Monday 26 September 2011

Pain in the bum ... and my lower back, hip, leg and foot! Sciatica in late pregnancy!

So at 37weeks I woke with excruciating pain from my back all down my left side into my foot. I couldn't walk properly and had to crawl up the stairs on hands and knees. Certain movements were out of the question and simple things such as picking my toddler up hurt like crazy! Had I pulled something in my sleep? was the baby sitting on a nerve?

When I booked in to see my GP a few days later as it hadn't improved (If anything it was getting worse!) She tested my reflexes and tried to raise my left leg - I had less than 20% liftability! She discussed the pain with me which started in my lower back on the left, ran through my hip and left bottom cheek and all the way down my leg, into my ankle and had given me pins and needles in my left foot a few times, also my leg had felt like it was giving way and the pain was constant but peaked every now and again with movements as white hot pain in my hip and ankle.

My GP declared I had Sciatica brought on by the baby's position and at almost 38 weeks the only cure is to give birth! Pain killers and anti inflamitaries normally used to treat sciatica are too strong to take in pregnancy and at this stage, by the time I get an appointment with an Osteopath, well, baby would be here.  It's kind of a pat on the head and get on with it dear situation.  She did mention a good support belt - I bought the Nexcare maternity support belt for £35 from Mothercare in Bromley - It feels very supportive but does nothing to help the pain or movement. It's soo supportive it actually becomes uncomfortable and feels like it's adding extra pressure to my bladder, I think it's because of the baby's position. To be honest, it was a waste of money but I was desperate to try anything!

She's been fully engaged for weeks! - I\ve been told this is unusual  for a second baby! My midwife actually said that the reason I'm suffering sciatica is beacuse the baby has been engaged for quite sometime, it's the pressure of her literally forcing my hip apart! - Lovely!

Sciatica in pregnancy can often be confused with Pelvic Girdle Pain which is similar, the pain starts in your lower back, and runs through your hip and bottom, often on one side like sciatica but the main difference is that Pelvic Girdle Pain doesn't extend further than your knee!

A midwife at the Oasis suite at the Pruh showed me a few exercises to do and I've been warned it can take a while to fully recover from sciatica.

During very early labour, I had this strange feeling of pressure that got so painful I thought I was going to throw up, then baby moved and the sciatica eased off!

12 weeks after giving birth, its all normal mostly and has been since the day before I gave birth, but every now and again I get the odd twinge or dull ache in my hips and lower back.

Emma in Bromley x

Friday 23 September 2011

Thomas and Friends, Day of the Diesels DVD Review and Giveaway

We were very excited to be sent a copy of Thomas and Friends Day of the Diesels new dvd to review, Blake loves Thomas, he calls all trains Thomas and his Brewster from Chuggington and Toystory duplo train are both also called Thomas and are best friends in the world of Blake!

Blake likes to watch a few of the really old episodes which I watched as a child when he feels sleepy and he likes the new episodes at playtime - he likes to reenact what he's watching and usually he's Thomas, but sometimes Percy.

We popped the DVD on - it's an hour long special and I know Blake wont sit through the whole thing. he's 27 months so we tend to watch long cartoon in 15 min bursts and talk about what we've seen and go back to it later.

The opening scenes were really frightening for him - I was really surprised as its the first time he's been afraid of something he's seen on the TV. The story starts with a great big fire - the animation is incredibly realistic and there are raised voices, smoke and I think for a two year old it was a bit too scary but the scene soon calms down and introduces Belle, one of four new trains. (Belle, Flynn, Dash and Dart)

We loved watching the trains whizz around Sodor and watching Belle and Flynn the new steamies playing games with Thomas, a lot of the focus on this dvd is around Percy - he feels a little left out with the new trains taking away Thomas' attention and he soon finds a new friendship with the Diesels, including Diesel 10 who has a big claw on his head, and two newbies - Dash and Dart who make a comedy pair - who are devious, and I think for a two year old, some of this story line was a little to devious for him to understand what was happening but he seemed happy enough to watch the trains - although he definitely picked up that something wrong was happening by the music and tone of those parts of the story, we always talk about what we are watching and I found it quite hard to think of a way to explain this bit.

Of course there were more fire scenes as both Flynn and Belle are fire fighting trains and the other scenes didn't seem to be as frightening as the opening scene and I think Blake really liked Flynn - he keeps pretending to squirt water - or really doing it at bath time!

It's a good dvd and a lovely story as everyone is always friends and work together in the end.

There are some great toys that go with this story and we've added one of the Thomas take and play sets to the Christmas list!

