Wednesday, 17 August 2016

What's in my hospital bag!



As of today I am officially due in four days so I thought it was about time I shared what I packed in my hospital bag - now that I've finally finished packing it. I've sort of left it to the last minute considering with Ella I was all packed by 35 weeks compared to now at 39 weeks 3 days! Oh well better late than never, good thing this baby has stayed put for now.

I realise I have probably over packed again but I learnt from last time that you just never know how things are going to go. With Ella I was totally over packed but I ended up using everything and needing more! Because I had a c-section I had a two day stay in hospital and then a five day stay at my local birthing centre - which wasn't as planned!

This time though, I should hopefully only have the maximum two day hospital stay even if I end up having another c-section as I want and need to get back home to Ella as soon as possible. I am not planning on going to a birthing centre after my hospital discharge but you can never be too sure, so once again I've packed plenty.

So, here goes. This is what I have packed for myself and baby!



Baby's bag

I hate that this child is referred to as baby, since we don't know what we are having everything I have packed is "gender neutral" not that I have an issue with gender specific clothing or colours. This bag is just a luggage carry on from Strandbags if I remember rightly.

I have packed:

5x all in ones


The three on the left are all in ones from Marks & Spencers London, the navy and white striped all in one is Bonds Australia and the mint green striped all in one (not gender neutral) is Carters from Farmers (a hand me down from Ella, i'm pretty sure Carters is no longer sold at Farmers).

3 x plain white singlets (these were are bargain at about $2.50 each on sale from T&T, 100% cotton)


2x T-shirt onesies from Marks & Spencers (I may even pack an extra one)


3x newborn hats


The knitted bunny eared hat is from Cotton on Kids, the two on the right are pack from Marks & Spencers (to match the all in ones)

1x Love To Dream swaddle suit and 1x muslin swaddle (not pictured)


Ella would never stay in a standard swaddle so we used the love to dream swaddle, which was great because she liked sleeping with her arms above her head but still allowed her to feel secure. I've included a muslin swaddle (not pictured) just in case this baby doesn't like the swaddle suit or prefers a traditional swaddle.

2x blankets. The one on the left is a muslin dream blanket from Aden and Anais and the knitted one on the right is from kmart. I know the hospital provides blankets but I like to take a couple of my own just to be on the safe side. I may even take another one as well.


Even though we don't yet know what we are having, I have packed a girly "going home" outfit just incase we are having a girl. This is the one Ella wore home.


Most hospitals and birthing centres do provide nappies and wipes but I still like to have my own handy just in case. I'm taking one packet of disposable cloth wipes from Thinkwise (I don't like to use wet wipes on my newborns unless I really have to) and 10 treasures newborn nappies - I just preferred these with Ella.


I think that is pretty much everything I needed/used with Ella although I will probably add a couple of flannel type cloths for any potential spilling episodes and another cardigan, but generally the hospitals have it covered. Not to mention or forget the capsule which is yet to be installed in the car!

For me:




This bag is a weekender bag I got from Colette Hayman. I haven't bothered taking photos of any of the clothes I'm taking - it's not as much fun as cute baby clothing so i'll just list what i'm taking.

- 2 nursing singlets
- 2 t-shirt nursing tops
- 2 nursing bras
- 1 long sleeved nursing top (bearing in mind that it's ridiculously hot in the hospital)
- 1 nursing hoodie
- 2 loose comfy cardigans
- 3 pairs of maternity underwear (I may end up adding more)
- 3 pairs of ankle socks
- 2 pairs of pyjama bottoms
- 2 pairs of basic leggings
- Slippers
- Shoes

In terms of toiletries I went to kmart and the supermarket and bought a whole heap of miniature things, so much easier to pack!



I have:

- Toothbrush
- Toothpaste
- Mouthwash
- Tissues
- Deodourant
- Hand cream
- Facial Moisturiser
- Dry shampoo
- Bodywash (eco store)
- Shampoo (eco store)
- Conditioner (eco store)
- Body lotion (eco store
- hair brush (not pictured)
- Spare hair ties


As with baby the hospital generally has most things covered when it comes to maternity essentials but the serial overpacker I am likes to take my own just incase.

I have one packet of maternity pads, four pairs of breast pads (these are my favourite ones from Rite Aid, which I got from pharmacy direct) and two packets of Hydrogel breast discs which were a lifesaver last time for painfully cracked nipples (also from Pharmacy direct).

I am also going to take some make-up with me, call me vain but a little make-up applied makes me feel better and a little more like myself. I am taking foundation, powder, mascara, blush, lipstick and eyebrow powder.

