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Pregnancy

Half way there

August 4, 2020

Where have the past 20 weeks gone?! I can’t believe we’re now halfway to meeting our baby. At the start of this year we were living our best life in Vegas having never heard of Coronavirus, now I’m 5 months into working from home, I’ve got an actual baby bump and we’ve bought a pram, a car seat and a changing bag! These 20 weeks have been the strangest of our lives, but they’ve also been the most special.

I’ve been so lucky that the first 20 weeks of my pregnancy have been so easy. My sickness has completely gone now, and the sore boobs – FINALLY! Now I’ve just got to contend with a bit of ligament and joint pain, and some insomnia, but it’s all worth it.

We were over the moon to find out that Paul was able to attend our 20 week NHS scan. Chester was one of the last areas to allow partners at 20 weeks scans, so we weren’t sure if it would happen in time for us.

The day before my scan I worked myself up into a bit of a state, worrying if everything was ok with the baby. I felt anxious the closer I got to my 12 week scan, but this was worse. I’d felt absolutely fine right up yesterday lunchtime, and I’d been so busy at work that I just hadn’t really thought about it. But then I just couldn’t stop crying and panicking that something bad had happened to the baby. So many people say they felt kicks or at least flutters before 20 weeks, but I’d felt nothing and I was so worried and scared.

We tried to book in for a private scan last minute because I was so upset and paranoid, but it was fully booked so we had no choice but to wait. What made me feel so much better in the meantime though was posting on The Mum Space on Facebook. It’s a private group on Facebook ran by Lauren Pope (from TOWIE!), where you can post questions and any worries you have, and you get responses from other mums and mums to be who are in the group. I posted about how I was feeling, and within minutes I had responses off loads of women saying they’d felt the same, and that they hadn’t felt movements until much later. It made me feel instantly better, and I think it’s so great that these peer to peer groups are available, it’s one of the best things about technology.

This was the first NHS scan that Paul has been able to attend, and I felt so much more relaxed. The sonographer went straight to the heartbeat at the start of the scan, and I just felt the biggest wave of relief ever. It’s quite a long scan at 20 weeks, as they check for a lot of things and do measurements, so I was really happy to have Paul there with me the whole time. We’re so grateful that everything is as it should be with Baby E, and all their measurements are perfect. They were wriggling and kicking around again, but we managed to get some good pics. Just look at that foot!

It was confirmed that I do have an anterior placenta, you can see if at the top of the scan pic above. Although I was told this at the 12 week private scan; it can reposition, however mine hasn’t. It’s really common and just means my placenta has settled at the front of my tummy, forming a cushion between me and the baby and meaning I might not feel kicks for another few weeks. Although I’m a little bit disappointed because I’ve been desperate to feel Baby E move; at least I know now there’s a reason and I don’t have to worry.

I know the next 20 weeks are going to be a lot harder than the first, but I’m looking forward to embracing a bigger bump, feeling kicks, having my baby shower and our babymoon, getting ready for Baby E’s arrival, and most of all finally getting to meet and hold them.

We know we are so blessed to have got this far in our pregnancy, and we’re thankful everyday that Baby E is healthy.

This still doesn’t feel real 🤍

Love Mrs E
Xoxo

Pregnancy

Baby or career? That choice was made for me.

July 28, 2020

Last year I went for a promotion that I didn’t get. I was devastated, but determined to progress even if that meant having to leave a company I loved working for. But that didn’t happen either, and it’s only now that I look back and realise that everything that happened last year happened for a reason.

I spent most of 2019 so down and in tears every day because of my career. I’d worked so hard since leaving university, getting pay rises year on year or new and better positions, and my career was the thing I was most proud of. But that stopped when I got to a certain level and I couldn’t help but feel like I’d hit a wall and that I wasn’t going to get any further no matter how hard I tried.

I lost count of the amount of hours I put into updating my CV to fit different job descriptions, prepping for phone interviews, doing online tests, prepping for and attending face to face interviews, and doing multiple writing tasks. I was exhausted, both mentally and physically.

It was always down to ‘just me and another candidate’, or the company then decided they weren’t sure what role they actually needed, but I never got an offer. No one once had the respect to say that I maybe wasn’t qualified enough, or didn’t have the right experience, and that’s what made it worse. All the feedback I got was so good, but no one gave me the chance to prove myself. Was it because they could see I was married and thought that I’d likely have children soon? I’ll never know, but cant help but think this must have had something to do with it, because the feedback was just so poor and ambiguous. No one would tell me where I was going wrong.

On top of feeling so low, I couldn’t help but worry if I was just taking thing things a bit too personally, was I overreacting? People go through much worse than just struggling with their career, and I felt selfish for feeling so low, and somewhat ungrateful, especially when people close to me were going through things much more life changing and painful. But I’ve realised now that you’re allowed to be down for whatever reason, you’re allowed to struggle with what’s going on in your life whilst still having empathy for and supporting those who are also going through a bad time. It’s not a competition who’s life is worse, or who’s going through a worse situation.

I’d said to myself that if I couldn’t get another job by the time we went to America for our big dream holiday, that I would give up and admit defeat. So that’s what I did, and looking back now it was the best decision. After suffering all year with being the lowest I had ever been in my entire life, something clicked on that holiday. I turned 30 and I just decided to stop caring so much about my career, and to focus on the things that make me happy.

