Post Partum Hair Loss 

As most mums reading will know one of the downsides of pregnancy is hairloss. For most wemon it’s inevitable and can go for months and for the really unlucky, years!! 
I had terrible HG (hyperemises Gravidarum) while pregnant and it caused me to experience pretty bad hair loss. My once thick, luscious, long and healthy hair was falling out in massive chunks and was dry and brittle. 

(Before the post partum hair loss began)

As a hairdresser I understood why this was happening. My body was going through major changes and was in shock! I was lacking nutrients so my hair was suffering. But as a women it really upset me. I’ve always been very attached to my hair. It was often something people would complement me for and I felt lucky to have such nice hair. All of that definitely changed while I was pregnant. And at about 3 months after birth it started all over again… this time it really had me concerned because I didn’t have that much left to lose. Even with all of my skills and knowledge as a hairdresser I struggled to cope with my post partum hair loss and to deal with the fine, tangled mess I was left with. My little Leo is 7 months old now and after trying so many things I finally bit the bullet and cut a substantial amount off. It feels much better! Part of me is sad that my really long hair is gone (it’s now just past my shoulders) but it looks so much thicker and I now don’t feel like people are starting at my thin, dry ends. 

Isn’t It funny how we hold onto things because we are scared to step out of our comfort zone. This is the shortest length I’ve worn for about 10 years. But the change was much needed and I’m really enjoying it. 
As far as post partum hair loss goes. There really is no cure and it is very normal. It typically sorts itself out within a year after birth. What I would suggest though and encourage if you’re suffering from hair loss is to use a hair regrowth system such as ‘Nioxin’ this will at least encourage new growth while your hormones are sorting themselves out. I’ve recently started taking ‘Qsilica’ I am taking the once a day tablet for hair skin and nails. It’s been two weeks and I definitely feel a difference in my skin but not yet in my hair or nails but time will tell. Also remember to be super gentle with you hair! Lay off the straightener and don’t forget your leave in treatments! After all Strong hair thrives and survives. 

(Available from Priceline Pharmacy)

(After a big cut and a colour revamp by @urbanehairandbeauty) 

Did you experience post partum hair loss? Do you have any tips for fellow mamas struggling with it? 

Our NICU baby, Leo Gianni.

As some of you will know from Instagram, my beautiful boy Leo was born at 34 weeks gestation due to severe Interuterine Growth Restriction (IUGR) and therefore was a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) baby.

That’s a lot of big words and initialisms, what do they mean??? IUGR basically means that there is something preventing the baby from reaching his or her growth potential and the pregnancy needs to be monitored closely, with most IUGR babies being delivered early.

I had a terrible pregnancy I was incredibly sick with hyperemesis gravidarum (HG – extreme morning sickness) and somehow managed to get hyperthyroidism (Graves’ disease) as well, but that story is a very long one and you can read al about it on my previous blog.

Due to the HG and Graves’ Disease I was high risk, and was closely monitored to make sure that my pregnancy continued. Up until 30 weeks, Leo was measuring average  which oddly enough was around the same time my vomiting from the HG started to reduce and my thyroid levels started to normalize. As I was under the care of a private obstetrician I was scanned regularly, and at the 30-week scan Leo’s size was slightly smaller than he should have been so I was sent to have an in-depth growth scan. It was at this point where I decided to change obstetricians because I felt as though the Doctor we were seeing was not on the same page as us as to how we were going to manage the situation. That is when we found Dr Bryan Kenny and he was an absolute godsend!! He was caring, compassionate and most of all, he wanted the same thing we wanted and that was to keep our baby in as long as we could. Dr Kenny took his time dealing with us and he explained everything in detail to make sure we understood what we were facing. We made every decision together and as we were first time parents navigating our way through a pregnancy that was completely unpredictable this meant so much to my husband and I.

The full growth scan showed that Leo was small but still happy and everything was ok, at this point we and Dr Kenny were crossing our fingers that Leo was just genetically small and that everything was still ok in there. Even with all the technology available these days there is only so much they can know about what is actually happening in the womb. It was recommended that the scan be repeated in another two weeks to see if there was any more growth, it was a long two weeks but I remained hopeful and waited for every kick to know that he was ok. By 34 weeks (excuse my French)  shit well and truly hit the fan!! Leo’s growth was limited and nowhere near where it should be but more importantly his stomach measurement had started to shrink!! This was a major cause for concern because when a baby’s stomach shrinks it means they are in the final stages of starvation, it seems he was getting no nutrients even though all placenta and cord scans were normal. When a baby cannot absorb nutrients from the placenta it starts to take from his own liver stores and therefore the stomach shrinks. Dr Kenny wanted to deliver him right there and then. I remember sitting there with my hand in Steven’s and looking into Dr Kenny’s eyes, I could see how sorry they were and how truly upset he was to have to deliver this news to us. He more than anyone was rooting for a better outcome for our pregnancy. He told us as gently as he could but our tears started flooding. My ears felt hot and I could feel the sweat on my forehead. I heard Steven say “does it have to be today? Right now???” I begged Dr Kenny for longer, I pleaded for another way as I desperately wanted to keep my son inside for longer. All I could think was he isn’t ready, he hasn’t had enough time to grow, what will this mean for his future health. Dr Kenny placed his hand on top of mine and said, “we need to do this Dianne he needs to be born but I’ll be with you every step of the way” and he really was.  Leo was delivered by emergency caesarean within 24 hours at 1.9kgs (or 4.1 lbs) tiny!

