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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!


Sixteen Things I Wish I'd Known About Being An Adult.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017
 

When we are little all you want it to grow up. Becoming an adult sounds like the best thing in the world. You get to spend all the money you want, watch as much television you like and stay in bed all day. If only we had known exactly what we were in for...

1. You've actually got to EARN the money you want to spend. Aint' life a bitch.

2. Putting the bins out is possibly the worse household job ever. Add all the shit you have to recycle on top of that and it's even worse. Black bin for this, cream bin for something else... the responsibility and pressure to get it exactly right is horrendous. You leave a lid on a pop bottle, you're really in for it!

3. Nobody is going to wash that pile of clothes for you. I literally have washing coming out of my ears and I don't know where the hell it all comes from. There's only two of us! God help me when the baby arrives and we have shite stained baby grows thrown into the mix.

4. You dream of the days you could go back to school hours. Finishing at 3p.m every day. Having the weekends to do as you please. All those holidays! I don't know what kids these days are bitching about. So damn ungrateful.

5. Ironing? What's that? It isn't an essential task. I think I've ironed about six things since I moved out almost four years ago. The creased look is totally in.

6. You'll hate the majority of the population. And that's okay.

7. Everyone and their dog wants to offer you a loan or a credit card. Do these people not know that I can't be trusted with money?! Just throw those letters straight in the bin. I mean recycling..god damn it!

8. That owning a oh so grown up Jamie Oliver cookbook may feel great, but the fact that you have to buy half of Waitrose to actually make the damn meals, is ridiculous.

9. You'll spend the majority of your day slagging off 'the youth of today'. Because when we were kids, we were saints.... NOT.

10. You think owning a pet is a wonderful idea and so grown up. When in actual fact, they can be a real bitch!

11. Television shows will go completely down the drain. If you think you'll be spending your Saturday nights watching Stars In Their Eyes and Blind Date, you are sadly mistaken.

12. That you'll actually miss the days when Heartbeat was a Sunday night ritual and you'd give your first born to snuggle up on the sofa and hear that god awful theme tune.

13. You'll actually have to show an interest in political debates and current affairs, now you are an adult, you should know things about this and looking at people blankly with a 'who the fuck?' expression on your face is not the right way to go.

14. Going to bed early used to be a bitch. Now you count down the hours until you can get into bed. You then spend the first five minutes working out how much sleep you'll get before your alarm goes off. Anything less than 7 hours sleep and I literally go into meltdown mode. I WON'T FUNCTION.

15. Everyday you'll pray that the postman will post a letter through your door that contains a cheque from a really wealthy relative who has taken pity on you. Instead it's bills and an explanation as to where your council tax is being spent. Which wasn't a fun letter to read I assure you.

16. You'll realise that laying in bed all day is actually a waste of a day. Why lounge around in bed when you could be cleaning the house or sorting through paperwork...said no adult. Ever.


My Top Six Netflix Recommendations.

Sunday, 19 March 2017
 

I'm not gonna lie. I spend the majority of my free time binge-watching tv programs online. Especially since being pregnant. I spent the majority of my first trimester in bed or lay on the sofa watching repeats or browsing for something new to watch. Now i'm in my third and final trimester (can I get a hell yess!?!) i'm back to doing the exact same. I spend all night tossing & turning, and all day lay on the sofa with my pregnancy cushion a.k.a the greatest invention. 

I love the way you can completely lose yourself and switch off from everyday life, when watching TV. If i'm having a particularly *can't be arsed doing anything, pregnancy sucks* kind of day, TV is exactly what I need. 

I thought i'd put together a list of my all time favourite TV series or documentaries that are currently on Netflix.

1.Pretty Little Liars
I couldn't list my favourite tv series and NOT mention PLL! This show has been a huge part of my life for the past...five years and unfortunately it all comes to an end this year (sobs uncontrollably) with it's last 10 episodes! If you don't already know, Pretty Little Liars follows the lives of a missing/dead girl and her four high school friends, who are harassed and stalked by the anonymous 'A'. It follows all their dramas/relationships/fights/deaths. It's effin brilliant.

