Tuesday 30 September 2014

Theraline Maternity & Nursing Pillow - Review

When I hit the 30 week in this pregnancy, I felt myself getting very uncomfortable even doing as little as sitting on the sofa. Rolling over in bed or even getting a full night of undisturbed sleep was a luxury. 

I never had a pregnancy pillow when I was pregnant with C, probably because he was born at 33 weeks so I never felt so uncomfortable that I needed to buy one. This time round, Theraline sent me one of their Maternity & Nursing Pillows to try out. 

It arrived folded in a clear, zipped bag. I do love when items are packaged well! When I opened it out, my first thought was that it was huge but that was understandable as it needs to be the full length of your body. Part of me expected a plushy, soft pillow but that's not the case. The pillow is filled with little beads so you can easily mould it into position. When I was in bed, I would tend to keep the part of the pillow in between my knees and calves relatively hard then have it soft at the top so I could rest my head on it. It really helped me to roll over in bed too, it's so easy to just rotate round without having to move it out of the way. I think this is because it is arched rather than just a straight pillow. 

I even used it on the sofa downstairs but behind my back or around my hips to help me to sit comfortably. There really is no end to how you can shape your pillow thanks to the beads.

When E was born, I only breastfed for the first three days but I did have the opportunity to use the pillow as a nursing pillow. I would sit with my back straight against the headboard or back of the sofa, place the pillow along my lap and position E. She seemed comfortable, I was comfortable and she latched easily and without a fuss.

Even after the birth, while I was still sore with my stitches, I used the pillow in bed in the same positions as I did when I was pregnant and it really helped. I felt so comfortable.

The cover easily zips off to make for easy washing.

I would definitely recommend this pillow to all pregnant and breastfeeding mums. It's been really helpful!

E likes it too!

You can purchase your own Original Theraline Maternity and Nursing Pillow here for £44.95.

You can find out more about Theraline on their website, Facebook and Twitter.

(Disclaimer: I received this pillow free of charge in exchange for an open and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Monday 29 September 2014

Project-B Pregnancy Subscription Box (40 Weeks+) - Review

We're at the end! This is my final Project-B box and I have absolutely loved them all!

This month, I received month 10 (40 weeks+) and the theme is: ARRIVE. The day after my box arrived, E was born! Thank you Project-B!

C was clearly very excited - check out the pointy finger!

Inside my box was:

1. Nordic Wipes - these are unlike anything I've ever seen before. They are disposable, allergy friendly wipes but they are foam! I've totally been won over. 

2. Halos N Horns Baby Moisturising Lotion (RRP £3.59) - I'm familiar with the Halos N Horns range and really like it so I was pleased to see this included in the box. E's skin is very dry so we have begun using it on her. 

3. Baby Ddrops (RRP £9.99) - these drops are a source of vitamin D3. They are for breastfed babies so unfortunately, not for us as E is formula fed. 

4. NUK Soother Chain (RRP £6.19) - this is adorable! We love Mickey Mouse and we have given E a dummy to settle her during her feeds. This is perfect for keeping her dummy close to hand. 

5. Bambino Mio Miowipe sample - I'm not a huge fan of samples in boxes but this natural, biodegradable wipe is handy for keeping in the changing bag in case of emergency!

6. Baba + Boo Reusable Nappy (RRP £9.25) - we have used cloth nappies with C but have yet to do so with E. This is such a lovely addition because it gives mums the chance to try out cloth if they had previously never thought of doing so. 

7. Green People Organic Babies Nappy Ointment sample - I love the Organic Babies range and E luckily, hasn't had a nappy rash yet. I'll keep this in our changing bag for when we need it. 

8. Metanium Everyday Barrier Ointment sample - I've heard such good things about this cream but had never tried it. I've been putting it on E's bum to prevent nappy rash and so far so good! 

9. Aquaint Natural Sanitising Water (RRP £2.49) - I love this! It's natural water that kills 99.9% of bacteria. With E having a dummy, we've been carrying it with us while we're out and cleaning it with it. 

10. Aleva Naturals Sleep Easy Wash sample - I always worry about what products to use on a newborns skin when bathing them and I'd never heard of the Aleva brand before. It is completely free from by-products, fragrances and potential carcinogens and is made from 100% natural ingredients. 

11. Aleva Naturals Calendula Plus Skin Remedy Cream sample - again, as E's skin is very dry this will come in handy for her. 

