31 May 2017

PINK PARCEL // MAY 2017


Periods suck right? I always forget to buy pads or whatever, mine are still irregular as hell because I'm breastfeeding and basically it's the shittest surprise ever. They hurt, they ruin your underwear when you sneeze, basically they fuck your day right up. To make bleeding from an internal organ more enjoyable, I signed up to Pink Parcel.

The gist is, you tell them your cycle details, they send you a box of enough pads/tampons (whatever you preference), something sweet to shut the PMS craving monster up, a nice cup of tea and a few treats to pamper yourself with. How awesome is that?




I choose Always Infinity Pads for those who are wondering. They're definitely the most comfortable pads I've tried, they're made of foamy type material which doesn't have that horrible crinkly sound. They mould to your body and are generally less horrible to wear than most others I've tried. I won't go as far to say you can't tell you're wearing them because anyone who says you cant are liars or have no feeing in their vaginas, but they are as comfortable as a sanitary towel is going to get. And they are sneeze proof (you know what I'm talking about ladies). I actually used these as maternity pads after having Lily and they coped with that level of monstrosity. Definitely a winner.

MOUNT PURIOUS ROSE WATER FACIAL TONER

This is a 10ml sample size. I've wanted some rose water for ages now, not because of any particular skin miracle reason but juts because I love the smell. It helps tone the skin which is a winner for me because any help my zombified skin can get is welcomed with open arms. I've mainly been using it as a refresher to stop me from melting in this damn heat!

TRUST FUND NAIL POLISH IN LONDON SNOG

This is a full size product, worth £12 so that alone in more that the box itself. I really bloody love this actually, I would have liked a different colour I think as I have rather an embarrassingly large collection of greys. The formula is amazing, it's so creamy, one coat and you're done.

FLAWLESS BRUSH

No idea what this brush is actually for but I used it for my foundation and it is literally the softest thing I have ever put on my face. It blended really well and I think it may be giving my Real Techniques one a run for it's money which is saying something as they have been my go to brushes for the past 5 years.

WILLIE'S CACAO

I got the orange kind, it's chocolate therefore knew it was amazing before I even opened it. I normally keep any vegan things I get for my sister but I didn't this time and I wasn't sorry. It's basically dark chocolate with a hint of orange. Ben didn't like it but that's only because I told him it was vegan despite the fact he will quite happily stuff his face with Cadbury Bournville chocolate. Which is also vegan. Riddle me that one, nob face!

SCRUB LOVE

I had high hope for this the second I saw the word coffee. It's an "invigorating coffee body scrub", looks like coffee grounds, smells like coffee grounds. COMPLETELY OBLITERATED MY SHOWER. It honestly looked like someone had got several bags of compost, inserted a few sticks of dynamite and blew the whole thing up. Ignoring that it was pretty good really, cant say it was particularly invigorating but I only used it for a quick scrub. I don't think I will use it again because of the gut wrenching moment I realise that having a quick shower at 11pm and then having to spend about half an hour cleaning the bloody stuff up was not a good idea at all.

BIC MISS SOLEIL RAZOR

Can't complain about this on, nothing particularly special about it but they're always useful to have. Plus I've been stealing Ben's for far too long now haha!


The biscuits and tea I haven't tried yet but they sound quite nice. Plus anything in tiny, cute packaging is an instant winner with me because I'm super sad.


Gee x


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LIFE // PREGNANCY LOSS



On Saturday, 31st May 2014, I had a miscarriage. 


This is the first time I have felt able to properly share this.. I have touched on it before but I've never gone into detail or told my Angel Baby's story before. I still don't know if I'm ready to but if this helps someone, somewhere, then I feel the pain of writing this will be worth it. 


When I found out I was pregnant again, I was absolutely not expecting it. I didn't even think I was late when I tested, I just had an overwhelming feeling one day telling me that I needed do a test RIGHT NOW so when it came back positive I was in complete shock. I remember standing there, shaking like a leaf, staring at the 2 pink lines appearing before my eyes feeling like everything around me was on fast forward and I was just there, on pause, eyes glued to this stick of plastic.


Despite being in complete shock, completely terrified of how I was going to make this work and about a million other things, I knew without a doubt in my mind that I wanted to keep the baby and the main thing going through my mind was complete and utter excitement. Being a Mum is my thing and there wasn't anything else on the entire planet I loved more than being a Mum and I loved this baby with every ounce of my being the second those lines appeared. I rang and booked an appointment with the midwife straight away just as I did when I found out I was expecting my first, Eloise, and was booked in. My dates made me out to be about 5 or 6 weeks pregnant. 


The reception to my news didn't go down as well as I had hoped and to cut a long and shitty story short, I started to look for a place to move to. Problem being my now ex, was an apprentice so everywhere we looked rent wise no one would touch us because we were poor as hell basically. 


