Tuesday 28 January 2014

Eliot's 7 Month Update

Oops Mummy has not been on track with dates so this  update is late like last months but only by a couple of days!
I will say this every month I know, but I can't believe you are 7 months old! We are creeping closer and closer to you being a whole year old.
You are growing into such a cheeky chappy! You want to get hold of everything and more often than not put it in your mouth! You also seem to like dropping stuff on the floor so I have to pick it up for you. Although I don't believe you've fully got the hang of this 'game' just yet and will have lots more fun with this in the future!
You have been 'talking' for months now but now you very clearly say 'dada', now we need to work on mama ;) You have started to copy sounds that I make and things that I  do.
You've definitely been teething as we've had lots of drool and a bit of grumpy-ness but no new teeth as yet. You brush your two teeth that you have, or mummy does but really you like to examine the toothbrush.
Over the past couple of weeks you seem more wary of strangers and will often cry if somebody you don't know makes a fuss of you. This isn't always the case so it might be when you are feeling tired.
You adore the people you do know well and flap with excitement when they interact with you. As well as the 'flapping' your legs go and your hands open and close.
The 'biggest event' this month has been moving you into your cotbed in your very own room! We did this last week and you have been fantastic! It's so much better for you as you now have lots of space to move.

You still enjoy your bottles but you have a new found love for food. You are literally like a machine and I'm sure you would eat until you popped!
Last month I said I thought you were lazy with feeding yourself but now I think you were probably still learning what you needed to do. Now you prefer to hold food and feed yourself. You prefer food you can chew as well! You've enjoyed all the new things you've tried and will even eat carrot!!!
Water is also something you are growing to like as you will drink more now with your food and when you are thirsty.
You now have three/four bottles of milk a day. Your first and last feed are 7oz bottles and the other one or two are 4/5oz bottles.
At Nana J's the other day you made us laugh so much with your cheeky/food loving antics! Nana J had a tub of mini brownies and you were on my lap using it as a drum. For a short moment I averted my eyes to send a message to daddy. Before I knew it you had taken the lid off and were stuffing a mini cake into your mouth! I let you have it as it was already in! This photo is the aftermath!
Two or three weeks ago you were weighed and you were a whopping 20lbs! A real chunk!

You are still in most 6-9 month clothes but I think we will be in to 9-12 sleepsuits and trousers imminently.

You got to  bed about 8pm. Most nights you sleep right through but still have the odd time where you will wake  up. Normally a nappy change and more milk get you settled again.
During the day you usually fight napping and if you do it's normally when you're out and about. Mummy is probably going to try and get you to nap in your cotbed.

Your Likes/Dislikes
  • You still like your Jumperoo and Walker. Although you usually are sick because of the jumping around/leaning on your tummy.
  • You continue to love being sung to and I think you might be a rockstar as you love drumming on things.
  • The cats still make you smile and giggle.
  •  Sometimes sudden loud noises startle you like the door buzzer and hoover. At other times they don't worry you at all.
  • Tummy time is increasingly becoming more popular, possibly because you've sussed you can move around with  bit more ease. I wonder when you'll be on the move!
    Until 8 months beautiful boy... xxx

Sunday 26 January 2014

The Ordinary Moments #1 Lego

Today I'm linking up my very first 'ordinary moments' post on Katies's blog mummydaddyandmemakesthree.

I'm staying at my parents this weekend after house hunting in a nearby county. My niece was also staying on Saturday night.
I was washing up in the kitchen when she managed to 'spy' a Lego Star Wars toy high up on a shelf. It was the kinda 'spying' I remember doing as a child. She swiftly 'nabbed' it and got the 'ok' from my parents that she could open it.

Washing up completed I was roped into 'helping' her construct it. My gosh was it more complicated than it seemed at first glance! Mainly because the picture instructions didn't clearly show each next step. I had to keep skipping back to look to check which part I'd missed off.
As I sat there I thought about the future and what my own son will be 'roping' me into. And these of course will include some very 'ordinary moments' :)

Friday 24 January 2014

NappyKind Leg Warmers Review

This review is not a fully positive one unfortunately! I was excited to review the NappyKind leg warmers as I'd read lots of positive reviews about their products on other blogs.

I'll start with the positives!
I adore the range of funky patterns and colours that NappyKind offer and chose the dark blue 'Candy Cane' leg warmers to review.  They are nice and cosy so I have loved using them for layering up on the legs, which is a bit trickier for boys I think! I can see that when Eliot gets on the move they'll be great for some added protection/comfort on his knees. Also when the weathers warmer and we're just having a lazy day at home they will be fab with just a nappy to make change time that bit easier!

Now the not so positive...

Unfortunately after the first wash they started to 'fray' as you can see in the photo. I emailed NappyKind to let them know before I wrote my review. I was a little disappointed with the response I received.
They did apologise for the fraying, they weren't aware of it happening before and said they thought it could be a problem with this particular pair/batch.
However they also said they would 'advise to hand wash delicate items'. This is fine except there are no labels on the leg warmers, nor did they come in any packaging that might give washing recommendations.
On checking the website and page I ordered from there were no instructions there either. So if they should be hand washed it should be in the product info online at the least.
I was disappointed I wasn't offered a replacement. If it had been a shop bought item and I'd taken it back I have no doubts I would have been offered an exchange having worked in retail myself in the past.
So overall I was disappointed with the quality and customer service afterwards but like the function of the product.

What are your experiences with NappyKind products?

* This product was sent at a reduced cost in return for a review. All views and opinions are entirely my own.

**UPDATE: NappyKind did send a replacement pair of leg warmers but the fraying started even before they went in the wash.