2. Amanda Knox
I am a huge lover of anything 'real life crime'. Whether that's in book form, a film or in this case a documentary. This one off documentary focuses on the 2007 case in which Meredith Kercher was killed whilst studying in Italy and what makes this documentary so intriguing to me, is the huge part that Amanda Knox plays. Giving first time interviews and insights into her version of events. It had me completely hooked. 

3. Shadowhunters
I am a HUGE fan of Cassandra Clare's 'The Mortal Instruments' series and when I found out it was becoming a TV series (exclusive to Netflix) I honestly couldn't wait. It's basically a tv series about demon hunters. It can be slightly cheesy and the dialogue is sometimes a little cringe, but it's perfect for when you just want to pig out in front of the telly, and not really have to concentrate 100% on what you are watching. Also..Magnus & Alec are life.

4. The People V O.J Simpson: American Crime Story
Another true life documentary that I really enjoyed! This series revolves around the infamous O.J Simpson murder case. I was only three when the actual crime took place so I don't remember any of it and have only heard bits of information throughout the years, so I was completely gripped by this series. You get really sucked in and even though you know how the trial ends, you still can't help but watch the verdict, holding your breath.

5. Gossip Girl
I've watched Gossip Girl for years and still miss it! I must have re-watched it via Netflix at least 4 times. Mainly to drool over Chuck Bass. I also like to channel my inner Blair Waldorf every now and then. This is the perfect series to completely lose your self in. A bunch of insanely rich, upper-east siders whose lives and secrets are constantly splashed over a website 'Gossip Girl' for everyone to see. What more could you want?

6. Me Before You
I fell head over heels in love with this book when I first read it about 4 years ago and when I heard it was being made into a film, I was a little sceptical. I had really high hopes, but low expectations. I was left really pleasantly surprised. Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin were the perfect Lou & Will. There chemistry on screen completely mirrored the chemistry that was in the book. I know the film is never as good as the book, and where there were parts missing that I really wished they had managed to put in, I still really enjoyed the film! It is about a quadriplegic, Will, who was injured after a motorbike accident and is in need of a carer. Lou takes on the job after losing her and although she has no previous experience, Will's mother loves her positive energy and really thinks she will help Will. I don't want to spoil too much as it is better going in, now knowing much. I will tell you one thing though. You are gonna' cry. A lot.

Pregnancy Diary: How To Get A Better Nights Sleep During Pregnancy.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Since the end of my second trimester, insomnia is well and truly kicking in. I thought I was tired during the first couple of weeks of pregnancy, but there is nothing more infuriating than waking up every two hours, every single night. It's not even like I wake up and can instantly go back to sleep, when I wake up, I am literally wide awake for a good half hour to an hour. Which isn't ideal when you have to be up for work at 4 a.m. However over the past couple of weeks I have finally nailed a sleep routine that works for me and I only wake up once to go to the bathroom (woohoo me!) Here are some of my top tips that have really helped me.

1. Stay Hydrated
 I know this may seem a little, *what the fackkk* when staying hydrated is the reason you pee twenty times a day and there is honestly nothing worse than waking up numerous times through the night to make a mad dash to the loo. However, it is so important to stay hydrated, especially during pregnancy. I always take a drink to bed with me, (it doesn't HAVE to be water, Vimto is my beverage of choice..) drink half before I go to sleep, go to the bathroom and then save the other half for during the night. I don't know about anyone else but I always wake up in the middle of the night with dry mouth.

2. A Pregnancy Pillow
 Now you don't have to fork out a fortune for one of these, they all do the same thing! I actually picked up my pillow from Sainsbury's baby event for a tenner, it's one of those V shaped ones and boy oh boy has it been a godsend! I place one end between my legs (this helps to take pressure of your hips) and use the other end under my head as an extra head pillow. The middle part perfectly supports my growing belly. In your third trimester it isn't recommended that you sleep on your back, so the pregnancy pillows help you stay on your side. I also use mine on the sofa to support my back as I have been getting horrific back ache, especially in the evenings after I have finished work.

