Fathers Day Gift Guide – Insta Shops

I don’t know about you; but I’m fed up with the same old, shop bought, Fathers Day tat year in, year out. So this year I thought I’d see what some of the small Instagram businesses had to offer and I was amazed. So amazed in fact, that I thought I would put together a little Gift Guide and share what I found with you.

All of these products are handmade and can be personalised to suit you and every single one of the business owners are absolutely lovely!

I’ve included links to buy each of the items in the guide plus a link to each shops Instagram – please go and give them a follow!

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Personalised Slate Coaster – @meganandmadisonltd 

Instagram    Website

I loved this coaster design as it has a simple, classic style.  Lucy at Megan & Madison offers a variety of products, all of which can be personalised to suit your needs.  Her newest make involves engraving your little ones hand & footprints on to slate, wood or acrylic – the sweetest little keepsake.  The quality is fantastic, they are so reasonably priced and I can’t wait for David to see this on Fathers Day – he’s going to love it!

I am a wife and Mum of two sweet, kind little girls.  I also run a business; Megan & Madison which I am super proud of and which allows me to just be me for a while.  I have always loved arts and crafts, so being able to design and make pretty things that people will treasure is a fantastic job to have!

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Family Portrait – @peachiepiedesigns

Etsy    Instagram

How gorgeous is this print?  The perfect gift for your little ones to give to their own superhero plus it will look amazing in your home afterwards – win, win!  These prints are a Fathers Day special and are currently on offer for just £23!  Ordering is easy and can be done via the Etsy shop linked above, all you have to do is send over some photos of the people you want included in the print – it’s as simple as that.

I just love bringing a little Peachie Pie happiness to peoples walls with my illustrations.  Each one is personalised for every individual and completely one of a kind.

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Fathers Day Prints – @prettypersonal_crafts

Instagram   Website

How sweet is this? I’ve seen loads of prints for Fathers Day but the majority of them were pretty similar to one another. These two stood out a mile away because they were different to anything I’d seen before.  The football top one is my favourite!

Pretty Personal Crafts is a small business which is run by a mum of 2 (soon to be 3) where personalised unique gifts and keepsakes are created. Each item is made to order and designed to suit the customers requirements. There is a large variety of products available…and each one is made with love.

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Laser Engraved Chopping Board & Coaster – @happyblossomgifts

Facebook  Instagram  Etsy

Is this not the cutest thing you have ever seen? I sent over a picture Connor had drawn on one of those magnetic scribbler things & his name and as if by magic they appeared on this beautiful wooden coaster.  I saw the video of it being made and it really did look like magic!  I actually think its too pretty to use as a coaster so I think I’ll either wall mount it or attach a magnet to the back of it & put it on the fridge.

Happy Blossom Gifts is a small, one man show and every product that leaves my little workshop has been made with love, care and attention to detail. I love receiving orders from new customers and do my best to make sure what leaves is something that can be cherished for years to come.

Happy Blossom Gifts have very kindly given me a discount code for you all to use.  So enter GINGERLANE10 at the checkout to get 10% off!

 

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Dad Scrabble Tile Frames – @aimeesscrabblewordart

Facebook    Instagram

Continuing the superhero theme are these lovely frames from Aimees’ Scrabble Word Art.  These come in various different forms as you can see in the picture and feature tiny superhero figures – how cute?!

Aimee’s Scrabble Word Art is a small home business run by Aimee who is a Mum of 1 little lady.  All frames and accessories are hand made to order and can be personalised to any specifications.  Unique gift ideas for any occasion made with love and scrabble!  All frames and accessories are available on Instagram and Facebook with a website coming at the end of June.

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Personalised Pint Glass – @printinglilly

Instagram

Is it really a Fathers Day Gift Guide if it doesn’t include some kind of glass?  These pint glasses from Printing Lilly are a lovely change to the usual type you find in the shops.  I particularly love the ‘This guy is one awesome Dad’ glass – David has referred to himself as ‘This Guy’ in the past so its perfect for him!

I’m a teacher and a Mum.  I started doing little craft projects as a hobby; like hampers and other bits and bobs.  Then I decided to make some glasses – I wanted some for a gift but the ones I saw were quite expensive so I decided to have a go at making them myself!  I just want my products to be fun and reasonably priced.  I love handmade gifts myself and want others to enjoy them too!

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Clay Tile Frame – @claycreationsforyou

Instagram    Website

This beautiful frame had to be included in the guide; I mean, how could you not love it?!  Clay Creations For You frames come in two different sizes – two tile or nine tile.  Prices start from £18 for the 2 tile up to £35 for the 9 tile, the quality is excellent and they are well worth the money.  They are accepting orders for Fathers Day up until the 1st June so be quick!

Unique images on clay, handmade for you.

