A new member of the household has arrived! Previously known as Bump, Little I entered the world yesterday weighing 7lb 3oz. She is absolutely perfect :-)
This week has been a bit if a black hole and certainly the low point of this pregnancy. My latent labour symptoms have increased to the point where I have barely slept. Intense backache has plagued my days and nights. I've spent most of my time wandering around the house or getting a numb bumb in a high backed chair. So much for snuggling on the sofa with Little E for our last week of twosomeness.
What have we been up to... Not a lot! Sleep deprivation and shocking weather has meant we have been stuck inside but we did make it to Little E's Jo Jingles class and a last minute trip to the shops to buy the all important post C section big knickers. Lots of movies have been watched whilst the slow cooker bubbles away with yet another casserole for the freezer. The nesting frenzy has continued and you can't fit a fishfinger in there now for labelled Tupperware - anyone would think armageddon is coming not a baby! I've also been preparing for Little E's birthday on Sunday wrapping her presents and trying to find hiding places. Oh how I miss the spare room!
Waking up at 5am this morning means I have actually made it. Today I am 39+6 wks and it is the day of my C section (and also, importantly, Husband's 30th birthday) actually managed 5 hours sleep last night which is a record for this week. Now it is here I am excited but I feel a little anxious about saying goodbye to Little E in an hours time knowing when I see her next everything will have changed. But changed for the better with a new little person to share our life.
My next post will be about Bump who will actually have a name. Exciting stuff!
This week is turning into the week from hell. Baby has turned back to back and I feel like I am in labour constantly. My back aches as baby's spine presses against mine and my bump looks like an alien, all limbs kicking and punching out front. I feel like my pelvis is about to crack like a walnut. The underneath of my bump aches like I have permanent period pain. When baby is being good and lying in a nice position I am lulled into a false sense of security, only for the little monkey to do a flip and render me rocking on all fours at 3am trying to spin it to unblock my trapped intestine...
Midwife appointment confirmed my back to back theory and that baby's head is nestled well down in 4/5ths of my pelvis. In two weeks Bump has gone from measuring 2cm's smaller than average to 2cm over! That's 4cm in 2 weeks! I suspect the change of position has a lot to do with it rather than baby suddenly piling on the pounds but Bump's shape has also rounded out so perhaps the brownies have something to do with it too... I was warned that my symptoms sound like the early latent stages of labour and to watch out for waters breaking and regular contractions so I can get myself to the hospital in time to still have a C section. Things got so bad earlier in the week I resorted to a midnight checkup at the Delivery suite! Diagnosis - severe internal bruising... Naughty baby!!!
Despite all this I did manage to get out and about this weekend - Afterall I can't sit down for long without a lot of pain. A trip to Kiddicare in Croydon was on the cards to return a duplicate present and Little E loved running around the store trying out all the baby toys. Luckily husband was there to exert some form of control as I was shuffling around. We realised just how much we gear we have for Bump leftover from Little E - second time round certainly is cheaper!
This time next I'll be at the hospital cuddling my baby! I am so ready now it can't come quick enough!
Have you ever seen glamorous, pregnant celebs such as Holly Willoughby on screen and thought 'Where does she find such amazing maternity wear?' I know I have and a few weeks ago I was offered a very special opportunity to find out the answer. I love to dabble with fabrics and taught myself to follow a pattern when I made my seven (yes, seven!) bridesmaid's dresses. So when I was invited to visit the design studio at Tiffany Rose special occasion maternity wear I jumped at the chance to see how the groundbreaking professionals work.
Tiffany Rose was established ten years ago by mum Tiffany London who spotted a huge gap in the market for high quality, stylish yet classic, maternity occasion wear. Juggling a fledgling business with looking after her two children full time, she made it her mission to make sure mums-to-be had the opportunity to look and feel stunning be it at a wedding, Christmas party or date night in their own front room.
Initially running the business single handed from home, dashing to the post office to send out orders between the school run and tea time, Tiffany has smashed through all the obstacles typically thrown at a start up business and grown to become an international success, leading the category in luxury ready-to-wear maternity occasion wear. One word: inspirational.
The design studio in Surbiton, Surrey is a thriving hub of design, dispatch and sales. Tiffany still oversees all aspects of the business from her team of designers to her pristine organised packing and shipping area. It is this hands on approach which keeps her brand ethos so strong and is reflected across the collection.
The design team create each season's collection from scratch drawing inspiration from style icons of the 50's and 60's. Using the finest quality jersey, silks and lace sourced from across the world they create, hone and refine each piece with meticulous detail before they begin working with British manufacturers to create the ready-to-wear garments you can buy online.
The quality of the dresses speak for themselves. The cut is impeccable, designed to skim the growing bump, accent the neckline and flatter the waist using complementary sashes. Bestsellers from the current collection include the romantic cap sleeved lace Eden gown (available in short and full length) and their range of ready-to-wear maternity wedding dresses.
