Every Day is a bakerdays! (Review)

Every Day is a bakerdays! (Review)
(The featured image source is: https://www.bakerdays.com.)

I was (literally) chomping at the bit to get involved in one of my latest collaborations with bakerdays!! In my opinion every day is a cake day so I was intrigued to see how many designs could be made available in a short space of time…. *** SPOILERS!!! *** there are literally hundreds of designs that cater to Cake Lovers from all backgrounds, bound together in time and space by their love of the good stuff! By good stuff I mean tasty, moist cakey goodness! Layers of delicious happiness in circular form.

bakerdays was founded by Andrea Guzyova and greeting card entrepreneur Alan Hawkes so you can guarantee beautiful design as well as great taste.

Myself, the recipient and only the top cake connoisseur’s in her friends list got to indulge in the beautiful “Peach Butterflies” Letterbox Cake that I lovingly selected for my Mum (good old Nannie H!) for her half century celebrations… or her 25th times 2 Life Experience Anniversary!

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If you are not familiar with the concept, the Letterbox Cake is conveniently packaged in a box that slips through your door, so it is guaranteed to make an appearance on the required day of the occasion; be it Birthday, anniversary, a congratulations, new job or just reminding a person that they are important to you through the medium of cake!

The cake is a compact 12cm diameter by 2.5cm height, made to fit through a standard letter box so your Postie can just put it straight into the recipients home so it is perfect for that thoughtful surprise!

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My Mother had expressed her wish for a quiet affair for her *cough* 50th *cough* Birthday. With her being less than cheery about the prospect and adamant that she wouldn’t be celebrating she begrudgingly decided on a High Tea at her house, and I was giddy with excitement as this would be the perfect setting for the Letterbox cake I was planning!

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I must admit that I was quite nervous about the condition that the cake would arrive in, and what was it about it’s tin vessel that would protect it from serious damage?! I seriously dread the state of deliveries coming from a logistics background; I see first hand packages being poorly handled, bashed around etc and I was impressed yet a smidgen dubious with the claim on the website that the cake would be packaged

“in a way to ensure that it survives the drop from the letterbox to the floor, while remaining in perfect condition.”

Innovative and unique to bakerdays, the Letterbox Cake can be used to deliver any message to the door. It is only limited to the senders imagination as to how they can utilise this edible bulletin! I toyed with the idea of the photo cake options, but found it slightly creepy to devour my own face and the faces of those I love so eventually opted for a pre set design with personalisation in the message.

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The website is easy to navigate but the challenge comes in selecting your “Chosen One!”. I spent over 40 minutes pouring over page after page of designs that each have their place and purpose and I could imagine the audience for each one. There were designs that I never knew would be required but when I saw them their relevance just clicked and I would be like “If I were an eight year old boy I would really dig this Dino design” or “If I was a lonely older person I would really appreciate the vintage designs of cakes to remind me that people remembered my favourite flower” for example. Such a broad spectrum of themes are covered.

I am a sucker for all things personalised because I love to work out what makes people tick. Obviously I know my Mother very well so I was able to pick out a Top 5 Of cake designs that would be meaningful and represent her.

As if the design choice wasn’t enough, you then get to select your sponge flavour that’s includes: traditional sponge, rich chocolate chip, lemon drizzle (which was my top choice), fruit or gluten free and dairy free to allow as many people to enjoy the cake as possible (with dietary requirements considered.)LemonRecipe

I asked my Mum what she thought about her bakerdays birthday surprise:

What did you find surprising about  bakerdays?

“The quality and look even though it dropped through the letterbox!”

What did you like most about your cake?

“The vibrant colours, font and design.”

How would you rate the taste?

“10/10. Moist, tasty, not too sweet.”

Did the cake taste as good as it looks?

“Yes.”

Would you send your own letterbox cake in the future?

“Absolutely it’s now in my gift list!”

The Letterbox Cake is guaranteed to put a smile on your recipients face and at just £14.99 with next day delivery (when ordered before 2pm) it is great value for money and could really get you out of a “jam” (pardon the pun!) if you have forgotten a birthday or event. It is a fun and thoughtful alternative to a traditional card delivery.

But it’s not just delicious cakes… bakerdays also provide extras such as helium balloons to accompany your cake as well as gifts that include diffusers, necklaces, mugs and fabulous pop up cards.

I believe that bakerdays could be your one stop shop for all events and highly recommend the service based on quality, innovation, aesthetics and taste. Hurry and use discount festive25 for 25% off all orders.

A very Happy Customer!

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“There’s too many Mum Bloggers!”

“There’s too many Mum Bloggers!”

The internet is saturated with Mummy Bloggers. It was indeed daunting starting up my own, Dear Reader; as I sifted through post after post and thought to myself “all the good post titles have surely been taken now!” and pondered as to where I could even fit myself in the mix.

There are so many funny Mummies (who’s antics have my sides splitting at the parenting fails, reasons to drink wine/gin/other alcoholic beverage and refreshing accounts of how hard being a Mummy truly is!), Slummy Mummies, Unicorn Mummies (who are imperfect but bossing Motherhood in their own way), Luxe Mummies (looking perfectly preened, doing yoga, strutting their stuff about the City in only the most premium brands), “Winging it” Mummies (learning the ropes along the way! I guess most of us Mummies adopt this parenting stupid at some point along the way!), Eco Mummies (saving the planet with one reusable nappy at a time & buying in organic and fair trade items), Mum-Trepreneures (running their own businesses from home in between school runs and after bedtime) and Mummies to a Tribe of 4 maybe 5 Wildings!

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Is what I have to say worthy? Will my advice be useful considering I am no expert in the Mum Arena?

Regardless, I took the advice of many of the incredible women’s blogs I had poured over throughout my pregnancy and early moments of Motherhood; judging my ability to Mum against these anecdotes,and jumped in, trusting enough in myself that I could make my own little piece of cyber space work!

Yes there are A LOT of Mum Blogs… but not too many. I think it is only a positive thing because blogs are written by experts in the field and it is encouraging that so many of us “just Mums” feel that we can be so much more than that and have so much pride in the prefix adjectives that describe our style! After all Mum’s make this world go round. We do our best and there are still topics to add our voice to because each experience is unique.

I think it is encouraging that Mummy Bloggers exist to empower other new mums, or even “old hat” mums and doesn’t it mean that our children as a collective are in good hands if more and more mums are writing about their expertise?!!

I think so.

I welcome every new Mummy Blogger.

I am thankful that there is scope to help more and have our voices heard. Not just heard, in fact; but sought out and applied as a means of virtual assistance. Like a warm cyber hug that nurtures the next Mum and reminds her that she is enough and is doing a great job!

Now that’s the kind of positivity and love that we should be spreading. Am I right?!

In a world where there is so much “bad” news, fake news, hatred and attempts to polarise global citizens, I think it’s a welcome breath of fresh air that Mun’s are giving little pieces of themselves to the wider community and bringing a little love and light.

I say… Keep blogging Mamma.

Your experience is valid. Your experience brings comfort on the darker days. Your honesty is refreshing. The love you have to give is a beacon of light.

None of us, yet all of us are pro at this Mothering Thing; an oxymoron yes! But the truth none the less. Blogging starts out for ourselves. A means to vent. To unleash our wildest thoughts. Our passions. But it goes beyond that and you soon find cries of “me too!” It is so important not to feel alienated and to love parenting. Mummy Blogging allows you to do this! If you love it… do it! Simple as!

