Thursday, 30 October 2014

The symbolism of the pram

I think when most women find out they are pregnant, one of the most exciting prospects of the coming months (aside from actually having a baby) is the excuse for shopping. So much shopping *drools*. Theres so many gizmos and gadgets, necessities and not so necesseties, the clothes, the toys, the cot, the pram. We all love buying baby clothes, and the smaller they are the cuter they get! Then there are all the slightly boring bits and bobs, then the nursery furniture (something I have had the pleasure not to bother thinking about yet), and most excitingly the baby carriage. Aside from the cot, it is the largest piece of baby paraphernalia you will own, and one everybody will see you parading your new bundle about the town in.

There are so many variations on prams and pushchairs available out there, it can feel a little bit daunting. I remember whilst my mum was pregnant with my sister we used to go baby-window-shopping every weekend, and she would carry a notepad and pen around in her bag to write notes and compare prices of all the ones she would try out in the shops. She also used the notepad for price comparisons on pretty much all the baby supplies but that obsession is another story. Whenever we met pregnant people or people with children (whether we really knew them or not) she would quiz them on their choice of baby transportation and scribble it all down like some sort of journalist. Her favourites tended to be the nifty modern types that were super convinient; she ended up with the Urbo from Mamas and Papas. But I always gravitated towards the pretty and traditional looking ones.

When I started to think about baby shopping I barely even looked at any before I stumbled upon the Silver Cross website and fell in love. I was actually just fantasizing about the prospect of a huge coachbuilt pram, a really old one, when i clicked on their site. They still make the coachbuilt ones to order, but they cost about £1250 for the Kensington model and £1450 for the Balmoral (pictured below).


I then settled on the modernised version, the Sleepover Elegance.

I love this pram dearly, it is my pride and joy and I feel proud that I saved up so much of my own money to buy it even though it was so expensive. For once in my life I wanted something beautiful and expensive that I didn't have to feel guilty about because I really did earn it. It is, however, THE most impractical baby transporting device in the world, despite all these mummy magazine awards it has supposedly won. Ok maybe it's not THAT bad, but it certainly is difficult.  It's large and takes quite some time to learn to manoeuvre as the wheels are fixed. You can't really fold it any smaller than it already is, the base goes flat but thats about it. So basically unless you drive a people carrier or a van or a flat bed truck, you have no hopes of taking it anywhere.

But the suspension is beautifully bouncy and the cream leather superior.  It really is a show stopper. Where ever I go people stop and stare, specifically the older ladies,  who I like to call the Pram Pervs. I walk by and hear them whisper "ooh look what a beautiful pram!  It's a Silver Cross!". Some people just stroll on over and tell me it's lovely, and then hastily tack on the end that I also have a very cute baby. Yes, well I know you only came to nose. Good job I know my baby is cute and I don't need confirmation from you!

I don't know about the reasons most women make the pram choices they do, but I certainly know that my choice is an indulgence of my inner little girl who always dreamed of a big Silver Cross. Its what I though motherhood was all about when I was a child. I'm proud to push my baby around in such an iconic masterpiece!

Thursday, 2 October 2014

10 things about breastfeeding I never expected

So heres a few things that have surprised me about breastfeeding.  All in good humour of course...

1. MY BOOBS MAKE MILK! WTF! Yeah this is still a novelty to me.

2. If I change my breast pads every feed, I don't need to change my bra right? No I really need a new bra...

3. Expressing milk is the most mind numbing thing you will ever do... especially at 3am in the dark. 20 minutes of trying not to fall asleep whilst keeping the pump going and attempting to use your phone screen to see if there's actually anything coming out or not....

4. That jealous boob feeling.  You feed with one boob and the other one starts leaking because he wants some action too.

5. That over excited boob feeling. My nipples seem to know when baby needs to feed before baby even knows she's hungry.

6. Feeling uber proud of myself that I managed to express 5oz in ten minutes. This mama is a MILK GODDESS!

7. Then crying because I just spilled said 5oz all over the kitchen counter. Considering trying to scoop it back into the bottle because that shit is too valuable!

8. Forceful milk letdown. I wondered what this was until I was feeding Reegan in the baby clinic that is held in a church, she started coughing and pulled off my nipple, causing milk to spurt about three feet over the edge of my seat and onto the bookcase next to me. "Oh jesus! *plugs nipple with muslin* Oh shit, you can say jesus in church! OH FUCK I JUST SWORE IN A CHURCH!!!"

9. Feeing upset when baby is sick because she is wasting my milk. Shouting at my other half when he jiggles baby because she might be sick and I will hold him personally responsible for any loss of liquid boob-gold.

10. The milk sweats. Ugh what even is that!! I smell like I haven't washed in a week!

Saturday, 27 September 2014

They say the first six weeks are the hardest....

And I totally agree with this. Maybe even just the first three weeks. I used to watch the clock just to stay sane, at first taking things hours by hour, feed by feed,  I would look forward to nighttimes because then I was closer to the worst part being over and then tomorrow would come. I would see the clock and think,  oh good it's almost midnight, only a few more hours, I'm halfway there already. And as things gradually got easier I just took things day by day, just constantly reminding myself it won't last forever. Babies are only this small for so long, breastfeeding isn't forever. Sleepless nights aren't forever. However crappy you feel about it there is always and ending somewhere down the line, all you have to do is keep sight of it. Not to say that I wished the time away though. I take pictures of Reegan every day and I cherish those cuddles and the way she looks up at me when I'm talking, and won't take her eyes off me when I'm feeding her. It's difficult but it's still amazing.

