Monday, 24 March 2014

Nexcare Maternity products reviews

During my pregnancy with Peaches Nexcare kindly asked me to trial some of their maternity products. I was very happy to do this given it was my second pregnancy and I wasn't quite as fit as during my firstl. Plus everything seems a little 'looser' second time around so I was keen to support myself as much as possible.

1. Nexcare maternity support

The Nexcare Maternity Support is an adjustable support belt designed to support your bump during pregnancy, helping to spread the weight evenly and reduce back and abdominal pain.

The support lifts the abdomen to help relieve lower back pain caused by the increasing weight of your bump. It also helps to relieve pelvic girdle pain and improves your posture by stabilising your abdomen. 

The Nexcare Maternity Support is made from latex-free soft elastic, and is fully adjustable as your bump grows.

I wore the support every day towards the end of my pregnancy and between weeks 38-41 I felt like it really helped.  My bump was pretty big but the support wasn't uncomfortable and didn't dig in at all.  It helped me stay active chasing Posey around and almost balancing the weight of my bump against the rest of my body.  You couldn't tell I was wearing it as it was so discreet.  The belt is adjustable so will fit different sizes of body and bumps!

2. Nexcare Postpartum Support

I've been wearing this on & off for the last 6 weeks since Peaches was born.

The Nexcare Postpartum Support is a latex-free, elasticated support belt that provides gentle yet firm compression to support weakened abdominal muscles following childbirth. It can be particularly helpful after a caesarean section, or to recover from diastasis recti (muscle separation) giving security, comfort and protection for your abdomen as it heals. Fully adjustable with an easy-to-use Velcro fastening, the amount of support given can be altered by simply stretching the belt a little more or less and adjusting the fastening position. The latex-free composition and soft outer material is gentle on sensitive skin, and the belt is easy to put on and take off without help. Once in place, it sits smoothly and discreetly under your clothes, helping you return to normal activities with confidence. The Nexcare Postpartum Support can be hand washed in cold or warm water with mild detergent. It is not suitable for machine washing or tumble drying. This Medium size fits a waist measurement of 80-96cm; Large sizes are also available. Customers are advised to read the enclosed instructions carefully before using this product.

I didn't have a c-section or difficult birth and I had fairly strong abs before I fell pregnant but having carried Peaches to 41 weeks my abs felt very loose and like I had a 'mummy tummy' for the first 4 weeks.  I wore the support to ensure my weakened abdominal muscles came back together.  Having Posey meant I didn't get much time to rest up and recover from Peaches' birth.  I wanted to carry on doing things with Posey as normal - including her active clubs & taking her to soft play.  This support gave me the reassurance I needed that my recovering abdominals we're being looked after.

It was comfortable to wear & skin coloured, so you couldn't tell I was wearing it.  It even helped disguise my muffin top haha!

3. Nexcare Cold / Hot Maternity Compress

Reusable cold and hot gel compress

·       When hot: use before feeding to stimulate milk flow, unblock ducts from milk residues and help to ease breast engorgement

·       When cold: use after feeding to reduce risk of inflammation, breast congestion and bring immediate natural pain relief.

·       Can be easily fitted into nursing bra

I chose not to breast feed Peaches, as you may have read in previous blogs of mine.  My reasons were entirely personal and I have a lot of respect for breast feeding mums.  It didn't work out for me with Posey so this time I decided to reach straight for the cartons of formula!

I used the maternity compress from when Peaches was 3 days old until she was 10 days old.  My milk came in on day 3 and got really painful between days 4-6.  In fact it was so painful I took paracetamol and I struggled to even lie on my back and walking was uncomfortable.  I had no pain relief during Peaches' birth except a few puffs of Entonox so me taking paracetamol is pretty major!

Using the compress cold gave me great relief from engorgement and the relief was almost immediate.  Whenever I got the chance to day and night I used this compress and it was very very good!! If you're not breast feeding or suffer from engorgement between feeds I would highly recommend this product.  It's reusable and fits into your bra.  You get 2 per pack and simply warm them in hot water before use or put them in the fridge to cool them.

