Pure Aloe Gel with Manuka Honey


I have always had sensitive (pale/red) skin prone to irratation. My hormones have always been up and down so I go weeks without pimples but when they are there, they are there. Huge, red under the skin pimples. 

This gel has helped reduce overall redness on my face especially when my acne is noticeable. I like to put it on at night after I wash my face and by the morning the redness and soreness has dramatically reduced. I’m so glad I have found this product. It’s given some of my confidence back. 

I met the beautiful Kara through Instagram, a lovely mama with a passion for heathy living and natural products. Visit http://www.gracecosmetics.com.au/karawilliams For all your skin care needs.  
Product info:

Eases the discomfort of sensitive skin and minor irritations.

Reduces the redness of sunburn, windburn, rashes, bites and skin abrasions.

Contains antiseptic properties which clarify, refresh, calm, detoxify and soothe.

Excellent directly after waxing or shaving.

Ingredients include: Organically grown aloe vera, manuka honey, honeysuckle, lemon balm and passionflower. For all skin types. 

New meaning to partying at 6am


Harry is mostly sleeping 4 hours at a time (sometimes 3) over night now!!! I tell my friends that don’t have kids yet and they laugh at me. Thinking why the heck is she getting so excited about 4 hours of sleep at a time??? I don’t blame them I would’ve done the same thing if someone told me that a year ago. Back then I couldn’t imagine getting no less then 10 hours sleep of uninterrupted sleep a night. Ha! 

Harry doesn’t feed in the mornings and go back to sleep now though, once the 6/7oclock feed is done it’s on like Donkey Kong. Laughing squealing party til the early hours of the morning type situation.
He’s awake for much longer in the day now, this has been a big adjustment for me, it’s harder to get things done, he needs more interaction time and he wants to communicate. It’s amazing though, watching his little personality shine through. He’s well and truly past the ‘new born’ sleepy stage. 

I had a friends engagement on the weekend. Tom stayed at home with Harry without me for the first time. I was nervous and so was he. Not that we thought he couldn’t manage but sometimes the only way we can settle him is if he is on my chest. Tom said he took awhile to settle to sleep, Harry was a little irritable and quote ‘everything I tried, just didn’t work‘ quote – ‘I don’t know how you do this day in day out‘ sometimes I don’t even know how I do it, I just do. 

Sunday was a little rough, I didn’t get silly drunk or anything but being out having a few drinks and just being tired on top of everything else just really took its toll. I woke up tired, more tired than usual.

Back before Harry, I would go out and be hung over the next day, I was hopeless. I didn’t plan anything for Sunday’s because it was a stay in bed and feel sorry for myself all day, day. Being a mum I obviously can’t do that, no matter how tired I am but it’s crazy, there’s like a switch inside me, something just clicks and knows I just have to get up and get on with it and I did. And I mean.. Harry is so dang cute so he makes it pretty easy.. sometimes.

Meeka

I was lucky enough to try the Meeka’s Organic Baby Body Wash & Shampoo and The fine silk sponge. So so divine! 

Meeka’s Baby Wash is a 100% natural formula containing 77% organic ingredients. An amazing aromatherapy blend of German Blue Chamomile and Lavender essential oils formulated to relax and soothe baby while Organic Aloe Vera, Chlorella & Spirulina infuse the skin with antioxidants keeping bubs skin healthy and soft.

It’s not essential but I found the Fine Silk Baby Sponge a real treat. I like to give Harry’s skin a good scrub at night, his skin gets quite oily and often gets tiny pimples on his cheeks and chin. The silk sponge is  100 % natural, it doesn’t hold odors or bacteria and is chemical free. Its silky smooth texture is gentle and is super absorbent but doesn’t get that heavy and full feeling like when I use a flannel. Amazing addition to bath time and what a beautiful thing – straight from Mother Nature!! To purchase these products visit Meeka Body website. 

The products are a reasonable price and so comforting to know they are 100% natural and made with the goodness of organic ingredients! I definitely recommend them. 🌿 http://www.meekabody.com

Renée x

Adjusting to adult 


I still stare at Harry & am amazed that he is our creation. That he grew inside of me!! Hair, eyes, ears, nose, toes! It’s truly amazing what the human body is capable of. Who the hell designed us? Someone pretty damn clever. 

