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Welcome

Welcome to my blog.

I’m laura, 29 who is currently 14 weeks pregnant. I bet you are thinking oh boy here we go again. She is gunna harp on about how wonderful pregnancy is. Well that is not what this is for. Actually it sucks! Most of the time!
I want to give an honest recollection of how pregnancy is and the not so wonderful side to it that many people may not tell you about! Also I want to discuss many issues that surround pregnancy that I have found over the last few weeks. 
I can’t lie. It has been a roller coaster of emotions, hormones and utter hell at times. From constant vomiting to eating everything in sight, not eating at all and becoming a walking/talking pharmacy. 
I also would love people to share their experiences too! As this is my first pregnancy I am happy to receive any wisdom and knowledge that people have.
So please enjoy the blog and I look forward to reading your comments

Laura x

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Still … waiting…

Hey laura here!

So today I saw the midwife. Who like me is surprised that I’m still pregnant. At 39 weeks I will be honest I am a little bit fed up. I mean three is only so much Day time tv one person can handle. Luckily I have no interest in Jeremy Kyle. But even homes under the hammer had taken its toll!

I’m waiting patiently. Very patiently I might add!

The best question I have been asked this week mind .. wait for it..

Why are you so tired?

Why am I so tired? I’m not sure but I think this may have something to do with carrying a small human in my uterus. You know the same thing that weighs the same as a banana, Apple, regular pear, a bottle of 3 litre coke, a tiny human … all sitting there.. on my pelvic floor. (Antenatal class was cool!)

This stage of pregnancy has become a viscous cycle. Cleaning …. sleeping and repeat several times until bed time. I’m exhausted.. all of the time. Whereas before I couldn’t sleep at night. I could literally sleep through an atomic bomb at the moment. I’m awake for almost an hour after getting out of bed and then before you know it I’m sleeping on the sofa.

Do you know what? I don’t even feel guilty at all! I am resting!!! And it’s great. Clearly I have become a slave to my own body and I have to listen to it. Which by the way is the best and most amazing advise I have ever received!

And food! I love food again! (Again clearly in preparation mode for the main event)

Also I would like to point out that at this stage I do not want to encourage labour. Some people have given lots of recommendations to induce labour. Sex, hot curry, walking etc etc. Yep they are wives tales and equally not recommended at all. The reason being is that “these natural ways of inducing labour” can actually cause more issues down the line and can increase the risk of needing a c-section. (Yeah that doesn’t sound like something I want or need).

So yeah fed up but not desperate! Honestly think that the fed upness comes from sitting away from work almost 6 weeks. Facebook and social media doesn’t help either. I mean come on looking at cute pictures of friends babies that come up (when they were due after me) is a little bit like argh! Social media had been turned off for this reason..

but baby is happy in there. Snug warm and safe!

If nothing happens by next Wednesday we will have a sweep..

I will keep you all posted!

Laura

Things to make life a little bit more … bearable!

Hey laura here!

So today I have reached the 38 weeks pregnant milestone! No there is not a sign of any appearance from baby and yes my uterus is still irritable!

But I wanted to share with you the better parts of pregnancy. The items and people who have helped shaped the whole thing. Because let’s face it, this has not been a pleasant experience by any stretch of the imagination but at least there have been some pros to al of this.

So here goes…

Good books

I was advised very early on in my pregnancy not to become inundated by excess amounts of parenting books, websites, forums .. mums speaking from experience, not to mention the constant guidance from local authorities and leaflets. I’m sorry but in every single one piece of “information” and it doesn’t tell you when or how to wash a baby. I know this may seem like a basic thing to everyone but I’m sat here like how the hell do I even do that!?

What do I do if my baby doesn’t want to breastfeed like the leaflet tells me I have to do?

How do we get into a routine like every other parent on the planet? How is this possible when I don’t have my own routine?

So after reading the online reviews (thank you amazon users) I bought Holly Willoughbys Truly happy baby. Boy I’m glad I did. Because, not only does it offer practical advice but also an element of voice of reason. It basically tells you what you already know. Each child and baby is different! Well who’d thought that eh?

I didn’t buy any other books! I certainly didn’t need to. It has given me reassurance that we will make it work some how and I can’t express my sincere gratitude for making a practical guide that is easy to follow.

Another of my favourite books is.. Hurrah for gin! By the lovely Katie Kirby. If you haven’t read it.. I throughly recommend it! This was a Christmas present. It has probably saved my life! Whilst Holly’s book offers good guidance, Katie’s book offers so much more. It doesn’t tell you what you should or shouldn’t be doing. It tells you the ups and downs of parenting. It guides you through the next stages of having a child without a set routine of worry!

