Monday, 29 October 2012

Mastitis - You Bitch!

Despite exclusively breastfeeding Mini Cheddar, 3 years ago, I never suffered with mastitis.

I now count myself very lucky.

Tiny Ched turned 7 months yesterday and on Friday the most incredible pain in my right breast woke me at 5.30am. I couldn't touch it. The pain started in my armpit and went all the way down to my nipple (ooh there's a word I've never used on my blog before!).

I also felt dreadful. I was aching and shivery.


Even though I'd never had mastitis before I was totally aware of the symptoms.

I got worse.

A lot worse.

An hour later I felt so awful I started crying which woke Matt up.

"I think I've got mastitis" I wailed.

He passed me some painkillers and lay there with me until 8am when we could phone the doctor. Both kids were still sleeping soundly. Isn't it just typical that the first day of half term, the first day with no alarm call or school run, I get woken by an achy tit with the sparrows fart?

Sod's law with bells on!

I was too ill to feel angry though.

I phoned the doctor and managed to get an appointment at 8.50am. Thankfully the painkillers had kicked in and I was able (just about) to drive myself down to the doctors while Matt looked after the children.

The doctor confirmed it.

"You're lucky you've caught it fairly early" she said prodding (as gently as she could) my, now red, boob as I winced in agony "It really is quite horrendous if it gets really severe. You did the right thing coming down straight away".

This was early? Man alive what must the pain feel like if its really severe then? I honestly could have passed out it was that bad when it woke me.

I was aching all over and shivering too. I felt 10 times worse than having full-blown flu.

Mastitis is more common in the first few weeks of breast feeding so I stupidly thought I was pretty safe. How wrong I was. Apparently it was TC clamping down on me during feeds because of his severe teething (that's a whole other post in itself!) that has caused the problem. Thankfully my doctor was well aware of it having breastfed her child for 2.5 years!

I'm not alone in my sufferings with mastitis. The mere mention of it on Twitter and a fair few of my lovely followers told me horror tales of hospitalisation, pain worse than labour and so on.

The doctor gave me a high (but safe in breastfeeding) dosage of antibiotics and anti-inflammatories and told me if I didn't start to see improvement by the morning to get myself to the emergency doctor or A&E - apparently she was concerned about it being an abscess. Nasty.

To cut a painfully long story short, I spent the rest of Friday in bed. At one point I was wearing pyjamas, socks, 2 (yes 2!) dressing gowns and under a 13.5 tog duvet with a blanket and I was still shivering. I couldn't sleep. Although I was tired I felt too ill to even sleep.

I tried to feed TC through it but he started to develop diaorreah on Friday afternoon and by Saturday, even though the drugs were starting to make me feel better, they had upset his stomach and he couldn't keep any feed down at all.

I had no choice (after consulting the doctor again) to stop breastfeeding him and switch to formula.
Sat 27th Oct - possibly the last breastfeeding
picture I will ever take :( It must be fate I took this.

I've mentioned before that Tiny Ched wouldn't take a bottle. Well, it seems he now loves the bottle all of a sudden. The taste of my drug-filled milk has turned him away from my bosom.

I'm heartbroken.

Yes my boobs are aching and I hate expressing and throwing my contaminated milk down the sink but the pain of not being able to feed my little boy is more upsetting. I wanted to stop breastfeeding when I was ready, not when some nasty-assed inflammation decided it was time.

I'm still hopeful I can re-establish a bit of feeding with him once the drugs are out of my system but something tells me this may be an abrupt end to the breast bond with my boy.

So, to anyone who's breastfeeding or about to breastfeed, heed my warning. If you suspect mastitis (although the bitch got me whilst I slept) go straight to your doctor, do not pass go and do not collect £200! It's pretty serious.

Also, if you're a cow, my friend has some prevention medicine*

*Obviously cows don't read my if they'd be interested in my moooooosings! Yup, I'll get my coat.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Love Is...Denying Your Wife Chocolate (Apparently!)

I love my husband.

