Week 19: Midwife Drama – The Bump Diaries

Not every pregnancy is straight forward; the same goes for midwife appointments. Sometimes pregnancy appointments can involve drama or frustration.

It is the week before my 20 week scan and it is filled with appointments. For me this week has involved tears, fears and bleeding. For the last week I have been itching at night in my sleep that my legs have scratches all down them and red raw.

This week is the first time that I was meeting my actual midwife for the first time; all of my other appointments were with covering staff. I was really excited – this is the lady that I will be going through this really important journey of my first pregnancy. All of the other midwives I had met at my surgery had been so wonderful – if she was half as nice and supportive as them, she was going to be lovely.

Turns out I couldn’t be further from the truth. Maybe she was annoyed at me – I had missed my last appointment with her because my surgery had messed up informing me about the date and time that I had it down as the following day. I arrived on time at my appointment and sat in the little waiting room; 20 minutes later I was sat worrying that I had somehow been given the wrong time or date again when a couple came out of the midwife office. It was another 10 minutes before I was called in and a very half-hearted “sorry for the wait”.

The appointment started with her getting the information that was required for the paperwork for the surgery and my pregnancy booklet. She rushed through everything making me feel 10cm tall or just a piece of meat being researched. It may have been because she was running so late with her appointments so wanted to try to play catch up but as a first impression it was horrible.

Midwife drama - the bump diariesI have a complex health history so my pregnancy is high risk on a couple of fronts. With all of the others I have been asked before any measurements or “must have” paper work to be filled out all about my medical history but this was only part two of the appointment and even this felt rushed by her and worse ignored. She was barely listening, so missed a couple of key points that when they came up later I was met with a blank face and confusion only having to explain it again. So again it was not a great impression for someone I was supposed to be putting the life of myself and baby into.

I tried to brush it off that this was just her feeling rushed and under pressure. We all have our bad days and she will get to know me more from my notes or other appointments. I know the strain that the NHS has been put under recently.

When it came to the final part though of the appointment, where she asked if there was any questions that I may have, that I realised this wasn’t the case. I love lists – for someone who is really forgetful I use lists to make sure that I ask all the right things at appointments. As with my other appointments I had a list of questions or issues with me; this one was made up of 6 items but none of these got any resolve.

Starting at the top I ask questions but all I get is evidence that she had ignored a lot of things I had told her in my “medical history” conversation to even getting “I don’t know – I don’t do high risk pregnancies” from her. As someone with a complex pregnancy that is high risk for a number of reasons this really did just break me. So many times she didn’t care or have any idea of dealing with anything I was going through.

When it came to my ripped up legs she didn’t care that she wouldn’t even look at them and was too busy looking off into the distance. Despite having 2 more items on my list I just decided to skip them or half-hearted ask about them – I had the feeling she wasn’t listening, that I wasn’t going to get any help and that she wanted me out of the office as soon as possible.

Getting home I told my partner just how useless that appointment was – I still had all these fears, issues and questions left unanswered many of which the baby books tell you to talk to your midwife if and when they come up. To me that whole appointment was just a tick box appointment and I felt anxious. BF had known about the itching having woken up to me when blood on my finger tips a few days before. Upon hearing that my midwife had “never heard of itching during pregnancy” so had no advice or help that she could provide, he told me I needed to call and book an appointment with a different midwife. Turns out that itching hands, feet and legs, especially to the point of bleeding, was a serious sign of a possible issue that needed to be checked out; a midwife that had never dealt with itching of any kind so brushed it off was dangerous in his eyes. I didn’t even get to the hurtful quips that I had faced about my medical history.

Two days later at my second dietitian appointment I finally broke down. All of those fears had just bubbled away so I broke down into tears. My dietitian has been brilliant; she is so well-informed that she broke down through most of my questions with what to do or who might be able to help with some support in the mean time. Her main advice was clear; change your midwife now.

I have since talked to my surgery and the receptionists have been incredible to get me a new midwife and arranged that I will never been seen by the other one at all. I now will be meeting with a lady that I have met before who was really lovely but also used to dealing with high risk pregnancies.

My lesson from all of this; if you are not happy with your midwife that it makes you break down in tears then you need to change. This period of life is so scary as so much can happen or go wrong; your midwife is someone you really need to respect, trust and be able to talk to.

Have you had problems with your midwife? Or other pregnancy related staff? Who was your saving grace when it came to medical staff? Do you have any helpful tips in dealing with staff? I would love to hear from you so leave a comment below!


heart button in a book: Meeting the midwife - the bump diaries

Week 18: Bump – The Bump Diaries

All through my pregnancy I have not felt like I looked pregnancy. I started with a lot of squishy parts; I had a bump but it was made up of squash-able fat. For weeks neither me or BF could see a difference – to us I was still the same width.

imageSince about 8 weeks I have been losing weight from struggling to eat enough food but my stomach stayed the same – little did we know that I was losing fat from my stomach. On top of this equilibrium between bump growing and fat loss, as we were seeing my shape everyday we didn’t realise that over time I had changed shape in a subtle way.

All of this time I had been either wearing big baggy t-shirts or maternity clothes – with my boobs having grown so fast early on I’d not been able to fit in my normal clothes for a while. It is surprising just how well maternity clothes are good at hiding a bump. This week my friend from school visited for the weekend – this was when it really hit me that I had a bump.

It was Saturday morning and rather than heading back to mine straight away we explored Brighton’s Vegfest. Nothing other than my food aversions or quick exhaustion came up until we left. On our way to Bravissamo, as there was one not in my friends city, I asked if I looked pregnant at all.

“If I didn’t know you no… but as I know you I can definitely see a difference.”

Turns out that I had a subtle bump even with the maternity top with a high bump rather than just spare tire. She felt really bad but for me it was a break through – I had a bump even if it was small!

At Bravissamo my friend searched for all the items that she wanted to try on. After finding some great things to try I grabbed a few too just so that I could go into the changing rooms with her and giggle. I also never get to go clothes shopping with friends so despite having a growing bump that was going to make any purchases pointless it was fun going in and enjoying dressing up.

With only three items to her eight I waited a few items before I tried anything on. The first top I tried despite being a 16 very curvy wouldn’t go over my boobs – oh well I knew they had gotten big. Next top went on and this time it was a light stripy jumper. Made from stretchy fabric this was actually got passed my boobs and down me. It was this point that I looked in the mirror and laughed – I had a bump and a very clear bump at that.

As I had struggled with the last top I had calls of “Did you get stuck and need me to help?” thinking it was another top that wasn’t going over my boobs only for me to tell her that I got it on and she’ll understand why I was laughing. With a call that she had another top on that she wanted an opinion on I opened the door to my changing room to a gasp.

