Thursday, 12 September 2019

The Schleich Stable Review

Schleich Farm World Horse Stable Review

I have fond childhood memories of playing imaginative games with my younger brother. We had a whole selection of Schleich animals and a plastic sheet that had an entire wildlife scene imprinted upon it. From grass land to desert, there was a place for the array of animals that we had collected over the years.

Those very animals (and even that particular play sheet) are still at my parents house for the next generation to enjoy. 

I have always loved Schleich as a brand, the attention to detail that goes into the each individual item is just incredible, and I love that they are still going strong in 2019 for Leo to enjoy too. 

We have a whole selection of Schleich Dinosaurs on display in his bedroom, he’s had them since he was a toddler and Leo was overjoyed when we were asked if we would like to review the Schleich Horse Stable.

Schleich Farm World Horse Stable Review

Schleich Farm World Horse Stable Review

Granted I was probably more excited about reliving my youth, and when it came to the un-boxing and set up of our shiny new stable, I did marvel and swoon over all of the wonderful details that were embellished into this beautiful set.

The Horse Stable had to be built before it could be played with, but the instructions were easy to follow illustrations that were all numbered accordingly. Before I got started with the construction, I emptied the pieces out of their wrappers and lay them all in front of me.

There are a lot of really lovely additions to this particular set, and along with the selection of farm animals (listed below), you also get farmers Paul and Laura. Paul is all ready to do all the practical work (there’s carrots and hay so feeding the animals is a must!) around the farm (there’s even a horse brush and bath so the horses can be preened and polished!), and Laura is positioned so that she can ride either Horse of her choosing (and yes there is an actual saddle that you can attach to the horses so Laura can sit down!).

It took me around 30 minutes to build the stable, I got a little perplexed when it got to putting the roof on. It was tricky in the sense that I needed to line the roof up with the allocated slots and slot it in until it clicked into place, at the same time I had to keep the support beams I had placed in line too. We got there eventually, but if I had got my head around the whole roofing situation sooner, it would have been an even quicker set up.

Schleich Farm World Horse Stable Review

Schleich Farm World Horse Stable Review

There are stickers included within the instructions that can be stuck over the horses stables (so you can name them if you choose), and even a sticker for the feed station which highlights different meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

My advice would be to build this before your present it to the children, as they are going to be super eager to play with it (so if it’s a present, maybe build it the night before).

The stable comprises 2 Horse boxes, which is great as You also get 2 Horses in this set, 1 Black Shire Stallion and 1 White Mare (The White Horse has a French braid in its Mane!), and you will even find a few other little surprise animals inside:

3 Ducklings
1 Mouse
1 Kitten

Schleich Farm World Horse Stable Review

Schleich Farm World Horse Stable Review

The Stable is a brilliant set and comes with so many little bits that you would expect to find in a real life stable, and of course with Schleich’s attention to detail, it’s not been missed here! 

There is fencing that you can attach to any of the doorways that the horse has access too, so your little ones could even leave the horse grazing in greener pastures (or whatever their imagination decides!). 

One point I really have to add into this review is this, it’s not been marketed for a boy, or a girl. It’s completely neutral, which is really great. There was no ‘this is for girls’ coming from Leo because there wasn’t a shade of pink on the box what-so ever. Instead they have opted for Yellow’s, Greens and Red’s (keeping in theme with the stable itself). 

Over all we were really impressed with the Schleich Horse Stable, it really didn’t disappoint. The only thing I wish is that it was around when I was Leo’s age! I did keep saying over and over again how much I would have adored this as a kid. 

Schleich Farm World Horse Stable Review

Schleich Farm World Horse Stable Review

I loved all things horse as a girl (I actually recall saying that I was never going to learn to drive, I was going to have a real horse and that would be my form of transport. My Mum maintains that I was born in the wrong era!).

The set retails at £79.99, which for us equates to a main birthday gift or Christmas present. If your little ones love animals and make believe play, then this Schleich set will be a sure winner.

The price really does reflect just how much detail has gone into everything that is included, and it’s something that we will treasure and preserve for future children. 

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Life After Miscarriage

Pregnancy loss - Miscarriage

This post was supposed to be one of excitement, it was one that I couldn’t wait to write, to share with you all.

