First post-birth knit

Molly is now seven weeks old and finally I have completed my first girly knit for her! I started a few projects but ended up making mistakes and unravelling them so it’s taken longer than it should. Thankfully her granny and aunty are much better at knitting and have lavished her in knitted goods.

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I previously knitted a newborn cardigan but it hadn’t had much Wear as I knit too tightly so it can be a struggle to put on.

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Is it too late to start Breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding was something I was always going to do. Never did I think I would ever need to formula feed but after a traumatic birth and being forced onto the bottle whilst in hospital I ended up becoming what I hoped I wouldn’t – a formula feeder.

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For the first five weeks (until two weeks ago) I expressed milk but never really enough for more than one to one-and-a-half feeds. I then had to return the hospital pump so stopped expressing.
This morning I was having some skin to skin and Molly (who is seven weeks old) started licking my skin, so out of curiosity I moved her to my breast to see what her reaction would be. She opened her mouth and licked the nipple. I understand this wasn’t her wanting to feed but one thing she never did before was open her mouth for the nipple (even after getting help from umpteen midwives and breast feeding support workers).

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I am now wondering if it is too late to introduce the breast for some feeds before up with formula.
If it is possible can you help me work out how to go about it? I do still have some milk and I know I’ll have to pump loads again but my biggest battle is getting Molly to latch when she is so used to being bottle fed.

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Hotel Chocolat’s The Splat – Caramel Chocolate Easter Egg

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Being a bit of a chocoholic I tend to look forward to the shops bringing in their Easter Eggs, so when I was given the opportunity to review a chocolate product I did not turn it down.

Hotel Chocolat have a range of Easter Eggs and gifts ranging from £2 to whopping £75 so there really is everything for every budget. The Easter Egg I got to review was the The Splat – Caramel Chocolate Easter Egg which comes in at 12.50 for 150g.

Easter eggs can often come in very childish packaging but The Splat was delivered in really attractive packaging which looked sophisticated and would make an ideal gift for an adult chocolate fan.
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Of course the important part of the exercise was not to review what the packaging looked like but rather to find out how the chocolate tasted (a hard task I am sure you will understand).

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The Splat is a caramel milk chocolate egg with an eye catching white chocolate splat. Doesn’t it look good! If you could score a product on how it looked this would be right up at the top!

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When you open the packet the smell of the caramel hits you and if you were not drooling already this would certainly make you start salivating. If it doesn’t then I don’t know what would.

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One of the things this egg does is it raises the bar for chocolate eggs. Unlike many of the cheaper eggs this Easter delight is made with a THICK chocolate shell. It took a bit of effort to break into it but the effort was rewarded when I got a taste of the caramel milk chocolate. Absolutely divine. The caramel taste shone through but was not over powering. The milk chocolate was so smooth and moreish that it took a bit of effort to only eat a small bit and thus leaving some for later. I am glad I did though as the thought that I can have some more is a great one.
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The egg is faultless. I would love to be able to find something that I could improve but I couldn’t. It is a fun product but with the added sophositation and quality this is really one, if not the best, Easter Egg I have had the pleasure of eating.

So if you are looking for an Easter Egg that is that little (or huge) bit more special than your ordinary Easter Egg look no further than Hotel Chocolat.

Disclaimer: I was sent this product by Hotel Chocolat however all opinions and views expressed are mine and mine alone. I was not paid to do this review.

Getting fit with Fitbit

When I was pregnant and getting close to giving birth I started to think about getting fit. Yup the idea of no longer looking and feeling like a beached whale really appealed to me; now six weeks post-birth it still does.

As a self confessed gadget freak getting fit is made so much more fun when you can add a gadget into the mix so when I saw the Fitbit Flex came in pink I had to have it.

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As I already was already a member of the Fitbit world I knew what to expect with the Flex (I have owned an Ultra which got eaten by the dog and  the One whose clip got eaten by the fairies). I could have kept using the One by buying a new clip, which I attached to my bra to keep track of my movements but it wasn’t pink…

So I had had the Flex for a few days now and although it doesn’t measure the numbers of stairs you climbed like the One does it seems to do everything else just as well. The one thing I do love is that the Flex is worn on your wrist so I no longer get up in and out of the house the morning and realise that my Fitbit is still attached to my clothes that are lying in the laundry basket bedroom floor. It also means that when I log sleep (which I think is a smidge inaccurate) that the device does not fall out of the sleep band and therefore not track what I have slept very well.

Missing from the Flex that the One had was the ability to see what activity you have tracked on the device. I though I would miss this – I don’t know why as I wore the One on my bra and didn’t have a habit of groping inside my top to view it. Obviously, for me, this feature was not one to really worry about. Also, as things seem to always be now, there is an App for that so you can always find out how you are doing at a click of a touch screen!

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Of course not everyone wants to use a mobile phone to view and sync their data so there is the option to sync with your computer using a wireless dongle that is included in the pack and a website where you can analysis your statistics and view how your friends are getting on.

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You can also get an idea on how well you are doing by double tapping the Flex to see how many of the five LED lights on the front of the band light up. Each lighty equals 20% of the goal that you have set for yourself.