Thomas and Friends Day of the Diesels is available from Monday 26th September and is available on DVD rrp £12.99 or Blu ray rrp £14.99. The HiT Store website has the Blu Ray and DVD combo pack on a special price of £11.99

There are new pages for Day of the Diesels on the Thomas and Friends website with activity sheet downloads and other extras.

I have two dvd copies to giveaway to my readers, UK only please, these will be sent out directly from the lovely PR lady.

All you have to do to enter is name one of the new four characters in the comments box below.

For bonus chances you can tweet a link to this post (@beachpebble) or like my blog's facebook page and let me know in a separate comment below.

Competition closes at 8pm on Friday 30th September 2011.

Thursday 22 September 2011

Bob the Builder the Big Dino Dig review and competition

My little boy loves Bob the builder so when an opportunity to review the latest dvd arrived, we jumped at it!

Bob the Builder the Big Dino Dig dvd was released on Monday so is available in the shops and online now, rrp £12.99 but the HiT store have it for £9.99

Blake is 27 months and doesn't quite sit through the full 60 min feature but that suits us fine, the story is broken down into sections so it is easy for us to stop the dvd and have a chat about what we have seen and then go back to it.

Bob and his team are building a theme park for Mr Tobleronie (Yep, the name makes me want triangle shaped chocolate!) but when they are preping the site, they discover dinosaur bones!

As the story progresses, a number of the main characters discover dinosaurs and these discoveries are used in the theme park, but what I really liked was that they had a book of dinosaurs and with each discovery also came a little educational bit about the dinosaur.

For us, we paused the cartoon after each discovery and recreated some of the story - we like to pretend to be Rubble the new character and when the team found a terradactyl we flew around the room and pretended to catch fish!

The story flows well if your little one has a longer attention span than mine! the cartoon is well animated with lots of lovely bright colours and none of the story was frightening for my 2 year old so a good thumbs up.

There's only one short fireman sam advert first so you don't have to get in a panic - thank you!  - or is it just me thats put a dvd on only to discover the adverts before the cartoon are too long and either toddler is distracted before the cartoon starts or having a full on tantrum freak out!

The dvd has a bonus feature which is a lovely selection of 6 worksheets to print out from your computer, including a make your own paper bob hat.

I have a copy of Bob the Builder Big Dino Dig for one of my lovely readers to win, to enter, please share a dinosaur or bob the builder story in the comment box below.

For example, I once (in recent years too)  referred to a Stegosaurus as a Sagittarius for which my lovely hubby still takes the mickey out of me for, ohh and I also do great T-rex arms....

Competition open to UK people only, and the winner will be sent their dvd directly from the PR company.  For extra entries you can Tweet a link to this post (please include @beachpebble and @bobthebuilderuk) or like my facebook page.

Please add a separate comment for each entry below so I can include all your chances in the draw.

Competition closes 29th September at 8pm.

Emma in Bromley x

Tuesday 20 September 2011

The 308 Coat by Clark and Gray, From Maternity to Motherhood

When I first heard of the 308 by Clark & Gray I got very excited! back in the days before I was a SAHM, (stay at home mum) one of the areas I covered in my career as an online marketing manager was a maternity brand and I was at the end of my second pregnancy so I really respect any great maternity and baby ideas particularly ones started by brave and inspiring parents.

I struggled through two pregnant winters without a coat that fitted properly and it was difficult! Affordable maternity coats made me look ridiculously pumpkinish as I'm only 5'3" (please note, this figure is rounded up to the next full inch) - they just all seemed to be tent like or octopus armed! The luxury ones were just too expensive and maternity brands were having a tough time (Homemummy, Formes, Blooming Marvelous have all vanished).

I got in touch with Thea to see if I could review the 308 coat - my timing was rather silly, hot summer at the end of a pregnancy was probably not the most sensible time to offer a coat review! - I have to say, Thea at Clark & Gray is simply lovely, inevitably delays have occurred on my review which I intended to do back in early June! I had a heavy bleed in pregnancy, lived at my in-laws for 2 months while our kitchen was done, given birth and tried to settle back into our home with two little ones... lets just say - the last few months have been one heck of a ride and this beautiful coat hasn't had the attention it so clearly deserved. I received the 308 in grey on loan for the purpose of my review.

Thea Gray of Clark & Gray has come up with the ultimate - The 308 - This coat has removable panels which simply zip in and out of the beautiful lines of the coat so you can wear it at every stage of your pregnancy and afterwards, with the panels if you have baby in the sling or without panels if you are pushing your pram! Thea is herself a mum so she's used her own experience to come up with this lovely idea. There is a very handy inside pocket, for me this is important as I don't always like to take a handbag as I often walk with baby in sling and toddler on scooter (I need to be hands free!)