Family Fever

Wednesday 22 January 2014

The Big 'M'

From crib to cotbed...

Last night was the big 'Move'. Moving Eliot from his crib in our room to a cotbed in his very own room. I knew it had to be done as he was too big for his crib but the thought of moving him out of our room was daunting. There wasn't the option of moving the cotbed into our room as there isn't any space for it.

Last night wasn't planned, there's been talk of the move for a while but I just decided on a whim that yesterday was the day. If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen the video clip of him testing out his new bed prior to bed time.

We did the bbb (bath, bottle, bed) routine as usual, except for feeding him in his own room, that was new. Eliot was almost asleep when I put him down but his eyes shot open when I did. I expected some sort of protest but nothing. He went off to sleep very happily and slept right through until this morning. I actually felt remarkably calm and not as sad as I expected. But after all he isn't going to stay a baby for long and this is just one of the milestones he has experienced.

 So our first night from crib to cotbed was a success, fingers crossed for tonight :)

How did/do you feel about the transition from parents room to own room?

Tuesday 21 January 2014

Tut tut tut...holidays during term time

Holidays during term time...from my (a teachers) point of view

This topic was Sundays pbloggers chat, where different thoughts and opinions were shared. I was tweeting from my phone and sure I missed some vital replies. Then my battery died towards the end. 
One thing that stood out for me in some responses was the thought that the younger the child, the less important it was for the them to be at school. 

So this post is to emphasise why it's important ALL children don't miss great chunks of school.

During the early years (3-5 years) the focus of learning is through play with carefully tailored activities. There are specific whole class and small group teaching sessions. 

When children move to key stage one (5-7 years) teaching is more structured, children build on their knowledge through a variety of tasks and activities. 

During these times children learn the basics, such as letter sounds in phonics and numbers in maths. Throughout the academic year they continue to build on what has been learnt previously. Therefore if they miss the initial input they may find the next steps tricky. Of course it differs from child to child. The main factors being their academic ability and how much help they get at home. 
Some parents have asked for work to do at home if their child is ill to help make sure they keep up to speed with work.

Unfortunately in my experience some parents who do take their children on holiday during term time  give little or no help at home. So when the children return they may struggle with the work.

If a child misses an introduction to something brand new in any subject but particularly maths or English, this can cause real issues leading to the child having significant gaps in their learning. Unfortunately in a majority of cases there is no time for teachers to help a child catch up due to the jam packed curriculum they already have!

So this is why every parent should carefully consider taking their child out of school for a holiday. Hey I get that it costs a ridiculous amount more to travel during holidays. The last time I went abroad was Easter 2012 and I booked that the previous Summer to travel at a lower price.
I'm also aware that in some cases people are required to take their holiday at specific times so in this instance there is really no other option.

The only winners in this scenario are the travel industry who rake it in when the prices soar during school holidays. Perhaps it's them who need to be targeted!

What are your thoughts? I would love to hear!

Friday 17 January 2014

Pyloric Stenosis...have you heard of it?

