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Honest Thoughts On Becoming A First Time Mum.

Friday, 5 May 2017

 30 Weeks.
Our 12 Week Scan.
36 Weeks Pregnant.

Today is officially Baby C's due date! Clearly they are far too comfy and settled in their little home and don't want to make an appearance just yet. I have accepted the fact that Baby will come when they are ready and not a day before *If you could start to make an appearance at some point today, that would be great*.

During the last couple of weeks of pregnancy it has really hit me that I am about to be a mummy! I'm not just having a baby. I am going to have a son or a daughter. I will be a mother. I know that might sound strange but it's not something I really thought about in depth but this past week, it has really hit me how much of a responsibility I am taking on. I wake up throughout the night thinking and worrying over every tiny little thing. Do we have everything? What if I can't breastfeed? What if Aaron can't handle it? What if my anxiety gets worse?

So many questions that I won't know the answers to until Baby arrives.

Labour and delivery doesn't bother me in the slightest. I will deal with that when it comes and I know no matter how much it fucking hurts, it will be worth every single second of pain when I finally hold my Baby in my arms.

The fear I have is when Baby is here. The unknown. The amount of stupid questions I have asked Google at 3 in the morning. 'Do you change a Baby for bed?' 'How often do you change a nappy?' 'Do you apply nappy cream before they get a rash to prevent the rash, or just when they have the rash?'

There have been nights were I have sat and cried to Aaron because I don't know what the hell i'm doing. People say it will come to you naturally and you'll just do it. But what if it doesn't? No matter how many pregnancy books I've read or classes I have attended, nothing will prepare me for when we first bring that baby home and it's just us and them. The three of us. I see people like my Sister who is the most amazing mum to her three girls and it makes me feel quite intimidated. What if I am never the mum she is? She makes it look so effortless and I feel like i'll never match up.

People tell you to expect sleepless nights, shitty nappies and general chaos but they don't warn you about all the little things. And it is the little things that build up & up in my mind until I can't deal with them anymore and i'm sobbing quietly in the shower wondering if I made the right decision.

And then i'll feel my baby move.

And I remember that this tiny human being who started as nothing more than a wish, is the best thing that has happened to me, and they aren't even here yet. Despite the fears and the questions I might never get the answers to, I am so ready to start life with our newest member of the family and get this show on the road.


Baby C, i'm ready when you are...




Pregnancy Diary: Nursery Sneak Peek.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017
 

Baby C is officially due this week! It's only three days until my official due date. I know, I know, only 4% of babies are actually born on their expected due date and you can actually go 2 weeks overdue, which I am expecting. That way it will be a nice surprise if I go earlier! When I found out that we were expecting a new addition one of the first things that got me really excited was decorating the spare room and turning it from the dumping ground (which it had become) to a gorgeous nursery for our baby.

We completely gutted the room from top to bottom! Cleared it out, stripped the walls and ripped the carpet up. We wanted a completely blank canvas that we could really go to town on. We had the room re-plastered, new skirting boards and new laminate put down, we opted for a pale grey laminate with white skirting boards. As we have kept the gender of the baby a surprise, we decided on a really pale mint green colour for the walls. Even if we did know the gender, we still wouldn't have gone down the pink or blue route. We've kept the decorations and little trinkets to a minimum until the baby is here and then we can add more personalised/gender specific bits to the room to really add some colour and finish it off.









The nursery is definitely my favourite room in the whole house! It is so bright and calming. I really Baby C loves it as much as we do.

How To Save Money When Having A Baby.

Friday, 28 April 2017
  

I knew baby's required a lot of things ready for when they enter the world, but nothing QUITE prepared me for just how much stuff they actually need and obviously all that adds up. Very quickly.
We all want to provide our baby's with the best of everything which is natural, but you can still do that without breaking the bank. Here are my tips for saving money when expecting a baby..


Second-Hand:
Don't be afraid to accept hand me downs! My sister has three children of her own and I was lucky enough that she had put most of their baby things in storage. She had a gorgeous wooden rocking crib that we have put in our room. She also had new born toys, play mats and a sling that are all in perfect condition. I'd only accept second hand from people I knew and trusted. Just make sure if anyone gives you clothes ect that you give them a wash first. 

Join Baby Clubs/Advantage Cards:
As soon as we had our first scan I signed up to so many baby clubs. Boots is my favourite as you can collect your Boots points like normal (4 points for every £1) but we also get sent so many vouchers especially for their baby/pregnancy section. Whether it be nappies, nipple cream or clothing, there are vouchers for everything. We also received a voucher for a free Maam bottle and soother which will come in really useful for when I begin expressing. When you go for your first appointment you will also receive your first Emma's Dairy pack which is full of useful information, vouchers and also a card to fill in that you can hand in at your local Boots, Argos or Tesco and you will receive a large packet full of samples of nappies, wipes and non-bio washing liquid.

