Sunday, 13 August 2017

Strepelle Review-A Test For Group B Streptococcus

 
 
I first became aware of strep b whilst pregnant with Eliot back in 2013. With it being my first pregnancy and experiencing a couple of scares I was an anxious expectant mum and read up on everything I could.
If you're not sure about group b strep and what it can mean for your baby here's why Strepelle advise on taking the test...
 
'Most pregnant women who carry GBS bacteria have healthy babies. However, there is a risk that GBS can pass to your baby during childbirth, creating serious and life threatening complications or causing lifelong disabilities'.
 
Knowing that group b strep could be potentially life threatening to my baby, towards the end of my pregnancy I asked my midwife about it and was told there was no testing. I was not aware of any self testing kits available at that time, so at that point I had to hope for the best!
As it turned out I ended up needing IV antibiotics every four hours whilst in labour with Eliot as my waters were the first thing to go and he wasn't delivered within 24 hours, which meant he was more susceptible to infection. If group b strep was present without my knowledge, the antibiotics obviously protected Eliot.
 
During my second pregnancy I was aware Strepelle was available to do a home test so when the opportunity arose to try it out and review I of course said yes. Even though I have felt much less anxious during my second pregnancy, group b strep has still been something that was on my mind and I had been thinking about purchasing Strepelle.
 
You can do the test at home from 35 weeks of pregnancy. You're advised to do the test and post it between a Monday and Thursday so your sample doesn't lose strength over the weekend period. I took samples and posted on a Wednesday when I was 35+4, I'd read a couple of other reviews by bloggers which I found helpful before I read the instructions in the kit.
 
 
The kit contains two sealed swabs & tubes, instructions, a form to fill out with your details and a stamped, addressed envelope bag to send your samples back to be tested in the lab. 
 
From reading the other reviews I was already aware that one swab was a vaginal swab and the other a rectal swab. The instructions give you very clear directions along with diagrams, with how to take the samples which I found very easy to follow.
 
I must admit it wasn't the easiest thing for me trying to collect samples with a big bump acting as an obstruction but certainly not unmanageable!
 
Besides I would much rather take the samples myself rather than have someone else do it if the test was available on the NHS!
 
One thing I wouldn't have known if I hadn't read one of the reviews prior to taking my samples was that there are stoppers in the top of the tubes that you need to place the swab in once you have taken it. These need to be removed before you can put your sample in. It's not mentioned in the instructions and I probably would have ended up trying to force the swab in before realising I needed to remove the stopper.
 
Once both samples were taken I filled out the 'Test Order Form' and stuck labels with an identification number onto each tube before placing in the envelope. 
 
On the form you can select which way you'd prefer to receive your results, either by email, text or post. I opted for text message as I felt this would be the fastest way to receive my results.
 
If the result for strep b is positive then you are also sent a letter so you can share with your midwife/doctor and make a plan for your labour.
 
I felt a sense of relief that I'd been able to take a test for group b strep and did not worry about whether or not the results would be positive. I was pleased that I would know one way or another and be able to plan for IV antibiotics if needed.
 
You usually receive result within 5 working days but this wasn't the case for me so I contacted strepelle via the email address on the half of the test order form you keep with your unique identification number. It advises you to get in touch if you haven't had your results back within 7 days.
 I received a very speedy response apologising for the delay and with a letter attached confirming that my results were negative which was fantastic news!
 
Strepelle has definitely giving me peace of mind about group b strep, enabling me to have one less thing to worry about! I certainly recommend it, it's really a no brainer when the possible outcomes of passing group strep b to your baby are so worrying!
The test is £39.99 and available to purchase here.
 
* I was sent the Strepelle test kit in exchange for a review. All thoughts & opinions are mine

Saturday, 5 August 2017

The Second Trimester-Baby 2

Baby 2
 13-27 Weeks
I'm well and truly into my third trimester writing this at 36 weeks pregnant but better late than never!
 
Morning Sickness & Other Symptoms
My morning sickness continued a few weeks into the second trimester, still not actually being sick but suffering with nausea particularly if I was hungry.
I think I started to feel those first flutters when I was around 16 weeks pregnant, it felt like bubbles so I wasn't completely convinced. I started to feel those bigger movements between 18-20 weeks.
The old heartburn started to kick in sometime during the later part of the second trimester, only after eating certain things or at night when laying down, I bought supermarket own brand 'Gaviscon' to treat it.
 
Cravings
I lost my appetite a bit (as well as being a bit lazy I suppose), preferring to eat cereal and toast rather than a proper meal in the evenings, like in the first trimester. Other than that I don't think I had any particular cravings.
 
Scares
It's funny reading Eliot's second trimester back as I had a few 'scares', this time I've been luckier and didn't experience any.
 
