Blog Tour Book Review – The Baby Detective

The Baby Detective by Sarah Norris

The Blurb

The only parenting book that offers a unique, step-by-step guide to enable parents to solve baby care problems for themselves.

The Baby Detective is the only book of the parenting genre to develop a unique, step-by-step investigative process that will enable parents to solve their own baby care problems.

It puts them firmly back in the driving seat, giving them the tools to do away with sometimes conflicting and confusing expert advice, and to face parenting challenges using their own intuition.

Drawing on case studies of Sarah’s previous clients, the book is based around her unique principle of AIM, in which parents are guided through the process of Assessing a problematic situation, Investigating the possible causes and Modifying behaviour in order to resolve it.

It provides insight in to how and why environment, biology and personality interact to affect your baby, as well as suggesting numerous tips and strategies for remedying problems.

What I Thought

Where To Buy

Amazon

The Author – Sarah Norris

With 25 years experience Sarah is one of the top maternity nurses and Baby Care Consultants in the UK, and is the author of the exciting new parenting book ‘The Baby Detective’ with Orion Books.

In her role as The Baby Detective, Sarah employs her unique investigative approach, based on clear thinking, common sense and compassion, to empower and encourage new parents, and to help guide and support them through the confusion that is modern day parenting.

Sarah is passionate about her work and is dedicated to providing advice that is non judgemental and unbiased, is equally supportive of all parenting and feeding methods, and is always respectful of the parents choices.

Social Media

Website

Twitter @Baby_Detective

Test For Tommy

Happy hump day everyone.  I recently responded to a Twitter shout out looking for help promoting a new charity campaign.  As a mum myself I couldn’t say no.  The difference this very simple test can make is huge.  The fact it is so simple makes you wonder why it isn’t already included in the mandatory newborn checks, but that is what Tiny Tickers hopes to change.  Please read on to find out more

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Test for Tommy – every newborn baby deserves the test that could help save their life.

Imagine if you were about to have a baby. Now imagine you’d heard that there was a test that could be carried out on all newborn babies – a quick, easy and painless test that could help detect potentially life-threatening heart disease. You’d want your baby to have that test, wouldn’t you?

Tiny Tickers, the baby heart charity, thinks so too and that’s why they have created their latest campaign, Test for Tommy. The campaign is named in memory of baby Tommy, who died from undiagnosed heart defect at eleven days old. And by ‘test’, they are referring to pulse oximetry testing.

Pulse oximetry testing is a non-invasive test that can be performed a few hours after birth and measures a baby’s blood oxygen levels. With a simple probe attached to baby’s head and foot, you get a reading within seconds. Low percentage levels could be a sign of a heart problem, meaning the baby would be sent for further examination. This would then start the chain of events that would hopefully save their life.

At present, pulse oximetry isn’t part of the mandatory NHS newborn checks (NIPE), meaning not every baby leaving hospital has the test. One in 125 babies are born every year with a serious heart condition and, at present, 1000 leave hospital with no-one knowing they have a potentially life-threatening illness. Tiny Tickers wants to change that, by creating a safety net for those 1000 babies. They are doing this by placing pulse oximetry machines in maternity wards across the UK.

Let’s look at two babies, born with the same heart condition and see the difference a pulse oximetry test can make…

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When Tommy was born, he displayed all the signs of heart failure that his mum, Natasha, now knows about – his skin was a blue colour, he didn’t want to feed, he was always asleep and cold to touch. Natasha knew something was wrong and voiced her concerns to numerous medical professionals, but it was too late. Tragically, at 11 days old, Tommy passed away. Tommy’s post-mortem showed he had Transposition of the Great Arteries, a heart condition that can be treated with surgery. Natasha is now passionate about ensuring all babies receive a pulse oximetry test because, if Tommy had been tested, he may still be here today.

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Tom was also born with Transposition of the Great Arteries. Unlike Tommy, he received a pulse oximetry test after birth. His oxygen saturation levels were dangerously low and his heart condition was diagnosed soon after the test. Tom had open heart surgery at eight days old and is now approaching his third birthday. His mum Nicola, forever grateful for the pulse oximetry test that helped to save his life, says, ‘Without the pulse oximetry test, which is currently not a compulsory part of newborn testing, we would have been sent home. It terrifies me how differently our story may have turned out.’

