A Day in The Life of a NICU Nurse

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‘Oh wow what a lovely job, cuddling babies all day’ says a Mum when I tell her that I am a NICU nurse. Well yes it is, a great job. A privilege and a huge responsibility. But it’s also an emotional roller coaster. Knowing the life of these delicate babies is often held in my hands.

The NICU can be a loud busy place. Walking through the door you are often met with a barrage of alarms and a flurry of activity. Not all mornings start like that, sometimes there is time to take a breath. But other days you hit the ground running. These little people have you on the hop before you even begin. Such fragile little things that even the most stable on the unit can take a turn for the worse in the blink of an eye. I watch them like a hawk, respond to their needs. Turn them, snuggle them into tiny nests. Providing comfort care when the outside world all becomes too much for their preemie brains to take.

I watch in wonderment as their tiny bodies fight to maintain themselves. Encouraging their parents, supporting them in this most trying of times. Comforting their families as we ride this roller coaster together. The ups and downs of being born to soon. I explain the technical interventions required to keep their precious baby breathing and growing.

I Spend time with Mum, enable her to hold even the sickest of babies. Calm her when her breast milk starts to dry up through the stress of being in the NICU. Feeding her baby is one of her most important roles, but it’s not easy. She is in the unit every day, keeping her vigil by the bedside, she won’t eat properly or sleep properly. Feeling guilty, desperate and alone – my support to her is almost as critical as that to her baby. Bonds are created with families, they are trusting you with the most precious thing in their lives.

The ward round comes and the doctors make their plans. Plans that effect the whole family. Mostly there is hope but sometimes there is none. Hard decisions are made. Babies and their families keep coming. Some have completed their journey and we are waving them out the door. Home to a normal life, after the longest of roads travelled. Others are moving elsewhere requiring treatments we cannot provide or stepping down to local units. Completing that final phase of feeding and growing.

Of course there are cuddles. A break from the routine of caring for the sickest babies. A quick snuggle with a feed whilst Mum gets some rest. It is short-lived. The page has gone another baby needs the team. We race down the corridor, emergency bag in hand. Sometimes we know what to expect when we arrive. We know that this is a premature baby that will require our support. Other times it’s a term baby who hasn’t delivered as expected. The adrenaline rushes through your veins, it’s not excitement, it is a fight or flight response. I am trained for this, technically I know what needs to be done. But I never feel relaxed, this young life deserves my all, the best of my abilities. This family is counting on us.

There are times when as a team we are shocked to the core after events. You can’t help but become emotionally involved with these tiny babies and their families. Whilst everyone maintains their professionalism, ultimately it is the compassion and empathy that we feel that makes us the doctors and nurses we are. In the hardest of circumstances we are there for each other, who else could understand what this job does to a person? Tea and coffee are drunk by the bucket load and biscuits are consumed in vast quantities.


Yes this job is a privilege. It can be both beautiful and terrifying in equal measure. Watching these babies grow, flourish and eventually go home with their parents is one of the most satisfying parts. The journey is hard, for everyone. As a nurse it is technically challenging and emotionally wearing. I can’t imagine doing it without the amazing team of doctors and nurses around me.

After 12 long hours the day is finished. Notes are written, babies are tucked into their beds. But the NICU doesn’t sleep. The next shift is here. Their turn to ride this train. Continually watching, responding, comforting and caring for the babies and their families. For me its time to return to my own family, to try to decompress from the events of the day. Do I spend the day cuddling babies? Sometimes; but there is a lot more to a day in the life of a NICU nurse.

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#EatSleepBlogRT – Week 18

#EatSleepBlogRt is back! Apologies for late comments and tweets this week, I have been very poorly so blogging has not been top of my list…. I will make sure I am on it this week! I will catch up on all owed comments and tweets ASAP, can’t wait to see what you guys have written. In other news Pudding is one on Friday and I have no idea where this year has gone 😳 and Christmas is less than two weeks away. Don’t forget that next week will be the last #EatSleepBlogRT until the New Year.