12. Tiddly Pom Organic Massage Oil samples - this oil is made from organic and fair trade ingredients. I've heard that baby massage really helps your baby settle to sleep. Now that I have these oils, I'll have to give it a go!

In total, this box is valued at around £31.51 which is fab considering the box is only £14 to buy. I have been blown away by how much I've loved every single Project-B box and I cannot recommend them enough.

You can read my reviews of past boxes here and you can find out more about Project-B on their website, Facebook and Twitter.

(Disclaimer: I received this box free of charge in exchange for an open and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Friday 26 September 2014

E at 3 Weeks

E is three weeks old!

This week, we had a bit of trouble with her feeding. She was originally taking 4oz every 4 hours but she began finishing those bottles and still wanting more so we'd make her an extra 2oz. She really wanted to finish it but her belly was too small and couldn't handle it so she seemed constantly hungry and frustrated. We did think that 6oz every 4 hours was an awful lot for a 3 week old to be taking so we changed her onto hungry baby milk. I'd love to say that she has been more settled but unfortunately we think she has colic so we've bought some Infacol in the hope that it helps.

She is still wearing First Size and Tiny Baby (although some are getting too small) and we've started wearing some 'up to 1mth' outfits.

She is awake for longer periods and being out in her pram really helps her to sleep.

She now weighs 8lbs 3oz. Just over 1lb bigger than her birth weight!

She has started not settling unless Chris and I are holding her so we have begun swaddling and it seems like we have tricked her. I hope it continues to work!

Monday 22 September 2014

C's 2nd Birthday

I can't believe C's birthday is over for another year! We didn't plan a big party as his 1st birthday was a big celebration in a hall with a bouncy castle etc plus with the new baby, we didn't want to stress ourselves out. 

I had all of C's presents wrapped well before E was born just in case I was overdue so we just had an easy job of leaving them out on Saturday night and Chris building a few up so they were sitting out.

Like last year, he wasn't too sure why he was getting all these new toys as he doesn't understand what a birthday is but he really enjoyed opening them all up and seeing what was inside. His Mr Tumble doll was a huge hit. He adores Justin Fletcher. We got him a toy keyboard and stool as he loves music and lots of play food. The play food was bought on a whim but I'm so glad we got it as he seems to really like it all! He also got lots of other little toys like a Peppa Pig laptop, Handy Manny toys (from my dad), a Wooly teddy, a wooden cleaning set, shape sorter, toy cars...and loads more! His nanny and pops bought him a Cosy Coupe and he absolutely loves it! He also got money so we will take him to Smyths and let him choose something to buy. 

All of our family came round to see him, we had nibbles of sandwiches, sausage rolls and sausages and we got him a Caterpillar cake which he wolfed down in about 5 seconds (not the entire cake!). 

I did feel a bit guilty about not doing a big party but he did seem to enjoy himself and loved getting spoiled. We'll do a big party next year! 

Saturday 20 September 2014

Happy 2nd Birthday, C!

Dear C,

I cannot believe you are two years old! It seems like yesterday that I was sat writing your 1st birthday post.

You're a real proper little boy now. Not a baby, as much as I hate to admit it. 

You still love Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and you always point out and name the characters when they come on. Your favourite is Daisy Duck. You've also learned to say 'bottle', 'surprise', 'book', 'sorry' and 'thanks'.

You became a big brother this month too and you have been amazing. I can see that you have so much love for your baby sister. You always give her kisses, hold her hand, check on her when she's crying and wipe her chin if she gets milk on it. You try to hold her bottle too and 'beep' her nose which is adorable!

You're starting to recognise people in photographs now and will say 'baby' if you see either youself or E or 'mummy' or 'daddy' when it's a photo of one of us.

You have started to sing! You can sing 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star', 'Baa Baa Black Sheep', 'Row Row Row Your Boat' and you sing along to the themes to the shows on Cbeebies (maybe I let you watch too much TV!)

It seems as though this month you have really upped your speech and mummy and daddy are so proud of you. We don't know why we were so worried! You're understanding instructions too which gives us a huge sense of relief.

I love how much you're growing up and becoming your own independent little person.

Have a fantastic second birthday, little man!
Lots of love from Mummy & Daddy!
Friday 19 September 2014

E at 2 Weeks

Two weeks have passed and this gorgeous little lady is settling in nicely. 

