World Prematurity day – My story

World Prematurity day - My story

World Prematurity day – My story: Lots of babies are born prematurely for all sorts of reasons and it can be a tough and scary ride having your baby early.

Small premature babies are very common in my side of the family so although I kind of expected my babies to be a little early I still wasn’t ready when my oldest daughter Eva was born prematurely at 4 weeks and 1 day early.

I was in hospital already with an infection alongside a friend I had at the time. This friend went into labour so we met outside and began to have what I thought were braxton hicks as I had awful braxton hicks over the last few months. When I went back to my room I had a very strong ‘braxton hick’ and a midwife came to check on me and hooked me up to the monitor.

After a while the midwife came back, checked the results and ran off, quickly returning with a Dr who checked me over and told me I was in fact in early labour and I was 3cm dialated. As I had an infection I was advised an emergency c-section would be best to prevent passing on the infection to a premature baby who may not be able to fight it off.

I was terrified. I was only 19 but I knew I had to take the safest and best option to bring my baby into this world.

I was told I’d be taken down around 6/7pm but my labour was progressing rapidly and by 4pm I was down in theatre having my spinal. The Mr had to rush back from town when I told him the c-section was going to happen sooner and as he was still getting himself changed and ready to enter the operating theatre when I had the spinal done I was in tears. Having a needle phobia that was the worst part for me at the time and not having the Mr there to hold my hand had me in a state.

Im not going to lie throughout the procedure I cried at my Mr telling him I was so scared but after what felt like someone pushing down on my rib cage I suddenly heard a small cry that had me sobbing for a whole different reason.

When you go into early labour your head goes into overdrive thinking about all the ‘What if’s’. Hearing that tiny cry brought relief knowing my baby had made it into this world alive. Having previously miscarried with my first pregnancy at 18 my biggest fear was that my baby wouldn’t survive.

I had a very rough pregnancy being sick constantly, suffering from anemia and continuously having water infections which made me think my baby may not be as healthy as I had hoped.

When I was shown my tiny 4lb 14oz baby breathing fine and appearing very healthy apart from a touch of jaundice I knew I was extremely lucky that things had gone as well as they had. We didn’t know the sex of our baby as they had their legs crossed during scans, so was anxious to find out and when the staff congratulated us on the birth of our beautiful little girl I broke down again.

I remember being wheeled into the recovery room and being given my tiny baby to hold in my arms at last. It was one of the most emotional and amazing moments of my life. I had all these names in my head and was trying to think what suited her best when the Mr suggested his mum’s middle name which had been passed on through the women in his family. We agreed to call her Eva-Raye, somehow it just suited her straight away.

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I fed her and kept her warm inside my hospital gown while the Mr headed home to bring in some clothes for us as we had been unprepared. I remember staring at our beautiful little miracle the whole time he was gone and being amazed she had made it through this far. We were taken back up to the ward where a few people arrived to congratulate us and see our little girl.

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The Mr returned with the newborn clothes and they were all huge on her making her look even tinier especially with the Mr dressing her.

After everyone had left the nurses came round to check on us both and make sure I could get up and walk but there was a bit of panic over Eva’s blood test results and the fact she had dropped from her birth weight of 4lb 14oz down to 4lb 4oz, she was rushed down to NICU.

Honestly I freaked. My baby brother had been born very early 9 days before my 5th birthday and had spent months in NICU. Walking back through those doors brought back all the memories and I begun to freak out panicking something was about to go very wrong and that after everything I may still lose my precious baby.

I handed over some bottles of milk I had pumped and left Eva to be tested and went outside with the Mr where I broke down. The Mr was amazingly strong throughout all of this even though I know it was hard and terrifying for him too.

After about an hour of talking we headed back to my room and after a little while some nurses appeared with Eva telling me the previous results were wrong and although Eva did have jaundice she should be ok after a bit of phototherapy and they wheeled in all the equipment for it and showed me how it worked.

Eva was given a biliband to cover her eyes and we settled her in the crib under the light to begin treatment. I was only allowed to pick up my baby and cuddle her once every 2 hours whilst I fed her then had to put her back under the light.