Pop over to Catie’s page to see her top post. I will be updating my page in a while once I have completed my commenting – I will tweet my Top Post so the person doesn’t miss out on their badge.

Our amazing Top Tweeters this week were @heatherkeets, @buzymumsonia & @lisapomerantz – Grab yourself a badge each ladies you are a Tweeting Stars!

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Get yourselves linked up and rest assured I will be getting to all those comments!

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Zoe

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Linky Rules

      • You can link 2 post – all subjects welcome
      • Linky runs from 8pm Sunday until 8pm Tuesday.
      • Please put our lovely badge on so that we can show off its fabulous design!
      • Comment on the post before yours.
      • Retweet at least 5 posts on twitter using the #EatSleepBlogRT hashtag (including the hosts posts)
      • Hosts will retweet when you link up (if you tag us in your tweet) and when we comment.
      • We will pick one post each week as our featured post
      • A Host will comment on all posts linked up.

Simple right? Lets get out there and set the Twitter world alight with our blog sharing!


JORD Wood Watches My New Favourite Time Piece and Festive Giveaway

I don’t know about you but I am always chasing time these days. I think it’s the addition of two children in my life. The endless school runs, homework, play dates and household chores mean that time is constantly slipping away from me. But what better way to keep track of those precious minutes than with a gorgeous wooden women’s watch from JORD.

These beautifully crafted time pieces add a unique style to your wrist. Hand crafted from luxury wood and sized to your wrist, its time to make every minute count. Whether you are looking for a man’s watch or a women’s watch JORD has something for everyone. One thing you can certainly say is that these are cool watches.

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The whole experience of receiving a JORD watch is thrilling. This sleek black box arrives at your door. Once you get inside the watch itself is contained in a smart wooden box and there is some wood oil too. This watch just cries out quality before you put it on. For me with my tiny sparrow wrists having a watch that fits immediately was amazing. I literally took it out the box and put it on. No having to go into town and waiting 3 days to have it resized, or the painful experience of attempting to put another hole in the strap. I love that it just fits – beautifully.

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Now as a nurse I don’t get to wear a wrist watch all that often. When I do get to put a watch on I want it to be special. To fit perfectly and to make me feel like I am not chasing time but that I am enjoying every minute of my day. The sophisticated feel of the Frankie JORD watch against my skin makes me feel that. I love how the light catches off the emerald face. This women’s watch feels light to wear but has an air of quality about it. I have to say that a lot of people have commented on my new time piece.

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*DISCLAIMER – This post is sponsored by JORD Wood Watches. I received the Frankie women’s watch for free in order to complete this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own*


Unique Watch

Stylish Cheeky Chompers to Soothe Teething Troubles

So as many of our readers will know young Pud has been teething since, well forever. At least that is how it feels! Despite being a dribbling, red-faced Were-Pudding we still have only cut two teeth. Our little drama Pud would have you believe she has more teeth than a great white shark so it was with delight we accepted the chance to review Cheeky Chompers.

Just like so many of the amazing baby products hitting our shelves Cheeky Chompers were designed by mumprenuers Amy and Julie. We love the ideas coming from mumpreneurs, because they know just what mums need. Born from the idea that teethers spend most of the time on the floor getting covered in goodness knows what, Amy & Julie designed the Neckerchew. A teether that stays attached to baby and always in easy reach. Simple yet brilliant, not to mention stylish.

I chose the Cat Spot design for Pudding, because I love spots. If you asked my family they would say I was spot obsessed… We were lucky enough to review the Chew Pack in the Cat Spot Design. This included the Neckerchew and the Comfortchew.

I love how soft both the Neckerchew and Comfortchew are. The Neckerchew comes with really sturdy poppers, unlike some of the other dribble bibs on the market, so it actually stays in place. I think Pudding looks great in hers. The rubber triangle on the end is textured to really help ease those gums. A little handy tip from the team at Cheeky Chompers was to put a smear of teething gel on the rubber bit. This really helped Pudding get the gel exactly where she needed it.

