Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas Nails - Part 1

I've bought a few nail varnishes the past couple of weeks, ready for the Christmas season and I have tried to match them up to certain outfits I plan to wear (yes, I am THAT sad). Above is one of them, this was just a practice, so it could do with a bit of a touch up really. 

However, I am totally in love with these Collection Bedazzled varnishes. This one is called Razzle Dazzle and is a black/silver/blue toned glittery colour. Again, I don't like glitter on its own, so I put Nails Inc Motcomb Street underneath it as a base colour. Motcomb Street is a very deep blue colour, almost black and I think, goes really well underneath the glittery top coat. 

I'm going to wear this for Christmas Eve I think! 

mummystartingout x

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


This is how I am spending this moment of history....

How are you going to remember 12.12.12? 

mummystartingout x

The scarier side of pregnancy

What started out as an ordinary week at work certainly took a diversion from the norm this week!

To be quite honest I was dreading the next two weeks at work; I can feel my body starting to slow down and I am getting much more tired, much more easily. But I was determined to carry on until next Friday when I was to finish for Christmas, with two weeks off. The thought that, when I went back in January, I only had four weeks before my official maternity leave was actually quite exciting and I knew that over the next two weeks I needed to get myself organised at work, so I can pass things to the person taking over from me in January.

So I went to work on Monday, spent an hour there and then promptly got knocked (accidentally) on the stairs and fell down them! Fortunately, (or otherwise...) I landed on my knees and went over on my ankle, I didn't fall face down the stairs and to my knowledge I didn't bang my belly or my sides at all. However, the pain in my ankle was IMMENSE! It brings tears to my eyes just to think about it now. I have broken a toe before and whilst I know that's a very minor injury really, the pain was about ten times worse than a broken toe. Of course, being in a school I was determined not to cry in front of students! Although none of them came rushing to my aid! Anyway, somehow, although I still no not know how I managed it, I hobbled to the staffroom where I collapsed in tears and pain. I couldn't put any weight on my foot and by now was starting to get concerned I had broken something!

A colleague called the medical woman and got me an ice pack. The hubby works in the same place as me so they asked me if I would like them to get him. I kept saying 'no he'll go mad!'' But in the end he had to come and take me to A&E as I couldn't walk, my foot was swelling up and the pain was horrid.

So off we went to A&E, had an X ray to check for broken bones, and whilst the doctor said he couldn't see anything obvious, he wasn't sure if there was something broken underneath as there was quite a bit of swelling. So they strapped it up, gave me crutches and sent me on my way with a prescription for diclofenac.

Now, I have taken diclofenac before, and as far as I was aware, you are not supposed to take them in pregnancy. So yesterday I rang the midwife to see what she thought. Incidentally, not once in A&E was the baby checked on or monitored. I did say, obviously, that I hadn't fallen on my bump or banged it, but I would have thought they would check. Anyway, the midwife was very angry with A&E! One for not notifying them at the time and asking for someone to check up on the baby and secondly for giving me diclofenac when you are not supposed to take them. She asked if I had felt baby moving, any bleeding or loss etc and I said that everything had been fine. I thought that would be enough. But no, she said I needed to go up to the hospital to the maternity unit and have them check me over. So, hubby threw some clothes and Pj's into a bag for me, just in case, and off we went in minus temperatures at 5pm.

The midwife at the hospital checked my urine, blood pressure and temperature and besides a slight trace of protein all was well. She then hooked me up to the baby monitor and hubby got to hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time, which was lovely! His heartbeat was nice and strong and after half an hour I thought that would be it. But oh no, I hadn't pressed the button for feeling movements at all during the trace (I hadn't felt him in that half hour) and so I had to stay on the monitor.

This is where I started to panic. I knew that I had felt him move as normal since I fell, but now I was starting to worry that something was wrong, why hadn't he moved in that half hour?! The midwife said food might help to get him moving so I was presented with some food and a hot chocolate and lo and behold he started to move! Phew. After an hour or so, she was happy enough and took me off the monitor. Typically, just as she did, he started doing a jig in my belly and even hubby could see my belly moving across the other side of the room! Sod's law!

Anyway, I was given the all clear to go home, with some strong painkillers and instructions to rest for the next few weeks - since I can't walk or put any weight on my foot, I doubt I will be doing much!

This whole fiasco has shook me up a bit if I'm honest. Everything was going well; I was nearly 29 weeks, had had the growth scan and saw the consultant last week and everything was fine and then I felt like it was all going wrong. I started to worry about the baby moving and getting really freaked out if I didn't feel him for a few minutes.

After a good night's sleep I feel a lot better; I have felt him move most of the time and know that when he isn't, he is probably sleeping or resting.

So, now I am stuck either on the sofa or in bed for at least the next week, using crutches to get around. As they weren't sure if there is something broken or not, I have to go back next week and get it looked at again. I'm hoping by the weekend I can start to put a bit of weight on it again and start trying to walk on it. I feel completely useless and helpless; the hubby has to literally do everything for me. Including, oh the shame, shower me! Not my greatest highlight in life being showered and washed by your hubby I can tell you, but fortunately, I have a lovely hubby who was actually willing to do it. I feel a bit sorry for him, as he still has to go to work and then come home and start tidying up; put washing loads on; make tea etc and then finally about 10pm he can sit down! He hasn't complained, yet, but I am sure he will!

It made me think about what we (or I) take for granted. Even the simple things, like having a cup of tea! I can't negotiate a drink and crutches from the kitchen to the lounge, therefore I am stuck with a flask of tea. Bleurggh. Although, it's better than nothing.

So, not a great start to the week and it's messed up my plans of getting organised at work as I am now off work until January!

Any ideas for hobbies I can take up from the comfort of my sofa??

mummystartingout x

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Bump Update: 28 weeks

Life in our house has been a bit hectic the last few weeks. Every evening after work there seems to have been something different we had to go and do and I feel like I haven't stopped. I tried to chill out this weekend, but even ended up mooching off to town to get the last few bits for Christmas (I always forget a few things, like getting my mum a table present for Christmas Day!). I've been trying to get a lot done before Christmas really, as after Christmas I want to start to wind down and take it easy as it will only be 8 weeks or so before my due date! The hubby and I spent a day sorting out the baby's room. He is going to be sharing with the step-daughter to begin with as we only have two bedrooms. But fortunately, it is a huge room and we plan to have him in with us for the first 6 months or so. By in with us, I  mean in the cot in our room, not in our bed!

So we unpacked boxes of nappies, cuddly toys, baby toiletries, wipes etc and went through the mountain of clothes that we have been so kindly given by three wonderful women! We've bought a few bits new obviously, we want him to have somethings that his Mummy and Daddy bought him, but really he needs no new clothes until he is about 6 or 7 months old (depending on how big or small he is!). We have also bought a mini wardrobe, which is super cute, and I am soo looking forward to this arriving. The only thing that is really missing from the room is a chair. But I really don't think I can fit one it. Not with bunk beds, a cot, a mini wardrobe, bookshelf and two chest of drawers! But I am starting to think about where I might feed him, especially in the night...

Anyway, this week saw my glucose tolerance test. For those not in the know (i.e. not over a certain BMI!!) this is a test that measures how well your body processes sugar. It basically determines whether you have gestational diabetes (although there is a further test if it looks like you have it). Basically you have a blood test, drink a load of lucozade and then have another blood test a few hours later. Oh and you also have to fast! Mine was on Monday morning, so I had to spend Sunday evening with no food or drink! Besides little sips of water. Not a pleasant evening, but I managed it and it the tests all came back clear!

