Every pregnant woman or new mother should read this.

I’m writing this, not to scare monger but simply because until it happened to me I was totally unaware of it existing in this way.

Eloise was born on the 1st August 2014.  A great birth (compared to the last one!).  She was induced and with me heavily ‘epiduraled up’ I got through all the stages fine and managed to push my own baby out into this world.  And within 12 hours, we were home (where I wanted to be) and life was good and everything felt just as it should after giving birth….

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A couple of days later and I was at my local Midwife Led Maternity Unit.  Breast feeding wasn’t going to plan, it was hideously painful, my nipples were raw and I was feeling really low. I had flu like symptoms – a temperature swinging between 36.1 and 38,  I had a headache – a seriously evil headache that paracetamol couldn’t make go away.  And the sweat, ALL that sweat.  I was sweating so much at night that I was sleeping on towels.  I relayed all this information to the Midwives and each time they asked me questions and examined me.

“Do you have pain in your abdomen?” was the question they kept asking me.  “No” was my reply each time – because frankly my boobs and my head hurt the most.

I was told it was most likely to be milk fever as I wasn’t presenting any signs of mastitis.  Another 2 days passed and I was frankly feeling like death warmed up.  I went back to the Midwife Unit.  I explained again that things hadn’t improved at all.  They took a look at my stitches and decided that maybe I had an infection and sent me to see my GP.

I went to my GP.  I was examined.  “Do you have any pain in your abdomen?” I was asked again.  “No” was my answer.  And I explained about the headaches and the sweats and the temperature.  Again, I was told a mild milk fever was what it probably was causing the sweating and aches.  I was prescribed antibiotics for my stitches.

So.  Six days had passed by now.  I was feeling really, really ill.  I was embarrassed to tell anyone else just how bad I felt – I mean I was clearly being oversensitive about everything….right???

On day seven, I woke at 5.30am.  I had a terrifying sensation that I had lost control of my bladder.  I could just feel warm liquid pouring out of my body.  I had in fact haemorrhaged (the ambulance medics said it was 400-500mls).  My husband called an ambulance and by the time they got there, I was not in the best shape.  I was wheeled out to the ambulance and taken back to The John Radcliffe Hospital where I had had Eloise.  From then on, things are quite hazy but I remember things moved quite quickly. I had suspected Sepsis – blood poisoning. Eloise was being looked after by a nurse who stood beside my bed as various people came in and out and took my temperature, measured my oxygen levels, and looked at my blood pressure – turns out I was actually suffering from  Septic Shock when I arrived at the hospital.  That was what I had.  I had never heard of it.  I certainly didn’t realise the severity of it and thank god I didn’t – it would have freaked me out if I had.

I sent this to my best friend as I was sure my eye was closing shut on its own because of the pain in my head (I think I was going a bit crazy by this point!) – but it shows what a state I was in.  I even told the nurses that I thought I had a brain tumour – I have never felt pain like it.

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The next thing I know I am in a ward, curtain open (and told that it would have to stay open so that nurses could observe me).  Needles went in, both hands, blood was taken, swabs were taken, cultures were grown, oxygen was monitored hourly, blood pressure was monitored hourly and I was told that Eloise would be looked after by a nurse whilst I ‘rested’.  All this happened whilst The Husband was at home trying to find childcare (on a weekend) so that he could come in and be with Eloise and I.  I never asked any questions, I didn’t have the energy. The nurses were amazing.  I lay on the bed, with my eyes shut because of the pain in my head.  Hours passed, The Husband visited and sat with me and then had to return home to The Toddler. 24hrs passed I think.  People came and went.  BLUR BLUR BLUR. I signed consent forms, answered questions and to this day, I couldn’t tell you what they were. Eloise spent the majority of her time with the nurses.  My temperature raged up and down and at my lowest moment it was 39.5 and I cried. Alot. They rigged me up to more fluids, more antibiotics – I was having fresh bags of antibiotics every couple of hour pumped into my body.  At one point there were 4 needles pumping things round my body. The nurses hugged me.  They bought me Eloise when I asked for her.  I cried more.  My head felt like it was about to explode.  I still had NO pain in my abdomen.

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The next morning, I was lucky that one of the most respected consultants whose care I had been under whilst pregnant was on duty.  He scanned my abdomen (which STILL wasn’t sore) and within hours, I was on the operating table having an ERPC an Evacuation of Retained Products of Conception.  I had 400mls of infected tissue removed from my womb and lost a further 350 mls of blood.

I came round from the operation feeling a million dollars to how I had been feeling for the previous 9 days and a couple of days later I was able to go home.  I’m extremely lucky – This story has a habit of not ending so well.  Someone sent me this article written by Ben Palmer who has set up Jessicas Trust in memory of his wife who died 5 days after giving birth of a frighteningly similar illness. I’m afraid it makes me cry each time I read it, but you NEED to read it.

My recuperation has been slow – especially for someone who is active and normally can’t sit still. I am writing this 2 weeks post sepsis drama and feeling better, but still not myself. I can’t seem to describe how not feeling myself feels – like I am being slightly weighed down and under par. I am being patient and keeping positive.   Having Eloise with me in the hospital gave me so many reasons to be positive.  HOW could you not be when this is your welcome!

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If you have a fever post baby.  PLEASE PLEASE go straight to your local hospital to the Maternity Assessment Unit to be checked over – bypass your Midwife, GP etc and get yourself back to a hospital.  Its better to be safe than sorry and you will NOT be wasting anyones time.  My story could have had a very different ending.  I was extremely lucky.

 

 

Welcome to the world Eloise…..