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Daddy’s Little Box of Treats – @little_bird_designs

Etsy    Instagram

I’ve never seen anything like this gift before so when I came across it I knew I had to share.  The set includes 12 little cards and each has a special ‘treat’ for Dad.  Whether that’s a long lie, unlimited cuddles or breakfast in bed you can personalise the set to suit you.

Welcome to Little Bird Designs.  A small, design led company based in the Shropshire countryside.  Design inspiration chiefly comes from the in vogue Scandinavian styles, and are designed to fit into todays modern home.  If you’re looking for special occasion gifts or something to brighten up your home then Little Bird Designs is for you!

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Fathers Day Activity Box – @the.great_eskape

Instagram     Website

 This is a little something for the kids to do with Dad.  A craft box filled with goodies for both kids and adults to enjoy; this particular one is Fathers Day themed.  You can purchase this as a one off box or as part of a subscription; the boxes retail at £9.75 each and I think its the perfect way for your little one to spend some quality time with Dad.  The Fathers Day box will include an activity book, a craft activity to complete, fathers day card and resources to decorate.

The Great Eskape provides themed activity boxes for young children (aged 2.5 years – 6 years).  Our boxes are catered to different events and festivals throughout the year.  Boxes are designed by early years workers to create togetherness for both adult and child and are aimed to bring a part of nursery/school life home.

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Laser Engraved Keyring – @thelaserengravingcompany

Instagram     Website

I absolutely love this keyring; there’s something about the wood paired with the laser engraving that just appeals to me.  There are various different styles of keyring available especially for Fathers Day and Tamzin from The Laser Engraving Company was such a big help when discussing the options available.  Ordering is easy to do via the website linked above, go have a look; I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

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Personalised Baby Bibs – @sewsian

Website     Instagram     Facebook

These gorgeous bibs are from the lovely Sian over at Sew Sian.  They are embroidered and can be personalised to say whatever you like.  The quality is fantastic as is the craftsmanship, Sian is lovely too!  Sew Sian offers a whole range of products and are always open to new ideas – they love a challenge!

Sew Sian is a small business ran by first time Mam, and lover hall things handmade, Sian.  It began as a dream long ago and was made a reality when Sian gave birth to here son, Archie.  Every item is embroidered and sewn to the highest quality and completely personal to each customer.  With a product available for every age and occasion, you’ll love our fantastic range of personalised items.

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Chocolate Sweetie Bar – @flossyfizz

Instagram   Facebook

I know what you’re thinking, and yes they really do taste as good as they look.  The perfect gift for those with a sweet tooth, these treats can be personalised to say anything you like.  Flossy Fizz have a huge range of products and they all look absolutely delicious.  I can think of nothing better than getting a tasty gift like this through the post; my idea of heaven!  Orders can be made via the Instagram or Facebook links above, please give them a follow!

I hope you enjoyed this Gift Guide.  Please let me know what you thought & if you buy anything I’d love to see it!  Which is your favourite product?

V x

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Mama Needs New Glasses – Perfect Glasses Review AD

When I was pregnant with Connor 4 years ago, I noticed a major change in my vision, obviously I got it checked out straight away and bought myself some new glasses only for my prescription to change again when he was born. Apparently high blood pressure & general pregnant-ness can cause changes in your vision which may only be short lived. Obviously I was unaware of this and spent a fortune on my new frames only to have to go out a few months later and get a new pair. Rookie mistake. The same thing happened when I was pregnant with Mason, this time however, I was savvy enough to know what was happening and wait until he was here to have my eyes tested. There had been a definite change in my prescription which would require new frames, so when PerfectGlasses.co.uk reached out to see if I would like to work with them again I was very excited!

I did a review of Perfect Glasses last year which you can see here, I opted for a pair from their cheaper range called Jorgio and was pleasantly surprised. This time around I decided to go for a more expensive pair of frames and using the try-on option I tested out probably every brown coloured frame on the site (I’m not brave enough to try another colour) and finally settled on a pair of designer glasses by Police. They are a dark brown with red legs and a little silver detailing in the corners, not my usual style with the red in them – slightly out of my comfort zone – but I loved the shape! Price wise these came in at £180 but are currently £90 using the discount code HALFOFF. There is such a huge range of both men’s and women’s glasses available, from basic frames starting at £15 to prescription sunglasses I challenge anyone not to find a pair they love!

The service was very quick and professional; my new glasses were courier delivered within the week & boy was I glad they were. The headaches and scrunched up eyes are long gone and I can finally see clearly again! My glasses came in a lovely protective case with a little cleaning cloth & I absolutely love them. The frame is slightly darker than I had expected but I’ve gotten used to that and actually I really like it! The glasses themselves are lovely quality; they feel very sturdy and I’m not concerned about them breaking easily – a very real possibility with 2 boys in the house!