Yes I am “another Mum Blogger” but if my advice helps just one bleary eyed mum, struggling through a night feed, feeling like she just can’t and one of my friendly reminders empowers her then that is a good thing!

I for one welcome new voices. I love to read, I love to write and I love to Mum! There’s no competition in Motherhood and when we realise this the world will be a better place… so maybe we can start in the virtual world and stand by one another and support each of our messages. We are stronger together and a Mum Collective is what the world didn’t ask for… but certainly needs!

What Mummy Blogs have you been reading? Do you label yourself as a particular ‘type’ of Mum?

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#StaySweet

-Bea’s Mummy x

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Eco Mom! Warrior not Worrier & Review: Lil Cubs.

Eco Mom! Warrior not Worrier &  Review: Lil Cubs.

I think, like the majority of the general population, I was shocked and appalled at our careless, throw-away culture whilst watching Blue Planet II.

Quite rightly it sparked an outcry and awakened the Eco Warriors within, that were latent and waiting to burst forth in battle cries of “No More!”towards producers of this toxic waste.

Following these images of plastic waste, drifting through our oceans and the coverage of albatross chicks being unwittingly fed plastic (this made my stomach turn as a Mummy To Be!) there have been various campaigns to ban the use of plastic straws, bottles and levy a tax on plastic packaging (which could be introduced by law by 2021.)

Because of this increased awareness about use and dump products and their detrimental effects to the world around us “single-use” has become the buzz word of the year in the Collins Dictionary for 2018. This refers to products- often made of plastic – that are made to be used once then thrown away.

“Single-use” has seen a four-fold increase since 2013 which I think highlights our socio political concerns about the environment and I for one welcome this conversation!

Sometimes it is difficult to live in full eco-conscious mode when you have offspring to attend to on the daily and sometimes (unfortunately) convenience is king which means the environment will take a hit. As much as possible I try to live green in the most basic ways (recycling, reusing, upcycling and buying organic as much as possible. I did also consider the use of cloth nappies but I just wasn’t brave enough to take that lifestyle plunge.)

Of course any parent may worry about the state of the world that we hand over to our little people but we can contribute to a happier world by pledging to do one thing that is green. Alone we can not change the world but if we are concerned enough joining together as a green collective will be the way forward.

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Source: Lil Cub’s Website.

One easy and fun way to live more eco-consciously is to add organic products to your little ones wardrobe.

Lil’ Cubs is one such company that formed in 2015 to offer goodies (from muslins, sleepsuits to baby gift boxes) that are full of personality and crafted with the wider world in mind. Organic cotton and jersey materials are used and the fun, graphic prints are created from eco friendly dyes.

Since choosing to shop Organic there is no way I would go back now. I was introduced to the wonderful, wacky world of Lil’ Cubs through one of their stockists Rhubarb The Bird (whom Bea brand reps for.) The first product Bea and I put through its paces was the glorious Clouds & Bolts sleepsuit. The suit features a rather cute rainbow coloured design and as the name suggests clouds and lightning bolts and a nifty little zipper!

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It made me feel better about my environmental & socio economic impact. Last year 220,478 organic farmers produced organic cotton over 18 countries and there was a 10% year-on-year increase from 2016! Lil’ Cubs is a brand that has a sustainability strategy to do their part in reducing global warming, over fertilisation of the soil, water consumption compared to conventional farming.

One of my favourite unique selling points of the brand is that the designs are unisex so can be shared between little boys and girls. I have found that organic products last much longer. Because organic cotton is harvested by hand rather than machine it does not require the chemicals to clean and bleach it so it is more durable upon being turned into textile. I have also personally found that the bodysuit has coped better with washing & drying! So I will be passing these items on to Baby Goddard To Be…

Apparently organic clothes last five times longer than their conventional counterparts and the cotton will not break down until the hundredth wash… I will test this claim out but so far the vibrancy of the suit has not changed!

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Source: Lil Cub’s Website!

We were sent the beautiful “Oranges & Lemons” muslin swaddle. The print is really individual and I love that it is a design that is relevant every season. It is bright! It is “zingy!” As I opened our package it certainly packed a visual punch.

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It is super soft. The cotton is 100% breathable and perfect for Bea’s delicate skin. I couldn’t wait to wrap her up in a beautiful, cotton-soft bundle.

It is 120x120cm so it is large and multi functional. Throughout its test period I have utilised the muslin in a variety of ways. It is great for mopping up spills, napping under a light “blanket” and most recently it has been used as a fun backdrop for an Autumnal themed photo shoot. It looked super cute behind a wicker basket and pumpkins.

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Its a staple tool in my Mum Arsenal. I have always only ever heard positive feedback about the Lil Cubs’ muslins from other Mummy friends and now I join in these voices of praise.

61D8C5F8-063B-4452-8C23-85AF58D7B3E7The pricing is very affordable at just £17.

I have been known to use the muslin as a scarf. I can confirm that the softness is out of this world! I happily share the muslin with Bea who now associates it with “sleepy time”.

Lil Cub’s is a fresh baby product company that has come a long way from just muslins and bibs back in 2015 and I see them growing and becoming a widely recognised organic baby clothing brand.

If you too want to be more Eco Warrior than Worrier I highly recommend Lil Cubs’ as a provider of organic products. Obviously it takes time to change your buying habits and create a fully organic wardrobe, so my tip would be to add capsule pieces (they WILL last) so over time your core wardrobe will shift from regular clothing to organic and it will be #FeelGood both physically and metaphorically.

Check out the colourful Instagram page to see the products in action!

How are you doing your bit for the environment? Do you have plans to adopt greener lifestyle choices?

#StaySweet

– Bea’s Mummy x

 

I was gifted the Oranges & Lemons swaddle muslin as part of my agreement with Tabitha of Lil Cubs. All views are my own.

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The “Organised Mum” Saga Continues & Review: Grizzli Bear.

The “Organised Mum” Saga Continues & Review: Grizzli Bear.

The depths of a Mother’s bag are a lesser explored world… much like the deep sea or the farest reaches of our galaxy! With great trepidation we reach in to retrieve the required item, the “gold dust” item; all the while navigating crusty wipes, smooshed bananas or worse! It’s is a lucky dip as to what your hand may brush past. Sometimes unlucky! I love it when you find a snack bar or a missing dummy that your LO has been longing for.

I was having one of those “Mum Meltdown” days and the final straw came when I could not get instant access to a nappy after a particularly ferocious PooNami and it was a literal shit storm as poop trickled down Bea’s legs! It’s these “precious” moments that you feel like you fail as a Mother. Bea was crying. I was crying. I wondered if in a parallel universe there was a version of me doing a better job at Mumming with handy, hacks and tools of the trade that could avert disaster.

So I was looking through Instagram and cheerfully came across a business that produces gorgeous bespoke nappy pouches and tote bags. Jenny Baker is a fellow Momma & designer, creative and sewer at Grizzli Bear based in our Capital! She truly makes the daily grind much more colourful. Who doesn’t love an extra rainbow to drag them through their storm?

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The imagery of the rainbow is very central to our ethos and close to our hearts, what with Little Miss Bea shining light into our lives following our difficult 2017. She is our Rainbow Baby and along with the bee emblem, I incorporate the majestic rainbow in as8113DA53-F9A1-4792-BA6B-74283BFB582A many of the items I purchase as possible. I was instantly drawn to the rainbow nappy pouches and loved that I had the option to showcase the Bea & Me identity I am busily attempting to establish in the blogging arena.

The business was established through Insta & Etsy just this year, though Jenny has been sewing much longer and you can truly see this from the quality of the pouch. It is robust and fortified, ready for filling with “Mum Stuff”. There is so much scope for bespoke design and the only limits is the customers imagination.