I also had a growth scan and everything is measuring right, including my fundal height which was exactly spot on! It was also lovely to hear his heartbeat again. I keep saying he as well, as the scanner was able to finally confirm he is 100% all boy! Good job as he has so many blue clothes!

The kicks I was feeling have started to change into more squiggles and wriggles really, I think there must be getting less room in there for him to move around.  Two weeks ago he was lead head down and now apparently he is lead right across my belly (not good!) so I constantly feel uncomfortable and find getting up and bending down really painful.I really want him to move back into head down, although I know he still has a few more weeks to do that yet. Thankfully, the sciatica pain I've been getting hasn't been too bad this week. I took a picture of myself and didn't realise that I've actually grown quite a bit; I can no longer fasten my non-maternity jeans! But everyone keeps saying how neat and small I look. I haven't yet managed to weigh myself yet, but I don't feel I've put any weight on anywhere besides the bump, which is good.  I think the tiredness is creeping back, which I am NOT looking forward to! But if that's the worst of the pregnancy symptoms I get then I guess I can live with it.

My pregnancy app says that he is now around 15 inches long and 2 and a half pounds! I am having baby envy and keep seeing people on facebook or in the 'real' world having babies and I just want mine to arrive now.

I also found my Christmas Day dress this week, which I am most excited about, you can see it here and it is gorgeous, a lovely fabric and really flattering over the bump. I have ordered about 6 pairs of tights as well to see which ones will go best with it!

The next update I'll do will be around 30 weeks, which will be around Christmas time! Can't wait; hubby and I have two weeks off and I cannot wait to chill out.

Maternity bra shopping in M&S!! 

mummystartingout x

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

It's a boy!!

Just wanted to update you to let you know we have had it confirmed, that, baby is most certainly a boy!

Phew, I was beginning to panic as we have had so many baby boy items donated to us that I was thinking what on earth are we going to do with it all, but also the expense of starting again with pink things!

There are three very kind women, who I don't think know I blog, but have been so so generous and provided the hubby and I with bags and bags of new, unworn and nearly new clothes, bottles, nappies, a bouncy chair, a play mat and so much more - without these three women we would have had to spend so much more than we have.

I am now very much looking forward to going home tonight, writing my Christmas cards and then going through the bags of clothes to see what we have - this little boy is going to have to wear five outfits a day to be able to get through everything he has already! I'll try and post some photos of some of the outfits we have been given... (if you're interested!)

mummystartingout x

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Nails of the week: Collection 2000 Bedazzled nail polish in Love Jewel

I think I stopped using Collection 2000 stuff when I was about 15; I moved on to more sophisticated territory and started buying No17 (sense the sarcasm). But recently, a lot of beauty bloggers have been raving about the recently relaunched brand, named just Collection now, and say there stuff is just as good as some of the more expensive ones. I recently bought the concealer on a blogger recommendation and it actually is really good; much more effective than some of the dearer concealers I have used and really does cover up the big black bags under my eyes at the minute (this little monkey likes to wake me up often in the night kicking!).

So I was in Boots the other day and was wandering around looking at nail varnish. My favourite past time. I love nail varnish and love painting my nails, particularly to match an outfit. As I wandered past the Collection stand I saw they had an offer of a free glittery nail varnish if you spent more than £4.99. I had a look and couldn't really find anything else I wanted, but this nail varnish was only £2.99 anyway, so I bought it regardless. The range is called Bedazzled and they had a few different colours. I chose as it has a purpley tinge to it and thought it would look nice over the top of a black nail varnish. I actually put it over an MUA nail varnish, a purple shade, imaginatively called 'Deepest Purple.'  I don't think it would look good just on its own as it might be a bit weak and I don't really like just wearing glittery varnish on its own.

Here it is on my nails (without flash)

Here it is again (with flash) 

This picture really doesn't do it justice at all. I really liked it and loved how it sparkled. It's just right for the Christmas season coming up! I have my eye on one of the other shades, Razzle Dazzle, which I think would be another great one for Christmas and I think it will look really effective with the dress I just bought to wear on Christmas Day, which you can see here, as it's more of a blue shade.

mummystartingout x

Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas is all around....

I LOVE December! By far my favourite month of the year; indeed I love Christmas. And it's not just about the presents, although, of course, they are a welcome addition! I love the excitement and the buzz of December; the anticipation of Christmas. Living away from my family I look forward to Christmas and the hubby and I go and stay with my parents for a few nights and spend Christmas with them. My grandparents and their best friends and my Aunty always join us for Christmas Day lunch and it's a wonderful day; we eat, we drink, we play games, we open presents and then we veg out in front of the TV in the evening. For me, Christmas is about spending time with the family, enjoying each other's company and having fun. That normally involves a lot of wine on my part, but of course being nearly 31 weeks pregnant on Christmas Day I won't be indulging in that particular tradition this year!

I almost enjoy the build up to Christmas as much as the main event itself. I love going shopping and getting the presents sorted. I save a bit of money each month throughout the year and then in November I get it all out and the Christmas shopping commences. Each year, the hubby and I and more often than not, the stepdaughter, go and watch the Christmas light switch on and for me, this marks the beginning of the festive season and the start of my Christmas shopping. This year I have made myself be a bit more organised and get all the presents, wrap and cards sorted by 1st December! Traipsing round the shops a few weeks ago was actually quite traumatic - I didn't realise shopping would become so difficult when pregnant. And I am not all that big at the minute - but I get hot and sweaty and the sciatica I have been getting starts playing up and I end up limping round like an old woman. So I set the goal of having everything bought by 1st and I achieved it! Which I am pretty impressed with myself for.

I am a big sucker for the cheese of Christmas I suppose; I have looked forward to Costa bringing out their festive hot drinks for weeks! I was not disappointed. The Caramel Salted Latte is amazing as is the Black Forest Hot Chocolate - definitely worth a try. The hot chocolate was a little sweet, but so yummy with black forest syrup and cream!

I also love decorating the house; I always do it on the first Saturday of December and this year it just so happened that the first Saturday in December this year also happened to be the 1st. We always make a day of it and it is a family occasion. We clean the house and then the hubby helps put the tree up and get the lights working and then I start on decorating it. I always put Michael Buble on and some other Christmas albums and then once all the decorating is done I make Delia Smith's sausage rolls and Gruyere and Parmesan cheese sticks and we have them as a treat late in the afternoon. This year, we had the stepdaughter with us, so it was lovely that she was able to help us and share the occasion too. She even got to choose a Christmas tree and decorate it herself for her bedroom. As it was the 1st she got to open up her advent calender which she had been looking forward to for ages. I am not all that keen on non-traditional calendars so we compromised this year; she still got a chocolate one, but it looks a bit more traditional! Last year, my Mum bought her a playmobil one, which was fab! Each day has a different part of a Christmas scene behind it (all playmobil) and then when you get to 24 you have completed the scene! It lasts for ages then and you can reuse it to display your Christmas scene each year.

This year, I also decided to make the advent calendar below for the hubby and I as a bit of a treat!

Every year I also buy (at least) one new tree decoration. I try and get one with the year on it so that I know when we purchased it. My aunty also sends me one decoration in the post to have on our tree. I really like that we can look at our tree decorations and know when we got them - I think it makes it a bit more special. I think I may have gone a bit mad this year as I ended up with 5 new decorations! But I bought two of them from a Christmas Fayre that we went to.

Some of our 2012 tree decorations.