Added extras:

That is pretty much everything I feel like I'll need but here are some other ideas for things that could come in handy - especially if you think you might be staying a bit longer.

- Snacks for during labour or for your other half.
- Water or powerade (for you or your other half)
- Microwave meals (were great for my Hubby to have when he didn't get fed by the hospital or birthing centre).
- Your own pillow
- A nursing pillow (can be really useful, I loved mine)
- Camera and charger (charge it before you go and make sure you have space on your memory card)
- Cellphone
- Loose change for hospital vending machines, parking machines or just for a coffee (to keep your other half awake).
- A wheat bag (good for your back during labour or to warm up baby's bed while they are feeding, some birthing centres have these on hand)
- Nipple cream can be helpful, lansinoh nipple cream is quite good but I found that bit of breastmilk rubbed in worked just as well.
- Ural sachets (helps to take the sting out when going to the loo)
- Any medications or supplements you need to take


Hopefully I haven't forgotten to add anything but if worst comes to worst Hubby will he sent home to pick up anything I may have forgotten.

I hope that by sharing this with you it might give you some ideas as to what to pack in your own hospital bag!




Monday, 30 May 2016

REVIEW - Hot Milk Lingerie Nursing Bra + GIVEAWAY

I was so excited to receive an email from Hotmilk Lingerie the other day asking if I would like to try out one of their nursing bras and seeing as I am now 28 weeks pregnant and at the beginning of the third trimester it couldn't be better timing really - so, I jumped at the chance!

When I was approached by Hotmilk to review one of their bras I must admit I wasn't all that familiar with the brand and what they had to offer, so I decided to do a little bit of Internet surfing and came across their New Zealand website and it turns out they have a huge variety of stylish, high quality nursing bras, sports bras, maternity underwear and sleepwear all designed to offer comfort and support for pregnant and breastfeeding Mums.



Everything available on the site looked so gorgeous and incredibly comfortable, it was a hard choice to make but I decided to go with the "Showoff" nursing bra (in one cup size bigger than I am now, based on the size I was after I gave birth to Ella and when my milk came in) without underwire, that looked to be super comfortable and came in this gorgeous floral print.




Once I had put my order in I couldn't believe just how quickly it arrived in the post, within a couple of days of ordering I had it in my hot little hands and ready to review for you my lovely readers. Before I do though here are a few specs about the bra itself... it features non-wired, soft microfibre fabric,100% cotton lined full cups, wide straps and fastening with easy drop down clips for breastfeeding.

Definitely the first thing I noticed about the bra was just how soft that microfibre fabric was! Not to mention it looked and felt like such a good quality bra. When I put it on I was not disappointed! Even though it has no underwire or cupping so to speak, it did offer great support and felt so comfortable - and at a time where painfully engorged boobs are a given it is nice to know at least my bra will offer some much needed comfort and support! The wide shoulder and back straps offer extra security (the larger sized bras also offer even wider straps for the fuller busted Mamas who require a bit of extra support) and the easy one handed, drop down cups mean you can easily feed your baby quickly without the need to mess around with any fussy clips and fastenings.






Now, that the practicalities are out of the way I should add just how pretty the bra itself is - generally "pretty" and "practical" don't go hand in hand but at a time when you've probably not been able to shower or brush your hair in a good few days (or weeks even) why wouldn't you want some gorgeous lingerie that is not only gorgeous but good quality and practical?

The aim of this review was to offer an honest and open opinion on Hotmilk lingerie's bras. You may think that all I have done is rave about a product that was sent to me but in all honesty I couldn't find any negatives to report because I genuinely love the product I was sent, it's extremely comfortable, supportive, allows room for growth - as my body naturally changes, fits me well and is good quality - what more could you want in a product?

Now that I've gone on and on about this bra, maybe it's time I offer one of you lovely expectant Mums the opportunity to try it for yourself? The lovely people at Hotmilk Lingerie have allowed me to giveaway one of these gorgeous "Showoff" Nursing Bra to one lucky Mama!

I will be running the giveaway over on my Facebook page and he winner will be announced on the 27th of June at 7.30pm NZT.


How to enter? Simple! All you have to do is:

1. Like my Facebook page A Kiwi Mumma


3. Tag some friends who you think might like to own one of these beautiful nursing bras.

Thank you so much to Hotmilk Lingerie for sending me this product to review and giveaway!






Disclaimer: This product was sent to me for my review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own honest views.

This GIVEAWAY is open to New Zealand residents only.



