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…
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….
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 🙂
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 🙂
#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!
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!)
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!)
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.
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!)
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 🙂
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!
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!
What’s in the labour bag?
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!)
What’s in the post-labour bag?
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
Normal knickers (M&S!)
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
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?)
5 favourite books about pregnancy that helped to relax me!
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:
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:
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 🙂
High blood pressure and goodbye to the maternity-led unit
Blood Pressure remains high and quite unpredicatable so saw the consultant a week ago and had my BP checked every couple of days since – this means I’m definitely going to be consultant-led which I was a bit gutted about after having seen the midwife-led unit and dreaming of a relaxing, home-from-home, natural labour…
Oh and we also had an unexpected scan where the sonographer laughed as she said ‘it’s measuring big’ eeeeek! At 38 weeks, the head was measuring at 42 weeks and it also has a big tummy but normal length legs…..
I’m still hoping for as natural birth as possible but obviously being consultant-led (and the potential of a big baby!) increases the chance of intervention so I’ve been reading up a bit on epidurals (good for lowering blood pressure), assisted deliveries and C-sections just in case any of these happen!
I’ve got to keep remembering that the important thing is Bean arrives safely… it doesn’t matter how! (And so many people have told me how they’ve got measurements so wrong!)
Goodbye work, hello leisure!
A week in, and I’ve already forgotten how to do my job! If it wasn’t for the high blood pressure I would have been checking in on emails etc but I’ve forced myself to switch off and it has been lovely!
I’ve had a mix of relaxing and keeping busy…
Good Friday – sunny so I spent most of the day in the garden, dug up some dead flowers then sat in the sun reading
Saturday – met up with my parents in Brecon including a lovely lunch at Tipple and Tiffins and a relaxing boat trip down the canal – highlight was seeing some cute ducklings!
Easter Sunday – a big dinner at the in-laws, yum yum!
Easter Monday – another sunny day so sat in the garden again reading, sis came to stay over and we watched Frozen.. brilliant!
Tuesday – sis came with me to my BP test at the hospital then we had a look round some shops (including the adorable clothes at Next and Mammas and Pappas!) and a delicious lunch in the new Pieminister shop in Cardiff
Wednesday – lovely lunch with my mate Gemma at Corner House, and stocked up in Poundland and Boots on some toiletries for my hospital bag.. and cleaning products…. #Nesting! Also briefly caught up with my mate Zoe and my god-daughter who is a very cute 14 month old, starting to talk a lot – she took great delight in pulling my top up and down to see and then hide Bean!
Thursday – BP check, Tesco shop then a lovely day chilling at home followed by a dinner at Penarth Pier 64 with Ceri and Shell – good food and great location, definitely want to go back there!
Other weekly updates:
Stretchmarks: still none 🙂
Baby’s movements: still a wriggly little (or big!) thing
Sleep: I seem to wake up about 4-5am every night. Once I’m awake whether that be 6, 7 or 8 then I can’t get back to sleep – my body must be getting me ready for this upcoming sleep deprivation! Last night was the worst – woke up at 3 and eventually got up at 5.30!
Gifts: a lovely girl I met on a mums-to-be Facebook group sent me a breast pump for free as she already has one so didn’t need it, bless her!
Purchases for me –
some pumps from Next – *needed* some comfy shoes!
couple of maternity t-shirts from eBay
a variety of energy snacks for labour
toiletries for hospital – spare deodorant, toothbrush etc so I don’t forget to pack mine etc
So back in early March (c30 weeks) I had a fab first trip to Center Parcs and I wanted to share my thoughts on it as I think it’s a perfect place for mums-to-be (and hopefully new mums!)
We were organising a spa weekend for 6 of us, spread across the country and it turns out that Center Parcs was surprisingly good value – their basic accommodation was just about £90 each for 3 nights and I think we paid about £70 each for a spa day (a bit of a splurge but one of the best spas I’ve been to – more on that later)
Here’s how our weekend went:
Friday – arrived at our cabin in the Firs part of the park and we were all pleasantly surprised by the quality of the basic accommodation – comfy sofas, comfy beds, nice linen etc. One of the girls had brought a home-made lasagne with them which was v yummy and after dinner we all got into our PJ’s and put face masks on – relaxing, good fun and a good way of preparing our skin for the spa day 🙂
Saturday – after a great night’s sleep, it was wonderful to wake up to a fresh, sunny day…. opened the patio doors to wonderful light and peace and quiet…bliss!
Saturday Spa day – We got there about 10am and had a pastry (delicious vanilla and raspberry one for me) and hot drink as part of our package. The spa was fantastic – as I was pregnant I couldn’t use the plethora of saunas and steam rooms but I made sure I had a good nosey around them and they all smelt and felt amazing (e.g. lemongrass) and no signs of wear and tear as you see at so many other spas. Although I couldn’t use the rooms, it was nice enough to sit in the relaxation areas with magazines, and get into the small but cute outdoor pool in the sun. Lunch was part of our package and it was really tasty – I had a pasta dish but everything else looked great too!
