When it happens again… {Miscarriage}

I sat in A&E amongst people with broken limbs, cuts and bruises – a sorry looking bunch. And then there was me, no visible clues as to why I was sat in that room, waiting to be seen on a Monday night. I wasn’t there to get an x-ray or to have stitches. I was waiting to be told what I already knew. I was losing another baby.

I wanted to do this at home, in private, but because I’d been having lower right-sided abdominal pain there was a chance I was having an ectopic pregnancy. I spent several hours being moved from room to room – poked and prodded, blood taken, swabs taken, internal examinations, external examinations, moved into another room, wait here, wait there… on and on and on. I just wanted to go home.

I really, really just wanted to go home.

Thankfully, it turned out not to be ectopic – I got to go home and await my lab results. I have to be honest, at this point I held on to a glimmer of hope. I hoped the blood was something else. Anything else. But not because I was losing another baby. Surely I don’t deserve for this to happen again?

The next morning, I eventually got the call. “Your pregnancy hormone is down to just 2. We count that as a negative test. Wait a few months and try again… if that’s what you want.”

Right now, I just can’t think of anything worse. We could try again and it could all be OK. I know it can happen. I have a 19-month-old who proves it can happen. But if it doesn’t? It could break me. This is breaking me.

I’ve never smoked in my life and I rarely drink. I try to take care of my body.

It just seems so cruel that this should happen to me… again.

All I’ve ever wanted to do is grow babies, give birth to them and nurture them. And I can’t. It’s not working. I’m not working. Or at least, that’s what it feels like. My body is broken. My heart is broken.

What do you do when it happens again?

I’ve removed myself from social media for self-preservation, the pregnancy announcements (which seem to appear almost hourly at the moment) are too much to bear. I feel angry and bitter at the world. And then I feel guilty for feeling so angry and bitter. I wouldn’t wish this on anybody. But why should I have to go through this? Again.

Jasmine won’t be having a sibling in the summer.

I won’t be having another child.

We won’t be a family of four.

It seems so simple for everybody else.

But not for me. Not for us.

I never thought I’d be so unlucky to have to suffer another miscarriage.

What do you do when it happens again?

 

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The Firstborn Tag

I really enjoyed reading Maddy’s answers to The Firstborn Tag over on her blog The Speed Bump . It’s one of my favourite blogs – Maddy has a great writing style and wicked sense of humour. But don’t just take my word for it – go check her out! You can also find her on Twitter here.

I thought I’d give the tag a go myself as I love nothing more than to reminisce about my pregnancy (well, the last two trimesters anyway) and Jasmine’s exciting entrance into the world.

All about your firstborn!?

1. Was your pregnancy planned?  

I wouldn’t say ‘planned’ exactly but it wasn’t a total surprise either. After having an early miscarriage 9 months prior to finding out we were expecting again – we’d been NTNP (Not trying, not preventing). I guess we didn’t want to put any pressure on ourselves to conceive again but we were (cautiously) over the moon we we did.

2. Were you married?

Nope. In fact, I was adamant that I would never get married. However, Stephen popped the question to me whilst we were on our ‘Babymoon’ in Dublin and well, I couldn’t say no! :) We eloped and got married in June this year!

3. What was your reaction to finding out?

Overjoyed but obviously I was incredibly nervous of losing another baby. I don’t think I ever felt 100% relaxed about my pregnancy the whole way through.

4. Were you induced?

Nope. It was something I was really concerned about as I’d heard so many horror stories about induction. In the end I needn’t have worried – my waters broke spontaneously  at 2am when I was a little over 38 weeks pregnant and I gave birth later that day.

5. How old were you? 

27

6. Who did you first tell?  

After my positive pregnancy test, I actually kept it to myself for a few days, possibly even a week. I just needed to let it to sink for a while. I then told Stephen by writing it in a card with a baby chimp on the front of it. Before I moved in with Stephen, we were in a long distance relationship and we’d always send each other cards with monkeys, chimps and apes on the front. I’m not sure who started it first but it’s always been ‘our thing’. His marriage proposal also came in the form of a monkey card!

7. How did you find out? 

I was fairly sure I was pregnant before I took a test  – I’d been having twinges in my abdomen for a week or so but no sign of my period.

8. Did you want to find out the sex?

Initially, no. I was always sure that I’d be one of those people who wanted a surprise but by the time I was about 17 weeks pregnant, I caved in and booked a private gender scan! It was driving me loopy not knowing.

9. Due Date?

19th April 2014

10. Did you deliver early or late?

Early.