 I think for me the breastfeeding troubles were the worst part, and just as the sleep deprivation was getting to me, Reegan started to sleep six hours in the night. The first time it happened I woke up five hours after putting her to bed with a start, and started panicking when I saw the clock and counted on my fingers how long she had been asleep. Yes, baby brain has me resorting to finger counting like a child again. I picked her up to try and wake her, which didn't work,  so I resorted to a less than gentle nappy change to get her awake. Eventually she did wake up, but by the time she was feeding it had been about five and a half hours.  I was terrified that she shouldn't be going this long between feeds and that she might loose weight or become dehydrated or ill if I didn't feed her often enough. But like I said before, Reegan only wakes up on her own terms. After a little reassurance from the health visitor I quickly grew to appreciate the six hours sleeep in the night!  Although I still have to get out of bed after three hours to express lest I have a horrible milky accident.

After Reegan had her tongue tie snipped at three weeks old, the breastfeeding troubles started to improve the very next day. And for maybe a week, things were perfect. Until the evening fussy time started. I've heard it called the 'witching hour' before, and it surely is awful, but apparently very normal. But to start with I was stressed out and absolutely convinced that there must be something wrong with my child. Turns out, she is the pooiest baby on the planet (every nappy has poo in it. Literally the only nappy that hasn't been pooey was her very first one when we were still in the hospital. Ironically enough I was desperate for her to produce on the poo front so they would let us go home, and when she eventually did, she  never stopped. Can't tell you how many times this mama has been shit on!) So as long as I can help her poo, and use infacol to help with the burpies, fussy time is then just a case of lots of cuddles and walking in circles around the living room with her.

But just as fussy time reared it's ugly head, Reegan started to smile. At three and a half weeks she had the whisper of a smile on her lips, and by almost five weeks she was beaming at me every morning. I have no idea how Rob and I managed to produce this happy little morning person. I don't know where she gets it from. But now at six weeks she is also cooing and making cute little noises that aren't crying.  Noises that aren't crying! Hallelujah!  Things are definitely easier now.  I'm pretty happy, Rob is pretty happy, and majority of the day our little milk monster is pretty contented too.

Hopefully now I can keep up with the mummy blogging, and get it all down beforr I start to forget these precious first weeks! Reegan barely even looks like a newborn now, she's all stretched out and chubby, she's much more alert now and actually has modes other than 'sleep mode' or 'scream until my father's eardrums burst mode'. Just like a proper little baby now!

Monday, 8 September 2014

Breastfeeding is hard, and nothing prepares you for that.

This post may be long and a little boring, but I think I need to share a bit about my breastfeeding journey. Its been really tough (and not over yet), and I think writing will help me get some perspective on the situation amd help me look back in the future and remember how I felt at the time. And if it helps anyone else by reading it then that's great too.

Even though I didn't get my water birth in the birth centre and had a monitored induction, I had a straightforward delivery without complications, and a healthy baby. I feel very lucky. The breastfeeding, however,  has been incredibly difficult. When people asked me during my pregnancy whether I did intend to breastfeed, I would tell them that I would like to at least have a go at it, keeping in mind that it doesn't work for everyone. It began quite well, as soon as Reegan was born my lovely midwife put her straight onto my chest and helped me to latch her on, which we had absolutely no problems with. I was very happy, although my boobs were pretty sore, and continued to feed her that day as often as she wanted (even though the nurses on the ward were trying to make me wake her up to feed more often.  I know now that when Reegan is sleeping she won't be woken. She will wake up in her own time when she is hungry and you can't force her).

I had some issues with being discharged from the hospital that night; one nurse pretty much let me go, we were literally putting Reegan into her car seat and putting our coats on when she came back and said mistakes had been made, I had not be monitored enough during the day and I wouldn't be allowed home. I later discovered my obs had only been recorded once all day, and as a patient who was induced due to high blood pressure I was supposed to be closely monitored.  I was devastated,  and Rob then had to leave because visiting hours were over. I spent the next two hours in tears, asking for painkillers for my stitches and waiting for a doctor to come and see me. One nurse eventually came in and saw me crying and went to get a midwife,  who worked some magic and discharged me within half an hour.

I struggled to feed her that night, and the pain got so bad that Rob went to the 24hr supermarket in the early hours to get formula milk because Reegan was screaming with hunger and I was sobbing because I couldn't feed her. I thought because I had been so upset at the hospital that my milk had dried up. Not to mention exhausted because i hadn't the really slept in about 36 hours. The midwife who visited me at home the next day gave me some encouraging advice and I decided to pursue it, even though my my breasts had started to feel like they were burning up and were extremely sore. I couldn't (and still can't most of the time) bear to have my bra off at all. I spent three more days in pain and sweating, using cold flannels and cabbage leaves to soothe the pain. I went for a bra fitting and was told I probably had mastitis because my breasts were so hot and swollen and had started to go red and splotchy. The next day a midwife confirmed this, but was reluctant to put me on antibiotics in case it gave me thrush.

So for a few days I expressed milk into cold flannels to releive the pain, but when I latched Reegan to me at feeding times I would get a searing pain shooting from my nipples to my elbows. It was so bad I would sweat and cry, amd dreaded every feed. I nearly gave up again a couple of times, but the only reason I didn't was because we tried to give Reegan a bottle again but this time she wouldn't take it. So I had to carry on. The next midwife I saw asked me how things were going and I just burst into tears. She told me the reason for my pain was thrush, and gave me treatment for both myself and my baby, but also picked up on the little clicking noise that Reegan makes during a feed and suspected a tongue tie so put in a refferal which we had to wait a week for.

