:44] Um, but they wouldn’t be able to tell us that until later, like until he was here basically. And then we were given a leaflet for like a charity to look into. And the charity you were given was called Reach, which is for upper limb differences. And it sounds good, but he’s got a lower limb difference. 

Carla: [00:25:12] Why would they have two different charities? Why wouldn’t it be all just one charity?

Stephanie: [00:25:18] I think it’s because, um, upper limb differences. So you can get quite a lot of like amniotic bands and things like that. Are more common from what, from what I’ve seen and what I’ve looked into and lower difference, differences aren’t so prevalent, but also upper limb differences are more obvious. So the lower limb differences, I don’t think they are, it’s been felt that they need as much support from that. Um, other lower limb differences do need more support. So there’s been more, more ones focused on that. Um, so it was kind of. I mean, I left with the leaflet and I didn’t look at it I wasn’t ready. It took me ages, took about two months I think for me to look.

Carla: [00:26:02] Oh my goodness. So how did you feel after this then? Did you feel like you could connect with bump again? Or were you still kind of in this? Were you still just not, not connecting.

 Stephanie: [00:26:13] Thats it, I just was not connected at all. And I did end up going to, so I was under a, the mental health midwife and a consultant for the postnatal depression, which probably was, um, a really good thing actually, because when, so they knew from my notes that this foot had been found. And I remember talking to, I think it was the consultant when I was having a checkup. And I remember saying to him, like, I just got to the point where I just don’t feel like I care about anything. Like I just do not care. And I was still working at the time. And I was like, there’s just a few moments where parents would say absolutely completely normal things. But normally I’d be like, Oh, you know, like, it happens. It’s hard to come here. And I just remember thinking, but I’m dealing with stuff as well. Like I know you’re dealing with stuff right now. But I’m dealing with stuff. And I think for the first time ever, I could not leave what was happening like at my house. And it was coming to work with me and I don’t think it affected my work, but my mindset was not right. So my doctor signed me off for two weeks because the consultant said, go and speak to your GP and see what they want to say,  and like what they want to do whether they want to add in different meds or like counselling or something like that.

[00:27:35] So I went to her and she signed me off and she felt that I very much just needed time. I just needed to just. 

 Carla: [00:27:43] Processing time. 

Stephanie: [00:27:45] Yeah.

 Carla: [00:27:46] But how do you get yourself to think and talk about something that you don’t really want to talk about? 

Stephanie: [00:27:52] You know what? That’s when this blog started. 

 Carla: [00:27:56] Oh, right. Yes. 

Stephanie: [00:27:58] I think one evening I just had all these words I wanted to get out and I started typing. And I remember feeling. It was almost like a therapy. Like I wouldn’t say I felt better, but I think I’d started to slowly unpick how I’d been feeling and how actually. You know what I’ve got healthy, baby. My baby’s got a funny foot. Actually. I can’t do anything until my baby’s here. Um, cause we didn’t, we weren’t given any extra scans or anything like that. So our 22 weeks scan was the last time that we saw the baby.

Carla: [00:28:34] Gosh. Yeah. 

Stephanie: [00:28:34] So there was nothing further. I had no idea how the baby was growing. I had no idea if the foot was going to be okay.  I just had no idea. So I kind of felt like I had to take it into my own hands. And I think as a way of feeling in control of how I was dealing with it, I started the blog. I started the Instagram and I started kind of posting and trying to reach out to people and looking up people because I didn’t want to go away and Google limb differences and about foot, I didn’t know what Google was going to tell me. I didn’t know what images I was going to see. And I was so scared that I was gonna, it wasn’t that I wasn’t gonna love my baby, but I wasn’t going to like my baby.

[00:29:18] I wasn’t going to like what I saw and I didn’t want images getting into my head. So I kind of

Carla: [00:29:25] Shut off from that side of things?

Stephanie: [00:29:27] Yeah. 

Carla: [00:29:29] You’d rather speak to someone that’s been through it and has a good story, you know, and positive kind of the story behind it. Wouldn’t you? Rather than Google. I mean, I don’t know about you, but I Googled cough this morning and apparently, you know, I’ve got, blooming’, I’m always doing this. So this is my problem. You know, I’ve got Coronavirus, you know, Oh I googled, I had a bad back before  I Googled that, I’ve got spine cancer, it’s ridiculous. The things you find on Google, I literally Googled the other day. I sent myself into a panic attack. I start thinking, right. I’ve got minutes to live, so do right not going on Google. And I think that’s a good choice. Um, so did you find, anyone that would be able to help with lower limb difference thEn? What you had been through? 

