Monday, 12 December 2016

Birthmark Shmirthmark

When I was first wheeled down to the Neonatal unit, Harrison was in the HDU (High Dependancy Unit).  He was on a ventilator and seemed quite poorly. The doctors and nurses were all standing round his incubator mumbling to each other. One of the nurses introduced us as "Twin 2's parents". I hadn't even seen him yet, and the doctor looked at me with deep concern on face. My heart sunk. 'What could possibly be wrong?!' 'Was it his heart?' 
The doctor said that he needed to warn me that he had a large birthmark that was covering a significant amount of his body. I was envisaging a monster. They asked if they could have permission to take photos for medically investigation, as they've never seen one like that before. They said they would be referring him onto GOSH (Great Ormond Street Hospital), but it would likely be something he'd have forever. I could have cried my heart out. My poor baby! Especially when he'd always have his identical twin to compare himself to.

Then they wheeled me over to him. He wasn't a monster. Yes, he had a red mark on half his left foot, and some of his leg. Later they explain that his nappy covered the rest. I was nothing in my eyes. I didn't care. He was perfect. My perfect little human. I had made two perfect little humans!๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’œ
This is a photo I took of his leg when I first saw him. I look at it, and think the doctors made all that fuss for that? We haven't ever hidden it. I bet you've never noticed it in our Instagram photos. It's already faded significantly, and tends to only flare up when he's upset.  I have done some research since leaving hospital, and Harry is so lucky. They are mainly found on peoples faces and necks.  

At the end of November, we had our referral appointment at GOSH. They took some photos, and confirmed it was a Port-Wine Strain that he'd have for life.

They then left us with a big parenting decision. At four he could be given laser treatment to his leg and foot via the NHS. Not for cosmetic reasons, but to prevent bleeding that is usually linked with this type of birth mark. He'd probably need 4-6 treatments over a year or so. The laser apparently feels like elastic bands being flung over and over at the skin, and feels very sore afterwards!

Of course it slit up as a couple. The hubby thinks if he has no bleeding issue then we should leave it be. Which I tend to agree with, but I don't want him turning around at 13 asking why we didn't do it. And just because it doesn't bother me, doesn't mean it won't bother him. I hated a mole I had on my forehead, and I had that removed when I was 12. I spent the whole of year 7, being picked on for it. Maybe if my parents had removed it earlier they could have protected me from that! The laser treatment can improve the colouration by up to 70%. I've googled before and after images, and they are brilliant. 

I still cringe when people strangers ask how have we not mixed them up already. I hate the fact it always comes up. We tend to say,'We put them in different colour socks.' But if I'm being honest, if it wasn't for his birthmark we probably would have got them confused. I feel bad. If they weren't twins, strangers wouldn't ask, and therefore they wouldn't know. 

At least we have a few more years to make the choice, and see if he has any medical problems with it first. I'd love to hear from people with birthmarks that may have had or not had the laser treatment. Is it worth it? 

I'll keep you posted!

Friday, 7 October 2016

Reviewing Disposable Breast Pads

I initially found the world of breast pads overwhelming. Here’s what I thought of the disposable brands I tried..
Superdrug - 99p for 26. Best value for money! 2/5
Positives - The whole ‘My Little Star’ range is great from a price prospective. They do extra deals online, making items even cheaper! The pads do exactly what they should, and they even have an adhesive sticky tab to keep in place in bra.  
Negatives - Adhesive wears off after a few hours, and suddenly the pad can make an appearance out of the top of your bra. Also not as absorbent as others on the market, so you may need to change more regularly. 
Boots - £2.79 for 36. Highly recommended! 3/5
Positives - Sitting in the mid-range price range, amongst my mummy friends these come highly recommended. I found them extremely absorbent, and the adhesive tab to kept in place securely. 
Negatives - The materiel feels a little cheaper, and when wet the layers separated. 
Lansinoh - £5.69 for 60. Perfect for hospital bag! 4/5
Positive - After receiving a sample in my Emma’s Diary pack, these were the ones I initially purchased. I was pleased by their overall performance of absorbency, and they are individually wrapped which is brilliant for throwing in your handbag/changing bag. 
Negative - The cost put me off purchasing this item again. 
Avent - £4.50 for 30. Costly Comfort! 2/5
Positives - Very absorbent, and extremely comfortable. 
Negatives - Although they are very comfortable, but they are a bit too thick. When wearing some of my thin maternity bras, it’s thick round shape leaves nothing to the imagination. Also I can’t justify its higher price bracket.  
Johnson’s - £3.98 for 30. My favourite! 4/5
Positives - Firmer, shaped pads with nipple indents. I found these the mostly comfortable, and stayed in place well. They weren’t as absorbent the Lansinoh ones, but it served the duration I required. 
Negatives - Not individually wrapped, so become misshapen when thrown into changing bag.