I was very much pregnant and my clothes had been hiding it really well but this top showed off my real figure complete with very clear bump. As this had been a top that she had just tried on just before we had both seen what it should have looked like. There was no doubt now that I was out of the baby or burritos stage but my maternity clothes really hid that. It was that moment that I wondered when what I had thought was still just tubby old me was actually a baby bump – how long had I actually looked pregnant but hidden it from the world.
image

It is a crazy moment when you realise that you have a bump – there really is someone in there and soon it is going to be very obvious that you are pregnant to strangers. For a lot of women the emergence of their bump is worrying as they try to keep it a secret for as long as others, while for some it is a great moment that they can start to dress in a way that proudly shows it off. I could have bought that top and clearly shown off my bump to the world but for me this top was out of the question; the weather was starting to warm up and so even this light jump will be too warm to wear in a matter of weeks. It was fantastic though to see my bump and really feel pregnant especially with such a close friend present for that moment.

Finishing off our shopping trip we head back to mine to rest, eat and gossip for the evening. With such a big moment of feeling pregnant I had my next big moment when I got my first ever baby gift from my friend.

It turns out that my friend, since finding out about my pregnancy, had knitted the most adorable little baby jumper for me and my little one. As she, and I, didn’t know what the baby’s gender is she had kept it gender neutral so that no matter what I could use it.

I loved it! It was such a thoughtful, beautiful and wonderful gift that she had spent ages making especially by hand just for me. There was so much thought into it as she told me how she worked out what size the baby would probably be when the weather started to get cold so that the jumper should fit just right.

What an incredible week – not only do I officially have a bump but an incredible present from a close friend for my little one that I can imagine them in. It is weeks like this that make pregnancy great.

When did you realise that you had your bump? What was your first baby present? I’d love to hear from you about your pregnancy stories so leave a comment below!

This blog post was written March 2016 when I was 18 weeks pregnant and published in April 2016.

 

Life with Baby Kicks A Cornish Mum Life Love and Dirty Dishes


Week 17: Haircut – The Bump diaries

I hate having my haircut so I only manage to gather the courage to go maybe once or twice a year. The past year with my TBI really messing up my health I just didn’t go. Finally feeling well enough with bump and wanting to glamourous it was time to get myself a nice haircut.

I have a huge fear of hairdressers, especially female ones after growing up with my scary aunt cutting my hair or memories of my sister cutting off a lot of my hair. Over the years I have tried going to hair dressers but every time a lady does my hair I never enjoy it and they all seem to want me to dictate what I want. As someone who literally doesn’t own a hairdryer and just ties their hair up after a bath or shower I know nothing about how to do hair. There are pictures after pictures of me with hippy long wavvy hair that I can sit on because I would leave so long between haircuts.

The Bump Diaries - Hair Cut by the House of Hair in BrightonAbout 7 years ago I walked into a hairdressers two days before my dad’s wedding needing a haircut and I couldn’t put it off any longer. I asked for a haircut and didn’t care who it was as long as it was as soon as possible before I panicked and backed out. A tall tattooed cover man called Tony walked over and did my hair – it was the first time I felt not as scared and was happy enough to decide on what would look good on me. Ever since I have had a similar experience with the other male hairdressers – I don’t seem to panic so much and often they are really happy to design and decide on what my new haircut should be.

The last year and a bit I have been lucky to find a hairdresser that doesn’t scare me and I really do relax with. He used to work at Fordes in Brighton so with that now closed I had to track him down to find out he was now based at House of Hair in Kemptown a 5 minute walk from a regular appointment I had booked on the Thursday. After my early morning appointment I rock up ask if I can have an appointment with Dan to find he had a free slot in an hour.

After killing some time in a lovely cafe just up  the road I returned and it was time for a great catch up. The reason I love Dan is that he really knows how to calm and relax even the most terrified person, he will happily gossip away and take your mind off things, and designs your haircut based on what is best for you both in terms of up keep and appearance.

Now if you are pregnant there are a few changes to your normal hairdressing experience; for me the majority of those occur when they wash my hair. On top of not being able to use anything with essential oils or other pregnancy unsafe chemicals they are not allowed to give you a head massage for various reasons. For me this isn’t too much an issue – I actually hate people massaging my head with all the head injury and spinal issues. I know that others struggle though as they can’t have various hair treatments that they would normally get to enjoy, such as certain hair dyes.

The Bump Diaries - Hair Cut by the House of Hair in BrightonMy hair all clean and wet I sit down and the gossiping with Dan begins as he works out what fun exciting plans he has for my hair. As I barely manage to get my hair cut even every 6 months, and I do nothing with my hair other than brush and wash it, he asked just how much he could cut off. As my next haircut could be anywhere from 6 months to a year away I tell him he can cut it to just below my shoulders; this means I’ll have over a foot of hair cut off.

It is at this point that another member of staff is shocked but we both giggle and he explains the situation. She investigates my hair and gasps at how great the condition my hair is. “This is what happens when you don’t own a hairdryer or use straighteners!” I’m used to the shock of people finding out how low maintenance my hair routine is – Dan couldn’t help but giggle.

The experience was wonderful – Dan really does know how to make a girl feel wonderful and look that way too. I loved my hair and couldn’t stop grinning; my haircut was also so practical for my life. My haircut was designed so that no matter what I do my hair will look good when tied up or down, and won’t need any styling.

Of course I had to get photos and it was so wonderful that staff were quick to help with directing me to the best light and take the photos for me from various angles.

Now I’m a little embarrassed to admit that with all the flutter and conversations going on I sort of forgot to pay. As I stopped to send a photo to BF of my new hair I heard my name called. Ah has the dreaded baby brain hit me already! A quick return to the shop to sort out things (and everyone being very sweet about my bit of baby brain) and it was back to enjoying my hair.

I have promised to go back with baby in hand and after bump is born I will probably want to have some me time too. With how amazing I feel after weeks of exhaustion, headaches and other issues, it was nice to feel so wonderful and beautiful with an appointment in the hands of a hair expert. I can see why all the baby books tell you to treat yourself to a haircut every so often – it so easy to forget these little luxury me moments. I should follow their advice and get one just before bump arrives but I’ll see how I feel closer to the time.

Did you get a nice haircut when pregnant? Did you find your experience different? Did you have to avoid certain treatments because of your pregnancy? Do you have a favourite hairdresser; if so why? I can’t wait to hear about your stories so leave a comment below!


Week 16: First Kicks & Brain Rewiring – The Bump Diaries

After all the excitement of pregnancy yoga the week before, I was so excited for my next lesson. I thought nothing could top all of the excitement but boy was I wrong.

The first lesson had been wonderful but the next day I had started to suffer with a headache; the first one in a couple of months. With my TBI I had always suffered with a headache after pushing myself too much so my first thought was I had done just that.

By Monday my headaches were getting worse – this wasn’t from pushing myself but something else; I had a pregnancy headache. Most people suffer from more headaches when they are pregnant; my daily headaches and dizziness had gone and I was living for the first time in ages without suffering each day.

