2018 | What's in Store?

Instead of the oh so popular New Years Resolutions post that we all love, I thought I would do a little post about what 2018 has in store for me - the things I know are going to happen and things I would like to make happen.

So, let's start off with the obvious -

I'm having a baby! In April 2018 I will be having a little baby girl. We already have our son, so it'll be a nice way to complete our family. I am actually really looking forward to labour and birth, there's just something about childbirth (I'm not quite sure what) that is empowering.

Holiday. Although we won't be going abroad this year, we will be taking a break and getting away. Most likely to sunny Cornwall with the in laws as we have done in the past. Only this year, around the time we will be going, there will be another Gromit Trail around Bristol! We loved the first one and we loved the Shaun the Sheep trail too so we are looking forward to doing this one on our way home.

More time to blog. With being on maternity leave, I will likely have a bit more time to spend on my blog. I'm very excited about this one, there will be days where my little boy is at nursery and so I will be able to sit and write while little girl sleeps.

Taking some time for myself. After I had our son I suffered with post partum depression and anxiety   and I sworn to myself that I am going to do everything in my power to try and stop that this time around. So I'll be making sure I get out and about and make some time for me. You know, get my nails done, hair done - things like that to help me feel a little more human.

Lose weight. So I'm now starting to get into the things that I would like to happen part of the post. Once our little girl is here I am going to be working very hard to get off the weight that I had before pregnancy and that I have gained during my pregnancy. This is a resolution I make every year but I'm not making resolutions this year. Just changes and improvements to help me achieve the life I want to live.

Get Engaged. So this one is total wishful thinking. Me and Tim have been together for 10 years now, have a son and a daughter on the way. Every year I hope that it's the year. At every special occasion I sit wondering "is this it? Is it finally going to happen?". This year I'm going to try not to get my hopes up too much, but a girl is allowed to dream right?

YouTube? So I've been wanting to start YouTube for so long but never had the confidence. I still don't! But I'm hoping that my confidence will slowly rise and I'll finally start doing something that I've been wanting to for so long.

Are you making any New Years Resolutions? Or are you just making a few changes or planning to do new things?

2017 Favourites

2017 seems to have been a bit of a whirlwind year, and just like that it's almost over. 2018 looks to be a very promising year and I hope that it brings lots of love and happiness.

With 2017 drawing to an end I thought I'd look back over the year at things that have made me happy and the things I have loved.

We booked and went on our first holiday as a family of 3. We were lucky enough to be able to book a trip to Paris, staying in a EuroCamp and spending 2 days in Disneyland. Alex loved every second and We can't wait to go back again with 2 children!

I finished CBT and was discharged. This was a huge deal for me. After over a years worth of CBT, and a lot of hard work, I was finally discharged and was able to control the anxiety and depression that took over me.

I'm Pregnant again! I feel incredibly lucky to have one amazing child let alone be able to fall pregnant so easily with a second. And even more so that baby #2 is a girl - meaning we will have one of each. I feel so blessed and thankful everyday.

My mum. Without my mum, so many things would have seemed impossible. Our house looked like a tip. There was hardly any space for storage or, well, us. My mum came in and gutted pretty much the entire place for use and made it liveable. Alex now has space to play, both in his bedroom and in the living room. We have a dining room which we can now all sit around the table to dinner. Thank you mum.

Alex's first Christmas performance. Alex had his first Christmas performance with his preschool! All the children gathered around and sang Christmas songs for all the parents, it was so magical and I couldn't have been more proud of him as he was so nervous!

Snow. It snowed. It actually snowed. This made me so happy! Snow makes everything look so pretty and fresh and it simply makes me so happy!

What has made you happy this year?

Snow Days

Like most of the midlands, we have experienced quite a bit of snow over the weekend prompting snow days off work and school and lots of family time together.

Me, Tim and Alex all braved a drive out to Attingham Park on Saturday morning for a wintery walk. Alex absolutely loved walking around in the snow, even if it did make him a little tired half way around.

