The Bump Diaries | 22 Weeks Pregnant

22 weeks pregnant - feat

Woweee! The last two weeks appear to have flown by. Today, I turned 22 weeks pregnant and it seems like only yesterday that we were waiting patiently at the 20 week scan. I had every intention of doing a little update this time last week, at 21 weeks, but time seems to have gotten ahead of me and so here we are.

We’ve had two really positive weeks with very little drama from our drama baby! (Touch Wood). She has become quite a wriggly little thing and I’ve started to monitor her movements with the Kicks Count app & my Kicks Count Kick Counter. There isn’t really much regularity as yet, and she seems to move lots one day and then, having worn herself out, chill for the majority of the next, although first thing in the morning and when I’m in the bath is when she is particularly active each day. I spoke to my midwife and she said that until 24 weeks, I shouldn’t be too concerned by the quiet days in between and because of my placenta being anterior (at the front), she maybe changing position so her movements are more cushioned. I will keep an eye on it.

At my last midwife appointment I was told that my blood type is Rhesus Negative and so I have been doing some research into the implications that could have on both myself and baby during pregnancy and after birth. This post from Sophie Ella and Me really helped me to understand what this meant. I am booked to have the first of two anti-D injections in March which will hopefully work to reduce any risks my blood type might bring on.

I’ve been super tired this week (we were in bed at 5.30 on Friday night and asleep by 7) and I have been waking up for the day around 3am each morning. Not to mention the endless amount of times I am getting up to pee each night. I’ve had a couple of nose bleeds but apart from that, pregnancy symptoms wise I’m feeling pretty good. I think both Sean & I are fighting off colds at the moment so that might be contributing to both of the above.22 Weeks Pregnant - Cravings

Up until recently, my only daily craving had been crisps (of any sort), but now I just cannot get enough fruit and veg. Yogurt and berries or a smoothie are my go to breakfasts and I probably get through at least one apple, orange and banana each day. When it comes to dinner, I have been having brocolli with EVERYTHING. I’ve had a bit of an aversion to pieces of red meat lately too.

My tummy seemed to pop almost over night last weekend and I’m now DEFINITELY looking pregnant if anyone had any doubts beforehand. My belly button is definitely almost stretched right out now too. One day it was normal, as it always has been, and the next it was gone! It seems to be changing with her position but it won’t be long until it stretches out completely, or pops out the other way. thumbnail_image1 (1)

22 Weeks Pregnant - bump

We’ve found it really hard to resist buying bits for our baby Girl over the last two weeks with all of the baby events going on and all of the pretty pink clothes lining the shops. We have started to stock up on Nappies when they’re on offer and have opted for a combination of Pampers and Asda’s Little Angels, along with wipes and other little toiletries for her bath time. We’ve also bought two tins of formula and some clothes – you can check out her first Clothing Haul here. As well as these, we had a rather exciting delivery from Shnuggle which I can’t wait to tell you all about in the coming weeks.

I think we will probably hold off buying much else now until we reach viability at 24 weeks. 2 weeks and counting! The recent baby loss storyline on Coronation Street and subsequent campaigning from actress Kym Marsh have really hit home with me and I’m mentally holding on even tighter to this little one until we get to the point where, if for any reason she comes early, the doctors have to try to save her and keep her here.

As for baby’s size etc, she is now the size of an aubergine. This has confused me a little as last week she was the size of a cantaloupe, which upon inspection at Tesco was bigger, but who am I to question?! She is roughly 11 inches long and likely over 1lb in weight. Her eyelids and lips are becoming more prominent and she has little tooth buds growing already.

I think that’s everything for this week, but don’t forget to catch up on our latest Bump Diaries entries including why we’ve chosen to bottle feed our baby and our Gender Reveal.

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Baby Girl Clothing Haul #1

Baby Girl Clothing Haul feat

Okay, I know, I know! It’s early to be going mad buying everything, but when you work in the town centre it is SO hard to walk past cute baby clothes in windows without going in and having a look… and maybe picking a thing or to up just in case they’re not there again another day. That’s what I tell myself anyway. Since we found out that this little bundle is a girl it’s been impossible to resist the adorable pink rails and so, here I am, writing to show you our first Baby Girl Clothing Haul. It’s fair to say, this baby already has a better wardrobe than I do. Eeee! We have bought a few other bits that aren’t featured too, including a couple of multi packs of baby grows from George at Asda and Primark. Baby Girl Clothing Haul 3

