Monday, 31 December 2012

2013 - the year I become mum!

Tomorrow is the first day of 2013 and I'll also be 22 weeks. Another 18 weeks tops and I'll be a mummy!

This year has been a pretty good one all round and hubs and I have the best yet to come in 2013. Life won't be the same again but we're ready for the challenge and optimistic about what the year has in store. I hope to see our friends and family more and want to enjoy each new stage between now and when little bean arrives.
It's certainly going to be interesting!

Happy New Year to you all - here's to a fabulous 2013!


Thursday, 27 December 2012

Maternity sale shopping

Following my post the other week about the dire high street offering for mamas to be, I thought I'd post about the maternity sales surfing I've been doing online.

Next has some good offers in their sale but delivery times seem to be quite long. Topshop has some stylish options in the sale too but hands down, the best high street shop is New Look for maternity clothes choice and good sales prices.

There's a range of basic options to choose from and a decent selection of trousers and jeans included. There's also a couple of really lovely dresses so if you have an event coming up, now is the time to snap up a bargain.

I bought a couple of basics enough tops including a white cowl neck top with bird print, a navy t-shirt with stud detail around the colour and an empire line black and white stripe top.

However, the best options for maternity wear remain with ordinary clothes bought in a size up from usual (except for when trousers, leggings and tights are concerned) in my opinion. The spring catalogue from my favourite go-to shop, H&M, landed on my doormat today and one look at the fresh spring colours and stylish staples was all it took. I've ordered two flattering blouses in sky blue and neon pink, a mint green jumper, an apricot jumper, a leopard print long line sleeveless blouse, a long sleeve black shirt with studded colour, blue colourful print ballet pumps and four pairs of earrings in equally spring-like colours, all for less than £95. Feeling very pleased with myself and looking forward to seeing it all in the flesh.

I'm also pleased to have picked up some very pretty maternity bras in Mothercare. I had a proper fitting, picked some very comfy but very nice to look at bras and even got £5 off. Bonus!

Considering I have also bought some new hair extensions and some Gok Wan treats in the Boots sale (bought with my points card) I will be retiring from shopping from now until forever. I'm sorted for clothes now, plus I have a box of goodies in my wardrobe to see me through with lotions and potions for the next year; we've bought all the baby bits we need aside from a few things we've put on a gift list so now every spare penny goes into the maternity leave pot.


Sunday, 23 December 2012

20 weeks

This week I reached the half way point. Yep, I'm halfway to be becoming mum!

Still feeling well, aside from a little heartburn now and then and feeling a little cumbersome when turning over in bed or getting off the sofa. In fact, we've just switched the slightly sturdy sofa from the dining room with one in the lounge which was quite low and too deep for me to get off of without a lot of wiggling. It can only get worse the bigger I become so glad we made the switch now.

On Wednesday, I felt a little flip in my tummy when my cat Arty was padding on my lap but it was quite small. Then on Friday, I was laying on the bed and felt a flip in my tummy but again, it didn't last long and when I concentrated, I couldn't feel anything.

So, it could be baby starting to say hello or my mind playing tricks on me. Either way, it can't be too long before I feel bubs as I'm certainly showing. Here's a pic of me last night in all my bumpy glory:

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Has the high street forgotten pregnant ladies?

Where oh where can you find good maternity wear? Good price, good choice and good style?

At the moment, it seems like nowhere caters to the expectant mum in the way I had expected some of my favourite retailers to.

Now, I don't feel the need to buy a completely new wardrobe just for the months ahead but as your bump grows, you need some well-designed, comfortable options that fit well but don't leave you looking like a bag of saggy washing.

I honestly can't understand why high street brands even bother offering a maternity range if a) it's only a half-hearted attempt featuring just a couple of shapeless, styleless pieces, and/or b) they're only going to offer it online. If there's ever a time in your life when you need to 'try before you buy', it's during pregnancy. Who knows what size you need now or may need in the future? Simply clicking 'add to bag' and crossing your fingers at the virtual checkout seems like a complete cop out for mums-to-be. Why should we be treated any differently? Just because we're having a baby doesn't mean we want to be bland - we haven't had a personality transplant!

My main issue is that now more than ever, I am budget-conscious and know that what I wear now may not be something I wear for a long time. To be honest, when it comes to certain styles of clothing, you can get away with wearing normal clothes, or you can just buy a size or two bigger. But when it comes to trousers, leggings, jeans and tights, you need a stretchy waist (nothing feels better) and for tops, you do need a little more length.

