Well, hello there! I’ve missed writing here on my blog but I’ve had my hands FULL for the past 5 months. We’re slowly getting in to a routine now.. so hopefully I’ll get chance to post here weekly or fortnightly or maybe we’ll just go for monthly for now.. we’ll see!

Mali’s first Wainwright – Loughrigg Fell

The past 5 months have been a whirlwind. Part of me can’t quite believe that I have a 5 month old baby already… and the other part of me feels like she’s been here forever!

If you’re new here, I had a baby girl in July! We didn’t know if we were having a girl or a boy, and the only name we had was a girls name, Mali. In Thai, Mali means jasmine flower and jasmine is one of my favourite scents. You can read more about pre birth and post birth in my previous posts, if you wish.

So, what have we been upto?! Well, not a great deal to be honest. The days just whiz by! Mali is almost sitting up now which is a little scary. We have the best chats at around 6:30am when she seems to love using her voice the most. Those little noises and squeals really just make me smile on the inside. My tummy just feels happy, if you know what I mean..

She’s using her hands to play with her toys, and loves taking her dummy out of her mouth, inspects it and tries to put it back in but sometimes doesn’t get the positioning right! She recently discovered her feet, so they end up in her mouth too whenever she has her socks or baby grows off. I wish I was that flexible! She’s much easier to put down for a nap now. For the first 3 months or so she would only sleep in someone’s arms, making it extremely difficult to do the most basic things like shower, go to the loo, make some lunch, brush my teeth etc. I think I spent most days with my hair and teeth unbrushed (gross) but that’s just how life was for a little while. I think this was mostly linked to having silent reflux though, so not all babies are like that!

We recently spent a few days in London again, to get Mali her Thai citizenship/passport sorted before our trip next year. She is now officially a Thai citizen, which I hope she uses one day to work/travel/explore. My mum, Mali and I are spending 2 months in Thailand, visiting family and then visiting some of the southern islands with my Dad and Josh who will later join us. I’m so excited to be heading back! It will be 4 years since mine and Josh’s last trip, which was the same year we bought our first home, so this trip is going to be so special, especially now with our baby girl. Saying that, I’m a little nervous about the long haul flight. We are flying from Manchester to Singapore which is a 13 hour flight, then a short flight to Bangkok. I’ll let you know how it goes! And if you’ve done long haul before with a baby, any tips are welcome 🙂

I’ve slowly been getting in to cooking again, although it tends to be very basic stuff it’s nice to cook something for myself and Josh and enjoy it. At the moment, I love the tikka infused salmon fillets by Young’s. I get them from Asda and I love them with stir fried egg noodles or just a bit of cheesy mash and veg. I need some more inspiration though, as I’m struggling on healthyish meal ideas and I really want to be in good shape for Thailand. I was hoping to join a gym for a few months but I have no idea when I’ll get the time to go.

Speak soon, L. X

Life recently / Silent Reflux & London

Wow, where have the past 8 weeks gone since I last checked in here?!

Reading back over my last post takes me back to a very difficult time and makes me feel a little sad. I’m glad that those days are behind us but whilst the sleep has got a little better, we recently had Mali diagnosed with reflux. Although she’s been on the Aptamil anti reflux and regurgitation milk for a while now, she’s never really been settled. I kind of brushed it off as perhaps she was just a clingy baby and wanted to be held. I also spend most days with my Gran who would be there to hold her whilst I got on with jobs in the house, so I probably never really noticed it as much had I been on my own during the day with her. At baby massage the other day, I noticed how she was the only baby out of around 10 others that just would not settle on the mat in front of me.. meaning I wasn’t able to massage her but sit there for the duration of the course just trying to soothe her on my knee.