Overall this has again been a very positive experience & I have been recommending Perfect Glasses to all my friends and family. So if you need new glasses or fancy treating yourself to a nice pair of sunglasses for the summer then definitely get yourself over to PerfectGlasses.co.uk especially whilst there is 50% off – what’s not to love?!

Teething with Belo & Me

Both of my boys were early starters on the teething front. Connor began to show signs bang on the 3 month mark & made us wait until he was 9 months old before we saw the first tooth. He continued to teethe until he was around 2.5. Ashton & Parsons teething powders and Sophie the giraffe were all that eased his pain so when Mason started to show signs of teething we assumed the same would work for him.

Mason was born with 2 little indents and the top of a tooth showing through his bottom gum so really it was only a matter of time before that started to bother him. I think the first signs of discomfort appeared at around 7 weeks however, he was diagnosed with reflux at the same time so I’m not 100% sure. By the time he was 9/10 weeks he was showing definite signs – chewing his fists, rosy red cheeks & more saliva (although not quite drooling). We tried him with Sophie, he didn’t like her. We tried various other teething toys and he didn’t like any of them. He’s still a bit wee to properly hold things which was the first problem. And secondly, doesn’t seem to like anything in his mouth apart from his fist – which is fine, but he rams it so far into his mouth he ends up gagging. I was also concerned that he would end up with sore hands from them being constantly wet.

When I saw that one of the products Belo & Me sell is a teething mitt, I was amazed, this one little product could possibly solve all of my problems. It comes in 2 designs – blue/grey clouds or pink/grey stars & retails for £12.99, obviously I opted for the blue and ordered it right away.

Our parcel arrived within a couple of days and Belo & Me had very kindly included another couple of bits for us to review – another teething toy for Mason and a crafting kit for Connor. The teething mitt goes on a like a normal mitten would and has a velcro strap to secure and tighten it around the wrist. The first couple of times I put it on Mason he wasn’t entirely sure what to make of it & would stick his arm straight out like he had a cast on! It took a few attempts and I had to show him what to do but I think we’ve finally cracked it. He seems to really like chewing on it and it’s big enough that he can’t fit the whole thing in his mouth – so no choking!

As you can see, Mason loves his mitt & it really seems to ease the pain.

What helped your little ones through teething?

V x

You can find the teething mitt here.

The Old English Company Enamel Pins

I’m the first to admit I’m not the most fashionable. I couldn’t tell you the last time I bought something other than leggings/jeans/jumpers to wear. I see all these other people wearing things that I would never dream of, I’ve very much got a ‘mum wardrobe. Since I had Mason I’ve been trying to push myself to be a bit more adventurous when it comes to clothes but ripped jeans are as far as I’ve gotten – I know, right? Pathetic. So I’ve decided that instead of trying to change my clothes, maybe I should add a few accessories & ease myself into it.

Enter The Old English Company; their new collection of enamel pins is exactly what I need to make my wardrobe less Mum and more fun – I mean, I’m only 27. God that sounds old when I write it down. Anyway, I digress. I came across The Old English Company on Instagram & I just love what they do. I thought I’d share a few of my favourite pins with you & you can let me know if I’m pushing my luck!

How sweet are they? I particularly love the Mama Bear one.

Luckily for you guys The Old English Company are giving away this gorgeous trio of enamel pins!

To enter just click here:

https://oldenglishprints.com/pages/enamel-pin-competition-win-a-set-of-enamel-pins

Shop the entire range of pins here:

https://oldenglishprints.com/collections/enamel-pins

Masons 3 Month Update

Well what can I say about my smiley boy? He’s now 3 months old (how?!) and I’m struggling to remember a time when he wasn’t here. He’s slotted into our lives so perfectly & made becoming a family of 4 easier than I’d imagined. Don’t get me wrong, there’s been a few bumps along the way but I feel like we’re starting to get into a wee routine now & it’s going pretty well.

If you’ve read my previous posts you’ll know that Mason has reflux, he’s still using Gaviscon to treat it & it’s working 90% of the time. He still has a few little symptoms which are making me feel like there’s possibly an intolerance to either lactose or cows milk so I’m going to take him back to the doctor for a check up.

Sleep wise, the boy still loves his sleep. He naps for roughly 3-4 hours during the day & sleeps straight through from 9-7 every night, give or take. He would sleep longer but his big brother has other ideas! He’s still in his Moses basket in our room but I’m hoping to transfer him into his cot soon as he’s getting too big! To sleep we still swaddle him; we use the ergo pouch (god send!) – if you’d like a review on that, let me know!- if he’s not swaddled he punches himself in the face & wakes himself up.

He’s a little chatterbox. He goos and gaas to anyone who will listen to him, definitely going to have another blethter like his brother. Connor said his first word ‘hiya’ at 6 months old and hasn’t stopped talking since, I wonder if Mason will be the same?

