Monday, 21 August 2017

Mama Fashion & Shopping Small

I'm certainly a lover of shopping small, and if you follow our Instagram feed you'll know that I'm always buying special pieces for the boys. I love the personalised touch, and it's so special knowing that my pieces have been hand crafted by someone with a genuine passion for what they doπŸ’•.

Now and then it's important that us mums get to treat ourselves too. Kaya Jewellery specialise in creating pieces for babies, children and mums. The company was set up in 2012 by Tanja, mother of two daughters, who wanted to create pieces for mothers and their children. 

I was thrilled when they got in touch and asked me to review one of her pieces. The website is full of such beautiful items, and after many hours pondering I eventually selected a necklace. It's a silver disk, with a punched out heart. I also requested for the boys names to be engraved. When I say I like the personal touch, all of Tanja's products are engraved by hand!

The delivery was really fast, and I'm absolutely delighted with the necklace. I had a small problem so I contacted them, and the customer service was impeccable, and was resolved right away. The delivery presentation is wonderful. Those sort of things mean a lot to me! They also offer a free gift wrapping service, so ideal if you're a shocking wrapper like me!



When it comes to jewellery I like pieces that I can wear everyday, rather than sticking in a drawer and then trying to hunt it out for a special occasion. This item completely fulfils that for me. The necklace is made of sturdy silver which means that it should be very hard wearing.




Do you have someone in mind that would like a meaningful piece of jewellery? Or even fancy treating yourself? Head over to http://kayajewellery.co.uk. 

I also love the fact that she is committed to giving back, so she donates a percentage of her profits to a charity that supports children not as privileged as ours in Gambia.

Be sure to also follow them on social mediaπŸ‘‡! 

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

The Craig's Do Center Parcs, Woburn



Travel & Checking In

For the boys first trip away we decided to stay local.  The Woburn site is only around 40 minutes drive from ours, so we knew we could easily arrange feed times etc around the journey. It was a stressful morning trying to fit our house into our carπŸš—, but we did it! The boys slept most of the way, which was niceπŸ’€. 

We arrived around noon, and were given 2 wristbands upon check-in. The wristbands are your key to your room, lockers around the site and you can even upload a credit/debit card to it to use around the pool instead of carrying cashπŸ’·. We parked up, and just took the essentials for the next couple of hours. We headed straight to Guest Services, as they can provide extra wristbands for a £2 refundable charge. We were travelling with my in-laws so we picked up 2 extras. I'd recommend getting them, if it is for the extra locker space by the pool alone. 

The Accommodation

You are allowed in your lodge from 3pm. I'd recommend going down and getting in your car around 2.30pm, otherwise you can be queuing for a while. 

We were in OAK lodge 357. It is classified as a 'Two Bed Executive Lodge'. 

I was very pleasantly surprised! 

The rooms were modern, extremely clean and well equipped. I'm really fussy, and have a small case of OCD! 
Each bedroom had it's own ensuite. My in-laws has the shower, and we had the bath for the boys. They said the shower was lovely, and the bathroom came with a spa bath. I actually had to contact guest services to ask them how to make it work. We all said that there should be instructions in the bathroom. It turned out we didn't fill it enough. The bathroom included the typical hotel mini bottles, but we only used the hand soap.

The kitchen had all the essentials for preparing, cooking and dining. It even included a tea towel, oven gloves, a dish cloth, a sachet of washing up liquid, and 3 dishwasher tablets.

There was a chalkboard door, which is such a clever idea. I guess it would keep little ones quiet (or my husband in my case!)πŸ™„ The room behind the chalkboard door was home to a cot, highchair, vacuum and broom. You need to supply your own bed linen for the cot. If you need extra cots, just contact guest services to arrange. 

I did take some footage of the Lodge, so once I've edited that up, I'll post on YouTube!

The garden/patio area is really nice too. You feel instantly connected to nature. Ducks and squirrels are up close at your patio doors. There is a BBQ area, but I'd recommend bringing a disposable/or coal one with you. They were being sold for crazy prices in the site supermarket. 

As we were in an executive lodge it included daily maid service. 'George' was amazing. He ended took apart our bbq we brought with us, cleaned out the ash and washed it up! They truly went over and above the call of duty!