The start of my pregnancy was ruined by phone calls to estate agents, viewing houses, more phone calls and yet more viewings. I tried my best to eat well and try not to stress out at the shit storm of a situation I had found myself in. I began to get an incredibly strange feeling in my general bump area. The only way I can describe it is that it was as thought my womb had detached and was just floating in there, tugging as I walked, about to fall out at any second. It felt so heavy, not painful at first, just really heavy. 


We publicly announced the pregnancy, I never got the chance to properly announce Eloise's as that was also a shit storm and I was just so excited at the thought of becoming a Mum again. A day after I began spotting, not a lot, but enough to notice a slight pink tinge on the toilet paper, not enough to mark my underwear. This worried me but not too much as I had a small amount of spotting with Eloise at about 9 weeks. I was still testing positive so I decided to wait it out and as it was such a small amount I tried not to freak out and kept reminding myself that I actually had more spotting with Eloise and she was fine etc etc. In hindsight, as soon as the strange tugging feeling started I think I knew.  


I was taking test after test now, comparing the lines, taking photos and editing them to try and convince me that the newer ones were the same or darker by editing them. I was going to the bathroom every 3 minutes to check if I was bleeding more. Reading google search after google search about pregnancy tests and how the hook effect works (when the HCG hormone in your urine is too high that the test comes back lighter or negative) and I even diluted a sample to test this theory. Still came back positive. This went on for a week whilst I was viewing properties and making phone calls I really didn't feel like making. I remember viewing one not far from where I lived at the time and being asked by the estate agent if I had children. I told her I had a 4 year old and one on the way. She congratulated me. She was the first person to say anything positive about my pregnancy.


The spotting stopped for a while and I started to calm down and I slowed right down, trying anything that I thought I could possibly do to stop this happening, holding on to every single shred of hope I had left at this point, with all I had. The spotting returned later on the same day.  It was then that I really began to accept that I was probably losing my baby. 


I rang the doctors and they got the Early Pregnancy Unit to speak to me and assess me. The lady said to me quite bluntly that "the pregnancy will either progress, or it won't". Those words still echo in my head. She was helpful and told me to stop torturing myself by taking a good 5 tests a day and to leave it a couple of weeks and test again. She gave me a number to ring if I started to get any sharp pain in either side or if I started bleeding more. 


The spotting quickly increased to resemble the start of a period and progressed into bleeding which progressed into the worst cramps I have experienced. I have a very high pain tolerance and they were painful at this point but not crippling. Not like contractions or period pains, they felt deep and hollow. 


I began getting sharp pains in my side and so I rang the EPU and they said they wouldn't be able to get me a scan until the following week and the pain was most likely my ligaments/ my uterus trying to "expel the foetus" rather than an ectopic pregnancy as my tests had started to get lighter and my HCG levels were going down rather than up. I remember taking a photo with a digital test I bought, as a keepsake now more than anything. The dates on it would have been wrong but I wanted something other than a pissy stick to keep.




Over the next few days the bleeding got heavier, I don't know whether it was the blood loss or the stress but I began to feel dizzy whenever I was upright but being alone for most of it and having a 4 year old to look after meant I couldn't rest like my body needed me to. At this point I knew my baby had died. Knowing that you are carrying your dead child inside you is a feeling I will never, ever get over. When the one place they should be safe, they weren't. Did it hurt? Were they in any pain? Knowing that it was your body that stopped their little heart, for whatever reason, and that no amount of hoping, no amount of editing or holding the tests in certain lights, no amount of praying, none of those things would bring my baby back.


At this point I stopped being scared for my baby and began being scared for me. Before, when I felt there was hope, I didn't really think about me. I knew the things that can go wrong, the things that can happen to me but I didn't care. All I cared about was keeping this baby alive but by this point my tests were now pretty much negative. My body was weak, it was exhausted from crying until I couldn't breathe anymore, from pregnancy, from loss. I had failed at the one thing my body had been created to do and I began trying to figure out how my body had killed my baby. I hated myself. I hated everything I "could have done". Should I have taken vitamins earlier? Was it my blood type? Should I have stopped breastfeeding my eldest? Would those things have made a difference? A million reasons to blame myself were spinning round and round in my mind. I blamed my ex, he was a smoker, was it that which caused this? I blamed my situation. If I hadn't have been given a time limit to find a place and leave; if i hadn't been so stressed out, would this still have happened? This was the beginning of me completely losing myself.


I now just wanted the baby out of me. I was exhausted with waiting for the worst thing of my life to happen. There was no hope now but part of me still couldn't give up on the deluded though that even now, perhaps my baby was okay. Maybe by some miracle my baby was safe, wiggling away inside.


I tried distracting myself with anything, buying gifts for my eldest as a sorry for being a shit Mum, played games that I can no longer play and watched films I cannot watch anymore. I remember watching Les Mis√©rables which is one of my favourite musicals. I haven't been able to watch it since and the songs still feel like stabs to my entire being. Anything that takes me back to how I felt in that moment, even now, I can't bare.


