The Big Spring List

It’s that time again, when I start to enjoy Spring and getting the most out of the season. Spring has to be my absolute favourite time of year, not least because it’s my birthday! Every year I make a list of experiences and goals to make sure I enjoy the longer days, better light and everything springing to life around me.

I’d love to hear what you have planned in the coming months and what you do to celebrate the arrival of spring?

Here are the things I’ll be ticking off my list this year…

    • Curate a wall of art to finish my dining room in soothing and of-­‐the-­‐moment greens and blues.
    • Set some time aside to design our garden and outdoor space, including the deck that is yet to be installed.

    • Instead of using Spring flowers, for a change I’m going to use brightly coloured fruits to provide splashes of colour around the house in glass vases and crisp white ceramic dishes.
    • I’ll be trying to make my diet healthier with creative salads (particularly as the kitchen will be out of action!) Plan a trip to the Lake District to get some fresh air and enjoy the daffodils in Wordsworth country
    • Florals are so big in interiors this year that I’ll be looking for other ways to incorporate them, perhaps with prints or floral fabrics.

    • Play around with new manicure ideas for spring colour and fun even when the weather’s not so bright outside ;)
    • Make the most of time with Pete as a couple, before the baby arrives, with plenty of date nights.

  • Lastly, I need to turn my attention to the nursery and start getting it all sorted. I’m planning a colour filled room with restful corners and details to balance out the brights.

So readers, what are your plans? Do share your own spring list in the comments box!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

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The Changing shape of Pregnancy (Dressing for the first 4-5 months)

One of the things that has taken me most by surprise during pregnancy has been the way I have changed shape. Right from the off I looked pregnant and when I broke the news to my colleagues at 11 weeks, nearly all of them said that they had already guessed. This sounds unbelievable and it certainly wasn’t ‘baby’, but bloat, as my digestive system was well and truly out of sorts for those first 10-12 weeks. Because I’m relatively slim (although I was heavier than I like to be at the time of finding out I was pregnant,) I expected to develop quite a neat, low down bump and that completely influenced my expectations of what I would be wearing. I imagined that I would keep wearing many of the dresses that I favour in a loose shift style from the likes of Whistles and Warehouse and that many tops and jumpers would still fit. I even thought I might be able to wear the waist accentuating styles that always tend to sit a bit high on me anyway as the bump would come from below. (I can hear those of you who have been pregnant chortling now!)

The reality has been totally different, as rather than developing that ‘low down’ bump I imagined, my whole tummy has come out at once, right from the top. I’ve always suffered from bloating and I suppose as my pelvis has become otherwise occupied my bowels have been pushed up. That has actually changed again in the last week or two as it’s coming out slightly more at the bottom now but either way I am W-I-D-E from the side! The other thing that took me by surprise was my boobs. They ballooned before I even knew I was pregnant and just kept going. Pre-pregnancy I was a 32C-D but I’ve gone up at least two cup sizes and my back size has gone up one too. As a result those cute shift styles look like more of a tent. All in all, quite a change and that’s why I wanted to share these pictures that show my body changing too. I can’t quite believe how slim I look in this first photo and how huge by comparison now!

I know lots of people can’t stand the idea of weighing themselves when pregnant, but it kind of fascinated me. I’m not fixated by numbers on the scales anyway and knew my shape was about to change so didn’t really fear it. Healthy weight gain ranges from 25 – 35lbs (1st 11 – 2st 7lbs) in pregnancy so I accepted that it was going to happen. I did worry in the first 12 weeks because I ate for England, partly to abate any mild nausea I got and partly because I was just hungry like I have never been before! When you receive those helpful weekly updates telling you ‘your baby weighs 40grams’ and/or is the size of a blueberry, you kind of know you shouldn’t be gaining weight at that stage! In the end I put about 4lbs on in the first trimester (although with the bloating it felt like much more,) and now at almost 24 weeks I’ve gained 11 lbs, so the rest of my body hasn’t changed a lot, bearing in mind that I was heavier when I got pregnant than I like to be. I really should have been more careful I guess, for health reasons more than anything, but I’m happy with the gain so far and if I had ballooned I would have tried to moderate my eating habits or make them healthier.