He still has 4 bottles per day, three 9 ounce bottles during the day & one 10 ounce before bed – he’s a grubber. I think we’ll be weaning shortly as he’s eyeing up everyone’s food & just looks desperate to try. We weaned Connor at 4.5 months as there was no filling him, I have a feeling Mason might be the same.

He’s teething already – I know! He was born with two little indents and signs of the top of a tooth in his bottom gum so it was only a matter of time before the symptoms started. Around 7 weeks we noticed that he was chewing his fists and there was a lot more saliva; were still waiting for a tooth to fully poke through but I don’t think it’ll be much longer. His brother kept us waiting til he was 9 months old for a tooth though so you never know!

Mason is the smiliest baby, and he’s just desperate to laugh – I can’t wait to hear those little baby giggles. He can roll over from belly to back, has done since he was 4 weeks old, I think that’s because he hates being on his tummy so much. He’s dying to sit up & I don’t think he’s far away, when you hold him upright he takes the brunt of the weight & I’m just there as a safety precaution. He holds himself from his waist and falls forward rather than to the side, so once he’s got his balance right he’ll be fine!

He last got weighed at just over 11 weeks and he was 14lbs – almost double his birth weight. He’s in 3-6 months clothes and some of them feel a little snug, so I doubt we’ll be in that size for long!

Mason Loves

His big brother – His wee face lights up whenever Connor is nearby. I love the way they look at each other – pure love.

Mummy singing – He prefers me singing over music playing (wee ego boost!), it’s funny because Connor would rather I played him a song than sang it to him. His favourite is ‘ I wish I was a punk rocker’, he tries to sing along, it’s so cute.

His seat – He has this Mamas & Papas Bouncer that he absolutely loves. He can make it bounce by himself so he thinks it’s great fun.

Daddy tickling his feet – He just thinks a David is hilarious for the most part but he loves it when he tickles him.

Sitting up – He loves being able to look around and see what’s happening in the world.

Sleigh Bells & his Faces book – He has a set of sleigh bells that he loves listening to, he can grasp them but hasn’t quite got the hang of shaking them yet & he loves to look at faces so this book is a firm favourite.

Mason Hates

Lying down when awake – He’s so nosy, he’s frightened he’ll miss something if he’s lying down so he cries until he’s upright.

Being naked – He absolutely hates having nothing on. He even just hates having no socks on. Bath time is great fun, I thought he’d get used to it and he is slightly better but he still screams the place down if you try to take his clothes off. He’s even been known to hold on to them so you can’t undress him.

Baths – See above. Although he likes the warmth and putting his ears under the water I think he’d prefer it if he could be bathed fully clothed.

So far so good. Mason has been the perfect addition to our little family and were so excited to watch him grow. Seeing the relationship blossoming between him & Connor is amazing to watch. Mason looks at him like he’s the only one in the room, he absolutely adores him. Thankfully the feeling is mutual & Connor loves being a big brother.

Our Outdoor Adventures

As I mentioned in a previous post, we found out in the month of April that Mason has reflux. As luck would have it this coincided with the Easter holidays, so I had a screaming baby & a bored 3 year old – not a good combo, let me tell you! It wasn’t until the last few days of the holidays that I discovered the solution to some of our problems lay outside. We just had to get outdoors & everything seemed better, so simple I really should have thought of it sooner. I joined in on a few hashtags on Instagram, one being #getoutdoorsinapril and our outdoor pictures got a good reaction. I thought I’d share a few here & mention some of the things that we did while we were out and about.

Daffodil picking was a firm favourite, no matter where we went Connor wanted to pick them. I had vases full & so did my Mum, he absolutely loved it & took such care to pick the biggest/brightest flowers he could find.

We mostly walked through a local park and did loads of nature treasure hunts. I found this a great way for Connor to explore and finds things that he probably would have walked past without noticing before. I asked him to find me loads of different things but always worded the question differently so that although the treasure could be the same, it had been picked for a different reason. For example, I’d say ‘Can you find me something smooth?’ And he would usually come back with a pebble but if I’d asked him to find something round then a pebble would have worked too.

Some examples of things I asked him to find are:

3 different types of leave

Something smooth/rough

A (insert colour) flower

3 things that shouldn’t be lying around (i.e rubbish)

3 different sized stones

You get the idea. At any point during our walks I would stop & ask him what he could hear/see/smell, most of the time his answers were birds/trees/cow poo but it got him to take stock of where he was and pay attention to what was around him. For a little boy who rarely sits at peace, stopping for a minute or so to see where he’s at is something he doesn’t do very often so I’m trying to work on it with him & this little activity definitely helped. He only slowed down for about 30 seconds but I’m hoping that in time he’ll be able to stop and ‘smell the roses’ without having to be asked to.

As I’ve said before, my boy is an animal lover so some of our adventures had to include our furry friends. Connor fed goats and sheep, saw huge fat pigs and beautiful peacocks, played in the sandpit with diggers & to top it all off gave himself a cracker of a black eye in the play park! To be fair, it wouldn’t be a trip out if Connor didn’t have some kind of accident – the boy is a calamity.