It was also the first weekend that we didn't go out anywhere; I spent the whole weekend in the house just pottering and cooking and it was lovely to be able to chill a bit as I haven't done that for ages! As I mentioned, I made Delia's sausage rolls and you can find the recipe here and I also made her Gruyere and Parmesan alumettes, which I can't find the recipe for, but may blog some time. They are basically a bit like cheesy bread sticks - yummy straight from the oven with the sausage rolls! I also made a beef in red wine stew that I might blog the recipe for too, as it was sooo yummy and really comforting, as it was so cold this weekend. I was a bit naughty and treated myself to one alcoholic drink! I spied the Crabbies Ginger Beer in the supermarket and this had a Christmas theme to it - it was spiced orange flavour. It was fab! I did check the percentage of alcohol and it wasn't too bad so don't tell me off!

Sausage rolls.

 The Playmobil Christmas Advent Calendar (Last year's complete version)

 The Christmas PJs came out

 Costa's festive hot drinks.

My Christmas present from the hubby arrived!

The hubby also did a bit of cooking and made Christmas tree cupcakes! 
I also managed to start reading my Christmas magazines that I bought back at the beginning of November.

Christmas 2012 Magazines 

Finally managed to use this treat I picked up for myself whilst Christmas shopping. 

December is usually a busy month for us; the hubby has his birthday in December, as does the stepdaughter and then of course we go away for Christmas Eve for a few days. There's always lots on; Christmas Fayres, Christmas Discos (the stepdaughter's not mine!) and lots of other festive events like light switch ons etc and I love getting involved. I am trying to not do as much though and I am pleased that I do not need to go back into town until after the New Year!

And of course, I am on the look out, as always, for the perfect Christmas outfit. My ideal one can be found here, but I still want a festive jumper. I was pretty organised and managed to find one in TK Maxx back in September, but it's a bit big and a bit itchy so I am still on the look out. Also, getting one to cover my bump and look stylish is proving a bit tricky!

Now all I have to do is wrap the presents and write the cards and relax!

mummystartingout x

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Xmas Party Outfit Blogger Challenge

Choosing a Christmas outfit, both for the party season and indeed for Christmas Day itself, has always been a time of year I look forward to. There are always lots of gorgeous dresses in the shops and online and I love getting dressed up for Christmas.

As you know I am now nearly 27 weeks pregnant; fashion, at the minute, is passing me by to be honest. The trousers and jeans in my wardrobe don't fit me anymore and I just generally feel uncomfortable in anything that isn't pyjamas or doesn't have some sort of elasticated waist (and I do not mean M&S Classic range trousers! I have not sunk that low. Yet. Instead, I bought some 'treggings,' whatever they are - probably a bit like leggings but more of a trouser style. And fabulous and very comfortable).

So when I got an email from Fashion Vouchers, about their Christmas Competition, which you can find here, I didn't really take much notice. The competition was to put together a Christmas party outfit for £100 or less. I certainly didn't think that, being pregnant, I would be able to find a suitable party outfit, that was both fashionable and stylish but also didn't make me look like a meringue.

Bored one day over lunch time, I read the email a bit more closely and clicked the link to the Fashion Vouchers website where there was details of the competition. I happened to notice that Asos was one of their brand stores and I remembered how I had bought a couple of maternity dresses from there a few weeks back. So I decided I would take on the challenge; after all, what have I got to lose!

I'm a dress girl. I came to dresses, I suppose, rather late on, probably when I was around 22. I believed, up until then, that they were for special occasions or going out etc. But since I discovered dresses I have to say, they are my staple wardrobe item; my go to item. I wear them for work, I wear them at home, to go out etc. With this in mind, I wanted to put together a Christmas party outfit based around a dress. I went across to the Asos website and of course, clicked 'Maternity.' I was actually quite surprised and pleased, with the amount of party type dresses available and it took me a while to choose my favorite one.

Anyway here are the results. I hope you like it. Buying and wearing clothes at the moment is a bit traumatic at times, but this really cheered me up and I felt I would feel comfortable but also fashionable for the party season.

Asos lace skater dress in green - £28
Luxury spike gem drop earrings - £18
River Island (from Asos) black clutch bag - £15 
Emma Jane Maternity tights 60 denier (from Asos) - £8
Asos Black Panther wedge shoe - £22.50 

Total - £91.50 (with change left over!)

Now I do realise that my outfit doesn't compare with some of the entries on other fashion blogs, but I am pregnant after all, and my intention was to create something that was stylish, but also practical for a pregnant woman, who will be nearly 31 weeks by the time it comes to wear this outfit, and also comfortable. Comfort is definitely the key to clothing in pregnancy, otherwise you end up hot, sweaty, and in a right old grump! 

I think this outfit could be worn on Christmas Day, but also to a Christmas party; the earrings add a bit of sparkle and bling for the festive season.
I would love to see other Christmas party outfits for pregnant women so if you come across any or you do one yourself - please link up!

If you want to get involved in the competition yourself, please click here to go to the competition page for more details. The winning entry receives £100 of vouchers for their chosen retailer (for the online shop they put their outfit together from).

mummystartingout x

Saturday, November 24, 2012

26 weeks and some baby shopping

So I am now 26 weeks! 14 weeks to go, can't actually believe how close it seems compared to when we actually found out!

Last week, however was not a good week. It all started well, I felt like I had hit a major milestone (24 weeks) and was feeling ok. I had a routine midwife appointment and everything was good, all measurements were good, heard the heartbeat etc.

Then it came to the consultant appointment. I have these as I have a history of high blood pressure and I have to be checked more often as in some cases high blood pressure can eventually lead to pre-ecylampisa. Anyway, after seeing the midwife the day before, I presumed everything would be fine again. I assumed wrong. The midwife was very concerned that my blood pressure was on the high side (FYI 129/94). Off she went to have a quiet word with the consultant. Read: speak very loudly in the room next door, separated by a paper thin wall, hence I heard everything she said. By the sound of it you'd have thought she had found lizard spit in my blood the way she was going on about it. She then produced the results of my urine sample and that had traces of protein in it. Again, having this can be a sign of the dreaded pre-eclympsia. So they were all in a right tis. The consultant came in and decided that this was too high to be left alone and being at an increased risk she was going to put me on medication to treat the high blood pressure. I wasn't too keen on this I have to admit. I have really tired to treat aches and pains and any illness, like colds etc, with natural remedies whilst pregnant. But she said it was necessary, as the further on you get in pregnancy, the higher blood pressure is likely to rise. Sigh. Anyway, not content with putting me on medication, she continued to flap a bit more, declaring I needed blood tests and a possible stay in the maternity ward whilst they monitor it!  Cue me frantically texting the hubby in a panic. I had (wrongly) assumed I was coming in for a routine appointment.

In the end, she decided that I could go home, rest and await the results of the blood tests. She told me someone would call by the end of the day. Phew. So I went. I rested. I waited. No phone call. Typical. So I rang the maternity ward. They said my blood results were fine, but were shocked I hadn't been asked to come back and have the blood pressure checked again. So I was told I had to go in first thing the following morning and have everything checked again. Which I did. Thankfully all these checks were fine, blood pressure still a bit high, but all other tests looked good. So I could go home. Come back in a week. Thankfully I went back on Thursday and everything was fine, blood pressure back to normal and they were happy enough. Although it does mean that I have to see the consultant now every two weeks instead of four!