This book had saved my life because it’s written by a parent for parents who quite frankly like me do not have a bloody clue what they are doing! That children don’t have a designated manual to follow, they are their own tiny individual human selves and for Katie to make me see that.. then she has saved my life. Because up until I read her book I worried that I was going to get it so wrong. You know because people tell you that.. they actually do. They actually think that you won’t cope and need help… yes this was said to me!

Firstly let me pop out the baby… maybe then you can judge me

And secondly I’m gunna try my hardest!

alcohol free drinks. This may seem like the most ridiculous thing ever but have you ever been out in a bar, sober around Christmas time.. heavily pregnant? Yeah people still don’t get that last part. And becomes a complete mystery when they ask you if you would like a drink.

“Yeah sure I will have a coke…”

“Oh yeah your pregnant and boring” that’s when they bugger off to the bar laughing!

Ha ha ha! Yeah super funny! Actually the current guidelines recommend that all pregnant ladies are to avoid alcohol of any level at any stage of pregnancy! Yep! All of it! Gone are the days when women were advised to drink Guinness “to bring up their iron levels.” Now it’s nothing!

(It’s at this point I would like you to google iron contain in Guinness… because I guess you would need quite a few pints a day to raise your iron levels… just saying).

So as well as trying to follow the guidance and be on my best behaviour I’m trying to give my child the best start in life. So that makes me boring .. so be it! However, some bright spark came up with a different type of alcohol free drinks.. that surprise surprise look like alcoholic drinks! Oh dear lord thank you!

First example.. the elderflower and green tea sparkling white that is available in Morrisons. Comes in a wine looking green bottle! Tastes delicious.. looks the part but it’s … drum roll…….

Alcohol free! Hallelujah!and about £2.50 in price! Epic!

If that wasn’t enough some equally bright spark at Heineken has produced a ZERO per cent beer! That is now being sold across bars and restaurants. So guess what you can look like your getting absolutely smashed but you aren’t doing anything at all! It even has a nice big zero written on the front so people can actually see you aren’t trying to harm your child. When they do that whole double take bump.. beer..bump.. zero.. ohhhhhhh thing! Excellent!

Equally it’s good for your bank balance as most places charge between £1.25-£1.50 for one. Tastes just as good as the real thing and is also perfect for the teetotaller or designated drivers! Amazing!

Steam mop…if you don’t have one.. invest! That’s all I can say on the matter really!

Gym ball. So over the last few weeks, I have literally been sat on my gym ball. Some would say it’s to coax the baby out.. and this is partly true. However it is the most comfortable item in my house. Overriding the couch and my bed by a long shot. I don’t know what magic powers it seems to have but it has been a god send!

Yes it takes up a lot of space. It when you can’t get comfortable at four am, then you sit on that ball! It takes so much pressure from your lower back and bump. Especially like me that the uterus has its own mind. I can’t praise it enough!

Do your research first! I can tell you now.. there is not a little bit of difference between a birthing ball and a gym ball.

Nothing! Absolutely NOTHING! They are made from the same material! They do the same job! The only difference is the price.

Birthing ball £30!

Normal gym ball £6.99…you can thank me later! Do not give in to temptation and buy it because it says “birthing” come on I know you are smarter than that!

Now that’s the “items” covered I can move onto people!

So I’m not going to list individuals to say thank you to but more give homage to the category they fit into. So here goes ..

Home delivery

Yes this may seem increasingly and incredibly lazy. But I have saved a fortune. I’m not distracted by things I could purchase. I have a set list. I press the list. And 3 hours later it’s in my fridge! Who doesn’t like that idea! On a practical note it actually saves me from going to the supermarket where I can not either get into a parent and toddler bay or I can not get out of the parking space because some idiot parks up next me. So it saves a lot of time! Thank heavens!

Bio oil… yeah I’m not sure how much this actually helps but subconsciously it has worked in my brain. The reality is I’m probably very lucky that my stomach has very stretch marks… and more will come out after the baby is here.. but if bio oil wants to take the credit then be my guest. Plus it’s really nice to just rub into your skin twice a day 🙂

Mummy friends. I know earlier (i this exact same blog post) I wrote “mums that speak from experience” this was not an attempt to display any sort of dislike for this group of friends. In fact I am very grateful for every bit of advice I have had from them so far. Because my friends with children are the ones who have been invaluable. I have watched for years as my mummy friends have gone on and had children, raised them.. handed them over to me as the single outcast so they can go and Drink a hot cup of coffee. I will be honest I never really understood it. But actually you can’t really until another life form takes hold of you and makes you into a weirdo…

But my god when you think at 2am that your losing your mind with pregnancy worries I have messaged them and they they have done their best to support me! And kept me sane! I don’t know where I would be without them!