All in all we just had fun being together and exploring. We loved finding little hidden trails and following them to see where we would end up. We didn’t follow all of them because we had the pram & that thing is just not made for our kind of adventures. But we’ve decided that we’ll definitely go back in the summer either just us or with Mason in the carrier & see where those trails lead. I’ve had a ball just watching his little imagination bloom, seeing him look for fairy’s in the trunks of trees, pretending he’s a pirate with a huge stick for a sword or just flapping his arms pretending to be a goose. Connor is definitely an outdoor boy, he’s never happier than when he’s filthy and freezing from being outside all day and I just need to let him be & go along for the ride.

Do your kids love to be outdoors? What kind of activities do you get up to?

V x

Why won’t my baby stop crying? Masons Reflux Story.

Mason is now just over 11 weeks old and the first 7 were an absolute breeze. He spent most of his little life asleep, he woke to eat and then would basically go straight back to the land of nod until he was due fed again. If you were lucky he was awake long enough to give you a few smiles but he really felt hard done to if he was awake 20 minutes longer than was absolutely necessary. It was all going great, he’d slotted into our lives perfectly, until about a month ago when he started to cry. And I mean really cry. For what seemed like hours and hours. It would kick in about an hour after he’d eat and last until his next feed was due. He’d never been a particularly sicky baby but he had started to spit up and occasionally projectile vomit; Connor had been a sicky baby and it was alway wind that had caused his problems so I assumed the same for Mason. I bought every over the counter remedy I could find to try to help it.

What totally confused me was that he would still sleep at night; he’d have his last feed and go down no problem, sleeping for 8ish hours then wake in the morning perfectly happy. First bottle went down no bother and he’d go back to sleep. When he woke for his next bottle that was when the fun & games started, he’d take it fine but then not settle & the crying would begin. We thought he could be teething – he was born with a little indent where his bottom teeth should be & we could see the beginnings of a tooth; teething gel seemed to settle him slightly but didn’t completely solve the problem. After 3 days of the unexplained crying we noticed a slight rash on his chest and arms so I finally cracked and phoned NHS24, they sent us to out of hours where we were met with the stupidest doctor I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.

Typically Mason had fallen asleep in the car on the way to the surgery & so was quite settled when we went in to see the doctor. I explained what had been happening & the doctor looked at me blankly – here I was saying that my baby had been crying constantly and was impossible to soothe yet he was lying in my arms perfectly content. He could find nothing wrong with him which I had half expected as he looked completely fine and of course the rash had disappeared. I happened to mention that I’d thought he could be teething & he immediately jumped on board and said that was the cause. Mason finally started to cry & I said that this was how he’d been the majority of the time for the past 3/4 days; something about his cry must have bothered the doctor because he immediately picked up his phone & made a call. He advised us that he wasn’t sure what the cause was, possibly teething, but that because we weren’t happy he wanted to refer us to the Paediatric Ward of the nearest hospital. So we packed up & headed off.

When we arrived at the hospital the nurse did the usual checks & then showed us to a bed where we waited to be seen by a doctor. The doctor arrived and again I explained what had been going on, she then checked him over and said we had three possible options. She felt it was either reflux, a cows milk intolerance or teething – she later said that the latter was probably a contributing factor but not the main cause of the crying. We were to start giving Mason Gaviscon powder in his milk & see how he got on with that but first they wanted a urine sample to check there wasn’t any underlying infections. A urine sample from an 8 week old baby – how the hell do you do that?! The answer is you take their nappy off, hold a foil bowl under them and hope for the best. There was a family across from us who’d been waiting for their little girl to pee for well over an hour, thankfully Mason only kept us waiting for 20 minutes. Urine sample came back clear so we could go home, we just had to give him 2 sachets of Gaviscon in every bottle from now on. They said it could potentially take 3-5 days before we noticed any difference, that literally stopped me in my tracks, there was no way I could listen to him cry like that for any longer!

Thankfully it seemed to work from the get go. We’re almost 4 weeks in now, although it feels a hell of a lot longer, and the crying has basically stopped. He’s had a few little off spells – particularly after his jags – but I’ve found that they’re relatively short lived. I know some babies really struggle with reflux and I’m so thankful that we managed to catch it early and that the first stage of treatment seems to be working so far. I haven’t really spoken to any other Mums who’s babies have reflux but I’d be interested to hear of other people’s experiences so please leave me a comment below.