So I remained at home for a whole week! Cue boredom and restlessness. I always like the idea of having time off work, but in reality, I always get bored and resort to internet shopping. And with another week until pay day this wasn't great timing.
Whilst I'm off, I always think of little things that need doing; washing all the baby's clothes, sorting out the kitchen cupboards, painting the bathroom ceiling etc (note: I haven't actually done any of these things, but I have wanted to!) I'm not sure if the nesting instinct has kicked in or something, but I just want to get things sorted. I am conscious that it's nearly Christmas and by the time it arrives I will be 31 weeks pregnant and after Christmas I doubt I am going to have the motivation or energy to traipse around town or sorting out the house. So I am trying to get everything done before Christmas. I am going to refrain from washing clothes until I go on maternity leave though. Or at least I'm going to try. I feel like, as much as I want to wash them now, all that will happen is once washed, they'll sit in a drawer until March and then will have lost the lovely clean, fresh smell.

Anyway, as I said, I've been sat at home with just the dog for company. And a broadband connection. So I have bought a few baby bits and bobs which I thought I would share with you.
As we are not entirely sure of the baby's gender, as it keeps being a mischievous monkey and won't show us it's bits properly, we have tried to stick with a neutral colour for the nursery. I found a lovely lemon range of coordinating items on the Mamas and Papas website, called Zeddy and Parsnip and it is fab. Really cute and while maybe bordering on the girly side, we like it and have gone with that for our theme.

So, whilst I've been off, I've  purchased the Zeddy and Parsnip cot mobile, the matching nappy stacker and the super cute comforter.

I was a bit concerned that baby had no cuddly items, hence the comforter, but then I saw the Fisher Price Soothe and Glow Seahorse. Can't tell you if this works yet, but it's supposed to send babies to sleep. And it's very cute.

I also purchased some more nappies. I mentioned in a previous post we have gone for Bambino Mio's two part nappy system and they recommend having 24 nappies to begin with.

So despite not getting out of the house for a whole week, it's been quite an expensive time! The last of my maternity wardrobe purchases also arrived, which I will post about soon. I have been really struggling with what to wear at work and these items will see me now for the next 8 weeks or so I have left at work.

 I really wanted to be able to make it to the Christmas light switch on on Thursday as well, which thankfully I did.  I love this event! There's always fake snow and Christmas carols and tunes and the panto characters also make an appearance. Yes, I'm aware it's really an event for children, but I love it. Normally we have the step-daughter, but this year it was just hubby and I, we made an evening of it and went for dinner too. This rarely happens. You can normally find us sat on the promenade in the car with fish and chips, so this was extra nice. It will also (hopefully) be the last year it's just us, so it makes it extra special.
On the way home we nipped to Tescos and there was a man on the door who invited us to the manager's office for drinks and nibbles and to showcase the new Christmas range they have in store - it was fab! Free drinks and yummy food! However my pregnant feet and hips had had enough by 9pm and I couldn't walk at all. I hobbled round for the remainder of the evening, much to the amusement of the hubby!

Also managed to pick up a yummy Costa Black Forest hot chocolate! Yummy!! Love their festive drinks this year... 

mummystartingout x

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Bump Update - 24 weeks

I am now 24 weeks pregnant! Happy Viability Day to me!

Seriously though, apparently, 24 weeks is what in the medical world they would class as the baby being 'viable,' i.e. if the baby were to arrive from now on, it would have a chance of survival. Also, I didn't know but legally doctors have to medically intervene at this stage to help keep baby alive if it were born. Obviously if he did arrive now, he would be very poorly and need lots of medical help, so god forbid he does. To be quite honest, this is all a bit miserable and depressing, but on the positive side I feel like we have passed the final major milestone (excluding birth!). The others being 12 weeks, dating scan, anomaly scan, 20 weeks and now 24 weeks. My next goal is 30 weeks and then after that it really won't be very long! (Hopefully) I really am hoping that he doesn't decide to stay in there too long after his due date as I am already very very impatient about his arrival and cannot wait. Literally it's worse than being a child waiting for Santa!

So a few details about being 24 weeks (according to all my pregnancy apps): Apparently my uterus is now the size of a football(!) and has risen above my belly button. I can definitely feel this actually and it feels like it isn't far off the bottom of my ribs, which is worrying as I know potentially any day I could start with really bad heartburn! The baby is about 30cm long (the same size as one of those school rulers!) and weighs about 1lb-2lb. According to the baby centre app, he is the same size as a corn on the cob! He's starting to fill out this week with a bit of padding and his brain is growing very quickly. His skin will start to become less translucent from now.
This is the time when pregnant women can find themselves becoming a bit clumsy and forgetful (the famous baby brain) and I definitely seem to have got that. My colleagues at work think it's hilarious as I can't remember anything and they know me as a bit of an OCD organisational freak.

In terms of how I am feeling, I am definitely feeling more energetic. I am not sure if this is a weird coincidence but I was taking aspirin as I have high blood pressure and my prescription ran out so I had about 5 days where I didn't take a tablet. For those 5 days I didn't get one single headache and I felt better. So I told the GP and he said to stop taking them and since I have I feel tons better. I am not getting a headache every other day like I was and I feel less lethargic and washed out at work. The aspirin could have nothing to do with it, but whatever the reason, I am much happier!

I am also filling out now. I am really struggling with clothes and have found dressing for work this week a nightmare! None of my trousers fit properly and not only that, but, the ones I can fasten up hurt my belly and make me really uncomfortable. I can no longer wear tights really, particularly black opaque ones, as I feel everything is being held in and it is horrible. I have found some gorgeous green coloured tights though yesterday in a knitted wool fabric, so I am hoping they will be ok. I bought a size larger than normal in the hope they will go over my bump. I did buy maternity tights but they ended up with the crotch at my knees at one point so I won't be wearing those again! I have bought a lot of clothes the past few weeks online and had to return them as they are not right - either too long, too big, too small etc! It's very depressing!

Little movements have turned into massive kicks now and even though I can feel my uterus just underneath my ribs, the baby is still kicking low down. A lot of the time it feels like he is kicking my bladder - ouch! It's extremely uncomfortable! He tends to kick first thing in the morning in bed and last thing at night which I think is really nice - his way of greeting me in the morning and saying goodnight at bedtime. He also does kick though throughout the day, especially if I have a noisy class!

I now have 10 working weeks left at work until maternity leave! I literally cannot wait. Although I know for the four weeks I have off before baby is due, I am sure to get bored... But I'm now finding work quite tough and I'll be glad when the time comes to say goodbye for a few months.

I'm also finding that the last few weeks I am definitely getting very, very impatient and I just want to meet my little man. It really is like waiting for Christmas or a holiday when you were a child. But I still have the hubby and step-daughter's birthday to get to and indeed Christmas, before we meet our boy, so I still feel like I have a long way to go. It's only 16 weeks but it feels like forever. Speaking of weeks, I am really getting confused with how many months/weeks pregnant I am and how long is left. I can't decide if 24 weeks is 6 months pregnant or not, but I still have 4 months left...! So am I 5 months? argh, it makes my brain hurt to think about it. I think, to make it easier I am just sticking with weeks, all the medical staff go with weeks and I can work it out like that.

I am going to start aqua natal swimming classes this week which I am quite looking forward to and I also have a midwife and consultant appointment this week, so hopefully I'll get to hear his little heartbeat again.

As I write, the reusable cloth nappies we have decided to go for are in the wash, ready to be folded and put away in preparation for a long awaited arrival...

mummystartingout x

Friday, November 9, 2012

The good and bad of being pregnant

Now I'm really into the swing of being pregnant I thought I would list my top 10 best bits and top 10 worst bits.

