babies · children · Lifestyle · Uncategorized

Then There Was You… Final Part

When I think back on those first days and weeks it seems like it all passed in the blink of an eye. However living it was an entirely different story. Days felt like they would never end, and taking our boy home seemed like it was light years away. It was 12 days before I held him in my arms, and even though this was the best thing that happened to us at the time, it just made me realise how much longer our journey would be.

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He was so sick that we had the “life or death” conversation more times than I care to remember. It’s one of those surreal moments in life where you have the responsibility of making the most important decision you will ever make. I will never forget the feeling and I can honestly say I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

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I don’t want these posts to be a long, monotonous rendition of NICU life from a mothers perspective, but I do think it’s important to share the real parts of our journey. Being unprepared was the worst part for me. I’m a self-confessed control freak and not knowing what is happening, how long its going to take and being able to fix it myself was utterly soul destroying. Needlesstosay we all got through it, despite the roller coaster ride that it was.

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Instead of going into detail about each and every adversity I will instead share all of the obstacles my boy faced in his first 4 and 1/2 months on earth.

 

  • Sepsis – including having to endure a Lumbar Puncture to rule out Meningitis.
  • Both lungs collapsing within days of each other – including having to endure the insertion of 2 separate chest drains.
  • Pulmonary Hypertension.
  • He was diagnosed with Chronic Lung Disease.
  • A Patent Ductus Arteriosus (which is a hole in the heart).
  • 2 different types of Fungal Infection – one of which there was no treatment plan for. This was when we were first asked if we wanted to continue with Matthews care or let nature take its course.
  • He had several blood transfusions (into double figures).
  • He was transferred to another hospital to have a procedure to insert a Central Line as none of his veins were viable for transferring medicines via cannulas.
  • He was on life support (a ventilator breathing for him) for 10 weeks.
  • He was on Byphasic CPAP for 3 weeks.
  • He was on High Flow Oxygen for 3 weeks.
  • He spent 16 weeks in the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit.
  • He spent a further 3 weeks in Special Care.
  • He came home on 0.1LPM of oxygen.
  • He has asthma.
  • He has a Dairy Intolerance.
  • He has quite severe Eczema.
  • He has been re-admitted to hospital on 4 separate occasions since we were discharged.

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There are still many issues that Matthew faces every day. He is a beautiful, smart little boy but his time spent in the NICU has had a lasting effect on him, something which might affect him for the rest of his life.

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He has some quite obvious development delays, like talking for example. He walks and runs and climbs like every other little boy his age, but he really does struggle in other areas.

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He suffers from some Sensory issues and is in fact in the early stages of an Autism diagnosis.

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He gets regular Occupational Therapy and attends a Special Needs Toddlers class, as well as having fairly regular hospital appointments with an array of Paediatric Consultants.

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Looking at him you would never know there had ever been any problems. He has no obvious physical scarring from his time in NICU. However, after spending 5 minutes in his company you would notice his lack of social skills. How scared he gets when he hears a loud noise. How unconventionally he plays with his toys. How he doesn’t ever really look you in the eye, and many more.

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As a mum it’s heartbreaking to watch your child’s inner turmoil. I am the one person who is supposed to take all his hurt and pain away. However, his condition means there isn’t a lot I can do to help him except arm myself with the knowledge I need to get him through all of the hard times he faces.

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After everything he has been through, this is just a tiny blip on the radar. He is beautiful and bright. He is funny and energetic. He is clever and adventurous. He is my perfect little human and I couldn’t be prouder to call him my son.

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Beauty · Lifestyle

Beauty Review – Tarte Cosmetics Maneater Collection 

I recently purchased the Tarte Maneater Collection and have spent the last week trying it out so as to provide a fair and accurate review.
Firstly, it is the most fun and feisty packaging. I love Leopard print… and the added purple just makes it feel all the more girly! 

The collection includes the following: 

Amazonian Clay 12-hour Foundation

This is a full coverage foundation that somehow isn’t heavy on the Skin. I wear the lightest shade which is Fair Beige. It is creamy and easy to apply without looking and feeling cakey on your face.  It has become my absolute favourite foundation and for somebody who wasn’t a fan of a full coverage formula that is saying something. I can also vouch for the 12-hour staying power, even when up against the stress and sweat that comes with chasing a toddler around all day!

Buffer Foundation Brush 

This brush is simply amazing!!! It’s soft, thick bristles feel wonderful on the skin and cover a wide area of the face without having to reapply the foundation. There’s no streaking and unlike some other brushes I’ve used, the bristles don’t feel wet with foundation when your buffing it into your face. 