Dining In or Out

I'd also recommend taking as much food with you as possible. Unless you are really organised, and have very deep pockets it's unrealistic to think you'll eat out every meal. Take a big cool bag/box stocked with food. The supermarket again charge astronomical prices. We looked at a pre prepared fish pie (maybe feed 4 at a push) was £17! You would definitely need to add veg etc to fill you up. At that price you might as well eat out. My amazing mother-in-law took care of 3 of the 4 nights dinners. We took bread, spreads, cereals and milk for breakfast. Some part bake baguette rolls, and sandwich fillers. We also took sausages, bacon, eggs, burgers so we could have a fried breakfast and a bbq one day. As you can probably guess... WE LOVE OUR FOOD.

There is a takeaway menu in the room, offering a variety of cuisines. We didn't take advantage of this, but worth considering, if you want to put the kids to bed and eat in peace. I think the delivery charge was around £3. 


There is a good selection of restaurants on site. When we arrived on our first day, we went to Cafe Rouge to kill some time before being able to get into our room. 

We had dinner on our last evening at Hucks. Hucks really reminded me of TGI Fridays.  

We had brunch on our last in the pancake house. They are also happy for you to have tea/coffee/shakes (mmm... highly recommend the shakesπŸ˜›). The coffee is also Lavazza, so it's a good one!

Every restaurant had a laid back atmosphere, and I felt comfortable having the boys there. I suffer with real anxiety when it comes to taking the boys to restaurants. I must add the customer service was brilliant at every restaurant!  There is also two Starbucks on site. I only used the one by the pool, and I was pleased that they offered the full menu! I love a chocolate frappaccio! 

It's also good to note that every restaurant offers free baby food (e.g. Ella's Kitchen & Heinz) with a microwave, and a bottle warmer. This was a major life saver for us. Meaning we didn't have to carry around flasks and jars all day.

The Swimming Pool

I was most apprehensive about taking the boys swimming. They hadn't been before, and I was concerned that they would be too small to really enjoy it. I completely stand corrected. They had a blast. Venture Bay is an area designed for the under 2's. It has very shallow warm water, a couple of slides and some fountains. The boys loved it. The air temperature outside the pool was beautifully tropical, meaning that the babies didn't get cold when they were out of the water.


There was also a lazy river, so we popped the boys in their inflatable baby rings and they went around and around and around. Their little legs were kicking under the water like crazy. We even took them in the wave pool, and they loved watching the waving crashing. My in-laws offered to watch the boys so we could do the few flumes. I have fond childhood memories of the rapids at other locations, but it was much more gentle at Woburn. My favourite flume was the tropical cyclone. You can sit 2-4 people on a raft, and oh my you are in for a surprise! 
The only niggle we had was relating to the changing rooms. I guess there isn't many visitors with infant twins, but as you have to leave your stroller outside and the changing table had no strap, it meant my husband having to take it in turns to get ready and holding the babies. Holding two 8 month babies whilst the other gets dressed is tiring, and that's before we had even got to the pool. And then trying to deal with two wet slippy babies when we got out is even more fun!

If you have been to any of the other Centre Parcs sites, you must note that their Subtropical Paradise area is much smaller than the others. It's ideal for preschoolers, but maybe consider one of the others for bigger children.


Bowling
We went bowling twice to cover the lull in the morning after breakfast, when the boys nap. I would imagine this would be pretty busy in the evening, especially as there isn't many lanes. The nice thing is that you just pay for 45 mins, no matter how many people you are. There was a good variety of balls, and plenty of shoes. 

Badminton
We also took along our badminton🏸 rackets for a game. It had been a while (A LONG WHILE) since I had last played, so I was shattered. Also I'm not the most competitive person usually, but when it comes to my husband losing I love it. For a split second I felt like I was in the Olympics, and dived (yes dived) to hit that damn shuttlecock back to him. I went completely fell arse over tit, scraped my knee... but I got it, until he returned it and I was still sprawled out on the floor!πŸ˜‚

Walking/Cycling

I'm not usually a huge fan of walking about I really enjoyed wondering around and exploring. 

It's much smaller than the other sites, so our Lodge was one of the furthest away, and it was a 10-15 minutes walk to The Plaza. 
There's also various trails to follow, or just the stroll to the pool/ restaurants is lovely. We took a long stroll around the whole complex and saw the varied array of activities on offer. 

