Maternity Leave

The time has come and I am finally on maternity leave. This is my first day and it just feels like a day off. I don't think I have come to the terms with it yet. I do intend on taking the full year but you never know I may want to go back a little earlier. When I do go back I am only going back on a part time basis of three days. My work colleague's were kind enough to all sign a card and even had a collection for the baby on my last day. I was very overwhelmed and will miss them while I am on leave. 


If you have read any of my previous posts you will know I have been pretty organised when it comes to preparing for the baby. His nursery is already decorated, his clothes already in the wardrobe, he pretty much has everything that he needs and probably all the stuff he doesn't need too. So it doesn't really leave me with much to do during the weeks up till his birth. I intend on giving the house a top to bottom clean as I want it to be spotless when he comes home. Other than that I am just going to sleep as much as I can and take it easy before he arrives and perhaps read a book or two. 

I have my baby shower to look forward to in two weeks time. My mother in law to be is organising it and I am so grateful for it. I have only invited close family and friends and it's going to be brilliant to see them all come together to celebrate our little one. I am not normally one of these people who likes to be in the limelight. I never had an 18th or a 21st party or even an Engagement do but our boy needs celebrating! 

Last but not least I am going to spend as much quality time as I can with my Nick. These next 6 weeks (more or less) will be the last weeks of it just being the two of us. The last few weeks of us just being a couple. After our son is here we will be a family and just typing that gives me goosebumps! We really cannot wait. Our life is about to change so much and we are ready for it! Roll on November! 

Birth Centre Tour

It's getting to that stage in pregnancy when I really need to come to terms with the fact that in a few short weeks I will have to give birth. I am excited but absolutely terrified of the prospect. 

Ever since I found out I was pregnant the thought of a water birth really appealed to me and the town I live in has a newly opened birth centre which has received a lot of praise. It was a no brainer when I was asked where I would like to give birth, there was no other option. It has to be at my local birth centre. 

As this is my first pregnancy I didn't really know the difference between the birth centre or the birth suite. What is a birth centre I hear you ask?  

Well birth centre's are maternity units which are lead mainly by midwives. Birth centre's try to create a homely and comforting environment rather than a cold clinical one. They specialise in supporting women who want to have as much as a natural birth as possible with little or no intervention. You can still have all the usual pain relief if you feel that you need it but you cannot have an epidural. People always say why go through all the pain if you can just have an epidural? I thought that before I was pregnant. But after researching and hearing advice off midwives I would prefer not to have one if possible. There are less complications with birth and the recovery rate is so much faster. I really hope that I do not need one. Birth suites are normally buildings on their own and if medical intervention was needed you would need to be transported to a local hospital. Thankfully the birth centre I am at has the hospital just next door so if my labour didn't go to plan I would just be wheeled down a corridor. That alone is such a great comfort to have in the back of my mind. 

Nick and I decided to go take a tour of the birth centre to see it for ourselves.

We arrived on a Sunday morning and was greeted by the midwives, we were both so nervous. They were so nice and bubbly and soon put us at ease. They walked us around the entire building whilst telling us at what stage in labour we should come in, where the entrances are, what to bring with me etc.  

They took us up to the birth suite which looked pleasant enough even though it is more medically focused. When I was walking around this department I felt like I had a frog in my throat, everything seemed so much more real and a lot more frightening. I was so grateful I didn't hear any labouring mothers screaming in pain as I think that would of had me running to the hills! Considering this was supposed to be the more clinical side it still looked great but it just really isn't for me.

They then took us next door to the Birth Centre. As soon as I walked into one of the rooms I was amazed as it looked more like a hotel room than a hospital room. The lights where dimmed, the bed looked like a real bed, there was a massage chair, a sofa in the corner, a CD player, motivational quotes on the walls. An on suite bathroom with either a shower or a bath. The room even had it's own colour scheme! Everything medical was hidden away and out of sight but you still had the comfort of knowing it was there if it was needed. Not every room had a birthing pool but the majority did. You can also have as many people as you like with you when you are in labour but I think I just want it to be Nick and I. Especially when I am about to give birth to our son. I want that moment to be just for us. 
I instantly felt at ease and after touring a few of these rooms was actually looking forward to my labour! I know that will change when it is actually happening!