Unfortunately even with all the complications we had the staff forgot about us and we ended up staying in for 5 days with Eva spending most of her time ‘sunbathing’ whilst myself and my Mr could only watch and try to comfort her as best as we could whilst we tried to make sure she got enough milk to begin gaining weight instead of losing.

We were eventually allowed home on the 5th day and we were beyoned relieved our tiny baby girl had made it home at last. 2 days later Eva still hadn’t gained weight and was still showing signs of jaundice so we were admitted to the pediatrics ward so Eva could continue light therapy. Luckily by the next evening Eva was recovering well from jaundice and once again we were allowed home.

Our tiny baby girl was a strong little fighter and didnt let prematurity get the better of her, seeing my brother go in an incubator in NICU for months as a child and seeing the other babies on the ward, witnessing babies gaining their wings at the young age of 5 I am well aware we are ridiculously lucky Eva only had jaundice and recovered so quickly.

At the age of 5 she is a clever, funny, crazy little girl who you would never guess was a preemie. She has slight problems with her fine motor skills which we are working on and she does struggle to stay focused but she is otherwise very healthy and keeping up with her peers.

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My teeny tiny preemie all grown up

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Many babies are born early and have all sorts of complications and it’s a very tough time for those tiny babies and their families. Some babies dont make it, others take a very long time to recover and some are lucky enough to make it through with few complications but every family with a premature baby needs as much love and support as they can get to make it through such a tough time.

Please remember if you are going through a rough time after having a premature baby it is not your fault your baby arrived earlier than planned, I know I blamed myself for quite some time but I have since realised nothing could have been prevented and I did everything I could to ensure my baby arrived as safely as possible.

If you know someone who has had a premature baby take a few minutes out of your day to check in on them and make sure they have a shoulder to cry on and an ear to offload too if needed as it can be a very difficult and lonely time.

Thank you for taking the time to read about my premature baby on world prematurity day and please feel free to share your own links and stories in the comments. Apologies for the poor photo’s, camera quality on phones weren’t as good back in 2010!

Struggling with Anxiety

Struggling with Anxiety

Struggling with Anxiety is one of those things that come and go as they please making it very difficult to avoid an attack.

Recently due to the fact I suffer from chronic pain and have struggled for 5 years to get a referral for pain management, having had to swap to Esa because of this (which as a result left us with no money for almost a month!) amongst other things, anxiety has been getting the better of me.

I am quite an anxious person in general I worry about anything and everything and find it very hard to switch off but I’ve definately been struggling a lot more recently.

Its making it very difficult for me to go out and do things even when im having a fairly good day because I panic I wont make it there and back, I freak over the fact I look funny when I walk because of the pain, the more pain im in the more I visibly struggle to walk which makes me panic that people will stare at me.

Im trying to put together a video for the Samsung SmartThings campaign but Im struggling to do it, every time I attempt to record what I’m doing and talk about it as I go I begin to panic and hyperventilate, start shaking & sweating and feel extremely nauseous and like the walls are closing in on me. It’s seriously depressing me that such a simple task feels like climbing the worlds tallest mountain to me right now.

Making calls is a huge issue for me again, anyone other than the Mr on the other end of the phone and I struggle to answer or make the call. Having thought I’d got over making and recieving calls it feels like I’ve taken a huge leap backwards again.

I really need to find a way around this but I haven’t a clue what to do.. So Im asking you, My readers if any of you suffer or know someone that suffers anxiety that may have some tips on how to get around it?

I’ve tried breathing exercises but these just seem to make things worse.. what else can I try?

All comments are welcome, if you’d like to contact me privately please visit my Get in touch page to find a suitable way to contact me. All help is very much appreciated!

Zeta Citi Stroller Review

Earlier this year I began looking for a new stroller for my 16 month old daughter (Izzy). Ideally I wanted something light weight with an umbrella fold that could be put away in a cupboard if we needed hallway space as we live in a flat.

I wasn’t happy with the stroller i had for tons of reasons and my main one being Izzy just wasn’t comfortable or happy in it which made going out stressful , so I started googling purple strollers, prams buggy’s etc in the hope of finding something comfortable for the little one and easy to push that i could fit a few bits underneath, could handle a few bags of shopping on the handles too and purple.. Of course!

