Friday, 21 April 2017

Our dream kitchen



We've now been living in our home for almost 2 years, it seems like it was only yesterday that we were going through the stress of mortgages, decoration and a house move. Although we have made big changes to the house and have recently had our bathroom completely redone and Ollie's bedroom decorated, our bedroom and the kitchen still remain untouched.

We're lucky to have a big kitchen/dining area and it's room that I am itching to redecorate but I also know that this is a huge, expensive undertaking! So for now I shall continue to browse Pinterest for the ultimate dream kitchen and will continue to fill up my imaginary basket of wish list items. I've listed some of my wish list items below and I think I could be seeing a couple of these in my kitchen very soon!

Morphy Richards soup maker- My Nan has one of these and they are amazing. You just chuck all of the ingredients in, and in 20 minutes you have gorgeous, smooth soup. I think this would be a life saver when I go back to work after my maternity leave. I'm planning to take soup for my lunch and use the gym during my lunch break, it would save me so much time!

Panasonic combination microwave- Isn't this the daddy of all microwaves?! We bought ours in the sale and it was very much a needs must, impulse purchase. It has a mirrored front which is a nightmare to clean and Ollie's steriliser  barely fits inside it, but these are amazing, they cook your food in half of the time of a conventional oven whilst still keep all of the food's nutrients intact. Some even steam and grill your food, they are the future!

Kitchen aid- I mean, is a dream kitchen really a dream kitchen without a Kitchen Aid?! In a pastel colour of course!

Smeg toaster & kettle- I would say a Smeg fridge but we have a big American fridge/freezer that we love. The toaster & kettle on the other hand are definitely winning me over. They are so stylish and would look so great in a modern kitchen!

Oven and extractor fan- Our oven is currently broken so a new one is definitely on the cards. I'd like a shiny new extractor fan to go with it too!

In addition to my new gadgets I'd of course buy some kitchen ware from Next and other little quirky things, like one of those little banana hooks, for my new kitchen. I just hope that our dream kitchen isn't too far in the distance!

*This is a collaborative post





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Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Oliver's 1 month update



I'm sure I'll be saying this every month but how is he one month old already? It seems that it was only yesterday that he was born, I still remember our first night in the hospital together. I think I was still high on adrenaline because I barely slept, not just because the little man was awake every hour, but also because I could hardly believe he was here. A little boy! How lucky are we?! Here is Oliver's first update:



Weight- I honestly don't know how much he weighs exactly but I suspect it to be almost 10lbs! He was 8lbs6 at birth and although he took a few days to put his birth weight back on, he did, and then some! He's beginning to get little arm and leg rolls that I just love! I adore chunky babies! He's currently still wearing his newborn baby grows but I think he'll soon be out of those. We have our 6 week check up soon and I'm looking forward to having him weighed.



What he looks like- Oliver is definitely going to be fair, just like his big sister. His hair is still slightly dark in places but his eyebrows and eyelashes are light. As for his eyes, I'm not sure what colour they will end up being. Ava has beautiful blue eyes, whereas mine are dark brown and Nathan's are green/grey so I really don't know about Oliver. As for who he looks like, at the moment there is no doubting that Oliver & Ava are related! Their baby pictures are near on identical, it's crazy. Oliver also looks alot like Nathan, especially when he was a baby and he also bares resemblances to both of my brothers.

Feeding- Oliver is formula fed and has Aptimil formula in Dr Brown's bottles. He has been feeding every 2 hours, usually around 4oz but I think he is having a growth spurt as he has just had almost 5oz. We feed him on demand so it can be tricky to track when he is feeding, which to be honest I think I need to start noting down so that we can track it.

Sleeping-As he's feeding roughly every 2 hours sleep isn't great. The longest stretch he has done is 5 hours, 9pm to 2.30am which was amazing although I have no doubt that it was a fluke and that it won't happen again for a long time!