3. Keep Bedroom Cool & Tidy
 Tidy Space, Tidy Mind...is that the saying? I have always slept much better when our bedroom is tidy, I just feel much more relaxed and comfortable. Having a tidy space helps you feel less stressed and less distracted, which is going to help you fall to sleep much easier. As for keeping your bedroom cool, you body heat increases during pregnancy so if your room is too stuffy, it's going to wake you up during the night. I can't tell you the amount of times I have woken up to kick the covers off and strip down out of my pyjamas. Don't set the temperature too low, so you wake up freezing your bollocks off, but just setting it a few degrees lower will make all the difference.

4. Avoid Eating Late At Night
 Especially if you suffer from heartburn or reflux as eating snacks or meals late on can trigger these. I am lucky enough that I haven't YET suffered from either of these but I know from other people how horrible it can be. In particular, avoid acidic foods, such as citrus fruits and tomatoes, greasy or fried foods, spicy foods and drinks such as coffee or pop.

5. Shut Down Technology
 This goes for anyone who wants a good night sleep. I am so guilty of diving into bed and instantly picking up my phone to peruse Instagram or Twitter, but this actually stimulates your brain and wakes you up. Instead turn your lights down low, and pick up a book or take a few minutes to just sit and practice some relaxation.


What are your top tips for a good nights sleep? Did you suffer from the dreaded 'Third Trimester Insomnia'?

Seven Ways To Spring Clean Your Life.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017
    
Over the past few days, Spring has definitely sprung. Winter is a thing of the past. The days are staying lighter for longer, the need for thick winter coats & scarves is pretty much over and the Easter eggs are out in force. If that isn't a sign of spring, I don't know what is.

Everyone knows the term 'spring clean'. It's usually just a word we apply to getting our houses in working order, finishing any odd jobs and embracing our inner Kim & Aggie, although after watching CBB..more Aggie than Kim..This year however, I have decided to apply the term to all of my life. I don't whether it's because I am going to be becoming a Mum this year but I feel I have a responsibility to really get my shit in order, along with re-evaluating and organising my life. Here are the ways I intend to do that..

1. Straighten Out Your Finances
Money can be a huge worry for some people and really take a toll on them mentally and emotionally. Whilst it may be scary to really sit and assess your financial situation, it will really help give you peace of mind. Pushing the problem away and staying oblivious will only make it worse and increase your stress. Try setting yourself a budget every month, after bills and all your essentials, budget what you spend on luxuries. By luxuries I don't mean a designer pair of shoes (a gal can dream..). Your morning Starbucks or shop-bought lunches can really add up over time and they aren't essentials.

2. Clean Up Your Relationships
I am really guilty of clinging on to relationships just for the fact that I don't want to admit defeat. Over the past year I have let lots of friendships go as I realised they weren't making me happy anymore. They were dragging me down and turning me into someone I didn't want to be. Someone I wasn't proud to be. If you think it's just a rough patch then hell yes try sorting it out but sometimes there isn't a resolution and you're just trying to hold on to something for the sake of it. I've come to the realisation that it is definitely quality over quantity. Focus on the people that make you feel good and bring out the best in you.

3. Declutter Your Mind
It's time to let go of any negative feelings you might be holding onto. Jealousy, anger and hatred can have such a impact on your mental health and harbouring onto this feelings for an extended period of time isn't good for anyone. These feelings aren't adding anything positive to your life. Instead of sitting and dwelling on the negative feelings, find an outlet for them. Whether that be going to the gym, cooking or watching your favourite tv program..focus your energy on things that make you happy.

4. Cherish The Quiet
With so much social media around these days and with how technology is, it's hard to just be quiet. I myself am guilty of always needing to be doing something online. Whether that's perusing Instagram or finding a new TV show to binge-watch. One of my favourite times of day is when I get into bed, turn my phone onto 'Do Not Disturb' and pick up my current read. It's so rare to have a quiet moment these days. So enjoy it. 

