Week 4 – 4th week of being a mummy – wind and trips out!

4 weeks today our little W was born, and what a week this week has been!

The bad

  • Daddy had to go away for 2 nights with work… Pretty sad for all 3 of us 😦
  • A few bad nights sleep… Similar to last week, we’re having unpredictable nights… Sometimes he’ll settle in his Moses basket, sometimes he won’t! We try a variety of tricks, candles, white noise apps, heating etc but seems to be pot luck as to how well he settles!
  • Wind! Little W has gotten a lot more windy this week, poor little thing! So adds another task to the feeding, changing, sleeping cycle (variety is the spice of life eh !?) Also related to this, he poos less often… So fewer nappy changes but when he does poo my gosh they can fill a nappy (and seep out, gross!)

The Good

  • Little W still getting stronger, cuter and louder by the day! We love his cute noises and expressions so much:)
  • Trips with mummy – while daddy was away this week, my sister came to stay…

Tuesday – was supposed to visit some family but cancelled after a bad nights sleep as didn’t think it was a good idea driving for over 2 hours! Lazy day

Wednesday – got as far as McDonald’s and a visit to the hospital to drop off a thank you card and gift to the midwife who delivered W

Thursday – with the help of my sister we took W into town (Cardiff city centre) for the first time... We had fun working out how the bugaboo and maxi-cosi combo worked… Had an amazing lunch at torre cafe (very baby/ family-friendly, great food and cool decor, crockery etc) wi took a look round some non maternity clothes shops 🙂 then we had coffee and a cake… Perfect afternoon!


Delicious quiche and salad at Torre cafe, Cardiff
Delicious quiche and salad at Torre cafe, Cardiff

Friday – I did the same trip into town by myself eeek!
Crazy the things to get nervous about..
Where to park to be able to get the car seat out with space
What if I can’t get the pushchair to work ?!
What if he screams and won’t stop crying!?
What if he needs feeding? (I try and time these trips in the afternoon when he sleeps the most!)

I had nothing to fear, met my mate for lunch and she kindly chose the cafe in very mum-friendly John Lewis (I checked out the feeding areas they have there, and was encouraged to see women breastfeeding in the cafe itself)
After lunch I took him into work and was there for about an hour passing him around for cuddles and catching up with people!
Then we called in to see his nan at work – she loved showing him off to colleagues!

I couldn’t stop smiling as I pushed him back to the car park… The day had felt like a real accomplishment and my confidence had gone through the roof…. We can go anywhere and do anything now W!

More good stuff

  • Monday we took him for a newborn photoshoot with the amazing and lovely Leah Roberts. We were there for 4 hours as he needed feeding a couple of times but he behaved apart from pooing and peeing over Leah… A lot! Amazing what goes on when the nappy comes off 🙂 Haven’t got the photos back yet but pretty sure she got some amazingly cute shots!
  • I’m back in my fave Diesel pre-maternity jeans 🙂
    My body isn’t quite back to normal but it’s getting there… I have good genes and breastfeeding to thank for that!
  • Presents and purchases…..
    The presents keep coming!


Fab romper suit from mummy's friend Haf, from BlueZoo (?) at Debenhams
Fab romper suit from mummy’s friend Haf, from BlueZoo (?) at Debenhams
Gorgeous Jasper Conran (Debenhams) outfit from Daddy's colleagues
Gorgeous Jasper Conran (Debenhams) outfit from Daddy’s colleagues
Toy and books from mummy's friend Carys - she also gave us a bag of nappies, accessories etc that her twins had grown out of :)
Toy and books from mummy’s friend Carys – she also gave us a bag of nappies, accessories etc that her twins had grown out of 🙂
I bought these milestone cards for photos with W - love them!
I bought these milestone cards for photos with W – love them!

How did you feel about going out and about with your 4-week old? When did your body get back to normal? When did the sleep patterns get back to normal? I’d love to hear from you!

Read my previous weekly updates here – week 1, week 2 and week 3.


Week 3 – 3rd week of being a mummy – sleepless nights!

Can’t believe our little man is 3 weeks old… nearly a month old! This week’s definitely been the toughest week due to sleep deprivation which I’ll come on to later but first let’s focus on the positives which far outweigh the negatives 🙂