Personality- His little personality is beginning to come through, he's starting to try and smile which is really lovely. I can't wait until he starts to beam at us. He is such an alert baby and is starting to enjoy spending time on his play mat looking at his toys and kicking his legs. We start baby sensory class in a couple of weeks which I'm really looking forward to.

How I've been feeling- In a word, tired! Nath and I have a pretty good routine going between us, I head up to bed first to get a few hours sleep whilst Nath stays downstairs with Ollie sleeping in his pram top in the front room, he'll then bring him up when he wakes so I can carry on with the rest of the night's feeds. This does mean that Nath and I don't get to spend much time together in the evenings but I do feel slightly more human for it! You may have seen this post where I talk about my feelings with a newborn, I'm happy to say that my baby blues have vanished and I'm feeling so much more positive and happy.
This week Nath and I have started eating healthily and I'm actually looking forward to doing some exercise after my 6 week postpartum check. I'm thinking about doing a diary to keep you updated on how I get on.

What we've been up to- Ollie has been busy in his first few weeks in the world, he's been on a couple of shopping trip, a few lunches and many coffee dates! As Nath works on the post he is out of the house before we get up in the morning so that leaves me to fly solo in the morning, getting Ava up and ready for school on my own. It's pretty stressful but Ava's a little gem and helps me so much and doing this has given me a lot more confidence about getting out and being on my own with the children. We have the Easter holidays coming up next week and I'm already planning trips out with both of them, I must be mad!
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Monday, 3 April 2017

Fisher Price Jonathan Adler range review*



When I was pregnant I would often sit and imagine my two children playing together. Ava was so excited when Oliver was born and straight away asked if he could play with her. Oliver is a month old now and he is such an alert baby so when we were asked if we would like to review the new Jonathan Adler range of toys for Fisher Price, I knew that it would be the perfect time for them both to start playing together.



Jonathan Adler has brought his signature, high contrast, colour patterns to Fisher Price and has created a range of toys that is a real treat for the eyes. Oliver was sent four of the toys from the range: Monkey Mirror, Activity Alligator, Activity Elephant and the Alligator teether. All of the toys are suitable from birth, apart from the teether which is from 3 months. The plush toys are made from beautifully soft fabric, combining different elements to capture baby's different senses, such as sight, touch and sound. The toys are incredibly cute but stylish too, thanks to their beautiful, bold and contemporary patterns.




The Mirror Monkey, which retails at £19.99, is a fun, interactive toy which is perfect for tummy time as it stands upright. It opens like a book with an easy, velcro fastening making it easy to store away. It features fun, colourful animals on the one side and a big mirror on the other, ideal for self-discovery. The Mirror Monkey also crinkles, squeaks and jingles as well as being lovely and soft to the touch.



Both the Activity Alligator and Activity Elephant are bright and bold. They also both dangle, making them perfect for hanging from a pushchair or car seat when you're out and about. They both have different textures such as crinkle, corduroy and plush and retail at £12.99 each.



As a parent I absolutely love the designs, they are unlike anything I've ever seen before and they really brighten up Oliver's nursery. We've had many comments about how beautiful they are too.

Oliver is really starting to focus and follow object now and was completely captivated by his new toys, even trying to touch them. They would be a lovely addition to your newborn's toy box, I know Oliver has got months of fun ahead of him with these toys. I can't wait to see him develop and interact with them even more. You can find selected products in Argos.

*We were sent these items free of charge in exchange for an honest review. 

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Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Orla Kiely Gro Snug review*

I have always been a big fan of The Gro Company, having used many of their products with Ava. My favourite being their popular Grobag, although they are far too big for Oliver at the moment. Thank fully the brilliant people at The Gro Company have come up with a solution, the Gro Snug. The perfect transition until their ready for a Grobag.