Getting back to the clothes side of things however, I thought I would review the things I bought in early pregnancy and how I have changed dressing for my new and slightly different shape. ;)

  1. Work has been the biggest problem as I wear a pair of Whistles navy ankle length tailored trousers day in day out. They fitted up to about 14 weeks then just got plain uncomfortable and I found jersey skirts to be a godsend. I purchased one from Dorothy Perkins and a maternity style from ASOS but to be honest the normal one is more than adequate as it’s a good length and just pulls up over the bump.
  2. The next purchase was my maternity jeans from H&M which have been a total godsend. Because I’m pregnant at this time of year I chose a dark distressed wash that I could dress up or down with a view to buying a second, perhaps coloured pair later in the year (which I’m looking for now,) that are more appropriate for summer.
  3. Totally not fashion related but I bought this water bottle from Primark as I was so thirsty initially and of course it’s always good to drink more water. A Bargain £1.50 in their fitness section.
  4. At 18 weeks I went on a hen do and needed something for the evening. I wasn’t yet looking totally convincingly pregnant, although it was clear if you knew me, so I opted for a looser style with this ASOS dress in a size up (12)
  5. I have continued to wear several loose blouse styles with my tube skirt as they look fine but  v-necks are a bit more risqué due to my enhanced bust so these H&M Vests are essential for modesty in the workplace!
  6. My biggest problem during those few awkward weeks before my bump really popped out convincingly was that my boobs were so big that the looser styles I favoured made me look like a house. As soon as I could get away with it, I switched to bodycon styles which made me look more obviously pregnant but also made me feel less enormous in general. I bought this Topshop maternity dress for evenings (quite short!) and another striped one which you can see me wearing here.
  7. I also bought this Joules dress very early on as it concealed my expanding waist (or so I thought) at work before I was ready to share the news.

I hope you guys have found this interesting reading. Pregnancy is the most amazing thing our bodies can do, but despite my admiration for my own body and it’s capabilities, I still don’t recognise it sometimes. As relaxed as I am about changing shape it has been a big adjustment and dressing my new shape has been hard so I’d love to hear any thoughts you have on what I have shared, your experiences and tips of dressing for pregnancy style in the first 4 months.

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Friday Fun…

For the end of the week and in anticipation of the spring weather we have been promised for the weekend, I thought I’d share this little find. Yesterday I spotted these gorgeous desktop and mobile wallpapers by Elise Pescheret over on DesignLoveFest. I’ve seen her work before on Pinterest and I’m going to be dressing my tech immediately with these beautiful pieces of art. Perfect fore spring pretty and a friday pick me up.

Enjoy readers!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Family Lifestyle: Daily Essentials @12 months

Now that we have an almost one year old (say whaat?!), daily life is very different from those foggy newborn days. The changing bag gets re-filled with nappies and snacks, but the contents barely changes; we can pack the car for a night away and still be able to see out the back window because we’re not so worried about having to take everything and the kitchen sink “just in case”, and we can even go for a walk and stop for a coffee without needing much more than our coats. But we have definitely built-up a selection of family essentials that we use everyday and could not live without, they’re just not necessarily the same ones we were using when Freddie was tiny.

Becky did a fantastic post a few months ago on newborn essentials that you should all check out if you haven’t already, and I thought this would be a good next step. You won’t find nappies, a pushchair and a car seat on this list, because I figured that by this point you’ve probably got those sorted, but here are a few things that might make your days that bit easier (or give you something to look forward to if you’re still at the oh-my-goodness-we-only-brought-one-change-of-vest stage.)

Baby’s essentials
H&M baby socks
I bought a pack of these on a whim when Freddie was newborn and discovered that they are the best baby socks EVER. They simply do not come off! We’ve gone through 3 sizes already and find them thick enough for those first few cautious feet-dragging steps.

Sleeping bag
We loved the Arden & Anais muslin sleeping bags this past summer, but have used coser ones since then. I really rate the sleeping bags from Matalan, but as long as they’re easy to fasten and are warm enough for the time of year, then I’m not fussy.