Week 3 highlights

No words required
No words required
  • I still love him SO much – I love it when he’s awake and looking around (not that often!!), I love his headbanging move and the ‘fist confusion’ when feeding, I love how sound asleep he is when I hold him… I love watching him have Daddy cwtches… I love his little noises whether he’s awake or asleep…. love, love, love….
  • More visitors this week – 2 of my good friends – it’s been so nice hosting visitors, they all adore him and it’s broken my week up nicely!
  • Sunday was sunny and we over to the in-laws for sunday dinner then sat in their garden all afternoon – was funny seeing W sleep through all sorts of drilling and other loud DIY noises being made by his Bampa!
  • Monday was also sunny and daddy was home so I decided to tag on to one of their walks – my first ‘proper’ walk since giving birth so I may have pushed myself a bit too hard as we ended up being out for a couple of hours… in the heat… with me wearing jeans as I still need to dig out summer clothes that fit! On the plus side – great exercise for me, W slept through it all (as per usual) and we stumbled upon a local delight which I’d not been to before: Insole Court
Insole Court, a Victorian mansion in our Cardiff neighbourhood
Insole Court, a Victorian mansion in our Cardiff neighbourhood
  • Wed and Thurs some of mummy’s good friends visited which was lovely for me to catch up with them and lovely for W to get even more cwtches (Welsh cuddles)
  • Friday – the health visitor weighed him and he’s now 8lb 6oz! So 1lb 4oz heavier than his birth weight – all on target and unbelievable that my milk alone can do that!
  • Friday afternoon I took him out in the car by myself to see a friend…. it was a sense of achievement 1) fitting the car seat by myself (thank god for youTube videos!) and 2) driving miss daisy! Next challenge: car plus pram!
  • In addition to all the gifts I listed in his haul, his presents keep acoming….
Beautiful booties and blanket from The White Company, from a supplier at work
Beautiful booties and blanket from The White Company, from a supplier at work
Cutest outfit ever from mummy's mate Gemma - from Next
Cutest outfit ever from mummy’s mate Gemma – from Next
Gifts from a Great Aunt and Uncle - outfit from Next, bibs from Tu and a Welsh T-shirt!
Gifts from a Great Aunt and Uncle – outfit from Next, bibs from Tu and a Welsh T-shirt!
Present for mummy and daddy from a work supplier - champers and chocs
Present for mummy and daddy from a work supplier – champers and chocs
Next butterfly scarf for mummy from her mate Gemma :)
Next butterfly scarf for mummy from her mate Gemma 🙂

Sleepless nights

So either because of the hot weather and/or a growth spurt (according to internet sources) or maybe as I dared to suggest last week that we had some routines… this week, we had some tough nights!

  • Sunday night he was a bit grisly all night
  • Monday night he woke for a feed every hour (instead of his usual 2-3)
  • Tuesday night was better – we gave him a big feed before bed (including some expressed milk), gave him a bath, burnt lavender candles in the bedroom and put one of his ‘daytime blankets’ on top of his moses basket mattress…. also, we packed daddy off to the spare room as he needed his sleep after the previous 2 nights…. and normal service was resumed – fed about 11pm, 2am, 4.30am…. also, I didn’t change his nappy between about 10pm and 4.30am (health visitor suggested that if there was only pee/light poo then not to worry about night changing)
  • Alas, it was not to stay like that.. Wednesday night was tough…. he had a mammoth 2 hour feed in the evening (9pm-11pm-ish) so I figured he’d have a great nights’ sleep but no I ended up feeding him on and off for about 4 hours (between 2.30am and 6.30am) – every time I put him down, he wanted more – I couldn’t believe this little man could be so hungry!
  • Thursday night – another big feed but earlier on – I think it was about 1.30am-3.30am. Our tranquil turtle nightlight had stopped working, so I was struggling with light and checking every time I put him down – so I took him and the moses basket to the spare room and as soon as we settled in there, he slept through from 3.30 til 7.30 = Bliss!!! 
  • In the spare room he was right next to me, so we decided to try that in our bedroom on Friday night (whereas he was at the foot of our bed)… he went a while without feeds (his main feed now seems to be between 11 and 2, instead of 3-5) but now he keeps struggling to settle in the basket despite loving being sound asleep on mummy/daddy

Every night is unpredictable.. wonder how he’ll be over the next few weeks…


Other bits ‘n’ bobs

  • He’s had spots on his face pretty much since he was born – the health visitor suggested he might be allergic to mummy and daddy’s bio washing powder/fabric conditioner so we’re going to switch to his non-bio and/or wash everything together (we had been keeping his stuff separate)
  • He also had a nappy rash last week and early this week – we tried a couple of creams but the one that worked for us is Bepanthen – it’s all cleared up now 🙂
  • He peed on his face when I was changing his nappy one time – ooooops!

So that’s it ’til next week – catch up with our Week 1 and Week 2 updates if you haven’t already 🙂


Baby’s first haul

Baby W’s first fortnight in presents!

I know ‘haul’ posts are usually for stuff you’ve bought, but little W got given so many presents that I can’t see me buying anything for months so thought this would make a cute haul post instead… and it will help me when it comes to writing thank you cards 🙂

Let me know what you think…. (and something I learnt while putting this together is I need to improve my photo skills!)

Clothes for the baby boy

Most of these are months 0-3 and will keep us very well-stocked!