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When Leo entered the world, he let out a mighty roar and was so brave even from those early moments. We spent 3 weeks in NICU/ special care and it was a rollercoaster of emotions I wouldn’t wish upon anyone.

What’s it like to have an IUGR premmie baby?

I’ve never had a healthy full term baby but I do have a lot of nephews and nieces and from what I understand it’s completely different. For the first few weeks Leo didn’t feel like he was mine, there was very few things I could actually do for him and as a new mum it broke my heart. After my c-section I was only able to hold him for a short moment before he was whisked away to NICU for immediate attention. It was almost 24 hours before I could hold him again and to me it felt like eternity. Leo was put on Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) breathing support because his little lungs were struggling with so much fluid on them. He just wasn’t ready to be born so breathing was such a challenge for him. It’s amazing how we take something so basic as breathing for granted, when you see your tiny baby struggling for each breath it’s puts everything into perspective.

Leo was in an ISOLET humidity crib for 8 days, he had so many needles and pain inflicted in those first few days even remembering it brings tears to my eyes. It’s just gut wrenching when you hear  your tiny premmie baby cry and there is nothing you can do. I wasn’t even able to hold him to comfort his cries as we couldn’t touch him often because too much stimulation would hinder his development. Leo was severely jaundice and spent days under UV lights trying to improve his liver function, those were particularly hard days because we were not allowed to touch him at all. There were many medical challenges and setbacks Leo faced and Steven and I learned so much along the way, most of it went over our heads but we did our best to try and understand and ask questions if we didn’t. There wasn’t much else we could do but every day we would do skin to skin kangaroo cuddles for an hour and it was the best part of my day,  although that hour would always go so fast. It was such a beautiful day when he finally graduated to an open cot and we could touch him freely, we were so proud of his progress and felt like we were one more step closer to coming home.

Leo was fed via a nasal gastric tube as he was too little and weak to suck on his own.  I would express breast milk every few hours at his cot side and they would put my milk down his tube. There is something very primitive and healing about being able to feed your baby and it was really hard for me to watch the nurses do it for him rather than for me to be able to breastfeed my own son. Eventually I could do his tube feeds as well and then as he got stronger we were able to try breastfeeding. It was so very difficult for him to latch onto the breast because of his small size and he would get so tired after just a few sucks then fall asleep. I persisted and had a lot of help from a lactation specialist but we really struggled, looking back it was one of the hardest things about that time for us as I struggled with the guilt and pressure I put on myself to breastfeed. When you have a baby that isn’t well and you know breast milk is the best thing for them you feel an intense amount of pressure to do the one thing you can for them at that time but nothing I did was working. The one thing I had going for me was a fantastic milk supply so finally a beautiful nurse named Helen suggested we give him a bottle of expressed milk as he could not go home until he could drink all his feeds himself. Until he could do that, the nasal gastric tube had to stay in but she explained that we could always use a bottle now and work on breastfeeding later as he got stronger. The bottle was so much easier for him and finally I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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The hardest part of our NICU stay was that after five days (once I had healed from my surgery) the hospital discharged me and sent me home but our Leo had to stay behind. It broke me and went against every instinct I had to leave my baby. I cried more than I ever had before and struggled to put one foot in front of the other and leave the hospital. My bones felt heavy and I was like a magnet to him. I am blessed with an amazing husband who is an incredible father, he was my rock and was unrelenting the whole time. He had the weight of the world on his shoulders those 3 weeks and he never once wavered. It was with his support that I was able to make myself go home. It wasn’t easy but together we coped and made it through.

For the next 2 weeks we were by Leo’s side as much as we possibly could be. This meant 12-15 hour days at the hospital as we were told the more we were with him the quicker he will go home,  not that I could have beared to be anywhere else anyway. I had amazing support from my wonderful family and incredible friends. The visitors helped because anyone who has ever had a baby knows… they sleep a lot! Premmies sleep three times as much as full term babies, so all you do in NICU is sit and pump, sit some more and pump some more. It’s incredibly exhausting and mentally draining.