High chair
We LOVE our Stokke Tripp Trapp and would definitely buy another for a second child. It’s lovely to have Freddie right up to the table with us and it doesn’t look out of place (or get in the way) in our kitchen.

Mum’s essentials
Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser
I included this in my Christmas gift guide, but wanted to put here it as well because I cannot rave about it enough. I bought this for myself the first time I went shopping without Freddie and wandered into SpaceNK, and said that I was sick of looking like I hadn’t slept in a week (which was only partly true) and instantly fell in love. Nearly every time I wear it someone tells me I’m looking well and it takes 4 seconds to put it on. Buy some now.

Waterproof jacket
I have this one from Seasalt in a different pattern and, while not cheap, is fantastic. For most of the mums I know, getting out the house everyday is an absolute necessity and while you can plonk the rain cover over the pushchair, it’s just miserable getting wet yourself when you know you need to do another loop of the park. High fashion a proper rain mack is not, just plain sensible it is.

Plain stud earrings
I stopped wearing dangly earrings and cut my hair short when Freddie was about 3 months old and started grabbing both, but I hated not being able to wear any jewelry – I just didn’t feel like myself. Luckily my husband was listening to one of these rants and bought me some gorgeous simple gold bird studs (they’re flat to my ear, so even when Freddie spots them he can’t yank them out) and I wear them everyday.

Dad’s essentials
A big jumper
Although it is getting warmer, if can still be quite chilly at 5.30 am. If you’re lucky, like me, daddy will often get up with the baby and give them breakfast, while you can have an extra hour in bed and a jumper like this pulled over pjs is what I usually find Tom in when I come down for a cup of tea.

Roobios tea
When I asked Tom about his daily essentials since becoming a dad, this was the only thing he could think of. Rather than having a normal cup of tea before bed, he now has this vanilla caffeine free roobios tea so that he can get as much sleep as possible. (I also liked this when I had morning sickness as an alternative to ginger, by the way.)

So, tell me readers, what have I missed? What are your daily essentials for older babies? And, as toddler-dom gets closer every day, what do I need to get sorted for the next stage?

Love, Esme.

Find Esme on her blog Esme Wins or @Real_Married

Weeks 14 – 20

Our 12 week scan was actually done a day before I was 14 weeks, so it then didn’t feel long before we’d be seeing baby again. At 16 weeks I really started to feel a difference in how tired I was, getting back to my usual bedtimes (almost!) and being able to actually do something with my evenings again. It was so liberating and fortunately co-incided with the work in our bedroom coming to an end from a building point of view and us having to start the clean up and decorating prep.

The majority of these weeks for me were spent waiting to feel movements. I had been told I have an anterior placenta which means it kind of cushions me from feeling any movements at the front. At 18 weeks I was on my sister in laws hen do and after coming home early and a week or so of ‘was that something?’ feelings, I got three definite kicks as I lay in bed waiting to go to sleep. I didn’t feel anything for three days after that, until a few more at work and then it became more frequent as I kind of ‘tuned into’ what I should be feeling. I expected it to get stronger too, which some of the movements have done, but not hugely. It was only sitting waiting for our 20 week scan (at 19+6) that I felt one so strong that I thoughts Pete might feel it, but of course he couldn’t, it was still too early. For any of you waiting to feel those movements and wondering what it is like, the best way I can describe it is to say it’s like being softly flicked from the inside, or like when your eye muscles twitch involuntarily. :)

I also spent a lot of this time waiting for my bump to pop out. From a medical point of view I knew I should be able to feel it above my pubic bone any time from 12 weeks, but I didn’t feel it until 14 weeks. It was 16 weeks before I felt I looked different in myself but I don’t think anyone else would have known (or been brave enough to ask,) then at 19 weeks, it just came out of nowhere. I bought my maternity jeans at 17 weeks, because my normal jeans still fitted but if I sat or bent in them I just felt like they were digging in really uncomfortably.