 Finally, on the night of 31st May the cramping picked up. I mean, really picked up. It felt like someone was literally trying to tear my abdominal organs out of me. I went into the bathroom and tried to catch the blood with some tissue and it was then that my baby passed.




*if you don't like very graphic details then skip the next paragraph*




There on the toilet paper I could see the sac that had surrounded the baby inside my womb. It looked torn open, I wasn't sure what it was meant to look like but to me it looked ripped and shredded almost. Thinking back now, it looked like a tiny placenta. The foetal tissue was there too, it looked like a large blood clot/tissue but grey and more fibrous and not like regular clots you get during periods. The colour was different, it was paler and more attached together and structured.



There on the toilet paper was my baby. I remember just standing there not knowing what the hell to do. To me what was in my hands wasn't just a "ball of cells", it was my child. I didn't want to just flush it down the toilet. I wouldn't just throw my daughter away so why would I do that to this baby? I ended up folding the tissue as best I could do, trying hard to to "hurt" the baby and tucked the little package away in a purple, heart shaped trinket box I had. I don't think I cried when it happened. I didn't really feel anything anymore.



*


I remember getting back into bed, telling my ex that it had happened and then went to sleep, not being sure if I really wanted to wake up whilst at the same time being terrified that I actually wouldn't.


I remember digging my fingers as hard as I could into my stomach and literally tearing at my skin, absolutely loathing my body for what it had done. It had killed my child. I hated my mind for not being stronger. I thought about how stressed I had been, had my baby felt that? Had the short time they had been alive, did they only feel the panic I did? I have never hated something more than I hated myself in that moment. But it was over.


I bled for a while after, like a heavy period once things had settled down which gradually trailed off over the next 2 weeks. By this point I was having countless panic attacks daily and was finding it really hard to cope. I was terrified of falling pregnant again because I was convinced my body was evil and that it would end up killing the next baby too. 

Everyone had seemed to have forgotten there ever was a baby and I felt like the only person who cared that there had been a life inside of me and that life had ended. Everywhere I looked there was a newborn or someone had found out they were pregnant and because I had only been able to bring myself to tell close friends and family, I was still having people ask how my pregnancy was going and it just killed me over and over again and so I just shut everyone out and let the grief completely consume me. 


We eventually found a shitty, falling apart but beautiful old listed building within our price range and moved out just as the bleeding started to stop. I threw myself into doing the place up trying desperately to shift my focus on something, anything else. I found it so hard to even like living there and ended up spending more time away from "home" that I spent there, taking Eloise to my Grandparents house most days and nights if I could because I felt like they were the only people who cared about me at the time. My mental health deteriorated quickly and beyond anything I have ever experienced before and my ex couldn't/didn't want to/didn't know how to deal with it so we ended up splitting up and I moved back home late one night in November.

It is now coming up to 3 years later. I should have a 2 year old. Lily should have had 2 older siblings. I should have 3 children. They say time heals and to a certain extent it does, but losing a child, at any stage, is something I truly believe no parent can ever get over. Not completely. You see, the thing they don't tell you when you lose a baby at any stage of pregnancy, is that you don't just lose a baby, you lose a future, you lose their first smile, their wobbly little first steps, their first word. You lose their first day at school, their last day at school, their wedding day and the children they may had had themselves. When you lose a baby, you lose so much more than just that pregnancy. You lose a whole entire life. 




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24 May 2017

BABY // ELLAS KITCHEN FINGER FOODS



Ah weaning, yet another stage of parenting where you sit there, mouth wide open in complete confusion wondering where the hell to start and coming up at a loss at every corner. Baby things are confusing enough and there are a thousand different ways to do things which makes things even more confusing. Baby Led Weaning or Traditional Weaning or a mixture of purees and finger foods? You find yourself drowning in sippy cups, suction bowls, heat sensitive spoons and other things you never knew existed.

Here are a selection of foods from Ella's Kitchen that I have reviewed with the help of my youngest squish, Lily bean.

We have always been big fans of Ella's Kitchen in this house, I remember the Pack-o-snacks and Puffits that Eloise used to love back when she was weaning (6 or so years ago, damn I feel old). I went down the BLW route with Eloise so I didn't use the pouches with her but we decided that we wanted to go down the TW route with Lily when she hit 6 months, so it was pouch and mashed up veggies galore to begin with.

She is now 15 months old and moved onto finger food completely at 12 months old although we did sort of introduce them at about 10 months old. I wasn't confident enough to introduce them properly earlier because she tends to gag and choke on things a lot due to her lip tie and even now I still cut most things up into bite sized pieces.



CHEESE + TOMATO & VANILLA + BANANA MELTY HOOPS

These are a firm favourite. They're a little bit bigger than a cereal type hoop and melt quickly when introduced to the slobbery gum fest that is the mouth of a babe. Lily loves them and finds them very easy to pick up, she has even developed her very own style of eating these where she sticks her finger in the middle like a ring and then sticks it in her mouth faster than lightening with an "om". I did think the vanilla and banana ones sounded a bit weird to start with and after trying one I'm still not sure but Lily loves them and I guess that's what matters. The cheese + tomato ones on the other hand are what I call "adult level nice", I could eat a pack myself and don't mind so much when Lily shoves a half chewed one in my mouth/eye/general facial area.

