Bébé Updates: Hazel’s First Christmas

Posted in Pregnancy and Baby.

Hello there! Six weeks in to this baby rearing lark and I finally have the headspace (well, just about) for a blog post. And on Christmas Eve, too! It’s a festive miracle.

6 week baby update

Hazel Rey is six weeks old today. After a rocky start with breastfeeding, she’s now thriving away at over 8lb and has just started smiling. Watching her grow is an absolute joy; a feeling unlike any other.

I have lots to share about her arrival into the world and the difficult two weeks that followed, but I’ll save that for another post. For now, let me mark the start of my Bébé Updates with warmest Christmas wishes for you and yours, however and wherever you’re celebrating.

Here’s to a happy, healthy 2017 – Hazel and I will see you on the other side! <3

Preggo Updates – 38 Weeks

Posted in Pregnancy and Baby.

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Well, that’s a turn-up for the books!

38 weeks pregnant looks markedly different from 37 weeks, mainly because it includes a baby. An actual baby!

Hazel Rey Allison was born at 9.39am on Saturday 12th November 2016 at Leeds General Infirmary. I’ll post the full birth story in due course – it wasn’t quite what I’d planned but all is well and Hazel is an absolute angel.

We’re still in hospital at the moment, just getting to grips with breastfeeding (me and her) and generally learning the ropes. The midwives are outstanding and although we’re all excited to go home, it’s quite nice to be taken care of for a bit rather than thrown back out into the world with a tiny human to care for.

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Needless to say, Baby A (haven’t quite shaken the habit of calling her that!) is an absolute dream. Again, further updates to come but so far she’s super chilled and laid back like her dad with blonde hair and an independent spirit like her mum. Mega love.

Hopefully we’ll be home soon and I’ll try keep the regular updates coming. Thank you all so much for your kind words on Twitter and Instagram – we are so happy it’s quite disgusting.

<3 x

10 Things You Learn During Late Pregnancy

Posted in Pregnancy and Baby.

At 38 and a half weeks I’m firmly into late pregnancy and to be perfectly honest, it sucks. With the possibility of another 3.5 weeks to go (please don’t be overdue, Baby A!) and no signs of an imminent labour, I thought I’d write a little post on all the things I’ve learnt during these last few weeks. Warning: it’s a bit of a pity party…

  1. Stretch mark products are a great big sham. If you’re gonna get stretch marks, you’re gonna get ’em and no amount of expensive Weleda oil will change that. Buy yourself a new lipstick instead.
  2. Rather than a soft and cosy place of rest, your bed will become the scene of a nightly torture that includes toilet trips every hour, burning acid reflux and achy joints. But don’t forget to ‘enjoy your sleep while you can!’ *eye roll*
  3. You’ll need to add at least 20 minutes extra time to anything you do, because you’re slow and cumbersome and even just putting on socks is a monumental effort.
  4. Belly buttons come in more than two forms – as well as the classic innie and outie, there’s also a special pregnancy version that’s entirely flat and totally gross.
  5. The smallest inconveniences seem like targeted and deliberate personal attacks. Like the batteries in the TV remote running out during your Gilmore Girls marathon or the corner shop inexplicably having no chilled cans of Diet Coke.
10 things you learn in late pregnancy

6. Despite knowing full-well that symptom Googling is always A Bad Idea, every twitch and twinge has you frantically tapping in ‘am I in labour??!!’ even though the culprit is most likely that Double Cheeseburger you had for pre-dinner.

7. Pre-lunch and pre-dinner are acceptable and necessary for survival. Fruit and vegetables should feature in neither.

8. Every piece of ‘friendly advice’ you receive from here on out will make you irrationally angry because absolutely no one understands what you’re going through, even if they do have five kids.

9. You miss work. Honestly.

10. Even though you’re lugging around what feels like a beachball filled with wet sand, even though your intestines are squashed up somewhere near your lungs and even though you can’t make it through The One Show without falling asleep, you know there’s not long to go now… and actually, that’s quite scary. Maybe this baby could stay in a bit longer after all?

Maternity Clothing – What To Wear When Pregnant Part 2

Posted in Fashion, Pregnancy and Baby.

I’m almost done with pregnancy – I’m just 13 days off that 40 week target, and although Baby A could technically stay in hibernation for another four weeks (please god no I beg), she’s done all her growing and is ready for the world. And I am extremely ready to be not-pregnant.

third trimester maternity clothing

So before the bump disappears and I make my move into parenthood – namely, dressing my daughter in the most beautiful outfits while performing the sniff test on a laundry basket t-shirt for myself – I’m following up my maternity clothing post with a part two. Let’s call this the Heavily Pregnant Version!

The latter part of my pregnancy has been way harder to dress for than the first, for two reasons – the first being a frankly massive bump that requires specialist items, the second being a change in season that deems sundresses and bare legs inappropriate. I’ve bought fewer maternity-specific pieces because it seems like a waste with just weeks rather than months left to wear them, and winter maternity wear is so much more expensive than summer stuff.

So, I decided to invest in a few key items and try make my regular winter wardrobe work alongside them. I’m avoiding my favourite knits for fear of stretching them out but I’ve found cropped jumpers work really well with high-wasted maternity pieces like this Topshop Maternity tube skirt, which was only £20 and is super comfy. Jumper dresses have been another win – this cashmere one from ASOS is a fave and I wear it with maternity tights (New Look’s are good!) as well as over leggings or jeans.