I spent months researching different strollers but i found most were well out of our budget even second hand. I wanted something around the £60 mark whether new or used. Preferably in purple. I spent a good few months googling purple strollers/buggy’s/prams/pushchairs.

I came across the Zeta citi stroller on Amazon. I had seen one or two go past in town and loved the extended hood. Sunlight in Izzy’s eyes make a quick trip to town seem like a very longggg trip to hell and back.

Zeta citi stroller review

That pretty much sold it to me but the fact it came in purple! Amazing! I decided to give it a go as the price wasn’t bad at all at £29.95 & £10.59 delivery. I showed Izzy and she shook her head.. And pointed to the RED one!! :'( Of course I tried bribery but after a few tantrums (from me) I gave in and agreed she could have the red one.

I opted to buy the stroller without a rain cover as I already had a universal one ill blog about later. I did choose to add on the black & red foot muff for £7.95 from the same seller so I only paid one delivery fee, still under my limit of £60! At least there was a win for me even if it wasn’t purple.

When it arrived we pulled it out of the box, popped the front wheels on and put it up with ease. Izzy instantly went crazy and tried climbing in. She was over the moon bless her!

Izzy climbing in
Izzy loves climbing in by herself

Straight away the frame seemed much sturdier than the hauck stroller we had been using. The seat was deeper making it easier to get her strapped in without me having to wedge my knee between her legs whether the foot rest is up or down.

The seat reclines fully and easily by pushing down the two levers either side underneath the seat and can be adjusted to several angles, the foot rest adjusts too by 2 little levers underneath, meaning no matter how fussy Izzy is being I can move it around until she’s comfortable enough to stop moaning loudly.

Our previous stroller had a drawstring to adjust the recline which isn’t easy to do if you have a ton of shopping and a child screaming at you. Now I can adjust the seat quickly and easily, the adjustments are smooth meaning she doesn’t notice if I lay her back when she falls asleep upright.

One thing my Mr does find annoying is that when the seat is fully reclined you cant get into the shopping basket underneath without popping the seat back up which for some children is likely to wake them, for me its not an issue as Izzy doesn’t notice if she is asleep but I can see his point and know a few people whose little ones wouldn’t tolerate it at all.

Asleep within minutes of getting in

As I mentioned the main reason I was drawn to this stroller was the extending hood which has been extremely handy and one thing I hadn’t noticed on Amazon was that there is a small clear window across the hood allowing you to keep an eye on your little one even though they are world facing. Its the perfect position for me to see Izzy, however my Mr finds it a struggle and he says it would be better if the window was moved up the hood by an inch or so.

Being a shorty at just over 5ft and having a partner who is a good few inches taller we needed handles that weren’t too short making the Mr bend as he pushes and not too high for me, again I absolutely love the height of the handles personally but again the Mr would prefer them to be an inch or so higher and tilted back ever so slightly.

We attached the foot muff to check how it fits the stroller and Izzy as it is a universal foot muff. We found it fits lovely and comes right up to Izzy’s chest meaning on a cold windy day with her foot muff right the way up and the hood right the way down I can keep the majority of the wind and cold away from her without needing to put her rain cover over and making her moody. Since its got colder we are using the foot muff regularly and found it is soft and warm for Izzy and much better than our previous one.

Spot the baby!

We bought the Zeta citi stroller back in September and we’ve put it through its paces over the last 2 months doing shopping & school runs in all kinds of weather and overall I am very pleased with it. The Mr obviously would prefer a few changes because he is taller than me but for us short mums that just want something lightweight, easy to store for nipping around town in that can handle a few bags of shopping on the handles then its almost the perfect stroller. If only I had been allowed to order it in purple…

Knitting projects – Izzy’s Blanket

When the kids finally go to bed I’m usually on my phone or laptop for the evening doing surveys, product reviews, reading random posts and news articles but every now and then I put it all down and do some knitting instead. I’m still a beginner and only managing a simple scarf and blankets so far but it gives me something different to do, especially on days I’m struggling to move around.

I cam across some lovely yarn in PoundStretcher – Melody baby soft yarn I’m currently halfway through a blanket I started when pregnant with my 1yo.. The idea being it would be done in time for her winter.. However thanks to morning sickness 24/7 I wasn’t always in the mood to knit (Or able to without covering it in my vomit) so unfortunately it dragged on until she was born.