 Stephanie: [00:30:17] Not exactly what we’d been through. 

Carla: [00:30:18] Must be quite rare then Stephanie is it?

Stephanie: [00:30:22] Yeah, I think so. There’s no, there’s no statistics on it. Um, and when we eventually, so when he had one of his hospital appointments, when he, when he’d been born and we’d found the right specialist and stuff, um, he kind of threw out some, some statistics but he  kind of said that they’re not necessarily reliable because it’s limb difference as like a whole, it’s not. What you’re having to deal with. And the charity I found was Steps, which is for lower limb difference, but it focuses quite a lot on, um, so you can say like Talapies, club foot, um, and PFFD, which has to do with your femur and your tibial, something or other to do with, um, your tibia and fibia, and they’re ones that need operations or need physio or needs specialist input straight away. So on one hand we were extremely lucky cause we don’t need any of that. But then we were also left. I, well, I really was left in this place of, okay I’m not finding anything that’s relevant to what’s happening here. There’s nothing that I can kind of grasp onto to be like, okay, so he will walk or they will do X, Y, and Z to help him walk if he can’t walk or if he has to have his ankle fused. I couldn’t find anything, but the Steps charity was probably the beginning of muddling through and finding other people, because it is a lower limb difference. You kind of, through Instagram, mainly again, you could kind of search what you need to from like the hashtags and stuff or the things that they put up. You can click on it and it will lead you somewhere. So that was probably the most useful. But I can’t, I can’t say I found anything that it was like massively helpful. 

Carla: [00:32:21] No, I suppose you have to be your own detective don’t you sometimes? And it’s like, because it’s such a, um, a suppose it must be rare, obviously, if you can’t really see anyone else with, what Nate’s got, um, you know it must have been quite rare, which then makes it more difficult because you want to see someone with the same thing, but with their child running through a forest or, you know, and just, yeah. And like, you know, just, I suppose, its back to what you said before as well, it’s not just, it’s that, but then it’s also, you don’t want to be him to have, people talking about him or, you know, people, like you say, kids can be nasty and stuff like that, and that’s just your worst nightmare, isn’t it? Um, is having someone do that. So you started finding your way through these and did that make you feel better then? 

 Stephanie: [00:33:15] It did and it didn’t. I think, cause I was still pregnant at the time I still had this massive, massive, heavy feeling that I’m going to deliver the baby and something is going to be wrong. There’s going to be something that we would have missed, whether it was something physical, something obvious or something bizarre like genetic or metabolic. And I think, well, I’m a NICU nurse. I do have  a knowledge of things that you can’t pick up antenatally and it’s not until the baby’s born, that you can find out about these things. And I think in the back of my head, I just constantly thought he’s going to come out. There’s going to be something else wrong with him. There’s going to be something there. And I couldn’t, I couldn’t let go of that fear. And I think that really stopped me kind of taking on any of the advice and the bits that I saw that when I’ve gone back to later, actually there are bits that I could take out of it. It’s just at the time. I, I couldn’t, because I was convinced there was going to be something else wrong with him.

Carla: [00:34:18] I suppose with your background and everything that you’ve seen and heard and with your work. Sometimes that, that’s a bad thing because you, you know, more than you should. So someone else hearing that might be like, Oh, there’s nothing else wrong. And take that on. And, and that’s it. But, I know you’ve probably heard of situations where this kind of thing has happened, and that’s why you just don’t want to kind of get carried away with, it’s almost like you didn’t really want your brain to like, start thinking about future memories and stuff like that in case you then, it doesn’t happen again, because you’ve already done that once and, you know, and  in your head like that might not be the case.

 Stephanie: [00:34:58] Yeah completely.

Carla: [00:34:59] So maybe you were protecting yourself a little bit?

Stephanie: [00:35:04] Yeah, I think so. There’s definitely some subconscious bizarre thing that you do. Isn’t it? You go into like some bizarre survival, animal instinct type mode where you’re protecting yourself and you’re protecting the baby, but you’re not, it hasn’t gone to that emotional level. It’s just complete survival in a bizarre way, but not survival as in like a tiger. It’s just your sat protecting everything. 

Carla: [00:35:29] Yeah. You’re doing what you need to do growing your baby, looking after your baby. But may be like the rest of the time, not really, kind of trying to distance yourself from it, in case the worst, something worse did happen. And, you know, I totally totally get that. So, so how, I mean, so what, when did you actually start to kind of feel better about this, I suppose? Was that after birth or did you kind of have?