I'll start with the worst:

1. Tiredness. This for me is the killer. I have a very busy and stressful job (teacher) and I don't have time to be tired! During the first trimester I found the tiredness pretty bad to cope with; I could barely function some days and at lunch time all I wanted to do was put my head on my desk and sleep. In the second trimester it has eased up a bit, but as I know to expect it to come back with a vengeance for the third!

2. Manky hair: I must have missed signing up for that elusive pregnancy 'glow.' My hair is dry, lank and greasy.

3. Ahem, err 'bowel' issues. I have IBS to begin with and haven't had a flare up for years. I hit 12 weeks exactly and bam! IBS came back, ten times worse than I have ever had it before. This carried on for four weeks. Four weeks of taking fibyogel, omaprozole, gaviscon tablets and indigestion liquid. Then, as quickly as it arrived, it went! Phew. Now, I just get odd days with a sore and uncomfortable belly and sometimes 'going' is a bit of a problem. But so far, I don't think I have had it too bad.

4. Not being able to wear jeans or tights or anything that sits snugly around my belly. This is causing me no end of problems every single day. It is uncomfortable and doesn't help point 3 as anything tight or even remotely tight gives me stomach ache. Today I have given up and given in to leggings at work. It's just tough!

5. Not being able to drink wine. If any of you know me from my former blog, you may remember lots of pictures incorporating wine! It's a killer not being able to drink. I love wine.

6. Not being able to eat brie or salami. I love these two on a lovely crusty roll. We always go to my parents for Christmas and she always gets massive packs of brie and salami in for me to have over the holidays. There will be none of this this year.

8. Maternity bras. Ugh they are horrible. I have not yet found one I like. However I have discovered the Hot Milk range, but they are pretty dear. I am saving buying one until nearer my due date so I can use it as a nursing one as well.

9. Maternity clothes in general. I must have ordered and sent back about 20 items the past two weeks. I can not find anything that I like or that fits.

10. Knowing my body will probably never ever be the same. I am prepared for stretch marks, although I am smothering bump in bio oil every day. But I am aware that your body changes and doesn't often go back.

The best bits:

1. People asking how you are feeling all the time. It makes you feel special. I am aware that once the baby arrives, they will be more concerned with him than me. But that's ok.

2. The first scan. A magical moment. Much better than the anomaly scan (partly as I got a witch doing that scan and she was a misery) as there was more time to look at things and it was the first time I had ever seen my baby.

3. Feeling baby kicks. These started out as little flutters and then popping and then what I felt were little movements. I am now feeling definite kicks - often when I am led in the bath I can see my belly move with the force of his kicks! His Daddy will probably be very pleased as he may be a potential footballer...

4. Being able to eat everything! I have a bit appetite at best, but I now feel less guilty from guzzling loads done throughout the day.  I am aware that you only need 200 calories and that's only in the third trimester.

5. Getting away with doing very little at the weekends. i.e. less cleaning, no ironing, making hubby peel potatoes for the roast etc.

6. Buying lots of yummy beauty products because I can no longer buy clothes.

7. Buying baby clothes. They are the cutest things. Lovely little baby grows and mittens, hats and socks.  Lovely.

8. Going to bed at 7pm without feeling guilty.

9. Knowing that you have created a life and thinking it is the most amazing thing you will ever do.

10. Choosing names. We know what we are going to call this little one (name to be revealed later).  We have kept traditional and kept his name in the family after my husband and his grandfather.

So there you have it. The good bits definitely outweigh the bad but there are times when I just want to curl up and sleep and wake up at 39 weeks.

What are your best and worst bits about pregnancy?

mummystartingout x

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Beauty haul

I'm having a bad week clothes wise. I am now at that very tricky in between stage of pregnancy where my bump is big enough for people to notice that I'm not just becoming a chunky monkey but not yet big enough to fit in maternity jeans without them getting all bunched up and looking silly. I found out today that I can probably say goodbye to trousers until at least March. This was even wearing a bump band (which, by the way, I don't like - I think I may have bought a size too large, thinking I would grow into it by the end of pregnancy, but it rolls up and looks ridiculous). I also bought a pair of Emma Jane maternity tights. It was the biggest waste of £10 I have ever made! Awful things, bloody uncomfortable and I ended up with the crotch at my knees at one point (one significant point whilst in the Co-op!). I am just uncomfortable in anything except pyjamas and leggings. As you know, I am a teacher and it's really difficult to get away with pyjamas at school. Leggings are OK to a degree, but I only have one pair  in black (have dispatched the mother to Primark today to get me some more - the Isle of Man has NO Primark, can you believe) so I can't wear them everyday unless I want to exude some delightful body odour type smells. Saying that, I have just realised I teach teenagers (well I already knew that bit) so I could probably get away with it....

Anyway, I've spent quite a bit of time (and money) online this week on maternity dresses and tunics and so I am eagerly anticipating their arrival in the desperate hope that some of them fit me and they are comfortable.

So, as I can't buy clothes with the same type of pleasure I used to, I have turned to beauty products to fill the gap. Over the weekend I came across quite a few blogs written by women who are or have recently been pregnant. They were all full of wonderful tips and hints and lots of 'real' stories about pregnancy and I have spent most nights since then ignoring the hubby as I eagerly read everything (and I mean everything) that they have to say.

Unfortunately, my skin hasn't been the best the past few weeks; I am certainly not feeling the so called pregnancy 'glow' and one particular blogger (who you can find here and I encourage you to read her blog as it is fab!) was talking about a facial scrub that they thought was fab after pregnancy so I popped to Boots after work today as I needed a few other bits anyway and I got a bit carried away. I love a good beauty product. I used to subscribe to Glossybox and loved the excitement of all the little products that came through the post each month. But I cancelled it when I found out I was pregnant. I thought £12.95 every month on things that, in all honesty, I don't really get around to using, was getting a bit excessive.

So here is what I managed to casually 'pick up' in Boots and Superdrug this evening:

Now, I can't claim that any of these products actually work yet as I haven't tried them, besides the facial scrub and so far so good with that, but they made me happy buying them and the hubby would be impressed (if I actually told him I had bought things) as there were lots of offers on in Boots and I managed to get some bargains!

So first up is the Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Daily Scrub. Charlotte from Write Like No One's Watching recommended this on her blog and my skin has been rubbish lately, so I thought I would give it a go. 

Next up is the Carmex cherry flavoured lip balm. I've heard lots of good things about Carmex lip balms, so I am expecting good things from this. I may be disappointed. The smell is divine anyhow and I am looking forward to using it. 

Next is a product that I have never used before, but I love the brand - MUA from Superdrug. Dead cheap and supposedly pretty good, or so I've been told. This product is supposed to be multi-functional. It's called a 3 in 1 extreme contour pen. Now I don't actually know what this means but I am going to use it as an eye-liner. The the colour is lovely, it's called Auburn and I think it will look lovely with the eyeshadow I bought to match it. At £1.50, if it's rubbish then it doesn't matter.

Next up is the MUA eyeshadow palette. The picture below doesn't really do it justice, it's a browny beige set that appears to have hints of metallic or glitter in it. Again, will look great with the 'contour pen.'

Then, we have another product that Charlotte recommended to me last night on Twitter. I haven't tried this yet, but the colour is fab and it looked really good in the pic that Charlotte put up.

This nail varnish by Barry M is called Raspberry and I have been wearing it for years, well since it came out... It's very autumnal and not too red so I look like a tart. Boots had an offer of buy one get one half price on Barry M so this was only £1.49 as the one above was £3.99.  Bargain.