5. Productivity
With so many things going on personally at the minute; having a baby, trying to get the house in order..I have been starting to feel really overwhelmed. Like I don't know where to start. Lists have become my new best friend. Whether there are twenty things on the list or only three, having the tasks written down in front of me make it so much easier to manage. Prioritise your list and cross off all the tasks you complete. There is nothing more satisfying than putting a big scribble through a task that has been bothering you for weeks.

6. Get Rid Of Clutter
I have spent the fast two days getting the house organised and throwing out anything and everything that I have no need for. I went through all the food cupboards, throwing things away that are past there sell by dates or haven't been used in a few months. My cupboards are now in much better order..
I also went through my wardrobe, mainly for the fact that I have been on a 'breastfeeding friendly' shopping trip and needed to have somewhere to put away the new things i'd bought. I got rid of things I haven't worn in months, but kept hold of 'just incase' and also clothes that I know won't fit me for a while. I suppose that's also an excuse for going on a shopping trip after the baby is born..

7. Organise
I am possibly one of the most unorganised people you will meet. I envy the people who have their shit together when it comes to organising their households, spending time with their family & friends and working full-time. I could never find a balance between them all. I am holiday from work this week so i've spent the past two days giving the house a really good clean from top to bottom, getting on top of all the clothes washing and finishing off all the odd jobs we needed doing (finally putting our new curtains up in the bedroom, putting up picture frames and shelves..all that fun stuff). I already feel so much more relaxed and feel like once you get on top of it all, it's easier to manage and won't take you as long. So you have more time to spend with your loved ones. 


I'd love to know how you organise your life and whether you plan to take advantage of a really good spring clean?!

A Letter To My Unborn Baby.

Friday, 10 March 2017
  


 

Dear Baby C,


There are so many things I want to say to you. So many things I want you to know.

Lets start at the beginning...

When I was little I always played with dolls and prams, yet actually having my own children is something I never wanted. I also never wanted to get married. I was a seven year old with a commitment phobia. Until I met you Daddy.

We met when I was sixteen (in 2008, can you believe it!?) and although we didn't have the easiest of relationships in the beginning, mainly due to Mummy getting FOMO, my whole future plan changed. I wanted the house, the husband and the babies. I wanted to feel safe, settled and loved. Your Daddy is so good at making me feel all of those things & more. So after seven years together, we decided that we were ready to add a new addition to our crazy, slightly dysfunctional family. Little did I know how quickly you'd be joining us...

Only two months of 'trying' and I saw those two little glorious lines. I say little, however they are the biggest two lines you will ever see in your whole life. It's true when people say that your whole life changes as soon as you find out your pregnant. I felt this overwhelming rush of love and protectiveness, all with a side of slightly shitting my pants. Don't judge me baby but my god, I was scared. Scared for you. Willing and wishing that my body would protect you to the best of its ability, hoping that everything would be okay. I loved you so much already.


I did the test alone and the first person I told was your Auntie Natalie and she was so excited! Almost as excited as me. I then had to wait the longest two hours of my life to tell your Daddy. He was still at work and those two hours have never gone by so slowly. His reaction was a mixture of happiness and absolute disbelief. I remember he asked me about ten times if I was joking. We then went out and did about seven other pregnancy tests just to be sure. I can't tell you the dread I felt every time I took another one in case they came up negative.

Our first scan, the first time we would be seeing you, was honestly the most nervous I have ever felt. I was only about seven weeks and I remember being lay on the bench, praying that you would be there. That I would see your little heart beat. And when we did, I can't describe the relief and happiness we felt. I finally felt like I could breath again.

The scans just got better and better every time we went. Seeing how much you had grown from 7 weeks to 12 and then again at 20 was incredible. You had gone from this tiny little bean to a proper baby, with a gorgeous little nose and tiny feet. We decided to keep your gender a surprise. We didn't care whether you were a boy or a girl, as long as you were healthy and happy. That's all we ever want for you.