My friends without children!

Are fucking awesome! If it wasn’t for them and their current adventures I don’t know what I would do! The best thing they have done in the last few weeks and months is talk to me about anything else other than pregnancy. About how their partner is a complete dick. How dating sucks! Do you know how much right now I miss just talking about normal stuff. Because as soon as you find out you are pregnant people don’t see past this at all! You are just a baby making machine and to hell with the individual actually making it.

Thank you to this group of wonderful people! I’m just sorry I’m not feeling too great to meet you all for coffee but just the invite alone means the world to me! Or just texting me to tell how Work is! Yes! I have used my brain for more than thinking about my next load of washing!

Equally this group of people currently has me distracted by wedding planning, Pinterest, love stories and a life of excitement!

People with a god damn sense of humour!

If you don’t have one just leave! I mean if people ask you do you know what your having…

and don’t find your response of “a baby” funny. They need to leave!

But when people just get that you may have sat on that chair at work, similar to the one the other 999 people have… and they laugh at the response of I hope it’s not plastic with wheels! Then they are should be kept close to you at all times! Because my god… they too are funny people!

Family… what can I say.. you have one family don’t lose them.

Hubby. Is amazing! Although he takes the piss out of me all the time. He is excellent! Incredibly excited and partly a bit nervous too! Thanks hubby!

Off to bounce around the living room on my ball!

Laura

Xxx

Mother Nature is a bitch sometimes…

Hey! Laura here!

Do last week we were directed to the local triage at maternity. For seemingly what was the start of labour. After a routine examination we were found to only be 0.5cm dilated and no movement. On our midwives advise we came home. Disappointed not to have the wee bundle of joy in our arms.

It wasn’t labour. In fact it was an irritable uterus. Wow! Oh how Mother Nature is a bitch. Because for all intense and purpose that was horrid! 5 whole days of regular, timed to the second tightening around the top of bump. Pressure sensation like the start of a period. Even my midwife was convinced it was labour.

No! No it wasn’t. After those five days my tummy muscles are in bits. You see my body decided to think it was actively trying to push out a baby. When in actual fact it really wasn’t.

I hope Mother Nature is laughing… because I am seriously not!

Since of course, I have been through the motions. I’m exhausted. My muscles are now recovering from what can be the biggest deception ever. The top of bump is terribly uncomfortable and lying on my side is currently not an option. The pain is bearable but feeling like someone is physically squishing my muscle is not a great feeling! Well done body. Yet I still have the odd tightening with a sensation to my lower pelvis. Completely irregular in sensation. Often only coming in the night and on the odd occasions during the day. Again same feeling as last week! Ffs!

If one more person tells me this stage of pregnancy is the most relaxing.. they will be sworn at!

So what is an irritable uterus?

Well apart from having the sensation of being in labour, these are also signs to look out for..

Unlike Braxton hicks, they are painful. They don’t often go away with rest or hydration and mimic the signs of early labour. They Last anywhere between 30-70 seconds. Get stronger as time goes on. Generally it’s not harmful to you or baby, but before 37 weeks (full term) please speak to your midwife. As approximately 18 per cent of woman can experience pre term labour as a result of an irritable uterus. Even if you are full term it’s always best to get checked out with the same symptoms (midwife recommended advise) because the two are so bloody similar!

So what did I do differently to make this ease…

Not a lot. I gave my body pain relief (yes paracetamol.. I’m a nurse. It’s my first choice of drug. Yes even if your finger has fallen off. Paracetamol first please)

I listened to my body. When I felt tired. I have slept. I have drank and drank and drank water like there’s going to be a drought. I have stopped drinking caffeinated drinks. Yes this includes my one cup of decaf tea a day. Yes it’s boring but hey! I’m free of pain currently. I eat when I’m hungry and i currently eating a lot of fruit.

I’m walking.. everywhere. That’s right today me and bump did just under 5 miles in 2 hours. I am very tired. But it’s all good and bump appears to like it too.

I have cleaned.. continuously. As per my previous post have never had the desire to clean every thing but if that’s all I subconsciously want to do then boy am I following the urge.

Most importantly. I am resting! Some incredible yet the best advice anyone can give is to sit and do nothing. Wether it be from my new found love of sudoku, reading magazines, books or playing on the husbands PS4 whilst he is at work! Yes this the most amazing thing ever!

I’m sorry but I don’t feel guilty. Not one little bit. I need to focus on the actual event at hand. I am tired a lot of the time, but I need to use this time to make my body work for me when I need it to! Well quite frankly if that involves playing the PS4 then so be it!

