Thursday, 18 December 2014

Milton Steriliser Review

If you read my blog you'll remember I posted a few weeks ago about my new found love for cold water sterilising. After reading the post Milton asked if I would like to review some of their new products which of course I agreed to, after all I'm officially a Milton convert these days! Milton sent me their new Combi Steriliser and their portable Travel Steriliser and here's what I thought of them both...

The Combi and Travel sterilisers are unique in that they can be used as both a traditional cold water steriliser or in the microwave. What I love about this is the flexibility it gives you, although I personally prefer the cold water method it's great to know I can revert to the microwave method if I needed something sterilised really quickly or didn't have any sterilising tablets. 

We went away for the weekend just after receiving the travel steriliser so this was the perfect chance to try it out. The Steriliser was perfect, it takes a full bottle and only needs a quarter of a tablet. Like the larger sterilisers the bottle stays sterile for up to 24 hours in the solution and the solution can be used as many times as you like in 24 hours sterilising in just 15 minutes. To use the microwave method you simply fill with the required amount of water and microwave. This was perfect for a weekend or for camping, long car journeys but got a longer holiday I would probably take the full size steriliser just for the convenience of having more than 1 bottle at a time. 

The Combi steriliser is exactly the same but takes 5 Bottles of any brand. As with all microwavable sterilisers the bottles are hot when they are first sterilised but this comes with tongs to avoid too much discomfort if you need to use the bottles really quickly. The steriliser is a good size but would easily fit into the smaller microwaves you tend to get now. 

I would really recommend the Combi, especially to a new mum who might not know which method they want to use for sterilising yet. The combo Steriliser retails at £24.99 and the Travel Steriliser at £10.99 and more information on both as well as other Milton Products can be found on their website 

We were sent both the Combi and Travel steriliser for the purposes of this review but all words and opinions are my own. 

Monday, 15 December 2014

Mega Bloks First Builders Build a Bakery Set - A Review

There are certain toys that no child should be without and for me building blocks are definitely one of them so when we were asked to review the Mega Bloks First Builders Build a Bakery set I knew instantly that D would love them.

The set includes not only the standard building bloks but also cake pieces so that she can make cakes and build a bakery. When we first opened the set D loved making me cakes, asking me what combinations I wanted - she's really into pretend play at the moment so loved playing shop. 

After a while I noticed she had built a castle with the bloks for one of her princess dolls so the game had changed again. That's what I love about building blocks like these, they really encourage a kid's imagination - every time they come out you know they'll be a new game. There are so many high tech gadgets (I sound like my dad!) for kids these days it's great to see D playing with a good old traditional toy using her imagination and creating her own game. 

This particular set is clearly aimed at girls with pink and purple coloured blocks and pink packaging, and if I'm honest this is my only gripe. It's a fantastic set and I know it'll provide lots of hours play but the pink packaging is likely to put off boys and who's to say a boy shouldn't want to play with a bakery as well. I've always felt where possible toys like bloks can be gender neutral. 

If you're on the hunt for Christmas Presents Mega Bloks first builders are a great choice the Build a Bakery set RRPs at £19.99 and is available at Argos

We were sent the Mega Bloks first builders for the purposes of this review but all words and opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Gro Hush Baby Calmer Review

Freya is nearly 8 weeks old now and already been through the mill a bit with a tongue tie and reflux. The pain from her Reflux and trapped wind has unfortunately made it really difficult for her to settle at times and as with most newborns we've found it's particularly bad during the evening. So when I came across a discussion on twitter about the Gro Hush, a new product from The Gro Company I couldn't resist finding out what it was all about with the view to seeing if it could be helpful for settling Freya. Gro very kindly sent us a Gro Hush which we have used a number of times now and so far I have a feeling me and this little fella are going to be firm friends. 

I'm already a huge fan of The Gro Company products, the Gro blackout blind has been a lifesaver for the last 3 years and we've recently started to use the Gro clock with my older daughter with great success so with that in mind I had high hopes for the Gro Hush and thankfully wasn't disappointed. 

