Soft Play.

It's that time of year again. Y'know, when the weather is a constant shit show (bar a few glorious sunny and freezing cold days when you can let your kids loose in the park) so you have no other option than to wear them out at your local Jungle Gym or whatever they're called these days. I woudn't know because I'm one of those Mums. The Mum Who Won't Take Their Children To Soft Play aka party poopering snooty mum.

We've only ever been twice. Once was to a birthday party at the cutest soft play cafe in Bristol when Lil was almost one (that was lovely) and to another one that was full of shitbag older kids running around with their snotty noses, knocking the smaller kids over (that was not lovely). Lil got sick the second time and I vowed after that experience never again. And I bloody well stuck to my word.

Don't get me wrong, I don't begrudge her from having fun but we can have fun doing other stuff that doesn't result in her having norovirus because some idiot has let their kid run riot in soft play when they really should be at home in bed not sharing their germs. Does this make me sound like a germophobe freak? Well I don't care.

I have a long list of things I'd rather do than go there, in fact, and it looks like this:

1. Do arts and crafts. Even if it means finding glitter in my bra and getting my hair stuck to my face with PVA glue (don't ask) whilst watching her colour outside of the lines (PAINFUL).
2. Bake cookies that turn out to be disgusting and pretend I love them because Lil made them and be forced to eat a whole plate even if I feel like I'm going to barf.
3. Make my own Jungle Gym using my really lovely, expensive cushions (note to self: wait until they leave home to buy more lovely, expensive cushions).
4. Watch Dora The Explorer back to back for three hours straight. Hola, Soy Dora etc etc. And don't judge, thanks to Dora my kid can now speak Spanish.
5. Pluck my bikini line. Has to be less painful than enduring Monkeybizz.
6. Empty the pan cupboard and let her make her own drum kit.
7. Let her paint my face (read: cake face paint on that sometimes stains my poor, sensitive skin).
8. Let her do my hair (read: rip it out).
9. Let her empty out every box containing toys or Lego or Playmobil all over the floor knowing full well I'll have to tidy it up and end up cutting my foot open because fucking Lego.
10. Play out in the rain. Because that's not so bad y'know. It' s certainly more fun that piss smelling soft play.

Does this make me a mean mum? Probably. But there are some sacrifices kids need to make too and in this house it's Jungle Gym.

Boob feeding.

I've been writing this post in my head for a few weeks now and decided Suzy said it better than I ever could.

I never breastfed Lil. It was always the plan, I think. I remember recoiling at the thought of doing it when I was carrying her but some days when I wasn't incessantly bitching about being pregnant, looking forward to trying. It never happened, I was too much of a wreck after her birth and then BAM, post natal depression. There was no way in hell it was happening.

With Ember, I was curious. Wondered if I'd be the same after having her as I was with Lil but of course you can never have the same birth twice. The midwife just put her on my boob while I was in recovery and I remember thinking "is that it?". No searing pain, no screaming in agony to get the baby off me. I don't know why I thought it would be hell, perhaps because I've read some breastfeeding horror stories, but I guessed I at least deserved to have an easy time of it after such a traumatic birth experience the first time round. And I think it's helps my baby number two is super chilled out, most of the time.

I was worried I'd come across as sounding smug, and maybe I do, but breastfeeding has come so easily to us. Although there was this one day, the day after I came out of hospital, where it felt like shards of glass were being sucked out of my nipples and I cried really hard in pain and made Tim go to Asda at 2am to buy formula because "I can't fucking do this, it hurts so bad I think I'm going to die" and of course Ember vommed it all up and screamed because it wasn't booby goodness (although I'm well aware there is goodness in formula too, I have a very strong and bossy four year old to prove it). And then the midwife came round and told me to try nipples shields and after that everything was just grand again. Now it's just like breathing, I do it automatically without even thinking about it. The hardest bit about it all has been deciding what to wear everyday and finding accessible clothes because nursing clothes are fucking hideous but I'm getting there (and yes I've seen Dress Like A Mum but I can't pull off dungarees the whole time I'm eating a packet of biscuits everyday).

(I was going to insert a subtle breastfeeding photo here but remembered the internet is full of perverts so thought better of it.)

So I guess this is a written pat on the back (or boobs) to myself. Because I have a baby my body is helping to grow and it feels pretty amazing. It's something I never thought I'd achieve and while to some it may not seem much of an achievement, to me it means the world.

Sibling Love.

I was five when my brother was born, we have a similar age gap to that of Lilian and Ember and I can remember thinking a sibling was the best thing ever.

While I would have loved a sister, it wasn't of great concern to 5 year old me that there would be a boy in the house. You can dress baby boys up too and pretend they're your dolly. I wasn't going to discriminate.

I can't really remember my feelings towards my newborn brother but I do remember March of that year being super snowy and my grandad having to clear the path outside of my grandparents house with a shovel. I also remember absolutely loving having a six month old brother because that was the perfect age for pretending he was my toy.

I went on to have three more siblings, all girls, but I guess the novelty had worn off at that point because by then I was seven years old and most probably had the shitty pre-teen attitude to match and was way more interested in pogs or whatever else seven year olds were into that year (glitter jelly sandals probs). Anyway, I love them all equally and dearly but I will always have that special 'first sibling' bond with my brother, he was the best dolly EVER.

Giving Lil a brother or sister was always going to be nerve wracking. She's a very head strong, bossy sass bag and I did wonder how she'd cope with not being the centre of my world. But she has taken to Ember wonderfully and vice versa. I really didn't expect to see such a bond between them so early on but straight away something magical happened. At first I could only see the love Lilian has for her sister but now Ember is awake for the majority of the day (nap lover she is not) she looks for her when she's at school and once she's home, beams with so much love. 