I was so grateful for my best friend Rachael she visited almost every day bringing coffee, magazines and some laughter. when she would leave even the nurses would comment how lucky I was to have a friend like her. The truth is I am lucky. She is pretty amazing and she made that time of our lives so much easier. she was the first one other than steven and I to hold Leo and she loves him like he was part of her own family. As soon as he was born Rachael went out and spent a fortune on preemie sized clothing for Leo and delivered a whole bag of clothes to the hospital for us. If it wasn’t for her he would have had nothing to wear (other than hospital donated clothes) Having something to dress him in when he was finally able to wear clothes was a priceless gift. Its not until you face a challenge like NICU that you stop and appreciate just how lucky you are and we are so incredibly  lucky to have Rachael and her family in our lives.

It takes a special kind of person to look after NICU babies and our Nurses were just incredible. There was one nurse in particular named Shelly and she was always so bubbly and bright and making us laugh. She knew exactly what to say and when we needed to hear it. She would call us “star parents” when we could do something new for Leo, but I will never forget how she really took the time to manage our wellbeing too. Shelly would send me out of the nursery for breaks and say ‘go enjoy a coffee in the sunshine, I promise to call if Leo takes his first step or says his first word’, it was nice to hear someone make a joke because everyone around you tiptoes around you in fear that they will break you further. Those small breaks really kept me sane because hearing the same beeping of the monitors and machines for 15 hours straight can drive you crazy.

More days passed and Leo got stronger and grew bigger; I cannot tell you the sense of pride you feel when you see your child have such a fighting spirit from such a young age. No matter the obstacle he pushed back and he showed us how determined he was at every opportunity he could. More milestones were achieved and finally he graduated from NICU… but there was one last test – Rooming In. The hospital gave my husband and I a room and we got to keep Leo with us for 2 nights… no help was offered (only the phone was there in case we needed to ask a question or had an emergency) and I’m am proud to say we never had to ask for help. He finally felt like ours and we knew exactly what he needed.  After those two days we were discharged and I watched my husband carry the capsule to the car as a proud father and I buckled him in tightly like the protective mother I had become the moment I first saw him on the ultrasound screen.

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When we got home I held him for hours and hours and we sat there and stared at him for hours and hours. Those 3 weeks felt like 3 years but it was all finally over now the journey really began.

Our little miracle, our strong little lion. Our missing piece. He made us a family and we couldn’t be happier.

Dianne

XO

My HG Pregnancy.

I found out I was pregnant in May 2016 and it came as a wonderful surprise but a surprise nonetheless. We had always planned on having children but had not been trying for a baby, in fact we had just booked a dream holiday to Japan.

The morning sickness started instantly. As in immediately after conception. After a few days of nausea, tiredness, and twice vomiting my dinner I decided to do a pregnancy test. Within seconds it came up positive, which left me in shock because I was still days away from a missed period. My husband Steven was over the moon and filled with joy and excitement, I was excited but still a little numb from the shock. Just like that we were going to be a family.

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I remember the GP saying, “I think you have a tummy bug, morning sickness wouldn’t start this early, come back when you’ve missed your period”. It took a little convincing but eventually she ordered a blood test to confirm what Steven and I already knew, calling us back in for the results and the shock comment “I think you may be pregnant with multiples because we normally only see these high levels of hormones in twins”. I looked at Steven as pale as a ghost, we had only had a few days to adjust to the idea of one baby and now she was saying it could be more! I was sent for an urgent dating scan to determine how many babies I was carrying, however the dating scan confirmed we were having only one… 6 weeks and 3 days along and everything looked good. I struggled to get through the scan as every time the sonographer moved the Doppler over my stomach I gagged, even the slightest motion was making me nauseous at that point.

My husband was so filled with joy that we were expecting and he kept trying to reassure me that morning sickness was normal, that everything would be ok. But nothing about being pregnant felt ok to me. I struggled to balance his excitement with my torment. I felt like I was trapped in someone else’s body, nothing felt familiar or good. I don’t want to say it but it was hell. Don’t get me wrong, I was grateful every day to be pregnant and so excited to be having a baby but to say it was a struggle is the understatement of the century. It was torture. The only time I didn’t feel unwell was when I was asleep but I would wake up every morning with the sudden and instant need to vomit. There was no time, there was no warning. As soon as my eyes opened so did my stomach. I’ll never forget the red bucket Steven got me as a solution to this problem. He put it next to my side of the bed because I was physically unable to make it in time to the bathroom which is only 2 meters away. I will always remember that bright red bucket because it became my constant companion.

