Tag: mum

Journey to New Zealand

| January 11, 2013

New Zealand

Kaitoke Regional Park, New Zealand

I didn’t think our journey to New Zealand was going to be easy but this was beyond anything I could have ever have planned for.

Imogen and I flew out of London on 30 December to venture to The Land of the Long White Cloud.

We’re spending eight weeks in beautiful New Zealand visiting family. Given the great distance between us we’re lucky to be spending this time here as we don’t often see our family other than on Skype which is a wonderful tool for bringing people closer.

Travelling with a baby or toddler is never easy so we broke the 30 hour journey with a night’s stopover in Hong Kong so we could stretch our legs, catch up on sleep, take a bath and have a break from being in the confined space of an aeroplane. I was surprised at how well Imogen took the 12 hour flight given the only other flight she has been on was for 1 hour.

She slept on and off throughout the flight interspersed with drawing, sticker books, playing with her Shape Sorter, eating dinner and watching a few episodes of Cloudbabies on my Samsung Galaxy Tablet.

Whilst Imogen was asleep I became very aware of a stench of sick and the sound of retching from around us. I was asked by a crew member if I felt sick as there were many people who were taken ill on our flight. I thought perhaps it was food poisoning as it was so sudden and widespread.

We made it to Hong Kong and enjoyed New Year’s eve in the lovely Sky City Marriott Hotel. As a Mum travelling alone with my baby I found the hotel staff incredibly kind and helpful.

The next day we enjoyed a late check-out from the hotel and then had five hours before our flight in Hong Kong Airport. I had a trolley with a large suitcase, a backpack and a toddler to look after amidst the hustle and bustle of a very busy airport. Imogen was a star and great at staying with me and not getting upset by being in the same place for such a long time.

Whilst at the check-in several passengers were talking about how they’d been hospitalised overnight in Hong Kong. Was the sickness caused by food poisoning or a virus on our flight?

We boarded the plane bound for Auckland and the final leg of our long distance flight to New Zealand. Imogen fell asleep for a couple of hours giving me the perfect opportunity to catch up on some slumber.

When Imogen woke she seemed irritable. A few minutes later she was violently sick and it didn’t stop for the remaining four hours of our flight to Auckland. The crew on Air New Zealand were wonderful and very helpful. They found a Doctor on the plane who monitored Imogen and her details were radioed by the pilot to a Doctor on the ground in Australia every 30 minutes. There was talk of us landing in Sydney so we could get her to a hospital.

It was such an awful feeling as a mother, having a sick baby and knowing I could do nothing but try and soothe her. There was nowhere else I could take her to get better. We were up in the sky and the plane would get to our destination at the scheduled time, not a second sooner.

Imogen refused all fluids and our greatest fear was dehydration given she had vomited at least ten times. The Doctor tried to put a line in her arm so he could give her IV fluids. Unfortunately he didn’t manage to get a vein and it just put Imogen through additional stress. All this took place in one of the plane’s tiny toilets as there was nowhere else to go. A plane provides a small amount of space for passengers at the best of times.

Paramedics were notified of Imogen’s state before we landed and they had an ambulance ready to take us straight to hospital when we arrived in Auckland. The paramedics from Middlemore Hospital were excellent and very thorough.

We were taken to Middlemore Hospital, which deals with infectious diseases, as New Zealand officials were concerned we may have to be isolated due to the nature of the virus on our flight. Thankfully we were given the all clear with some tablets to help stop the vomiting and plastic syringes to administer fluids if necessary. With a letter stating we were ‘good to travel’ I rearranged a later flight that day to Wellington as we’d missed our connecting flight.

My parents met us in Wellington and it was absolutely wonderful to be reunited with them. Imogen’s face lit up and she beamed a huge smile the moment she saw them.

The next day Imogen had diarrhoea but was in good spirits and loved exploring her grandparent’s house and garden. We were very concerned as she wasn’t drinking. With the amount of fluids she’d lost the day before and now with diarrhoea we had to try and provide her with fluids using a plastic syringe.

Day 3 in New Zealand and I instantly knew something was really wrong with Imogen as soon as she woke. She looked very pale and was really quiet, very unlike her usual self. When I changed her that morning she began to fall asleep which she never does. She still wasn’t drinking and it was clear she was now bordering on being dehydrated. We took her straight to hospital and she was taken to Pediatrics who quickly gave her a nasal gastric tube for rapid rehydration.