Fast forward 6 months and I’m almost 20 weeks pregnant with our first baby, and I couldn’t be happier. Looking back now, I think that I didn’t get a new job or a promotion because this is where I was supposed to be. If I had, we wouldn’t have started trying for a baby.

I’m really lucky that my company closed our offices before lockdown, and I can work from home just as I would have in the office. This helped me hide my pregnancy, stay safe at home and meant I was able to keep my job exactly as it was. With so many people being made redundant or having to take a wage cut on furlough, I was so grateful that I’d had no choice but to stay at my current company. My company also offers a great maternity and return to work package, so it’s really worked out for the best that I stayed. If I’d have left and got a new job, who knows what situation I’d have been in right now.

Part of me will always be a little bit gutted that I didn’t get to where I wanted to be before I had a baby, and I don’t think that I ever will as last year has completely shattered any confidence I ever had in myself professionally. But I’m over it already, because being a mama is now the most important thing to me. It took me a while to get here, but now I am it just feels so right. This is exactly where I’m meant to be in my life and I wouldn’t change it now for the world.

If you’re going through a bad time, even if it’s been months or years, keep going. Because there will become a point where you look back and learn from what you experienced. The good times, more often than not, do outweigh the bad overall. And sometimes, when decisions are made for you, they put you on a better path that you’d planned, but you don’t realise until afterwards.

Love Mrs E
xoxo

Fashion Pregnancy

Pretty Little Thing Bump Buys – July 2020

July 20, 2020

Anyone who knows me knows I’m obsessed with Pretty Little Thing, I get most of my clothes from there or Primark as it’s such good value, always right on trend and I find everything fits really well. Unfortunately; PLT don’t actually have a maternity range, but there’s loads of stuff on the website that’s suitable for pregnancy, so I thought I’d do a big order to see me through the next few months.

Although I’ve barely left the house in 4 months and I’ve lived in leggings and hoodies, we’re now starting to make plans again with our family and friends, so it will be nice to get dressed up in clothes I’m comfortable in. A lot of my clothes are getting tight now, so I ordered a bunch of stretchy stuff that will hopefully fit me all the way through, or at least through the summer.

I love it when pregnant women show their bumps off, I think it’s such a special time, and such a miracle that they should be shown off and not hidden under baggy clothes! So I’ve ordered a few bodycon dresses that are great for styling for the daytime or nighttime.

I love the high neck and midaxi length on this dress, as it’s classy, and I reckon it makes me me look taller than I am (5 ft 2!). The material is really stretchy and soft on the skin, and it’s light enough to wear on a hot day also. Absolutely LOVE the colour of this, its a little but out there and different – but I love that! I also like how this can be a daytime or nighttime dress, so it’s really versatile and a good piece to have in.

I got a size medium first (normally would be small or extra small), but it was really big all over so I then ordered a small and it’s much more flattering. As it’s stretchy, even the small should last me the summer at least.

This is £22 full price, but I got 30% off with a discount code: https://www.prettylittlething.com/baby-pink-ribbed-knitted-turtle-neck-midi-dress.html.

This dress is really similar to the one above, but it feels a bit more dressy with the V neck and split. I loved this colour so much, I don’t have anything else in this colour so thought it was a bit different. I feel like this colour would suit any hair colour also. I think this also goes well with trainers, so ideal for daytime wear as well as evening.

I also got this in a size medium, and wish I’d got a small as it’s quite big all over and now only available in medium online. This was £12 in a 40% off offer (bargain!!). It’s £20 full price and available in blue, pink, white and black here: https://www.prettylittlething.com/baby-pink-v-neck-side-split-knitted-midi-dress.html

I really wanted this dress in the beige colour, but they only had the grey in stock. I thought the Bardot neck was so elegant and flattering, and love that it’s tight over the bump. This is definitely more of a nighttime dress. Unfortunately, I should have got size small (again!), this is too big for me to keep as the shoulders just fall down so it’s going to have to go back.

Such a bargain at £13.20 but it’s out of stock now: https://www.prettylittlething.com/grey-wrap-off-the-shoulder-midi-dress.html.

I only ordered this because it was £7.20 and I’m really surprised how much I like it! I ordered a size 12 so it would be quite big for bump, but actually this one fits quite small so it’s already snug except for around the top, which is too big. Even with pregnancy boobs I’m not quite filling this out!!

For that price I’m definitely going to keep it and just wear it whilst I can. I’ll definitely be wearing this as more of a daytime dress with something over the top, either a tee or crop jumper.

This is still available in beige, sage green and black here: https://www.prettylittlething.com/stone-contrast-trim-detail-v-neck-strappy-midaxi-dress.html, and is still only £12 full price! I’d suggest sizing up for maternity, and maybe even if you’re not pregnant as it’s quite clingy material.

This is my favourite item from this haul. I just LOVE the colour, pattern, material and the fact it’s got sleeves. This was full price at £25, but I used a 20% off code so got it for £20. I got this in a size medium also, but then swapped for a small which I much prefer.

The stock keeps updating on this, so keep an eye out here: https://www.prettylittlething.com/nude-stripe-fine-knit-bodycon-midi-dress.html.

As well as some bodycon pieces, I also went for some baggier bits so I have some options.

