Thanks for clicking through to my campaign page. I'm Tannice Hemming, 32 and I live in Bearsted in Maidstone. Describing myself is hard but the most important thing that describes me presently is 'mother of 2 under 3'.
I've got two beautiful children - Sienna, born Feb 2016 and Rousseau, born March 2018.
At 35 weeks of pregnancy with Rou, I was rushed to hospital. He and I, it turned out, were at serious risk from blood clots in my lungs. Both lungs. There are a lot. It's called Pulmonary Emboli (PE) and it's often fatal if untreated. We were, of course, lucky to survive, but we were in Pembury hospital for 8 long days on and off oxygen. Sienna was away from both parents for 5 days, cared for by my parents.
PE can take quite a while to recover from. I've been told 3 months. Another doc said 6. The last one I saw said there was no way of knowing. It's fatiguing and quite disabling when it comes to tolerance of much activity. I won't bore you with all the symptoms but it's not the kindest condition to recover from and whilst it didn't kill me, it didn't make me any stronger either. That saying is rubbish.
At 38+4 weeks, Rousseau was born. It was a hard time, having planned a home birth in the water. He was breech and so, for various reasons, the only option was Caesarian. The prospect of a Caesarian terrified me and was my 7th surgery. I'm not put together properly, it turns out. Most surgeries have been extractions of things that shouldn't be there. Like polyps in my womb and nose, cancerous cells in my cervix... gall stones and a cystic hygroma in my neck we initially suspected was lymphoma. Most things they remove from me I never see. I've never had to take care of, breastfeed and change nappies for anything that had previously been surgically removed. That would be weird. Having overall poor health is what prompted me to have the kids so close in age - I desperately wanted a sibling for my wonderful daughter.
So back to why I need your help: the anticoagulant medication I take complicates healing in general, so I'm far from the best physical condition, the previous problems notwithstanding.
Whilst excruciatingly painful for me to ask, I need money. I need help to pay people to come to my home and assist me with childcare, personal care and to support me in general as I recover from a really serious illness, surgery and a generally unfortunate series of events. Some of those events and general lack of support has lead to my son also needing lots of medical intervention and hospital admission. As I write, we're about to leave Medway Maritime hospital where Rousseau has had, over 3 days; 4 horrid blood draws, a second tongue tie revision, after the first at 6 days old, a liver ultrasound (fine) and a hilarious urine sample resulting in a sea of yellow poo all over both parents.
Rousseau is currently exclusively breastfed. It's literally the only thing keeping me going right now and it's what I really, really want.
I have found two incredibly wonderful people to assist me. They deserve to be rewarded with a good rate of pay for the varied tasks I ask of them. From walking the dog to listing stuff on eBay to sell, right through to changing beds, washing pump parts or watching CBeebies with Sienna while baby and I sleep, I need assistance to take good care of myself, as well as my two kids, even if I wasn't breastfeeding.
Sadly the organisations who should be helping me seem instead to be throwing up barriers despite crying out for help since before I left hospital whilst still pregnant.
I'd really appreciate any help anyone could afford to help me to care for my babies and have enough time to heal. Rest and recovery from major abdominal surgery is hard enough without EBF a newborn, looking after a 2 year old (they don't call it the terrible twos for nothin'!) and recovery from PE requiring industrial levels of anticoagulant medication that complicates healing... and itchy, agonisingly painful ankles so swollen they won't bend from suspected post thrombotic syndrome or fit in to many shoes... the list goes on!
Much love in advance of your kindness... embarassedly yours,
- Mummy to two wonderful children
- Pulmonary Emboli survivor
- dedicated volunteer breastfeeding peer supporter
- Campaign Director, Keep Kent Breastfeeding and founder of keepkentbreastfeeding.org and FB.me/KeepKentBF
- lover of Dr Pepper - the best doctor around!