Many of the dresses also work well during nursing. Being close to my due date I was particularly interested in the Cocoon and Willow dresses which allow for discreet breastfeeding. The fabrics are sumptuous and, really importantly, fully lined to further streamline the shape and avoid any hideous static cling! I can see how the cut of these dresses will look great for months after baby has arrived.
It is easy to understand why so many celebrities (and even international royalty) choose to wear Tiffany Rose during their pregnancy. Recently the design studio was contacted to make a bespoke gown for Naiyana Garth, pregnant girlfriend of actor and star of Mandela Idris Elba, for the Golden Globes ceremony. The team had just four days to design, create and fit the gown. It was all hands on deck to make sure she looked stunning and confident on the red carpet.
I was treated to a sneaky peak at the Spring/Summer 2014 collection launching soon and there are some stunning new pieces perfect for summer weddings, christenings and garden parties. I left the studio clutching a beautifully wrapped box containing the nursing dresses I loved and a sample from the new collection. I can't wait to wear them, especially with two weddings and Bump's christening this year, so watch this space for pictures of the dresses in action!
You can find the extensive range of Tiffany Rose special occasion maternity wear and maternity bridal wear online at www.tiffanyrose.com
I was given a selection of Tiffany Rose dresses after my visit for review purposes but all opinions are my own.
This post is linked to the #PoCoLo fun on Twitter. Join in each week at www.vevivos.com
This morning I have decided to share how we found out we were pregnant. These truly were two of the most special moments in our lives and should be recorded for prosperity!
Little E included a few false starts! We were on holiday in Normandy, France for a wedding with Husband's family. I was due the day of the wedding so I took a couple of Clearblue digital tests with me to make sure I could drink at the reception without worry. I tested a few days before and on the day but both were negative so I joined in the festivities - after all if you test on the day your period is due it is 99.9% effective right? Days past and my period did not appear (despite what I thought were period pains). Cue a visit to a French pharmacy to buy more tests. Both negative... So at this point I am 4 days overdue and have a stack of negative tests. Naturally we thought I was just late. The holiday came to an end and on the ferry home I was struck by an intense desire to eat pizza, not just any pizza, it had to have parma ham on it. I couldn't stop talking about it and convinced Husband to stop at Tesco on the way home. It was going to be nearly midnight by the time we got there but I didn't care. I had to have it! Husband was taken aback by my odd behaviour and said we had to get another test and I could only eat the pizza if it was positive (meany). The first thing I did when we finally got home was turn the oven on (priorities) and run upstairs. Within a few minutes we had a positive test and I was in shock. Complete shock! I was a week late by this point and had been relying on the little white stick to live up to it's 99.9% accuracy rate. I had to eat the whole pizza just to get over it!
Bump was a far shorter tale! We hadn't been trying for very long and I was pretty regular so I hadn't needed to take any tests but this month I was a day late and experiencing period cramping overnight. Coincidentally it was Father's Day and we were both lying in bed half asleep waiting for Little E to wake up. I casually suggested to Husband that I might take a test (not that I trusted them much anymore!) and he grunted some half awake approval so off I toddled... And there it was - Pregnant! I returned to Husband and handed him the test simply saying 'Happy Father's Day!'. It was his turn to be in shock! We couldn't resist telling our immediate families that day as we felt finding out on Father's Day was a sign.
Two very special #magicmoments. Link up your memories each Monday at theoliversmadhouse.co.uk
My nesting instinct has gone turbo this week as I spend most of my time packing and repacking my hospital bag, folding vests and organising Bump's wardrobe and tidying every corner of the house. I could probably host afternoon tea in the cupboard under the stairs it is that tidy. The situation got a little out of control on Friday night when the washing machine stopped working mid-cycle. Typically Husband was out so I called him in a flap and was told not to worry about it and he'd sort it out the next day. Well, that wasn't going to cut it. The baby could come any minute and I still have laundry to do! Cut to me looking like a crazed woman on my hands and knees fixing the washing machine in a flooded utility room...
We had our bump photo shoot this weekend with my Uncle. It was fun but slightly stressful as Little E was having none if it and had to be bribed with sweets to pose and even then she smiled for about three seconds. If we've got 5 usable shots then we'll be lucky! But it has reassured me that I will have pictures of Bump after panicking about having little photographic evidence of this pregnancy. First time round you take pictures of bump every month but second time you are lucky to get photographed unawares in the background of a shot!
Two weeks today is C section day. Feeling really excited about it now and cannot wait for it to get here. Just feeling anxious that I don't go into labour before then. Last few nights I've been shockingly uncomfortable with backache which has made me a little nervous as Little E's (induced) labour began with bad backache for a day before contractions kicked in. Fingers crossed Bump stays put until 18th!