This evening, I ran myself a bath. Ember was in her bouncer and Lil was on the floor 'doing' my hair (read: ripping it out). If Lil wasn't looking at her, paying her attention of any kind, she got humpy and started shouting. But as soon as Lil started talking to her she was all smiles. I climbed into the bath wondering when the day would come I'd get to bathe in peace (sometime around my 40th birthday I reckon) and left the girls to their devices. Lil proceeded to take down my make up bag and tell Ember all about its contents (this comes from watching too many 'Inside Out' make up tutorials on YouTube) and it was the most wonderful thing to watch. The love in Ember's eyes, how gentle her big sister was being... There was no shoving a mascara wand in her face, just pure gentleness (and one or two ruined lipsticks because you don't need to be gentle with those). It's definitely at the top of my 'heart-bursting moments' list.

I know there'll be times when they both forget how to be gentle and will be screaming at one another because "she STOLE my lego" or "she used the last of MY mascara" but for now I'm going to enjoy this love between them and dream of a peaceful bath time.


I am a HUGE fan of blankets, you really can never have enough although ask my husband and he'll tell you otherwise. When I'm finally living my dream in the country (more on that soon), I'm going to have a huge basket of blankets in the lounge so people can help themselves to one and snuggle up in a corner or by the fire. DREAMY.

Anyway, blankets.

I came across Hollie on Instagram (where lots of mother love stories begin) and IMMEDIATELY fell in love with everything about her and her crazy knits and pom poms. Blankets, socks, hats, scarves, tiny baby crowns... and all so bright and colourful. And I proceeded to spend a ghastly amount of money on her wares because sometimes you just NEED to buy another blanket / hat / scarf, especially as winter seems to have arrived bang on schedule.

So I introduce to you FLORA FAIRWEATHER.

can you handle this cuteness because I can't

Hollie is mother to one cutie, living in a dreamy cottage in the Norfolk countryside. I'm yet to meet her but already know her personality matches the colourful woolly goods she produces. You only need to look at her Instagram to know she is one of the kindest, most fun people around and she just bursts with positivity. Everyone needs a bit of Hollie in their lives. And EVERYONE needs some of her colourful crochet in their homes and on their babies!

pom pom LOVE

Ember in her crochet crown - buy it here (the crown not the baby)

If you're looking for a pom pom class then keep an eye out on Hollie's instagram, she recently held one in London and the church next to her house in Norfolk and HOPEFULLY she'll be holding more in the new year. The rainbow bagels looked INSANE!

Hollie blogs over at Flora Fairweather and you can visit her shop here but be warned, you'll be parting with all your money. 


It's been six weeks now since Ember arrived, totally chilled and completely ok with being outside of the womb. She's the total opposite of her sister and compared to baby Lil's behaviour, the perfect baby. Obviously I'm not that naieve and know there will be times in the future when she acts like an utter monster but for now let's just focus on these lovely peaceful times.

a lovely peaceful time

Having two kids is fucking mental. It takes two hours minimum to leave the house and I have to make sure everything is ready for us the night before... outfits, bags, nappies THE LOT because if it isn't then we are fucked, basically, and it adds on another hour plus. My bedroom looks like a launderette, my bathroom like Mothercare's baby change room, my kitchen like it's been trashed by the dog. I have a stack of magazines that are waiting to bed read, washing that needs putting away since last wednesday and so many emails to reply to. WHERE DOES THE TIME GO? Mental.

It is wonderful though, seeing the girls together. Lil loves her little sister so much she could burst and I can see that Ember feels the same. She smiles when she's around but it takes me some solid work to get her to crack a smile. High maintenance or what.

loves a cuddle, this one

I've really fallen behind with this blog and I'm cross with myself because I have so much to tell you and lots of lovely things to show you. Just give me 8 more hours in the day and we're golden.


My decision to have another c-section wasn't an easy one really. I was all set to go for a water birth and was feeling quite excited about it but things don't always turn out the way you want them to, do they?

Walking Lil to school and back everyday is quite fun. we play games and have chats and no matter what the weather is doing I always make sure we make the effort to walk (most of the time, anyway) but as my pregnancy progressed through the final weeks I found the SPD got worse by the day. I'd dread it but as I don't drive it was the only option really, although as soon as I found my legs and hips giving way on the walk, I knew I was absolutely fucked in terms of a water birth.

I spoke with my midwife about the pain and how I was worried I wouldn't be very mobile during labour and although the water would help with the SPD, I was finding it near impossible to get in and out of the shower, let alone a birth pool. She was very supportive when I told her I wanted to book in for an elective section and the consultant signed it off two days later. Such relief although I was disappointed.

I arrived at hospital at 8am on the morning of the 12th October, anxious but trying very hard not to show it. The midwife looking after me was so lovely and assured me it would all be ok. I met the surgeon while I was having my obs done and told him I thought he smelt nice and then realised just how nervous I was to be cracking jokes with the man who was about to perform abdominal surgery on me, I was mortified.

Soon it was time to walk to theatre and I said goodbye to my tearful mother, rolling my eyes that she was getting emotional. This was going to be a walk in the park! Stepping into the exact room where Lil was born was pretty surreal, especially as I was drug free up until that point and could see it with a clear head. I tried not to look around too much, it was a pretty scary scene with all the machines and stainless steel. The scrubs nurse just happened to be the midwife who was with me when Lil was born so I knew that was to be a good omen for this time round.

After the spinal (for which I had to lie down for because I had a bit of a spazzy dizzy spell) I felt very relaxed but could feel just how anxious my husband was. The anaesthetist keep me distracted from what was going on over the sheet blocking my view and before I knew it I felt strong pushing down on my abdomen and within minutes I heard a shrill cry. My baby was born to 'Crazy in Love' by Beyonce and sweet jesus was I crazy in love. It all happened so quickly, never has an hour passed by as fast as that hour did. It was surreal, insane, emotional, scary, sooooooo relaxed. I had skin to skin and she breastfed straight away.

Born at 09:54 weighing 6lb 10oz

Ember Dorothy's birth was wonderful. Although I knew recovery would be tough, and it has been, we bonded right away and she is such a chilled out baby. I made peace with the traumatic delivery I had with Lil and have recovered way quicker than I did with the emergency c-section. Although her birth story is short and sweet, it was a very powerful experience.