The packet comes with a resealable sticker to stop them going soggy (not that they last that long in this house). I particularly like how they show the actual size of the hoops on the packet, it makes me feel more confident buying them knowing exactly how big they are and makes it far easier to judge whether they will be right for your baby etc etc. All the paranoid Mum questions are answered. I like it.









CARROT + PARSNIP & STRAWBERRY + BANANA MELTY PUFFS

These scared me to begins with because they look pretty big, I was quite worried she would try sticking the whole thing in her mouth (which she did end up trying) when we first tried these quite a few months back I would cut them up (I'm uber paranoid). She has these whole now and nibbles them (three at a time). They are very "puffy" so melt really quickly in the mouth which makes me panic sightly less when she tries to shove 6 in a once.

Again, they show the actual size on the packet. Top marks for helping the panicky ones Ella's Kitchen. They're basically a taller, fatter, healthier, cheese puff. The bigger size means they're easier for littler babies to hold so would be good for those wanting to go down the BLW route.


VANILLA + BANANA BABY BISCUITS

These really surprised me in terms of shape. I'm not really sure what I was expecting but they're a bit like fig rolls shape wise. They're softer in texture than a normal biscuit which means it's easier for them to chew with no molars/teeth in general. About the same height as the melty puffs but not as melty and they come in little individual packets which is super handy for chucking into the depths of a changing bag for use as tantrum distracters. The packet is also bright yellow so there is a strong chance you will actually be able to spot it amongst the random baby crap (literal and otherwise) that's been thrown inside and forgotten about for over 6 months.

Everything is made from organic ingredients, super healthy and we are yet to find something Lily doesn't like which is a winner in my book. Plus most supermarkets tend to run offers across the range quite frequently, there is always at least one shop running an offer so it's extra easy on the pocket. All the points from me!

Lily gets through quite a lot of baby snacks so you can probably expect some more reviews like this in the future. She actually likes helping me do blog stuff when it involves food, a girl after my own heart.

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21 May 2017

SUNDAY POST // CROCHET


I started crocheting back when Eloise was about 1, I was about 20 at the time and because having a child ages you approximately 50 years I felt like it was acceptable to start up an "old lady hobby". I taught myself how to crochet flowers by watching about a million YouTube videos and eventually got the hang of it. And by 'it' I mean flowers. That was all I could crochet. A granny square is meant to be the easiest thing to start with but could I get my head around that patterns? Could I fuck. I gave up after a while and got bored of making flowers and so they sat in a shoe box for about 3 years before getting lost, never to be found again.

Fast forward to my pregnancy with Lily, I randomly picked up some cheap, baby pink yarn from a charity shop because I had decided I would attempt at least a hat. Somehow this time it just clicked and I made a (shit) hat, then a cardigan with one arm and eventually my first ever crochet blanket (which I still haven't finished off properly haha). Since then I have made a fair bit with my favourite project being my Sophie's Universe blanket which took me around 2 months to make. I'm incredibly proud of that blanket.

Sophie's Universe. I used mostly Stylecraft yarn with a few random ones thrown in.

I've made 9 cardigans, 4 scarves, 8 baby blankets, 3 kid blankets, 2 CALS (still not 100% what CAL stands for), 1 Teletubbies graphgan (for Lily, who naturally decided she wasn't that bothered about them as soons as I had finished making the sodding thing), 1 pair of slippers, various toys, 3 shawls, 2 cushions, countless hats (although most of those were for neonatal units) all within the last 2 years and probably other stuff I've forgotten about. Some with patterns, most without. Only 1 thing being for me haha.
Pretty good going for someone who could crochet a pissing granny square a few years ago. I normally hate anything I make myself but for some reason, with crocheting I normally end up half liking the finished product. I can always see bits I could improve on or colours I should have changed but 9/10 I can be happy with it which is a huge thing for me.





Yet another blanket I made for Lily, Sophie's Garden in the middle, the rest is my own pattern.


Behold, the only thing I have every made that was for myself. A scarf. I don't remember the pattern but the yarn was Stylecraft Carnival in Rio.




Midway through Sophie's Universe. 


16 May 2017

#IAMASLUMMYMUMMY



Firstly, yes, that is a glass of Rosé between my tits. Now we have that cleared up, it has recently come to my attention that once again The Daily Fail have fucked up and written something that ended up resembling a dog turd on fire. Awesome work guys. The last bit was sarcasm by the way, I see you find it rather difficult to understand so I thought I would point it out so you didn't get confused.


What the actual fuck is it with people constantly Mum shaming? Just shut the fuck up. There is a fine line between having an opinion and being an arsehole and the delightful woman who wrote the article well and truly falls into the latter category. 

