Wednesday, 27 February 2013

The ups & downs of 38 week bump

So here I am, only a few days away from 39 weeks and a strange thing has happened... I feel like I am going backwards! My daughter would already have been born by this point and I thought I might find it depressing going over that point but I don't at all, it would have felt too soon really. Last week was my final week at work and I felt really tired and emotional and like I might pop at any moment. I was so relieved to finish and know that I would be closer to home in case anything did happen.

I am now half way through my first week of leave and bump seems to have chilled out and moved up (yes up) again. It looks and feels much higher than it did last week, I am in reverse! Not sure what is going on? Maybe it's the calm of being at home and me enjoying a bit of time with my little girl that has relaxed it. I am comfortable enough at the moment so not too worried but ask me the same question in a week or 3 and we'll see what I say! It's only nights that are the problem with about 4 toilet stops and it takes a lot of effort to get out of my bed... I usually find myself awake from 5am to about 6.30 thinking about baby names. So annoying when you are so tired and trying to stock up that sleep!

At my last midwife appointment they said the head isn't engaged yet but the midwife did say that can happen a lot more suddenly with the second and that you won't notice such a drop. Did anyone else find this with the second child?

I'm off to buy some pineapple juice just for a bit of encouragement anyway. :D x

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Review – MaterniCare Pre and Post Natal Nourishing Cream Review

For the last week I have been lucky enough to be testing out MaterniCare, a new pre & post natal nourishing cream.

With a unique blend of rich plant oils and essential vitamins it is designed to nourish and care for your skin as your bump grows and then to support your body as it recovers.

I am now at 37 weeks and I honestly wish I had discovered this cream earlier! It's brand new on our shelves though and I believe being launched in Boots this month.

Aside from the worry of stretch marks, my skin on my ever expanding tummy had been starting to get quite dry – the cold weather probably hasn't helped! As it stretches tighter I've been finding it getting itchy, irritated and generally in need of some loving care!

The MaterniCare cream is a lovely thick smooth cream which really feels like it is nourishing every inch of your skin. It doesn't leave any greasiness - just smoothness and softness. I found it a really relaxing experience applying the cream and have been using it before bed to help me feel calm and replenished. My skin hasn't been dry since using it and so I gave been much more comfortable during the day. I imagine it would go some way to help prevent stretch marks although it's too late in the day for me to probably tell!

They say for best results to apply after soaking the skin. I've not had much time for baths this time around but I know during my first pregnancy (when I wasn't always busy bathing a toddler) it was a frequent routine!

I have tried other creams in the past, one quite expensive which I found light and a bit greasy and other than that I have had cocoa butter. That seems to be what people recommend but for me, after a while, the smell became just too much, you don't want a strong smell when you are using something day to day!! MaterniCare is fragrance free which was a huge plus for me. I want to smell like me, not somebody covered in maternity products!

Here's a bit about what they say about the cream:

Its gentle, hypoallergenic formula is packed full of pro-vitamin B5 – a powerful natural skin healer and protector – as well as almond, avocado and grape seed oils, vitamin E and soothing calendula. Massaging MaterniCare into your breasts, tummy, thighs, hips and bottom twice daily will help keep your skin strong, smooth and supple throughout.

Sounds good? I was lucky enough to be sent this to try for free but I would honestly recommend it, it's has been a big hit with me and with big bump!

Maternity inspiration at Vertbaudet

I have spent many an evening browsing the Vertbaudet website. Usually for clothes for my little girl and often at their gorgeous ranges for children's bedrooms. More recently (due to my current state) my attentions turned to their maternity clothes. Dressing your bump can be a tricky time, not wanting to spend too much on clothes you may never wear again, but at the same time wanting to feel good and feel comfortable. I found the best idea was to invest in a few key pieces, always keeping my eye on the sales sections!

Vertbaudet maternity clothes offer really reasonable value, with the simple effortless style I have come to expect from their ranges. As with their kids clothes, they are practical but also look really good.

Here are a few of my personal top picks!