If this birth has reminded me of anything, it's how wonderful the NHS is. Alright, a c-section isn't ideal for anyone involved but my decision (although in a way it felt like a choice I had to make) was the right one. I now have two beautiful girls and I couldn't be more proud of myself.

Total mum-boss.

Chocolate oat cookies

I am in the final few weeks of my pregnancy and god what a chore. I'm too tired, really, to be bothered to do anything strenuous and as my SPD seems to have gotten a lot worse over the past week my daily seven mile walks have had to stop. Ahoy continually expanding arse.

What I have continued to do though is cook and bake and I've been thinking of yummy things to make to put in Lil's lunchbox (little fusspot won't eat school dinners unless it's fish friday). She is a massive cookie lover (definitely my child) so I've been trying to come up with a recipe that doesn't contain a shit ton of sugar because I don't want a bollocking from the school about healthy packed lunches. So after some experimenting, here we go...

100g butter, softened
4 tablespoons of sweet freedom (or agave syrup)
1 egg
120g plain flour
120g rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarb of soda
Chocolate chips (I added 6 tablespoons of dark chips)

Mix the butter and sweet freedom together, add the egg. Pour in the flour and mix then add oats with the baking powder and bicarb of soda. Once mixed altogether add the chocolate chips. Roll into small balls, about 5cm, and flatten out. Bake in oven for 10 minutes at 180 degrees.

It's really as simple as that. No faffing. And they're super tasty. I didn't just eat three of them.

The hormonal bear

I can't hold it in any longer. I HATE BEING PREGNANT. I really hate it. I mean, it's amazing to be able to grow a baby and being a woman shits all over being a man. BUT I just really don't like being pregnant. I'm at that stage where I'm moaning to anyone who will listen and even if they aren't listening I'll still moan. 

I'm uncomfortable. And not that annoying uncomfortable where you've eaten too much and can't get comfortable (that normally happens to me on a regular basis), OH NO. I'm so fucking uncomfortable I want to punch myself in the face so hard to detract from the uncomfortableness I'm feeling. Or maybe chop the top of my finger off or something, just a slither of finger that will grow back. I feel like if this baby gets any bigger, my stomach will split open down the middle and blood and guts and baby will fall out. And if I have to turn over in bed one more time my pelvis will crunch and crumble into a billion pieces of bone. I am a large, slow bear who just wants to hibernate. That is what being heavily pregnant relates to. A big old bear in the winter. I am a hormonal bear who wants to hibernate but can't because she cannot get comfortable.

I can also imagine this is how it feels to be three years old and have to exist. To be asked to do something by your parents like pick up a toy or eat your pasta and it's like how fucking dare they ask me to pick up this toy? Who do they think they are? It's a bit like that. I want to throw myself on the floor (it would be a struggle) and scream and kick until I turn blue. How fucking dare I be this heavily pregnant and uncomfortable. It's awful. Something so amazing making me feel so irate all of the time. And this is the part where you go, oh but you're so lucky to be pregnant. I KNOW I AM. I am blessed (vom), I understand that. But it doesn't make it any fucking easier carrying this great lump of a child. I'm five foot two and I usually weigh the right amount for my height and right now I weigh almost two fucking stone over that. DO YOU KNOW HOW UNCOMFORTABLE THAT IS FOR SOMEONE SO SHORT?? I don't think you do because I am the only pregnant woman in the world.

So I'm going to God damn complain about it because as a woman whose body struggles with pregnancy, I'm allowed to. I'm tired. I ache, like devastatingly ache. I'm devastated that I ache so much. That it hurts so bad. I want to be one of these women who are so at one with being pregnant but I am not. I hate it. It is a means to an end, the end being a baby who is no longer kicking the shit out of my insides but who is keeping me up all night screaming. THAT I can do. I'm happy to do that (not that I will have much choice, it's what I signed up for... I just didn't sign up to feel devastatingly uncomfortable). I'm welcoming the pains of labour, I know they hurt (I laboured to 6cm) and I know it's going to hurt even more if I end up having this baby naturally. Well bring that shit on. I want a burney vagina, not burney ribs. Not sore insides. I want a sore vagina. Cracked nipples. Give me all of that just, get this pregnancy out and give me that baby with her high pitched screams and tiny fingers. 

I am never doing this again.

The rats

I am so close to the end. So close, I can see it, I'm just not fucking close enough.

I've had the major rats this week (not another week, surely, I hear you ask). My lovely child who is normally so chilled and fun to be around has turned into a bit of a nightmare. I was going to call her an asshole but, y'know, bad mother's do that (eye roll), her behaviour has been an asshole (better?). Can you tell I'm gunning for someones, anyones, guts today? Call it general four year old bullshit, call it the transitional phase, big changes... call it what you want, it doesn't make it any sweeter and to be honest I'm pretty over it.

Today I have sent a shitty email to my local MP about some wanker parking on the main path on the way to school meaning I have to cross a dangerous road EVERY DAY that has no crossing, just lots of blind spots and raging traffic every morning because the school run turns people into dicks. I've scowled at the traffic warden who couldn't do anything about said wanker, death stared at the idiot who bumped into me because she was too busy looking at her phone to notice my huge pregnant ass walking along the path, tutted at the idiotic teenage boy who almost ran Lil over on his bike GET OFF THE FUCKING PATH YOU LITTLE SHIT and sighed and sighed and sighed at everyone else because... PEOPLE.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm well aware I'm lucky these are my only problems (as well as chronic heartburn and a vagina threatening to fall out). I'm very aware. But it doesn't mean I'm not going to moan about them because they are my problems and I'm British so I'm going to complain.

everything hurts

37 weeks is approaching and I've been thinking of ways I can kick start this little monkey into getting her ass out of me. EVICTION NOTICE. I mean, if she doesn't come on the next full moon and I end up being wrong I'm going to be pretty disappointed. The moon is always screwing me over so I thought perhaps she could do me a favour just this once and use her moony vibes to help me get my body back.