 Stephanie: [00:35:59] Yeah.

Carla: [00:36:00] Right. So was there anything you had to put in place for you when you did have birth? So you wouldn’t be alarmed if you did see anything or?

 Stephanie: [00:36:08] So the only, so I, I haven’t particularly had a birth plan with both my babies, but the only thing that I had on Nate’s one was when he’s placed on me, I just wanted to towel over him because I wanted to see his face. I didn’t want to see his foot first. Um, I just wanted to see him. I wanted to just see my baby. And then when I was ready, I was just gonna take the towel off and have a look at his foot. And that happened so that was great. So I had him on me and I was just taking him in and just when me and Dan were ready, we were like, okay, let’s take the towel off and have a look. And then actually it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, which it was a huge relief. Um, Because it wasn’t like in my head, it was like just some sort of weird obscure monster that it was just like, ugly.  Like, if you see a scary movie and you have those like weird people with teeth coming out of funny places and things like that in my head, it was similar to that. And then when it came out and it was literally a stump with a toe, it was almost like. Oh, it’s just a stump and a toe. 

Carla: [00:37:17] Do you think you built, I mean, I’m not saying obviously you didn’t know what to expect cause they couldn’t tell you, but do you think the longer you had to for your pregnancy, I mean, that’s pretty much half of your pregnancy that you were wondering in the back of your head, like what is it going to be like, what’s it going to do when it almost baby turned into a bit of a monstrous thing? Maybe the thought of it turned more like that than the actual, if you know what I mean?

Stephanie: [00:37:40] Oh, definitely. And like, I think, like we could have paid to have another scan and we could have paid to have, is it a 4D scan?

 Carla: [00:37:47] Oh yes. 

Stephanie: [00:37:49] But we didn’t. I think part of that was because I didn’t want it to be, I didn’t want to then have a realistic view of what it was going to be either. So it was kind of like a, it was a catch 22, like I could have had the scan, but then it could have equally have been not what I wanted to see. And then I’ve got that in my head until I have the baby and see it. And then if I didn’t have the scan, my imagination could go absolutely crazy until the baby’s born. And it was like, I didn’t know, which was the right one. And I kind of just felt that actually I don’t want to have the scan because I kind of felt like if you go and have extra scans, it’s meant to be a lovely experience isn’t it? You’re meant to be having this magical non-hospital scan and it wouldn’t have been that. It would have been for me, it would have been to see the foot. So it kind of,  it didn’t feel like the right thing to do.

Carla: [00:38:38] No, I know what you mean. Did you, find that when you had Nate then did you have any problem bonding with him straight away or did that urge, you know, that rush of love them straight away or did it take time?

 Stephanie: [00:38:55] Um, so I didn’t have that with either of them.

Carla: [00:38:58] I didn’t either to be honest with you, a lot of people talk about it and I think, I don’t know whether the making this up. Yeah. Like err its dirty, wash him.

Stephanie: [00:39:13] And they don’t look cute when they  just come out. They really don’t. You’re still waiting for like your after birth and things like that to come through aren’t you.

Carla: [00:39:22] Yeah. I didn’t know if that’s just me sometimes actually, cause everyone else kind of talks about this rush of love and I think maybe it was cause they took George away, but maybe it just doesn’t maybe it’s just doesn’t  happen to some people I’m not sure.

Stephanie: [00:39:35] I can honestly say I didn’t have it with either of them. At all. I was relieved that they were out. I would say it was more of a relief than a rush of love. Just a relief. Thank Christ. It’s over and they are finally here. 

Carla: [00:39:52] Yeah. Yeah. I’d be the same, I’d be the same. I mean with George, he was a C section, but after a birth. Oh my God. I’d be like, thank God. He’s here.  Get me a cheeseburger immediately.

 Stephanie: [00:40:05] That’s it. Give me a rest, give me a shower. I feel filthy. 

 Carla: [00:40:11] Yeah. Oh no. So, what  happened over the next couple of days then? Did you have to stay in longer? Or how did that work? 