Equally… Mother Nature decided to help out a little by introducing piles. Do you know how uncomfortable those little beggars are! Jesus! It feels like a grapefruit has been wedged between my butt cheeks. So unfortunately this also adds to the aches and pains and I just want to chill out!

On a related… pile cream is a medication. You must ask the pharmacist before applying any old crap up there. If your lucky like me, they will recommend said cream but not give it until I have seen the doctor. This has happened twice now today. So let’s just say I took both of their advise and bought the same thing from a well known beauty store instead. I did not want to waste a doctors appointment for the common pile. Thank you very much! For Christ sake I’m not dying!

Sorry peeps this is yet another reason You will just have to function without me for a short while.

Mother Nature! Is a bitch!

Equally sorry to my friends and family who are waiting by the telephone. Yup when I know something you will know. But I can’t will the baby out any faster. I wish I could but since it’s having a whale of a time in its only luxurious spa facility I’m not going to do anything at all. Plus we aren’t actually due for another 3 weeks. So hold onto your hats it’s gunna be a long journey ahead!

Love laura xx

Nesting is like nothing else known to man!

Hey! Laura here!

So when you first become pregnant people will briefly mention this hing called “nesting.” Oh how many people have laughed and joked around.

“If your tired now wait until you begin nesting”

“That’s the 3rd time today you’ve cleaned that desk, you must be nesting”

Now let me be honest with you, cleaning has never really been my specialty. Working shifts is exhausting and the last thing I want to do is one wake up the sleeping other half (also on shifts, normally opposite to me) or two go any form of cleaning. So my house is tidy, but it’s also lived in. As long as the kitchen is clean and the living room is ok looking for when people pop by then that’s fine by me.

That was until I started nesting. Not cleaning… oh no no no no! Nesting is a sport all of its own accord!

So it all began 2 weeks ago… picture this.

Heavily pregnant at 34 weeks in my pjs and slippers, trying to remove the tiniest of stain from the floor. Like on my hands and knees actually scrubbing a stain the size of a 1p (which apparently required an entire bucket of water). When I notice the underside of the dinning table. This is not an element of my day I was delighted with. But it’s there now, it’s engraved onto my brain. There was some stains underneath.

Question? How? How the hell did tomato sauce get underneath the bloody table?

This is a mystery that shall never ever be solved but this is how it began. Nesting! Because then I couldn’t un-spot these things! After a good 20 minutes thinking I’ve actually lost the plot, I began to clean, scrub and wipe away dirt from every aspect of that kitchen. That apparently had never ever been an issue before.

If I wasn’t on the floor I wouldn’t have noticed the marks on the table, that wouldn’t have led me to find marks on everything. Don’t even get me started on the skirting boards! Why in God’s name do I find myself cleaning these three times a week now! Because that’s it I’ve seen it I can’t undo it.

You can’t just wipe down a side of the kitchen and call it quits. Hell no! You have to take everything apart! You start at the top of the kitchen and work your way down. I’m not joking! The inside of my kitchen cupboards are beyond amazing! The groove under the kitchen counter, scrubbed with a toothbrush! Inside the washing machine door and pull out draw practically dismantled and scrubbed!

And it doesn’t stop there!

Oh no! It really doesn’t!

I even bought a steam mop and it’s probably the best thing I own!

Who knew, that at the ripe old age of 29, my steam mop would become my prize possessions? It’s honestly great! The floors look amazing and it even does carpets! Yes carpets! It is awesome! My house looks like someone else lives here. Hubby must think he’s walked into the wrong house most of the time.

But This can’t be normal right? I mean who in their right mind would literally empty their wardrobe and place it all back together. Just to straighten out the clothes, nesting in mind they are now sized and in colour order is beyond the point really. Even today, I’m in agony, patiently waiting for my waters to go and all I want to do is clean. Although I have compromised heavily with my body; 20 minutes of cleaning followed by a nap slash lie down. This one felt ridiculous when I realised I was actually talking to my body out loud!

However today is the first time since moving into our house a year ago that I have noticed that dust catches on the door pattern. I can’t un see that! It’s on every door! Why have I never seen this before? Oh dear lord. So my supposed nap time is being taken over by thoughts of what to clean the doors with.

Part of me hopes that I am able to continue with this into motherhood, but the other half of me is like for goodness sake just sit the hell down already!

If like me you are nesting! Then boy do I feel you.. if your in the early stages of pregnancy I promise you will know what this is later on. It just comes out of no where and no one can prepare you for the sensation to want to clean. To want to put the washing on at 4am or clean the skirting boards. For some reason it just happens, according to the mother in law just before labour 😳 but like all things this may even be an old wives tale. I may just be bored lol!

Take care

Laura xx

I just don’t know what to do with myself….

There’s a song in there somewhere..