These weeks felt like they flew by. After the initial weeks of counting the days until we could relax and assume everything was ok, which seemed to crawl, the weeks are just disappearing before we know it. When our 20 week scan came it was soooo much bigger than before, I had a proper ‘bump’ and sitting waiting for the scan was the first time it really went nuts, moving around for 45 minutes or so constantly. After all our deliberations about finding out the sex we decided to have the radiographer write it down in a cute card we bought with the intention of looking at it later together, perhaps in Barcelona when we could get excited properly. Baby had other ideas though and in what I hope doesn’t set the tone for his or her behaviour in the future, baby was cross legged with its bum firmly wedged down in my pelvis so they couldn’t see at all and we left none the wiser. Fate maybe? In actual fact I wasn’t disappointed at all in the end. We had already decided we would keep it to ourselves anyway, so it made that decision a lot easier!

I hope you enjoyed the update readers, I’ll be back with a 20+ week one soon. :)

Love,
Rebecca
xo

First Time Mum: The Breast Feeding Post

This week I’m away in Barcelona and then next week we’re celebrating my Brother-in-laws wedding in the peaks, so I’m running a reduced schedule here with posts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Today I hope you’ll give Becky a warm welcome back with a personal and in-depth insight into her breast feeding journey. I’d love you all to chip in and add your comments as I’m sure many of you will identify with her struggle, or relish the opportunity to read more about breastfeeding in readiness for attempting it yourself.

Hi everyone, I hope this finds you all well. Firstly I’d like to apologise for my absence……it’s been so long it’s embarrassing. Connie is unbelievably 16 months old now. Since my last post, and in addition to surviving my first year as a Mum, we also moved house to a completely new area and into a house that’s a bit of a project. I also returned to work, and made some rather enormous changes to my work life. It’s been non stop and unfortunately my writing time diminished as Connie started eating solids and became mobile. It’s funny that I now look back with longing at those endless hours of feeding.


Image via

I’ve attempted to write this post on a number of occasions but I’ve found it incredibly tough to tackle. Maybe that’s because breast feeding is such an emotive subject. I stopped feeding Connie myself a few weeks ago which has spurred me on to finish writing this post that I started in the early months of her life. It’s certainly been a turbulent journey which I found limited support for along the way. I hope that if I share my story here, some of you will also share your own stories in the comments box and between us all, we might be able to cover most problems for anyone that might be struggling and stumbles across this post late at night, in the dark, with only a hungry baby and Google for company.

When I was pregnant I had always had the intention of breastfeeding but never assumed it would be easy or come naturally to me. I certainly wasn’t prepared however for the tough and emotional journey I was about to embark upon. Most ante natal information focuses on the act of giving birth. Not surprising really as when you’re pregnant it’s hard to think beyond the delivery room. I did attend a couple of feeding workshops late on in my pregnancy but neither of them taught me anything that I remembered or used post natally.

I had a pretty straightforward birth. I had to go into theatre straight after but had time to feed Connie for the first time beforehand. It was all such a blur. The midwives helped position her and that was that. We stayed in hospital for another 36hrs but once I was up and about, the midwives and I seemed to think feeding was going fine so we were allowed home. Once she’d slept off the birth and we were home alone, Connie became an incredibly unsettled baby. She wanted to feed 24/7. She hardly slept, even on me. I kept asking if there was something wrong. Everyone brushed it off as normal newborn behaviour so I just persevered and became more and more sleep deprived. Surely not all babies screamed that much? A few days in, one midwife suggested she may have a tongue tie but another dismissed it altogether. We were referred and waited for a month to see a specialist. During that month I battled on with the constant feeding and we did everything in our power to settle our screaming baby. The knowledge that an answer might be on the horizon was enough to keep me breastfeeding. A month later, her posterior tongue tie was diagnosed and cut by a specialist midwife. It was a quick and simple procedure and I immediately noticed a small improvement in her feeding. Two weeks later life had got a little easier but I still had my doubts that our problems had been solved.


Miranda Kerr announced the birth of her child with Orlando Bloom using this picture, via Twitter.

Connie’s weight gain was very slow. Slow enough for the health visitors to question and put huge doubts in my mind whether I was doing the right thing continuing to breastfeed. The trouble is, the Health Visitors I saw seemed so programmed to support breastfeeding that I wasn’t sure if they’d ever actually voice any other opinion. Every week I questioned whether I should give up and switch to bottle feeding. Life certainly would have been easier but there are historic health reasons in our families which made me want to breastfeed for as long as I physically could. Not to mention that by this point, I had no idea how else I would settle her. Every week, there seemed to be a new glimmer of hope on the horizon which kept me going and feeding for another week.