Stephanie: [00:40:19] So we had to stay in because he was born at 35 plus five. We had to stay in for 24 hours anyway, cause he was technically premature, which I think it was actually really good because, um, I had quite a lot of, kind of worry about like breastfeeding, just from how it went with Izzy. And I had a lot of, kind of just worry in general, like I was quite just anxious, I think at the time. And I stayed in for a couple of days longer than I should have cause I asked to. Um, and the only thing that we had to do was following the baby check, um, was to have an X Ray done of his foot. Um, which was fine. Um, we went and did the x-ray and then I think we went home that day, actually. So it was the last thing that we did. So that the X-ray was purely for a marker. Um, so that if they did subsequent x-rays, they could compare. But also when we, we’re supposed to be seeing the specialist they’d also have an X Ray, and if they wanted to do another one, they could do another one and have something to market against.

[00:41:28] Um, so we just left like normal. We had  just your normal aftercare of like your midwives and your health visitors and stuff like that. Um, they did actually talk about the foot. So it wasn’t like a taboo thing. It was very much like, um, so what’s happening with his foot. Like it was very much an active conversation, which was quite nice. So it was almost like, it was very much just part of being his mum. Um, and then we had, it took us a long time to get to the right, um, specialists. Our first appointment was back at George’s with plastics and orthopaedics I think ? But they deal with a lot of, um, Like four foot  and like four fingers and stuff, and Nate’s only got one of those. So they basically said he’s, he’s not really got the right bits for us to do anything with. So we’re like, right. Okay. So then they referred us back to, um, I don’t even know who the referred us back to, but we ended up going back to St. Peter’s and whatever we were booked in for was completely the wrong thing, but the doctor was absolutely amazing.

[00:42:36] So we were a booked in for a hip scan, which he did not need. He wasn’t breached, there was no issues with his hips. Um, but the guy was like, okay, so I don’t know why you’re here. So do you want to tell me what’s going on? And, me and Dan were just like, Oh, okay. Yeah, we were in the wrong place, but he did the hip scan. Cause he was like your here. I’m going to do it anyway. The hips are going to be fine, but let’s do a hip scan. So I was like, okay, great. And then I was talking to him and I was saying, um, because I’d spoken to a couple of the consultants at work about it kind of just every now and again, I’d be like, so my baby’s got a bit of  their foot missing, like, what could it mean, do I need to be worried type thing? So they knew, um, about it. And then, um, I kind of a name dropped in the appointment. I was like, Oh, so I’ve spoken to a couple of consultants at work because I kind of wanted to. I dunno like use maybe the extra like umph that I had, cause I work at that hospital. 

Carla: [00:43:41] Yeah like the authority almost like, kind of. 

 Stephanie: [00:43:45] Yeah. Connections or whatever. So I was like, Oh, type thing. And I think he would have done it anyway. And he was like, you know what? I’m going to message my friends. They work at I think I work at the Royal national orthopaedic hospital in London. There’s two hospitals, there’s one in London and one’s in Stanmore. I’m going to email her for you and find out what we’ve got to do, because he was like, at the end of the day, you still need to see somebody, it needs to be the right person.

Carla: [00:44:11] It seems like a lot of back and forth. Isn’t it?

Stephanie: [00:44:15] So much.

 Carla: [00:44:16] Its so unfair because it’s like, you just,  they had a long time, like during your pregnancy to kind of, you know,  work out what’s going on, you think it would be the forefront of, you know,  when he was born, like, right. Okay. This is what we’re going to do. We’re going to monitor it till then, then blah, blah, blah. This could happen. This could happen, but you still didn’t have, those answers.

Stephanie: [00:44:36] No, that’s it. And I think, like you said earlier, like maybe it is really rare and, maybe it is that rare that actually they haven’t encountered this before in their lifetime career at the hospital. So actually, how do you know who you send them on too? You send them on to the orthopaedics and surgeons at your link hospital. And that’s what they did, which was probably the right thing to do, but actually. I dunno. 

Carla: [00:45:01] I think there’s at the hospital, something I found, I mean, only through my last few years there, it sometimes feels like there’s no way kind of communication between the two people. I mean, when I went in, um, and my mum had had a stroke. Um, I went and I explained the whole thing to one of the nurses. And then, I mean, there were amazing at the hospital, but then she was moved somewhere else and then they didn’t know really what was going on or where she was up to that she had a fever only a few hours ago and I had to then explain it all again. I just never understand why they don’t just have one computer system where all the notes go on and everyone can access it. And they just know, because sometimes it worries you because I think if you’re not there telling them. And they need to do something. How on earth are you going to get anything done?