She is taking around 4oz of formula every 4 hours now but sometimes we've found she'd want 5oz or that she'd want fed again after 3 hours. We're just going with her own routine. 

She is really good at getting her wind up which is 100% the opposite to what C was like. He had really bad colic so he was on Carobel. All we need to do with E is literally sit her bolt upright for about two minutes and she'll burp herself. 

We had our first bout of constipation this week too. I expected it with her being formula fed. She was writhing in pain and I felt so sorry for her. We tried her with cooled, boiled water and did the bicycle legs but nothing was working. Chris remembered a trick we did with C - rubbing her little bum with water on a cotton ball. After a few minutes, the poo just flowed. She must have felt so good after it. Poor wee mite!

She keeps lifting her head up when I have her on my chest which freaks me out. She's way too wee for that! She also gets a tight grip on my hair and necklace. 

She seems to be awake a bit more this week so we've been trying her out in her bouncer chair and she seems to be enjoying it!

Saturday 13 September 2014

Siblings: September 2014

I'm three days late with this post - apologies! Baby E was born 8 days ago and I knew that I wanted to join in with the Siblings linky straight away. I really worried about how C would take to her but he has been absolutely amazing. He wasn't too sure at the beginning but now he is giving her kisses and stroking her head. Every morning when he wakes up, he'll look in her cot to see if she is okay and always rushes over when she cries. I love how much he loves her.

dear beautiful
Friday 12 September 2014

E at 1 Week

I can't believe that E is one week old already. I'm all too aware of how quickly the newborn stage flies by which is why I'm making the most of it so there may be a bit of radio silence on the blog while I embrace having her. 

She is such a great little baby. Her birth weight was 7lbs 2oz. At 3 days she was down to 6lbs 5oz, back up to 6lbs 13oz at 5 days and now at 1 week old she is at her birth weight exactly. 

She is really content. She literally only sleeps in her carrycot and wakes for feeds. I was breastfeeding but I only lasted three days. It may sound really selfish of me but I couldn't handle it. The pain was excruciating even though she was correctly latching and it got to the point where I would dread feeding her and I didn't want those feelings getting worse. It didn't help that she would cluster feed and C felt a bit put out because mummy wasn't the one puttin him to bed at night and he wouldn't settle for daddy. I feel that I did what was right for the four of us as a unit. So now we're on Cow & Gate 1 (as that's what we used with C) and she takes 3oz every 4 hours. 

Her cord has come off already! Yesterday, at 6 days old. I did have a little panic as C was still in hospital when his fell off so I wasn't sure if it was okay but apparently it all looks fine. 

She is wearing either Tiny Baby or First Size clothing, dependant on the shop that they were purchased from. I usually go by the weight recommendation in the label. 

I forgot about the newborn projectile vomit. I've already been covered in it twice! 
Tuesday 9 September 2014

My Second Pregnancy: E's Birth Story

If you're a regular reader, you'll know that every Monday I post a Bump Update but you may have noticed a lack of post yesterday. Sorry, I was busy having cuddles with my 4 day old. Yep, she's arrived!

On Thursday 4th September (at 39+3), I went to the hospital for my routine weekly check up at the Antenatal Clinic. My appointment was at 3.45pm and Chris was due to start work at 6pm so I just went by myself so he could stay at home with C and I could just take over when I got back and he could go off to work. I was called in and all the usual checks were done. My blood pressure was the highest that it had ever been this pregnancy at 140/105 and there was 1+ protein in my urine. I felt fine in myself but as the preeclampsia symptoms were beginning to rear their ugly head again, I had a cervix check to see if I was favourable for induction. My cervix was long but I was already 3cm so they decided that induction was the way to go. The delivery suite didn't have a bed ready so I was able to go home, get my bags and see C before heading back in. 

Waiting to go to delivery suite

We arrived at the hospital just after 6pm and after lots of bloods and being on the CTG machine, the doctor broke my waters for me at around 7.20pm. I needed to wait for an hour so at 8.20pm I was given an IV hormone drip to bring on my contractions. This took a while to get going. I felt more comfortable sat upright in a chair at this point and I used the TENS machine and gas & air to get through these early contractions. I didn't use the gas & air a lot at this point. I didn't like the woozy feeling that it gave me. The midwife explained other methods of pain relief but I didn't want diamorphine as I didn't want the baby to be really sleepy after the birth and because I wanted to labour as naturally as possible after my Caesarean section with C, I didn't really want an epidural either. 