11. Did you have morning sickness?

Yes, awful (all freakin’ day) sickness for the first 3 months. I’d love another baby at some point but I’m not sure how I’d cope with that level of sickness again with a toddler to look after. How do people do it? (Genuine question!)

12. What did you crave?

I never had any cravings. I felt a bit cheated about that!

13. How many pounds did you gain from your pregnancy?

I never weighed myself but I don’t think it was much – I lost a lot of weight in the first trimester because of the sickness. I did put on quite a bit of weight after pregnancy though – whoops!

14. What was the sex of the baby?

A girl!

15. Did you have any complications during pregnancy or labour?

My bump measured small towards the end of my pregnancy but I’m 5ft 1 and I had a petite bump to match – there was a perfectly sized little lady in there. My midwife was also convinced baby was breech too. I was sent for an extra scan to check but it turned out that she was head down and raring to go… she arrived 3 days later.

As for the labour itself, other than being told that they didn’t have any room for me at the hospital (which is NOT what you want to hear) it was fairly straightforward.

16. Where did you give birth?

The Midwife Led Birthing Unit at West Suffolk Hospital – although I very nearly had a ‘car park’ baby. See above!

17. How many hours were you in labour?

I can’t say I was timing it! My waters broke at 2am but my contractions didn’t kick in until late morning/lunch time. I laboured at home until fully dilated (not through choice) and once I finally arrived at the hospital, I pushed for 45 minutes and my girl was born at 7.41pm.

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18. How much did your baby weigh?

6lb 7oz

19. What did you name her?

Jasmine (it was the only girls name that Stephen and I could agree on so we’re stuffed if we have another daughter one day!)

20. How old is your first born today?

19 months!

You might also like to read:

Jasmine’s birth story

Labour and Birth: What I would’ve done differently

Miscarriages, silver linings and rainbow babies

My Pregnancy Higlights

 

I am now going to tag the following people to take part in ‘The Firstborn Tag’ if they fancy giving it a go:

Amy at Everything Mummy

Laura at MummyLaLa

Lorraine at BabyyPebbles

…and anyone else who wants to take part!

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My First Forever Friends Bedtime Lightshow {Review}

In the past, I have often struggled to think of the perfect gift to buy for a new baby. Buying tiny clothes is always fun but I know that new parents and parents-to-be often end up being bought so many newborn clothes that it’s impossible for them to all to be worn before baby outgrows them. It seems such a waste. But now? Now I think I’ve found the perfect gift to take to a baby shower – one that is useful, yet cute. It’s a gift that is long lasting, multi-sensory and can even be personalised. And this perfect gift comes in the form of the My First Forever Friends Bedtime Lightshow.

We were sent the Bedtime Lightshow Bear a few weeks ago to review and I was surprised that Jasmine took to it as much as she did. Not because it didn’t look like a nice toy but because as far as soft toys are concerned, Jasmine only really had eyes for Bunny. She has lots of soft toys – bazillions of them (give or take) but from the moment we took the Lightshow Bear out if his packaging, it has become a firm favourite. I’m not sure how Bunny feels about that, though?!

This incredibly soft-to-the-touch bear can, at the touch of a button, project a starry lightshow onto the walls and ceiling of your child’s nursery – glowing in 3 different calming colours consecutively. It has two different musical tunes – Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Brahms Lullaby. We have used other light up toys in the past and the projector aspect of them has always been a bit underwhelming but with the LightShow Bear I was impressed with the brightness and clarity of the moon and stars shining on the walls.

Jasmine is at an age (19 months) where she is able to control the bear’s functions herself by pressing the buttons – which is both a good and bad thing. It means that if she wakes in the night she can turn the music and lights on herself and, feeling comforted as a result, can often settle herself back to sleep again. Of course, this also means that we have been woken up in the middle of the night by the sound of ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ coming from the room next door. Still, I’d much prefer that than the sound of a crying toddler and there’s plenty of worse things to hear in the middle of the night! Obviously, if you’re using this bear with a newborn or a younger baby this wouldn’t be much of an issue anyway. Using the ‘up’ and ‘down’ arrow buttons you also have the option to control the volume of the music too.

One part of the bear, that we’ve not yet utilised, is the photo holder which is located on one of the Bear’s feet. I think this is such a lovely way to personalise it, especially when giving it as a gift. Perhaps you could use it to house a photo of an older sibling or granny and granddad.

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Is there anything I’d change about the Lightshow Bear? Well, yes – I’d love there to be a bigger selection of music as a choice of just two pieces of music feels fairly limited. Although, I imagine that using the same piece of music to settle baby each night would help establish a comforting sleep routine, which I guess is the point.