Breastfeeding:
I've always known I want to breastfeed and although the main reason behind my decision is the health benefits for both baby & me, money also does play a small part. Formula can be really expensive and soon adds up over the months. Breastfeeding is free! Obviously if for some reason I can't breastfeed I will pump my milk and have to maybe think about formula but until then we aren't buying any. We only have our Maam bottle that we received free from Boots and I've bought a Nature Bond Silicone Breast Pump ready for when I do decide to start pumping. We aren't buying any bottles or bottle feeding accessories until we know for definite we will need them as at the minute they are just a wasted expense. 

Bulk Buy:
Our house is literally full on nappies and wipes that we have bought in bulk! There are so many baby events going on throughout the year that all do amazing deals on the essentials. It works out so much cheaper to buy a box of wipes than it does to buy the individual packets. Don't buy all your nappies in one size because baby's grow very quickly and they'll soon grow out of new born so we have bought sizes ranging from 1-4! We've also picked up a variety of different wipes from different brands due to the fact that your baby's bottom might not agree with a certain brand. Whatever you don't use though, you could always pass on or sell! There is always someone out there who can make use out of the things you can't.

Baby Events:
I never noticed as many baby events as I have done since becoming pregnant. All the major supermarkets do them sporadically over the year, usually every 4-5 months, so no matter when you get pregnant you can take advantage. Asda has been my favourite for their baby event, we bought our moses basket from there, bedding, baby toiletries, nappies, changing mats. They also do car seats, high chairs, rockers and so much more! You can pick uo some amazing bargains. Sign up to their websites and you can get reminders of when baby events are coming up and even get a sneak peek into what will be in the event.

Think Before You Buy:
Before we went and spent our monthly wages in Mamas & Papas (easily done, trust me) we wrote a list of all the essentials we needed. They are obviously the priority. Anything else you can buy afterwards when you know you already have everything you NEED, so everything else is a little bonus and treat for baby (and you). We looked online and Pinterest for lists of the absolute essentials and read reviews on what worked for people and what was a gimmick. Does a baby really need a wipe warmer? I don't think so. A cold wipe to the ass never did me any harm. It's so easy to get sucked into the baby world and especially when you are a first time mum, you have no idea what's an essential and what you can do without. 

Hold Back On The New Born:
It's so easy to pick up hundreds of little new born sized vests and sleep suits, but thinking practically, baby's grow so quickly that they'll soon outgrow them! The majority of our baby's wardrobe is 0-3 months. At least that way you know they will fit in them for a slightly longer amount of time. For my baby shower we were bought quite a lot of newborn clothing so we went out the next day and exchanged them all for 3-6 months. It isn't being ungrateful, it's just thinking logically. It would be such a shame for them to never get worn and be wasted when people have taken the effort to buy you lovely outfits.


These tips have really helped us when it comes to saving money and I hope some of you guys find it helpful as well! 



Pregnancy Diary: What Is In Our Hospital Bag.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017
   


Baby Cope is due next week and the last thing we had to do was pack our hospital bags, which we finally did last week after being mithered by our midwife and my family to get it done! I don't know why I was putting it off, I just felt like we had plenty of time. Forgetting that Baby can arrive from 38 weeks, Oops. 

We have packed two main bags. One gym bag for use during labour and a small suitcase that will hold all mine and Baby's things for after the birth. I also have a carrier bag full of sugary sweets and Lucozade sports drinks that the midwife and my sister both swear by for during labour. It's so important to keep your sugar levels up so any excuse to buy a multi pack of Moams and Jelly babies! I might even share with Aaron...


Labour Bag:
  • Bikini (I am hoping for a water birth so a bikini was essential. I have packed the bikini bottoms although I can't see me wearing them much...)
  • Large nightie for birthing in, just in case I decide a water birth isn't possible or isn't working for me. I picked mine up from Primark as I know it'll probably get ruined so I will just throw it away once I get cleaned up after the birth.
  • Maternity notes. I have written a very brief birth plan just covering the basics and the things that are most important to me for the birth. 
  • Lip balm. I've heard gas and air gives you the worst dry mouth so I've stocked up on lip balms ready to apply whenever I need to.
  • A travel pillow. As I said, I really want a water birth and I've read other peoples experiences and the one thing I noticed was them mentioning taking a travel pillow to rest their head on when leaning on the side of the pool.
  • I-pad, magazines and kindle. Labour can be a very long experience and there isn't just me that is going to be at the hospital. Aaron will also need something to keep him occupied and awake. Thank god for Netflix installing a 'download' feature so you can download your favourite series or films to watch without the need for Wi-Fi!
  • Snacks & drinks.
  • Hair bobbles, large headband and water spray. Hospitals are very bloody warm, mix that with contractions and pushing, and you'll have a very hot and angry Rachael so I have packed the water spray for Aaron to spray on my face throughout the labour.
  • Phone charger and camera.