Once the all important 12 week marker had passed and we’d seen that this drama baby was doing okay, I allowed myself to buy one thing and one thing only. I stood in the queue at Mothercare with this little newborn hat & baby grow set filled with excitement that with any luck, the little blob wriggling around in my tummy would one day wear this! It was £7 in the sale and I used a voucher my brother & sister in law had given me for my birthday  to buy it. It seems only right that her first ever outfit should be this, so we’ll be packing it in the hospital bag when the time comes. Baby Girl Clothing Haul 8

How totally adorable is this little rubber duck baby grow (£16.00) and hat (£5.00) from JoJo Maman Bebe? I was invited to visit their Chelsea store to preview their Spring/Summer range in December (by the way, amazing things for both Mama & Baby coming to their collection later this month!) and it was just hanging there on the rail calling out to me! I didn’t get it straight away, as I’d already picked up a few maternity bits but I have been lucky enough to work with them on another project and so I was able to buy these cuties from their website. Baby Girl Clothing Haul 5

Also from JoJo Maman Bebe is this little elephant 2 piece set. (£14.00, newborn)  Complete with body suit and leggings it was just another of their range that I couldn’t help myself with. I’ve teamed them up with a popper cardigan I had left over from a George at Asda starter set I bought for a Nappy Cake.

Baby Girl Clothing Haul

Apparently I’m not the only one who is struggling to fight the urge to buy all the cuteness! Our friend arrived at our house on Thursday with a bundle of bits and bobs she’d picked up in the Tesco sale, including the bunny rabbit t-shirt featured top left. It has some beautiful lace detailing at the back and reads ‘Some Bunny Loves You’. *Heart Melt!* It’s in size up to one month, and it is going to look so sweet combined with these Jeggings (£1.50, newborn) and this little pink cardigan with bow detail (£4.50, 0-3m) both from Primark.

Baby Girl Clothing Haul 4

Straight from the 20 week scan on Tuesday, Sean and I headed to our local Asda Living and picked up some girly essentials. This three pack of floral body suits (£6.00, first size) caught my eye immediately. I was first drawn to the little peter pan collar on the polka dot one, right, which reads “Mummy’s Little Flower”, but then I saw the blue  Cath Kidston-esque one and oh my…. in the basket they went! They have so many other girly clothes in this pattern too, so they’ll be added to our Baby Girl Wardrobe Wishlist on Pinterest for sure.

Baby Girl Clothing Haul 2

Sticking with the bodysuits, this pack of 7 from Primark (newborn) was only £7! Total bargain at only £1 a piece. As much as I am loving ALL the pink at the moment, I really like the inclusion of the navy hearts & breton stripes in this pack. Baby Girl Clothing Haul 10

Also from Primark is this teeny tiny cotton floral dress (£3.50, 0-3m) which can be paired with tights or the jeggings pictured if it’s a bit chilly. Baby is due at the end of May, so she will be likely be in 0-3m clothes throughout the summer. On super hot days, this will be cool enough to wear alone or with some little frilly pants over her nappy. Baby Girl Clothing Haul 11

Ah, these have to one of my favourite buys so far! Not much can beat denim dungarees and a little part of me is SO tempted to try and find a pair for myself too so we can match. Sad maybe, but just imagine that instagram photo! These are in a bit of a strange size of 1-2m from H&M, but were the last in the shop so I grabbed them while I could for £12.99.
Baby Girl Clothing Haul 9

These leggings will be perfect for teaming with a short sleeved body suit on a hot summers day when a baby grow might be that bit too warm! They come in a 2 pack from Primark for only £3.50.

Baby Girl Clothing Haul 6

We were sent a gift card for Next for Christmas by my uncle & auntie (to be!) and had the option to treat ourselves or the baby to whatever we wanted. I headed to our local store when I finished work on Friday and put together this gorgeous outfit which will go perfectly with some navy or mustard tights when the summer weather ends. Going up to size 3-6m ready for September onwards, The daisy duck T-Shirt (£9) and mustard colour knitted cardigan (£7.00) will be a great colourful combo for Autumn and paired with these little denim shorts  (£8.00).

Baby Girl Clothing Haul 7

That same cardigan will also look fab with this pussy cat dress / body suit combo that I bought from H&M last year for a friend, but never got around to seeing her before her little one grew out of 4-6m clothes! It was £6.99.

As I said before, we’ve also bought some baby grows & more basic essentials as well as the outfits I’ve featured above and will continue to build up a collection over the next four and a bit months (Aaaaah! Is that really all we have left?!) to make sure we’re totally prepared for her arrival. Doing it this way helps us spread the cost a bit instead of having to buy everything in one go!

Where are your go to places for clothes for your little one?