We officially have just 7 weeks to go. He could come sooner or later but we know that he will be here soon. I hope I have the birth that I want but I am just going to go with the flow, relax and try to remain calm. There's not long now. We can't wait to meet our baby. 

Pregnancy Diary: Week 30 & 31


30 & 31 Weeks Pregnant. 

I have found these two weeks a little bit easier than the previous two weeks. I don't know if it's because I am getting used to the big changes in third trimester or just that I feel better in general. The nausea has gone again and I am like a bottomless pit when it comes to eating. Nothing seems to satisfy me. I've been craving crisps, cake and milk mainly but honestly everything looks tasty to me at the moment. When it comes to my energy levels I am exhausted most of the time and my sleep is erratic. Some days I will sleep really well and others I am up every hour. My heartburn has been horrendous but it does seem to come and go. I will have a few days where it's constant and then some days where I don't have it at all. 

As my bump gets bigger it's even harder to be comfortable. Simple things like sitting on the sofa is difficult, I have to elongate my torso to find relief as he is always beneath my ribs. Getting out of bed is hilarious to witness as I literally have to roll off it. I have also developed a major waddle which has amused countless amounts of people! My lower stomach is smothered in stretch marks, I joke that they look like flames! It is all worth it though. 

I have noticed a change in the babies movements too. They are no longer little kicks or little movements. I literally feel every movement he makes. He's a very active little boy especially at night time when I am trying to sleep. He is so strong and the movements are so big now. I really enjoy watching my stomach move. He loves it when I give my bump a good rub and will wriggle in response. 

I had my 30 week midwife appointment in these two weeks too. Everything was fine. Baby is still measuring big but she said it's nothing to worry about. I know that the measurements can be inaccurate too so I try not to frighten myself at the prospect of pushing out a huge baby. We always said we would have a big boy and if he was anything less than 8lb there would be a lot of shocked people in our family. We are expecting a pair of big long legs too. We also had a tour of the birth centre the following weekend too. I really enjoyed the tour and I will be blogging all about it soon. 

Our cat Ted is still obsessed with me and is being super loving. I think he knows! He will come sit behind me on the sofa and just touch me with his paw. It's adorable. I think after he gets over the initial shock of having a baby in the house he will make a great companion. I know you have to watch cats around babies, the same with all pets but I wouldn't have it any other way. I want our son to love and respect animals just as much and his Daddy and I do. 

We also had a play around with our travel system. I have to admit it took us a while to figure out how to attach the car seat to the base but we got there eventually! We had a trial run with it indoors, it moves so easily and is so lightweight.

As I type this we only have 8 weeks left before our due date. 
54 days until my due date, 19 days until my baby shower and just 6 days until my maternity leave! 
Before I know it my son will be in my arms and I can't wait! 

Review: The Baby Box Company

The Baby Box Company is a Mother and Daughter run business which was inspired by the birth of their Son and Grandson Harry. They really wanted to do something modern and new when it comes to personalised gifts and so The Baby Box Company was born! Out with the old and in with the new, no more pinks for girls and blue for boys. They specialise in funky bright unisex gifts that Mum's really want and need. 

I was very excited when the prospect of reviewing one of their boxes came to my attention. Not only do I love personalised gifts and baby boxes but I am also one of those people who sways away from the traditional blues for boys. 

I was sent the Really Useful Box for the purpose of this review. The box was presented beautifully, in a hard cardboard presentation box and all tied up with a big red bow. I loved their logo in the corner. I find the whole branding to be fresh, bold and cool. It's a brand that stands out and that you will remember. 

The personalised message inside was a lovely touch. I just had to take a photo.
Thank you Chloe and Chris!

What's inside the box?

Aden & Anais Super Stars Swaddle: A swaddle was on my to buy list so I was very happy when I saw this in my box! This Aden & Anais muslin swaddle is 100% cotton and with an attractive bold star design. This will be perfect for swaddling, burping, changing and nursing my baby when he arrives! 

The Baby Box Company Red Bodysuit: This bodysuit made me smile when I opened the box as I am a huge cat lover. 
It's so hard to come across a cat design that boys can get away with so I'm extremely happy with it. Not only is the bodysuit 100% cotton too but it is also exclusive to The Baby Box Company and made here in the UK!