We have now finished the treatment but things haven't improved as much as I would like. I spent the first two weeks of Reegan's life on alot of paracetamol and ibuprofen, and although I've just managed to wean myself from them it still hurts. My left breast was so badly cracked I have been expressing milk and bottle feeding it for a week now. It's starting to heal, but because the other nipple was also bad the health visitor told me to use a different position to ease the pressure, which has helped. We finally saw the feeding specialist yesterday who confirmed that Reegan has a mild tongue tie, which has caused the damage to my nipples, which in turn has been causing all the deep pains I have had which she said is most likely nerve pain from the wounds. So Tuesday is our next appointment and Reegan will probably have her tongue tie snipped and hopefully things might get better for us. I feel bad for putting her through such an ordeal, but if it means I can carry on breastfeeding her then I am prepared to do it. Through all the pain and sweat and tears, when it doesn't hurt as much, it really is worth it.

Three weeks old!

So Reegan is now three weeks old! I wish I'd had more time to write just lately, but she's keeping me quite busy!  She weighed 8lb 2oz when she was born, and after loosing a tiny amount in the first couple of days, she has piled it back on ever since and the last time she was weighed on Tuesday she was 9lb 6oz. So far, she has been very good. She doesn't cry excessively,  and for the most part has been sleeping at least three hours at a time at night.  The past three nights she has gone 5 hours and then three hours and three hours again between feeds. Bliss!

With all the weight gain and growing she's been doing she's starting to grow into her looks, rather than just looking like a scrunched up newborn. This week she has been opening her eyes and looking around a lot more, so today we set up her little baby chair. It's like a bouncer only it sways instead of bounces. Her first bath was a rather stressful eveny for all involved,  so since then I have just been having her in the bath with me, and she is much happier that way. Rob dried her hair into a little baby mohawk last night and now it's stuck that way.

Look how chubby! Love her.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Birth announcement!

Our baby girl Reegan was born on Friday the 15th of August 2014,  at 3.25am. 8lb3oz.

So I never did get to write my last pregnancy post! I didn't actually give birth until I was 41 weeks, but I had spent the five days leading up to that in the hospital waiting to be induced. The midwife discovered on my 40 week appointment that I had high blood pressure,  so she gave me a stretch and sweep in the hope of getting things going and I had to see a consultant the next day. He decided that if things didn't improve in three days (when the weekend was over) that I would need to be induced. So when I was checked on monday and still had high blood pressure I was sent to the hospital.  I spent about eight hours in the day assessment unit being monitored for them to finally decide I should come back in the morning to 'officially check in'.

I had the pessary thing put in, and from then it was a waiting game. When they decided I was prepped enough for labour I then had to wait for an available bed on the delivery ward, and after sitting there for two days thinking I was stuck in this weird limbo for pregnant women forever, a midwife told me on Thursday evening that I was first in line for the next bed on delivery. So I thought maybe there will be one by morning, I didn't want to get my hopes up. Then an hour and a half later another midwife came in with a huge grin on her face and said, "You want to come and play on delivery ward then?" And I was like FUCK YEAH. Excuse the language,  I had been waiting a while ;) and from there it was all systems go really.

I won't go any further just yet,  I want to write a whole post on my birth story, but I need some help writing it as I can't really remember much.

I'll show you my farewell belly photos, and my one week post partum belly photo :) just because I always used to wonder what the hell happened to pregnant bellies once the baby is born.

Mine seemed to go down relatively quickly,  being as I didn't have a very flat stomach to start with. So I'm pretty happy with my post baby body, it's amazing what your body goes through and I'm proud of every stretch mark and wobbly bit, they are my medals earned that mark me as a mother now.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Happy due date!

Naughty, NAUGHTY lexi. So lazy with blogging this week! But it has been a crazy week.... where to begin!

Today is my due date, and everyone is fully expecting baby to be here by Monday.  I had a little false alarm on Tuesday when I was out shopping, I was having pains all day and then I thought my waters broke. The friend I was shopping with got all panicky and excited and kept telling me I had to call my mum but I was hungry and just wanted to eat my sandwich!  So I eventually got home, called everyone and called the hospital,  who advised me to wait 6 hours and check in. After six hours they asked me to go into the day assesment unit, which is basically A&E for pregnant women. Everything is sooo slow and you have to wait forever for anything. So after a few hours I was eventually told that my waters hadn't broken and to go home.

Everyone seemed pretty disappointed because they really thought it was going to happen. It doesn't bother me, like I said, I have quite enjoyed being pregnant.  Plus, it's like when we couldn't find out the sex of the baby and everyone wanted to know, I'm quite happy to wait and see and just enjoy watching everyone elses impatience ;)

But then I had a midwife appointment on Thursday,  and had my stretch and sweep done. The midwife was very positive and seemed to think things could move forwards soon, as I was already 1-2cm dialated. I had a follow up appointment with a consultant today because I have slightly raised blood pressure,  but he was so lovely and just wants me to go into natural labour soon. He told me to drink raspberry leaf tea (FYI: vile. Lol.) and I have another appointment on monday, if my bp stays high he may want to induce me.

Overall I'm feeling pretty positive about things, although maybe slightly nervous becuase I know baby could be here very very soon. I feel as if I am on the verge of something monumental, which of course I am, but it's just so hard to comprehend!  I'm glad I had my pamper day Wednesday, while I had the chance! I feel bad because my poor mum and gran have been running around like loons for me whilst all this has been going on, because my mum is going to be one of my birthing partners and she lives so far away she doesn't want to miss anything, and has ended up running backwards and forwards between my house and hers amidst all the drama!