I have looked at the following maternity ranges:H&M (my favourite store, but their maternity range is very limited), New Look (much better and with some ok tops to choose from), Next (too frumpy overall) and Dorothy Perkins (just 17 items to choose from). I know there are specialist shops for people in my condition - namely Mamas and Papas and Mothercare on the high street - but for me, they tend to be for mums in their 30's, or those who are more 'mother nature' or 'classic' in their choice of clothes, plus the prices seem to be as inflated as their customer's tums.

All I want is to buy some nice, comfortable tops that are long enough to cover bump and warm enough for winter and don't come in an exciting choice of plain white or grey. I've been luckier on the trouser front, with two pairs of comfortable and not too mumsy work trousers from Next, over the bump blue jeans from New Look and over the bump black jeans from Dorothy Perkins (although the size 12's are far too loose and there's no belt loops - I seriously cannot have lost weight!).

I think this weekend I'll have to give in on my search and head to the shops to look for oversize jumpers and super stretchy tops to tide me over. I need to be warm, comfortable and smart looking for work and in general, I just want to look like me.

If anyone can recommend a good maternity range, without a hefty price tag attached, I would be most grateful.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Famous before birth!

Working in PR, it really was only a matter of time before I was going to put little bean forward for something, pushing them into the limelight.

And today was that day! I went to my ante natal clinic and found out they were filming a new video for the NHS, showing how they support everyone from the day they are born through to old age. It will be available online and promoted quite a bit to patients apparently and they were looking for someone who was due to have their 20 week scan to take part.

Enter stage left - me and bump. I didn't mind having a second chance in as many days to see little bean again. Honestly, I couldn't stop thinking about its little feet last night! So, I said yes and jumped on the bed in front of four strangers and the sonographer to have the cold jelly squeezed on by tum for a second 20 week scan.

Instead of lying there asleep like bean did yesterday, we had a little performer on our hands. Bean showed us a few karate style moves, wiggled its legs in the air and even looked like it was blowing a kiss (well, it wiggled its lips, but I like to think it was saying hello!).

The film crew were keen to capture my reactions and hopefully I didn't disappoint. It was so nice to see bubs again and I even got three new, different scan photos to take away (for free, no less) which made it all the more worth it.

So, at 19 weeks old in my tummy, Baby O is set to be a screen star (sort of). I've already started my transformation into embarrassing mum but nevermind. It'll be a lovely memory to treasure.

Here's little bean having its close up today - next time we meet in this way, he / she will be on the other side...

Stretching its legs
Waving its arms
Hands up in the air!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

19 Week Scan

At 19 weeks today, I went with Ste to have our 20 week (or anomaly) scan to make sure little bean has all its fingers and toes, with everything growing as it should.

And the good news is, it is!

Even though bubs seemed determined to have a little snooze rather than show the nice sonographer its spine and bottom, meaning I had to jiggle my tummy around to try and make bean move, they measured everything they needed to and there's nothing to worry about.


I felt a little faint part way through - I think I was just hot and all the prodding was getting a little much. I had some water and felt fine again, but I did feel a little poked and prodded afterwards - like a giant mouse mat.

It was amazing to see all the details so clear on the screen. You could see all the fingers and toes, the chambers of the heart, its stomach, kidneys, ribs and spine. Even it's little nose.

It was a lovely experience and really made things seem very real. We're having a baby!

Little bean, 19 weeks old, growing very nicely

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

18 weeks today

Here's what's going on at the moment with bump (according to my baby app):

A bumpy Christmas

I love Christmas but this year is even more special. I'm so pleased to have a bump for the Christmas period - sure, I'd love a mulled wine at the Frankfurt market and I will miss my traditional glass of port when opening presents.

However, it's all worth it as we know this our last Christmas as a twosome - ever!

I think that's why I've really thrown myself into the season this year from an early stage. I made my cards weeks ago and wrote them at the weekend. I had 90% of our presents bought by 30th October. I've been making chocolate truffles, gingerbread and fudge for gifts. I've even made my own crackers tonight for an early Christmas with friends this weekend. The decs also went up on Saturday and we dedicated the whole day to getting in the festive spirit.

At a time when work is super busy and I should probably be putting my feet up, I'm trying to do as much as I can to make this Christmas the best one yet and to make an extra effort with family and friends. I love making other people happy and I guess I know that next year, all of my making and baking will probably be pretty much impossible.

Here's a snapshot of our Christmas so far and the bits and pieces I've been doing to make this a memorable year to look back on.

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