Tuesday, 24 May 2016

I'm sure you mean well but please...just don't.


As I am now at the beginning of the third trimester i'm starting to get tired, a little grumpy and a tad "ranty" because as I get further along my bump is once again - as is what happens when you are pregnant - becoming more obvious and starting to draw attention.

I'm not sure if it's because I look like a child pregnant with a child, or if it's because nobody's ever seen a short ass pregnant lady before. Either way, the looks, comments, and pointing of strangers (at my belly) gets old pretty quick.

When I was pregnant with Ella, I got so many comments from people who, I'm guessing, thought they somehow had the right to comment on the size of my bump - when in reality, they had no such right. Some of the comments I received were along the lines of "Are you sure there aren't more than one in there?" (The classic question a lot of pregnant women get asked) or "When are you due?" and when I gave my reply of "10 weeks" I got the bewildered reply of "are you sure?" I am yet to recieve those comments this time around but I think that is probably because I'm only just heading into my third trimester and baby is yet to have packed on the pounds - there is plenty of time yet. 

I can understand that the people who say these things don't intend on causing any offence (or at least I hope) and they are intended in a more jovial, joking way but when you receive comments like that everytime you leave the house it's enough to make you want to just stay at home and hibernate.

"Why" you may ask "do you find these offensive?". For a starters, unless you are 100% sure that a woman is pregnant it's really best not to ask because for all you know I could have been carrying leftovers from my last pregnancy or I could be suffering from a medical condition that made my tummy swollen and enlarged. 

Secondly, when you tell an exhausted, hormonal pregnant women (or insinuate) that she is either really big or really small it can be taken quite personally. You see, we are well aware of what size we are. We spend a good nine months growing a human being, going through all the joys pregnancy brings, bearing all the stretchmarks that little person creates on our bodies and we look in the mirror each day and notice how big or small we are all whilst counting down the days until we are no longer pregnant. WE ARE WELL AWARE. You may think it's helpful or funny to point it out but as a matter of fact it bloody well is NOT!

As women in general, we tend to be very critical of ourselves and the way we look. When we're pregnant it tends to be a lot worse. I know I have days where I don't feel great about myself and when you're just feeling HUGE and a complete stranger (or even worse, someone you consider family or a friend) comes up to you just to comment on your size, and by doing so, just re-enforces the fact that you really are HUGE! Sometimes, it even happens on those days when you leave the house feeling pretty good about yourself and like you are in fact rocking your bump only for someone to pass a comment that completely brings you back down to earth. It doesn't feel good. It sucks. It can hurt and you sure as hell don't forget it in a hurry.

I'm not quite sure why people seem to be so surprised by the size of a pregnant woman's belly, it's enough to make you think they don't know much about the birds and the bees. After all, when you conceive a child and carry it for nine months, generally, your stomach increases in size to accommodate said child.

So, please if you are the sort of person that likes to comment on the size of a pregnant woman's tummy... PLEASE! JUST DON'T. We don't enjoy it. For, we know we are quite big or quite small. We are sure (unless you are actually carrying twins) there is just one in there - thanks to the accuracy of scan technology these days. We know the size of our ass is getting bigger, or we're retaining water. We know exactly when we are due, because we spend most of the nine months counting down the weeks until our baby arrives. We know we look tired, or exhausted because fact of the matter is being pregnant IS tiring and exhausting.

If you really MUST say something, or you just can't help yourself, why don't you offer a compliment instead? Wouldn't that be nice? Something along the lines of "Congratulations, you look great!". Instead of criticising, or making jokey comments why not compliment her? I know it would sure as hell make her day and put a little spring in her step to help her get through each day of a very long and tiring 9 month journey.


Sunday, 17 April 2016

Contemplating life as a Mum of two - my fears and worries.







This has been playing on my mind for sometime now, ever since I found out I was pregnant with number two it's bothered me. In fact, it's bothered me so much I ended up in tears because I was petrified. It may sound silly or to you it may not be worth crying over - bearing in mind that I am a hormonal pregnant lady - to me it was a big deal and still is - I also know for sure I am not the only Mother to have felt this way.

When I decided to become a Mother I was so excited about the prospect of having a child and the bond I expected to have with her. When she arrived it was safe to say that those feelings far surpassed my expectations, I was completely overwhelmed with love for her. I never could have anticipated just how strong those feelings were and as time has gone on, as she's gotten older and as her personality has grown, those feelings continue to intensify. 