She starts by talking about the 18th century and judging by her attitude she must have been born around that time too. She then goes on to say:



"confessing to their gin-soaked shortcomings as mothers, and writing books documenting how terrible they are at parenting and which storm up the bestseller lists?"

Now is it just me or does that STINK of the green eyed monster? Because funnily enough two of the Mums she happens to be bitching about are Katie Kirby, author of Hurrah For Gin and Sarah Turner, author of The Unmumsy Mum and The Unmumsy Mum Diary, amazing books, best sellers, loved by all. And then there is her, Anna Mangan, the author of a book entitled "The Pushy Mothers Guide" which has a review on Amazon that calls it "utter rubbish" and another that says it has "no substance". Awks.


It then goes on to bitch some more about how terrible these "slummy mummies' are for admitting that they do actually get annoyed at things their children do and that sometimes parenting is fucking well hard. The writer then goes on to say:


'To me, it all rather smacks of that annoying child in your class at school who bragged that she hadn’t done a jot of revision but was secretly beavering away and achieving amazing results."

Right, so now she's bitching about calling your kid annoying and then calling kids annoying. It is at this point I become rather suspicious that it is actually her that is soaked in gin as she appears to be shitting through her fingertips in order to write this bullshit article.


Why is it so bad that Mothers are being honest about parenting? Admitting that it isn't all sunshine and first smiles. Or hugs and kisses and cute little drawings that they've written "i luve yew' on in bright orange crayon. Sometimes it is fucking hard and feeding your kids fish fingers every now and then isn't fucking neglectful. Neither is swearing. Or having the odd Gin and Tonic. Parenting is actually, really fucking hard and quite frankly, I would much rather be a #slummymummy than a pretentious high horse dweller who is okay with shitting flowers over baby shit and toddler tantrums and making new Mums feel like they've failed because no one talks about the shit parts THAT HAPPEN TO FUCKING EVERYONE. So, Daily Mail, kindly piss the fuck off you bunch of wank puffins. Thank you and goodnight.




BABY // MY BABYWEARING EXPERIENCE

When I fell pregnant with Eloise and was plunged into the 'what the fuck is that' world full of baby products I'd never heard of before. I never really looked too much into baby wearing at first. I don't think I properly wore her until she was about 5 months old. I was a bit of a pram whore if I'm completely honest, I went through about 5 with Eloise in the first 2 years (and now there's me with a shitty old florescent pink piece of crap I hardly use that cost me a fiver off a Facebook selling page.)

The first baby carrier I ever owned was one of those foam filled things that was chunky and uncomfortable and shit in general on so many levels. I used it about once before retiring it to the back of the hallway door at my Mums house (it's probably still there actually) which was more than likely a good thing as they are more often than not, terrible on baby's hips. Especially the cheaper ones.

My next venture into baby wearing came in the shape of a bright pink Baba Sling. Eloise was about 5 months old at the time and I hated it immediately. I tried a hip carry and it felt really unsupportive and like she was going to topple out of it at any second. For a younger baby I could see it being more useful, especially for breastfeeding out of but even then I'd feel quite uncomfortable doing anything in it because it offers very little support to a more wiggly baby. The Baba Sling also resigned itself but this time to the depths of the garage, never to be seen again.


Next up was the Connecta AKA my first non rubbish carrier. I remember debating on whether it was worth blowing the best part of £70 on as Eloise was about 10 months at the time and had just started walking and as she was my first baby I was under the false presumption that she would actually walk places soon (you can all laugh at me). I ended up spending so long umming and ahhing I just thought 'fuck it' and bought it one day after spending even longer trying to decide on a print whilst accepting the fact it was FOR Eloise technically to avoid any purchase guilt. 

I got it, figured out how to breastfeed in it and gushed over the prettiness and quality of the fabric. I got the standard size if I remember correctly and due to the fact breastfeeding actually helped me lose weight first time around I found the straps super long and I couldn't tighten it enough over my scrawny 6 stone something body (I know right). I tried and tried but I couldn't get it high enough to be comfy so it was always hanging and eventually my back decided it hated it and my heart cried. If you're tiny then go for the petite straps which I had no idea about at the time. They also stock Liberty of London prints which are beautiful beyond words and I absolutely need one.

My next venture didn't happen until my second baby, Lily, when I ventured deeper into the confusing depths of baby wearing in the form of a wrap. My lovely Ben bought me a stretchy wrap for my birthday which conveniently happened to be a couple of weeks before Lily was born. Top timing there. By far my favourite baby wearing majig ever.



