Saturday 30 April 2016

Me and Mine April

April has been the month that really highlighted the unpredicatability of British weather.  We have had wondeful days at the beach where we bared our arms and came home with rosy cheeks followed by days where we put our ski jackets back on for the school run and jumped in every puddle we could find.  

We were actually ridiculously organised and took these photos quite early in the month! My little sister came home after 5 months of working abroad and we all had a lovely lunch at the local beach cafe.  We got down there early as the weather was so nice and spent the entire day there with our buckets, spades and ice creams.

April has been busy in some ways but full of routine too.  It has flown by all too quickly and I am glad that we have a long weekend now to see it out.

This month Mama has been loving summer dresses and flip flops because she doesn't have to reach her toes,  seeing Britney Bump again at the growth scan, finally getting her hair cut - the first time since Finn was born, and afternoon tea at the Savoy as part of P&G's Thank You Mum campaign with Jessica Ennis-Hill.

Daddy is loving that the living room is decluttered, exploring in the woods with the boys, that summer is on the way and how well Archie is doing with potty training

Dylan is loving after school clubs that he started this term, the penny arcades,  teaching Finn new things and getting his hair cut.

Archie is loving wearing big boy pants, going to nursery with his friends, eating apples and watching snooker on TV

Finn is loving being discharged from peadiatric care, singing to us in his own little way, pushing his wooden trolley up and down the living room and eating grapes.

We are excited for May now, hopefully the start of more stable good weather, lots of time enjoying our family just the way it is and two bank holiday long weekends too.

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Thursday 28 April 2016

When Pregnancy is Tough

I have spent three pregnancies feeling overwhelmingly happy.  I skipped the morning sickness, the heartburn and the strange cravings, I grew a bump perfectly round and all out front and managed to enjoy pretty much every moment.  Of course there were bits that were tough, I lost sight of my feet pretty early on, I got out of breath walking up hills and I got really tired.  Overall though, I sailed through those first three pregnancies, I loved the whole experience and couldn't wait to do it all again.

This fourth one though, it isn't the same at all.  From the beginning this pregnancy has been tough, there have been more tears and more pain than the other three combined.

I still don't have it bad, somehow I managed to skip the nausea and morning sickness for the fourth time and for that I am ever grateful, but the first trimester tiredness was just debilitating.  I could barely function as a human let alone a parent and our house descended into chaos as I thanked the TV gods that Blaze and the Monster Machines was on pretty much constantly on Nikolodeon.  Toys piled up, washing overflowed, dishes were left dirty for far too long and bed sheets were rarely washed.

I felt like I should be enjoying our little secret, this fourth and very much final baby I was growing, but instead I just felt tired, overwhelmingly tired.  The first trimester problems seemed to clear up slightly at around 16 weeks and I had a few weeks of respite, but way before I reached the final trimester, things started to get tough again.  I am not getting any younger, my body has carried four babies in four years, my pelvic floor muscles may not be as strong as they once were and this little madam I am growing is already rather large.  My back started to struggle first, and rather than taking it easy, I chose to power through, something I am now regretting.

Somedays I am fine, others I can barely walk by the evening, the bottom of my back aches, I feel bruised and heavy and this baby is nestled (breech) very low in my pelvis.  My body is struggling this time and things that I am so used to doing throughout pregnancy are getting harder.  My pace is slowing, my ability to lift my children comes with a sacrifice of an evening of pain, because quite frankly they are pretty heavy boys.

And on top of this, I really understand what people mean by pregnancy hormones.  I cry more than ever, but I also feel overwhelming love more often.  I need time to myself every day to be a tolerant person and that doesn't come easily with three small people who need me.  My moods can dip unexpectedly and nothing can pull me out and my patience wears thin very quickly.

I love pregnancy, and I still do, despite everything.  I am not ready for this little one to arrive, I want to grow bigger, to feel her kicking from the inside a little longer, to embrace my changing shape and watch this miracle happening.  I am still amazed every time I look down, I still smile and rest my hands on my tummy everytime she kicks and I want to savour each moment, each final week with her safely inside, and my three boys just the way they are.