 I thought I would share some pictures from the last few days :)

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...."

Pregnancy Update | Weeks 14 - 20

So, much like a lot of pregnant bloggers and vloggers, I had hoped to do these pregnancy updates a bit more frequently with a Trimester update/round-up post at the end of each trimester. As it turn out, pregnancy goes one of 2 ways - it either doesn't give you anything to update each week so you end up having to wait 3-4 weeks or more. Or it gives you so much that you forget to do the little updates and end up having to do an update for the last 4+ weeks.

So let's get cracking!

Week 14 - Hello Second Trimester! I've been waiting oh so impatiently for you! I'm officially out of what they call the 'danger zone'. So many things can go wrong in the first trimester and the risk of miscarriage is higher. And then you hit the second and the risk lowers drastically. I am so relieved to have got to this stage and we have our gender scan in 2 weeks! Exciting!

Week 15 - I can not believe how different this pregnancy has been from my first. My morning sickness has almost completely gone! I'm impressed to say the least! However, I seem to have everything else - fatigue, headaches, migraines, sore boobs and achy joints. And lets not forget the cramps. Oh good god, the cramps. I never had any last time around so these have caused me to become increasingly anxious. Will be speaking to the midwife at my appointment next week.

Week 16 - Gender scan day!!! This came around so quickly and I could not wait to get Alex in that room to find out whether he's having a brother or a sister! After a lot of moving the widget around my belly, she found the bottom and determined that we are having a GIRL!! This mumma gets one of each and she couldn't be happier!

On to my midwife appointment - the quickest appointment I've had to date? No listening for the heartbeat (causes more anxiety than it does eases it) and no bloods taken. In and out in 15 minutes. Apparently the cramps are normal but also there was the teeniest bit of protein in my wee sample, meaning a minute water infection. This could also be causing the cramps.

2am and I've fallen out of bed. This is the stuff of nightmares. I feel straight onto my side and now cramps have started and hurt quite a bit. I've called the midwives up at the hospital and was reassured that baby is well protected and everything should be ok. But I am to monitor any more cramping and potential bleeding.

Two days since my fall and the cramps have picked up again. No bleeding but something isn't quite right. Called the midwives and was told to pop up to Telford as it's a Saturday. Gave another wee sample and hopped up onto a bed and a midwife was kind enough to get me a drink. Another midwife popped her head around the corner and measured my tummy and got a doppler to try and find a heartbeat. One jug of water and 3 attempts later and there it was, a gorgeous galloping heartbeat! Such a relief!

Week 17 - Wow, what a week last week! Luckily this week hasn't been as eventful! I did have my first consultant appointment though and was very pleased to be told that I the would be able to labour naturally. I also received the appointment for my glucose tolerance test which will take place late December.

Week 18 - I was hoping to be feeling a lot more movements by this point but only getting a few flutters here and there. I'm really looking forward to when I can feel her move a lot more!

Week 19 - A horrible start to the week, feeling really rotten with horrendous migraines. Turns out, they were the cause of a minor water infection. No need for antibiotics, just rest and plenty of water. Someone had recommended cranberry juice, does that even work? I was lucky enough to have my mum come over and help look after my little boy and me. Not only that but she has pretty much tidied and cleaned my house from top to bottom! Thanks mum

Wednesday morning this week was our 20 week anomaly scan. Baby was just perfect although she refused to move her arms from her face meaning the sonographer couldn't see her lips to check if there was a cleft lip. We were sent out to walk around and have a drink in the hopes it would get her moving. Not much luck there and the sonographer was only just about able to see her lips and was happy there were no abnormalities.

Week 20 - Started this week feeling loads better, and then jinxed it by mentioning to a colleague that for the first time in weeks I hadn't woken with a headache. Then Thursday morning, headache! Yippee(!) I also spent the morning being sick, I thought it was food poisoning but as Alex was then sick that night it must have been a bug.