I'm looking forward to the boys being older, so we can try out archery, and laser shooting. I'd also like to take a boat out on the lake!

If you follow us on Instagram you'd know we had a fab time. 

For us this was a 10/10 break, and it was certainly what we needed to recharge as a family. Although the boys were teething, and hardly slept.

I think it's safe to say that we will certainly be returning! 

We even entered the #spotthebot competition in hopes that we'd have some money to put towards it.. Wish us luck!


Packing essentials if you are travelling with a baby/toddler:
  • Nappies
  • Wipes
  • Moisturiser/Oil (The chlorine replacement is quite drying to the skin)
  • Baby Toiletries
  • Child's cutlery
  • Dummies/pacifier (if applicable)
  • Bottles and/or Beakers
  • Formula
  • Calpol 
  • Steriliser & Tools
  • Bibs (I brought disposable)
  • Pool towels
  • Swim nappies & Swimming costume
  • Inflatable ring/ Arm bands (They provide life jackets from 15kg)
  • Water/Bath Toys
  • Suncream/Cap (in summer)
  • Cot Bedding/ Blanket/ Sleeping Bag
  • Nightlight/ Monitor
  • Kitchen Roll 
  • Washing Up Liquid
  • Anti-Bacterial Wipes
  • Pyjamas
  • Vests, Socks, Tops, Trousers/Shorts, Dribble Bibs
  • Muslins 

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Time For Me

I know it sounds selfish, but I'm always been quite content with my own company (and usually my laptop).  My husband works shifts, so our relationship works really well. I'd have some evenings on my own to either see my friends, or chill out and watch trashy TV. Then when he's off, we use to have quality time together. Since having the boys me time has become completely inexistent. I always thought that the boys would have sufficient naps, that would mean I could have moments to myself. Instead they nap at completely different times. They only last around 15-20 mins, and usually it's in the car when travelling from A to B.

Recently I've really missed it, and felt more exhausted than ever. The other night rather than hinting when my husband got in from work, I just told him, "I'm having a bath tonight". I had planned it in my head ALL day. Every whinge or whine from the boys, I'd blocked out with thoughts of the Lush bath bomb I'd have. I even thought of the fact, I'd need music to drown out any noise. I was so excited to pop on my Spotify 'Chill' playlist and relax! I usually have a speedy shower with the babies whinging in the next room. 

I had a whole 45 minutes to myself. I even shaved my legs!! After I got out, I felt like a new woman. As though I'd had a luxury spa day. I was so relaxed. It's crazy what 45 minutes of time out can do for your mental state.

I'm going to try and make it my aim to take an hour for me every week, otherwise I'm going to run myself into the ground. Especially as I've been recently suffering from stress induced migraines.

I need to get myself and the boys into a stricter routine. I used to feel that a strict routine was too controlling, but if I could guarantee they were down by 8pm every night, I could have a couple of hours to do a face mask, write a blog post, maybe even paint my nails! Instead I'm awake with them from 5am-9pm. By 9pm I literally crawl into bed exhausted.

Roll on our new routine plans πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ˜ Any suggestions welcome!

Friday, 28 April 2017

Our April Favourites

Caps - With identical twins you have to do certain things to make sure you know which baby is which within a split second. For a while  now, we have a rule that if there's a blue option then it goes to Harry. "Harry Blue". All the family knows this too. These Gap caps are not only adorably cute, but it's perfect that they come in Navy and Red. You'll see them appear lots on our Instagram feed! 

Matchstick Monkey Teether - For quite a while we've thought the boys were teething, but within this month they have both gained 6 teeth, and the other 2 visible..*Oh the sleepless nights, and miserable days!*  They were brought these teethers by their Granny (GG) at Christmas.  She picked them up at JoJo Maman Bebe. These things have gone EVERYWHERE with us ever since. They easily clip onto the baby links, so they can have safely attached to their buggy, carseat, highchair.... And whilst they are sleeping I have to sneak them away just to wash and sterilise them! Of course they also came in different colours so "Harry Blue" & "Ollie Grey".

Dribble bibs - I don't think we could do a favourites without a little shout out to Funky Giraffe. They are really absorbent, especially with our teething dribbles this month! They are very affordable, and the more you buy, the cheaper they get. It's very easy to get carried away! The camouflage pattern was my favourite until I had personalised ones made! They are fabulous! I was expecting it to be an iron on transfer, but it's actually been stitched on. I'll definitely be ordering some for their first birthday!