But this pregnancy is tough both physically and emotionally.  I feel stressed and tired and achey and moody and I never expected it to be this difficult, especially not with 10 weeks still to go.

I wouldn't give up the chance to carry this baby for anything, I know how lucky we are to be adding another member to our team, I really do know how lucky I am, but it doesn't mean that pregnancy isn't tough sometimes.

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HUGGIES® Little Swimmers®

Summer is right around the corner, some days I can nearly smell it and I start looking at shorts and suncream and planning our days at the beach.  Of course there is still the odd day where it feels like we are only just shaking off Winter, but on the whole it is feeling a whole lot like Spring down here.  Every now and then we get a day of unexpected sunshine, enough that we throw off our jumpers, bare our arms and come home with slightly sunkissed cheeks.

This summer I am excited to be a Huggies® Little Swimmer® Get Set, Splash ambassador - well Finn is anyway!  With the launch of their new swim pants featuring Dory from the upcoming Disney Pixar film 'Finding Dory', I know this little boy of mine is going to be out splashing at every opportunity he can.  He is a real water baby and we now have a couple of pairs of swim pants in the changing bag so that if the sun suddenly decided to shine and he fancies a crawl into the sea then we are prepared.  They don't leak or expand in the water so they won't get in the way of his chubby legs as he crawls and splashes and I can guarantee no nasty accidents!

I am partnering with Huggies® to show you how easy it is to get out and get splashing.  Impromptu adventures are our favourite kind and keeping a pack of Little Swimmers® in your changing bag means you are always prepared!  Whether it is the beach, a pool or a garden sprinkler this summer is the time to make a splash and make memories.

With Archie now at nursery three days a week I am looking forward to getting splashing much more with my water baby and I can't wait to start taking him swimming properly, with our Huggies® Little Swimmers® and our lovely new towel too!  HUGGIES® Little Swimmers® is inviting families to “Get set, splash”, inspiring them to enjoy fun in the water with their little ones, giving them the confidence that they’ll be protected from any little accidentsTo join in the fun pick up your pack of HUGGIES® Little Swimmers® from the baby aisle and visit for more information, top tips and advice

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Tuesday 26 April 2016

My Boys

With only ten weeks to go (ish) until we add a sixth member to our team, that feeling of the end that is so familiar now has arrived.  I remember during my first pregnancy trying to get my head around the fact that things would change beyond anything I could possibly imagine and I spent those final weeks with my friends, going out in the evenings (and treating myself to an orange juice), going for long walks, going out for dinner and enjoying my social life.

When I was pregnant with baby number two, I couldn't possibly comprehend how I could fit a second little baby in my life and those 10 weeks were spent enjoying everything about my first born, living life at his pace, letting my newly mobile toddler walk, as we had nowhere to be, there was no rush and nobody but us.

During my third pregnancy, I wanted to make the most of me-time, and I went to the cinema at least once a week as I remembered all to well how little personal space you get with a baby around.  I went for walks on my own along the sea front in the evenings, sat in the hairdressers and just enjoyed peace whenever I could find it, as three was set to be loud, chaotic and always busy.

This time I have realised that the weeks with 'my boys' are soon to be over, there will be a little girl on our team, and everything will change all over again.  These boys have been a three for 14 months, they have such beautiful bonds, they are learning and growing together and they are just wonderful to watch.  My focus will shift, I will be more outnumbered than ever, and I will have to stop saying 'my boys' and start saying 'my children' or 'my family' when I refer to them all.

It seemed to hit as I turned 30 weeks, it is a milestone week and these photos make me a bit emotional.  I feel so incredibly blessed to have three amazing little boys in my life.  To be the one that gets to wake up to their smiles each morning, and tuck them up in bed with a story and a song each night.  I get to watch them grow into the men they will become, nurture friendships with each other, learn alongside one another and be a little team.

These next ten weeks are about them, about making memories, about getting out together, exploring and observing, because I love to just watch them.  I want to have adventures that are easier without a new baby in tow,  I want to capture them as they are now, whilst it is just the three of them, I want to prepare them for a sister without making them wish away the present, because the present is pretty awesome right now.  