The Gro hush is Gro Company's latest big product, it's a hand held soother which you gently rest against your child's ear while holding and cuddling them as normal. It has 3 different white noise sounds (heartbeat, rain drops and waves) and automatically turns off after 10 mins. Although not the products prime intention I also felt the sounds are really relaxing for the person holding baby and could help them relax especially if baby is exceptionally upset and the caregiver is feeling stressed by the situation

When I mentioned I would be reviewing the product I had a few people comment that if the baby is bring held by mum what more comfort can you give? I completely get this and even agreed before trying the Gro Hush but I have to say it does give a little extra, many babies respond well to white noise and this is where the geo hush compliments the comfort given by the parent or caregiver. As you have to hold the Gro Hush it's not there to replace a parent and this is something that us especially important to me as I emphatically feel that a young baby needs touch and contact.

We first tried the gro hush during one of those evenings when it feels you've entered a twilight zone and baby just can't settle. F was about 6 weeks old and it was clearly growth spurt time! She was fed and clean so we settled down for a cuddle with the gro hush - F was asleep within a few minutes, result! We've used the gro hush a few times since when again F needed that extra but of help and it's always been a success, It's no miracle product and I'm in have no doubt it won't always work it's magic but it is a really useful tool to turn to when you're running out of ideas and need that extra bit of help. For me it's another great product from Gro. The gro hush retails at £34.99 and can be purchased from The Gro Company website as well as the usual baby stores.

We were sent a Gro hush baby calmer for the purposes of this review but all words and opinions are my own. 

Friday, 21 November 2014

My View on the NHS Booby Bribes!

So Breastfeeding back on the agenda with the NHS 'paying' mums to breastfeed

I'm trying to decide what I think about it and it just doesn't sit right with me. Yes we all know that breastfeeding is the ideal option for our babies especially in the first few weeks but this has got to be a mothers choice not something that is done purely to obtain a reward. I get that the previous pilot was considered a  success in that a number of those involved breastfed to either the required 6 weeks or 6 months and for those babies involved this will undoubtably been beneficial but how can this be the right way forward? For some Im sure this gave them an option to breastfeed when they may not have previously felt they could, but for others it would have been a means to an end - after all D will do what I ask if there is a reward at the end of it. 

The scheme is just so arbitrary and completely ignores that there are so many reasons why women choose to breastfeed or not. Some are embarrassed about feeding in public, some women will have a lack of knowledge not only about the benefits of breastfeeding but also about how to start or the difficulties they may encounter. For some women the initial pain of breastfeeding may put them off starting or result in them giving up early on and for others there may be other demands such as work or family which mean they make the decision to bottle feed their babies. Then of course there are the medical reasons why Breastfeeding is either not possible or difficult for some women.

For me, money is not the answer to any of those issues, Good quality support and advice is! 

My own daughter had a posterior tongue tie which was missed by the initial midwife checks and only found after 10 days of difficulties in feeding. I was literally at my wits end with the pain, F wasn't getting the milk she needed and we we're both exhausted and miserable. I was just very lucky that one of my midwives took my concerns seriously and referred me to a colleague of hers who specialised in Tongue ties. When finally diagnosed however we were advised that we would need to wait 3 months to get the tie snipped and even then we are likely to be told it can't be done on the NHS as baby isn't 'failing to thrive' So the fact that I was in pain, baby was suffering from trapped wind and Reflux due to the bad latch and our breastfeeding relationship was miserable at best wasn't a consideration as long as F was putting on weight? How many mothers will give up feeding in that time? How many will just think they simply can't do it or that the pain is just too much? We were lucky enough to be able to pay for a private consultant to perform the tie snip but that's not going to be the case for everyone and I can't help but wonder how many cases like this are just not diagnosed quickly enough or at all.

In my opinion there is a significant lack of knowledge and support for issues such as tongue ties, Midwives are given very basic training on diagnosing ties and health visitors even less. And with the NHS being so selective in who they will help there is clearly a lack of understanding there about how significant tongue ties can be in terms of women breastfeeding. Tongue ties are just one example of the issues women and babies may encounter medically and this is something I experienced personally but I am sure there are many more.

