29 weeks pregnant

The past couple of weeks have finally felt a bit more normal since lockdown is easing more and more.

And I’ve definitely felt more pregnant – or at least looked more pregnant!

The weekend before last, on the Saturday Kyle and I headed out for a run. He was going to run about 8 miles with me while I would go a bit further. The run felt amazing! Previous long runs have felt a bit of a slog due to one thing or another: the wind, the baby’s position and how tired I was. We ran a bit faster than previously and I was able to do 13.1 miles in total – and felt great!

Pregnant running is very similar to normal running in that you have good days and bad days. But I think for me, the worrier and over-thinker, I start to seriously wonder if this is it and my pregnant running is over. Then I go out for a run a few days later and everything feels fine again. Ups and downs! Sometimes my hips ache more than usual, sometimes I feel super heavy and tired, sometimes the baby is in an odd position which feels uncomfortable… and then sometimes it all feels amazing and I’m running along smoothly feeling incredible.

I’ve just learnt to not expect too much and to take each run as it comes. In my mind I’m counting down the weeks to the end and every run I get is a gift. I’d love to run until my due date – however that will look; run-walking, shuffling along, doing 2 miles here or there. I’ll take what I can get as long as the baby is still healthy and I’m enjoying it.

Anyway on that Saturday we were allowed to go shopping! Now while ordinarily I would have probably waited a while for everyone to calm down, I was keen to get a few bits and pieces for the baby and myself in terms of maternity wear. While living in leggings is a dream I was keen to change things up and wear some maternity jeans occasionally too. Everyone said H&M did really good ones so I wanted to check them on in person.

So Saturday we were able to tick off buying the pram (the Upperbaby Vista), car seat (Joie) and a pair of super comfy and flattering maternity jeans – job done!

And a few little extras…

With my parents, Kyle and I headed in Southampton where we had a John Lewis appointment to help us select our pram and car seat. This made things so much easier as honestly we didn’t have a clue and having someone talk it through with us was perfect. We were able to select the pram that fitted best into our lifestyle. We got to physically push it and see it pack away etc. This was so much better than trying to do it online.

We then enjoyed our first meal out in months at the lovely local Osborne View pub with my parents. We were sat outside (obviously) but under a partially closed marquee which made it a lot less cold. Though to be fair the weekend was so warm we were fine.

I had chicken wings to start and a mozzarella salad and a side  of chips (I can’t get enough of salty chips right now). It was delicious.

On Sunday Kyle and I headed to Bristol to meet with our friends, Kate and Jay, so we could meet their adorable identical twins who were born in January. Kate was so lovely and gave us so many baby things that she no longer needed – so so helpful! And then we headed out to Bristol Harbour for a lovely alfresco meal in Spitfire.

I went for the chicken (another thing I can’t get enough of) and chips and it was very tasty. It was just so nice to feel normal. Seeing friends! Eating in a restaurant! It was just fabulous.

Playing mum

We then hung out on the College Green in the sunshine catching up before grabbing some VERY tasty and indulgent treats from Mrs Potts Chocolate House.

Kyle and I picked up a couple of double chocolate stuffed cookies (drizzled in melted chocolate!) each and I had to get some of their rocky road again.

So all in all, a very happy, love-filled, calorie dense weekend 😉

Cookies or rocky road? I’ll always go for rocky road first and foremost.

Have you been out shopping yet or to any restaurants?

28 weeks pregnant

So I’ve just hit 28 weeks and my third trimester.

It really is so mental how quickly it flies by. But looking back so much has happened! Thankfully the second trimester has been an utter dream really. I haven’t had a huge amount to complain about, especially compared to the hell of the first trimester.

28 weeks

This week has been especially good though as we were able to get in a lot of family time (albeit in gardens) and enjoy Easter as best as we could. On Good Friday Kyle and I headed to Stansted House to go for a lovely walk.

The weather was cold but sunny. I’ve been to Stansted House a few times – a couple of those times doing the Stansted Slog Half Marathon.