Decleor mum-to-be treatment
Saturday spa treatments – Most of us had booked treatments and I plumped for the ‘Decleor sumptuous mother-to-be’hour long treatment which was just what I needed – it started on my legs with a variety of massaging and refreshing gels/creams… moved up to the bump and gave bump a tummy mask which felt divine… and then finished off with a facial. I lost the leaflet she gave me with all the products on it so I can’t tell you what they all were, but it was my first time trying any Decleor and I wanted them all (but behaved and didn’t buy any!). I felt refreshed and relaxed afterwards and apparently looked ‘glowing’ according to my friends. It was another splurge at £55 but worth every penny!
Saturday night – we had another night in with pizzas and even thought it wasn’t a weekend for me specifically, the girls had clubbed together to get me some lovely presents so it felt like a baby shower 🙂 I was given everything from a mug that I could drink out of while feeding, a Cath Kidston bag, a Sanctuary mum-to-be set (and you will already know how much I love that stuff) to a gorgeous Johnson’s set including bag, changing mat and baby toiletries… I felt spoil rotten, I love those girls!
Sunday – swim time! Sunday morning most of us headed down to the free pool, it was another beautiful sunny morning and the outdoor pool was even warmer than the pool in the spa the day before. So while the girls checked out the rapids and flumes, this pregnant momma sat in the warm water with the sun beating down on me… occasionally swimming about a few metres here and there… bliss!
Sunday afternoon we spent the afternoon down at the Sports complex as some of us watched England vs Wales (6 nations rugby) while the others did a Zumba class! When we walked over to the shopping complex (they have a beautiful gift shop) 2 deer ran out right in front of us! We tried booking a restaurant for dinner but had left it too late so that night we had a mix of Chinese and Indian take-away… nothing amazing but just what we needed!
Monday morning pedicures – 3 of us loved the Spa so much that we thought we’d go back for another treat before leaving on Monday so we all booked in for a Marine Spa Pedicure – our feet got a good scrub, mask and moisture followed by a nail treatment and colour – I went for a Spring-like lilac colour 🙂 I’m sure every mum-to-be and mummy would agree that feet during pregnancy need all the help they can get! (I should add that the polish lasted for ages… I still have it on now nearly 2 months later, am well overdue another pedicure!)
While we were there I saw lots of other mums-to-be, but also lots of newborns and lots of families. I loved our girly weekend there – it was SO relaxing and we loved our chalet – it was comfy and had everything we needed. There is a land train that takes you around as it was quite tough walking so much at 30 weeks but would love to do more walking and cycling next time – it was lovely seeing babies being cycled around by their parents 🙂 (Also, there’s LOADS of activities you can do there – the treetop activity looked like fun!)
I REALLY want to go back once Bean is here and a few months old – I love the idea of long nature-filled walks, and I love the idea that if we have a noisy Bean that it doesn’t matter as the neighbours won’t be able to hear a thing 🙂 We could take some in-laws or friends with us so that me and other half could use the lovely spa together for a few hours… and they have a babysitting service… here’s hoping…
Center Parcs, if you’re reading this I hope to come back soon (and even sooner if you want me to review any services ;))
Has anyone else been to Center Parcs with their babies? Would you recommend it?
15 days to go ’til due-date – what we’ve been up to…
It’s been a busy week for Bean, the other half and me….
Had a scan a week ago to make sure baby was in the right position (as he/she was still in breech a few weeks before) – good news: Bean is head-down 🙂
While we were there, my blood pressure was a bit high which the consultant was a bit worried about so I’ve had to go up to the hospital to get it checked 3 times since then (yesterday’s reading was ok at 148/95 but still a bit high) – we’ll be back up there again today
Had the whopping cough vaccination
Had a hospital tour (both wards: midwife-led (amazing!!) and consultant-led)
Had a fun afternoon out with my team, learning how to decorate cupcakes
Finished work yesterday
Pretty much finished the new kitchen
Chose which outfits we’re taking to the hospital for Bean 🙂
I also had a busy but lovely weekend catching up with friends and going to a lovely christening.. and all the time, the sun has been shining 🙂
Things I’ve learnt in the last few weeks about pregnancy, myself and blood pressure!
These things aren’t great for blood pressure so late in your pregnancy:
Sending your work handover emails just a couple of days before you finish
Still clearing your desk minutes before you need to finish work
Travelling to London for your last vendor meeting just a week before you finish work
Giving a presentation to 60-70 peers in your last week (and just doing the slides that morning, and not practising!)