Baby Girl Clothing Haul Pin

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Why we’ve chosen to bottle feed our baby

bottle feed

Now that we’re a little passed that all important half way mark with our bump, it really is time to start preparing for her arrival and thinking about how we are going to make the adjustment as a family as easy and as stress free as possible. One of the things I have already been asked a million times is how I will be feeding our baby girl. The first thing that comes into my mind when people ask this question is “with milk”, but whether it is right or wrong for them to even ask, I know what they really want to know is whether I will be breastfeeding or bottle feeding.

I’ve been around the baby world for a long while now, what with Beebies opening in 2012, and I have met and become friends with so many Mama’s over the years. I’ve also been witness to so much debate over which method is best, whether it’s okay to breastfeed in public, does bottle feeding your baby make you a bad mum? I know children, well, people who have thrived on both.  I’ve watched on the side lines as amazing Mama’s have struggled to feed their little ones the ‘natural’ way, and yet because some of society says that breast is best, put theirs and their baby’s health at risk because they didn’t want to seem like a bad mother, or feel like they were letting the side down. I’ve seen bottle feeding Mama’s publicly attack those who breastfeed on social media because for some reason a bit of side boob offends the eye.  On both ‘sides’  I’ve seen mothers whose babies just couldn’t escape the daily pain of colic and silent reflux. Gosh, I once even read a facebook post one day stating that by not breastfeeding your baby, you’re sentencing him or her to an early death. Needless to say, I unfollowed this Banana in a split second. What a load of old tosh. In my eyes, as long as baby is fed and loved and looked after, none of the above should even matter. Jeeze.

So what are we planning to do and why? I’m sorry, the answer isn’t going to be a short one.

Noone can be sure how things will go yet, but our plan is to bottle feed. And there’s a whole host of reasons why we feel that feeding baby this way will work better for our family set up. But firstly let me say, our decision to bottle feed does not in any way discredit those who choose to breastfeed. I am a big admirer of those who do. I’m just not sure it’s for us.

Daddy & Daughter Time | One of the main things that came to light when we were discussing this, was that Sean would like to be involved in our baby’s feeding routine. Now, yes, I know so many couples who both have a role when breastfeeding is concerned, but I also know a few Daddies who have really struggled to bond with their little one as only Mama is able to comfort and feed her and I don’t want Sean to feel like he can’t settle or provide our daughter with what she needs when she’s hungry. We’d really like it to get to a point where there is one feed per day that is solely his, be it first thing in the morning before he goes to work or just before we have our tea or go to bed. Of course, he will spend other time with her, but we want this to be their constant, their special time of day when they both know where they’ll be – their own little routine within a routine which in turn will give me, as the person who will be there day in day out, a little breather. Maybe even a chance to have a bath or put that pile of washing I’ve been tripping over all day away, or get out of the house and walk the dog. Blimey, perhaps I will even have a nap. Also, we’re both aware that having a newborn can get a little overwhelming – your whole life changes in the blink of an eye, and suddenly you become the answer to your new little sleep thief’s every need. If one night, after days of no sleep I momentarily lose the ability to cope with another night feed, Sean will be able to step in and take the reigns for a bit and that is already taking a bit of weight off of my mind.

Getting into a routine | Ha! I hear your laughs as I type. Is there really such a thing as routine when you’ve got a newborn? Either way, I’d like to give it a shot as I’m a bit of a planner and without a set routine to my day I’m known to go a bit stir crazy! With a bottle fed baby you are able to form the shell of a feeding routine. I am told bottle fed newborns tend to feed every 3-4 hours which already starts us off on the right foot when it comes to our daily routine, with the added bonus of knowing exactly how much food your baby is taking in through the day rather than whipping your boob out each time baby decides she wants a bit more!

I quite like my boobs | Over the last 23 years, I’ve become quite fond of my chest dwelling friends and for all of this time they’ve belonged to me and me only. As controversial as this may be, I’m not so sure I am ready and willing to share them. A friend of mine recently confided in me that she no longer feels like her body is her own since having her little girl last Spring and that she was really struggling to find her own identity. She felt like all she was, was a pair of boobs, a milking machine for her little one and as much as she loves breastfeeding, S’s comfort feeding on demand was becoming a little too much. Of course, she is seen by everyone else as more than just a milking machine! She’s a friend, a fiancée and  still the same old person I knew before she had her little girl but she felt crap and stripped bare of her self. Sure, she’s bounced back. As a family they are working to wean their baby off the boob and she’s feeling a lot better. I worry though, that I wouldn’t be able to bounce back as well as that and that I would feel, I don’t know, trapped. And that’s no good for anyone’s mental state.

