39 weeks pregnant

So the week leading up to my due date (7th July).

It’s mad how quickly this has all gone… and yet now how slowly it feels like it’s crawling by. I suppose that’s to be expected – everyone says it happens. You have this date set for you and you just look ahead to it all the time. Everyone asks and you count the weeks and the days… and then it comes and the likelihood is nothing happens (for your first baby at least). But hey ho, it is what it is.

This week has been really good. I managed to run 4 times (5k each time) and weirdly have felt quite good and semi-speedy on these runs.

I still wouldn’t manage any further than 5k I think as the pressure on my ligaments and pelvis gets a bit much but otherwise I feel great.

In general I feel pretty good. My sleep had been a bit better. Less waking up in the early hours of the morning wondering why I’m not asleep. I’ve managed to fall back asleep when I’ve woken up. I’ve felt well rested. My body in general feels fairly comfortable. No major aches, no issues… I’ve been very, very lucky I know. And my anticipation for the baby to arrive is purely because I want to meet him sooner rather than feeling fed up of still being pregnant. It’s also not as hot as it’s been so comfort levels are fine currently.

Kyle set up the birthing pool which we’ve hired so that’s ready to go. We’re planning a home birth so this is rather exciting. Of course I’m well aware things could change and we could end up at hospital for a multitude of reasons but our plan is to stay at home if we can. So fingers crossed!

I’ve been eating all the dates every day (apparently supposed to help with labour, who knows!), drinking red raspberry leaf tea (to help naturally induce labour, again who knows!), walking lots and bouncing on a birthing ball. But we’re prepared. We have everything ready. We just need a baby now 😉

OK some chocolate covered dates too!

At the weekend we had a rather busy one with heading to Reading for my lovely friend Emma’s birthday party. My parents kindly offered to drive because they were concerned being so close to my due date that if something were to happen I wouldn’t be able to drive that distance back (hour and 45 minutes). Kyle can ride a motorbike but he can’t drive at the moment (he was planning too but lockdown and COVID scuppered that a bit). My parents had towels laid down and everything bless them.

Emma’s party was lovely. It was in her garden and it was just so lovely to see her in the flesh. We talk every week but it’s nice to finally see someone properly. Her mum and her did an INCREDIBLE food spread.

I mean it was insane. All the cheese, deli meats and salad bits with her incredible homemade sourdough bread. I was in heaven. Not a sausage roll in sight!

And her vegan chocolate cake was INSANE. It was like the chocolate cake from Matilda – dense, moreish and so tasty.

And Alfie joined too

It was such a lovely afternoon catching up and enjoying the sporadic British summertime.

On the Sunday Kyle and I had lunch with my parents at the Osborne View, a lovely coastal pub near to them. The last time we’d been we were sat outside under an open marquee so it was so nice to be actually inside. It felt like normal!

Kyle and I shared a baked camembert to start and then I had their super tasty Caesar salad for main.

It was lovely! Potentially one of the last times of us eating out without a baby – who knows!

So for now I’ll keep waiting. I’m now on maternity leave from work which is bitter sweet. I had planned to work until I pop but due to a HR misunderstanding they put until my due date and now payroll and HMRC are all sorted I can’t change it apparently. But I think this is probably for the best as I can de-stress and properly relax. For how long, who knows eh!

What’s your favourite salad?

What’s your favourite cheese? I bloody love Camembert. But to be honest, there are so many cheeses I love.

38 weeks pregnant

So one more day until I’m 39 weeks pregnant and almost one week until my due date (7/07/21).

Scary stuff.

Honestly though I can see myself going at least a week overdue. I just have that feeling. I’m not starting maternity leave until I pop so I at least have some structure and routine to my day so I’m not staring at the calendar. I think if I was on maternity leave now, or even next week, I’d be so bored. We’ve pretty much done everything for the baby coming. I’ve cleaned everywhere. I feel prepared and ready. So nothing left to do but wait.