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Jenny says of her items:

“my favourite piece to create is anything personalised. I love making something that I know someone will love and is just what they want. I found some cute Peter Rabbit fabric for a customer once as their little one’s favourite comforter was a Peter Rabbit and they were so excited!”

It is clear to see that these items are truly handmade with love.

I really enjoyed my conversations with Jenny (who always makes herself available for a friendly chat.) She is very open and honest and has a passion for people and her craft.

“My main motivation for setting up Grizzli Bear was to help new parents. There’s so much stuff that you have to lug around with you when you have a teeny human to look after, and with so many post-birth hormones whizzing around, the last thing you need is an overflowing changing bag to stress you out even more. My pouches try to sort all that extra stuff out so you don’t have to think about it. No more rummaging around for wipes and finding a half-chewed rice cake, a random toy, and no wipes!

I really struggled with postnatal depression and organising all the baby stuff into pouches helped me feel more in control. I want to help other people feel that way too.”

In the crazy introduction to the world of parenting Grizzli Bear offers a beacon of hope and the goodies are “funky” and “modern” adds Jenny. I agree. I loved scrolling through the Instagram feed and thought very apt wording have been 538AAF7E-A34D-4AFD-97F2-6855E0D13F6Bincluded as part of the designs including “You got this Mamma”, “You are the light”,  “Held Fast” (all very positive and empowering affirmations) and she doesn’t forget that dads co parent too with her designs “Daddy’s Turn” and “Dad Bag”. I love that the pouches are so inclusive and unisex.

I would suggest the best way of staying organised with these pouches is to have each one labelled “nappies”, “clean clothes”, “fast food” & “everything else” so there are no unpleasant surprises inside the bag and you can control your outside circumstances as best as possible in the fast paced world of raising little whirlwinds!

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Making Parenting simpler! Grab & go pouches for all the necessities!

Having utilised the pouch for an intense two week “testing period” I have since implemented it as part of my arsenal daily as it is fab for impromptu trips out so that you don’t have to lug around a full Mary Poppins bag. It is also great for day trips. I brought it along as part of our recent trip to the zoo and it was a godsend for finding my wipes easily for sticky, monkey fingers! (No I am not talking about the enclosed animals!)

You literally “Clutch-And-Go” but you can look stylish and appear as if you have your shit together! It’s a refreshing feeling to have the important items to hand because you can feel out of control at the drop of a hat! I love having a slice of Grizzli (Momma) Bear in my life and the style is not sacrificed for ultimate utility.

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Check out Jenny’s goodies at @grizzlibear_gb (Instagram) or at GrizzliBear on Etsy!

Things I have done this week to get organised:

1) I batch cooked and froze Bea’s meals for the coming week. It was the first time using my cute Ikea ice cube trays! It certainly beats whizzing up Bea’s dinners at the same time as trying to cook our dinner.

2) Hoovered the livingroom before heading up to bed. It means I feel confident letting our little Commando roll around the floor in the morning.51CTuZZ5+9L._SL250_

3) Colour coded my diary for the purposes of planning and scheduling my upcoming product reviews and Baby Classes. I used these rather snazzy Post-It Index Flags!

4) Shopped online for upcoming birthdays! This saves so much time in a few clicks rather than wandering around a physical store because I tend to get distracted! It also meant I saved money because I found offers that meant the item I had my beady eye was actually 30% cheaper than I expected. Huzzah! More SMP in my pocket to stock up on all things baby.

5) Bea is a rice pudding Monster and by happy coincidence I found it reduced to clear at Tesco for 66p a jar so I cleared the shelf! Rice Pudding for days!

I feel much more accomplished and it is rather tremendous to celebrate these mini victories when times get darker! I also have my beautifully vibrant nappy pouch by my side.

How have you stayed organised so far this week? What wording would you select for your own nappy pouch?

#StaySweet

– Bea’s Mummy x

 

I was gifted the nappy pouch by Jenny at Grizzli Bear as part of our review agreement, but all opinions are my own!

I am part of the Amazon Affiliate UK scheme so if you purchase products through my links at no additional cost to you I may earn commission on that sale to ensure I can keep producing content that you want to see.

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So how much sleep does your baby actually need?… You may be surprised…!!!

So how much sleep does your baby actually need?… You may be surprised…!!!

We have just made it through that 4 month Sleep Regression stage; battered and bruised… but we fought through it together (I think I may have cried more than Bea for those 5 weeks! Man it was hard! And Sleep Regression IS real!) We have come out the other side and I believe that Bea now has a much keener appreciation again for day naps (she had been keeping herself awake by all kind of means included but not limited to what sounded like singing to herself and scratching her own face!) so we also had the added challenge of dealing with an over tired baby.

I think there is certainly a lack of medical/scientific information readily available at your local GP about baby sleep and in a panic that I wasn’t parenting right I read many a horror story of sleep regression on Parenting forums. Then on the other side, I was airing my own sleep deprived woes with two Mummy friends who both seemed a lot more bright-eyed and bushy tailed than me (despite having their daughters around the same time as me) and one of the little ladies had been sleeping in their own room from the start and the other was not waking up in the night and sleeping through. This lucky Momma had consistently been achieving 8/9 hours of unbroken sleep!

Is my baby broken?! What was I doing wrong to have to deal with hourly wake ups?! There was a week period where I saw at least one minute of every hour in different iterations each day- 12pm…1am…2am….3am…..4am…..5am so as you can imagine this did start putting a strain on my relationship with my Husband (who is about as useful as a chocolate teapot in the early hours) as I felt like he should be doing more to relieve me and I was ashamed to recognise it, but it felt like I was starting to dislike my baby at these crazy hours. It’s insane to think the depths you plunge to (the lack of sanity) when you have not managed to get enough “shut eye”. Then I would feel so guilty to even be thinking like that! But shit happens when you don’t get sleep! I realised I can be a very crabby kind of person. Historically, I have never struggled with waking up early and being fully functional and quote “annoyingly chirpy”… but this was certainly one thing I was not. I was less an early songbird and now some kind of permanently exhausted pigeon!AF988229-D5C8-4AE7-B70C-8432D4F1B159.jpeg

But there is light at the end of the tunnel and I think we have a very squiffy expectation of baby sleep! To distill the answer to the age old question “How much sleep does my baby need?” … simply put: however much THEY need as an individual so your baby will lead you. It does not mean there is something wrong with your baby if they wake themselves up after a 20 minute Cat Nap or do not sleep through the night. It becomes problematic when we put an adult expectation on their sleep patterns. Perhaps these “baby sleep problems” are more our own issues?!!

There is no normality in the field of babysleep. Recommended guidelines for Sleep are so broad. For example The National Sleep Foundation state that the limits of acceptable sleep are between ten to eighteen hours over a 24 hour period in babies between 3 and 11 months old so most patterns of sleep should fall within realms of normality.

The NHS advice on sleep suggests that by 4 months old a baby should be sleeping double the length spent in the day. This seemed to work as a rule of thumb for me as Bea got out of any sort of habit/routine for daytime napping! This is where advice “sleep when you baby sleeps” was utterly useless to Bea and I!!

What made me feel better about our Sleep Journey was finding “Why Your Babies Sleep Matters” by Sarah Ockwell-Smith (follow her fabulous blog here!) because she is a gentle parenting proponent and has a relatable way to translate science to actual parenthood.