I love anything with the Pretty Little Thing branding on, I really am a fan girl! I wasn’t sure on how exactly I’d style this one with it being so baggy, but at £10.80 it was worth a try! They only had up to size 10 left in stock, but for now it fits ok, and for that price it’s definitely worth it. I’d always wear this with a belt to avoid it looking frumpy. It’s so comfy and looks great with trainers; so definitely one for a casual day.

It’s still available here, but it’s gone back up to £18 now: https://www.prettylittlething.com/prettylittlething-taupe-midi-t-shirt-dress.html It comes in beige, blue or grey.

I ordered this white dress as it looks really similar to one I got from H&M a couple of weeks ago and absolutely love. This smock style is great for hiding a pregnancy during your first trimester, and also great for post partum as well. I really like the fact it isn’t maternity as it means I can wear this every summer now, and it’s perfect for a hot day or holiday as it’s so light and airy.

Again, I think this is perfect for day to night, and you can just accessorise it differently. It would even be nice for the beach over a swimsuit or bikini. It is quite see-through though, so I wore a nude bra and nude shorts spanx to avoid any lines. It’s also not as roomy as it looks, the second band is quite tight. I got size 10, but if you’re in your 3rd trimester, I’d recommend sizing up. The sleeves are tied at the back so there’s no worry about them falling down, which makes this piece perfect for sizing up in.

I got this for £17.20 in an offer, but it’s still available in a few sizes in white or black for £22 here: https://www.prettylittlething.com/white-puff-sleeve-square-neck-tiered-smock-dress.html.

I know I won’t be confident enough to wear the tight stuff for a while after having the baby, if at all ever again. But I’m definitely going to keep all these for if I’m pregnant again, as they were so cheap and will have barely been worn.

I ordered some bigger shapewear to wear under all the tight items I bought. Not to reduce my bump as I love it and want to show it off, but more just to reduce any rolls, cellulite and vpls. My bump is also still very jelly like and I just feel so uncomfortable wearing tight stuff at the moment without shapewear underneath.

I love the ones that are similar to cycling shorts as I think they give you a lovely shape and are really comfortable. I got these ones in nude so they go under anything, and in plus size large so they weren’t tight around my bump: https://www.prettylittlething.com/plus-nude-seamless-high-waist-control-shapewear-shorts.html.

I’m fully aware that fast fashion is bad for the environment, so I either sell all my items on my Depop or give them away to friends, or charity. I never throw clothes away and a lot I actually end up keeping and wearing for years. My attitude of needing a new dress for every occasion has changed now, and so that isn’t something that I’ll do moving forward. I’ll have the same attitude with Baby E’s clothes also.\

If you’ve got any fab maternity finds please let me know!

Love Mrs E
Xoxo

Pregnancy

Everyone says there’s no ‘perfect’ time to start a family, but for us there was a ‘right’ time

July 13, 2020

This blog is a long one because this topic is something I feel very passionate about, so apologies if I’ve got carried away!

We’d been married for 2 years before we even started to think about trying for a baby. So many people feel pressured into having kids after marriage because society drills into us that this is the ‘right’ thing to do. And that’s great if that’s what what you truly want, but for us we knew it wasn’t.

As soon as you’re married, you’re bombarded with questions about kids, and it’s exhausting. I felt like such a selfish, terrible human being for not wanting to have children straight after marriage. To be completely honest, I wasn’t 100% sure that I’d want kids at all, and despite some people thinking that’s the worst thing in the whole world, it’s absolutely not, and is becoming more common nowadays.

I married Paul because he’s my best friend, because I wanted to spend every second of my life with him (literally I would if I could, it drives him mad!), I wanted to travel with him and spend time together just the two of us. Granted we had done some of this before we got married, but with us both working on our careers and saving for our big dream wedding, it wasn’t until after the wedding that we had the freedom to do more together.

I didn’t marry Paul just so he could father my children. Even if we couldn’t have had children he would have always been enough for me, and I think that’s so important in a relationship. Don’t get me wrong, half the time he does my head in, but that’s normal right?!

This is my absolute favourite wedding photo of ours. We didn’t plan this photo, our photographer just asked us to do it on the day and I was so glad as it’s the best one:

The last thing I wanted was to throw a baby into the mix and have to share Paul with someone else. I just wasn’t ready, and was enjoying married life too much. A lot of people say you get ‘wedding blues’ after all the planning, the lead up events, then the big day and the honeymoon. I got quite the opposite. I remember waking up the morning after our wedding and feeling so happy. So happy that not only were we finally married, but that all the stress of the day and the finances were over, and we had the best memories and photographs to cherish forever. That happy feeling never really went away, I just felt so content and like I’d already achieved everything I ever wanted in life. I would say, if you can afford to – don’t get into debt for a wedding that you’ll have to pay back after the day, because it’s so nice to wake up the next morning and know that it’s all done and dusted and your wages after that are for anything you want them to be for!

After the wedding we had the best 2 years ever. We got drunk at festivals, went to concerts and the races, ate out too many times, travelled to places we’d never been before and just made the best memories. As a wedding present, Paul booked for us to go to New York for our first wedding anniversary and thanksgiving. It was the first time I’d ever been to America and I just fell in love with it.

We couldn’t wait to go back, so we booked our dream holiday that we’d talked about for years – Vegas, LA and San Franscisco for the following year.

