Monday, 21 July 2014

Welcome to the world, Harri

As I am sat here feeding my not-so-newborn, beautiful bundle of joy it dawned on me that I am yet to introduce him to the blog! 
Those of you that follow me on twitter/Instagram will have already seen hundreds of photos of him but he's yet to make his debut on my blog.

Harri, just a few hours old

So, I introduce you to Harri Elgan (constantly introduced as "Harri, with an I...yeah, the Welsh way" Poor boy) 

Harri & daddy a few hours after birth...look how alert he was!

Harri arrived after a traumatic and terrifying labour, on June 11th 2014 at 7.26am weighing 8lbs 14oz. More about that later, maybe? It's not a shiny happy birth story and it still affects me to this day. We are both so lucky to still be here and healthy and for that I am incredibly grateful.

We absolutely adore him and it is hard to believe he has only been with us for 6 short weeks. We cannot imagine our lives without our beautiful, happy baby boy. 

And then there were four! 

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Pregnancy Update: 40 weeks

I started writing this yesterday, Monday 9th June on our due date. At 40+1 i'm still not in labour!

How far along? 
40 weeks! We've reached our due date.

Total weight gain/measurements:

I honestly dread to think. Hopefully less cravings and breastfeeding after baby arrives will sort out the crazy weight gain. Eventually.

Maternity clothes: 
Absolutely, on the days I can be bothered to get dressed! It's loose nightwear/pyjamas all the way, mostly. Unless I absolutely HAVE to get dressed and then it's maternity. Bit fed up with rotating the same few outfits!

Stretch marks?
Nope, which amazes me because the skin on my stomach is so stretched it itches like crazy.

Hasn't been great for the past few weeks. I wake roughly every 2-2.5 hours to go to the bathroom and it takes me ages to actually get comfortable. I try and nap every day because the thought of going into labour already exhausted worries me.

Best moment this week: 
This is going to sound so miserable, but it's been a bad week. Nothing to report here...sob!

Miss anything? 
Oh yes, lots (it's my blog and I'll moan if I want to!)
I miss being fully mobile, being able to sit/stand/walk/turn over in bed without feeling like I've been kicked repeatedly in the hoo-ha. I miss feeling 'normal' and pain free. I've loved being pregnant but this pregnancy hasn't been easy on my body and I'm so ready to have our new baby boy and not be pregnant anymore.

Things have definitely slowed down a lot this past week or so. I am still feeling enough movement to not be concerned* but not to the extent I was a few months ago. I can tell baby just has such little room now that the movements are different...more rolling and turning than actual full on kicks.
*I am an avid fan of the fantastic (and FREE) 'Count The Kicks' app for iPhone. It has been -on my phone for the duration of my pregnancy and has provided me with assurance and also alerted me to any potential problems. Absolutely invaluable.

Food cravings: 
For a few months now it has been ice lollies! Mostly of the Fab, Twister or jubbly variety. I could (and do) eat several a day. Obsessed!

Anything making you queasy or sick?

Moving! It honestly hurts so much in my groin/thighs and pelvic area that it causes me to feel physically sick.

Still a boy

  Labour signs: 
 I've been having stronger and longer contractions and a few bouts through the early hours of the morning that have lasted 4-5 hours then stopped as quickly as they started. My body is definitely gearing up but seemingly having trouble getting any further than that!

Pain! Constant feeling of 'fullness' and almost bruising down there...not sure if it is baby's head bearing down, SPD or a combination of both. I've had terrible swelling of my hands and feet this week too.
And then just the usual fatigue, tightenings, contractions, a huge amount of pressure and discomfort.

Belly button in or out? 

Wedding rings on or off?