I just can't see the logic in scheme which feels so focused on individuals rather targeting the support systems as a whole. We ensure all women have access to the kind of help and support which would allow them to make an informed decision about how to feed their children and to recieve quality support should they encounter problems, have a change in circumstances or feel they need help in any way. This just screams of the whole fish or fishing rod scenario, I can't see how the NHS can sustain such a scheme on the long term, We need to be thinking about changing opinions surrounding breastfeeding, educating those who wish to breastfeed and support all mothers regardless of how they choose to feed their children - this to me is just just pure carrot and stick mentality! 

My 1st Years Personalised Baby Blanket Review

We're at that age at the moment where many of our friends are having babies and it can be tough finding a present which is that little bit special and having 2 babies myself I know from the other side how lovely it is to receive something which is personal to you or your baby. This for me is where My 1st years hits just the right note so if course we were thrilled when they asked if we would like to review one if their beautiful personalised baby blankets. 

We chose the Star Jacquard Knit Blanket because I personally love a knitted blanket and I felt the design was specisl but not fussy. When it arrived I was thrilled it was truly beautiful - soft, cosy and with Fs name embroidered in baby pink. 

Being a knitted cotton the blanket is just the right weight without being heavy or bulky and it feels very good quality. The blanket is also machine washable which having a baby with reflux is a bit of a necessity. I haven't needed to wash it yet but being 100% cotton I am hoping it will wash well without losing it's shape. 

The Jacquard Star Knit Blanket comes in white with a choice of 2 different fonts and 8 different colours for the name. Once ordered the blanket arrived within a few days and looked stunning in the free luxury gift box. 

As you can see Freya is a big fan and certainly appreciates how snuggly it is! 

If you've not visited it before My 1st years website is full of amazing gifts for babies and children as well as some lovely bits for Mums and Dads as well many of which can be personalised with no extra charge and would make beautiful keepsakes. All items come in a beautiful free luxury gift box and postage is also free for orders over £30. 

Browsing through the site is pretty dangerous though as there are so many things I would love for either myself or to give as a gift to others and with Christmas just around the corner I have the perfect excuse for some shopping! 

We we're sent the Personslised Baby Blanket for the purposes of this review but all words and opinions are my own. 

Sunday, 16 November 2014

October Degustabox Review

With my life being in chaos due to the arrival of my beautiful 2nd daughter Freya, I took a month off reviewing Degustabox in September so I was thrilled to come home to Octobers box and extra excited as it's looking like a good un!

For those who haven't heard of Degustabox it's a fantastic food delivery service with a unique twist. Each month you are sent different products and you never know what you're going to get until it arrives. I personally love the boxes, I get to try foods I've not done so before which in turn means I try meals I haven't before and recently Degustabox have added an extra chilled item voucher in the box giving even more variety. 

Here's what was in the box this month

Enhance Drinks - £2.49

Jelly Belly £2.50
So love these, just need to try and keep the toddler away from them!

Dr Oetker Premium Extra dark Chocolate - £2.49
Dr Oetker Fine Dark Cocoa Powder - £1.89
What can I say - looks like I'll have to get baking again, chocolate cake anyone?

Solo Marshmallow Creme £1.99
This stuff is pure indulgence, delicious Marshmallow cream perfect for baking.

Get Buzzing £1.30
I've not seen these bars before but love a good flapjack and anything which gives me a boost of energy is a positive as far as I am concerned

Bear Paws £0.55
Bear Alphabites (Sample Present)
D was thrilled when she spotted these, she's a big fan of bear products and as they contain no added sugars or any nasties in any way so am I!

Kent's Kitchen £2.50
I am so excited about trying this curry kit - so easy top use yet feel like your making a curry from scratch. 

Blue Dragon Sweet Chilli Sauce £1.39 (2)

Brioche Pasquier Pain au Lait with choc chips £1.60
Brioche Pasquier Sliced Brioche loaf £1.69
D loves the Pain au Laits which she refers to as breakfast bread and we actually buy these on a  regular basis. The brioche loaf is just crying out for another bread and butter pudding so you'll be seeing that on the blog soon.