I then had problems finding the same  yarn (I know, I know amateur mistake not buying enough!), of course when it was back in stock i made the mistake of only buying one ball again.. So now I’m stuck again waiting to buy the final 2 balls I need to complete this blanket!

Knitting Projects - Izzy's Blanket

I’m hoping my local Pound Stretcher have a delivery in soon as I would love to finish this in time for Christmas! Its lovely, soft, fluffy and warm perfect for snuggling on the sofa with on a cold day.

I think in the meantime I need to find myself another smaller knitting project to keep me busy. Does anyone have any suggestions for quick and simple knitting projects other than a blanket or a scarf? Feel free to leave a comment, or email me at Relentlesslypurple@gmail.com

Chronic pain at 25

Part of the reason I decided to begin blogging again is also part of the reason I stopped blogging before. I am a Chronic pain sufferer and have been for over 5 years now. I struggled to get the help I needed when it first began which caused me to become extremely depressed and anxious.

Shutting Down

I shut off from a lot of my friends and closed my blog and deleted all trace of it as I was fed up of ‘moaning’ about the pain constantly. I’ve recently realised that sometimes to cope with chronic pain you need an outlet where you can vent and moan so you can clear your mind and take control again.

Keeping Track

As I’ve come to realise this I’ve decided I’m going to document what goes on with my various appointments, to help me keep track, vent & moan on bad days and make others aware of how chronic pain affects lives, and hopefully find other’s who have learnt coping techniques and to hear their story too. If you’ve got this far then here is my story.

Lower Back Pain

Since my pregnancy with my eldest daughter in 2010 I have had excruciating lower back pain. It all began with struggling to climb the stairs in our first flat whilst pregnant, I’d struggle so much I’d be in tears. I thought at the time it was just typical pregnancy pains until it continued about 6months after my eldest was born.

X-Ray Results

I eventually got to a point where everyone was telling me I had to go to the DR’s and find out what was going on. Eventually, I did and an x-ray showed I had scoliosis of the lumbar spine and low disc space in L4-L5. My GP referred me to physiotherapy which wasn’t helping and due to unfortunate circumstances at the time I became unable to afford the fare to get to my physiotherapy sessions and gave up trying to seek help.

Chronic Pain

After a few years of struggling with the pain and trying to manage it with over the counter medicines, I got much worse especially a few months after the birth of my youngest daughter. Over time it got to the point where I could barely pick her up, so I went to my local GP to try and get some help.

Physiotherapy, Again

Again I was referred to physiotherapy which didn’t go well at all. After the first session, I hurt for almost 2 weeks! By the third session, I was barely able to walk for the next 3 weeks. I went back to my GP and explained the pain was worse and explained how it travels down my leg and at times I can’t walk or move my legs, attempting to lift my youngest up gives me extremely painful spasms, all of it combined is exhausting and depressing and on top of it all on really bad days I’m extremely nauseous too.

Medication

I was prescribed Amitriptyline, Duloxetine, Naproxen and Co-dydramol to try and help manage the pain & the depression. I was surprised to find out that some anti-depressants are also used for nerve related pain but after doing a bit of research discovered they are quite regularly prescribed for this reason. Unfortunately, the medication does very little but I am at least able to sleep a bit better on the Amitriptyline which is some relief.

Another X-Ray

I was sent for more x-rays which showed lordosis of the thoracic spine which shows signs of muscle spasms. This indicates its likely to be a nerve problem which it seems my GP must have worked out as she prescribed the amitriptyline from the start. When I attended my last physiotherapy session the physio decided it was best to release me and refer me to pain management as he said it was clear the exercises had aggravated the situation and he didn’t want to hurt me more and he made me a referral marked as ‘urgent’.

Pain Clinic

I now have to wait until the 14th December for my pain clinic appointment, which after seeing the waiting times at some hospitals I’m quite lucky I got an appointment this year. I’m hopeful I can find ways to manage the pain and remain as active as possible with their help as being stuck indoors most of the time and unable to enjoy simple things without suffering for it has had a major impact on my mental health and my family.