I’ve also found myself wondering if the sheer amount of antibiotics I was given during my pregnancy could have something to do with Mason developing reflux. I remember a conversation I had with a health visitor just after Connor was born about how he was terrible at bringing up wind. She asked me if I’d had antibiotics during my pregnancy and I said yes, I’d had a short course at about 7 months for a urine infection. She said that that could be the cause as antibiotics during pregnancy can upset the delicate lining of a babies stomach. However this time I had at least 4 courses of very strong antibiotics so I’m really leaning towards this being a possible cause of Masons problems. A quick google search provided me with some evidence to support my theory but I’d be very interested to see if any other Mums have found the same?

V x

Welcome to the World – Labour & Birth Story

In my last post, my 38 week update, I mentioned that at my last midwife appointment there had been a few things that had unsettled me & reminded me of the latter stages of my pregnancy with Connor. My blood pressure this time was exactly the same as it had been just before I got told I had pre eclampsia last time – literally exactly the same. That appointment was the Wednesday and on the Thursday I started having what I thought were Braxton Hicks, this wasn’t unusual as I had them really bad & from really early on this time around. However, they didn’t go away – they started at around 10 mins apart & then got quite erratic, some every 2 mins, some were 15mins. I decided to phone triage at around 7.30pm just to see if they thought it could be labour, the midwife asked me a few questions about the contractions one of them being ‘so you’re in pain during the contractions, pain builds & then goes away and you’re pain free until the next one?’ It was then that I realised that although I was having contractions the pain wasn’t going away completely, I always had a dull aching feeling going right round from my back to underneath my bump. The midwife said that it sounded like it could be early labour but the fact that I was in constant pain caused her concern and she wanted me to get check out.

David was playing football so my Mum drove me to the hospital. Typically it was the night of the Super Moon so the place was absolutely heaving. We got there about 8.30pm and weren’t seen until after 10pm, by this point I couldn’t sit down & was getting what I thought were contractions very regularly. They hooked me up to the monitors to check on baby & took my blood pressure which surprise surprise wasn’t behaving. I was left on both monitors for half an hour and told that if my blood pressure hadn’t settled by then they would take bloods and see if anything was happening. Of course it didn’t settle & they sent away a few vials of blood to be tested for god knows what!

Fast forward to 1am and I finally get taken off all monitors and left to wait for a doctor to come & see me. Unfortunately all doctors were in the operating theatre but they would be with us as quickly as they could. At 4.30am othe doctor finally arrived. We discovered that there was protein in my urine, my blood pressure was also still raised, I had swelling in my hands and ankles & one of the blood tests had shown that my kidney function was slightly wonky. Basically if you had a preeclampsia checklist I was ticking every bloody box! I had 2 choices – I either went home and came back every couple of days to have my blood pressure monitored or I could be induced. Obviously induction was the preferable option because by this point I was well & truly fed up. By now it was 5am on Friday morning so I was given a sweep (absolutely horrific, I don’t recommend it!) and was booked in for an induction on the Saturday afternoon. I came home, did what I had to do and got organised to have a baby!

Given that my induction with Connor was 36hours from start to finish I braced myself for much the same this time around. David and I set off hospital after dropping Connor off at my Mums, we got settled, I was put on the monitor again for 15-20mins before I was checked to see what method of induction would be best. After having the sweep I’d been cramping all night but on further inspection I wasn’t dilated and my cervix was still really far back so they opted for the pessary. It was 3.30ish at this point and I was told that unless my water broke I wouldn’t be checked again until 24hours later, so we decided to go for a walk to see if that would get things moving. Within an hour I was getting contractions, again they were really erratic but I took it as a good sign that things were progressing. David left at around 9pm & I tried to get some sleep, by then the contractions were coming every 5minutes and they were getting stronger. Pain relief wise I’d been offered paracetamol and codeine all day but had refused it as I figured it would be better to wait but come 11pm I was fed up and gave in. Not that it did anything right enough so I didn’t bother asking for more. Sleep was basically impossible so I had a bath at 4am to see if that would help and strangely enough it did. It didn’t take the pain away but in the warmth of the water the contractions were definitely more bearable which confirms my belief that I would’ve liked a water birth – maybe next time eh?!

David came back at 11am, he’d tried to get in at 9 as we’d been told by a midwife the night before that was when the ward opened but she was wrong. The poor soul was raging and had to wait in the cafeteria until the ward finally opened at 11am. By now I was utterly fed up, the contractions were coming thick and fast now & every time I stood up they came quicker – obviously this made me want to lie down but I was told to try and stay upright. It didn’t help that everybody who was in the ward with me when David left the night before had all gone to labour ward to have their babies & I was still waiting. It was like that scene from Friends when Rachel’s having the baby!! I hadn’t had any pain relief since 11pm because it didn’t have any effect so I didn’t see the point in taking more but I was told by the morning midwife that I should take it regardless of the effect it was having (or lack of in my case) as it was a good base for any pain relief I’d want later on. I had paracetamol and codeine 4 hourly from that point. I had another bath just after David came in and again it helped somewhat but the walk to & from the bathroom was a killer. I spent the rest of the afternoon bouncing on my birthing ball & doing figure of 8s – I’d been told by Connors Water Babies instructor Wendy that this was a good way to help baby turn and come out the right way.