That day, Josh had also ordered the Sensational Baby Sleep Plan book by Alison Scott-Wright, which I initially refused to read after hearing negative feelings towards it not being the right thing to do for a baby but because I found Mali such hard work on my own throughout the day, like not being able to put her down for her naps and wanting to be constantly held, I was intrigued to read it and I’m so glad I did. Not only did it help me understand a lot about babies and the importance of sleep but it also gives a lot of information on reflux and dietary related intolerances. There is an extensive list of symptoms relating to reflux, which Mali did have. It also explains that reflux doesn’t necessarily mean that your baby will vomit, which is referred to as silent reflux, but may have a couple or several other symptoms that would suggest they are suffering from heartburn and indigestion. Anyway, from this I decided to contact my health visitor who asked me a few more questions and then asked the GP to prescribe some medication to help. I’ll pick the prescription up tomorrow and see if it helps with being able to put Mali down for her naps during the day and update you on our progress. I just wish I had had more knowledge on this before having her, so I could have looked out for the signs earlier. It’s upsetting to know she’s in pain and not getting the sleep she needs to develop as an infant because of it but it’s also tainted the first few months for us meaning we haven’t enjoyed parenthood as much as we would have, had we had the right treatment earlier.

Last weekend we had our first mini break away as a family of three – Erik not included because it was a city break to London to get a Thai birth certificate for Mali, so we can eventually get her a Thai passport to have dual nationality. I was unsure how it would go, especially as we’re still co-sleeping. I was actually so pleased with how smoothly it went, from the car ride down to Luton, to jumping on and off the underground with three bags, a pram and a baby. I did worry I would forget something but then reminded myself that anything we did need could be bought whilst we were there. The best thing we did was visit London Aquarium, which was so much better than I thought it would be. Mali absolutely loved it because of the dark rooms and the changing coloured lights, it was so lovely to watch her little face! And because we travelled in by train from Luton, we booked tickets through where we got 2for1 tickets, making it much more affordable. You can do this for a lot of other attractions too, like the London Eye, Madame Tussaud’s etc.

I am definitely much more relaxed about going away as a family now, knowing that I needn’t worry about packing too little or not being able to make milk when needed, which was my main concern. All the cafes we asked for boiling water from were happy to do that for us and if we were struggling, we had packed a jet boil so we could boil our own water out and about as a last resort. And if we had struggled to do that, I did pack a couple of the pre made ready to drink bottles of Aptamil for emergencies!

The first four weeks of the fourth trimester

I wish I was here telling you how easy I have found adapting to becoming a mother but I’d be lying if I said that. In fact, it’s been much harder for me than I ever anticipated. Even though I always knew I wanted to have children and even though I breezed through the pregnancy and the birth, nothing can ever quite prepare you for what those first few weeks at home are like with your new bundle of joy. I thought that the first week would be what everyone describes as that ‘newborn bubble’. I kind of imagined it as a restful week after giving birth, where baby would sleep lots and we’d learn the ropes of becoming new parents but looking back it was all quite the opposite. My body was sore from giving birth, breastfeeding was taking me a while to get the hang of, my emotions were up and down, I’d cry whenever it got to 6pm from pure exhaustion, just dreading the evenings because I knew I’d be up half the night and the house was so untidy I felt like any chance I got I needed to be tidying up. As much as I wanted to enjoy this time, the lack of sleep was just taking over. We ended up introducing a bottle of formula just so I could get a couple of hours sleep alone. It did make a big difference for a short time but in week 2 we think Mali developed colic, so I started cutting out certain foods from my diet. On top of everything else, I was now depriving myself of all my favourite things, like milk, cheese and butter, hoping it would help Mali’s stomach. It did seem to get better but not being able to comfort her was torture. I’d feed her, change her, wind her, cuddle her, but she’d still screech in pain. Thankfully that didn’t last too long!

The weekend before Mali turned a month old, I made the decision to stop breastfeeding. It was a hard decision because I so wanted to continue and I really enjoyed those special moments where I’d hold her so close to me and was able to feed her and comfort her without the need of anything else but myself. I’d watched her grow and put on tonnes of weight from my breast milk alone which was so rewarding but at the same time just making me feel like I couldn’t be the best version of myself for her and for those around me because I was so exhausted, which is why I decided to stop. I felt a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders ever since. I’m now able to leave her with Josh or another family member for longer than an hour without worrying whether she needs feeding and my bed sheets and clothes are no longer getting drops of breast milk all over them! In fact, my Mum has been brilliant and has had her to stay for the odd night which has meant I’ve been able to get a good nights sleep which really helps make me feel normal. I also think it’s good for Mali to be passed around as much as possible, so that she feels comfortable with other people and doesn’t just feel safe with Josh and I.