We are currently 8 weeks away from meeting you, if you come on time, which I highly doubt and I can't tell you how excited we are. I've never been this excited for anything in my whole life. Feeling you move, kick and roll in my tummy is honestly my favourite thing in the whole world. It's like we have our own private little conversations, that are meant for only you & me. Occasionally your Daddy, when you let him anyway. I love how you're showing him who is boss already.

I just want you to know Baby C, I promise to love you unconditionally and always let you know it. I promise to support you and hold your hand in difficult situations. I promise to celebrate every reason that makes you different. Be different Baby C. Let your weirdness shine. You are so loved Baby C. A love so powerful it will fill you up. Now & Always. I'll always protect you.

I hope you like me...

Love You Already,

Mummy xx


Fifteen Things You Should Never Say To A Pregnant Woman.

Monday, 6 March 2017


Pregnancy is a worrying and confusing time for any woman whether it's their first or third baby. So the last thing she needs is everyone else's opinion. Especially those that she didn't ask for. People really need to think about what they're saying before they open their mouths. Here are fifteen things you should never say to a pregnant woman.

1. Was It Planned? Does it really matter? I am obviously sharing the news regardless and because i'm excited about it.

2. Oh, Your Planning On Breastfeeding? Yes..so wipe that shocked 'REALLY?' expression off your face. Although as long as my baby is fed and healthy, does it really matter HOW they are fed?

3. Wow, Your Bump Is So Big! Jee, thanks for your input.

4. Wow, Your Bump Is So Small! Jee, thanks for your input.

5. Should You Be Eating That? Shouldn't You Be Eating Salad? Bitch, If I order a salad, something is seriously wrong with me and you should slap it out of my hand.

6. Can I Touch Your Belly? If your family or close friends, sure go ahead. If you are a stranger or someone I have never had a conversation with. Then no, you really can't. Why because you are pregnant do people think they can suddenly come over to you and start rubbing your belly?!

7. Will You Have More Kids? I haven't even given birth to my first baby yet, so slow the F down. However I can't imagine only having one baby and them being an only child. I love having a sister & brother and I would love my child to experience having siblings.

8. I Hope It's A Boy! Why? Because I have three nieces?! I don't have any children of my own so doers it really matter what gender my child is?! Also, what difference does it make to you?!

9. Will You Come Back To Work? Probably, I mean, babies are expensive. Although if I do decide to stay at home and look after them myself, that's fine too! Myself & Aaron will decide what we plan to do. I don't know why other people feel they need to know as well.

10. You Think You're Tired Now, Just Wait Until The Baby Is Here! Fuck Off. Waking up every 2 hours is not my idea of fun and if I say I am tired, I am! I know i'll be tired when the baby is here, you don't need to keep reminding me.

11. What Names Have You Picked? We aren't telling anyone. You'll find out when they are born. The fact that they then respond with 'Why aren't you telling me, it's not like i'm going to steal it?' makes me want to punch them in the face.

12. You Are You Going To Want An Epidural! I'll decide that by myself when the time comes and I do decide to have one, it has nothing to do with your advice, which BTW I didn't ask for.

13. Oh It's Just Your Hormones. No my friend, my hormones are perfectly fine. You are just a massive twat.

14. You Look So Tired, Are You Getting Enough Sleep? I am tired, but thanks for feeling the need to point out the fact that I look like utter crap.

15. How Much Weight Have You Gained? How much weight have YOU gained?! I am growing a frigging human & whether I put on 1/2/3/4 stone, that's the way it is & none of your business.

It was actually hard narrowing this list down to fifteen! I may do a part two. Is there any comment in particular that someone said to you, whilst you were expecting, that has stood out? 

Five Things That Are Making Me Happy Right Now.

Sunday, 5 March 2017
 

 
I have been feeling pretty down and out of sorts over the past couple of weeks (damn pregnancy hormones!) and I find the best way to move on and get over those feelings is to make a list of all the good things you have going on in your life and really appreciate that the good really does outweigh the bad. So here are five things that over the past week have really made me appreciate how good my life actually is.