Once I got my head around how to wrap it (YouTube and baby wearing pages on Facebook are your friends) it was the most comfortable thing ever. I could wear it under a coat and put baby in it once I got out of the car or what have you so no fucking trying to wrap it in a car park. I could breastfeed in it too which is always a bonus. I wore it around the house and it kept tiny arms wrapped up and out the way enough for me to actually do things whilst breastfeeding. Lily would calm own the second she was put in it and I loved it. Problem with stretchy wraps is once baby gets to a certain weight (around 3 months if you have an average sized baby) they begin to be less awesome and more baggy and the more wiggly baby is the more unsupportive they become. For the newborn/first few months (or 6 if you have a teeny baby like me) then I would really recommend getting a stretchy wrap. Doesn't have to be a fancy one, I think mine was off Amazon and definitely under £20 but invaluable if you have a baby who point blanks refuses to be put down.



I went for another wrap after the stretchy, slightly more expensive this time coming in at £45. I bought (Ben bought) a beautiful rainbow woven Little Frog wrap which is very fitting as Lily is my rainbow baby which made me love it even more. Now this is where it gets fun. It's a bit harder to wrap than the stretchy because you cant get away with putting baby in after and the endless different wraps you can do is quite overwhelming at first. I have mastered the Kangaroo Carry and this is the one I'm most comfortable using as it's pretty much the same as the stretchy wrap style. Don't get me wrong, when I first looked at the instructions I sat there with a gormless look on my face whilst whispering 'what the fuck' for a good 5 minutes.



I did have a bit of trouble holding Lily whilst doing it and mastering the 'seat' but once it clicks you'll look back and wonder how on earth you didn't get it. Comfort wise it's by far the best type of sling for support, I have hypermobility syndrome (super flexible everything in a bad way, pain and dislocation central basically) and I find that once it's on, it doesn't pull on my shoulders much at all compared to my Mai Tai. It feels much more secure in terms of preventing baby escape; Lily tries pretty damn hard sometimes and with my other carriers I feel like she *could* fall out. Obviously this would be unlikely but this of *feels* more supportive and secure. You can also buy a fleece wrap for it for those colder days and the horrid winter schools runs. 


Last but not least it's my cheap as chips rubbish Mai Tai off eBay, by Palm and Pond. It's great for just chucking them in and off you go but it's really not comfortable (understatement if your baby weighs more than about 15lbs) and this is the one that worries me a bit lately in terms of Lily leaning out of it. Realistically, she's not going to fall out but the Mum side of me sees it a bit like she's leaning off a cliff. She is 15 months now but only 20lbs so not a big baby at all.



The leaning also completely knackers my back and my shoulders are usually agony after wearing her in it these days. I also find myself holding her for more support now she's bigger (as you can see in the photo below haha) because I feel like it's a bit short and skinny on the fabric side of things. It does have tie straps which I prefer to buckles because buckles make me overly paranoid (again, Mummy paranoia). The little pocket on the front is good for money and phones (also snacks). It has a little hood that poppers on to the back which is a bit crap but the thought was there. All in all it's served me well but it's also a bit shit if I'm honest.


So that's my experience so far with baby wearing. I have since bid goodbye to the Palm & Pond and have bought a Connecta so expect a review on that soon. I bought a standard size with regular straps again but I'm hoping it'll be fine now I weigh more than a flea. I'm am embarrassingly excited about finally getting another decent carrier that I can put on easier on the days my arms don't want to play ball with the wrap. Now here's hoping it doesn't get "left by the bins" like a worrying number of my parcels get dumped.



14 May 2017

THE SUNDAY POST // ELOISE'S 7TH BIRTHDAY




I'm a week late on this post but last Wednesday my biggest, Eloise, turned 7 years old. I say it every single year, 'how on earth is she __ years already?! But it's true, I really cannot believe how quickly the years seem to go by since having children. I had Eloise quite young and I remember the academic years crawling by and it just seemed to take forever for a new year to come by. When I was 18, I fell pregnant with her and once she was here it's like someone suddenly pressed fast forward on my life (and my body).

I have also worked out that I wont have her at home for her actual birthday until she is 10 *cue ugly crying*. It felt so weird not having her at home for her birthday and I propose that school on birthdays should be illegal. I do genuinely think they should be allowed the day off. Experiences and family are just as important as education as far as I'm concerned but my feelings on that are a whole other topic.

We had pizza and ALL the sides for her dinner and we danced to Little Mix with disco lights and glowing unicorn balloon.


She requested a cake like this, with the big lollies and "pink drips". She was very specific, she required 2 layers, lots of sprinkles and said I could choose the colour of the butter cream icing and she wanted jam AND butter cream inside. She chose the candle and the little flowers too. I don't think it turned out half bad considering the bank holiday cut my cake making time by an entire day but it turned out better than the obese Pinky Pie I made for the MLP cake her Nanny made for her party last year.

I will leave you with a flashback of my beautiful Eloisey on her first birthday and a photo of her now whilst I go and cry in a corner at how grown up she is.



12 May 2017

REVIEW // BABY DOVE WIPES



I've always liked Dove,  it's a well respected and well known brand which means you can pretty much guarantee their products are going to be good. When I saw they had brought out a baby range I got most excited! You see, when you become a Mother things that used to excited you are buried deep under a thick layer of brain dust (and probably nappies and spit up) and items such as new baby wipes become your reason to get up and get out of the house. Which technically I didn't. I had Tesco deliver them to me with my weekly shopping. 