A couple of weeks after her tongue tie was cut, her weight did start to increase but it was very slow. At her 8 week check the GP actually used the words ‘failure to thrive’ discussing Connie with a paediatrician over the telephone. I hit rock bottom but my GP was amazing and couldn’t have been any more supportive of me and my attempts at feeding. We were referred to the paediatrician but were advised there would be a long wait as albeit very slowly, Connie was still gaining weight. I went home deflated but thankfully the support of my GP spurred me on and I continued to feed with the addition of a formula top up at night. Everyone told us she would sleep for a little longer and be easier to settle at night with the top up. Sadly it made no difference at all. There were so many nights that I lost count of the number of times I got up to feed and settle her. Whilst waiting for the paediatrician appointment, I continued to look for answers and attended all sorts of breastfeeding clinics and groups to gather as much information and help as possible. Finally, at around 10 weeks old, Connie was diagnosed with silent reflux by a midwife at a breastfeeding clinic who’d watched an entire feed and her behaviour afterwards. Reflux is like heartburn for babies and is pretty common and easily spotted as the babies are often sick a lot. Silent reflux is the heartburn but without the vomiting so far less easy to spot. It was a lightbulb moment. I felt ecstactic that we’d finally found the root of the problem, devastated that my poor baby had been in pain for all of that time, and completely let down by all of the professionals we’d sought help from. We immediately bought a wedge for her cot and the changing mat and swapped the carrycot part of the pram to ensure she was never laid flat. I kept her upright for 30 minutes after every feed and we were given infant gaviscon (which turns out is a total nightmare to administer to a breastfed baby) but the positioning made all the difference for us. It was like someone had swapped my baby.

I’d originally planned to feed for 6 months but as it took almost 4 months for feeding to become a totally relaxed, pain and stress free experience for us both, I wasn’t ready to stop at 6 months. It certainly wasn’t plain sailing from then on. We still had ups and downs such as the appearance of teeth and biting (ouch!), the nosey phase – when she was far too interested in the world going by to feed during the day but made up for it at night, and the Peepo phase – when emerging from behind the muslin I had draped over her and me whilst feeding in public became a hilarious game for her and terribly embarrassing for me. The final hurdle to tackle was when I made the decision that I really did want to stop. There’s very little information and guidance on how to stop but I expect that’s mainly because all babies are different and somehow, you will find a way that works for you. I found this useful though.

So, here are the bullet points that I’ve made during my journey of things that affected me which I felt might be beneficial to share:

Calories – Put losing your baby weight to the back of your mind and eat. Every cup of tea you drink should come with two biscuits. I was constantly hungry and I took a tray of snacks and a flask of hot tea to bed to keep me going during night feeds.

Growth spurts – these happen very regularly – get comfy on the sofa and rope in as much help as you possibly can at home.

Undersupply – as a result of Connie’s weak latch from her tongue tie and associated upper lip tie, I was told by the midwife it was likely that the milk transfer was poor and therefore my supply wasn’t stimulated enough. I ate copious amounts of porridge and flapjack (for the oats), drank alcohol free beer (for the brewers yeast) and fennel tea (which I’d read might relieve her reflux). During one growth spurt which coincided with some very long days at work when she was at nursery, I even made these lactation cookies. I also took between 9 and 12 fenugreek tablets (610mg) a day as advised by a lactation specialist midwife. NB. Please be sure to consult a medical professional before using any herbal remedies.

Blocked Ducts & Mastitis – unpleasant all round.

Expressing – I hated doing it and never got on with my breast pump. I also had a baby who wanted to feed all the time so had very little time to do it and get a decent yield. I accepted quite early on that I was one of many women who struggled to express. This doesn’t mean you don’t have enough milk to feed your baby.

Medication – unfortunately it’s highly likely you will be ill at some point whilst you’re breastfeeding. I found these medicine and breastfeeding fact sheets invaluable.