But waiting is fine, to be honest. I don’t feel particularly uncomfortable. My pelvis and lower back do ache from time to time, I can’t wait to sleep on my back again and my nose getting congested every afternoon and evening without fail is annoying. But I’m lucky to really only be “suffering” from those issues rather than some of the more severe and uncomfortable symptoms some women can get. I’m highly aware of how easy my pregnancy has been compared to others and for that I’m grateful.

I’m VERY grateful that I’ve still being able to run as well. It’s two to three 5ks a week (a definite step down from 32 weeks where I was still running 25-30 miles a week). The calf niggle I got stopped me for a bit and then, when I got back to it, my pelvis and the general heaviness of my tummy made running further fairly uncomfortable and the recovery afterwards takes some time. But 5k is manageable and comfortable. I’m fairly intuitive with when I run now too. Have I had a good night sleep? How does my body feel?

While I’m really sad parkrun didn’t start back up again on 26th June (it’s been pushed back to August), we still went down to Netley Abbey (my home parkrun) to meet up with some running buddies for a “not parkrun” and coffee afterwards. We got there for 9am and were pleasantly surprised to see so many familiar faces running around the course. It didn’t feel crowded or unsafe. The sun was shining and Kyle and I enjoyed running the three laps around. Though Netley is far more hilly than I’m used to compared to flat Portsmouth. I definitely felt heavily pregnant running haha!

I managed to complete the 5k in just under 30 minutes, which I’ll happily take right now!

Then we went and sat outside the café and enjoyed some tasty rocky road that the lovely Sheryl had made and (decaf) latte. It was so nice – it almost felt like old normal times. It does make me sad that by the time parkrun is (hopefully) back up properly I won’t be able to run because I’ll have recently given birth. But I definitely want to pop down with the little man and support Kyle running. With parkrun it’s not just about the running, it’s about the social connections and that lovely Saturday morning warm fuzzy glow you get after being there.

On Sunday we went to Stansted House to go to the Nostalgia Festival, where Kyle’s sister, Laura, had a stall and the rest of his family were also there to support. She was selling her handmade wigs (which are just GORGEOUS). You can find her on Instagram @theWiggie and see her products HERE.

We even went on the carousel, which was hilarious and good fun.

The Nostalgia Show was good fun. We moseyed round the different stalls, selling vintage bits and bobs, and the street food vendors – so good.

For lunch I grabbed a chicken shawarma with halloumi fries…

Delicious food from Cairo Van

…and then followed that with an extremely chocolatey brownie.

Brownie was from a food truck called Gin and Tea

We even entered Alfie into a very light-hearted dog show that happened. He sadly didn’t win but he ALMOST won the most waggy tail award. He was robbed!

And back to running, I had a fantastic run on Monday morning in the cooler temperatures. My legs felt pretty good and the usual pelvic pressure wasn’t as strong. I actually ran a lot faster than I have in a while, which was surprising.

I was tempted to run a bit further but I decided to play it sensible because I wanted to run later in the week and recovery does take a bit longer. So pushing my body further is not the most sensible. All about consistent quality runs now!

So on to the next week I guess! Who knows how many pregnancy updates I have left to do eh!

Do you enjoy going round stalls at festivals?

What would you pick: regular fries, sweet potato or halloumi?

37 weeks pregnant

Wow so I am at “term” for my pregnancy!

So this basically means the baby is fully grown and potentially ready to be born. Of course it’s unlikely I’ll be giving birth in the next few days or even week (I say this simply because statistics show first time pregnancies tend to go late and the fact that I’ve had no inklings of things happening) but there’s a chance and if it happened he would be good to enter the world.

It’s just a waiting game which is both terrifying and exciting. We have everything ready at home. From clothes washed, nursery organised, next-to-me crib set up, pram built, car seat installed, reusable nappies washed and ready… so much to think about!

From a self-focused perspective, I’ve had my hair cut (last time was a year ago!) so I feel a bit more tidy. And I’ve also had my first COVID vaccine. I had the pfizer and other than a tender upper arm I felt fine. I did have an amusing moment when getting it done when the nurse asked if there was any chance I was pregnant. I thought she was joking but turns out she wasn’t and I think she was just on autopilot and hadn’t looked at me properly haha!