There’s nothing like feeding a baby | A baby cuddle is pretty good, but with the addition of a sleepy feed I think feeding a baby is the crème de la crème of baby squishes. Especially for women. Grandma’s and Granddads love to settle down in the armchair and feed their grandchild. Aunties and uncles are no different. And so who am I to rob our parents, siblings and friends of that special moment with this little one who has been so longed for by all? Besides, sometimes Mum and Dad just need five minutes. Be it for a wee, or to actually be able to eat something warm at a family barbecue instead of juggling a paper plate of… wotsits and the last of the egg sandwiches from the kids table. Also, we have a huge and sometimes rather loud family, and so making sure that baby girl is comfortable socialising and being around everyone is important to me and I think this time spent with other family members, even if only for a 15 minute feed, will help her.

A little bit of Freedom | If you know us personally, you’ll know that neither of us really lead a party lifestyle. We’re much more comfortable at home with our slippers on in front of CSI or chilling with friends and family with a takeaway. However that’s not to say that we both enjoy the occasional couple of drinks at the pub or an evening out with friends – sometimes together and sometimes apart. I am hoping that if baby is bottle fed we can rest assured that if I want to head out for a couple of hours, I can do so without the worry that she might need a feed.

I might go back to work | In fact it’s quite likely that I will have to and I want to make sure that from the onset, we lay the foundations to ensure that at whatever stage I return to the office, the transition is as easy as possible for baby and I don’t think we’d be able to do that if I were to breastfeed. Firstly having been bottle fed, she’ll be used to drinking from a bottle rather than solely from my breast, which obviously cannot be detached and packed off in the changing bag for a day at nursery! Secondly, she will not see me as the only one who can give her what she needs when it comes to food.

A lot of the above reasons probably seem a little selfish. Okay, maybe more than a little. But they all come down to one thing – a happy and relaxed Mama often (not always) makes for a happy baby. And as a family, I just think that bottle feeding is the right path for us. Of course, that might all change when baby girl actually gets here, but for now, that is the plan.

Here are a few of my favourite feeding journey stories from other Mama’s.

Alex at Lamb & Bear faced struggles while trying to breastfeed her first little boy and so chose to express and bottle feed. A good reminder that there’s more than just breast or formula to choose from!

Hannah said goodbye to breastfeeding Toby after a long four months of trying which left her feeling like a failure.  She tried again with Martha and has loved their breastfeeding journey which  just proves that every child is different!

Sarah finally had breastfeeding success after some initial set backs with little Lachlan.

Georgina chose to bottle feed from early on and here’s why she thinks bottle feed shaming needs to stop! 

My friend Jennie has breastfed all of her children, and plans to do so with her next little one when she arrives later this year. She’s shared her experiences several times over at Edspire.co.uk

Emily shares how she knew from very early on that she’d be bottle feeding her boys, just like us. Here are her reasons.

Kerry wrote about why she stopped breastfeeding and her tips of transitioning from breast to bottle with Aria.

What are your feeding experiences? I would love to know whether your feeding plans went the way you hoped they would or whether you had to change mid course.

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The Bump Diaries | It’s A… 20 Week Scan & GENDER REVEAL!

20 Week Scan Gender Reveal

Yesterday, January 10th, was the day we had been counting down to for a long eight weeks – the 20 week anomaly scan! It just so happened to fall on the same day as my ‘Nanny Ann’s’ anniversary. A sure sign that somewhere up there, she is watching over us.

After all of the drama from our twentieth week, I was so incredibly nervous in the lead up to this scan. I just wanted to know that baby was okay and that my infection hadn’t had any adverse effect on it’s ability to thrive.

We had two sonographers, one was a trainee, who were incredibly thorough in their checks. They started with the measurements, head, stomach, arms and legs, all were perfectly formed and lovely. Then the happy and healthy beating heart. Words cannot explain the feeling of seeing your baby’s heart beating. We saw the four chambers of baby’s heart, two seemingly healthy lungs and kidneys, stomach and a full and working bladder.

After all of this had been checked it was time to take a look at baby’s face. My bladder was so full that she was worried I might not be able to put up with the pressure of her poking around any longer so I had to quickly run for a wee. Baby lived up to it’s reputation of being a little monkey by the time it came to checking it’s features and profile, hiding behind a hand, an arm, sucking a thumb. We were asked to go for a walk, have a cold glass of water and go back to see if we could get baby to move to a better position for us to see what we needed to.

Finally, after a lot of jiggling, wiggling, poking and prodding we finally saw two eyes, a strong nose and two beautiful lips before that thumb was promptly returned for sucking!