3x sleepsuits (stripes/monkeys) and a gorgeous dinosaur summer outfit from Next - from good friends Shell 'n' Lee
3x sleepsuits (stripes/monkeys) and a gorgeous dinosaur summer outfit from Next – from good friends Shell ‘n’ Lee
Cute, organic giraffe babygro from a friend's mum - from Piccalilly
Cute, organic giraffe babygro from a friend’s mum – from Piccalilly
Tigger sleeping bag, cute little outfit (both Asda) and some bibs from Great Aunt T
Tigger sleeping bag, cute little outfit (both Asda) and some bibs from Great Aunt T
Mummy blanket and fab surfing outfit (Asda I think) from Aunty Clare
Mummy blanket and fab surfing outfit (Asda I think) from Aunty Clare
Football sleepsuit and lots of babygro's from Nanna!
Football sleepsuit and lots of babygro’s from Nanna!
Cute Froggy babygro's from Daddy's work colleagues - from Tu at Sainsbury's
Cute Froggy babygro’s from Daddy’s work colleagues – from Tu at Sainsbury’s


Gorgeous Giraffe sleepsuits from family friends, from Matalan
Gorgeous Giraffe sleepsuits from family friends, from Matalan
Cute little bear babygros and a comforter from family friends - from Matalan
Cute little bear babygros and a comforter from family friends – from Matalan
Pirate-themed outfits from a good friend's mum - from Matalan
Pirate-themed outfits from a good friend’s mum – from Matalan
Gorgeous set from good friends down under via littlelavendertree.co.uk - gorgeous organic babygro and bib, cute bunny and natural nappy cream that we've already had to start using!
Gorgeous set from good friends down under via littlelavendertree.co.uk – gorgeous organic babygro and bib, cute bunny and natural nappy cream that we’ve already had to start using!
Welsh rugby outfits from Auntie Sioned - with these long legs he will be sporty!
Welsh rugby outfits from Auntie Sioned – with these long legs he will be sporty!
Fab babygros, sleepsuits and a cardie all from Next from Aunty Clare
Fab babygros, sleepsuits and a cardie all from Next from Aunty Clare
Bad photo but Winnie the Pooh PJ's from our neighbours (Asda I think)
Bad photo but Winnie the Pooh PJ’s from our neighbours (Asda I think)
Lush outfits from Mammas and Pappas from Aunty Sioned - 'I love my bike' and 'dream big, little one'
Lush outfits from Mammas and Pappas from Aunty Sioned – ‘I love my bike’ and ‘dream big, little one’
Some very cute bibs from Aunty Clare (not sure when to start using them?) from Next and Tesco
Some very cute bibs from Aunty Clare (not sure when to start using them?) from Next and Tesco
Amazing bib and organic babygro from friend Mel, from a fab boutique in Greenwich market called BeautyandtheBib
Amazing bib and organic babygro from friend Mel, from a fab boutique in Greenwich market called BeautyandtheBib
Muslin squares, babygros, socks and a teething toy from Aunty Clare, Mamgu (Welsh nan!) and some family friends
Muslin squares, babygros, socks and a teething toy from Aunty Clare, Mamgu (Welsh nan!) and some family friends


Non-clothing items

We received so many lovely gifts that I never would have thought of buying…. baby W has been spoilt rotten!

Baby W's v posh first cutlery set from Great Aunt Anne - Robert Welch at John Lewis
Baby W’s v posh first cutlery set from Great Aunt Anne – Robert Welch at John Lewis
Love this little Tractor from our next-door neighbour!
Love this little Tractor from our next-door neighbour!
Fisher-Price tummy-time play wedge from the O'shea's - can't wait til he starts using that!
Fisher-Price tummy-time play wedge from the O’shea’s – can’t wait til he starts using that!
Books from the O'Shea's - he's going to love that trunk :)
Books from the O’Shea’s – he’s going to love that trunk 🙂
Spotty blanket, nursery rhyme CD and rattly, cuddly bear from work
Spotty blanket, nursery rhyme CD and rattly, cuddly bear from work
We love these! L-R Elephant and Bear from Mammas and Pappas from Aunty Sioned, Smaller Elephant from Mamgu (Welsh nan!) at Marks and Spencers
We love these! L-R Elephant and Bear from Mammas and Pappas from Aunty Sioned, Smaller Elephant from Mamgu (Welsh nan!) at Marks and Spencers
Hand and footprint set, and cuddly rattle from an agency I work with
Hand and footprint set, and cuddly rattle from an agency I work with
Blanket and cushion knitted by W's Great-Grandma!
Blanket and cushion knitted by W’s Great-Grandma!

Huge thanks to everyone who bought/made W these wonderful gifts – we all feel spoilt and blessed, and can’t wait to use all of these presents! xx





Blog your heart out

I’ve been tagged by EmilyandIndiana to fill in the Blog Your Heart Out meme – thank you Emily – it’s the first time I’ve been tagged to do one of these 🙂

Who/what encouraged you to start blogging?

I’ve enjoyed writing ever since I was a kid – I used to write stories for my little sister! By the time I was a teenager I wanted to be a journalist… that never happened, but over the last few years through travelling and my job in marketing I’ve enjoyed writing blogs for other sites (see my marketing blogs for eConsultancy, and my travel blogs for Hostelbookers: Costa Rica and lessons for travelling) so it seemed like a logical step to start blogging for myself… and when I found myself pregnant, it gave me the perfect reason (I’d always wondered what to blog about!).

How did you choose what to blog about?

