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My Birth Story

April 29, 2021

It’s taken me a long time to write my birth story. It was something I was ashamed of at first, and found it too painful and traumatic to talk about without getting upset. Although I couldn’t be more grateful that Elsie and I are both safe, it was very much an ordeal that I needed time to process, and actually I’m still processing now 4 months on. This is a long one…

Throughout my pregnancy I had practised hypnobirthing and was very much hoping for a completely natural birth, in a birth centre, with as little intervention as possible. I practised positive affirmations in the bath with essential oils, I practised breathing techniques using an app every night, I put up positive affirmation cards around the house and I regularly watched positive birth stories on YouTube. But how different my birth would be…

I’d really hoped that Elsie would come early, between 38-40 weeks as I’d kept active throughout my pregnancy and it had gone really smoothly. I was low risk, and had never had any issues throughout the whole 9 months. I’d had a textbook pregnancy. But once 39 weeks passed, I started to struggle mentally with still being pregnant. I was huge, so swollen, so uncomfortable and in a lot of pain with my hips and back. I was struggling to eat or sleep, and I had become increasingly anxious and emotional as the days went on. I had also been told at my last midwife appointment that Elsie had gone ‘back to back’, which meant her back was pressing against my back. Although this explained the back pain I was suffering with, it was the news I had been dreading as I knew that it made labour longer and more painful. With my birth plan being so natural, this wasn’t what I wanted to hear and I started to panic.

I phoned my midwife and asked what the chances were of being able to have an elective C section if I got to 41 weeks and Elsie was still back to back, as I already dreaded being pregnant for much longer. She assured me my wishes would be considered if that was what I really wanted, but encouraged me to wait for a week or so to see if anything happened naturally. She also said it was very likely that Elsie would move position before or even during labour. I was fine with this as my first choice was still to go into labour naturally, and have a natural, pain relief free birth, but it helped my anxiety knowing that if things carried on much longer, I could opt for a planned section rather than be induced with a back to back baby. But nothing did happen naturally…

On the 19th of December, 2 days before my due date at 39+5, I went into the labour ward to be assessed for suspected water leakage. The consultant said he was pretty confident it wasn’t my waters, but recommended I be induced due to my swelling and the fact that my blood pressure had started to creep up for the first time during my whole pregnancy. I declined and said I would prefer to wait for things to happen naturally as I was terrified of being induced. I explained my anxiety around induction and again asked if I could have an elective C section but I was told no. 

A few days after this I had a sweep and an aromatherapy session at the hospital to try get things moving naturally. Both were extremely uncomfortable and did nothing to bring on my labour, further adding to my anxiety as I knew that my body just wasn’t ready to labour, and that I knew I was going to be pregnant for a while longer. Each day that passed I knew it was getting more likely that I would need to be induced, and I was scared.

Fast forward to Christmas Day and my swelling had got considerably worse. Paul begged to take me into hospital but I didn’t want to as I knew they’d induce me there and then. I waited until Boxing Day evening and gave in. You couldn’t make out my feet they had got so swollen, and at 40+5 I didn’t want to take any chances, so we took down our Christmas decorations, cleaned the house and went to the hospital.

After being assessed, my worst nightmare and the very thing I’d been dreading for weeks happened. I was told I wouldn’t be able to go home and that I would need to be induced. I burst into tears in front of the consultant and begged again for a C section. I was told no, again. I asked if I could just go home and collect our things before being induced, and after an hour’s monitoring of me and Elsie they finally agreed. It was so surreal going home and getting our things together, knowing that the next time we returned home we would have our baby with us. I cried the whole time with fear, anxiety, but also anger and frustration at being repeatedly refused an elective C section. I felt like I wasn’t being listened to, and that other people were making decisions about my body and how I was going to deliver my baby. 

We returned to the hospital at 9pm, I was given the pessary at 10pm (horrendous) and was told it could need to stay in for 24 hours before anything happened. I was told that it was unlikely as a first time mum that the pessary would work, and if it didn’t then I would then need to have a 6 hour gel and then a hormone drip. We thought we were set to be in hospital for days before anything happened, so we didn’t tell anyone, not even our parents. 

We were moved to a room and luckily Paul was allowed to stay with me overnight. He had a pull out bed, so we settled in for the night. I didn’t sleep at all, worried about what would happen and what the next few days would hold. At 5am, I started to get period like cramps, which they said could be a side affect of the pessary so I thought nothing of it. The pains got worse so I buzzed for the midwife and asked for some paracetamol and tried to go back to sleep. At 7am I woke Paul up because I wasn’t coping with the pain. We buzzed the midwife again and she recommended I get into the bath, so I popped on one of my babymoon bikinis and started timing what I thought was just cramps using the Freya app. When it told me I was in established labour I was so surprised, as I thought it was just the side affects of the pessary! I told the midwife and she confirmed that I was in labour, and the pain escalated so quickly that we were then moved to the labour ward. I was examined and told I was 3cm dilated. This was when we really started to get excited. I was so happy that my labour had started so quickly and just with the pessary, but I wasn’t coping well with the pain. 

My attitude to no pain relief quickly went out the window with being induced and having a back to back baby. My contractions were intense with barely any break in between at just 4cm dilated. I started off with gas and air and instantly felt sick, after an anti sickness injection I felt so much better, so I continued with my breathing techniques and the gas and air for a while longer until I asked for something stronger. I was given 10mg of Diamorphine and I wish I’d never had it. It didn’t take the pain away, it just made me too drowsy to do anything about it and I couldn’t even hold my head up or talk. 

I don’t remember much after this and it was all a bit of a blur. I asked for an epidural quite early on, and it was amazing. It didn’t hurt at all going in, and once it was in I couldn’t feel any pain. I could feel contractions and being examined, but no pain – it was great! I would definitely recommend it to anyone as it made me enjoy my labour. We were chatting with the midwives, eating strawberry pencils and Paul even watched some football whilst I slept!

I managed to get to 8cm dilated when I started to feel pain again, so went back on the gas and air. My midwife was very surprised to see I was feeling pain so called the anaesthetist back, who confirmed that I had snapped the bacterial filter of my epidural and it couldn’t be repaired. I would need the epidural reciting from scratch. This didn’t bother me as it had been fine the first time, the issue was that that anaesthetist had been called away on an emergency, and the other on call anaesthetist was with another patient. So there was no one available to give me another epidural. 

At this point I was terrified. I knew I hadn’t coped well with the pain at the beginning of labour, and I knew that when the first epidural wore off within the hour, I would have to finish dilating and deliver the baby with only gas and air. This was when my hypnobirthing breathing really kicked in. I got in the zone and wouldn’t talk to anyone. I used the gas and air for every contraction and breathed through it. I was doing so well and I am so proud of how I coped with this part, but then my worst nightmare was confirmed. The midwife said me to that I wasn’t passing urine, which meant my kidneys weren’t working as effectively as they should, there was protein in the urine I had passed, my iron levels had dropped, my blood pressure has risen even further and Elsie had turned and was facing sideways. I was told I would need an emergency C section. 