Off, too swollen for them to be comfortable

Happy or moody most of the time?
To be honest I've felt so unbelievably down this week. Every medical professional and friend/family member that has been involved in my pregnancy has said from around 20 weeks that this was a big baby and there is no way I'd go full term - I got a bit caught up in it all and somewhere along the line convinced myself my baby would be here now - forgetting that estimated due dates are just that - an estimate and not a guarantee. Hitting 40 weeks and with the pain that I am in has really affected my mood.
I hate to moan so much and so often but the pain is unmanageable and most often unbearable. I feel like I'm failing as a wife and as a mother to my 4 year old who doesn't quite understand. Hormones certainly don't help! I've spent far too much of these last few weeks in tears.
I've been feeling really anxious baby has been measuring 3-4 weeks ahead at my growth scans I am terrified I won't be able to labour naturally and drug free as I did with my first pregnancy. The hospital have been so keen to induce me and the thought alone terrifies me. I have my 40+ week appointment tomorrow and it's making me feel sick with nerves!

Looking forward to:
Welcoming our baby boy into the world...fingers crossed he doesn't keep us waiting too much longer!

Here are some bump shots from weeks 38-40. Enormous!

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

The Mummy Tag...

I was tagged by lovely fellow Welsh mummy Jess to do this tag, so here's only taken me a week to get it finished!

1. Are you a Stay at Home Mum, or a Working Mum?
I'm a stay at home mammy. I gave up work after the birth of my first son with the intention of being home full time and I wouldn't have it any other way. It was always the plan to have a second baby within a couple of years of R to lessen the time I was out of the work loop...but that didn't quite work out! We have no family to rely on for childcare and nurseries/childminders were out of the question for us. I had always envisaged being the main caregiver for our family.

2. Would you have it any other way?
As above, it is so incredibly tough and often lonely being home all day with a baby, toddler then child but it has massive rewards. It is without a doubt the hardest, most financially difficult yet immensely rewarding decision we've ever made. I wouldn't change a thing and I am looking forward to continuing my SAHM journey with baby #2

3. Do you co-sleep?
Yes we do. Another decision I don't regret! We kind of fell into co-sleeping unintentionally about a week after bringing R home from the hospital. He just refused to be put down in a moses basket/cot/anywhere. He would only sleep on us and as he was breastfed one night we had him in our bed for me to feed him to sleep and we all fell asleep and slept soundly for a solid FIVE HOURS. It was amazing and after no sleep for a week I felt like a new woman. We knew it was the way forward for us. It was the easiest thing for us as R could latch on and feed through the night with minimum disturbance and disruption, we all had amazing sleep and it made the days with a newborn much more bearable. There is nothing like waking up with your baby smiling at you, or as they get older prising your eyelids open!
We made the transition from our bed to R's own bed and room at about 20 months - after he stopped breastfeeding at 18 months. It was the most simple and easy transition ever! We put him in his own bed, in his own room and he slept solidly all through the night - I however, didn't!

Even now at 4 years old, R will still join is in bed an hour or so before the alarm goes off and we enjoy family cwtches. I love it! We've actually bought the Arms Reach co-sleeper for #2 purely to give us a bit more space- 2 adults, a long-legged 4 year old and a newborn even in a kingsize bed is going to be a squeeze!

4. What is your one must-have item for your baby?
Only one?! Ummm...a sling. I don't think I would have been able to do laundry, hoover, go to the bathroom, eat or drink without one for the first few months.

5. How many kids do you plan on having?
I always said two and two only, it just felt like the right amount for us. However, I always imagined a boy and a girl so now we are expecting boy #2 I can foresee a possible 3rd baby in the future. Although the idea of 3 (an odd number) feels strange to me. As fabulous as boys are I just can't imagine never getting to experience being a mother to a daughter. That's not to say I will get a daughter, but it's worth a try ;) Ask me again after #2 is born in June for a definite answer!

6. Date nights? How often do you have them? 
They're sadly few and far between. We always have a friday night to ourselves because R has a regular stay at the grandparents for the night but we're either too tired/worn out or just can't be bothered getting dressed up to go out so we just stay in with a DVD and takeaway! We should really make more of an effort.

Probably our last date night in September last year (!)*

*No, that isn't my bra!