For me it was a huge blow that I had such a bad headache that I worried my symptoms were going to come back full force. It knocked me that I did cry and stress. I don’t think people realise how terrible my health was just before I was pregnant that even going to appointments in the same city could make me ill for days just from the travel. The fear of going back to that life really hit me hard which probably made my headaches all the worse.

I slept, rested, took a paracetamol and avoided looking at screens as much as possible. By Wednesday my headaches had started to ease but what followed was a little weird. I would have a terrible headache for an hour or so before it would settle; 30 minutes after going I would be flooded with random memories in seconds. In 30 seconds my brain went through so many different memories from when my sister had ice poured down her top after swim class by the boys to playing table tennis on a roof top in France. My brain felt overwhelmed with all these and brought up emotions of painful memories too. It took until Friday for me to realise that there was a connection – the flooding of memories would always follow the headaches.

By the end of the week I was still struggling to cope – it turns out that I have a lot of painful memories and broken promises from people, that I was emotionally a mess. It was great though to finally figure out that these headaches were not my normal TBI headaches – this was something new and even good news.

I was told this pregnancy could rewire the brain – I wasn’t told when or what it would be like. This is clearly it. I had been told how pregnancy could completely cure my TBI so I would be able to live without any of my triggers giving me headaches and may even be able to live a normal life again. Before my head injuries I had been able to recall so many crazy memories at the drop of a hat – in recent years I had to really focus and pull forth the things I wanted to remember. It felt like the flood gates were broken open but by the weekend I was starting to get a handle of it. I could slowly stop the crashing of visuals, noise, smells and pain the flashed through my brain but I still couldn’t control it.

It showed me just how much I had to learn to adapt after my head injuries. I forgot all about having to learn how to recall information easily through new tools or how to write and draw again. It really did remind me just how much it changed how I functioned as a person for even the simple things. If this is the start, what else have I forgotten all about and how else could I improve. Questions of just how much I could or would improve filled my mind just as much as the memories. It was by the end of the week not a bad thing any more – these headaches might be proof that I could get better. Week 16 for me it seems was a big week; little did I know it would be even bigger.

Saturday morning I was back in my yoga clothes and sat in class at LushTums. It was only my second lesson but I was still shocked at just how different a lesson it would be!

first kicks bump diaries pregnancy yoga week 16As I mentioned before, each pregnancy yoga lesson at LushTums is different as it depends on what everyone is dealing with emotionally and physically. The first lesson had been very energetic compared to the second but it was perfect – as someone who had been dealing with an overwhelming week of headaches, emotions and personal revelations this much calmer lesson was exactly what I and the rest of the ladies needed. By the end of the exercises I felt in tune with myself, the first time I had all week. It really did make me think even more of these classes; they really do cater for their students by adapting every class where they need to.

Feeling refreshed, relaxed and completely at peace in mind and body we settled for the mediation aspect of the class. This, if you haven’t read my previous post, involves a talked through mediation with relaxing music and an abundance of pillows or blankets if you want them. As we focused slowly on relaxing different parts of the body bit by bit, we got to the stomach.

I let a deep breath out finally relaxing and focusing on my stomach only for BOOP BOOP.

The baby kicked – not only kicked but did so twice! I guess all week I had been so stressed about my head so I tensed up; when I finally relaxed I could feel bump kick. Funny thing about the first kicks, you need to be relaxed to feel them but then when the first one comes you tense up in excitement.

I couldn’t after that point focus on the mediation – all I had running through my brain was “Baby kicked!!! The baby kicked!!!” Interrupting the lesson with this wasn’t an option; I’m not going to ruin this moment for others and actually thinking about this first kick was just so exciting I made the most of that feeling. It is  shame that I didn’t get to mediate, something I clearly needed, but it didn’t matter as I had really had that moment.

As everyone slowly got up as the session finished, the teacher asked how it was. I couldn’t help it but after someone said how relaxed they were I had say “I’m not – well I was until I had babies first kick!” After the coos and congratulations, stories quickly turned to how being relaxed and in mediation that many of the others had felt more or their first kicks too. Many of the ladies talked about how in tune the pregnancy yoga sessions made them with their bodies and babies that I should expect more in future weeks.

For me I loved having that moment; I don’t think I’ll forget those first two kicks as I curled up in a relaxed class after such an emotional week. It seems now that I can feel one I can feel more as on Sunday I had another kick as I lay in bed reading. This time with BF in the room he got to share in the moment and was quick to rush over to try to feel it, though we both knew he wouldn’t, and enjoy a hug as we celebrated that moment together.

Not only do we think my brain might be rewiring but I felt babies first kicks and I got to share it with others who shared their wonderful stories afterwards as well as BF.

Have you suffered from pregnancy headaches? Did you find a change in your brain when pregnant? When did you feel your baby first kick? What was it like? Did you find relaxing or mediation help you feel the kicks? I would love to hear your stories so share them below!


Week 15: Pregnancy Yoga – The Bump Diaries

Throughout the pregnancy you are always told to keep healthy with food and exercise – you can either continue with certain sports to a point or join various classes at key points. I tried swim classes for pregnant ladies like me but that was hellish for people who don’t have a straight forward pregnancy.

I felt so humiliated with my inability to basically do half of the pregnancy swim class and then putting up with a period of “relaxation” where the cliques talked for half an hour and the rest of us floated about trying to relax with no clue what was going on. The whole experience really made me cautious about expecting a good experience at pregnancy yoga after that. I did however book my place around the end of the corner from me with loads of really great reviews in terms of their pregnancy classes.

Upon booking online I had to fill out a form which included a section about any health issues. All of the stuff online states that you have to wait until at least 12 weeks to go but every place has a different policy. Lush Tums have a policy to wait until 16 weeks but as the class fell on a Saturday and my week 16 would start two days later I listed this along with my other health issues asking if this would be an issue.

Pregnancy Yoga with lushtums - week 15 - the bump diariesI have filled out the added sections on forms before, always being open about my issues and nothing ever happens. My first experience of Lush Tums however was a surprise. Within 24 hours of booking my first session mot only did I get a response that I was fine for me to turn up 2 days before being 16 weeks pregnant but I also got a wonderful response about my health issues. The instructor Clare was open that she tailors her sessions based on the issues of all her students but to make sure to talk to the instructor of the class before each class just to highlight this.

Compared to my experience of the swimming lesson, where I struggled to find much information at all, this was already hands down so much better. It was at this point though that I tried to make sure I didn’t get my hopes up but this did help me feel a lot calmer.

The morning of my class arrived and I planned to arrive at 10.30, despite the venue being literally 5 minutes from my flat so that I would be able to find the venue as well as have time to talk to the instructor and settle. Walking in the door hidden behind the busy Western Road I was greeted with a set of stairs or corridor – it was great though as I already knew from all the clear signs to go and talk to reception upstairs as soon as I arrived.