Who knows, maybe my next post will be a birth announcement! I'll leave you with my 40 week belly photo :)

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Mat leave week eight: 38 weeks pregnant

The time draws near! I can't believe my due date is next friday. And it seems I have slipped into terrible late blogging habits as I actually turn 39 weeks in two days but oh well! The hotter the weather gets I'm going out less and less just because its so unbearable so I don't have all that much to report on these days. Although every little symptom or twinge is suddenly very interesting to EVERYONE around me, I'm constantly being asked if I have any signs yet. Rob was convinced baby would of been here last friday, and is now saying baby will be here by the end of this week but theres no way of knowing! Theres no sense of impending doom or anything like that yet anyway...

I had a couple of funny moments in the past week where I thought maybe something would happen but nothing did. Whenever I do start feeling sick or twingy the one thing that makes me feel better is leaning forwards or getting on all fours, so thats probably an indication of what I'll be doing in labour. Despite all the rubbishy bits,  I think I have been lucky with a smooth pregnancy and have actually really enjoyed being pregnant (except first trimester. Yuck.) And when people ask if I'm fed up of being pregnant yet or don't I just want it out by now I can happily say no I'm quite happy as things are thanks! The only thing that bugs me is knowing that baby could come at any time and not knowing when that time will be. It's exciting but the suspense is killing me!

So baby is the size of a leek this week. I really can't tell,  people keep telling me how large I am but I actually feel like I have stopped growing now. The fact that my belly has dropped actually makes it feel smaller than before, and I have earned my first proper belly stretchmarks now!

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Mat leave week seven: 37 weeks pregnant

It's another late post this week... oops! It's just so ridiculously hot right now that I can't be bothered to do anything at all, I spent half of yesterday napping!  I heard on the telly this morning that this heatwave is set to last until mid August. On the one hand, THERE IS AN END IN SIGHT! But on the other, we have to wait at least another four weeks or so for it to happen. Blah. But hopefully by the time baby is here things will have improved.

I'm feeling larger than ever at the moment, moving about quickly is just impossible now and I feel so slow and awkward! But only 3 weeks to go! (Five tops). I'm not exactly feeling miserable and fed up of being pregnant,  maybe just a bit bored of it now. I just want baby to be here! Since Rob only recently admitted he didn't really like the main girl's name that we picked out for baby, I have been frantically pulling all sorts of baby name lists off of the internet and bombarding him with them for him to say yes or no. Only, he just keeps saying no. He doesn't like ANY. It's really really frustrating,  and I'm worried if we have a baby girl she will end up with no name at all! He even had a funny five minutes of the number one boys name we had picked, but luckily I managed to talk him out of that one, he picked it in the first place! So some serious last minute brain storming is in order. I want something really different and unusual,  maybe a little gothic sounding, it doesn't have to be but that will make me more inclined to like it ;) and it's funny because I tend to lean towards monosyllabic names most, or names with no more than two syllables.  And the girls name I had previously set my heart on was actually three syllables.  So there, I like simple, yet unusual.

Just lately it also seems that everyone is watching me with their beady eyes. I can't sigh or huff or puff or even put my hand on my belly without somebody saying, 'Are you ok??' As if I am going into labour or something.  It's funny. But annoying. Although I have been getting alot of braxton hicks, especially when I exert myself too much ( which doesn't take alot. Could be something as stupid as getting up off of the sofa). And little twinges of cramps in my back. But still, nothing dramatic yet.

I know this is going to sound really really weird,  but I miss wearing socks at the moment.  The weather is so hot all I wear is flip flops or nothing on my feet, but sometimes I really miss socks. And even if it was cool enough to wear them, I would have to wear Rob's socks, because mine are too tight now! Well, they feel pretty uncomfortable if I put them on, but maybe thats just because it's been so long since I have actually worn any that I can't remember what it's supposed to feel like.

Aside from a lazy weekend with Rob and dinner out on Friday night, I haven't actually done anything interesting this week. And yet I have still managed to ramble on about socks and the weather for this long! But to the point, it was our second anniversary on Saturday,  so we just spent lots of quality time to celebrate.  The past two years have gone really fast, especially the last nine months! It's amazing to think about where we are now and how much things have changed since then!

Baby is apparently the size of a swiss chard this week,  what do you think??

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Mat leave week six: 36 weeks pregnant

This week I am getting quite impatient. Obviously B-day is getting closer and closer, and random people I don't know keep asking my due date when I tell them they act startled and step back as if my waters are about to break over their shoes. Haha! I really would just like to meet baby now and to see what that little person who's been kicking me from the inside out the past few months really looks like. We finally have the crib set up in our bedroom, and although it hasn't got any bedding in it yet and the mattress is still wrapped in plastic,  I stuck a little giraffe teddy in there to look cute. My dad bought it for the baby and I really love it! I have a weird attachment thing about teddies and stuffed toys.... I cuddle them and talk to them like they're people. I get really sad when I see them discarded or abused.... I just want to rescue them all! And don't worry, this isn't another weird pregnancy thing, I have always been this strange.

See my little giraffe in the crib! I love him. Me and Rob had an argument because he says that giraffey looks nothing like a giraffe,  because he has no neck. So now we have started calling him No-Neck.

I also just finished de-tagging and unwrapping the rest of the baby clothes and blankets and general paraphernalia.  I really wanted to put a wash on and do the hoovering but its half past nine at night... just lately I always end up my most productive at night time. In the evenings I go into hyper nesting mode!

Physically I'm feeling pretty tired, and moving about is awkward because I feel like I have a bowling ball strapped to my belly. Despite this I actually really love my big round belly and will be sad to see it go (or not.... haha) when baby is born. But having only gained 8 kilos so far in the pregnancy I'm feeling quite positive about this. This week baby is the size of a romaine lettuce. In length I hope. But I forgot to include in last weeks post that baby was roughly the weight of a honeydew melon, so sorry about that guys!

