Safe cosleeping with our Bednest.

There are so many options when it comes to baby sleeping, Moses baskets, cribs and then there is cosleeping.

Guidelines tell you not to have your baby in your bed with you. It increases the risk of SIDS. But, big but there are a lot of benefits to it. No getting out of bed in the middle of the night to get the baby for feeds, wether it be breast or bottle, and that closeness you can get with your baby being so close all the time.

The Bednest is a good safe compromise, it keeps your baby at an arms reach, but without the risks of your baby being in your bed.

Another good thing is you can rent it, rather than buy, it comes with a new mattress, sides and sheets. This was good for us as sadly due to my fertility problems Arabella is likely to be our first and last baby, if you plan on having a few children you can also buy, and then put it away for your next one, or even just rent it and then you haven’t got to worry about storage!

We didn’t put it up until we came home from the hospital, minor panic as we thought it may take a while to construct, but nope. It literally sets up in less than a minute, very impressive and even a sleep deprived new dad managed it without looking at instructions (he’s a man, there are instructions available with the Bednest but we all know how men like to ignore instructions, haha!).

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Looking back at this reminds me how tiny she was.

For the first 6 weeks of her life we breastfed and then had to stop for a myriad of reasons including medical but in those early days the Bednest really did help with breastfeeding, she was at an arms reach, great for those newborn cluster feeding times.

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As a family we also travel a lot as my family live 200 miles away in Lancashire. We do have a travel cot at my mums but it’s just too big for her currently and when she’s in it she’s not close, so every time we go we take our Bednest. It folds down flat and is really compact. There’s even a travel bag available for it so you can take it on planes and trains with ease. It fit in our small estate car with baby, me, my husband, excitable boxer dog, pram and all the other things a baby requires for a weekend away (as you would imagine that’s a huge amount of stuff!!).

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Here are a few more pictures of Arabella enjoying her Bednest.

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So if you’re expecting a baby, a Bednest is really one of my must have products I urge people to buy. It’s been a life saver literally, Arabella suffers from severe reflux, this was diagnosed after a second episode of apnea (her stopping breathing), the first time we were already in hospital, the second time she was in her Bednest right next to me, and I truly believe if she had been in a Moses basket I wouldn’t have noticed her in trouble, I hate to think what could’ve happened.

You can find more information and buy/rent them from their website; www.bednest.com

I also have a discount code for my readers so you can save some money (every little helps when you’re expecting a baby, I know!!).

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From nothing to celebrate, to something to celebrate.

This blog popped up in my Facebook feed today.

adventuresofalabornurse – When theres nothing to celebrate.

I clicked on it not knowing what it was about, I read it.

It broke my heart, I have friends and family who have experienced still births. They’re some of the strongest women I know.

This post struck a chord with me as I’ve seen a lot of medical professionals in my time, I always remember the ones who are kind to me.

During my second ectopic pregnancy last year I was treated by a doctor called Paul, there was nothing to celebrate, I was a mess. I just cried and cried and cried. It was one of the worst times of my life. This year we met in different circumstances, he was one of my doctors during Arabella’s birth, we had something to celebrate. I remembered him right away. He had also treated me during my pregnancy when I had suspected preeclampsia. He’s genuinely one person I will never forget.

At the beginning of this pregnancy, 2 days after our embryo transfer I ended up in A&E screaming in agony, the worst pain of my life, a lady doctor came to see me, she listened to me, she helped me through it, she understood when I told her I didn’t want anything that would compromise a pregnancy in case I was, she treated me with so much care and respect, she was like an angel on that night, I can’t remember her name, I had what turned out to be ovarian hyper stimulation (OHSS) and it was genuinely 100 times more painful than giving birth. Fast forward 36 weeks and this lady doctor appeared in my life again, and actually delivered Arabella, she was there for me at the hard painful start of my pregnancy, unknown at the time and at the joyful end. It’s funny how things come full circle.

Easy sleeping, say goodbye to tog ratings! The magical Merino Kids GoGo Bag!

As a new mum (and a first timer) I’m constantly worrying, is Arabella eating enough, have I dressed her right, is she safe, has she napped enough? You get the picture the list is endless!

I’ve recently discovered one thing that has taken one of these worries away for me, “is it the right temperature for sleeping?”. Right from the moment your baby is born, the hospital quite rightly, are reminding new parents to be aware of the dangers of overheating – SIDS. So I find myself constantly checking the room temperature, checking that everything has the right TOG rating, questioning if I have dressed Arabella correctly, touching the back of her neck etc . Sounds familiar?