7. Your child's favourite show?
At the moment? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

8. Name one thing you bought before you had the baby and never ended up using?
We still laugh about this now - the tummy tub! I totally fell for the hype and it was used once. R hated it and in all honesty it was totally and utterly ridiculous and pointless. It's a glorified bucket!

9. Your child's favourite food?
Tuna pasta. He would eat it every day, for every meal if he could.

10. How many cars does your family have?
Just the one for the moment. My husband works right by the train station in a city so it's pointless for him to have a car and the added expense of city parking. I use the car day to day.

Not sure how much longer I'll fit behind the wheel!

11. Weight gain, before pregnancy, during, after and now?
No comment! But it probably goes something like: A lot, too much, stop eating woman! Pregnancy makes me ravenous and i'm not small to start with!

12. Dream holiday with your kids?
We're hoping for a Disney World, Florida holiday at some point in the future, when #2 is old enough to appreciate it.

13. Dream holiday without your kids?
It really wouldn't be a dream holiday without my babies. I can't imagine ever leaving them for more than a night.

14. How has your life changed since having kids?
Wow, that's deep! My life just seems fulfilled now. Like I was meant to be a mother and my babies complete me. They are my world.

15. Finish the sentence "It makes heart melt when..."
My son tells me how much he loves me, loves our little family and how special I am to him. He does often tell me I am his beautiful princess too...totally heart melty!

16. Where do you shop for your kids?
My biggest indulgence for them is Ralph Lauren - their baby/childrens clothes are just spot on. Beautiful and totally irresistable. We also love H&M and Gap.

17. Favourite make-up and skincare products?
Where do I begin?! Most of them are here on the blog but in a short summary at the moment skincare is all about Darphin and Una Brennan. Make up is always Tom Ford and  Chanel everything - especially Tom Ford Brow Sculptor and Chanel Poudre Libre, YSL mascara,  Armani for foundation, NARS blush and ZOYA nail polish. 

18. Huggies or Pampers?
Pampers, always pampers. We tried huggies when R was small and they ended up in huge up-to-the-neck poo explosions and leaky wee. Not good. Totally useless nappies. Definitely pampers for baby #2.

19. Have you always wanted kids?
For as long as I can remember, yes. I feel so blessed and grateful to have them.

20. Best part of being a mum?
The sheer love I feel, it is all consuming. Creating something so perfect and beautiful it doesn't feel real and watching that perfect, beautiful being grow and learn. It's just amazing. 

I tag the following yummy mummy's..
Any of you still reading this to the end!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Bvlgari Petits et Mamans Eau De Toilette

If you're anything like me - pregnancy completely turns me off any perfumes I have previously worn and loved. My nose becomes increasingly sensitive to scents and quite honestly, perfume turns my stomach. 
As a perfume lover, I never feel completely dressed or 'made up' without a spritz of a beautiful scent so during this pregnancy I decided to find an alternative to perfume - something more soft and gentle - not even necessarily a perfume but something to make me smell beautiful and fresh without making me gag.

 I researched fragrance oils, body mists and my research led me to Bvlgari Petits Et Mamans; a fragranced water, oddly enough, created for babies!
Now I cannot imagine why a baby would need a perfume - the mind boggles. There is nothing more intoxicating, pure and beautiful than the smell of a newborn baby (explosive nappies aside) I just wouldn't feel comfortable actually applying a perfume to my baby. It seems wrong.

I do however adore the smell of baby products and Petits et Mamans smells entirely like baby products - soft, powdery and clean; especially a very well known and widely used baby product brand. I adore their scent but refuse to use their products based on their awful ingredients that are anything but kind to baby or tear free.

I digress - baby products smell delicious and are not at all offensive to my nose - we are already on to a winner! I originally started wearing the Petits Et Mamans fragranced water (an alcohol free formulation developed for the sensitive skin of a baby) and once I had finished the bottle, realised they offer a slightly stronger formulation designed for mama - the eau de toilette version which I now use.