Post Birth Bag//For Me:

  • Pyjamas that are suitable for breast feeding. I've just picked some up from Primark that can be thrown away once we leave the hospital if they get ruined. 
  • Large black knickers that can hold my maternity pads in securely. Again from Primark so they can just be thrown away if needs be.
  • 2 x nursing bras.
  • Maternity pads. I've packed three large packs just to be on the safe side.
  • Breast pads. I probably won't have much use for these as your milk doesn't actually arrive for about 3 days after birth but I have packed a few just in case.
  • Large towel.
  • Toiletries; Shower gel, toothpaste and toothbrush, deodorant, face wipes and Tangle Teezer. I have bought all these in the little travel sizes you can pick up from Boots on 3 for 2.
  • Slippers and flip flops. I'll use the flip flops when I go for a shower after the birth. I also picked up some really thin slippers, mainly for a home comfort than anything else.
  • Large zip up hoodie. I'll throw this on after the birth and I will also wear it home. The main thing is just to feel as comfortable as possible.
  • Maternity leggings, baggy t-shirt and comfortable shoes for going home in.
For Baby:
  • 3 x vests.
  • 3 x sleepsuits.
  • 2 x scratch mitts.
  • A hat to put them in after the birth.
  • Baby blanket
  • 3 x muslin squares.
  • Going home outfit.
  • 10 x Nappies, water wipes and cotton wool.
  • Their first cuddly toy which is a little penguin from The White Company.
  • Car seat ready for the journey home!
Packing our bags has definitely made it seem more real that we will soon be a family of three! 

Life As We Know It.

Monday, 24 April 2017
    


Everything is about to change. Our Baby is officially due next week and I am more than ready. I feel so relaxed and ready for the changes that are about to happen. I know there will be things happening that I can't control or predict, but I will deal with those issues as they occur. 

"My philosophy is that worrying means you suffer twice."- Newt Scamander.

During my maternity leave so far we have managed to declutter the house of all the crap we have accumulated. I didn't realise how much stuff a small human being needs so every bit of space is essential! We have also managed to get on top of all the odd jobs that needing doing around the house and in the garden, the last thing you want to be worrying about when looking after a new baby is the fact your garden looks like a jungle or your clothes washing has piled up and that's BEFORE you add all the baby's washing on top of that. 

I've also been using my maternity leave as a way to do all the things I love to do, that may be a little harder when Baby first arrives. Reading is such a huge love of mine and something that I do a lot of in my free time, however I think that managing to pick up a book is going to be nigh on impossible, especially in the first few weeks. So I have been taking the time to sit, even if it just for an hour a day, to read a book. 

Myself and Aaron are also enjoying going out for meals whenever we can. I know we will still do that when Baby is here but we're really making the most of our last trips out with just the two of us before the craziness that is parenthood starts!
I also went out for a meal with my girlfriends last week to a lovely Italian and my god it was good. It was nice to all get together and have a catch up. I am the first of my friends to have a baby so it's exciting to think that my baby will be joining us for our next meal! The girls are just as excited as me!

Baby C's nursery is all ready and raring to go! Although they won't be sleeping in there for the first 6 months or so we wanted to make sure it was all ready and it's one last thing to worry about when baby is here. I have taken some little sneak peek photos of their nursery and will be doing a blog post about them at some point this week! Their room is definitely my favourite in the house, I feel so happy and content when I go in. 

It's just a waiting game at the minute and we are more than ready to welcome our latest addition! I can't wait to finally have our baby in our arms. Change can be a wonderful thing and the best change is coming...


Why There Is No Place Like Home.

Monday, 27 March 2017
   

As much as I love going on holiday and travelling to new places. I am also a complete home bird. My home is my safe place and I love all my little comforts that I've created.

These are all the reasons I love coming home from holiday..

1. My bed. My glorious wonderful comfortable bed.

2. Don't get me started on my duvet. Those thin, papery duvets you get abroad just don't cut it for me. Nothing beats coming home and wrapping yourself up like a burrito in your duvet.

3. Your television. It sounds so pathetic but nothing beats finally getting hold of your precious tv remote and being able to switch on ITV or Netflix. Who knew the news in your area could be so riveting.

4. After spending the past week or two completely out of the loop, you can finally catch up on current events! Who's pregnant?! A Kardashian did what now?!