I seem to have developed a new thing for lemons and citrus fruits and flavours. I have been into sour things (infamously pineapple) for a while but now it is definitely lemon. Today I went shopping with my gran and my cousin,  and when we went to the Yankee Candle shop we were smelling everything,  and I had to keep smelling the lemon and citrus ones over and over until I had to leave the shop because I just wanted to eat everything.  So then we went to get lunch and I had raspberry lemonade (because it was super sharp) and a lemon cupcake. Then after our dinner this evening Rob's mum bought a lemon meringue (spelling?!) pie for dessert. I don't even like it that much usually,  but this pie was the most amazing thing ever. Funny thing was, nobody else could eat theirs because the curd was way too sour! It took some serious self control not to finish the thing off it was so nice!!

So this week I'm all about teddies and lemons it seems... yum! I think I might make some lemon curd now...

Until next week! My 36 week belly photo.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Mat leave week five: 35 weeks pregnant

So this past week I have mostly just been chilling out and catching up on resting rather than socialising. I've also used the quiet time to get back into crafting more, and have made a few hair accessories.  I had to sew a couple of bows by hand because somehow I have lost the power cable and foot pedal for my sewing machine.

Little pink bows with crocodile hair grips
Alice band with lilac foam roses

I'm getting heart burn horrendously at the moment, and it's making me grumpy sometimes, but other than that I'm feeling pretty good. Maybe gradually more tired than a few weeks ago but not noticeably so. I do keep having very vivid dreams though. I have always had quite strange dreams that usually I do remember more often than not, but lately I keep dreaming about baby. In the past week I've had one dream that baby is a girl and one dream that baby is a boy. So who knows!

Our dog Inca has also been behaving differently lately. She is becoming increasingly more attached to me, especially when we are home alone. She is needy and whiny and just wants to be near me all the time, and when I'm sat on the sofa or on the living room floor crafting she has to sit between me and the windows and doors,  like she is guarding me haha!

Inca guarding her mummy!

We had some friends over for a barbeque on Sunday,  something which we haven't really been able to do much at all since we moved in with Rob's parents, and I can't wait to have our own place to do things like that much more. A couple of friends also brought their new baby with them, and it was the first time Inca has gotten to meet a baby, which was interesting.  She kept wanting to sniff and lick him all the time, especially when I was holding him! She seemed to want to stay quite close until the food was brought out, and she was then more interested in begging for scraps, which is pretty typical of her!

I have a midwife appointment later on this week, and at the last appointment baby was head down and 4/5 engaged. Until I came home and told Rob's mum this I didn't know that it can be an indicator as to how ready baby is for birth, although obviously this can change as baby moves around anyway. She panicked a bit because she was due to go on holiday this week and doesn't come back until Thursday,  she was worried I would go into labour early! I know that baby has been in the same position for quite a few weeks now; head down, bum at my belly button height, and feet up in my left ribs. Quite often I feel tiny hands moving around in my lower abdomen,  which is really cool but also weird and sometimes really tickly. And when baby stretches out I quite often get a stitch on the left side of my ribs.

Hopefully this week we will be moving the bedroom around and putting up baby's crib, I can't wait!

Until then ;) heres my 35 week belly photo.

And this funny snapchat that Rob took the other day. Ignore my icky scarred belly button!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Mat leave week four: 34 weeks pregnant

Thirty four weeks! This means that in definitely 8 weeks or less baby will be here! It's so exciting and I think I'm getting a bit impatient now. Now I have pretty much finished lining my drawers with paper I have started to sort through all of the baby clothes and wash them ready to be put away, the fact that I managed to wash clothes that aren't black and not ruin them is quite an achievement for me.

I also packed my baby changing bag, which I got as a gift from my mum, it's huge and sturdy with lots of pockets and compartments. When I started packing the newborn nappies into it I couldn't resist opening one up for a look. It was soo tiny! And I liked how thin it was (the Naty eco disposable nappies), it didn't feel like it was stuffed with that yucky stuff that goes into most nappies. I mentioned previously how I intend to use cloth nappies eventually, but they aren't recommended until baby is about 8 weeks or older. Until then I'm just going to use whatever,  as a new parent I'm going to have enough on my hands without thinking about that too!

So here is my changing bag :) the front bit that looks like an envelope is the fold out changing mat, attached by two metal clips.

And here is a little peek of what's inside. It comes with the pink fleece blanket you see here, as well as a pink polka dot bottle holder thing too. It doesn't feel like I have an awful lot packed into it yet, but by the time it's in use I suppose it's going to be full of things like bottles and dummies and spare clothes etc.

I also packed my hospital bag this week! Yay! I feel at ease knowing that if I were to suddenly go into labour I am as prepared as I can be. As much as I do love being pregnant,  I am beginning to get excited for me not being pregnant anymore. I would quite like to go back on omeprazole for my heartburn (which also means I can DRINK! Without pain or regrets afterwards!) And cannot wait to bleach my hair again after all this waiting and growing out business. I'm wondering if my skin is going to change much after the birth too, as pregnancy has brought on eczema and really exacerbated my dry skin. I have to exfoliate my face twice a day sometimes, it's hard work!

Plus, I can eat whatever I want too!! Mmmm blue steak....