See above – I thought pregnancy was a great place to start – I wanted to share my experiences with other people to help out as much as I could, as well as documenting my feelings and activities as a sort-of diary to look back on. There are a few pregnancy posts I didn’t get around to writing, but now baby W is here, obviously the focus will shift to writing about my experiences of parenting!

What is something most people don’t know about you?

Things that other bloggers won’t know about me… yet….

  • I’m born and bred in Wales and speak Welsh
  • When I’m not on maternity leave I’m a digital marketing manager for Confused.com in charge of a team of 15 people
  • Despite becoming a blogger, I’m quite a private person – I don’t plan to share baby W photos on the blog, or my deepest thoughts
  • I believe in fairies

What 3 words describe your style?

Does this mean my fashion style?! If so  – jeans, comfy, unfussy!! I live in bootcut jeans whether dressed up with heels or dressed-down with flip-flops… unfussy as I don’t wear much jewellery/many accessories and don’t bother much with make-up at the mo….

If this means my personality/blog style… ummmm…. most people would say I’m laid-back… my other half would say I’m disorganised… oh and most of us would agree I’m messy!

What do you love to do when you’re not blogging?

I’ve been a mum for 2 weeks and so most of my time goes on feeding, changing nappies, laundry and staring at baby W when he’s asleep 🙂

Me and my OH have always loved travel and holidays and we hope to carry on with this over the next few months and years with W, although nothing booked as yet.

I need to find some mummy/baby activities but before I became a mummy I used to enjoy girly evenings – meals, weekends away, spa days etc and hopefully I can carry on with this once I get into a bit of a routine!

Who’s next?

I’d like to tag the following ladies who had their babies within a few weeks of my baby W…


Week 2 update – second week of being a mummy!

Being a mummy still rocks, little W rocks my world.

What we’ve been up to over the last week:

  • the weekend was busy with lots of visitors from both of our families
  • we had out first drive and walk together along Barry Island – W slept the whole way there, the whole walk and the whole way back 🙂
  • he passed his hearing tests with flying colours 🙂
  • he recovered his birth weight within 10 days 🙂
  • he is getting stronger and stronger – stretching, kicking, gripping more and more every day!
  • his long legs seem to be getting longer!
  • Still feeding well
  • daddy gave him his first bath and he loved it!
  • he met his great-grandma… A v special moment 🙂
  • he met his mummy’s best friends…. and all of these visitors have absolutely adored him as he’s so cute… and so well-behaved!
Beautiful Barry Island on W's first trip to the sea
Beautiful Barry Island on W’s first trip to the sea


I know it’s too soon to worry about getting into a routine but here’s some of our current routines

  • We have big feed/change/feed sessions at about 9am, noon, 4pm, 7pm, 11pm, 3am with some snacks in between
  • He sleeps for most of the rest of the time so mid-morning and mid-afternoon are good for visitors/walks etc
  • We do a load of washing for him every other day at the moment – I can’t believe how many muslins/towels/change mat liners we get through every day!
  • We’ve hired a cleaner for a couple of hours every Friday afternoon – the best £25 a week I’m spending at the moment!
i love seeing baby clothes on the washing line :)
i love seeing baby clothes on the washing line 🙂

Any lowlights?

  • I need to improve my nappy changing skills… A couple of times he ‘s ended up with a wet back 😦 #badmummy
  • daddy going back to work sucked… I realised how much easier it is when both of us are here… But more importantly life is more fun when daddy’s home, we miss him! He did take us to Penarth Pier on Thursday after work though which we loved (and again, W slept through again!)
  • W has learnt how to spray poo across walls and how to vomit a pile of sick over himself, mummy’s hair and back, and the nursery. Nice!
  • I need to learn to nap a bit better… I’m getting by ok but a few more naps here and there would help!
Daddy walking Baby to Penarth Pier
Daddy walking Baby to Penarth Pier

Overall still loving life and can’t believe 2 weeks has already gone by!

did you read last week’s update: my first week of being a mummy?


Week 1 update – First week of being a mummy!

I can’t believe that just over a week ago I was full of excitement but also a great deal of fear and trepidation about what was ahead…. how would I get through labour? What if Bean didn’t bond with me? What if something was wrong with Bean? How would I know what to do with a newborn? Would I still love Bean if they were weird-looking?

New arrival....
New arrival….

Fears melt away

I know *everyone* says that things will just click straight away and mother’s instinct will kick in – but they really do! From the moment baby W was placed on me for skin-and-skin and latched on for his first feed, I had a feeling that everything would be ok!