This scent is so delicate and uncomplicated - worlds apart from the heavy, heady scents I usually favour. This is clean, fresh, baby powder loveliness. It is extremely easy on the nose and a pleasure to wear.
I wish I had discovered this fragrance in my first pregnancy and beyond - because after my son was born I gave up on perfume altogether for a huge part of the 18 months that I breastfed him for. He shares my sensitive skin and I was always worried my perfume and lotions would irritate him.
I could confidently wear Bvlgari Petits Et Mamans fragranced water whilst feeding without overpowering or irritating baby, so I will be switching back to that from the eau de toilette and have a bottle ready for my hospital bag.

This isn't a particularly long lasting fragrance but is a pleasure to spritz and reapply throughout the day to freshen up so I don't mind at all. It is also really reasonably priced - the 100ml eau de toilette retails for around £33 and the 40ml fragranced water for £21 (escentual / feelunique are online stockists)
I shopped around and picked up the edt for just over £23 on amazon.

Do you have any favourite clean and simple scents?

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Pregnancy Update: 22 weeks

I didn't have the chance with my eldest son, now 4, to blog my pregnancy and beyond because I started blogging on my maternity leave and then carried on after giving up to be a stay at home mammy. I decided when I relaunched my blog to make it more than just a beauty blog - I wanted it to encapsulate my life and everything in it. Beauty, lifestyle and parenting mostly! This means I will be blogging our journey from infertility to TWO babies and who knows - maybe more. Needless to say there will still be plenty of beauty in between.
So, here is where we are to date in pregnancy number two - with a very excited R who just can't WAIT to be a big brother! I still have to pinch myself that in the 6 years since I was diagnosed with infertility, I've had one amazing son and one on the way...I am truly blessed.

How far along? 22 weeks - over half way there now- eeek!

Total weight gain/measurements:
I'm not going to be monitoring this part of my pregnancy. To be honest, I've struggled with my weight all my life and pregnancy is the one time I don't spend every day hopping on and off the scales. I eat as healthily as I can but don't deprive myself if I want treats. Measurements don't matter, although they probably should.

Maternity clothes: Still just about in my regular size pre-pregnancy leggings teamed with a few maternity jersey style dresses and a few pre-pregnancy empire line jersey dresses. Mostly pyjamas - ha! Really need to invest in some over the bump maternity trousers.

Stretch marks? No, but I was not skinny to start with. I didn't get stretch marks in my first pregnancy either but I do have a few very old faded ones from puberty. I don't make a conscious effort to prevent stretchmarks but two of my favourite products at the moment are marketed as stretchmark preventative.  I have been loving the Sanctuary Spa 'Mum To Be' range - especially these two products. My skin has been so dry throughout this pregnancy and these two combined are so rich, nourishing and moisturising.

Sleep: I love to sleep all the time, but mostly in the day. I have been relying on naps to get me through the days, because I've developed a bit of pregnancy insomnia and haven't been able to drop off to sleep until 2-3am most nights. I don't know why, I just find it much easier to sleep during the day!

Best moment this week: I had a repeat of my 20 week anomaly scan, because I have a VERY active baby who wouldn't co-operate a fortnight ago at the initial scan or in our private scan at babybond! They struggled, due to the position of the baby, to accurately check all four chambers of the heart and arteries but when we returned on Monday for the re-scan, after some rather awkward jiggling, squats and a drink of orange juice, the baby turned enough for them to finish all the necessary checks. The scan ended with baby blowing us a kiss...such a gorgeous moment!

 Miss anything? Being able to sleep on my front!

Movement: LOTS! This baby does not stop. I have been feeling movement since 17 weeks this time round and now at 22 weeks they are strong and constant!

Food cravings:  Subway veggie delite with ALL the veggies, olives, gherkins & jalapenos with sweet onion sauce - oh my goodness! I'd eat one every day if I could.

Anything making you queasy or sick? Meat, still. Can just about manage a small amount if disguised in curries or chilli, lasagne etc but as for a cut of meat on its own such as chicken breasts, steak etc then it's a huge no go. This pregnancy have very nearly turned me vegetarian.