One that I had dreamed of for many years, the dream of announcing my second pregnancy. A sibling for Leo, a much wanted second baby.

Over the years though, it just hadn’t happened and I could accept that. I knew... or I thought that if I ever did conceive again... that would be the hard part and 9 months later I would welcome our baby into the world. 

Today though, instead of sharing happy news with my little corner of the web, I am announcing the loss of my pregnancy, the loss of our second child.

Our much wanted second child, Leo’s longed for sibling.

Today I am announcing our miscarriage.

Over the past few months I have been writing secret posts, posts that when I read back scream of the excitement and love that I shared in being pregnant and adding a new member to our family.

They make for hard reading now, that smile on my face, the love that already coursed through my veins. 

After the worst happened (I’ll be sharing the whole story), I decided I wasn’t going to post my pregnancy posts, but then I thought ‘woah now that’s just wrong!’, this pregnancy did happen. 

When I look back at those very first posts, the big smile on my face, the look on Luke’s face when he realised we were pregnant again, it has a bittersweet feeling. I was so obliviously happy, so excited for this next chapter of our lives, and I didn’t think for one second that our pregnancy would result in a missed miscarriage. 

This baby was a part of me for all the time that he or she was tucked away in my tummy, and this little baby that was destined not to be is still a part of us today. 

It is a fact that 1 in 4 pregnancies result in a miscarriage, and now I am part of a club that I never wanted to join. A club that I naively thought I never would join, because miscarriages happen to ‘other’ people, they don’t happen to me. 

Boy was I wrong. 

1 in 4 pregnancies result in miscarriage.

I am 1 in 4.

Pregnancy loss - Miscarriage

This baby is a part of our story, even if that story does not have a happy ending. 

With that in mind, I’m still going to share my little story with you. The story with a less than happy ending, but a story that happened to me nonetheless. 

A story that happens to 1 in 4 people who get a positive pregnancy test. 

A story that people don’t like to talk about, but a story that needs telling even if people try to shine away from it.

If it can happen to me, it can happen to you.

It’s a story that I go over and over in my mind on a daily basis, one that I can’t escape from, it just keeps on replaying in my mind. 

I was told ‘at this stage it was just a bunch of cells’. 

No. No. No. 

It took us 3 years from the removal of my implant to conceive, 3 fucking years. 3 years of dreaming of a baby, a sibling, 3 years of Leo asking to be a BIG BROTHER, and my body failed us. 

A bunch of cells? No way.

 As soon as that test threw us a little pink line, those little cells meant we were going to be parents again. They meant that Leo was going to welcome his very first baby brother or sister. 

Our baby was never ever ‘just a bunch of cells’. Our futures changed as soon as that pregnancy test presented that second line. 

They changed again the moment we were told ‘I’m sorry but there is no heartbeat’.

Pregnancy loss - Miscarriage

A whole lifetime taken away before it even started. A baby we would never know. A piece of the jigsaw that would never fit.

No one wants to talk about miscarriage. 

No one wants to talk about loss, a baby that might have been. 

No one wants to remember a baby that ‘never was’.

I could show you what happened through the pictures I took, I could show you the pregnancy sac, the clots, I could show you, tell you, everything. 

But I won't (howver if you are facing a miscarriage and want to know what to expect, please message me. I'm happy to talk, and know what you are going through, drop me a message!).

I am going to share our story anyway, I am going to smile through the tears and remember how happy we were in those first few weeks knowing that we had a little baby growing away inside. 

I am always going to remember.

Luke will always remember.

Leo will always remember.

Little baby Rose, 30th June 2019 - 20:34.

No life should fit in one little shoe box, no life should be contained within four little walls. 

When a baby is lost in the womb, there is very little to cling to, very little to hold. 

This little box is all we have. 

Thursday, 1 August 2019

A Complete Miscarriage

On Thursday 1st August Luke and I made our way back to Worcester Royal for my appointment.

A week ago I made the same journey filled with such hope, I thought I was going to see my baby’s heart beating on screen for the very first time. I thought that all of the worry of the last few weeks, of that last hospital appointment was all going to be forgotten. 

Only that wasn’t the case. I had gone away with the knowledge that my baby didn’t have a heartbeat. That my baby had shrunk.

That my baby was dead.

That my pregnancy had failed.

That it was all over.