Special K Cracker Crisps £1.89

If you like what you see and would like to try the fabulous Degustabox for yourself you can do so for just £12.99 per month which I might add is far less than the value of the products you receive. Simply  head over to their website and if you use the code below you'll receive a £3.00 discount when you first register. 


We were sent this months Degustabox for the purposes of this review but all opinions are my own

Kiddylicious Munchbagz Toddler Snacks - A Review

Kiddylicious snacks

Having a nearly 3 year old means Im always on the lookout for healthy snacks - she's at the age where shes very aware of the joys of chocolates, cakes, biscuits etc so it can be much more of a challenge to find a healthy alternative we are both happy about her eating. Sadly gone are the days rice cakes are considered a treat although I can still just about convince her yogurt covered raisins are sweeties. 

So when the lovely people at Kiddylicious contacted me and suggested we try some if their snacks I jumped at the chance as I don't recall trying their products before and was keen to see what D thought of them.

We were sent some packets of the Munchbagz Krazy Kubez and as D is always very willing to help mummy review things (especially edible things!) she got stuck in at snack time. These are tiny little cubes of apple with either an orange or Raspberry. The first thing that struck me was that the snacks are full of flavour which is something I sometimes find is lacking in toddler snacks and whats really positive is that everything is made from real fruit, nothing artificial and with no added sugar. It's the perfect combination of something fun and attractive for the kids which doesn't make me feel guilty. I'm by no means a health food freak when it comes to myself or my kids but if there is the choice for something they would enjoy equally but one is healthy we'd all opt for that one right? 

Having a look at the other snacks Kiddylicious do I'll certainly try some others in the range. D is developing a love for crisps so I think she'll enjoy the fruit crisps range, actually so might I!

Kiddylicious snacks are available in most large supermarkets and to see their full range have a look at their fab website

We were sent some packs of Krazy Kubez for the purposes of this review but all words and opinions are my own.

60 Days In Photos

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Munchkin Latch Bottle Review

Those of you that read my blog will know we've been having a few problems breastfeeding my youngest. F had a posterior tongue tie cut at 10 days old and although she is better at latching she's struggling and we have made the decision to offer a bottle or 2 a day to top up and give me a break. 

As those who have done combination feeding know the key to success is getting a good bottle which mimics breastfeeding (or at least as much as it can) to avoid issues nipple confusion / bottle preference etc.  

There are lots of brands which claim to do this but some we have recently discovered are the Munchkin Latch bottles

We were sent some of the newborn latch bottles by Munchkin to try and have used them for almost a week now - here's what we thought of them.

The Munchkin Latch bottles have an innovative accordion style teat which encourages baby to latch in the same way they would when breast-feeding allowing baby to control the flow of milk by adding pressure to the teat. The bottles also have an anti colic valve at the base which stops the flow of air bubbles when the baby is drinking. 

One of Fs main problems with feeding from either breast or bottle is not latching correctly and taking in too much air which in turn was causes trapped wind and digestion problems. F would literally grunt and groan all night but with the Latch bottles she does seem 'hang on to the bottle better and appears to have less trapped wind so nights have thankfully been a little quieter and we've managed a bit more sleep! I personally love the shape of the teats on the bottles, the accordion sides move naturally as F does without exposing a gap and allowing air to be taken in and also doesn't require her to lay flat to finish the bottle as this causes her reflux to flair up. We've had no problems with 'confusion' and so far F is very happy to take from either breast or bottle and I think the similarities between the Latch teats and the breast shape help with this.  

My only gripe with the bottles is as with the anti colic valve in the bottom of the bottle and without this valve there is a hole in the bottom of the bottle. Unfortunately on several occasions in our sleep deprived state both Mr R and I have forgotten the valve and poured milk straight into the bottle which in turn ends up leaking out the bottom. This is annoying at best but when it's your hard pumped expressed milk is a disaster! There really has been some occasions of crying over spilt milk. 

Spilt milk aside we've been so impressed with the bottles we are considering investing in more and replacing the current brand we use.Finding a good bottle which allows us to combine breast and bottle feeding has becoming something of a personal quest at the moment and the Munchkin Latch have really looked at all the requirements and in my opinion come up with one of the best on the market at the moment. 