The lady on reception greeted me with a smile and was so great at dealing with a clearly nervous me with everything I needed to know. The loo was downstairs, along with the changing rooms, while the studio door was just to my left. She went on to inform me that I didn’t need to bring or burrow a towel unlike the other yoga classes and that while we can have small bags or valuables in the class that there is a lot of space in the changing room for any thing else, including shoes and coats. It was then at this point that rather than letting me try to sort my self out and then hunt out who was the teacher, she went out of her way to ensure that I got introduced to her.

This is where I met Clare and all of my worries of the class went away; she was so wonderfully calming and understanding of all my issues. I loved how she made a point that she always has to tailor her classes for the aches, pains, injuries and other issues of people in her class so she provides alternatives of any thing that she think might be an issue. I have been told this before so my guard was a little up – people make vague promises of considering all their students needs and then either don’t follow through or make you feel singled out. I think how Clare then went into how some of her students deal with hip issues brought on by pregnancy and that she does a Hello Circle were people share about their week made me feel so much better. The way that she inquired more information about what I could and couldn’t do, asking follow-up questions, made me feel that she was really listening. The whole conversation may have only taken up 5 minutes but it really felt wonderful that she was willing to arrive early to talk to people. With our conversation over, it was at this point she started talking to another student who was dealing with some bad back pain that week. Rather than just making vague promises, Clare then started to open up with ideas of what could help her in and out of class. Even before the class had started it was clear that this was going to be a completely different and wonderful experience compared to the swim class.

As they continued their conversation I slipped back down stairs and got ready for the class before returning up again and into the studio. The room was bright and airy; to my relief there were no mirrors! There were some mat already left out and others were grabbing their own to find a spot. As I had planned to arrive early there were few people when I arrived so I got a spot and sat down with a lovely lady next to me. Straight away she said hello and struck up a conversation.

It was great as she helped me set things up and told me about what to expect. As more and more ladies came in I was given a form to fill out as a first time student. When I had completed it I returned my attention back to the now buzzing room full of mats and women.

Now I had booked my place a few weeks before hand and even before the lesson started women were having to be turned away as it was fully booked and spare places had already been taken; 10 minutes before the lesson started and the room was packed! This classes popularity really did speak for its self as I was the only new student.

The lesson started with a hello from Clare before her as planned Hello Circle. This basically involves going around the whole room and each lady saying their name, how many weeks they are and then some time to talk about their week. This was fantastic as you are in a room of other pregnant ladies who are sharing in an open space to complain about their week and issues – you aren’t alone and people are able to share in a safe place with others being able to give great advice. As all this went on Clare was able to in part what would help in terms of the class as well as outside. She was also noting things down and stating what exercises we were going to do especially for that issue. It was an incredible experience that I have not had the chance to have in terms of my pregnancy. Not only did it feel great to be able to share this moment with the others there but I also to feel listened to by an instructor.

The class was amazing – with every exercise Clare would give us alternatives without directly pointing out people but by talking about issues even if there was only one person suffering from that. She was also great at explaining what each exercise would be great for; they covered things for labour, back pain, relaxation, and so much more.

For me, even with all my head, back and shoulder issues, I was able to take part in the whole class and felt amazing! I had learnt loads of really useful things and felt fantastic. The class however wasn’t just about exercises but finished with a relaxation part. Unlike the swimming one that was just “go relax” and the instructor chatting away to the lifeguard or checking her nails, this was lead by Clare as she talked through something I have only experienced from a relaxation therapy specialist that I had to see with the Nurophysio. Lying down she talked everyone through this meditative session with her soft accent and music making you feel like a whole new person afterwards. Turns out that her talk through mediation is so popular and has helped so many ladies in the classes that she has recorded some; ladies were boasting how they had found them to be the only thing to help them relax (which then helped them not ache) or to get to sleep when nothing else would work. One lady mentioned how a previous student had played it during her labour between contractions and found it highly positive.

Even as the class finished everyone was so friendly, while Clare went and talked to students with more suggestions to help them or just to see how they were. After the class I ended up talking to a few ladies; I loved just how friendly and open everyone was. In the changing rooms this continued as the ladies continued to be so welcoming and slowly we all went our own ways.

I loved my first session that I booked my next class on my phone before I had walked into my flat 5 minutes away to ensure I wouldn’t miss out from it being fully booked. I have never wanted to sign up so quickly for something after my first session and I think it just goes to show how much I adored it.

For me this class is incredible as it helps with so many things! I am now a huge fan of Clare and her lessons – I will do everything I can to ensure I don’t miss a lesson where possible and will be looking forward to what next week will have in store. I can see now why her lessons are so over booked – it is really will be the highlight of my week and it is already for most ladies in the class.

If you are pregnant I would recommend checking out http://www.lushtums.co.uk/ and seeing if they are doing any lessons near you. I am lucky that I have the classes so close but I know that quite a few of the ladies travelled from Worthing and further as they were worth it. I’ll definitely be at the Brighton and Hove sessions over the next few months!

Have you been to a pregnancy yoga lesson? What did you think of it? Have you been to Lush Tums? What is your favourite pregnancy class? I would love to hear from you so leave a comment below!

This review was all my own opinion and hasn’t been sponsored in any way. After writing this post I did approach Clare to ask if there were any photos or images I could use and they have been wonderful and provided photos.


The Bump Diaries Week 14: The Glow

The world now know our baby secret – well some of the world does any way. Even a week after sharing the news on Facebook it is surprising just how many people you meet and interact with that you might not have on Facebook or may not have seen the news.

After last week’s exciting news and message after message or comments from friends about the exciting news I have gotten better about being open about my bun in the oven. Most people just want to know how far a long are you in months not weeks (which is weird going back to), when your actual due date is and do you know if it’s a boy or a girl. The closer the friends ironically the more the questions that you get so once the closest and close friends know it is surprisingly easy to talk about it.

This week I did also find out one key fact – it is far easier to tell people in person that you are pregnant than online or over the phone. Here is the trick say “I’m…” and just do a bump shape and they’ll know and it will go straight to jumping up and down. If you don’t want the rest of the room to know it can be a bit harder but this week I found this trick was so effective and cut down on the uncomfortable way to bring it up. I even found once just grinning and motioning a bump shape worked. Seriously body language is way more effective sometimes than trying to use words.

Officially I am in my second trimester this week and things have changed. I was told that the morning sickness and food aversions would probably go around this point – if not I was going to be stuck with it probably for the rest of the pregnancy. Yes the morning sickness did go but the food aversions did not. Turns out I may be stuck with my inability to be in the same room as pizza, cheese, chocolate or ice cream most days but I no longer feel sick all the time. That being said both through hardly being able to eat anything and my stomach being squished more and more my food portions are now tiny.

nSpa mum to be creamAlong with food changes, my skin has changed too – after weeks of dealing with spots trying to reappear and nasty drying skin, I’ve been left spotless and back to having soft skin again. Others have noticed a change too – I have started getting the “You’re glowing comments!” with one friend mentioning how she wondered why my skin was so good before I told her about the bump and wondered if I had finally decided to start wearing foundation.