All the above opinions are my own although Nexcare's PR agent did provide me with free samples.  Many thanks to Nexcare.  To purchase products from the Nexcare range log onto their website and save 20% using the discount code 3Mmaternity01 on

Thanks for reading, love Coco x

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

My blog - what's next!

I've been blogging about my latest IVF journey, my family and the arrival of my second beautiful daughter, Peaches, for around a year now and it's been a great experience!  It's been pretty emotional & although there have been some very hard times, I'm one of the luckiest girls in the world.

Buzz and I have made the decision to try for a third baby when Peaches is 6 months old.  We'd like to do a frozen embryo transfer at our IVF clinic.  We have 7 frozen blastocysts so are extremely fortunate.  We'll both be 37 this year and we'd love more kids so we've decided to go for it.  Hopefully it'll happen for us.  If it doesn't we'll be devastated but we have to try to know!  We're both very positive people so we'll fight our infertility and keep going until we feel our beautiful family is complete.  We're in the fortunate position where we can provide everything for a big family and we'd just love more kids! Being a mum is definitely my true calling in life.  My 2 girls, Posey & Peaches, are my world.  

I'll probably blog less over the coming months but when we start baby journey number 3 I'd love to share it again and hopefully you'll like reading it.  There are 2 reasons why I blog about my baby journeys.  Firstly because it helps me make sense of infertility, IVF treatment and the emotions of pregnancy, and secondly, because I've had 2 IVF cycles and 2 perfect babies, plus 7 blasts in the freezer.  I want that to give hope to everyone with of their journeys.  It's tough and I found the success stories were a massive help to me.  I hope I can be that to others.

Love as always from me, Buzz, Peaches & Posey x

ps.  Never abandon your dreams, miracles do happen.  Positive energy is everything x

My second blog post for The Blissful Baby Expert x

I wrote this article when Peaches was 2 weeks old & thought I'd share it on my blog x

Hi there, I'm Coco and a few weeks back (just before my second little girl was born) I wrote about how I felt going from having one child to two.  My baby is now 2 weeks old and her eldest sister is 2 and a half, so I thought I'd update you on the reality of the last 2 weeks!

Peaches Lula was born on 10 Feb, a week after her due date and in just 2 hours she'd made her grand entrance.  Everything went well but as she was born in the early hours, rather than come straight home we decided I'd stay on the post natal ward until the morning with Peaches and then be discharged ASAP while my husband, Dan (nickname Buzz) came home and saw Posey, our elder daughter in the morning before preschool.  Her grandma had been looking after her for us.

By 11.30am Peaches and I had been discharged and once we'd got ourselves ready & in the car on the way home the reality hit.....I HAD A BABY AND A 2 YEAR OLD.  Having been through 2 IVF / ICSI cycles this was a dream come true, but boy did I have my work cut out.  All the way home I was thinking about 3 things:

1. Was Peaches ok in her car seat? Was she cold? Was she hot? 
2. How would Posey react when we got home? We'd had a FaceTime call that morning and she'd said "Hello baby Peaches, I'm your sister" but meeting her in the flesh may be different.
3. I felt normal, not like I'd just given birth at all but what if something terrible suddenly happened to me (random I know...)

Anyway, we got home and Posey and her grandma welcomed us in with Posey straight away asking to cuddle Peaches.  I told her that Peaches had bought her some presents and that I'd go and get them.  With Posey being the biggest Peppa Pig fan alive I'd bought her lots of new Peppa Fairground toys from Peaches.  She was over the moon and spent the rest of the afternoon kissing Peaches on the head and saying "Fank yoo baby Peaches for my Peppa Piggy toys, I luff yoo." Phew!

I have to say that 2 weeks in things are still going pretty well.  Posey had shown no jealousy towards Peaches and because Peaches is bottled fed, Buzz and I have shared all of her feeds.  That has meant I've still been able to do all of Posey's regular activities, clubs and preschool runs with her.  