I hadn't
This is a long post, so get comfy! I've wanted to write this post since I started blogging. It's not intended to worry anyone but to raise awareness.
Eliot had been a 'sicky' baby since he came into the world. In fact he gave me quite a fright the day after he was born. His 'windy' sickness continued after feeds which was what we were told and presumed was the 'norm', until just before he turned six weeks old.
It was the early hours of a weekend morning and the OH's turn to get up to feed Eliot. Whilst he was winding Eliot I heard an almighty gush and splash. He had vomited everywhere  much more than usual, the sheets had got a soaking and  the muslin had failed its use. I remember saying 'It's not fair! He has his milk then brings it all back up'. Poor little man. For the rest of the day there were no more similar occurrences. I wasn't worried as Eliot was his usual happy self, just a bit more sleepy.
During the night I was awoken by the sound of Eliot being sick...in his sleep. Some had even shot out of his crib onto the carpet. I changed his clothes and bedding, after some tears Eliot was sound asleep. I was a bit concerned as this had never happened before but he didn't have a temperature and had happily gone back to sleep.
The following afternoon Eliot brought back quite a bit of a feed. It was different from normal, it had pale brown bits in it.
I'm sure many of you who read this would have rushed to A&E now or got in contact with your doctor.  
As Eliot was still very happy and taking all his feeds I didn't think it could be anything too serious. I was going to see the clinic to the health visitor in the morning so I could discuss it with her.
The next day Eliot was weighed at the clinic and had put weight on. As we waited to see the health visitor he was sick after a feed. This time I was concerned, on his bib was a bright red blob. Blood in his sick! I left it there so I could show the health visitor. When we were called in I told her of my concerns. The health visitor was relaxed and not worried at all. She said it was 'just reflux'. She was happy he was putting on weight, he was eating, he was happy. Even when I mentioned he'd had brown bits in his sick the day before and pointed out the blob splattered on his bib, she was not worried at all. She had no explanation for it but discouraged me from going to my GP!
She scribbled in the red book and off we went...straight to the GP to make an appointment. Still I wasn't panicking.  I suppose I felt reassured that she hadn't been at all worried but shocked that she hadn't told me to go to my GP to be cautious.
At the GP  we were booked in for an appointment the next day.On the way home we bumped into the OH's mum. I explained all of the above, including that I wasn't too worried and that we were seeing the doctor in the morning. She was a bit concerned but I put it down to that trait being part of her character.
I rang my friend who had a nineteenth month old and after explaining what had been going on she told me to just take him to A&E. She said she'd been to hospital a countless amount of times when her son had been ill.
I suppose I was in denial, Eliot was happy and feeding well! I suppose I was reluctant to be that first time mum who panics.
I text my friend who is a paediatric nurse in a special baby care unit and asked why he may have had blood in his sick.  When she was able to get back to me she explained that he could have irritated the lining of his throat/stomach due to being sick a number of times. This made sense, he had 'reflux' so this was likely.
That evening I rang my parents to tell them what was going on. They also said I should take him to A&E. I explained that the health visitor wasn't worried, other than that and being more sleepy, Eliot was his usual self. And we were seeing a doctor in the morning.
I'd turned to the  trusty old internet to diagnose his symptoms and was led to an explanation of pyloric stenosis on the Great Ormond Street Website.
'Pyloric stenosis is when the passage between the stomach and small bowel (pylorus) becomes narrower. The passage is made up of muscle, which seems to become thicker than usual, closing up the inside of the passage. This stops milk or food passing into the bowel to be digested.'
  I read up about it on other websites too which mainly highlighted there would be lots of projectile vomit. Some of Eliot's symptoms were similar but not exact.
At the doctors the next day, she checked him over, felt his stomach and asked lots of questions. Including had he been projectile vomiting, had he been pooping and passing wind. He hadn't done a poo for a few days but had been windy. The GP thought it was reflux and prescribed Infant Gaviscon. She also gave a prescription for lactulose if he hadn't pooped by the following day. I was booked in for a follow up phone call in two days. In the meantime she told me to go to A&E if it got worse.
That afternoon the Infant Gaviscon seemed to be helping and Eliot had a poop. It looked as though we may have found the answer to the problem.
This was short lived. After a lunchtime feed the next day, Eliot was forcefully sick all over the kitchen floor. The Gaviscon wasn't doing the job it was supposed to.
I took him to the nearest A&E, back at St Thomas' where he had been born. They have a children's A&E department within the main A&E.
We weren't waiting long before a nurse called us into a cubicle. I described everything that had been going on and  was told a doctor would be in shortly.  I was also given some bits to try and take a urine sample from Eliot (not an easy task).
When the doctor got to us I retold the events again. He said he was going to take a blood test as there were a couple of things it might possibly be. I mentioned Pyloric Stenosis and he confirmed this was one of the things he suspected. At this point I was still in denial I didn't believe it could be that. There were phone calls back and forth to the OH.
When the doctor returned he said the blood test results were inconclusive and Eliot was being sent for an ultrasound scan over in the children's hospital. I put Eliot in his pram and a nurse walked us round.
I'd been to the children's hospital whilst pregnant as that's where they carry out the ultrasounds to check if there are any heart problems.
I laid Eliot on the bed and he was scanned. Coincidently a paediatrician came in to see the sonographer. He pointed out on the screen that the 'pylorus' muscle wasn't opening. Eliot did have pyloric stenosis. That meant he would need an operation, there is no alternative.
I was shocked, dazed. Was this really happening to my baby boy? The nurse took us back to A&E where Eliot would be prepped to go on to one of the children's wards straight away. There would be no more feeds until after the operation.
I stepped outside the cubicle and burst into tears as they put a tube down him to remove the contents of his stomach. The doctor also inserted a drip to replace the fluids he would be losing by not having his feeds. I rang the OH and told him to get there immediately.

Soon we were taken to the children's ward. The doctor who had popped into the scan room came to discuss the operation with us. As Eliot's blood test had shown his blood gases weren't normal he would not be able to be operated on until they were. We were told it could be the next day or the following one. I prayed his blood gases would be back to normal by that next day. The hardest thing was not being able to feed him, I knew he was starving and looked at me as if to say 'why aren't you giving me my milk?!' It was heart breaking.
I stayed with him overnight on the pull down bed next to his cot. Unfortunately he pulled out the line giving him fluids which meant it would need inserting all over again! Not a pleasant experience to witness when they find it hard to get a vein. The nurse on duty that night was lovely and reassured me the doctor would be with us a soon as possible. I was getting increasingly concerned as I knew he wasn't getting any fluids.
Eventually a doctor got round to us. After failed attempts to insert a line I the back of his hand she placed it in his foot. They had taken more blood and she told me his blood gases were now normal. I was relieved, this meant the operation could take place the next day.
The nurse told me to get some sleep as we had a long day ahead of us. She was wonderful at caring for Eliot.
Before the op
In the morning another doctor came round to talk over the operation again, go over the risks again. I signed the consent form. Then it was just a matter of waiting to be called to theatre.
Poor Eliot seemed to know he wasn't gong to be fed and hadn't cried as much. We were then visited by the anaesthetist who asked about family history of allergies etc to anaesthetic.  
Just before lunch the nurse received a call to say it was Eliot's turn to go to theatre. I carried him down, hugged and kissed him before the surgeons took him. I burst into tears as we walked away. I know its morbid but I did cross my mind that it could be the last time I saw him alive. The operation itself was straightforward, a little incision above his belly button. It had small risks but all sorts of things were going through my mind.
The OH and I went to grab some lunch and my mum arrived shortly after. Then all we could do was wait. Wait to hear if it had gone ok...or not.

Thankfully, when the call came the op had been a success. The nurse took us down to recovery so he could be brought back up to the ward. He looked so pale and dozy after the anaesthetic.


After the op
The next step was to introduce feeds in small amounts, increasing them gradually. The feeds went down successfully with none being brought back up. This continued over night as the amount increased.
The next day I was worried about his wound which was stitched inside and had steri-strips outside. It looked red where it had rubbed against his gown when I'd fed him and had been bleeding.
The doctors had already been to see him and were happy to discharge him that afternoon. I couldn't believe it after we were in hospital for days when he was born. I was reluctant to go, worrying we would be returning.