Sock Ons: I have heard brilliant things about these little Sock ons! I can't wait to try them out on our little one. If he is anything like his Dad then he would be losing his socks constantly but not with Sock Ons. You simply put them on over your babies socks and it keeps them in place, no pulling them off and no more lost socks! Brilliant!

Gogo Toys Wooden Rattle: A round wooden rattle surrounded by brightly coloured beads with a little bell in the middle. It looks like great fun! Not a toy he will be able to use straight away but a nice little something to put away for when he's a little older.

All this for £25. 
Well worth it in my opinion. All very useful and excellent quality products.  

 The Baby Box Company have been a pleasure to deal with and I would recommend them and their goodies to everyone. Their boxes would make an ideal gift or just a treat to yourself!

I was sent the gift box for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own. 

The Perfect Changing Bag

I am a handbag sort of girl so when I became pregnant I knew my obsession for handbags would change into a passion for changing bags. How right was I? 
I have two changing bags already, contemplating my third and our boy isn't even here yet!

Firstly I bought this lovely striped satchel from Babymel. I ended up getting a great deal and only paid £25 rather than £42. I thought the satchel looked really trendy and you couldn't tell it was a changing bag at all. On arrival I loved it but I found it was too small for me. Perhaps it will be good for the days where I don't need to pack as much but in those early days I think I will need something much bigger. Until then I am going to use it as a handbag!

Next up we have the Storksak Kate Chaning bag. This beauty retails at a whopping £110 and you can really tell, it is top notch quality. I was lucky enough to win this bag over on twitter! It is absolutely stunning, a cream patent leather body with tan handles. It has a dozen sections inside, insulated bottle holders, travel changing mat and is big enough to carry everything you need. I can't wait to use it once baby is here.

Last but not least we have the Not So Plain Jane changing back from Pink Lining. I have always admired Pink Lining bags even before I was pregnant. They are pretty, quirky and eye catching. This one is currently in the sale for just £37 marked down from £75 so I am trying to justify a third changing bag! I just can't resist the pink and the bows! 

What do you think? Have you any favourite changing bags?
What makes the perfect changing bag?

Naming Our Baby

One thing I have always really enjoyed to daydream about ever since I was a little girl is what I would name my future children. Over the years my likes and favourites have changed dramatically. Naturally as soon as we started trying to conceive I began my baby name list. I would spend hours trailing websites, ebooks, polls, forums, chat rooms for baby names that caught my eye. I found a good twenty or so names that I liked in both genders but only three or four names that I really loved. Out of the ones that I loved my better half would like the one if I was lucky. We are very similar when it comes to our likes and wants but we did have a tricky time with names. We only agreed on one or two.

There are so many different things you have to take into consideration when picking the perfect name for your baby. Not only do you want to love it, it has to suit your baby, your last name, it has to age well and so on. I also made the mistake on asking friends and families advise on the names we liked. Bad move as everyone has a different opinion and you shouldn't have to please everyone. Next time I wont be asking any opinions I will just be telling them that this is the name we want! 

My favourite boy names; Noah, Dawson, Tobias, Harry and Blake. 

Noah. It's a name I've loved since I used to watch Home and Away as a child. I think it's one of those names which ages fantastically and it sounds great. I know it's rising in popularity each year but I love it that much that I don't really mind. I told our family that Noah was the name we would probably go for and it stuck. They all referred to him as Noah ever since then, even though I told them not to in case we changed our minds.

Dawson. Probably one of the most out there names that I liked but at first it was the forerunner believe it or not! After I thought and said it out loud for a few weeks I began to like it less and less. It also got some questionable looks when I mentioned that I liked it, so I think that put me off a little too.

Tobias. I love the name Tobias but unfortunately Nick and my family all loathe it. I think it's one of those nice names that you don't hear often and the nickname Toby is just adorable. 

Harry. It wasn't really a name that was a full on favourite until a month or so ago. It really grew on me although it is incredibly popular. It has come a close second but I don't think it really suits my other half's last name which is Kelly. Harry Kelly. It sounds like a cartoon character.

Blake. Lastly we have Blake. I really like American names and think Blake is a cool name. Probably my least favourite out of the lot but it was still an option. 