I'm now into my 21st week of pregnancy and still getting the migraines. I've also made the decision to take my maternity leave early this time and take the full year off so hopefully that will make things easier to deal with towards the end.

Coping with Stress

I get stressed so easily and find it very difficult to wind down. And with Christmas coming up super fast and dealing with a very energetic 2 year old while being 5 months pregnant, I'm finding it even more difficult still! So I asked around for some advice on how to deal with stress, especially as a parent or when you are expecting.

  • Enough, for a while, is good enough. The last thing you need as a growing or new parent is to constantly fret about the image of being perfect. You won't be, you can't keep all the plates spinning at once and something will have to give. So put your duties in order of priority, do what needs to be done, get rid of ALL advice books, stop looking at Instagram and, if by the end of the day, you still have your job, a roof over your head, your significant other and kept all your children alive, fed and dressed, you've done a good enough job. www.howtorockatparenting.wordpress.com 
  •  Ante-natal yoga was a lifesaver. Once a week, I just got to be pregnant and focus on myself and my body. I'd leave feeling lighter than air, mentally and physically (quite a feat as I got towards the end of my pregnancy!). www.spitting-Yarn.com
  •  Taking a step back is important - not everything needs to be completed there and then. Also, trying to get enough rest - you're growing another human after all! thefrugalcottage.com 
  • I was so anxious when I was pregnant with my youngest because I had just had a miscarriage a couple of months before. I also develop cholestasis in pregnancy, which increases the risk of stillbirth, so I was just on edge all the time. I then started aquanatal and a pregnancy meditation class and it helped so much with the anxiety. I'd really recommend them to anyone who is feeling stressed or anxious in pregnancy. https://ourfairytaleadventure.com/2015/08/05/prenatal-meditation-yoga/ 
  •  Aromatherapy oils helped me to ease stress a lot - both as a massage tool, in a diffuser and I have a mix on a roll on that I put on my wrists. 100% natural so entirely safe when pregnant!www.welshmum.co.uk 
  •  Having some time to yourself helps! I make sure I have half hour to myself. Kids in bed and husband upstairs. I look at my phone or just have a bath, anything so I can reset myself. www.savings4savvymums.co.uk 
  •  We tried to spend some time each week making meal plans and creating lists of activities or cleaning jobs that needed doing around the house so that everybody knew what needed to be done during the week. This allowed me to feel less guilty about not being able to help around the house in the later weeks of pregnancy and meant that we didn't have last minute stresses about cooking dinner or have a child running out of clean socks before school! www.rtoatsblog.com 
  •  Hypnotherapy really helped me relax with my first son and massively reduced my anxiety about having two under 2yrs when I was due my second son. Being able to practice the hypnosis at home was priceless. www.thriftymum.com 
  •  It may sound silly but in a busy job ensuring a took my lunch break was so important for my stress levels. Rather than eating at my desk I would go somewhere quiet and read a book or crochet. Once baby came I made sure that during at least one of his naps I would sit and watch TV for 30 minutes or read. Just doing something for yourself can be important. Washing can wait. www.welshmumwriting.com 
  •  Stepping away from Google. I was so anxious about the health of the baby during my last pregnancy. To begin with, I spent a lot of time Googling symptoms. But it is quite scary and only made me anxiety worst. So I stepped away from Google and spoke to my midwife if I was worried. It made a big difference. http://mrshsfavouritethings.com 
  • Having a soak in a hot bath after the kids were in bed so I could truly relax and unwind was a godsend for me. Also walking the dog on my own. A good walk out in the fresh air can really make you feel 100 times better. www.mumof2point5.com
Thank you so much to all the wonderful bloggers that put forward their tips - I have thoroughly enjoyed reading them all and plan to put several of these into action as soon as possible. I went through CBT after finally admitting something wasn't quite right and getting a diagnosis for PND. I am determined this time around to make some time for myself and put everything I've learned from CBT and from all these amazing tips into practice and take better care of myself.

Let me know if there are any tips you would add.