The miscarriage had already happened naturally on the Tuesday (30th July), but I hadn’t had the heart to ring the hospital and talk it through with them. I don’t think I could have, not without being a big blubbery mess and not making much sense. I decided to keep my cards close to my chest and just go along today and tell them before the scan.

We arrived and sat in the same waiting room I had sat in exactly 7 days before. I watched a pregnant lady walk in with her notes. I looked down at the floor, reality gripped me and wouldn’t let go. I tried to hold back the tears. 

I didn’t want to cry here. Luke rubbed my leg, he knew I had seen her. 

He knew I was gutted. 

My name was called, we got up and walked along to a different ultrasound room to the week before. I saw the male sonogropher who I had deeply hoped I wouldn’t have last week... he was lovely. I told them my sorry tale. I sort of kept it together but I could feel my voice crumbling beneath me. 

They told me they were sorry, but they could never be as sorry as I was. I explained that I was still bleeding and asked if they would be able to do the scan as a trans abdominal ultrasound. 

They said that they could. I was beyond elated.

My empty uterus flashed onto the screen. As last week it was tilted away from me, I asked if they could move it so that I could see too. 

He told me that I had a retroverted uterus, something that no one had ever mentioned to me before, this helped me trust him. They had failed to tell me this at the viability scan a week ago. One of many things that were written in their official hospital notes but not vocalised to me.

An empty black space where my baby and gestational sac had been appeared. They explained that I had experienced a complete miscarriage. This means that all signs of the pregnancy had gone, just how everything should be in a situation like mine. 

I asked if they could make sure that everything inside me looked as it should look, I knew they couldn’t tell me why my baby had died, but I needed to know if it was something that my body may have done.

As expected... everything was normal. Everything was as it should be.

I had written a list of questions that I bombarded this poor man with. He half answered most questions, almost avoiding the real answer. He couldn’t or wouldn’t tell me when he thought the baby had stopped growing, there was just some speel about mistakes being made, and not being able to go into that detail (or something along those lines).

They apologised once again, and we left to go to the EPAU (early pregnancy assessment unit) where I had appointment with a nurse.

We waited until my name was called and followed a lady into the room where I had been told my baby had died.

I got my list of questions out again. I pulled up the scan photo on my phone, I asked her all of my many, many questions. 

She gave me more than the sonogropher did. She said the baby looks to have stopped growing around 6 weeks, that the baby may have never had a heartbeat. 

I was told sometimes these things just happen, that we never really know the reason why. I was handed a miscarriage information booklet, she offered to take my pregnancy notes for me... I declined. 

I wanted those notes to keep, we have a shoe box (ironically the one I used to announce the pregnancy to Luke and Leo), where we have put everything that relates to our little Pop. We don’t have a lot, but those notes needed to be with the rest of Pop’s things. Proof that he or she existed, if only for a short time.

Then she said it ‘it was only a bunch of cells at this stage’, I couldn’t have disagreed more. That little ball of cells was our baby, our future. We had already planned our lives around having a new baby, and just like that it had all been ripped away.

I had been determined not to get sad, but I failed. The tears came, and I was angry at myself. 

I have realised that I am a crier. I cry when I’m sad, when I’m happy and when I’m angry. No matter the situation I cry. 

I hate that.

I stayed in that room asking all my questions and she gave me that time, I really appreciated that. I knew when I left that room, when we walked out of that hospital, that was it. That was the end. 

My pregnancy was over and my normal life had to resume sometime. I had been off work for 2 days, since the miscarriage had happened, but tomorrow it was time to go back.

I know some people take longer, but I knew I was over the worst of it and sitting around at home was not going to do me any favours. 

My body had not been able to keep the pregnancy, but it had successfully cleaned me inside and saved me the horror of any management options, especially the trauma of surgery.

We got in the car and drove home, the miscarriage was behind us, but emotionally we both had a long way to go. 

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Miscarriage - I am 1 in 4

Missed Miscarriage

Sunday 28th July - 8 weeks + 2

I was just getting ready to go to bed, Luke was in the upstairs bathroom so I decided to go downstairs, I had a funny feeling In my tummy that usually signalled the start of my period...but of course I was pregnant so it couldn’t and wouldn’t be that.

When I wiped I noticed that there was pink blood on the tissue. It was about 11:30pm. 