Gender: As confirmed by BabyBond Cardiff (will be blogging about this lovely experience very soon) he is 96% boy!

Labour signs: definitely not

Symptoms: Heartburn and i'm starting to wonder if my SPD is rearing its ugly head again. The midwife told me it may come back earlier in this pregnancy - I suffered terribly last time.

Belly button in or out?

Wedding rings on or off? Mostly on, except I can't always get them on first thing in the morning as I get a bit of swelling on my fingers. After a good few glasses of water they're back to normal.
Happy or moody most of the time? A bit irritable and nervous this week at the thought of being a mama of two and also finding a new home for us which is making me crazy stressed and moody.

Looking forward to: New pram on Friday! Can't wait for the Stokke Xplory to join the family!

And here is my enormous bump! I had only just about begun showing at this stage in my first pregnancy...woah!

Almost all of these photographs were taken from my Instagram account @ge0rgiaonmymind - follow me if you don't already!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Chanel Rouge Allure #217 - Radieuse

You know it's got to be a pretty amazing product if it drags me out of blog-retirement because I just HAVE to share it.

Chanel's Rouge Allure lipstick in #217 Radieuse is just that.

Chanel Radieuse 217 Rouge Allure

This was released over the Christmas/holiday period as part of a limited edition collection - Nuit De Infinie. I can't see this online anymore, but if you are quick you may still be able to pick this up on a counter. 

Chanel Radieuse 217 in tube

 Radieuse is a pale-medium slightly cool toned pink lipstick. Usually this is something I would steer clear of, because they rarely suit my warm skin tone but this one doesn't lean so cool that it becomes unwearable for me. It is actually incredibly brightening to both face and teeth - believe me I need all the help I can get to brighten my dull, morning sickness ravaged skin!

This lipstick has been promoted to the ranks of  'Handbag Lipstick' and comes along with me everywhere I go - I've worn little else in the past few weeks, except the odd red over Christmas.
It is so incredibly flattering and versatile - it looks amazing as an evening look teamed with a sultry smoky eye and equally as gorgeous with a subtle every day make up look.

On my lips and against my NC25 skintone, you can see Radieuse appears as a slightly cool toned pale pink. I've seen paler girls wear it and it appears to be a more medium pink, but still equally as pretty.

chanel, radieuse, lip swatch, rouge allure
chanel, lipstick, rouge allure, radieuse, lip swatch

The Rouge Allure line of lipsticks are housed in one of my favourite tubes - a sleek, very Bond-esque tube that feels almost gently spring loaded and closes with a satisfactory click.
Chanel, Rouge Allure, Lipstick, Radieuse

The formula is described as a 'luminous intense lip colour' - there are absolutely minute particles of shimmer/glitter that translate on the lip as a radiant creamy satin finish. Don't let it put you off - this isn't a shimmery or frosty lipstick.
Radieuse feels comfortable and moisturising on the lips and lasts fairly well - although I am forever drinking/eating so I am not the best judge of that! 

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Bribery and Breastfeeding

I was absolutely incensed today when the news was filled with a new breastfeeding pilot scheme to incentivise mothers to breastfeed their babies vouchers.
That's right, not by arming them with a wealth of information to make a decision to provide the best start for their babies, but £200 of supermarket vouchers.
The scheme would give £80 to those mothers who breastfeed for six weeks and then a further £120 if they breastfeed for six months.

I honestly cannot begin to articulate how wrong this scheme is. Piloted in a deprived area, do they honestly believe bribing mothers with cash incentives is going to raise the breastfeeding rate?
Why aren't they focusing this money on promoting breastfeeding awareness, paying specialist lactation consultants to provide much needed support and advice to new mothers or even just employing more much needed midwives in hospitals who are trained to advise and guide with breastfeeding?

I can honestly say no amount of money would have changed my mind. I made a decision to breastfeed my son based on a lot of research I made whilst pregnant. To me, it was a no brainer. The benefits far outweighed the negatives.