The day after the op looking much brighter
When the doctor came and had another look he removed the steri-strips, cleaned the wound and put on new steri-strips. He was still happy for Eliot to go home. At the time Eliot's feed was also due so we had started it whilst he was laying down. Soon after he was a little sick. I panicked calling the nurse over who said it was probably because we'd started his feed whilst he was laid down and just a bit of wind. Now I really didn't want to go home! She told us to stay until after his next feed for reassurance.
So we did and the same thing happened, Eliot was sick. The nurse reassured us again and told us to stay for his next feed if we were that worried.
We did, the last thing I wanted to do was to take Eliot home only to have to go back. If he needed to be there then we would stay.
To add to the concern, around his belly looked red. I was worried it could be an infection. The doctor came and had another look. With a pen dotted around the edge of the redness. This was to monitor if the redness was spreading.
Luckily it didn't seem to spread any further but we did stay for another couple of feeds, before leaving that evening.
Thankfully we have not been back to hospital and Eliot has done fantastically since.
Eliot's sickness still continued after feeds so we have been back and forth to the GP. He is still on Gaviscon but his reflux seems to have improved since beginning weaning.
I made a complaint about the health visitor who told me not to go to the GP.
I have little faith in the health visitors I've seen especially after our most recent visit where I was told to 'add salt' to Eliot's food!
Every health professional I saw during that time and that I have seen since, asked if he had been projectile vomiting a few feet. He hadn't. It appears they have this misconception, but rely heavily on this one symptom for diagnosis.
 In hospital I was told I had got Eliot there at the right time even though I felt guilty I'd not taken him sooner.
I was told that babies can become so ill from dehydration when pyloric stenosis is not found early, that they end up in hospital for long periods of time.
So please, if you are concerned about anything with your baby don't make the mistakes I did. I wish I'd listened to family and friends and taken him to hospital sooner. I wish I had been an overly concerned first time mum.
Pyloric Stenosis becomes apparent when a baby is around six weeks olds. It is more likely to affect first born's and boys.
Apparently it is fairly common although I had never heard of it nor knew anyone whose baby had it.
Has your baby had pyloric stenosis? Are you aware of someone who has?

Baby OOTD #3

E looking ever so serious!

I really like what Eliot is wearing today so I thought I'd share it :)

His outfit was a gift from family in Ireland by a French brand called 'Berlingot' which I haven't heard of.

The dungarees are corduroy material and have a cute teddy in a car detail on the chest.

It came with a stripy top underneath that has poppers to do it up all the way down the back.

I think it's a lovely outfit :)

Have you got any items from Berlingot?

Tuesday 14 January 2014

Oxo Tot Weaning Tools Review

When I received a tweet from OXO TOT offering me the chance to review their weaning tools, of course I was more than happy! I'd read other reviews and browsed their products at the baby show back in October. I'd been impressed with what I read and saw!
I received a lovely recommendation of what items would be suitable for us at this stage of the weaning process, the On the go feeding spoon and the Divided feeding dish . 
However I was even lucky enough to choose what I'd like to review and went with the on the go spoon and the divided plate. I chose the plate as I planned to start some baby led weaning and thought it would be great for when Eliot was older. I was particularly drawn to it as it has portion sizes of protein, carbs and veg measured for you. This is great to help make sure your little one is getting a balanced meal! It may not be exactly what I need for Eliot now but I chose it because I knew it would be a mealtime must that would grow with him.
I have enjoyed using it and it's brought to light that I may have been giving Eliot too much of protein or carbs so this factor has been incredibly helpful! I have found it very reassuring.  Even though on a recent visit to the health visitor I was told to 'feed him as much as wants' I am not comfortable with this as I believe he would eat until he popped! I certainly do not want to stretch his stomach.

A polished off dinner!

It is Sturdy and hardwearing, sure to survive baby/toddler fun/tantrums when it's flung to the floor while your back is turned for that split second!

I have loved using the on the go spoon both at home and whilst out. It has been perfect when we're out and about. The plastic case means it remains nice and clean prior to use and keeps your change bag smear free after meal time too. Again it is extremely well made. The shape of the tip is angled for easy feeding and soft for little ones mouths, yet not flimsy like other weaning spoons I have used.

Out & about!

When Eliot is older I will be purchasing the Cutlery to match his plate!

Have you used Oxo Tot products?

 *These products were sent to us for the purpose of this review. All opinions & views are my own.

Monday 13 January 2014

My fave festive gifts

I know Christmas seems like oh so long ago but I thought I'd join in with the  'Share It Sundays'  linky over on  Oh So Amelia blog . This weeks prompt was 'Favourite Christmas Presents' and I thought I'd share my three favourite gifts. I received many lovely gifts so it was hard to choose...

I was lucky enough to get a new camera from the OH. My previous one had broken so this Nikon Coolpix was at the top of my list! Purple is one of my favourite colours too!

One of the gifts I received from my parents was the Soap & Glory Yule Monty. I love Soap & Glory shower gels and body lotions so I'm looking forward to trying some make up and face wash when I get round to opening this!

As I'm new to parent blogging this was another gift the OH bought me. So far I've only had a chance to read the intro but I'm looking forward to reading more to help improve my blogging!

What were your favourite gifts?

Thursday 9 January 2014

Breastfeeding Battles

I started writing this post in November but got waylaid with Christmas and all...

Like many other mums I wanted to share my experience of  attempting to breastfeed. It's not one of ease and success but I hope it helps others feel they are not the only ones who go through something similar. Because hell did it feel like it was just me!