Baby is the size (weight) of a cantaloupe melon this week, and I can really tell! I was told that baby's movements can slow down at this stage, but not this one! Since I first started feeling baby move at about sixteen or seventeen weeks baby has always been very active, never more than two hours without movement.  We now get hiccups every day too, sometimes twice a day! I heard a rumour (there are so many strange things people say about pregnancy that aren't true) that lots of hiccups means baby will suffer from reflux and/or colic after birth. I doubt it's true, I really hope it isn't anyway!

Here are the two 'homecoming outfits' I have packed for baby to come home in, one in case the weather is really really hot.

Baby grow with matching bib and hat

Little romper incase the weather is hot

I am also packing a baby grow in a slightly bigger size, just in case baby is on the large side! Speaking of large, I will leave you with my 34 week belly photo ;)

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Mat leave week three: 33 weeks pregnant

Apologies that I'm a tad late on the preggo
diary post this week, but it's just been soo busy! I had my baby shower on Saturday (thanks again to everyone who came/helped etc. Love you all) and I have also been on two day trips since then. I thought I would be bored and lonely on maternity leave, but my calendar seems to be full at the moment!

So. General achievements this week.
Baby shower. Check.

Look what my family made! ITS MY PRAM ! <3 and half the cakes had been eaten by the time I got to take this...

Stool reupholstering. Check.

So proud of this! I am also still rather trigger happy from using the staple gun.

Quality family time. Check. Trip One with other half's mum and sister to the charming Axeminster fair, where I may have purchased a new teacup. And milk jug. And restrained myself from buying at least two whole teasets. Mama is broke yknow!

 Trip two was with Rob to stay at my mums house overnight, and then today we went to Bird Land gardens in the Cotswolds. Lovely.

My little sister loving the penguins! It was mad how close they were. Feel a bit sorry for them in this hot weather though.

I also went out with Rob's mum for some more baby things. She bought us a crib so baby now has somewhere to sleep! Yay!

The crib we got.  It rocks and also has a locking mechanism and is small enough to fit down the side of our bed. And its preeeetty!

I am so glad we finally bought the crib, it was really put my mind at ease in being that little bit more prepared for baby's arrival. Not to mention all the wonderful baby shower gifts! I have now sorted those into 'ready for iminent use' - clothes, blankets and a couple of toiletry type bits, and 'save for laters' - toys, teddies, larger bits and bobs, because we just don't have the space for much at thr moment. The save for laters are going to join my pram in storage at my gran's house for now.

So after such a busy week I am pretty tired out! Which doesn't take much these days. At my ante natal class on Thursday we had this scary physio lady come to tell us about pelvic floor exercises (don't ask this part was traumatising), posture and labour positions.  She basically made us all feel bad for not doing our pelvic floor exercises and then even worse about pregnancy posture (turns out EVERYTHING that is remotely comfortable is now banned. It is bad for your pelvis don't you know). Getting comfy is difficult enough these days, but now I have Scary Physio Lady echoing in my ears whenever I do something she told us not to do. Baby is now the weight of a pineapple apparently, so its not easy!

I also got to have a sneaky peak at the ages of all the other women in my ante natal class which was interesting.  At the first class I did get the feeling I was the youngest person present and the list of names confirmed my suspisions. I'm the youngest at 20, the next youngest woman is 23, then 29, and everyone else is in their 30s and a couple in their 40s. I think maybe it's some sort of new thing to have babies at an older age? Cosmopolitan would have us beleive that we are all feminist career women these days and this seems to prove that. Maybe it's just the area I live in,  but it seemed that a few years ago everyone was starting young. I don't know.

Enough of my waffling any how... I must wander in search of food... pregnant woman must feed every two hours.

33 week belly photo!

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Mat leave week two: 32 weeks pregnant

I can't believe I have been out of work for two weeks already, the time is flying by at an alarming rate. I'm really hoping all this hot weather doesn't continue,  as I dislike hot weather at the best of times and I don't like the thought of caring for a newborn in the midst of a heatwave.

We spent the day at Download Festival yesterday, and although we were disappointed we weren't getting to camp out this year I was very glad to come home at the end of the day. Things tire me out easily these days, and by 7pm I was feeling like I'd had enough and wanted to go to bed! During the day the sun was scorching hot so I spent alot of it watching the main stage from the comfort of a camping chair beneath my umbrella.  When I wasn't trecking back and forth to the toilets that is.

Skindred were the best performance of the day although headliners Avnenged Sevenfold certainly didn't disappoint. 

Not used to people's reactions when I wear this top, most people just want to compliment me on it but I end up getting annoyed and thinking WTF IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE WHY WON'T THEY STOP POINTING AT ME. I'm not that huge,  am I? ;)

Its getting quite difficult to spend much time in certain positions now, like standing up and walking (resulting in breathless bouts of Brackston hicks, sore back/pelvis and sciatic nerve pain) sitting upright (for some reason really hurts my ribs) or just sitting on flat seats (numb bum!). Not that I'm complaining actually,  because I feel pretty great. For the first time in my pregnancy I have actually started to feel really excited and impatient for baby's arrival and just want cuddles with baby now. Who, by the way is getting quite large (apparently the size of a kale. What?!) And very very active although baby always has been, the movements are now quite monumental and even painful at times.

But I started my DIY projects! The first one is lining my dresser drawers with wall paper, because all of baby's things are in those drawers and as it's old the wood is a bit rough and splintery in places.

I managed to get some really pretty paper from B&Q, so I'm quite pleased with it. I will have to find more uses for this paper because I definitely have more than I need and it's too lovely not to use. I also bought some fabric for reupholstering my little stool, but its not thick and hardy like I originally planned. I found a lovely black embroidered chinese silk and fell in love with it, I not only bought more than I need (for other purposes I haven't decided on yet...) but I am going to have to be careful on how much the stool gets used now because the fabric is quite thin and delicate. Pics of that one soon!