Hi! Laura here!

So I don’t know what to do with myself. I’m literally walking around the house, lost and bewildered. Like a small rabbit in headlights.

Last night I managed almost 4 hours sleep intermittently. Only to wake up feeling worse than I did before bed time!

The pain has never left and has never gotten any better. Hence the need to walk around the house like a little lost soul! Paracetamol is ok, but if I’m honest I may as well have sucked on a haribo for the good they are doing. I’m taking them as advised and yet I would probably rate the pain as a good old 6/10.. with the odd occasional 9 for good measure!

My poor vagina equally feels like it’s on tender hooks.. is it happening… something’s happening.. no nothing.. at this stage it’s just sad and feeling a little like a spare part. Don’t worry young lady you are doing a great job! Just hang in there!!

Yes I’m talking to my vagina! If anything just to give myself some reassurance that I’m doing great..

on the plus side the baby is wiggling away! Kicking like crazy.. and is approximately a few inches away from freedom.. once the cervix has opened a little further!

On that note, I believe a warm bath and a film may help ease the tension before once again getting myself dressed to go to attempt to sleep.

Fuck it! May even blow dry my hair !

Limbo! It’s not a great place to be in!

Laura xx

Happy new … contractions!

Hi laura here!

So it’s 2018. A wonderful and amazing start to a great new year and adventure for us all.

My new year’s started like any other. Curled up on the sofa with achy groin and upper bump pain (otherwise known as fundus- the upper part of the bump). I slept like a log continuously for hours and hours despite having a full blown 13 hours the night before. Which I’m sure my other half was happy about as he got to venture a game or two thousand of Star Wars battle front 2. Without interruptions I might add.

The pain was short lasting, a few seconds at a time with only mild discomfort through the day. Very irregular in nature and on timing only appeared to be once every 30-40 mins. That was until approximately 9pm. I began with an almighty pressure type feeling ali g the top of bump, and in my groin. The pain had intensified and had increased to approximately once every 5 to 10 mins. Needless to say I was shitting a brick! At 35 weeks plus 4 this baby is not yet ready to come out! No way! After leaving it all day I did come to the conclusion that a phone call to the midwife was a sensible thing and after a brief conversation on the triage line was advised to come in.

Routine monitoring had found that I had begun early contractions with no dilation. Advised to go home and rest up. Baby is happy in the womb home and moving around without a care in the world. Excellent! Unfortunately this many missing the amazing firework display at Looe, cornwall! Oh man! But we are safe and sound. I was advised to come back when contractions are between 2-4 mins apart, increase on pain and if my waters break.

So for the last four days I have timed these contractions. Ranging from 15 mins apart to 5 mins apart. Yesterday they were barely there.

Today however was a totally different ball game! I haven’t slept! I am exhausted! The pain had been unbearable for a good 18 hours. Increased sharp pain to the top of bump, whilst at the same time a massive period sensation to my lower groin. Almost similar to the sensation you get before a large period! But times that by 100! Cramp! Pressure and any minute now I feel like I could actually pop! I know something is coming.

The pains increased to strong from moderate, with a tight band across the fundus. You guessed it once every 2-4 mins. Lasting on some cases for almost 2 mins. Boy it’s sore! It’s painful! I’m uncomfortable and my poor vagina, is well exhausted too. You see every time the pain occurs at the top of the bump as does the pressure to the cervix. Poor vagina!

After a short trip to the community midwife for a check up I’m back at maternity triage. Apparently I’m in labour and at this stage I don’t care that it’s early I just feel slight relive that the pain may go!

The pains haven’t subsided.. I’m still in exactly the same boat as I was earlier. Apart from now I’m growing tired! I can’t settle! My tummy tightens every time and I cry!

I cry because it hurts! I’m crying because we rushed for almost 30 mins to get to the hospital to be told to sit in a waiting area. I can’t sit! I cry because the expectations of health care providers and receivers are completely different throughout the same bloody journey! An hour we waited to be seen. I get they are busy but now I’m exhausted. We’ve been doing this for hours! Over the last 4 days! This is exactly what we have been doing for 4 WHOLE DAYS!

I’m equally divided by pain relief. I can’t take codeine, oramorph and diamorph since my gall bladder removal 3 years ago. So I’m limited. I take the paracetamol offered but I’ve been taking this for days with no relief! What do I do?

Internal examination I cry some more because the pressure is getting worse, as my abdomen tightens again and again. I’m in agony but feel the upmost disappointment when we aren’t even 1cm dilated. I begin to cry again. The emotional stress has gotten to much! The pain is too much and all I can do is cry uncontrollably. That I cant even stop the tears. I’m sad! Not because the baby isn’t here but because I can’t do anymore than my body will let me do.