And then, just before we left, I asked if she could tell whether we were having a girl or a boy.20 week scan gender reveal it's a

Without hesitation she answered immediately.20 Week Scan Gender Reveal it's a girl

We are having a baby girl. And we cannot wait to meet her!

PINTEREST GENDER REVEAL

*Want to catch up on our pregnancy journey so far? Read the Bump Diaries here. 

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The Bump Diaries | 20 Weeks Pregnant

*Written on the day we hit 20 weeks – Sunday 8th January.

In stark contrast to my positivity at the 19 week stage, week 20 was pretty shit. I’m not going to sugar coat it. I went back to work after the New Years weekend on Tuesday and after we’d sat in traffic for nearly 2 hours for a journey that should have taken us 20 minutes I really should have known how the rest of the day was going to pan out. Not even an hour after arriving at work, as I compared two pairs of jeans for a display in one of our shops, I suddenly came over extremely hot and the room began spinning at a pace I wasn’t sure possible. It was as though I was on one of those teacup rides you find at the Fun Fair and I’d made the mistake of letting Sean steer again. Next thing I know, I’m on the floor having passed out for just a second and suddenly surrounded by the entire shop staff and my Mother in Law who is one of our first aiders at work.

The rest of the day went by in a blur and despite the drama of it all, I couldn’t help myself but laugh at what had just gone on. It really did come out of nowhere. One minute I was chatting & laughing, the next there I was on the floor. All very surreal.

A croissant to get my sugar levels up and a call to the maternity unit later, Sean picked me up from work and I headed home to spend the rest of the day under a duvet nackered and a bit disorientated.

Just before we headed to bed that night, I went to the toilet as I normally would and suddenly felt a sharp pain in my stomach as I pee’d. Bugger. ‘I bet it’s a bloody water infection.’ I thought. I remember my friend whose son has just turned a year, having similar symptoms in pregnancy as me, dizziness, fainting with the addition of reduced movements. She’d ended up in hospital and diagnosed with a water infection.

I decided it was best to get checked out on Wednesday and so took the day off and headed to the doctors, fuelled by as much sugar as I could muster for breakfast to try and avoid any more passing out! I arrived and the paramedic who takes on same day appointments called me and   just as I’d walked in to her room I’d once again come over dizzy and fuzzy headed.  She took my temperature straight away and identified that I had a fever, before testing the urne sample I’d been asked to do upon arrival at the surgery. I had a very strong infection, with both white blood cells and blood in my urine. It would have to be sent of to the hospital for further analysis.

Next she took my bloodpressure which was normal (for me) and my heart rate. My heart rate was irregular and so I spent half an hour hooked up to a monitor as she kindly chatted about pregnancy and such. The wiggy lnes the monitor printed were sent up, along with my sample to the duty GP who decided that they were probably linked and that the infection was likely causing the extra beats which in turn could be the reason I was feeling so wobbly.

Sent home with strict instructions to keep my fluids and sugars up and a prescription for antibiotics, I was to rest and get back in touch on the emergency line if I fainted or passed out. And that I did, with a hazy head I made my way home to my pj’s and curled up on the sofa in front of Nashville reruns, still dizzy and fuzzy each time I got up.

Thursday morning came and I decided to head back into work. Mum drove as normal, and I’d had a protein packed smoothie for breakfast with every intention of grabbing a croissant or something when I arrived at work. Well, we were barely parked before I started to feel very unwell again and after tears and hormones escaping we decided it was probably best I skipped work again and went home to rest. I HATE being off sick, and after what had happened after my operation with my last employer, the idea of having time off fills me with panic. I walked in to the office to tell them and then waited for a friend to come and pick me up to go home. And there I stayed, under my blanket until Saturday morning, when I eventually started to feel a bit better and came back to work.

Just when I was starting to relax and enjoy this bump journey, we seemed to have hit a bit of a slump. But, now we have hit the half way mark and have our 20 week scan to look forward to on Tuesday. We’ve everything crossed baby is still thriving.

 

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Blogging Goals for 2017

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I’ve been in and out of this blogging game for quite a while now. A good few years. To start with I worked with bloggers to build my brand, then dipped my toe in the water for a bit, stepped back and focused on other things and came back with a bit of a half hearted attempt to make amielizabeth.com sing at the beginning of 2016.

Since announcing my pregnancy back in October, this little blog of mine has become what I always wanted it to be. A diary of the good and the bad, a chance to record memories which will one day be looked back upon with fond familiarity.