By this point I was in so much pain and so exhausted after 17 hours of labour that it actually came as a relief. My epidural had worn off and I was feeling contractions in full force. I stayed calm, stayed in the zone and breathed through my contractions as our labour room started to fill with people. I was asked to read and sign pages of documents outlining the risks of a C section and it was terrifying. In between each contraction I was telling the surgeon about my C section preferences, that I wanted my music on, I wanted the lights low, I wanted the baby brought out slowly, I wanted delayed cord clamping and that I wanted Paul to announce the gender. I didn’t get everything I wanted due to it being an emergency, but I’m so glad I got the important things. I’m so glad that despite being in a world of pain, I stayed focused and I voiced my preferences. This enabled me to gain a small bit of control over my labour back. 

I kept the gas and air on the way to theatre, and until the spinal block went in. The lights in theatre were the brightest lights I’d ever seen my entire life, and I remember everything being so white. I felt a lot of movement but no pain at all, and after what felt like forever I heard our baby cry. I have never felt relief like it and I just cried my eyes out. 

They kept Elsie attached to the placenta for a while so that she got as much blood from it as possible. Paul cut her cord and brought her over to see me whilst I was being stitched up. But it wasn’t how I imagined, I didn’t feel that rush of love that everyone talks about. I could barely keep my eyes open and I remember thinking, will everyone just leave me alone I need to close my eyes. I was so drained physically and mentally. I had been in labour for 17 hours and been through major surgery. I was so happy our baby was here, but it was as if my mind and body had gone into shutdown and I just wasn’t functioning. 

Paul was asked to take Elsie back into our labour room and wait for me to return. He said it was the scariest time of his life sitting there waiting for me with Elsie in his arms. He said he didn’t know if I was coming back or not because I had been so out of it in theatre. He told me he coped by talking to Elsie and telling her about all her friends and family who couldn’t wait to meet her. Although labour is physically tough on the woman, it’s also extremely scary for the partner as well, and Paul had felt so helpless. 

When I got back into our labour room, we had the most amazing first few hours together as a family of 3. Elsie and I had skin to skin and that was the moment I fell in love with her. I couldn’t believe I’d done it, I’d given birth to the baby I’d grown and carried for 9 months and it just felt surreal. I felt like I was capable of anything.

A C section certainly isn’t the easy way out. The guilt of not being able to deliver my baby ‘naturally’ stayed with me for months, and I’m currently going through therapy to overcome the anxiety I’ve suffered with since. But I’m feeling better, so much better. Although I found Elsie’s birth very traumatic, I know I’m so blessed to have delivered a perfectly healthy baby, and for me to have made a straightforward recovery. The care we received at the hospital was absolutely incredible, and with the support of my amazing family and friends, I’ve finally accepted my birth story and wanted to share it.

Love Mrs E
xoxo

Featured Lifestyle Pregnancy

Top 10 Christmas gifts for mamas-to-be

November 18, 2020

Buying presents for people can be so stressful, especially if you don’t know what to get someone and the don’t give you any hints! I thought I’d put together a list of 10 things that I’ve found either really useful, or that have been lovely to have during my pregnancy, so that if you’re looking for the perfect gift for a mama to be this Christmas – you have some ideas!

With a lot of businesses taking a huge hit this year due to the pandemic, it’s more important than ever for us to support small and local businesses where possible this Christmas, so most of the below are small businesses I’ve ordered from in the past. I love the meme that says ‘when you buy from a small business, someone does a happy dance.’ How lovely is that, and so true. So let’s all get small business owners happy dancing!

  1. Body bottle – ok this one isn’t a small business as it’s available from Argos or Amazon, BUT it’s been the thing I’ve probably used the most during my pregnancy. this is basically just a long hot water bottle, but what is so great about it is that you can tie it around your middle and walk around with it on! I’ve used mine sat on my birthing ball and laid out next to me in bed to help with lower back pain and it gives instant relief. These are available in a few different designs as well, so you can choose the one you think the person you’re buying for will love. 
  2. Hot tea mama tea bags and mug – this brand offers a great concept of different tea bags to suit each stage of pregnancy, from helping to combat sickness in the first trimester to boosting milk supply after baby is here. You could get a selection of teas for your mama to be, or choose the tea that will be most suited to them for Christmas time. Hot Tea Mama also do a super cute mug that says ‘Mothers are magic’. You could add these teas and mug into a hamper with some chocolate and other bits. 
  3. Hey mama gift box – I absolutely love this idea. Hey Mama Gifts put together gift boxes with some luxury items in so pregnant mamas can spend some much deserved time on self care. The boxes include pregnancy safe bath salts, a beautiful candle and some other treats. These launch on December 1st so be quick!
  4. Jean Alice pyjamas – I ordered some of these beautiful silky pjs as soon as I found out I was pregnant, and I chose for them to say ‘Mama’ on the front pocket and across the back. A friend of mine also got me a white pair that say ‘Baby Mama’ which are gorgeous. This is such a thoughtful present as there are so many colours of material and personalisation to choose from, you can really make them personal. Your mama to be can also wear these even after baby is here. Tip: size up depending on how far along your giftee is, I got the biggest size!
  5. A nice hospital bag – this is a good gift idea if you’re looking for something a little bit more special, and want to spend a bit more on someone. A hospital bag is a really special gift that will not only be used on the big day, but can also be used after baby is here. I got this stunning hold-all from Mummy and Little Me by a brand called Katie Loxton, but there are so many other brands out there that do beautiful bags that are perfect for taking to hospital. Mummy & Little Me currently have 15% off, which adds up on a big purchase.
  6. Aska maternity movement bracelet – I am obsessed with my Aska maternity bracelet. I wear it all day every day and use it constantly to monitor baby’s movements. Not only does it look beautiful but it also is extremely important and useful for mamas from their second trimester. This comes beautifully packaged and therefore makes a stunning Christmas gift, it’s also available in a few different colours, so you can pick a colour based on the baby’s gender if it’s known, or choose the white one like I’ve got. These bracelets can be worn after pregnancy to keep track of how many times the baby has fed, or can just be worn as a decorative piece of jewellery as they’re so pretty!
  7. Candles and essential oils/diffuser – I don’t care what anyone says, you can never have too many candles or essential oils, especially when pregnant! Plug in diffusers and scented candles are ideal for practising hypnobirthing at home, and to help relieve pregnancy symptoms at any stage depending on what oils you buy. There’s so many stylish candles and diffusers out there, you’ll be spoilt for choice (just check the oils you buy are pregnancy safe). They make a stylish addition to any home so is a great gift that can be used even after pregnancy. Tip: I’d recommend lavender, rose, peppermint or camomile essential oils if you don’t have any in mind, as these are all safe for use in pregnancy and help with relaxation. 
  8. The Positive Birth Book and The Positive Breastfeeding Book. I cannot recommend these enough for any mama to be, and the Positive Birth Book really changed my outlook on labour. They’re easy to read and inexpensive, but so valuable and can be passed on to other mums-to-be once finished. 
  9. Chocolates, sweets, anything edible. Pregnant women love food, after the first trimester is over usually anyway! So you can’t go wrong here. It’s the only time in our lives when we don’t have to worry about calorie counting and gaining weight, so it’s the perfect opportunity to eat all the things we love! You could put a hamper together of all your mama-to-be’s favourite snacks (unfortunately the gin and prosecco will have to wait – but see below!). 
  10. Non alcoholic drinks. Alcohol is a popular gift for Christmas time, but even when you’re pregnant you can feel like you’re having a Christmas tipple with the huge range of non alcoholic beverages out there. There’s non alcoholic wines that taste great, even mulled wine, ‘no-secco’, non alcoholic beers and ciders, plus non alcoholic gin. You could even make a little non-alcoholic hamper and add in some prosecco shimmer, pop-a-balls, boujee plastic ice cubes and some fruit puree for making bellini’s – or… MUM-osa’s! 