I was possibly a mother who wouldn't have breastfeed, given my circumstances and situation. I was a first time mother who knew nobody else who had ever breastfed. I was a formula fed baby myself, as was my husband. I had never been around breastfeeding mothers, nor was it something I had any particular opinion on. Bottles were very much the norm - I even received packs and packs of them as gifts from friends and family whilst pregnant.

At the hospital I gave birth in, we were offered one half hour ante-natal class that dealt with breastfeeding, using a knitted boob. I shit you not.
That was it, that was and is the total amount of breastfeeding awareness most women receive from the NHS, unless they seek it out themselves. The area I live in does not have an NCT group or anything of the kind, so I had to really go out there and find out information for myself. Thankfully I did and made the decision my baby would not be formula fed.

Immediately after my son launched into this world like a human cannon ball was born, the midwife placed my beautiful baby boy on my bare chest and he crawled up instinctively to the nipple, opened his dainty little rosebud mouth and started suckling.
That was it! MAGIC! I had this breastfeeding malarkey down to a fine art. Simples. I was a lactation EXPERT. I felt like a goddess.

Except, it wasn't. And I wasn't. At all. Fast forward a few hours and back on the ward post delivery, I had a midwife come and hurriedly check my positioning and baby's latch - she confirmed we had no issues and could therefore be discharged the next morning providing the consultant found no problems.
My baby, for the first and last time in his life, slept the whole night through.
We woke the next morning and as would be expected, I started trying to feed him straight away. At this point, the midwives were bringing the trolly round with the bottle of formula for every other mother (I was the only one on a ward of six who wasn't formula feeding) as they passed my bay, they drew the curtains round my bed completely.
I was both shocked and concerned by this - was this because they felt they were preserving my modesty, or that of the other mothers? Not a very good pro-breastfeeding message to be sending out. I felt as though I should be ashamed and hidden away like a circus freak.

As the hours went by until we could be on our way home, something didn't feel quite right. It didn't feel as though my baby was actually feeding and it felt so uncomfortable and awkward trying to get him to latch on - he kept 'falling off'
I buzzed for a midwife to come and help me. A young girl, probably younger than me arrived and popped her head around the curtain - I explained my problem and she looked totally baffled and said she would go and get the senior midwife.
After about 15 minutes of frantically and frustratingly trying to get my son so stay on my boob, I heard the young and senior midwife arrive outside my bay (curtains still drawn)
the younger midwife was explaining to the senior what I had explained and the senior midwife tutted loudly, sighed and said "She was fine last night, what is the fuss about"
I felt so awkward and like such a trouble causer, if it wasn't for my obstinate streak I probably would have caved under the myriad of emotions coursing through my body and cried "pass me the SMA" faster than my son had crowned.
We were still discharged half an hour later, with me even more confused about breast feeding than ever.

The next week dragged by in a blur of intense pain, hysterical bouts of tears and an intense hatred of this supposedly natural and beneficial way of feeding my baby.
I was beginning to resent the baby who wanted to feed ALL. DAY. LONG.
I had no time to eat, sleep, visit the bathroom, even think for myself. Every time he fidgeted at my breast I knew it was 'that time' and I felt sick to the pit of my stomach. I would wail and sob and my son, sensing my stress and pain would also wail and sob. Ever tried poking a nipple that felt as though it was being crushed with razorblades, shards of glass and barbed wire into a screaming baby's gob and trying to get it to stay there?
Yeah, exactly.
I was in AGONY. My mother in law, seeing me in such a state immediately left the house and returned an hour later armed with a huge tin of cow and gate.
My husband felt helpless.
Each time I fed my son, I had to grip something tightly and BITE a pillow. Honestly. The pain had me screaming and jumping out of my seat, so to stifle the pained shrieks I had to bite a pillow.