Feeding safely in bed – ask a midwife to show you how to feed your newborn safely in bed. I was shown about a week in and just the knowledge that i could rest whilst feeding was enough to drastically reduce my fear of the early sleepless nights.

And most importantly, where I went for help and advice:

  • The National Breastfeeding Helpline – 0300 100 0212
  • The National Breastfeeding Network.
  • Your local La Leche league.
  • The NCT breast feeding support line – 0300 33 00 771
  • Local NCT breast feeding counsellors.
  • Your local Sure Start centre will have a weekly group meet.
  • The hospitals in your area will usually offer a weekly drop in support group.
  • There are many websites you might stumble upon from a google search but I can’t recommend the Kellymom website highly enough. Don’t be put off that it’s an American site. It has the answer to every question you might have, no matter how strange or stupid you think it is. Every topic covered is backed up by factual evidence too.
  • A local ILCA registered lactation consultant.
  • Milk Matters – a great resource for breast and bottle fed babies with feeding problems.
  • Facebook – you will find numerous groups based on feeding and also problems such as tongue tie, colic etc. I joined a few to begin with and then once I’d got a feel for the type of group either remained a member or removed myself as I found some of them a bit too full on.

It may be a cliche but despite being one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, it has also been the most rewarding and I’d do it all again in a heartbeat.

I know each of us will have been on a very different feeding journey and I’m sure you can all add something to help any new Mum or Mum to be who might be reading this post.
I can’t wait for you all to get stuck in with your comments and to hear how you’re all progressing with your own baby journey’s.

If you would like to read another breast feeding story, Esme (who writes our family lifestyle posts) also wrote an honest account of her breastfeeding journey here.

Love,
Rebecca
xo

The first three months…

I wasn’t going to go backwards with this pregnancy in terms of what I share on the blog but then some of the times when I most desperately wanted to read about other peoples experiences was of the ‘getting pregnant’ (more on this to come later,) and the unspoken first 12 weeks. So for those of you who are planning or trying or in those secret weeks, here’s how I found it.

I’ll start at the very beginning…

We found out we were pregnant very early on. I had always said that I wouldn’t do a test on the first day I was late, but when it came to it I managed to hold out 2 extra days (because my cycle varies a little anyway,) then caved. I was so nervous that I did the test without Pete because I didn’t want to disappoint him if it was negative! It all seems crazy now! Especially when we looked back and said deep down we both knew – My boobs were bigger and ridiculously sore, and my nose was like a highly trained sniffer dog – nothing escaped me! When Pete came home that night Francesca was around and it was killing me to act normally, then our wedding photographer came over to deliver our album (better late than never,) and it was only at about 9 o’clock that I dragged him upstairs to tell him finally! And then I fell asleep.

That was the beginning of what was really my only major pregnancy symptom, I have never been so tired in all my life. Every night I was in bed between 8.30 and 9.30 (for someone who usually goes to bed at 11-11.30 this was a major departure from the norm,) and in the day I just about coped. I didn’t get much else, fleeting nausea was so mild and if I ate it went, so I ate and ate and ate. I’ve never eaten so much in my life and yet I didn’t gain weight for few weeks, so despite the advice that you don’t need extra calories until the third trimester, I must have needed them somewhere!

The lack of symptoms meant I really worried. I wouldn’t say that I was wracked with worry or it was the only thing on my mind, but I certainly found it hard to be positive about being pregnant. So much of my experience so far has been coloured by my medical background and because of my time spent doing Gynae on-call shifts, essentially dealing with women who were having possible early miscarriages I prepared myself for the worst. I googled miscarriage statistics and as each week passed I felt better. I think I knew deep down though that it would work out.

I actually found those first few months quite depressing. It sounds spoilt but I am so used to being active, going out and doing things and I’m also naturally a very open person. Not telling people was hard, but the sleeping was awful, for me at least. Coupled with the dark nights I felt like I was only ever asleep or at work and I really missed getting out as much. We did tell some people though on the premise that if something went wrong we wouldn’t have kept that a secret either and before we told our family we paid for a private scan at 9 weeks, right before Christmas. I couldn’t bear the thought of telling them and them later being disappointed and Christmas would have been too hard otherwise. It would be very unusual for me not to have a drink in my hand!