The one thing that Posey does struggle with a little is Peaches crying.  Peaches is quite a windy baby and she has a witching hour around 10pm.  Unfortunately she's woken Posey twice and Posey has been quite upset thinking Peaches is poorly so we've had to explain she's just "full of burps and tired."  At times during the say if Peaches cries Posey gets very concerned and wants to join the cuddle, which is lovely.

One of the proudest moments for me so far has to be when my best friend and her mum came over to see us and Posey kept talking about "My lovely baby Peaches.  She's my sister." True sibling love!!

So how am I coping? Really well actually,  I had a few bumpy days when my milk came in and the baby blues hit but I got through it like a true trooper and I am now the master of multitasking! I love having my 2 girls and just pushing Peaches' pram with Posey on the buggy board felt amazing! Seeing them in the bath together with Posey passing me cotton wool for Peaches was lovely.  Posey mopping up Peaches' milky dribbles with muslins is so sweet! 

This week will be the true test as Buzz is back at perhaps I'll update you again soon.

How I felt before Peaches arrived....x

So I wrote this little post for Lisa, The lovely Blissful Baby Expert, the week before Peaches arrived.  I thought I'd share it on my blog x

Hi there, I'm Coco and my second baby girl is due to be born this week! I already have a daughter, Posey who is almost 2 and a half years old.  Both of them were conceived through IVF / ICSI treatment and I feel like the luckiest girl alive.

Throughout my current pregnancy I've felt pretty good.  I've had no sickness or nasty symptoms and just a little tiredness to contend with, probably to do with chasing a toddler around! While I've been extremely fortunate to feel so good over the last 9 months one thing has always been on my mind - how will I feel going from 1 child to 2? I have repeatedly asked myself how I could ever love another child as much as I love Posey and if I will get the same overwhelming rush of love when I hold my newborn in my arms for the first time.  I spent 18 months after Posey was born thinking she'd be an only child before my husband and I decided to 'go for it' again.

So how do I feel knowing my baby's arrival is so imminent? I guess there are 3 main things on my mind:
1. I know I will love my baby as much as I love Posey but how can I show Posey she still means just as much to me?
2. I have fears that Posey will feel 'pushed out', especially in the early days while we establish a routine.
3. I spent ALL of my time with Posey when she was a baby.  This time I have to split my time & ensure both of my girls feel loved and special.  How will I do this?!

I think second / third etc time mums are such a font of knowledge & advice at times like this and certainly some of my good friends who have more than 1 child have given me some good tips on how to make it all work.  Things like:
1. Don't try to be supermum, it's impossible!
2. Try not to have to do anything except be mum.  Accept help with jobs at home, shopping, errands etc.  Don't plan too much in a day.
3. Keep Posey's routine as close to normal as possible.  Try and get the new baby to fit in.
4. Do things all together, ie. the baby is with Posey and I while we play.  She comes with us on preschool runs.
5. Share the night feeds with my husband.  I'm planning to formula feed plus expressed milk only so we can do this.  It'll help me to get enough sleep so I can do plenty with Posey during the day.
6. Buy a gift for the baby to give Posey.  I have a giant Peppa Pig toy ready!
7. Encourage Posey to talk to the baby, help with feeds / changes & reward her with Peppa Pig stickers / chocolate buttons
8. Ensure Posey still has play dates / outings with just me & 'us time.'  I'm actually secretly looking forward to going on the slides at soft play with her once my bump has gone!

I think taking the above advice and putting it into practice will be great.  I'm so excited to become a mum again & I can't wait to have my 2 girls at home together.

Peaches is 3 weeks old!

Wow! So it's been a month since I last blogged but boy have I been busy....  Posey is upstairs fast asleep having come home from preschool early with a sicky bug & Peaches is having a nap next to me right now.

I'm writing to tell you all about my new beautiful baby daughter, Peaches, here & I will also write about how things have been for my new family increasing from 3 of us to 4 shortly.