The Gro Snug has been specially designed for newborns and combines the classic Gro bag with a swaddle, using poppers on the arm holes to enable your little ones arms to be in or out. They come in two different weights, cosy or light, depending on different room temperatures and it had a handy zip which opens at the bottom, making night time nappy changes a doddle. These will fit your newborn from 5lbs to 12lbs and are made from beautiful, soft cotton which is lovely against your baby's skin. It also promotes safe sleep, which as a parent, I find hugely reassuring. More information about the GroSnug can be found on The Gro Company's website.






Oliver was sent a Gro Snug from the new Orla Kiely range, from the Irish contemporary designer, famous for her unique retro prints and designs. These come in a range of different patterns, Oliver was sent the cat design which is adorned with pink cats and is so cute!

The Grosnug is without a doubt one of my must have products for newborns, we love it that much we bought him another so that we always have one on the go. I honestly cannot recommend it enough.

The GroSnug can be bought from the Mothercare website.


*The Orla Kiely GroSnug was sent to us free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
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Monday, 27 March 2017

Life with a newborn- How I'm really feeling...

Oliver is now 26 days old and I can confirm that the fog has well and truly descended. By fog I mean the newborn fog. The permanent exhaustion that turns your brain to complete mush and makes you feel like a zombie. Having been used to a child who has been sleeping through the night for the last 3 years at least, making up bottles and winding a newborn at 4am has been a shock to the system. I'm not the greatest person when it comes to lack of sleep at the best of times, so I've been feeling quite tearful and cranky lately and then end up feeling guilty for snapping- it's a strange cycle. It's odd having a newborn again, Oliver and I are still getting to know each other and I'm slowly discovering his little quirks, cues and personality. It can be difficult and I often find myself in limbo between burping, feeding and trying to stick his dummy in several times before I find out what he actually wants. He's also a super cuddly baby and loves being cuddled to sleep, I do love this but it's also a nightmare to get anything done as he'll usually wake as soon as I put him down.



In myself I feel slightly strange, I find myself looking back on old photos of Ava and getting upset, which sounds daft. I guess I'm just feeling nostalgic and long for things to be as easy as they used to be. I also feel guilty that it's not just the three of us anymore and I can't give her the attention that I used to. When I think back to how it was before Oliver it's a different life which makes me feel quite sad. It doesn't help that I badly need to give myself some self-care. I'd love to get my hair done and give myself a pamper but I've barely got a chance to grab any breakfast at the moment, let alone anything else. My skin still looks terrible due to the pregnancy acne I suffered with when carrying Oliver and my stomach looks like a deflated balloon.



I'm hoping to take Oliver to some local baby groups to get us out of the house and so that I don't fall into the trap of lonely and bored new mum. I'd forgotten just how hard the newborn days are, with the exhaustion and change in hormones going on too it's such a crazy time which has left me feeling a bit low, I'll be honest. Having Ava as my first baby was a huge shock and I thought that having a second would be a walk in the park. So feeling like I do has completely thrown me.



So many people have commented on how well I'm doing but in truth I sometimes feel like a swan, looking like I don't have a care in the world when underneath I'm furiously paddling, trying to keep everything afloat. Although I know this won't last, he's only a newborn for such a short period of time. It's true what they say, "the days are long but the years are short" and I'm desperately reminding myself of this when I feel like things get a little too overwhelming. I'm looking forward to the weather warming up and getting a little nicer too. It's just so cold out there I don't want to go out of the house with him too much, especially as we're all suffering with colds.

With the Easter holidays approaching I want to make sure I spend time with Ava too, just the two of us. I'm missing our one on one time, although I do try and set aside some time for us to play together. It will get easier I know, when you're in the thick of it all you think it'll never end, and I can't remember Ava as a newborn now. It does all go so fast!
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Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Cuddledry Snuggle Bunny towel review*


Ava has always been a water baby, she loves nothing more than a soak in the tub surrounded by bath bombs and would spend hours in the water if I let her. On Fridays she goes to swimming lessons and has been doing so well, she's recently moved up a class and we're so proud of her.