This year, I really want to build upon that even further and boost my confidence when it comes to recording the every day things that make up our life here and so I’ve decided to set myself some goals to help me along the way.

T A K E  B E T T E R  P H O T O ‘ S | I can’t deny it, sometimes the photographs I put are far from what I’d call blog worthy. With high up windows, getting natural light for decent photos can be a real challenge, especially during the winter months. We are going to invest in some soft boxes and also try and experiment with a few daylight light bulbs in order to combat this issue and showcase products and home features a little better. Also, we’d really like a new camera ready for when the baby arrives in order to capture his / her first moments in tip top quality but without a big budget we are struggling a little – any recommendations would be gratefully received.

P O S T  M O R E  R E G U L A R L Y | I’ve made no secret of the fact that my blog is a place for me to offload ad write about what feels right at the time, but this last year it’s fair to say that my posting pattern has been a little sporadic. While I quite like the authenticity that creates for my blog, I would quite like to get myself into a bit more of a pattern when it comes to posting. As I mentioned above, this is a place for us to record memories and with our life about to change dramatically with the arrival of our first baby I don’t want anything to go by undocumented – I’m told too often how quickly they grow up! With that in mind I would like to post three times a week with a mix of family, beauty and travel posts, but I also don’t want this hobby of mine to become a chore so will be mindful of the fact that if I don’t feel like writing one day I wont force it.

G E T  M Y  S O C I A L  M E D I A  S P A R K  B A C K |  When I first entered the world of twitter and blogging, social media was a much more ‘social’ environment than it is now. I made some of my dearest friends when working with the blogging community whilst running Beebies and it’s sad to think that that spark, that organic feel of things has gone a little. Now a days it seems like everyone is out for themselves a bit online and there’s no real socialising anymore. This year, I would like to find that again and start to make some real meaningful connections.

C R E A T E  M O R E  O F  A  B R A N D | I’ve recently renewed the look of the blog with a new logo and layout. I created the new logo in PicMonkey using a few different techniques I’ve picked up along the way. This tutorial really helped when adding the gold shimmer to the text and I found a great website with all sorts of fonts – I finally decided on Mrs Glow. In the next few weeks, I am going to take on the task of going back through all of my photos and re-watermarking them so that they match the new design and then hope to continue building upon the new look Ami Elizabeth brand throughout the year.

Have you made any blogging goals for 2017? I’d love to know what they are and whether you have any tips for how I can achieve mine.

Wishing you a wonderful start to the year!

 

 

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The Bump Diaries | 19 Weeks Pregnant

19 weeks pregnant

Wowzers, we’re at the 19 week stage already. In just over a weeks time, we’ll be heading to the hospital to see our baby at the all important 20 week anomaly scan. The lead up to Christmas was hectic to say the least both at work and at home that I’ve barely had time to think let alone catch you all up on our Bump progress. It’s been rather lovely to be honest. I feel like since the total exhaustion left me at 14 weeks I’ve been moving at 1000 miles per hour trying to make up for the Zombie Phase of the first trimester and oh my, I’ve packed so much into the last 5 weeks.

We truly had the loveliest family filled festive season. There is no mistaking now that bump is a bump and I haven’t just overloaded on the Quality Streets and I am absolutely loving dressing it up and showing it off. I think over the next few months, I might start a little series of maternity fashion posts as I’ve found some real gems when it comes to retailers who I would love to share with you. Body wise, I’m feeling so much more confident – This body of mine is growing a baby, working a miracle, and I’ve so much respect for it for that! I think it helps that now the mornings are a bit easier, I’m back into a regular make up routine each morning too.

We’ve had a few flutters and pops and taps in there. It’s the strangest feeling and where there’s no real pattern yet they still take me by surprise, but it is so so lovely that our little one is busy and active and growing. I’ve been woken each day this week at 6am by what feels like a party in my belly!

She, I say she, we actually don’t know whether our Drama Baby is a boy or a girl just yet, is now the size of a grapefruit. She is growing quickly in weight and size, though has little body fat. Her teeth are beginning to form inside her gums too.

We’re very slowly starting to stock up on the basics – Boots have this fab offer on at the moment offering 5 Pampers Products for £20 so we bought some nappies & wipes with my Boots points and I haven’t been able to stop myself picking up the odd baby grow here and there in the sales.

I am really enjoying this second trimester and cannot believe we are nearly half way through! In 21 weeks, all being well, we’ll be welcoming a baby in to our family and we’re excited beyond belief.