These photos are from the weekend and they may be my favourite ever, they capture so much of who they all are, they capture them together, they were in their element, outdoors, exploring, having adventures and you can see that in their smiles, in the way they are so relaxed.  I took my camera out only a couple of times, I wanted some special photos of  'my boys' as they are now, but the rest of the time I got stuck in with them all, I searched for the Gruffalo and got excited when we found the snake's log pile house.  I squelched in the mud, marveled at sticks, and came home with muddy feet.

It feels so strange that my time with just these boys is numbered, that things are going to change all over again, the dynamic, the pace of life, the size of my heart, and whilst I am confident we will adapt and find space and it will soon become our new normal, I am excited for the final 10 weeks, our final adventures just as we are and that I get to watch them just as a three for a little longer.

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Monday 25 April 2016

What the Boys Wore - Dapperbaby

I love dressing my boys, picking clothes that suit their personalities, their colourings and their lifestyle.  Finn needs comfort, the right fit for crawling and the right shape for his growing pot belly.  Archie needs freedom to run and jump, he doesn't want to be restricted, his clothes need stretch.  Dylan needs to look 'cool', or whatever a 4 year old considers cool, because he is starting to want an input in what he wears, but he also like soft and bright.

We have found brands that fill every criteria and the places we buy them from and whilst I love discovering new brands, there are some old favourites that I go back to every season.  Dapperbaby is one of my go-to online retailers as the lovely Emma stocks a mix of our favourites alongside new brands that I can't resist trying (and always love).  Her service is amazing, my orders tend to arrive the next day and a little bag of Haribo always makes me smile!

albababy, dapperbaby, alba playsuit, 13 month old

Emma sent us a few pieces and this playsuit from Albababy was the thing I was desperate to open.  The colours look so perfect together, it is practical for Finn to crawl and move in, the shape and cuffs mean it will last for a long time and I love how he still looks like a baby in it.

I bought my first Albababy item quite recently and have been slowly stocking up ever since, the quality is outstanding and I love the cuts of the classic pieces.  These are definitely clothes that you can keep for future children and Britney bump will have plenty to grow into. 

Albababy isn't just for Finn and Archie was sent this classic brown and white striped top.  His wardrobe contains a lot of patterned trousers and I know that stripes are guaranteed to go!  The cuffs on this are currently folded over and I think this will last him a very long time too.

These dog leggings are from Maxomorra, a company I have written about several times and who make up quite a chunk of all three boys' wardrobes.  Archie loves leggings and with potty training they are ideal for him.  He loved the design and they are perfect for this in between weather where it isn't always warm enough for shorts but he doesn't need anything heavy.

Archie really likes to put clothes to the test, and these definitely passed!

albababy stripes, maxomorra leggings, maxomorra dogs, dapperbaby, scandinavian kids clothes

Archie is wearing the leggings in 98/104 and the top in size 104, he is a pretty average sized just turned 3 year old.

One of my favourite things about Maxomorra is how they make a print work for all children.  Many of their designs come in baby vests, leggings, dresses, hoodies and t-shirts alongside other items making it great for matching siblings of different ages.  Emma stocks a great selection at Dapperbaby and she sent Dylan the hoody to match Archie's trousers.  Made from organic cotton like every Maxomorra item, the hoody is soft, lined, stretchy and considered 'cool' by my boy - everything we want!  I love the contrasting yellow that keeps it bright and fun.

And finally, Maxomorra make the most amazing summer suits, I just love how light, practical and bright they are.  Finn was sent the racing cars, and I fell immediately in love.  During the spring months he can wear it with a vest underneath and the dungaree look and by summer it will be a romper on its own.  The sizing is so generous that this will definitely last him until Autumn and it is super soft and stretchy making it perfect for a baby that sits, crawls and cruises.

These playsuits go up to a size 92 which would probably fit your average 3 year old still and they look so incredibly comfortable for days at the beach, exploring the garden and enjoying the sun. 

maxomorra racing cars, summer soft dungarees, dapperbaby, kids fashion blogger

And I may have taken quite a few photos of this one, because it is just too cute!  I think it is definitely going to be one of those items that Finn lives in this summer.  Maxomorra do several prints each season which include some 'girlier' colours and more neutral ones so there is something for every baby.