After Christmas the time flew and I didn’t have my scan until almost 14 weeks, the latest possible date to have the anomaly screening, (that we agreed we wanted regardless, so we could prepare if there was bad news.) It was so amazing to see this little human kicking up a storm on the screen when just a few weeks before it had looked like a wriggly baked bean.

By this point I was on bump watch. I knew it wouldn’t be for a while that I would pop a bump out but my shape changed so early on in pregnancy that I wanted to actually look pregnant. I was so bloated right from the off that my tummy filled out after only a couple of weeks and my boobs have gotten so. much. bigger. Most people when I told them our news had already guessed, even my work colleagues at only 11 weeks. It has taken a lot longer though to get a real bump rather than just a different shape. I could feel my uterus at 14 weeks, but not see it, then about 16 weeks I started to feel different and it’s only now that it’s definitely there, although sometime I still feel just a bit porky!

One thing I did stress out about was what to eat or avoid. The advice is so conflicting and people can essentially write whatever they want on the internet with no medical evidence to back it up. I had always dreaded being pregnant as I mistakenly thought I couldn’t eat so many of my favourite foods – seafood, deli meats, runny yolked eggs. After reading a lot in the first couple of weeks (I found this the most reliable source of advice, with the specifics covered in the comments section particularly helpful,) I realised that the guidelines change all the time. For example rules around cured meats like salami have changed since some of my friends were pregnant a couple of years ago. Essentially it boils down to 3 categories: Things that you need to moderate (like caffeine and alcohol,) things that could make you sick (like food poisoning,) but won’t harm the baby and things that could give you a pregnancy threatening infection like listeria or toxoplasmosis. It’s a personal choice but my take so far has been that if I wouldn’t worry about getting ill from something pre-pregnancy then I won’t worry now, but I have avoided certain cheeses, pate and rare meat, as they pose a small but possible risk of listeria and toxoplasmosis.

So there you have it, we’re almost up to date! I plan to do a monthly pregnancy update from here on in with my experiences, but for now feel free to ask me any questions, I’m sure many of you out there can identify with some of the things I have experienced and I hope reading about it helps some of you going through or yet to go through it. Feel free to chip in with your experiences too!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Team Yellow…

Good morning readers! This morning I want to talk scans… more specifically, finding out the gender of your baby. (Apologies for the baby bombardment, I’m kind of on a deadline here) ;)


Our ’12 week’ scan; We’re joking that we might have a little skier on our hands!

So, on Thursday we have our 20 week scan and of course, we have the option to find out what we’re having. After weeks of to-ing and fro-ing, deliberating and mulling it over (with a few heated discussions thrown in!) I am still undecided and the clock is ticking. I really don’t know what to do.

Firstly I should say, Pete knows exactly what he wants to do. He has been so excited from day one and he wants the surprise. He thinks finding out if it’s a boy or girl takes some of the magic away from the actual birth (I am still undecided if I feel there will be any magic in the room when I’m labouring,) but I disagree. Even if you know the gender, you don’t know what he or she looks like, what hair colour it will have, if any, eyes and all the rest.

I started off wanting to know, then I didn’t, and now I’m really undecided. I can argue it both ways. I like the idea of not knowing, as it’s our first. Although initially my thoughts were that I wanted a girl and so I thought finding out would give me time to come round to the idea of a boy, as time has gone on I have been less bothered about the sex and more interested in a healthy baby. After all, it’s a done deal now! I would never plan a gender specific pink or blue nursery, so I don’t need to know for the decorating.

But then because it’s our first, it’s all very surreal. Until feeling some movements last week I didn’t feel pregnant at all. I wonder if I knew I was having a little boy or girl would I be able to get more excited about it and bond with this little thing better before it’s born? Would I enjoy the pregnancy more if I could really immerse myself in shopping for it and picking things out with a little person in mind?

And then my thoughts oscillate back again. What if once I found out I thought, I wish I hadn’t? It’s too late then and I want to respect Pete’s wishes too, after all it’s his baby too. Either way readers, if we do find out, it’s going to be a secret! I want to share baby Norris’s arrival with appropriate fanfare and surprise everyone, including my family and friends.