I was also after something spring like and came across a gorgeous pattern from TinyTotTribe and they were perfect. Charlotte provides a quality handmade product and a fast service! I will definitely order from her again. She makes beautiful leggings and shorts too. I have my eye on the monochrome grey tribal leggings! I just need to sweet talk the hubby😚..that's the issue with having twins, double the expense!

Mama Bear Pouch - I love the unique things being sold on Instagram by small local sellers.  PolkadotPrinting were selling a cosmetic bag with Mother's Day in mind, but I found an alternative use for it. A grab changing bag. It has already been so handy. I stuff it in my handbag, when I don't want to lug around the big Skip Hop changing bag. It's really great for clinic days, when you've already got to take the red books along with you.

Tranquil Turtle - My Godmother brought this as a gift from Tiny Herts, and with putting the boys in their own room this month it has truly come into its own!  I had heard good things already, but the projector is AMAZING, and the sound effects are so calming. I pop it on before carrying the boys into their room. I don't have any fussing from them at all. I also enjoy listening to it on the other end of the monitor too! Then when they wake in the night, I pop it on and they go back off to sleep.

Tommee Tippee Beakers - I attended a weaning class, put on by our health visiting service. They recommend that children aren't given 'non-spill' type beakers, until they are much older. Unfortunately I'd already purchased some, so I was looking for something inexpensive for the meantime.  These are just £1.25 at Asda. What an absolute steal! The boys love the independence of holding them, and actually like playing with them more than their toys! It's just unfortunate that they leak all over the floor!πŸ™ˆ Again we have a couple of blue ones and a couple of red ones. 

Highchairs - Our house is small so I was reluctant to buy actual highchairs, so initially purchased travel ones for Mamas and Papas. I didn't find them supportive enough for the boys yet, so we brought the Ikea ones as well. We also brought the supporting cushion and they are the best. The boys love being up the table with us, and they are really secure and supported. They are easy to clean. Even the insert has a removable, washable cover. And when it's not feeding times, they stack on top of each other! 
Activity Bouncer - Brought less than half price at Argos.  They love it. They've always been keen to stand up and a bouncer, so this is ideal. Of course they fight over it, and if I put one in it, the other whinges! If I had the space I would have brought two, but it's just impossible to have so many obstacles around. Although I must add, they certainly aren'y as big as others on the market!

Monday, 17 April 2017

Why I hated being pregnant...

Yep, I said itπŸ™ˆ. Although I'm ridiculously thankful for my beautiful boys, it truly was a means to an end for me. Carrying MCDA twins not only put a massive physical strain on my body, but I don't think anyone can prepare you for the emotional journey you have to endeavour.

The physical side
I've had friends who truly glowed though their pregnanciesπŸ™„. People would ask me "do you need to sit down?", or "not feeling great today then?" Not sure if it was the sick in my hair that gave it away, or the fact I was pale as paper!πŸ˜“

I had morning, noon and night sickness and nausea. They tried anti-sickness meds, but nothing worked. I had not one craving! I just wanted bland, as I knew I'd see it again within the hour😷. Plus I had to give up my favourite lunch, Subway's BMT as it contained cured meats😒At 16 weeks, I didn't weigh anymore than before I was pregnant!

They said that pregnant women are less likely to suffer with their usual alimentsπŸ‘WELL THEY WERE WRONG😑! I had horrendous hayfever, eczema, IBS.... Plus to add to that the horrendous back pain, the little buggers actually cracked one of my ribs from lack of room (I'm 5ft1), a swollen EVERYTHING, anaemia (the damn parasites) which the hospital couldn't get under control until I was so constipated I thought I was likely to explode sh*t and babies.

And then there's the injections in your bum for their lung development😩OH MY GOODNESS. I guess I went in thinking it would be like any other injection I'd had, but it felt like someone kicked me in the arse! Then you have to return to the hospital the following day to go through it all over again, this time knowing exactly what you're in for! Thankfully the second midwife was a little more gentle, or my inconsolable crying numbed the pain😝?