I woke up on my 30th birthday in Las Vegas, we had breakfast overlooking the strip at my favourite hotel, The Paris Las Vegas. We hired a day bed at Caesars palace, went for the most romantic meal of my life at the Eiffel Tower restaurant overlooking the Bellagio fountains, and ended the night seeing Christina Aguilera live. It was literally one of the best days of my life and I just couldn’t have been more grateful to have made those memories. We couldn’t have done that with a baby.

Not only did we do things together, but not having kids meant we could spend so much more time with our friends. I lost count of the amount of stag do’s Paul went on – I think he did too! I went to Marbella for an amazing hen weekend, plus countless bottomless brunches, and had several really special 30th birthday celebrations at home. I spent most weekends over those 2 years either drunk or hungover, and I don’t have any regrets. If you don’t have fun in your 20s, when will you?!

We also went to Italy for a family wedding and enjoyed more exploring. We hired a car and travelled all around Lake Como, stopping when we wanted to, eating and drinking when we wanted to, ending most nights getting drunk with all the family and having the most incredible day and night at the wedding without any worries.

When we got back from our dream American holiday; we made the impulse decision to go back to Vegas just 3 months later. It felt so empowering to be able to do that, and to have no one to answer to. We had another amazing week in Vegas, this time with our friends. We treated ourselves to a suite at the Linq, hired a muscle car and drove out to the Hoover Dam and Red Rock Canyon. We went to see a Conor McGregor press conference, got so drunk on our first night on cocktails and whisky we don’t even know how we got home, yet we were back in the Paris hotel the morning after playing Craps with a Corona in hand at 10am!

We felt so content with our lives at that point, and everything we had achieved and experienced together, that’s when we decided it was the right time for us to start a family. The week we got back from Vegas we started trying, and 2 months later we found out we were pregnant!

It just felt like the perfect time for us. People say there’s no ‘right’ time to have a baby, but I disagree. Paul and I had always agreed that we should be in a strong mental and financial position before even trying for a baby, because we believed that was the responsible thing to do. Now we’re in a position to support and provide for our baby without having to worry about paying our bills or missing out on our 20s.

But that’s just our story, and judging and questioning other people for their life choices has to stop. Everyone is different and has their own dreams and goals in life. People need to stop judging the decisions of others because it’s not what they would choose to do themselves.

If you want to have kids before you’re married, good for you. If you want to wait until you’re married and then have them straight away, good for you. If you want to wait until you’re at a certain point in your career or financially to start a family, good for you. Or if you don’t ever want to have kids then good for you too!

The overbearing personal questions can’t continue. You don’t know what people are going through. That person you’ve just asked when they’re going to start trying for a baby may be having fertility issues but they don’t want to talk about it. They might not be ready for kids yet feel too ashamed to say, because they’ve been made to feel ashamed by society. Or maybe some people would just like to keep it private that they’re trying, it’s very personal after all.

If you’re the one asking these questions, take a step back and think about it next time, do you really need to know the answer? Does it change your life at all knowing if someone else is planning a family or not? I know these questions are almost always asked with the best of intentions, but actually that doesn’t make it ok.

So if anyone asks me if or when we’re having a second child after Baby E is born then I will need to take a very deep breath. I think it’s so disrespectful to ask parents if they’re going to have another child when they’ve literally JUST had their first baby who is their entire life and who they’re besotted with. It’s like the novelty of babies wears off once they’re born, and people straight away are only interested in the next pregnancy. Why can’t everyone just enjoy and appreciate the perfect, innocent little life that has just joined a family. Is that not enough?

Don’t let other people or societal pressures influence you into making huge decisions about your life. You do you.

Love Mrs E
Xoxo

Pregnancy

Goodbye party girl, hello mama!

July 10, 2020

Almost every weekend in my twenties was spent getting ready to go out, being out, and then being hungover. And I loved it. Whether that was being at a festival for 3 days drunk in a field with my husband, having champagne breakfast before the races with my best friend, chugging Prosecco at 2pm at bottomless brunch with my girls, or partying until 5am in Chester with my work gang, I made so many amazing memories with the people closest to me.

But pregnant or not, that’s been taken away from us all the past 4 months. If I’d have known that last night out would have been the last for a very long time, I’d have drank a little more, danced a little longer and hugged all those people I was out with a little tighter.

Lockdown has meant weekends are now at home, and I’m loving that also. We’ve been blessed with such incredible weather, absolutely unheard of for the UK but here we are! And it’s been blissful chilling in the garden, with nowhere to be, and not a lot to worry about.

I’m struggling to sleep in during my pregnancy, I definitely didn’t get this fatigue everyone mentions. I’ve had a grand total one 1 naps my entire first trimester! But it’s nice getting up early and watching some of The Crown whilst I have breakfast, without having to worry about getting ready to be somewhere for a certain time.

Hun bun, no makeup, pale skin and sports bras 24/7 has become my norm, and although this means less insta content, it also means I’m as comfortable as can be growing our little baby.

We’re all so lucky to have this opportunity to be spending so much free time with the people that we love. And although there’s people we can’t spend time with just yet, it’s going to be even more special when we can.

I’m looking forward to joining bottomless brunch again, for my next races trip and of course a festival. But things are going to be different, and it definitely won’t be as often. I’m more excited for weekends at home watching Baby E learn and grow, and spending uninterrupted time with my little family.