And lastly my 32 week belly photo :) think I will make a GIF with these once baby is born. Shame I haven't done them for the whole pregnancy but I'm only actually just feeling confident enough to do it!

Saturday, 7 June 2014

First week of maternity leave

I'm now 31 weeks pregnant! Wooo! And as this week comes to a close so does my first week of maternity leave. I wanted to start a sort of maternity leave diary as firstly a countdown until baby arrives, and secondly to keep myself motivated and looking forwards at a time when things are probably going to go rather slowly and be very frustrating for me. So I need things to stay as positive as possible :)

Some interesting pregnancy developments, my feets and hands are now so fat I can't wear rings anymore, and I have to fold the elastic of my socks back down over my heel or else they dig in and make painful indents around my ankles! Baby is now so large (apparently the size of a coconut? I don't know if thats supposed to mean weight as they are meant to be about  41cm long?) I can now feel every little movement going on in there, I can tell hands and feet apart and baby has a tendency to stick his/her bum up and out on the left side of my belly button. I've been having some Braxton Hicks, which aren't painful but just make my belly go especially round like a ball and really hard. Although I have been having some back and belly cramps which may or may not be related,  I'm not sure. My belly button is now starting to look rather ugly; I had my belly button pierced years ago but let it heal over when I had problems with keloid scarring which was really gross and I ended up with a bit of a lump on the inside. Well now my belly has stretched the scar has doubled in size and gone purple, and where the lip of my belly button has started to push out I have a weird fold where the inside scar is. Yuck!

But on the plus side I have accomplished so much this week, it has been very productive indeed and I'm feeling quite proud of that. I finally ordered my pram (I'll include pics when it arrives) as well as bought lots of useful bits and bobs too.

Eco disposable nappies and nappy sacks!
I am really pleased to have come across these in Boots, as I'm actually planning on using cloth nappies, but I know that when a newborn goes through 15 nappies a day it's not going to be as easy as it sounds. So this is my solution for the in between times! Yay! They are made from GM free corn based films, so natural and renewable sources,  and contain no nasty chemicals or fragrances.  They are a Swedish brand, are FSC approved AND recommended by the Swedish Asthma and Allergy Association (yay for astmatics with eczema like me!) so can't wait to try these out.

And I also scored a total bargain in Asda. Check out this dupe for a John Lewis cot bedding set!

The top one is my set from Asda, which included the quilt and the cot bumper for £28. Plus you can buy all that other matching crap too if it takes your fancy. Although in real life the embroidery isn't quite that bold and dark looking. The bottom one is the John Lewis version,  in which all is sold separately at £35 EACH. So in stead of paying £70 for the set, I got the Asda one for less than £30. Heres to savvy mummy shopping!

Sorry for the long post, just feels like I have so much to say this week! Plus I have so much more time on my hands... but more on that one next week ;)

P.s here is my 31 week belly photo that I almost forgot.

Friday, 23 May 2014

The preggo diary. Week 29

So I haven't been all that inspired to write much in the way of all things pregnancy lately,  but now I'm in my third trimester and it's the hot topic on everyone's lips at the moment,  I thought I would share.

As I said in my last post, people are now actually starting to ask me if I am pregnant and wow how many weeks etc etc. It is a nice feeling, but at the same time the bigger you get, the more people want to talk about it. It's as if your business and pregnancy is now public property.  Ironic I know, as here I am blogging about it. I do find it funny though. It's a good job I am pretty easy going about it because some people mind being asked if their pregnancy was planned (something even my family didn't ask me!) or what the sex of the baby is (and their opinion that you HAVE to keep it a surprise/ find out IMMEDIATELY/ insert stupid forceful opinion here).

I work in a pub, so obviously I talk to people alot, and customers get curious, so I take it in my stride. Luckily nobody that isn't my family or friends have felt the need to touch my belly (invited or not) yet. Luckier still nobody has told me "gosh you are big/small/low/all in the back/all in the front" in comparison to dates and other pregnant women they may know. Ok, apart from my gran. She says I am carrying all "hippy" and that I MUST be having a boy because my ass is huge. But thats fine because I know my bum is pretty large at the moment,  and I know she means it affectionately.  God help the first stranger to tell me something like that though.

I think I have escaped the worst of it though, I don't know if I just haven't come across anyone that rude or nosy yet, or maybe my style is just intimidating!  I was once told by someone I went to school with that he was intimidated by me because I was "that scary goth girl that hates everyone" !! So maybe that still stands ;) I think I am quite a happy person in general, so it must just be the fashion sense!

I will leave you with this belly photo, at bang on 29 weeks.

As you can see I am getting very round now. Sometimes I catch sight of my reflection in a shop window or something and double take at the apparent football stuffed under my tshirt. I don't think I was prepared to be getting this big. I just didn't think I would really grow that much (I know this sounds really stupid as I still have 11 weeks to go, OBVIOUSLY I am going to get much bigger than this) I thought "no, that won't happen to me surely" duuuhhh! Stupid Lexi.

Until next week folks!

Friday, 9 May 2014

27 weeks pregnant + funky tshirt belly photos

I really don't know where the time is even going at the moment.... 27 weeks has come around fast! Yesterday marked three calendar months until my due date, although I actually have 13 weeks to go. I will also be going on maternity leave at the end of the month, and I am glad I made the decision to start this early. Work has been very tiring lately, and I'm struggling with my back and sciatica problems. Incidentally, they only play up very badly when I'm actually at work!