My contractions kept coming and were getting more painful and closer together so I wanted to move to the bed to get more comfortable. A short while after, I felt like I couldn't handle the pain and asked for an epidural. I told Chris that I felt like a bit of a failure but I really couldn't handle it. This was at around 12.30am and I was only 5cm but my cervix was now paper-thin. I couldn't believe that I had only dilated 2cm in 4 hours. I was given the epidural and then my contractions started coming really quickly. I was told that the epidural wouldn't make me lose all sense of feeling, it would just take the edge off the contractions. If I'm completely honest, it didn't work very well for me. I felt everything. 

At this stage, everything seemed to happen very quickly and I was using the gas & air more and more so I felt completely out of it and I didn't enjoy that feeling at all but it was the only thing helping me. I always said that I didn't want to be one of those ladies who didn't know what was going on and made a complete fool of themselves during labour and I always thought I'd revert into myself and not be very loud. I was wrong. I remember saying to the midwife that it felt like I was trying to stop myself from pooing. She left to speak to another midwife briefly and I shouted to Chris that I felt like I needed to push. He obviously panicked as he was there with me by himself so he told me to breathe the gas & air and breathe until the midwife came back in. 

The midwife came back and told me to go with what my body told me to do so I pushed. Holy dear God, the ring of fire is a real thing. I was using the gas & air like my life depended on it and I could feel myself wailing like a banshee but I knew I had to get through it. I even looked at Chris once she was here and said "oh my god, I did it!" He just laughed haha. After only pushing for ten minutes, our baby girl, Erin, was born at 01.50am on the 5th September 2014 weighing 7lbs 2oz. Her head circumference was 34.5cm and she is 49cm long. 

Unfortunately, I had a retained placenta so my epidural was topped up and I was taken to theatre to have it manually removed. I think they said that it was stuck to my previous Caesarean section scar. I also had a second degree tear which needed stitching. We had a two day hospital stay but now we are happily at home as a family of four :)

Thursday 4 September 2014

What I've Won - August 2014

This month I don't think I've entered as much as usual with being heavily pregnant and my iron levels being so low. I've been really tired and can barely concentrate on the laptop screen. 

I did, however, have a couple of wins so I can't complain too much!

1) Creepy Zombunny (RRP £10.00) from Creepies

2) TOMY Winnie the Pooh Teether Rattle (RRP £6.95) from TOMY

I got this as a 'thank you' gift for completing a survey. I'll be keeping it for the new baby!

3) Bravado Sublime Nursing Bra (RRP £36.00) from Bravado

I love this! It doesn't look like a nursing bra at all - much more sexier! I'm looking forward to wearing it when feeding the little lady!

4) OXO Tot 4 Piece Feeding Set (RRP £17.87) from Redhead Babyled

I'm really looking forward to receiving this. C doesn't have a wide variety of dishes/cutlery so it will be a lovely treat for him!

5) Rubicon Commonwealth Games Backpack

I won this in an instant win and I'm not entirely sure what's inside as I've yet to receive it.

6) Relentless Sunglasses from Cimandis

C just had to be the one to model these!

7) 5 BabyTV DVDs (RRP £49) from A Baby on Board

I can't wait to get these in the post. I'm sure they will be invaluable when it comes to both kids!

Do you enter a lot of competitions? How have you done this month?

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Haberman Toddler Cups - Review

Haberman are a range of baby products that are designed to market innovative baby and toddler feeding products to help build confidence and independence. 

C was lucky enough to be sent two of their toddler cups to test out. He usually uses straw cups but we really worry about the effect that they are having on his teeth and gums. 

Firstly, we tried out the anywayup Cow Beaker (£4.99). 

I love the little design on this one. At the beginning, I did think he'd struggle as he isn't used to tipping a cup up to get his juice out but he surprised me. The only times he'd get really frustrated was when he'd almost finished his juice and was trying to get the last remnants out but we've perserved. The shape of the beaker makes it really easy for him to hold and it's very easy to wash. As you can probably tell by the name "anywayup", the clever spout doesn't spill any juice out when it is left tipped over or held upside down. 

This beaker is recommended for children aged 12months+, it has a 250ml capacity, is BPA free and is also dishwasher and microwave safe. 

Next, we tried the 360° Junior Beaker (£5.95). 