Despite that one niggle, I think this is the perfect first gift for any new baby in your life and I’ll certainly be buying this Bear as a gift in the future. It sure beats a babygrow that will probably never get worn!

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The My First Forever Friends Bedtime Lightshow is available to purchase here. It’s currently on offer for £23.99.

It requires x3 AA batteries (included).

It’s suitable from birth.

Height: 25cm (Sitting)

Does the My First Forever Friends range remind you of your own childhood? It does me!

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Family Fever
We were kindly sent the My First Forever Friends Bedtime Bear by Golden Bear Toys for the purpose of the review. However, all opinions on my own – my daughter and I genuinely love it! :)

Bathtime with Johnsons & Johnsons {Review}

I started going to Baby Massage classes with Jasmine when she was just a few weeks old. I wanted to do something together that would help us to bond but also allow me to learn some skills that I could use at home, on a day-to-day basis. At 9 weeks old, I began introducing massage into Jasmine’s bedtime routine  as I knew one of the benefits of massage was that it could help babies to sleep for longer and more deeply. 17 months on and I genuinely believe that having such structured bedtime routine, which included massage, was a huge factor in getting Jasmine to sleep so well from early on.

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Not only was was massage good for us in terms of helping with sleep but I always felt like it brought us closer together. I looked forward to those few minutes every night where our total focus would be on each other. I loved hearing Jasmine’s happy gurgles and feeling connected by our eye contact. I would often sing or talk to Jasmine too as it just felt like the best way to end our day.

Johnson’s and Johnson’s have created products that are suitable for using on newborn skin. I always begin our bedtime routine with a bath – this was a surefire way to get Jasmine in a relaxed mood, particularly when she was a newborn. Even as a toddler, we use the bath as a tool to calm her down before it’s time to go to bed. We have always used JOHNSON’S® TOP-TO-TOE® Baby Bath which is gentle on skin and PH Balanced. It leaves Jasmine’s skin feeling super soft and as the name suggests it can be used all over the body, including baby’s hair. The best thing about this product, for me, is that it doesn’t irritate Jasmine’s eyes. We’ve used other shampoos in the past and they have always resulted in Jasmine’s eyes being red and itchy after use. However, JOHNSON’S® TOP-TO-TOE® Baby Bath promises ‘no more tears’ ensuring bath times are much happier and of course, more relaxing.

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After bath time, I would dry Jasmine and then lay her on top of a clean towel. I’d pour a small amount of JOHNSON’S® Baby Oil into my hands (a little goes a long way) and gently work it into Jasmine’s skin. Using slow and gentle strokes I’d spend just a few moments on each part of the body, in order not to over-stimulate her. JOHNSON’S® Baby Oil claims to lock in moisture and I certainly find that Jasmine’s skin feels just as smooth and soft the day after using the oil, as it does whilst I’m applying it.

If you would like to incorporate massage into your and your baby’s day then check out the video below to find out how:

Admittedly, now Jasmine is older and er, more wriggly we I don’t give her a massage as much as I used to. But every now and again, I’ll give her a foot massage or hand massage before bed as I enjoy the connection it gives us. I would encourage all new mums and dads to make time for baby massage. We benefited from it so much in the early days and I will always treasure those calm and relaxed moments we shared together.

Do you incorporate baby massage into your daily routine? 

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I am a member of the Netmums Blogging Network, a unique community of parent bloggers from around the UK who have been handpicked by the Netmums team to review products and brands on their behalf. I may have been paid expenses, and have been supplied with a product sample for this review, but retain all editorial control. All my Netmums Reviews will display the Netmums logo within the post.

This is a Netmum’s sponsored review.To find out more click the button:

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Tips for buying and selling used baby items

It’s no secret, babies are expensive! The speed at which they outgrow their clothes is phenomenal and as parents, there seems to be an endless list of baby paraphernalia to be spending our money on. In a few weeks time my Maternity Allowance will come to an end and as I have taken a year off from work, money is going to be tight. I’ve had to get smarter when it comes to buying bits for Jasmine and I’ve found that buying secondhand (or my preferred term – preloved) items has been massively cost effective. I’ve even learnt the best ways to sell items we no longer need, in order to put that money towards the next lot of baby necessities (and the nice-to-have items too).

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I thought I’d share with you some of the best places I’ve found to grab a bargain and also some tips on buying and selling secondhand baby items.

Tips for buying and selling used baby items

Where to buy/sell used baby items: 

eBay – I’ll start with the most obvious place to buy and sell used items and that is, of course, eBay! I bought my Boba 4G baby carrier from ebay – it had been used only a handful of times and came in it’s original box with instructions. The lady who was selling it just didn’t get on with the carrier and at the risk of suffering the same fate, I didn’t want to pay full price for it either. In the end, I got it at a bargain price and it’s one of my favorite baby items – it suits me and Jasmine just fine.

