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.**

Working out when pregnant and Latched maternity workout clothes review

When I first found out I was pregnant, one of the things that was really important to me was staying active.

Of course I’ve never been pregnant before. I had no idea how pregnancy would play out for my body. I followed a few running mums and saw from their experiences that there was very little you had control over and sometimes (or often-times) your body just said “no, I’m too busy growing a baby here”. So I didn’t set my expectations too high. I would continue to exercise (run and strength train) for as long as my body allowed me but I would always prioritise the baby’s health above everything (as any mother-to-be would I’m sure).

I’m therefore so lucky, grateful and happy that I have been very active throughout my pregnancy without any real discomfort or issue. The only problem I had was a running niggle that cropped up in my calf around week 32 which took me out of running for over two weeks. But I can’t be certain pregnancy had anything to do with this. Afterall, I am a notoriously injury-prone runner so maybe this was just par for the course after so long of not having any niggles or injuries.

I didn’t suffer from any great hip, pelvic or back pain and running wasn’t uncomfortable. That said, it wasn’t “peak” comfort like when I’m not pregnant. I weigh more, my centre of gravity has changed and if the little man is in an awkward position or low it can add pressure which doesn’t feel amazing. And of course the feeling of needing a wee throughout the run can be distracting. But in general there was no pain and no aches that made me not enjoy the run (except for the dreaded run where I had Braxton Hicks which was awful, but thankfully that hasn’t happened again).

Of course I was slower. Straight away almost a minute slower per mile – sometimes less, sometimes a lot more. I had to adapt a few things; no more evening or lunchtime runs because I wouldn’t have the energy (morning was my most energy-filled time) and to be super careful about hydration and over-heating. I also had to be conscious of my running form to ensure I didn’t slouch over or pull too far back to overcompensate for my bump.

One of my main issues was what to wear. This wasn’t a huge issue for quite a big chunk of the pregnancy because my bump didn’t pop until later into my second trimester. I could still fit into clothes but later as I would start running I had the dreaded Rachel Green effect of my belly peeping out under my t-shirts. This meant I had to constantly drag down my top during the run.

Amazingly a wonderful company called Latched offered me some maternity workout gear to try out which came at perfect timing. I’d been following Latched on Instagram and loved their gear so I was super excited. I was sent a pair of leggings, a long sleeved top, a sports bra and a pair of shorts.

The leggings are a gorgeous blue colour and fit so well over my bump! I was getting to the awkward stage with my current non-maternity leggings that I was stretching them over my bump or they were awkwardly sitting just below my bump, which wasn’t entirely comfortable.

But the leggings were fantastic. The high-waisted section covered my bump nicely and kept me well supported. The fit was lovely and  flattering, they didn’t go see-through when I squatted and the material was lovely.

The sports bra,  firstly looks gorgeous. Love the design. Secondly it fitted so well – my boobs have gotten so much bigger and it’s definitely been something I’ve now had to be careful about. Pre-pregnancy my boobs were quite small but now  I definitely have to make sure they’re better supported! This sports bra definitely does that. And they have the ability to be cross-back or just regular straps, which I like. As well as having a nursing feature too so later on you can breast feed  easily in this. Perfect!

The long-sleeved top was perfect for running as it was long enough to cover my growing bump and it was lovely and warm during those super cold weeks a couple of  months ago.

The material didn’t make me feel claustrophobic or sweaty and kept me at a nice temperature. And no need to continually pull it down!

And my favourite… the shorts. They are INCREDIBLE for running (and strength training, and walking!). The high-waisted section covers my bump completely and keeps it feeling fairly secure without restrictive (anything that presses on my bladder during a run is a horrible feeling!) So even if I wore a top that wasn’t maternity so sat slightly above the bottom of my bump I was well covered by the shorts. This hugely helped options of clothing for running!

The shorts didn’t ride up and the bump bit didn’t slip down, so this was perfect. They’re super flattering and even have pockets!

So all in all, I’m a big fan of Latched. Their clothing is such good quality, flattering and comfortable. I’ll definitely still wear these items post-partum and beyond too. I fully recommend getting some items if you’re pregnant and wanting to continue to be active.