My discovery is the amazing Merino Kids Go Go Bag which removes my having to obsess over togs as it doesn’t need one due to its amazing natural properties! The sleepbags are made of a wonder fibre called Merino wool (100% natural, so you’ll find no nasty synthetics here!). The wool is breathable, so it helps to naturally regulate the perfect temperature reducing the need to have a variety of different sizes and tog sleeping bags in the cupboard ready for all eventualities. Yes, they are a little more expensive than the other brands, but I think in the long run it is worth it as you only need one which can be used throughout the year. One bag, no togs. I love the fact that it naturally doesn’t retain smells so it is saving on my never ending washing pile – I leave it to air over the side of the cot when Arabella is out and about. The care instructions are super simple and I know when it comes to washing the sleepbag dries really quickly.

Already it’s given me great peace of mind that my precious girl is the correct temperature and I love how each bag comes with a leaflet suggesting how to dress the baby for the various temperatures which also takes some stress away and one less thing to think about!

They come in many different gorgeous designs (Arabella is wearing the dusky pink Go Go Bag). I love the fact that the bag comes in two sizes; newborn – 2 years and for toddlers 2-4 years (so they last far longer than other brands which tend to come in 6 or 12 month age brackets, another reason why they are fantastic value!).

It’s also very clever as it can be worn in a car seat safely as it has access for the strap that goes between your little ones legs so you haven’t got excess material between baby and the belt so it’s fantastic for traveling too and makes it easy for a quick transfer into bed.

Have a look at the wide selection of sleepbags at www.merinokids.co.uk and I would also suggest having a browse of their other products, they do some gorgeous designs.

I will be reviewing their beautiful gowns on the blog next so keep an eye out!

Here are a few pictures of Arabella enjoying her Merino Kids Go Go Bag!

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Discovering gNappies, cloth nappies done differently.

So we were sent some lovely gNappies and matching dress to review. They came at the perfect time! We already use cloth/reusable nappies but it’s been super hot over the last week or so, we are lucky that our house is nice and cool but when out and about the cloth nappies can get a bit hot as they’re quite thick for optimum absorbency.

The gPants are very slim fitting and light weight with no heavy materials and breathable due to how they are constructed. They consist of a cloth outer, a waterproof inner that snaps on and into that you place the disposable insert. This is another reason why they would be fantastic for a holiday, when you take full cloth nappies it takes up a lot of space and you need proper washing facilities, with these you can just remove the disposable liner and replace so you get a few uses out of the outer and when the outer needs washing they can be easily hand washed and they dry very quickly. This means you only need a few outers and a pack of liners which doesn’t take up much luggage space at all, this also makes them fantastic for long days out. Last but least they are super cute and the range of matching clothes and accessories they do are gorgeous and fantastic quality!

I will definitely be buying the next size up when she grows out of these, they fit fantastically, are very absorbent and we’ve had no leaks. They are also good for the environment as the disposable liners are eco friendly and compostable!! Very clever and we are very impressed!!

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Our rough start.

So here we are, Arabella is 10 weeks old and the last 10 weeks have been hard, not I’ve got a newborn hard, it’s been my baby is ill hard.

The first week of her life was amazing. We were so smitten. We had been through so much to get her. Our perfect baby.

It all started at 8 days old, she was still jaundiced. I was breastfeeding. She had lost weight again, the midwife advised us to give her a top up of formula and sent us off to the GP, we saw the GP, at this point Arabella wouldn’t wake up and take a feed, the GP then sent us to the child assessment unit (children’s A&E), we were seen very quickly. Whilst my husband was undressing her so the nurses could weigh her, Arabella had an episode, which looked like a fit in his hands and stopped breathing. You felt a current of panic run round the room, the nurse grabbed her, grabbed and oxygen mask and put it on her. We waited for a trolley so they could take her to resus, the trolley arrived, the nurse picked her up to move her over, Arabella stopped breathing again, the nurse then literally ran off to resus with my baby, you know it’s something serious when I usually calm medical professional is showing signs of panic, this is when the tears started, we didn’t know what was going on, there were no words, I was literally speechless, I’ve had some horrible experiences in my life, but this was by far the worse.

I was given a chair in the corner of the resus room, my husband stood next to me as we helplessly watch probably what was about 10 people work on our 8 day old daughter. She was breathing again at this point, screaming her heart out, I had never heard her cry like that before. They made many attempts to get a line in her to put her on a drip, they took bloods and then took a chest xray. I held her little hand through that.

We were then told they didn’t really know what had happened. That they were giving her antibiotics just incase of an infection and they wanted to do a lumbar puncture to check her spinal fluid for infection.

We were then moved up to high dependancy unit and she was placed in a heated cot and we had our own dedicated nurse.

All I did that night was sit in the chair facing her cot and cry, you don’t expect to be there with your perfect long awaited newborn baby in a hospitals high dependancy unit, it was worse we had no real answers. I was frightened.

She was put on IV antibiotics, just incase, 2 different types.

They suspected sepsis.

They came to do the lumbar puncture in the middle of the night. I couldn’t watch them do this. I had to leave the ward, I felt so selfish but I was already emotionally broken.

