Joy and Joe – Fountains of Love Review

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Say hi to Joy and Joe’s latest creation – Fountains of Love. This wrap, I was assured, would be a game changer. I was told that it would require (wait for it) no breaking in. 

Really, I hear you ask. Why?

Well, to start this wrap has been made from 50% Italian combed cotton and 50% mercerized cotton.  Mercerizing is a treatment that strengthens fibres and gives them a lustrous appearance, while combed cotton is an extremely soft version of cotton due to a special treatment it undergoes before spinning. So, so far so good. These wraps undergo lots of finishing treatments – like pressing and extra steam treatments, in order to soften them up further. And just to go the extra mile, Joy and Joe have worked with a textiles expert with this wrap, who has tweaked the weave to ensure that it will be as smooshy as possible.

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So, you understand why it was I waited with baited breath for my turn to try it. And when it came, well…

It. Was. Amazing. 

I’m not kidding. Fountains of Love is soft, smooshy, buttery, floppy, and silky. I was skeptical, and I was wrong to be. It is seriously nice. Like, I would actually snuggle with this wrap. It’s far softer than a good 90% of my (mostly pre-loved!) stash. Just lovely. It wraps as you’d expect – that is to say, excellently. It tightens easily and with minimal effort. It has actually made me realise how much more work I need to do with my own wraps, to get them to wrap this easily. The only slight issue I have with this wrap is that I feel it could possibly be prone to pulls. The weave is fairly loose, and I understand that this helps with the amazing softness, but I personally prefer a more ‘snug’ weave. It’s worth bearing in mind though that I am very heavy handed!

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And the pattern also meets high standards. Fountains of Love is to me, very reminiscent of Baroque of Damask patterns, classy and elegant. It’s interesting to note at this point the colourways. FoL is available in black and white (the one I had) bright pink and white, or bright yellow and white.

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Now, bright pink or bright yellow are not exactly colours that come to mind when I think classy, elegant, sophisticated. However, with this pattern, it works. The high contrast, gorgeous colours, and beautiful design work in juxtaposition to create a wrap that will not look out of place either on the beach or at the races. The black and white particularly is very suited to ‘events.’ Either way, it looks and feels fantastic.

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As you’d expect, all these extra treatments and finishes are going to be reflected in the price. Having had the chance to use this wrap, I personally think that it is absolutely worth paying the extra. Then you can start loving your Fountains straight away!

Rosie is turning one.

On Monday, Rosie Grace, my sweet little terror, will be turning one whole year old. This makes me want to cry. She has six little perfect white teeth. This makes me want to cry too. She can pull to standing and makes very clear choices over what she likes and dislikes. Guess what? Again, it makes me want to cry.

I’m just not ready. Where did my baby girl go? My squishy little chimp who would fall asleep if I laid her on my chest. My tiny, premature baby who was ventilated and in an incubator. What happened to her? I want more time with that Rosie please – I feel like it went too fast.

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I feel too like we lost a lot of it to reflux, and also partly to her prematurity and hospital stay. That precious newborn stage, we never got to really experience that because she was in an incubator and wired up to machines. She had such a lot of healthcare professional involvement in the first few months it felt like we never got a minute to be ‘just us.’

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And the time that we did get I didn’t appreciate. Because of her reflux, and subsequent weight loss, a huge part of her first ten months or so was extremely stressful. She would cry and scream and be unsettled and I didn’t know what to do. My husband worked an awful lot, so that just left Rosie and I to tough it out together most times. And times were tough indeed. A traumatic, premature birth left me struggling to cope. I felt inadequate, at fault. What had I done wrong? I didn’t drink or smoke during my pregnancy, my husband and I had planned to start a family, and we had everything in place. So why had this happened to us? Why couldn’t I cope? Was I the only person in the world who wanted to run on the opposite direction when my baby cried?

I struggled to form a bond with my daughter. She was taken from me and intubated almost immediately following her birth. It was twelve whole hours before I could see her again, and longer still until I could hold her tiny fragile body. Everything I wanted for my labour had been taken away from me – I wanted a med free, natural birth with immediate skin to skin and delayed cord clamping in the hospital ten minutes away. What I got was sixty hours of stress and panic, an epidural, a forceps delivery, an umbilical cord that broke during labour and a fraction of a second of skin to skin – thirty miles from home. It was not what I envisaged.