The vomiting continued and incredibly, it also increased. I couldn’t eat anything (and I mean anything) and even drinking was a major issue. I would vomit and vomit and vomit until my head felt like it was going to explode. All the while fearing for my baby as I couldn’t help but wonder how can I sustain this pregnancy. How could I possibly be giving this baby any nutrients and how could I possibly survive this debilitating disease. By week seven I was so depleted and dehydrated that I fainted. As soon as my husband got home from work he put me in the car and took me to the emergency room, this was the first of many hospital admissions. Three bags of fluids later I was sent home and told to contact my obstetrician for ongoing management. I called the obstetrics clinic that we had chosen for our prenatal care and begged them to see me straight away, their policy is to have your first consultation between week 8-11 because before then it is difficult to find a heartbeat. But I simply could not wait any longer. The receptionist was lovely and had me come in the next day, I suddenly felt like I wasn’t on my own because surely the doctor would know what to do to stop this sickness.

My first consultation with the obstetrician went well, she scanned the baby and found the heart beat and confirmed all was as it should be, but when it came to the sickness part she said to me “this is unfortunately all part of pregnancy and there are limited things we can try to manage it”. I almost cried, and pleaded with her to try something, anything! Telling her “I won’t survive this”! Steven expressed his concerns also, and after looking at us like she must look at most first time parents (like hypochondriacs) she agreed to investigate further. A simple test on my ketone levels showed that this unfortunately was not your standard morning sickness, what I had was a condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG). HG is an extremely debilitating morning sickness condition that effects 2% of pregnancies, there is no cure and very limited research on why it happens. I was told that all I could do was hope it passed quickly and wait it out.

I was vomiting up to 20 times a day, losing weight at an extremely rapid rate, not able to shower myself because standing up for more than 30 seconds made me throw up or faint, and to top it off I had a rapid racing heart all day every day. Wait it out?? You can’t be serious! So I spent hours and hours Googling HG and reading everything I could before coming the depressing realisations that this wasn’t something I could fix. I really struggled with not having a plan of action, being the organized control freak that I am(up until this point, things didn’t happen to me unless I planned for them) so knowing this was out of my hands and I was stuck with this illness for an unknown amount of time was hard for me to accept.

My best friend (who is the bomb diggity and my legit soul sister) suffered with HG through her first pregnancy and while I watched her struggle through it, I never totally understood how horrible it was until it happened to me. Never for a second did I think I would get it also, what are the odds of us both getting HG! What really helped me look for the light at the end of the tunnel is she now has a gorgeous little boy, and I tried to imagine my life with my child when this would all be a distant (horrible) memory. She was a great support to me because there is nothing worse than talking to someone who hasn’t been through HG about it, no one could understand just how debilitating it was for me…except her.

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(my best friend Rachael @champagnesilvousplait_ and me exactly 1 week before giving birth)

Two more debilitating weeks went by, and my obstetrician told me I was losing too much weight and my ketones were too high, if they didn’t intervene not only could I potentially lose my baby but I was also at risk of renal failure. She suggested admitting me to hospital for a few nights for intravenous (IV) fluids (I was so dehydrated I was vomiting bile and blood). She then decided the best course of action was for me to take a drug called Zofran or Ondansetron which is a very strong anti-nausea drug that is normally given to cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. I was extremely reluctant to take it because it’s a category B drug in Australia (currently only category A is considered safe for pregnancy, B doesn’t meant unsafe but it means not enough testing has been done over a long enough period of time to determine the long term effects) but she assured me the risks were incredibly low and the risk to my kidneys and baby were a lot higher if I didn’t take it. I decided to take it because I knew if I didn’t, I wouldn’t physically be able to continue with the pregnancy.

Zofran the wonder drug! For the first time in over 2 months I felt like I might be able to make it through the day. Zofran is dissolvable so it didn’t make me throw up, it didn’t stop my vomiting completely and nausea still persisted but it reduced it to a point where I could do basic things again and return to work for a couple hours here and there. It was also very expensive costing $10 a day but so worth it. I would still vomit spontaneously and without warning, but instead of 15-20 times a day it was more like 5-7… it still sucked! But it was so much better that I was just counting my blessings.

I had a further 8 admissions to hospital in the first 17 weeks for fluids when my ketones were bad and my dehydration was out of control. It was during my second visit that it was detected that my thyroid levels had spiked and tripled in comparison to the last test. This is very dangerous though pregnancy because the thyroid is responsible for creating all the hormones your body and baby needs to develop. It can cause miscarriage and birth defects if it goes untreated therefore I was closely monitored by an Endocrinologist DR Christina Jang who specializes in pregnancy. After meeting with me she decided to watch and hope that it subsided on its own as the treatment can be dangerous to take while pregnant. Sadly it didn’t and I was diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism, or Graves’ Disease but it was still far too risky to start treatment at my current gestation and all we could do was wait.