I have had a good moan on the blog about the lack of maternity wear available on the high street, resulting in most of my pregnancy shopping being conducted online. There are definitely more great quality maternity clothes available online now than three years ago when I had Little E, ranging from high street chains offering a maternity selection to dedicated brands designing exclusively for mums-to-be. And now there is even more choice as popular French maternity wear brand Envie de Fraises launch in the UK.
I was lucky enough to be invited to browse their website and choose three pieces of maternity fashion to review on my blog. I immediately noticed the website had a really wide choice of clothes, the majority being comfortable, stylish daywear and staple wardrobe basics. Most of the clothes are block colour which makes it easy to accessorise and dress up (or down) outfits. It is also reasonably priced so a new wardrobe won't break the bank.
As I am at the end of my pregnancy I decided to choose clothes from the nursing section so I could get the maximum benefit from them after Bump is born. My first item is the Kit Homewear maternity and nursing 3 essentials set in blue at £57.49
The set comprises of a sleeveless vest style top, overbelly yoga style trousers and a cardigan. All in a silky smooth fabric with a bit if stretch to keep it in place. The top has a clever wrap front design which allows you to breastfeed discreetly. This is really comfortable and has gone straight in my hospital bag as it will be perfect to wear during the first few days when I'm really uncomfortable but want to look nice when people are visiting.
The second item is the pregnancy and nursing wrap top in black at £28.74
This is a great basic wardrobe item which will go with everything. It has the same cross front nursing feature as the Kit Homewear top so perfect for feeding when out and about. I have a feeling I'll be purchasing this in multiple colours (there is a short sleeve version too).
The final item I selected is the Divine maternity wrap dress, pictured here in blue but I chose a peacock green at £45.99
This dress allows you to wrap and tie the top half yourself so you can alter the shape and wrap it to fit your body perfectly - great for the changes to your boobs during pregnancy and breastfeeding. And yes, you guessed it, the front of the dress easily peels open so you can feed baby without exposing too much flesh. I wore this dress for Husband's surprise 30th birthday party and received lots of compliments. It was comfortable to wear and I can see how it is designed to grow with your bump over the months. My only criticism is that it isn't lined so does show up lumps and bumps. Tights underneath to smooth the silhouette are a must (unless you have perfect thighs!)
All the clothes have washed well and keep their shape and colour. I would definitely recommend for some nice quality, maternity wardrobe basics at a reasonable cost. The site offers free delivery and returns so you can order a couple of sizes and try on at home. You can find the full clothing range online at www.enviedefraises.co.uk
I was sent these clothes free of charge for review purposes but all views and opinions are my own.
There is a long story behind this picture! Three years ago I was at home, alone waiting for Little E to arrive. We had just decorated our new open plan downstairs but it was looking like a cream shell so I got creative and designed a picture to hang above our sofa. Off I went to Hobbycraft and bought a big canvas and loads of pink fabric odds and ends to match our pink curtains. I was full of inspiration but by the time I got home I was shattered so I put the canvas and fabrics away to start the next day. And there they stayed for three years...
Fast forward to yesterday and I am pregnant again, at home waiting for baby to arrive. Husband took Little E out and I made it my mission to start (and finish!) the wall art. The background fabric is special because it is leftover from our bridesmaid dress making marathon five years ago. I stretched it across the canvas using my staple gun then cut out lots butterfly templates from card. I used the templates to create lots of butterflies from the assorted fabrics. I laid them out across the canvas to get the basic design then added netting and ribbons behind the butterflies weaving in and out to create texture and detail. I was short on time so instead of sewing everything down I used bonding web which meant I could finish the project before the family arrived home. In total it took me four hours which I think was pretty good going and it looks great above our sofa, matching our jewel toned room colours perfectly. In the words of Gordon... Done.
This post is linked up to #WhatsTheStory and #CreativeMondays linkys via twitter.
This week has been great. My pelvis has been behaving itself and I have been able to tick lots off my to do list ready for Bump's arrival. I'm surprised how quickly I have forgotten about work. Within two weeks I have completely disassociated with the projects I was manically working on, staying late and losing sleep over. I am definitely missing the people and office gossip though! It was the right thing to do finishing early as fatigue is really catching up with me. One hour of activity now has to be balanced by an hour of rest to recover! Walking is also interesting as baby must bounce on my bladder with every step I take...
A new development has emerged on the sleep front. I'm generally sleeping fine (except for the constant need to switch sides all night to give each hip a rest and prevent thigh cramp). However, Little E has decided this is the perfect point in her life to start waking throughout the night demanding to sleep in our bed. Refusal to remain in her own bed has resulted in sleepless nights spent continually replacing her or giving in and sleeping on the edge of the bed with little feet kicking my back. I am wondering of the clingy behaviour is linked to the imminent arrival of Bump or just a usual phase. Either way we have three weeks to nip it in the bud!
Artist, Baker and Blogger. Mum to my two beautiful, cheeky girls. Muddling my way through parenthood with equally cheeky Husband.