Every day is different, some days Mali sleeps for a little longer alone in her pram and some days she just wants to be in your arms. I’ve realised that although it’s hard at times, it doesn’t last forever and I will miss it when she’s bigger and wants/needs me less, so I’m going to soak it all up and enjoy it whilst I can. There is a huge part of me that misses what life was like before her. The freedom of just being able to nip to the shop, or take Erik for a walk without needing to pack a bag for her. Of course, I wouldn’t have it any other way because becoming a mother has been so rewarding and, to me, is the biggest life event I will experience. What’s been good for me is having my family and friends so close by who have been able to give me those extra few hours to shower, go for a walk, clean the house, pop to the shop, cook tea etc. I really wouldn’t have been able to get through the first 4 weeks without them and I take my hat off to all the mothers out there who do this alone because you really are something else!

My birth story

On July 4th, we welcomed our newborn baby girl into the world. Arriving 4 days early than her due date.

The Birth

I had planned on sharing my birth plan and what I had packed in my hospital bag the week leading up to my due date because most first pregnancies tend to arrive after 40 weeks, but for us, our surprise baby girl arrived four days early, exactly the way I’d hoped.

The plan was always to have a water birth at my nearest MLU (midwife led unit), instead of a hospital. My pregnancy was low risk, so the chances of needing the support from a hospital were slim but if I did need an emergency c section or extra care then we would have been blue lighted to the nearest hospital which is around half an hour away. Thankfully we never had to be!

At 02:50am on the 4th July, I woke up needing the toilet. I thought I’d just eaten way too much that day, after going out for lunch with Josh and then going to my friends surprise baby shower for afternoon tea. After relieving myself, I got back into bed but began to get the same feeling again, so went to the toilet to see if I could relieve any more pressure in, what I thought was, my stomach. That feeling didn’t disappear.. so I woke Josh up to tell him that I thought I was having contractions. I went downstairs and put Emily in Paris on, whilst bouncing and rolling on my birth ball. I started noting down the time between each contraction, which was around 3 every 10 minutes, each contraction lasting between 20-50 seconds. I called the MLU and they advised me to keep timing the contractions but to call back if I was having around 4 every 10 minutes, lasting for around 40-50 seconds. I timed them for a further half an hour and noticed that they were speeding up and getting more regular, so I called the MLU to tell them I needed to go in. By this point, Josh was up packing the hospital bag. Luckily I’d already sorted the baby stuff out but hadn’t got anything together for the pair of us. In hindsight I should’ve got this done a week earlier so there wasn’t the stress of it on the night.. but you live and learn! The only things I used from my hospital bag were a change of clothes, deodorant, maternity pad and most importantly, a bag of fruit pastels that Josh fed to me in between having gas and air. They kept me going!

When I got to Helme Chase (the MLU) the midwife checked how dilated I was, which was 4cm and then left us for a while for the contractions to get further along. She did keep on coming in to check on me, though it all seems much of a blur by this point. Once I was a little further on, I asked if I could get in the pool but because I wasn’t classed as being in established labour the midwife could only run me a ‘bath’, which was slightly shallower than a pool. As soon as I got in the bath, it was so soothing. That’s when my contractions picked up a lot quicker and stronger. Sooner than later, they were running me a pool and I was asking for the gas and air, although I was pretty adamant I would never need/want it but I was willing to give anything a go to help with the pain of the contractions. Time flew by and I feel so lucky that my midwife, Rachel, who I had throughout my whole pregnancy journey was on the ward at 9am. She really helped keep me calm and encouraged me when I felt like giving up because I was just so tired. Josh was also my rock throughout labour, he sat with me and held my hand by the edge of the pool, giving me the gas and air when my contractions started and took it away when they stopped. Without his support it would have been a totally different experience and it was just incredible for him to be able to experience it all too.

By 10:31am our baby girl was born. We couldn’t believe we had had a girl, as we were so convinced it would be a boy! Her umbilical cord was wrapped around her legs and neck and she didn’t cry or make a noise when she was brought up and out of the pool but the midwives did say it was because she was born in to the pool very calmly, which is the same temperature as my body. They gave her a little rub over and she let out a cry. It was just the most emotional, incredible, exhausting experience, it’s so hard to describe!