The Graves’s Disease combined with HG was extremely stressful for me and triggered some real anxiety issues. My brain never turned off, I was constantly in a state of fear and stress and would worry about the strangest things. Looking back I am so grateful for my husband’s patience because although he was also worried and stressed, he never showed it, allowing me to talk about things over and over. Finally my Obstetrician decided I needed to seek professional help to assist me with dealing with my pre-natal anxiety. I was skeptical initially however it was really good to talk to someone and helped me resolve some of the stress I was holding. I vomited twice in my first session but it wasn’t a surprise to me, I was no longer a stranger to vomiting in odd places by this point.

The places I vomited would make you laugh and cry. Driveways, plastic bags, Target, Kmart, Woolworths, Mcdonalds drive through (the look of the menu made me sick), at the traffic lights, on the side of the road, in the Obstetrician’s waiting room, on the phone, in my own salon’s hair basin… not to mention all over myself and on a few occasions even my husband! I had emergency vomit bags stashed everywhere I could. Once we ordered a pizza for dinner and as soon as I opened the lid on the box I vomited all over the pizza. They say you lose all dignity in child birth, well for me that went out the window in my first trimester! My neighbours always knew when I woke up in the morning because they could hear my violent vomiting, which would sometimes go for over an hour. My husband even had to get me a plastic stool to sit on in the shower because I just could not stand, my knees would go like jelly and I would fall. A living bloody nightmare.

One day I was vomiting on the floor of my bathroom and it just would not stop, every time I tried to get up I would vomit again from motion sickness. I was at the end of my tether . I cried and cried and started banging my head against the wall because I just didn’t want to be conscious any more. For the briefest of moments I wished my pregnancy away. I wanted to be me again and I wondered why women lie and say pregnancy is beautiful. Was it all just a lie? Why does no one talk about the dark, ugly side to pregnancy? Would it be like this till the end? It was an extremely dark day but eventually my husband came home from work and found me and helped me off the cold hard floor. Surprisingly to me, the sun rose again the next day.

For 17 weeks I lived in a constant cycle of eating and immediately vomiting but I still ate in the hope that something would stay down for my baby and I (on the rare occasion it did). Well meaning people told me try dry crackers or ginger biscuits but it didn’t matter what food or drink it was, it was just the sensation of food that would make me ill. If you ever encounter a pregnant woman with HG, please don’t offer her your ‘remedies’ for morning sickness or a chirpy ‘Don’t worry, it will end eventually’ type platitude, tell her you’re sorry that she’s having a rough time and offer your help.

Tiredness is on another level when you’re growing a human being, but when you cannot nourish (not even prenatal vitamins would stay down) yourself it is beyond exhausting. I barely left the house as even if I did have a tiny bit of energy, we had just bought a new car and the new car smell would set me off. My best friend Rachael had to go and buy me clothes to wear and maternity bras because I had lost so much weight that nothing fit me and there was no way I could even walk through the shops so exhausted and sick.

By 20 weeks I had made it through the worst of it and by that point had lost about 18 kilos. I finally started to feel little baby kicks and while we had decided not to find out the gender of our baby, I had a strong feeling it was a girl. I was well enough that I could start to dream of what she would look like; would she be more like me or her dad? Would she have my curly hair or her daddy’s blue eyes? All I hoped for though was a healthy baby, it didn’t matter if it was a boy or a girl.DOBC8469

Even though I was so unwell my baby remained healthy and safe in my womb and I was reassured at every possible point by my Obstetrician that everything was normal.

I wish I could say that the vomiting ended but sadly in my case it never did. The longest I ever went was 3 days vomit free and they were 3 magical days.

It was discovered that I had placenta previa (low lying placenta) which in most cases, moves out of the way by the time it comes to birth and is monitored by the Obstetrician. My nuchal scan at 13 weeks and morphology scan at 20 weeks were both perfect, all I needed was for the time to pass as quickly as possible so I could finally meet my baby and not be pregnant anymore.

I got to a stage when people would ask me how I was, that I would just say good or yes feeling better because I was so over talking about how sick I was. I looked like actual death so I’m sure they knew I was lying but I just wanted to live in a fake world where I was a normal pregnant person who wasn’t ill and living in fear for most of the day.

I’m lucky that I got a lot of help through my pregnancy from my family and friends, my husband even hired a cleaner so I didn’t have to do a lot other than survive each day. I worked as much as I could because I have my own business and also because it was such a good distraction for me. Rachael told me early on that I had to adapt a ‘solider on’ mentality if I hoped to come out of this sane and as much as I could I did. But I still did my fair share of complaining.

Everything was continuing as the obstetrician expected and I even started to relax and began to think the worst was really over. Weeks went past and the HG was still there but I was approaching 30 weeks now and I loved feeling the baby kicks and seeing my baby in the scans and I knew I was on the home stretch. Suddenly the hopelessness I felt at the start of the pregnancy wasn’t there anymore and it was replaced with excitement and anticipation. I could get there, I could survive till the end.