Screaming, non-sleeping newborn tiredness has to be better than a challenging four year old and her teenage attitude, it has to be. At least I'll get a few weeks off the school run (that has only just started, I know) to spend snuggling with a baby who probably won't want to sleep but can't answer back (the only difference being Lil can, sleep seems to be pretty erratic with her right now).

I know I don't have long left, please don't keep telling me. I'm sore and tired and weepy and ragey and the end feels like it's never going to come. Just send me all your eviction vibes and pray that next weekend I'll be swept up in the newborn tired fog all smiley and exhausted with an intact vagina...

A school morning

6:30 Mum can I watch Youtube? No, it's time for breakfast. Can you help me wipe my bum I need a poo? Oh I don't need a poo anymore.
6:40 *eats breakfast at 1mph* Why do you think people are bad sometimes? Is it raining? Can I have a biscuit after my breakfast? Let's just finish our breakfast and we can talk about it while we are getting dressed.
6:50 *still eating breakfast* Mum, do you think I'll learn anything new today? Do you think Caitlynn Rose will have pigtails or plaits? Is it nearly the weekend yet? Less chatter more eating, we need to get ready!
7:00 *slowly finishes breakfast* Can I watch Youtube now? No. Do I have to get dressed? Yes. Can you get me dressed? No, you know how to do it yourself. I'm hungry. You can have a banana once you're dressed.
7:06 Mum can I have a snack? Once you're dressed. Are you going to have a shower? Yes. Are you going to wash your hair? Can I dry it for you? I washed it last night. Can I watch Youtube now? Yes for ten minutes.
7:20 What are you wearing today Mummy? Is it cold outside? Can I check the weather on your phone? Is the baby awake? No she's sleeping.
7:24 Shall I wear my wellies today? Is it going to rain? Your phone says it isn't but it's cloudy. It's not supposed to rain today, no. I want to wear my wellies.
7:29 I'm going to go and do some drawing while you get ready. Ok I'll be down in five minutes.
7:31 Mum are you nearly ready? I want to go to school now. Half an hour and we'll leave. Ok I'll count to 60 thirty times then shall I? Yes Lil, ok.
7:33 Is it time to go to school yet? NOT YET.
7:35 I'm hungry. Have a banana.
7:40 Shall we play Barbies? We don't have time now, later we can.
7:50 I'm just going for a wee. Is it time for school yet? Nearly.
7:54 I've washed my hands Mummy, shall we go now? Can you put my shoes on for me I'm tired. Can I do some colouring? Pop your shoes on and grab your book bag ready. Colouring later.
7:57 Do you want me to do the washing up for you? Is it time to go now? It's ok thank you, I'll do it when I get home. Almost time to leave!
8:05 I'm ready Mummy, can we go now? Yes, do you need a wee? No I just did one, I don't need a poo either. Ok I'll grab my coat.
8:10 *walks out front door* MUMMY I NEED A POO.

Full moon pregnancy ramblings

For a couple of months now, for some unknown reason, I've had a really strong feeling this baby is going to come early. I don't know why but I would bet money on it. Thirty six weeks is whirring around my head. That's not to say I want her to come that early but it's a week I'm fixated on, I can't shake it.

When I was pregnant with Lil, I had a similar feeling that she'd end up being born via the exit she wasn't intended for and I was right. I didn't attend any classes based around labour (or any other ones for that mater) because I didn't feel the need, I probably wouldn't end up needing to know about it all anyway and sadly I was right.

Anyway, I don't have that long left so I'm trying to enjoy(!) the time as much as I can because no matter how rough your pregnancy is you always miss it once you have a six month old and start feeling broody again. Luckily for me my sister, friend and cousin are all pregnant and due between October and January so there will be plenty of babies around to quash the broodiness for a while at least.

I digress. So I'm adamant she's coming early and when I looked up the full moon for September it turns out there's one when I go from 36 to 37 weeks. It must be a sign! I've always had my suspicions the moon is behind Lil's wild nighttime behaviour as when it's full, she plays up during the night... tossing and turning and shouting and crying in her sleep. Always when there is a full moon. And I can tell you when we're due one just going by her behaviour and I am always right. Obviously I could be very wrong about this baby and I will be slightly disappointed if I am because it will just prove that my intuition is shit. I'm willing to put money on it though...

I've read in the past that the effect of the phases of the moon seems to be particularly relevant in mothers who had birthed before. And that lunar energies last three days before and three days after a full (or new) moon, which creates a window for birth. So I have proof to back up my prediction!

When I was in the maternity triage at the hospital for some pregnancy drama or other, the midwife I spoke to told me the previous night had been crazy, they'd had 18 women go into labour! I told her it was probably because of the full moon and she agreed. She plots on her calendar when the full and new moons are so she knows to be prepared if she's working... so it isn't just me that believes in all this moon business.

What do you think? All nonsense? Did you have a baby on a new or full moon?

Wine and coffee.

I've done a 'things i'll miss' post so this is a 'things I'm looking forward to' one. See how they differ in length! I really can't help but complain about how rough this pregnancy is. I do feel very blessed to be able to have a second baby, make no mistake, but oh my god it's been a long and hard slog. I keep getting told "you don't have long left!" well actually yes I fucking do so shut up. Once she's out I'm all about...

Getting my body back. Alright, it'll take a while for it to look how it did on 1st January, but it'll be all mine again and I'll get to wear nice clothes and shoes and it'll be autumn which is my favourite season so who's the winner here? Although this autumn I'll have a new challenge, finding breastfeeding friendly clothes.

You'd better believe I'm gonna rock the shit out of these

Wine. Oh glorious wine. I've had half a glass here and there throughout the pregnancy but I'm excited to have a FULL glass of beautiful red wine. Actually, make that a FULL bottle.

Cheese. Brie and Camembert! And all those lovely Italian meats I was told not to touch. Smoked salmon! As if that baby weight is coming off anytime this year. Let's get Christmas out the way and we'll start thinking about some kind of healthy eating (not eating everything in sight) plan in the New Year.

Coffee. Hot, caffeinated coffee. The feeling you get when it's flowing through your veins. Sweet lord how I've missed that. And the palpitations you get when you've had too much! That's special.