What I didn't anticipate, however, was the predicament I am currently in now. Maybe predicament is the wrong word? Whatever word is appropriate, I find myself feeling nervous and on edge about the prospect of what having another child might do our relationship as Mother and Daughter. 

That sounds awful really when you think about it but in all honestly I have struggled to feel broody, or clucky in anticipation of the arrival of baby number two. Don't get me wrong it's not that I'm not excited about its imminent arrival. It's more the fact that this time around I find myself having to deal with a lot of other feelings and emotions that I didn't experience when I was pregnant with Ella. I suppose it doesn't help that I'm constantly preoccupied with an energetic toddler who takes up all of my spare time. This does not leave much room for daydreaming about delicious little newborn cuddles.

Ella has gotten to the age now where she calls me Mum and she comes to me of her own accord for a hug and a kiss. When I'm in the kitchen preparing lunch or dinner she'll come up behind me and wrap her arms around my legs. We have such a strong bond now that I worry how it will be affected when I have a newborn that requires more attention and care than Ella needs. I understand that Ella's bond with her Dad will strengthen but a part of me is terrified at the thought of whether we will lose our bond.

I know I am probably being completely irrational but it's something that's been playing on my mind ever since I found out I was pregnant. Another part of me worries about how much Ella will miss out on when she is no longer the only child. Will she pick up on that? Will she think that she's not important anymore? or will she think that Mummy doesn't have as much time for her anymore? 

At the end of the day, I'm sure she will be fine. I know that it's just my thoughts getting the better of me and my brain working on overdrive (as it does). I think it comes down to, in part, my selfish need for her to need me as her Mother and for her to look to me as the nurturer. 

I'm fully aware that this post is full of rhetorical questions that no one could possibly answer. I fully understand that no one could answer these questions in a way that will satisfy me until I find out for myself when baby number 2 arrives. It could be that I love Ella so much and my heart is so filled with love for her that i question how could I possibly love another so much? The logical part of my brain knows that these questions are ridiculous. Maybe i can take some comfort in knowing that my heart has so much more love to give. If i didn't know that my heart has so much room to love, why else did I yearn to have another baby?

Maybe these are irrational fears that all Mothers face at some point in their lives. I know for a fact that my own Mother and Father feel just as much love for me as they have felt for my younger Sister. Maybe the answers to my questions lie in the fact that the human heart is forever expanding to accommodate for new loves that may not have existed before.






Tuesday, 12 April 2016

NEW RECIPE | Brown Butter Cinnamon Crinkle Cookies

It's been awhile since I've had the energy to do any baking, it always involves so much cleaning - just something I haven't been able to think about - but I saw these "Brown Butter Cinnamon Crinkle Cookies" the other day over on Cookies and Cups and they looked too good to not to give them a try!

They don't take very long to do, I managed to do them even with Ella tugging on my sleeves - as she seems to do even more frequently these days.

They were actually quite tasty, a different sort of flavour and texture unlike your typical cookie.

So, here you go...

Brown Butter Cinnamon Crinkle Cookies



You will need:

10 tablespoons butter (roughly 142 grams)
2½ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup icing sugar


1. Place the butter in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the butter melts and begins to foam. Continue to cook, whisking (or swirling the pan) frequently until the butter becomes an amber color, this should take 2-3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool slightly.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

3. Add the granulated and brown sugar into the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Pour the cooled butter into the sugars and mix on medium speed to combine. Add in the eggs and vanilla, mixing just until smooth.

4. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Cover the mixing bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

5. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.

6. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Set aside.

7. Place the icing in a shallow bowl. Divide the chilled dough into 1- tablespoon sized balls. Roll each ball into the powdered sugar and place onto the prepared pan, about 2- inches apart.

8. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies are set.

9. Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to finish cooling.

YUM!

These are so tasty and so worth the cleaning down!



Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Pregnancy update - 20 weeks - the halfway mark

As I announced my pregnancy fairly late this time round, I decided that it would be good to do a general pregnancy update as we are now officially at the halfway mark!

I am 20 weeks today and due with baby number 2 on the 24th of August 2016.

This pregnancy has similarities to when I was pregnant with Ella but it also differs.



Symptoms so far:

- Morning sickness up until 17 weeks with bouts of nausea in the evenings still.
- Lower back pain
- Ligament pain
- Tiredness
- Tender stomach and boobs
- Breaking out in spots

Much the same as Ella except morning sickness finished at 15 weeks with no continuing nausea, although I think the reason I'm still feeling nauseous at times is because I'm tired all the time - thanks to having a toddler which I didn't have the first time round, I should have appreciated my toddler free pregnancy way more!