 

 

The advice is refreshing because essentially it is pointless to track our child’s sleep pattern; parent reporting night-wakings are inaccurate. There is an expectation in our society that our babies should be sleeping through the night by 6 months old, but this is an unfounded because in reality research in Sarah’s book shows that 84% of children aged 6 months are still waking up at least once a night. Our expectations of our children’s sleep is unrealistic and it would allow us all a sleep-deprived sigh of relief if we realised that these “expectations” (turned limitations) are just constructs and “sleep problems” are just our little ones actually sleeping completely normally!

Did you have an expectation of when your child would be sleeping through the night? Have you put any successful routines in place that has encouraged sleep through the night? How much do you find yourself waking with your child?

– Bea’s Mummy

 

I am part of the Amazon Affiliate UK Scheme so if you choose to purchase this Top Read through the link above I may earn commission on the sale with no extra cost to you!

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ZippyUp!: Review

ZippyUp!: Review

This piece has been written in collaboration with ZippyUp and also contains affiliate links. This means that if you love these ZippyUp’s as much as I do and you purchase through my links below I get a commission from the sale with no extra cost to you! So you can help support the blog further as I will invest in items that you want to see reviewed!

It’s all very well having quaint, fussy and buttoned clothing for your mini (heck! I have a whole section dedicated to babywear come doll like creations in Bea’s wardrobe!) but 44061636_559599001142330_5058356058796326912_nafter the Newborn stage you very swiftly come to the realisation that you actually have a little person on your hands who is just that… a little person! And they don’t appreciate being fussed; and very much, like us, find aspects of their day to be quite the annoyance ie: getting dressed in the morning and getting dressed after a relaxing bath to name but a few situations. This means that the highly aesthetic pieces that you like to play dress up with are pretty much obsolete and hang in the wardrobe for situations where you feel that you can muster enough fight to battle these garments on to your child!

What can I say?! We are coming up to Bea’s half Birthday now and I started to sacrifice high style for function and clothes that can be put on and removed with as little fuss as possible. This had me wondering if there are pieces that make it super easy for Mummy to put Miss Fussy Pants in, whilst still looking like I do care about how I present Bea. Can she still look adorable and feel less vexed after the “trauma” of being pulled through tight fitting lacy numbers, kicking her way through pulling up tights then wriggling as she attempts to escape the fumbled attempts of a frustrated mummy and a thousand buttons?!!

(Why do so many baby clothes have buttons? I mean, even huge quantities of poppers are still less than desirable when we reach the point of no return. A red faced baby. A Mum on edge questioning every single choice she has made selecting outfits in the past! I curse my past self!)

One of the biggest lessons I have learnt is to always go for ease of the dressing process over how adorable your child looks. Your highly stylised outfits will still end up covered in bodily fluids, bottled milk, random patches of “what-even-is-that?” on a daily basis and when it comes to Poo’splotions the best combination of clothing has to be the classic combo of short sleeve/long sleeve body suit as I am somewhat of an expert now at peeling the short sleeved number down the body to minimise the damage from excrement that shoots triumphantly in all directions of the compass! I am always amazed how it manages to travel up Bea’s back.

But enough of the Poo Talk (which becomes the every day staple of conversation!) I wanted to find a solution for a happy baby and ultimately happy Mummy and to find a clothing compromise. It turns out that you do not have to sacrifice fashion for function! Just take a look at the gorgeous offerings from ZippyUp!

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Buy Your: ZIP BABYGROW ROMPER BODYSUIT NEWBORN – 24M (0-3M, AQUA & WHITE 2 PACK) NOW!!!

ZippyUp came into existence when another lovely Mummy (with two under 2) asked herself the same questions during those 2am nappy changes, whilst looking for that Magic Bullet that could make the bleary-eyed struggle a little kinder. Angela decided that the UK needed affordable zip fronted babygrows. They were very much exclusive to the USA/Australian market and not easy to access here, so Angela set about creating the Original ZippyUp with her background knowledge in design. Angela was the lady to bring us Mummies this much needed solution as she knows the fashion industry and has high standards so rest assured each ZippyUp has been made in her trusted factory with the best materials available.

I was gifted both the original babygrow in aqua/white and the plum/white sweater one piece and I can’t decide which I love more! The first property I noticed of both garments was the stunning quality. Durable yet super soft.

Original Baby Grow- The design ensures a good fit for your baby. There is such discrepancy in sizing in the UK clothing industry; as I have mentioned previously, but the way in which the Original Babygrow has been crafted (it is a 1×1 rib construction and weighs 320gsm) means that there is stretch in the fabric without adding elastane. Elastane can make your little wriggler hotter and the fabric less breathable so the absence of this means a happier baby and more room to grow. It is 100% cotton which I have found is so much better for Bea’s overall well being. We have made a really noticeable move towards totally organic clothing (brands such as Little Green Radicals and Lil Cubs) with similar properties and it has been a resounding success!

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Buy Your: ZIPPYUP Head To Toe Zip Babygrow Romper Onesie Pink Stripe (18-24M) NOW!

We used the Original ZippyUp babygrow as our go-to night wear for a whole week for the testing process. The zips are nylon and cleverly concealed so they never make contact with your babies skin. I just loved the neck tab that protects chubby chin skin making contact with the zip! It looks stylish but there is purpose to every element of design and it is as if Angela has turned every single Mum Worry into the perfect solution. The Original ZippyUp could truly be pulled straight from the dreams of Mummies going GaGa over buttons and poppers!

We attempt a nightly routine (in all honestly it has slipped to every other night due to Bea’s distaste of being undressed/re dressed) of Bath – Book – Bottle or Boob – then Bed, but recently found that we started having to remove the “book” element (which to me is super important) because after the bath there were tantrums! There has not been the intensity of protest to getting dressed after the bath following the introduction of the Original ZippyUp. It has not all together solved the issue, but I would not expect that from one product but it has certainly gone a long way to making changing for bedtime a much more agreeable experience. As the week went on our stress levels at bedtime have certainly reduced and now Bea only exhibits a mild annoyance rather than explosive rage at the inconvenience.

I just love the head to toe zip. It is one swift and solid movement rather than a series of late night changing fails.

Plum/White Sweater One piece- Truly my photography does not do the colour justice! It is the perfect shade for looking dressed up on more “dressed down” kind of days. I can see this romper taking us through Autumn/Winter & into Spring again as it keeps Bea suitably warm but I could imagine it still being wearable as temperatures increase again because it is breathable and I like that it it not full footed like the Original ZippyUp so we utilised it as more of day piece as it looks cute paired with white frilly socks too!

Whats great about both these pieces is that they are machine washable and can be chucked in the tumble dryer! The original also comes in a two pack and there is also a variant of the striped version in charcoal/white. If you would like to see even more colour combinations (I am now eyeing up the rose pink/white bodysuits!) check out their website.

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Angela truly has a gift for design and appreciation of what Mummies are looking for in the products they buy. Maternity pay will stretch that little bit further because the original ZippyUp is only £9.99 (in all colour combinations) and just £15 you get your paws on a 2 pack! The gorgeous striped sweater one piece is £18. Affordable, functional and rather pretty to look at!

These fabulous bodysuits are a must have addition to any babies wardrobe. Bea is looking and feeling good and we are forever Pro Zippy! #BanishTheButtons!

Have you included a fully top to toe zippy bodysuit in your baby wardrobe aresnal? Would you be keen to replace your buttoned and poppers items with zip only items? What other colour combinations would you be keen to see in the ZippyUp Range?

#StaySweet

-Bea’s Mummy x

I am Part of the Amazon Affiliate scheme and have included links that may earn me commission. As always all opinions are my own.