Red hot baths. Alright, I know baths aren't going to be a regular thing, we established that in the other post. But when I have one it's going to be scalding hot. My skin is going to peel right off and it is going to feel good.

Being able to see my vagina. Not that I look at it all day long but, you know, I like to see what's going on down there (clue: not a lot). And being able to tie my shoelaces without grunting / cursing under my breath.

Holding my tiny baby. Sniffing her head. Watching my little girl become a big sister. After wine and coffee, that's probably the thing I'm looking forward to the most (I JEST, a little).

Not having piles. What more is there to say on this matter?

The gym. I genuinely miss the gym, for me it's the best stress reliever ESPECIALLY when you're knackered. Why is that?

Wearing bras that make my tits look semi-decent (even if they drop to my knees when I take one off). Maternity bras just don't do it for me. Oh god, I've got to get past nursing bras first haven't I?!

Sleeping(!) how I want. On my back, on my front. Having to sleep on my left side all the time isn't my favourite.

Not waddling. Or having excruciating pelvic pain. Being able to walk fast again. Not feeling like a massive great lump.

Putting on my own shoes and tying laces... "Lil can you take my shoes off for me please?"

COME ON, YOU CAN DO THIS. Not long to go *punches self in head*

3rd trimester LOLZ

You're not going to see your vagina for a while so you'd either better make regular appointments to get waxed or just not bother and go 70's mum bush. I'm told by a midwife (no less) that they really don't care about what your downstairs bits look like, they're only interested in you and that baby. And let's be honest, it's just effort when you get to the third trimester.

You will not be able to get comfortable for shit. Sitting on the sofa, the floor, a cushion, a stool, sleeping on your left, sleeping on your right, sleep sitting up... I've only found relief on a birth ball and even then once restless legs kick in that doesn't help. Let the rage wash over you and go for a walk. Or have a bath.

If heartburn hasn't driven you round the bend yet, you can expect it to turn up at some point in the final stretch of your pregnancy. Here's what I've found helps... NOT mint Gaviscon, apparently you need to steer clear of that shit (mint aggravates it which makes no fucking sense since they make it in that flavour). Opt for the aniseed version, yes I know it's rank but it does help. And I know it has a spunky consistency but needs must... swallow, don't spit.

Harder than it sounds

Now is the perfect time to play the pregnancy card, especially if you've avoided it so far. You can get out of EVERYTHING. Dinner with your mother in law? Nausea is back, sorry, can't stomach the smell of food. Kids party to go to? Pregnancy headache, sorry, you'll have to take the kids instead darling husband. Filling the trolley up with crap in IKEA and your other half is huffing and puffing because you don't need another chopping board and you really don't need anymore fucking plants? Just give him the 'don't fuck with this raging pregnant bitch' stare. It's a card you don't have the privilege of using forever.

You're going to waddle like a duck with something shoved up its backside. Roll with it.

People are going to ask how much longer you have to go and then act shocked when you tell them because "you look fit to burst". They will also say "oh not long to go now" especially when you're in a bad mood and everything is irritating you. Ignore them. Or punch them. Your call.

You are going to wake up one day and want to paint the entire house from top to bottom. Don't, you'll regret it by the time you've finished painting one wall and your vagina has seized up. Get your baby daddy to do that. You stick to ordering new shit online and delegating the tough stuff. There's a packet of biscuits in the cupboard with your name on it.



Fugly cry face and gut sucking.

I'm done with the weekly updates now. I mean it's hardly going to get any better, at least until the baby arrives anyway. And then it'll get a different kind of worse, a good but bad one. You know what I mean.

I'm only going to get larger and more miserable as the weeks pass, whether it's because of SPD or general pregnant irritability at everyone or because my first baby is starting school in a matter of weeks (fugly cry face, Kim Kardashian ain't got shit on me). So I thought I'd stop all that. Instead, this week I've written a list of things I'll miss about being pregnant because as much as I've moaned about pregnancy, I'm totally gonna miss it. A bit.

Not having to suck in my gut. Wearing bodycon was never going to be on my list of things to do but pregnancy has allowed this and I like to think I've rocked that shit. Come October it'll be baggy tops over skinny jeans with my stomach tucked in until at least the spring and even that's ambitious.

The pregnancy card. Although giving back that card does open you up to a whole new card... The "sorry I can't I have a newborn / child I need to collect from school" card. Double whammy. And those hormones that are raging around your body, well those are newborn baby hormones which means you have an excuse for throwing the controls at your husbands head / demanding he goes to the Co-Op to you chocolate because you're so fucking exhausted. The joys of being a pregnant / post partum / woman in general woman. 

There must be more. Er...

Feeling the baby move? Nah, that's just gotten uncomfortable now and anyway, I felt Lil move in my uterus even after she was out. That was weird. Twitchy insides.

The long hot soaks. Ah yes, those. Like hell am I going to be able to manage one of those for a while. Unless the baby is a dream and free of colic / attitude and will let me live my life a bit during the day. I know, I'm wild. Baths are my life (after sleep and food anyway).

Excuse for a pedicure? Nope, as if any woman ever needed an excuse for one of those.

This is hard.

I'll miss eating as much as I have been. I haven't eaten toooooooo much this time or at least not that much more than normal because I've heard it's a bastard to shift the baby weight the second time round (hi Mum!) and yes I was one of those lucky smug fuckers who was back to their pre-pregnancy weight in 6 weeks with Lil (but in my defence I hardly ate because screamy baby / no food in the house / exhaustion / caffeine... a diet I'm hoping not to have to live on this time because that shit wasn't fun... Well I know I'll be eating exhaustion for every meal but... Whatever). Oh lovely food how I love you. Calories don't count when you're up the duff. I've totally contradicted myself there I'M PREGNANT I'M ALLOWED TO.