After a long agonising wait and review by the team I’m now at home. Waiting to be more dilated than .5cm, whilst apparently having an irritated uterus. Waiting patiently for the pain to become unbearable! Waiting patiently for my waters to break.. even though there’s a chance they may not go at all naturally. Waiting confused by what I’m meant to do and the guidance they offer.

And I’m torn between my mum to bed self and my health care professional head. I don’t want to keep going to the hospital, but at the same time my body is changing. I know I’ve never had a child before. And the look on The doctors face when I told her I was having a contraction, painted a thousand words. No I have never had a baby before but I can tell you know I’m listening to my body. I am listening to it telling me something is happening. So yes I may not have a text book pregnancy currently and I know I have nothing to go on but I am telling you! I am in pain! I’m exhausted and I’m scared.

Whilst at the same time I just don’t want to be seen as the patient who wastes time. Who every boggle is there. I assure you.. I do not want to be this person.

I just want to be comfortable.

So it’s easy to say that 2018 has not started out too great! I’m riding the waves and hopefully this baby will be here soon.. until then I’m gunna try and rest, drink plenty of fluids and shout the pain away if needs be.

Lady’s with contractions I salute you

Laura xx

A little mental note..

Hi laura here!

Some of you may not approve of the title of this blog because for some reason it may not be “politically correct.” But please bear with there is a point!

Before I became pregnant I had a pretty crappy time with my mental health. A terrible case at work had left me with an increased depression and anxiety. After a short time, this festered way beyond my control and actually left me so low I was in a very dark place. It wasn’t enjoyable and at the time I started feeling that there was no way out. Yet after months of hard work, counselling and openness I feel like I can take on any challenge. Especially having a new born.

I share this with you because mental health is an important aspect of every day life. Not just for pregnant ladies but for everyone. As the world becomes a little more switched on to the subject, it’s becoming clear that something needs to be done to help those in need. Equally this is an aspect of my own health that is important to me.

Whilst pregnancy has given me a new lease of life (quite literally), I worry about how I am going to cope with my own stresses and problems when the baby is here. Yes I am lucky to have a very close family and wonderful husband but I don’t want to make that same mistake by not sharing my feelings early on. Therefore it has become a regular feature in our household to ask questions to share worries and openly talk to everyone about concerns.

Yes this may seem stupid to some people but actually it has helped a great deal in being able to share with others. Even health care professionals! There should not be a stigma attached to mental health but there is. I know there is. People don’t know how to talk to you once you have admitted something like depression, anxiety etc. But you need to make them aware early on. When you notice a difference in yourself. You need to be honest, make a stand and tell them something isn’t right! Don’t leave t to fester, to eat away at you!

Equally I found one of the best ways to overcome a particularly moment was to devise a personal challenge. At first it sounded like a silly idea but actually it worked for me. ( there are many ideas online) after hours of searching the internet for ideas, I came across a blog that basically tells you to get out there. Ridiculous as it sounds it worked for me. This concept has been brilliant. Every week I have to ensure I meet up with someone I know. Wether it be for a cuppa, walk or anything else, I have to leave the house and have a change of scenery. Another catch is to meet up with a different person every week too. This not only helped to keep me entertained and leave the house but enabled me to rekindle relationships with people I may not actually see on a day to day basis. This is an aspect I have continued throughout my pregnancy and I’m hoping to continue whilst on maternity leave. I want to go out and about, explore and make new friends.

If no for my sake but for the baby’s too!

Health care professional are not there to judge either, although understandably some make not appear to be approachable or come across stones faced but please remember they are also looking at your situation from a safety aspect. They want to know that you are going to be safe when you leave their office, assessment room or they leave your home. So although it may seem like they are judging you I guarantee they aren’t. Be as open and honest as you can be with them. They can’t help you to make the right decision about anything if you aren’t honest. They only see you once in a blue moon and hiding away from them won’t get you any extra support!take it from someone that has been there and knows the struggles.

And to new mums out there or mums to be! Each day is different! Ask for help! It doesn’t mean that you are failing! It means you are adjusting. As a nurse I see it all too often. You know what it is ok not to feel ok. To feel tired, stressed, exhausted, weak but that doesn’t make you any less of a human being! It makes you a fantastic person for recognising the problem and wanting to fix it!

Go exploring too. Meet other new parents! God message me if you have too just never feel alone! It’s a scary world out there. And I for one am bricking myself! But I have to take each day as it comes!

Remember you are not on your own

Laura xx

Ps Christmas can equally be a crappy time of year for some people! Please be open minded if someone states they are feeing low! Sometimes alcohol won’t help but a listening ear will be much better received.

