Reflecting on Baby Loss Awareness Week

This week has been Baby Loss Awareness week, whether this is a miscarriage, a still birth or a neonatal or even later on death.

I have a lot of friends who have suffered all different types of baby loss.

I personally have suffered 3 losses, all of them early. A miscarriage at 5 weeks, and then 2 ectopics at 6 and 7 weeks. With my ectopics not only did I lose a baby, I lost my fertility.

It’s been a bitter sweet week, seeing how many people I know have been affected by loss, people who haven’t spoken out before, not because they didn’t want to, because they felt they couldn’t. There have been lots of tears this week, for myself and for others.

One thing that has been highlighted to me this week is how many amazingly strong women (and men, after all baby loss affects them too and I often think they are forgotten) I know.

I look at some of them and I am in awe of how they carry on, how they hold their heads up high, how they raise money for good causes to help other people who have suffered loss, for neonatal units, for SIDS and safe sleep awareness.

There are a few people I would like to give a special mention here;

Kirsty; she is a mum to an angel, Noah, he sadly lost his life at only 18 hours old after being very poorl and being born very early. She raises so much money for her local neonatal unit, to help them care for babies like Noah. I am in awe of her strength daily, I am so proud of her, she is now a mum to a rainbow called Madelyn who was born 3 days before Arabella. And I cannot forget her husband Ben who also does so much for charity including bike rides. She has recently started blogging if any of my readers would like to take a look. Her story is heartbreaking. You can find her blog here; http://kirstyaris.wordpress.com/

Next is Naomi; she is one of my IVF friends, she had successful IVF and went through her pregnancy with us all supporting her and following her progress, late on in her pregnancy we had the terrible news that her daughter Bea had passed away in the womb, I will never forget reading her tweets. She then had lots of other terrible things happen to her and her family that I will not go into detail with as its not my place but despite it all she still marches on, she does not give up or give in. She is an inspiration.

Sammi; she is also another IVF friend, she lost her son late in pregnancy but to early to save him. Again another lady who doesn’t give up. Who ploughs on in search of her rainbow.

Vicky; Vicky’s first daughter Chloe was stillborn and then she sadly lost her second daughter Mila shortly after birth, 2 beautiful angels. She has now been blessed with her rainbow. Again, her strength astounds me. I am so proud of her and the mum she is to all 3 of her girls.

And last but not least Jennie who blogs at http://www.edspire.co.uk/ she is an inspiration, she lost her daughter Matila Mae to SIDS. I urge you to go read her blog, I have sat there reading it lots of times with tears streaming down my face.

And there are many others I can mention, you know who you are. The community you become part of after a loss is an amazing thing, but I really do wish none of us had to be part of it.

Baby loss is a life changing event.

You lose a piece of yourself you can never get back. A parent should never have to lose a child.

All we can do is remember and this week has definitely been a week of remembrance culminating in the wave of light, it was lovely to see people remembering.

This has been a very emotional post to write.

Thinking of each and every one of our babies that should be here but aren’t.

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Nib Nibs Review & Giveaway

I’m a sucker for wine and nibbles on a Friday night, put the baby to bed and pour myself a drink (my favorites are red wine, cider or shandy) and have a few snacks whilst watching TV relaxing with my husband.

I was offered some nibnibs to try and who could resist?

nibnibs are premium baked British nibbles. I received 4 different varieties; roasted salt & pepper jumbo peanuts, exceptional cheddar cheese straws, exceptional cheddar & cheeky onion straws and exceptional cheddar & spicy chilli straws.

The company is a British brand and nibnibs are handcrafted in good old Yorkshire.

I can’t resist a bit of spice so decided to open the exceptional cheddar & spicy chilli straws. They were lovely crunchy buttery cheesy little morsels with a nice, not too overpowering kick of spice. Perfection along with a nice cold cider.

My husband is a big fan of peanuts so he went for the roasted salt & pepper jumbo peanuts, he really enjoyed them. They weren’t overly salted and there was just a hint of pepper which was nice as sometimes pepper can be overpowering.

We are saving the exceptionally cheddar cheese straws and the exceptional cheddar & cheeky onion straws for next weekend. Our little treat!

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I am giving away a selection of nibnibs so you can try them yourself. To enter please click the following link; a Rafflecopter giveaway

More information on nibnibs can be found here: http://nibnibs.com/index.htm

Funky Giraffe Personalised Bibs

We are a big fan of Funky Giraffe bibs in our house, we have quite a few (I have a little bit of a bib addiction, but don’t we all?). They are one of our must haves, they are great for when they get dribbly with teething.

We love them because of their quality and all of the beautiful different designs.

I was recently asked if I would like to review one of their personalised bibs and I jumped at the chance.

So off I went to their website and designed my own bib.