The Comfortchew was a huge hit for Pudding and me. She loved the tags attached, and I loved the little elasticated band which meant the comfort chew could be attached to the pram and or wrist. No more lost comforters in town!

Cheeky Chompers have advised me that the Cat Spot Design is almost sold out and that they won’t be making any more in this design. So if you want one, then you will need to be quick! However, there are some other beautiful designs available, take a look these:

It is a big thumbs up from us for Cheeky Chompers. Great designs, soft and functional, a real teething winner. Prices start from £11.99 for a Neckerchew make sure you check out the website for the full range. You can also find Cheeky Chompers on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

*DISCLAIMER – We were sent the Chew Pack from Cheeky Chompers free of charge in order to conduct this review. All thoughts and opinions are our own*

 

 

Beautiful Organic Baby Clothes From Babies with Love

Here at Pudding HQ we love getting our hands on the latest gorgeous organic baby clothes. It was with great pleasure then that we agreed to review the beautiful new range launched at From Babies with Love. Just like us From Babies with Love think that super soft organic cotton is the way forward for dressing your precious little bundles. But what I love about From Babies with Love is that every purchase you make helps support abandoned children through a donation to SOS Children. Gorgeous, super soft clothes and support for a worthy cause, how can you not fall for From Babies with Love?

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We were sent a simply printed romper suit and matching hat for Pudding to try. I was immediately struck by the quality of the cotton. It really is super soft, I almost wish they did this in an adult size! Unfortunately my model has been less than gorgeous these last two weeks. But you can catch her in her romper over on Instagram later this week.

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The French Grey Little Kisses romper was generously sized. Our little Pud is on the petite size, so the 6-12 month romper has plenty of space for her. This beautiful starry romper is the perfect mix of class and sophistication for this time of year. Whilst being both comfortable against the skin and giving back to others less fortunate. A festive purchase that really takes on board the meaning of Christmas.

The whole Autumn/Winter collection is fabulous, From Babies with Love have produced some exquisite items. And knowing how cosy the romper is that we have reviewed, I would have no hesitation in recommending these:

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I think that From Babies with Love is not only producing lovely soft, organic baby clothes but is also bringing a little bit of extra love to those babies who are not as lucky. By supporting From Babies with Love we can as parents open our arms out to little ones, who through know fault of their own, need our love and support.

Fallen in love with From Babies with Love? Why not check them out on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

 

*DISCLAIMER We received the items From Babies With Love free of charge in order to conduct this review. All thoughts and opinions are our own*

The pine-ful reality of a real Christmas tree

Oooh it’s finally here, the build up to Christmas. Ok if you are in retail the build up started shortly after Halloween. But for us normal people December marks the start of the festive season. Well apart from that smug mum I heard at the schools gates who was regaling people with how she has not only completed her shopping but wrapped it already. Seriously go away with your uber-organisation…

Still I am on it this year – advent calendars are in and by the fire-place. We have already missed one day for Pudding… but that’s still retrievable. We have our amazing elf from An Elf For Christmas. This is great fun and much appreciated by Pie. It’s day two of Elf and I am still managing to get up and do something interesting with her.

Mr Pud's romantic idea of what our Christmas Tree will look like
Mr Pud’s romantic idea of what our Christmas Tree will look like

Next week will see the annual Pudding HQ trip to buy a tree. Mr Pud will have delusions of grandeur and decide that what our tiny house needs is a 10ft monster tree. Pie will pick the dead one and be sad that we won’t let him have that. Eventually a reasonably sized tree will be picked and then stuffed into the car, probably stabbing both kids in the eyes with needles and blocking all driver vision.

Locked and loaded - ready to spread needles far and wide on removal of that net!
Locked and loaded – ready to spread needles far and wide one removal of that net!

Then the fun really starts. Where to put said tree? Space is an issue but more concerning this year is 1-year-old Pud. With her propensity for eating stuff she probably won’t manage any Christmas dinner due to the large amount of pine needles she will consume between now and Christmas Day….