#SayTheirNames: Voices of Loss- The Collective (Part 2).

#SayTheirNames: Voices of Loss- The Collective (Part 2).

I think we can all agree that one of the greatest injustices in the world is that a child is buried before their parents, grandparents. Excuse the bleak prelude for this post, but that is the stark reality for fifteen families a day in the UK (when will these numbers decrease?! There needs to be a much keener focus on preventing these needless deaths- often many are avertible but best practices are failing to be implemented due to the pressure that our NHS is under.)

I have been overwhelmed by the amount of Mothers who have been reaching out, a chorus of “I want to share my story!” and my inbox is filling up with different situations, but sadly the same wrathful and heartbreaking conclusion. It seems that the bitter blow of childloss is so indiscriminate and there are so many ways in which it is so cruel. On one hand the human body is an incredible piece of kit that supports our every day living, on the other it is so fragile and proves that it is can fail us, and does so for so many women.

My aim was to collate fifteen stories as part of my awareness campaign to represent the fifteen families lives that fall apart on just one day. But, it would seem, many more women are keen to speak their children’s names. The stories are so personal, yet have been made so accessible which I think is very important.

I want to honour these lives that played out too soon and these courageous Angel Parents. Loss changes us in so many ways. It is often hard to articulate. I know for a fact all these ladies have found it to be painful but healing. It does take its toll penning the full circumstances surrounding our losses. These stories often have to be told over a period of time because as we search ourselves for the words to say and then see them appear physically in front of our eyes everything comes back. These aren’t just throw away words for us. Every last one hits us like a freight train and we remember why little pieces of us are missing and how the old versions of ourselves died too the day our babies left our bodies.

As per last post these stories are word for word the parents’ and they belong to them. They have also been brave and shared pictures of their babies to break the taboo of childloss. Each time a child has been lost and with it a full life of possibility.

Charlie Smith

I found out I was pregnant on the 7th April 2018, me and my husband were TTC since January 2018. We were over the moon. I bloated early so looked like I had a lovely early bump, we told everyone because we were so naive thinking nothing would go wrong.

June 6th we had our 12 weeks scan and the first thing the lady said was he had a good strong heartbeat. We were chuffed. But then when he turned around she saw a white ball above his stomach. He had Omphalocele. We were told his rate of survival was low because of how bad his condition was, but also told his neck measurements were low too- so it would be either Down’s syndrome or Edwards Syndrome- so I was tested.

We had to wait a week to see a consultation to see what the next step was. 4 days after the scan I felt a massive sharp pain in my lower belly but thought nothing of it. A week of deciding what to do for best- wait until 40 weeks knowing he would have a 0% chance of survival or terminate straight away. Its a decision no parent should face. Me and my husband cried for the entire week. It was so painful, but also we knew it was the last week or so we’d ever have with our baby, so it was very bittersweet.

We went to the scan and I could see the consultation looking confused. He ended up saying that our Charlie had already gained his wings. I believe the massive pain was him telling me he was letting go.

I was booked into a surgical ward for 2 days time to have him. I was only 13 weeks. But it was so horrible. He came at 17:26 on the 17th June 2018. His stomach and intestines were outside his body and he was also diagnosed with Edwards Syndrome (Trisomy 18).

He was beautiful. He had 10 toes and 10 little fingers. He looked like a normal baby, but very very tiny. My husband fell into depression and drunk heavily to deal with it, and I got distant from everybody because they didn’t know how to deal with it. 4 months on and I’m still grieving. He never breathed or never opened his eyes, but he is still my beautiful 2nd son. He will never be forgotten. – Heidi Smith.

Flynn Fairbairn

On the 25th May 2017 I was involved in a serious car crash caused by an elderly mans dangerous driving. I was 23 weeks and 5 days pregnant at the time driving home from visiting the nursery my son would be attending and initially, scans showed everything was okay with him but later that evening I received the devastating news that his heart had stopped beating. 3 days later on the 28th May 2017 after being induced I gave birth to my beautiful son, Flynn weighing just 1lb 6oz at 24 weeks and 1 day gestation. As I had a healthy pregnancy, no complications and everything was on the right track, there was no other explanation as to why his heart had stopped other than the crash and this is now been medically confirmed that I had suffered complete placental abruption caused from the hard impact of the crash on my bump. As I gave birth to Flynn after the 24 week mark he has a birth certificate and a stillbirth(death) certificate and his cause of death is down as ‘road traffic accident’ and was signed by medical professionals.

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Even though Flynn was killed by this man he will never get justice as the law ‘causing death’ in driving offences does not include babies in the womb. This is absolutely outrageous and needs to change! He was a living person, with a heart beat, perfectly formed with his whole life ahead of him and the law doesn’t class him as a person!! I know I will never get justice for him because this is the law at the time of the crash but for future pregnant woman and babies this needs to change! Not only is it just wrong in so many ways it adds to the hurt and grieving. Please sign and share this petition!

If Flynn was 1 day old or 1 week old or 1 year old there would be no questions asked and he would be charged with his death as he’s admitted responsibility and has since been charged with driving without due care and attention which meant he got off with 6 points and a £100 fine for ending my sons life! – Emma Fairbairn.

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Please sign the petition here to revise laws concerning the death of babies in car accidents.

Baby Noad. 

My story; “I’m sorry, the pregnancy is still in your womb” those words from the sonographer I will never forget, it’s not just a “pregnancy” it’s a baby, MY baby.

My baby that had been passed inside of me for 3 weeks, and had been holding on with no life left for those 3 weeks, I was 10 weeks in, and my baby passed at 7 weeks, how dare they refer to my baby as a “pregnancy” it was a life, a life that had been lost, I will never forget those heartbreaking 3 days, from Monday the 15th of September 2014, I went into hospital with heavy bleeding, and loosing all my pregnancy tissue until the D&C operation on the Wednesday the 17th of September 2014, the operation that had removed my baby from me, loosing a baby, no matter how far gone is devastating.

All the plans of the future, wondering what he/she would have looked like, preparing to be a mother – gone. All gone in a matter of days, “why me?” “What did I do to deserve this?” People say “it happens for a reason” what reason? What fucking reason is there for a life to be taken away? Answer me that. Being stuck in hospital for 3 days, nurses looking at you feeling sorry for you, don’t get me wrong they were lovely, and made me feel so comfortable, but it didn’t make it any easier, walking out the hospital feeling empty and numb, looking at the clear blue sticks I kept in a draw at home still with two violently blue lines, made me feel sick.

Days/ weeks passed, everything reminding me of my loss, pregnancy announcements, births, life went on, but for me it stopped, anger pain and hurt filled my body. A month on something was niggling at me, telling me I was pregnant again, but I didn’t believe it, I was just grieving.

I was on my way to work one day and I popped and got a test and took it on the way to work, I didn’t even wait to see what it said, I wrapped it back up and put it in my bag thinking I’m just being silly, I finished my shift at work and as I went to leave I popped to the bathroom before my walk home, remembering I took a test I unwrapped it again and I saw two pink lines, very faint lines.

My heart sank. I was pregnant again, I conceived 2 weeks after my loss, I felt a mix of emotions, I felt guilt,happiness, sadness, but I felt blessed… And my collapsed word started slowly building day by day, my pregnancy progressed, I couldn’t enjoy it so most days I just ignored it, I was scared… So fucking scared my baby will be whipped away from me like my first.