I knew that this was my body announcing the beginning of the end. My pregnancy was indeed over, the little life that had started growing inside of me had gone, the lights had gone out. 

It was over. 

I went upstairs to Luke and presented him the tissue, borderline hysterical inside but composed enough to make sense and not to alert Leo to anything out of the ordinary.

I dug around in my many draws to try and find a pad (which I never keep in as I hate them and refuse to use!) and thankfully cane across one (being Sunday night there of course was nowhere open if I had needed to send Luke out... typical).

I got into bed and sat there in the dark, my phone lighting up my face and revealing the silent tears that gently slid down my face. 

Luke held me until he fell asleep, but sleep didn’t come easy for me. 

Monday 29th July - 8+3

It was Monday morning, my many alarms sounded one after the other. 

I promptly went to the bathroom, I wondered what I would find. I was pleasantly surprised to see that there was little to no bleeding, I knew I could go to work and do what I needed to do today. 

The working day came and went, nothing was really happening. It took until around midnight that night, I was certain I was having light contractions. 

As I got into bed and started to quieten down for sleep, I was aware that something was happening. 

I wondered if this was the start of everything. 

Tuesday 30th July - 8+4

 I woke up and felt a familiar feeling that I hadn’t had in over 8 years. 

A contraction.

I wasn’t in any pain but I knew my body meant business today. When I went to the loo I noticed that I had passed the first big clot.

I could tell that my body was kicking things up a gear and I was in two minds about going to work. 

I had never experienced anything like this before and I was terrified it might all kick off during the day. I knew I wanted to be at home when it all eventually happened, definitely not in the office.

I text my boss and let him know that the miscarriage had started, but at this point I felt that I was able to come into work, however I may need to suddenly run away pretty quickly...

I literally had no idea what to expect or how long it was going to take, I knew in some cases it could take weeks. I didn’t want to over react, I didn’t really know how to react or what to do. 

I knew I didn’t want to take the mick with work though, and I didn’t want to start taking time off if nothing was happening.

I went to work and stayed until 1pm, ordinarily I would have been there until 2pm. 

I had spent the entire day sat down, I had been scared to stand up because gravity really does seem to help a miscarriage progress...I was paranoid that when I did stand up the pad would have failed me. 

I Left work and made the 10 minute drive home. When I got home the bleeding started to really flow. 

I feel like I left at exactly the right time. 

Luke and Leo had wanted to go and watch the Lion King, and so had I for that matter. We were all thinking about getting ready to go, but I could feel the contractions progressing and couldn’t help feeling that something was really starting to happen. 

There was a little voice in my head telling me that going to the cinema tonight was a very bad idea indeed...

I was soaking pads very quickly, and the contractions were becoming more regular. Every time there was a contraction more blood and clotting came away. 

I made a conscious effort to keep standing up to make sure that gravity was able to work it’s magic.  Just like I did when I was in labour with Leo, only this time there wasn’t going to be a happy ending.

At about 8pm I decided to run a bath and ‘clean up a bit’, but it didn’t take long for the bath to turn blood red. 


The contractions got stronger and were just like the end of labour with Leo. They weren’t painful, they were uncomfortable and I could instantly remember why I was getting so impatient with being at home at that stage in my labour with Leo. 

I decided to stay in the bath, I lifted my leg up and there was a long, hard contraction that certainly meant business. I don’t remember pushing or applying pressure.... but at the end of that final contraction the gestational sac that housed my baby, plopped into the bath water. 

At this stage I had cried all my tears and made peace with what was happening. I must have called for Luke, because he came running upstairs (god knows what he thought when he saw the bath!), and by this point I have reached into the water, and now had the gestational sac (and baby!) laid flat in the palm of my left hand.

The contractions stopped as soon as I had passed the gestational sac. Just like that, my body had been working towards one end goal, and the objective had been reached. 

I lay there thinking how amazing our bodies really are, they just know what to do even when we are unsure. 

Luke looked more emotional than I felt, I think I had cried that much when the bleeding started and had that time already to form a sort of acceptance, but for Luke this was all fresh and new. 

Maybe it all felt real for the first time. 

I must have stayed in the bath another 10 minutes or so just looking at what would have become our second child. I bathed the sac and cleaned it all up as much as I could, I felt like this was perhaps the one and only thing I could do for our little one now. 