My stomach is also not just a tubby lard of fat any more – it has changed shape and no longer is squishy but solid. I officially have the start of a bump! I also now am beginning to work out where all the weight I have been slowly shredding the last few weeks has disappeared from – my stomach of all places.

The only down fall is feeling itchy – especially in the middle of the night. Along with bump stuff being great for helping skin stay stretchy and not lead to stretch marks (though I already have lots of them from being suddenly fat when I was a kid after a car accident), I have found that are also the best solution for anything itchy.

I tried to use other creams that I would normally use for my skin when dry but these now only make things worse or when I have checked I can’t use them while pregnant due to the essential oils in them. My normal go to cream is from Lush called Celebrate – I generally use it for massaging as I have found it far better than traditional oils or bars but it is not pregnancy safe so it is off the table for now. I tried Nivea but while pregnancy safe it just make me itch even more.

materelle cream - Week 14 - the glowThe best one I have found is Palmer’s Bump butter – both for bump and itches. It is rather solid but unlike a lot of others we have tried it is not so sticky and keeps in moisture far longer. When it comes to itchy spots anywhere I have found this is like an instant relief that also works for hours.

Having had stretch marks and scars I have fallen for Bio-oils marketing in the past but since my lovely OT friend has enlightened me to how there is no proof it helps I don’t deal with the slimy, greasy and mess making oil any more. I have tried other creams but I always return to the bump butter so far. I tried one I picked up from Waitrose – the smell was off-putting and I just felt sticky afterwards.

The biggest changes still remain food related though – I have had to try to work out how to eat little and often or I end up curled up in a ball of hunger or pain from over eating after eating a single bread roll. The start of the week I will admit was hard and I cried, a lot. By the end though I have found a few hacks that are really helping. I am still exhausted, I still don’t think that I am managed to get all the calories I need each day but at least I am achieving over 700-800 like I was at the start of the week. I have also stopped shaking, almost passing out and the crying has decreased by a lot.

My biggest find is an unusual one but if you are in a similar situation definitely worth checking out. I have started getting toddler sized portions. My biggest problem was finding the right portion sizes without going through a lot of discomfort (from both shaking, hunger and eating too much just from a handful of nuts). After finding “little dishes” in Waitrose, I thought I’d try it just to see if it would help. Holy smokes was this the best fricking idea ever!

It turns out that these little fresh microwave meals for little kids are the perfect size for my squished stomach and a they are so kid friendly in the taste and texture, they are also perfect for getting around my food aversions.

Now normally I would not rely on microwave meals but these little dishes are the perfect size and so easy when you need food quickly. With eating little and often comes the added issues in feeling exhausted before you eat – when you have to cook stuff before hand it is so hard to find something small enough that won’t fill you up that can give you a boost long enough to cook it yourself. Since finding these I have been able to find something that works to help me eat and not constantly feel painfully bloated. As a supertaster these are really easy on the palate, have nice soft consistent textures and still feel like a delicious meal.

Other things I have found similarly effective are the mini Chicago Pizzas – one of them is the perfect portion right now. They, just like Little Dishes, are really easy to manage with the ability to microwave or oven cook but even before I was pregnant I loved these more when microwaves unlike the rest of humanity.

I am definitely getting comments now about a “glow” though coming from people who know I’m pregnant I am not sure if I really do have it just yet or if it is just the polite thing people say. Either way I am finally finding my feet when it comes to the small little meals even if it is cheating for the moment. Hopefully I’ll slowly be able to find more healthy things to eat that I can make.

When did you get your glow? What is your favourite maternity cream? What is your favourite pregnancy food? What food tips do you have? I’d love to hear all your stories so leave a comment below!

This was written January 2016 and published April 2016. All the views are my own and have not been sponsored in anyway.

Linky

Week 13 – Telling The World – The Bump Diaries

We have the all clear! After our first ultrasound scan and blood test last week we got the all clear – we can spread the word to everyone now!

Months ago we decided that once we got the all clear that we would spread the news that we had a baby on the way. We hadn’t decided how to do this – we were always too worried about if something was wrong. Now with the news at hand that everything was fine, in fact the chances of key issues were very low, that we could spread the news about our coming bundle of joy.

At first it was all about telling key people before the news spread like wildfire – this mainly was for BF telling people he managed or close friends. I will admit I wasn’t really sure how to bring up the news – I’ve never been good at jokes or being quick-witted like BF so for me it was awkward as I brought it up.

I don’t think that it helped that as someone unmarried and only recently engaged, while being a Christian, it was shocking news to many until they found out why we had to go for different order of milestones. With the pregnancy as something that might be soon impossible to us, kids being something we had always wanted and it helping my head injury issues, often it led into an in-depth discussion about health issues normally not raised… even when announcing a pregnancy. I told a very select few, including a very talented friend of mine who I asked for some advice on how to announce this exciting news. Straight away he was trying to think of ideas and quipped “if I can’t think of something just right by tomorrow, I’ll draw you something instead!” – as someone who loves his humour and his drawings this was a win-win.

BF had his own way of spreading news to his friends with “Do you want to see a picture of a naked person?” to differing responses. To one friend it was “only if there is a penis!” before seeing the picture and squealing with delight, while the other looked confused for a moment before working out that it was going to be an ultrasound and gasped “is she pregnant!”

Yes I wish I had the wit of BF – I am pretty sure it would have been a much funnier and easier way to tell people but at least I know now for the future; either use that or ask BF what he would do!

Ironically I did tell my best friend in a similar way back when we first found out with a simple message of “I got two lines!” only to be shocked when I got the response of “me too!” Turns out we were three days apart until she lost her two weeks later.

Keeping to his word, my very talented friend came back with a sketch and an apology – he had kept his word, as he couldn’t think of an idea that I could Photoshop or photograph that would be nerdy, funny and well perfect, he had started one. It was perfect – it had me and BF playing video games and an empty space with “Player three press start!” and an arrow pointing to it.

The next day or so was back and forth of changes, colour, final pen work and additional added touches like the hand sewn baby trousers I made BF for Christmas or the mugs of tea to show off my tea addiction. As each version came through it was just better and better every time. BF loved it – it was very much us in every way in how he had captured us and the choice of items around us.

Player 3 press start - telling the worldFinally he sent through the final image to upload and share. It really was prefect – I don’t think I could have ever designed a more perfect way to announce the baby – it was slightly cryptic (which BF loves doing with announcements), nerdy, and very much us in every way. There had been discussions of what to put with it but BF and I decided to keep it simple and add to the mystery, say nothing at all and just tag BF in the picture.