I’ve made my ‘padsticles’ (maybe TMI, but basically I’ve prepped my maternity sanitary pads ready to go with witch-hazel, aloe vera gel and lavender oil and popped them in the freezer so they’ll be cold and healing post-birth. If you don’t know, you bleed a lot post birth and everything is a bit battered, swollen and painful so this should help with healing).

I’ve tidied, cleaned, organised… full-on nesting has been a-go-go! My last job is to tidy up the garden a bit but that’s lower priority.

We also celebrated my birthday a little early (it was 19th June) as I really wanted to have a fancy afternoon tea and we decided to go to London. So we decided to go a week early so it wouldn’t clash with a busy weekend of Father’s Day and seeing family, and also being one week less pregnant helped! 😉

So we went to the Ampersand Hotel in Kensington and had a very quirky afternoon tea. It was “science themed” and was so much fun. We got to make our own lemonade with different ingredients. There was a cool dry ice smoke effect thing that happened when the waitress poured something in the top (can you tell science wasn’t my strongest skill at school??). And all the cakes were science themed or shaped.

We even got to dig for buried fossils in a chocolate crumb that looked like soil.

Not only was it fun, it was super tasty. And we were chuffed when they offered us seconds. We happily had a few more sandwiches!

My capacity to eat a lot though is disappointingly small and I was VERY full afterwards. It helped we had a lovely (albeit hot) walk in Hyde Park and then headed to find the nearest Doughnut Times for some treats to take home with us.

I got a Biscoff and original glazed, whereas Kyle also got a glazed as well as a Bueno flavoured one). We spotted Crosstown doughnut across the road and decided to grab one from there as well as we’d heard everyone rave about the peanut butter and jam flavoured one.

When we tried them later I have to confess, I much prefer the Doughnut Time doughnuts. The Crosstown was good don’t get me wrong but for someone who adores all things crazy sweet, Doughnut Time was just a bit more me. Crosstown was a bit more “mature” and so not as sweet and crazy. I’d definitely try some others though, just to be certain 😉

Moving away from doughnuts, one of the things I really wanted to do while pregnant was go swimming. However it’s not something in general I’m massively keen on and what with COVID making everything more complicated, I decided the best thing to do was embrace the good weather and take a dip in the sea instead. This would also mean I would have gotten in the sea pregnant as well, which was another nice box to tick.

We knew going down to Southsea beach (about 4 miles away from us) would be rammed because the weather was so good, so we decided to go to the quieter Eastern road seafront. It’s far less popular coastal spot, mainly used by dog walkers – not many people go swimming here! However, I was on a mission and didn’t want a long swim. So we drove the mile there (the first England Euro match was on in 30 mins so we were on a time  limit), I had my bikini on ready with a towel. We walked down to the edge and in I popped!

The water was lovely and warm surprisingly and not too deep. But deep enough for me to do a 5 minute little swim. It felt incredible – the weight of my bump just disappeared. I can understand the appeal of swimming when you’re pregnant (but the faff of getting there, getting changed, sorting my hair out afterwards and getting dry is just so much effort for me). We then hopped back to the car and got back in time for the football!

And on a final note, I was recently sent some collagen infused spring water from FYX drinks to try out. Each bottle contains 2500mg of marine collagen which is known to help repair damaged ligaments, joints and muscles due to the protein, as well as enhancing your skin, nails and hair.

I tried out their Raspberry, Acai Berry, White Tea and Aloe Vera flavour and their Lemon & Lime, Moringa Tea, Lemon Balm and Aloe Vera flavour. It’s low calorie (about 31 calories per bottle) and as well as the collagen contains lots of vitamins and antioxidants.

So a powerhouse drink! And it was surprisingly really tasty and refreshing.

Have you gone swimming (pool or sea) this summer?

Do you prefer Doughnut Time or Crosstown, or another doughnut brand?