It’s all about the change!

Hi laura here!

So as I’m sure you are aware pregnancy changes your body! I wanted to share with you some of the changes to my body that have occurred over the last 34 weeks. That I only wish I had known about early on!

Stretch marks-

So far i have been extremely lucky with stretch marks. My tummy, thighs and legs are fine! Stretch mark free! Which yes is great but no one told me they would be on your breasts!

Yep! My boobs grew! From a 34DD to an omg.. I have to go to a specialist to be measured! As a result, I have deep purple stretch marks only boobs! Not just in one area… oh no! I have them all over! They aren’t attractive. They are extremely itchy at times and hideous to look at. I am mindful that these fun bags serve a purpose so for now I don’t care!

Whilst we are on the subject of boobs…

Nipples! Oh dear lord! One minute they are itchy, the next they are massive… and then out of no where they are back to normal size. With an added bonus that they are squashed and wrinkly! Who knew that in the space of ten seconds this would happen. Not only that but they become ever so bloody sensitive. They hurt and in some cases they tickle all at once.

A little tip.. if you have never worn a bra to bed. Make sure you wear a loose one as they grow or at least a t-shirt. The problem I have found is that from about week 27 your nipples may leak. At night. Especially when you lean on them during sleep. Can you imagine my horror when I first work up and my arm was wet. This was .. how I would say shocking and slightly scary all at once! Especially when an hour later I had clearly rolled over and my own her arm was wet! (This does not happen to everyone, but rest assured this is normal if it does happen. Best to be prepared! Invest in breast pads!)

Exercises are good!

I’m not talking about going to the gym, out for a run or any of that! No I’m talking about your pelvic floor exercises! Small amounts of pee do escape. Not just after child birth but before as well! Yes this has happened to me. It’s totally embarrassing! Especially if your at work, the in-laws, food shopping! Don’t worry it’s not a massive sensation but it’s something that you just sometimes can not control. So yes your pelvic floor exercises are important! The NHS app “squeezy” is the best investment I’ve found so far. Not only does it help with timings and encourages you to do it daily but it’s also free!

Cramp!!!

So another reason exercises are important… is to keep good circulation. Waking up in the middle of the night with cramp in your leg… jeez! Every night for 1 week in the same place! Stretch out heel first and rub your calf! Also placing your feet flat on the floor. Lift up your toes and then your heels stretches your legs and keeps good circulation and this is easy to do during simple tasks like watching the tv.

Sleep pattern?

Yeah kiss this goodbye! If I have to get up once in the night to pee, I have to get up a hundred times depending on the position of the baby. Some nights I get up just because I haven’t been for three hours!

If this is the case don’t leave anything on your floor. Going to the bathroom in the dark and standing on a plug from the hair dryer is THE WORST EXPERIENCE.

When you don’t need to get up to pee your back hurts so much.. your muscles plot against you. They seize up as you relax and before you know it you think you’ve gone into early labour! No you just need to walk around but then your awake. Adjusting your pillows is a nightmare too. Flat pillows are now a thing of the past and you can’t beat the thought of lying down. But fear not my friends. Pregnancy has its own pillows! The best invention of all time! A v shaped pillow that you can hold onto! Who knew that I would need one of these. But I do! You can wrap your whole body around it and it supports your bump. It gets a lot more snuggles that the other half these days but it’s kept me sane for long time. Although I don’t use it every night, it has become my saviour. Especially if itchiness becomes an issue at night. The cold is really helpful for this!

Night time itching

I didn’t know this was an actual thing! From about 31 weeks I have the uncontrollable desire to scratch the hell out of my skin. From 6pm onwards! Every night! Sometimes for a few hours sometimes all night. So yeah equally not good for sleeping.

I have tried everything! A back scratcher, cotton mittens, E45 cream, Vaseline, cold showers, hot showers. Cold bath.. hot bath! Opening the window.. taking off the bed linen! Avoiding caffeine! Yep nothing works. Although mine is probably hormone related and a lot of research states that this is normal due to temperature changes over night. Please be mindful that this needs to be alerted to your gp, midwife or health care professional as soon as it became apparently, as this may be a sign of obstetric cholestasis. It’s rare not dangerous but it’s something they would like to monitor.

Which leads me to…

skin irritation!

It’s not just the itching. It’s the one week getting my hopes up that my acne disappeared and the next week it coming back with a vengeance! They come back bigger and angrier than ever! They literally will appear everywhere! Armpits, legs, face, back.. you name it they appear!