If you like the look of the bottles head over to the Munchkin website as there's plenty of information about Latch as well as reviews from parents who are currently using them. 

We were sent the Munchkin Latch bottles to review but all words and opinions are my own. 

Monday, 3 November 2014

Oxo tot Divided Plate and Water Bottle Review

We're big Oxo tot fans in our household, D still uses the weaning plates and cutlery and we loved the Sprout high chair which we had for D and is still in fantastic conditional for Freya. So how could I refuse the opportunity to review some of Oxo tots other products.

As Freya is too young for weaning I looked at some products D would use and went for divided plate and the twist top water bottle

D has become a little picky at mealtimes so I thought the plate might encourage her a little as it allows me to be a bit more imaginative with her meals. The 3 sections also allow me to have a clearer idea of how much she should be eating in terms of protein, carbs and veg. 

I chose to review the water bottle as, as any parent knows, finding a leak proof cup which actually works amongst the hundreds which claim to be leak proof is like finding a needle in a haystack!

When they arrived in the post D couldn't wait to put them to the test so we got lunch ready straight away. The plate is much bigger than I expected and perfect for a growing toddler, it has a rubber bottom to stop it slipping and a removable ridge to avoid food being pushed off the side of the plate when your little ones are learning to use cutlery. D instantly loved the plate and proudly announced she 'never wanted to use her old plates again!' She loved the different sections especially the centre one which allows space for Hummous, ketchup or even a choccy treat! 

The water bottle was also a big hit and from a parents point of view its fab, really robust and so far genuinely leakproof! D struggles a little opening and closing the bottle herself but this is something we find with a lot of bottles and cups

The plate and water bottle come in three colours Aqua, raspberry and green and retail at £8.17 for the plate and £8.00 for the beaker. Both are more than worth the money, D has the smaller Oxo tot plate we bought when she first started weaning and it is still going strong with no sign of wear. 

I was pretty confident I would love the products from Oxo tot and I wasn't disappointed! personally love the Oxo tot brand, the products are beautifully designed, durable and very baby/child friendly. 
You can see the full range of Oxo tot's products on their website and personally I can't recommend them enough and if you haven't got little mouths to feed anymore they have some seriously beautiful kitchen products!

We were sent the divided plate and twist top water bottle for the purposes of this review but all opinions are my own 

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Milton Cold Water Steriliser

For those of you you who read my blog you'll know I've been experiencing a few bumps in the road to blissful breast feeding as a result of my daughters tongue tie. We're making slow progress but along the way decided to express some milk to allow my husband to offer F a bottle every now and then to give me (and my poor battered boobs) a break. 

I hadn't bought any bottle set prior to having F so the decision resulted in a quick shopping trip for bottles, pumps and sterilisers. With my first daughter I opted for the pretty standard microwave steriliser which was fine but this time round I did a bit more research and decided to go for a traditional cold water steriliser from Milton.

We don't sterilise much, just the pump and the odd bottle but what I love about the Milton Steriliser is just how hassle free it is. You fill it up, pop in a tablet and the water is sterile for 24 hours, it takes 15 mins to sterilise the bottles, pump etc and you can simply add and remove items as you need to in that 24 hours. The container is big enough to take 6 bottles but is compact enough to have on the kitchen side (and we don't have a very big kitchen) 

I love the fact that you can also add dummies, toys etc and again in 15 mins their sterile. 

We've been using it about a week now and I just can't see the attraction of the new electric / microwave in preference to the cold water options. The set up cost less than £20 with enough tables to last a couple of months, got me it's a no brainer and I wish I'd known about them with my first daughter. 

Having discovered the Milton cold water steriliser I've seen they now also have portable versions for bottles and dummies which look amazing. 

I wasn't asked to write this review and I paid for my Milton products but wanted to share what I felt was a good value product that is easy to use and does exactly what it says on the tin - just what every busy mum needs! 

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Mama Tens Maternity Kit: A Review

A few weeks before my due date the opportunity came up to review the rental of a Maternity Tens machine from Mamatens. Having not used one before and hoping to have a more straightforward birth this time round I was really excited to see how me and the Tens would get along.

