Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Henry's 1st Birthday


A belated post, as Friday 10th October marked the day that we celebrated our darling little Henry's very first birthday. A child turning one is momentous in so many ways. Not only has a baby blossomed into a toddler, it signifies a year of firsts, a year of learning, of tears and triumphs, bonding and discovery. The occasion was especially poignant for Matt and I. Our beautiful rainbow baby, turning one. Our third child, yet our first experience of parenting. It is strange and difficult to comprehend that Henry would not exist if William and Noah had lived. The eve of his birthday held bittersweet emotions. A wave of grief rode in, perhaps naively unexpected. It held elation as we had reached such a significant milestone, yet sadness lingered, reminding us that we never had the chance to celebrate William and Noah, not their first birthday, nor even their birth.

As I wrote in my Being a Mother post, Henry has brought us so much joy. He is the greatest gift to have been bestowed upon us and we feel so blessed to have him in our lives. The morning of his birthday was spent opening presents, playing with balloons and singing along at our usual Rhyme Time in the library, before we all took a trip to the park and followed it up with cake. Henry was a little apprehensive at first, having never tried cake before, but after he tasted a little bit, he delved right in and was in his element grabbing handfuls of icing!

The following days we celebrated with family. Henry was spoiled with the lovely gifts he received and a beautiful rainbow assortment of sweet treats lovingly created by my mum.  A triple layered birthday cake, pastel pavlova, cloud cookies and pink lemonade complete with paper straws were the order of the day, laid out underneath a sky of fluffy pom pomsIt was such a special time, and Henry looked ever so cute in his little knitted crown!


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Friday, 17 October 2014

Etsy Finds - Autumn Accessories

Autumn is one of my favourite seasons. With the nights becoming longer and the crisp chill in the air, it's the perfect time for wrapping up in cosy knitwear, enjoying snuggles in front of the fire and indulging in sweet hot chocolate. But before I embrace all the comforts of Autumn, I thought I'd share some of my favourite picks from Etsy.



How incredible is this huge chunky kit blanket?! I could quite happily settle under it and hibernate over the winter. I adore the soft lights for creating a homely ambiance and the espresso cup is ideal for warming your hands as you sip a hot drink. As for the baby moccasins, they are just the cutest things I've ever laid my eyes on. We bought a pair for Henry's first birthday, but I'm tempted to buy more in an array of colours.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

BabyBeau Sophia Croc Changing Bag

I adore BabyBeau changing bags. They're the ultimate mother's accessory, transforming what could be a dull purchase into something chic, sophisticated and classic. The beauty of Babybeau bags lies in their aesthetics. Their stylish designs and high quality materials mean they look more designer bag than changing bag, which is ideal for all fashionista mamas. I've loved, adored and used my Ellie changing bag almost daily since Henry was born, but now that the stunning Sophia has arrived, it will be taking pride of place on my Bugaboo for Autumn/Winter. The sleek black croc-effect leather is soft and supple to the touch, the design is both stylish and practical, and the gold hardware is the perfect pairing for the black leather. The classic colour combo means it will go with any outfit during the cooler months.


The Sophia is spacious and contains a multitude of pockets, allowing plenty of space to accommodate all the baby essentials. The compartments mean everything has its place - no need to rummage through an endless pit of bibs and bottles and binkies, I know where each item is kept and can easily access it. The detachable zip pocket pouch is the ideal place for all my belongings - my keys, iPhone and money are all securely kept here.

Whilst I usually hang the Sophia from the Bugaboo, on the occasions I need to carry the Sophia, I make use of the adjustable shoulder strap, which is thankfully wide enough to make the huge amount of baby paraphernalia I lug about (all this, plus more) comfortable to carry across the body. The leatherette monochrome striped changing mat and bottle holder look stunning and make nappy changes and feeding time on-the-go that little bit more glamorous.


The Sophia has a few more features than the Ellie. I was pleased to find that there are three extra external pockets (more space is always a bonus when it comes to baby), and a main external zip for extra security. One of the best features of the Babybeau bags is that the organiser is removable, which allows the inside to be used as an extra bag - whether it's for nursery, a stay at grandma's, or for extra space for a weekend trip away. And once the baby days are over, removing the organiser transforms the changing bag into a luxury handbag for mum. 


If you're looking for a stylish, long lasting, high quality changing bag, definitely take a look at Babybeau. Their luxury collection of versatile bags and the addition of the stylish accessories all make for a worthy investment.
   
The Sophia Croc Changing Bag is priced at £189 and is available to buy from Babybeau 

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*Item sent for review

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Baby Loss Awareness Week



Each year, the 9th-15th October marks Baby Loss Awareness Week, where throughout the week bereaved parents, family members and friends can commemorate the loss of all the babies who were taken too soon, knowing that thousands of other families elsewhere in the world will be doing the same. Whilst it is widely known that 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in miscarriage, less people are aware of how common stillbirth and neonatal loss is. In the UK, 1 in every 114 babies will be stillborn or die within their first four weeks of life. 6,500 deaths each year. It  is difficult to understand why something which devastates so many families is not spoken about more openly. And so the Baby Loss Awareness Campaign aims to recognise how isolated bereaved parents often feel and allows a crucial opportunity for people to talk openly about the subject and raise awareness of baby loss

Baby Loss Awareness Week ends with the global 'Wave of Light' on October 15th. On this day, everyone is invited to light a candle at 7pm to remember all the babies that have died during pregnancy, birth or infancy. Whether done individually or as a group, at home or in a communal space, it gives an opportunity to unite with others across the world in honour of those babies who lit up our lives for such a short time. 