Also be very mindful that your lady area is equally not immune to this rule. If like me you once shaved regularly any part of your body you may want to think again. There is no stopping those pesky hairs and within 24 hours they have grown! Especially to your you know where area. It’s important to remember that personal hygiene is an important part of your pregnancy however shaving sensitive areas including behind my knees has been a chore. My skin hates it and actually shaving or waxing has been a nightmare. Often resulting in big sore spots to under my arms and other areas. This was defiantly not on the list of things people told me about pregnancy.

As a result I have to limit the amount of time spent shaving. I have to ensure I have showered before hand every time and make sure that I have sensitive shaving foam to hand. Throughly rinse every time and then have to have a hot flannel to go over the areas that have been shaved. For some people his may be part of their daily routine. But for me it has never been an issue until my body decided it hated me!

So as you can see the body changes a lot during pregnancy and this is just the start!Will keep you posted on upcoming changes… don’t be scared of them! It’s all normal! I hope!Laura x

Getting your pamper on!

Hi laura here!

Last week I started my maternity leave! Well spotted to those who noticed it was before Christmas. No this wasn’t planned but actually very very coincidental.

Being a good way into the third trimester the hard daily graft of getting out of bed each morning and go to work had begun to takes its toll. The commute alone was tearing my back muscles apart; whilst the walk up a hill into my department had me short of breath for a good 20 minutes. Not forgetting being on my feet for 8 plus hours. I was ready to finish work!

It has by far been the best experience of pregnancy so far! Getting in from work after my last shift, I ran a warm bubble bath! I put music on in the background and I just soaked there until my troubles went away… then I got stuck! For about 5 minutes I did panic.. who the hell is gunna come get me? OMG! I locked the front door! No one can get in!

Little tip- turn onto your side and then onto all fours. Do not empty the bath water first. I believe that this will leave you stuck to the bottom of the bath where the ambulance service may need to be called! To avoid embarrassment continue with the advice!

Luckily this hasn’t happened to me. But I do know of a few friends who this happened to! Luckily I also managed to escape the bath by said advise I found online.

Over the days that followed I found that I was sleeping… ALOT! This is normal! This is when you are allowed to sleep! I didn’t make plans, I didn’t make any special arrangements, I just gave myself the time to relax and do nothing. The housework, food shopping, seeing people was not a priority. It’s not like they aren’t important aspects of pregnancy but sometimes you just need to say enough. And my god I had had enough. My feet were achy, back was gone. I was exhausted! So I did nothing!

Those two days of sleeping were bliss! I felt awake, calmer and happier than I had done in months. It gave me a lot of time to relax and just feel slightly more human so I could enjoy doing the normal things in life..like the food shop 🤔.

I have also discovered a new love for pampering! I have never been one for painted nails (largely due to a career in nursing and largely due to forgetting to take it off again before going back to work after 2 weeks of leave) but the last week they have been every shade of red, gold, sparkly, bright, dull! Nail varnish has become an important part of my daily life! I even have a Pinterest page dedicated to patterns! Who knew! I know that this is probably going to be a little more tankful when the baby is born. But I am embracing my new inner girl!

Although I can’t reach my toes…so I may forget they even exist!

The best thing so far about maternity leave is the pregnancy massage! Yes this is a thing! It’s brilliant and has changed my life!

As some of you may know, most beauty places will not touch with a barge pole as soon as you announce your pregnancy.. don’t worry this isn’t you, it’s that you have to be trained in the needs of pregnancy and muscles during this time. So don’t be offended if you go somewhere and they say no!

Go and spend the money on an actual professional. It may seem stupid but it’s totally worth it. Unlike a normal massage you lie on your side. They work with you to target areas that are causing issues at different times of pregnancy. Some areas are out of bounds due to pregnancy. But a professional who can do this will help relieve the stresses and strains that have effected you the most. And trust me when someone wants to rub oil into your tired feet for 30 whole minutes! It’s worth paying £35 for the whole hour!

Don’t be fooled into thinking your partner is good at it and you’ll save money! Oh no no! He isn’t! It’s practically a given he will do a “light rub” for ten minutes complain his hands are hurting and then will stop. Waste of time if you ask me!

I am going to continue to pamper myself! This is me time! I’ve bought new make up (against this is new to me) started watching make up tutorials.. bought a book to read- Sophie kinsella- my joy so perfect life. Buy it! It’s funny! My hair is booked in for tomorrow! It has allowed me to be a human being for the last week and I feel amazing! Also I’m shitting my pants about the baby coming early and my hair looks crappy but that is totally not anything I can control!

And to some it may seem like it’s a little ridiculous but there is a small human on the way! They are going to be my life! Feeds at 3am and all the jazz that goes with it! But until he/she arrives I am going to enjoy sleeping when I want, eating lots and just taking it easy without the added stress of work!

So to all my fellow mummies to be happy maternity leave

Laura xx