I mean really love him.

I love how he takes care of our family. I love how he loves me and the kids so much. I love how he is the one who baths the kids and puts them to bed more than me. I love how much he does for them. I love how successful he is in everything he does. I love how we connect and I love how our relationship is full of love and laughter.

Yup, I love him.

There's something I don't love though.

He has a major sweet tooth and a particular fondness for chocolate.

I'm told quite frequently by his parents about how, when he had moved into a house on his own (just before we met), his family went to visit him. His Grandma made him a big chocolate cake. He made them all a cup of tea and never offered them a slice of cake. No, not even a crumb.

I've experienced his mild possessiveness over chocolate occasionally during our 9 years together but nothing prepared me for last night.

He's just started a new job and was away for 3 days. He returned last night full of talk about his new job. He told me tales of going to a meeting in Edinburgh (somewhere we go each Christmas) and how it wasn't the same without me and the kids. Then he told me tales of how his new boss had to buy a birthday present for his partner whilst they were up there. Apparently he walked into a jewellers and thought nothing of spending £6,000 on a Rolex for her.

So when I saw my husband had returned with a large Thornton's carrier bag I was hopeful. I don't need an overpriced watch or expensive presents from him. Sure, the iPad he surprised me with for Mother's Day was nice but I'm more than happy with just a small gesture of affection occasionally.

I was hopeful for some scrummy chocolate. Hormonal and tired after caring for 2 children for almost 72 hours I was looking forward to a treat!

He pulled out a chocolate ghost for MC and she was delighted.

"I can't wait to climb into bed and chill with you" he says to me. That's not code for doing the 'bad thing' by the way *cough* That means sit in bed, watch some comedy on TV, snuggle up and...chill!

Nothing came out the bag though. I guessed he was saving it for a surprise later.

So later on, after both kids are fast asleep, I go into the room to find him already eating the chocolate. The evidence Thornton's carrier bag is on the floor.

"Oooh lovely. Share the wealth." I say to him.

"There is no wealth" he replies...half joking - half not. Stuffing his face with more chocolate from the bag.

I laugh. "Come on".

"Fine" he says in part disgust "Take my favourite chocolates from me".

At this point I realise as this conversation is progressing he's still eating. I also realise he's eating as many as he can and quickly as he can. You would swear he was attempting the Guinness Book of World Records for the most Thornton's chocolates someone can shove in their cakehole in one sitting.

Then he says "Ok, you can have these last two as I've got this other bag I'm opening". He then proceeds to get a fresh bag for himself and passes me two measly chocolates looking rather sad and lonely in the bottom of the bag he's devoured.

That's the point I gave him the bag back and told him it was too late and I didn't want his precious chocolate.

My revenge?
I've been to the shop today and bought 2 boxes of mint Matchmakers (another of his favourites) and I'm going to eat every last one to myself.

The moral of the story? Don't ever deny a woman chocolate.

He's lucky I didn't slice his balls off*

*I wouldn't really slice his balls off nor do I condone this kind of behaviour. Maybe just once a month.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Tiny Ched Isn't So Tiny Anymore

This is a long overdue post.

I'm a bad Mummy as I haven't done an update about Tiny Ched since he was 12 weeks old.

On September the 28th he turned 6 months.

In 5 days time he'll be 7 months.

Yes...7 MONTHS!

I still can't believe it.

I know the time flew when Mini Cheddar was little (now she's in pre-school but that's a whole other update!) but this has gone even quicker. Once we get past Christmas I'll be starting to think about organising his 1st birthday.
Look how grown up he's getting

That's so scary.

TC is growing up so fast and part of me doesn't want him to. I'm enjoying him being a baby too much. I know the next few years will be incredible watching him learn, develop and grow but I just wish they weren't going so fast. In a couple of months when he's out of his Group 0+ car seat I may actually shed a tear.

Anyway, I have to say that he is an amazing baby. Not that MC wasn't - she was just a bit more high maintenance than this little man. She didn't start sleeping through properly for quite a while and suffered a bit with wind. I breastfed her until she was 6 months old too so it used to drive me mad that she was so windy.