A x

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2016 in Pictures | A Year of Change

2016 in pictures

I thought, as the year draws to a close I would write a little annual summary. It’s fair to say, I think, that 2016 has been a year of unexpected changes for us as well as a time for achieving things I never thought  I would and meeting people who have changed my life forever. Looking back through these photo’s, it would seem that despite everything that happened earlier this year, 2016 was the year I found my smile!

J A N U A R Y

01.01.2016 – New Years Celebrations

We started the year off with a splash. Instead of the bang of fireworks, the clinking of glasses and cheers of celebration, at the stroke of midnight on 1st January 2016 myself and seven other crazy fools (who all happen to be family) took on our final challenge for team SMAsh it! – the 12 ice buckets at 12 event where we had bucket after bucket of iced water tipped over us to raise money for The SMA Trust.

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05.01.2016 – Libby’s 13th Birthday

Watching my younger sister turn from a little girl to a feisty, strong willed and beautiful young lady has been one of my favourite things this year. She is my best friend, confidant and partner in crime and I am just so glad that we are as close as we are despite our nearly 10 year age gap.

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23.01.2016 – A shitter of  a day – apparently!

M A R C H

06.03.2016 – Snuggly Pup

By March even the dog was fed up with the dark & early mornings!

28.03.2016 – The Day A Monkey Showed us Her Vagina

On Easter Monday, after Sean’s mountain trip was cut short, we headed to Howletts for a date day.Howletts Monkeys

A P R I L

16.04.2016 – Dirty Dozen

One of the toughest – mentally & physically – things I have ever done and yet one of my proudest achievements to date. On April 16th, I along with some of our amazing family, completed the Dirt Dozen OCR.

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24.04.2016 – Lazy Spring Mornings

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M A Y

04.05.2016 – Crisis Cocktails!

Apparently I had a bit of a crisis at the beginning of May and found myself on a train to London to meet my friends and drink cocktails on a school night!

07.05.2016 – A Break Away for Sean’s Birthday

In May we headed to the coast for a week away in Camber Sands, just Sean, myself and the Pup. We stayed in a caravan right on the seafront and spent many a sunshiney day on the beach.

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21.05.2016 – Know Your Normal Fundraiser #1

With a little help from my sidekick sister and some friends we launched our first local campaign for Know Your Normal. We had a photo booth in our local shopping center where women were encouraged to share their own health experiences when it came to their boobs, periods and pregnancies. We spent the day raising awareness and money for Coppafeel! and Kicks Count dressed as super heroes.

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JUNE

08.06.2016 – #KYNCalendarGirls Photo Shoot

I somehow convinced 11 lovely ladies to travel with me to Chester and take their kit off for a calendar photo shoot for Know Your Normal. The two days we spent at Red Shoe studios with Sarah, Sam, Mandy & Nicole were truly inspiring and I will hold their friendship and the memories they gave us in my heart forever.

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 27.06.2016 – Hospital Drama

Ironically, after setting up the Know Your Normal campaign to encourage women to report changes they notice in their health, I was taken into hospital with abdominal pain which had left me unable to move for a week. After talk of appendicitis and ectopic pregnancies, an ovarian cyst was diagnosed and removed after a five day hospital stay. It was a scary time for everyone, and Sean was by my side all the way through along with my Mum & sister. As I went into theatre I remember the last thing I said to the surgeon was ‘please make sure I can have babies one day’.

After a very unsettled night, puking up the morphine and sporting some very sexy green stockings, this morning has been filled with yet more meds, more examinations and more uncertainty as to what on earth they are going to do with me. To be honest, I’m a bit fed up. A laparoscopy is the quickest route to getting back to normal but everyone here seems so reluctant to operate and so a three month ‘wait and see’ could be on the cards. I’m not sure I can take another three months of this pain! today, any procedures have been ruled out as they’ve just given me lunch, so it looks like I’ve another long afternoon date with ‘The Goodwife’ and whatever concoction of drugs they can find that don’t make me sick. I’m bored now. #ovariancyst #hospitalstay #grumpy #impatientpatient #knowyournormal #womenshealth

A photo posted by Ami Holt (@amielizabethblog) on

J U L Y

Recovery

July was all about recovery for me. It took a longer than usual time for the anaesthetic side effects to wear off and physically everything hurt and had to be helped to the loo. I was on strict bed rest instructions for two weeks. It meant I was able to take loads of insta worthy photos on my white bedsheets without even moving and indulge in plenty of pup cuddles though.  We had a mini celebration (ate chocolate) the day I was able to stand up straight & put some make up on my face!