I've had 2 babies and that in terms of baby wipes is rather a large amount. This leads me to (for the purpose of this blog post) declare myself a professional arse wiper. I like to think I know my sh*t when it comes to baby bottoms and poo and what qualities a baby wipe should have. 

First glance, pretty standard packaging, I like the soft, matte feel to the packet. Not a fan of the sticky label tabs as they get destroyed in seconds in this house. I prefer the plastic clip type openings in terms of ease but the environment probably hates me for saying that. 


The wipes themselves are slightly quilted, quite thin in comparison to some on the market but they make up for that because they don't tear to absolute hell when you pull them out of the packet (looking at you Huggies). They smell like classic "fragrance free" things, which strangely enough, does have a fragrance. I can't stand some fragrance free ones because they stink, I don't give a monkeys what the packet says they smell like poo before they even touch a butt. These ones smell alright though.

They feel like they've got a good amount of moisture in them which makes for easy bum wiping that leaves a protective layer behind (of moisture, not poo), which is great for babies with sensitive skin like Lily. I used one on her face too and it didn't aggravate her eczema at all and she is a baby who's skin will dry up from water alone.

They claim to be as gentle as water and I'm not sure how bold the statement is as there are obviously other ingredients to a wipe than water alone but they do seem to be very gentle. I have a ridiculous amount of skincare but because come 10pm I cannot be arsed to take my make up off properly, I tend to grab a baby wipe and wipe off half melted make up and sticky baby finger marks off my face that way. These wipes did a crap job at taking my mascara off and they did a pretty poor job with my foundation too so they must be pretty damn gentle if you think about it. The only other wipes that won't remove my make up are Waterwipes.

So in conclusion, I will definitely buy these again, they're not horrendously expensive, they're on par with brands like Huggies and Pampers. They're gentle, even on my poor baby's eczema but they're a bit pants for lazy Mums like myself who like to steal wipes to take their face off. All in all, well done Dove! Top marks from me and Lily's bottom.


I had to bribe her with Teletubbies to get a photo where she wasn't trying to throw herself off the changing table

10 May 2017

Birth Story: My Rainbow Baby




I'm 15 months late doing this but hey ho. My pregnancy with Lily was a terrifying and stressful one to say the least. Pregnancy after a loss is never easy and I spent the entire time being terrified that I would lose her at any moment. At 6 weeks I had a bleed and honestly thought that was it and I'd lost her but that's a whole other blog post because if I wrote about my pregnancy story here too we would still be here next week! To cut a long story short though, I was considered 'high risk' and my pregnancy was consultant led due to Lily measuring incredibly small for her gestation and I was in hospital more than I wasn't (or at least it felt that way!). After having steroid injections and weekly scans things eventually started to look up and I was booked for an induction at 38+2 weeks. 

I set my alarm for 6am even though I barely slept anyway. My Mum came to pick up Eloise as we were living at Ben's Dad's house at the time. I remember feeling like someone had torn my heart out at that moment. This was real. I had never left Eloise overnight really, the first time was when I went into hospital with increased movements a month or so prior to baby day so I really wasn't well adjusted to the idea. Plus I had absolutely convinced myself that i would die during the birth and never see her again. It was an awful, gut wrenching, heart crushing feeling. 

We arrived at the hospital and after climbing what felt like 6894 fucking steps we finally got to the labour ward. Naturally I got the bed where the light was fucked and the CTG machine was one of the really shitty old ones with no screen. If you've given birth before you'll know that Labour Ward is roughly like sitting in an industrial oven. It. Is. HOT. So hot the air actually feels thick and the water they give you ends up tasting like luke warm piss. Luckily I prepared for this and brought my own drinks but even they were hotter than between my thighs an hour in. 

After melting for a while the midwife came and talked me through the induction process, explained that it might not work and they may have to try again the following day, meanwhile I was sat there with my mind uttering the word 'fuck' over and over again. She tells me I'm already about 2cm dilated but that's what my lovely community midwife had told me a few days earlier when giving me a stretch and sweep (aka a shit fingering). They stuck what resembled a tampon 'behind my cervix' and I was instructed to lie there for 30 minutes and I was allowed to go off on a jolly around the hospital after they got some good lines on my CTG. 

After this we went to the little hospital cafe to get food and then we went to the car to eat it because i was boiling and just wanted to get the hell out of there really. I started getting tightenings eating lunch, so within an hour or so of being induced. Massive sigh of relief that it has actually worked and I wasn't going to be sat on my own in hospital overnight.

We eventually trudged back up and back up after the tightenings started happening every 2 minutes or so. they weren't that painful but I was slightly concerned at how fast they were coming on and how frequently. Back on the CTG I went and holy shit did the contractions start coming then. 