Smiley Smilerson
TC? Well, he is breastfed too and I haven't even started to think about stopping yet. He's such a happy little boy (apart from teething urgh!). He's full of smiles and giggles. He doesn't have a dummy and I can put him in his cot at night and for naps when he's awake and he'll soothe himself to sleep quickly (something MC never really did). He also sleeps through between 10 - 13 hours a night straight. No dummy runs across the landing like we had with MC *cheers*

I'm really glad I've had my children this way around. If I'd had such a contented little soul first time, I think it would be quite a shock to have a 'normal' child!

So what's TC been up to these past 7 months?

* He's smiling
* He's giggling
* He's rolling
* He's sitting up
* He's started babbling
* He's moving (everywhere!)
* He's started eating solid food
* He's getting on great with baby led weaning -  we LOVE it!
* He's loved. Very much.

I know I've said it before but I never thought I could love another child as much as I love MC but he totally has my heart. It's amazing how much my heart has expanded and filled with equal love for both my children.

Yesterday the weather was vile and I curled up on the sofa in the afternoon with MC and TC and we chilled out together.

Right then, at that moment, I wouldn't have been anywhere else in the world.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Teatime's A Treat With The Cosatto Noodle Highchair

I've already mentioned on my blog that I was picked to be a Cosatto Brand Buddy which means Tiny Ched and I have the honour of bringing you our reviews of some Cosatto goodies over the next 6 months.

Our first product arrived last week. We were very excited!

The Cosatto Noodle highchair couldn't have arrived at a better time as TC turned 6 months a couple of weeks ago. We couldn't wait to set it up and give it a test run. It took me just under 20 minutes to set up the highchair from it's box to TC being sat in it which was great.

The gorgeous Tiddely-Om-Pom-Pom design
We were sent the Tiddely-Om-Pom-Pom design which is just gorgeous. It really brings a huge spark of colour to our kitchen and Matt and I loved it straight away. The red and white stripes of the seat pad are a real treat. They are also lovely and padded which means TC is extremely comfortable. The 5-point safety harness is in blue which stands out from the seat and looks great. For me, the seat pad is easy to remove which makes cleaning a breeze but the wipe clean fabric is superb so you don't really need to remove it.

As soon as I sat him in it I could instantly see that the whole seating position was much more supportive than our previous highchair. The seat is really secure and the plastic support between the legs means no more baby slipping down. Also, the seat is adjustable to 6 positions which means whatever height you prefer, the chair can be adjusted to suit. There is also a 3-position seat recline so if TC nods off at the table we can tilt him back for a snooze.

I'm baby-led weaning (a whole new experience for me) and the highchair it also prefect for this as the 2 trays can be completely removed so TC can join us at the table for family mealtimes which is great.

TC the Toast Monster. Tiddely Om 'Nom Nom' :)
The Noodle highchair is one of the lower priced highchairs that Cosatto make - I actually found one for £65 online* - but it's certainly not low quality. It also comes in 4 fabulously funky designs!

You know what I love most about Cosatto products? They all come with a FREE 4 year guarantee** That's just how confident the company is. So when you buy you have peace of mind that you are making a good purchase.

Let's face it...weaning can be a nightmare. It can also be great fun too so what better way than to get a great start to weaning than the fabulous Cosatto Noodle highchair.

It definitely gets the thumbs up in this house!

* Prices correct at time of publishing. Prices from approx. £65 to £100 available in 4 designs
**UK and Ireland only

Here's our video review of the Cosatto Noodle highchair. Enjoy!

This is not a sponsored post.  
We were sent the Cosatto Noodle highchair to review 
but all photographs, video, words, views and opinions are entirely my own.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

#ONEMums - The Power Of Blogging

There are lots of things I love about blogging.

It's given me the opportunity to make some fabulous new friends but one of the things I love the most is being able to use my voice to blog for charity. It's been a while since I've blogged about charity - since just before TC was born. Babies eh?

