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Tuesday, 21 August 2018

"Sorry, I don't have a baby in here" - Bounty Reps on our Postnatal wards?

My eyes were red from all the crying. My breasts engorged, and nipples sore. I was beyond exhausted. I couldn't tell you what time of day it was because after nearly 2 weeks inside the hospital walls I had lost all idea of time, days rolled into one. My hands fumbling as I tried to get a grip of the hospital breast pump.

I was surrounded by mums and their babies. The excited shrills of visitors seeing the new baby filled the corridors. I could hear newborn cries and saw dads passing my window to fetch breast pumps and formula.

And then there was me. On my own, not sure what I should be doing with my time apart from getting acquainted with my new friend, the breast pump. My husband offering to bring me food, help me shower, anything to fill the silence that there was no baby in our room.  Our baby was in special care, fighting to breathe. poorly. After an emergency c section I was encouraged by neonatal staff to spend a few hours back on post natal every day to recoup, rest and get some head space, because as anyone who has experienced it will know, Neonatal is mentally, emotionally and physically exhausting.

So there I am, boobs out, trying to make sure the breast pump is sucking my nipple right in, trying to be positive and there's a tap on the door, it opens but I don't see a face, just a back bustling through the door with a trolley.  I know who she is, rewind 3 years to my first baby and the same lady entered. My husband had been made redundant just a few days before our son was born and she left us about 20 minutes later with £200 we didn't have (she had a card machine and happily took our credit card). I remember my husband and I awkwardly looking each other, both knowing we couldn't afford it but neither of us brave enough to stop her as she sold us this 'great deal'

It was the 'Bounty Lady'. I don't know their official title but that is generally what she is referred too. She comes in, starting her sales pitch before she's fully turned around to face the room. She makes eye contact with me and carries on. I was shell-shocked.  I opened my mouth and said "sorry I don't have a baby in here my baby girl is in special care". "Oh sorry" she said, and that was it, gone.

I burst into tears. Hot heavy tears. She was so busy trying to sell to me, she didn't notice my tear stained face, or the fact their was no bloody cot. No baby.  She didn't even have the curtesy to ask me how my baby was.

Here we are, women, at our most vulnerable, being taken advantage of. Even for those who want the bounty photos, they are expensive. Imagine for one minute being a new mother, so absorbed by your new baby you've forgotten momentarily your worries about how you will financially manage on just your maternity pay. And in strolls a big fat reminder. Yet you pull your credit card out because you can't say no. You don't want to be the worst mother on the ward who doesn't even buy the photos of their new baby.

I was having a pretty awful time and I wanted so desperately to have my loved ones around me. But of course no visitors before 4pm. So my own mother can't visit me, but the bounty lady can come in, breaching infection control like nobody's business.  There wasn't a single person who could give me help with breastfeeding and pumping, instead I had to call a private lactation consultant from my hospital bed, but again we've got the means to have the 'Bounty Lady'.

There is no place for sales reps on the postnatal ward. A Hospital should be a safe place.  We hang up on cold callers trying to harvest our information over the phone but allow our women on our post natal wards to have data harvesting reps gate crash their newborn party? Or worse, come crashing into a room as a reminder your baby is sick and apart from you.

This has been a problem for years. in fact, my own mother tells me about how upset and embarrassed she felt when I was born, other women on the ward were having the photos done and they just could not afford it. So When will we stop seeing new mothers as an easy target and when will we shut our postnatal doors to the 'bounty lady'?

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Kitchen Lust List!

For as long as can remember I have been obsessed with interiors. As a little girl, I dreamed of having a house when most girls dreamed of wedding dresses. I was forever re-organising my bedroom, always begging my mum to let me redecorate it. In fact in the 14 years I lived in my home before moving out, i had my room decorated about 5 times! Then when we got our first family computer, my grandparents bought me The Sims, and say no more.

So as soon as we saw our new house online I was deep in Pinterest before we had even set foot through the front door. 

The kitchen is smaller than my current kitchen but has an amazing layout, amazing cupboard & worktop space, the designers really have made the most of the space. It is a gorgeous off white gloss with dark grey worktops & matching floor.  Unlike other rooms, there isn’t much to do in this room, we already have gorgeous crockery etc so I’ve been putting together a little lust lives of my kitchen must haves for when we move! 

B&Q subway tiles, Applecrate UK shelves, Belfast Sink

First up I’ve got some of the ‘bigger’ purchases that I will need to save a little for. The kitchen is not tiles, so this is something we will definitely be doing. It goes without saying I want Subway tiles, I have found a perfect colour match to the kitchen in B&q (buy here) and they are a great price! There is a lovely big space by the kitchen window that I want to shelve, I’ve got a picture in my mind of these gorgeous chunky wood shelves full of jars, plants etc, so when I found these scaffold board style shelves on Applecrates UK, I fell in love. They are £29.99 each and I would like 3, but they will be worth the wait I’m sure!  Lastly, Although this is not a necessity at all, I really want to change the stainless steel sink for a Belfast sink (I mean who doesn’t?!) this one from Tap Warehouse (shop here) is a thing of sheer beauty!

We desperately need a new kettle and toaster. I’ve been lusting after the Breville set with the copper details, but decided as there is a lot of chrome detailing in the kitchen, to stick with the chrome version. I love these, they are a lovely fresh white and will look so nice on the side. I got these for a total bargain in Tesco too, I think £24.99 each! I also love these gorgeous ceramic jars with textured detailing and wooden lids, perfect for the coffee, tea bags & sugar. Again these will look great against the units, I want to keep the kitchen as minimalist and clean looking as I can. I’m obsessed with wood details at the moment so I love the wooden lids. These are Argos. Although I have also seen some gorgeous aztec type print ones very simialar but in grey, potentially they might bring a bit of colour, but I cannot remember where I saw them! And lastly a large glass jar from Wilko, they have them in so many sizes and they will look great full of pastas, biscuits, etc on the shelves I mentioned above. They also come with a little blackboard label which i adore because who doesn’t love labelling stuff?!

I love this serving stand from Ikea, I think it would be perfect for all our fruit and will look lovely on the side.  As I mentioned, I already have a gorgeous dinner set, plates, bowels, glassware etc but I love this pink plate from H&M Home, a few of these would be lovely for serving goodies for guests and will match the planned living room decor! The serving mitt is also H&M Home, and it’s just super cute! I only have 1 pair of oven gloves so definitely need this! And again for my shelves, I love this hanging plant from Ikea. It’s artificial, two kids to keep alive is enough!

 Lastly, I adore prints. My current home already has so many, and a new much bigger house is calling for lots more! I recently discovered Desenio Prints (I know late to the party as always!) I picked out a few things that are very ‘us’! Chris and I both love cooking and experimenting with herbs and flavours so I this herb print is on the must list, imagining it on the famous shelves! The cocktail print just goes without saying, this mama loves a cocktail! And I’m imagining the coffee print in A5 save in a little black frame above Mr P’s coffee machine! 

I have lots more products saved into my phone that I love for the kitchen, but I think these are my top products! I will certainly do a haul over on my channel once I start to buy more things. 

Do you like any of these products? What are your favourite kitchen must haves or kitchen accessories?