Baby boy balloon
Baby boy balloon

Things I love from Week 1

  • W taking so well to breastfeeding and generally being awesome – sleeps most of the time and only really cries when he’s getting changed.
  • The way he looks around while he’s being fed – those gorgeous eyes!
  • The way he twitches when he’s sleeping – kicking his legs and arms out – he spends a lot of time with one arm covering his eyes – this is how he was in the womb (and possibly why I tore when he was coming out!)
  • The way he stretches his neck/arms/legs when he’s awake
  • His funny grimaces and smiles (people say newborns don’t smile – I’m pretty sure he does!)
  • The funny noises he makes and his hiccups!
  • Having my other half home – he’s been amazing, cooking our meals, doing the dishes, doing 99% of the nappy changes and loving being a dad – it’s been great being a proper family for the week and it will be weird when he’s back in work. He’s already taken W out for a couple of walks and over to his grandparents when I’ve been too tired and sore to – so it’s good for us all that I’ve already been apart from W for a few hours at a time (I didn’t want to be a clingy mum if I could help it!)
  • His firsts – first walk, first bath, first time sleeping outside, first trip in the car to see his grandparents
  • Seeing baby clothes on the washing line for the first time 🙂
2 fingers - no photos please mummy!
2 fingers – no photos please mummy!

I also feel like I’m starting to earn the ‘mummy badge’:

  • my food going cold while I finish feeding W
  • multi-tasking – cleaning up baby sick from underneath me while still feeding W and trying not to move him
  • wet patches in T-shirts (!)

So W is fine – perfect and adorable –  how am I feeling/looking?

2 days before, 7 days after
2 days before, 7 days after
  • Still sore – down below – after stitches – enough said!
  • Legs are still sore – been wearing support stockings all week and now I think I need to do some mild walking!
  • I have aches in places I haven’t ached before – upper arms and lower back  – probably from picking him up and cradling him etc! (And I guess my body was in some weird positions during labour!)
  • My bump is nearly gone already which I can’t believe!
  • After having great skin during pregnancy, my spots have returned!
  • When I was pregnant, I used things like body butters every time I bathed/showered – that’s now gone out the window!
  • Tired – I would say I’m tired most of the time – probably from the 2 or 3 night feeds and I’m guessing breastfeeding in general zaps your energy. I try and nap every day but think I need to nap for longer if/when I can. Also trying to get fresh air in the garden when it’s not raining!
We were given lots of flowers!
We were given lots of flowers!

So there we have it – we not only survived our first week but we loved every minute! I love how every day is like a new adventure, I’m now so excited (and a lot less fearless about what the next days, weeks and months will bring 🙂


Week 40 pregnancy update – zero days to go!

Today is my due date – and here we still are waiting 🙂 I’ve had a lovely week chilling, preparing, waiting – here’s a quick overview…

Health – blood pressure has remained high and I’ve had it checked every few days but still no other symptoms of pre-eclampsia.

Labour symptoms – only a few feelings like period pains and a bit of backache… my body must be getting ready but Bean doesnt seem to be in a rush!

Sleep – 3 times in the last week I’ve been wide awake at 4-5am and a couple of times I’ve just ended up getting up and sitting downstairs with a cuppa and the news. I haven’t even had naps those days but I have been tired in the evenings – I have a bath most nights! I’m glad Bean is due this time of year as the sun and birds are getting up when I get up 😉

It can take me a while to nod off at night so as well as a lavender bath and lavender candle in the room, we’ve actually started using Bean’s sleep aid – the tranquil turtle – and it’s lovely – wave noises and relaxing lights for about 20 mins = bliss! This was recommended to us by friends and I’ve since bought it for a couple of good friends, let’s hope it works for our Bean too!

Oh, I forgot to say in the last few updates – over the last few weeks, I’ve started snoring! My OH think it’s hilarious, apparently I quite often wake myself up by snoring – lol!

Also, I’ve had a few dreams where I thought my waters have broken but there’s not been a peep there…

Stretchmarks – still none, yay!

Highlights from the last week

  • Treated myself to a bump photoshoot – photos and post to follow once I have them – but it was a really enjoyable hour in the park posing and making Bean feel like a star 😉 (it was nice rubbing him/her for an hour!)
  • had a pedicure and free facial at the Vanity rooms in Cardiff – both treatments were VERY relaxing, I felt great afterwards and now my toes will be pretty for labour = bonus! Only cost about £45 for 2 hours of relaxing, I’d recommend Georgia if you go there…
Week 40 toes before and after pedicure!
Week 40 toes before and after pedicure!


What else we’ve been up to

  • It’s not just me who’s been nesting – my other half has been doing lots of DIY and cleaning getting the house ready for our new arrival! I did some light gardening as I wanted to do some planting as I won’t get a chance once Bean is here and I didn’t want to miss my window!
  • trying to eat dates (supposed to be good for labour etc) but I don’t really like them – I do like them wrapped in bacon as I discovered….
Dates wrapped in bacon!
Dates wrapped in bacon!