Luke had brought me a pot, and we placed the baby inside ready for a proper burial.

It took 3 days for my body to complete the miscarriage, from the start of the bleeding to passing the sac and baby. 

My natural miscarriage lasted 3 days. For me this was the absolute best way for the worst thing to happen, the thought of taking pills to bring this on medically made me feel uncomfortable. I would have always had a doubt in my mind that a mistake had been made...

I wanted my body to realise the awful thing that had happened and act accordingly.

Just like it eventually did.

3 days after I was told the heart had stopped (July 25th), if it had indeed ever beaten at all unfolded as it should. 

I didn’t need another confirmation that the baby didn’t have a heartbeat, my body had let me know that all on it’s own. 

Sunday 4th August

A week after the first spotting had started, I passed what I am certain was a very small placenta. 

It didn’t look like the other clots that I had passed, it was different. Having been to the hospital on Thursday (August 1st) where they scanned me and declared that there was nothing left, I had experienced a complete miscarriage, everything that should have come away, had.... they had missed this little placenta.

I didn’t have anymore contractions when the placenta came out. It just arrived, and that was it, the last little thing that made me pregnant was gone. 

I was no longer pregnant. 

5th August 

With the last of the pregnancy out of me, my body must have taken note. The bleeding stopped, just like that.

I had bled for 9 days straight, only really heavily on the night of the actual miscarriage. 

Once everything was gone, it stopped.

Thursday, 25 July 2019

First Trimester: Viability Scan at Worcester Royal Hospital

First Trimester: Viability Scan at Worcester Royal Hospital

Today I felt positive, today I was going to see little Pop’s heartbeat for the first time.

I made my way to Worcester Royal, I felt excited and hopeful. I had allowed plenty of time to get there and find where I needed to be.

The scan was booked for 10am and I had been told there was an appointment booked for me in the Early Pregnancy Unit following the ultrasound.

I sat and waited for my name to be called, but 10 o clock came and went, they were running late. I saw pregnant ladies get called into their scans and come out with beaming smiles over their faces. 

I sat there thinking that will be me in the next few minutes.

Eventually my name was called, I followed a sonographer into a room a little further down the hall. I came prepared for them to scan my abdomen at first (I really needed to pee, and I had already been to let a bit out because I knew it would be too full again!).

They struggled to see much on the abdominal scan and sent me back to empty my bladder again (as I expected they would) so that they could perform an internal scan. 

I came back into the room and the ultrasound commenced. It was a very different atmosphere in the room as opposed to anything I have ever experienced before. In every other scan I have ever been at, the sonographer or midwife has spoken to me as she went along, pointing out different things as she saw them. 

Today she said ‘I will talk to you in a minute’.

Warning flag 1?

I lay there trying to glance at the scan screen that had been positioned slightly out of my view.

Warning flag 2?

I saw her find the gestational sac, I saw little pop appear on the screen.

Still nothing was being said.

Until she spoke ...

‘There is no heartbeat’ 

Missed Miscarriage: Embryo with no Heart Beat

I had been asking questions as she went. Had the sac grown? Had the embryo grown? What were the new measurements?

I felt reassured when she told me that the embryo was measuring 7 weeks and the gestational sac had grown (she wouldn’t give me the measurements however...).

I kept thinking even if they hadn’t observed the heartbeat just yet, it was a positive that Pop was still growing, maybe my dates were still out?

The sonographer called a colleague in to observe the embryo, they weren’t even certain that there was a yolk sac at one stage. Eventually they found one and it looked like Pop may have been hiding it by being directly in front of it. 

The colleague confirmed that she could see no heartbeat.

I asked if I could have a scan photo, of all the scans I had been to during this pregnancy, I didn’t have a scan photo. Whatever the outcome of this pregnancy... I needed a ultrasound photo.

They spent time looking through the snaps they had taken, they said that they couldn’t give me one with any measurements on. Ironically the ones that I would have wanted the most. 

They printed one but reminded me that this may not have a happy ending. 

The report that they had generated was electronic and never entered my hands.... it went straight to the midwife in the early pregnancy unit.

I went around there still hopeful, the baby had grown, there was a yolk sac... there was still hope.

When my name was called and I followed the young midwife into a room in a part of the hospital I had never been before, I wasn’t nervous. I didn’t think that this may be signalling the end.