Stephanie: [00:45:51] That is and like, I mean, do you not read the notes before people come to the appointments or  do the secretaries not read what comes through and go to actually, they’re not supposed to be here. Let’s figure out what we can do. Like. Oh I dunno like I work in the NHS and that is one of our biggest flaws. And it is because there isn’t a right system for it because there isn’t one that exists yet. And everywhere, even in the same network, use different systems and its mind boggling. You just kind of think, Oh my goodness, making this harder for ourselves than we need to.

Carla: [00:46:20] And it’s unfair on all the nurses and all the doctors that are doing such an amazing job. But  there’s no where for them to kind of refer to. So it almost seems like they don’t know what’s going on, but then it ends up like annoying other people. But  it’s not their fault. It’s just needs one kind of system. Anyway. That’s a totally different subject now.

 Stephanie: [00:46:40] Thats a different conversation. 

 Carla: [00:46:42] Yes. Yes. But so tell, so what happened from there then Stephanie? 

Stephanie: [00:46:49] So he, he emailed his friend, his colleague, friend, whatever is to that’s what they are to each other. And she was like, no, you need to go to this hospital. So then we were referred to the Royal national orthopaedic hospital in Stanmore. And, um, We were half at the right place. So were at the right hospital, but under the wrong team. So we actually, I’m not even gonna say the wrong team actually. So he was a surgeon, he was an orthopaedic surgeon for limb differences. And we had to have X rays when we got there. And then he saw us and he was like, look, you don’t need surgery. I’m going to refer you to so and so, so actually. We probably could have bypassed him because actually probably like he didn’t need surgery. I think that had probably been assessed previously I can’t remember. And, um, then from him, we were then referred to just the orthopaedic people. And then we were finally in the right place. We actually finally spoke to the right person and actually him and the surgeon, we saw previously had a joint consultation that day for whatever reason. And we were part of that list. So we saw the surgeon again and, um, this other guy and he had to look at him and they were so positive. And so like good. And they were like, yeah, he will definitely walk. He’ll definitely do this, he doesn’t need surgery. 

 Carla: [00:48:14] That is all you are waiting to hear. Isn’t it? 

Stephanie: [00:48:17] Completely. And it was like, he’ll probably need insoles in his shoe or orthotics we will refer you to orthotics. I was like, okay, great. And I was like, do we need physio or anything? Cause obviously his foot and his leg work differently. And like his left leg is skinnier than the right leg, because there’s less of your toes and all your muscles and things. And they were like, no, he doesn’t need a physio. And I was a little bit cheeky to go and get some physio. You know, I’ve got connections, so yeah. 

Carla: [00:48:45] Well that’s handy isn’t it. Yeah exactly. No, that’s amazing. Oh, and how old was Nate then, then when you got told this?

Stephanie: [00:48:54] He was probably. Between six and nine months old. 

Carla: [00:48:58] Jesus Christ. It’s like the longest time. It’s like a whole pregnancy plus half. Until you actually got what you were looking for.

Stephanie: [00:49:08] Yeah. Just knowing we were in the right place. And just knowing that we were, we had somebody that we could ring if we had any concerns or if we need to see somebody.  And yeah, it was so nice to it’s so nice now to have that one place. I mean, it’s an hour away, it’s not local, but we still have that one place and they were, they were quite good. Cause I said, could it be genetic kind of thinking forward to, if Nate goes on to have children, would it be something that he’d want to know? And then I kind of, they were like, yeah, you could get genetics done you’d have to go through your GP. Um, it might be worth doing type thing. It could just be, it’s a congenital anomaly. It’s just one of those things that happen, but it could be because of a genetic thing. Um, and I think because I sat on it too long or long enough, I got to the point when I thought, actually it’s not going to change anything and I’m going to end up making my baby, have a blood test, which isn’t nice. When hes fine in every other sense, it’s just his foot.

[00:50:14] And actually when he’s old enough, we can have this conversation again and he can decide if he wants to have genetics and I thought, actually, why am I taking that responsibility on I don’t need too.

Carla: [00:50:24] Exactly. Because this is just something else that you’d end up worrying until he’s like, you know, 25 or whatever. And he says, mum, I’ve met a girl and then you’ll be like, Oh shit. Like, you know, like you don’t want to think about that. Think about the here and now and enjoy the here and now, like he he’s doing amazingly. So, so tell us where Nate is  up to now then. Cause it’s amazing. 