Lockdown has been extremely difficult, but it’s also had its blessings and that’s what we need to look for in all of this. Having no choice but to calm down and stay home has been the best thing for me, it came at the right time and it was exactly what I needed. My wild weekends aren’t completely over, but they’re not my priority anymore.

If you don’t have kids, make the most of your wild days and keep going out every weekend because you won’t ever regret it (except for maybe the day after!). I’m so glad I partied most weekends as I have so many amazing memories, and I can honestly say I didn’t miss out on a thing before getting pregnant.

What have you enjoyed about lockdown?

Love Mrs E
Xoxo

Pregnancy

16 weeks – but we won’t be finding out our baby’s gender

July 6, 2020

I’m 16 weeks today, the week most parents get really excited for as they find out the gender of their baby! But not for us. Whilst I completely understand why parents would want to know the gender of their baby – to choose their name, decorate their nursery, buy baby things etc, there’s a few personal reasons I have for not wanting to know.

Having close family experience baby loss is the main and most important reason as to why I have chosen not to find out the gender of our baby. Once you know the gender, it’s almost impossible to not name the baby and to start calling them by that name on a regular basis. I can’t help but feel that this creates an even stronger bond and connection with a person that isn’t even here yet, and that such a connection could make it so much more difficult if the worst was to happen. I know that this is so so rare, but having it happen to someone close to me was the most physically and mentally painful thing I have honestly ever been through, and although this was many years ago now, the anxiety of the same thing happening to our baby is sky high because of this experience.

Clothing

I’m just going to come out and say it. I hate pink (surprisingly) and blue. Well, most of it anyway. Some outfits in pink and blue can be gorgeous, but it’s so hit and miss with gendered clothing that I just think you can’t go wrong with neutrals. Beiges, creams, browns and burnt orange are my favourite neutral colours at the moment, and of course grey and white. There’s nothing better than a newborn baby dressed all in white!

This also goes for their nursery. I can’t wait to have everything neutral, I think we’re going to go for an earthy tones/safari theme, so I can’t wait to get started and bring my Pinterest board to life!

Labour

I’ve always been terrified of labour, and honestly that’s one of the reasons I put off having a baby for so long. Now I’m pregnant, I’m nowhere near as scared, I’m more just excited to meet our baby and have them here with us. But I do think that having that surprise of their gender at the end will spur me on to keep going, as I’ll be so desperate to know!

Ruining the surprise

Anyone that knows me knows I love an excuse for a themed event, so were quite shocked when I said I wouldn’t be finding out the gender and having a big gender reveal party! Although I’d love the party, our reasoning behind not wanting to know ran far deeper than the desire for a party.

I also think it will be a lovely surprise for our family and friends when we announce the birth, as not one person will know the gender or the name beforehand, and I think that’s really exciting and special.

I feel that we’re in the minority of not wanting to know our baby’s gender, and I also know that our circumstances aren’t the same as everyone else’s, and that my reasoning is very deep and personal to me. I might feel differently if I have another pregnancy after this one, but we’ll see. I know Paul would love to know what we’re having, but he completely understands and respects my decision to not want to know, and he’s so supportive. I think when Baby E arrives, he’ll be glad we waited.

Stillborn and neonatal death is a cause extremely close to my heart. Sands are an incredible charity that help parents and families cope with the pain of losing a baby, and they give advice on preventing SIDS. Their website is well worth a read, and please follow them on social media to become more educated about stillborn births and SIDS, and how they can try to be prevented.

Please also like and share Sands social pages and posts to help raise awareness. Likes and shares are free, but really help small charities to make a difference to real people’s lives. Sands often do fundraising events both physically and virtually (virtually recently due to COVID), so please get involved and donate where you can. It’s so important that babies who aren’t here anymore are spoken about and remembered.

Love Mrs E
xoxo

Pregnancy

Hello second trimester!

June 15, 2020

Today I’ve entered my second trimester, and to be honest I can’t quite believe it. To think I’m a whole THIRD of the way through my first pregnancy is unbelievable. The fact that Baby E has made it this far is a blessing. I haven’t even fully got my head around being pregnant yet, so to be this far through already is just mind blowing, but also amazing – as now we’re even closer to meeting our little Baby E!

Most women can’t wait to see the back of their first trimester because of symptoms, but I’ve been so lucky my symptoms have been mild. I’ve loved my first trimester, and will be forever grateful that it took place during lockdown.

So what am I glad to see the back of in my first ever first trimester?

Hiding my pregnancy
I was torn between loving and hating this. Lockdown made it very easy for me to hide being pregnant, so that wasn’t a worry. Part of me loved my husband and I having this gorgeous little secret to ourselves, living in a baby bubble only we knew about. But then at the same time I was so desperate to tell all our friends and family!

Well now everyone knows it’s the best feeling ever, and being able to talk about pregnancy and Baby E so openly is lovely, and it’s a weight off my shoulders.

Nausea
I hate feeling hungover anyway, I know you wouldn’t think that from the amount of times I was before getting pregnant, but it was always worth it! But pregnancy nausea is something else, from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to sleep I was just constantly nauseous. Luckily I wasn’t sick, I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for women who suffer with actual sickness, you’re heroes!