After the birth, I got out of the pool and on to the bed. Mali and I did skin to skin and I was just so mesmerised by her tiny toes and fingers. I couldn’t believe we had made her and she had been in my womb all this time. We did the delayed cord clamping, so she was still attached to me with her umbilical cord until it went white. This allows her to receive all the nutrients from the placenta and was something I knew I wanted to do from the beginning. Josh then got the cut the cord!

Note the canvas in the background. One of the places that have a special place in my heart. Wastwater ❤️

The next step was to deliver my placenta.. which initially I thought I would wait to come naturally but I decided I didn’t want to go through the pain of the contractions again, so I asked for them to give me the injection in my thigh to help get it out quicker. I was nervous about the placenta coming out but it was totally fine and actually really awesome to see what also developed in my womb, alongside a baby. I’m still amazed by my body, to think it grew this tiny little person! I don’t think you ever really fully realise how amazing it is until it happens to you.

After a check over and a few hours just coming to terms with the fact we’d just welcomed our baby girl into the world in less than 6 hours, we headed to McDonald’s for a cheese burger and a milkshake to celebrate! We were so hungry!

I’m sure there may be bits I’ve missed but if there’s anything you want to know, send me a message! I found it really helpful speaking to Mum’s about their experiences. I do think knowledge is key whilst also trying to be relaxed as possible. I’ll share my feelings on the fourth trimester in a separate post, as this is quite long now! Speak soon, L. X

Our Baby Shower

A baby shower is something I never thought I’d want to have but seeing as this is our first baby I did want to do something special (apologies in advance to baby number 2, if and when the day comes), so I got all my closest girlfriends and family together for an afternoon of nibbles, drinks and a few games. When it came to choosing a venue I wanted somewhere laid back and cosy. Fold Coffee was the perfect choice! Chelsea and Jess helped me organise the day and were so accommodating with food and everything else. I wanted everyone to mingle as much as possible, so we decided to have a buffet style lunch with delicious finger sandwiches, coronation chicken, salmon and cream cheese and ham & cheese, cute little brownie cupcakes, scones and carrot cake, scotch eggs, sausage rolls and hummus etc. all made by Jess. Everything was so good, especially the coronation chicken and carrot cake… yum! There was even plenty for us all to take boxes home with us!

I didn’t want too many games that people would feel a little uncomfortable and I also wanted enough to do so that nobody would be bored. We played ‘guess the baby’, which I put together using baby pictures of each guest and everyone had to match the baby up with someone in the room. I guess this one was quite hard as not everyone knew one another but I hoped it would get people talking. If you try this game you could perhaps make name tags for each guest to help!

We also played ‘who knows the parents best’. This consisted of around 12 questions all about mum & dad AKA Josh and I. I gave out little prizes for the winners of each game too, a box of chocolates and a little bottle of Prosecco!

I made a ‘predict the date’ calendar for everyone who wanted to join in. Dated from 37 weeks until 42 weeks! To play, put a £1 in the pot and pick a date you think baby will make their appearance! Winner takes the pot.. not long to go!

After a couple hours, Josh, his brothers, my Dad and brother came to join the party. It was nice for them to come and spend time with us too, especially for Josh as it’s half his baby too! I would’ve actually loved to have got all our close family and friends, women and men, together. Perhaps we’ll organise something for when the baby actually arrives as we won’t be having a head wetting.. but I have heard of a ‘sip and see’ where you drink and meet the baby, so that’s an option!

Afterwards, a few of us went for a drink and some tea at a local pub. I was so tired, my feet and hands swollen.. I kind of wished we had just gone home as I was feeling so overwhelmed with the whole experience. It was the most perfect day though and it’s made me even more excited just knowing that we have the most amazing support network around us.

I only have 5 more working days left at work now! I’m so ready to start nesting and get all the little jobs done before he/she arrives. We still have quite a bit to do.. like build the utility, get some carpets down, get a new mattress, some curtains/blinds etc. but I’m sure we’ll get there…. I’m going to share what I’ve packed in my hospital bag and my birth plan next week. I’ve done a bit of research and have asked lots of mums what they needed, used/didn’t use so hopefully I’ve got it down to a t! Speak soon, L x

Baby moon in Rhodes

The Hotel

Finding somewhere that would be fairly hot mid May, picturesque and pregnancy friendly was actually pretty easy. As soon as we spotted Casa Cook on the Thomas Cook website we just knew that spending a week there pre baby would be just perfect. I read every single review on Tripadvisor, as I always do, and after getting our friends on board for the vacation we got it booked.

