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 £4! (the nursery is still WIP but we’re trying to give it an elephant feel)

Purchase of the week - Elephant from Tiger (£4)
Purchase of the week – Elephant from Tiger (£4)

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
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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 décor
  • 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 £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 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?

Week 39 pregnancy update

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 🙂

Private room in the maternity-led unit, UHW
Private room in the maternity-led unit, UHW

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

Gifts:

  • 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 🙂
Leaving gifts from work: spa treat, cupcakes, teddy and babygro :)
Leaving gifts from work: spa treat, cupcakes, teddy and babygro 🙂

 

orange and pink flowers
Beautiful flowers from an agency we work with

Best pregnancy beauty products for mums-to-be

My favourite maternity beauty products

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

My body butters
My selection of body butters – all gifts from family and friends – thank you!

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

Clarins bliss in a bottle
Clarins tonic Bath& Shower Concentrate: Bliss!

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 🙂

Lovely sample sized Clarins products
Clarins freebies (gift with purchase)

#2 – Soap and Glory Beauty Sleep Accelerator

Miracle Product!
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

My lifesaver!
Fave product – instant refreshment – Sanctuary Cooling Leg and Foot 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…)

Babymoon in Sensatori Tenerife

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)…..

Bikini bean
Bikini bean

And the first few sunsets looked like this….

Sunset at sensatori Tenerife
Beautiful sunset
Palm trees, sunset, tenerife
Palm trees, sunset, outside sensatori tenerife

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!

http://www.thomson.co.uk/destinations/europe/spain/tenerife/guia-de-isora/hotels/sensatori-tenerife.html

50 days to go! Best things about being pregnant

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 🙂

So…

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
  • Warm baths
  • Pregnancy yoga
  • 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?