The Emotional Side
But then there's the emotional side. At 6.5 weeks pregnant, we were already advised that we were high risk, and that we would have to go under a consultant. Of course, my husband did some research and read up all about TTTS. I vowed to never read a thing, and asked no-one to tell me. I knew by my husbands stance of buying things, and announcing it to friends and family the outlook must be bad. We didn't announce it to anyone until I was 18 weeks, and we couldn't hide it anymore. I could tell when others around me read up the same information. They didn't say anything, but they just looked and spoke about my pregnancy differently. The consultant every fortnight would be very frank, and sugarcoated nothing! I could tell by his expression at the last few scans, that he was deeply astonished by the similarity in size. 

Superstitions
I would be such a mess, that if in morning I was only sick once and not three times before I left the house I was convinced something was wrong. I had a home doppler that I used religiously every morning, until they stated to move about. I didn't have a baby shower for fears that it was tempting fate. When we got to 28 weeks, we started ordering the extreme essentials. They were delivered to my parents, grandparents, anywhere that would mean it didn't have to come in the house. And I was continually looking for that other magpie (πŸ’”one for sorrow!)

I think with everyone preparing us for bad news, it meant I never let myself truly believe that I would actually be a mum. It took from my waters breaking, to a couple of days with them to actually come to terms with it. Whilst they were in special care, and I was on the ward recovering from the c-section, and I remember waking up from naps and looking down at my tummy thinking "was that a dream, or did we do this?"


I can't say I never want anymore children, but I can say it was the worst and best 7 months of my lifeπŸ’™πŸ’™!

Monday, 6 March 2017

Our Breastfeeding/ Protein Allergy Journey

During my pregnancy I was continually back and fourth about whether or not I wanted to breastfeed. Selfishly I was thinking that I wanted to share the responsibility with my husband, but at the same time you are continually inundated with "breast is best".  

After my c-section the boys were swiftly whipped off to intensive care, and I hadn't even seen them.I sent my husband to be with the boys.  Whilst still on the operating table, being stitched up a midwife asked me what I wanted to do feeding wise. I felt completely thrown by all the emotions we'd just gone through in a matter of hours. I knew that I wasn't yet in a fit state to get them to latch on, and just wanted the best for them so answered, "whatever, formulas fine!"  I look back now and can see that the boys needed to be taken care of, but I do wonder whether it could have waited half hour. 

There wasn't any space on the recovery ward, so I was sent back to the delivery suite that I had been screaming in just the hour before! The midwives had just switched over shifts, so I was handed over to such a sweet girl. I was really lucky to have been fortunate enough to have my own room for those initial couple of hours. I had some toast, and after a while they plonked me into a wheelchair (physically! I couldn't feel a thing) to take me down to Neonatal to finally meet my boys. The midwives were quick to say, "why don't you give breastfeeding a go",  "it's best for your babies." It seemed that each new one that walked into the room repeated this. I was confused, how could I try and feed these tiny babies attached to monitors and machines? It was eventually explained that I would have to express, and they would feed to the babies via a tube through their nose. They truly pulled on the heart strings, and I fell hook line and sinker!

I returned to the delivery suite, where the lovely midwife helped me hand express😳. It was possibly the strangest moment of my life! Baring in mind I clearly had lost all dignity down below from the second I'd walked in the door, but I felt embarrassed. I was being shown how to massage my breast, whilst she was sucking up drop by drop into a syringe! She was really supportive though, and majorly encouraging.

Later on that evening special care repeated their request for hand expressed milk. By now I had a room on the post-natal ward. If someone would of said that my husband and I would spend every 4 hours of our first night in hospital sucking up milk into a syringe I would have said that you were mad! He was truly my rock that first night. I could have easily said, "I'm tired. I give up!" But he was so encouraging. He would then have to carry those syringes with literally 3-8mls of milk from one end of the hospital to the other. Obviously that wasn't enough to sustain them, so they were also put on 'Aptamil Profutura'.

During the second day, the hospital arranged for me to progress onto an expressing machine. The midwife walked into the room wheeling in the machine. She said, "you're about to become Daisy!" I laughed, and thought she meant Daisy Duke, but no, she meant Daisy THE COW! OH MY GOODNESS..! What a sensation! What a noise! 

Special care supply you with a diary to monitor your expressing times, amounts etc. They like to go through these with you when you aren't bringing enough in! "Yes, I slept 6 hours last night without expressing! Yes I'm a very NAUGHTY GIRL!" But it very quickly becomes habit, and my boobs would feel like bricks if I didn't express every 3-4 hours! 