Hopefully that’s been a help to you if you’re looking for some Christmas gift inspo for a special mum to be. I’d love to hear your other ideas, please comment below…

Love Mrs E
Xoxo

Home Pregnancy

Our box room safari nursery

November 16, 2020

I’ve always loved looking at people’s nursery photos, it’s just such a precious little space and the themes are so adorable! As we knew we weren’t finding out the gender of our baby, we always knew we’d have a gender neutral nursery, and there’s still so many themes to choose from. My favourites were under the sea and safari, but we went with safari after finding the perfect wallpaper. 

Our box room had always been Paul’s home office since we moved in. Our bigger bedroom has built in wardrobes all the way around and we use it as a dressing room, so it just wouldn’t have been suitable for a nursery without ripping it all out. With Paul now having his own business and being fully home based, he had no choice but to move out of the box room so we could use it as a nursery, and move into an outdoor home office. This has made the whole process a lot more complicated and it’s taken a lot longer, with a lot more work than your usual nursery, but now it’s done it’s so worth it. 

Planning and inspo

For me, Instagram has overtaken Pinterest now when it comes to making collections for inspo. I create boards and save instagram posts to look back on, which are so helpful. I used hashtags such as #smallnursery, #neutralnursery and #safarinursery to get inspo, I followed these hashtags and then saved posts that I liked whenever I saw them when generally using instagram. I made a couple of mood boards to explore colour schemes within the safari theme, and was torn between navy wallpaper and brown paint with a green leaf wall, or cream wallpaper and green paint with the leaf wall.

Walls

We decided on the navy colour scheme as we felt it was a little bit different. It’s turned out such a lovely shade. It’s really dark and doesn’t look too ‘blue’, which we were conscious about knowing we could be having a little girl! The wallpaper is by Graham and Brown, and is available at Wilko and The Range. At £20 a roll, it’s really affordable, and if you’re using your box room as a nursery like we are then you’ll only need a couple of rolls if you’re doing a feature wall.

TIP: It does tear easily though, and the pattern isn’t easy to match up, so we got a professional to put it up.

Choosing our paint took forever, you think colours are light until you test them and suddenly on the wall they’re really dark! We settled on this lovely sandy nude shade called Sassafrass tea, which is from B&Q’s Valspar range. We always go with this paint as it’s good quality and they have so many shades to pick from.

TIP: we always buy a tester pot at the same time to keep for touching up walls later on if they get scratched or you need to fill holes in.

I was most excited about our leaf wall. I knew I wanted this from the beginning as I haven’t seen it done in any other nurseries before. We used the IKEA FEJKA green leaf panels, they’re so well designed they just slot into each other a bit like a jigsaw, then you only need to screw along the outside. We just trimmed the excess using scissors so it fitted our walls. Although you can’t see a lot of the leaf wall because of the canopy, I think it just adds something a bit more special to the room and is perfect for the safari theme. 

Another favourite part of the nursery for me is the Spinkie Dreamy hanging canopy. Paul was concerned this was a little too girly, but I’d loved it for so long I didn’t care. I think when blended in with the rest of room it doesn’t look girly at all! This is the champagne colour, but it’s also available in other beautiful shades. It’s not cheap at £139, but it’s such high quality.

We ordered this from a Spinkie UK distributor called Cute Creative Crafts. They also have loads of other cute nursery stuff so it’s worth taking a look. We were lucky this shade was in stock as you can wait weeks to get one of these. You can also add accessories like pom poms to these canopies that look super cute, and they have matching soft toys. 

TIP: Be careful as there are loads of fakes around of this canopy from China that turn up looking nothing like the real thing! The real Spinkie one is really thick with loads of layers of tulle.

Furniture

Our nursery furniture was a fab bargain from Aldi when they did a recent baby event. We had planned to get our furniture from IKEA, but this was such a good deal from Aldi we went with this instead for our wardrobe and changing unit.

The Aldi wardrobe is great inside, has multiple hanging rails and draws and is really spacious. I added in some IKEA KVARNVIK storage boxes for the top shelf in a lovely beige shade, these are also available in grey and in a bigger size. We also added some larger IKEA GABBIG storage boxes for on top of the wardrobe. At the moment these have nappies, wipes and 6-9 months and above clothes in, so they’re really handy already!

The changing table is also really well designed, it includes 2 drawers and 2 cupboard doors, and the top section where you change the baby completely removes and it can be used as a chest of drawers. 

Inside the draws we used the IKEA SKUBB draw dividers, these are so handy for separating clothes sizes so you don’t get confused, and helps keeps the drawers organised and tidy. I got the mini chalkboard pegs and a liquid chalk pen from Amazon. These can be rubbed off and re-written when the baby’s sizes change. These are so helpful as it means we don’t have to keep getting clothes out to check the sizes.

I swapped the plain handles for some brass animal ones I found on Etsy, and they’re so adorable.

TIP: we had to buy a mix of different sized washers to get these to secure tightly as all the threads were different. I think these were shipped from China as well so they took a while to arrive.