Midwives
I met the midwife I would see for all of my general appointments at 16 weeks, her name was Carole. I got to listen to baby's heartbeat at this appointment which I always find reassuring. I also told her I probably wasn't going to deliver at the local hospital and was told I'd have to go to the GP to get a referral letter as where I wanted to deliver was out of their area. Before I saw her at my next appointment at 24 weeks I visited the GP and asked him to refer me. He didn't seem to think my preferred hospital would oblige but a few weeks later I received an appointment at my hospital of choice for when I'd be 28 weeks.

Scans
For some reason they don't book your anomaly scan until 21 weeks at the local hospital. I did feel slightly nervous as there is a worry they will find something that might not be good news. Thankfully everything looked ok and this time baby was facing upwards and behaving, letting the sonographer look at all the things she needed to (not like Eliot at his 20 week scan)! We stayed team yellow this time, choosing not to find out the gender (which I've written a post about here).
I did feel a bit disappointed with the overall experience as it felt a bit rushed.

Other
I started buying a few bits but as we didn't know the gender of baby 2 I didn't want to buy too many neutral clothes as there's only so much white/grey/yellow you can buy! I also started looking more into pushchairs and car seats. We already have a crib that was Eliot's for those first few months so just need to buy a new mattress.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

#AsdaLittleAngels Event At The Dorchester #AD

I'm finally getting round to writing this after finishing work for the summer hols! End of term has been a bit manic having to tie up loose ends as I'll be on maternity leave from September, so that is why the blog has been neglected!
A couple of weekends ago I was lucky enough to receive an invite to attend an Asda Little Angel's nappy event with Myriad PR, along with other pregnant bloggers/vloggers at the gorgeous Dorchester hotel in London.
After watching a vlog of the event last year I knew I was going to be in for a relaxing treat!
I met up with Gemma from GemandThem who I've known since I pretty much started blogging but hadn't seen for ages so it was nice to catch up. We then met up with Alice from Annie Writes Beauty before heading up Park Lane to The Dorchester.
On arrival we were greeted by the most fabulous flower display that was dedicated to Wimbledon before being shown downstairs to the spa.


 We met the lovely PR ladies, Vanessa and Lauren before getting comfy with a wonderful fruity 'mocktail' for the Little Angels presentation from Nicole and Claire.
One of the first things said that struck me was that parents change roughly 4500 nappies...4500?!!! I'm not sure why it surprised me when I had a 'very reluctant to potty train boy', I must have changed way more than that! I guess it's just something I hadn't thought too much about or tried to calculate, but that's an awful lot of £££'s!
Something else that was said that also got me thinking was that in their research they found that first time parents had a different mindset when it came to purchasing nappies. This was certainly true for me, in my head I was convinced that only the 'branded nappies' would work well and bulk bought them when pregnant with Eliot. It wasn't until Eliot was a couple of months old that I started giving own brand nappies a try. Little Angels fast became my favourite for two main reasons, the first being they performed well and Eliot never had any issues with his skin using Little Angels nappies. The second being they were always on offer, three packs for £10 which was great value for money.
Before I'd even attended the event I can honestly say I was already planning to stock up on Asda Little Angels newborn nappies. You can buy a pack of 70 size 1 nappies for £3 which is a no brainer for me. I was even more impressed with the newborn nappies after feeling how soft they were during the presentation and learnt they also had a wetness indicator and an elastic part at the back to help contain those dreaded poo explosions. There's also a cut out part at the front to prevent any umbilical cord irritation and a size up guide to help parents gage when their baby is ready for the next size nappy.
Something else that impressed me which I was unaware of, is that Asda have a policy where if you  have unopened packs of nappies because your baby has outgrown them, they will swap them over for a larger size. Which again is something that contributes towards keeping the costs down.
Once the presentation was over there was an opportunity for Q&A's before the first group of ladies went for their spa treatment.
For me it was time to tuck into the delicious afternoon tea, of finger sandwiches, cakes, scones and Wimbledon themed strawberries and cream whilst chatting with and getting to know some other lovely bloggers.

I also got to enjoy tea that is made solely for The Dorchester Hotel as well as a flower infused tea which was a palette cleanser.
I then changed into my robe and 'chilled' in the relaxation room before my pregnancy massage, which I must admit I was eagerly waiting for!
Me & bump

Very excited for some pampering!
 
 
Then after a long 'chillaxing' session it was time for my massage which was just amazing, who knew you could feel that comfortable and relaxed in your third trimester!
It really was a lovely afternoon, I left feeling great with an amazing Little Angels goody bag along with a treat from The Dorchester Hotel.
 Thanks again to the lovely Myriad PR team, you know how to spoil us pregnant ones!