Purchases, gifts and freebies

  • Bought some elephant fabric from eBay for the nursery – we plan to make curtains/drapes and god knows what else out of them!
  • Bought an elephant door stop from Homebase (I think it was £15) – just *had* to have it! Also from Homebase – elephant and owl pictures (£5)
  • bought an exercise ball (Tesco c£7)
  • finally picked up our bounty mum-to-be pack – wasn’t going to bother til I came across this post the other day – was chuffed with the freebies especially the hooded towel as we haven’t actually bought any bathing stuff yet!
  • won (at random) £100 of John Lewis vouchers through the #GreatBritishHome challenge – was SO chuffed especially as we have seen a bathroom cupboard we want 🙂
Elephant doorstop from Homebase
Elephant doorstop from Homebase


So there we have it … Hopefully this time next week I can share my birth story with you? Or a story about trying out old wives tales to start labour? Or having a sweep? Time will tell 🙂

Birth stories round-up

Real birth stories from bloggers…

#1daytogo and I’ve spent the last week swotting up on labour, trying to be as mentally prepared as I can be – reading the books that relax me when I panic about it, and also birth stories online….. I wanted to share some of the really useful birth story blog posts I’ve read over the last weeks from the blogging community- hopefully there’s something for everyone in here for other mums-to-be…..

Key things I’ve learned for labour: stay relaxed as much as possible, and don’t worry too much about a plan – so many of these stories did not go to plan e.g. wanting an epidural but not having enough time…. but the most important thing is that all were delivered beautiful, healthy babies and that’s the most important thing ever right? It doesn’t matter how they arrived….

Thank you everyone below for sharing your stories and relaxing, educating and inspiring me – I can do this!

Hospital hypnobirth

This was one of my faves as similarly to Lucy, I am hoping for as natural birth as possible but due to high blood pressure (in my case) need to be consultant-led as opposed to midwife-led but Lucy showed it’s still possible to hypnobirth in a medical environment, following an induction and several laps of the hospital (I’ve read a lot that staying active in labour is good!)


Avoiding fear

Another hypnobirthing-inspired post – the key point here is that ‘fear induces pain and relaxation is the key to a calm birthing experience’ so in the run-up to labour… avoid negative stories! (‘ve not done that  – I’m still doing the opposite and reading EVERYTHING so I feel prepared!)


Natural birth

This one’s a great read – a natural birth story and very well-written, I love the bits of humour like exercising for 20 minutes in the early stages, having to nearly fight to get the lift/elevator up to the hospital ward and the ‘parting of the people’ as Valerie had a full on contraction entering the ward.


Valerie was also kind enough to point me towards this site which has hundreds of birth stories but I haven’t had a chance to read these yet….

Hypnobirthing, gas and air, and pethidine

Another really interesting one – Jess used hypnobirthing techniques early on (and a couple of hospital trips!) but didn’t dilate quickly enough – pethidine got her from 1cm to 9cm very quickly, interesting that the baby’s heart rate dropped but she was oblivious as she was trying to focus – I’ve read this in a couple of birth stories  (e.g. in Lucy’s above they were getting ready to intervene too) and I think it’s nice to know that midwives and medical teams don’t panic mums-to-be with telling them too much about what’s going on! (although not so nice when they tell them that the ‘ring sting’ is just about to happen!)


Induction – gas and air – diamorphine

I found this post really useful to read a lot more about what it’s like to be induced – and how long it takes, I was surprised by that so I’m not surprised diamorphine is offered as an option to get some rest-eye before getting baby out 🙂


Twin birth: C-section

Emily had a C-section for her twins, it was really useful to read about C-sections in case I end up needing one but I actually found this story most useful for 2 key reasons:

– I’m due at the same hospital Emily was due to go to, but she had to be transferred elsewhere (so worth bearing in mind that this can and does happen!)

-think carefully about who and how many people you want to visit you straight after birth as Emily found when she, her partner and twins learnt when they were having an emotionally stressful time



Claire had a very straightforward C-section but a day or so after had a scary event with blood loss which I’d not heard much about so it was very handy to read about it in case the same thing happens to me.


Induction – getting waters broken – lots of hanging around – epidural – C-section

A long read but worthwhile – Laura had a C-section after a very long couple of days including having an epidural… and lots of hanging around – it was really crazy for me to read how long all of this can take especially waiting for the theatre to be free!


Gas & air, epidural and ventouse

Emily got off to a slow start, when things got moving gas and air and epidural helped and in the end her baby was  helped out with ventouse after a pretty exhausting experience!


Emergency C-section, 6 weeks early

Gemma had pre-eclampsia (which they’re worried about me getting) and so had a tough few days before (and after) an emergency C-section, 6 weeks before due date!


If you have a birth story you’d like to share please add them with a short description in the comments below, thank you!

Updatedhere’s my birth story – I was induced, gave birth with gas and air but then needed an epidural for stitches afterwards. I tried to use as many of the natural/relaxing techniques as I could….

Some lighter reading for mums-to-be from me:

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

What’s in my hospital bag?

What to pack for labour/post-labour in hospital

So with just #3daystogo I left it slightly late to finish packing my bags although we did start a couple of weeks ago… most people suggest having it ready a month in advance but I am always a last-minute Minnie!

So, we have 2 bags – roughly 1 for labour, 1 for post-labour  (I say roughly as one is a bit fuller than the other so they’re having to share a bit of space ;)) I’ve used bags instead of a suitcase for easy access… but the labour one is full and heavy so I imagine we might re-think that before we go!

Hospital bags are packed....
Hospital bags are packed….

What’s in the labour bag?