Stephanie: [00:50:50] So he is now two. He took his sweet time of his milestones. So he didn’t walk until he was 17 months. So walking is still quite new. He, um, he has his shoes. He loves walking. He loves running. He plays football with his sister and actually he stands on his little foot and kicks with his big foot, which I think is amazing. So all his balance goes on his little foot. Um, he we’ve done swimming. There’s nothing different about him at all. Um, he’s not really noticed his foot either he is too young, I think, but even his sister, I think because that’s Nate’s feet, it’s just what i, what it is. That hasn’t even come up at all. So he’s absolutely brilliant. He’s amazing. He’s developmentally where we should be, all be it he was a bit lazy at the beginning, but Hey, he’s made up for it now. Yeah. He’s, he’s great. 

Carla: [00:51:52] That’s amazing. So, Stephanie, if, if any other parents are listening or parents to be listening who have had a similar diagnosis, limb difference, upper limb, lower limb, you know, it’s, you know, it’s difficult. It’s a, it must be a very difficult time. What, where would you send them, uh, you know, obviously I’d send them to your blog to have a read about how you felt. Cause I thought that was really, really good and your blogs great. But where else would you send them and what advice would you give them?

Stephanie: [00:52:24] I think the first advice would be, you know what, just, just sit in your pit for a little bit, take it on. I think there’s a lot of pressure these days to, right let’s get up and move on and my baby’s otherwise fine. Let’s get up and move on. Like, let’s get over this. It would be fine, but actually. You know what sit in it, feel it and take on how you feel, because actually you need to work through that. Um, and I did go on and have, um, counseling. Probably a year after he was born or so, and that really helped because actually, I don’t think I was really accepting how I felt. And I think I’d really recommend people just accept it, like, accept that you feel really shit about it because you know what it is a little bit shit. 

Carla: [00:53:11] And it is okay to say that. I think people are so scared to say, because I think it’s because we’ve talked about all these different things now and, you know, there’s the stories of,  you know baby loss and lots of different things. But everyone has a right to feel sad and their situation, no matter what it is, Oh, God, anything at all? You know, I think people need to just accept if they feel sad and not think, Oh, well, their situation’s worse. Cause I I’ve done that a lot with, with some things I’ve been through and I’ve thought, how can I feel sad when they’re going through that? And that I don’t think that has helped me. And I think it’s just dealing with your own, dealing with your own shit is the way I’d like to say it really. Um, and just, you know, it hurts and things hurt things, upset you, and it might not be, as, you might not think it’s as bad as them, but you know, you still as sad as they are. It might just be a different situation. 

Stephanie: [00:54:10] Thats it. It’s a huge thing that you do compare because actually. What’s four toes in the grand scheme of things. But actually at that moment in time, those four toes were everything that was bits missing of my baby. And actually. That  hurt me more than it hurt him, but actually I needed to let myself feel that, and I’ve let myself feel that now. And I actually don’t feel like it’s my fault or guilty about it anymore, but I still do every now and again, because you do worry and that obviously school is going to be a whole new thing and I’m sure. If anybody picks on him, I’m going to be like, Oh my God, it’s my fault he’s like this people are so cruel to him. If only he’d had his four toes they wouldn’t be picking on him, actually that’s a lie. People pick on people for everything. So I need remind myself it’s not your fault chill about it.

Carla: [00:55:00] Honestly. Absolutely. I mean, I remember at school boys called me pancake. Because I had no boobs. You know, I was wearing a school shirt I was even  wearing two padded bras right. And they still knew. So I think, I mean, not that it’s acceptable. But, you know, you do get picked on for everything. I remember also like, God, I’m not bringing this back to me just to make you feel better. I mean, my mum wouldn’t let me shave my legs. Right. For years and you know what our family’s like their very dark. So my hairs are really dark and if it rained at school. I used to almost cry because that meant the black hairs were like stuck to my leg. I’d just be like noooo not today. Anyway. Uh, and yeah, obviously people picked up on that as well. So, you know, you do get picked on for anything and I think you know, there’ll always be people out there like that, but I think the most important thing is just. You know, bringing them up to be, you know, stand his ground and, you know, don’t care, you know, there’s, there’s always some thing. . Some people are just bloody nasty, but hopefully, I think the bullying and things like that in schools now, I think there are a lot more on top of it. Than they were, when we younger. 

Stephanie: [00:56:19] Yeah, I think it is better than it was. And I think they have like school, like people they can talk to at school. Who’s not a teacher, but somebody different so that it can kind of come across those, like they can talk about these things and kind of talk about the things that they wouldn’t necessarily talk to a teacher about just somebody about. So I think, I mean, it’s probably a different day and age for him to be born with a difference. I mean, I didn’t know anybody at school with a difference. So other people have, and actually the more I’ve spoken about it, the more people know people who have had it. And actually, maybe it is more common than I give it credit for. It’s just, I don’t know people.