Sleep. Although this is a tricky one. I'm not getting much sleep because from the moment I get into bed there's a party in my uterus until the early hours but what I am getting is to sleep in on the weekends and those few extra hours (although there is nothing 'extra' about them really is there) help. Sleeping in on the weekends will be a thing of the past (again) for the next four or so years. I'm going to go and weep in the corner now. WHY do we do this to ourselves? I am totally fucking napping when the baby naps this time. No messing around wasting time watching her sleep or making bread rolls or cleaning. HELL NO. I ain't no fool (I am a bit of one to be honest). Contradicted myself again. Whatever. 

Being lazy. "I haven't done anything today because this baby is draining the life out of me and I'm so tired." Well she'll put an end to that one when she arrives won't she (not the tiredness, obvs). I won't have the excuse of not being able to touch sixty-shot flat whites. Nuh uh. Bitch, the world moves on so get over that shit, neck some coffee and get on with your day. Pffft.

So there are things I'll miss. Mainly sleep. This whole post should have just read "I'll miss sleep" and that's about it, really. I'm sure I'll be able to add to this once I give birth. 

Week 30

Dear baby in my belly

You've been growing for 30 weeks now and while I've loved (ok, exaggeration) having you stay and use my ribs as a xylophone with your feet, I really can't wait for you to come out in 7 (or so) weeks. I'm excited to meet you, of course I am, but I'm also excited to have a bladder that doesn't get beaten the shit out of every time you move.

Your head is down and I'm pretty sure that at some point when I take a shower or do a wee, I'm going to see an arm pop out and give me a little wave. That's how much pressure I'm feeling down there right now, keep up the good work!

You're growing well although you're not huge like people keep telling me, you're roughly the size of a baby a week younger than you and that's ok. Especially if I decide that you're coming out down there and not through your sisters exit. But I guess you have time to grow quite a lot bigger and end up hurting me pretty bad. Grow, just don't... You know... Get too big. 

My boobs are getting ready for you, my chest resembles a road map even more so than it did with your sister. It looks like she's drawn on my chest with a felt tip pen, I've taken a picture to show you when you're older. You can apologise then.

You have a ton of clothes waiting to be worn, blankets to be snuggled in, a shit ton of knitwear too. An autumn baby! You lucky little thing. All the best babies are born in the autumn (AHEM) although don't tell your sister I said that. Speaking of autumn, when you hop over to the real world I'll almost be thirty. I'll be all saggy and have leaky boobs and flappy skin but I'll have my two girls and there's not much more I could ask for. Apart from a giant cake, lots of wine and some sparkly presents because I'll still be turning thirty and you won't be stealing my thunder kiddo, OH NO.

I've moaned a lot about this pregnancy but only because it's a big old slog. I'm grateful that you're in there all safe and well, kicking the granny out of me all night long. But don't you worry sunshine, you and your sister will pay in the form of sleep deprivation ten years down the line when your father and I decide it will be fun to get you up at 6am on the weekend for hikes in the rain. 

Keep on doing your thing, although perhaps limit it a little at nighttime so I can get SOME sleep in preparation for your arrival. And remember, don't get TOO big. And if you get suddenly jolted out of your day sleep because your big sister is singing to you... You'd better get used to that shit. And for god sake whatever you do, never tell her she can't sing.

Peace out,
Mama xo

Go Outside The Lines

I've always been one of these mums who stands over their kid when they do crafts, trying to hold back from directing them. Lil comes from two creatives and we've always encouraged her to be as creative as she likes but you know sometimes you think "ah it would look even better if you did that!" but you stop yourself because you want to encourage them not dictate. Anyway, I'm getting better at this. Her dad, not so much.

We're lucky enough to know a lot of creative people (naturally, being from that industry) and when one of my husbands friends and his wife launched their new brand Go Outside The Lines, they were kind enough to send us a print for Lil to have fun with.

I let her loose with the colouring pens and let her do her thing and now have this brilliant piece of artwork hanging in our main living space for everyone to see. I've always made a point of showing off her creations *proud mum face*.

excuse the reflections, the sun is shining unfortunately

GOTL is the creator of prints for kids (and parents) to colour, decorate, paint, be creative with which can then be framed and hung. It's a simple yet very cool idea and the prints are just perfect to send as gifts. I'll be stocking up as Christmas gets closer and encouraging(!) Lil to be as crazy as she likes so we can frame them as Christmas presents for family.

There is a large range of prints to shop from but our faves are 'WHO RUN THE WORLD? GIRLS' (naturally) and 'KEEP IT FOOLISH'. You can shop the collection here. You can also find them on Instagram @gooutsidethelines. Get your pens ready kids!

9 months 9 tips

Even though I can't say I'm a pro at this pregnancy business (unless you want to call me a pro at moaning about it) I do have plenty of advice for those who are doing it for the first time or for those who have ridiculous baby brain and have forgotten (it's only just coming back to me now). So I thought I'd write up 9 tips for 9 months, although they aren't for any month in particular but for your entire pregnancy.

Ask for help...

If you're exhausted and the ironing pile is taller than you, don't be afraid to ask someone to help you out. Your partner, your mum, a friend. The worst they can say is no and let's be honest, who would dare say no to a ragey pregnant woman? You're going to need to get used to asking for (and accepting) help because once this baby comes along you will need all the help you can get. Whether it's with chores, cooking or watching the baby for twenty minutes while you go and cry in a hot shower because you're so exhausted.

Always have snacks and a book in your bag (as well as your maternity notes)...

You'll find your appointments with your midwife / consultant / sonographer won't always be on time and you can bet your bottom dollar your phone signal will be rubbish (no perusing the gossip pages of the Daily Fail... who me? NEVER) so it pays to have a book and some snacks in your bag. The book I'm currently (re) reading is Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.

If you don't feel well or as though something isn't right, call your midwife...

You'll soon learn to go with your gut, it's my top tip for new mamas. You know your body just like you will get to know your baby. If something doesn't feel right, it might not be. And your midwife and maternity triage unit are there to help you. If it turns out everything is fine, you're wasting nobodies time and it will save on anxiety in the long run. I've been up to my maternity triage unit three times now and they were so friendly and reassuring, it's their job to be there for you during your pregnancy.