Do you enjoy afternoon tea?

**Full disclaimer: I was sent the FYX drinks for free in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own honest ones.**

An exciting baby moon in Cornwall

So Kyle and I recently returned from our final holiday before the baby comes (our baby moon if you will, though I do hate that term).

We were to Newquay in Cornwall for four days and had such a fantastic time. When we booked the holiday a number of months ago (as soon as we heard about the lockdown easing milestones) I didn’t consider I’d be 34 weeks pregnant and needing to drive over 4 hours to get there! Kyle sadly can’t drive (he rides a motorbike) so it was down to me to get us there.

34 weeks pregnant bump update

But as we got closer and the realisation dawned, we just planned a nice and easy drive up there. No rush, lots of stops and a nice lunch planned in Bournemouth in the Duck – a very Anna-Kyle style restaurant serving burgers and chicken wings.

It was actually a very pleasant journey up and the lunch stop was very nice! The food was insanely good and we almost considered going there on the way back (we decided against it for health and financial reasons haha). I had a large bucket of buffalo chicken wings (which I shared with Kyle as honestly my stomach capacity is so disappointing compared to pre-pregnancy Anna).  I also had frickles and chips. Though the chips had no chance of fitting in! The frickles were delicious though.

The holiday itself was WONDERFUL. On the first day (my personal favourite, for reasons that will become clear) we decided to walk around Newquay and explore a bit. We were staying in a lovely apartment just a stone’s throw from Fistral Beach, a popular surfing location. It was early and barely anyone was on the beach asides from a few dog walkers and it was beautiful and clear – and thankfully warm!

Kyle suggested we set up one of our phone cameras as a video so we could get a nice photo of us with the beach background, and do a few funny poses that we could screenshot after. I love doing this sort of thing so for Kyle to suggest it was quite nice and I happily set it up.

After the iPhone was mounted on a nearby rock Kyle said he just needed to grab his sunglasses from my rucksack that was on my back. I didn’t think twice about this (though in retrospect does seem odd as Kyle never wears sunglasses, and when did he put them in a my bag? Why was he taking so long?). Eventually he said he’d got them and I turned back around to the camera to pose with him. But he turned to me and said “You know I love you, Anna” and whipped out a little black box… and got down on one knee and proposed!!

Well, to say I was shocked was an understatement. I was definitely not expecting that! Of course I said yes 🙂 And as we hugged, kissed and laughed together I suddenly realised that Kyle had managed to get me to film my own proposal!

Such a gorgeous ring

How sneaky haha. But how lovely for us to have that video. It was a very cute watch. And our family and friends could watch it too 🙂

Well, the rest of the day was very much us walking around on cloud nine and chatting about how many months he’d planning it, how he’d custom designed the ring, how our entire family knew it was happening…

After he proposed to went into this lovely café called Sea Spray just on the side of the cliffs of Fistral Beach and as we got a table I blurted to the waitress, “I’m engaged!” and we got to share with her our lovely proposal story. She was very happy for us. We actually came back to that café for lunch later as it had such a beautiful view and the food was delicious and the whole café congratulated us 🙂

The rest of the holiday was filled with lots of lovely daytrips. My parents were actually holidaying nearby in Devon funnily enough so we met up in Port Isaac for a mosey around and a lovely lunch in the School House. I won’t lie, ploughman’s was definitely my meal of choice during the holiday.

When else can you eat a huge chunk of cheese so brazenly eh! Most of my lunches though had to have a portion of chunky chips though as this is something I’ve been craving for a number of weeks now. Just plain, hot salty chips – perfection. So bizarre as before pregnancy I rarely fancied chips and if I did they had to have loads of toppings or ketchup.

My parents were actually looking after Alfie for us so we got to see him as well, which was lovely as I missed him.

Port Isaac

We also visited Padstow and St. Ives. Such beautiful coastal towns with lots of little boutique shops, tea rooms and pubs. And so many people commented on my bump and asked when we were due and what we were having. Something I’d been missing as we’d been in lockdown most of my pregnancy. I’ve definitely craved that human interaction.