Carla: [00:56:56] But maybe you never looked for it.  Sometimes I think when something happens and you’re more then aware and you look for it more. But when it doesn’t happen, you don’t actually notice it because you’ve never had to think about it. Do you know what I mean? 

Stephanie: [00:57:15] Yeah, definitely. Like it’s never come into to your thought processes ever before. Yeah. That’s so true, actually. So, so yeah, I guess. For advice, just kind of just wallow in it, but then build yourself up the way that you need to. And actually, if you don’t want to look for help and advice, don’t look for help and advice. Don’t make people feel like you have to, but if you do need to for lower limb differences, you’ve got the charity Steps and Find your Feet.

[00:57:47] Um, and for upper limbs, you’ve got Reach and The Lucky Fin Project. The Lucky Fin Projects based in America, and they’ve got a huge following. So going on their Instagram, it’s amazing to have a look through actually like they do like summer camps cause obviously it’s American. So it’s like summer camps and stuff like that, which is absolutely amazing. So all these kids with limb differences can all meet up together and just feel normal. Because I had imagined there’s some instances where they don’t get to feel normal, which is sad. Isn’t it? But yeah, it’s absolutely amazing. And then, um, Instagram, I’ve kind of, I’ve got four mums who I think. I think I’ve had the most kind of like connection with like, not as  in we’ve messaging each other or whatever, but when I see them and things that they talk and write about, I think they talk, write about it so amazingly. And so normally that actually it’s just a small part of their life. Like they’ve got this whole other life and then the limb difference is so small. So, um, you’ve got the thrifty Yorkshire mum whose little girl has PFFD, um, which is where your femur is smaller and actually has wasn’t picked up antenatal, so it was when she was born, she found out. So her first blog about is really interesting. It’s a really good read about kind of like the shock. Um, but she does say how, because she didn’t know, about it antenatally she really enjoyed her pregnancy and actually once the baby was here, you’ve just got to deal with it type thing.

 Carla: [00:59:23] Yeah. I suppose that’s a good way sometimes. Isn’t it not knowing.

Stephanie: [00:59:28] No, and yeah, I just really, I mean, her Instagram’s lovely anyway, and her kids are stunning and her little girl with PFFD is so cute and she’s, she’s walking now, so they’re going through like the shoes you get raises for them. So she’s had like really cute sandals and things like that made with an extra wedge so she can have like matching shoes and stuff.

Carla: [00:59:47] Oh, that’s so cute. 

Stephanie: [00:59:50] Yeah. Go and have a look.

Carla: [00:59:52] I will. 

Stephanie: [00:59:53] Yeah. And then you’ve got mamaizzo whose, she’s a mum of four boys. Um, abs like insane. Amazing. Um, but one of her, I think her third kid, he has talapies, um, club foot. So it’s her story of, um, that, and actually she, her little boy he’s gone on, I think he’s had genetic testing for some stuff. Cause talapies as well can be linked to genetic things. So she’s got an absolutely wonderful huddle of boys that she lives with. Like, they’re just so cute. And it goes through like his boots and bar and stuff like that. And, um, but he’s walked and crawled just like all of  his brothers and stuff. So that’s another one that I’d recommend.

[01:00:42] And then, um, Vanessa Mcleod  who she’s from America and her daughter was born with, um, short arms and short legs, like no hands and feet. And I think it’s no hands and feet have to double check, but she, um, had a really awful antenatal period, um, of being told that her, um, Like by specialists and stuff for that she shouldn’t carry on with this pregnancy and things like that. Absolutely awful. And then she went on to have this little girl who is absolutely stunning. And even though she hasn’t got like hands or lower arms, she can still like, hold a cup and drink her drink and things like that. She’s absolutely incredible. And they’ve had quite a bit of input with, um, what they’re called. Uh, occupational therapist of having special adaptions for like your baby walker and stuff like that. So she’ll be able to fit in a normal baby walker, but just with this adaption so she can still do normal baby stuff. That’s incredible. And then another one orlandocyborgashley so this is a couple, this is absolutely amazing.

 Carla: [01:01:50] I’ll put these links in our notes anyway, so people can find them as well. 