As soon as I had the final image, I posted it and at first there was nothing. People obviously saw the image and thought it was just some nerdy reference that couldn’t understand or a picture that was cute but scrolled quickly past. Once one of BF’s family left a comment about being excited to be a Great Uncle the bomb dropped – soon the comments and likes didn’t stop as more and more people put things together and worked out that it was a nerdy way to announce a baby.

I am not going to lie – if I had to tell all my friends one by one without the use of the internet I am not sure how I would have managed. Sharing this sort of news online feels so much better to me. After the few awkward conversations a head of this of telling people before this went live, I probably wouldn’t have told a lot of people as it was just so weird. To me it was a “Hey I’ve definitely been under the sheets with BF and now I have something to prove it!” than a “Hey I’m going to be a mum” one. I know it is just me being weird but being able to have a nerdy, cool and sweet image that I’ll get to remember for years to come is so much better.

I’ve found out since that my friend is going to give us the original artwork too! I already told him I owed him a few beers but now I’ll have something special to put on the wall of the nursery until they are old enough to come and join us for games (by how the drawing has been created it works even when the baby has arrived). I really don’t know how I’ll be able to thank him now – it really does make me happy every time I see it and now I’ll never forget when we shared with the world about our exciting bundle of joy.

How did you spread the news? Did you share the news online or tell people personally? Did you prefer telling people yourself or online? What are you planning to do to share your baby news? I’d love to hear about how your stories so leave a comment below!


The Bump Diaries Week 12: The First Scan

Week 12 was a biggy – it was the first time we would have photographic proof about bump. Scary and exciting this was always going to be a highlight in the pregnancy as well as a clear worry.

You know that a key part of any modern day pregnancy is the ultrasound. It isn’t until you get pregnant that you realise that there are in most pregnancies two of them – one at 12 weeks and the second at 20 weeks. There are times when you might have a scan, such as certain high risk pregnancies or with bleeding, but generally you’ll only have two.

On all of the forums it was crazy as when I was barely 7 weeks there were women having scans left, right and centre. Turns out that a lot of women today go for private scans so that they can get confirmation early and meet their little bean sooner. It came up between me and BF – having a scan before Christmas would be a great way to tell the family but was it really worth the money? Would it be better if we just found another way to tell them (we did through gifts which you can see here) and we could wait. So we waited. And waited. And I am really glad that we did.

Upon telling the family we were asked a couple of times if we had a scan yet or when the date was – it wasn’t just us who wanted to see the new addition to the family. If we had done it before, they would’t have been involved in the build up to this moment and gave us a reason to go and visit some of my family in Bournemouth with the photos. Rather than just a “is she or isn’t she showing a bump” focus it was all about the photo – something that I am really grateful for. People staring at your stomach when you just look fat is not comfortable.

Now I have had ultrasounds before but they have not been baby related – in fact last year I had two. I know the procedure quite well; drink lots of water and try not to pee. Since getting pregnant all I do is pee – BF now says that I a three states, “need to pee”, “too full” or “really hungry”. I’ve sat bolt right up in the middle of the night and yelled “I NEED TO PEE” before falling asleep and snoring moments later… When you are pregnant you pee… a lot!

At the last few ultrasounds I have had a lot of water to drink two hours before hand and been fine but this time I struggled. I struggled so much that an hour before, against what all the paperwork tells you, I went to the loo with the promise of drinking a whole little bottle of water. I don’t think that it helped that just before BF and I disappeared to the hospital for our appointment that we celebrated with a meal in a restaurant – the day had finally arrived after all and neither of us could believe we would see a picture. It was also still playing on our minds that something could be wrong but that is why drinks were involved; he had a beer and I had a wonderful mocktail.

When they send you the letter with the date of your ultrasound, along with “try not to pee and drink lots” you get information about how much money it will cost for x,y and z of photos. We had decided that screw it, we wanted the biggest package of 8 as it meant we could give them out to the family. Upon entering the ultrasound ward there are signs everywhere that tell you “You must buy the number of photos that you want before you go in for your appointment!” After settling down and drinking the last of my water we sorted out our photos then starred at this little piece of paper hoping that everything was ok.

As a specialist ultrasound ward just for pregnancies, the other other people in the room waiting with us were pregnant women alone or couples. It felt strange, the walls were bare and the room was full of dread and excitement at once. Our appointment was booked for 3.10 but we had turned up early as it was a windy cold day so we both just wanted to curl up somewhere warm and wait. They must have been having a rather efficient day in the ward as by 2.55 we were already in  trying to get my short arse up onto the chair and wiggled into the right position.

As soon as I was in the right position, top went up and gel went on my stomach and boy was it warm. In the past whenever I have dealt with ultrasounds the gel has been cold so it was weird that not only was this gel warm but it felt like it warmed up as it was smeared across my belly. The ultrasound lady put her wand on my stomach and gasped – turns out she had found our little bump straight away! Not only had she found it without even starting to look but our little one was in the most perfect position for what she needed. She was quickly rushing through lots of photos and doing measurements talking to her assistant who was busy in writing everything down while we just gasped… there was our little baby with its nose, lips, and heart beat as clear as day. Soon the wand moved sideways and we saw a top view as she went through the babies brain before returning the the side on view to find each hand and foot quipping “Sorry I’m doing this so fast but your baby is in the most perfect position that I want to get all this important stuff before they wake up or move; we’ll then be able to slow down and get photos for you!”

We didn’t care though – we were still just in awe of seeing our little one being alive and well with the little heart beat flickering quickly away. As she went through finding everything she needed, our ultrasound lady would quip “It was as if they knew just the position they needed to be in and when” or “You have a little poser!” and “They must be sleeping – they are so relaxed with their feet crossed and so still!”

It  turns out that our little one had “made her day” as it was just so perfect. Now with her vital details checked it was now time for her to get photos for us to keep. Rather than the 8 that we paid for we ended up with 10 as she happily took more and more of this little sleeping bump. Being pregnant, despite peeing only an hour before, as soon as I could I rushed out to the loo only to come back and find that all of our photos were ready and printed. We stepped out of  there before our original appointment time!

Photos in hand it was time to navigate through the hospital and have my blood taken. Although you know about the ultrasound, unless you have had a baby you don’t know about the vast number of different and weird tests that you have to take throughout the pregnancy. Almost every time you see someone they will want a sample or measurement of something. In this instance it is for a combined sampling test to see if there could be any issues with the baby such as downs.

This is where the next wave of worry hits – yes there is a heart beat but what if something is wrong! As I have a member of my family with various disabilities there were added worries. Unlike before, the waiting room we sat in waiting was high up with views overlooking the Palace Pier as the sun slowly set with colour and noise around us. This room was filled with people who had been in the other waiting room, all with their photos still in hand along with others waiting for other maternity services. The atmosphere was so different – for most people there wasn’t a worry or excitement, it was just a normal appointment.