After what seemed like forever bouncing on birth balls and wandering around a hospital having to stop every minutes or so because the contractions were coming so frequently I didn't actually get a break between them. I went back and was basically internally freaking out as I had been warned that the stuff they used to induce me can cause the uterus to basically lose its shit and contract too many times. I was 1 contraction per 10 minutes off needing to have it removed and they were getting so painful and happening so quickly I started to lose my shit a bit. Not complete, melt down type losing of shit. More like a silent 'fuck my life' 'I don't think I can do this" stage of labour.

I was moved to a delivery room because the heat and intensity of the contractions was sending my anxiety mad and the midwife must have felt sorry for me haha. Anyway, the delivery room was like heaven compared to the ward and by this time I literally couldn't give a fuck about anything I just wanted this baby out. I was strapped to monitors most of the time because Lily was IUGR so needed to be kept an eye on and I remember all I wanted to do was get off this fucking bed and into a birthing pool. I was told I could stay in it until I was in active labour (that part killed me because after a good 6 hours of contractions ever 2 or so minutes I had progressed 1 shitty little centimetre) and I was willing to try fucking anything to stop the pain. I even asked for an epidural but because I wasn't in active labour (fml) i wasn't allowed. The sensor things kept losing her heartbeat every time she moved and the midwife wasn't happy with the trace and bless her, she stood for ages holding the bloody thing against my bump to desperately try and get a decent trace so I could get into the pool she was running. It was decided then that if I hadn't progressed any more soon then I would have my waters broken and the dreaded drip.


Fuck knows how long later and still no decent trace and i had been in every position possible and it just wasn't happening. The pain at this point was near unbearable and any moment now I was going to completely lose control and every ounce of a shit I had. My lovely midwife suggested a TENS machine, well, half a TENS machine. They only had one shitty one that only had the bottom pads but it helped for about half an hour before I had it on the highest electrocution setting and it wasn't even touching the pain. Meanwhile, still no decent trace. I turned over in a half arsed attempt to find the heartbeat again and ended up throwing up in my hair instead. Also in a bowl. Managed to not chuck up everywhere which was a bonus. Props to me there I guess. Also props to my wonderful. amazing, Ben who took the sick bowl off me and also removed the puke from my fringe.



While this was all happening I began to feel baby's head move, it felt almost like she was slow motion trying to shoot out of a canon (canon being my vagina). It felt like I needed to push but because I was only 3cm about half and hour earlier I thought I was imagining things. I told the midwife and she agreed to examine me again so off she went to get some gloves and she told me if I felt like I needed to push just go with and see what happens. Now, because my pregnancy was high risk because of baby being IUGR it had been agreed, weeks back with my consultant, that once I was in active labour the room would basically be swarming with doctors and paediatricians so my midwife also called for them too.

It was such a strange feeling, with Eloise the first pushes felt involuntary and more like spasms but with Lily I felt like I was more in control. Whether that was because they weren't as surprising the second time around, I don't know. Anyway, I pushed. Not a lot happened apart from me thinking I'd end up shitting myself or something. Midwife was still getting her stuff sorted to examine me encouraging me to keep pushing just to see if it got me somewhere. Second push I felt my waters go, now my midwife was moving a bit faster. Third push and out came her head followed by the rest of her just as she had got her second glove on and she just about caught (yes, caught) baby as she flew into the world. The brigade of doctors arrived shortly after and my midwife announced "she's had it!" which was followed my a lot of shocked faces. Baby was checked over and everything was fine! Panic over! I felt like I could finally breathe after just under 9 months of worrying and the last 8 weeks of "she could be born at any minute. The twice weekly CTGs, the bleed, the hematoma, the weekly scans and countless AAU visits in between, the steroid injections, the reduced movements, the increased movements, finally it was over and my baby was here! And she was healthy!

Lily Rose was born at 17:29, at 38+2w, weighing 5lbs 7.5oz, on a chilly afternoon in January.

One minute the second stage of my labour was according to my notes. ONE FREAKING MINUTE. I went from 3cm to baby shooting out in less than an hour.



I whipped my top off for some skin to skin and to breastfeed her for the first time. She didn't take to it quite a quickly as Eloise (who still had problems), she struggled to latch a lot more and I panicked a bit at first because I was expecting her to latch better than she did (she still has a terrible latch thanks to a lip tie). Proud Daddy (who I couldn't have done it without, sarcastic, annoying jokes and all) then held her whilst I birthed the placenta (which actually came out this time! woo hoo).

Despite this being my second labour I felt like I coped with the pain better the first time. Whether being blissfully ignorant/5 years younger helped me last time I don't know but fuck me was it painful! I swore blind that she would be the last one because absolutely sod even contemplating a third baby after that! Fast forward 15 months and I've forgotten completely how painful it actually was and we are planning on another one at least.

I hope you enjoy the vlog/watching me in the most pain I've ever felt in my life and have a good chuckle and me looking like dog shite on toast. You're welcome.




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