Baby Cope & Pregnancy

I am now 31 weeks pregnant and boy don't I know it! I feel like I could sleep for a week, but no mater how tired and emotional I am (I cry over nothing at least once a day), nothing is more amazing than knowing my baby is happy and healthy. We saw the midwife on Thursday and everything is measuring just how it should, and hearing the baby's gorgeous little heartbeat is just the best sound in the world. I could honestly sit and listen to it all day.

Catch Up's With My Best Friend

My best friend and I met up on Thursday afternoon, bought loads of junk food and binge watched old episodes of Keeping Up With The Kardashians (Jealous? You should be). It was such a simple and relaxed afternoon, but it was exactly what I needed. I've been feeling really rundown lately so having a lazy day, eating Easter eggs in our comfy clothes, was pure heaven. It's crazy how one afternoon spent with your best friend can instantly cheer you up and make you realise how much you have to be thankful for.

  TV Programs & Comfort Watching

Broadchurch is finally back on our TV screens and I am so happy! I absolutely love David Tennant & Olivia Coleman together and based on the first episode of the latest series, it is going to be amazing. A brand new series also started on Tuesday called 'The Replacement' and it's just so good! It is a three-part psychological thriller about a woman who goes on maternity leave only to become increasingly paranoid about the motives of the person covering for her. I am completely hooked and can't wait for next weeks episode.
We all have those TV shows that we love to watch over & over again and for me right now, that TV program is Keeping Up With The Kardashians. I can just completely shut down and get lost in the lives of the rich & famous.

  Organising & Decluttering
  
With only 9 weeks to go until Baby C arrives, I have finally gotten around to organising their bedroom and putting away all the clothes/vests/muslin cloths and blankets we have collected so far. The spare room is still far from being finished, we need to build the cot and put up some shelves and prints but I don't feel majorly rushed as they will be in our room for at least the first 6 months. I have also been reorganising the kitchen and living room. I feel like the more I do now, the less I will have to do when I am on maternity leave. Well, that's the plan anyway..

   Instagram & Meeting Other 'Mums-To-Be'

I have always loved Instagram and it is definitely my favourite form of social media. Since discovering I was pregnant and sharing my pregnancy on there, I have met some really lovely girls who are also going to have babies around the same time as me! It's so nice to share our feelings and see how their pregnancies are progressing. None of us have found out the gender of our babies so I can't wait to see what everyone has.

Pregnancy Diary: Five Things I've Learnt About Pregnancy.

Thursday, 2 March 2017


Pregnancy is without a doubt the best thing that I have ever experienced. I absolutely love it and I already know I will miss it when the Baby is here. Having an older sister who has been pregnant, I kind of knew what I was getting into when we decided to start trying for a baby. I knew all the horrible symptoms that you can get and I knew that nothing would feel as incredible as feeling your baby move and kick inside you (the most amazing feeling, that I honestly can't describe..) however there are some things that I didn't know and I kind of wish I had...

1. People asking how you are, sure it is lovely and they are just being kind but when people say, 'Oh Hi, how are you?' and I reply that i'm really good thankyou. They then repeat the same question but with 'But really, how are you feeling?'...I feel the exact same as the first time you asked me, but now slightly annoyed. It didn't really bother me at first but when people are asking every single day..it really begins to grate on you.

2. People thinking they can comment on every aspect of your body. Don't even get me started on the amount of times i've heard 'Oh your bump is massive, oh your bump is so tiny, you look so tired..' for the love of god! People wouldn't dare remark on your body or whether you look like you've had 2 hours of sleep if you weren't pregnant, so why as soon as you ARE pregnant, do people think they can make remarks like that?! It genuinely baffles me.

3. Do NOT Google anything pregnancy related! My midwife mentioned this during one of our first appointments, but I just couldn't help myself. Google has all the answers..WRONG. It has lots of worse case scenarios and horror stories. Google you have a cough, and you're actually going to die a slow, painful death. If you have any genuine concerns or questions, ring your midwife..that is what they are there for.