Having a new kitchen fitted 😉
Having said all that, I’m actually surprised that my blood pressure is a bit high – I feel pretty good but the things listed above were probably on my mind… to offset it I went back to NCT yoga this week, and I’ve been reading ‘Spiritual Midwifery’ (Ina May Gaskin) and ‘Hypnobirthing’ Marie Mongan) – more on those in another post but they have both helped to relax me!
Any other pregnancy updates?
Total weight gained: 2 stone (28 lbs/12.8 kgs)
New purchases: TENS machine (still in box), PJ bottoms for hospital
Baby’s movement: Plenty, especially during the early hours of the morning
Sleep: see above
see photos for work gifts (I’m a very lucky girl),
we also picked up the car seat and moses basket which friends are very kindly lending us
my friend Fran gave us a really cute babygro from John Lewis
my friend Zoe gave us some handy towels for the changing mat, a teddy that Bean can play with from day 1, very cute scratch mitts and she lent me another book and gave me some nipple cream 🙂
I’ve been spoilt rotten with beauty products during my pregnancy – I was given a LOAD for Christmas (when I was 4 months pregnant), some more by friends during an impromptu mini-baby-shower…. and I’ve treated myself to a few pieces 🙂
I’ve always enjoyed baths, but since being pregnant I’ve enjoyed them a million times more, especially as my legs have become achier and achier! With all the baths, and all the products I was given, I’ve really enjoyed pampering my body far more than I ever have before – using scrub and lotion/cream every time I wash!
So what do I think is worth investing in as a treat (or a present for a mum-to-be)? In reverse order…
#4 – Body butters in general
I was given a lot of these, and I’m still alternating between them… Body Shop Cocoa Butter, Mama Bee, Sanctuary collagen-boosting cream and they’re all delicious – rich but soak in easily, smell lovely and most importantly the combination seems to have kept stretchmarks away (I know, I know, they’re genetic!) *keeps everything crossed*
#3 – Clarins Tonic bath and shower gel
This was a splurge at £19 last week – an impulse buy when I stocking up on skincare and saw that they had a ‘gift with purchase’ on. I nearly bought a facewash but once I got to chatting to the girl about pregnancy products, I ended up buying this bath/shower gel.
This is THE most expensive bubble bath I have EVER bought but boy is it worth every penny?! It should last a while as you only need to use a little bit… it’s very bubbly and the best thing is it smells DELICIOUS as it’s a mix of essential oils like Rosewood, geranium etc
It’s part of the ‘toning’ range so it’s supposed to be good against stretchmarks too = bonus!
And here’s the free gift I got – there were 3 to choose from and I chose this one as the body lotion was ‘extra-firming’ – yet more to add to the pile of body creams I’m using 🙂
#2 – Soap and Glory Beauty Sleep Accelerator
Another impulse purchase when I was in Boots stocking up on baby essentials. I had read about this in one of the mother/baby magazines so when I saw it on offer with 1/3 off I couldn’t resist!
I’ve only used it twice but both times I’ve used it, I’ve had compliments on my skin the next day – 3 times in total! This isn’t a typical occurrence so for that reason it makes it to my #2 as it must be working even if I don’t particularly notice the difference!
It does make my skin feel soft and moisturised in the morning, and it has a lovely smell of peaches (which is saying something as I don’t normally like peach-smelling stuff!)
Let’s see if this miracle product still works miracles once baby bean is here and the sleepless nights begin!
#1 – Sanctuary mum-to-be Cooling foot and leg gel
Why is this my number 1 product for mums-to-be? Instant relief!
My legs have gotten so achy lately and this really is cooling and refreshing and that feeling lasts for a good thirty minutes or so, by which time I’ve long-forgotten about the pains! You know that feeling when you put after sun on sunburnt skin? It’s kinda like that…
I’m a lucky girl – I was given 2 of these and still have plenty left. It’s something I wouldn’t have thought of buying, never would have thought it would be so refreshing and doesn’t seem as exotic as some of the other products I mentioned!
Hope this is useful – I’d love to hear which products you enjoyed using, plus any tips for beauty products for new mums (I’d like a tinted BB cream to slap on quickly and easily but no idea which are any good…)
I was lucky enough to have 3 babymoon’s really…. the week we found out we were having a baby, we had already booked to go to London for the weekend…. we had a great time (Natural History Museum, the show ‘Wicked’) but it was slightly more subdued that it would have been if I hadn’t taken the test (i.e. I would have gotten ‘tipsy’) and I was SO tired! About a month later, we went to the beautiful Lake District for 5 nights which was highly relaxing and just what I needed = fresh air, nice food and sleeeeep!
