#coolmumclub: Meet the Members…Little Hearts Big Love

Welcome back to edition three of #coolmumclub: Meet the Members. This week, we say hello to Louise George (@liquoriceuk), a blogger in the #coolmumclub community who is a little bit special to me. Louise was one of the first bloggers I personally connected with as a newbie, and I’ve been avidly following her story ever since. Every blog has its pull – some make me laugh, some give me great advice, some make me feel less alone…Louises blog makes me remember why it’s the little things that matter, and her simple yet moving, filled with love posts always warm my cockles. Louise is raising awareness for congenital heart defects, which is just one of the reasons you should definitely follow her blog, and twitter feed. Although, you, like three thousand and thirty two others, probably already are. 

Enjoy. x MMT

I’m Louise…

..Mum to two beautiful little girls – four-year-old Jessica and two-year old Sophie. Jessica was born with a congenital heart defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome which basically means that she lives her life with half a working heart. Her heart condition was diagnosed at the 20 week scan and we were told shortly afterwards that it was so severe that she would almost certainly not be suitable for surgery. We prayed for a miracle whilst also trying to come to terms with knowing that our time with our daughter was likely to be very brief. We were incredibly fortunate to be offered the chance to have pioneering in-utero surgery when I was 28 weeks’ pregnant, which helped give Jessica a better chance of survival. She amazed the doctors by how well she was when she was born and continues to be our little miracle today – to watch her running around and living life to the full is something I am so incredibly thankful for. So far she has had three open-heart surgeries and will need more as she gets older. At the moment, we anticipate that her next surgery is likely to take place sometime in 2016.

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My journey as a blogger

I started a blog while I was pregnant with Jessica to help keep our friends and family informed about her progress. I found blogging about our journey very cathartic, especially throughout the uncertain and scary moments in the journey – during my pregnancy and during those times in hospital when she was recovering from surgery. Jessica’s blog was, and still is, very much focused on her journey and her story as she grows older. After our second (and thankfully heart-healthy) daughter Sophie arrived two years later though, I found myself wanting to have a space where I could reflect on my own journey as a heart parent and share some of Sophie’s milestones as well as Jessica’s.

When I first started the blog that would evolve to become Little Hearts, Big Love, I had no idea that there were so many other parenting blogs out there. It was just my space to unload and to reflect but as I started blogging more regularly, I discovered linkies and a whole blogging community. A wonderful, supportive and friendly community and one that I am so proud to be a part of.

The name Little Hearts, Big Love was chosen to reflect both the loving family aspect of my blog, but also the heart family side. The logo – three small red hearts and one blue one interlinked – represents my family. The three red hearts are me, my husband and Sophie. Jessica’s heart is blue because she has a cyanotic heart condition.

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Raising awareness of congenital heart defects

One of the main aims of my blog is to share my journey as a heart parent and to help raise awareness of congenital heart defects. My most popular post ‘What it means to be a heart parent’ describes some of the fears, feelings and experiences that are part of our lives as a heart family.

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Sharing our experiences as a heart family also helps us to reach out to other heart families. Throughout our journey, we have met and made contact with so many heart families. Being able to share our fears and experiences with those who have travelled a similar journey and understand what this road is like has helped us hugely and gave us so much hope in the early days. I hope that through sharing our story, we can help other families too. I run a monthly linky on the blog called Heart to Heart which encourages other heart families to share their stories, helping to build a small community of heart parent bloggers who can help support and encourage each other.

I am also passionate about raising awareness of congenital heart defects and how early detection can help improve outcomes for many babies. I know that had Jessica’s heart condition not been detected at her 20 week scan, she would not be here today and it is scary to know that of the 1 in 100 babies who are born with a congenital heart defect, a third go home from hospital after birth with their heart condition undetected . Hopefully by helping to make others aware of what questions to ask during the scan and what things to look out for after their babies are born, this figure can be reduced and more babies’ lives can be saved.

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Sharing parenting moments

Although raising awareness of congenital heart defects and our journey as a heart family is a big part of my blog, most of my posts just document the day to day moments of being a mum to two small children – including posts on days out, crafts and reflections on parenthood. I host the “From the mouths of babes” linky every Monday which is all about sharing the funny, embarrassing or just plain adorable things that children say and love reading all the posts that people share with this. I also have an occasional series running on the blog called “Parenting Pep Talk” which is all about sharing the positive moments of parenting  – if anyone would like to take part in this, please let me know!

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Thank you Mum Muddling Through for letting me share my blogging journey so far on #coolmumclub and I look forward to finding out more about the other cool mums over the coming weeks.

If you’re interested in following me on social media, you can find me here:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/liquoriceuk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/liquoriceuk

Instagram: http://instagram.com/littleheartsbiglove/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/liquoriceuk/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/+LouiseGeorge/posts

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