I'm the mum that warms towels & PJs on the radiator before she gets out of the bath but our towels really lack the snuggle factor so it's really no wonder that's she's always so reluctant to get out of the bath! This all changed when Ava was asked to review the Snuggle Bunny towel from Cuddledry. Especially created for 3-6 year olds it's the perfect length for my little bunny and ensures that she's kept cosy when she hops out of the bath. It's also incredibly soft and as it's made from microfibres it's fast drying and gentle on sensitive skin.


It's also fantastic to take along to her swimming lessons, it's incredibly lightweight and the hood keeps her warm from head to toe, I love that it's long enough to completely cover her up and that there is enough material to keep her nice and snug. It's also something that we'll be taking along for family trips to the beach during the Summer, and with the bunny ears it's also amazingly cute!


It is also very easy to clean, even at low temperatures, and with it being so quick to dry, no matter where you have used your Snuggle Bunny towel, you'll be able to quickly use it again.

It's so gorgeously snugly in fact, that Ava's newborn brother Oliver has been using it, it's beautifully soft on his baby skin and he absolutely loves it, just don't tell Ava.



The Snuggle Bunny towel retails at £32.99 and can be bought here. There are also many other fantastic products in their range so do check them out.

*We were sent the Cuddledry Snuggle Bunny towel free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
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Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Ava's 5th birthday-Party Bags and Supplies review*

From now on March is going to be a whirlwind of birthdays, with our baby boy born on the 1st March and Ava's on the 13th, we definitely timed it close. Oliver's due date was actually the 25th February but he kept us waiting for 4 days. I was starting to become terribly anxious that I would have to be induced and that I would still be in hospital for Ava's party, but I needn't have worried, it all worked out well in the end.




We are lucky that my Mother-in-law runs a café which is the perfect location for children's parties, she kindly provided the food, my mum made Ava's gorgeous unicorn cake and the entertainment was provided by Exotic Zoo, if you are in Shropshire, be sure to check them out. They provided the entertainment at Ava's 3rd birthday party and were fantastic, not cheap, but definitely worth it.





Ava wanted a My Little Pony themed party and the tableware, including filled My Little Pony party bags, were kindly provided by Party Bags and Supplies. The tableware pack, for 8 children, includes a table cover, cups, napkins and plates. Ava was particularly impressed with the My Little Pony party bags and these went down a treat with the children. As a parent I love that you can choose party bags that are ready filled and in keeping with your party theme. It saves so much hassle as I never know what to include in party bags! These came filled with unicorn stickers, a My Little Pony notepad, pencil, rubber and pencil sharper. We added a bag of iced biscuits, small pack of Haribo, a lollipop and a slice of cake. Ava even asked if she could have one, but I think that the big stack of gifts she had from her friends made up for her lack of party bag.



Everything that we received from Party Bags & Supplies was of fantastic quality and really made the party extra special. Party Bag and Supplies do not just supply party ware for birthdays, you can get all of your bits and pieces for all sorts of parties, from baby showers to Halloween, and everything is very reasonably priced.



The help of Party Bags and Supplies really helped to take the pressure off me, especially as I was in hospital. I love that I could get everything I needed from one place, I highly recommend checking out their website if you have an event coming up.



Ava had a fantastic day, she held a tarantula and cuddled a meerkat and was beyond spoilt with all of her gifts. I'm so glad that I was there to witness her having such a fantastic time and that we could really make her feel special.



A big thank you to Party Bags and Supplies for helping to make Ava's day.

*We were sent the items from Party Bags and Supplies free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

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Friday, 17 March 2017

The Little Green Sheep- Wild Cotton Bedding set review*

Spring is definitely on it's way, my favourite time of year. With a newborn baby in our household I'm looking forward to a lot of walks in the fresh air.



We were recently sent some items from the new Wild Cotton range by The Little Green Sheep and I have to say that they are the perfect Spring time walk accessories.
We received the Organic Bedding Set for Moses basket or pram, the 3 piece pack contains two fitted sheets and a jersey blanket, in a gorgeous mint green colour, this set retails at £42.95. They are adorned with sweet little rabbits and acorns, ideal for Spring and are made from 100% GOTS certified organic cotton.