At 30 weeks all my excitement was ripped away and the anxiety and fear returned when it was discovered that my baby was now measuring small and showing signs of distress. Something was not right in there and it was immediately serious and concerning, I was sent to weekly ultrasound and CTG scans. Everything quickly spiraled out of control and at a routine appointment with my Obstetrician she decided I needed to have steroid injections and then sent me to the maternity ward to had five different machines hooked up to me without much of an explanation or understanding of what was happening. I found out that she wanted to deliver my baby within just a few days and the injections were to help enhance lung development because our baby was so tiny and not ready to be born. It was heartbreaking to hear that something was wrong when I had only just started to feel a little bit better.

I was concerned with what my obstetrician was telling me, as an avid researcher some of the things she was telling us didn’t add up and nothing was explained to my satisfaction. My husband and I decided we needed a second opinion, but being so far along in our high risk pregnancy in a private hospital (we had already paid our management fee) it was difficult to find a doctor willing to see us. We finally found Dr Bryan Kenny, who agreed to see us for a quick visit so we could ask questions. I felt instantly calm with him, he is such a lovely man and in those first few minutes I felt like he listened to me more than my other doctor ever had. He agreed that there were some concerning measurements but nothing so urgent that required immediate intervention. Dr Kenny told us that more investigations would need to be done, but I could very well carry our baby to full term under close supervision. My husband and I breathed a sigh of relief. I knew I was in good hands and we decided that is was best he took over my pregnancy management. Dr Kenny watched over me closely and was diligent and careful, he did the best that he could to keep our baby growing but by 34 weeks we were given news we were hoping we would never have to hear… that our baby needed to be born early.

Our baby was diagnosed with IUGR  which stands for Interuterine Growth Restriction it basically means that there is something preventing the baby from reaching his or her growth potential, most IUGR babies are delivered early.

Our baby was not growing and it was estimated that there had been limited growth from around 31-32 weeks. Our beautiful baby was now in the final stages starvation, determined by the stomach shrinking as it used its own liver stores for survival. It was incredibly scary news and I didn’t want to hear it. I really struggled to come to terms that this was how it was going to end. My hopes for a happy pregnancy, healthy baby, full term birth and that big beautiful round tummy you get at the end of pregnancy all vanished.

I had always remained hopeful for a natural birth even though I had placenta previa, and by 28 weeks it had moved enough that there was enough space for the baby to decend. I thought to myself women do this every day, I can do this. I didn’t want the recovery of a c-section as I felt I had been through enough. I had thought I would get an epidural and my baby would come out and everything would be great! Unfortunately Dr Kenny advised me that an induction at 34 weeks wouldn’t end favourably, as I wasn’t already in labour the chances of my body taking over this early in pregnancy was highly unlikely. He examined me and explained that my cervix was completely closed and from what he could tell our baby was in breach position and sitting very high. Although all signs pointed to a scheduled c-section, if we really wished to try naturally he was willing to induce me but warned us that it would more than likely end up in an emergency caesarean as too many things had to fall into place to birth naturally. Especially as the biggest concern was how long labour would take as it was now a matter of emergency. Dr Kenny explained the seriousness of the situation but without taking away my choices, I could never thank him enough for that.

My husband asked me to consider having the caesarean as he had already watched me go through so much, he just wanted both our baby and myself to be safe. Dr Kenny said he understands why women feel they want to try for a natural birth but a caesarean is just as worthy a way to birth, it doesn’t make you any less of a mother in the end. I agreed to the caesarean and was so glad the nightmare would soon be all over. I cannot stress enough the value of Dr Kenny, with his help and guidance we were able to stay pregnant for an extra 4 weeks and in gestation that makes a huge difference. But also, his ability to bring a much-needed sense of calm to two very anxious first time parents was an incredible gift.

Before we went to theatre we sat with Dr Kenny and our pediatrician who gave us all the worst-case scenarios and explained what would happen in theater. They explained that it was possible that our baby could come out blue and floppy and require resuscitation, they told us how important it was that our baby cried once born, they explained all the risks and possible complications. It was a very difficult discussion to have but I had faith everything would be ok. I guess sometimes you just have to have faith and all you can do is have hope. I was prepped for surgery by two lovely midwives who told me how lucky they felt to be a part of our delivery, and although they do this every day they never take a single birth for granted. Looking back, I don’t know if I even responded to them as I was just sitting there clutching my husband’s hand full of so many emotions. Terrified, excited, nervous and stunned at the fact that in only moments I was going to be a mother.

