Preparing for a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean)

Since Baby J’s birth, a lot of people have asked me for advice on how best to prepare for a VBAC. Aside from gaining the support of my midwife and consultant, there were a few things I did to help me prepare, and I would really recommend these to anyone else planning a VBAC.


preparing for a vbac



Go through your previous birth notes


The last time I’d seen my notes was the day after Little N was born. I had them at home until I was discharged from the midwives, but I hadn’t been emotionally capable of reading them. When I met with the consultant, we went through my birth notes and there was so much that I have absolutely no memory of. Finding out that Little N had turned back-to-back during labour was a huge shock. For over a year I’d been blaming myself for not being able to push him out in time, but of course if he was back-to-back it would have been impossible for me to have delivered him quickly enough. Learning this was empowering: it wasn’t my fault, and it would be different this time.


Read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth


Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth is a fascinating book to read. Ina May Gaskin is an American midwife, and the founder and director of the Farm Midwifery Center. Women who give birth at the Farm have incredibly low rates of intervention compared to hospital births. The book has a big section full of amazing and inspiring birth stories. It then goes on to explain why the human body is so effective at giving birth and it teaches you: how to create a safe, comfortable environment for birth in any setting; tips for maximising your chances of an unmedicated labour and birth; and, the risks of anaesthesia and caesareans. Reading this book filled me with confidence and knowledge, knowledge that became very useful when I had to argue for some of my birth choices.  I still have the book now; I’m not sure that I’ll ever be able to part with it.


Listen to the Natal Hypnotherapy VBAC Preparation CDs


The Natal Hypnotherapy VBAC Preparation is a 2 CD set. The first CD helps you to overcome and let go of any negative emotions relating to your past birth experiences. This was a something I really needed. The second CD takes you on a guided visualisation through giving birth vaginally and increases your confidence, courage and ability to communicate effectively. I kept falling asleep whilst listening to the CDs and would wake up at the end when the narrator would say “you’re wide awake” (or something to that effect). It was very strange, but it was all sinking in. My confidence increased each time I listened to the CD and I felt completely calm and in control during labour, even though I was alone for most of it!


Attend Daisy Birthing Active Antenatal Classes


I attended Daisy Birthing classes throughout the final trimester of my first pregnancy. I loved the classes and was so excited about doing them again during my second pregnancy. Second time around I started going to the classes at 20 weeks, although you can attend from 14 weeks, and continued right up until birth. The classes include pregnancy yoga  but also teach you active birthing techniques as well as traditional antenatal information. Their birthing techniques were what helped me to get through each of my contractions without pain relief. I used the breathing techniques to cope with the pain, whilst using the “rotate to dilate” technique in between contractions. I’ve also made a few friends there, which is lovely!


Write a birth plan


With Little N, I didn’t write a birth plan. I thought birth was just so unpredictable that whatever I put probably wouldn’t happen anyway. For Baby J though, a birth plan was very important. Yes, birth is unpredictable, but I needed to make clear what I was and wasn’t willing to do. For example, I didn’t want continued foetal monitoring, but the consultant did, and I wanted to use the birth pool if I could. So I compromised with the supervisor of midwives about using wireless monitors, which are also waterproof, and this went onto my birth plan. Having a plan and knowing that my wishes were going to be adhered to meant I felt that I was in control this time.


Believe in yourself


“My body is amazing.” “It was designed to do this job.” “I can do this.” These are things I kept telling myself throughout my pregnancy and even during labour. At the peak of each contraction I could hear my voice inside my own head saying, “you can do this.” I did do it, and so can you. Good luck, and don’t forget to come back and tell me all about it.