As soon as I opened the pack I fell in love with the gorgeous illustrations and the beautiful soft cotton, at the time I was stuck on a colour theme for Oliver's nursery but the mint green completely inspired me and Oliver now has a mint green feature wall in his bedroom (which still isn't finished but we're getting there)! The Wild Cotton range also comes in a soft grey colour, covered in bear illustrations which is equally as stunning. There are many different items that you can buy from the Wild Cotton range, sleeping bags, sleepsuits, crib bedding & knitted blankets. I actually took the blanket into hospital with me and I had so many compliments over Oliver's "bunny blanket", these really are fantastic, quality items that would also make the perfect gift for a new baby.



We've found that Oliver loves being in his pram and have added the fitted sheet to the pram mattress, as he's quite a windy baby he's sometimes a little sick, and with the Wild Cotton sheets being washing machine and tumble dryer safe, these are ideal to prevent the pram mattress from getting too messy. The blanket is the perfect size for taking out and about, with it being made from breathable cotton it is going to be a must have when the weather starts to get warmer. I have struggled to find the perfect blanket for Oliver with them either being too large, too small, too thin or too thick but this one is just right!

So if you're looking for something unique and beautifully made, for your baby or a friend's, you can find the Wild Cotton range here.

*We were sent these items free of charge in exchange for an honest review

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Wednesday, 15 March 2017

The siblings project- March

Ever since finding out that we were expecting another child I've been so excited to take part in The Siblings Project. I think it's a lovely way of documenting your children's growing bond and of course, it's the chance to take some gorgeous photographs!

Oliver is two weeks old today but Ava is already completely in love with him, I'm still getting my head around the fact that I have two children! During my pregnancy I felt a lot of mum guilt, I suppose with a 5 year age gap I was worried that Ava would feel that her nose had been pushed out with a new baby around, having been the only one for so long. Although she was always very excited about the baby during my pregnancy I was quite anxious to see how she would be when the baby was actually here.

The moment my two children met for the first time is something that I'll remember forever. Oliver in his little fish tank crib next to my bed, Ava creeping in and whispering "he's so cute and little, I love him." She's been a great help to me, fetching things for me when I've been stuck underneath a feeding baby and showering him with kisses and cuddles. This does however have a slight downside as Ava has a cold and she's now passed her germs onto Oliver who is now quite snuffly! I would never discourage her to kiss or cuddle her baby brother though as I wouldn't want her to feel that it was wrong or pushed out. I have found it a bit of a juggling act since we've been home, trying to meet both of their needs. With Ava's birthday now twelve days after Oliver's we've had a lot of parcels to open and I've tried my best to also be there for her, playing with her new toys, making time to put her to bed in the evenings and reading her School books with her. I think it's so important for me to keep the special bond that I have with my big girl. As Oliver grows I'll look forward to girly dates with her, just the two of us.

I can already tell that Oliver is going to be obsessed with her, as he grows and becomes more alert. Ava is already trying to play with him and has been giving him many renditions of "Wheels on the bus" with all of the actions, he'll love it! I'm so excited to watch the bond between them grow. I'm hoping that this is the start of a beautiful friendship, I'm so happy that they have each other.







The Me and Mine Project
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Monday, 13 March 2017

Introducing Oliver & his positive birth story



On Wednesday 1st March at 8.23am we welcomed Oliver Lloyd into the world. I was in established labour for 1 hour 23 minutes and if I could have written down my perfect labour story, that would have been it! After suffering with complications following Ava's birth, namely retained placenta, I was desperate to have a positive birthing experience. During my pregnancy I completed an online hypnobirthing course, which you can read about here, and I strongly believe that it gave me the confidence and the positive mindset that I needed to achieve the experience that I had. I've never thought that I'd say this about child birth but it was amazing!