People came and went; time seemed to slow as we waited. Soon it was 45 minutes and we were still sat wondering how long it would be – it felt like we would never leave that room until finally my name was called. This was it; time to get prodded with a needle.

I hate needles; I can’t stand to see them or go into people, especially me. When BF had to have an IV put in when he was ill I had to leave the room and even seeing the tubing going into his arm had me freaking out internally all while I tried to be supportive and not faint. All that aside, as long as I don’t see the needle before, during or after I am ok having injections or blood taken. Every time I have to explain “I’m bad with needles!” a face of dread flashes across their face; I have seen how bad people can get with needles and it has involved an 11 year old being held down by three health professionals… the relief though when I tell them it will be fine just don’t let me see anything and keep talking.

BF is brilliant on the other hand – he has donated blood and is fine to see all sort of blood and guts. For him it was funny watching me trying to keep talking about anything I could think of that wasn’t needle shaped, in this case food, and catching the interesting (to him) procedure of taking blood. As soon as the needle was out I couldn’t help but let out “I’m such a woss!”

The nurse tried to disagree but BF just laughed, he knew this was scary to me and knew at this moment a “you’ve been so brave!” was not the answer I needed… I needed to feel like a woss – this was my coping mechanism or what they had done was really as scary as my mind made needles out to be. Plaster on my arm and it was over – all the tests were over and I had the photos of our little person to share with who we wanted.

When it comes to tests, sometimes it can be weeks before you get a result and in this case we were told “if you don’t hear anything by Monday it is all fine” was a relief. We had a deadline of when, if any, bad news would come and it was only a few days away. We only had to wait and we would have the all clear – then we could start spreading the news.

All of those weeks of worry and excitement were over and now a new chapter of the pregnancy started – we had proof, there was a heartbeat and it was now about the rest of pregnancy and beyond.

Did you have a good experience getting your first ultrasound? How did your go? Did you struggle with the blood tests or not peeing? I’d love to hear your stories so share them below!


Raspberries -meeting the dietitian - week 9

The Bump Diaries Week 11: Meeting the Dietitian

I am ashamed to say but I am over 30 BMI – this puts my pregnancy as high risk so when I was offered the chance to see a dietitian specialist I jumped at the chance.

When I was younger I was skinny – it was easy to do as I was always off doing one sport or another. I was burning so many calories and too busy to eat snack food so I never had to diet. After my head injuries my life changed – with each injury and year my health got worse so I could do less and less sporting activities. Last year I was struggling to even walk across a room – it is not surprising then that in the last 10 years I have gone from a size 8 to a size 16 and reached an unhealthy BMI of 33.
Raspberries in a cup -meeting the dietitian - week 9When you can hardly do anything food becomes a comfort. Many could try to point to baking being a down fall but ironically I hardly ate any of my bakes and would have to push myself to walk and stand more than other days or weeks. My other cooking activities though, learning to make an amazing Mac and Cheese or home-made bread.

My biggest downfall after my inability to keep up my old sporting life, is that fact that I am a supertaster. With all my extra taste buds I struggle with bitter veg, spicy food or well most food in general. Turning to old school cooking as really helped but it still doesn’t help getting over the struggle of eating key foods. Since getting pregnant my issues with food has increased – I now am left running from the room at the smell of pizza or spinach, two things I loved before. Even the smell of chicken has me fleeing a room and this is my normal go to meat to keep up my protein.

At my first midwife appointment, after finding out I had a BMI over 30 I was offered the chance to see a specialist so I couldn’t help but jump at the chance. I want the help to be healthier both for myself and for bump so every little bit of help I can get will help. Set for just after New Years, my appointment was hidden in the streets of Hanover – somewhere I have never ventured to before. Based in a child and pregnancy care community centre I turned up to find brightly coloured walls and useful leaflets or magazines everywhere. Having missed the bus I had taken a taxi so turned up early so rummaged through everything I could find that appeared useful. The staff were so sweet, polite and seemed to know a lot of useful information.

Strawberries -meeting the dietitian - week 9As I sat in the waiting room, killing the 20 minutes of time before my appointment, I saw the hubbub of activity as pregnant women or mothers with their children came and went from various appointments or groups. It was clear that services like this had a huge impact as every lady thanked the staff or beamed with happy stories from their time there that day.

Time seemed to fly unlike in most waiting rooms and quickly it was my appointment as a very smiley lady came through the door announcing my name. Through the doors it was rabbit warren – I could finally understand why and how so many ladies and their children had disappeared through here. Doors to halls and rooms lead off in every direction and soon after squirreling down corridors and up some stairs we came to a warm office.

I had no clue what this appointment would involve – I have never had to go to a Dietitian before so I was very nervous. I think the lady was used to seeing this so started “So tell me about you and your health history.” When I blurted out “this is going to be long and confusing” she chuckled and said she had heard that a lot before. The next 10 minutes was me giving a very brief background to my health problems as I talked at my normal “I’m nervous” stupidly fast speed. When I finally took a breath and stopped I got the normal reaction I get from all health professionals of ” Wow that is complex… I wasn’t expecting all of that!” and “You really have been let down by gaps in the health system.”

The only surprising reaction was when I started talking again about the decision to try for a baby due to always wanting kids, being told it could help my head problems and that I was warned about fertility issues in the summer, was how she finished my sentence. I was explaining how pregnancy has been shown to help improve or cure head injury issues only for her to finish that it was due to the brain rewiring. This was followed by her experience of seeing others experience this for various brain related issues. For me this was a huge relief. Despite meeting a lot of health professionals, here was someone who had seen this work again and again. I think she saw the utter relief from this and that I had relaxed so talk turned to my current food problems, measuring my weight and pregnancy tablets I had been taking.

Again and again she was reassuring of what things I was doing right but also on how to try to improve my current bad habits. Over and over she gave useful information in the short time we had. For me the most useful was a graph on weight gain through pregnancy. In all of the books it has been just written in such a way that was confusing but here was a clear graph and direction of what sort of weight gain I should aim for throughout the whole pregnancy than just at key points. Most books have a paragraph of weight gain, often stating “don’t eat for two” and this is the final amount of weight that you should gain. Leaving that appointment I had food ideas, direction, a clear guide throughout the whole pregnancy and directions of where to get more vital information that would be of help.

While it will be a month and a half before my next appointment, this hour session gave me so much information that will help guide me until then. It was great to have reassurance that the weight loss I had seen over the last 6 weeks was safe and how to help with the current aversions until they will hopefully disappear in the second trimester.

Have you seen a dietitian? Did you find them helpful? What food tips do you have in pregnancy? I would love to hear from you so leave a comment below!

