Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Maternity wear dilemmas: dressing up

When I'm pregnant I always find it that bit more challenging to dress up for special occasions. I like to show off my bump but not other parts of me which are less erm, svelte, than usual! The normal me likes short hemlines and high heels but when pregnant my priority is comfort.

Here's what I wore to the wedding we were at in Edinburgh recently. This maternity dress was bought on sale from Asos and I loved wearing it as it's the perfect length, and is feminine and flattering without revealing too much. The shrug came from John Lewis (non-maternity) and I bought my normal size so I can wear it after pregnancy. I can't fasten it just now but it looks nicer open anyway. And in the shoe department I went for some very comfy mid-heeled wedges from Debenhams. My feet were happy all day which was a great relief as I was also chasing a 2 year-old around!

For good measure I've thrown in a photo of R striking a pose in his kilt. If you've never ceilidh danced with a man in a kilt you should put it on your bucket list. Haha. truly one of my favourite things.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Easter catch-up

Wow, life gets busy at this time of year! Hence the lack of updates but I thought I'd check in with a general post about all things.

R was off work for the last few weeks so we spent some time getting away from it all, firstly in Perthshire and then in Edinburgh. I wasn't that familiar with Perthshire but I can now confirm what a breathtakingly beautiful part of Scotland it is, packed with scenic lochs, countryside and unspoilt villages. We stayed at a lovely lodge overlooking Loch Tay which was very comfortable and a great base for exploring the area.

Next we were in gorgeous Edinburgh for the wedding of some friends. It was a unique situation as my husband and I actually introduced the couple getting married a few years ago (not a deliberate matchmake but it worked out wonderfully all the same!) so it seemed as if most of the guests were old university friends either of my own or R's. It was such a fun day and a great chance to catch up with good friends, not to mention a beautiful wedding. R was best man and gave a hilarious and also rather touching speech.

Pregnancy has been going well and I'm feeling well most of the time. Bump is growing nicely! I took advantage of having R around a lot by taking naps when possible and letting him take on more of the parenting responsibilities. That was sheer bliss and I hope to get the chance again soon. Some exciting news about the baby is that we had our 20 week scan and found out that we are expecting another boy! I had my suspicions that this was the case and we are already imagining V and his little brother playing together. I'm almost 22 weeks pregnant and I'm amazed to already be beyond the halfway point.

Here are a few instagram snaps from the last few weeks. I hope everyone is having a great Easter break!

Friday, 28 March 2014

The Sublime Bump: 18 weeks

My ordinary clothes are being gradually shifted to the back of the wardrobe now that I have this big 18 week bump. My bump photo this week shows how tight my winter coat has become, and it's still a bit too chilly outside for wearing my coats unbuttoned. More sun please!

At 18 weeks, baby is about the size of a sweet potato/5.6 inches long. Symptoms wise I've been ok, but I did feel a bit unwell at the weekend. I had swollen glands and a sore throat, which thankfully didn't develop into anything too bad but I've been trying to take it easy because my immune system clearly isn't as great as usual. I've found myself having to get up slowly when I've been sitting or lying down as I can get dizzy. I think this is due to low blood pressure which I also had last time.

Pregnancy cravings have been getting more interesting. I've become absolutely mad for peanut butter. I want to put it on everything including cheese sandwiches and cucumber, which is definitely not something that would normally appeal to me! V has jumped on this bandwagon with me and we have our peanut-buttered toast together in the mornings for breakfast. I'm glad to be indulged by my little companion! Other food I'm craving is anything spicy, especially curries. This evening I tried a new Madhur Jaffrey recipe for green coriander chicken, interestingly a Kenyan curry recipe. I added extra chillies to give it the desired kick and it was a bit different and really delicious. I found a link here to the recipe on another blog if you're interested, and I can heartily recommend Madhur Jaffrey's Ultimate Curry Bible as a great recipe book. Oh and I'm also addicted to salt and vinegar flavoured rice cakes. And lemon! It's no wonder my son likes sharp and spicy flavours - these are what I really crave when pregnant and I was a real curry addict when I was carrying him.

This week I'm extra happy because my husband is now off work for a few weeks. Relaxation and pampering time is mine at last while R takes over some of the parental and domestic duties! Bliss.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

The Sublime Bump: 17 weeks

Another week, another bump selfie.

I'm counting down the 3 weeks until my next scan. It's been a while since my last scan and at this point I am so keen just to see that everything is going ok and also hopefully to find out the sex of this little one. I'm currently thinking boy but only time will tell!

What's new this week is that I've been getting very hungry during the night! At around 3/4 am generally I'll wake up hungry and if it's extreme to the point that I can't get back to sleep then I have to have a small snack. Apart from that my symptoms haven't been much different this week.