Ways to Get Involved 
- Join the 'Wave of Light' by lighting a candle at 7pm on October 15th, to honour the babies who never got the chance to live. 
- Donate to Sands, who support anyone affected by the death of a baby and work to promote research which could reduce the loss of babies’ lives. 
- Pledge a donation to Still Loved, a documentary which highlights the devastating reality of baby loss and inspires hope by illustrating the courage and inspiration shown by bereaved parents. 
- Become a volunteer for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, who provide the gift of free remembrance photography to parents suffering the loss of a baby.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Being a Mother


With Henry's first birthday approaching, I've been reflecting over the past year, how it has changed me, how it has given me new experiences. I have been a mother for nearly two years now, and a mother to a living child for almost one. When I look back on the journey we had to get here, this moment, it seems so stark, so distant. I think back to when I saw two lines on the pregnancy test and felt fear instead of excitement, when I cried hot, heavy tears into Matt's arms, because I was overwhelmed with grief and terror, and felt so lost in my world where innocence had been stolen and replaced with doubt and hesitancy. 

I look at Henry and I'm so glad that we dared to hope, that we had the courage to go ahead and try for another baby when we had just lost two. That overwhelming yearn to have life growing inside of me immediately after the boys died, led to Henry. All the fear, the anxiety, it was worth it. I have loved him since before I knew him, from the moment we found out I was pregnant, when he was smaller than a grain of rice, to the months where he grew inside me, in the home where his brothers had resided in just a few months previously. And when he was placed on my chest, newly born, crying that beautiful cry, the world felt right and my heart was flooded with euphoria. That moment - having my living, healthy son, safe in my arms at last - it's what I had wished for and hoped for with my entire being for what felt like an eternity. 

Henry has opened my heart to a new and selfless kind of love. It is so powerful and pure in its infinite existence. For me, there is nothing more life affirming and meaningful than raising my child. Sometimes I am so overwhelmed with the gravity of the love I feel for him that it brings me to tears, and I know that all the times I've cried over the loss of William and Noah, it was the tears that I will never get to shed through loving them in life as I do with Henry. 

There are moments when I look at him - the sweet curve of his button nose, his full lips, his wide blue eyes framed by impossibly long lashes and his tiny dimpled chin - and I think to myself, 'this is what my son looks like.' It is profound and intoxicating and mesmerising all at once. After so many years of wondering. I have created him with the person I love and there is nothing more incredible. 

I try and think about how I would describe motherhood, and this is what it always comes back to… 

It is an honour to be raising my son. 

To watch a baby - my baby - develop and grow, each day changing and learning, discovering his personality - it is the most significant and special thing I have ever done. Each day holds wonderment as he experiences new kinds of magic, new joy and triumph. Our days are filled with simple but beautiful moments when I feel so incredibly blessed. The heavy warm weight of his body as he sits on my lap, the softness of his hair as it brushes against my lips, how his little hand reaches for me to steady himself, knowing I will be there to help him. 

Even on the difficult days when I am exhausted and Henry won't let me put him down for a second, when there are plenty of tears, and not enough naps, and I'm counting down the minutes until Matt gets home so I can hand over Henry, there is nothing in the world I would rather be doing than spending every moment with my son. It is easy to get lost in the mundanity of sippy cups and spilled food and the endless plastic toys; the exhaustion, the constant mess. But I know I will look back on these early days of just Henry and I, and I will miss them. And I will be so glad that I was the one to play silly games with him, to change the nappies, to soothe the tears, to show him new things and witness every new first. 

A childhood is so fleeting. I want to savour every moment, cherish every kiss. Revel in the feeling of tiny chubby arms wrapping around me, a heavy head resting on my chest. I love how Henry delights in me. That beautiful moment when I enter the room and his face lights up with that sweet little grin of his. I am his entire world, his constant. I hold the irreplaceable role of being his mother. Even when we're simply being, I know my very presence is comforting for him, nurturing, making him happy. He is right where he belongs. Too soon it will be time for school, and I will no longer be his everything, and those delicious cuddles that make the world seem to stop for a moment won't come as readily as they once did. 

It's strange, I know he won't remember these days. The days where it has just been him and I, together every waking moment. He won't remember sitting together reading books,  the tickles and giggles, the silliness during our lunchtimes when we dance and laugh together and I swoosh my hair at him to make him chuckle. He'll never remember the mummy and son dates to the park and how we gaze into each other's eyes when we're curled up cuddling together. He won't remember all these minutes, these hours, these days filled with enough love to reach the stars. And although I know he won't remember them, it's okay because I know they will always be part of him, within the bond that each and every moment has helped create. 

It was William and Noah who made me a mother, but it is Henry who has allowed me the experience of being a mother. He is such a blessing. He gave us hope when our hearts had been broken, gave us light in the midst of darkness, and love where only emptiness had been. 

His light and energy make my soul soar to the highest of highs. He is purity personified. 

He is my happiness, my world. 

My son. 


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