Layering up my lightweight dresses has been successful, too – this Topshop dress is from the regular range and is so roomy I didn’t even need to size up. Worn over a polo neck jumper with tights and ankle boots, it’s cosy enough for chilly days.

topshop asos maternity clothing

Cardigans have been a real staple of my late pregnancy wardrobe – worn open, they’ll accommodate any size bump and add a warm layer to tops and dresses. And there’s absolutely no need to buy maternity-specific cardigans – just choose a bigger size if you want to be able to button up and then you can wear it post-pregnancy, too.

Although I didn’t want to buy lots of winter maternity wear, I do love to shop and autumn/winter is my favourite season, so I’ve tried to buy pieces that will work for now and afterwards. Cos has been particularly good for this – their clothing is cut wide and loose, meaning it covers my bump now but will also look oversized and chic when the bump is gone. I love this wool cardigan and this printed shirt. I’ve also considered the ability to breastfeed with everything I’ve bought recently (a maxi-length, polo neck jumper dress was quickly returned when I realised it was literally the most impractical breastfeeding outfit ever), but I’ll write another post about that when/if I actually experience it.

I did decide on a few maternity things to see me through the colder months – proper jeans became so uncomfortable for me after about 30 weeks, so I gave in to jeggings and bought these from M&S and these from New Look (both super comfy and easy to wear, plus they don’t fall down) as well as this cute sweater also from M&S, which has been great for those ‘pull-on-and-go’ outfits.

what to wear 8 months pregnant

As well as cardigans, long-line tunic tops and baggy shirts from my pre-pregnancy wardrobe have really worked with a growing bump, and anything can be made cold weather-appropriate with a polo neck or a Uniqlo Heattech top underneath. I also caved to the pregnant lady cliché and bought some dungarees – this cord pair from ASOS Maternity are SO comfortable; I adore them.

There are two things I’ve managed to avoid so far and I’m hoping I crack on with this labour thing before they’re needed – outerwear and footwear. Until today (hello, snow!) it hasn’t been cold enough for a proper coat so I’ve been getting away with wearing my jackets open, and in the last few days my favourite Jaeger blanket coat (similar to this) with a thick scarf. My feet haven’t swollen at all during pregnancy – although I suppose there’s still time – but I know that happens to lots of women and might mean your regular winter boots no longer fit. Luckily my only problem in this area is I can no longer bend down to tie my laces, so I’ve been sticking to slip-on boots or roping in Rob to help.

So as I quickly approach the last few weeks of pregnancy, comfort is definitely winning over style and most days I just keep it casual in leggings and a jumper. Being on maternity leave means I’m not out and about as much but on those days I do face the world, it’s nice to have a few outfit options that make me feel like my old self and not quite so much like a baby vessel.

Hopefully these recommendations will help you build your own late pregnancy wardrobe – if you have any top tips, share them in the comments and link me to your maternity style posts. I’d love to see how you’re dressing your bump!

Preggo Updates – 37 Weeks

Posted in Pregnancy and Baby.

Here we are again – another week has flown by. Baby A is now considered ‘full term’ which means she’s fully cooked and could arrive safely at any time – waaahhh! So, let’s dive right in to this week’s updates.

maternity style 37 weeks third trimester

Top, ASOS | Jeans, New Look | Cardigan, Cos | Coat, ASOS | Scarf, & Other Stories | Bag, Kanken | Trainers, Vans

As the countdown draws ever closer to Baby Day, I’m finding pregnancy more and more of a struggle. I’ve been so fortunate to have such a straightforward time and for the majority of these 8.5 months, I’ve really loved being pregnant. But my god, this last bit SUCKS. I can’t sleep, everything aches, I can only waddle short distances… I can’t even put my own shoes on, for goodness sake.

I’m staying positive but every now and then, I allow myself a little pity party. I’m beyond excited to meet my baby girl and I’m so happy she’s thriving away in there, but I can’t wait to feel normal again. I can’t wait to wear regular jeans and my favourite winter knits. Can’t wait to walk up a moderate hill without stopping for breath. Can’t wait to eat some delicious goats cheese, tbh. It sounds selfish and so shallow, but pregnancy is a long old slog even when things are going well. I genuinely think I’m looking forward to labour!

velveteen babies cot mobile

Cot mobile, Velveteen Babies | Cushion, Nikki McWilliams | Knitted rabbit, Sootie Limetree

After feeling a bit weird last night and this morning, I popped up to Maternity Assessment at my hospital to be monitored for a while. Turns out all is well and I just have a UTI – fun! Baby A is absolutely loving life and was described as ‘perfect’ and ‘very happy’, which made me glow with pride (and she’s not even born yet). As always, the midwives were amazing – so reassuring and helpful. Nothing was too much trouble and I didn’t feel at all silly being hooked up to a monitor for a spot of cystitis.

I was prompted to go and get checked out after seeing this Insta post by @mother_of_daughters earlier in the week. It’s so, so important to trust your instincts when it comes to reduced movements – if something feels wrong, go get it checked. It’s probably nothing at all but it’s vital to know for sure, and midwives will monitor you until you feel reassured that all is well. I’ve found movement monitoring one of the more stressful parts of pregnancy, but Tommy’s was a great resource to me early on and their new #MovementsMatter campaign is brilliant at explaining exactly how you can understand your baby’s movement pattern. The website has loads of great tips too, and it’s really worth reading through to debunk the myths surrounding fetal movement.

After a week full of emotional ups and downs, hearing Baby A’s heartbeat just thumping away was such a boost and has me feeling much more positive. I know she’ll come when she’s ready, and I’ve just got to keep up my end of the bargain for a little bit longer. Just not too much longer, ok baby girl? <3