It’s been a big adjustment this motherhood thing, not to mention the breast feeding, isn’t that supposed to be easy? They just latch on and drink??? Like in the movies? That’s been one of my toughest challenges yet.. is he getting enough? Is he hungry? Why is he fussing? It’s a scary thing trying to figure out these miniature humans, what they want & if they are ok. I’m a stress head & I NEED him to be ok all of the time, it can be so consuming. I take my hat off to the mothers that are home alone all day with no help… I am so lucky to have the help of my mum & dad when Tom is at work. I have had a few freak out episodes & passed him over when I got really overwhelmed, I feel for people who can’t do that. 

I can’t believe it’s nearly been 4 months. It feels like yesterday we met him for the first time. Days used to drag, now they are gone in the blink of an eye. It’s true when people say babies are ‘time wasters’. I spend half my day just staring at the kid. 

Seriously how much washing can one baby have? I hardly ever did washing before I fell pregnant but then I decided I needed to get my shit together. Mum always did it for me. Now it feels like I’m doing washing for half of China. Nightmare situation. I sound like a brat!

I get so overwhelmed sometimes if I think into how much Harry is dependent on me. Like, he can’t actually live without me. I am responsible for another human being, entirely. How scary is that??! I always get worried I’m not doing enough for him, or if I could be doing better in different situations, this probably stems from my anxiety & probably just a natural thing for a mother to think about. I’m sure others can restate, but at times getting lost in my own thoughts I’m convinced I’m batshit crazy. 

Being one of the first people out of my close friendship group to have a baby it’s been difficult to adjust. Pre baby I was out drinking most weekends, no responsibilities, completely selfish because then I could be. Saturdays are still hard for me, wondering what everyone is doing, what I was doing just a year ago.
Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change a thing but my life has changed drastically, all of a sudden I had to ‘adult’. Not just start doing my own washing type adult, like really adult. Still trying to figure this gig out. 
Last Saturday Tom had footy and my family all had things on, I had such an emotional day, it’s hard & days can be long by myself. It was a bad anxiety day but I got myself out of bed & around 3pm I went for a walk. The salt air is always good for me. 
The sun was shining & everyone had a spring in their step. I walked past a group of people drinking on their balcony. Similar what i would have been doing just a year ago. I cried, not because I was unhappy with my life & wanted to be doing that but because at times like that I realise just how much my life has changed. It’s like it’s an end of a chapter & sometimes I do miss it. Being care free you know? I always wake up with a spring in my step on a Sunday though. Not groggy from the night before. Winninggggg.
I have met so many amazing mamas & different people on on Instagram, some going through the same thing as we did with Harry, some just going through the motions of motherhood. I love meeting new people!! It still fascinates me that I can connect with people all over the world with a touch of a button & share all our different experiences. 
Until my next rant ✌🏻❤️

Pesto Chicken Pasta

I’m obsessed with pasta. Heck! Give it to me for breakfast lunch & Dinner & would eat it. 
But I know that I can’t do that. But il make it for dinner at least once a week. Some days are long without Tom, he trains for footy 3 times a week and doesn’t get home til 7.30. Before that I need to get Harry bathed and settled for the night. So I’m always looking for simple but delicious recipes. I love food. I get so excited for what I’m going to eat next lol! 

So when I got this recipe from Aussie Farmers Direct along with all the fresh produce, I was pretty stoked! 

SIMPLE PESTO PASTA

Enough for 2

1 pack of spaghetti (depends how much you eat) 

3/4cup basil pesto

1 cooked chicken breast, sliced

1/4cup parmesan, plus extra to serve

1 bunch of rocket to serve 
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water. Drain under hot water when cooked, al dente.  
Add to hot pan with pesto, and chicken. Reduce heat and toss to coat pasta with pesto, until warm. 
Stir through parmesan. 

Serve hot with parmesan top it with rocket and a little cracked pepper. Wala! 
SO EASY! You could also add a dash of cream (my weakness) but totally doesn’t need it, it’s already full of flavour! Enjoy! 
R x

Www.shop.aussiefarmers.com.au for fresh produce sent to your door!  🍃

Beach 

There’s something special about the beach. People of all walks of life. All walking along for good reason, mainly some type of therapy I would think. 

I’m a people watcher. Constantly wondering what people’s stories are. That might sound nosey. I’m not nosey, just curious I spose. There was a woman doing laps of the jetty while I was sitting there feeding Harry. Up and back up and back. She stopped and asked how old Harry was, I told her & she responded “My baby is 50!” I acted surprised & said she didn’t look old enough. But I lied. She had no front teeth.

The past few days I have missed being pregnant. 

Not the part that made me feel like absolute crap but the amazing feeling of a little miracle we created growing inside of me. 