No amount of lanolin cream or cold cabbage leaves helped. I felt emotional, exhausted, defeated and unable of completing such a basic task. In my discharge notes from the hospital was a torn off piece of paper with 'Breastfeeding Helpline' printed on it and a telephone number. One night, when the pain became just too much and I could barely look at my poor little boy anymore, my husband called the number. The number turned out to be that of the post-delivery ward I had just left days previous. He explained the situation to a very unsympathetic midwife who denied all knowledge of a breastfeeding helpine. It clearly didn't exist. She claimed no such thing existed and if my soon was producing wet and dirty nappies, he was 'probably okay' and I should just talk to my midwife/health visitor next time she called.
At this point I was practically stood over the kettle ready to make up bottles of formula. Why did nobody care or want to help me? We were told under no circumstances to call the ward again unless my son had stopped producing dirty and wet nappies. After four solid days of no sleep and round-the-clock fruitless suckling, I wailed a lot more at this point.

This was nothing like the midwife showed me with the woolly boob. They don't tell you any of this at ante-natal or prior to giving birth. They paint a wonderfully rosy picture of a pain free experience - milk literally gushing forth from thine breasts and a happy, contempt baby immune to x,y and z illnesses, full of protective anti-bodies and I would return to my size 12 jeans in week (who am I kidding, I've never been a size 12)

When a visit eventually came from my midwife (well, 3 of them due to them leaving their jobs!) were equally unhelpful - "top him up with formula" "just give up, give him a bottle" they even gave me a lesson in how to make up bottles 'just in case'.
We even tried it, once. Out of sheer desperation I gave the bottle and my son to my husband to feed him (not to confuse the poor baby, why was lovely milky smelly mammy trying to shove a plastic nipple with fake milk in into his mouth) and he promptly GUZZLED the entire thing and within minutes, projectile vomited the entire bottle back up again ruining our mattress which now stank of stale milk. I couldn't even formula feed my son! What an absolute failure of a mother I was. This series of event is eventually what lead to a several year long bout of severe post natal depression, but that is a different blog post entirely...

Despite the excruciating pain, worse than that of my drug-free natural labour, these midwives and the failed formula feed only pushed me further to want to keep on breastfeeding. I would NOT be defeated. I am as stubborn as a mule, if nothing else.
I googled, I youtubed, I read La Leche Leauge websites until I could roll my eyes sarcastically no more.
Something son was trying his best to latch on but seemed to be getting nowhere, then I read about tongue tie. It all made sense. *I* myself am tongue tied!
Now I knew what was wrong, I found every possible solution and tried them all.
I even brought our son into bed with us out of sheer exhaustion and we slept! WE ALL SLEPT SOLIDLY FOR NEARLY FOUR HOURS!
You see the excellent thing about boobs is that your baby can sniff them out and latch on all by themselves.
For the first few months I would wake and ensure he would get an adequate feed and swap sides if necessary, but eventually we learned to co-sleep and feed dreamily without disturbing anyone. It felt blissful.
You don't have to traipse downstairs at 4am in the cold to make up a boob feed and then wait for it to cool while your baby hysterically screams themselves into a frenzy. They should use THAT as an incentive, nevermind £200 vouchers.

It turned out he did have slight tongue tie and the best, most relaxing position for us to feed was lying down. He latched so much better and fed much more efficiently this way.
But it was no thanks to the medical profession for their lack of support and guidance.
I don't even blame them. They are severely understaffed and not adequately trained to deal with breastfeeding more than just giving an overview with a knitted knocker.

THIS is why I am so incensed and enraged at the breastfeeding bribery with shopping vouchers.
For goodness sake plough this money into more midwives, into specialist lactation consultants who are there for your after you have given birth. Someone who can come into your home and help and support you to keep on breastfeeding, not just teach you how to formula feed when it all goes tits up (pun very much intended)

Mothers aren't going to choose to breastfeed until they are made fully aware of their options and the benefits and without knowing their is a solid support system behind them. Let's work towards the way the rest of Europe views breastfeeding - not as the BEST but the NORM. It should be general method of feeding your baby unless medically or physically impossible (formula was, after all, invented as a medical substitute for cases of maternal mortality or severe illness)

I am a rare case. Most people would have gone through this and given up and who can blame them? I would certainly not pass judgement.
Breastfeeding is one of the hardest and at times most unrewarding thing I have ever done.
Once my problem had been put right however, I continued to feed my son for 18 months. I still have flashbacks and worrying thoughts however and I will admit to feeling apprehensive about going through it all again with the new baby.