But in all seriousness,  I am too large to be working behind a busy bar these days. Last night I had my second falling incident this month when I tripped over my poor supervisor, landed on him ass first, and in the process threw half a bowl of water over him. Luckily we are friends and it was actually very funny. My sense of gravity just doesn't know where it is anymore, the slightest uncertainty and I end up on my huge pregnant ass. Good job I'm pretty padded there!

Enough of the boring stuff, have some belly photos of me in my cute new top that my other half bought for me!

As you can see, I'm getting rather large these days. People are actually beginning to ask me if / when I am expecting now, which is awesome because at least I know they aren't secretly wondering if I'm just fat!! Belly does get in the way rather much though, I feel like I can never really hug anyone anymore! And any time someone accidentally touches or bumps against my stomach they freak out as if they may have just sent me into premature labour. Which is quite amusing after all the 'HONESTLY. I'm fine. You barely touched me. No those aren't my waters on the floor.' Because it pretty much happens constantly.

All in all, can't wait to not be working anymore! Although I know I will be VERY bored,  on the plus side I might actually blog a bit more often!

Friday, 2 May 2014

Goth maternity wear: key pieces make great outfits

So, by far the easiest way to build up a decent wardrobe of any style or season is by finding key pieces that will take you through a variety of different looks. This is especially true for maternity wear, even more so for those of us with distinct and unusual tastes in fashion.

Personally, because of my job I have to wear plainish black clothes that are stretchy and not fussy, meaning alot of leggings and vests are involved. But I also really like leggings. Like I said before, a legging fetish of sorts. So my first two staple pieces are maternity leggings, always available in black, but look out for cool patterns in maternity sizes too, and long vests. Long vests are great because you don't have to search (often in vain) for decent maternity vests to suit you, and if you find ones long enough to cover your bum more the better as you can pair with leggings.

Black maternity leggings and a long vest, with a pink polka dotted blouse (non maternity, worn open) to jazz it up a bit. Black wedge trainers for the smart casual look.

Lots of people also love maternity jeans, and there are lots of colours and styles available on the internet these days. I myself can't stand wearing jeans and haven't for years, I find it difficult to find styles that are both flattering and comfy (and gothy. Haha) so I can't imagine anything worse than wearing jeans whilst pregnant.

My next staple is oversized band tshirts. I haven't stopped wearing my mens XL Type O Negative shirt since I bought it, obviously you can see how I modified it slightly, as the sleeves were too long and I like a lower neckline than your average tshirt. Best paired with comfy maternity leggings, by far the best way to hold onto your non-mummy self and still look good ;)

You can also buy maternity tights, with the same over the bump style as leggings, but personally I find them very restricting as I have very long legs so they can be ill-fitting. I much prefer fishnet tights or others in a similar knitted or woven holey style. They are suitably gothy and because of all the holes they are incredibly stretchy.  They are the comfiest kind of tights,  pregnant or not, even with the bump I can pull them all the way up to my bra! I tend to pair these with stretchy skirts of various lengths and styles, just make sure they are quite elastic, and large. H&M do some good ones in their basics range that are fairly short with an elastic waist (worn on the hips under the bump hence the largeness).

Its also good to have some comfy flat shoes. I practically live in plain black skate shoes most of the time, they are my go to shoes. But Iron Fist make some wonderful flat dolly shoes in a PVC material,  meaning they stretch and mould to your feet and are soo comfortable.  They also have GORGEOUS designs.  I just ordered a pair online ready for summer and can't wait until they arrive.

The summer is approaching fast, so I will have to make another of these maternity clothing posts suitable for warmer weather. Of course, most of these items I have mentioned can be layered or adapted for any season. More outfit posts coming soon ;)

Friday, 4 April 2014

Gothy maternity wear: clothing conundrums!

At 22 weeks I am now more than halfway through my pregnancy.  In my last post I talked about weight gain in pregnancy (and most likely will again at another stage) and how I am coming to terms with my changing body. A massive part of feeling good about yourself and your body is how you dress, so I am just going to talk a little bit about the some things I have done to make pregnancy fashion more about self confidence than just comfort and convinience. Again, I shall most likely revisit this topic when I am even bigger.

One of my biggest fears (and warning this may sound selfish here) is holding onto my identity. I want to still be myself, to dress the way I like to, to style my hair as I do now and to still wear as much makeup as I like when I am a mother. Obviously with a newborn I will be very tired and stretched for time, energy and motivation to keep these things up, never mind the practicalities of it all. But knowing now that I am determined to hold onto myself is a comfort.

So here are some of my 'Skinny Clothes' that I have been putting away with hopes that I shall be reunited with them some day.

My favourite skirt which is Spin Doctor. Layered and puffy with ribbon tied layers for extra volume.
My old faithful party dress.  Well worn and so old I can't remember the label. 

These are the last of my absolute favourites to be put away, although I am slowly adding every day bits and pieces to the boxes all the time as I grow and basic items need replacing with maternity wear.

So far I have managed to get away with not buying much 'maternity clothing' as such,  and have been quite clever about buying key stretchy pieces that will hopefully take me through most of the pregnancy. Maternity leggings are a must though, as are tshirts and vests.  Here are a couple of my favourites so far:

Just a nice stretchy dress from New Look, bought in a size up from my normal size. This collar. <3
Possibly the largest legging and the loudest piece of clothing I have ever bought. It appears I have a legging-obsession going on of late.

I have a few more key pieces I am wearing a lot at the moment,  so I will have to try and put together some outfit posts and maybe a tips and tricks list soon. I will leave you with my 20 week belly photo (finally have the courage to start these!) took wearing a maternity tshirt dress from h&m. Excuse this bombsite of a bedroom.