Monday, 26 September 2016

What's in our changing bag? Twin Edition!

I love reading blogs, and watching others vlogs on YouTube (probably because I'm really nosey)... so I thought I'd write a little blog post about our changing bag....


Changing Bag 
After a lot of debate we chose the the Skip Hop Duo Double, and it was one of the best purchases we have made. Initially I thought it was too big, but you need it! It come with a changing mat, and it has pockets galore. And for someone who likes everything organised, and to have a place, this makes me happy! It had a long carry strap, along with 2 handles, but it also has cleaver pushchair hand rail clips on either side. Big thumbs up to this bag!

Current Price - Amazon: £80 




Nappies

We always carry at least 6-8 Pampers "Micro baby" nappies on us. They are one of the few brands that make nappies for premature babies. Initially I thought I'd go for cheaper supermarket own brands, but we haven't had much choice! As soon as their bigger, I've got Aldi, Boots, and Tesco nappies to try!

Current Price - Boots: £4 / 2 for £6




Baby Wipes 
WaterWipes are the best wipes on the market. As a bargain hunter their price tag doesn't come cheap, but you can get bulk deals on Amazon. Also you do use fewer wipe per nappy change, as they are so good!

Current Price - Amazon £20 for 12 packs



Nappy Sacks
We get through a LOT of nappy bags, so we've tried a lot! Morrisons do a pack that are incredible cheap, and in a handy small pack for your bag. But my favourites are from Aldi! They're a good size for 2 nappies and a bunch of wipes/ tissues to fit in, and do help to neutralise the smell!

Current Price - Aldi 89p for 150 bags




Lotions & Cream 

Sudocrem...because it's the best right? I love the smell, and at the first sign of a sore bum, I pop a bit them and it's almost completely cleared up by the next nappy change.

Current Price - Wilkinsons £1.70




Anit-Bacterial Wipes 
We received a sample size pack of Dettol wipes in our Emma's Diary pack, and now these bad boys are a staple in every room in my house, and there's no exception for my changing bag. I'm definitely a germaphobe! 
Some public baby changing rooms have been left in such a state, and I've not wanted to lay the boys down in it. Also they come in handy when eating out etc.

Current Price - Wilkinsons £1 for a pack of 36




Hand Sanitiser
As above, I'm a self-confessed germaphobe. I usually have a bottle of Carex Hand Gel in reach, but it's now particularly important when I'm out and about. 

Current Price - Superdrug 99p





Hand Wipes
After a nappy change, or before preparing their milk, I like to give my hands a quick wipes.

Current Price - Boots £1.15 for 12 wipes.

Avent Formula Storage pot (3 servings)
We unfortunately have to carry around 2 of them (hence the big bag), but if we're out over 2 feeds we need the fourth serving holder. Before we go out we scoop of the portions into each section.  The lid rotates in order to pour out just one portion at a time.vvThey are really easy to use, and everyone that's seen us use them have commented that they're a good idea.

Current Price - John Lewis £5.50





Bibs

You spend ages in the morning dressing them up in gorgeous outfits, and then they puck/dribble all over it. We've tried a lot of different varieties of bibs, but our favourites were some 'Dribble Proof' ones from Next. They are a good size, velcro fastening. Unfortunately I got a red sock caught up in the wash, so now they are pink๐Ÿ™ˆ...what a fool!