 At 4 days overdue I was starting to fret that Oliver was going to be like his sister and leave us waiting for 8 days but on Tuesday night I started to have mild contractions in the bottom of my back, I tried not to get my hopes , I'd had a few false starts in the days leading up to Oliver's birth and had been left disappointed when nothing was starting. As my contractions got stronger I started to time them and by 2am, having cleaned the kitchen and prepared all of Ava's School uniform for the following day, the contractions were 5 minutes apart and lasting for approximately 30 seconds. As I was under consultant care, due to the complications following Ava's birth, I was booked into a hospital 40 minutes away, this did worry me as I'd heard that second baby's had a tendency to come quickly! I was told by the hospital to come in when my contractions were "taking my breath away", as my contractions were still quite mild I decided to try and get some kind of rest and took myself off to bed. I dozed on & off until 5am when my contractions became too strong to ignore any longer. I woke Nath up and as I lay in bed my waters went, it was the strangest sensation and something that I wasn't expecting, having had my waters broken in hospital with Ava. After triple checking all of the bags we rung Nath's mum to come over and have Ava and arrived at the hospital at 6.50am, I have to say the journey there was pretty awful, going over pot holes whilst having contractions is not an experience I'd like to repeat! Once we arrived things really kicked up a notch, I was already 6cm dilated and at 8am Nath asked if he could get the bags from the car, he was told not to, the midwife predicted that the baby would be here by 8.30am and she was right! The hypnobirthing course definitely helped with my breathing techniques, I felt so much more relaxed and confident.We didn't find out the gender of our baby which I believe also helped me, I felt so excited to meet our new addition and when he was passed to me and I saw that we had a little boy I felt absolutely elated. As opposed to Ava's birth when I was exhausted and out of it, with Oliver I felt on cloud 9. It was the most incredible feeling, I honestly felt like super woman. Nath rung the family whilst I enjoyed cuddles with our baby boy. We then celebrated with tea and toast and I was wheeled down to the midwife led unit. Ava came to meet her baby brother that evening and I've never seen her so excited, I have honestly never felt as happy as I did when the four of us were together for the first time.



The following day I moved to the midwife led unit 10 minutes away from our house, I stayed there for a few nights and was able to spend some time bonding with Oliver and relaxing. And now we're home, a new family of four, I still can't believe that I now have a son as well as a daughter. I feel so incredibly lucky and happy but am still adjusting to having a newborn again. I'll be writing a post about that soon. Having a 5 year gap between both children means that I'd forgotten all about sterilising rules, feeding cues and the brain fog that comes with the tiredness, but I'm happy and that's all that matters. I'm still in my newborn bubble and ajusting to being able to do things whilst Oliver sleeps so my blog may be a little slow! You can keep up to date with us on Instagram though which I tend to update daily.


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Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Panda Kids Bamboo Memory Foam Pillow review*


For the past couple of weeks Ava has been trialling the Panda Kids Bamboo Memory Foam Pillow, I'd started to notice that she was shunning her regular pillow in favour of a decorative cushion or simply the mattress itself. As someone who has constantly suffered with neck problems I'm all too aware of the pain a bad night's sleep can cause, so when we were asked if Ava would like to give the Bamboo Memory Foam pillow a go I was eager to find out if this was something that could work for Ava.



This special memory foam pillow has been completely designed with children in mind, down to the smallest detail. The pillow dips in the middle and moulds to the shape of your child's head, guaranteeing them a comfortable nights sleep. It also helps to align the neck and shoulders and has been proven to reduce flat head syndrome.



The bamboo fibre cover, which is removable and washing machine friendly, is a breathable fabric which will keep your child cool in the Summer and warmer in the Winter. It's also naturally antibacterial which is fantastic for children who suffer from skin complaints or allergies. It is environmentally friendly and is proven to have been made without the use of any harmful substances.