4. Old wives tales are a load of shit. If you have this craving it's a boy, if you carry your bump one way it's a girl! Well if that's the case..my child is both! I understand some people really do believe in all the myths and legends, I just don't buy into it. People are obsessed with guessing the gender of our baby based on them and it really does annoy me. I don't think hormones help with my anger levels but just accept that my baby will be, what they are. Either is a blessing!

5. Since becoming pregnant, I have a much easier time saying no to people and putting myself first. Not in a selfish way, but in a..there isn't just me to worry about anymore and if I don't feel comfortable doing something, I am not going to do it. Obviously explain in a polite manner that you don't want to and offer an alternative but stay firm. You are carrying precious cargo and I think sometimes people can forget that.


Did you learn anything throughout your pregnancy that you wish you had known beforehand? Did you experience any of the things that I mentioned?

Why Being A 90's Kid Was The Best.

Monday, 27 February 2017

  I was born in 1992 and honestly had the best childhood. It makes me kind of sad that my children won't experience the freedom I had and experience a easy, simple childhood. These days it's all about who gets the latest phone first or who spends more time on the I-pad. My childhood was spent outside playing catch or red rover and trying not to break my neck in my new jelly shoes (which were the dogs bollocks back then I tell ya!) I thought I would reminisce about all the things I loved about the 90's..


  • The food! The days when turkey dinosaurs, turkey drummers and microchips were a weekly staple and you didn't receive judgemental eyes from the cashier at Asda. Chips in minutes, the future I tell ya!
  • Spending you Saturday mornings watching SM:TV live and your Saturday evenings watching Stars In Their Eyes & Blind Date. I used to be completely baffled at how quickly the contestants on Stars In Their Eyes got changed! It took me a good few years to realise how it worked. It was never the same after that.
  • Spending hours walking around Tammy Girl trying to pick an outfit that would make you look like Mary Kate & Ashley. Mary-Kate was always my twin of choice as I thought she was a little more bad ass.
  • Thinking you were the absolute shit, busting a move out on your dance mat that required you to press so hard on the mat that you genuinely thought you were going to put your foot through the floor.
  • The absolute treat of your Mum asking whether you wanted to go to Blockbuster and pick a film. Although that lead to you spending the next 2 hours arguing over which film you could get and Spice World The Movie for the 10th time was a no-go.
  • The Sabrina The Teenage Witch magazine, that cost you only £1.99 for the first edition and then every other edition after that was a tenner. Nah mate. I'd rather spend my pocket money on Space Raiders and Panda Pops.
  • Scented gel pens! I remember when these first came out and a girl in my class got every scent & I genuinely considered jabbing her in the eye with my pencil to steal them all. I mean a POPCORN scented pen?! Who'd have thought it!
  • The Sunday night ritual of having a bath ready for school and then having to watch Heartbeat before it was bedtime. I hated it at the time, but now I am 24..it sounds pretty damn good.
  • Asking for a Furby for Christmas and then realising what a huge fucking mistake that was when the damn thing didn't shut it's beaky little mouth for hours & hours!
  • Spending your breaks at school playing MASH and hoping you would end up married to your nine year old crush, living in a mansion with three kids on the coast of Jamaica. Nine year old Rachael had big, big dreams.

I could write hundreds of reasons why being a 90's kid was the best but I don't want to make the 00's kids jealous..




Mum-To-Be Skincare | NSpa Gift Box.

Sunday, 26 February 2017
   



For Christmas, my mum bought me a lovely Mum to Be Gift Box from NSpa, it includes a Moisturising Bump Butter, Nourishing Stretch Mark Oil, a Soothing Nipple Balm (oh how glamorous) and a Deep Cleansing Mud Mask.

These are the first pregnancy related skin care products I have used and so far I am really enjoying them! The only product I haven't tried is the Soothing Nipple Balm, which I am saving for when Baby C is actually here and destroying my nipples..(pray for the nipples!!)