My Mum & sister came to visit at about half 2 & my sister started counting my contractions, they were roughly about 2-3 mins apart but my waters still hadn’t gone. I finally got rechecked at 4.30pm & it was so bloody sore, I literally could’ve cried. But thankfully I was now 3cm & could go to labour ward, woo!! By the time they came to take me round to have the baby it was 6.30pm. Our midwife, Angela was so lovely, she asked me how I wanted everything to go and what I wanted/didn’t want. I think I made it pretty clear that I wanted an epidural, I was so done with being in pain at that point I just wanted some relief. After Connors birth, I knew I didn’t want diamorphine – it had made me so sick and itchy as well as making me feel completely out of it -so I made sure I told David & the midwife that no matter what I didn’t want it. That was all fine & we headed round to labour ward, I was straight on the gas and air the minute I walked through the door & felt great for about 10 minutes. Angela rechecked me before breaking my waters and said I was 4cm stretching to 6cm and that after my waters went I should labour pretty well. She broke my waters at about 7.10pm and literally within minutes the pain was so intense that the gas and air had absolutely no effect. I asked for an epidural & was told that they needed to take blood before I could have one so they inserted a cannula into the side of my hand, took blood and off she went. What felt like hours later she came back and I asked again for the epidural, Angela told me it could take a while and that I was doing great – it really didn’t feel like it. I remember looking at David and saying to him – I need diamorphine. He was so good and said ‘remember you said you didn’t want it, it made you all itchy, you’ll get the epidural soon’ but by then I couldn’t take the pain anymore, my contractions were one on top of the other and I was getting absolutely no relief, as much as I knew I didn’t want diamorphine something had to take that pain away.

David buzzed for Angela and explained the situation, she also reminded me that I didn’t want diamorphine but when I told her I couldn’t stand the pain any longer she nodded & left the room to get it for me. Within a couple of minutes of her leaving I heard myself say to David ‘I need to push’, he got the fright of his life & immediately hit the buzzer. When Angela walked through the door he said ‘she says she needs to…’ and she said push before he did! She said ‘I was just saying to the girls out there, that’ll be Victoria to tell me she needs to push’. She had brought the diamorphine with her and said that I would be better to just have half a dose and then I wouldn’t be completely out of it after the birth. I remember saying to her ‘no, I want the whole thing & I want it now’!! She then said to me when you feel you can turn on your side & face David, this needs to go into the top of your leg. It took almost everything I had to even try and turn but just as I did she said ‘stop! Sorry Mrs, but this baby’s coming now, no time for diamorphine!’ So I just had to carry on with gas and air. Strangely enough pushing gave me a relief which I hadn’t expected & the ‘ring of fire’ wasn’t anywhere near as painful as I’d thought it would be.

I have no idea how many pushes it took but I know it wasn’t that long & our beautiful baby was here. A gorgeous baby boy. Born at 7.53pm a mere 43minutes after my waters were broken. He had his cord wrapped around his neck & his body three times, apparently if that hadn’t been the case then he would’ve been out much quicker! He weighed in at 7lb 4oz, pretty good for being 2weeks early & he looked exactly like his brother. If I hadn’t been there I would’ve said it was the same baby. I was in total shock because I’d been so convinced we were having a girl, this pregnancy was so different to Connors but there you go. It felt amazing to be so clear headed after the birth, compared with the last time when I’d had every type of pain relief possible. He ate basically as soon as he was born and didn’t stop for a few hours, just like his brother and then he slept from 1.30am til 6am. Because everything was fine & I was so desperate to get home to see Connor we got discharged at 9am.

The poor wee soul didn’t have a name for a good few days but we finally decided on

Mason Alexander Fisher

He was absolutely worth the terrible pregnancy and having to be induced, I really would do it again 10times over. His birth was so empowering. I never understood it when I heard other Mums say that but it really was. Actually being able to feel him enter the world was amazing – painful but amazing.

V xx

Pregnancy Update – 38 Weeks

Okay, so I haven’t been as good at doing these weekly updates as I’d hoped I would be.  Aside from the initial ‘3 become 4’ post I’ve managed one half-assed 20 week update which was published 17 weeks late!  So I’ll just quickly recap whats gone down over the past few months and bring you all up to speed.

I’m now a few days away from being 38 weeks and I am done.  We’re all getting so impatient to meet this little one and the thought of waiting another few weeks is killing me!  This pregnancy has been entirely different to Connors and not in a better way; baby number 2 seems to be trying it’s best to be twisted at any given opportunity and it’s definitely taken it’s toll on me.