Self-Sharpening Eyeliner

Now this is a tricky one for me to properly review as I am utterly TERRIBLE at applying eyeliner. However I have swatched the liner and applied it (rather haphazardly) and it goes on lovely. It’s soft tip and high pigment makes it easy (for most people) to apply. Again, much like the foundation it has great staying power which needed several swipes of cotton wool and cleansing oil to remove. 

Voluptuous Mascara

Im already a big fan of Tarte Masacaras with Tarteist Lash Paint being my absolute favourite. The Voluptuous Mascara is similar in the sense that the wands are not unlike each other. There’s a slightly different formula but it’s still really dark and lengthening on the lash. Didn’t have the chance to test how waterproof (if any) it is but again it had really great lasting power that only really started to fall onto the under-eye after about 6 hours. 

Lip Sculptor 

This product is 2 for the price of 1. The first end is a nude-pink lipstick. Creamy formula that feels very moisturising on the lips, while the other end is a nude lipgloss. It’s not tacky or uncomfortable on the lips in any way, instead just providing a glossy look on top of the lipstick or bare lips. Really love this product, and especially since I’m not usually one for nude lip colours! 

Eyeshadow Palette

This beautifully compact little palette comes equipped with a small selection of neutral/ earthy colours. They are all highly pigmented and last well on the eyes. There is also a highlighter included, which can be used on the brow bone or the face to illuminate the skin. It’s the perfect little collection, with all the natural and muted shades anyone would want for everyday wear. 

Double Ended Eyeshadow Brush

This is a basic little product that reminded me a lot of the double ended brushes you get with the Urban Decay Naked Palettes. They are absolutely fine for basic use, but for more intricate and heavier eye looks, you would be looking to use a more well rounded eyeshadow brush. Definitely useful and handy for an everyday look however. 

All in all I have loved using their collection. Some of the products have already become necessary staples in my main makeup bag. I purchased the collection from QVC at the ridiculous price of £43.96 (I still can’t believe it!!!) but unfortunately a few of the items were exclusive to QVC and are therefore not available elsewhere. However, the majority of the collection is, so I would definitely encourage anybody with an interest in makeup to treat themselves to this… You will not be sorry!!! 

babies · children · Lifestyle · Uncategorized

What’s In My Bag – Venturing Out (Toddlers Edition)

Being a first time mum I have discovered a great many things about having a child. Things like never expecting to have a long lie ever again are obvious, but I didn’t fully understand that every time I ventured out with said child,  it would be the equivalent of moving house with all the “stuff” I’d have to bring with me.

Of course, as the tiny human grows, the list of required items to bring with us decreases. Thank goodness!

My tiny human is almost 2 and so I am happy to report our baby bag has drastically reduced in size. Here is a breakdown of the main things in his bag at the minute.

This is a “Tommee Tippee” Sippy Cup. We have tried a few different ones, but have found that while we are trying to slowly wean the tiny human off his bottles, this is the most effective cup for his water and fruit juices. He doesn’t have to use his sucking reflex to the same degree as his milk bottle and so he knows the difference between the both of them.

If someone had told me how many bibs I would need when I had a baby, I would have laughed in their face. I literally have over 50, just to let me get through the week without having to do a washing every single day! This is a must have item in every baby bag!!!

We are at the stage now where our boy can eat along with us, so it’s not necessarily a big must to have a food jar in his bag. However, he’s a toddler and can be a difficult little monkey at times, so in the instances where he refuses to eat with us, we always have his food jar to fall back on. His Biscotti snacks are a no-brainier!
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This is a given… Babies and toddlers are a messy species so Baby Wipes are an absolute necessity! Nappies for the obvious reasons and Sudocrem because it is not only a fantastic cure of nappy rash but is a soother of many other ailments (for adults too).
I used to laugh at these devices. I now not only understand their purpose but I appreciate them greatly. To restrain your tiny human when they frantically try to break free from your grip! They therefore have a permanent spot in the baby bag!!!
No explanation needed really… This is a requirement for all those moments (and there are many) when mine or the company of his daddy are no longer riveting enough to relieve his boredom. This toy in particular is great for the tiny human as it’s a Sensory one and it stimulates him as well as relieving any tension he may be feeling.
Lastly I always have spare outfit. The reason for this is twofold. Firstly he’s a toddler who loves making as much mess as any other child and secondly, if we’re at a function and he’s dressed up we can get him changed and comfortable as soon as he begins to get tired and grumpy. Nothing worse than being exhausted and stuck in your party clothes. Trust me, if I could get away with going to every function in my loungewear I would!

There are a few things that we always have with us that are missing from this list; his dummy and his cuddle blanket for instance. However these are items that he most likely has on him or with him at all times, as opposed to being in his baby bag.

My hubby and I have found that if we at least have all of the things listed above packed and ready, then our days out are generally successful ones, with as little drama as possible.