______________________________________________________

Weight before pregnancy: 55kgs
Weight currently: 61kgs

As you can see I've already gained 6kgs at 20 weeks and I'm under strict instructions (from my OB) to not exceed anymore than 12kgs in total - unlike last time where I gained 20!

______________________________________________________

We had our 20 week anatomy scan on Monday and according to the Sonographer baby looked well and is growing accordingly. We are not finding out the sex this time around - although not my choice - so this one will be a surprise! The organiser/planner/surprise hater in me is finding it quite difficult not knowing but I promised my Husband that if we found out the first time he could have his surprise the second time around.




The scan took a maximum of 50mins which was so different with Ella who wouldn't stop wriggling and kicking in her anatomy scan, so much so the scan took over 2 hours! It seems this baby is so much more relaxed.

I started to feel movement and little baby kicks - totally the best part of pregnancy - at about 19 weeks as I have an anterior placenta which means baby is well covered and it's harder to feel movement.
______________________________________________________

I have met with my Midwife twice so far and everything is tracking much the same as last time. This time, however, I have met with and Obstetrician at the Hospital to discuss my options to try for a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean) as you will know that Ella ended up as an emergency c-section due to lack of progress and dilation.

They don't see why I can't try again for a natural birth but I have been told that I will be birthing at the Hospital (rather than a birthing unit) and if I don't progress (cervix dilation) at an active rate then a c-section will happen a lot quicker - as Syntocinon won't be given this time due to the possibility of my scar rupturing.

I also have to watch my weight in hopes of not having another 8lbs+ baby - which will make a natural labour, for me, more possible!

______________________________________________________

All and all, everything is heading along nicely, I'm feeling pretty good just with the odd twinge and minor discomfort. I can't quite believe I'm already at the halfway mark!


In 20 weeks I'll have another newborn and I'll be a Mother to two-under-two! Eeep!

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

What we are up to at the moment - day-to-day life and a special announcement.

I know I've already done a "where we've been" post but I have good reason (I promise) to post this one as well.

Where we are

As you may know we have upped sticks and moved to Christchurch for my Husbands job. We are currently living in a small one bedroom flat and Ella is back in our room - short term.

The reason for the temporary accommodation is because we are having a house built in a different part of Christchurch. It's all very exciting, the framing is up, the guttering and roof is hopefully going on next week. It is due to be completed at the beginning to middle of June - which can't come soon enough! 



It's a bit cramped currently, but it's not for too long. The Landlords who own the flat are so lovely and so accommodating they've even allowed us to use their heated pool - which is a huge novelty!

We've also been travelling all over Christchurch, to look around, from the City Centre, to Akaroa, to Lake Coleridge, Lake Ellesmere, Amberley, the East Coast and beyond. It's been heaps of fun exploring and finding out where everything is and where we want to be based.

My next task is to join a couple of local Mum groups to try and make some new friends as I think it's important for Ella to socialise.  We are lucky to already have our friend just around the corner, who is the same age as Ella who we see fairly regularly.

I've also put Ella on the waiting list for swimming lessons, so that we can keep her confident and learning to swim.

Ella update

As you've probably seen in my recent post or photos on Facebook Ella has grown and changed a lot.


She is:

- 16 months old today
- Weighing in at 11.6kg (at her 15month check-up)
- 78cm tall
- She has 8 teeth (4 on the top and 4 on the bottom)
- Walking (Started walking at 14 months, a couple of days after we moved to Christchurch)
- Babbling/talking
- She can say Mum, Dad, what's this or what's that?, hello and Yum etc.Plus, lots of sounds, noises and general chatting.
- She knows what a cow is and whenever she sees one (real or otherwise) she moos at it.
- She can point to her or our tummies when you ask her to. She can bring you certain things, like her dummy or her cuddly bunny. She tries to jump, when you say to.

Update about me?

Well, if you haven't guessed already thanks to the Facebook update that brought you here. 

I am PREGNANT with baby number two!



I am currently 19 weeks pregnant today and due on the 24th of August.

This was also a BIG reason for my absence from blogging, I was extremely tired and suffering from morning sickness. I'm feeling better now, still tired of course, but not so sick. I still have the occasional bout of nausea but I think that's due to tiredness.

I will be posting an update on my pregnancy so far and how things have been going in a couple of days.

We are very excited at the prospect of Ella having a little brother or sister in 4 and half months or so and I can't wait to keep you updated on what those months brings. 

It also means I will have two under two! Eep! Ella will be 21 months by the time baby number two arrives.

Me at 17weeks.