The first thing I noticed was how reasonably priced the personalised bibs are, personalisation is usually something you pay over the odds for, but for a basic personalised bib its £5.00!

The design tool is really simple, even I could use it easily. I am also not the most creative person, but there are lots of ready made templates for inspiration.

I chose to add an icon at the tiny cost of £0.70. I decided on a crown because Bells is our little princess. I also added her name which is free of charge, you can have up to 2 lines of text on the bib at no extra cost.

Heres a screen shot of the design tool and my design;

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If you would like to design your own you can choose a bib colour and style here and then have a play; http://funkygiraffebibs.co.uk/personalised.html#.VD_aKRYuaSo

The delivery for the bib was really fast too, I expected it to take a while due to the fact it was personalised but it arrived promptly with in a few days of ordering. It came well packaged and fit through our letter box so no need to wait in for the postman which is always good.

I was excited to receive it and see how it had turned out, when I opened the packaging I was again pleasantly surprised, I expected the logo and the name to be printed on but it was beautifully embroidered, the bib itself was also great quality (like the other standard Funky Giraffe bibs we own).

They would make a great gift for a new baby, or even for a birthday or Christmas.

I put it straight on Arabella. We love it!

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So much so Bells decided it was good enough to lick! Haha.

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You can see all of the Funky Giraffe product range on their website here; http://funkygiraffebibs.co.uk/

Tommy & Lottie – ethical & sustainable baby t-shirts

I’ll start with saying that Tommy & Lottie is a British brand.

They produce t-shirts with images of British nostalgia. Their current lines are fairground and woodland. Both stunning in very different ways. When I was asked to choose a design for Bell’s I had a hard time choosing just one!

Tommy & Lottie came about when mum of 2 Katie decided to start her own business.

I’m personally a huge fan of Scandi style clothing, and the t-shirt’s echo Scandi design but in a very British way. There are bright bold colours and shapes.

We love a bit of matchy matchy in our house, especially with a cloth nappy.

I picked up some new gNappies at the weekend at the baby and toddler show in Manchester. One of them was “good morning sunshine” which is a brilliantly bright yellow that goes perfectly with the yellow of the carousel horse on the Tommy & Lottie t-shirt.

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One of the first thing I noticed when taking the t-shirt out of the packaging was how soft the cotton was, it was beautifully soft. Just what you want against your babies skin. It also has neck poppers that are a must have when you’ve got a wriggly baby that hates being dressed!

The quality of the print is also fantastic, you can really see that it has been done properly and won’t get ruined when you wash it. The lines are crisp and clean and the colours are vivid.

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And as we were leaving the house we thought we should put some trousers on (we are ladies after all 😉 haha) so we teamed the t-shirt with classic denim jeans, but I bet it would also look fantastic dressed up with tights and a little skirt, or maybe even a tutu!

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And as you can tell Arabella loves her t-shirt.

I’m actually pretty jealous they don’t come in adult sizes (is it lame that I would love for us both to match whilst out and about??).

I also have a funny feeling I am going to have the urge to collect every print because they are all so beautiful!

It’s also very nice to see a company being ethical and caring about where their products are made and come from.

If you would like more information about Tommy & Lottie it can be found here on their website; http://www.tommyandlottie.com/

Starting to wean a cows milk protein allergy/reflux baby.

So we were advised to start weaning early because of Bell’s issues.

I’ve spoken about this before but she has something called cows milk protein allergy (CMPA), which is actually more common than you would think.

Basically she is allergic to the proteins in cows milk, this is often confused with lactose intolerance. Very few babies are actually lactose intolerant, its very rare.

We started weaning at 17 weeks, this caused a hoohaa with some people, the usual you should wait till 6 months like guide lines, blah blah blah.

I am going to start this with “do what’s right for you and your baby”, which is pretty much my take on everything parenting. I don’t care how you feed your child as long as its not starving, I don’t care when you wean them. Who am I to judge?

So we decided to start with purees, off we went to Tesco and bought a shed load of Ella’s Kitchen sachets, for one they are convenient and I’m lazy. Haha!

Because of Bella’s CMPA we have to watch out for reactions to other foods. This means we have to give her the same thing 3 days in a row and be vigilant. With this method we have so far worked out she reacts to banana, and rice. She has been fine with pear and sweet potato. Today we are trying mango.

Our plan is to puree until she is around 6 months and then start baby led weaning; lots of finger foods and her feeding herself.

I’ve been kind of going about it blindly (with a little info from friends and the internet) as we are still waiting for our dieticians appointment still, so I ordered some books in at the library.

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So going to have a read of them this week.

And to finish off a picture of Arabella after her first taste of solids, she looks miserable! Just because it had all gone. Haha, definitely takes after her mum.

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