Weeks/months went by, I was having a little boy, a healthy little boy. My heart filled the moment I saw him, I will always look at him as my second child, I’m a mum of 2 and I always will be, I’ve had 2 children. People would say, “at least you can get pregnant, and at least you have a child” (because I got told at 16 that I couldn’t have children) yes I have a gorgeous healthy little boy (now 3 years old) and I’m beyond grateful and blessed to have him but it doesn’t make my pain any easier, I still long for my other baby.

Everything I do with my little boy I should be doing with 2 children, he will always know he’s a little brother, and I love my babies dearly, despite everything I am so grateful, I look at him and I try and imagine what my other baby would have looked like, but I know he/she still lives on in my son, and always will. I’d like to share my story because miscarriage does matter, no matter how far gone you are, it’s still a life, a beating heart, I hope more people speak up and raise awareness, it’s hard to deal with on your own, luckily I wasn’t on my own, I had an amazing supportive partner, and it’s hard for them too, more than people realise, but there are people who have unfortunately been through the same pain of loosing a child, how big or small, you’re never alone, our baby’s will always be remembered. – Holly Mcmillan

Renae Elodie Lynch

I found out I was pregnant after a miscarriage at 10 weeks.
I had a few bleeds with this new pregnancy so I was sent for a early scan which showed a nice healthy heartbeat we were so excited!

They said they couldn’t see where the bleed was coming from so good news! A week later more bleeding but alot heavier so we were a bit worried we got sent for another scan to be told I had a hematoma it was nothing to worry about and there was still a strong heartbeat.

They said I measured 9 weeks this couldn’t be true,  I got pregnant a month before. I’d been 9 weeks… I should have been 12 weeks but I just dismissed it as I was just so happy we saw the heartbeat and to me that means our baby was okay.19659B93-FCC0-4939-B355-4C9D8E534C6E

Fast forward to my scan sitting in the waiting room I was extremely anxious as I had been bleeding ever since my early scan but I was told I could bleed all the way through my pregnancy due to the hematoma and it be totally fine no harm to baby.

But I still couldn’t believe it.. I lay down on the bed and the lady put the scanner to my tummy the 1st thing that came into view where a little set of legs kicking away I was so happy so see baby was alive and kicking but then as she got our whole babies body into view her face dropped and I knew something was up ….

I looked at the screen and I thought she was probably not pressing hard enough on my tummy to show babies full profile (top of head) but she pressed and no more of babies head was shown.. she placed the scanner back on the machine and took my hand I was shaking so badly .. she said “I’m so sorry but it looks like your babies brain and skull hasn’t fully developed.”

 

I asked what does this mean ? She said “unfortunately that means baby is incompatible with life she has anencephaly a fatal birth defect”. My world just crashed around me. I couldn’t say anything. I was in total shock how this baby was still alive inside me but wasn’t compatible with life.

They then sent me to fetal medicine for a 2nd opinion which I hoped was wrong but they said this condition is so clean cut it is not going to be wrong. I walked in and lay down again another scan to be told yes baby has anencephaly and that she wont survive.

I went away for a week just to come to terms with what was happening feeling her kick was amazing but sad all at once. We went into hospital to have her I was 18 weeks. I was full of nerves waiting to meet her… my waters broke and I broke down as in my eyes that meant I was closer to her arriving and closer to losing her.

January 10th 2018 at 3:30pm Renae Elodie was born. You could see her birth defect …. I always had visions I’d see a round head and they could of been wrong. but it was so so clear.

We miss her everyday and wish we got to see who she would have been. Our much loved daughter and baby sister.” – Ashleigh Paige Shannon Lynch

Baby Freddie

“After being together since 2012 myself and my partner Chavez decided that we would like to start our family in 2017 as seemed like the right time. We fell pregnant end of February which we were absolutely over the moon about.
Our pregnancy went smoothly with no concerns apart from one check up with reduced movements at around 25 weeks, Freddie was fine. Of course the relief was unreal.

Fast forward to October, moved into our new house and got everything ready in Freddie’s nursery. We’d bought everything and only needed to get a car seat to complete everything Freddie was going to need.

Thursday the 13th I had the midwife, everything was great and heard Freddie’s little heartbeat.

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Friday the 14th had a busy day at work but nothing unusual. Saturday morning I woke up at 2.30am to go the loo and realised I hadn’t felt Freddie move since I went to sleep. Normally he was active at night and would move when I did so this was unusual for him.

I got up had some toast as normally eating would wake him up, no luck.
Thought okay I’d have a bath as that always got him moving. Sitting in the bath I think I knew then he was gone. I even shaved my legs as thought I’d be going into hospital. I rang the maternity unit, they asked me to come in at 6am which I did.

My other half was fast asleep and not budging so I took myself to hospital.
When I got to the maternity unit I was met by the loveliest midwife who scanned me. I could tell by the look on her face he’d gone. The midwife went and got a doctor, I knew then it was all over. The dreaded words “I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat” literally shattered my heart into a millions pieces. I remember screaming, seeing the sad look on the midwives faces.

I then called Chavez and rang my mother to go and pick him up as he didn’t drive at the time. I remember ringing my Dad and just saying “Freddie’s gone”.

I was then moved into another room so I didn’t hear all the women giving birth to their live babies. Some family members came to support us while we were waiting for the consultant to come in as he was on call. The wait was a couple of hours; it dragged so much. Me being as I am was worried about work and my pony, so text my friend to look after my pony. Rang work to tell them they needed to find cover even though I was on call as I was due in on Sunday.

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I remember standing at the hospital window thinking how easy it would be to jump out and how the pain would be less than I was feeling at that moment. My baby was gone , I wanted to be gone.
I was allowed to go home when the consultant confirmed Freddie was gone and he gave us our options.

Sunday and Monday we had to come back to the hospital for medication and injections to start to induce labour etc. I felt like I was an empty shell walking around, I felt completely numb and heartbroken.

Tuesday came, the day I was being admitted to have Freddie. Had my first pessary at 11am, second at 17.30pm and delivered Freddie at 11.27pm 17/10/17 weighing 4lbs 15oz at 34+1.Freddie’s due date was 27/11/17.

I can’t explain how perfect and absolutely beautiful he was, the rush of pure love mixed with the deepest sadness I’ve ever felt was unbearable. Chavez and myself had lots of cuddles and photos with Freddie. Some family members came and met him and I’m so grateful that my Nana got to meet her first great great grandson, she is my idol and was so looking forward to Freddie arriving.

Wednesday we had to leave Freddie at the hospital, I felt numb, empty and like a walking zombie.

Chavez has never been a talker and certainly doesn’t show or talk about his feelings. Seeing him cry broke me, I could see he was hurting but felt I couldn’t help him, felt useless. I don’t think we would of got through it all without each other.
After Freddie’s Post Mortem we found out that Freddie died from sudden blood clots in the vessels to the placenta. They don’t know what caused them.

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Ever since finding out Freddie’s heart had stopped beating I have been lost, an emotional wreck, angry and heartbroken. I wanted Freddie more than anything, planning our pregnancy was amazing, I’d never felt more happy in all my life than knowing I was carrying our first beautiful baby. Now all I have are pictures ,brief memories, his ashes and my necklace with his ashes in. An empty nursery and an empty heart. Theres not a day that goes by that we don’t talk about our Angel and what should of been.

I can’t thank the midwives and my consultant enough for their amazing help and support.

We are now pregnant again due 4/4/19 which is so scary but so exciting. It’s hard to feel happy when you want something so much but know it can be taken away from you at any point. I’m now under the care of the consultant that looked after us when Freddie died, my consultant is absolutely fantastic think I’d be a nightmare without him. Chavez is my rock and I’m so glad I have him.” – Chloe Jade Williams.