My favourite girl names; Sophia, Daisy, Poppy and Harper.

There was a lot more girl names that I liked but not many that I really loved. I did find it trickier falling in love with a girl name compared to the boy names. I don't know if it's because I was certain I was having a boy. If the baby was a girl we would of probably gone for Sophia or Daisy. We did toy between the two before we found out we were team blue.

As you may or may not know we are 99% sure our little one is going to be named Noah. Hopefully we don't have a change of heart and hopefully he will look like a Noah! I am sure he will do. Now we just need to decide on a middle name! Let the fun begin!

Review: Sassy Bloom

As a pregnant Mummy to be I am always looking for cool new products and companies to indulge in and SassyBloom is just that. A cool new concept of a personalised subscription box where you receive hand picked baby items on a monthly basis. With subscriptions as little as just £24 it would be ideal for a gift to a Mum or simply as a treat to yourself. 

Not only do they deliver quality products to us Mums but aim to raise £100,000 for a charity that is close to their hearts; The Pulmonary Hypertension Association amongst others.

SassyBloom were kind enough to send me a sample box for the purpose of this review. On arrival I absolutely loved the box. It was pretty, girly and very good quality. Although at first glance I wouldn't think baby I would think more boutique! 

On opening I received:

Pack of Waterwipes
MAM Anti Collic Bottle
Baby Einstein Bendy Ball
x2 Hipp Food Pouches
Mama's Soothing Leg and Foot Cream
Organic Babies Baby Wash and Shampoo
Reusable Snack bag

Now for a run down on the items I received.

Waterwipes:  Waterwipes are the worlds purest baby wipes containing just 99.9% water and 0.1% fruit extract. They are suitable from birth and helps prevent nappy rash. I can't wait to use them but was a little disappointed as it did look like a sample pack as it only contains 10 wipes which won't get you far when changing a dirty nappy.

MAM Anti-Colic Bottle: MAM is a great company and I was happy to see one of their products in the SassyBloom box. It is something I will use if breastfeeding does not work our for us.

Baby Einstein Ball: This toy would be great for a baby 3+ months but not suitable for when my little one arrives. A good quality toy and I can see a lot of babies having lots of fun with it.

HiPP Organic Fruit Pouches: Again a good product which I will probably use once our son is weaning but not applicable to me at the moment. I hate to see things going to waste.

Mama's Soothing Leg and Foot Cream: Therapy for those hard working legs carrying a heavy load! This sounds brilliant. I am looking forward to trying this out as I do get achy legs and swollen feet now in third trimester. It is a full sized product and it smells divine.

Organic Babies Baby Wash and Shampoo: Some more disappointment when it comes to this as it looks like another sample. Being an organic product it is something I would like to use once baby is here.

Snack Bag: This is a little reusable Snack bag which is adorned with cute little monkeys.  Again another item I wouldn't be able to get use out of until baby is weaning. Which is a long way away. To be honest I don't think I would use it then either as I would go for little tubs to store his snacks in. That way the food wouldn't be damaged. Still I am sure I will find some use for it! 

I take on board that this is a sample box and there are some lovely items inside but to me the box isn't worth £24. It contains small sample products and it seemed like such a big box for such a small amount inside. I think SassyBloom is a fantastic concept and company that has a lot of room to grow and develop. I wish them all the best. 

I was sent this product for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own. 

Time Is Flying By

Where has the time gone? It doesn't feel like two minutes ago since we found out I was pregnant. The pregnancy and this year as a whole has flown past in the blink of an eye, it's frightening! Time just seems to go by faster and faster as you get older. 

There's just 16 days left until I start my Maternity Leave, just 29 days until my baby shower and finally just 64 days until my due date! 

I wonder if he will arrive close to his due date? Will he will be early or late? Will I need to be induced or will I go into labour naturally? Will I be able to have the natural water birth? Will I be able to handle the pain? Will I be able to breastfeed? Will I be a good Mum? There are a thousand questions I keep asking myself and only time will tell. 

I am so excited about what is just around the corner for us. Our lives will never be the same again and I am so ready for this! I can't wait to meet our boy!  

Pregnancy Diary: Week 28 & 29


28 & 29 Weeks Pregnant.