I was curious to see how Ava would get on with it as it is so much thinner than her regular pillow. However, from the moment that we took the pillow out of it's packaging she has loved it. Her regular pillow still gets shunned but now it's for the Panda pillow instead. I always check on Ava a few times before I go to bed and have expected to find her Panda pillow-less and with her head on the mattress but no, she has stayed on the Panda pillow all night. A brilliant testament to it's comfort rating!


If you are searching for the perfect, child-friendly pillow I highly recommend Panda Kids which can be found here. If you are looking to move your little on from a cot to a bed I would definitely get your hands on one of these!

*We were sent the Panda Kids pillow free of charge in exchange for a review.


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Friday, 17 February 2017

My thoughts on the Natal Hypnotherapy course*


At 38 weeks pregnant I have just completed the Natal Hypnotherapy course online, you can read about why I decided to take on this course here.

I am not exaggerating when I say that I have learnt so much, not only about hypnotherapy itself but about labour, the history of fear and even hormones. It has been wonderfully interesting.

You begin the course with an introduction by Maggie Howell herself, the founder of Natal Hypnotherapy and the voice of the relaxation tracks that will guide you through your labour preparation. The following two modules are about hypnosis and how it works, each module contains a multimedia video focusing on the subject, these are often interactive and are voiced by Maggie. The video is then followed by a quiz to test what you have learnt and you are given homework to complete at the end of each module.

Throughout the course you are also given an insight to hypnotherapy being used during labour. You are able to watch home birth videos from women who put everything that you are being taught into practice, I must admit that this was completely fascinating/ a little terrifying. I mean I have given birth and have watched "One Born Every Minute" but it's very different when you are seeing it from "the other side", if you know what I mean. These women were incredible though and I was completely in awe of them.



One of my favourite modules was the module discussing fear during childbirth, Maggie goes into the history of childbirth which, as a history enthusiast, I found so interesting. It really helped me compartmentalise the fear in my brain and really ask myself what I was afraid of. Another interesting concept that Maggie discusses during this module is the way in which mammals give birth and that us as humans still look towards those animalistic tendencies when giving birth.

Throughout the course you are given a number of relaxation methods and tracks to help you before, during and even after the birth. I found the tips on breathing particularly helpful and have been practising since. You can download the tracks provided on to your phone making it more accessible when the time comes. There are also a number of modules and techniques for your birth partner. Maggie explains that the birth partner can often feel like a spare part during labour but she gives specific instructions, tips and techniques so that the birth partner is on hand throughout and helping the mother as much as possible. I had not heard of any of these techniques before, Nath and I watched a few of the modules together and he made notes of the different techniques he could do once I am in labour.



I also found the "Understanding Hormones" module hugely interesting, finding out about how oxytocin and adrenaline affect you differently during labour and what you can do to discourage adrenaline during childbirth was also a great topic and again, something that I didn't know.

Having had a baby once before and having been through the labour process, I honestly thought I knew it all. I went into this course with an open mind and not sure what to expect. Although I have given birth before I was still quite afraid, as we know, no two births are the same and having had retained placenta with Ava, it's something that has been at the back of my mind and worrying me since the beginning. However I can honestly say that this course has changed my views on childbirth. The wealth of information that Maggie provides you with is second to none. I feel like I am heading into this birth as a completely different person, I am no longer scared but excited. I feel like I can conquer whatever this labour throws at me and I shall do my best to put all of the hypnotherapy techniques into practice.

If you are pregnant, be it your first or fifth baby, I cannot recommend this course enough. It has completely changed my outlook on childbirth and it is now something that I am looking forward to rather than dreading.

The online course costs £97. You can find out more about the Natal Hypnotherapy courses here.

*I was offered the Natal Hypnotherapy course free of charge in exchange for an honest review

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Thursday, 9 February 2017

37 week pregnancy update




Feelings:

At just over 37 weeks pregnant I feel exhausted! Most days I've been dropping Ava in School and have been coming home and napping for a couple of hours. It's making me feel so lazy though and I still have so much to get ready for the baby.