Let me tell you, that is not a half for the faint hearted! Undulating and off-road, but beautiful. Sadly it hasn’t been running for the past few years, COVID aside.

Anyway we had a lovely walk and decided to drop in to the gorgeous café to see if we could grab a hot drink. Well that escalated quickly when we saw just how many cakes they had on  display. We quickly upgraded our drinks to something a little more elaborate.

Kyle went for a sausage roll and slice of lemon drizzle, whereas I went for a warmed cheese scone followed by a Bakewell tart slice.

Oh wow it was fantastic! We did have to sit in our cars to eat it though due to the COVID rules but this was quite fun. We’ll definitely be going back again!

On Saturday I had the pleasure of Kyle joining me again for a long run. This time I managed to persuade him to join me for a bit longer. I was grateful for his company because along the Southsea promenade the wind was really quite relentless against us.

Kyle was great at keeping me going and motivating. In my mind I was just aiming to get to the public loo the other side of Southsea (just over 3 miles from my last loo visit – so kind of perfect). I’m definitely slowing down. Things are getting harder. But it’s still enjoyable and comfortable (not perfect but small aches here and there rather than any major discomfort or pain thankfully). I am finding though that I’m ready to stop running around 11-12 miles. I get tired, hungry and my hips are aching enough for me to know my body is done.

Easter itself was good. We saw my parents and some of Kyle’s family which was lovely. I also caught up with my sister who I hadn’t seen in over a year. Her work schedule clashes with mine and she lives in Southampton so it makes it tricky to meet up regular (and COVID, obviously). It was lovely to see her and for her to see my expanding bump.

Kyle and I also ate obscene amounts of chocolate in the form of eggs, brownies and Colin the Caterpillar (it’s my mum’s life mission to get us every new Colin – and for that I am ever grateful).

A lovely gift from Kyle’s mum (made by Kyle’s sister who has a side hustle baking business – find her HERE)

I do have moments of deep panic where I wonder if I’m eating too much chocolate and cake. But considering my weight gain has been steady and within the normal guidelines – and I have no other risk factors, I think I’m OK. Plus my diet hasn’t changed from before I was pregnant. I was just as greedy before.

These are just adorable and so tasty!

For my sanity though I am going to check with my midwife about gestational diabetes because when I’m halfway through an Easter egg these things can haunt me!

So a fairly quiet Easter really. I would have loved to have gone out for Sunday lunch or seen more of our family but hey ho – soon! I can’t wait for next year’s Easter where we can celebrate with the little man and make new traditions and memories. Very exciting!

How did you spend your Easter?

Do you enjoy Easter egg chocolate?

Sweet or savoury scone? I love them both!

Our lockdown gender reveal party

So I am now 17+5 weeks pregnant. It feels like it’s flying by but it also feels like it’s crawling, which is weird. I mean, comparative to the pandemic and lockdown(s) I suppose.

We recently had another private scan so we could (hopefully) find out the baby’s sex. We could of course wait until the NHS 20 week scan but both Kyle and I are rather impatient. And also, there’s no guarantee at the NHS scan they’ll tell us (I’ve heard a few stories of this).

Originally I wasn’t going to find out. Kyle was going to be told and then I would be left in the dark. He would then text his sister, Lucy, the gender and she would beaver away making a “gender reveal” cake ready for a big family Zoom call the next day. I thought it would be quite fun me finding out the same time as my family and through cutting into the cake. However, I caved on Friday morning and decided there was no way I couldn’t not find out. It would be so hard Kyle knowing and me not.

We headed to Hello Baby in Southampton on the Friday evening and I was now super excited. Kyle and I were both convinced it would be a girl. Like I was almost CERTAIN (impossible I realise but I had such a strong feeling). We played silly games on the way to the scan like “the next singer’s gender will be our baby’s gender” or how many blue or pink things we could spot.

The woman doing the scan (the sonographer?) was so lovely and went through all the different parts of the baby saying how the sizes were good and healthy… and then she said did we want to know the gender? Yes! Yes! Yes! She explained she would turn the lights off, and then turn either the pink light or the blue light on. Oooooh.