I received the tens kit in plenty of time for the birth and was able to read through the instruction booklet and prepare myself so I wouldn't have problems using it when the time comes. The instruction booklet is very clear and straightforward with diagrams where required to ensure any questions about using the tens are answered. 

So when the day finally arrived I had been getting some contractions which weren't painful as such but uncomfortable I had been advised by lots of people to use the tens from early on to get the best results so thought this was a good time to get started. 

I wasn't sure at first whether I would get on with the tens, the sensation wasn't uncomfortable but it was hard to imagine how it would help with more severe pain. I wanted to keep an open mind though and used the tens for a couple of hours that night and then took it off to go to bed, however sleep wasn't on the agenda as the contractions continued I put it back on about 3pm and it stated on then for the remainder of my labour. 

By the time the contractions had got stronger the tens had become a bit of a companion. The action of switching the boost during the contraction was a routine which I felt kept me in some kind of control, the pulses acted as much as a distraction as anything else and a much needed one at that! 

As labour progressed I changed programmes as advised in the instructions and I kept it on throughout - admittedly by the time I actually gave birth the tens was something of a distant memory but in hindsight I was really pleased with how far it got me. I was able to avoid an epidural and managed in Gas and Air and a little Pethadine which after my first daughters birth was my ultimate goal

Despite my initial doubts I can honestly say the tens was a huge help especially in the early stages of labour and I would certainly recommend them to other pregnant ladies. If you are thinking about renting a tens machine or just want to find out more about how they work I'd recommend having a look at the Mamatens website as it's full of really useful info. 

I was offered the opportunity to use a Maternity tens machine from mama tens for the purposes of this review, however all words and opinions are my own. 

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Breastfeeding and Tongue Tie woes

From the start something didn't feel right with Freya's latch, I remember the first few days when I fed D being painful but this was another level, red hot pokers in my nipples would have been more pleasant. 

I spoke to my midwife who checked for a tongue tie but couldn't see one so we continued to work on the latch but Freya just couldn't stay on. She latched with a big wide mouth but always slipped down and I just couldn't work out what we were doing wrong. I started to dread each feed knowing how painful it would be and even started thinking about giving up breast feeding which was something I really didn't want but I couldn't imagine another 6 days feeding let alone 6 months and beyond. 

It all came to a bit of a head at Freya's five day check, the inevitable 'how's feeding going' question came up and the tears flowed! The midwife checked Freya's latch again but couldn't work out why she wasn't staying on and feeding properly so she suggested we see a colleague of hers who specialised in tongue ties and arranged an appointment a few days later. 

After weighing Freya she told us she had only lost 70grams from her birth weight so through sheer determination on both our parts she thankfully wasn't losing lots of weight which was a relief but I knew I couldn't keep feeding through the pain and Freya was starting to show signs of reflux which we later discovered were linked to tongue ties and bad latching. 

We visited the specialist a few days later and she found a posteria tie straight away. She said Freya must have been literally sucking so hard with her lips she was getting enough food but agreed this wouldn't be sustainable in the long term so she talked about our options if we decided we wanted to do anything about the tie. At home we did some research and decided to get the procedure done as we really wanted to continue breast feeding and hoped it would also relieve some of Freya's reflux symptoms. We chose to go private for the procedure as we would have to wait 3 months on the NHS and even then there's no guarantee they'll do it if the baby isn't losing weight despite any discomfort mum or baby might be in. 

The procedure itself was very quick but quite distressing to see. Freya cried for a few seconds but stopped as soon as she fed and we had a few whimpers after that but otherwise she was fine. We were told the tie had been very tight so would probably have also caused issued with speech etc as Freya grew up so despite the obvious guilt at putting her through the pain we felt we had done the right thing.  

Afterwards I guess I had hoped for a miracle perfect latch but this didn't happen. Freya needs to strengthen her tongue and is so used to nipple feeding we need to get into practice getting a good latch. We have been getting help from a local lactation specialist who has suggested different positions and topping up but we're still struggling. I don't really feel expressing and topping up is a viable option for us as we're already feeding about 10-12 times a day and adding expressing, bottle feeding and sterilising to the mix seems impossible with an almost 3 year old to look after as well.