I’d like to apologise for my tardiness – I last posted at the end of July and then NOTHING. Nada.  Not a squeak!  Thing is, I’ve been a trifle busy!  Eloise arrived on 1st August at 3.28am a lovely 8lbs 3.5oz

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We have had a lovely time getting to know each other and doing lots of this….you HAVE to love those newborn snuggles!

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And her brother did a fair amount of this….

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The mornings, I have looked like this – or worse…

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And now, my precious baby girl looks like this.

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So now a month has nearly passed and it is time for me to get back on to the blogging wagon. I’ve got lots of lovely things to tell you about and have been reviewing some great stuff as well. It feels good to be back!

 

36.5 weeks pregnant

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Oh god.  Its 31 degrees here and I am feeling it like nothing else.  I can only describe to non pregnant people, imagine cuddling a hot water bottle all day long (thats the baby) and then turn the heat up.  Its preeeeeety uncomfy.

Feet are the size of continents.  Can only fit into 1 pair of flip flops or The Husbands shoes – oh dear.  I guarantee its not a good look!

So – pregnancy update.  If ENORMOUS was a measurement, thats what the baby would measure.  I had an appointment with my consultant last week.  I told him I felt huge – ‘huger’ than at this stage with The Toddler (who packed a 9lb 4oz) – he scanned me and told me that the circumference of the baby’s tummy was 3 weeks chubbier than it should be.  So basically, I am giving birth to a small child as a pose to a baby!  Because of this, they have booked me in for induction a few weeks early.  So.  In less that a few weeks……..we will meet our new baby!

There has been MUCH nesting.  Washing, tidying, organising the babies new room.  Some things seem very easy as I have done it before.  Some things seem almost impossible – like choosing a new baby monitor.  I seem to be procrastinating about this A LOT!

I made a Vlog on Whats in my baby’s hospital bag which was fun.  I am going to try to do one on whats in my hospital bag as well.

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Iron Deficiency – why is it so vital to keep iron levels topped up?

Iron.  I am talked to about iron a great deal at the moment, being pregnant, but what I didn’t know until I met the great and knowledgable team at Spatone was that even when you are not pregnant or breast feeding, iron is still a really important part of what makes bodies tick over properly.

In a nutshell, iron is needed for many processes in the body that take place all the time.  Just a couple of iron’s important jobs are – transporting oxygen around the body, converting sugar into energy, keeping a healthy immune system and much more.  If your iron levels are depleted following illness, physical stress (athletes), labour, or high stress, you can start to feel unwell with symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, low immune system.

When I was last pregnant, in my 3rd trimester, one of my blood tests showed up that I was low on iron.  I was prescribed iron pills and BOY OH BOY….I will NEVER take those bad boys again!  It caused me the most horrendous constipation and made me feel quite ill every day.  After a complicated birth and a large amount of blood loss, I was again prescribed the dreaded iron pills – I can absolutely assure you that having just given birth, no matter how easy it was…..you do not want to be worried about your bottom department or constipation!  So I found an alternative.  A natural alternative that is recommended by health care providers and is so much more gentle on your system.

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So, whats good about Spatone Apple?  Its the Apple flavour.  It makes  it taste really nice!  You can drink the sachet (perfect for slinging into a handbag!) or mix into an orange juice in the mornings, either way, its a great way of taking your iron supplement.  The Spatone story is that the iron rich waters of Trefiw Wells Spa which is in the heart of Snowdonia mountains in North Wales – this is where Spatone gets its iron rich water and then mixes it with vitamin C rich apple to make a great “iron shot”.

Sorry about the weird photo.  I haven’t got makeup on and at 36.5 weeks pregnant look quite shocking! HAH

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So, if you are preggers, athletic, a veggie or just in a stressful job, take a look at the Spatone website and see what it can do for you!  It is available to buy at large chemists, supermarkets and independent health food shops or you can get it online here.

On a final note, I have been taking these for roughly a month and my last blood test……they didn’t moan about my iron levels (they did the one before!).  I feel fairly full of energy (for being almost full term pregnant) and my skin seems much better than it was at this time last pregnancy.  A big thumbs up from me!

*I was given a months supply of Spatone in return for an honest review.  All words are my own.*

 

 

 

 

Kids and Bruises. Arnicare Kids Stick

When you have Toddlers you suddenly get to realise just how many knocks and bangs they get whilst exploring and playing.  The Toddler is gaining in confidence every day and so crashes and scrapes are becoming part of life.  As much as you try to prevent them!

Nelsons – arnica kids stick is natural skincare, it uses lovely shea butter (really nice and smooth mixed with extracts of arnica) to help soothe bumps.

If you are not sure what Arnica is, the is what The British Homeopathic Association says “Arnica montana is one of the best-known homeopathic remedies. It has been used for several trials to demonstrate the effect of homeopathic remedies on bruising and trauma. Indeed some plastic surgeons swear by it for reducing bruising after cosmetic surgery. Many people are “converted” to the homeopathic cause after seeing spec­tacular results with this humble herb. Arnica montana belongs to the Compo­sitae family, in other words it is a rela­tive of the common daisy.”

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Thank goodness for arnica kids sticks is all I can say!  you’ll have to take my word for it – it has been a blooming life saver…..handy handbag size as well so it can go every where with you.  It has made light work of a couple of bashed knees and a forehead bump.  It doesn’t ‘feel’ like anything when applied, so it won’t upset your child – nor does it smell.  Easy peasy!

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It has a screw mechanism, so it is easy to apply and you won’t get any nasty leaks in your bag either.

photoWhich means, there can be much more of this……and less worry from me!

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Nelsons Arnica products are available widely at Supermarkets and Chemists, but you can get the arnicare kids stick from HERE on Amazon

The arnicare kids stick was gifted to me in return for and honest review.  All words and photos are my own.