All through my pregnancy I was set on breast feeding. In fact I have no doubts that I was incredibly naïve about the whole thing. It didn't cross my mind it would be no easy feat. I watched the NHS DVD and spoke to a couple of colleagues and family members. I heard it was painful to begin with but improved. My mum had wanted to breastfeed me but hadn't been able to, still I didn't think it would be an issue for me.

I bought a breast pump and bottles in preparation for when baby was a bit older and his Dad and others could experience feeding him. Little did I know I would be reaching for them sooner rather than later!

It was in my birth plan that I wanted to try breast feeding ASAP after birth. When Eliot arrived I was exhausted and I was in my own zone.

The midwife who delivered tried to get Eliot to latch on but without success. We were swiftly moved down to the post natal ward where the midwife on duty that evening was very helpful with trying to get Eliot to latch on. We had some success as he latched on for a few minutes. But after that was a struggle, the midwife suggested it would be better to hand express and collect the colostrum in a syringe. Physically I couldn't do it, it sounds ridiculous but it in all honesty it creeps me out. I tried but just wasn't getting anything out. I had some help from the midwife which was bizarre and looking back made feel like an animal being milked on a production line! Still I really wanted Eliot to have the colostrum and reap the benefits.

The next day there were different midwives on duty. After trying to get Eliot to latch on myself without success I asked for help. One of the midwives said she'd come back to help.

So far it wasn't the 'magical' experience I'd hoped for. In fact it had been terribly distressing. Eliot had screamed and pushed himself away from me. Surely this wasn't meant to happen, was it? My baby surely wanted My milk that had been made for him!

 It was obviously a busy day on the ward and no midwife returned to help me try and get Eliot to breastfeed. I called for help again. When a midwife was free to help she attempted to help me to get Eliot to feed but to no avail. He again whipped himself up into a frenzy, pushing himself away from me, screaming. It was awful, all I wanted to do was feed my son! But you can't attempt to latch them on when they're in such a state.

That afternoon there was a breast feeding talk in the day room but it didn't inform me of anything I didn't already know. I went back to my bed disappointed.

Later a midwife came to me and said that Eliot's blood sugar was probably low and that this would make it harder for him to latch on. So would I be happy to give him some formula to get his energy up? Of course! I didn't want him to starve. So then Eliot had his first taste of formula. I was relieved he had some food but in turn, felt low I hadn't been able to give it to him.

 That evening the same midwife from the previous night was on duty with a student. Again she managed to get Eliot to latch on. On both occasions he had only been able to feed from my right breast. So I was then woken every two hours to have help hand expressing to collect colostrum to feed Eliot. Cripes! I really was on a production line.

The battle to get Eliot to latch on continued until we were discharged a few days later. He was unable to feed with my independent attempts or with help. I was told it was because my nipples were quite flat. It was my fault, I was a failure at feeding my own son.
I had some comfort when I was able to express my milk with the hospital machine. Never had I been more dedicated. I set my alarm to wake me through the night to go to the expressing room, to collect milk for Eliot. I was also topping up with formula.

Reflecting on my breastfeeding experience on the post natal ward, I was put under incredible pressure by all the heath professionals. This is just not right! Every mother who has/had difficulty breastfeeding already feels guilty amongst numerous emotions. We certainly do not need pressure from others or being made to feel guilty. Our hormones are rocketing all over the place, any small comment or look can trigger an ocean of tears or worse!
I was also put on a list to have a chat to the 'breastfeeding expert' who didn't show up the first day or any other after that! When I mentioned it to other staff I was told I'm sure she'll get to you later', then eventually, 'she can't do anything that we haven't been able to do'. Great! Thanks, thanks a lot for your help and support! Shocking.

On our return home I continued to express with a hand pump and give formula. This dwindled and within a few weeks Eliot was exclusively on formula. I had all the best intentions to go to 'Milk Spots' to receive help, advice and get chatting to other mums but didn't end up going. I suppose I thought it wouldn't be much different from my experience in hospital.

Naturally I continued to feel guilty and a failure. I was very sensitive to 'feeding' conversations. When the OH phoned from work one day informing me his boss had said 'don't give him formula, give him goats milk', I flew of the handle. I burst into tears, screaming down the phone that it wasn't anybody else's business  how we fed our son. And goats milk?!
Another time we were in a café and the owner was talking to us about his new baby. He asked if we were also breastfeeding when he saw Eliot being fed with formula. He told us how his wife had persevered and that it had been hard. Wonderful! Another story to make me feel useless!

No mother should ever be made to feel guilty about 'not' breastfeeding. We are well informed 'breast is best', if we decide not to for whatever reason it is quite frankly no one else's blooming business!

If in the future we have more children, which I hope we do I will try breastfeeding again. Next time I intend to try nipple shields to help baby latch on to help draw my nipple out. Or use a breast pump to do this prior to feed time. If it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out!
Next time I know it will be difficult, next time I won't be naïve!

What was your experience with breastfeeding?