I really recommend Dapperbaby for fantastic kids clothes.  Many of the brands she stocks are organic, all are beautifully made and they are a great alternative to the highstreet.  It helps that first class delivery is free and Emma is happy to measure items and chat about sizing if you aren't sure what to order as well - Find her over on the Dapperbaby facebook page

learning to walk, maxomorra, dapperbaby, racing car dungarees, bib shorts

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Sunday 17 April 2016

Sleep (or the lack of) and the Gro Bag

Sleep - Something I am definitely not getting enough of at the moment.  I felt quite smug when Finn started sleeping through the night at 3 months old, and much less so when that stopped at 5 months.  He is nearly 14 months now which means it has been roughly 9 months since I last got a solid 8 hours and I miss it!

We have good nights and bad nights, some where he only wakes once, has his milk and goes back down and others (mostly when his teeth are coming through) when I seem to spend more time settling him than I do actually with my eyes shut.  

I am holding on to the fact that it won't last forever, but it would be lovely if he could manage a little more before the new baby arrives and the next cycle starts again!

13 months doesn't sleep, sleeping bag, gro bag, gro company, Anorak

The Gro company sent us one of their awesome Anarok print sleeping bags and I love the bright tractor print.  It is lovely and snuggly for Finn and the 6-18 month size still has loads of growing space in it, lasting us way past 18 months I imagine.  I feel reassured knowing that he isn't going to wake up too cold as he has kicked off his covers - I really don't need another reason for him to wake up at night!

Gro bags are such a simple and genius idea and I will definitely be using this for the new baby once Finn has outgrown it.  It isn't our first Gro-bag and I have bought them myself in the past, but it is our first Anarok print and it really appeals to my love of Scandinavian design and childish colours.

gro bag, baby sleeping bag, tractor sleeping bag, Anorak sleeping bag,

I took these pictures when Finn was ready to bed and therefore not particularly co-operative.  He was ready for his milk, cuddles and some songs and did not understand why I wanted him to sit in his cot!  He has no problem moving about his cot in it or standing up as you can see.  

Thank you to the Gro Company for sending us this beautiful Gro-bag, Finn is really happy in it, despite how he may look in these photos

And if anyone has any tips on helping him sleep through the night then I would love to hear them!

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Thursday 14 April 2016

Baby Sight Tool from Vision Direct

Every week this little girl growing in my belly is getting bigger and stronger.  The little app on my phone tells me that she can now hear voices, dream and cough.  She has grown eye lashes and she can now open her little eyes although she can't really see yet.

I know that when she is born her vision is limited and it will continue to develop outside the womb for the first year.   Vision Direct have developed a baby sight tool that shows me exactly how her vision will develop and it is really fascinating reading about the changes that take place.

From the blurry grey shape that I will seem to her as she enters this big scary world to the colourful 3d world that Finn at 13 months is now able to see, there are so many changes in their eyes and perception.  I never realised that at a year Finn now has full adult vision, although the fact that he can spot a crumb a mile off and make his way straight to it tells me that he can see pretty well!  

The simple tool developed by opticians explains not only what your baby can see at each stage, but how you can help their vision too, from lots of eye contact as you are feeding a newborn to playing peekaboo to teach them about permanence and encouraging crawling for co-ordination.  The moving slider helps you find your baby's visual milestones.  

I know that this little baby girl of ours is never going to be without stimulation, it is part of the package of being the youngest of four!  She is going to have brothers singing her songs, showing her toys and packing sure their faces are ones that she recognises.  

Collaborative Post
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Wednesday 13 April 2016

6 Months Pregnant

6 months pregnant, 27 weeks pregnant, pregnancy, baby girl bump diary, 27 week baby bump
I am now 6 months pregnant and the third trimester isn't far off.  Considering how slowly pregnancy is meant to go, this past month has flown by and whilst in my head I still have months and months left, full term is only 10 weeks away which isn't all that long.

