Saturday, 29 October 2016

A Nice Nappy Bin? #binbeautiful

I think it's safe to say times have well and truly changed: you know your a mum when your getting excited over a nappy bin...

When decorating Harrison's nursery, I was determined to have nothing garish, which is easier said than done in the world of nursery decoration. Since we knew we were Team Blue from the get-go, we had the option of decorating with a boy in mind, but a lot of the blue accessories were just too bright and out there for my liking. I wanted white and baby blue, as understated as possible, and that was about it. Unfortunately for us, it's hard to find a nappy bin that can be described as understated. It's not exactly what people look for in a bin for poo'ey nappies, so I can understand why they are few and far between. When Cheeky Rascals' offered to send us one of the new Korbell Nappy Bins to review - I all but jumped at the chance.
nappy bin korbell Cheeky Rascalls nice bin subtle pastel blue

Friday, 28 October 2016

H is One Week Old

Harrison is no longer days old, that is absolutely crazy. Well, he is still days old, but that's not how we'll count. It's weeks now. Before we know it it'll be months, and that is even crazier. This week has been the most mentally, physically and emotionally exhausting week of my life, but it has also already been the best. Harrison is perfect: an absolute pest at night, completely draining, and leaves me covered in sick, pee or poo 90% of the time, but still completely perfect. This week has absolutely flew in, it is crazy to think that only a 8 days ago he was still in my stomach, and now I can't imagine life without him.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

How Do Parents Unwind?

Prior to being a parent - I'd happily unwind in the gym, or at the pub, or in the midst of a binge watching marathon in my bed, after though, somehow I don't think I'll quite manage to unwind doing those...

The last week has been the most stressful, tiring, yet rewarding week of my life so far - nothing can quite prepare you for life as a mum, and I can only imagine that from here, my stress levels aren't going to decrease any. Everyone told me to make the most of the end of my maternity leave, to sleep when I can, to make the most of the last few hours I had binge watching box sets in bed by myself, even having a spare half hour to have a bath in peace, as I wouldn't have it when Harrison arrived. They weren't wrong. Finding time to shower at the minute is a struggle never mind have a relaxing bath, so the time I've been able to amass to relax I've used wisely. Unwinding as a parent is a different experience, that is for sure, but you definitely appreciate it so much more. With a newborn, they are asleep A LOT, but aren't exactly independent, so your never really relaxed. Rattan Direct are in the midst of conducting a survey about how parents unwind around the home, and whilst I was filling this out it really got me thinking about the various things I've done in the past week or so to try and still feel remotely human. If you have a spare minute, fill out the survey - it's quick and it really gets you thinking about the different ways you actually spend your time...

Unwinding At Home


Sunday, 23 October 2016

The Birth Story

pregnancy blog birth story baby J natural labour no interventions

I'll start this off by saying this may well be a slightly unrealistic version of labour - I've either gotten extremely lucky, or I have the pain tolerance of a god, but I don't think my labour could have gone better had I wrote it myself. Our little boy was born on the Friday 21st October at 3.15am - and I think I speak for both myself and Jordan when I say we've never loved such a little person so quickly or so much. At this point, I'm exhausted, mentally, physically and emotionally, but I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat. Labour was my biggest fear, but my biggest surprise. Here's Baby J's story.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

My Pregnancy Essentials

I am so pleased to be able to say that this will be the last post I have to write while pregnant, thank the lord. With an induction planned for tomorrow morning at 8am, I thought I'd take today to reflect on my pregnancy and the various ways I made it easier for myself. How surreal to think that by the end of this weekend our little boy will finally be here... I'm so excited - I've hated pregnancy, but everyone's said the end result will be worth it, and I don't doubt that for a second.

As I've said, I have hated pregnancy, and so I've relied heavily on a few different products to see me through the various stages, if I found it bad with these, I truly don't know what I'd have done without. It really does come down to the little things in the end that just make you all that little more comfortable - and I would highly recommend all of the things below. (Apart from maybe the first one.... maybe give that one a miss if you can).