Dr Kenny returned to wheel my bed into theatre and told me “you’re going to do great, everything is going to be fine”. The surgery began and I vomited the whole way through due to a mix of the HG and the spinal block anesthesia. Everyone in theatre wore masks that covered their mouths but I could see the pity in the midwives’ eyes. It wasn’t long before Dr Kenny lifted up, with only one hand, my baby BOY. Leo Gianni, not the baby girl I had pictured for all those months but a beautiful and tiny boy. He was absolutely perfect. He let out a loud cry and it was music to my ears, he was ok and everything was going to be ok. In that instant I was complete. Suddenly all the vomiting, anxiety and fear was over and our journey as parents had begun.

Dianne

xo

Dianne027

(Only four days before Leo was born)

IMG_2540

( Leo Gianni born at 2.59pm on 9 December 2016 weighing  1.9kgs or 4lbs 0.3Oz )

Styling tips for your little girls hair! 

I often get asked for advice on how to tame little girl’s hair. It can be very stressful trying get your child to co operate of a morning when you’re in a hurry and their hair is riddled with knots. Add some tears and a tantrum and it’s virtually impossible to get to school or your destination on time. Here are some tips and tricks I recommend to Mama’s needing that little bit of extra help. 

  • Shampoo twice! It’s no secret that kids get dirty. They wouldn’t be kids if they didn’t. Always shampoo twice as the first shampoo removes dirt and debris from the hair while the second actually cleanses the hair and scalp. There is no need to wash your child’s hair everyday but if their daily activities mean they get particularly sweaty there is no harm in daily washing. 
  • Comb hair while it’s wet. It’s also a good idea to comb your child’s hair while there is still conditioner in it. Start combing from the mid section to the ends. It is much easier to comb hair this way it eliminates knots easily and is much less painful for your little one. *Never use a brush when hair is wet. Children’s hair is finer and therefore much weaker than adult hair and hair is more vulnerable while wet, therefore brushing it can cause it to stretch and snap
  • Avoid knots forming by applying leaving in conditioner and plaiting your girl’s hair while it’s still damp. This will make combing it the next morning so easy as it keeps the hair in place and reduces frizz. Before swimming apply a leave in conditioner. I recommend Davroe Ends Repay this product is great as it creates a barrier against the chlorine and prevents the chlorine from attaching to damaged areas. Try to remove chlorine as soon as possible from your child’s hair using shampoo and then follow with conditioner. Avoid letting your child sleep with chlorine water in their hair, not only is it bad for their hair but it can also have negative health effects. 
  • To avoid screaming and protesting remember if the hair is pretty much knot free than it’s ok to use a brush but if it’s tangled first spray the hair with water (wet hair combs much easier and a wide tooth comb is the best type to use) then use a detangling spray. You will be amazed just how helpful it is. If you’re brushing hair dry I highly recommend the Tangle Teezer range, their brushes are palm sized and eliminate knots quickly and easily. They also come in different colour and patterns so the kids just love them! 
  • Get organized. Have a little section of your bathroom or child’s bedroom that has everything you need i.e. hairbands, combs & brushes. 
  •  If you remember any of these tips this is the best one! Add tea tree oil to your detangling spray or water spray as Tea tree is a natural head lice deterrent. Spray it on your little one’s hair and inside their hats and those pesky things won’t want to come near your little one!  
  • And finally try and get your little one involved by explaining what you’re doing and why. Try letting them pick out their favorite hair ties or the head band they would like to wear. Often when children feel like they are participating it’s less of a chore and not such a battle. Pretty soon they will enjoy this lovely bonding time with mum or dad and love having their hair done. I often hear from mums who have young teenagers who cannot manage their own hair, I find if this skill is taught early it’s much easier to pick up. You can even turn it into a fun activity to do together by looking up hair tutorials on YouTube and practice them on each other. It’s fun and free and more importantly, it is time spent together that your little girl will always remember. 

Do you find doing your little one’s hair challenging? 

XO

Di  

Silver cross pioneer pram review. 

When the time came to choose a pram I was so overwhelmed by the choices available that I did what most people do. I went to Google and searched for reviews on prams… I found the results very stressful because who knew there where so many types of prams not to mention who knew they were sooooo expensive!!! I didn’t. There was so much mixed information, everything from saftey ratings to multi transport systems, like I said overwhelming! I decided who better to ask than actual mums who use their prams daily. I asked questions like what do you like about it?, what do you hate?, is there a feature you wish you had?. After much discussion and research I felt equipped to make an informed decision. 

So off to the baby shop we went. Hubby nearly died when he saw the prices but soon understood that the saying ” you pay for what you get” was so true when it came to prams. 
There where 3 wheelers, 4 wheelers, tandem prams, jogger prams and the good old fashioned basic strollers. Options galore and I became so nervous about making a wrong choice as it wouldn’t be a cheap mistake. The whole experience for me felt much like buying a car. 