Finally, I picked up two lipsticks, again from the MUA range in Superdrug. I have a had a few of these in the past and the colours are always really nice but they can be a bit dry. I use A LOT of Vaseline so this isn't a problem for me as I just put it over the top of the lipstick. I got shade 1 and shade 8.

So, all in all a successful little after work trip! I only spent £20, which, for the amount of things I got, I think is pretty good. I will update you another time as to how successful they have actually been though!

Have you got any beauty product recommendations for a pregnant woman?!

mummystartingout x

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What's in your fridge?

I know this meme has been going around for a while now but I always love a good nosey in other peoples' homes so I thought I would join in and show you mine. I am also interested in how much people spend on their weekly food shop. Living on the Isle of Man, we have a limited choice in terms of supermarkets, so unfortunately we are stuck with Tesco Towers or a Manx branded shop called 'Shoprite' (lovingly known as Shopshite by Islanders). We do have the odd Cooperative lying around (which I am starting to prefer for some grocery items) and we have an Iceland, but, call me a snob if you like, I am yet to start doing my weekly shopping there, in this house, Mum's do definitely not shop at Iceland! (Although they do do a really good Chinese curry sauce that I occasionally buy to go with chicken fried rice)

So, I am stuck with Tesco for our weekly shopping trip. It's not all that bad, they do have some good offers. I think I am right in saying they were one of the original 3 for £10 on fresh meat. I often buy these as they work out at really good value. We eat a lot of mince and chicken and these are always included in the offer. We tend to spend around £60-90 on our weekly shop, depending what I throw in. This time last year until about February/March time this year, our shopping bill was creeping up and up. I think after Christmas we just carried on drinking as though it was the holidays and a massive part of our weekly shopping bill was on alcohol! We cut that back though (and then I got pregnant and stopped drinking wine anyway!) and now we tend to spend around £10 on alcohol for the weekend only, or the hubby does anyway. I was a big wine drinker. I'm a teacher and perhaps I use that as an excuse too much, but I loved coming home and opening a bottle of wine, particularly after a rubbish day. That part of pregnancy (i.e. cutting out booze) has been a little tricky! I have the occasional glass of red with dinner but I have been trying out lots of soft drink alternatives (that's a whole other post I think).

Anyway, £60-£90 for the three of us I don't think is too bad. Granted we only have the step-daughter three times a week, but that's nearly half the week anyway. I always look for offers as well and try and buy cheaper alternatives where I can. However, a while back I was buying Tesco Value (or Market Value as they've rebranded it) for a lot of items. Some of it is really good and you wouldn't notice the difference if you hadn't seen the packaging. But other stuff is just pretty rubbish. I started wondering why I was doing this. We can afford our weekly shopping and I always budget for it. So why was I doing this? So I stopped buying value stuff - cheddar cheese (!), sausages (what was I thinking! but hubby insisted on these), rice, beans, cordial and occasionally chicken breast. I do not do this anymore. But I have noticed on certain value items that they are nearly identical - tinned tomatoes, just as good! Value crumpets - I actually prefer these to Warburtons. Value peppers and onions - how on earth these are value I have no idea, but they are just as good and last just as long.
What really confuses me is the price of milk. Why is Tesco milk and Isle of Man milk dearer than organic milk? I just don't get. With that in mind, I always buy organic milk.

So anyway, what do you spend on your weekly shop? And to the point of this post, below is the inside of my fridge. We have a much too small fridge for my liking. I want an American style one with an ice dispenser etc, but for now we are stuck with this little one. Contents list underneath and please do share the link to your 'What's in your fridge' if you have done it!

Top shelf -
Fresh orange juice
Bottle of lemonade
Hubby's insulin
Half a pot of greek yogurt (admittedly, Value!!)
Brown Sauce
A chocolate snowman wrapped in tin foil (this was supposed to be put away with the Christmas stuff, but it got left in the sun and melted!)
2 cans of non-alcoholic Bavaria beer!
2 cans of non-alcoholic mojito cocktails
1 can of non-alcoholic cosmopolitan cocktail
Double cream (actually think this is past the use by date!)

Middle shelf -
Three pizzas (3 for £5 today!)
Another can of mojito
Isle of Man mild cheddar cheese
Red Sauce (Value, no less)
More fresh orange juice

Bottom shelf -
Exotic fruit juice
Semi-skimmed milk
Chorizo ring
Pack of ham
A couple of rashers of bacon
Two packs of chicken breast
Pack of sausages

Door -
4 eggs
Green Thai curry paste
Lazy Ginger
Korma paste
Oyster sauce
Chili and garlic sauce
Strawberry Jam
Wholegrain mustard
Lemon juice
Lime juice
Piri Piri sauce
Chili and Citrus salad dressing (bought in Summer, so just thought it may be also past its use by date!)
Cough medicine
Salad cream
Skimmed milk
Semi-skimmed milk

Salad tray - (very weary looking contents actually)
Button mushrooms
Reduced tomatoes that I actually bought 3 weeks ago. They are looking remarkably good for their age.
2 jacket potatoes
Rainbow peppers
Spring onions

Monday, October 22, 2012

Bump Update - 21 Weeks

I am now really into the swing of things with this pregnancy and think I am starting to feel it!

This past few weeks has seen lots of little pregnancy niggles, such a a headache that I get every single day around lunch time. Speaking of lunch time, ugh the afternoon slump has really hit me this week! All I want to do from about 12.30pm onwards is lay my head on my desk and have a nap. Obviously being a teacher, this is not possible! So any tips for getting through this will be greatly received and appreciated.

I am also suffering from extreme tiredness and even if I go to bed early I do not feel any better for it! By about 8pm I just want to crawl into bed, but I am trying to avoid it as I know too much sleep can also have the same affect. Someone recommended Spatone to me, which is a iron rich water, that you are supposed to dilute in juice, so I have been taking that, but I am yet to reap any benefit. I'm also concerned that iron can bung you up a bit! So I am only taking it every other day.

I've also had a lot of little niggly pain in my belly. I think it's just growing or stretching pain (round ligament pain) but it's actually more uncomfortable than I thought it would be. My belly even hurts when I go for a wee!

Another little niggle, is that I cannot stand anything around my belly. Jeans are a no no, as are tights or anything with a tight waistband. Even some of my pyjamas are proving a little tricky. It's really annoying as I feel like I am living in dresses and leggings, but it's the only thing I can wear without feeling bloated and uncomfortable.

However, on the positive side, we had our 20 week anomaly scan last week. Unfortunately, baby (again) wasn't led right and the sonographer couldn't get a picture of it's heart (although could see it beating, phew!) and she couldn't get a good measurement of its head. So we have to go back this week to have these measurements done. However, legs, arms, stomach, spine, face and kidneys are all present, perfect and working! We also tentatively found out the sex.....

It's a boy! Or so she 'thinks'. She will confirm this week, but she was pretty sure. It does all start to feel a lot more real now. The last time I saw baby was at 12 weeks, which seems a really, really long time ago so it was nice to see it again and extra good that we get to see it again this week! I just hope its head is normal. Apparently the size is about one week behind everything else. I had started to feel a bit out of the loop really with not seeing anyone since 12 weeks, but I had the consultant (because of high bp) and the midwife this week so I feel a bit better. Everyone says baby has a very strong healthy and happy heartbeat and is always very active when they try to listen in.  I was starting to worry as everyone keeps saying haven't I got a small bump, but a friend who is 25 weeks and also on her first baby, has only just started to show, so that made me feel a bit better.

To celebrate finding out, I went shopping and bought a few blue bits, so it had better be a boy! A very kind woman at work brought a huge bag of boys clothes in too today, so I am looking forward to getting home and having a look at them all!