At 17 weeks, baby is apparently about the size of an onion or about 5.1 inches long. V is increasingly aware of my growing tummy and the baby within! He seems quite happy about the idea so far so that's a promising sign. He also thinks there is a baby in his tummy, and yesterday I found him 'breastfeeding' a toy tiger after his bath. So clearly his maternal instincts are kicking in too :)

My current main food craving is for pomegranate, so I'm happy to find my cravings becoming healthier. V and I will sit at the kitchen table and chat while we dismantle and devour a whole fruit together, so that's a nice little ritual we have been enjoying together.

In the photos I'm wearing Topshop Leigh maternity jeans (again!) and T shirt also from Topshop (but non-maternity).

Sunday, 16 March 2014

The sublime bump: 16 weeks

This post is a bit late. But I've not had much time to myself as trying to sleep more has meant going to bed at 9pm when I get the chance!

So I am about 4 months pregnant now, and since I've been feeling better the time has really seemed to fly by! I've been reading up on hypnobirthing a bit in the last week, and this time around I'm feeling more excited about the birth itself. I suppose that's probably because I have a better idea of what to expect now.

The bump is so obvious now which is great. It's nice to be congratulated when people notice it! I'm rediscovering maternity clothes from last time which are so nice and comfortable to wear again. This dress is from Topshop maternity.

At 16 weeks baby is about the size of an avocado, or 4.6 inches long. Symptoms-wise I've still been feeling quite good, only getting nauseous when I'm hungry or tired. I'm not sleeping quite as well as usual but it's not too bad if I go to bed very early! I've been using coconut oil or almond oil as a body moisturiser each morning to help my skin as it stretches.

Can anyone share with me experiences of using hypnobirthing techniques? I didn't look into it last time but I'm becoming interested in some of the principles. If it worked/didn't work for you I would love to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

The Sublime Bump: 15 weeks

15 weeks pregnant! The last week has been a bit exhausting because our whole family was struck down with a dreadful tummy bug and now V has a cough. But I am so relieved to be over that bug, if a bit tired from getting up in the night with V!

At 15 weeks baby will be around the size of a navel orange. That seems big - no wonder my bump is getting so pronounced. I've been feeling movement since about 11 weeks, which is much earlier than I felt it in my first pregnancy. I'm having an antenatal check up tomorrow and I'm hoping I might get to hear baby's heartbeat then.

Symptoms wise I'm feeling pretty good at the moment. I'm having some nausea particularly when I'm tired, and I am feeling the need for more sleep than usual, but not really getting it at the moment as my little guy is a bit ill and not sleeping well. I feel hungry all the time so I'm eating a lot more than usual. The things I'm eating are fairly healthy but I do have the urge to eat a lot of things with cheese in them! Toasted sandwiches, baked potatoes and quesadillas have been big cravings recently.

Another symptom I tend to have when pregnant is restless legs, and here's where I can give a top tip to fellow sufferers: I find that eating bananas really helps lessen this irritating problem. I craved bananas a lot in my first pregnancy which helped me discover the connection!

I'm afraid I didn't manage to take the clearest photos but you can see that my bump is growing. This week I'd be grateful for any advice on how not to overeat in pregnancy as this is something I am struggling with!

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

The Sublime Bump: 14 weeks!

Welcome to a new series of pregnancy updates. This pregnancy has not exactly been what I can call 'sublime' so far, but I'm hoping that this week I've hit a turning point: yesterday and today I feel as if I've been emerging from the fog of morning sickness. I'm feeling very excited and hopeful!

A lot of expectant mum bloggers chart their weight gain on their blogs which I think is very brave! But I have made the conscious decision not to weigh myself during both of my pregnancies. This is just because I don't want to stress myself about what I'm gaining or not gaining. As long as I feel I'm eating right and my midwives are happy with my weight, I take that as a good sign! And I seem to have big babies (judging by last time) so I think that's a decent excuse for becoming pretty massive!

At 14 weeks baby is about the size of a lemon. My placenta should have taken over production of hormones for baby by now, which is a big reason for me starting to feel better. You can see in the lower picture that I'm starting to develop a bump, which is always a nice stage because the fact of your pregnancy starts to feel even more real when it becomes visible to the world. I'm definitely feeling most comfortable in my maternity jeans now and in the pictures I'm wearing Topshop Leigh maternity jeans.

Symptoms I'm having are just minor things like waking up in the night to go to the loo and slightly restless legs. I'm also needing to eat snacks regularly to stave off nausea.

Generally I am just feeling so happy and excited about this pregnancy. I feel like I'll really be able to enjoy this second trimester and I can't wait to get out and see my friends again now that things are improving.