I am well aware that the mere suggestion of moving to bottles and formula is likely to bring with it a barrage of 'breast is best' comments but there are very real moments when I feel I've fallen out of love with breast feeding and dread each feed as I know it'll hurt so much. Plus I feel mine and Freya's relationship is dominated by these latch issues and the worries that bad latching is causing wind and possible reflux. I never imagined I would be considering giving up feeding as it's always been so important to me and the fear of regretting a decision somewhere down the line is overwhelming but I'd be lying if said it hadn't crossed my mind more than once. 

At the moment I'm holding off any decisions and will continue to work on Freya's latch and I do truly hope things improve but I have definitely realised the importance of that old saying - "happy mummy happy baby" and won't struggle at the expense of my health or my bond with Freya.

If I do decide to stop I am dreading people's opinions as some always feel it necessary to judge a bottle feeding mum. Perhaps most of all I'm dreading the breast feeding nazis Health Visitors who I suspect will feed me all the standard 'breast is best' lines - like I don't already know this and feel bad enough as it is.

For now though I'm persevering with the help of copious amounts of Lanisoh and paracetamol and we'll take each day as it comes.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Freya Pearl - Our birth story

I was due on the 25th September but didn't have any indications that anything would happen so went about my day as usual. D and I went food shopping and had spent the afternoon splashing in a local stream in our wellies! It was at around 5pm while in a certain fast food establishment that I felt my first contractions. 

These continued into the evening so I got out the Tens about 8pm and used it for 2 hours until I went to bed. I slept for a couple of hours but the contractions started up again about 1/2am so I put the Tens back on and tried to relax as much as possible. 

As things looked like they were moving on we called Mr Rs mum who travelled down to look after D and started to get things together for the hospital as well as food and stuff for D while we were gone. 
We left for hospital about 1pm but didn't at the time tell D we were having the baby as we thought it might be too much for her to take in. We just told her baby was wriggling which is how we explained morning sickness etc.

When we arrived at hospital and shown to our room it finally sunk in when we left we would be doing so with our baby, suddenly it was all very real! I was given some Gas and Air and with the Tens was managing the pain. 

After a few hours things stepped up so I had a shot of pethadine, I know some people really don't like it but I have to shamefully admit I loved the spaced out feeling it gave me and it really took the edge off the contractions. 

About 7pm I started to struggle with the pain and kept asking for an epidural, hubby and midwife knew I didn't really want one so when I was examined and found to be 8cm we agreed to try the pool instead. (Im so glad they managed to sway me from the epidural as I would have regretted it afterwards) Baby however had different ideas and around 20 mins later I felt the urge to push and missy was born at 8.18pm on the 26th September 2014.

There are simply no words for that moment you first hold your own baby, it's just love in the simplest, purest form - she was beautiful and I was in love immediately. 

Labour wise I felt so much more in control this time round, the midwife was keen not to check how dilated I was until it was clear delivery was close as she felt it could be disheartening if I wasn't as far as hoped - this was a huge difference with my first labour at St Thomas's where I felt they put a lot of emphasis on how far dilated I was.

I also managed to stay active and mobile all the way through (although admittedly after the Pethadine I spent a lot of time on the floor!) I did however somehow make it into the bed to deliver but remained on my knees, i was determined not to be stuck on my back delivering this time round. 

After she was settled with us Freya fed for over an hour (sign of things to come!) and then Ad left us so we could try and sleep 

I stayed overnight in the birthing centre but having a room to myself it was actually nice to have some time just Freya and me. Daisy and Mr R came to collect us in the morning and it was clear immediately that Daisy was smitten by her little sister. 

The experience in general was much calmer than with D and I can't rate the staff at Watford ABC enough. My recovery has been so much more straight forward and the after care with the midwives has been great. Freya has had a few hiccups with Jaundice and a tongue tie but we've had great support so far.

We've been home 10 days now and I can definitely say the settling in is so much easier with number 2, they just kind of have to fit in with your current life. D has continued to be an amazing big sister and I'm pretty sure they're going to be best of friends as they grow up

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