Our cot is the Comfort Baby Global SmartGrow 7in1, and is a modular design where it starts off as a circle, then you add panels in to make it into a full size cot when the baby grows out of it. We’re using the round cot in our bedroom until the baby is around 6 months, then they’ll be moving into their nursery into their big cot. It’s a 7 in 1 bed, so can be used in so many different ways. This meant we didn’t need to buy a separate Moses basket or next to me, so saves on cost and also space in the house! I absolutely love the rounded design also as it’s unique. The baby’s cot will be kept completely clear except for a blanket tucked in at the edges until they’re old enough for a sleeping bag.

Accessories

My favourite part. Accessories are what make a home I think. It’s where you can add your personality into a room and make it really personal.

Our stunning changing basket is the Olli Ella Reva, I knew I wanted this one from the very beginning as it’s just beautiful, and matches perfectly with the safari theme. It’s always sold out, so I kept checking for months until it became available again.

TIP: the inserts for the changing basket are sold separately, we ordered 2 so one can go in the wash, as I’m expecting these to get VERY messy! The inserts are available in a few different colours to match your nursery theme.

I absolutely LOVE our curtains and curtain accessories. The curtains are the Curtina Leopard Stone Jacquard Eyelet curtains from Dunelm and they’re available in a few different sizes and drops. I love that the leopard print is really subtle and the colour goes lovely with the others in the room. I’m not a huge fan of leopard print normally, but loved these so much. We thought the shorter drop would be more practical for a nursery and especially in a small room, but normally I love it when curtains are slightly too long and gather on the floor – maybe in our next house?!

Also from Dunelm, we got the Pair of Monkey Finals, Monkey Curtain Dresser (not sold in pairs), and the matching curtain pole. They’re just perfect for the theme and I’m so happy I found this range. Dunelm also have beautiful monkey lights and lamps that match, but unfortunately we don’t have the space in our little box room!

TIP: the rawlplugs supplied with the curtain dressers aren’t really big enough for keeping them in the wall, so order some bigger ones just in case it doesn’t work for you either.

The clear shelves on the feature wall are the IKEA MELLÖSA. They attach really easily to the wall with just 2 small screws, and are great for displaying frames, plants and other little ornaments. All of the frames on these shelves are also from Dunelm, how cute is the little leopard frame! I was made up when I came across this and had to order. Some frames are still blank as we’re waiting to know the gender and name of Baby E so we can order some personalised prints. I’ve popped some safari wallpaper samples in a few to add some colour to the room.

All of the hanging plants, pots and vases are from IKEA, all the pampas grasses and the Hakuna Matata print are from eBay, and the gold giraffe ornament was a fab little B&M find! A few people had seen it and messaged me about it so I was really happy I managed to get one.

The little white bookshelves are actually the IKEA BEKVAM spice racks, I sprayed them with a primer and then white spray paint I got from B&M and they turned out really well. These were a nightmare to stick to the wardrobe however. We tried ‘Sticks like Sh**’, spent £20 on heavy duty velcro strips and both failed, so we resorted to screwing straight into the wardrobe. They’re great here though as they’re out the way and easy to access.

TIP: go straight into screwing these into the wall or wherever you’re putting them, Don’t waste time and money on sticky things!

Our light shade is the IKEA TORARED seagrass pendant, and again it just went perfectly with the theme and was a bargain at just £13. This is super easy to put up, literally took about 20 seconds.

Finally, the macrame plant hanger was a gift and was handmade by my sister. I thought it was a lovely addition to the room and it’s extra special that’s it’s such a personal gift. My sister now lives in Canada so isn’t taking UK orders unfortunately, but I’m really glad Baby E has a little something from Auntie B in their room. The pot and plant inside the macrame hanger are IKEA.

Sorry for the long blog post, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about how we put out nursery together. We can’t wait to show Baby E their room, we hope they love it as much as we do! Let me know if you have any questions…

Love Mrs E
xoxo


Pregnancy

Don’t let anyone put you off writing a birth plan

November 9, 2020

This blog isn’t to go into the detail of my personal birth preferences, as I’m keeping that private. But it’s more to highlight the value in actually having a birth plan, and to encourage other mums to be to not be put off making one by other people. 

The amount of people who’ve scoffed at the idea of a birth plan to me has been offensive if I’m quite honest. So what if someone wants to plan the best and most relaxed birth they can. So what if it does go out of the window at the time of birth, it was still worth doing in the first place if it makes that woman feel more prepared on the run up to labour. Don’t let anyone make you think otherwise. 

I always knew I’d have a birth plan, but I never understood how detailed and important they can actually be. It wasn’t until I read The Positive Birth Book that I truly understood the value of writing down your birth plan, or I like to call it, my birth preferences. 

Not only are your birth preferences so you can write down and plan how you’d like your labour to go, they also should be read and fully understood by your birthing partner, your community midwife and the medical staff on duty when you go into labour. These are the people who will support you in your choices, and help you to have a positive birth experience. If your birth partner/s know your birth preferences inside out, they can advocate for you so you can focus on your labour, so you don’t have to worry about remembering or communicating your choices to anyone. 

The book I read whilst on holiday completely shaped my birth plan. I learnt SO much about all of the options available, and it armed me with all the knowledge I needed to write and plan a birth that was right for me, Paul and our baby. 

We have been doing a digital hypnobirthing course by The Positive Birth Company, and they provide a birth preferences template and sample copy, which makes it super easy to create your own without leaving anything out. I literally copied and pasted a lot of the content, changing bits here and there to suit our situation. It took less than an hour and it made me feel so calm and relaxed knowing that I had this piece of paper to take with me when I go into labour.

Our community midwife came to our house to discuss the birth plan we’d put together, to ensure we’d covered everything, and to ensure that the options we’d chosen were available at our allocated location of birth. This was part of my 34 week appointment. 

Your birth preferences isn’t really a birth plan. It’s a collection of your preferences for different eventualities of labour. We have preferences for a natural birth, induction and Caesarian section if needed. Not only has this educated me about the options for each of these, but it’s also made me feel really calm about each scenario, as I know my preferences will be followed where possible, so I can have the most positive birth experience I can do no matter how my labour pans out. 

Yes it’s true you can’t ‘plan’ a labour in the sense of planning exactly how it’s going to go. No one knows what’s going to happen in labour, how you will cope mentally or physically, or other complications that may arise. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t be prepared and educated, so you understand your rights and are aware of everything that’s available to you. 

So please, please don’t be put off by people telling you not to do a birth plan because ‘it won’t go to plan anyway so what’s the point’. It’s so much bigger than that. You do YOU, because you’re the one who’s bringing life into the world and it’s the most important thing you’ll ever do in your entire life. 

Did you write down your birth preferences? If so, did you find it helped you prepare for the big day?

Love Mrs E
Xoxo

Pregnancy

Raspberry leaf tea: who, what, why, when and how.

November 8, 2020

You’ve probably heard about drinking raspberry leaf tea during pregnancy, but might, like myself, not actually know why we’re supposed to start drinking it around 34 weeks.