I am definitely finding this pregnancy tougher than the other three, physically and mentally.  I am finding if I overdo it (which is very easy with three small children around) then I can barely walk by the end of the day and I have mastered the pregnancy waddle early.  I have a repeat GTT (glucose tolerance test) this week as both baby and myself are still measuring very big, but I am hoping I just make chunky babies and have very relaxed stomach muscles.

6 months pregnant, 27 weeks pregnant, pregnancy, baby girl bump diary, 27 week baby bump

This month the little kicks have turned into something stronger that the bloke can really feel and that you can sometimes see.  My anterior placenta means I still don't feel as much movement as I did in Archie's pregnancy but baby seems to be in quite a routine with party time being late evening (10-12 specifically).  

Mentally I am definitely more hormonal this time, I snap easier, cry easier and am much more likely to be drawn into arguments than usual.  I can see the way the hormones affect me but can't seem to do much about it.  I don't know if this is a girl thing, but I will be happy to go back to calm once she arrives. (well as calm as life gets with four under fives!)

This month I have tried to curb the shopping as I have a feeling she is going to be a big baby and not get to wear half her clothes otherwise!  I have given in to a few things though and I love finding girly bits without being pink and frilly.  We haven't started thinking about the big things yet, but we are pretty sorted having had a newborn not that long ago.

This month has started with Dylan asking questions about how the baby will come out and I know I will have to satisfy his curiousity more as I get bigger so I have a couple of books ready.  My tactic is to answer just enough, but not give him too much information and it seems to be working although every now and again he comes back with a new question so I know he must be thinking about it still.

I am seeing the midwife much more often this pregnancy due to bump/baby size which means an appointment every 3 weeks on top of seeing the consultant and April brings two midwife appointments, one consultant one, a GTT, Whopping cough vaccination and a growth scan (unless they want to throw in anything extra over the coming weeks!).

And finally here is Britney bump, measuring a little too big but completely wonderful.

6 months pregnant, 27 weeks pregnant, pregnancy, baby girl bump diary, 27 week baby bump

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Tuesday 12 April 2016

What the Boys Wore - Tootsa MacGinty SS16

For two weeks now, I have had all three of my babies at home, and it has been amazing seeing them all together.  There always seems to be something going on at the weekends and we all needed time to just take things at our pace, enjoy each other's company and have our own adventures.

These three boys are the best of friends (although they can fight like only brothers do), they love to be together, but they all have such different personalities too.  I always loved the idea of dressing them matching, but as Dylan is growing up and Finn still feels so little, I don't find much that seems to span their ages and come in all the right sizes too.   

Tootsa MacGinty's Spring/Summer collection features beautiful brights ready for the sunshine and as soon as I saw these raglan sleeved tops, I knew they would be perfect for my boys.  Each one is unique, but they slot together so perfectly, they compliment each other, much as these three little personalities do.  

tootsa macginty, siblings, brothers, co-ordinated, tootsa ss16

Dylan loves the colour blue, he wants something a bit 'cool' (his word not mine) and this lolly tee was a huge hit.  Archie suits yellow, despite or maybe because of his beautiful hair and this is my favourite style of top on him.  I love Finn in real brights and the watermelon is seriously cute (and I love how fruit is all over clothes this season). 

The bold colours look great as the seasons change and the 3/4 sleeves help transcend spring and summer too.  Finn was also sent some leggings and I chose the 'Tour de France', partly because dogs riding bicycles is pretty fun and partly because the two cuffs are different colours, one the exact yellow of Archie's sleeves and the other the blue of Dylan's.  I love that little touch and we already know how fantastic their leggings are.

watermelon boy clothes, tootsa macginty, unisex kidswear

The fit on the tops is on the smaller side, depending on how you like to wear them.  Finn is a pretty average 13 month old and is wearing 1-2, Archie has just turned 3 and is in 3-4 and Dylan is a big 4 year old in 6-7.  The leggings are quite generous, Finn has the cuffs rolled on these and they will easily last him beyond his second birthday (they are age 1-2).  He has some in 6-12 months that still comfortably fit, but the style of these means you can wear them a little looser and they still look great.