It still amazes me what my body was capable of & still is. I didn’t ‘enjoy’ pregnancy which sounds sinful, but it was far from glamorous for me, a lot of the time I was miserable because I felt so sick & tired. 

But I would do it, a thousand times over for a thousand baby Harry’s. 

This is my drawing (lol). I’m far from an artist, but I like to draw. It’s therapeutic. 👼🏼

Breakfast at 2pm

I had one of those days today. Planned to get up & go for a walk along the beach with Harry. It’s good for the both of us, gets us out of the house & it’s always been something good for me to do to clear my head when everything else is hectic (not necessarily hectic, just seems hectic).

Not today. I woke up with a brick on my chest, it’s hard to explain to someone that doesn’t have anxiety what it actually feels like, but sometimes the best way I can describe it is a heavy feeling on my chest. I haven’t been this happy in years, my family, even my friends have noticed. It doesn’t matter. Some days it just needs to remind me it hasn’t gone anywhere.

 I have absolutely nothing to feel anxious about but on days like this everything seems impossible. It’s never been a specific time of my life as in if I’m happy or sad, it just pops up when I least expect it. 

So the walk along the beach seemed impossible today, the thought of doing everything I had to do before I could leave the house felt like the hardest thing to do when on other days it would be the simplest. Harry was grizzly & needy so that didn’t help the situation. I just thought it would be easier to lay in bed. So I did. For 4 hours until I finally got up & had a shower.

I still hadn’t had breakfast at this point (1pm) & ask anyone that’s close to me how dangerous this situation can be (lol) Tom quote “Iv never met someone that hunger can alter their mood this much” I can’t help it, I can’t function & everything becomes seemingly difficult!! So on top of feeling like a walk down the street felt like a marathon I was also now starving. 

I had thoughts of, ‘I don’t have to go if I don’t want, I could just get back into bed and cuddle Harry’ ‘It was a tough night, I have every right to stay in bed’. But no, that wouldn’t be good for me or Harry either. I finally got my sh*t together by 1.30 & walked down the street. It’s never as daunting as I think it’s going to be on days like this. The thought is so much worse.

So I may sound crazy, but when anxiety hits, out of no where like a slap in the face, small tasks become huge ones, for absolutely no apparent reason. This is anxiety.

It’s amazing what a coffee, food & fresh air can do. I pretty much skipped home. Oh & I bumped into a man walking two lizards on a leash so that kind of made my day. 



‘Sleepy’ & ‘Liz’ 😩❤️

NICU & SCBU

It was the day after Harry was born. My sister showered me before we went to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to see Harry. I had washed her after her second son was born. I’m lucky to have a relationship with my sister like that. I was starting to feel a bit of pain by now. I was sleepy & a bit out of it. All I could do was stare at our baby boy. I wanted to hold him so badly. It was hard for me watching nurses do all these different things to him. I don’t want to sound ungrateful because how lucky were we for him to be in that type of care. It was just my instincts, he was my baby & it was my job to be looking after him.

We had the most beautiful nurse looking after him, a lady I will never forget. She said I could hold him. I was holding my boy for the first time! I was petrified I would drop him. He was so small & cords covered the whole of his tiny body. I have a video of our first hold below. 

I had been allowed to stay at the hospital for 2 nights but then it was my time to go home. I feel sick thinking about how I had to walk out of the doors without him in my arms. It was a feeling of guilt but also just sadness. 

I had to set my alarm & breast pump every 3 hours. The first few nights were the harshest. I’m convinced my body was confused. Why didn’t I have the touch of my baby? Where was he? Being at home & waking up without him there all through the night was hard. I was exhausted & some days I would cry at the drop of a hat. 

3 days past & it was time for his second surgery. The surgeon would be closing his tummy. I can’t explain the feeling that went through my body when they wheeled him off. I felt so helpless & for some reason, guilt. Guilt I couldn’t do anything for him even though I knew there was nothing I could possibly do to help him. It was a feeling I couldn’t shift & I think that was just part of becoming a mum for the first time & not being able to helped like I wanted to. 

They managed to get all of his bowel back in. How amazing, he had been on this earth for only 3 days & had been to surgery twice & had full closure of his tiny belly. He was heavily sedated & on strong pain relief. When time had passed they needed to ween him off of the pain relief, it was awful. The body gets dependent quickly & he would twitch & shake from the withdrawals, this took a few days. Then he was transferred to Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU).