Some essentials for labour....
Some essentials for labour….
  • 3 small bottles of water, 3 small bottles of Lucozade
  • Drinking straws (recommended by a friend who says they’re handy in case you’re in some weird positions during labour!)
  • A bag full of energy snacks e.g. brunch bars, go-ahead bars, nuts and yoghurt-covered raisins
  • my new Cath Kidston toiletries bag (thanks girls!) which has my 2 favourite facial sprays – the Elemis lavender toner, and the Body Shop Vitamin E face mist (had a third as a gift which was Simple – already used all that ooops – I love face mists!) hairbands; lavender oil with a hanky to sprinkle the oil on, lip balm (everyone says these are handy if you use gas and air as your lips get dry) and some of my fave beauty products – leg/foot gel and face cream, face wipes
  • my comfiest slipper socks (from Boux Avenue) in case my feet get cold (and if not, handy for the overnight stay!)
Energy snacks for labour!
Energy snacks for labour!

What’s in the post-labour bag?

For mummy:

Post-labour toiletries!
Post-labour toiletries!
  • Paracetamol – a friend told me these are handy post-birth as I might be in some pain and will have to wait AGES if I ask the staff for some!
  • Towel – for post-shower etc -everyone says to pack an old, dark one – well this is one of those but also has a funny story behind it – this is an ‘I love Greece’ one that I bought the day that we think Bean was conceived on – and I was sick on next to the pool as I was so hungover!
  • Toiletries bag – small samples of shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, body cream, toothbrush and toothpaste, and some sample sizes of make-up e.g. mascara, my full-size bare minerals make-up, deodorant and some nipple cream remnants (lansinoh and Asda) that my friend gave me, hairbrush
  • spare bra and a couple of breast pads (just a free sample pack I was given)
  • PJ bottoms (M&S) and a t-shirt
  • Comfy dress to wear home
  • Maternity pads
  • Disposable knickers
  • Normal knickers (M&S!)
Comfy going home dress (ebay... Mammas and Pappas)
Comfy going home dress (ebay… Mammas and Pappas)

for Bean:

Packing the hospital bag... some of Bean's first oufits
Packing the hospital bag… some of Bean’s first oufits
  • About 10 outfits – vests/sleepsuits – we’ve only packed that many due to the range in sizes! Hard to guess which ones will fit best!
  • A cardigan to wear in case it’s nippy when it’s going home time
  • Scratch mitts and hats (again a variety for size!)
  • 2 blankets (1 cellular, 1 cotton/fleece)
  • 10 nappies (Pampers size 1)
  • cotton wool pads
Enough baby outfits for hospital?
Enough baby outfits for hospital?

Other bits to add in

  • I need to get a bag of loose change for machines, parking etc
  • I still hope to sort out some music for my iPhone
  • Must remember to pack my iPhone charger on the day… oh and the hospital notes!
  • No idea what I’ll be wearing when I go in but I hope it includes comfy pumps/flip-flops that I can wear to walk around once I’m in there and coming home too
  • Arnica – sold out in the last couple of shops I’ve tried but will try and get some the next few days (heard it’s good for bruising afterwards!)
  • I also have a plastic bag in there for dirty clothes etc
  • Book – I might pack one if labour is going slowly when I leave for hospital but otherwise I can’t imagine having time to read in there  (or ever again!)

What do you think? Have I missed any essentials? (Obviously if me and/or Bean are in for a few days we’ll need daddy to get some more supplies but hoping this will be enough for an overnight stay?)

Pregnancy books – the best 5!

5 favourite books about pregnancy that helped to relax me!

The pregnancy books I read
The pregnancy books I read

Early on in my pregnancy one of my best friends lent me a stack of pregnancy books and magazines, they were all really useful and I’m not sure if I would have thought of buying any prior to that if I’m honest. I was given another as a gift from my CEO in work (!) and bought 2 based on recommendations… here are my favourite 5 books out of that stack (in no order of preference!)

#1 – ‘The pregnancy countdown book’ by Susan Magee with Kara Nakisbendi, M.D.

(c) 2006 by Susan Magee – ISBN 978-1-59474-573-7

I love all the weekly update books and email lists (I signed up for loads including NHS, Netmums, Mothercare etc) – it was always good fun to see how big baby was compared to various fruits and veg, and what was coming up in terms of baby’s development and my body!

Out of all of the weekly update books though, my favourite was this one because it was:

  • short/easy-to-read/concise/ great layout
  • generally relaxed approach and tongue-in-cheek at times e.g. when describing how to open baby shower gifts ‘you have to hold everything up so everyone can go ‘Aww’ and ‘Ooh’ and ‘Cut the cake first. That way you’ll have the strength to go on’
  • full of anecdotes from real mums for each section e.g. in a section about exercise one mum (Rena) says ‘you don’t know what kind of exerciser you’re going to be…. for me, walking was a great exercise. And in my third trimester, going to the mall counted as a workout’ (!) many of which I could relate to, and even if I couldn’t it was nice to have the ‘human touch’

Only downside is that’s it an American book, but most of it still makes sense to us Brits 🙂