Unfortunately I couldn't get the boys to latch on, and in special care the expressing was working so I agreed to them putting it into a bottle.  They couldn't suck, so the neonatal nurses would be there to persevere with them. When they couldn't get in down them, they would put it down their nasal tubes. I knew that I wouldn't have any idea how much they'd drunk if I pushed to breastfeed, and would  be panicking. Especially as in special care the amounts are literally pipetted out ml by ml to give a whole 36mls each feed!

The first two months of feeding was absolute hell. They would take 45 mins each to take 45mls (if they finished the bottle). Then 30 minutes to wind EACH. Then it would take me 15 minutes on the expressing machine, another 30 minutes setting it up and cleaning it afterwards. Sometimes I wouldn't make enough, so we would have to top up with the Aptamil. Then we would have to fit in sterilising the bottles and of course sleeping, eating, washing etc! 

They would scream all day and all night. They slept 4 hours in 24 (in 15 minute chunks). They would projectile vomit EVERYWHERE. They were clearly in extreme discomfort with wind. The averaged 6 outfits a day EACH, plus who knows how many muslins and bibs. They would go 7-10 days without pooing, and they would explode! We as first time parents thought this was part and parcel of newborns, especially preemies. One night my mum offered to give us a night off, and she and my sister would babysit for us overnight. She messaged me during night apologising for not completely understanding what we were going through. She and my in-laws proceeded to have the boys during the day and overnight just so we could survive!

After 8 weeks the boys weren't gaining the weight they should have, and after countless doctors appointments it was suggested that they might be lactose intolerant. They reccomended that I either gave up breastfeeding, or had a complete dairy free diet. I knew that I couldn't be the best mother to them continuing on like I was, so I gave it up. They initially tried us on a milk called 'Nutramigen' with a sachet of infant Gaviscon.  They maybe had a slight improvement to their symptoms, but not enough. We then tried an alternative lactose free milk by Aptamil, which seemed to do exactly the same. 

At 12 weeks old, and after a lot of nagging from us and our health visitor, we were finally referred to a paediatrician, who prescribed us with 'Neonate' for their allergies, and Carobel for reflux. From that day it was like having different kids. Day by day they slept a little more, they started to gain weight, and seemed happier in themselves. 

Of course life is set to try us, so we've had our bumps in the road. They would make a choking noise whilst they were sleeping at night, and we would have to pick them up to try and remove the mucus from their mouths. We were then put back on Gaviscon and that cleared up right away. Every time the milk amount increases, we have to do a bit of trial and error with the amount of Carobel to add to thicken. 

Next chapter...Weaning!

Monday, 6 February 2017

Caesarean Delivery Hospital Bag Checklist!