Tuesday 7 January 2014

Review-Green People Organic Babies Wash & Lotion

We were lucky enough to be sent two products from the Green People, the scent free baby wash and shampoo and the scent free dry skin lotion. Both of which are perfect for Eliot as he has mild eczema.
 Green People specialise in Organic products, not just for kids but for all the family! They have a fantastic choice to cover all your needs! None of their range has ever been tested on animals which is an important factor for me. The Vegetarian Society has approved all of their products and TheVegan Society has registered many of them.
What stands out for me is that these products are free from 'nasties' such as parabens. I feel reassured that what I'm putting in Eliot's bath, moisturising his skin with have formulas that won't irritate his skin and don't contain chemicals.
The Scent Free Baby Wash & Shampoo...
I had been washing Eliot's hair as little as possible as his scalp can be particularly dry. Using a regular baby shampoo seemed to dry it out even more. He would start itching his head soon after a bath and hair wash, however this does not happen since we've been using this! I also love that it doubles up as a wash. As Eliot suffers with reflux he can get quite stinky regardless of how many bibs or clothes changes we've been through! Therefore I do like to use something extra to wash him with to give him a good clean! You don't need to use a lot of this either, it lathers up really well. Therefore will last! When we run out I think I'll be buying their lavender baby wash to help Eliot relax at bathtime as it's just before bed.
The Scent Free Dry Skin Baby Lotion...
This has a lovely, non greasy formula which is easily absorbed into the skin. This is great after bath time when you want to get your little one wrapped up as soon as possible. It  has worked well on Eliot's skin and has not caused him any irritation.  
I definitely recommend these two products and will be purchasing more of their baby range! I also have my eye on products for me too!
Have you tried any of the Green People's range?

 *These products were sent to us for the purpose of this review. All opinions & views are my own

Where you can find me!

Now that my blog has had a revamp I have social media buttons, Yay! I would love it if you could give a 'click' and follow me elsewhere. I especially want to find more of you on Pintrest :) If I'm doing so already I will give you a follow back.

Thank you

Monday 6 January 2014

My 2014 'To do list'

I don't do New Year Resolutions, so instead I'm compiling my '2014 To Do List'. Which consists of 'sort of' resolutions and things that I do really need to get done!
1. Arrange a meeting with the new head at my school to discuss going back to work :(
2. Get in touch with the childminder I said I'd call since June :-/
(I'm in denial about going back to work)
3. Battle the bulge! I've always been a 'chubs', there is no way I'll ever be a 'skinny mini' I just don't have the frame. However I do need to shift SEVERAL pounds to get to a healthy weight. It is something I have always battled with, losing it, putting it and more back on before the cycle starts again! In fact I was doing quite well at the end of 2012 before discovering I was pregnant. At the moment I just don't have the motivation.
4. Be more organised! Something I seem to have gotten worse at.
5. Make the most of everything! Time just whizzes past and before you know it another year has passed by. I don't think I make the most of the day and should!
6. Move out of London. I don't want Eliot to grow up here...that is a future post!
7. See more of my friends. Since becoming a mum I have been very pre-occupied with the role and not seen much of my friends at all.
8. I'd love to build my blog readers/followers and work with more great brands.
I'm sure there's more but writing this at a late hour my mind has gone blank.
Aha! At a better time of day I've remembered what else is on my 'to do's'! 7/1/13
9. Move Eliot into his own bedroom. He is almost too big for his crib but I keep putting the move off!
10. Find a new job, this goes hand in hand with number 6. If we move I will need a new job because my current school will be too far away.
Have you got similar 'to do's'/'resolutions'? I'd love to hear from you :)


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My Pregnancy 28-40 Weeks

This was the final leg…we were getting closer to meeting our boy! I still wasn't free of unscheduled visits to the antenatal unit, read on for my third trimester experience.

Morning Sickness
None at this stage

None really at this point, occasionally still had my milkshake craving.

By this stage of my pregnancy I was a lot calmer and relaxed about any worries. At 36 weeks Ailsa visited for the usual routine pregnancy checks. Unfortunately my blood pressure was a bit high and there was protein in my urine. Ailsa was concerned it could be pre-eclampsia. So she took some blood to save me waiting at the hospital and sent me to the antenatal assessment unit. When I got there they checked bubs’ heartbeat, which was all good and took my blood pressure which had mysteriously but thankfully gone back to a normal reading. The blood test result concluded it wasn’t pre-eclampsia, thank goodness!
At 39 weeks I hadn’t felt bubs move much so thought it would be wise just to get checked out at hospital. I handed over my notes and explained why I was there. As soon as I sat down to wait the little fella decided to do a dance! What a relief but typical he decided to move as soon as I arrived! They did their usual checks, hearbeat, urine, blood pressure. Baby was fine but they were concerned about pre-eclampsia again. So that meant a battle to get blood…again. By this point I’d sort of gotten used to the whole process so it didn’t bother me as much. Results came back normal so I was able to go and the following day Annie was visiting for another routine check, I felt pretty chilled.

At 28 weeks I had an appointment at the hospital to get the anti d injection as my blood is Rhesus negative. I didn’t explain this previously, for anyone who’s not sure this meant if baby’s blood was Rhesus positive and our bloods crossed, my body would develop antibodies which would affect any future pregnancies. Even though I’d already had a couple of anti d doses you still have the one at 28 weeks.
Next it was the usual midwife appointments, I met two more of the midwives from the team who were nice but I didn’t feel as comfortable with as I did with Annie, Ailsa or Johanna. From 36 weeks the midwives came to do the routine checks at home.
t was Ailsa who was first to visit at home and the above (in scares) drama happened. Because of the ‘drama’ Ailsa wanted me to be seen the following week as opposed to two weeks later. At 37 weeks I met Jane, all the checks showed that there were no problems and she was happy to leave me to be seen two weeks later at 39 weeks. My next visit was from Annie who I hadn’t seen since my booking appointment at 10 weeks. She arrived with a student midwife, did the usual and booked me in for an induction in case our boy decided to stay comfy two weeks after my due date 24/6/13. Whilst Annie was feeling the position of bubs she said, ‘I don’t think he’s small’. Just what every woman wants to hear at 39 weeks pregnant haha!

