Tuesday, 30 August 2016

C-Section FAQs.

Despite knowing Violet was breech for the majority of my pregnancy, I hadn't quite prepared myself for having to have a c-section. At my 34 week appointment, my midwife said bump had turned and was officially head down ready for the birth. I was so incredibly relieved and excited to think there was a good chance I could have the natural water birth I had planned. Unfortunatly, that wasn't to be and after 30+ hours of labour, Violet was still in fact breech and I was whisked off for an emergency c-section.

I thought I'd put together a little FAQ on c-sections with a few things I wish I had known before heading into hospital.

What does a c-section feel like?
I had a spinal block (more about that later) which meant I was completely numb from the top of my bump down. This obviously makes the procedure completely pain free, but that doesn't stop you for feeling something. I felt a lot of tugging, stretching and pressure whilst they got Violet out, but after that I was pretty unaware of anything happening. It was in no way uncomfortable, just a very strange experience.

What anaesthetic will I have?

As far as I'm aware, they can offer either a general anaesthetic or spinal block for a c-section. I had the latter, which was easily the thing I was terrified of the most. In fact, it was absolutely fine. You are given a local anaesthetic to numb the area, which stings a little but means you can't feel a thing when the larger needle is inserted. The block acts in a few minutes and makes you feel very heavy and as though your legs are no longer attached. It's actually quite funny when you touch your legs and can't feel it! It lasts around 6 hours and as soon as its worn off you can get up. Due to the loss of feeling, you will have a catheter inserted as you have no control over the feeling in your bladder - very glamourous! I also had a cannula inserted to give IV fluids throughout the procedure and giving easy access should you need any blood.

How long does it take?
Violet was out within around 5 minutes, but what I didn't realise was how long it takes to sew you back up. I was in theatre a further 40 minutes while they stitched me up. It was a long 40 minutes, while I could see and touch Violet, I couldn't cuddle her or do skin to skin as I'd hoped, until I was off to recovery.

What does the scar look like?
My scar is around 5-6 inches and sits just below my bikini line. It's pretty neat and tidy and appears to be healing well. The surgeon used dissolvable stitches, so I had nothing removed after the surgery. My midwife removed the dressing, five days after my surgery and checked to make sure the scar was healing well.

What is the recovery like?
I'm now almost 6 weeks post-op and getting on quite well. You are advised not to push the pram until at least 2 weeks, and then no further lifting or exercising until at least 6 weeks. You are also not insured to drive until 6 weeks post-op or until you are safe to do an emergency stop. I found that I thought I could walk for miles like I was used to, but then 5 minutes in I would be struggling. Take it slow, it certainly gets easier.

I found the first three weeks, really tough both mentally and physically. It was quite difficult coming to terms with having a c-section and no amount of "at least you're both healthy" makes it easier. A mixture of hormones and a guilty feeling of "why couldn't I do the one thing my body is made to do?", makes it really difficult. But once my hormones settled and the pain was more controlled, I started to feel more like me again. I've also read lots about c-sections and other people's accounts of their experience, which has been a huge help.

Any extra advice?
Take regular pain relief, never underestimate the power of paracetamol!

If visitors offer to give you a hand at home and clean your kitchen, then let them. And if they're expecting a brew when they pop round, they know where the kettle is.

Lastly, don't take any negativity around c-sections to heart. You grew and carried a baby for nine months, that's pretty incredible. And by no means is a section the easy way out, you've probably gone under the knife to ensure you and your baby are safe and no body can take that away. 
Have you had a section?

Katie xx


Friday, 26 August 2016

Toni & Guy Style Fix.

A few weeks before my little munchkin arrived in the world, the lovely people at Toni & Guy asked if I'd like to try out their new Style Fix* range. Of course, I jumped at the chance to pamper myself before bump arrived. However little miss had a few other ideas, so I've just got around to having a play around with them. 

First up, let's discuss this gorgeous packaging and colour scheme. I love the vibrant colours, particularly this incredible mint green? The pop of colours on each of the products is super cool and makes them easily stand out from other brands on the shelves. 

First up I was kindly sent the Style Fix Curler curling tong, which not only looks incredible but works really well too. The wand heats up to 210 Celsius, so gets pretty toasty without ruining your hair. I have really fine, mid-length hair and this is  great for curling my locks. 