First Trimester

Ah ignorance is truly truly bliss. I made it through the entirety of my first trimester - and pretty much all of my second - without having a clue I was pregnant, and I can honestly not complain about any of  the first part of my pregnancy. I was still squatting twice my bodyweight for sets at 3 months in the gym, and was still comfortably running a mile and a half in 11 minutes to meet the fitness standard for work at 6 months pregnant - I was not fussed by it at all. I honestly think most of the downsides of pregnancy are in your head - or at least they were for me. The minute I found out I was pregnant, I suddenly became more tired, more inclined to curl up on the couch with a take-away, and a lot less likely to be active - which was ultimately my downfall, as I talked about here. Although ignorance is not something you can simply order Next Day Delivery on Amazon, being aware of how you are feeling, and being realistic about these feelings can help a lot. Knowing wether you are actually tired, and sick, and really need a good old take-away, or wether your just simply feeling sorry for yourself, is key.

Clean Diet and Consistent Exercise
As I said, this wasn't something I done actively because I knew about my pregnancy and wanted to make it easier, but I do believe it had something to do with how easy the entire first part of my pregnancy was. I ate an extremely regimented diet, with a lot of protein and little fat, and trained daily, which ultimately held off the weight gain and lethargy for a good while, which was key to how comfortable I was.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Yes, I'm STILL Pregnant

There is nothing more frustrating than going past your due date: every minute of the last 9 months, relies on your due date being the be all and end all of pregnancy. I'm being dramatic, but the last how many months have just been one big lie. I've hated pregnancy and made no secret of it, and the only thing that was getting me through - obviously ignoring the obvious bundle of joy at the end of the tunnel - was the 14th October. On the 14th October I'd have my baby and everything would be great. It's now the 18th, and low and behold, no baby, and no end in sight. I should be induced within the next few days if nothing happens, but thats still little comfort following the frustration you feel when your due date comes and goes and nothing happens.

At this point in time, I'm more hormonal and irrational than before, and nothing anyone says is really helping all that much. If you know someone in this situation though, I can make some very strong recommendations on what NOT to say to someone who is overdue. Believe you me, your better off saying nothing than going with anyone of these...

Sunday, 16 October 2016

What They Don't Tell You About Living Together

In the next week or so, two will become three, and I can't help but wonder how much everything will change. One of the main things obviously, will be our living situation. We've heard all of the horror stories about newborns, and I like to think we are ready for it, but without a doubt it'll hit us like a tonne of bricks still. There are some things that no one can prepare you for. Looking back, even moving in with a boyfriend had a good few of these. The lack of privacy, kissing goodbye to personal space, the washing up debates, sure, I was prepared for that. There was a good few few key points I never thought about, and that no one told me about before moving in with your better half. I thought it would be nice to list the things that shocked me a bit, just before it all changes yet again...

1. The Smell

It's not a bad smell - at least, not the majority of the time. But there is a distinct change in scent. It's just boy smell. There's a constant musk that no amount of Vanilla candles or open windows can mask,   and although you get accustomed to it, every so often, you'll get a whiff and wonder how you've not been noticing it all along. It's a good thing I don't mind boy smell, it comes with the territory, but it is different to what I've been used to for the past 21 years.. Whilst on the subject of smells actually, the wardrobe will never ever be the same again after adding the collection of football boots and trainers to the floor- nothing can bring it back after that, plain nasty.

2. Expect a Bedside Drinks Tray


Friday, 14 October 2016

40 Week Update

This better be my last update, I swear to goodness....
Today is my due date. I've made it the entire 40 weeks, and if bubba would like to make an appearance today that would be absolutely perfect. Somehow though, I don't think I'll be quite so lucky.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Newborn Clothing Haul

I've tried not to be excessive with clothes shopping for the little one - I really truly have, but my version of excessive and everyone else's is probably very different and I may have still managed to go slightly overboard by normal standards. I could be here for hours showing everything I've bought Baby J in the past few months, so I've tried to whittle it down to just a few of the shops that have been really good for newborn baby clothes, as I've actually found it difficult to find clothes that I really like for him. I've always been a bit of a prude when it came to newborn clothes, and I like what I like - I'd always said I'd only have my baby in white, blue and grey while he's a newborn, but that does limit you a lot in what you can actually buy. Although I knew his sex from the get-go, I'm drawn to team yellow and I love everything unisex, much to Jordan's dismay, who has wanted him in a tracksuit since Day 1. Not a chance...