Treat yourself...

I really need to practise what I preach on this one. When your baby gets here you turn into this crazy person who will do everything for their child and nothing for themselves. Trust me. Take this time before their arrival to have pedicures and massages, take long soaks in the bath and read books at your leisure. Plan a weekend away to the country or a spa. Go for long lunches. Shit gets crazy after month 9 and you will never be the same again.


During the first 12 weeks I did this, even with a four year old and even though I am not a fan of napping (makes me feel gross after). I set up lots of activities, snacks, dvds and recorded all her favourite programmes and taught her how to find them on the planner and snoozed on the sofa for an hour. If you need to nap, do it. Cancel your plans and sleep, your body is working so hard and the least you can do to help it along is sleep if you need (or want) to. As I get heavier and slower I can see those naps coming back, it's not being lazy... it's looking after yourself.

Take photos...

Of your growing body. I didn't do this with my first pregnancy, I wasn't a fan of my changing shape, and I regret it. This time it's a different story, I'm pretty sure I've bored off half of my instagram followers. But it's a special time and who knows if I'll do it again (head: no, heart: yes) so I'm embracing the photos and the changes. It'll be great to look back on.

Don't go batshit crazy buying stuff...

That £30 babygrow you just can't stop looking at? Your baby will grow out of it in a week and you'll kick yourself. Save all the expensive stuff for when they're older. Read this post about what to buy (and what you really don't need to bother with).


I'm not advocating stuffing your face (although it's what got me through the horrific morning sickness period) but I'm also not saying you should starve yourself. Nourish your body, give it what it wants (unless thats dirty potatoes to suck on). Craving chocolate? Give in. Nobody likes a preggo bore who only eats salad and vegetables (although lucky you if your cravings aren't stodge based). Carbs, sugar (although let's practise moderation here.... practice what you preach Charlotte), meat... if it's what you fancy then have it. Don't deprive yourself, that'll only make you rage even harder.

Look after your skin...

While you might not be able to control the random white hair sprouting out of your cheekbone (that's not just me, right???) or the fact that you will not be able to control your dark circles, it really does pay to look after your skin, especially during pregnancy. I had crazy skin during the first trimester so set about reading this blog for hours on end and changing my skincare routine and it worked. Drinking a shit ton of water helped too. But trust me, this woman knows skincare and pregnancy.

That's 9 right? Yes, that's 9. Brainache. There are hundreds more, of course... I just can't remember them right now.

Week 29

I've had to check at least three times a day this week how many weeks pregnant I am. I guess that's baby brain for you, although I'm not sure it ever went away after having Lil. I have a diary now that I make a point of looking through every morning in case I've forgotten something or if I need to post a birthday card or present (I have bought for all birthdays from now up until October when the baby is due... SKILLZ).

Week 29 hasn't been much different to 28, it's still chocolate and excessive sugar consumption that leaves my chest and throat on fire. I'm still very uncomfortable and the irritability is getting worse (Lil's constant humming and singing and noise making is driving me MAD). The exhaustion I experienced is slowly seeping back in and I've decided now might be a good time to slow down (that includes not touching the ironing pile).

I've been super tearful this week and then wanted to punch someone really hard in the face minutes later, it's great fun being a woman!

bounce bounce

This weeks trip to the midwife saw the baby measuring a week behind (which is perfectly normal) so all my worries about the shitty "you're huge" comments were put to rest and she told me just to ignore the insensitive idiots. I also have an appointment at the VBAC clinic coming up but right at this moment I'm back on the fence. Being pregnant isn't just physically exhausting, you know.

I feel like this baby had a growth spurt in the night, I look bigger today but perhaps she's changed position. I have a perfect comeback to anymore stupid comments I get about my size thanks to a lovely IG friend "well, I have a big vagina so..." that should silence them.

Restless legs are still taking over sleep and I can't get comfortable some nights which has seen me pacing around the room at 2am silently cursing. I have a birth ball now which is providing amusement for Lil, apparently I look like a big blob bouncing around like a grasshopper(?), thanks kid.

This week I've been going backwards and forwards on whether to buy the Cocoonababy or the Sleepyhead, I've heard great things about both but apparently the Cocoonababy is good for reflux and it's bloody sods law this baby will have it. Any help you can provide on this will be appreciated, thanks very much.

What makes me happy right now? Being in a comfy sleep bra and huge granny pants and nothing else, laying in front of the fan and the weekends.

Ten (or so) weeks to go, yo!

Psssst... I'm over at Babeface The Double Mama's blog answering some questions about being a Mum. Her blog is brilliant and has been a great help when thinking about breastfeeding. Read all about it here.

National Doll Day and the mum who knows nothing about dolls.

We were very kindly invited to National Doll Day at the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green last weekend from the lovely people at Zapf Creation. Lil has never really been big on dolls except for the one time when she was pretty small and carried a giant one around with her everywhere, kissing it and saying "aahhhhhhhhh" but since being pregnant, she is now super into them (doll AND babies).

After a tour around the museum, looking at all the lovely old toys and amazing dolls houses, she was treated to face painting, doll dress up and lots of lovely paper doll crafts.

According to my four year old, who is now a specialist in which dolls are the coolest (thanks youtube), Baby Born is where it's at so she had lots of fun playing with these dolls that wee and poo. Gross, I thought, but actually it's the norm these days... mum if the baby didn't wee and poo it would get poorly... she has a point! So for an hour and a half she played and crafted and ate and played some more and compiled her Christmas list.

Picking out her favourite mini CHOU CHOU dolls

It was great to see all the new products in the flesh (I cannot bear Toys R Us in the summer holidays... check out the cute new clothing range here) and we were treated to some lovely cupcakes. I am now a little poorer after investing in a highchair and cloth nappies for her new Baby Born who she has named Thomas James but seeing her be so gentle with the doll makes me happy and confident she is going to be the best big sister ever.

If you haven't been to the Museum of Childhood yet, it's definitely worth a trip. And if your little one is a doll lover then check out the new range at Zapf Creation and follow them on Facebook for exclusive news and competitions.

