Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Noah's Birth Story

My last birth story for Isla was split into Part 1, 2 and 3 - it had a lot to it!

Happily I can report that Noah arrived a lot quicker and with NO DRUGS (Well Entenox - but I don't count that as I think I mostly chewed on the plastic mouthpiece!)! Although I say he arrived quicker - he was 12 days overdue so he had to be encouraged to come out....

I was convinced that he would be early, even though boys are notoriously lazy! As the due date approached I had quite a few nice things planned in my diary and I was convinced he would arrive to scupper my plans of attending CyberMummy and other outings I had scheduled. That wasn't the case - I waddled around the conference with most people looking at me in disbelief that I could get around for the whole day without collapsing with tiredness (or going into labour). The due date came and went and I was doing pretty well at keeping up a cheery disposition, even though inside I was getting a bit cheesed off by my little mans non appearance! I'd go to bed every night wondering if tonight would be the night and every morning I would wake up disappointed. 

At 8 days over due I went in for a sweep, I was so apprehensive about it, having not had one before and for some reason I imagined it would be painful, as it turns out I didn't even feel it and the midwife said I was 2 centimetres dilated. The idea is that the sweep will bring on labour but if it didn't then I was booked for an induction 4 days later. I left the hospital feeling hopeful that tonight would be the night! It wasn't. 

So on 13th July I phoned the hospital at 7am to find out if there was a bed - I was expecting to be told to call back as they were full - but no, they were ready for me and I was to get there as soon as possible. I felt really excited and nervous! We had to get Isla ready to take to my Mother In Law and then we were on the way.

When we arrived we got taken to our room and met the midwife who would be with us until she clocked off at 3. She examined me and said I was 2 - 3 centimetres and that she would use a hook to break my waters. Waters duly broken at 12.10pm, I just relaxed and played about on my phone and chatted with the midwife and husband. By about 2.10pm I was feeling like things were hotting up - contractions had been coming but they were starting to get really close together and I felt like I needed some help as up till that point I'd been messing about with a TENS machine (second time around and I'm still not convinced by these machines!) and regulating my breathing as per my pregnancy yoga. I got on the gas and air and I felt a lot better.

After labour taking so long with Isla I just wasn't prepared for how quickly things were going to get going with Noah, I was convinced that I would be in for a long labour again and when things started upping the pace I got a bit freaked out and started saying that I couldn't do it on my own and needed an epidural. Basically in my head I knew that there would become a moment whereby I'd be too late and I'd have no choices left to make. I got scared and obviously this is what is called 'Transition' and when midwives realise that the baby isn't far off! The midwife humoured me and got the anaesthetist who went through the procedure for epidural with me at which point I let out a massive groan and made my first pushing attempt. Hmmmm, too late for an epidural then. The anaesthetist was sent packing and my fears at doing it on my own were to become a reality!

As I had drugs with Isla's birth I didn't really properly get the sensation. The feeling that your body is taking over and you have no control over what it is doing, that baby is coming out no matter what. I can't tell you how long I was pushing for but for most of it I didn't actually feel like I was there - I had my eyes closed for most of it and when I did open them everything felt a bit surreal. The midwife (the second one, as the first had clocked off) and my OH were brilliant but I got tired of hearing the same words of encouragement over and over and when you're told that the baby has just got to come round the bend, you just think, COME ROUND THE BLOODY BEND, HURRY UP AND COME OUT!!!

And then at 5.22pm he did. And he was the biggest baby I'd ever seen, his hands were like dinner plates, his feet like canoes and he was all purpley/ pink and I loved him so much! The arrival of Isla and Noah couldn't be more different. I realise now after having this wonderful birth that I was actually quite a mess when she arrived and I was like this for some weeks after. With Noah although he didn't come of his own accord the birth was in a way pleasurable, I think back on it fondly and that isn't something I can say about what I went through with Isla. I also remembered every minute detail of the labour I had with Isla whereas with this birth the memory is fading and the bits that are left aren't gruesome or too harrowing.

We stayed in for 2 nights - my fault this time as I couldn't wee (just like last time!) - Noah slept beautifully the first night (I didn't, courtesy of the new mum across the ward from me who could snore the walls down!) and the second night he decided he didn't like sleep and I spent a lot of the night feeding him, while listening to another new mum who thought it was acceptable to be on her mobile at all hours of the night chatting to relatives in Pakistan (grrr bloody mobiles!).

We got out of the hospital and began life as a family of 4. We're all doing well and it definitely feels easier this time round, even though we have 2 kids. It is more tiring as there is no let up at all but there isn't so much of the fear that we had last time of not knowing what we're doing and we're also able to read him so much better than we could Isla - we know when he's tired or when he's got wind or when we're just annoying him with attention.

Life is truly very good!

If you fancy reading some more birth stories then get yourself over to Actually Mummy blog to see a wide spectrum of birth stories!