Of course the first course will start when we take the netting off the tree and it pings out like a jack in the box covering the surrounding 6m radius with needles. These will then drop at an exponential rate until January the 6th. Upon which I expect to pick up the tree and the remaining 7000 needles will then drop and scatter themselves through the house to continue to be found until July. Leaving me to struggle outside with a bald Christmas tree which itself will sit in my front garden until May when I finally take it to the tip.

The needle-less tree that will stay in my front garden until the spring…

Should we find a suitable place to put the tree, which is doubtful, we do at least have a tree stand to put it in. This will avoid the sawdust disaster of 2012 and the unsuccessful planting of wonky tree in 2013. Let me tell you filling a bucket with either sawdust(?) or mud when you have no roots is not a successful or sensible method for securing a Christmas tree.

So once we have secured said tree in an appropriate place. Probably sworn at each other and drunk a little too much mulled wine we will begin the decoration. Pie will have wandered off by this point. Bored of the ‘what about here’ or ‘how about there’ or ‘we could try shoving it where the sun doesn’t shine’ conversation. Pudding will be sat in the decorations box. Probably working her way through some tasty tinsel whilst wrapping fairy lights round the sausage dog. The decorations and lights will be flung unceremoniously on to the branches of said Christmas tree. Gathered mainly at the top to prevent any theft of tinsel by Pudding. At this stage the lack of Sausage Dog and Pie will be noticed. They will be found in the other room, quietly unwrapping all 20 Christmas tree chocs and eating them.

Its amazing how many of these one dog and one small boy can get through...
Its amazing how many of these one dog and one small boy can get through…

 

This is the point where one of us will add some brandy to the mulled wine, whilst declaring that next year we are having one of those LED twig Christmas trees…

Puddings Christmas Gift Guide: Stacking Rings, The Ultimate ‘Push Present’

Have you ever dreamed of something so beautiful that you just want to hold it in your hands? If you are expecting your own special arrival for Christmas you will know exactly what that feels like. That magical moment when you finally meet the new member of your family. Of course nothing can compete with that feeling. But if you are looking for that beautiful gift for your partner then I think I have found just the thing.

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These stunning diamond stacking rings from Rare Pink would make the ultimate gift for the amazing lady in your life. If you are celebrating the birth of your first child this Christmas these pave-set rings bring just the right amount of sparkle.

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Custom-made and available in 18ct white, rose and yellow gold with matching colour toned diamonds these rings are designed to your requirements. Perfect if you are contemplating gifting for the birth of your first child, or even your second or third.

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I was sent a set of these exquisite rings to review and I can honestly say that I was in awe of the sparkle. Beautifully crafted with a tiny pink stone set on the inside of the band. They felt solid in my hand but not heavy or cumbersome like some eternity rings. Each of the stacking rings were delicate, catching the light and twinkling at every turn of my hand. My eyes were drawn to each, but the overall effect of having them stacked together was stunning.

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Each ring contains 42 x 1.3mm diamonds. This does depend on the size of the ring and is based on a size L1/2. The stacking rings range in price, starting from £1,595. To find out more about ordering for your partner you can send an enquiry to Rare Pink.

Personally I would love to discover one of these in the toe of my stocking on Christmas morning. If you are looking to add a little extra sparkle to the birth of your baby this Christmas you can’t go wrong with these Stacking Rings from Rare Pink.

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DISCLAIMER: This is a collaborative post with Rare Pink. We were loaned the rings in order to completed the review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

‘I will not be defeated by a bad man and an American stick insect…’

I love this line from Bridget Jones Diary – her attitude towards a total kick in the teeth is what is inspiring me this evening. I am down but I am no way out. My problem is not man related like Bridget’s. Mr Pud is such a good egg, I am a lucky girl. But as Bridget also says

 

This is the final straw, the one that has broken this Mama’s back. It is time to stop being a victim. Time to stand up and flick a V sign. I am sick and tired of being kicked like a puppy. I am not a puppy, I am a bloody lioness.