As my pregnancy progresses simple things are beginning to become hard work and It's safe to say these past two weeks have been the most difficult. Third trimester has not been my friend so far. The nausea, heartburn and exhaustion have returned from First trimester and new symptoms such as ache's and pains, stomach and legs cramps have all come into the equation! There is never a dull day in Third trimester! I also had a huge anxiety attack at 28 weeks and it frightened me so so much. I had never experienced anything like that before and did not know what was happening. I couldn't breathe, was hysterically crying, shaking and retching  It wasn't a pretty picture. The more I tried to calm down the worse the anxiety attack became. Nick rushed home from work and we ended up going to see my GP right away. He signed me off work for ten days due to stress and ordered me to relax and take it easy. I contemplated taking my maternity leave early but decided to carry on. I am beginning to feel a lot better but for a week or two I didn't feel like myself at all. 

My bump seems to have gotten a lot lot bigger lately and all my stretch marks seem to have appeared over night. I am covered below my stomach and all on my hips. You can't expect to carry a baby and not get the odd stretch mark and they are so worth it. My belly button sticks right out now and it looks really comical as my bump looks like a Cyclops! 

I am continuously feeling our little bubba wriggle about now. I mostly feel big movements and changes rather than the sharp kicks. His favourite thing to do is to kick me in the ribs, it feels so strange. It doesn't hurt at all it just feels indescribable. I laugh cause he mainly does it when I am slouching at the PC it's like he is telling me to sit up straight! Stop slouching Mummy! Another new sensation is when I am in bed at night his head is so low down it almost feels like he is going to fall out. I hope he stays in the position for the birth! 

We bought a Maxi Cosi Cabrio Fix car seat this week thanks to Nick's Grandparents. It fits perfectly into our car and it also fits our Icandy Apple pram. We struggled to get it for a while as it was sold out at all our local stores. Now it's bought it's one less thing on my to do list. 

My lovely Mother in law and I have begun planning my baby shower too! I say I have been planning it but really it is all down to her! I just chose a date and selected the people I want to attend. It's not for a while yet. We decided to throw it once I am on Maternity leave. I really cannot wait for it. It will be a great chance for all my close family and friends to get together and celebrate the upcoming birth of my baby boy! 

I honestly can't believe how quick this pregnancy has gone. It doesn't feel two minutes ago since I found out I was pregnant and was dancing around on my own in the living room! I absolutely adore our boy so much and can't wait to meet him! 

Natures Purest Review and Competition

As a soon to be Mum to be I am always looking to discover new companies that sell top quality baby products. After finding Natures Purest over on twitter I instantly fell in love with so many of their products. When they kindly offered to send me some items from their range to review I was very excited. 

Natures Purest are known for their 100% natural products most of which are organically grown, free from chemicals, dyes and pesticides and made from naturally coloured cotton. They are not only good for baby but good for the environment too!

Here are the items I received for the purpose of this review. 

Bear booties.
I have to say I am totally smitten with these bear booties. They arrived in an attractive presentation box all tied up with a little ribbon. The booties are so soft and are excellent quality. I can't wait for our son to be able to wear these. They look like they would be so comfortable and cosy for his little feet.

Hug me bear round rattle.
I have to say I am partial to a teddy bear so this bear rattle instantly appealed to me. It is presented on recycled card with an attractive ribbon. It would make an excellent gift to any baby or expectant mother. 

Pure Love Boy Bunny.
I think this could be one of the sweetest looking toys I have seen. He is so soft being made from 100% cotton with a 100% silk trim. You know when you see a baby carting around a favourite teddy or toy? Well I hope this is one our son will treasure. 

Natures Knits Hat and Mitts.
Again the quality has got to be mentioned. Our son is going to be a winter baby and already has a fair collection of hats ready for when he arrives but none match the quality of this matching knit set. I know they won't just keep him warm but cosy too!

As you can see I loved every product and Natures Purest were kind enough to send me a set to give away to you! That's right. You can win a set of everything I have pictured above. All you need to do is enter on the rafflecopter below. 

The competition ends on the 28th of September! When I am due on Maternity leave! So put on your competition hats and good luck!

All opinions are my own. I was sent these items for the purpose of this review.