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Sadly, the horror Nicola can only imagine, is a daily reality for Natasha. The stories of two babies with similar names and the same heart condition end so differently because one was offered a pulse oximetry test and the other wasn’t. It’s that simple.

Tiny Tickers has already placed 70 pulse oximetry machines at hospitals throughout the UK and, through the Tommy’s Test campaign, they seek to fund 330 by 2021. But they need our help. With congenital heart disease being one of the biggest killers of infants in the UK, there’s no time to waste.

All babies deserve the best start. Help Tiny Tickers to make sure every baby receives a pulse oximetry test by donating today. For more information, and to donate to the Test for Tommy campaign, visit www.tinytickers.org/test-for-tommy or text BABY46 £5 to 70070 and help support more tiny hearts.

Natasha says, ‘I can never explain to someone the pain of losing your baby. It’s a pain nobody wants to imagine or ever feel’. Let’s help Tiny Tickers ensure no more babies die from an undiagnosed heart condition. Every newborn deserves the test that could save their life. Thank you.

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What is Pulse Oximetry?

Pulse Oximetry testing helps to detect heart defects by measuring oxygen levels (oxygen saturation) in the blood. It uses a light sensor to assess the level of oxygen in the baby’s blood.

This test takes a few minutes at no discomfort to the baby. Not every baby will be born displaying signs and symptoms and with this machine many more life-threatening defects can be detected.

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Social Media Links

Twitter: @tinytickers

Insta: @tinytickers

FB: @tinytickers http://www.tinytickers.org/test-for-tommy

Tiny Tickers Registered Charity No: 1078114

Thankyou for taking the time to read this post, I really hope this campaign reaches it goals and smashes the 2021 deadline and this all happens much sooner.  I know your donations will be hugely appreciated by the charity and all the parents and children affected by this.

NatalieThe Spoonie Mummy

Baby Loss Awareness Week

#Blogtober Day Eight

Baby Loss Awareness Week starts tomorrow, so I thought today I would share my story with you.

What Is Baby Loss Awareness Week?

Baby Loss Awareness Week is held every year between October 9th and 15th.  It is a collaboration between a number of different UK charities and is designed to raise a awareness of the issues affecting people who have experienced pregnancy and baby loss.Baby Loss Awareness Week calls for improvements in research, care and policy in regard to bereavement support, as well as raising the awareness of it to people needing it.

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My Experience

My pregnancy with Leo was pretty straight forward.  I experienced some blood loss around the 11/12 week period and a scan identified a collection outside the amniotic sac, which was no danger to him thank goodness.

Deciding to go for baby number two was easy, I couldn’t wait to give Leo a brother or sister and absolutely loved being a mum.  I was lucky to fall pregnant quickly again once we could start trying.  Because of the medications I am on for my chronic illnesses I have to carefully plan this and come off some of them in order to try and get pregnant.

When I started bleeding again a few days before my twelve week scan, I panicked but felt that the problem may be the same as I had experienced with Leo.  I had suffered morning sickness with Leo but this pregnancy had been pretty rough, and I had struggled with the sickness terribly.

My World Starts To Crumble

I was called into the Early Pregnancy Unit at Southend Hospital and given a scan.  I couldn’t bring myself to look at the screen until they told me what was happening.  My world was shattered when they confirmed the baby had passed away at around nine weeks and five days gestation.

They cleaned me up and ushered me into a room with a midwife.  She was absolutely lovely and I felt very lucky to have her support and help.  She explained the scan had shown some issues with the baby’s brain which wasn’t growing correctly.  I know many people do not get a reason for their miscarriage and in some way, felt this helped.  At the time though I remember thinking that whatever the baby had wrong I would have looked after and cared for it.  The midwife handed me an envelope.  Inside , she explained, was a scan photo of my baby.  She explained that she understood I may not want to look at it right then and possibly never would, but she felt that I may want to in the future and suggested I take it with me, which I did.