And neither was bringing her home. I was truly out of my depth. Her reflux and screaming was so bad that I became desperate and would sometimes sit on the bed and cry with her, as I just didn’t know what else to do. No one would listen to me to start with, and even once reflux was diagnosed it took months for any of the treatments we tried to begin to work. My life was a vomit fueled nightmare, into which I had willingly put myself and out of which there was no escape. They were dark, dark days. Days when everyone else was basking in the glow of their healthy, pink, chubby baby, all smiles and cute daddy pics. And there I was, with my skinny, yellow, sicky, screaming baby, my husband at work, and struggling to keep my head above water.

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She started to lose weight at one point

So yes, the newborn stage and early months were not good. I feel cheated, in a way, that we didn’t get to enjoy it properly. I’d love to have the chance to revisit it and know what I know now; that the reflux would end, that we’d bond, and that I was doing ok, actually. But I can’t. And it makes me terribly sad that my sweet little Rosie is growing up far too quickly. Now that things are how they should be with her, I want to slow time right down and cherish every moment. Every sleepy ‘love,’ every hot breath on my neck, every cheeky little smile when she pulls herself up. Because that will all too soon be gone too.

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I’m very proud of my beautiful daughter, and I’m more and more in love with her as each day passes. She’s my best mate, my little star, she challenges me to be my best and do my best. I wish I had understood that before, but I can’t turn back the clock. But I am now going to enjoy her every single day. Sod the housework, sod the pots, the washing, the tidying up, sod it all. It will all still be there tomorrow, but before I can even blink she’ll be at school, college, university.

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This is precious, precious time. And now that I have found my groove and my way, there’s no looking back. I’ll always be sad that the early months weren’t what I had wanted, but I’ll always be grateful that she’s here now and she brightens up every day. My dear, sweet little Rosie. I do love you so much.

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Baie Unicorns and Rainbows – Review

The latest wrap on my test list is the as yet unreleased Baie Unicorns and Rainbows. When I was asked if I’d like to try it, I of course jumped at the chance.

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Thing is though, I didn’t think I’d be keen on this one. It was different, certainly, but it wasn’t something that, if I saw it for sale, I’d HAVE to have it. Or so I thought.

It sat in my wrap shelves for a couple of days until I had chance to take it out. I wasn’t expecting anything particularly special; just an ordinary standard wrap.

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Well, that changed the instant I wrapped with it. Unicorns is incredibly nice to wrap with. Like, seriously. It feels almost stretchy and bandage-like, a smooshy rainbow hug. It clung to every curve and hollow on Rosie and I, without slipping or feeling diggy anywhere. Once it was on, it just did not move. No sag, no slip, no sliding. I had Rosie on my back in a knotless ruck and she stayed high and supported for the duration.

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In fact, it kept her so high that even though she was tired out, she stayed awake for longer because she could see absolutely everything over my shoulder. When I moved her onto my front, she got nestled in and went almost immediately to sleep. Again, out of habit I wrapped her a little higher than needed to compensate for the almost inevitable sag, something that seems to happen even more when babies drop to sleep in the wrap. And again, that was a mistake as it just did not sag at all. She ended up fast asleep while I had to put my head to one side to see where I was going.

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It’s also fairly thick at approx 267gsm, so don’t feel you need to layer up too much!

So, I loved it for it’s wrapping abilities, at least. But the pattern? I wasn’t sure. It reminded me of something but I couldn’t think what. Until, that is, my husband started talking about how it looked like childhood. And he’s right, it does! Lots of my woven wraps have rather ‘adult’ colours and patterns; they are generally not something that a child would choose. This, on the other hand, with its whimsical unicorns and hearts and fruit pastille colours is most definitely something a child would love.

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And it really is reminiscent of childhood. It reminds me of the nineties, of childhood bedrooms and My Little Pony and Care Bears and Trolls (remember them?). It’s nostalgic, pleasant, innocence. It’s eating rice krispies on the living room floor and watching Saturday morning cartoons. It’s long summer day and playing out clothes, when trees were climbed and bikes rode.

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It’s just childhood, in the nicest possible way. And I found that despite my initial feelings, I love it. It makes me feel so connected to Rosie. I want this to be the wrap that she looks at in twenty years that gives her fond childhood memories too.

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This may not be a typical Baie wrap, in terms of the design, but it has well and truly charmed me.

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