I'm currently on 'maternity leave' from my volunteer job at my local Save The Children shop which I love. I'll be popping in to see my friends there on Friday with some goodies and I'll be able to provide you with an update on things very soon.

For now though, a very dear blogger friend is currently over in Ethiopia as part of the ONE Campaign. Michelle from Mummy From The Heart has made the trip with 11 other inspirational mums and moms to highlight the success of projects and why it's so important that the support is continued. This is ONE's Living Proof story. It's all about letting everyone know what a huge difference that the UK and the US are making to millions of people all over the world.

Please, please, PLEASE pop along to Michelle's blog and follow her incredible journey. She is blogging the most fabulous audio clips of her journey. She is one incredible lady.

To help spread the word in the blogging community, another blogger friend Clare, from Seasider In The City, has devised a fun meme. Taking the first letters from ONEMums (or ONEMoms) create words or phrases that help explain what being a mum is to you.

Here are mine...

Overwhelming love and emotion

Nights out are few and far between (but I wouldn't have it any other way)

Everything I ever hoped it would be...and more

Memories to treasure forever

Unique. Both the experience and my children

Milk monster. My poor boobs will never be the same again!

Simply amazing

Please make sure you follow Michelle's journey on Twitter. You can do this by following her twitter feed or using the hashtags #ONEMums #ONEMoms.

If you only do one thing today then make sure you add your voice to the ONE Campaign by signing up below

Now I'd like to invite the following five bloggers to join in the meme fun:

Inside The Wendy House
Me, The Man & The Baby
New Mum Online
The Real Housewife Of Suffolk County
The Syders

What do you have to do?

* Complete the ONEMums acronym style meme and link your post up on Clare's blog
* Link to ONE so people can join up and read more about the ONE Campaign
* Sign up to ONE to give your voice if you would like to
* Tag some more bloggers so you keep spreading the word
* Share on social media with the hashtag #ONEMums #ONEMoms

Thursday, 4 October 2012

A Much Needed Brew

Before I start, I just wanted to point out that I haven't been asked to write this post. I just wanted to share our experience and let you know some exciting news.

So, things have been up and down lately and I haven't been socialising much. Thankfully the lovely people at Cosatto have helped lift my spirits.

As well as winning Best Baby Blog at The MAD Blog Awards on Friday (have I mentioned that? *cough*) I was invited to be part of The Great Cosatto Cuppa last Wednesday.

The Great Cosatto Cuppa is where they open the doors to their fabulous world of baby brights. They supply the brews and cakes and you get to see their amazing products and talk to the lovely team. It's open to anyone, you just have to keep an eye on the Cosatto Facebook page (they host them every couple of months I believe) and express an interest. They love getting direct feedback from mums and dads and working with parents to improve their products.

We were lucky enough to be asked along as, earlier in the week, I'd heard that Tiny Ched and I had been chosen to be Brand Buddies for Cosatto. I'm totally thrilled about it. I've already blogged about my new love of the Swift Lite Supa Pushchair which TC is loving and I keep getting people commenting on how fabulous it looks! "It is" I tell them enthusiastically. So I'm really happy to be able to share lots of Cosatto goodness with you.

Anyway, I digress.

As usual *slap*

Where was I?

Oh yes. The Great Cosatto Cuppa!

Last Wednesday, if you remember, the weather was pretty vile. What is it with all this rain? Seriously, the weatherman are having a laugh! So, with MC safely at school, TC and I ran to my car - hey, I had my hair to protect from the rain! - and headed off on what should have been roughly a 40 minute drive up to the Cosatto offices in Bolton.

Anyone fancy a cuppa?
An hour and a half later we arrived. The M56 and M62 were not kind to us at all. The offices were on an industrial estate and I parked up and ran jogged lightly - yes, it had rained the whole journey. However, as soon as the doors to their showroom opened I was immediately transported into a world away from the dreariness of outside.