One highlight of the week is our new bed! It is amazing! I have wanted a memory foam mattress for absolutely ages. The one we had I could feel the springs through and was making me ache. The hubby had an accident earlier in the year and has struggled with pain ever since. It's particularly bad at night. So, we took the plunge and bought one and so far, it is fabulous! I am so much more comfortable and the hubby is sleeping better than he has for months. We also bought a fabulous iron bed frame and it really finishes the room off now. I am really enjoying going to bed!

I have to admit, I had a bit of a melt down over the weekend and ended up in tears in bed! I am really really struggling with tiredness and this headache and I even took a few days off work this week, but it didn't help. I just had enough over the weekend, I felt like crap and I had a roast to make, ironing to do and the kitchen to tidy up. Hubby made some stupid remark along the lines that I wanted to be pregnant so I should just put up with it and I just snapped. I stormed off with my phone to bed and stayed there for about an hour (crying) until he took pity and came and got me. He ran me a bath and brought me a (non-alcoholic) cocktail. He then went downstairs and peeled the spuds and got the roast ready for me to just put in the oven. He then sat and watched Dumbo with me and he even washed up and dried the dishes (he did leave the ironing to me though). So all was forgiven. I feel better today now I've got that out of my system; I think I just needed him to sit up and take notice of how I was feeling and help a bit more. Or at least be a bit sympathetic.

I've also made it official at work! I have decided that my leaving date will be 1st February, which is exactly 4 weeks before my due date. I am hoping I can last until then, although I will have to see how it goes.

So I have now reached and passed the half way mark. I am now on countdown to 24 weeks when baby is actually officially viable!

mummystartingout x

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fat Face Autumnal Love

I said earlier in the week I would show you my Fat Face items. So here I am! 

As you might know, I am pregnant and up until the last couple of weeks or so, I wasn't really showing and could still get away with wearing my pre-maternity clothes. The belly has suddenly started to pop out a bit and I really don't want to spend money on actual maternity clothing as I think it's a bit of a waste; I'd rather spend the money on clothes I can wear all the time. 

Anyway, Fat Face emails kept popping up in my inbox, detailing the new 'must have' item. And in the end I just couldn't resist! I LOVE Fat Face. My Mum actually introduced me to the store when I went camping with them about seven years ago. At the time it was Summer and their clothing was very 'surfer' style. I liked them, but it wasn't really me at the time. 

Fat Face has certainly evolved since I first discovered them and I am not a Fat Face-aholic! (Don't tell the hubby) Their Autumn/Winter range is slowly coming on-line and there are some gorgeous items; tunics, knits and even tees. The colours are just me: pinks, navy and some lovely wine colours. Just right for the new season. 

So as we are approaching a new season and I needed a few key items to last throughout pregnancy and beyond, I popped a few 'key' items into my basket:

First up was the lovely 'Tania Full Bloom' tunic. I thought the name of the tunic was very fitting! And so I had to have it.
I also needed a couple of long sleeve tops that I could mix and match with things. Luckily they have an offer on their long sleeve tees at the minute, two for £36 so I managed to get two! 

The fabric of these tees is lovely; so so soft and snuggly. Perfect for with jeans and boots.

And then the pattern of this tunic caught my eye in an email they sent me. Sorry it looks a bit creased, I pulled it out of the ironing basket for the photo!

Unfortunately, I have now found a knitted tunic that I also want! But I think I've spent enough there for a few weeks, so I'll get the knitted one when the weather turns a bit cooler. 

I love Autumn and Winter, I actually prefer it to Summer! (sorry!), but I think that's because I prefer the clothes. I don't really like getting my skin out so I much prefer covering up in chunky tights or leggings with boots and knitwear. 


Monday, October 1, 2012

Bump Update - 18 weeks

So bump and I have made it to week 18. Apparently, baby is now the size of a pepper and weighs in at around 190g! It is also around 14cm long. Our baby's ears are also now in their final position and she (or he!) has a protective covering of myelin around her nerves. Gender should be able to be determined from now on a scan (which we have in two weeks!).

So another week has passed and I think, this week, marks the beginnings of some movements I have been feeling; more like flutters really, nothing major, just things like feeling as though my stomach is turning upside down or little bubbles popping. I've read that that could be the baby moving.

My belly also seems to have popped out the last few days, which is nice, at last, as it's making the whole thing start to feel a bit more real now. Obviously I have had scans and seen our baby, but I haven't really 'felt' pregnant since all the first trimester symptoms started to disappear. But the arrival of a (albeit small) bump is starting to make it more real. People have also started to notice now as I can't get away with wearing jeans and hiding it any longer.

So it's been a week of positive developments really. My first pregnancy book, What to Expect When You're Expecting, also arrived this week. I scared myself silly by skipping ahead and reading the labour sections - I was definitely NOT ready to read that yet! I actually felt a bit sick. So I put it away and concentrated on the healthy eating sections.  I've been getting away with not really thinking about labour yet as it seems so far away. Especially as I haven't even been looking pregnant. I convinced myself it was a long time in the future and something I could think about later on. However, I suppose I do need to start thinking about it and also starting to prepare for it - mentally and physically! As you might know, I joined a facebook group of pregnant ladies and a lot of them have shared birth stories. Everyone seems to say, yes, it is painful, but as soon as it's all over you forget about the pain as you have something so wonderful. This kind of honesty scares me also! Although I guess I would rather go into this with all the facts, rather than a sugar coated, false version and find the whole thing a terrible shock.

I have also had to start thinking about clothing. I searched everywhere for a winter coat that would fit me once the bump arrived but also fit me afterwards as I didn't want to buy a maternity coat, especially as coats are so expensive. I finally found one, from Tesco of all places and plan to do a post about the coat later in the week.
I also need some maternity jeans and a pair of black trousers. Which, again, seem to be elusive. Or maybe I am just too fussy. I can find jeans and trousers, but they seem frumpy and old fashioned. I don't want to give up 'me' just because I am pregnant.
For the time being, whilst I am sort of still in between normal clothes and maternity clothes I have gone for some tunic dresses which I can wear for most of the pregnancy and then definitely be able to wear after. They cost a small fortune as they were from Fat Face but I love them and they are just right for autumn/winter. Again, I plan a little post about these later in the week.

This week also saw me catch 'proper' flu! It started last Thursday and I have actually had the week off work as I felt so so dreadful. I have never had flu before and I certainly wouldn't want it again! I couldn't even get out of bed for 4 whole days. I finally went to the doctors who gave me penicillin for a secondary chest infection and I now feel so much better. Pregnancy and illness do not mix; I was thoroughly fed up by Friday (hence all the Internet clothes shopping!). Not only that, but being pregnant you obviously can't take the same sort of medication for flu as you would if you weren't pregnant. My trusty otrivine for blocked sinuses was banished back to the medical drawer as was cold and flue relief capsules. Anyway I survived and now I am going to book the flu jab as soon as I can to ensure I don't get it again!

I'm looking forward to the next few weeks; What to Expect says to start feeling more movements by the end of this fifth month and I am looking forward to seeing a much more noticeable bump very soon!


Thursday, September 27, 2012

When good women go bad

Just after I found out I was pregnant I was scrolling through some of the Bounty forums and came across a forum called DIF13 (Due in February 2013). I clicked into it and they had a link to a facebook group that had been set up for all Mummies who were pregnant and due in February next year. So I decided to join the group. I thought that, as a first time mummy, it would be a really good way of getting some support, information and be able to share things that I didn't necessarily want to share with the hubby or questions that I wanted real answers for.