Offering cash reward isn't going to suddently change decades of ill conceived, misinformed pre-conception. Until the government spends some money on a struggling health service, promotes breastfeeding in a positive light and stops pacifying the underhand and misleading formula companies - they are fighting a losing (and expensive) battle.

What are your thoughts on incentivised breastfeeding?

And then there were...four!

No matter what I do to try and keep this blog running, something comes along and sweeps me in the opposite direction.
Except this time, it was a very welcome turn of events. If you don't follow me on twitter/instagram, I'll give you a little clue...

Our little family of three will soon become four, on June 9th (or thereabouts)
I cannot articulate just how happy we are. We are delighted, ecstatic, over the moon - ELATED.
We have wanted this for SO long now and after our loss earlier in the year it felt like it was never going to happen.
Our son is so unbelievably happy and already the proudest big brother. We have made his wish come true and that is an amazing feeling.
Finally, god willing, our little family will be complete. 

I am 10 weeks, 2 days pregnant which means I am coming to the end of the first trimester. We had initially planned to wait until after our 12 week scan to announce our pregnancy but due to two early scans at 8 & 10 weeks that showed a perfectly healthy, developing baby with a lovely strong heartbeat we decided to share our news. The hospital actually used my 10 week scan as my 12 week scan to date the pregnancy anyway so I won't have another scan until 20 weeks.

It still doesn't feel totally real to me yet, it is as though I am afraid to get too attached given our history. I don't think it will feel 100% real until I hold our new baby in my arms. Our rainbow baby...

This photo was taken on the way home from the hospital, following the first ever scan that confirmed our baby was alive and had a strong heartbeat. I am not usually one for symbolism, but it felt like an acknowledgement that everything would be fine this time round.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Birthday NOTD: Zoya Ali

This nail polish had a lot of love through the Summer months on both hands and feet and it's a polish I'm not quite ready to put into hibernation just yet. I also chose this because it goes with my birthday outfit!

Zoya Ali neon pink

Zoya's Ali is a bright neon pink with amazing opacity. It's one of those complex neons that can look different depending on the lighting, hence the variation in the photographs.
On my blogging hiatus I discovered Zoya (a bit late to the party, I know) on my quest for the least toxic nail polishes. As you may be aware we are trying to conceive at the moment and I prefer to seek out the most natural and gentle products to use at this time and through any potential pregnancy and then subsequent breastfeeding (yes, I am always thinking that far ahead!)


Ali was one of the shades that caught my eye and was one of the first I purchased. The colour is just amazing. A hot neon pink creme finish that is opaque in two coats. For the time being, I have been using INM Out The Door topcoat on top of my Zoya polishes because it's one of the best I can find right now and also the least toxic.

zoya ali manicure

Please ignore my anaemic hand...

Due to the neon nature of this polish, it does dry to a matte finish (why DO neon polishes do that?!) so for me, a topcoat is a must for a super glossy finish.

Zoya's polishes claim to be safe through pregnancy, as I found on their blog:

Why is Zoya a perfect choice for moms to be? 
All Zoya Nail Polish and Treatments feature a healthy, toxin-free formula that does not contain harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, DBP, toluene or camphor 

Zoya Ali Manicure

I have really fallen in love with Zoya and have accumulated a fair few of their beautiful shades and have many more on my wishlist. What surprised me the most is how amazing the formula is. I had foolishly believed that given their toxin-free and gentle formula, the longevity and finish would be less than perfect but I was mistaken.
The colours are rich, intense and so amazingly pigmented. The longevity is up there with the absolute best I have ever tried. I can get around 5-7 days out of a manicure and weeks out of a pedi.