So I need yo hear your thoughts to help me decide! Would you find out the sex of your baby, or did you? Maybe you’ve had more then one and done it both ways? I await your wisdom readers!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS Feel free to guess based on the scan pic for a bit of fun! And cast your vote quickly below…

Skin Saviour: Lush

I went through quite the phase a few years back where I was very keen on Lush products. At the time it was mainly bath products, the gorgeous bath bombs and exfoliants (Buffy Body Butter) but for some reason they slipped from my mind and it is some years since I have really used them.

This winter my skin has taken a complete battering and although I don’t understand it, as it hasn’t been all that cold, my skin is like a parched, dry, flaky dessert floor. After trying without success to slather on all my usual moisturisers, layering serums and facial oils and exfoliating I was on the verge of returning to my beloved Eve Lom, when I went in search of something to moisturise my growing bump and rediscovered Lush. I managed to find a solution to all of my dry skin trouble zones so I thought I’d share them here in case any of you find yourselves in need. Best of all, they’re all safe in pregnancy with the exception of one bath bomb

Bump and Body: King of Skin £5.50
My number one find has been this Body butter. I’ve said before that I’m lazy when it comes to skincare and putting something like Bio Oil on my bump daily simply wasn’t going to happen. This however is super fast and easy. I just glide it over my skin top to toe after washing in the shower, rinse and pat dry, with super soft and silky skin all ready for the day.

Lips: Mint Julips Lip Scrub £5.50
My lips have been so dry and with my love for lipsticks, the one thing I don’t need is flaky dry colour. This sugar scrub is brilliantly effective, fresh and minty and so full of goodness you can literally lick your lips clean afterwards.

Face: Ultrabland Cleanser £6.95
This oil packed cleanser melts in to the skin, taking off make up and dirt, then wiped away with toner, (not the way the company recommends but an excellent tip I got from the staff inshore) leaves my skin super soft and with no hint of dryness. With a lot less nasties than some cleansers and at a much better price, (a little goes a long way,) I’m very happy with this new addition to my regime.

Body: Therapy massage bar £6.50
Perfect for the end of the day if I want some additional moisture, this massage bar smooths my skin and with relaxing lavender, neroli and orange oil, it’s incredibly dream inducing.

I should say that I don’t really believe that any cream or potion will prevent stretch marks – its down to skin type, but if I can keep mine as healthy and supple as possible for a head start then I’ll try! And using something that I enjoy is likely to be 100% more effective as at least I will put it on!

So readers, if you are suffering parched skin or flaky lips, these might just solve your problems. I’d love to know if you’re a lush devotee?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

My Instagram Month: February

Hey guys!

First today I wanted to thank you all for the lovely messages yesterday. It’s been so exciting reading your comments and realising how many of us are expecting together! I won’t be over running the blog with baby stuff but it will be lovely to hear your thoughts and advice.

As I’ve kept so much of my life to myself over the last few months I wanted to get back to the monthly round ups. As always you can follow along daily on Instagram here.

  • We started off the month as has become tradition, at The Drawing Room. (See my review here.)
  • I’m so happy that the mornings (and nights) are getting lighter.
  • I’m obsessed with the macaroni cheese at my new favourite local restaurant, The Laundrette.
  • We stopped at Baileys while we were in Wales and once again bought almost nothing!
  • A spring fling with yellow fashion
  • I’m still reminiscing about our old house and shared the downstairs tour with you here.
  • Neon pink wool for baby craft projects!
  • Francesca’s best brownie batch yet.
  • Work started on our bedroom a couple of weeks ago and we had the wall knocked through to the bedroom and the walls have been skimmed and are drying as I type. Roll on the decorating!
  • I’ve been getting back into lipstick with some old favourites (MAC creme sheen in ‘lickable’) and the H&M lip crayon I reviewed last week.
  • Last weekend I went to Chester for a Spa hen party and it was the best thing ever. So relaxing and made me realise I needed to make time to do it again before the baby arrives!

I hope you have had a great February? I’ll be back next week with more baby talk and the usual FF style and substance ;)

Love,
Rebecca
xo