So what actually is raspberry leaf tea?

Raspberry leaf tea is a herbal remedy, not to be confused with raspberry fruit tea, which I initially thought it was!

Why do women drink raspberry leaf tea during pregnancy?

Raspberry leaf tea is thought to help ‘tone’ the uterus muscles, and has been linked to shorter and more straightforward births. The idea is not to make labour super fast, but to help it progress at a steady rate. It strengthens the uterine and pelvic muscles, while also working as a relaxant at the same time, and therefore helps reduce the pain of contractions during labour. It can also help speed up aid recovery after labour. 

There is some evidence that, by getting really toned up and ready for action in this way, a woman is less likely to go past 41 weeks of pregnancy. So although the tea doesn’t necessarily start labour, it might help to push your body in the right direction by getting the womb fit and strong.

Who can drink raspberry leaf tea?

According to the NHS website, there are women who should avoid raspberry leaf tea if:

  • Your previous labour lasted three hours or less from start to finish
  • You are going to have a planned caesarian section for a medical reason
  • You have had a caesarian section before
  • You have had a premature labour before
  • You have had any vaginal bleeding in the second half of your pregnancy
  • You have a family or personal history of breast or ovarian cancer, endometriosis or fibroids
  • You are expecting a baby who is breech
  • You have any complications or health problems in your pregnancy, including high blood pressure
  • You are expecting twins.

When to start your raspberry leaf tea journey 

I read a few different things online about when to start taking/drinking raspberry leaf tea. 32 weeks was the earliest I came across, but after speaking to my midwife she advised me to wait until 34 weeks just to avoid any risk of premature labour. 

How to consume raspberry leaf tea

My midwife advised me to start by drinking 1 cup a day for a week, increasing to 2 a day for the next week, and then finally building up to 3 cups a day until labour. It takes weeks to build up in your system, so doing it gradually helps your body adjust gently, and to not shock your uterus into contracting!

Advice online states that if you feel any cramping or contracting, to stop taking it, or reduce your dose. 

Raspberry leaf tea capsules vs teabags 

You can either choose to consume raspberry leaf tea in either tea bags or capsules. My midwife advised me that the tea bags were more effective, so I went down this route. I’m also a huge tea lover and drinker so I was more than happy to do this. 

The capsules would be a good option if you don’t drink hot drinks, or can’t stomach the taste of the tea bags!

Where to get raspberry leaf from

Getting hold of raspberry leaf tea wasn’t as easy as I thought. I assumed all the supermarkets would have it but actually it’s more of a health product so it’s found in places like Holland and Barrett, and other online health shops. 

I came across a fantastic brand called Hot Tea Mama that has created their own raspberry leaf tea blend called ‘The Final Push’ – lol! I can vouch that it tastes amazing. With a common complaint being the awful taste of raspberry leaf tea as it tastes like a bitter green tea, the Hot Tea Mama blend also includes peppermint, which sweetens it and can also help to ease digestion.

Hot Tea Mama also do other teas depending on what stage of pregnancy you’re at, including:

  • Morning Rescue – designed to help with sickness during your first trimester
  • Get up and Glow – for when you need a boost, but can’t have caffeine, perfect for use throughout pregnancy and into the fourth trimester 
  • Night Owl – another caffeine free blend to help with all the late nights, early mornings and broken sleep, to ‘soothe a tired soul’ as the website says. How lovely!
  • Newborn Wonder – this white tea is high in both caffeine and theanine. Whilst the caffeine level is higher than a normal builders brew, the theanine gives it a slow release effect. Perfect for those mornings when you haven’t slept well!
  • Milk’s Up – this tea helps stimulate breast milk production whilst you’re nursing
  • Take a Pause – designed for use through the menopause and helps to ease stress and anxiety, regulate blood flow, improve sleep and reduce hot flushes.

Hot Tea Mama is such a great concept. I love that there’s a tea for every stage in pregnancy, and I just love the brand. We’re stocked up on the raspberry leaf and breastfeeding teas so far. Just remember to always check with your midwife what is suitable for you and your pregnancy, as everyone is so different. 

Let’s get this body ready for labour!

Thank you to Hot Tea Mama for gifting me a box of the raspberry leaf tea to try; and this lovely mug. Great gift idea for a baby shower or new mum. 

Did you find raspberry leaf tea helped your labour?

Love Mrs E
Xoxo

Pregnancy

Baby Loss Awareness Week

October 15, 2020

This blog was really difficult for me to write, and it might not be easy to read for some. So please don’t read on if you’ll be triggered by baby loss. 

Every year, October 9-15th is Baby Loss Awareness Week, and is a cause that is very close to my heart. We’ve experienced baby loss within our family, and it’s a different kind of pain. 

When you grieve someone you’ve lost who you’ve had in your life for a long time, you have so many memories and photographs to remember them by, you remember what they looked like, what they sounded like, and loads of little things remind you of them and make you think of them after they’re gone. 

You don’t get that with a baby. Instead, you wonder what they would have looked like when they got older, what they would have sounded like and what memories you would have made together. But that’s all robbed from you and taken away in the most brutal way possible. I never knew grieving for someone you’ve never even met could be so painful, but it’s the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my entire life, and it’s shaped my decision of when to have a baby, and decisions I’ve made during my pregnancy. This is the main reason behind me not wanting to find out the gender of our baby, because I just can’t bare the thought of bonding with a baby and giving it a name before we know it’s here and healthy. 

I know I’m going to be so paranoid when Baby E is here, but I’ve done my research and I’m going to do everything in my power to protect them. That’s all I can do.

There are some amazing charities out there that support families through losing a baby:

And there are more. Whether someone has lost a baby through miscarriage, still birth, neonatal death or SIDS, these charities can help, and also do research into preventing baby loss. I’ve talked about these charities before in a recent blog, but it’s so important that more awareness is brought about that they exist and the work that they do. 

Baby Loss Awareness Week is a campaign to build awareness around baby loss, and to realise that it’s ok to talk about it. Baby loss is still a taboo subject like many other things that shouldn’t be.