I must be honest and say that C has been less than impressed with this beaker which is the complete opposite to how I feel about it! When I first opened it out and filled it, I ran in shrieking, "oh my goodness this is the best cup ever!" The rim is made from a rubbery material and there are little slits the entire way around so your child can drink from anywhere around it. The juice only comes out when there is pressure on it so I can hold it upside down and nothing will spill! 

C is currently finding it a bit hard to work out how to use it but as it's recommended for children aged 24months+ and C is only turning 2 at the end of September, we still have time yet. I will definitely be teaching him as much as I can because it's such a great design for a toddler cup and it will help the transition from beaker to proper cup! 

This beaker also has a 250ml capacity, is BPA free and dishwasher and microwave safe. As you can see, we received the blue cup but it is also available in green and red too. 

We have also been lucky enough to receive some breast feeding goodies from Haberman so please look out for those on the blog once this baby decides to make an appearance! 

You can find out more about Haberman at their website, Facebook and Twitter

(Disclaimer: We received these items free of charge in exchange for an open and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own). 

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Project-B Pregnancy Subscription Box (35-39 Weeks) - Review

I've been receiving Project-B's pregnancy subscription box from the beginning of my pregnancy and I always look forward to it coming (you can read my past reviews here). I can't believe we're almost at the end!

This month, I received month 9 (35-39 weeks) and the theme is: NEST. All pregnant women in the last few months can relate to the feeling of needing their home to look perfect for their new arrival and I am no exception!

August also sees Project-B's first birthday so they were lovely enough to send a free gift with every box (a gift for us but it's THEIR birthday?! Too nice!).

The free gift came in gorgeous Project-B wrapping paper and it turned out to be a full-sized bottle of Weleda Citrus Body Lotion worth £13.95! I rarely spend money on myself for anything let alone something to pamper myself with. This smells beautiful so I'm really looking forward to treating myself. Thank you, Project-B!

Now for what was inside my main box!

1. Spontex Washups (RRP £2.49) - This is no word of a lie, but I am obsessed with keeping the kitchen tidy. I don't know why, it's not like the baby will be spending much time in there! I have to have all of the dishes washed so these were a great addition to me. They are such great quality too and seem to last longer than supermarket own brand scourers.

2. Pampered Chef Microfiber Towel - How glam is this!? It's so soft and perfect for cleaning up any spills baby might have/make. It's pink and I'm having a girl - it must be fate! It's a lot bigger than I'd expect it to be and I'm sure we will use it quite a lot in the first few weeks of her life.

3. Eco2Life Bath & Shower Cleaning Spray & Refill (RRP £3.10) - I love this! Eco2Life are a range of eco-friendly green household cleaning products and they use a refill and reuse system. To make up the cleaner, you just fill the spray bottle halfway with ordinary tap water, add a little of the refill and top up with cold tap water. Easy!

4. NO-GERMS Instant Hand Sanitiser (RRP £5.99) - I am obsessed with keeping my hands clean, I was really bad about it when we first brought C home from the hospital. This sanitiser is 100% alcohol-free and kills 99.9% of germs for 2-4 hours (alcohol sanitisers stop working as soon as they dry). It hydrates your skin with natural lavender, chamomile and aloe vera. I've been keeping mine in the changing bag!

5. 2 x samples Phyta Oil stretch mark cream - At this stage of pregnancy, my stretchmarks seem to be increasing by the day. I love being introduced to new products but as I've said before, I'm not a huge fan of sample sachets. I don't feel like you get enough in them.

6. Yes! Nurse's Hand Formula (RRP £5.49) - This is a fast-absorbing, non-greasy hand cream which aims to hydrate your skin after constant hand-washing - something which I'm all too used to with having a newborn! 

7. Weleda Calendula Lotion (RRP £7.95) - I've heard such good things about Weleda so I can't wait to try this on the baby. They must be good with an £8 price tag per 200ml bottle.

This month's flash card topics are:

Information on how my pregnancy is developing this month, a recipe card for chicken and broccoli stir fry (how yummy does that sound!?), tips of posture for getting your baby into the right birthing position and a last minute shopping list!

In total, this month's box is worth around £25.02 then on top of that, you get the £13.95 free gift. Considering that the box only costs £14 to buy, this is a good deal. I've been really impressed by all of my Project-B boxes and I'm so sad that my next box will be my last!

You can find out more about Project-B at their website, Facebook and Twitter.

(Disclaimer: I received this box free of charge in exchange for an open and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own).