I had been indecisive about booking a 4D scan as they are expensive and not a necessity. Friends had recommended them and I knew I would regret it if I didn’t have one. When Wowcher had one on offer I bought the deal and booked in for the scan at 29 weeks. We were so excited to see our boy in 4D and wondered who he would look like.

On the day, bubs chose to be uncooperative, much like the 20 week scan and didn’t want to move around too much but we did get some amazing viewing of him yawning and pulling funny faces. We left with some photos and a DVD. He looked like someone I’d seen before, it was strange but I guess it was because he looked like one of us.

If you’re undecided about having one, I would definitely recommend having the 4D scan, purely for experiencing seeing your little miracle so clearly. It brought tears to our eyes!

My Pregnancy 13-27 Weeks

So here we were in the second trimester of pregnancy, looking forward to more scans and feeling those first flutters!

 Morning Sickness
My morning sickness completely disappeared before the second trimester, I was lucky!

I still had my inklings for strawberry milkshakes but also went through a short phase of craving cheese and tomato pizza from Dominos.

Unfortunately little scares kept us on our toes throughout our pregnancy!

I’d started to feel really noticeable flutters around the 18-19 week mark. At 23 weeks I there was an evening when I hadn’t really felt much and I started to worry. The next morning at work my colleague and I were doing some lesson planning but all I could think about were the ‘none’ baby movements. I called the midwife and ended up bursting into uncontrollable tears. The midwife did her best to reassure me and told me to come up to the antenatal unit so she could listen to bubs’ heartbeat. I’d gotten myself in to such a state, my colleague had to get the ok from our boss. So off I went, when I arrived at the antenatal unit I was greeted by a jam packed waiting area of blossoming bumps. Luckily I didn’t have to wait long until the midwife I’d spoken to called me. This was my first meeting with Johanna, she made me feel at ease and reassured me. It took what seemed like forever to find bubs’ heartbeat and I could feel the panic start to kick in. Soon it was swept away by relief when Johanna tracked down the heartbeat, all was ok.

 At 25 weeks I got up to go to work one morning and saw the tiniest spot of blood when I went to the loo. After my previous experiences a few weeks earlier and having found out all looked ok with our bubs at the 12 Week Scan, I felt remarkably calm. I pre-warned my boss that I might have to dash off as I knew if I called the midwife they would tell me to go to the hospital. I didn’t experience any further bleeding so didn’t call the midwife until the afternoon who said I should go to the antenatal assessment unit as I was rhesus negative. I was going up to the hospital anyhoo to get blood taken as the midwife couldn’t get enough for some routine tests.

Went and got my blood done first which again proved unproblematic for the phlebotomist, then made my way to antenatal.

They did the usual checks, blood pressure, urine, listened to bubs’ heartbeat but also wanted to take more blood…are you kidding?! I had just been downstairs in the blood clinic! Alas it was an important test to check if any of baby’s blood had crossed into mine. Of course may veins weren’t playing ball and after a couple of attempts by one midwife she asked her colleague to have a go, which she managed from the back of my wrist and boy did it hurt when she took the needle out. I was not a happy bunny! I then had to wait for my anti d injection to be sent up with some very heavily pregnant women, some of whom were in early labour, daunting to say the least!

This certainly wasn’t my last visit to the antenatal assessment unit, I was there again, I can’t remember exactly why (that’s why I should of documented all my memories at the time) but I met Johanna again as the midwife on the unit couldn’t manage to get my blood so they called for the midwife from the team who was at the hospital and it happened to be Johanna, which I was happy about.  Much to my relief she managed to take some blood on her first attempt.

At my 16 week appointment I met a midwife called Ailsa, she was very calm and informative, again someone else I would feel happy with delivering my baby. At my next appointment I met a different woman from their team but did not feel as comfortable as with the other three I had met, I guess it was just that personal feeling you get sometimes.

Looking back now, I had heaps of scans, much more than the usual two that most normal, low risk pregnancies have.

One of my best friends bought us a private gender scan as a gift. At 16 weeks we found out the sex our baby. I was so excited to find out if we were expecting a girl or boy, I didn’t mind what it was as long as he or she was healthy but I was convinced it was a girl! So when the sonographer said ‘congratulations it’s a boy!’ I was taken aback. Daddy was very happy as he was desperate to have a boy! We had lunch after and discussed names as now we could really pinpoint one. We then went on a bit of a spree and bought our first few bits of boy’s clothes.

Our next scan was at 18 weeks as we’d been referred for a heart scan because there was a history on my mum’s side of the family. We were excited to see our bubs again but at the back of my mind I was aware at any scan things could change drastically. I was scanned for about an hour but thankfully all looked. They said baby was still very small so they wouldn’t necessarily pick up anything and booked us in for another appointment in a few weeks time.

 Next on the list was the important 20 week anomaly scan. That day our boy decided to be particularly stubborn. The sonographer confirmed ‘he’ was a ‘he’ and saw most of the things she needed to apart, from one side of the heart. So first of all I was required to do some ridiculous thrusting movements to prompt him to move but no joy came from those! Off I was sent on a jaunt around the GP surgery to see if that might entice bubs to turn…still no joy. Of course I was thrilled when she then asked me to go have some chocolate and a sugary drink. I certainly didn’t need an excuse for chocolate! Even after all that our lil man still hadn’t budged so it was back to those thrusting movements. Eventually after all that malarkey the sonographer saw what she needed and everything looked ok. The only small issue was that my placenta was lying low. I would need to have another scan at 36 weeks to check it had moved out of the way, if not it would mean Caesarean, eeek!