Sore boobs
I mean, why has it taken me 15 years to realise that wearing a sports bra 24/7 is amazing?! Why I ever wore underwired bras is beyond me! The soreness has almost completely gone now, which I’m very pleased about as it was absolutely horrendous!

What I can’t wait for in my second trimester

Bump!
I think I’m still bloated at the moment, so I can’t wait to have a proper cute little bump that I can show off in all the bodycon dresses I’ve been too chunky for the past couple of years! I can’t wait to actually ‘look’ pregnant! I’m at that stage where I’m still hiding my belly, because I feel very self conscious that I’m bigger, but don’t have a proper bump yet. And as someone who has always struggled to stay slim and worked extremely hard to, I’m finding it really difficult to come to terms with my changing body.️

Learning
We’re first time parents, so we don’t have a clue what we’re doing! But, we’re looking forward to watching a lot more YouTube, reading more about the newborn stage and how to care for a baby, and hopefully going to some antenatal classes if we’re allowed. We’ve already had some great advice and tips from family and friends, so no doubt we’ll be firing a lot more questions their way!

20 week scan
Although we’re very lucky to have had 3 scans already, another opportunity to see Baby E is always going to be exciting, and I’m really hoping that my husband will be allowed this time, so it will be extra special.

The 20 week scan is much clearer, and you can see a lot more of baby and how they’re developing, so that’s going to be amazing. We’ll also have more tests done by this point, so we can make sure Baby E is as healthy as possible.

First kicks
The NHS website suggests you should feel your baby kick between 16-24 weeks, around 20 weeks if it’s your first baby. I have an anterior placenta, which means it’s attached around my front, between the baby and my tummy. This isn’t dangerous at all, it just means I might not feel kicks as early as other women, but I’m still excited anyway, and I hope Baby E kicks on cue so Daddy can have a feel as well.️

Everyone says the second trimester is the best one, so here we go…!

What was your favourite trimester and why?

Love Mrs E
xoxo

Pregnancy

12 weeks

June 9, 2020

Trigger warning: miscarriage and domestic abuse themes discussed below.

I’m starting this blog by talking about a taboo subject: miscarriage. Because it’s not spoken about even nearly enough.

Those first 12 weeks of pregnancy aren’t just filled with happiness and excitement, they’re equally filled with worry and anxiety. A lot of people aren’t aware at just how high the rate of early miscarriage is. It’s estimated that 1 in 4 known pregnancies ends in miscarriage, with 85% of those occurring during the first trimester. 1 in 4 is so high, too high.

Sadly, I know of many families who have been devastated by miscarriage, and this was weighing on my mind a lot during my first trimester. I felt that I couldn’t get properly excited until we reached the 12 week point. I didn’t want to plan or talk about the baby too much, just in case. I was constantly on edge, prepared to see the worst every time I went to the toilet and it became consuming. Every twinge and pain I was Googling, and at one point I’d convinced myself I might be having an ectopic pregnancy. This was the main reason we chose to have an Early Scan, to put my mind at rest that everything was ok.

We’ve been so blessed and we’re unbelievably grateful to have made it to 12 weeks, and it breaks my heart that so many precious little babies don’t.

We’ve been lucky that our 12 week NHS scan was actually the 3rd time we’d got to see Baby E, the first time was at our private 9 week scan, then we had another one at 12 weeks as Paul wasn’t allowed to come to my 12 week scan due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Initially, I’d been extremely nervous about attending the 12 week scan alone. I hate finding my way around unfamiliar places, and I also hate blood tests! But after we had our second Window to the Womb scan and we were told everything was healthy with Baby E, I felt a lot more comfortable. Our midwife had also been round to our house to take a blood test, so I was less scared about needing another one in hospital. Turns out blood tests really aren’t that bad are they!

Our NHS 12 week scan

The 12 week scan appointment was longer than I expected, and I saw quite a few different medical staff about different things. After finally finding my way to the right reception desk, I was asked to wear a mask and to wait until the sonographer called my name. When it was my turn to be scanned, they allowed me to FaceTime Paul, which we were grateful for as some NHS trusts haven’t allowed this. The sonographer took a good look round at Baby E and their measurements, and allowed us to watch them for quite a while, it was a much longer scan than the private ones so that was reassuring. Baby E was super active again, kicking their legs and touching their face with their little arms, it was so cute and we were able to get a couple of good images.

I was then taken into a private room by a different midwife and asked if I suffered from domestic abuse in my relationship. Initially I was confused and thought, what on earth gave you that impression?! But she then explained that it’s a routine check that midwifes are doing whilst women are currently coming to scans alone. I’m grateful to not suffer from domestic abuse, but so many women do. Evidence shows that sadly, domestic abuse tends to increase when a woman is pregnant, so I thought this was a great initiative by the midwives at the Countess, and hopefully it will encourage victims to speak out against their abusers, without them present to influence their answers.

We chose to get the additional tests done to see if Baby E has a higher chance of being born with life limiting illnesses. We thought long and hard about having these tests done, and I almost didn’t. It wouldn’t have changed our mind about having this baby, so I wondered what the point was. But when reading more into it, a lot of women said that although it wouldn’t change them wanting to carry on with the pregnancy, it did help prepare them for the birth and the challenges they might have to face. So after another blood test and my new maternity folder, I was good to go!