Megan-Rose Suzan

“Megan-Rose was born at 36 weeks on the 8th December 2012. She weighed a perfect 7lb 3oz. She cried instantly and seemed relatively well. The next day whilst still in hospital Megan began showing signs that something wasn’t right but the nurses didn’t seem bothered. She became very jaundiced, was struggling to feed and her breathing was erratic. We were kept in hospital until she was three days old. And went home that evening.

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Despite our concerns we trusted she was well as the nurses had not aired any concerns to us. We spent day four at home adjusting to our new addition. On day 5 the health visitor came around 12pm.

Megan by this point was glowing yellow. She asked me if her dad was of a different ethnic origin I replied no shes jaundiced. I aired all my concerns regarding sleeping breathing feeding and She did her so called checks and left saying she was fine. I knew she wasn’t.

Two hours later Megan and I set off to her big brothers nativity play at his nursery. Then our worlds were torn apart. During the play I tried to feed Megan from a bottle, her head flopped backwards and the milk stayed in her mouth I knew something was seriously wrong she wasn’t breathing.

I pushed all the mums and dads out the way and called to the head that I needed to take Taylor now as Megan wasn’t breathing. She grabbed Taylor and we all rushed to the school office where they called an ambulance. Within seconds that ambulance was there. They checked Megan over who by this point was starting to make slow shallow breaths again.

Her SATs were just 64% … She was quickly rushed to resus where there were 30 + nurses and doctors all waiting for her. They stripped her down and drilled into her shin bone to get some fluid in fast. I was a mess. My 5 day old baby was being drilled into in resus and my 3 year old son was in the relative room with the ambulance crew. They were fantastic. I was torn between two rooms. My husband was at work and didn’t drive. He was miles away. An ambulance crew went out to get him from work !! Above and beyond their services for sure.F971A7D9-59E1-46B7-BA4C-DCDF6E21FADC

Back at the hospital I was told she was critically ill; she had suffered a cardiac arrest and nobody knew why. She was taken to Southampton PICU 30 miles from our home. We weren’t allowed to travel with her so we made our own way there.

We arrived at PICU at 8pm and were shown to the waiting room. We weren’t given a lot of information at this point . 5 hours later a doctor came into us and told us things were not looking good. She had suffered 4 more cardiac arrests and still noone knew why.

We were taken in to see her where another Dr approached us and explained what they were doing. Megan was on an oscillator so looked like she was fitting. This was just the machine. They were treating her head to toe with antibiotics as her lactate levels were sky high. (Normal is 0.1 Megan’s were 16)

He then explained he wasn’t confident she was going to make it through the night and asked if we wanted to have her baptised. I must have come across as rude when I responded with no shes getting christened in a church not here. His look was the look of “you’re not going to get that chance”

We were exhausted and at 2.30am they gave us a room to stay in, I couldn’t sleep. By 4.30am I had to get up and see Megan my mind couldn’t rest. I was told that she had suffered another cardiac arrest and a stroke. Due to her weight now being at 4lb and them having to use the electric shocks to revive her this resulted in her lung bursting.

Megan fought through tho and was still with us. She was labelled the sickest baby on the ward. They told us however that during her last cardiac arrest they were finally able to establish what the problem was. Coarctation of the Aorta. The main artery that sends blood around the body was shut.6753FCF2-7761-4215-9A32-7BCD76930248

At 13 days old Megan was due to undergo open heart surgery. Doctors told us sadly she was too critical and that she only had a 5% chance of survival. We owed it to Megan to at least give her that chance. We couldn’t give up on her. She survived that. And started to make a huge recovery.

After 13 weeks in hospital Megan was allowed home. This was short lived when 4 days later her oxygen started to drop again and she was back in PICU.

By the time Megan was six months old she had spent most of that time in hospital. She underwent 6 heart operations, one of which had paralysed her vocal chords, several chest drains and balloon catheters to the SVC vein. She also had two lung pleurectomys as well.

Out of 9 months and 3 weeks Megan spent a total of 70 days on and off outside of hospital.

September 2013 was the longest time we had Megan home at one time. We had her baptised at church on her dads birthday, and she got to experience a bouncy castle for her brothers 4th birthday. 6 days later Megan was struggling to breathe from a cold, we took her to hospital due to being 24/7 oxygen reliant and tube fed the tubes were getting blocked. We were exhausted we lived around ten minutes from the hospital and so told them we would go home and get some rest as all we had there was a chair to sleep in.

We never got any sleep. At 1am we received a call from the hospital asking us to come in as Megan wouldn’t settle. When I arrived her cot was surrounded with staff. I panicked. I picked Megan up in my arms and tried to sing to her to calm her down. She started fitting in my arms. They had to rush her upstairs and sedate her. Megan was taken back to Southampton PICU.

The next day my friend came to visit and sat with Megan when the consultants pulled us into the side room. As we returned we didn’t have to say anything. My friend just knew what we had just been told. There was nothing more they could do.

4 weeks prior to this Megan had a cardiac review on my 30th birthday we were told then she was deteriorating and didn’t have long left, we didn’t think it would be this soon after.9358F7FC-9AD6-49C1-83F3-0B2D1467AFA1

On the 1st October 2013, friends and family gathered round to say their final goodbyes and we were left to then tell the doctors when to turn off her life support machine. All day that day if we mentioned the surgery Megan went into cardiac arrest and we witnessed the nurses doing CPR on her. Every time we mentioned letting her go her numbers were perfect.

She was giving us a sign that she was tired now and it was her time to go. Megan’s life support was switched off at 7.30pm and at 8.05pm Megan took her last breath in my arms. My baby girl had passed away peacefully at 9 months 3 weeks old. Her heart had completely stopped and lungs had flooded.” – Mima Gidley.

Autumn Orion Dennis

“We are Hoping to get justice for her and many others like her born early as well as raise awareness on a condition I had while carrying her and help raise as much money in memory of her and our chosen charity #4louis to buy a cuddle cot and memory boxes for grieving parents like us. Here it is in my own words my story.

As a mum all you want to do is protect your children and wrap them up in cotton wool and it starts from that very first pregnancy test with a positive line and so your journey begins.

Autumn was baby number 6 for us yes I said it number 6… I couldn’t believe how lucky I felt once we got our heads round the fact we were expecting again so soon after our littlest son. I’d always wanted 6 children deep down a nice big family, so we embraced it and what was to come. As the weeks went on with all the usual pregnancy related symptoms morning sickness, fatigue to name but a few we got excited for that first early scan and there she was a little blueberry flickering away with a good healthy strong heartbeat that burst of love that would last a lifetime happened right there in that moment.927CDD00-33F7-4D8E-BB34-FE3765D504B2

Then 12 weeks came the big first all important scan at the hospital. I remember being so excited as we were all packed for going away few days later and couldn’t wait to tell the kids once away. Keeping it from them was driving me insane but I somehow did. The scan went well as we’d expected baby was absolutely perfect and measuring as expected all was good.

Two days after scan day we flew to Spain for our family holiday I remember thinking I can’t wait to tell the kids. I had planned with my husband to do some sort of revealing baby announcement on the beach but sadly that wasn’t meant to be.

On the flight coming down to land I felt ill like I was going to pass out or worse but somehow managed through it until we landed,then felt ok with just a bad head didn’t think much more of it.