Facebook selling pages – Have a quick search on Facebook for selling pages in your area and if you can’t find any – start one! Facebook has been my most useful source for selling and buying baby items. I’ve bought huge bundles of baby clothing (most of which still had the tags on), mint condition toys and I recently bought a gorgeous rocking horse for £25, it was in perfect condition and would’ve cost me over £100 new. Most of the time the sellers are happy to drop off the items to your home, which is great for me as I don’t drive.

Nearly new sales: I’ve personally not been to a Nearly New Sale yet but I’ve heard such good things about them from other people. In particular, the NCT nearly new sales are meant to be fab – really well organised and full of bargains. It’s worth checking out your local NCT’s webpage to find out when the next one is in your area. Also, it’s worth noting that if you can spare the time to help out at a sale – you get to go in early and call dibs on all of the things you want! ;)

Click here to find out more about NCT nearly new sales and to find out when your next local one is on.

Charity shops: It’s always worth having a nosy in your local charity shops whilst you’re shopping on the highstreet. I love a good rummage in a charity shop and they’re usually great for finding cheap second-hand toys and books. It’s easy to be snobby about second hand toys but honestly, once you’ve given it a good clean or sterilised it in a cold water solution – your baby isn’t going to know the difference. I won’t tell them if you don’t.

Nearly new shops: Here in Bury St Edmunds we have Rasperry Rascals – a gorgeous, ‘nearly new’ children’s shop. It’s filled with clothes from some the big brands plus toys, pushchairs and cots – you name it, they’ve got it. Not only can you find yourself a bargain there, they will also buy your old baby and children’s clothes, toys etc. too! There are lots of these types of shops cropping up all over the country, so if you have one nearby – do check it out!

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Tips for selling used baby items:

If there’s a chance you’ll want to sell an item on, keep the box/packaging and any instructions – If there’s lots of people selling the same or a similar item to you – this will give yours the edge when it comes to selling it on to somebody else.

Take good photos – If you’re adding lots of items to eBay it’s easy just to snap a load of dimly lit iPhone photos of babygros BUT the more effort you put in to your listings, the more chance you have of selling it and making some decent money back from them. If you can, use a proper camera, take the photos in good light and ‘stage’ the items. Jasmine has a cute little clothes rail in her nursery – I use this to hang items of clothing on for photos (using an equally cute, wooden baby hanger) – granted, it’s a bit more effort but it will make your item stand out amongst the thousands of baby clothes listings on eBay.

Think about seasons – it sounds really obvious but it’s going to be difficult to shift a newborn snowsuit in the height of summer. Organise your baby clothes into age groups and seasons and sell them as bundles at the right time of year. I’ve done this with Jasmine’s clothes and put them in vaccum bags in the loft – I’ll sell them next year during the right seasons. If you’re super organised you could even stick some reminders in your phone to make sure you get them down and put them online when the time is right.


Know what your items are worth: you don’t want to undersell your items and nor do you want to put people off by asking for too much. Have a quick look on eBay to see what the going rate is for an item you want to sell. Be sure to bear in mind the condition of your item – a Jumperoo that’s only been used twice is going to be worth a lot more than one that’s on it’s third owner.

Tips for buying used baby items: 

If there’s something you want, ask for it – the Facebook pages are particularly useful for this, If there’s something in particular you’re looking for, don’t wait for it to come up in the listings. Ask if anyone has one they want to sell – you’ll normally get at least a few responses from people wanting to sell your desired item. It also means that the sellers then have to get more competitive with their price – even better!

Haggle – if I think an item is genuinely a good price then I am normally happy to pay the asking price. However, if there’s something you really want but it’s a little out of your budget, don’t be afraid to ask the seller the lowest price they will take. Most of the time they’re willing to lower their price if it means they’ll get some space back in their living room! ;)

Things to avoid -You can buy nearly all baby items secondhand but it is recommended that you always buy a brand new mattress for a baby to reduce the risk of SIDs. Also, never buy a baby/child car seat secondhand unless you know for sure that it hasn’t been involved in an accident.

Buy out of season – Some people don’t want to wait until the right season to sell their baby clothes, they just want shot of it. Take advantage of this! I bought a gorgeous Mama’s & Papa’s quilted snowsuit on eBay in July for a couple of quid, including postage and package. #winningatlife

I hope you find this useful. Do you have any tips for buying and selling baby and children’s items? Please share! 

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This post was originally published in October 2014.