Jersey Maternity Dress:

Maternity Blouse:

Maternity Tunic:

Maternity Jeans:

Maternity Trousers:

Before & After Sleepwear:

Vertbaudet also do a swimwear range, being in the water feels great when you're feeling so heavy so a good maternity swimsuit is an essential item! Here's my favourite:

Maternity Swimsuit:

Not too much longer on the maternity clothes for me... I'll be back browsing their baby clothes soon. Have fun dressing your bumps!

Please note this is a featured post but all the ideas and opinions are my own.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Al Fresco 'Young Story Writer of the Year Competition'

Oh I do love a good competition and here is a fantastic one for you, I only wish my daughter was old enough to enter it! Al Fresco holidays are hosting a national 'Young Story Writer of the year' competition. They have teamed up with children's book author, Jeremy Strong, to give children a chance to explore there story telling and writing skills. I love it when competitions are creative and it is a great thing that this one is encouraging children's imaginations in this way. To inspire and get your family started Jeremy Strong has written his very own story 'Joe's Unusual Journey'.

The theme is 'My Fantastic Journey'... going on my daughter's current role play games I'm pretty sure her story would involve a trip to Jupiter with a magical fairy... at three she certainly has the imagination but sadly not the writing skills!

But for anyone with children aged 6 to 12 it's time to get their thinking caps on and let their imaginations run wild! Each day a random entry is uploaded to the kidz blog on the Al Fresco Holidays website and then the top 5 entries will be judged and in with the chance of winning a family holiday to an Al Fresco Parc of their choice. 

With 55 parcs all across Europe this will be a hard choice to make and I'm sure will be a family fun trip of a lifetime. 

Some more details:
The competition is open from the 3rd of February until the 31st of March and is open to children aged six to twelve. Entries must have a word limit of up to 500 words. Further information of the competition can be found on the Al Fresco Kidz blog, along with Jeremy Strong's short story which he wrote exclusively for Al Fresco Holidays, Joe's Unusual Journey. More details are available on their blog:

So if you are stuck for something to give the kids to do this half term this could be a great idea, you can find the entry form here:

Good luck!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

36 weeks

The strangest thing about being 36 weeks pregnant is the idea that I could go into labour in 2 weeks or 6 weeks time. It seems such a huge difference! My daughter was born at 38 weeks and a few people have said the second normally follows suit... others however have said it makes no difference! I'm trying not to assume he will come early as I think that will make being overdue really hard! Especially as I didn't have to wait the first time and friends that have gone over have found it really difficult.

With my daughter we just seemed to know, the doctor and the receptionist both said they didn't expect to see me again. My husband was giddy the night before my waters broke, telling Squiggle he couldn't wait to meet her tomorrow. He was almost right but it took her till the morning after to actually be born!

This time I have no clue, but i have noticed some changes but they are different from before. My tummy feels like it's pressing down and forwards when I sit, I can't really cross my legs all of a sudden and the front of my pelvis aches quite a lot. I made the mistake of googling this the other night, never a good idea to consult forums with medical enquiries! The doctor said it was simply the baby moving downwards.

The swelling in my hands and ankles isn't tooooo bad but my left foot is suddenly bigger than my right, what on earth does that mean?!

I am looking forward to starting my maternity leave in a week and a half, am terrified by the thought of having a baby in tube travel rush hour!! Really not up for naming my child after a London tube station.

I was in a flap about the labour this time (now I know it really does hurt) but have calmed down after chatting to friends and my fellow twitter mums.

This will sound silly I always feel nervous about writing too much on my blog about my pregnancy in the fear it will jinx things but I have been finding other peoples updates really helpful to read so am sharing mine for the same reason!

I would love to hear if anybody's experiences have been similar to mine? X x

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Not forgotten!

Sorry blog for the lack of attention you are getting, my days are spent working, my evenings catching up on time with my 3 year old and enjoying our story time together, and late evenings sorting, sorting, sorting. Have so much stuff to sort through to try and convert the spare room into a happy space for a little one! It seems a never ending task so am doing a little every night and have had no time for anything else!

Back soon with its of enthusiasm I promise x