I love to use the Nourishing Stretch Mark Oil every night before I get in bed, you only really need a couple of drops as a little goes a long way. As I realised when I was a little heavy handed with the dispensing of the product and ended up looking like a contestant from a bodybuilding contest. 
I just use a couple of drops, warm it up between my palms and then rub in circular motions across my bump and hips. I don't actually think this will help prevent stretch marks, if you are going to get them..you are going to get them and I am completely fine with that. It just feels nice to have a little pamper.

After every shower, once I have dried myself off, I lather myself in the Moisturising Bump Butter. It contains Shea Butter, Rosehip Oil and Vitamin E and leaves my skin feeling so amazingly soft and nourished. It also smells lovely. This has been particularly helpful over the past few weeks as my bump has become quite itchy and this cream helps to cool and soothe my tummy.

These two products combined leave my bump feeling so lovely and soft. Hopefully the Nipple Balm will do the same..
This would be a lovely gift for any mummy's to be that you know, maybe for a upcoming birthday or baby shower. 


Which skincare have you been loving? Are there any products that you swore by when you were pregnant? 

Pregnancy Diary: 30 Weeks Pregnant | Third Trimester.

Friday, 24 February 2017
  
Baby Cope is now the size of a Cantaloupe (holy shit), is around 39 cm in length and weighs roughly around 3lb. I can't believe I am 30 WEEKS pregnant already, it's gone by so quickly which I really didn't expect. Im sure it will slow down once I finish for maternity (6 weeks and counting!). I thought I would give an update of how i've found pregnancy so far and how i'm feeling now that we're in the last stretch!

Baby Development: Baby Cope is now fully developed, their lungs just aren't quite mature enough yet to support them in the outside world, although if I happened to into premature labour, Baby would have a extremely good chance of survival. 

Pregnancy Symptoms: Third trimester insomnia..holy shit..I was NOT expecting it at all. For the past week I have been waking up every two hours in the night and by 5a.m, I am wide awake and just can't get back to sleep. I honestly live for my afternoon naps. 

Body Changes: My bump has suddenly come out of nowhere, I feel so big and I am loving it. The one thing however that I am not enjoying is the amount of comments I get everyday at work about whether my bump is small, neat, massive..I know you shouldn't let people and their comments get to you but it's just so hard to keep a straight face and not scream in their face. I have a WHOLE other blog post coming up on all the irritating and unwanted pregnancy comments I have had.

Baby's Movements: My absolute favourite thing this whole pregnancy is definitely feeling our gorgeous baby move. They've gone from crazy little kicks (which started around 18-20 weeks) to full-on rolls, wriggles, punches and hiccups. Baby is most active at night when I first lay in bed and I just sit & watch them roll over & move around. I just love it.

Antenatal Appointments & Classes: We attended our first class a couple of weeks ago at the hospital and it was a Positive Birth Workshop. There were only four other couples there so it was lovely and intimate, the midwife was so nice and friendly. She talked us through the benefits of being relaxed during pregnancy, tips on how to take care of yourself, the different labours you might want to have, pain relief ect. It was really useful and helpful. 

From day one I have wanted a water birth and I am still very much set on that idea (I know birth plans can go right out of the window and if that happens, that is absolutely fine) so the midwife was kind enough to take us on a tour of the birthing suite where there is a lovely big pool, bean bags, beds and a birthing ball. It was so relaxed, they had the lights turned right down, there were fairy lights on the ceiling, relaxing music playing. It was just a lovely, calm environment and really helped put my mind at ease being able to SEE the room where *hopefully* our baby will be born. 

Planning Ahead: I will have four weeks of maternity before Baby will make an appearance (if they come on their due date, which I am not counting on) so I have decided to treat myself at the local spa and have booked in for a 'Mummy To Be Package' which includes a back massage, leg massage, facial and a face mask for your bump. I am having this on my first week of maternity as a little treat to myself before the madness of parenthood arrives. I can't even explain how excited. Back ache and leg cramps in pregnancy are a real bitch so I can't wait to have a pamper session. 


Are any of you expecting a baby? I hope it isn't just me that feels like they are going to wet themselves at least five times a day..