Indigestion has come back with a vengeance and I'm finding that contrary to what the books and websites are telling me, I seem to have less room than ever in my stomach and I'm only managing to graze every day. If I have a big meal I end up being terribly sick.

I'll be honest and say that I've had enough of being pregnant now, I just want to meet my baby. Every day feels like Groundhog Day, I am tired, uncomfortable and so, so grumpy!



Cravings:

I'm mostly feeling like eating fruit at the moment and cereal, as like I said above I can't eat much due to indigestion and heartburn. .My sweet tooth is still going strong though and there is always room for dessert!!

Wearing:

It's all about comfort at the moment so my PJs are firmly on! I can't wait to buy myself a few new bits after the baby arrives though, having a limited, maternity wardrobe sucks!



Baby:

We had growth scan on Thursday as it didn't look like baby had grown at my last antenatal appointment. I wasn't worried though as I was always going for growth scans with Ava as they said that she would be small and she weighed 7lbs9 when she was born. All went very well at the growth scan, the midwife had no concerns and said that if the baby was born now it would weigh 6lbs odd and if I make it to 40 weeks it should weigh around the same as Ava. It's still very active and due to baby running out of room the pokes and prods are getting a little more painful now. I've always got a little foot poking out if my left hand side!

The nursery has now been stripped of it's old wallpaper thanks to my Father-in-Law and we now need to buy some lining paper before we paint it and add some carpet! The bathroom is finally finished and Ava's bedroom is sorted, so we're slowly getting there!

I've packed and re-packed my hospital bag and am pretty sure I have everything I need. I've almost finished my hypnobirthing course and shall be writing a post on my thoughts soon.

You can catch up on my previous updates here:

My 34 week pregnancy update
A bump update and the Christmas break so far
It's not you it's my hormones
My 20 week pregnancy update
Being a guilty (pregnant) full-time working mum
It's not going to be just the three of us anymore
My first trimester update
Baby number two and back to blogging



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Thursday, 2 February 2017

Is my heart ready to love another child?



Back in the Summer I wrote a post to Ava, about how it wasn't just going to be the three of us anymore. At the time there were a lot of changes going on, I was still in the early stages of pregnancy and preparing myself to go back to work after the long Summer holidays off with Ava, she was about to start School and I had crazy pregnancy hormones swirling around. It was a hard time but since then things have settled, Ava is loving School, my return to work was wonderful and my hormones seemingly settled.

However, with just over 3 weeks until my due date, those feelings have crept up on me again. I feel unprepared, emotionally and physically. Although my hospital bags have been packed for weeks and we have everything that we need for baby, the nursery is nowhere near completion and I'm having those same feelings of guilt over Ava. I've always said that I'm glad we left quite a big age gap between our children, Ava will be 5 next month, but at the same time I wonder if I would feel this way if the age gap were smaller, would I feel this guilty feeling if the age gap had only been a couple of years? If Ava hadn't have had all of those years of us to herself?

I worry that she'll feel pushed out and not as loved anymore, will she come to resent the baby and resent me? I know that she's my daughter but Ava is such a lovely child, she's a joy to be around (most days) and is so loving. She has been nothing but excited since the day we told her she was going to be a big sister and is always telling me how much she loves the baby. I think when you're a mother to one child, and your heart is already so full, you wonder how you could possibly find the room to love another. At the moment, although I of course love this baby already, I don't know it.. I don't even know if it will be a boy or a girl. And I know from speaking to other parents that you of course love your other babies but at the moment I can't picture us as a family of four.

This new little person coming into our lives seems almost alien, exciting but alien. It's going to change everything and part of me worries that I'm not quite ready. I know this is my hormones talking, it's a new chapter of our lives and I know that's bound to make me feel a little nervous and it will take some adjusting to.

I just hope that I can still be a good mummy to both of my babies.

Have any of you with a big gap between your children felt like this?
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