Harry was not allowed to eat for the first 2 weeks of his life. He was fed fats through a line in his arm to help him gain weight but he never had a full tummy. His bowel was in shock & they needed to wait until the green bile that would come up from his tummy would settle down. Thank God for the dummy. He sucked on that thing like you wouldn’t believe. It was awful to think he was hungry & it was heart breaking not being able to feed him. 

Time had passed and things were going well & it was time to try & feed him. Believe me when Harry reached any milestone Tom & I would be so happy. It was a pretty much, see how it goes he either stomaches it or he throws it up straight away. The first feed was a tiny 2ml every 4 hours through a tube in his nose. 2ml… that wouldn’t be enough to fill his tummy, so he would still be hungry. He never complained. The first feed was successful. He had kept it all down & normal amount of bile came up. 
Every day after that he would go up 2ml. So the next day was 4ml every 4 hours & so on. 
I was allowed to feed Harry with my pinky finger, they would syringe the tiny bit of milk through his mouth & my finger would act as the nipple. He started to get a taste for my milk & wanted more. That’s when he started to get unsettled. 

Around a week after he started feeds through the tube in his nose they asked me if I would like to ‘breast feed’ of course I did. It was something so important to me, the only thing at that time that I could really do for him. Because they were monitoring so closely how much milk he was getting I had to express all the milk out of my boob first & then ‘feed’ him on an empty breast. A bit cruel really. But he latched so well & was a little star. 

It got to week 3 & Harry got sick. He had a big vomit & had to stop feeds for 24 hours. He was hungry at this stage. He knew what milk was. It was sad. He had an infection in his arm from the long line going up his vein. I spotted a red lump on his arm that the medical staff hadn’t picked up yet. That was sign of infection. They replaced the long line & put him on antibiotics straight away. The next day was hard. Our poor boy was starving.
Being the little battler Harry is he recovered quite quickly & the feeds started to increase. He needed to be on 60ml before he could come home and being on small amounts every 3 hours we still had a long way to go. At times it felt like a life time away. But as time went on he had less & less bile coming up & the process was starting to become faster. He amazed the doctors. They could not believe how well he was tolerating the feeds. Some gastro babies can be in hospital for months & months & at times we thought this might be the case. 

Days were long in the nursery. It wasn’t a very happy place to be, surrounded by sick babies. At times it was lonely. Tom had to go back to work after the first week so a lot of the time I was there by myself. We had great support from our families and initially I couldn’t drive because of the Caesarian so had to rely on help getting to and from the hospital but a lot of the time it was just me during the day. I would make two trips in there every day. Once in the morning until late afternoon & after dinner with Tom and we would stay there as long as we could even though we were exhausted. At times I thought I could go crazy. I didn’t want to be in there because it was hard, but I didn’t want to be at home either because that would mean I wouldn’t be with him. 

It got to week 4 & home time was close. Every single day we needed to wait to see the doctor to see if & when we could take Harry home. He wasn’t gaining much weight so there was another delay ….so more tests. This went on for a whole week & we would ring in the morning to see what his late night weight was. This would determine if we could take him home or not. I had a few sleepless nights wondering what the outcome would be in the morning. 
The day finally came. He had been in hospital for 5 weeks exactly. We went in with our capsule & his very own going home outfit. The nurse said there was a chance we would be taking an empty capsule home once again. Our hearts sank. They were still concerned about Harry not gaining weight. They did a few more tests & thankfully the doctor said rather than keeping him in to take him home & they would contact us with results. We were so relieved. The last 5 weeks had been a roller coaster ride of emotions but It was time to take him home…. his home where everything had been ready for him for weeks. Harry was ready and we were ready… we thought we were ready!!!! 
We met so many wonderful people at the hospital & we will always be forever grateful for the care he received. On the first night we had him home we got a lovely message from one of the midwives that worked nights & had taken care of Harry. 


“Every now and then a special baby imprints their little hands on my heart. Harry did this. He was so brave and strong with all his setbacks. He never screamed and carried on even when he was starving and we fed him 2 mls every 4 hours. And through it all you were both there by his side. It’s so important for parents to be involved even when it gets so hard. You are both awesome and Harry is so lucky to have you.”

We are so proud of Harry & we were so delighted to get this message.  ​

Apologise these pictures aren’t in order!! ​

Our first hold.


First skin to skin.

Harry’s Scar
On our way to get our boy. 

So tiny in the capsule.when my phone thought the hospital was my home.
Our car ride home.

Harry’s first bath.

​Arriving home & meeting his cousin Max & Ollie for the first time. “Wow”

The Birth

​​I had to have an emergency C section. That wasn’t my plan. I wanted to give birth naturally. I wanted to experience it all. Obviously what was safer for Harry was what we needed to do & that was to get him out as soon as possible. 