So! Peaches Lula Carvalho arrived 8 days after my due date on 10 Feb after a labour that lasted just 2 hours.  Posey arrived in under 2 hours so I'd been hoping for another quick labour.  We'd had a nice quiet family day at home and travelled up to the delivery suite as soon as I felt something happening. We'd been advised to do that because Posey had arrived so quickly.  On arrival the midwife examined me & I was 8cm dilated & having contractions every 3 minutes lasting around 1 minute 30 seconds.  I got into the birthing pool & spent around an hour in there using the warm water as my pain relief before feeling the need to push.  I decided to give birth on the bed rather than the water & after only about 20 minutes of pushing Peaches was here! I had no pain relief other than the water & a few puffs of Entonox (which didn't really help!). I felt in control right the way through & it was lovely to give birth in a dimly lit room, with our music on and just the midwife, Buzz & me.  

Peaches cried straight away & it was just amazing to hear her cry.  She weighed 7lb 9oz & was absolutely perfect.  Thankfully I didn't need any stitches & I was able to get up off the bed easily. Having had Posey 5 weeks early, who was taken straight up to SCBU, & suffered a second degree tear having Peaches was exactly the birth experience I'd longed for.  The midwife gave the three of us plenty of quality time together while we got to know eachother.  I gave a Peaches her first feed but then switched to bottles & formula, as planned.  As it was 3am by that point Peaches & I spent the rest of the night on the ward rather than come straight home & risk waking Posey, who was fast asleep at home, being looked after by her grandma.

The morning after Peaches & I were discharged quickly and Buzz drove us home.  Apart from my thighs feeling like I'd done an extra hard gym session I felt completely normal! I felt so different to how I felt having given birth to Posey, despite Peaches weighing 2lb 8oz more!

It was lovely to get home & see Posey.  The feeling that the 4 of us were home together was just amazing.  

The rest of our first week together was lovely.  Peaches fed well & only lost 2oz in weight in her first 5 days :) my milk came in of course & was damn painful for 3 days while i waited for it to go again.  I absolutely don't regret my decision to not breastfeed this time having had such horrible experiences with it after Posey was born.  Peaches is thriving on formula and it all works for me, so we're both happy.

My 4 stone pregnancy weight gain is disappearing too.  I lost 2 stone in the 7 days following Peaches' birth and have lost another stone since then so I just have 1 stone to go.  I'm eating very healthily & am being very active doing lots with my 2 beautiful girls. There's no chance of sitting still for long for me!!  I'll start seeing my personal trainer in 2 weeks so that will help me to feel nice and toned again.  My old skinny jeans don't quite fit yet but I can get them on & secure them with a hairband across the button so they're fine worn with nice wedge heels, a loose top & a cardi - my standard mum uniform haha!

Posey & Peaches are very very alike.  It's pretty scary looking at pictures of them both as babies actually.  They could easily pass for twins.  They have the same button noses, long eyelashes, lots of dark hair & olive skin.  I think they're beautiful but I'm biased of course.  Peaches loves sleeping, as did Posey, and Posey loves being a big sister.  It's lovely.

More soon....x

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

40+2 weeks pregnant!

So my due date arrived 2 days ago.....and passed with nothing happening! I know a lot of mums get to their due date & feel a bit fed up & deflated.  I have to say I felt delighted!!!! Having only got to 35 weeks with Posey I just felt like I'd achieved something massive and I felt so proud of my body for being able to carry my baby for the full 40 weeks after all.  It was a very nice feeling.

I have been putting operation 'evict baby from the premises' into action in an attempt to avoid some of the more uncomfortable things that come after your due date passes - things like membrane sweeps & possible induction of labour.  I've been walking lots (with Posey on her scooter), I've been having acupuncture and reflexology, I've been drinking lots of raspberry leaf tea and I've been guzzling pineapple.  Sex hurts, as does crawling around on all fours scrubbing floors, but boy have I gone for it.