It all started when Connor started nursery back in September- he came home with a cold towards the end of the week and obviously just had to share it with Mummy (he’s nice like that!).  Connor was back to normal within the next few days but I wasn’t so lucky.  It turned into a chest infection that I couldn’t shift no matter what I did – 4 months, 4 courses of anti biotics, 2 hospital admissions and 1 CT scan to look for blood clots later and I think I can finally say I’m over it.  I had to start my maternity leave early as I just wasn’t fit to be there and didn’t want to share whatever I had with the elderly people I work with.

As if all that wasn’t enough to be going on with, we were sent for a growth scan during the second of my hospital admissions as one of the midwifes felt that although my stomach measured on track the baby ‘felt small’ with her hands.  This was at 31 weeks which was when Connor had started to measure behind due to my having pre-eclampsia so I started to panic slightly.   Turns out this chunk was already measuring in at 4lb 3oz and was 2+ weeks ahead – panic over!  The same midwife was also convinced that baby was breech – it wasn’t thank fully but this being in my notes caused my community midwife to have her doubts too.

The following week when I attended my local midwife and filled her in with what had been going on since I had seen her last, she did all her checks and everything was fine.  When she felt for babies position she said that both ends felt a similar size so she wasn’t convinced that the baby was still head down & to come back in a couple of weeks because nothing would be done until 36 weeks anyway.  I was pretty sure baby was head down because of the pressure and pain I’d been feeling.  Also, Connor had a much bigger head than he had bum when he was born so I was pretty confident that this baby was the same.  I went back at 34 weeks and she couldn’t tell but was leaning towards baby being breech, although she couldn’t say for sure.  I went for my 36 week check last week and she was 100% convinced that baby was breech and I was booked in for a scan for Monday – 4 days away.  However, there were a few things that happened at that appointment that had me slightly unsettled and I knew I wouldn’t have been at peace until I knew what was happening so luckily I managed to rearrange the appointment for the following day.  There wasn’t anything that caused the midwife any concern but a few of my stats mirrored those I had at my last appointment with Connor which was just days before the pre-eclampsia kicked in so obviously my mind went into over drive.  Also the babies heart rate was raised and took a while to settle to a rate that the midwife was happy with so that had me slightly concerned too.

Fast forward to the Friday and I had myself so convinced that something was going to be wrong when we got to the hospital.   I took my hospital bag with us and was waiting to hear that the babies heart rate or my blood pressure were too high and that paired with the breech position meant that the baby would have to be delivered.  Thankfully that never happened – we were in the scan room 5 minutes, if that, and were informed that baby was infact head down!  So all my worrying was unfounded and we’re back to the waiting game.

Connor was born at just past 37 weeks so I really don’t know how to do these last few weeks.  I’ve been getting a ridiculous amount of Braxton Hicks as well, which is something I never experienced last time – they’re really bloody painful!  My birthing ball is getting full use, it’s basically the only place I can sit that’s even remotely comfortable.  I don’t have another appointment with my midwife until 39 weeks but I’ve got everything crossed that I don’t make it that far!  Any recommendations to bring on labour?  I’ve heard about eating pineapple and dates (?) and obviously I’ve been using the birthing ball but I’m open to suggestions!

When did you have your babies?  Was it true for you that your second babies came earlier than the first?

 

* UPDATE!! Baby was born literally a couple of days after I wrote this post! So I didn’t manage to get any nice pregnancy shots like I had planned.  Birth story coming soon!

Pregnancy Updates – Week 20

Well I’m half way there!  Week 20 has landed.  It really has flown in this time, it feels like literally 2 minutes ago that we found out we were expecting baby number 2 and now the countdown really is on!

I’m finally feeling slightly more human, the sickness and nausea seem to be gone for the moment (touch wood).  I am still pretty shattered at the end of every day but I think that’s just the way it’s going to be for the foreseeable.  Not feeling baby move much as of yet, a few little punches and kicks here and there but it’s definitely not into a “routine”.  Although whenever I say I haven’t felt it move for a while I always seem to get kicked at that exact moment, clearly this baby can hear & understand what I’m saying!

Blood pressure is still behaving thank goodness so I’m keeping everything crossed that it stays that way.  I’ve had to have blood taken on 4 separate occasions as they’ve managed to lose my blood samples twice and it seems like my veins have gone on strike as it’s a bloody nightmare for them to find anywhere to put the needle in.  So, you know, swings and roundabouts haha!

My hips/back/pelvis are generally pretty sore most of the time, some days are worse than others but again it was the same when I was pregnant with Connor so it’s just par for the course.

We had our 20 week scan this week and everything is looking great.  Like I said in my previous post; we won’t be finding out the sex this time as they got it wrong with Connor and we don’t want a repeat of that.  I’m hoping I can get David on board with going for a 4D scan so Connor can come with us and also so we have the same scan photos of each of the kids – I like to keep things even.  He’s not having me on at the moment, he says those scans creep him out but I’m working on it.