Every item here is completely unisex which is perfect for us with a baby girl on the way.  Tootsa is designed to last and be passed down and I have hopes that the blue lolly top will be worn by all four of my babies at some point.  I love how their clothes are designed for children, with movement and comfort in mind.

Tootsa Macginty, unisex childrenswear, unisex kids clothing

We are back to just weekends where we are all together now, although hopefully the brighter evenings and warmer weather means we can make the most of after school time.   I love watching their relationships change and develop and it is going to be even more hectic and exciting when we add baby no.4 into the mix!  For now I get to spend a little extra time with this baby of mine, whilst he is still the baby.

Thank you to Tootsa MacGinty for sending us these pieces, we really love them all
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Monday 11 April 2016

School gets the best of him, I get the rest

School gets the best of him, I get the rest.

I don't know whether this is something all parents of reception children experience, I don't know if it is because my August born baby started school almost as soon as he turned four with trousers a little too long and sleeves that reached over his hands or maybe because he has always needed a little more sleep than your average child but I miss the 'him' that I have been reminded of these past two weeks.

Every morning I wake him, his eyes still sleepy and his body slow. I make breakfast and he dresses with little conversation. The walk to school sees him perk up, the fresh air hits and we chat about what the day holds. His eyes gain their sparkle, he holds my hand all the way and he is my boy. Almost as soon as we set out we are at the gates and he excitedly runs into the classroom with a kiss and a smile over his shoulder. 

His teacher gets the pleasure of his company between 9am and 3:15, she watches him learn and explore, build friendships, learn independence, laugh and smile. The child she sees is a delight, sociable, inquisitive and full of energy.

I meet him at the school gates and nothing beats the look on his face as he spots me, a smile that lights up his whole face.  He runs out and gives me the biggest hug. I ask a question about his day but I already see him shutting down and by the time we walk through the front door he is done, he slumps into the sofa requesting food immediately and needs some quiet time.

The rest of the afternoon is both long and short at the same time. The hours until bedtime seem to drag but nothing really happens.  I don't push too much as I can see already that I won't get anywhere, he can manage to watch tv, listen to a story or two but not much else. His energy is spent, he is still my boy but not completely.

The weekends are spent recovering, catching up on sleep, getting things done, time with his brothers who he misses in the week and Sunday night seems to follow straight on from Saturday morning without us really having time to catch our breath.

The past two weeks I have had him at home with me, and I have realised how much I love his company, how sweet and caring and intelligent he is, how much I miss having him around, how much fun we have together.  He has been at school since September, this isn't the first break but a mixture of the beautiful weather and all the possibilities it brings and the fact that by the next week off I will be so heavily pregnant that things won't be as easy, I won't have as much energy and he won't have as much of my focus.

This fortnight has been amazing, I have been privileged to see the side of my boy that only his teacher really gets at the moment, we have made memories, spent time just holding hands and making sense of the world, we have curled up together to watch films, done puzzles on the floor, built sandcastles on the beach and relaxed into our days with no set times to be up and out.  It has been the first time since he started school when I have seriously considered home schooling, just so that I could spend more time with this wonderful boy of mine.

Dylan doesn't feature so heavily on the blog any more and this is a big reason why, there just isn't enough time in the week with him.  I love this boy of mine, I love watching him grow, learn about the world and about himself.  I love his sweet smile, how he is so protective over his brothers, so loyal to his friends and how he can still be my baby when he gets tired.

School will be claiming his energy again but I am holding out for the next week off and some time to really appreciate him again.

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Saturday 9 April 2016

On Being Discharged

Finn was born beautiful, at least in my eyes.  He was so much smaller than we were expecting, but each tiny finger, each little toe was just perfect. I fell instantly in love and he slotted into a space in my heart I never knew was empty.

Our little bubble didn't take long to burst and it was discovered very early on that he was very poorly.  I wrote about our early experience and the diagnosis of congenital cytomegalovirus (cCMV), and whilst it was now over one year ago, there are so many parts of our stay in SCBU that are still fresh and vivid in my mind.  I remember where I was sat when they gave us his diagnosis, the doctor that had the horrible job of telling us, the papers they handed over to explain in more detail what was going on, they way they talked about his prognosis.