Few hours passed we are all settled enjoying afternoon family time round the pool. Evening came I went shopping came back was busy sorting it away then my worst fear happened I started bleeding. That night was a long night I was so scared I was loosing our baby, all I kept doing was saying to myself how sorry sorry I somehow felt guilty like I was being punished for my initial reaction to the pregnancy in the beginning. Right in that moment I needed a lifeline a miracle I was grateful for my little person even more than ever before.

Morning came I went to the hospital to get checked. I felt so numb and was expecting the worst. But there was our baby happily bouncing around with a good strong healthy heartbeat.I was sent away with a bit of paper and two scan pictures with only a basic explanation of baby is fine take it easy we see this all the time …. don’t worry.

Well as the holiday progressed I did just that: worry until we flew back home two weeks later and still bleeding thinking I’d be reassured to be told no more information really just informed to come back for consultant appointment one week scan another and at that point getting checked via scan machine it was confirmed I had a subchronic hematoma not that I didn’t know anyway as it was on my holiday hospital form.

In the middle of all the confusion I see my baby was blissfully unawares; happy and healthy bouncing around, so I took that as a good sign and said to myself stay strong.

Downward spiral from there in really with regards to the hospital and anti natal care as weeks went on my pregnancy progressed but still bleeding it became more apparent that I might loose our baby the more I did my own research on this condition.

Everything was so uncertain even when meeting with the consultant few times by the way not one I was under either, to discuss issues regarding my pregnancy. I felt like I just wasn’t being heard. I was given no healthcare plan or advice on what I should or shouldn’t of been doing but everything I’d read suggested otherwise concerning my condition a subchronic hematoma.

I should of have been given some advice not just told to carry on as normal what will be will be, it’s out of our hands, take every day as it comes it’s out of our hands and yours , “wow” I thought coming from a healthcare professional they didn’t seem overly concerned and that apparently they see this all the time.

So I did just that, took the advice given even though I felt it was wrong I should have been advised something. I left that hospital feeling even more worried unsupported and not having clue what the outcome of our baby would be. I couldn’t really bond with the pregnancy as I’d done with previous ones which for me I found very hard.

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Weeks went by we found out we were expecting a little girl. Everyone was elated I can’t explain into words just how much.The worry was still there, but I plodded on took each day as it came and I started to let my guard down by buying stuff as you would.

In-between all this I had a few scans at 16 and 20 weeks to be told the hematoma had grown from 3.2cm to 7.2 but hospital didn’t seem as concerned as I was. I had no fresh bleeding or bad pain or felt particularly unwell that would suggest anything other then a viral picked up off the kids and a possible water infection which was never confirmed.

Baby was growing well meeting all her milestones ,but was told of the possible risks as we had throughout of what could or would or might or we just don’t know what might happen with these things your aim is to reach 24 weeks so that was my milestone; our milestone as if anything was to happen before that I was told they wouldn’t do anything.

And still no regular care plan was put into place we were just told to come back in 6 weeks but had been told previously they’d scan me and check both me and baby every 2 weeks then 4 depending on the situation, but that never happened.

Subchronic hematoma… What might happen varies from person to person

1)premature rupture of membrane
2)Preterm labour
3)Miscarriage
4)Spontaneous abortion
5)Full term pregnancy
6)Continue to bleed out or not at all
7)Clot come away (go straight to hospital) or may not
8)Clot usually absorbeds back into the body
9)usually these things correct them self and don’t cause any problems.

Unfortunately mine did and it continued to grow and I continued to bleed up until last few weeks of my pregnancy which by then I thought was a good sign and a huge weight lifted and I started to get excited again that I’d nearly reach that 24 week milestone.

16th October came I was 22 weeks 5 days pregnant it was our little lads first birthday what a great day that was until evening came we were just saying are last good byes to close friends. I started getting more pain than the usual pregnancy aches.. like labour type in my back legs and stomach even at that point I thought it was just baby resting funny on me nerve and possibly water infection didn’t really think I needed to panic but then all I remember is pressure and more pain more pressure then I passed the hematoma which I was told might happen or could etc I remember thinking am I going to loose my baby I need to get to hospital as that’s what was advertised if this happened.

We Got to hospital we were Sat waiting in MAU waiting to be seen, pains getting worse and regular me trying to think positive… this isn’t happening trying to hide my pain especially as there was a mum in ready to give birth I didn’t want to make her worry, but I burst into tears as couldn’t control the pain I remember her asking me if I was ok when my husband went to get help. I said no it’s too early. I just remember that look on their faces- my heart sank as she said I’m sorry I hope everything will be ok.

The Midwifes doctors came eventually to check me over and the baby, all seems fine minus the pains baby is perfectly unaware anything is happening moving around to then be told after a examination I’m sorry theres nothing we can do your membranes are in the birth canal she’s coming tonight! I’ll never forget that sentence or the cry I let out as I held onto my husband.

While all this was going on, we asked that all important question if our little girl will be helped. Quite simply the answer was no because she was too young and not deemed viable for her gestation at 22+1 but I was 22+5 … as they go by scan machines to determine a baby’s age I didn’t question it partly because I was in shock and I didn’t feel we had that option to fight for her, all we got from them was preaching about how fragile she is what happens to babies who are born early if they do intervene for five minutes if that, and it wouldn’t be in her best interest to help that they wouldn’t as she’s not 24 weeks, even at 24-25 at push they rarely help preterm babies.

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So we didn’t keep arguing it … that was it we knew her fate. Not God’s fate but a hospitals decision, some hours later early hours of the 17th October I give birth to a beautiful baby girl she was perfect in every way from her head to her toes. I endured a labour like any other; breathing through each contraction tear,laugh, smile with my husbands support, but wasn’t getting the end prize at the end to take home. But I embraced every moment the best I could spent with her once born.

She amazed me and her daddy she was born in her sack such a lucky little girl, she was still moving even when in her sack her daddy saw her little big feet kicking away before it was broken. Then we expected the worst but she fought like the little fighter she was from the word go. She was placed on my chest we had skin to skin We got a few hours with her like that alive breathing her little heart beating hard at work , although I and her dad were absolutely heartbroken but cherished the time spent with her knowing what was to come.

We couldn’t do anything to help our little girl but try and be strong make her feel as loved warm and comfortable as we possibly could until she passed away and in that very moment our hearts broke all over again. A Piece of my heart that night went with her I’ll never get back but she give me a piece of hers aswell. I can only hope she went feeling that love and warmth given to her by myself and her daddy that night.

Everyday spent with her after that was full of precious but heartbroken moments until we lay her to rest that will last a lifetime and so our fight for justice began.” – Sophie Marie Dennis.

Please sign the petition to allow every baby born breathing the right to medical care even if they are under “viable” gestation.

I am honoured to bring these tragic yet beautiful stories to your attention as parents also work towards changing current laws and situations that may ensure that other parents do not have to face the same heartbreaking consequences. I am in awe of these strong women. I hate that we have to tell these stories but I also recognise the importance of giving these babies the chance to be acknowledged as people, and what better time than Baby Loss Awareness Week? Each child grew inside their Mother and have left an imprint on their body, heart and soul. It is just so unfortunate that they are not their Earth Children but each will live on through memories and love and when people #SayTheirName.

If you are interested in sharing your story of loss as part of this series please feel free to get in contact with me. Please be kind to yourself and remember that grieving is not a linear process. If you have been affected by loss please do not hesitate to reach out to charities for support. (See my first #SayTheirName post or my guide on How to interact with a bereaved parent.)

#StaySweet and be a little bit kinder than you need to be. You never know how much people are suffering.

Bea’s Mummy x