Week 28

When people ask me how I feel now, I just say 'fine'. Mainly because I can't be bothered to reel off the list of dramas going down with my body. Really, though, there is nothing fine about how I feel so I'm going to bitch about it here. It's what this blog is for, anyway.

Shall we start from the head and work down? Ok, good idea. Well there isn't much to report on that area of my body at the moment but I'm having mental heartburn which is mainly brought on by chocolate. Steering clear of chocolate right now is not easy. Some days I think 'ah fuck it' and just ram a bounty down my throat but the consequences are not pleasant. What does help the heartburn though is pickled onions. Oink.

Leaky boobs, yo. Sexy, sexy leaky boobies. There isn't much else to say about my melons other than they are HUGE and veiny. And leaky. I ooze sex right now don't I?

The baby is all up in my grill (ribs) all the time. I lose count of how many times I catch my breath when this kid decides to kick me straight up in the bones. And ribache is a joke, bras are my hell.

My pelvis is crunching (crumching, crunch, crunchie...mmmmm CRUNCHIE bars) like a mother every time I move, my hips ache, my lower back hurts real baaaaaaaad. SPD isn't the most fun thing in the world, I forgot just how unfun it is. Shoulda just read my blog back from the start before I decided to have another bebe init. Bit late now.

Let's not talk about piles. Or constipation. Or leaky wee valves.

I have restless legs and they cramp at night. Varicose veins are taking over my life. My ankles swell.

And I rage. I rage and rage and rage like hurricane Charlotte (has there been one of those yet?). But I'm happy, happy that I only have 12 weeks left (I will not be going over 40 weeks), excited to meet this little monster who leaves my insides bruised... I'm fine.

What not to say to a pregnant Mother

"Are you sure there is just one in there?" Do ya know what? Yes I am fucking sure. I mean, unless I'm actually BLIND, I definitely saw just one baby in there and I've been told there's only one by a MIDWIFE, no less.

'You look huge." There's a baby in there as well as all the shit that was in there before I was pregnant, I'm only going to get bigger and more uncomfortable which means more irritable too. Don't piss me off.

"Should you be eating that?" I shall eat whatever the hell I want, my body is working its socks off to grow this baby and if it wants half a cheesecake followed by a jar of pickled onions then it can damn well have it.

"You're not having a great time are you?" No, I'm not. But you don't need to tell me that. I'm only the one carrying this baby, it's my vagina that hurts, my boobs that are leaking, my pelvis that crunches every time I turn over in bed, my legs that feel like they're going to fall off, my piles that are my new BF...

"You're so mumsy" (this one is also for the 'what not to say to a mum' list). JUST DON'T. Damn right I'm mumsy, I'm a Mum... it fucking figures.

"Oh god, you have ages left." And you're going to have a black eye in a minute. I do not need reminding that I have a way to go yet, I am carrying this lump and I have a calendar.

"I'm tired." Are you? ARE YOU? Like, REALLY tired? *crazy eyes face*

"What's for dinner?" My fist.

Probs best you just don't talk to a preggo, to be honest.

Babywearing with Sling Studio

Back when I was a clueless, pregnant 25 year old (still pretty clueless) I bought a baby carrier from a high street store. It was in the sale and wasn't particularly nice to look at but that's not what it was for and anyway, everybody would be too busy admiring my beautiful baby to notice the fugly carrier. Fast forward to Lil being born and she was not a fan of fugly carrier. She wanted to be close to me AT ALL TIMES, she'd made that very clear, just not in a bloody carrier. It's safe to say pretty much nothing got done during that phase.

This time, I've been doing lots of research on slings and baby carriers and had an idea at which one I was going to buy but then I came across Sling Studio, thanks to The Calm Birth School. They were holding a giveaway and after looking at all their lovely slings and carriers, I entered. And hurrah, I won!

I'd never heard of these guys before so did some digging. Sling Studio was started up by Alicia back in 2012...

"I started the Sling Studio in 2012, inspired by my own experience of carrying my daughter Mariel in a sling and my love for textiles and British manufacturing.
Like many new mums, I found the early days of motherhood both joyful and overwhelming. When a friend showed me how to wear my beautiful new baby in a sling, I found that I could keep her snuggled close, but regain the physical freedom to carry on doing the things I loved.Ever since then, slings have played an essential part in my parenting.
Having spent my childhood in Yorkshire I was, from a young age, aware of our country’s wonderful mills and heritage in producing the finest textiles. The decline in the British textile industry caused me to believe passionately in ‘made in Britain’, and that is why I took the decision that all of Sling Studio’s products should be manufactured in the United Kingdom. In fact, the vast majority of the yarn used in our baby carriers is produced, spun and dyed in the British Isles.
My dream is that the Sling Studio’s beautiful baby carriers will play their own part in the revival of the British textile industry, whilst introducing more parents to the joy of ‘hands free hugs’."

The Connecta Carrier

I'm not the most patient person in the world and wondered how difficult it would be to put the carrier on. Surprisingly, it was super easy. I used one of Lil's dolls to test it out and it took no time at all to strap the weird, plastic thing onto me (the doll not the carrier). And the carrier is SO comfortable! The fabric is not only beautiful but very soft and I'm super excited to use this come Autumn (the falling feathers print is just perfect for my favourite season).

Not a great picture, just look at the fabric though!

I mean, I need to practise putting it on and making it look neater but you kind of get the gist. 

But why baby wear? I cam across a great article here about the impact of babywearing on postnatal mental health. We are all at risk of developing a mental illness after birth (last year the Royal College of Midwives reported that nearly 60% of mothers felt down or depressed after giving birth). Babywearing has been cited (by mothers, no less) as having an impact on their mental health. Read the article, it's brilliant. You can also read about this from the health providers point of view here.

You can find an overview of information on babywearing here.

If you're looking for a baby carrier but don't know where to start, you can check out Sling Studio on Facebook and the lovely Alicia will be more than happy to give you some advice. Thanks Sling Studio for making baby wearing so much more comfortable and easier!