Next up is the Style Fix Straightener. The straighteners feature some pretty gorgeous bright blue plates. They are super sleek and thin enough to pop in my day bag for on the go. These are ideal if you're in the market for some new straighteners and want something a little different to the basic black designs. 

Finally the Style Fix Waver is possibly my favourite of the three. I love having my hair waving and that effortless post-beach look is easily one of my faves. It doesn't hurt that these have a fabulous neon pink plates too. They're so quick and easy to use, they're definitely my go-to hair styler of choice at the moment. Plus if I do a thorough enough job, I don't need to re-wave my hair for a couple of days. 

So that's the extremely gorgeous Style Fix range from Toni & Guy. They're perfect for people on the go and super slim and light, to easily travel with. And that pretty pop of colour adds something a little quirky to the range.

Have you used anything from the Style Fix range?

Katie xx


Monday, 15 August 2016

Things I've Learnt Since Have a Baby.

So I've been doing this mama thing for almost four weeks now, where has time gone? My little peanut is doing so well and is more and more alert everyday despite still not being at my due date! I am still a complete novice at this whole motherhood thing but I thought I would share a few things I've learnt about my newborn over the past few weeks. 

1. Poop - You will discuss your babies bowel movements more than you would like to admit. Who knew how different baby poop could be? And why is it always so explosive and during a nappy change?! I've spent a lot of time in baby change areas over the past few weeks in hysterically laughing with my hubby over the amount of poop that comes out such a small human. And boy do we go through some nappies. FYI Aldi nappies are amazing, Sainsbury's are not. 

2. Communication - I had no idea how you knew when a newborn wanted food/nappy change/cuddles, before I had my own. It's amazing how they communicate and how your parental instinct just knows what they need. Violet pulls the most hilarious facial expressions, especially when she's ready for food. 

3. Clothes - I spend my life looking at baby clothes. Why is it all so adorable? Violet has so many gorgeous things l, we are trying to make sure she wears everything at least once before she grows out of it and moves onto the bigger size. Baby vests and sleep suits are the absolute staple in her wardrobe, and the nappy bag for emergency outfit changes when we are out and about. 

4. Growing - My tiny baby seems to change everyday. She's gone from being a tiny 5.5lbs to 6.11lbs in three weeks. She's almost the size of a full term baby and finally fitting into newborn clothes. It's crazy how much she changes everyday, I feel like I need to take in every second and savour those gorgeous baby cuddles. 

5. Baby stuff - This little tiny human has so much stuff. Everywhere we look there is baby related items. My kitchen is full of bottles, my living room has all the essentials and then our bedroom has V's crib. It's crazy how much paraphernalia babies come with, but I can't imagine managing without any of it. Thank god for her rocking chair!

6. One-handed Wonder Woman - I've become some sort of expert of using one hand for almost everything. Violet likes lots of cuddles, which is fine by me, but pretty tricky when I have 101 other things to be doing. So I've become a master of balancing baby and managing to get the odd thing done. I even managed to eat a yoghurt one handed, which I was pretty impressed with...

I can't wait to watch my little bean grow up and see more of her personality. But for now I'm enjoying every second of baby cuddles while we get to know each other, there really is nothing like the bond you have with your baby. 

Katie xx


Thursday, 4 August 2016

The Ultimate Eyeshadow Base.

Taking it back to beauty today and a little make up product in literally obsessed with. For a good year or so I've used Mac paint pots as my go-to eyeshadow base. I just find they are so much easier to use and don't leave that awful tacky feeling that some eye shadow primers can. Plus the addition of a bit of colour is just adds something extra to your eyeshadow look. 

Previously I've been dedicated to the shade Soft Beige, but I've recently picked up Groundwork which has been getting a huge amount of love. Soft Beige is a great "plain" base colour that can brighten the eye area. Whereas Groundwork I'd a gorgeous muddy light brown shade, that not only works great as s base colour but can also easily be worn alone. 

My favourite thing about the paint pots is they're so blendable and pretty much fool-proof. They can easily be used by anyone, even if you're not confident with eye make up like me. They last all day and prevent my shadow from creasing meaning I can head out and about and not worry about touching up. Plus a little goes a long way, I can easily see this pot lasting a good 12 months.

Have you tried any of the Mac paint pots?

Katie xx
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