Imogen also needed a stomach x-ray and ultrasound as they were worried she may have complications resulting from gastroenteritis which could result in surgery. Waiting for the stomach x-ray and ultrasound results was so frightening. The Doctors said the results were inconclusive so Imogen and I stayed in hospital overnight where she was monitored regularly and given more fluids. I was so relieved when the next day Imogen was eating and drinking and getting back to her happy self.

The most likely cause of Imogen’s sickness is the virulent Norovirus which is prevalent in the UK right now. The night we were in hospital my Mum started vomiting and for the next 3 days she had Norovirus symptoms.

This couldn’t have been predicted when planning our journey to New Zealand. I’m just so thankful to all the people who have helped to get my beautiful baby back to good health.

Here’s to enjoying the rest of our time in New Zealand with family and friends.

Have you or your family members suffered from the Norovirus this winter?

Mulberry Alexa Handbag

| December 13, 2012

If there’s just one luxurious item on any Mum’s Christmas wishlist it must be a Mulberry handbag. The classic designs and quality of Mulberry evoke a timeless elegance and style.

My favourite Mulberry handbag is the Mulberry Alexa Handbag.

Mulberry Alexa Handbag

The Mulberry Alexa handbag is inspired by British style icon Alexa Chung and is a mix of the classic Mulberry bags the Bayswater and the men’s Elkington briefcase.

The Mulberry Alexa Handbag looks incredible whether worn casually with jeans or dressed up with a suit. It features:

  • Postman’s lock closure
  • Belt strap and buckle detailing
  • Tree lining and suede flap lining
  • Internal slip and zip pockets
  • Internal metal Mulberry fob detail
  • Plaited top handle
  • Detachable and adjustable leather shoulder strap

The handle drop on the Mulberry Alexa Handbag is 11cm and the shoulder strap measures 112cm to 128cm.

So hubby, if you’re reading this…

Baby Colds and Flu

| November 8, 2012

Calpol Vapour Plug & Nightlight

It’s that time of year when colds and flu are rife.

The majority of my Mum friends and their babies have suffered at least one cold this autumn.

Husband and I have been battling cold and flu symptoms for over two weeks with sinusitis, sore throats, headaches, chesty coughs and feeling drained of all energy.

Husband’s cough is so bad he’s been relegated to the sofa for the past few nights. I’m thinking husband could even have the dreaded ‘man flu’ which is why his cough is so loud even our neighbours can hear it.

Inevitably baby girl has now developed symptoms and has a chesty cough, runny nose and fever.

When there are symptoms of baby colds and flu I check my baby’s temperature with the Braun ThermoScan 5 IRT4520 Ear Thermometerwhich I’ve written about here because it’s such a quick, accurate and comfortable thermometer to use on babies and the entire family.

I was up all night on Tuesday because baby’s cough and inability to breathe through a snotty nose was keeping her awake.

Yesterday I ventured out to Boots the chemist to stock up on various potions and lotions to help baby’s symptoms. It’s important she gets a good night’s sleep to help her body fight the infection and husband and I are in desperate need of sleep too.

I had to go to two different Boots as the first one had completely run out of the baby colds and flu products I wanted. I came home armed with an arsenal of treatments to help her breathe better and Calpol to bring down her temperature.

After her bath I rubbed some Boots Mild Vapour Rub 3 Months Plus onto her chest and back to help her breathing. I gently wiped her nose and sprayed one spray of Calpol Soothe and Care Saline Nasal Spray into each nostril. She was surprisingly good about this, there was no fighting and no tears afterwards. Calpol Soothe and Care Saline Nasal Spray is suitable from birth.

Last night I used the Calpol Vapour Plug and Nightlight in her nursery which provides 8 hours of soothing oils slowly vaporised into the room to help with breathing and to provide an air of comfort and calm with added lavender and chamomile. I stocked up on Calpol Vapour Plug Refills so I can use these each night as needed. The Calpol Vapour Plug and Refills are suitable for babies from 3 months of age.

I placed 10 drops of Olbas Inhalant Decongestant Oil for Children, suitable for babies over 3 months, onto a muslin cloth on top of baby girl’s dresser and I put several drops into a cup of hot water and left it on the bookshelf in her room. It let out a lovely smell and transformed her nursery from being cold infested and stuffy to one which smelt of Eucalyptus, Cloves and Mint.

The result? She slept through the night last night, hurrah! I think the combination of the natural decongestants and lavender really helped to soothe my baby and allowed her to breathe more easily.

What a miracle for husband and I. It really is the simple things like a good night’s sleep that count when you’re a parent!

Here are some tips for adults wanting to treat colds and flu the natural way.
What do you use to treat your baby’s colds?