At 26 weeks it was back to hospital for the second heart scan. Now our boy was bigger, they confirmed that everything looked ok. They do warn you that not all heart defects can be picked up on the scan. Of course we were happy and relieved that bubs looked healthy.

I’d been looking into different types exercise and started pregnancy yoga around 17 weeks. It had been recommended by one of the midwives who had also warned me that in her experience ,women who had done pregnancy Pilates were more likely to tear. Of course she wasn’t saying every women who did it would but that definitely put me off!

We have a children’s centre attached to the school I work at and they ran pregnancy yoga there, ‘Yoga Bumps’. It was a great deal cheaper than other pregnancy yoga classes I’d looked into. The lady who ran it was also a Doula and was expecting her own baby. I found it extremely relaxing and found it helped prepare me for labour and birth, I definitely give it 10/10 for pregnancy exercise.

My pregnancy 0-12 Weeks

Weeks 0-12
I was around 4-5 weeks pregnant when I made the discovery I was expecting, read my experience here
From the moment I found out I was terrified something was going to go wrong and I would miscarry. I was desperate to get to the 12 week stage, have the scan, see and hear my baby’s heartbeat and be told everything looked normal. So of course the weeks dragged on and here are a few of the things I experienced.

Morning Sickness
After hearing and reading about other mum to be’s morning sickness traumas I was very lucky with my experience! It must have been around 7 weeks I started to get nausea. It would come on as quick as it would go. I’d be teaching my class and all of a sudden I’d feel sick and start to retch. Some of the kids would notice and look at me like I was nuts. It would last for a couple of minutes at most and then disappear. I noticed being very hungry at this stage of pregnancy and I would get nauseous if I got hungry. I found dry cream crackers helped and had a pack on my desk at work. I was lucky it never got worse than this. The hunger would wake me in the early hours and I would get up to chomp on a cereal bar or something like it. 

I was always asked by friends and family if I had any cravings. During this time period I remember fancying strawberry milkshakes and would pick a bottle up on a jaunt to the supermarket.

When I thought I was around the 11 week mark, I went to the loo and noticed brown blood when I wiped. Naturally I panicked and thought the worse especially when over the course of the afternoon it increased and I saw red blood.
I was extremely upset and my other half went into panic mode too. I looked up early pregnancy clinics and my bf called our local hospital who booked us in the following day. I was due for the booking appointment with the midwife around the same time so had to call and cancel. She tried to reassure me as I wasn’t experiencing any pain. It was a long rest of the day and night and I became quite hysterically upset at one point.
The next day the bleeding had seemed to have worn off and we made our way to the early pregnancy clinic.
There were several other people there and I waited anxiously. They took a urine sample and my blood pressure, then there was more anxious waiting for a scan.
When we were eventually called I explained what had happened to the doctor and got ready to be scanned, petrified of what the outcome might be. She prodded and pressed as she rolled the scan wand across me then said she needed to do an internal scan. My heart dropped. But soon after the internal scan had started she said ‘I can see the heartbeat’, what an overwhelming sense of relief and happiness I felt and shed a few tears. The doctor dated me at 10 weeks, so a week earlier than originally thought. She told me if I experienced similar bleeding in the next couple of days not to worry but if it happened after that then to come back.
A week and a half later I went to the loo on my lunch break and the same thing happened, there was brown blood. I burst into tears and called the early pregnancy clinic. They told me I needed to get there before 4pm to ensure a scan. I got hold of my boss and she agreed to let me go early. Thankfully all was ok and this time little bubba was bouncing all over the place. They did struggle to take blood from me at this appointment but were eager to get so they would know if I was Rhesus negative as this would impact any future bleeds and I would need an anti d injection. It turned out I am Rhesus negative so would need anti d in the future.

I had my first appointment with the midwife I’d spoken to when I had my scare. She explained that at my GP surgery there were a team of midwives and over the course of my pregnancy, I would meet them all with the idea that one of them would deliver my baby. The midwife was called Annie, I really liked her, she was honest and straight talking, someone who I would’ve been happy with delivering my baby. It was a looonng appointment, going through the maternity notes book and answering several questions…I thought all my midwife appointments would be  that length! She decided to let the phlebotomist (jeez I can barely say the word, never mind spell it!)  at the hospital take my blood when I went for the 12 week scan, as I explained my veins weren’t very co-operative and I had an aversion to blood tests. My ‘aversion’ stems from when I had an operation in my early twenties. The anaesthetist couldn’t get a vein to put me to sleep so I was constantly having a needle inserted, in the end they put me out with the gas as I became hysterical. Then they were successful eventually… I woke up with several needle marks all over my hands, arms and back of wrists. It’s not really the needle that bothers me, it’s the process of finding a viable vein that I find extremely creepy!

So we had seen our little miracle at 10 and 11 and a half weeks but I still couldn’t wait for the all important 12 week scan. I went for the blood tests first and sat very unhappily waiting for my turn with the phlebotomist. What a surprise and relief when after checking both arms he got blood very easily. After almost shedding a couple of fear tears, I expected him to say he needed to try the other arm but nope he’d done his job perfectly and extracted some of my blood for the purposes required! He told me my ‘best arm’ for future tests and off we went to wait for our scan. 

When we went in I perched on the bed I was both excited and anxious, even though bubba had appeared ok in the two previous scans I was still paranoid! This was short lived when the grainy image appeared. Our little bubs looked chilled laying, back and raising its hand to its mouth. The sonographer told us that everything appeared to be normal at this stage, what a relief.

We were overjoyed and left with scan photos for us and grandparents.
Our little bubs at 12+4
Thank you so much for stopping by! I appreciate comments and read all of them!