I’d said since the beginning of our pregnancy that I didn’t want anyone to buy anything for the baby until after our 12 week scan, so I was SO excited to get a little outfit on our way from the hospital. Luckily Matalan in Chester was open, and we got these 3 gorgeous little grey outfits, I’m in love!

My best friend also got us these lovely pregnancy milestone cards, so I put this little pic together that same day:

Our announcement

I had been dreaming about how we would announce our pregnancy on social media for years, and I’d followed a few hashtags on instagram even before we were trying. As soon as we knew Baby E was due around Christmas, I just knew it had to be festive themed!

I contemplated having a photoshoot down the beach, or in Beddgelert where we got engaged (my favourite place in the whole world), but COVID made this difficult. Another idea we had was to make a stop motion video around baking, but to be honest we just never got round to it so we ended up with a basic letter board and some little Christmas bits. I was made up with it though:

I got the quote from Google; thought this very apt and funny.

The personalised baby grow was from eBay.co.uk, I got a long sleeved one so Baby E can actually wear this when they arrive in the winter. The candy cane heart idea was also off Google, I ordered plastic ones so we can re-use them on our tree every year. The eucalyptus was left over from the Valentine’s flowers Paul bought me earlier this year, so that part was extra special. The little reindeers were one of the first Christmas decorations we bought for our first house together, so I thought they were just perfect for this announcement!

We’ve loved reading all the lovely comments from you all congratulating us on our pregnancy. We are so blessed that Baby E has made it this far, and that they are already so loved. Every single day I’m grateful to be pregnant, and when Baby E arrives, I know every day I’ll be even more grateful to be a Mum.

Never take for granted that you have your baby to hold in your arms, and if you know someone who has been affected by the loss of a baby, ask them if they want to talk about it.

Mrs E
xoxo

Pregnancy

What morning sickness? Oh, THAT morning sickness

May 31, 2020

6 weeks has flown by of my pregnancy with barely any symptoms at all, how lucky I thought I was! Apart from sore boobs, a few spots and a lot of bloating, I thought I’d escaped the awful sickness everyone talks about. Until week 7…

I just woke up one morning with no appetite whatsoever (absolutely unheard of for me!), and EVERY. SINGLE. SMELL was turning my stomach. I have a strong sense of smell anyway, but this was another level. The whole of our downstairs is open plan, and I’m currently working from the dining room table, so every time Paul opened the fridge or cooked something, I just had this overwhelming wave of nausea hit me. I must have emptied and bleached the fridge about 3 times in a week! I was like a mad woman cleaning everything, opening all the windows and doors, lighting candles and using essential oils in every room.

Even though it’s not been pleasant, I’m actually really grateful that my sickness has just been nausea, and I’ve not actually been sick. Being drunk or hungover sick is something I’ve done on a regular basis since I was about 15, but I haven’t been sick sober since I was a child, and it actually terrifies me. But the nausea, oh my word. It was constant, from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to bed I just felt sick ALL the time. It was like I had a hangover but without drinking the vodka the night before!

Eating

I’ve always enjoyed food so much, it’s literally one of the best things in life. I love cooking and baking, going out for food with Paul, and family and friends, and I’ll eat almost anything (except for peas, sprouts and beetroot – they’ve always been a no from me!).

I’m normally ridiculously organised (with everything!) and I do a food shop based on a 2 week meal plan I put together; so we make sure we don’t waste any food and only buy what we need. Well, that soon went out the window after week 7.

I couldn’t bare the thought of eating any meat, and meals that I thought I’d felt like earlier in the day I then couldn’t stomach when it came to actually eating them. I felt so guilty and upset that Paul had cooked me meals that I couldn’t eat, and I did have a little cry. He didn’t mind in the slightest of course, but when you’re pregnant everything is so heightened and emotional!

When I could eat, I found myself only managing half the portions I usually would, and was often having left over dinner for lunch the next day. I found that my sickness was actually worse at night, so I tried to eat more in the morning. Yoghurts were a good choice as they were quite bland, not too filling, and even better after they’d been in the freezer! I’d then try and eat some toast and or cereal. Some days that would be all I could manage alongside some small snacks. I felt like such a terrible Mum-to-be that some days all I ate was beige food, but I just had no appetite for anything else.

Paul was so great, every time I fancied something randomly, he’d rush out and get it for me to make sure I was at least eating something. So now our house is filled with about 300 Capri Suns, 800 ice lollies and 6 melons, so think I’m good for the remainder of my pregnancy! Capri Sun anyone?

Remedies that helped me

Everyone says that ginger helps with sickness, so I went and got this gorgeous Belvoir Fruit Farms ginger cordial from our local Waitrose. This brand of juices is my favourite, they’re so sweet and flavoursome, and the bottles look nice.

The ginger is really spicy so you only need a tiny bit, my other favourite is the raspberry lemonade – tangy and so refreshing with a lot of ice. I also got cans of ginger beer, and although fizzy stuff isn’t supposed to be great when you’re feeling sick, I found this really nice to sip on. And sorry not sorry, but the fizz makes you burp and that can make you feel so much better!

The elderflower version of this cordial is SO good in a gin and tonic, or in my case, a ‘no gin and juice’!

Ice has been my saviour. Sometimes I’d just sit in front of the freezer eating ice cubes, just like when I used to be hungover! We then got loads of different ice pops and ice lollies, and they’re so nice to eat when you’re feeling sick.