Decision Time

I was then taken to see the doctor.  Unfortunately my body was hanging on to this baby, even though it had died, and that was in part why I had been so very unwell.  I was told that I could wait and see if a miscarriage would start naturally, but they were pretty against this as the baby had no heartbeat and would continue to make me more and more poorly in the meantime.  The next option was medication.  I would be given a pill to start the miscarriage, and then have to go back for a second one, followed by a scan a little while later to ensure everything had come away.  The next option was surgery, and this was what they felt was best at my stage of pregnancy and for my situation.  They explained that the baby would be surgically removed in an operation called a Dilation and curettage (D and C) and it would be a day case procedure.  I felt like my heart was breaking.  Of course my body wasn’t letting the baby go, I wasn’t ready to let go either.

Surgery

I decided to follow the doctor’s advice and opted for surgery.  I was told to come back the next day.  The rest of that day was pretty much a blur.  I went back to hospital the next day and the procedure went pretty smoothly.  I remember waking up in recovery and starting to cry.  The nurse came over, asking if I was ok.  I told her no, she panicked that something was wring physically, but I just remember feeling so empty.

I was in hospital till the evening as my blood loss was a little more than they would have liked and my blood pressure took a nose dive.  Luckily, they felt I could go home and keep an eye on things myself once it all levelled out.

Trying Again

There were lots of tears and sadness, but I was lucky to have Leo already who helped get me through those dark days.  Deciding to try again is terrifying, but eventually I was ready, and once again, fell pregnant quite quickly.  My pregnancy with Riley wasn’t so easy – I ended up being scanned at 6 and 8 weeks due to more bleeding but luckily my little man hung on in there.  My twelve week scan was an ordeal, I was being sick all morning, partly through morning sickness and partly through nerves, but it went well.

Baby Number Three

Unfortunately, trying for baby number three turned into another year of heartbreak.  I suffered two miscarriages in 2013, both quite early (at 5 weeks and 6 weeks) which happened naturally.  The first one was horrific due to the fact that we were on holiday, so I had to attend A and E at a strange hospital and did not receive an awful lot of support.  They confirmed what was happening and I was sent away.  Things were not passed on to my hospital properly and even though I let them know, I still got a letter a few weeks later inviting me for my twelve week scan.

When the second one started, I knew what was happening and I called the hospital to let them know.  They were concerned about the blood loss as it was pretty bad, but I could not bring myself to go in and have another person confirm another one of my babies had died.

I had very strong feelings about the sex of the babies I was carrying.  I guessed the boys would both be boys and I felt the first two babies I had lost were girls.  I think I had convinced myself I just couldn’t carry girls.  This last miscarriage though, I felt strongly that it was a boy and because of this, all would be ok.  When it wasn’t, it broke my heart that little bit more.  I had a very vivid dream the next night, that I gave birth to a boy and remember waking up, feeling the weight of the baby that had been placed in my arms in my dream.  I know some may not believe in spirits and things, but I truly believe he was coming to me to say goodbye.

Moving Forward

I feel that one of the hardest things to get my head around was the fact that it was like my babies never existed, except for me and their Dad.  We had only told our parents and siblings, as I prefer to keep it quiet until everything is confirmed at the twelve week scan.  I also don’t go shopping until after this date.  After my first miscarriage, I I did decide that I would go and buy a teddy when I found out I was pregnant again.  I still have Riley’s and the following ones from the two babies I miscarried.  Having something physical of theirs in the world helps me remember they were real, and here, even if only for a short time.

There Is Support Out There

I was lucky to have support from my ex husband, who, at the time, was very good.  Many people do not get this, and as there still seems to be this huge taboo in speaking out, have to deal with all these feelings themselves, quietly.

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Miscarriages happen to one in four women.  It is so very common, yet so rarely talked about that people think they should just get on with it and cope by themselves.  This is not the case.  There are some great charities to help support parents out there who have lost a baby.  My inbox is also always open should anyone need to talk, and I am, more than happy to do that about this subject as I know not all the people get the support I did.

There are lots of things you can do to help spread the word about Baby Loss Awareness Week and Sands has some great ideas on their website

You can also share this post, or your own story, and add the hashtag #BLAW2018

The #waveoflight will also be happening again on the 15th October at 7pm.  Light a candle and leave it burning for at least an hour as we remember all the babies gone too soon.  Take a photo of your candle and share it on your social media with the hashtags too and show your support.

Thankyou for taking time to read this one.  I am never sure if these personal posts ever some across as well as I want them to!  As I said previously, my inbox is always open so please feel free to message me if you need a chat.

NatalieThe Spoonie Mummy