What I loved about Casa Cook, Rhodes were the two pools and the pool accessible from your own private sunbathing terrace. I thought we’d spend all our time in our own little private spaces but we didn’t, mainly because the sun only caught our terraces from 11am until around 3pm. We did however spend most of our days basking in the sunshine by, what we called, the ‘quiet pool’. There was no music, the pool was refreshingly cool and there never seemed to be that many people around it. Perhaps because the walk to the bar/restaurant was a fair walk away.. but we didn’t mind that. We stocked up on ice coffee, Haribo’s and crisps from the local supermarket. What a diet!

The food at Casa Cook was really good. Breakfast was served from 7am-11am and there was a great variety of breads, local delicacies, cooked bacon, eggs, etc. which was included in our stay. We ate lunch and dinner there most days too, which I enjoyed more than breakfast. I recommend the hummus and Grandmas potatoes, they were two of my favourite poolside snacks!

Rhodes Old Town

On one of the less sunnier days, which actually turned out to be a lovely sunny day, we hired a car from our hotel to explore a little more of the island. The guy we rented the car from gave us a few suggestions and told us to visit the Old Town early on, as traffic/parking would get worse in the afternoon. Wow, the Old Town was stunning. The beautiful cobbled streets, the shops, the cute cafes, the flowers in bloom made it all so beautiful. I recommend veering off the main streets to find some hidden gems!

Anthony Quinn’s Bay

This little cove is so picturesque but it is only small so you may struggle to get a lounger, which costs €6 each. However, it’s definitely worth stopping by and going for a swim or even stopping for a drink at the cafe before you head down to the beach which looked lovely and super busy! It was very ‘instagrammable’.

St. Paul’s Bay & Lindos

The few people I spoke to who have visited Rhodes recommended the restaurant in St Paul’s Bay – Tambakio. It was stunning.. really. The perfect place for an intimate wedding. There was a huge range of food to choose from, from salads, seafood, meat, pasta etc. which all sounded amazing. I ended up going for a Caesar salad and chips which were delicious but I kind of wished I’d gone for the Scallops or another type of seafood dish because Kelly’s seafood pasta looked amazing!

How I found being 33 weeks pregnant

I was 32 and a half weeks pregnant when we flew out to Rhodes and by this point I was feeling quite tired, so it was really lovely to just sunbathe, eat and swim for a week. The flight out was ok, though I kept needing the toilet after drinking too much before the departure. Don’t treat yourself to a vanilla chai latte 10 minutes before take off.. my bladder just isn’t the same as it used to be! I definitely recommend booking an aisle seat if you can, at least then you are quickly up and to the loo and don’t have to disturb any other passengers.

I remembered to pack my flight socks, so managed not to get swollen feet/ankles for our holiday, but totally forgot to put them on on the way back.. and ended up walking through Edinburgh airport looking like an elephant. But at least we were heading home! The swelling didn’t go down for a day or two which was uncomfortable, so if this happens to you remember to elevate your feet at any given chance! I slept quite well on the flight back, mainly because it was an evening flight and we were delayed almost 3 hours and I didn’t find it too uncomfortable.

Whilst in Rhodes, I did find my skin to be extra sensitive. I got quite bad heat spots all over my body which itched so much, on top of the dozens of insect bites I got on my ankles and legs. It wasn’t pleasant and I didn’t sleep so well without my pregnancy pillow either. I’d definitely recommend packing a decent insect repellent – I usually use the Avon Skin So Soft, an insect bite cream or balm like Tiger balm to help soothe the itchiness, a good factor 50 that allows your skin to breathe and sweat to escape so you don’t develop heat spots and if possible, try to take your pillow so you get a decent nights sleep! Obviously the repellant and bite cream only applies if you’re loved by ants and flies etc. but it’s always worth carrying something you know works than spending unnecessary money on crap stuff.

I felt most comfortable wearing bikinis and long linen shirts most days. On evenings I wore long stretchy dresses but some linen trousers to stop my thighs from chaffing would have been a good option. Talcum powder was needed too, which unfortunately I forgot to pack! Ideal for getting in those nooks and crannies you’re not used to having!