Here are a few ways you can get involved with Baby Loss Awareness Week:

  • Social media. Many people underestimate the power of a like or a share, but by engaging with posts by charities, you help increase their reach and get the message out. Like, follow, save, share and comment when you can, you never know who the post might reach and help in a time of need. 
  • Talking. It can be really difficult to find the right words to say to someone who has lost a baby, but that’s not an excuse to shy away from the topic. If you know someone who has lost a baby, ask them if they would like to talk about their baby. It’s not going to be easy, but if they want to talk then be there to listen and provide support. 
  • Donate. Giving money is the easy option, but it’s helps SO much. Charities can’t run without them, so every donation is greatly appreciated. If you can spare some money, use this week to donate to a baby loss charity, or purchase goods off their websites. I’ve put together a few links below where you can donate or browse online shops where the profits are given to the charity:
  • Light a candle tonight for the Sands Wave of Light. This is to remember all the babies that are no longer with us, and to raise awareness of baby loss. Take a photo and share your light on social media to spread the message, make sure you use the hashtag #waveoflight and #waveoflight2020.
  • Research. If you’re pregnant, have recently had a baby or would like a baby in the future, do your research on SIDS and safe sleeping. Even small changes you might never have thought of can help reduce the risk of SIDS. Here are some links for safe sleeping tips:

We need to remember and talk about the babies that were born sleeping, those we carried but never held, those we held but could not take home, and those who came home but could not stay.

Give your babies an extra cuddle tonight. 

Love Mrs E
Xoxo

Pregnancy Travel

Top 10 Babymoon tips

October 12, 2020

You might think that going on a babymoon is just like any other holiday, but after spending 10 days in Kos on mine, there’s definitely some big differences. I’ve put together some top tips that I hope will help you prepare for your babymoon, so you can make the most of your special trip.

  1. Choosing a location and type of holiday

    It goes without saying that the idea of a babymoon is to relax, so this is worth bearing in mine when choosing what type of holiday you want for your babymoon. Although sight seeing holidays, travelling around or city breaks may have taken your fancy previously, the chances are you’ll be much more tired and struggling to get around as easy when you’re pregnant, so a beach holiday in warm weather is ideal for a babymoon. But, each to their own and if you want to do a more active holiday for your babymoon then go for it!

    We chose to go all inclusive so we didn’t need to walk around every night and find somewhere to eat. We did go out a few nights, but it was nice to have everything available within the hotel grounds so we didn’t have to go far for anything we needed. Our hotel had multiple pools, a private beach, multiple restaurants and activities such as water sports, spa, group activities such as volleyball and yoga, evening entertainment and an on site shop, so it was ideal for the type of holiday we wanted – the ultimate relaxation.

    Weather and flight time are also good to consider when planning where to go on your babymoon. Originally we had planned to go back to Mexico where we had our honeymoon, which would have been an 11 hour flight. This was unfortunately cancelled due to COVID, but in hindsight now it was probably for the best as my back was really sore even after a 4 hour flight to Greece.

    You also don’t want it to be too hot when you’re heavily pregnant, as it feels like you’re walking round with a radiator inside you anyway! Weather will depend on the time of year and the destination you choose, so have a Google of the average weather and make a decision based on that.

    You might also want to consider an adults-only resort, as it will probably be the last time you’ll be able to do this, and the last thing you want on your relaxing babymoon is be disturbed by noisy children. You’ll have enough of that when your baby arrives!
  2. Take daytime activities to do in the shade

    I’m a sun worshipper as much as the next person, but unfortunately being pregnant, you can’t spend 8 hours a day basking in the glorious heat like you used to. As well as just chilling in the shade, you can take things with you to keep you occupied, here are a few ideas below:

    – Books or a Kindle. I used this opportunity to read The Positive Birth Book, which I would absolutely recommend for putting your mind at ease about labour.
    – Colouring books and felt tips. Colouring in is proven to lower blood pressure and make you feel more relaxed, so it’s a perfect babymoon activity.
    – Puzzle books. I took 2 travel size Sudoku and word search books with me and a pen, and these kept me occupied for hours!
    – Screens. Although you might face criticism for taking screens on holiday with you, don’t listen to anyone who’s judging you. It’s your holiday so you do you. Phones, iPads and laptops all provide a million and one things to do. You could do some baby shopping, catch up on some TV you’ve been meaning to watch, browse social media or download and play games. I’d recommend not taking any work devices though as you don’t want to be tempted to catch up on emails, and you don’t want people to think you’re available.

    Don’t forget that you still need suncream in the shade!
  3. Ideas for evening activities

    If you’re like me and holiday evenings usually revolved around alcohol, your babymoon will be very different and you might be thinking – what do we do of an evening without working our way through the cocktail menu?!

    Well here’s a few ideas:
    – Eat later. Stay by the pool or at the beach until the sun goes down, that way you won’t have as many hours to fill of an evening, and you may find you’re ready for bed straight after dinner.
    – Go for an evening stroll. This could just be at your hotel, or somewhere else. Go exploring and see what you can find.
    – Watch the sunset. How often do you get to watch the sunset at home? It’s such a lovely activity to do with your partner, so relaxing, and better still it’s completely free.
    – Work your way through the mocktail menu instead. Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you can’t get glammed up and go out like you used to, you’ll just be on the soft stuff instead! Most hotels have an evening entertainment programme with performances every night.
    – Take a picnic to the beach for dinner. Find a supermarket if you can and pack a picnic to each at the beach for a change of scenery.
    – Chill in your hotel room. Often we can feel guilty for being in our hotel rooms on holiday, but there’s nothing wrong with curling up in your dressing gown and just chilling for the evening with the air con on with some snacks watching Netflix. Rest is needed so much more later on in pregnancy, so it will do you the world of good.
  4. Making your own pregnancy pillow

    Ok, this one’s quite important, as as you all know, you need to avoid sleeping on your back in later pregnancy. And as much as I’m sure you’d all love to pack your pregnancy pillows in your suitcase, it’s just not practical. On our first night I placed rolled up towels either side of where I was laying, and it worked well and stopped me from rolling over in the night.

    Another option is to ask your hotel for additional pillows. After our first night I asked for a couple of spare pillow and used these either side of me, slightly tucked under bump and inbetween my legs.

    The no lying on your back is also an issue when sunbathing, so the rolled up towels work great here and aren’t too obvious, but also most sun beds can be made upright.
  5. Packing pregnancy essentials

    You might not be aware, but you should take your maternity notes away with you when you go on holiday, just in case for any reason you might need them in an emergency. You’d think in this day and age that they’d be centrally stored online somewhere, but that’s a whole other topic…

    Make sure you get a fit to fly letter from your midwife. I had Googled that it was fine to fly with a single pregnancy if you had no complications up until 36 weeks, so I was really surprised when I was challenged at the airport and asked to show a fit to fly letter. They were even dubious about letting me on the flight with the letter because there was no date on it for when I could fly up until.

    Make sure you plan in advance and pack any medications you need, as it might be difficult to source these abroad and especially if they’re prescription. Pack these in your hand luggage so you have them at all times, even if your hold luggage was to go missing.

    Don’t forget to take your stretch mark cream with you, as you don’t want to miss out on a week or two’s application as it could result in you seeing stretch marks just from that short period of time.
  6. Holiday wear

    Most people babymoon towards the end of their second trimester or start of the third, so are definitely sporting a bump by this stage. This makes what to wear harder than a normal holiday, and you’ll probably find that most of your holiday wardrobe that you recycle every year no longer fits or is comfortable.