Actually Mummy

Monday, 26 September 2011

WOW Toys - Review

I was approached by WOW toys recently asking whether Isla would like to try something from their site, the recommendation was a bath toy called Danny's Diving Adventure but we could choose anything. I went with the recommendation and I'm glad I did - Danny is fab and has changed bath times for Isla and made it more fun! Her bath toys up till now were water squirters and water mill type things and they all get grubby when they fill up with water. Bath time is always really noisy, fun and exceptionally wet in our house and this toy has definitely increased the fun factor.
Danny's Diving Adventure is a 5 piece bath toy consisting of Danny (the boat), the diving board, Chris and Mandy and Daphne the Dolphin. The boat is really cool, as it folds out and has a diving platform that you can dive Chris and Mandy off from. Isla just calls them 'Man' and 'lady' and during her bath time role play, man and lady like to have a kiss now and then, do a bit of diving and using a sieve that we already had, they take showers. She also likes it when the boat is sinking (she's going to love the film Titanic......), and the man and lady also dive off the side of the bath! There is so much imaginative fun to be had with this toy and Isla is really good at making up stories.

I loved so much about this toy - the packaging lists all the development benefits on the outside, the toy itself feels really sturdy and durable and there are no small parts to worry about swallowing or losing. It's really bright and visually appealing and I can't see Isla tiring of playing with it. Finally the best thing about WOW toys is that they don't need batteries which is good news.

The only thing that I could say I found a bit frustrating was how difficult it was to get out of the packaging, as with all toys these days there were lots of plastic ties and fiddly bits to unhook the toy from the box and when you have an impatient 2 year old jumping up and down in front of you itching to get her hands on her new toy it can feel like an age trying to get it out! But this is a small niggle and as I said is the case with all toys nowadays.

I'm definitely going to be checking out WOW before Christmas to pick up some pressies as I think they represent good value for money and will become favourite toys for many a pre-schooler! And once Isla is done playing with Danny I'm sure he will become a firm favourite with Noah.

WOW toys can be purchased from John Lewis, Amazon, Argos and Tesco Direct to name a few of the big stores. Danny's Diving Adventure retails at £10.99 on Amazon at the moment.

To write this post we were sent a WOW bath toy free of charge. The opinions stated in this post are honest and my own.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

I ♥ Wall's Ice Cream!

During my pregnancy with Noah and also now Isla is a bit older we have a bit more ice cream in our house (my husband has always had an ice cream obsession but I've never catered for it before) so when I was offered some new ice creams to try I wasn't going to say no. 

We tried out Magnum Gold, Solero Berry Explosion and Solero Exotic Explosion. They were all delicious, the Solero's even give the feeling that they're healthy with the fruitiness (obviously I'm trying to kid myself here!) but I'm a sucker for a Magnum so I have to say my fave is the Magnum Gold! The gold chocolate coating on the outside is both captivating and delicious but then comes the smooth vanilla ice cream inside with caramel swirls - utterly sinful!! Now I've also discovered that Magnum's come in mini selection packs including my new favourite - Magnum Mint. 

So in a nutshell I just can't get enough of Walls Ice Cream and I can't even blame it on being pregnant anymore!! - Review and Recommendation

Nature Baby Sleeping Gown as modelled by my Noah!

Natureshop are an environmentally responsible online retailer of premium “nature inspired” brands. They take environmental and social responsibility seriously. They are carboNZero certified which means they measure and offset all carbon emissions through purchasing quality carbon credits. They use 100% biodegradable packaging and only sell products from companies who share our environmental concern. How's that for environmental credentials! Enough of the blurb though....
I was lucky enough to be offered the chance to receive a couple of the items that Natureshop sell in exchange for a review.

The main baby products that Natureshop sell are organic baby clothing and bedding from Green Baby and Nature Baby. They also sell baby shoes as well as a large range of products for kids and adults.

As I was expecting Noah I opted for a gorgeous sleeping gown by Nature Baby (see pic above) that has been extremely useful in Noah's early weeks. It is made from 100% organic cotton and what I've loved about it is that it's light for the warmer nights and also it has a drawstring at the bottom making nocturnal nappy changes nice and easy. It also has the fold down mittens on the sleeves to stop little nails making unsightly scratches on baby's face. The design is sooo cute and to be honest I'll be sad when he can't wear it anymore.

I was also given the chance to try a pair of classic Birkenstocks, having never had a 'proper' pair of Birkenstocks before, it was really nice to try them and wear them on the few hot days we've had! They are perfect footwear for a mum to be, especially in the later weeks when your feet are all swollen!Both products were great quality and delivery was speedy. Being honest I probably wouldn't use the site to buy things for myself as I like to try and buy footwear when I'm in the shop but I would definitely buy clothing for my children through this site. The very fact that overnight shipping is free, returns are free and they are environmentally sound makes Natureshop really appeal to me. I could buy so many things for Noah and Isla (not to mention gifts for friends babies!) if funds allowed, check it out yourselves, you'll have the same problem.

I was given the 2 items mentioned for free in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.