Pregnancy – The Second Trimester

I can’t believe that I am almost into the third trimester! I thought because the first trimester went so slowly that the second would too but it has flown by! So far pregnancy has just been wonderful and I know I’m extremely lucky to say that I’ve found pregnancy really quite easy because the majority of women have a tough time. I’ve loved watching my stomach grow and using the excuse of “I’m eating for two” at any given opportunity. I’ve loved showing my bump off and dressing it up, feeling the wonderful wriggles and rolls and now seeing my skin move from the punches and kicks. I’ve even liked being designated driver and not drinking alcohol.. who knows, this may be the making of a t-total Llana… but don’t hold your breath!

Shop the dress here (affil)

Earlier this week we made a start on what will be the nursery. We were using this room as a dressing room and had originally planned to have a ‘walk in wardrobe’ style room. I had lots of ideas for the nursery and I would have loved to have gone a little crazy with greens and tropical wallpaper but in the end I decided to play it safe and keep it neutral on the walls and add pops of colour and bold print with the furnishings! I’ll share more photos of this room as it comes together.

My Gran has washed all the baby bits I have either been given or bought so I’ve gone through what I have so I don’t double up on anything. It’s so surreal that a little human being will fit into these doll size clothes! Erik is a little unsure of what’s going on.. he does not like the polar bear teddy or any of the other teddy’s we have. It must be a phobia of his!

Meeting baby Louie for the first time at only 2 weeks old made me all the more excited to meet our baby. It also scared me a little that we would be responsible for a tiny person.. I just hope that it does come naturally and we find our feet as quickly as possible. If anything, it’s not so much the birth that worries me at the moment but adapting and being able to take care of something so small and helpless does. I worry about leaving hospital and getting home. What happens in those first few hours? Will I feel normal or will I feel like I’m on another planet? Probably the latter! Will I be able to keep them warm enough or cool enough? Am I holding them correctly? Am I checking their nappy often enough and cleaning them properly? What about bathing them, how warm should the water be? These are just some of the things I think about daily! I know I’ll have the most amazing support system around me but I can’t help but wonder how we will manage!

I haven’t bought much for myself during the second trimester, as I haven’t really felt like I’ve needed to.. however, my favourite product given to me by a friend has to be My Little Coco bump butter which smells Devine and you only need a small amount to make your skin feel super hydrated. I apply this every other evening if I remember to and I try to do it more than an hour before bed, otherwise it can feel sticky on the sheets!

My undies were in need of a refresh so I picked up these M&S thongs and they have to be the comfiest knickers I own. So soft and go great under leggings! Especially those black thin maternity leggings where you feel a bit self conscious about your bum and people seeing your knickers/vpl!

Half way!

20 weeks

I can’t believe I’m already 20 weeks pregnant! When I talked about the first 12 weeks going so slow I never imagined the next 2 months would pass us by in a blink of an eye. At 17 weeks we had our first check up with my lovely midwife, Rachel, and got to listen to the babies heartbeat. We talked about where I might like to give birth and how I’ve been feeling over the last few weeks. She said I may begin to feel some flutters, although I thought I had already felt what I can only describe as butterflies.

I always wondered how it must feel to actually feel something growing, wriggling and kicking around inside your belly. It always really freaked me out whenever I saw wriggling babies under their pregnant mothers skin but when it happened to me for the first time it felt so surreal and reminded me that I was actually growing a tiny human in there! After the first kick, that Josh was lucky to experience too, the flutters and the moving just seemed to stop. I messaged my midwife after 5 days of not feeling anything as I was a little concerned, especially after it being so obvious the first time but she told me that it was completely normal not to feel movement for days with how early I still was (18 weeks).

A week later, on Friday night, after eating some spicy Thai food and a Cadburys cream egg, I began feeling lots of fluttery movements on the right side of my tummy. I immediately placed my hand on my skin and felt a little roll towards my hand! It was so lovely to feel him/her in there after days of not feeling a thing.