    Swimwear. My boobs have grown unbelievably big during pregnancy, so none of the swimwear I had fitted anymore. I ended up buying new bikini’s from Pretty Little Thing in much bigger sizes. I’m talking 16-18 for tops and 12-14 for bottoms, so at least sizing up by 3/4 sizes! It was worth it though as they were so comfortable.

    Instead of stretchy material tops with no support, or triangle bikinis, I went for bikini tops with built in cups, or that went over the shoulders like little crop tops, as found these were also supportive. Then instead of high waisted bikini bottoms that I’d usually go for, I’ve found the low rise tie side bottoms the best as they can be easily adjusted, and sit comfortably under bump. I managed to get all of my bikini’s in the PLT sale for less than £10 each, so it’s worth waiting until the end of summer to order if you’re going away when the kids have gone back to school.

    Floaty or smock dresses are a winner on holiday, they don’t even have to be maternity. They’re great for throwing on over a bikini in the daytime, or dressing up with some nice sandals and jewellery of an evening. I also love tight stretchy items that show off my bump. These again are great for daytime or night time depending on how you accessorise, and again they don’t have to be maternity dresses. Try everything on the week before you go. Something that fitted your bump a few weeks ago might not longer fit on your babymoon by the time you’re there, so make sure you try everything on just before you go.

    My midwife told me to pack some big floppy sun hats as they’re great for keeping the sun off your face and chest, and they look so good on Instagram. I’ve even seen some that say ‘Baby on board’, which is super cute.
  7. Flying

    It goes without saying that unless you’re able to splash out on upper class, flying won’t be a comfortable experience when pregnant, but there are a few things you can do to make it better.

    – Put your seatbelt under your bump. This is where it’s advised to go, and just helps protect the baby during any turbulence and is also the most comfortable place
    – Wear flight socks. I’ve never bothered with flight socks before, even long haul. But I bought a pair for our babymoon.
    – Stay hydrated and eat often. I know you probably need the toilet all the time, but you need to stay hydrated and drink lots of water when flying. Also take snacks with you to keep your blood sugars stable and to prevent feeling faint in hot weather.
    – The advice mostly given online and by midwives is to get up and walk up and down the plane every half an hour, but that’s easier said than done when the flight crew are serving food, there’s a queue for the toilet, or you’re packed into the window seat and need to ask a stranger to move every time! I only got up once during our flight to go to the toilet as COVID restrictions meant you weren’t allowed to just get up and walk around. I did do some stretches whilst sat down though to try and encourage blood flow.
    – Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You’re pregnant so you deserve special treatment! Make sure your partner does all the heavy lifting with cases, let airport and cabin crew staff know that you’re pregnant and make sure you ask if you need anything. One of our plane’s toilets was closed due to COVID restrictions, but they were fine with me using it so I didn’t have to queue if I was desperate. The airport staff also allowed us to go to the front of the luggage queue so I didn’t have to stand up and wait with heavy bags.
  8. Watch what you eat and drink

    You’ll know what you can and can’t have to eat and drink whilst pregnant, but it’s worth taking extra care when on holiday with things like all inclusive buffets, tap water and ice. Stick to what you know and just don’t get too adventurous with foreign cuisine when pregnant, as your digestive system is much more sensitive.

    Make sure you stock up on bottled water as soon as you can, and aim to drink at least 2/3L a day. We filled our fridge in our room with water so it was nice and cool when we came back from the pool or beach. I kept a water bottle I got from the airport and filled it up a couple of times a day to take with me so I always had water, as well as getting mocktails from the bar.

    I’ve loved eating and drinking on our babymoon, as it’s the one time in my life I’ve not been worried about calorie counting and looking good in a bikini. You’ll look good regardless because of your beautiful bump!
  9. Relax, but stay active

    Babymoons are made for relaxing, but it’s also a great opportunity to keep active by walking or swimming. Swimming can be a pain at home with having to sort your hair and getting changed, but on holiday it’s so easy and you can do it multiple times a day. Swimming is such great exercise when pregnant as there’s no weight on your joints but you’re still getting a cardio workout. It also helps cool bump down. I found Baby E fell fast asleep every time I swam, and woke up when I was lay down afterwards!

    I also find you walk a lot more on holiday. If you’re like me and you have a desk job, more recently fully home based as well, I’ll be lucky to even get 2000 steps on a normal day. But with walking around the hotel, to and from the beach and restaurants, not to mention million of toilet trips it really does add up and is great for burning off the extra holiday calories.
  10. Spend time together, connect with your baby, capture memories and most of all: RELAX!

    Your babymoon is an extra special occasion, so make the most of it. It’s your last holiday just the two of you before your bundle of joy arrives, so make sure you spend quality time together. Talk about your baby and what you’re excited for, but also take time to talk about things that aren’t related to baby. Savour every second of this time you have to yourselves.

    Capture as many memories as you can, you don’t have to upload them all, but they’ll be so lovely to look back on and show the baby when they’re older what they got up to when they were in your tummy.

    Most of all, take this time to fully and truly relax, however you want to.

Pregnancy

My third trimester – the last stretch

September 28, 2020

I’m 28 weeks pregnant today, marking the first day of my third and final trimester of my first pregnancy. A lot of people say the second trimester is the best, and although I don’t know what the third trimester will bring for me, I can honestly say my second trimester has been amazing. 

My first trimester was spent in full lockdown, and our pregnancy was a secret, so my second has been completely different. It’s been so nice to be out and about seeing my friends and family again and being able to talk about Baby E and pregnancy. I’m so made up with how well my blog has been received, and I’m really proud of the growth my Instagram account has had – even resulting in me getting some gifted items. I’d set myself 2 goals before the baby was here:

  1. To get to 2000 Instagram followers
  2. To have at least 1 item gifted

I’ve hit both of these goals even before I entered my third trimester, so I’m so happy and grateful for everyone’s support and good feedback. Blogging and social media are not only part of my job and have been throughout my career, they’re also my hobby. So it’s been great to be able to share my pregnancy journey with you all whilst doing something I love.

I’ve had some incredible milestones during my second trimester. My bump has grown so much, and now I actually ‘look’ pregnant, very pregnant over the past 2 weeks actually! And best of all, I’m now feeling Baby E move every day. Feeling those first kicks was so special and emotional, and then to physically see them kick was just surreal. I cried my eyes out because it just made everything feel so much more real. For Paul to be able to feel the baby kick so early on has also been incredible. I really didn’t expect this with having an anterior placenta, so we’ve been really grateful for this. 