This group now (up until last night) has well over 180 members. It was a really special place to be; members could post inane things about their pregnancy, how they were feeling or indeed just chat about their life! We uploaded 12 week scan pictures and then gender scan pictures and it was all so supportive and friendly and helpful. People posted questions that they felt they couldn't really ask anyone else and get real, honest and experienced answers. 

This was, until yesterday. Unfortunately, one of the mummies in the group gave birth to a stillborn baby last week. Utterly devastating and something which, I just cannot even begin to comprehend. I lived in fear for the first 12 weeks of miscarriage and now I live in fear of something being wrong with my baby or, indeed, having a stillbirth. I hope never to have to go through this, the pain of losing a child, I am sure, must be like no other. 

Anyway, everyone in the group has been sooo supportive of this wonderfully strong and brave mummy and, even though she felt she should now leave the group, everybody begged her to stay. So she did. 

A situation arose when she uploaded a picture of her son. A beautiful picture which she felt comfortable enough with us to be able to share with us. 99% of people were supportive and said how brave she was for uploading the photo. However, she had said in advance, if anybody would prefer her not to put the picture in the group, then to let her know and she wouldn't. It appears no one did. So she went ahead and put the picture up. 

A day later, one of the group members made a very public complaint about the picture, saying how she found it upsetting. And this is where the problem began. This poor woman who has lost her child, was then ostracised by various members and indeed, the lady who complained about the picture has also had a variety of criticism laid against her. 

I'm not writing this to pass judgement on either of the women or on their opinions at all. But it did become apparent, that, actually, this group of women, who all thought they were in the same situation and felt comfortable enough to share some pretty intimate information, actually do not know each other at all. We are all complete strangers. We don't know each other at all and therefore how much can we truly rely on each other for support and, to some extent, discretion about each other's most intimate details. 

In a way it smacks of cyber bullying; just in the way a child can be vilified for having an opinion and experience hate and abuse on their own facebook/social media sites. Aren't we old enough to know better as adults? Shouldn't we have grown out of this by now? 

I, for one, am going to be extremely careful with what I share with this group from now on. I still value their experience, their knowledge and indeed their support and also it's not to say I haven't actually made some really good friends through this group, I have. But I still think there needs to be some degree of thought into what I say to these ladies and to remember that, actually, I don't know these women at all. 

Has anybody had any experience of support groups in pregnancy? How did you find them? 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I'm a Stella and Dot Winner!

I entered a competition on Avril's School Gate Style blog, back in June, to win a piece of jewellery. I entered it without much hope of winning, as, I am not one of the people that win things. I have never won anything remotely interesting in my life. The most we get is about £2.50 on the lottery plus five draw! So I very much doubted I would be in with any chance of winning.

The competition was to win a piece of jewellery from an online shop called Stella and Dot. It was a brand I had heard little about, mostly on other people's blogs, but hadn't ever bought anything from there. It is a fabulous shop! Not all that cheap, but has some real different pieces of jewellery and not just ones to fit the latest trends; they produce timeless, classic pieces, a bit like the Corso Cuff that I was trying to win. 

The competition asked you to go to their website and choose one piece from their Summer collection that stood out to you, stating why you had chosen that piece. I chose the Lindsay bangle - the gorgeous colour of pink matched with some fuscia jeans I had at the time (I still have them, but they are pre-pregnancy sizing!) and I chose that piece as I thought it would match perfectly with the jeans (unfortunately you didn't win the piece you chose as well!). 

Anyway I made my choice, entered my details on Avril's blog and then promptly forgot all about it. Until I got an email and a tweet from the lovely Avril saying I had won! I actually couldn't believe it. I hadn't won some naff bubble bath on a tombola, I had won a fairly expensive bracelet! It made my day, my week in fact. 

So I thought I should show you the piece and encourage you all to take a look at Stella and Dot's website as the A/W 2012 should be just as fabulous as the Summer collection. Also, whilst you're at it, please take some time to go and visit Avril at School Gate Style - I love her collection of affordable fashion and she also runs some excellent competitions! 


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Nails of the month

I have never ever liked false nails. I've seen lots on other people and also tried ones on myself; but they never looked right. They didn't seem to fit the size of my nails properly and they always looked, well, false!

I remember one Christmas I made the terrible mistake of getting false gel nails the day before Christmas Eve. I went to a really reputable and popular salon so I thought I would end up with lovely, shiny, new nails for Christmas. Did that happen? No. They looked horrendous, false, too long, not wide enough and generally awful. I hated them from the moment they went on until the moment, sometime late on boxing day, when I finally hacked them off (Yes I am aware that is not the way to get gel nails off).

So, false nails and myself have never really get on. Until I saw Broadway Impress false nails on someones blog (albeit they were in neon pink) and they looked really good. I googled them and a few other blogs came up with people showing off the various patterns you can get. So I decided to give them a go.

Now I don't think they are all that cheap for falsies (£8.99) and I was still skeptical as to whether I would like them, but everyone had such good things to say about them so I went along to Boots and got some.

Again, on taking them out of the packaging (which is a nail varnish shaped bottle by the way) I was still skeptical. But, I have to say I was more than a bit impressed. They were so easy to put on. I laid them all out in size order for my nails (and it says leave your thumb until last!) and all you do is peel off the sticky tab at the back and put them on your nails pressing down hard for a few seconds. So easy and so quick; no messy glue to contend with.

This sticky bit that held them in place didn't look like it was up to the job but I managed to keep them on for just over a week (before I got bored) and they didn't ping off or chip or anything! Very impressive from false nails. I really liked the pattern I went for and lots of people commented on how nice they were and how they didn't look like false nails at all! So, all in all, I would thoroughly recommend Broadway Impress nails!

Boots and Superdrug have a variety of different pattens for about £8.99.

What do you think?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

17 Weeks

Hello readers

If you have found me from my old site, thank you so so much! The fact that you have taken the trouble makes me happy! If you have just happened to across this blog then welcome!

I took a long break from blogging over the Summer. I wanted to think about if I still wanted to do this and it turns out I do, but I want it to be more fun and not writing things because that's what I think people expect. So this is a new blog and a new start. 

I've nearly posted this quite a few times now, but, even though I didn't think I was superstitious, it turns out I am! Or I am to some extent. Today marks the 17th week of my pregnancy with my first baby. 

The road to getting pregnant wasn't as easy as I had been led to believe! It was approaching nearly 12 months and we decided to stop thinking about and just get on with life and then it happens! It's a bit cliched I'm afraid, but that's really what happened. So it was a shock and a surprise but in a fantastically good way. So ever since I saw those double lines on the that stick I have lived in fear of something going wrong. At first I worried about early miscarriage; but we had an early scan at 8 weeks (due to me thinking I was further on than I thought!), then I worried that there would be nothing there at the 12 week scan (there was, photo above as proof!) and then I stopped worrying for a week or so... Then a dog jumped up at me and I worried something bad might happen. Then I worried when I fell over (not even landing on my belly) and now I suppose I am worried what the 20 week anomoly scan will show. But this worry is different, I think it's the normal worry a Mum feels about her child. The kind of worry, that, I guess, I am going to have to get used to! 

So above is little baby bean. We are going to find out in a few weeks whether we are having a girl or boy bean and then the planning will really start! 

So I am back (albeit in a different blog) and I intend to stick around to bore you all with pregnancy diaries, nail varnishes I have found, cakes I have made and general inane chat about our life whilst we wait for baby bean to arrive in March. 

mummystarting out