Current Price - Next £7 for 3







Muslins

Our babies are VERY sick babies so muslins are a must! We usually stock our changing back with 6 clean ones at the beginning of every day. We got ours from Mothercare, and Amazon

Current Price - Mothercare £7.50 for 12 







Dummies

If your babies are small, go for Mam's 0-2 month dummies! We started with Avent, but they squashed their tiny noses, and they were so big that they were too heavy for them to get a strong enough such of.

Current Price - Superdrug £5.15 for 2







Dummy Clips

After losing a fair few duties ๐Ÿ˜“we decided it was worth while investing some dummy clips. Mam have designed some especially to connect to their dummies, but they also covert to connect to other brands too. 

Current Price - Boots £4.69 for 2





Dummy Holder

We started with putting sterilised dummies in food ziplock bags, but we always struggled to find them in a panic with a screaming child. We brought a JJ Cole Pacifier Pod that can be connected round anything, so we attach it to the strap of the changing bag, so it's always within easy reach!

Current Price - John Lewis £7.99







Tissues

I've always carried a pack in my handbag, so it seem sensible to carry a pack or two in the changing bag, I tend to buy whichever is on offer. At the moment we are using Kleenex.

Current Price - Sainsbury's £1.90 for 8 packs







Changing Mat

What a good idea are these Vital Baby mum on the go pouches!? They contain 2 disposable bibs and a disposable changing mat. We brought a few, and store them in the cars, and the grandparents in case we forget anything.

Current Price - Vital Baby £1.49



Monday, 29 August 2016

Caesarean Section Advice

I searched the internet for C-Section advice, but really struggled to find good advice. 48 hours after my surgery, I removed my dressing whilst in the shower.  
All seemed to go well, until later when I was sat on my in-laws sofa and went to stand up.  The adhesive from either side the dressing had stuck to each other, and I was forced to pull it back apart.  I asked the hospital for advice. None of the midwives seemed to help, other than saying not to use talc, or anything fragranced. I trolled the internet for advice, and all I could find was tea tree oil, which I didn’t fancy trying that out... *STING*. 
That night I decided to use vaseline, and left the area to get as much air as possible. Thankfully it worked a treat! In the future, when in doubt vaseline it!

Premature Baby Essentials

Due to the surprise early arrival, the contents of my hospital bag seemed irrelevant. First size nappies, Newborn outfits….all way too big!  My parents and in-laws were quickly sent on a mission to find premature clothing and nappies ASAP.  The options are limited- VERY LIMITED! 
Nappies
Pampers do ‘Micro Baby’ nappies, but they are pricey and tend to be exempt from any offers. They aren’t sold in all shops, but they managed to get hold of them in Boots and Mothercare. We tried all the other supermarket brands, but the only other one to do a tiny size is Boots own ‘0′. They are about as good as they get at £2.50 for a pack of 24. 
Clothing 
Asda online do some reasonably priced premature clothing, but they don’t seem to stock in store. Not great when you need stuff in a hurry! Tesco had a couple of onesies that were perfect, and Morrisons stated early baby, but they were still HUGE.  Unfortunately we had to bite the bullet and splash out in Boots. Boots items are expensive, but they are VERY good quality and have a good selection. 



Equipment



I’d highly recommend purchasing one of Diono head supports designed for babies of low birth weight/ premature. They were a godsend for us when leaving the hospital with their new car seats. They looked supported and the neonatal midwives commented how good they were. We transfer them between our buggy and bouncers too! Vital piece of equipment in our household๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

Friday, 26 August 2016

Premature Arrival (26 Aug '16)

My waters broke at 2.30AM on August 26th....Yep in bed...OF ALL PLACES!  It was a bit of a shock. I was just 34 weeks, and I was already booked in for a c-section on the 9/9/16.  I shouted to wake Gav up, hopped out of bed, then waddled into the shower to rinse off my legs. Grabbed a clean pair of underwear, and my hospital bag and off we went. 

On the journey to the hospital we were so calm. I had a few tinges, but nothing too strong,  Of course I didn't want to pay to park, so we parked up on the road outside and made our way in. The hubby snap chatted a photo of me to his mates, saying "even in labour, she'll prefer to walk!" 