She didn’t do it again, we were then moved onto the ward the next day.

I of course had to stay with her as I was breastfeeding, Jamie my husband had to go home in the evening, this was one of the hardest times of my life, alone in a hospital with a poorly baby, with no sleep. I was exhausted.

We ended up staying in for 5 days, we were let home after everything came back all clear. It was put down to one of those things.

We slowly got back onto our feet, got back into a routine.

My husband retuned to work, he currently works away 2 days a week in Essex and stays overnight.

This was my first time solo parenting, the day went fine, we went to bed early, I put her in her bednest co sleeper crib next to my bed.

She started having a splutter, she’d been a bit a sick, I picked her up and winded her, she was fine. I then rolled a towel up and led her on her side incase she did it again.

Fast forward 20 minutes, I looked over at her as she was stiring, she was bright red, wasn’t breathing and just had this horrible look of terror in her eyes.

I picked her up, winded her, she still wasn’t breathing, I tried placing her on her front and winding her, she still wasn’t breathing. I picked her up and looked her in the eyes and pleaded her to breath, all I saw was that same look of terror.

I tried blowing in her nose and mouth. Still nothing.

I noticed her mouth was clamped shut, I forced my finger in, I put my finger down her throat. She started breathing, I felt like I could breathe again.

I immediately rang an ambulance, I hadn’t cried till this point, then it started, I told the operator my baby had stopped breathing.

A first response paramedic arrived. At this point she was breathing and alert.

The ambulance then arrived, off we went. In the ambulance she became unresponsive, floppy and grey.

We were taken straight into resus at the hospital, same room, it was like history repeating itself.

This time I was alone. I called my husband after the ambulance. He immediately started off on the 4 hour journey home.

In resus they took bloods, she started screaming again, this seemed to wake her up.

We were then put in a room in A&E. We were there for hours, I was exhausted. My husband arrived, I fell asleep on the bed.

The doctor came to see us, more bloods and admitted us to the paediatrics ward.

We spent 3 days here again, the consultant on the ward believed what was causing her to have these episodes was silent reflux, something I’ve never heard of before. We were given gaviscon and sent home.

The gaviscon seemed to make her worse, she was constantly in pain with her stomach. We took her to out of hours on a Saturday morning, they gave us ranitidine. This seemed to do the trick.

At this point I was still breastfeeding.

I had noticed Arabella had tongue tie, the GP said she didn’t. I took it upon myself to see a private lactation consultant. We paid £150 to have her tongue tie cut. This was mostly in hope that it would help her reflux. At this point we also had thrush. Our feeding got worse.

I went to see the NHS breastfeeding midwife and was told I had been doing it wrong all along, this knocked my confidence and made me feel like a failure. She just couldn’t learn to latch properly now after feeding so long with a tongue tie.

I went home from the NHS breastfeeding midwife and had a massive melt down. I stopped breastfeeding. I still feel very sad about that decision today. But I needed some pressure taking off me.

After switching to formula Arabella’s reflux got progressively worse. She at times sounded like she was drowning on her own vomit.

I had to buy an angel care movement monitor to just give me the confidence to go to sleep.

At this point my faith in myself of being a mother was rock bottom. All I did was cry. I just wanted my baby better.

A friend mentioned to me something called milk protein allergy, I had a look online. Arabella had a lot of the symptoms. I put it to the back of my mind.

One Monday evening Arabella started screaming, it lasted for 6 hours, she was unconsolable. She was refusing to feed.

The day after I went to my GP, he told me to go see my health visitor that afternoon as he didn’t know much about babies.

Off I went to my HV. I told her my concerns and suspicion of a milk allergy. She told me it was colic and that she was fine and gaining weight. She clearly wasn’t fine. She then brought the other GP to see us, who also said it’s colic and gave us more gaviscon, even after I repeatedly told her it was no help at all.

I was quite mad at this point, all I was getting asked was is it my first. I was made out to be a neurotic first time mum. I know babies cry, that’s normal. This wasn’t normal.

I was at my wits end. I’m on a parenting Facebook group so I went on there to vent and air my suspicions. A lovely lady said it sounded like a milk allergy and suggested trying hypoallergenic formula, after all it wouldn’t do any harm. She sent me 3 tins she had surplus. I tried Arabella on it. The change was instant. She was like a different child, she still has some reflux but nothing like it was.

So off me and hubby went to the doctors after Arabella being on her new formula with a tin of it. We were finally taken seriously, given a perscription of the formula and a referral to paediatrics.

What should have been the best 10 weeks of my life turned into the worst, I still feel guilty for not being able to enjoy her. I love her with all my heart. But have the last 10 weeks been enjoyable? No.

It’s been one thing after another.

I’m hoping now she’s on the mend we can enjoy her, the last week has been amazing. Smiles and giggles. A normal happy baby. Just please let it last.

Here are a few pictures from our hospital stays.

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