Maybe I was naive, maybe I thought positive thinking was the way as always....

Who knows.

She pulled up the reports, I couldn’t help but read over her shoulder. I needed answers and it felt like no one wanted to give me the full story...

‘Retroverted uterus’

‘No heartbeat’

‘Embryo 3.5mm’

‘Irregular gestational sac’

First Trimester: Viability Scan at Worcester Royal Hospital

I didn’t know I had a retroverted uterus, they had told me the baby had grown, but that measurement suggested the baby had shrunk?

No one, no one, no one had once told me that the gestational sac was irregular. 

What did that even mean?

I posed all this to the midwife, she tried to call the sonographer to question the measurements. When there was no call she left me and my mum and went to physically get some answers for me.

She must have been gone 20 minutes or so....

Eventually she came back.

I had just hit record on my phone, I thought she may say the actual measurement of the embryo and the sac and I could have a verbal record to fall back on later if I forgot...

Only what I ended up recording was the final say, that this pregnancy wasn’t viable. 

That this pregnancy would most likely end. 

That this pregnancy was a missed miscarriage. 

The baby’s measurements were correct, she had looked at the ultrasound herself. This meant that the baby has shrunk by 2mm in a week. I didn’t know that’s what happens when a baby dies in the womb. 

I kept it together, I don’t really know how... maybe it was shock, maybe it was disbelief. 

The absolute disbelief that my body had failed me. 

I was given my management options, I could let nature take its course.

I could take a tablet that would flush the pregnancy out of my body.

I could have surgery to essentially vacuum Pop and the pregnancy from my body.

I wasn’t making this decision today. No way, I needed to be absolutely 100% certain that a mistake had not been made. 

I declined every option today, they offered me one final scan next Thursday, and then I will be given my management options again. 

The options to remove my tiny baby from my body.

The midwife seemed surprised that I had no pain, no bleeding, no signs of miscarriage. My boobs were still sore, the tests were still very much positive....

How could this be happening?

I’m young, I’m fit, I’m healthy. This baby was WANTED. We were in a position to love and care for this baby. 

Leo so wanted to be a big brother so much. This baby was meant to be, how could our futures be changing just like this?

I was composed the whole way home, heck I drove. I was fine until I called Luke and had to talk through what had happened and what the next steps were. 

The tears fell, but I needed to tell Leo now and I needed to be strong, I failed.

I told Leo that the baby was going to go to heaven, that his or her little heart was not beating. He seemed to take it ok... 

My womb has become a tomb. 

My baby has died.

I am carrying around my dead baby, acting like everything is ok, facing people who are telling me ‘you will sail through this pregnancy just like you did the first time’.

But I won’t.

Missed Miscarriage at 7 weeks Pregnant: First Trimester

I am torn with what to do, I want to feel the pain of losing this baby. I want it to hurt, I want it to really, really hurt. I feel like experiencing that will actually help. I want to see this pregnancy leave my body, I want to bury my baby under a blossom tree. 

I feel like this is the least I can do for the little life I carried, because we no longer have a whole lifetime together.

Equally I have heard horrible things about the tablets and tissue getting stuck. I equally don’t want this to happen... I keep going back to the surgical route... I would want to claim my baby after, I need to find out if that is an option. 

I have so much to think about.

I have so many questions.

I am going to request my pregnancy notes from the hospital computers. I need them. I need to know everything that they saw, everything that they noted. 

Maybe for closure, maybe acceptance, maybe just to depict the whole sorry tale. Maybe to fathom if this was just a one off... or could this happen again?

Missed Miscarriage at 7 weeks Pregnant: First Trimester

I always thought getting pregnant would be the biggest struggle, not staying pregnant. 

I broke tonight, the tears fell and they didn’t stop. I still feel pregnant, my body doesn’t realise what has happened, I wonder if it will? Or will I need to take the medical route?

How could a baby die and your body not realise?

What if the first measurement taken at the scan a week ago was wrong? What if it’s because my dates are all over the place? What if it’s because I have a retroverted uterus? Maybe it was the angle of the scan? 

I’m scared. I’m devastated, I’m terrified that this could and will happen again. 

I just keep thinking ‘what if’.

Missed Miscarriage at 7 weeks Pregnant: First Trimester