The hospital was so peaceful. I was popped into triage and had 2 monitors placed on my tummy. Getting 2 heartbeats is tough! Then like a massive wave the contractions hit me ...WHAM BAM! The midwife didn't seem too concerned at the beginning, but soon my contractions were only 5 minutes apart. She swiftly took us to a private room, within 30 minutes my contractions were lasting 30 seconds, and I'd have 90 seconds break before they started again.  


I was asking for them to check how dilated i was, but they said a consultant would need to review me first as I was early, and they could cause an infection if I wasn't actually in labour. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I don't generally leak gallons of fluid, and have the sensation that I'm being kicked in the back by a horse! Of course all the consultants were in theatre!

They wanted me to lay still on the bed so they could monitor the babies heart rates. I couldn't lay on my back... I wanted to walk around. Then they offered me gas and air. OH MY GOODNESS...That just made me feel sick, as well as having the back pain. Gavin was asked to pop on some scrubs. His trousers were so tight. I was in SO much pain, but that did make me chuckle!

After throwing an almighty diva fit, stripping off naked, they brought a consultant down to see me. She was very calmly asking me questions ....I had no idea what she was going on about. All I could think is.... GET THESE THINGS OUT OF ME NOW! She managed to get a cannula in my hand, and said we could head to theatre. I walked myself. A gown covering my front, but my arse hanging out at the back. I then had to go through another 5 contractions before they were ready to put the epidural in. I remember the aenethetist saying I must keep really still. My legs were swinging over the side the operating theatre, as I couldn't reach the stool. The pain of each was making my shake intensely, and I was shivering. I had to go through one more contraction, and give them the all clear to go ahead. Within seconds I felt normal again. They laid me down, and Gav sat down next to me.

Our boys were delivered safely into the world by 7.08/7.10AM. 

They whisked them off quickly to intensive care, and I told Gavin to go with them. It was an odd numb feeling. They had been with me every day for 34 weeks, and now gone. Not so much as a look at them. Gavin had taken a photo to show me, but that was it. 
There wasn't any space for me on recovery, so I was taken back to the labour ward. My mum was there waiting. Gavin returned shortly, frantically asking for nappies etc. He'd said someone had confused him for a doctor in his scrubs! 
After a few hours I started to get the sensation back in my legs (They put an strange machine round them to wake them up a bit). They shuffled me into a wheelchair, and took me into neonatal. Harry was in the HDU, after having breathing difficulties. Ollie was in intensive care (the room opposite). I could hardly see them. They were in an incubator, and I was so low in the wheelchair. They looked so fragile! I can't say I instantly felt like a mum. Was that wrong? Then the midwife suggested I help them by expressing milk that they could syringe to them. I had no desire to breastfeed before, but when you see your babies suffering I guess your heart takes over.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Our 10th (and Final) Scan (18 Aug '16)

The 18th of August was our final scan. They set the date for my c-section, and made me sign a whole lot of papers giving my consent. The date was 9/9/16!


When having babies early the mum is given 2 injections in her bum to encourage the babies lungs to develop. After the scan I had to go to the DAU for this.  I wasn't particularly nervous, until the nurse started explaining the pain after the injection. I rolled over to my side, pulled down my leggings, and she popped in the injection really slowly, asking me to wiggle my toes throughout. There were kids visiting their parents in the next bay, but all I wanted to do was swear. Instead a tear ran down my face. It was over! Then it literally felt like someone had kicked me on the arse! Gavin then said he'd read online it's pretty painful, but kept quiet as he didn't want to put me off. What's worse... I had to return the following day for the exact same thing in the other cheek, knowing what was coming!

Friday, 12 August 2016

Last Day Of Work (12 Aug '16)

Look at the amazing gift my team made for me! I'll miss them, but damn I'm excited to put my feet up!


Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Bump Watch - 31 Weeks


Our 9th Scan 3rd August 2016

Once again the scan went really really well. The boys are still growing perfectly! Woo!๐ŸŽ‰


This is now offically the 5 week countdown!

Monday, 1 August 2016

The Nursery Is Coming Together

We decided on moses baskets, as we can fit them in our room initially. We got them from Argos "Clair de lune".

The rug was from Next. The colours are just so vibrant!

The O & H were also from next. Cute touch, plus hopefully we'll tell the kids apart!๐Ÿ˜

The drawer unit was from Ikea. Perfect to house all the changing/washing bits.