With knowing that there was a significant risk that I would go into premature labour I had my hospital bag packed from 30 weeks. I used Cow & Gate's list that was posted out to me, but it's available online here.  I really struggled to find a list for c-section births. I made some changes to my contents and learnt some things along the way...
  • Hospital notes - These were permanently in my handbag, as I couldn't take the risk in not having them with me at work etc.
  • Lots of change for the carpark - We actually noted the carpark costs at our various appointments, so we could let our family know how much they had to take. Also it's worth noting that if your baby ends up in special care ask if there is a pass for the carpark. We got a 4 weeks pass for less than 2 days parking.
  • Nightie, dressing gown and slippers - I'd add comfy pair of pyjama/tracksuit bottoms to that list. When I was being carted around the hospital I felt a little more comfortable. I also took a really old pair of slips that I could just bin as I left! 
  • Ipad and cameras - I checked and checked again that I had full charge and a memory card inserted. I even took 2 cameras, just in case! I also took an iPad, as I knew the hospital had free wifi. 
  • Phone Charger - If you have a power bank I'd recommend taking it.  Some of the midwives are funny about things being plugged in! Thankfully I had a side room, so they didn't really know. There wasn't a lot of socket though. We took a USB plug with 6 ports, so we could charge various items overnight.
  • Hairbands - I wanted my hair out of the way during the operation. They put a sexy hat on your head anyway!
  • Capri Suns and bottled water - Capri Suns are a drink I don't mind at room temperature which is why I took them with me. My mother-in-law brought in cold canned drinks the first evening, which was brilliant. 
  • Chocolate and crisps - The hours flash by over the first few days, especially if you have a child in Neonatal. Pack snacks that can give you boosts of energy. 
  • Bio-Oil - I has used it twice a day that whole way through my pregnancy so I wanted to continue that on.
  • Toothbrush & Toothpaste - Pack 2! One for you and one for your partner. We brought 2 cheap ones, as we usually use electric.
  • Shampoo, conditioner and body wash - Take olds you really love, not rubbish samples. That first post c-section shower is the best thing ever. Enjoy it! You may also be required to take off your dressings in the first shower.
  • Deodorant - I had roll on. A few people were spraying, and it gets down everyones throat! It might be worth packing something for your partner, so they can freshen up too. 
  • Dry Shampoo - I always use dry shampoo on the days I don't wash my hair.
  • Face wipes - For that first night when getting up and down is a mission!
  • Hairbrush
  • Concealer - By day 2 I had a few breakouts, just from lack of sleep and all the hormones. Being able to pop on a quick bit of concealer is handy. Some women had a full face of makeup. I couldn't be bothered with all that!
  • Towel and Flannel - I was unsure of whether the hospital would supply, but they don't. I also took a turbo towel, so I could walk back from the showers and sort my hair out sat down. I actually got my mum to brush mine out. 
  • Flip Flops - Perfect for use in the shower! You can pick them up for 90p in Primark!
  • Pillow / Cushion - My bed had one pretty flat pillow, and I like to be a bit more upright. Some people had feeding cushions. Also your partner isn't usually provided a cushion, so take something for them!
  • Clothes - COMFY COMFY COMFY. I recommend trousers that come at least to your belly button, and are easy to put on. I took my maternity leggings, but they weren't easy for someone else to put on me. I sorted out a number of old pairs of knickers that I could bin once worn. Unfortunately I hadn't considered the fact that they lay right on my fresh cut. I had to get some high waisted 'Bridget Jones Esq' knickers instead.
  • Nursing Bras
  • Breast Pads
  • Sanitary Towels
  • Baby Clothes - Vests, Onesies, Hat, Blanket, Muslins, scratch mitts. Nothing in my bag actually fitted, so I had to send relatives out *read previous post* 
  • Baby Changing - Nappies (8-10 per day), Waterwipes or cotton wool, disposable changing mat and Sudocrem
  • Cow & Gate ready-made formula - as I was unsure whether I wanted to breastfeed or not.
Remember to upload your photos onto Instagram with the hashtag #hospitalbagready for a chance to win a prize via Cow & Gate!

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Twin Mum Wisdom

The other day I popped into my local town with the boys. Typically I was struggling to get around with my buggy. It really annoys me that shops don’t consider wheelchairs and buggies accessibility when placing their displays etc. I used to be really apologetic for knocking over stands, or taking the contents of a shelf with me, quickly putting everything back, but 5 months later and now instead of being embarrassed I get annoyed for a lack of consideration by shops and cafes!
On this specific day I had wanted to pop in to Champneys. Unsurprising they had only one of their double doors openable, giving a gap not suitable for a single buggy, let alone a double. I had to try and flag down a member of staff to unlock the second door.  By the time we got in I was pretty disgruntled. 
I quickly grabbed the product I wanted and headed for the till. A woman that was paying whilst I was struggling to get to the door tapped my arm. She said “Enjoy it!” I wasn’t sure if she was talking about the scrub I had in my hand, or because I had a face of thunder? She must have clocked my puzzled expression, and explained she was also a twin mum. She said her twin girls were now 5, and when she looks back at photographs she has deep regrets that she spent so much time focussing on survival and didn’t actually have time to enjoy them being babies. This is the first time I’d really heard an honest comment. Daily I hear from other twin parents/ grandparents “it’ll get better,” but no specific admission that they struggled. 
I admit it’s hard adjusting to becoming parents. I admit it’s hard functioning on little sleep. I admit I’ve had those moments, where I’ve thought “what have we done?!” Then take that and times it by two. The admiration I have for parents of triplets, quads is off the scale…. I reckon either myself or my husband would have been taken away in a straight jacket!
Her words haven’t left my mind. I now think they are both awake and happy, I’m going to soak it up. Those bottles can wait 10 extra minutes! 
Best piece of advice I have been given, and I hope that one day I can say the same thing to another mother.