Fruit was another thing I managed to eat quite a lot of. I’ve never been a huge fruit fan due to the high carb count in a lot of fruits. But with that not a concern during pregnancy, I was eating loads! Cherries, strawberries and melon are my favourites, again so easy to eat even with nausea. And it felt good to eat something colourful and nutritious alongside the bread, hash browns and cereal!

The sickness doesn’t last forever

I’m SO lucky that the bad nausea only lasted around 3/4 weeks, I really feel for those poor women who suffer with this even longer, and especially those still trying to work in offices and other locations that aren’t home. I don’t know how you do it.

Being in lockdown has made this much easier to deal with, I haven’t had to make excuses to anyone, and I’ve been able to eat whatever I want, whenever I could face it. You can’t just be going and getting an ice lolly at 10am when you’re office based!

I’m now almost 11 weeks and I’d like to say the nausea has fully passed. I just hope it doesn’t come back with a vengeance now! Apparently sickness is much worse with a girl, so my mild nausea could suggest I’m having a boy…but that’s just a myth so we will see!

Did you suffer with any sickness during your pregnancy? If so, what did you find helped?

Love Mrs E
xoxo

Pregnancy

Telling our friends and family

May 18, 2020

As I’ve said in previous posts, lockdown really has been a blessing during my first trimester, and I’m so lucky I haven’t had to hide sickness and not drinking from anyone. But what’s not been great about being pregnant in lockdown? Having to tell our family and friends our amazing news without being able to hug them.

Seeing your family cry from a 2m distance and not being allowed to comfort them has been the hardest part of all of this. Painfully hard.

We had the best day driving round the Wirral, telling all our family. After 9 weeks of not seeing a single one of them, it felt surreal to see their faces and hear their voices face to face and not through a phone screen. I’d also not been out much at all during lockdown, only for walks and the occasional visit to the shop, so it felt so good to get dressed into clothes that weren’t gym pants or pjs, put some makeup on and have a little drive around for a change of scenery.

We thought a lot about how to tell our families, and we wanted to give them something they could keep so I ordered some gorgeous little cards off eBay, and made copies of the 9 week scan photo and stuck them inside underneath ‘Baby Earnden due December 2020’.

My mum has been waiting to be a Nanny for a ridiculous amount of time now. Watching her open the card and reading ‘you’re going to be grandparents’ was just priceless. I’ll never forget the shock on her face, and then the tears, and then the excitement. My parents were both over the moon, and it felt like a huge weight had been lifted finally telling them.

We got these gorgeous cards from Tiny Panda Prints on eBay.co.uk. I messaged the seller and asked for others cards to say ‘Great-grandparents’, ‘Uncle’ and ‘Auntie and Uncle’, and we were made up with how they turned out. If you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for on eBay and other sites like that, most sellers are able to personalise items for you at no extra charge.

I even got to have a cuddle with their dog Skye, who I have missed more than anything else during lockdown. She was so gentle, it was as if she knew. So many people say their dogs can sense they’re pregnant before they even know, and I don’t know how they do it but it’s just another reason dogs are so incredible; and we’re lucky to have them. I can’t wait to see what Skye is like with the baby, I just know she’ll adore having someone to play with.

My best friend Pip has a baby girl, Scarlett, who’s now 18 months, so I couldn’t wait to tell her and be able to talk about all things pregnancy and babies! We’ve been best friends since the day I was born (literally), so I was always going to tell her the same day I told my family.

I ordered the cutest little matching outfits from eBay, a T-shirt for Scarlett that said ‘Best’ and a little baby grow for Baby E that says ‘Friends’. We then also put one of these Save The Date cards we got from Poppy Forrest. They have so many different announcement cards but we went with Save the Date so people didn’t guess straight away!

Pip was so excited, Scarlett obviously didn’t understand what was going on but it was so nice to see her after so long, and I can’t wait to see her and Baby E in their matching outfits in December!! Cuteness overload pending.

This is also the longest time I’d ever not seen my Nan and Grandad for, so seeing their faces and how happy they were for us was just the best thing ever. I’m so excited for my Nan to knit Baby E some cute little outfits!

Telling the rest of our families and friends was just so special, it’s something that I’ll never forget. I’m so gutted I didn’t get pics with everyone, we just got too excited and carried away! And also that we couldn’t get around everyone we wanted to so had to do some announcements over FaceTime and text.

But it’s just been the most amazing experience, and being able to give so many people something to smile about and to look forward to at such a difficult and lonely time has been really lovely. I can’t even explain how nervous we were telling everyone, it’s ridiculous because they’re our closest family and friends so I have no idea why!! I was literally shaking every time we told someone!

The next day, I woke up and just burst into tears. I was so emotional. I know it was probably the pregnancy hormones, but I’ve not really struggled with them at all. I think it was just a build up of all the emotion from the day, the pain of not being able to hug anyone, and the realisation of just how much I’d missed everyone. I basically cried all that day, and I felt like I missed everyone so much more, even though I’d only seen them the day before. It was such a weird feeling I can’t explain, but then all of this is so new and so weird, we could never predict how any of us were going to react in these new situations. This is a new normal we’re all just trying to adapt to.

How did it go when you told your family and friends? Were you nervous also?

Love Mrs E
Xoxo