Reaching Out

I’m hoping to connect to other Chronic pain sufferers by sharing my story here and keeping track of my progress. If you read all of this post then, Thank you for taking the time to do so and please feel free to contact me in any way if you want to share your story or just a chat.

SmartThinking with Samsung SmartThings

Last week I revealed the Samsung smartThings package sent to me from TheInsiders, I explained how I had used the SmartThings Power outlet to control the table lamp in my living room. It was so simple to use via the SmartThings app on my phone.

SmartThinking

I was sat for a while struggling to think of ways to test the other SmartThings and I had no suggestions. (hardly surprising after a 2yr break from blogging and a slow start!) Then a delivery driver annoyed me by posting a card through without knocking last week, he gave me an idea of how to use the SmartThings

Missed Deliveries

I’m sure we have all had it in the past where a sneaky delivery driver tries to silently push through a missed delivery card. I guess it saves them the few minutes it takes for you to answer the door and sign for a parcel. Its happened to me several times, some I’ve caught out and managed to get the parcel. Others I’ve missed and ended up having to collect from a sorting office. I was trying to think of a way to catch him out using the SmartThings. Living in a tower block of flats I wasn’t keen on the idea of attaching anything on the outside to alert me of their presence so the Multi-Sensor was out of the question.

SmartThinking Motion-Sensor

Motion Sensor

Eventually, I decided to try the Motion Sensor. I figured if I attached it to the inside of my letterbox, I could probably set it up to send me a notification on my phone if anything came through. At least this way I will know as soon as the card is put through the door. Then I can get to the door before they jump in the lift!

Letterbox Motion Sensor

Setting Up

I attached the monitors and synced them to the SmartThings app This really is simpler to do than I thought it might be! I chose to be alerted whenever the letterbox opens and closes. Then I set the notification tone to the noisiest one I could find. Now, whenever I receive letters or ‘Miss’ a delivery I receive a notification saying ‘You’ve got mail!’. This has helped us out loads this week as we have begun ordering presents ready for Christmas. I have already managed to catch a delivery driver before he got in the lif,t, so I’m really pleased!

Easy To Use

I have been majorly impressed by how quick, simple and easy it has been to set up & use the SmartThings and control them via the SmartThings App. Admittedly I get notifications whenever the door is opened and closed however as I have a 5yo daughter who has recently begun to try answering the front door alone it has actually been more useful than annoying. It also lets me know when my 16mo daughter is trying to post toys and pegs out the door too!

More SmartThinking Needed!

I’m still unsure how to use the SmartThings Multi Sensor and Presence sensor so if any of you have any idea’s you’d like me to try I’ll give it a go! Otherwise I shall hopefully have something figured out by next weekend!

Samsung SmartThings

I previously posted here that I had been selected to test the Samsung SmartThings starter kit thanks to The Insiders!

So after a few weeks of having the Samsung SmartThings and trying to work out what to do with them, I eventually braved opening the parcel to see what The Insiders had sent me.

SamsungSmartThings
Samsung SmartThings Starter Kit

Inside the Samsung SmartThings Starter Kit

  • SmartThings Hub
  • SmartThings Multi-Sensor
  • SmartThings Motion Sensor
  • SmartThings Presence Sensor
  • Smarthings Power Outlet
SmartThings Plug

Setting Up

The Hub itself is a simple design. It connects to your router enabling all your Things to wirelessly connect allowing you to control them via the SmartThings app.

It is easy enough to set up the hub and connecting the SmartThings app to it is done by entering a short code that is supplied in the box.

Once you have connected the hub and set up the SmartThings app your ready to go!

SmartThings Power Outlet

The first thing I tried was the SmartThings Power Outlet to control our table lamp in the living room. To do this I plugged the lamp into the Power outlet which goes into your usual Plug socket.

I then went into the SmartThings app and Added ‘Living Room’ as a room. Then I had the option to turn the outlet on and off.

I was instantly impressed I could just simply use my Smart phone to turn the outlet on or off, set a timer or set it to interact with another product such as the Presence sensor or Motion detector. This means the possibilities are almost endless allowing you to use your imagination to come up with all sorts of useful ideas. After playing around with the app I also discovered you can see what the power usage is of the Power outlet.