It goes without saying that most of his clothes in the early days will be sleepsuits, he won't be in dungarees permanently... but I haven't included them in this post just to save it getting even moreso excessive than it probably already is.

1. Mothercare

I truly did not ever think I'd like Mothercare as much as I have done during this pregnancy - I always went on about Baby Zara and how much I loved the clothes from there, but when it came down to the Newborn stage, I couldn't get over the pastels and muted colours in Mothercare - plus it was really affordable for the quality of the items. The Peter Rabbit items especially just feel so soft and luxurious, which was surprising as they really weren't all that expensive at all. A lot of the items I'd bought were sleepsuits and vests, which I didn't realise until I grouped it altogether, so there isn't actually nearly as much as I thought there was here. I also purchased two bits from the Myleene Klass collection - only when I got home did I realise I think it's baby girl clothes... oh well, a dark hat and no-one will be able to tell the difference! (I hope).
Mothercare newborn haul baby haul sleep suit cute
1 £12.00 | 2 £18.00

Sunday, 9 October 2016

My Labour Fears

Labour *should* be happening any day now - I've been counting down the days for the entirety of the final trimester, and you'd think I was gearing up for Christmas at the rate I've wanted this to come round. Reality is now beginning to hit though, and whilst I've hated pregnancy, and I'm ready to meet little Baby J - I am not ready for labour. I suppose you probably never are 'ready' as such, but I've now read what must be close to hundreds of birth stories, I've googled every possible outcome, and I've watched many a labour video on youtube (only the nice, edited, not gruesome, vlog style ones - even I can't bring myself to face One Born Every Minute until after delivery) and if anything I feel worse off than I did before. My labour fears may be erratic, but they are definitely there.
labour fears real labour child birth scary episiotomy epidural gas air

1. What If It Lasts for 37 hours?


Saturday, 8 October 2016

Secret Saviours: No More Stretch Marks?

Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored, but I was gifted the items contained in it. Every opinion given is entirely my own, and I wouldn't recommend it if I didn't believe in it.

Stretch marks are a widely accepted part of pregnancy, generally they are fairly common and can simply be an unfortunate result of child-bearing for nine months. Your growing a little person inside of you - it's fairly reasonable to assume that your skin will have to stretch to accommodate this. I personally had been really worried about getting stretch marks during my pregnancy, only because I had suffered them fairly badly in my early teens. After going on the contraceptive pill to try and combat my acne, my body responded with an unexpected pair of boobs in a very short space of time, and with them some stretch marks to keep them company. These did fade over time, but not without trying every cream and oil in the book, so with my skin being obviously prone to stretch marks, I was open to trying anything I could to prevent them during pregnancy.
no stretch marks during pregnancy get rid of marks secret saviours
Simply put, stretch marks are left by tearing just below the surface of the skin, and different factors can leave you more prone to them: being a young mum, family history, big babies or excessive weight gain to name but a few... Given the fact I'm young, my personal history, and how quickly I'd put on weight in the last trimester, it's safe to say I was prone.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

I HATE Being Pregnant

I won't even bother to apologise for the blatancy of the title of this post. I truly do hate being pregnant, and I have hated it for pretty much the entirety. I've been reluctant to post my opinion on this, as I feel it could be a bit of a sensitive subject for some, but I hope anyone reading can take it with a pinch of salt. I've seen one too many a comment alluding to those complaining about pregnancy and how it can be insensitive to those who cannot have children of their own, or to those who have experienced miscarriages, and I don't want to overstep boundaries here, but my inability to enjoy my pregnancy does not mean I'm any less grateful for the life it will deliver at the end. I'm extremely thankful to be pregnant and what it will mean for my life, but that doesn't mean I have to enjoy it, and I should, as should everyone else, be aloud to voice that without judgement.
I have had an easy pregnancy, I'm under no false allusion here. I didn't hate the time I was pregnant because of my morning sickness, or my tiredness, or my cravings. I didn't hate the time because of swollen feet, which I couldn't see by the end anyway, or my bad skin and greasy hair. The symptoms I could deal with, and I'd happily do those all over again. It was the inability to feel like myself for the past four months that has really got to me. My third trimester has been nothing short of an absolute nightmare, if only in the mental sense, rather than the physical.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Desenio Prints: Am I Scandinavian Yet?

Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored, but I was gifted the items contained in it. I would however order these off of my own back again, and every opinion given is entirely my own.

Let me be the very first to say here - I am no interior designer by any stretch of the imagination. I can barely work Pinterest never mind have a room based on the aesthetic. Any time I set out to 'decorate' any room in this house, my lavish plans are swiftly abandoned in favour of whatever I find on the day in Ikea. My latest bedroom upheaval was no different. I'd gone for a strict minimal black and cream, no accents, no nothing, aiming originally for the typical Pinterest Scandinavian look. Unfortunately, I bailed after having bought all of the furniture/bedding/basic necessities, and was left with a haphazard unfinished looking bedroom. When Desenio offered to send over some prints, I all but jumped at the chance to pull my pitiful room out of the gutter, and it gave me a fresh kick to finally sort it out, just in time for the cosy Autumn nights.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

My October Goals

I've seen this post floating around the blogging world a lot in the past few days, and figured I'd jump on the band-wagon as a way to keep myself accountable. I've always been a big goal setter as it is, wether it be university related previously, fitness, weight loss, financial. You name it, I'll have made a check-list for it. I love the idea of new beginnings, and a new month signifies just that for me. October is going to be an odd month for me, and without a doubt one that will be hard to set goals for. I'm due with Baby J on the 14th, but it goes without saying he could arrive anytime this month, so I've made sure these goals take into account that.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

A True Pregnancy Pamper Night

My idea of pampering has completely changed from the pre-pregnancy days: let's just make that clear from the get go. Long gone are the days when a relaxing night of pampering consisted of painting my toenails, glasses of wine and head-to-toe moisturising. Nowadays - i.e. 38 weeks pregnant - pampering is a lot more of a simple affair, and there a few very necessary adaptations that have been made. I'm no beauty blogger - I don't own the newest of face creams and smelly bits and bobs, pre-pregnancy Boots own brand bubble bath suited me fine, and this far in to a pregnancy I am no different. My idea of pampering is definitely not limited to a beauty regime, in fact, it doesn't involve much of it at all, here's my less than luxurious pregnancy pamper tips.

- Embrace Take-Away and Bad TV

I don't want to get ready to go out, I don't want to be surrounded by people, I don't want to have to wait on my food and let's face it, chances are I'll be 'sleepy-time' tired by the time dessert even rolls around. Pregnancy is the perfect excuse to order take-away and sit in, no one can judge you for it. I'm all for making sure baby gets the proper nutrition, but at the same time, I need my good ole' Nandos once in a while (/multiple times a week). I've also used this time to throw myself back into bad reality TV - X Factor, Ex On the Beach, The Great British Bake Off - you name it I watch it now.. what else am I going to do with my Saturday night?

Saturday, 1 October 2016

8 Ways To Kick-Start Labour Naturally

Pregnancy is a long stint - almost an entire year spent as an oven, albeit the reward at the end is well worth it, but no matter how good the reward, time doesn't miraculously speed up. In fact, towards the end I swear it slows down. The third trimester feels like time has been at a stand-still, and by 38 weeks I'd try anything to get this baby out and moving. A quick google search returned thousands upon thousands of natural remedies to coax baby out - 99% of which I can guarantee won't work. In fact, all of them probably won't work, but at this point in time, I'm ready to try anything to make sure I don't go over due date. I'll take everyone's advice and rest up and enjoy the last few days I'll ever have on my own, but towards the end of this week Operation Baby commences. Here's the plan of action.

methods of inducing labour naturally or early pineapple spicy food walking sex
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