Little N’s birth story here

Baby J’s birth story: here




Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Puppy

Review Fisher-Price Laugh Learn Smart Stages Puppy
The latest addition to the boys’ collection of toys is the Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Puppy (£19.99). The puppy is a gorgeous, cuddly, soft baby learning toy that features Fisher-Price’s clever Smart Stages technology, which changes the learning content as your baby grows. Or in my case, can be changed depending on which of my two children is currently playing with it!
From 6 months the Smart Stages Puppy helps baby explore first words and sounds, from 12 months it prompts baby with simply questions and directions and from 18 months it encourages imaginative fun and role play.
The Puppy features over 50 different phrases, songs and tunes throughout the three levels which are activated by pressing the Puppy’s ears, paws, tummy or heart. The heart also lights up and twinkles along with the music which Baby J finds totally mesmerising to watch. It also does a heart beat sound and the heart flashes in time to it.
Fisher-Price Smart Stages Puppy
It’s really easy to switch between the three learning stages by gently pressing one of the Puppy’s paw. Little N has quickly worked out how to press the various body parts to make it speak, sing or play music and through each of the learning stages he is learning about letters, numbers, colours, body parts, animals and more.
The Puppy has lots of different songs, a mixture of familiar nursery rhymes and songs that are unique to the toy. They’re easy to learn and very, very catchy so I often embarrass myself by randomly singing one as I’m going about my day. The Puppy has two volumes levels - I have to admit, I have set it to the lowest one!
Little N’s current favourite is a little song about the movements that animals do. It encourages him to stomp like an elephant, hop like a kangaroo and swing like a monkey. He absolutely loves animals so he thinks it’s brilliant and jumps around joining in with the song. Very cute!
Fisher-Price Laugh Learn Smart Stages Puppy
I love that the boys will learn so much through simply playing with this toy. N has been trying to use the Puppy to teach J body parts. For example, he presses the Puppy’s hand, then when the Puppy says “hand” he points to J’s hand. He is the sweetest big brother ever!
With all the colours, sounds, lights and textures the Puppy is a great baby learning toy and also helps to develop baby’s fine motor skills.  The Smart Stages technology means that it never gets tiresome as there are so many things that the boys can do with it and, for Baby J especially, it’s a toy that will grow with them and last for many years to come.
Fisher-Price Laugh Learn Smart Stages Puppy Review
You can find out more about the Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Puppy here or buy here.
Disclosure: I was sent the Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Puppy for review, however all thoughts and opinion remain my own.

Logitech Keys-to-Go for iPad

Logitech keys-to-go

These days when I’m baking or cooking, more often than not I’m using a recipe I’ve found online – hurrah for Pinterest! – which means I have to bring my phone, iPad or laptop into the kitchen. It’s great to have a wealth of recipes at my fingertips but I then have the issue of trying not to get the device mucky or sticky. This can be really tricky especially if I’m partway through a recipe and need to double-check something or am trying to convert the measurements from American to British. (A stick of butter? What does that even mean?!) Fortunately, I no longer need to try to use my elbows to type when my hands are covered in flour, thanks to the Logitech Keys-to-Go (£54.99).
logitech keys-to-go keyboard ipad
Logitech Keys-to-Go is a standalone keyboard which is compatible with all iOS devices including all generations of iPad, iPhone and Apple TV. It’s available in three different colours (black, red and teal – I LOVE the look of the teal one) and it connects quickly and easily via Bluetooth wireless technology. The keyboard comes with a USB cable and once charged it has a three-month battery life which is pretty amazing. It has a battery check indicator light so I won’t be caught unawares by a dead battery. The keyboard has handy iOS shortcuts as well and it’s very comfortable to type on.
It’s so lightweight and really slim – 6mm! - making it super easy to take with me wherever I go. Ian often has to travel for work and he only takes his satchel so that he doesn’t have to check any luggage into the hold. He literally takes his iPad, his phone, his wallet and a change of clothes. This keyboard would be really convenient on those occasions when he needs to save space in his bag. It looks really stylish too!

logitech keys-to-go portable ipad keyboard

The feature that I love the most though is the FabricSkin. The keys are covered in soft, durable, water-repellent FabricSkin which protects them from dirt, crumbs and spills. It can also be wiped clean. So it doesn’t matter if I’ve been chopping garlic or kneading dough, I can still use the Logitech Keys-to-Go to type when I need to and just wipe it down when I’m done. I don’t have to worry about getting it covered in flour as it can’t get trapped under the keys, and if I spill something, it’s fine!
Logitech Keys-to-Go is a must-have accessory if, like me, Pinterest is fast replacing the recipe books in your kitchen, or you like to type on the go! You can find out more or buy it here.

Disclosure: I was sent the keyboard to review, however all thoughts and opinion are my own.

Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Bath and Room Thermometer

Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Bath and Room Thermometer review


As a mother I am quite a worrier, and one of the things I used to worry about A LOT was making sure that my babies’ bath water and bedroom were at the right temperature. For a baby, the optimal room temperature is approximately 18˚C while the optimal temperature for baby’s bath is at body temperature, between 36.5˚C and 38˚C. I tried various little thermometers for the bath, such as ones with a strip that changed colour, but I was never confident that they were accurate. Poor Little N often had a slightly cooler bath as I always erred on the side of caution!


I’m much more relaxed second time around, but I still like to make sure that the temperatures are safe and comfortable for my boys. Thanks to the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Bath and Room Thermometer (£17.99) I can quickly and easily make sure that the bath water and the bedroom are at the optimal temperatures.


With a gentle tap this palm-sized device displays an accurate temperature within a few seconds and you can choose to display the temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit (Celsius for us as I don’t understand Fahrenheit!). It comes with a little plastic stand so that it can be displayed in my baby’s bedroom and the sweet star-shaped design fits in so well in any nursery, especially in my son’s room which has a lot of nautical themed decorations – it looks like a little starfish!


The Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Bath and Room Thermometer floats on water so I can simply tap it to activate, drop it into the water where it will float and quickly show me the temperature of the bath water. If the bath water goes above 39˚C the thermometer has a red warning light so you can tell at a glance if it is too hot. The thermometer can also be played with as it’s BPA free and certified as a bath toy.


I really like how small and discreet this thermometer is and it would fit in really well in all styles of nursery. It’s really easy to move it from bedroom to bathroom and back again so you don’t need to have two different thermometers, although with the small size you could have one in the nursery and one in the bathroom if you wanted!


The thermometer only displays the temperature once it has been activated meaning the battery life is conserved. I’m sure I’m not the only mum that feels like I’m constantly buying new batteries for all the toys and gadgets we own! And as this thermometer can measure the temperature of both the bedroom and the bath water it is especially handy for parents who are limited on space, or simply don’t want lots of different gadgets.


This is a brilliant little device from a well-known and trusted brand, if you like the sound of The Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Bath and Room Thermometer you can purchase it here.


For more information about Tommee Tippee take a look at their website, check out their Facebook page or follow on Twitter.







Disclosure: I was sent the thermometer to review, however all thoughts and opinion are my own.

Birchbox – March Beauty Box

birchbox march habitatbirchbox march contents habitat beauty box


Birchbox teamed up with Habitat for their March edition to incentivise us to refresh things at home. The box is full of little treats to make you feel fabulous.


♥ Benefit Roller Lash Mascara (3g) ♥ Last month I received an email from Birchbox offering me the chance to choose which of the three Benefit mascaras I wanted, of course I chose this one as it’s new and I have never tried it! The other choices were Bad Gal which I don’t like and They’re Real which I love, so I am excited to give this one a whirl and see how it rates.


♥ Philip Kingsley Smooth Cream (20ml) ♥ I’m kicking myself for not updating my beauty profile as I recently had my hair chopped so Birchbox may have had another Philip Kingsley product that might suit my current hair better. I kind of feel that the Smooth Cream would have been great for my long hair but I’m not so sure it is going to be good for my hair now. I do love the Philip Kingsley range though so it certainly won’t go to waste!


♥ Serenity Skincare Dead Sea Bath Salt (200g) ♥ These are 100% natural sea salts that can be used in the bath or massaged directly into the skin. Baths are a very rare luxury these days so these will make a great exfoliator in my daily shower instead.


♥ Janjira Argan Oil Eye Cream ♥ I’m not sure how bit the sample is as the tube doesn’t say, at a guess it looks like it’s 5-10ml. It contains a nourishing blend of argan oil and shea butter to replenish the delicate eye area. Good timing as I am just about to finish my current eye cream!


♥ Catherine Malandrino Style de Paris perfume ♥ The vial doesn't say how much it contains so I’d guess it’s about 2-5ml. It’s a really floral, fruity scent, not one I’d usually pick but I quite like it.


♥ Jotter ♥ I think this little pad is really sweet! It will be handy to have in my bag as I am forever scribbling notes on the back of receipts.


♥ A Perfect Heritage by Penny Vincenzi (chapter sampler) ♥ I have read and enjoyed a few Penny Vincenzi novels over the years, they are very addictive so I am sure that once I have read this chapter I will be downloading the full book.


This month’s box is a real mixed bag, I think the Benefit mascara will be the favourite for many people. What do you think?


If you like the look of it and want to sign up, please feel free to use my referral link: You’ll get 50 Birchbox points, equivalent to £5! The box costs £10 per month plus p+p.


Let me know your thoughts!





Last Minute Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Here are six wonderful gift ideas for Mother’s Day, which for 2015 falls on Sunday 15th March. All of these can be ordered and delivered in time, so don’t panic if you have left it until the last minute, there is still plenty of time to order one of the lovely gifts below!


mothers day gift ideas


1. Accessorize Hibiscus Silk Scarf £12.00 A lightweight scarf is perfect for spring and this one would go with everything!


2. NOTHS Mother's Day Mug £12.75 I love this cheeky design, it’s the sort of thing Ian would buy for his mum.


3. NOTHS Personalised Key Ring £13.00 I adore keepsakes, this key ring is a lovely gift idea for any mum but especially for a new mum.


4. NOTHS Personalised Mini Russian Ring Necklace £52.00 These are absolutely stunning. The rings can be personalised with hand-stamping on one or all three of the rings.


5. Bloom & Wild Letterbox Flowers £22.00 Sending fresh flowers doesn’t have to be expensive and it doesn’t matter if nobody is home as these flowers will fit through the letterbox.


6. Biscuiteers Make Up Case Giant Biscuit Card £20.00 I love biscuits, who doesn’t, and these ones are shaped like make-up! Love them!






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