The Mattresses were from Mothercare. Many many reviews later, I decided on some. We are just waiting on the John Lewis Cots to arrive, to pop them into!


My amazing hubby surprised me with this amazing wall art. I thought it would end in disaster, but it looks amazing. Plus the words are perfect as it's what we say... "Love you to infinity and beyond" *everyone pucks*...but I'm 7 months pregnant. I have an excuse to be gushy!

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Bump Watch - 30 Weeks


So I came back to this left on my car... Do you reckon they've seen my cankles?๐Ÿ˜‚


Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Antenatal Class 2 (13 Jul '16)

A week on and I felt even worse!  As you can see from the photo below, I have the oddest shaped tummy (top heavy!) The pain in my ribs was indescribable. The last thing I wanted to do was go to another Antenatal Class, but of course we went! Most of the information was about pain relief, in which I already knew I was having a C-Section, so was irrelevant.




Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Our 8th Scan & 1st Antenatal Class (06 Jul '16)

The 6th July is my mums Birthday, so I thought it would be special to take her along to our scan appointment. It was such a beautiful weather day, but my back was feeling close to breaking point. Thankfully the appointment was early, so I could go home and work from sofa for the rest of the day!  Gavin came and met me and mum at the hospital, as he was working.


As the babies were shown on the screen I could see my mums eyes well up with glee. Once again everything was perfect.... another week closer! By this stage I could tell that the consultant seemed genuinely shocked by how well they were doing. All the sickness, pain and sleepless nights must be doing something right!

That evening we had to attend our first Antenatal class. I was reluctant to go, as by the evenings I was so swollen and my back hurt so much, but Gavin convinced me it would be good to get more information. We went along and I felt so uncomfortable, plus we hadn't had dinner due to timings. Starving, Swollen, Achy pregnant woman is a lethal mix! Typically the midwife kept saying "oh I don't know, I'll have to find out!" No-one ever knows anything about identical twins!


After the 2 hours were up we headed for a well deserved MCDONALDS!





Saturday, 2 July 2016

Our 4D Scan

We got a Groupon deal to have a 4D scan done at Window to the Womb in Watford.  I was desperate to share the experience with my family. I took along my mum, dad, sister, sister-in-law, and of course my husband Gavin. We had both been craving the warmth, and enjoyment we had at our 12 week scan.  Although it's amazing to see your babies fortnightly, the full on medical side of things can be overbearing.


The experience is wonderful. ๐Ÿ’™Your family squeeze onto a sofa, and get to see the scan be displayed large on the wall.  They were pickles for getting into the right position, but you could actually see their features. As you can see from the photos below, we've got a couple of posers on our hands!

I'd highly recommend it, and I'd definitely do it again for future babies *cough* ...joking hubby!๐Ÿ˜



Monday, 20 June 2016

Pregnancy/Maternity Essentials



Equipment
My Boppy pillow was a godsend! My back hurt SO much. Every time I leaned one way, one twin would sit on the other and it was like WW3 started in my tummy. My community midwife also thought that I had broken a rib from being so short of space in there. All that pressure was eased my the Boppy pillow!


Bio Oil...OMG I use soo much Bio Oil!



Clothing 

I wanted clothes that were comfortable, but smart enough to wear at home and at work.  I really struggled to find items that weren't frumpy, and make me look big all over. By chance, we popped into Gap to look at the baby clothes. On their sale rail they had a selection of returned Maternity wear. They were just what I was looking for! ๐Ÿ˜And EVERYTHING fitted! when does that ever happen?







I don't know about anyone else, but I don't know how anyone continues wearing sexy underwear whilst pregnant. Everything seemed to dig into my tummy! I brought Jack Wills boy pants.... Comfort Central!

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Our 5th Scan (18 May '16)

We had made 20 weeks. Our usual consultant was on annual leave, so we had be scanned on the DAU (Day Assessment Unit). We had 2 different ladies scan me. The first got all the measurements wrong. She was shouting out the figures, and Gav and I were instantly panicked. Then the experienced consultant took over, and repeated the measurements. They were much better. The first girl was obviously new.. bless her!