But the piece de resistance was a late-deal to Thomson’s Sensatori hotel in Tenerife in February. I was 27-28 weeks pregnant, so we had it left slightly late but:
– my midwife gave me a letter for the airlines
– I checked up on the local hospitals out there (all looked good)
– we got our EHIC cards (free healthcare in EU)
– I checked the small print on my travel insurance policy to make sure I was covered (I’d been caught out by lack of travel cover previously)
So we were good to go 🙂
It’s always great to leave cold, wet, windy Britain for some winter Sun and we weren’t disappointed.. for the first few days this was my attire (tankini from JoJo Maman LeBebe)…..
And the first few sunsets looked like this….
While the UK was getting battered by storms, we too had some windy, rainy days in the middle of our break – what a great excuse to take full advantage of our fantastic, huge room and catch-up with movies. (oh and while the rain lashed down I also treated myself to a pedicure – much-needed treat for my swollen feet, she gave my calves a nice rub too :))
We couldn’t fault the hotel…
-great choice of restaurants and all good quality (including the best buffet restaurant I have ever been to!)
-room was large, spacious, biggest bed I’ve ever slept in!
-2 main swimming pools, we stayed by the family pool as the water was warmer than the stunning infinity pool (and there was a bit more action there too)
-beautiful lobby! (fountain show every night :))
– good mix of people, lots of other couples on their babymoons, young families with babies as well as older couples
-good fitness/activity programme – I did try and make it to a ‘sunset stretch’ class but got confused by the use of the 24 hour clock 😉
– the hotel was right on the coast – lovely promenade so nice walks – but was quite surreal as you could also clearly see the island’s volcano which seemed to be surrounded by snow?!
– right next to a small fishing village called Alcala – some cute bars and cafes, and a funny market on a Monday morning (a mix of nice, local crafts…. and fake tat!). If you’re lucky you can see turtles from Alcala harbour
-green incentive – if you chose not to have your room cleaned you got 20euros per day to spend at the hotel – we chose to only have our room cleaned once while we were there so these green credits went towards a couple of glasses of champagne, and some wine for my other half… we didn’t spend any other money there!
There were 2 other bonuses to the holiday in addition to the sleep, relaxing and great food…
1 – no cooking or washing-up! I didn’t realise how much these had become such a chore!
2 – leaving Tenerife, at the check-out desk the man took my letter from my midwife and proceeded to call someone (in Spanish obv!) – I was slightly nervous at this point that for some reason I might be stuck in Spain (I can think of worse things!!) but when he gave us our boarding passes it turns out he’d given us extra legroom for free #cashback 🙂
So there you have it, not everyone can afford a holiday abroad but I would recommend to any mum-to-be to try and have a break away somewhere – even if just for a few days – it really relaxed me, thank you Sensatori!
50 days to go ’til our little bean is due…. how quickly time has gone!
I feel so blessed and lucky that I’ve had a really easy pregnancy, and much of that is due to my other half who’s done an amazing job looking after me (spoiling me!), getting involved in all aspects and taking on more of the chores etc!
I’m 33 weeks gone today and just yesterday I had a scan which showed that our bean is still very healthy and surprisingly on the large side! Bean is still in breech so we’re booked in for a 37 week scan but hopefully he/she will have turned around by then 🙂
Things I’ve loved about being pregnant
The obvious, but having a baby growing inside of you is the best – those special moments like when your bump starts showing and when you feel (and see) bean move for the first time
Scans – seeing our wriggling bean on screen at 12 and 20 weeks were both special moments that will stay with us forever
Everyone being lovely – I’ve never had so many people asking how I am, and how things are going. People seem genuinely interested and that’s a lovely feeling 🙂
Hearing a lot of different labour stories, and been given a lot of tips and advice – genuinely useful
Making new friends due at the same time, from all over the world, via a Facebook group (who needs to pay all that money to do NCT when you can get the same level of support in a virtual world?!)
Buying new clothes (and becoming addicted to eBay in the process) because you have to – nothing fits anymore!
The laughs every time we discovered I couldn’t fit into certain items of clothes – a nice feeling that my body was expanding to look after our little bean
Friends lending you stuff like a big bag of maternity clothes, a pile of books and magazines, a moses basket and car seat
Family,friends and even agencies I work with digging deep to buy lovely gifts for me and bean… clothes, body butters, chocolates, a lambskin blanket…
Home-made gifts like a teddy from a best friend’s mum and an elephant teddy from my mum
My dad digging out the cot that he made when I was a baby, and my great-grandmother’s high-chair
Shopping becomes so much fun – like our bargain Bugaboo, our must-have nursery furniture, cute l’il outfits and even buying the essentials like nappies and wipes
Eating more (enough said!)
Not going off certain foods
Not having morning sickness, not being overly hormonal or emotional 🙂
Things I’ve not liked about being pregnant
The tiredness, lethargy and achiness – some days I’ve ached from head to toe
Pelvic floor exercises (a necessary evil in my opinion!)
Ummmm I think that’s it!
What do you think? What did you love/hate about being pregnant?