The whole place was bursting with colour! It was amazing how much it lifted my stressed out mood. TC and I were very happy and it wasn't just because we had spotted the amazing 'Cosatto' cakes in the corner.

The team couldn't do enough for us. They kept us fed and watered and it was lovely to meet and chat with other mums and their babies and toddlers.

A world of baby brights
We were given a complete tour of the new Giggle Travel System which is awesome. It has such a compact fold for a travel system - I was seriously impressed. We also got shown a forthcoming highchair which was superb. TC even got to be chief product tester! It was really interesting to hear from Andrew, the CEO, who explained how these meet ups help the team immensely and that his children are now grown up so it's great to have customers help shape the future of the products.

I was really made to feel like part of the Cosatto family. They are such a lovely team of people and you can see the passion they have for their products. Also, I'd LOVE to work in their offices. They have THE biggest (and fastest) slide inside their building. Imagine being able to slide down to a meeting?

I was also crowned a Brand Buddy whilst I was there. I'm not joking either, I got a 'Brand Buddy' crown!  So, I'll be bringing you my opinions on some fab Cosatto products over the next 6 months. Just watch this space!

In the meantime, if you fancy helping Cosatto in their bid to end the world of boring baby stuff then head over to Facebook.  Just like the Cosatto page to keep up-to-date with the next Great Cosatto Cuppa - you never know, the big magic teapot could choose you!

This little man sure had fun!

This is not a sponsored post.  
I was not asked to write it
The Great Cosatto Cuppa is open to everyone but 
you must register and be lucky enough to be picked.
We did receive a goody bag on the day.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

A Risky Business

I'm taking a bit of a risk writing this post.

Some of you may have seen that my activity on my blog (and Twitter and Instagram) has been almost non-existent over the past 2-3 weeks. Once again, I apologise.

Well, you remember back in early Spring, Matt was searching for a new job?


It was a search that took him off to America when I was heavily pregnant. A search that eventually ended up with him starting a new job in early June.

For a while everything was rosy.

But then a few weeks ago, just after a weeks break in Tenby, it all turned pretty sour.

I won't go into details because I don't want to be accused of bad-mouthing the company...just in case. Although I've never divulged the name of the company on my blog. You can't be too careful though, you never know who's reading!

The upshot of all this is that Matt quit his job just over 2 weeks ago.

For a family of 4, with me earning a very limited salary from a small bit of freelance work, this was a pretty scary decision but one I backed Matt on fully. No great salary or fancy car was worth that. Thankfully we are financially secure enough for him to afford to do it for a while.

We both went through a fair few nights of very little sleep because of the fall-out from his resignation.
It turned a bit nasty. I won't say anymore than that.

Thankfully things are on the up.

Matt had managed to secure an interview within 48 hours of his resignation. He had an interview today, has another one on Thursday and one next week. He's also been headhunted by a direct competitor who heard he'd left and say they want to talk to him about joining them.

I haven't been able to blog about it because we still haven't told Matt's parents yet - Matt wants to tell them in person. Although they don't know about my blog so they wouldn't find out I just felt a bit strange writing about it without them knowing. They were supposed to come up this weekend but they cancelled so it drags on another week. If they do eventually discover my blog and read this then I apologise!

I have been itching to blog about it. Blogging can be a great therapy sometimes. Plus, I really wanted to share it with you guys so you understood why I'd been a little quiet of late.

That should change now.

I'm eager to get back to blogging and reading the blogs I love and I'm also looking forward to attending Blog Camp in a couple of weeks. I was unsure if I'd make it as Tiny Ched has a penchant for boob but the other day, for the first time, he actually took a whole bottle of milk!

This was after a great week of finding out I'd been chosen to be a Cosatto Brand Buddy (I love this brand so SO much) and then scooping the Best Baby Blog Award at The MAD Blog Awards on Friday.

Yes things are definitely on the up!*

My world

*I say this but Mini Cheddar has had some awful sickness bug the past 2 days. Can't win 'um all ;)


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