Stephanie: [01:01:56] Yeah. So she, this is a couple, both of them have got limb differences. Um, and they’ve just had a daughter who has no limb differences, but they’re adults and they’ve got like modelling profiles and things like that. They’re an absolutely lovely couple. And it, she even is showing things how even with, so she’s got, um, One arm. Um, she’s got up to the elbow and it’s how she like changes a nappy or how she does this. And it kind of shows you like any mum, who’s got a baby that has maybe got an upper limb difference or lower limb difference. It’s going through, like, this is how I change a nappy, this is how I did it normally this is how I put on my baby carrier. Like it just goes through all the absolute normal stuff and how actually it is not inhibited them at all. Considering they’re both parents with limb differences its not affected how they can parent. And it’s like, I mean, I know sound really passionate, but I just really feel like it’s really opened my eyes to the fact that actually, like, it is simply a difference, like how you’ve got blue eyes and I’ve got Brown eyes.

 Carla: [01:02:57] Exactly

 Stephanie: [01:02:58] It’s nothing. And I watched these people and it just fills my heart with joy and obviously like one of my worries is that somebody, like, will Nate get married? Will somebody be able to accept his difference? Cause everybody wants this Instagramable beautiful boy or beautiful woman.

Carla: [01:03:16] He is a beautiful boy.

Stephanie: [01:03:18] He is a beautiful boy. But you do think people think he’s really cute, then I’ll see his foot and they’ll be like, Oh, and like, that fills me with fear,  that that might happen. But actually you’re looking at these families and all you’re seeing is normal families with normal kids. And their kids are gonna grow up and have wonderful relationships. And you’ll find other people on there on Instagram, especially who are, um, young adults who are in absolutely lovely relationships and their partners are not bothered, but actually it’s. I mean people dis um, social media, but just makes me feel more relaxed just to be like, actually, yeah, people do love each other for each other. Not because of how they look it’s for who they are. And it’s just refreshing that reminding that.

Carla: [01:04:02] Yeah. I think it’s who you kind of surround yourself with on social media or a lot of it, to be honest with you, because you do get the, um, you know, not dissing it. I’ve used a few filters I must admit now and again, uh, but you know, you get these filtered lives of perfection and you know, and I’m, I’m very much more interested in the other side of it, you know, the, uh, the messy, the house being a shit hole, you know, that actually makes me feel better. So I surround myself with people that are more like me. Uh, I’ve unfollowed  quite a lot of people. I mean, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with those kinds of pictures. It’s lovely. But when you’re inundated with them you start to question whether your  kind of doing a good job and stuff. So I think it’s good to have a mix. Good. To have a mix of nice, pretty images and you know, kids having Weetabix for tea and McDonald’s three times a week. That reassures me that it’s all right. Cause George we’ve had it twice. So it’s Okay. Yeah. So.

 Stephanie: [01:05:15] It definitely is. 

Carla: [01:05:15] It definitely is. So Stephanie, can you tell our mums, dads, whoever is listening to this, um, where they will be able to find you if that’s okay?

Stephanie: [01:05:26] Yep. So on Instagram I’m as, a farm and a baby, and I’ve got a blog on Blogspot, again, under a farm and a baby, and you can find us on Facebook as well. Um, you can just message me on that. If you need anything to talk about, I’ve had a few messages from people and just general chit chat and actually thats all we are there for, I just want to be a person that you can speak to. So yeah, come and find us in those places. If you need someone to have a chat with.

Carla: [01:05:54] That’s amazing, Stephanie, and I’ll put all those links in the, in the show notes. So thank you very much, Stephanie anyway, for coming on, it was lovely having to catch up with you, my lovely cousin, um, and I will speak to you soon. 

[01:06:08] Thank you so much for listening to this week’s episode of 50 shades of motherhood, I thoroughly enjoyed it. And I hope you guys did too. If you are enjoying the podcast so far, which I really hope you are. And if you’ve got this far, why are you still listening? If you don’t? But, I would absolutely love you to subscribe and leave me a little rating. It means the world to me, and also helps me out massively, especially when I go to Danny, tell him that I’m going to be doing series two fingers crossed. So I look forward to speaking to you next week and keep an eye on the Facebook page on Instagram. So you know who the next guest is, if you will absolutely love it. I know it.

[01:07:05] This podcast is sponsored by my bump 2 baby family protection and legal directory. Being a parent is such a minefield. It’s so difficult deciding who to select when it comes to financial advice or family law solicitors. My bump 2 baby works with one trusted financial advisor and one trusted family law, solicitor in each town throughout the whole of the UK. To find your nearest advisor or family law, solicitor, head over to  www.mybump2baby.com/familyprotectionlegal.

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