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

Routines

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 ÂŁ25 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?

#BabyBabble
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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 ÂŁ45 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 ÂŁ15) – just *had* to have it! Also from Homebase – elephant and owl pictures (ÂŁ5)
  • bought an exercise ball (Tesco cÂŁ7)
  • 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) ÂŁ100 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!)

http://www.bakedpotatomummy.co.uk/a-hospital-hypnobirth/

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!)

http://zenas-suitcase.co.uk/2014/02/21/childbirth-the-first-one/

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.

http://atlantamomofthree.net/2012/09/07/samuels-natural-childbirth/

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!)

http://lilypodandsweetpea.com/labour-story-main-event/

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 🙂

http://chicgeekdiary.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/my-birth-story.html

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

http://www.twinmummyanddaddy.com/2013/08/our-birth-story_19.html

C-section

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.

http://www.clairebellaloves.blogspot.co.uk/

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!

http://lifelovelaura.com/eviction-day-my-labour-story/

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!

http://emilyandindiana.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/my-labour-and-delivery-story.html

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!

http://www.sunshineonacloudyday.co.uk/2014/02/my-pregnancy-birth-story.html?m=1

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 🙂

 

Week 39 pregnancy update (I got my weeks wrong last week!)

#7daystogo

Yes baby brain had well and truly kicked in when I wrote last week’s update – I was 38 weeks gone not 39! So today I am 39 weeks pregnant – #7daystogo

It’s been a funny old week:

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!

 

canal-side Bean at 38+1 weeks
canal-side Bean at 38+1 weeks

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!

Tommee Tippee breast pump - gift of the week!
Tommee Tippee breast pump – gift of the week!

Purchases for me –

  • some pumps from Next – *needed* some comfy shoes!
Comfy summer shoes from Next
Comfy summer shoes from Next
  • 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
  • datesI read this article about the benefits of eating dates in late pregnancy, including lowering blood pressure so I might have left it too late but will give it a try nonetheless!

 

Purchases for Bean – this adorable elephant from Tiger for just ÂŁ4! (the nursery is still WIP but we’re trying to give it an elephant feel)

Purchase of the week - Elephant from Tiger (ÂŁ4)
Purchase of the week – Elephant from Tiger (ÂŁ4)

and some hats from Tesco as we only had 1 hat and apparently they need to wear them a lot (got 2 sizes in case he/she really does have a big head ;))

Hospital hats for Bean!
Hospital hats for Bean!

So, 1 week to go…. wonder when Bean will make his/her big appearance?!

Binky Linky

Competition Entry: #GreatBritishHome

I didn’t plan to enter many competitions on my blog but when I saw the Victoria Plumb #GreatBritishHome competition, I couldn’t resist as I love John Lewis so wanted to be in with a chance to win vouchers!

So I took the beautiful-looking quiz and I was pretty surprised when it said I am Mrs Glamorous and my style is most like Sam Faiers from TOWIE…

‘Everything about you screams glamour; you always look photo-ready, whether you are working out, shopping in designer boutiques or snuggled up at home in your designer onesie. You crave home comforts that make a statement – a faux fur blanket, embellished cushions and lots of crushed velvet. You use neutral shades mixed with metallic. Pride of place are family portraits, kitchen gadgets and the keys to your Range Rover.’

About 99% of this is not me at all – the only bits I can relate to are snuggling up in a onesie (non-designer), loving faux fur blankets and family portraits!

So what does the Great British Home mean to me?
Comfort, functionality, security, relaxation, lived-in, low-maintenance….

My ideal home would have….

  • lots of natural light
  • some period features – I love old fireplaces, parquet flooring and curtain rails etc
  • house plants and family/holiday photos
  • a large kitchen/diner with an island in the middle that became the heart of the home (I’m imagining lots of wood)… this would open out on to…
  • another room in terms of a large garden with plenty of room for Bean and the cats to play in…teeming with pretty plants and shrubs… maybe a blossom tree… and plenty of nice-smelling, bee-friendly flowers like Lavender…
  • a living room with comfy sofas and an open fire – the perfect place to snuggle up with wine and a movie in the winter
  • bedrooms with large, comfy beds and calm, relaxing dĂ©cor
  • hallways/landing with large windows, I love those ones where you can sit on the windowsill and watch the world going by
  • a large bathroom with a huge bath… maybe free-standing? maybe Jacuzzi-style?… and a powerful power shower
  • a magic room which all the mess and clutter lives in and gets sorted out every few months…. DON’T OPEN THAT DOOR! 😉
  • a happy family
  • friendly, caring neighbours
  • happy cats

What does the Great British Home mean to you and What’s your Celeb home style?!

This post is an entry for the #GreatBritishHome Challenge sponsored by Victoria Plumb, a source of quality bathrooms for every type of home. Take its “What’s Your Celebrity Home Style?” quiz to discover what your home says about you

A mum-to-be’s girly spa weekend at Center Parcs, Longleat

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 ÂŁ90 each for 3 nights and I think we paid about ÂŁ70 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 morning at Center Parcs
      Saturday morning at Center Parcs
    • 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!
Spoilt rotten with gifts from the girls - Mammas and Pappas' baby set, Johnson's baby set, Sanctuary mum-to-be set, Bean's first book and more
Spoilt rotten with gifts from the girls – Mammas and Pappas’ baby set, Johnson’s baby set, Sanctuary mum-to-be set, Bean’s first book and more
  • 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!
Sunday afternoon at Center Parcs
Sunday afternoon at Center Parcs
  • 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!)
Spring toes!
Pedicured Center parcs toes in lilac

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?