St. Ives

It was such a lovely time off and time spent with Kyle (and the day with my family and Alfie of course). I’d felt so stressed at work (perfect on the lead-up to my maternity leave, eh!) so this was exactly what I needed.

So a very memorable and wonderful holiday – our last one before the little man arrives!

Have you ever been to Cornwall?

Do you like a Ploughman’s lunch?

32 weeks pregnant

So I’m now 33 weeks pregnant and thought I’d recap how it’s been going in the last week.

It’s a weird place to be because I’m both super impatient and want to be at least 37 weeks pregnant already but also the impending lack of sleep is a concern. I’m enjoying the freedom we still have. The luxury of a weekend and getting to do whatever we want whenever we want and leaving the house within two minutes and not worrying about anything other than have we got our masks and locked the door.

That will change when the baby arrives. I mean I don’t have much experience other than what I’ve been told, seen and read about having a baby but I think my assumptions aren’t crazy and wild to think that life is going to become a bit more complicated at least! Sleeping in until 8am after having a solid 10 hours sleep is going to be a distant memory soon. So perhaps wishing these weeks along quickly may not be the wisest thing!

Anyway, how’s  it going?

So I’m still running as much as I want to. Even typing this is a bit mad to me as I truly thought by this point I’d be doing maybe a few 5ks here and there and potentially run/walking. However I’m still able to run my two weekly 7 milers and a longer run (11-12 miles) at the weekend.

It still feels good. Of course I have harder days and easier days but generally it’s good. I haven’t had any more Braxton Hicks interrupting my running but I’m still needing to stop for a wee at least once during my seven miler and up to three times for my longer runs.

It’s a very annoying sensation to need a wee for most of the run and I’ve sort of learnt when it’s a true wee or when the baby is in an awkward position.

I’m loving my running so much that I’m very grateful to be continuing my running so far into this pregnancy. I have no expectations about pace but generally I’m sitting 9min/miles on very energetic days to 9.45-10min/miles on tougher days. But either way I don’t really care. I stop a few times, whether for the loo, to take photos or to stretch and that definitely helps.

On the longer runs Kyle joins with a hydration pack so I don’t get dehydrated. Though the cooler weather has definitely helped with that. This time last year I might have been struggling a lot more. As I looked ahead at the beginning of the pregnancy I thought I’d be really struggling with the heat but thankfully that hasn’t happened yet. I’m sure that’ll change soon (and to be honest, I’d quite like warmer sunnier days so I can wear my maternity shorts and dresses more!).

The nursery is getting there. Kyle built the furniture and we’ve added little bits and pieces to make it a lovely space. We still have a lot more to do, like washing all the clothes and putting them away, putting pictures and shelves up, but I’m feeling a lot less stressed that it’s on its way.

It’s hard to really know what we need to buy now or wait to see if we need. We’re planning to do re-usable nappies so I need to do a lot more learning and figuring my way with that as well. It’s exciting but terrifying all at once!

In terms of food, we’ve had some great bits and pieces. We went to Stansted House again and had a lovely lunch sat outside in the sunshine with our family.

I had a very tasty goat’s cheese salad followed by a cream and jam scone.

Kyle and I had a lovely walk a couple of weeks ago as well like we had a few weeks ago. It was fun to get another photo to see how much had changed!

It’s crazy how things are zooming along and how my bump is a proper “out there” bump now, which I adore. I am really happy and in awe with my body. I feel very content. To be fair, I’ve generally been quite body positive but you never know how pregnancy is going to affect that becuase the changes happen so quickly. But turns out, I love my bump and I love showing it off a bit!

So 33 weeks in and things have been going fairly smoothly still. A bit of random tiredness, some aches, a lot of baby movements (and kicking my ribs!) and reduced stomach capacity (and heart burn!), a few nights of being awake for a few hours in the early hours… but generally fine – touch wood!

Do you like scones with jam and cream or just butter? Or cheese scones?

What’s your favourite cheese for a salad?