I still feel really energetic & have been having a good balance of sleep, chill out time and active time.  Posey and I have been doing things like drawing, going to the park, all of her usual clubs & we've been having play dates.  I feel like I'm making the most of my time.  The baby's bedroom is completely ready and I have a freezer full of home cooked meals!  The house is spotless & organised and I guess I feel ready for Go Go Go!

As I'm now over 40 weeks & the baby is measuring over average size-wise my midwife is keen to help get things started.  With me being only 5'3" and petite delivering a big baby could be tricky so I had a membrane sweep yesterday.  My cervix was a little hard to reach at first but my midwife managed it and was able to complete the sweep, even feeling the baby's head! It was uncomfortable but not at all painful, so wasn't as bad as I'd read beforehand.  I bled a little bright red blood afterwards and had cramping, both of which are very normal.  The cramping stopped overnight and I slept really well though.

So today I'm playing the waiting game! I understand around 50% of sweeps result in labour starting within 48 hours so we will see which 50% I fall into.  If nothing has happened by Thursday I'll have another sweep that day.  If still nothing, a third sweep on Monday when I would be 41+1weeks!

I feel good though, I'm by no means uncomfy, struggling to sleep or achy.  I just feel normal but with a huge baby bump.  I can't imagine feeling fed up given how fortunate I am to be having baby number 2 after years of infertility.

Right, back to evicting baby now.  Hopefully I'll have news soon!

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

It's nearly POP time! Or is it...?

Well hello.  And here I am sitting at my breakfast bar with a nice cup of raspberry leaf tea (my third today so far) and a tub of chopped pineapple that my lovely Ocado driver delivered for me this morning.  Yep, I'm ready to have my baby!

Today I am 39+2 weeks pregnant.  4 weeks more pregnant than I ever was with Posey.  I honestly do feel great though.  I feel energetic, healthy, I'm eating well and I'm sleeping well.  I'm pretty fortunate.  My body is by no means too tired of being pregnant, I just really really want to meet my baby now.  Buzz & Posey do aswell.  We're all ready whenever she is ready to appear!

I started a bit of an eviction process on Saturday (it's Tuesday today) and have been drinking plenty of raspberry leaf tea since then plus lots of pineapple.  So far.....nothing!

I had my first acupuncture session today aswell.  I found it very relaxing.  My acupuncturist said my body had responded well.  If nothing happens for the remainder of this week I'll see her again on Saturday.  I also walked briskly there and back (only 10 mins either way) as I thought walking might stir my baby into action!

My baby has been fully engaged for around 2 months now and 'deeply engaged' (I'm not sure what the difference is) for a couple of weeks now so she's ready to go all right!

I'm really keen to deliver my baby over the next few days for a number of reasons:

1. With IVF / ICSI treatment your dates are so accurate so I know I will be exactly 40 weeks pregnant on Sunday.  Passing your due date increases the risks of having an assisted birth / c section / big baby.

2. At 37+3 weeks I had a little scan and the estimated weight for my baby that day was 7lb 1oz.  That was 2 weeks ago so today she could well weigh around 8lb.  If I go past my due date she could be close to 8 and a half pounds! That's a big baby for me to deliver given I usually weigh around 8 stone, I'm only 5ft 3 and Posey only weighed 5lb 1oz at birth.

3. My pelvic floor has not been particularly great since Posey was born (no running or jumping for me..) and of course Posey was very small at birth.  I do fear what delivering a big baby naturally could do to me.

4.  I really really want to go into hospital, have my baby and then be home within hours. Posey and I were in for 10 days after she was born and it was very tough.  I'm desperate for a better experience this time.  In order for this to hopefully happen, I'll need a straightforward, natural birth, hopefully on a birthing pool.  An assisted birth or c section could mean a longer stay and harder recovery.  It's almost impossible to actually have your 100% ideal birth scenario but I do have a clear idea about what I want this time and want to achieve as much of it as possible.

Something else I plan to throw into the eviction plan is reflexology.  My best friend's mum practises reflexology so come my due date on Sunday, if the baby isn't here, I shall go and see her!

All in all, things are good and I just really want to hold my baby now and bring her home x