Yes today was; as is so eloquently put by Rachel in Friends:

You see today was the culmination of everything I have worked towards being stuck in a blender. Never have I been more demoralised. I can’t give you the details here – I wish I could. Just know that at this point I have to believe that everything happens for a reason.

Tomorrow is a new day. Tomorrow I am standing up and saying STOP. No more meek acceptance of things that are fundamentally wrong. A life that is damaging my family. To hell with this.

A monster was created today. Granted she is a wounded, slightly beat up monster, but that is what makes her more dangerous. A flicker of burning passion, currently fuelled by a cold hard rage is coursing through my veins. This time I won’t be put off, this time I will strive to achieve my potential.

In a time of rising discontent in so many. In a world where racists and fascists are starting to impact on our very civilisation I can no longer sit back and let the injustices lie. If I can’t fight for myself, how can I fight for my children and for those who are unable to fight for themselves.

This Mama bear has a plan, a goal and by hook or by crook this time I will succeed. Even if I do need to channel my inner Bridget Jones!

A Letter to Santa with a little help from Peppa Pig

It is that time of year where all over the country excited children are putting pen to paper, sending letters to a jolly old man dressed in red. Hoping to prove how good they have been all year and asking for their hearts desires. At Pudding HQ we have joined with Ladybird Books and Peppa Pig to send our letter to the North Pole. Lets hope we are on the nice list!

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With Pie starting school this September his writing has really come on and the downloadable Peppa’s Santa Letter was perfect for him to practice. Super easy to print off and really colourful he was very excited to sit down and put pen to paper.

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We had a great time together deciding what nice things he had done this year. As well as what he wanted Santa to bring him. It was a really magical experience for me watching him work so hard. He was so thrilled to write to Santa for the first time.

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Once we had finished we left the letter by the fireplace for the elves to collect and take to the North Pole.

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Ladybird Books have recently published a fantastic book ‘Peppa’s Christmas Post’ filled with Christmas activities and fun Christmas themed baking ideas. All with the story of how Peppa and George are taking Christmas into their own hands this year! We have joined with Ladybird Books to offer the chance to win one of these fabulous books. To enter all you need to do is take a picture of your little ones completing their Peppa’s Santa Letter and tweet it to @petitepudding using the #Ladybirdchristmas. What are you waiting for?!

You can download your copy of the letter here. Be sure to leave it for Santa to find!

 

 

DISCLAIMER: This is a collaborative post with Ladybird Books. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

Puddings Gift Guide 2016: Get Personal With Hello Moon Posters

I really love personalised things for the kids, I think its because when they get older I know they will like that somethings were just for them. Everyone enjoys that feeling of being a bit special. Now Pie already has a few personalised goodies but Pudding doesn’t. So with their room freshly decorated it felt only right that she should have something that was just hers.

Hello Moon had just the type of thing I was looking for. They have a great range of posters all of which can be personalised with a name. Some go further than that and you can design gorgeous New Baby posters which include name, weight and date and time of birth. They are exceptionally cute, a perfect gift to welcome a new bundle of joy into the world.

You can also order adult posters as well! This hilarious one has gone on my own Christmas list this year.

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The other great thing about Hello Moon is that they will mount and frame your poster for you too. This is priced quite reasonably too and saves you having to go out and do it yourself.

After much deliberation and distraction through all the wonderful things on the Hello Moon website. I finally decided on the Little Monster Poster, I felt it struck a remarkable resemblance to Pudding… I really liked the poster when it arrived. It looks really classy mounted in the frame and is very cute with the little bit of personalisation. I am sure you will agree that Pudding does look a bit like the monster!

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I think Hello Moon have a great selection of posters to choose from to brighten up any room with a personal touch. Starting from £16 for the poster they make an excellent and thoughtful gift this Christmas. You can order Hello Moon posters here.

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DISCLAIMER: We received the Little Monster poster courtesy of Hello Moon in order to conduct this review. All thoughts and opinion are our own.