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Staying 'Team Yellow'

Baby 2 poking out their tongue
I decided long before I was even pregnant with baby 2 that this time I wouldn't find out the gender. One reason was because I'd experienced finding out whether or not I was having a girl or boy with Eliot and wanted to experience the 'not knowing' option. The other reason is because I have the fear I will be disappointed. Disappointed if it was another boy.
So when I told one of my best friends I wouldn't be finding out this time she didn't believe I'd not be able to find out what I was having at the 20 week scan. This made me even more determined not to find out because it is tempting at that 20 week scan!
At 27 weeks I had a 4D scan, I had one with Eliot so didn't think I'd bother this time round but I really wanted Eliot to experience seeing the baby as he wasn't allowed to come to the hospital scans. He did keep asking if it was 'nearly finished' and commenting 'only one more minute' but I came away happy with our precious experience and still none the wiser as to whether it was a boy or girl.
 About a week ago I posted one of the pictures on Instagram encouraging people to comment on what gender they thought baby 2 was. Blue was the favourite, then someone commented it was 'definitely a boy'. That was when the disappointment hit.
Before I say anymore I'll firstly say I know I'm incredibly lucky to have one child and to be expecting another. And that my main concern IS that I have a healthy and safe pregnancy and delivery but  you can't always control your feelings and emotions. 
 
Back in my teenage years and uni days I remember discussing hopes and dreams for the future and how I'd always wanted to be a mum and how I wanted a daughter. I guess these views and feelings stem from my relationship  with my mum and her relationship with her son (my half brother). I won't say anymore than that they don't have a relationship now and haven't done for many years. I think there is a difference between mother/daughter and mother/son relationships but that's based on my own experiences.
When I was pregnant with Eliot I can honestly say I really didn't mind whether I had a boy or girl, even though I'd convinced myself it was a girl. A work friend had mentioned I looked different and 'glowing'  the day before I took a pregnancy test. So when she said she thought I was having a girl I started to believe I was too! Also thanks to a trip away on a ghost hunt (don't ask) when I asked some metal rods that swung one way for 'yes' and the other for 'no' if I was having a girl and they said yes each time.
When we were told at a 16 week gender scan it was a boy I felt a pang of disappointment because I'd stupidly convinced myself it was a girl. That was it though, I was more excited about going baby boy clothes shopping. and super excited to be having my first child!
 
Because this is more than likely to be my last pregnancy I would really love to have a daughter and unknowingly I think I thought it was a girl. Thanks to the sonographer at my 20 week scan a seed was planted. I told her we didn't want to find out the gender but as she was looking around I did ask if she could see if it was a boy or girl, to which she replied she hadn't looked as it wasn't 'important'. She spent more time looking closely for all the things they check at the 20 week scan before saying 'move your leg missus' she paused for a few seconds before saying 'or Mr, whatever you are'.
 
The other half hadn't even noticed she said this. I said to myself and when talking to others that I was taking it with a pinch of salt. Some people and books do refer to babies as 'hes' or 'shes' rather than 'it' but if I was a sonographer I think I would have said 'move your leg baby', not missus or mister. Without really realizing, I begun to convince myself again that it was a girl until the comment on the Instagram photo of 'it's definitely a boy'. So I'm either having a very masculine looking girl or indeed it is a boy! As I said though the most important thing is that all is safe and healthy. It won't matter when he or she is here it's just those initial feelings and emotions I can't help.
 
 

Monday, 29 May 2017

10 Names I Love But (probably) Won't Use For Baby 2


I've enjoyed watching different videos about names that other bloggers love but won't use and seeing as I'm expecting baby 2 I thought I'd write a little post of my own.

There are several names I adore but won't be using...

Boys...

1. Jacob...
I've loved this name for years but the OH vetoed it when I was pregnant with Eliot. I probably wouldn't use it now as it's quite common and being a teacher I've come across a fair few Jacobs

2. Reuben...
 I really like this and have done for years too but again the OH doesn't like it.

3. Elijah...
 is another one I've loved for years but the OH dislikes.

4. Noah...
 is  a name I've liked for a while but I think it's another one of those names that has become very popular in the last few years.

5. Arlo...
is a name that has grown on me since discovering I was pregnant with baby 2. I think it works well with Eliot... 'Eliot & Arlo' but the OH is not keen. If baby 2 is a boy I may try to convince him as we haven't found any boys names that we both agree on yet!

Girls...

1. Charlotte...
 I think is such a beautiful name and I love it but one that is too common. During primary & secondary school I knew about 5 different 'Charlotte's'!
If it's good enough for a princess though...?!

2. Nola...
is a name I've liked since watching the film 'Matchpoint' with Scarlett Johansson & Jonathan Rhys Meyers but it's not in my current top 3 girl names for baby 2 so will be unlikely to use it if it's a girl.

3. Seren...
is a Welsh name that has grown on me since watching 'Abadas' on CBeebies when Eliot was a baby. The OH liked it but isn't so keen on it now and I don't think it goes that well with Eliot's name.

4. Isla...
was one of my top girl names before I found out Eliot was a boy but since then has grown and grown in popularity so I wouldn't use it for that reason.

5. Lyra...
is another name I've really liked for a long time...since watching The Golden Compass in the cinema about 10 years ago. I love the sound of it and how it's unusual.

So there are my current top boy & girl names that I (probably) won't be using with baby 2. We have agreed on 3 girl names but are struggling to agree on boy names this time round, so I'd love to hear any suggestions for fresh ideas!
Thank you so much for stopping by! I appreciate comments and read all of them!