 


The Bump Diaries Week 10: Maternity Clothes

I love pregnancy books – they are very good at telling you when you will probably need to do things.

They will also tell you not every pregnancy is the same. Being a very curvy girl before I was pregnant this couldn’t be more true and despite all the books saying to put off buying any maternity clothes just yet I couldn’t put it off any longer.

Now I’m curvy in one place and they have a lot of “fun names” ranging from titties, boobs, boobies, tits, lady lumps, the girls and many more. Normally I am a 36F without additional pregnacy boobs so I have always struggled to find clothes that could contain mine. I still would get tuts as tops would sometimes pop open or the tops that did stay in place just made my cleavage look very revealing. Seriously I struggled to find a way to not make them look huge, me look like I was wearing a tent or offer a lot of skin or curves to see.

I was at 10 weeks popping open my normally big boob friendly clothes, particularly my coat. There are lots of corsets in my closet (seriously a life saver for house work when you have back problems or struggle with huge boobs) but now extra sensitive the clothes squishing them just hurt. For me I was lucky that all of the post-Christmas sales had just started. Coats, tops and trousers that I had fallen in love with before Christmas halved in price in some instances.

The shops post-Christmas were busy and manic though in all the baby and pregnancy shops or sections it was pretty quite. I was able to slowly browse everything and not feel like I had to rush grab things. In one place I tried on so many clothes yet the whole time I was the only one even in the maternity section. It was amazing – here was all these clothes that I desperately needed to stop me from having a Superbowl fashion accident and it was all cheap.

Despite having almost all of my clothes not fitting over my growing lady lumps I only picked up 4 things that day – a pair of jeans, a nice warm coat, and two tops. Being at home so much I didn’t need much but these vital items mixed with stealing BF’s big baggy t-shirts and my bra PJ top was going to cover most situations.

The coat for me was the main reason for the shop so of course was the priority – I spent almost all of the time looking for the perfect coat – something that would hide the bump, keep me warm, be useful in future years, was not too hot or heavy, as well as something that wouldn’t make me look like an elephant. I found the perfect one – a purple coat that despite hanging straight down actually looked less of a tent on me than the ones with a belt. Turns out that coats can be deceiving sometimes.

Next up were the two tops – one was a casual yet smart white a blue striped top that had a lovely waterfall effect to hide a little bump and expand out for a big one, the other was a sparkly wrap around number that would be great for smart or special occasions. At the moment I can still fit into some of my tops but my boobs are making my selection of clothes smaller each day so with items on sale and a bump due to appear in a few weeks these tops were more an investment than an immediate requirement.

Saying that, when putting on the stripped waterfall top I suddenly felt wonderful – it has been designed in such a way that it hides bumps and curves while being highly comfortable. I have tried a few maternity tops on in the past as they are often the only affordable tops with added boob space that become very reasonable in the sales. I have found them hit or miss. Some maternity tops I have tried have looked incredible at the front but highlights all the wrong bumps from the back. Other maternity tops though make you look so slim and beautiful as they have the space for big boobs and great at hiding a fat stomach.

After slipping on the stripped waterfall top I felt wonderful and I hadn’t even looked in the mirror yet. The fabric was so soft and the design felt like it pulled in at the right places, while being free flowing at the right places. Looking in the mirror I felt amazing – I was right that with the added boob space the design pulled in just under my lady lumps while the waterfall front hid my tubby belly. It was clear that the design was crafted so in early pregnancy it would hide your baby bump all while giving space for your bump to grow into.

I have a few wrap around garments already – these currently make up the majority of the clothes that still fit. I have found in the past that for someone with big boobs, wrap tops and dresses are vital – they often are the few things that actually cover your lady lumps all while not making you look like you’re wearing a tent.

When I pulled this top off the rack I immediately thought this would probably look amazing just from the cut and type of the fabric. I was not wrong – the top made me feel glamourous. The design is made up of much longer wraps than I am used to, so while I was worried that these might add layers, it is really doesn’t as it can only wrap around once. I loved the idea of this top – it lets you sculpture the top around you based on your body and how far you are in the pregnancy. It wasn’t surprising then when I found the tag explaining how it had been designed for maternity and nursing. This top therefore was double the investment – I would have a fancy top for when I wanted to feel and look smart both when pregnancy and once the baby was born. While this top was not as soft as the stripped top, unlike a lot of sparkly tops, it was not itchy and still was gentle on my skin.

For only £25 I had two amazing tops that would serve me well until the warm weather hits with my changing body. Two tops may sound very little but when I spend a lot of time at home, stealing BF’s big t-shirts to lounge around in and my existing wrap tops would suit me until I needed to find summer pregnancy clothes.

So with a coat and two tops down, it was time for another must have purchase – jeans. Now I could wait for maternity jeans but last week my normal jeans split in an unfixable location. As in a few weeks a bump would appear and I have no idea about what size I would be after the pregnancy, It couldn’t see the point in buying a pair of normal jeans now only for them not to fit in a few weeks time, and by then the maternity jeans would rocket back up in price. Browsing the racks here I had jeans that would fit now and as my bump grew only for £10 – the cost of a normal pair of jeans. I couldn’t find any that I liked or fitted at Jojo Bebe so I headed across town to Mothercare. Straight away I found an amazing pair of jeans that while were a bit long (I am short so that was expected), were a great fit and with the wide elastic belly band would grow with my bump. I tried on other dresses and tops but none of them compared to the ones I had already purchased so I only got the pair of jeans from Mothercare but I have worn them every day since.

I will admit that it is a bit weird to get used to the wide band instead of a tight belt but after having to have a belt squeeze around your waist it was actually nice to not feel squished. The extra band also kept my stomach warm during the cold weather – something I had been having huge problems with in the past.

My final trip was to Debenhams. In the past I have found that their maternity stuff has been very fashionable and shaping for someone with big boobs though it can be hit or miss each year. This year it seemed was not favourable for me with my back fat rolls (yuck). Their range felt smaller than normal too which was a shame and was already stripped of most sizes. Either other curvy women have found my trick of looking at the maternity line, that there were just more of a demand of maternity clothing or it was easier for early pregnancy women to hide their early bumps with this range. I am probably going to go with the last option – most of Debenham’s maternity clothes are great for hiding little bumps but not as good as the baby shops when it comes to bigger and more practical maternity clothes. I will admit that the feeling of going into a baby shop when looking for maternity clothes is scary – what if someone you know sees you go in to that shop or see you with a mothercare bag, they will know and spread a rumour!

All in all though I ended up spending less than £100 and had four key items that would help me see through this pregnancy until the summer weather hits the UK and I’ll be out hunting for Maxi dresses and other items to stay cool in.

What was your first pregnancy clothing buy? Have you found any amazing maternity bargains in the sales? Do you have a favourite winter maternity clothing item? I would love to hear more about your maternity clothing stories so leave a comment below!