12 weeks vs 20 weeks

Today we had the anomaly scan which usually takes place at 18-22 weeks. This scan takes a little longer, as there’s lots of measuring involved to make sure the baby is growing as it should. If you want you can find out the sex of your baby but we didn’t want to know, so were told to look away when the Sonologist took a look at their genitals. I must admit, it was tempting to look but I am soooo looking forward to the surprise! When you compare the two scans with one another, it’s amazing how much they’ve developed within 8 weeks. We could really see their little feet and hands, spine, heart, the umbilical cord and even their kidneys! Their nose/mouth looks very Thai in this image. It might just be the angle but it does look like my Thai granny’s side profile!

I guess the countdown is on! Our Summer baby will be here in less than 5 months.. eeek! I’ll be sharing our nursery ideas soon, as I have lots of ideas and I can’t wait to see it come to life. My mind keeps changing from dark colours to light, from fun printed wall murals to plain. It’s not important in the grand scheme of things but you know how much I love interiors! Speak soon, L.

A wholesome weekend

On Friday I had a checkup with my midwife to check everything was all ok with the baby and I. I even got to to listen to his/hers heartbeat, which was so incredible! I had a few messages from friends to say that it sounds like a boy. Apparently, as the old wives tale goes.. a boys heartbeat sounds more like a chugging train and a girls like a galloping horse! I guess only time will tell. Do you know of any other old wives tales?

This weekend we got some odd jobs done around the house. We finally have a working sink in one of our bathrooms, which means no more brushing our teeth in the kitchen sink! It’s only taken a year… haha! We still have lots left to do but Josh is going to take some time off in April to get the main things done, ready for the arrival of our little one. I did lots of cooking and baked my first loaf cake in a long time. This time it was this pistachio and raspberry loaf with white chocolate topping shared by @thegreedymodel on Instagram.

Watching the sunrise in the Howgills

After feeling so lethargic the past few months, I finally managed to drag myself out of bed at 6am on Thursday morning to watch the sunrise. It was the most magical morning, the sky was pink and the ground was frosty. The moon was so big, it lit the sky up as I walked in the darkness along the old pipe line at the front of Crook, headed for the top of Sickers. I’ve only ever walked to Sickers once before, last summer, but it has to be one of my favourite walks from Sedbergh and would make a great wild camping spot in the warmer months! After reaching the pile of stones at the top of Sickers, I made my way up to Arant Haw and back towards Sedbergh. Nearing the farm and out of the bitterly cold wind, Erik and I sat in the sunshine, listening to the birds and the rest of the world waking up, whilst I sipped a flask of hot chocolate. I’d forgotten to enjoy moments like this over the last few months but I now know how valuable they are to me, for my body but most importantly my mind. Love, L.

Pregnancy – The First Trimester

The first trimester has felt like it was never ending. What made it hard was not just openly telling anyone and everyone that we were expecting and then awaiting my first scan at 12 weeks was torture! It was probably the longest couple of months I’d ever experienced, though I remember the countdowns to month long holidays in Thailand also felt the same.

I spoke a bit about how the first trimester has been when we announced that we were expecting but I wanted to share a few of the products I’ve picked up during those early stages, in case you have just found out your expecting or are looking for gifts/ideas for a friend or family member who has just told you they’re expecting!

The first thing I bought when I found out I was expecting was lotion for my stomach and boobs. It was the first thing I thought of buying because I knew I wanted to try and avoid stretch marks as best I could and keep my skin and well nourished as possible. After a little research I went for the Neals Yard Mothers Balm. It’s not anything like a cream or lotion or oil, it’s quite waxy.. like the name suggests, a balm. It doesn’t have a scent to it, which a lot of the women reviewing said they liked but I think I would have preferred a subtle scent, like lavender or something calming. Especially because I tend to put it on after my shower, before bed. I also haven’t really had much sickness, so a light scent would have been nice for me but perhaps not so much for others who have suffered badly with morning sickness during the first trimester.

The second product(s) I treated myself to were some comfortable non wired bras from M&S. Since COVID, I haven’t particularly worn a bra much and when I do, it’s either a plain t-shirt bra or a sports bra, neither of which are particularly comfortable. Because my boobs were just so painful to touch, I just wanted something soft I could wear everyday under my clothes, so I got this pack of three, 2 x black and 1 x white for £18. They’re the comfiest crop top/bras I’ve worn. So soft and go perfectly under my workwear.