#2 – ‘Mums on pregnancy’ by Carrie Longton, Justine Roberts and Rachel Foster

(c) Rachel Foster, Carrie Longton and Justine Roberts  ISBN 1 84403 0717

Staying with the ‘real tips’ theme that I like from book #1, this book is entirely made up of snippets of quotes from real mums, compiled by the founders of Mumsnet. Again, this is great as you get a ‘real’ take on everything and always a wide range of opinions which made me feel better about everything from drinking caffeine to whether to go to NCT classes or not e.g. in the ‘diet – what did you stop eating’ section:

  • ‘Well I was unknowingly evil and ate about a million raw oysters when about five months pregnant….. I’d… somehow missed the shellfish embargo. Good grief but they were tasty though!‘ (Scrummymummy)
  • ‘….I drank at least six mugs of strong… coffee during pregnancy and breastfeeding – I now have a very lively and active toddler’ (Lindy)
  • ‘I eat sushi. There, I’ve said it.‘ (Pie)

#3 – ‘What NOT to expect when you’re expecting’ by Zoe Williams

(c) Zoe Williams, 2010 ISBN 9780852652664

This is a funny, great read – an antidote to all the books about what you should and shouldn’t be doing and feeling. At times I found pregnancy to be one long worry e.g. from one scan to the next. Reads like this helped to relax me – Zoe takes a lot of pressure off mums-to-be and new mums on topics from alcohol (devoting a chapter to proving that there’s no proof that a couple of drinks does any harm) to the pressures to breastfeed.
All of this done is through great writing and humour – an easy, essential read. I remember taking my other half to A&E after he took a knock at football, and I was just sat there reading this paragraph laughing out loud! This was argument #33 she remembers having with her boyfriend – if you had any funny, irrational, hormonal arguments hopefully you’ll find this funny:

‘We had argument after argument about room temperature in our bedroom… You’re meant to have it really low otherwise babies catch cot death, and yet you can never let it get low enough without freezing your over-exposed tits off and C says ‘what this room needs is a throughput of air’ and I thought he said ‘Rupert the Bear’, and normally I would think ‘Well, I just misheard my beloved’ but on this occasion, I thought, ‘This idiot, how would Rupert the Bear help? How would we even get hold of Rupert the Bear?”

#4 – ‘Spiritual midwifery’ by Ina May Gaskin

(c) 1975, 1977, 1980, 1990, 2002 Book Publishing Company ISBN 13 978-1-57067-104-3

Everytime I get nervous thinking about labour I come back to this book and read a couple of the birth stories. Long story short, Ina May is a guru who pioneered natural home births in the States and this book is full of positive birth stories based on that, with some of the main learnings for labour from a wide range of birth stories being:

  • relax!!!!
  • look lovingly into your partners eyes
  • cuddle and smooch your way through labour – loose lips above creates loose lips below ;p
  • ‘don’t complain, it makes things worse’

If you do this, you can expect to feel ‘rushes’ not ‘contractions’ and hallucinations… and a natural, drug-free birth 🙂 ‘Over and over again, I’ve seen that the best way to get a baby out is by cuddling and smooching with your husband. That loving, sexy vibe is what puts the baby in there, and that’s what gets it out too’ (Cara)

I particularly like the story about a baby who was talking a while to get out, so, in established labour, the couple got married and the baby popped out as he/she obviously wanted to enter into the world of a married family! (My other half wasn’t having ANY of this!)

So an essential read if you’re interested in natural birth – reading it relaxes me and inspires me.

To be honest if you’re not interested in natural birth you’ll probably find it a good laugh including all the photos from the 60’s and 70’s and the language used 🙂

#5 – ”Hypnobirthing’ by Marie Mongan

(c) 1992, 1998, 2005 by Marie F. Mongan

I’m not aiming for a hypnobirth – I haven’t been on a course/ bought the CD/practised anything from this book but again it was really useful reading when it came to thinking about a pain-free, natural birth.

I found the intro an interesting read in terms of how as recently as the 70’s women were tied to the bed and babies delivered under general anaethsthetic compared with the way some African women still give birth – taking a break from work and just leaning against a wall! Main learnings and techniques for a natural, pain-free labour are:

  • Breathing
  • Relaxation
  • Visualisation e.g. putting yourself somewhere where you are relaxed like on a beach
  • Affirmations e.g. telling yourself over and over again ‘I feel confident, I feel safe, I feel secure’

with lots of examples for each. Similar to book #4, they suggest a calm atmosphere and using love-making to bring on labour: ‘hugs before drugs’

Critics of this book argue that there’s no such thing a pain-free labour, I have no idea as I haven’t been through it but, similarly to book #4 this book has lots of practical exercises on how to relax in the early stages – which has to be worth a shot!

So I hope you found this round-up useful – essentially all of these 5 books have helped to relax me throughout my pregnancy whether it was worrying about having a glass of wine or wondering how I will get through labour! (I’ve included links so that you can buy them but of course check out your local bookshops too!)

If you found it useful please share it via social media or leave a comment, thanks 🙂