After being so anxious during my first trimester, I’m definitely much more relaxed now. We’ve really enjoyed shopping for Baby E and starting their nursery. I was too worried to do anything like that during my first trimester, so it’s been lovely feeling confident enough to buy things now. We have everything we need for the nursery now, we just need to finish Paul’s new garden office and then he can move out and we can start the decorating! I can’t wait to have it finished and have all their little things organised and ready for them. 

I’m so grateful that Paul was able to attend our 20 week scan, and that everything was healthy with Baby E. That was the last scan we had, so it was nice to be able to see the baby together. Growth scans are a possibility in the third trimester, but as we’re at average size currently, we don’t need one yet and hopefully won’t for the remainder of the pregnancy.

I’m really excited for this last trimester. We have our babymoon to look forward to, our last holiday just the two of us. I can’t wait to spend uninterrupted time with Paul, relaxing, eating and drinking mocktails on the beach. I also can’t wait for my baby shower, and to celebrate Baby E’s imminent arrival with all my loved ones. It won’t be the baby shower I’ve dreamt of for years, but I know those closest to me will make it special even if it is just in our house and on a much smaller scale due to COVID restrictions.

I know this is when things get harder now. I’m already experiencing a lot more aches and pains, and have had my first sciatica experience, which was absolutely horrendous. I’m expecting more of these general aches and tiredness, insomnia, and of course there’s the labour! But I’m not even nervous about it like I thought I would be, I’m more just so excited to meet our baby and hold them in our arms that it’s completely taking over any negative thoughts I’ve got about giving birth. I’m reading a really great book about being positive about labour, so I’ll go into it more when I’ve finished it.

I’m so grateful for how easy I’ve found pregnancy this far, and I just hope it carries on for this last trimester. As someone who has never really been ‘maternal’, I feel really blessed to have had such a smooth pregnancy journey where I’ve enjoyed every single second. I know not everyone shares such a positive experience, and pregnancy can be extremely difficult for some women.

We are so excited to meet you Baby E and find out who you are.

12 weeks to go 🤍

Love Mrs E
xoxo

Pregnancy

Today we heard your heart beat for the first time

September 8, 2020

I’ve been so lucky to have such a hands on midwife, even during COVID. Although my first couple of appointments had to be done over the phone, my midwife Becca came to our house to meet us and take samples to save me going to the hospital, and my last 2 appointments have been face to face. She’s always available over text for any questions I have (which there is a lot of being a first time mum!), and I’ve found The Countess of Chester hospital in general just so supportive so far. I’ve heard about so many women who haven’t seen a midwife until they’re past 30 weeks, and that must be so scary, especially for first time mums who don’t have a clue what to expect.

My 25 week appointment today was really relaxed and only took half an hour. We chatted about pregnancy symptoms I’ve been experiencing, including leg cramps, ligament and joint pain etc, and Becca assured me these were all very normal symptoms, and that there’s not really much I can do about it! We also chatted about antenatal classes and she took my blood pressure and tested my urine sample which were both fine. I was really pleased my blood pressure was ok, as I’m on aspirin for being at risk of preeclampsia which can be really serious. So I’m really glad that they’re keeping such a close eye on me, and that so far, it’s all been good!

Becca then used a Doppler so we could hear baby’s heart beat and it was just the most amazing sound. Although it was slightly muffled with my anterior placenta, she managed to move the Doppler in further so we could hear it really clearly. This was really uncomfortable but was so worth it. Although I had to FaceTime Paul as he wasn’t allowed in the room with me, we were grateful we could record this memory and keep it forever.

I’ll be seeing my midwife every 3 weeks now, which is routine for a first baby, but makes me feel really assured. Every appointment or scan I have now I’m less and less anxious, mostly because I can feel Baby E kicking away so I know they’re ok. The beginning of pregnancy is so tough when you have such little medical interaction and you just don’t know what’s right or wrong, or what you shouldn’t and shouldn’t be feeling and experiencing, but now it’s feeling like we’re getting so much closer having such regular appointments.

Becca confirmed that Paul is allowed into hospital with me throughout labour and including if I need to be induced, seen for reduced movements or to be examined if my waters break. I’ve been so anxious about giving birth alone that I’m over the moon with this news, and so grateful as I know it’s not the case in all hospitals. It terrified me that Paul might not have been there throughout my labour, but now I feel so much more relaxed and positive, and it’s another thing off my mind.

It was also confirmed that I can have eyelashes extensions for our babymoon woo! I just need to prop something under my back on one side so relieve any pressure from my bump weighing down on baby.

15 weeks to go until we meet you Baby E, and we’re getting more excited every day.

Love Mrs E
xoxo

Pregnancy

Why I won’t expect my friends to change just because I chose to have a baby

August 12, 2020

I hear so many Mum’s complaining about friends not making an effort once they’ve had a baby, but how many of these Mum’s are actually making enough effort back?

I get things will be harder with a baby. You wont attend as many social events as you once did because you want to spend time with your new family. You don’t want to get drunk every weekend because the thought of a hangover with a baby is just horrendous. Or maybe you can’t afford to keep up with your friends anymore because you’re on maternity leave, or working part time. But good friends will understand.

Having a baby isn’t an excuse to neglect people that have been there for you for years. As much as some might like it to be, I personally don’t think having a child gives you an automatic right to not text back, or to not make an effort.
Being busy, sleep deprived or skint just simply aren’t reasons to neglect a friend. Effort can be free, give them a text or a call, go for a walk or a lime and soda, ask them to come round for a coffee or ask if you can pop round to theirs for a catch up.

Yes you might text back slower, not stay out as late as you used to, not get as drunk as you used to, or sometimes not be able to be there at all. But the fundamental effort should still be there from both sides. A baby always will and should come first, but there’s no reason you can’t be a decent friend also.

Granted, I know that some people genuinely might lose interest when you have a baby, and might intentionally distance themselves from you. But they’re the people who don’t want in your life anyway.

My friends have always been so important to me. I’m not one of those girls who only does things with their partner, or who doesn’t have a life of their own. I’ve built so many long lasting friendships over the years, and I’m not about to give that up because I’ve become a Mum.

The way I see it, I don’t expect any of my friends to make more of an effort after I’ve had the baby, or change their behaviour whatsoever. Why should they? If my friends want to carry on planning holidays and going on nights out, who am I to complain that that might not suit me anymore because I’ll have a baby? If they want to do something at a certain time, at a certain place and it suits everyone except me because it might be feed or nap time, that’s my problem not theirs. They shouldn’t have to revolve plans around me because I chose to make a life changing decision.

I have friends that already have kids, friends that are pregnant, friends that are trying to have kids, and friends that don’t have kids and have no plans to in the near future. But I like to think I make equal effort with them all.

Friendship is a two way street, and effort is required from both sides to make it work. Good friends are worth it.

Love Mrs E
Xoxo