Some were so heavy I couldn’t even lift yet some were so light and poorly made that even hanging your nappy bag would cause it to tip and some where so complicated you basically needed an engineering degree to operate. the confusion continued but I tested and tried them all until I knew exactly what I wanted.

What I know is there is no one pram that does absolutely everything. The perfect pram does not exists… but there is a pram that comes pretty damm close. 

Meet the silver cross pioneer!  

This pram is pure genius. It ticks so many boxes for me. Here are some things I love about my pioneer. 

  • Light weight – only 10kgs which in pram land is very light! 
  •  Compact yet spacious – the pioneer features a very spacious storage basket but is still so compact that it can fit through all those tight spaces and can full circle easily around the grocery shop isles
  • Multi seat choice system – you have 3 choices of seats. A 0-25kg seat, A 0-6months flat lay basinet or it is compatible with the maxi cosi capsule/carrier which is the system we are using at the moment it’s so handy especially when LL is asleep in the car I can just click it straight onto the pram without waking him. 
  • Adjustable handle for different heights- This one is great because I am so short but my husband is so tall so with the push of one button we can change the handle height for easy use.
  • This one is hubby’s fav, all terrain tires-Great on grass and sand. The wheels never get stuck and can roll over any surface easily. 
  • Dual facing – forward and rear facing with many different seat adjustments.  
  • Easy fold – this is a big one, folds with the click of one button. So handy because no one wants to be that mum in the car park who can’t fold her pram! 
  • The pioneer comes in many different colour but if you get bored the hood is interchangeable so you don’t have to replace your whole pram! 

Last but obviously most important! 

  •  STYLISH!!! – this Mama cares about style just as much as functionality and with its chrome finishes and leatherette detail handle the pioneers stylish finishes gets a big tick from me! 

This pram will set you back  $1200 at full RRP but often goes on sale for around $900. Worth every cent in my opinion. I love using my silver cross pram… it’s no wonder they have been making the prams for the royal family since the early 1900’s. 

If you’re looking for a pram do yourself a favor and check this beauty out! Pictured above is the flat lay bassinet, the 0-25kg seat and the carrier/capsule system seat  with the apron attached (it’s highly unlikely you will use the apron with our climate in Australia but silver cross are a British company so it’s designed for there conditions) 

You can also see as pictured it’s neat and compact fold. 

Pictured here is the pioneer storage basket, ample storage with its generous size. 

Micro foils… yes please! 

Today I want to talk to you about micro foiling. It’s a new technique and is very on trend this season. It’s a fabulous way to update your look but still looks subtle and natural. 

Micro foiling is like traditional foils but done much finer and very close together. It’s a time consuming technique so will give you some much needed alone time while you sit back and relax in the salon chair. Once the colour is achieved the maintenance is very minimal. Your stylist will weave out very fine pieces of hair and paint the colour on in vertical strokes to create a beautiful subtle blend, using vertical strokes prevents any harsh or  solid lines from appearing. I just love the softness of this colour technique it gives that beautiful sunkissed glow. It’s something different but still subtle and elegant.  

 You may only have to retouch your micro foils around every 12 weeks. Obviously if you have grey hair you will need to maintain your greys in between. ( grey hair aka natural highlights…ain’t no body got time for you!) 

#mamatip It’s best to select a colour that isn’t to much lighter than your natural colour this will help to reduce maintenance and also ensure the condition of your hair is not compromised. 


A great product to use to accompany your new colour is Delorenzo Nova fusion shampoo. Nova fusion is a pigmented shampoo that tones, brightens and refreshes your colour every time you shampoo. This product comes in a variety of colours so there is one for every one to choose from. N

If you do give this colour a go, let me know I would love to hear how you like it? 

XO 

Di 

Hello and welcome!

Hello, I am so glad you found your way here…

Anyone who has ever sat in my  salon chair knows I have a lot to say…there really is never a dull moment in my life and I am queen of over sharing. As a hairdresser of over 12 years talking and connecting with people is not just my job but who I am. I’m a self proclaimed psychologist with the inability to talk my own advice. Working out other people is easy but me…well that’s a can of worms no one dare open. I am a salon owner and chocolate lover. I also recently became a mama for the first time and its the most incredible thing I’ve ever experienced. it truly is a love like to no other.

This blog is a space for me to document my journey of being a new mum to my little lion, but also to share with you my other passions hair, beauty and fashion. weather your style is the messy mum bun or you are naturally talented in the hair and makeup department, I hope this blog enriches and teaches you. As I always say your hair is the crown you never take off. lets be glamorous and confident together as we reinvent the term mumsy!

If motherhood is as eventful as pregnancy was for me then we are in for a bumpy ride. Buckle up for the rollercoaster that is my life and hold on tight for all the laughs and the tears because I’m sure there will be many.

Di xo