5. Being able to drink tap water from your own tap and not having to be worried about dying a slow & painful death.

6. Home cooked food! By home cooked I mean pizza. By pizza I mean a takeaway. But hey. Life's little pleasures.

7. Being reunited with your pets. Those mithering little fluffy bitches that couldn't give a shit whether you ever came home or not? Yeah. Those.

8. People. My people. Family and friends. You don't realise how awesome they are until you've been away without them.

9. Lying on the sofa for hours doing F all and not having to feel guilty about it. There's no culture to experience, no missed opportunities. Your home, you've seen it all before. It'll still be there when you've finished watching six hours of Pretty Little Liars.

10. Having full access to your wardrobe again. Your beloved jeans, jumpers and the comfiest pair of jogging bottoms ever created. HALLELUJAH!

Pregnancy Diary | Pregnancy Books & Apps.

Friday, 24 March 2017
   
One of the first thing I did when I found out I was pregnant was order a pregnancy book. I know some people don't agree and say they are a waste of money but I've really enjoyed flicking through different books and reading about people's experiences through pregnancy and labour. I thought I would give you a run down of all the books I've read throughout my pregnancy so far and which apps I have used.

Truly Happy Baby//Holly Willoughby
This is the first pregnancy book I bought as I absolutely LOVE Holly and it does have some really useful tips and facts in. One thing that I really loved about this book was the detailed pictures showing the different breastfeeding and winding positions. As I am planning on breastfeeding I found this section really helpful. However, I got the feeling that this book was written as a way to please lots of people and not what Holly herself found helpful. Like she was afraid of being slightly controversial and rocking the boat. I also didn't particularly like that she recommends 'controlled crying' from 6 months old. I just can't imagine leaving my baby to cry themselves to sleep. Everyone is different though I suppose and may feel comfortable giving it a go.

My Baby & Me//Sam Faiers
I really enjoyed watching Sam's 'The Baby Diaries' so when I found out she was releasing a pregnancy & baby book, I instantly pre-ordered. I love that Sam is such a strong advocate for breast feeding, it's really helped me feel more confident and ready for what it will entail. I also love her opinions on co-sleeping, which I know isn't for everyone and that's fine, but it's nice for a celebrity mum to finally hold their hands up and say 'actually yes I do co-sleep'. If you are after an experts point of view, then this book definitely isn't for you. However I found that I could relate to this writing style much more than Holly's.

How To Grow A Baby & Push It Out//Clemmie Hooper
I absolutely love Clemmie's Instagram page (@mother_of_daughters) and was so excited when I found out she was releasing a pregnancy/labour/baby book. Clemmie is actually a midwife so she definitely know what she's talking about when it comes to birth in particular. Tips on how to prevent tearing during labour and what you REALLY need in your hospital bag. I loved Clemmie's humour and wit throughout the book. My favourite thing about this book was the different birth stories written by lots of different women. It just proved that everyone's labour is completely different and not to always believe the horror stories that people throw at you!

Happy Mum Happy Baby//Giovanna Fletcher
Giovanna is one of my all time favourite authors and I instantly buy any book she writes. She usually writes lovely fiction books but when she announced that she would be writing a book on her experience through pregnancy, labour and motherhood, I knew it would be amazing and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it! One of the things I love about Gi is how honest, witty and open she is. She really tells you how it is and doesn't try to sugar coat anything.  That really reflected in Happy Mum Happy Baby. Some parts of this book were really heart breaking and so raw that I definitely cried a few times. This is different to all the other pregnancy books I've read as it's Gi's own personal stories and experiences. It's like having a hot chocolate and cake with a friend.

Ovia Pregnancy & Baby Tracker App
Before I got pregnant I used the Ovia Fertility Tracker and Ovulation Calculator as a way to track my periods and also when I was at my most fertile, so as soon as I found out we were expecting I upgraded to the pregnancy and baby tracker. I love this app so much! I check it every week to see how Baby C is growing and developing and also see what changes I can expect from my body. I always send little updates to Aaron, just as a way to keep him involved. You can compare the size of your baby to fruits & veg, animals, toys. It's really funny and interesting to see what your baby is being compared to each week!

Bounty Pregnancy- Pregnancy Birth & Baby App
The best thing about this app is definitely the step-by-step developmental 3D views and estimated foot size as baby grows. I love checking every week and seeing their little foot and wondering how accurate it actually is. It also updates daily with different articles about a variety of different topics, from healthy eating tips, different travel systems and special articles dedicated to the dads-to-be. You can also use the app to claim your free bounty packs, which has loads of amazing samples in and leaflets. I have collected all the new born nappies and wipes, ready for my hospital bag as they are such a useful travel size!