Having Fun

I considered testing out all the Things and sharing the results all in one blog post. Instead I thought perhaps I could make this even more fun. Since I will be testing this for a few weeks I’llask my readers for some suggestions! So, What would you do with the Samsung SmartThings? What Should I test next and what should I try to do with them? Leave a comment with your suggestions and ill try them out!

Watch this space…

Watch this space! The Insiders have once again allowed me to participate in one of their amazing campaigns. I can’t wait to share it with you all!

In a previous post I mentioned I received the LGG4 and LG Infinim headphones to test and review and posted a short & sweet review here.

This time However I have been invited to test out the Samsung Smart things! Im very excited to see what is in the box as the description describes the Samsung Smart things as being “the best way to cheaply and easily keep you connected and in control of your home.”.

I’m expecting the box to arrive within the next fortnight and will be sharing with you all just what exactly is in the box and my thoughts on the product itself so watch this space!!

Strange words from the 5 Year Olds mouth

Kids always come out with weird stuff dont they? Or is that just my daughter? Over the last few months she has been coming out with some rather odd stuff..

Admittedly having the parents she has its hardly surprising as we aren’t exactly ‘normal’ but even I’m a little shocked by the following things she has come out with recently…

  • Can I get a my little pony? Then cut its eyes out and chop its hair off, pull out the stuffing and colour it in and make a zombie pony?
  • Mum can I have some dead squirrels? So I can draw with them and make things out of them?
  • I’m going to buy vanish gold for my birthday. So I can throw it in your face and video it and put it on youtube. That would be so funny!
  • (Latest one! April) Mummy so & so has a willy, he told me! Daddy doesn’t though…

My Favourite product tests so far this year

I’m sharing my favourite product tests so far this year as it’s quite nice to see what is possible. The world of product testing and reviews is huge and I’m so glad to be a part of it.

My Favourite product tests:

LGG4

As I mentioned previously TheInsiders sent me my lovely LGG4 along with the LG Tone Infinim Bluetooth headphones back in may which was a lovely surprise as I entered the Campaign unsure if the site was legit or not even after doing some research.


Luckily for me TheInsiders really are legit and I was able to test both items. For the campaign I had to enter a photo competition which unfortunately I didn’t win as I was stuck indoors with a teething baby most of the time, I also had to write a review for them and was then allowed to keep the phone and headset. I have really come to love the phone as it covers the main things I look for in a phone, Good camera, good battery & speedy with good connectivity. 

The LGG4 has an amazing 16MP Camera as well as an 8MP front facing camera which is used daily by myself and both my daughters who now love a good selfie haha! The battery in comparison to my HTC ONE X I previously owned is impressive even with my overuse. The system keeps up with me at least 98% of the time even with my photo gallery overflowing and killing the memory.

I had a lot of problems with the ONE X when it came to wifi however with the LGG4 I’m not only able to connect via wifi anywhere in my flat but also approx 100-150m range from my home! Rather handy for friends with no credit/data to let us know they are here haha! All in all a perfect phone for me and one I would most definitely recommend!

Relentless

My second favourite isn’t technically a product test of my own but my Mr’s, He completed a survey and we received a 4 pack of relentless which just so happens to be my favourite drink 😉

Jacobs Cracker Crisps

Doing a campaign for Bzzagent I received a box containing Jacobs cracker crisps in all 3 varieties, Thai sweet chilli, Sea salt & balsamic vinegar and Cream& chive along with a few vouchers to hand out. I like the Thai sweet chilli but I can’t eat too many at once, Sea salt & Balsamic vinegar isn’t a flavour for me at all, however, the Cream and chive were absolute heaven! I could (and did!) eat a whole bag to myself, they are so moreish and lovely dipped in Philadelphia, these are going to become a regular snack for me.

Garnier Ultimate Blends

Another Campaign run by Bzzagent was the Garnier Ultimate blends nourishing repairer collection, In the box, I received a lovely big bottle of Shampoo, Conditioner and 2x 1-minute hair treatment. After testing them for a few weeks and having impressive result’s I have swapped to the range but I am currently trying out The marvellous transformer collection and again I am pleased with the results and has even made me make time to straighten my hair regularly. There is a wide range of collections available to suit every hair type I would most definitely recommend finding the right collection for you and trying it out for yourself!