Besides from a few items for the baby that I picked up pretty early due to the January sales, I was told by many other mothers that a pregnancy pillow was one of the best things they ever bought. Many bought them sometime during their second trimester and some in to their third but they encouraged me to get one as early as possible as it would really help with sleep and later help with breast feeding, if this is something am able to take to eventually. I’d originally looked at the bbhugme pillows, which are both highly rated and aesthetically pleasing but come with quite the price tag, so I looked about and ended up purchasing this Tommee Tippee one in the sale. It actually just arrived this afternoon and I’m currently sat in bed using it to prop me up whilst I type. I can confirm that it is firm and comfortable! I’m looking forward to a good nights sleep tonight and hopefully the pillow will make sleeping on my side much more comfortable, as I tend to sleep on my back which isn’t good for the baby later on in pregnancy.

That really is all I’ve bought so far. The next few items on my list I don’t really need until I get a bit bigger so I’ll share those in my second trimester round up. I’ve also got a few items in a basket from H&M I’d like to order, like some maternity dungarees, leggings and t-shirts, ready for the Spring. I am a little reluctant to buy maternity wear but I’ve always wanted some dungarees and for some reason I always think a baby bump goes so well in them! Anyway, hope you enjoyed this post. I promise I’m going to try and post more often! Let me know if there’s anything you’d like me to share ☺️

Finding out I was expecting

Early November, almost a week before my 27th birthday, I’d had this feeling all day at work that I was pregnant but I was too scared to pick up a test from our local pharmacy and Spar shop, in fear that I’d bump into someone I knew or was served by someone I knew.. which is more than likely with where we live, so I waited until Josh got home that evening to collect a test under the cover of darkness, hoping that nobody would catch us and start any rumours! I’d taken tests before, but this time felt different. I just knew that two lines were going to appear, so I took the test and turned it over to let it work it’s magic. I was too nervous to look, not because I was hoping it would or wouldn’t be but because I just knew in my gut what it was going to say anyway. Josh had the first peek and there it was… those two faint lines. It was so overwhelming, we sat there just wondering whether the faint line really meant I was pregnant or whether it could be a mistake but I read the instructions over and over and even the faintest of lines meant high levels of HCG were detected in my urine sample.. and this could only mean one thing.. we were going to be parents.

The next few days were like walking on cloud 9, I’d never felt anything quite like it. I couldn’t sleep because I was so excited to tell my friends and family. I was constantly thinking of wonderful ways I could share the news but shortly after I began to feel anxious about the future and whether we were able to fully support a child. My worries about our finances were consuming me and I worried that we would never be able to do all the things we’d planned, now that we were expecting. Those worries soon subsided when I began telling my family and friends. I could see how excited they were for us and I kept telling myself that if most other families can do it, then why the hell couldn’t we?

Soon after seeing a nurse, who surprisingly didn’t even check to see if I was pregnant with a urine sample because home tests are so reliable, I started developing some symptoms. The most noticeable one for me was how sore my boobs were and what literally nobody tells you.. constipation! The first week or two of this was incredibly hard. I was waking up in the night with the most horrendous stomach pains that I thought something was seriously wrong but apparently constipation is a common symptom of early pregnancy. I wish someone had told me at the beginning because I would have started eating prunes much earlier on, so take my advice. Buy the prunes and don’t delay! You’ll thank me later…

As the weeks passed, and the constipation disappeared, I did wonder if I was even pregnant. I’d had no sickness, only a little nausea which was neither here nor there, and my first midwife appointment was just a lot of questions, a blood test and a urine sample. I’d contemplated taking another test but for some reason didn’t and awaited the 12 week scan, just before Christmas. This was when it really began to feel real, though I sometimes don’t believe it, even now! To see a little person on the screen growing inside of me was just the most wonderful feeling. It was emotional and incredible to see its little heart beating and it’s arms moving around. What was more amazing was that it was only 5cm head to toe, which still blows my mind that something that small is fully formed, has a heart, fingers, toes, and lungs.

And now here we are, in a little bubble of happiness after a lovely first Christmas in our first home together, just waiting for the next time we’ll get to see him or her. I’ll keep you updated on how we get on! I’m so excited for this next chapter in our lives <3