Tom arrived early hours of the morning & we waited. The doctor that had scanned me the previous night was STILL working. He had slept at the hospital.. ‘slept’. He told us the safest thing for Harry would be to have him through C section & I would be going in later that morning. I frantically called my mum & sister who were also my birthing partners. Mum arrived which gave me a lot of comfort.

It all happened so fast. My sister has 2 young boys under 5 & it took her a little while to get to the hospital. I was about to go in & she was trying to find a park. My mum or my sister weren’t able to come into theatre but seeing them before I went in would give me comfort. It was too late… they came & got me & I was next to go in. 
I was terrified at this point. We had to wait ages outside of theatre. We went in & the staff were warm & so relaxed. I had one of them put some fluid into my drip & for some reason I could feel the fluid go into my vein. It freaked me out. I started hysterically (quietly) crying. The young anaethisist asked if I would like to put my own music on. I had a Spotify playlist ready for when I went into labor so we put that on. It was such a relaxed vibe which made it so much easier. 

I was just about to have the needle in my spine, when there was an emergency. Not me, but another woman who was losing a lot of blood in the theatre next door. The doctors apologised & explained I may have to wait awhile but I would be next. What an anti climax. 

I got to see my sister. I’m a strong believer that everything happens for a reason & there was a reason why I had to wait. Two & a half hours passed & it was my turn (again). For some reason maybe because I knew what to expect this time, I was overwhelmed with calmness. My sister also had scrubs on incase Tom needed to pop out (he’s a fainter). 

We went through all the motions again. Harry was out within 10 minutes. It was 1.22pm. Tom was amazing support & managed to stay up right. I got a glimpse of our baby boy. He was wonderful. 
No wonder he wasn’t happy in there, he had been swimming in his own poop! They weighed him & he was 2kg exactly. They wrapped his bowel in gladwrap to keep it moist.  I wasn’t able to hold Harry or even touch him. He was taken away almost straight away to get ready for surgery. Tom went with him.

I went to recovery & my sister & mum were with me. I couldn’t feel my legs & it was the weirdest feeling ever. I almost felt trapped. I had a beautiful midwife help to feed me water through a straw and she could see how sad I was that I couldn’t hold Harry. She organised the doctors to bring Harry past before he went into surgery. I had one of the doctors come & tell me he would be on his way soon. It was a woman around late 30s. She had a young child of her own and went on to say that she understood what I must be going through & it was unfair to not have my baby with me, she had tears in her eyes. What an amazing woman. To feel something so very deeply about someone she didn’t even know. They brought Harry through, there was someone manually helping him breathe. There was a medical team of about 10 that followed him. I touched him with one of my fingers, for the first time, then he went into surgery. 
After recovery I went back to my room. All I could think about was food. I had to fast all day so I was starving. It must sound ridiculous that at a time like that I was thinking about food, but that’s where I was at. They wouldn’t let me eat until I farted (something to do with the bowel being in shock after surgery so I needed to wait until they knew it was all good in there). I lied & ate Oreo chocolate. 

An hour passed & the surgeon came in. Harry’s operation was over. They managed to get 90% of his bowel back in. The rest would go back in with a silo bag. A silo bag is a bag wrapped around the bowel for the bowel to go back inside the body with gravity, followed by another surgery for closure of his belly. This can take weeks. His body was just too tiny to try and squish everything back in straight away. The surgeon told us that part of his stomach was on the outside too! We had no idea during our pregnancy that that was the case! 

A couple of hours passed & I was able to go visit our baby boy in the NICU. I was emotional, tired & frustrated I was unable to mother him like I wanted to. I had to look at Harry through a humidicrib. I could only touch him with my fingers. There were tubes in his nose and cords everywhere & things beeping everywhere. It was confronting. The medical staff were amazing, how lucky were we to have him in such wonderful hands. They were all so kind to us. 

I stared at him for a few hours but because I was on such heavy medication after surgery I felt drunk & I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I went back to my room. Tom having to go home again. The breast pumping began. Every 3 hours on the hour to bring in my milk. I was sitting in the hospital room alone & babyless. It was hard. 

My next post will be about the journey in the NICU & SCBU. 


Emotional sis

Scrubs & cons

Harry’s first breath

Bowel half the size of his tiny body. Apologies for the gory gash!!

Nana’s first touch


Holding my finger




Silo Bag

Bowel wrapped in gladwrap