There was a seventy per cent chance he would survive, but cCMV means more than that, it means that the children that make it lead different lives to their peers.  Disability can take many forms, it can be physical or mental, seen or unseen, often both.  There was such a high chance that he would never reach some milestones and if he did then we shouldn't expect them when other children would.

We were told our perfect baby boy may never lead the life we hoped for him, and that is the hardest thing to hear.  That day we had to leave our expectations at the door, we had to stop planning his future and learn to live for the present.  Every day was a wonder and everything he managed to do would be special, and not taken for granted.

He was discharged but struggled at home, he didn't grow, he didn't attempt to lift his head or move, he was poorly and helpless. Around 11 weeks, after a diagnosis of dairy intolerance, the end of the toxic medication he was on and the start of his growth again, things started to change.  Finn started to show an interest in things, to regain a healthy colour and to feel more like a normal baby boy.

He continued to thrive, amazing us every day and at his six month check with his peadiatrician they were amazed at how well he was doing, as was I.  He was behind his brothers in every sense,  but they were both ahead of the average child at that age.

As the next few months progressed, Finn really became himself.  He started babbling, he learnt to crawl, he started clapping, and blowing kisses and copying you. He tried to join in with his brothers more and his whole body filled out until he was hitting the 50th centile in his little red book.  I knew our baby was thriving, I could see him learning, growing and reaching new milestones constantly, but I still worried about his next check up.

This week we saw his peadiatric consultant for a slightly overdue one year check.  And the result?  We have been discharged.  We no longer need to be seen at the hospital because this little boy of mine, this little miracle is doing everything he should be.  His consultant has no concerns for his health in any area,  

I don't think I will ever relax, the words we were told so early on will always stay in my head, but hearing the consultant tell us that our son truly is a miracle, that he doesn't need to be seen any longer was the best possible outcome and I am thankful every day that he is here, healthy and ours.

This baby boy of mine is something special, he is a reminder not to take things for granted, a lesson in appreciating things for how they are right now and he makes me proud every day.  

cCMV, max and the star, miracle baby

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Wednesday 6 April 2016

My Pregnancy Skin

This pregnancy has been so different from my previous three and whilst I felt like I was really 'glowing' with the others during the second trimester, this time I have dry grey skin that I seem to pour moisturisers and oils on each night only to wake up peeling again.

Vital Touch saw my struggles and sent me some of their facial skincare range designed for pregnancy and beyond.  Whether you are glowing or grey, chances are your skin is going through some pretty big changes just like the rest of you during pregnancy and I have found some of my usual products aren't working the same or are even causing a reaction whereas before they were fine.  I never knew there were face care products designed specifically for this period, but it makes sense now!

The Natalia Radiance Replenishing range is gentle even on sensitive skin and is designed to balance and brighten.  I am becoming much more conscious of the chemicals involved in every day life so the fact that it is free from parabens, SLS, artificial perfumes and petrochemicals is important to me too.

pregnancy skincare, vital touch, radiance replenish

The range consists of a cleanser, exfoliator and moisturiser.

The cleanser is easy to use, leaves my skin feeling fresh and has a simple smell.  The exfoliator left my skin feeling moisturised which surprised me as often it feels very dry straight afterwards and it didn't feel as harsh as my usual one.  The moisturiser soaked in quickly, and whilst it felt a little sticky the first time I used it, that sensation was gone pretty quickly.  I have been slathering it on in a bid to stop my face from peeling and it is definitely making a difference.  I have found that the best combination for me is an oil based moisturiser before I go to bed and using this as a daytime one.

pregnancy skincare, exfoliator

My skin is still far from glowing and I think the grey tone may not vanish until Finn starts sleeping through the night, but I am finding my skin more manageable now and I will be sticking with these products until the end of pregnancy (and beyond if they last).  

The cleanser costs £12.50 for 100ml, the moisturiser is £16.50 for 50ml and the exfoliator is £15.50 for 50ml.

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