This is good quality luxury - from the beautiful tweedy warm wool outer to its silky soft satin blue interior, carefully chosen buttons and timeless fashion detailing such as the large collar, deep cuffs and epaulets on the shoulders.  Thea has impeccable taste and has designed an elegant and simply wonderful coat for any woman's wardrobe, built to last and change with your needs, this isn't a one season wonder, as the brand slogan goes, this is for pregnancy and beyond.

The 308 coat by Clark & Gray is available in Blossom Mother and Child stores, Online and in their Harrods boutique.  £390 in Grey or Navy.

I have two wishes, 1) to have been lucky enough to have had this coat in the cold wintery months of my pregnancies and 2) that I could have kept the 308 coat but sadly, it was only on loan, goodbye lovely coat!

More info on the Clark & Gray website.

Emma in Bromley x

Monday 12 September 2011

Waterbaby pregnancy vitamin drink review and giveaway

*Update - There is now a competition to win a week's supply at the bottom of this post...

As soon as I'd heard about Waterbaby, I really wanted to check it out so I offered to review it!

When I was pregnant both times, pregnancy sickness was a big issue for me, and I often brought my vitamin tablets back up! Not much fun at all! ... Also, I just kept forgetting to take them, and now I'm breastfeeding my 11 week old, I still forget to take my vitamin!

Que Waterbaby pregnancy care water! This is a great idea, this is a flavoured water drink fortified with folic acid and a range of vitamins tailored to offer you extra hydration (with sickness, the extra blood volume and baby growing, you need extra fluids) as well as nutritional support.

Waterbaby is designed to be drunk at any stage of pregnancy from preconception, actual pregnancy and breast-feeding.

It's a lovely still water, I tried the citrus hint flavour and it was a gentle refreshing lemony lime flavour and tasted good - I was a bit worried you might get the vitamin stuff altering the taste, like when you take a tablet you get a bit of after taste, but there was nothing like that!

I'm a bit fussy when it comes to ingredients (actually, I'm just a bit fussy altogether!) and I've been put off flavoured waters in the past as often they contain artificial sweeteners but Waterbaby doesn't, I couldn't see any nasties in the ingredients at all really!

My cheeky lil' two year old was desperate for a sip, obviously the nutritional balance isn't right for a toddler, but I did let him have a taster sip (we've done baby led weaning so I've always encouraged him to try what I'm having) he declared it was yummy and called it lemonade! (actually if the guys down at Waterbaby hq could do a toddler vitamin water drink, that would be great!)

So I haven't found any other pregnancy nutrition drinks to compare it to, it does seem to be out there on it's own at the moment and I think it's a nifty idea to help you take your folic acid and vitamins as well as helping you stay hydrated. I do think it is a better choice than a tablet as water helps your body absorb the nutrients and having pregnancy vitamins in a drink form is easier than a tablet (well it is for me!) as you won't sick up all of it as you can just sip it and not as likely to forget to have a drink!

Waterbaby is currently £7.99 for a 7 day supply (rrp £9.99) or £28.99 for a 28 day supply (rrp of (39.99) on the Waterbaby website (add £3.50 for p&p) or you can buy from ChemistDirect £7.99 for 8 day supply or £29.99 for a 32 day supply (add £3.49 for p&p)

It is more expensive than a tablet but it does offer an additional benefit of aiding hydration and a more practical way of taking in your vitamins particularly if you suffer pregnancy sickness or forgetfulness! (baby brain, anyone?)

Either drink it from the bottle (500ml) or dig out your favourite glass, chill it, pour over ice, add a mint leaf and sip through a straw!

More info on the Waterbaby website.

Emma in Bromley x

* Update .... Ben and Anna at Waterbaby would like to offer one of my lovely readers a week's supply of Waterbaby :-)

Competition is open to all UK mums to be or breastfeeding mums and all you need to do is tell me what other flavours you would like to see, in the comments section below.

Bonus entry if you tweet a link to this blog post include (@beachpebble @drinkwaterbaby) or like my blog's facebook page. Please add a separate comment below for your bonus entry so I can include it in the draw.

Competition closes at 8pm Sunday 25th September 2011.

Thursday 8 September 2011

Nike mags mcfly back to the future trainers

I'm more of a shoe girl and normally trainers wouldn't interest me but I have to say that the interweb is full of stories this morning about a Nike event which has hinted to invited guests that the self lacing Nike mag trainers from back to the future are about to launch!

There's a teaser on you tube posted by docemmettbrown88 (yep, this made me giggle my geeky giggle)

Nike mag teaser video

I most certainly want a pair and these had better be out for Christmas so I can buy my hubby a pair for Christmas!

Emma in Bromley x