A U G U S T

10.08.2016 – No Boys Allowed Corfu Holiday

After a long recovery and a crappy start to the summer Mum, Libby & I booked a last minute girls holiday to Corfu. We stayed in a lovely family run hotel in the picturesque sea side resort, not far from Kassiopi and had the most relaxing girly time.

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kamari pool

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17.08.2016 While the cats away, the mouse climbs mountains!

Unable to get away together in the summer, our separate holidays overlapped and while I was sunning myself in Corfu, Sean and hist Mum, Uncle & Cousin took on the Three Peaks Challenge and climbed Ben Nevis, Mount Snowden and Scarfel in the space of six days. 15820448_10210378933165592_2133199091_n

S E P T E M B E R

14.09.2016 – Picking Up the Keys to our first Home

15.09.2016 – The Know Your Normal Charity Ball

After months and months of planning, the Know Your Normal Charity Ball was finally here and was an evening enjoyed by everyone who attended. We raised some fantastic awareness as well as money for the two charities. 14322453_10154556652242990_5926093968370707800_n

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Booby cakes

16.09.2016 – Smith’s Annual Hayling Island Trip

20.09.2016 – Moving In

We moved in the day we returned from our Smith’s get away. That first week was not an easy one, but we soon got ourselves settled in! We Moved Out!

22.09.2016 – The Boys Tough Mudder & Oktoberfest Adventure

Two days after we moved into our  house, Sean ventured off to Germany with his Uncle & Brother to complete the tough mudder and head to Oktoberfest.15781885_10210378933765607_512186299_n

24.09.2016 – A rough start at number 5

“How we feel about our morning so far. I had my first shower in our new house today (I’m normally a night time bather) and have come to the conclusion that there are two possible temperatures. Burn all of your skin off or freeze your butt off. No in between. Then poor Palf fell off of the bed on to a box and then on to the floor and landed on his back, proceeded to poo and puke everywhere, fall from the top to the bottom of the stairs and then not be able to stand up. After two hysterical phone calls to my mum & seans mum and running round the house like a mad woman I managed to get him round to my mums house where he’s now sleeping on the sofa. Add all this to our mystery garden visitor the night before last and I can safely say I am ready for Sean who is in Germany for his tough mudder to come home already.
I’m at work today too so if you’re passing, chocolate is 100% necessary.”

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25.09.2016 – Finding Out I Was Pregnant

The day you pee on a stick and those two lines stare back at you is a day you will never forget! Sean was still away at Oktoberfest and the dog and I had had an horrendous start to our new life in our new home (see above!) so finding out I was pregnant was just amazing!
Finding Out

While I was mopping up my Mum’s tears of joy in Tesco, Sean was toasting our news with his uncle in Germany.

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29.05.2016 – Telling Family about our Bump

Once Sean was home it was time to let his family in on our little growing secret! We told those closest to us fairly early on as it was such longed for news and I think it was my favourite partof the entire first trimester.

Grandparents

O C T O B E R

31.10.2016 – Announcing our Pregnancy

We’d had a worrying 10 weeks and keeping our little secret… well secret.. was becoming impossible! And so on Hallowe’en we decided to tell the world that we were pregnant.

We're Pregnant!

W're Pregnant - Pregnancy Announcement

N O V E M B E R

22.11.2016 – The Twelve Week Scan

We’d seen our little bean twice already at emergency scans earlier on in the pregnancy, but the 12 week scan actually showed a baby rather than just a blob! At this point it all started to sink in!

13 weeks 2

13 week scan 2

D E C E M B E R

11.12.2016 – Winter Wonderland

Sean & Dean suprised Tasha & I to a trip to London & Winter Wonderland in the lead up to Christmas. I think I’ve said it befire on here at some point, but we are so very lucky to be so very close to Sean’s brother & his wife and to spend such a magical day all together was lovely. I went to Harrods for the first time and as a special treat for Tasha we saw her childhood hero’s Sooty & Sweep live as well as a visit to the ice bar and having a wander around the Christmas market.

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25.12.2016 – Christmas at The Smolt’s

This is one of the only photo’s I have of our first Christmas in our new home (excuse the tesco rubbish bag & the two bottoms in the background!)  – what can I say? We were all just having too much of a good time that we forgot to capture it on camera. Mum, Trevor & Libby came for dinner and then we were joined by the Smith’s in the evening. It was such a perfect family oriented day with plenty of love and laughter.

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26.12.2016 – Blowing Away the Cobwebs 15697585_10154885553417990_2078837862737542931_n

As the festive family time continued on Boxing Day we headed to the Coast with the Smith’s for a walk along the sea front. Check out team Bobble Hat!

And that’s our year in pictures! How was your 2016?

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