I really hope to continue being active right until the end, but we’ll see. I’m running less (a couple of 5ks and maybe a longer run at the weekend) but walking evey day and strength training 2-3 times a week. I’m really enjoying it and find it hugely helps my comfort level and my mental well-being. So fingers crossed it continues!

If you’ve been pregnant, were you active during your pregnancy?

**Full disclaimer: I was sent the items from Latched for free in exchange for some Instagram content**

36 weeks pregnant – and our baby shower!

So I’m at week 36 of my pregnancy.

How’s it all been going? Well I’ve been really very lucky. My pregnancy, so far (touch wood!), has been fairly easy going. The first trimester was a terrible slog of nausea and exhaustion, but that lasted maybe 5 or 6 weeks? So in the grand scheme of things, I’ve been very fortunate.

I haven’t had any major back or hip pain as of yet. And my energy levels have been very good – despite some terrible night’s sleeps. In terms of symptoms currently, I still get very congested in the evenings. I get heartburn if I eat too late or too much (two things I’m quite bad at). And I have nights where I wake up at 3 or 4am and just lay there wide awake, but I tend to read and wait until my body wants to go back to sleep – and weirdly I don’t feel too bad during the day (maybe training my body to get by with less sleep…). And just generally getting up off the sofa and rolling over in bed are hard work. But other than that, I feel fantastic.

From a running perspective, things were going really well until for whatever reason my right calf started playing up at the end of week 32. Perhaps it was a combination of my new trainers and my changing body (weight gain, pelvic position, relaxin hormone loosening everything, etc.), who knows. But basically it started bugging me on a long run – just a bit of tightness, nothing major. Then when I went for another run a few days later it definitely got worse and I found I was limping slightly afterwards and it had started to bug my hamstring and a little bit in my back.

So I did the very sensible thing of taking some time off (18 days). It made sense with going to Newquay to take the time off anyway. Then when I attempted to run again it still bugged me so I had a couple of acupuncture appointments to ease the tension. It definitely helped. I then tried a 5k run which, while not perfect, was far better than before.

I’ve since seen a chiropractor too which, regardless of my injury, I wanted to have to keep me in optimal condition before the birth. Lots of people had recommend that it can help align you and make things a bit easier later.

The appointment was fantastic. She said my pelvis was slightly twisted and my ankle was locked up, which was probably contributing to my running issues. So she “re-aligned” me and I’ve got a second follow-up appointment next week. What I loved about the appointment was that she had a giant pillow with a bump shaped hole in so I could lie on my front without squashing the baby. It felt amazing!

Since then I’ve just been sticking to 5ks. The discomfort is still there but not nearly as bad and it doesn’t get worse during or after so I’ll take that! I’m just so grateful to still be able to run in some capacity so far along in my pregnancy. Of course I know I’ll need to give it up when I give birth and recover sensibly (I don’t want to do any long term damage to myself and let’s be honest, I’m going to be shattered!). For now I’d just love to continue running while I still can. While I have no major responsibilities like keeping a baby alive basically, haha!

And in more exciting news, at the weekend Kyle and I had our baby shower! I was so excited about it and it didn’t disappoint. Kyle’s sisters, Laura and Lucy, were incredible and arranged the whole thing.

The glam-mas to be

I knew the date but nothing else. It was honestly so so lovely. I had so many of my friends and family there. Luckily we had EXACTLY 30 people and it was in my parent’s garden so we didn’t break  any COVID rules either. Though I would have loved to have invited some of my friend’s partners, but we just didn’t have the numbers sadly. I’m a big believer in baby showers not being just a female thing.

We had a few games, lots of food, cake and, after a bit of a cloudy start, sunshine!

I had such a good day. We also asked if people wanted to buy us gifts to buy us reusable nappies as this is the route we’re taking with our little man. I just hate the idea of all those disposable nappies on landfill for 500+ years.

We got some lovely gifts in the end (some nappies and some other items – I don’t think people entirely got our memo haha). Regardless it was just so lovely to receive so many lovely gifts and to spend time with all my favourite people in one afternoon (tho sadly a few people couldn’t make it – tho this helped with keeping COVID compliant).

So all in all, I’m feeling very loved, very comfortable and very happy!

Did you have a baby shower if you’ve got children?

Have you ever seen a chiropractor?