The Fitbit Flex consists of a strap that holds the tracker which you can then wear 24/7 to measure your steps, calories, active minutes, miles walked and sleep efficiency. Unlike many other trackers you can wear this in the shower although I don’t think you can go swimming with it on. and it can be submerged up to 10 meters so you can go swimming with it. Yay.

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Recording your sleep is simple (if you can get it to work first time). To start the device in sleep mode you are to tap the tracker several times over a couple of seconds. Sounds simple but I find it fiddly and have received some weird looks from the hubby when I have tried, and failed, to get it to switch over to sleep mode. Eventually it will work and the LED lights on the front of the tracker with flash with two LEDS. You repeat the same trial and error process to bring it out of sleep mode.

Another handy edition that is has is a silent alarm. Set the time you want to get up on your phone or computer usuing the Fitbit App and the wristband will vibrate to wake you up. It will also scare the beejingles out of you the first few times it does it until you get used to this happening.

If you want to find out how you did in an activity, such as a run or in my case a wander round the shops, you can put it into sleep mode and instead of tracking your sleep it will track an activity which you can then look at when you log onto your computer.

So far I am feeling more motivated to get up and out and moving. I love being able to track my activities and it certinly motivates me to get a wriggle on and to get moving. It also amazes me just how much I walk about the house. I thought I was a couch potato but really I do move about more than I thought.

For £79.99 or there abouts you get a tracker, wireless dongle, two wrists bands (small and large) and the charging cable.

Opt out or opt in? – Organ donation

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When registering our daughter at the local GP surgery we did not expect to be asked whether we wanted to add her to the organ donor register. It came as a bit of a shock and my heart suck – we had never thought about the option that we might ever need organs or that we could have our daughters organs donated.

It didn’t take much thought for us to decide that we wanted to add Molly to the list as at the end of the day is she was to need a donation we would take one if it was available so we couldn’t say no to others if the occasion was to arise.

What would have made the process less heart dropping was if the system was to be an opt out system. There would be no need to ask people, people would choose to say no if they wanted to and thus helping ease the number of people sitting in organ donation waiting lists.

I know there are loads of debates about this situation but the way I see it is that id I don’t need them anymore but they still work then why not help give someone else the chance to extend their life.

Midwifery – a new career option?

I may be 30 years old but I have never known “what I wanted to be when I was older” – that was until now.

Being pregnant and having a baby has been life changing but one thing I did not expect to happen throughout the process was that I would finally realise what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.

When I was 17 I applied to university to study computer science, thinking I wanted a job that would allow me to earn good money. I quickly realised that money was not what motivated me and changed courses. I did a year of primary school teaching, thinking I wanted to work with children but before long I soon learned that teaching comes at the bottom of the list of priorities for being a teach – being a policewoman, social worker, pen pusher, form filler came further up the list.

So after a bit of faffing about I changed to a degree in publishing with journalism and I at last found something I enjoyed and something I got a career in. There is nothing wrong with being a journalist but I feel there is something missing – I don’t ever get the satisfaction of helping people in a non-self manner.

Having just had a baby I soon began to realise that I would love to be a midwife. I found the whole process of pregnancy and birth fascinating – nothing compares to how miraculous creating and having a baby is. The process was amazing but could be very daunting and the one thing that made you feel better and less anxious was the help and advice we got from the midwives. I got such fantastic care and would love to be able to do the same to other expectant mums.

During the nine months of pregnancy I saw a large number of midwives (ten up to the birth and then just as many after) and they were all fantastic (bar one). The one who was not so nice has really struck with me – she upset me when I was already feeling at my worst and she is probably unaware that her actions were out of order. However I will remember everyone else with a smile on my face until the day I die.

Now I want to turn my life around and help others as I was helped. I want to learn, help, ease anxieties, bring new life into this world and be a part of other peoples birth stories. I know there would be heartbreaking moments but I would be keen to try and help those families in their time of need.

What worries me is that when I can get into training there will be no university places or that I won’t get onto a course. I am willing to volunteer at a local unit but I am not sure how much of an option that would be (I will try and find out when Molly is older and I am able to help).

Until then I will practice my midwifery skills by planning a few more children! (although I will wait until 2015 ).

 

Baby brain – does it last long?

Driving 40 miles to do spot of retail therapy for me and my daughter ended in disaster today when I realised I had forgotten to take my purse.

I had planned to buy some pretty shoes, jeans, a dress and maybe more but was sorely disappointed when I had nothing to pay with, not even a penny. What a waste of time and diesel.

I don’t think I have ever done this before. I usually check that I have my purse, keys and phone before I leave the house and have done all my life, so why did I not do it today?

Throughout pregnancy I kept forgetting to do things I had thought about doing only five minutes before I forgot them but it was not overly troublesome. Now, since having my baby, I am finding I am more forgetful than I have ever been in my life.

I have gone to the shop to buy only one item (pegs) and come back from the shop on about 10 occasions without them! Thankfully my hubby has a habit of remembering things so we managed to eventually become proud owners of pegs.

I just hope I never forget the baby! (I never will, how could you forget someone as precious as she is?).

How long does baby brain last? I had assumed that it was just a pregnancy ailment. I can’t even blame it on lack of sleep as Molly sleeps like a trouper and I am getting far more sleep now than during pregnancy.