Off went the lights. And on went the blue light! We were SHOCKED. So shocked. It was weird. I had a sudden, unexpected flood of disappointment, which upset me. I knew keenly that I wasn’t at all disappointed it was a boy. I was actually very chuffed we were having a boy. But I realised I was sad because all the things I’d imagined with a girl were now not going to be a reality. Like I’d imagined two scenarios in my head, and now one was now firmly gone. It was a brief moment of mourning for the little girl we wouldn’t be having.

But then suddenly I was excited and happy. A BOY! All the scenarios with a boy suddenly became cemented in reality. A little boy!

Kyle was super happy too. To be honest, we were going to be happy either way. There are so many pros to both. We FaceTimed Lucy and let her know (she was super excited for us) and then celebrated at home with a takeaway – of course.

The next day Lucy dropped off the cake. It looked incredible! We’d asked her to make it dinosaur themed (which is gender neutral in my eyes) and inside would be, of course, blue sponge. It had dinosaur “eggs” on top which were in fact cake pops and little chocolate dinosaurs. It was amazing.

We spent the day counting down the hours until we’d have the call with the family. We had to wait until everyone was free and ready – oh so hard! We were so impatient! We set up the cake in front of the laptop, positioned my phone to film it (for the memories and to share on social media).

Finally everyone arrived and we got them to guess before we’d cut the cake. It was pretty even on the guesses. And then we cut the cake.

It was such a special moment! Of course we’d have loved to have done it in person but at least this was still a bit of fun and such an enjoyable experience. I’m  so glad we filmed it as well as it means we have it forever.

Everyone, of course, was so happy for us and if I’m honest I’m glad it’s a boy not a girl now because on my side of the family we have no boys. My sister has two little girls so it’s nice my parents have a grandson to look forward to now.

So onwards to the 20 week scan now!

Did you do any sort of gender reveal party if you’ve had a baby/babies?

What I’m loving lately – January

Even during Lockdown 3.0 I’m trying to keep positive and find things to make me smile, though it can definitely be quite trying at times.

Being pregnant is all well and good and there’s definitely a constant low level of excitement and anticipation, but it’s quite a long time away before I actually give birth (July-ish) and I’m actually more often feeling impending doom and waves of fear. Fear of being a parent, fear of Big Life Change, fear of lack of sleep, to name a few. All the things basically.

But anyway I DO have things that I’ve been enjoying lately so thought I’d share.

First thing’s first, having Kyle come downstairs to inform me proudly he’s learnt how to swaddle a baby is pretty damn cute.

Especially considering the “baby” in question was none other than our baby Yoda cuddly toy.

It’s fair to say that both Kyle and I are entirely clueless with anything baby related so even these titbits of knowledge are gold dust for us. I feel very overwhelmed when I try and think about all the things I don’t know (let’s not even consider the “unknown unknowns”!). I know I need to be reading books, blogs and building a solid base of knowledge but at the moment I just feel it’s too much.

I also know that there are certain strong opinions on different subjects and if I read one book am I residing myself to that opinion? Or do I read everything?? Like best ways to feed your baby, getting them to sleep, routines… argh so much! So I bit of light relief from Kyle was lovely.

And speaking of baby stuff… I was recently sent an amazing piece of art from the lovely Mary (her blog http://www.ahealthiermoo.com/).

She’s started a business creating gorgeous pieces of running art (check it out here https://www.instagram.com/runnerprints/) which she was kind enough to send me one. I love it! Definitely be going up in the nursery (currently Kyle’s study). Thank you, Mary! Perfect gift idea for a runner 🙂

Something else I’ve recently been sent was a collection of bars from Human Food.

They’re basically an organic plant-based snack bar that contains no nasties, refined sugar, artificial ingredients and (which I love) their packaging is very environmentally friendly. They don’t use plastics and it’s all recyclable and biodegradable. Not only this but throughout their organisation, they pride themselves on fair treatment and fair wage of staff. Good stuff indeed!

So what were they like? I’m not a big fan of cereal or protein bars, but these were dense chewy, relatively sweet bars that I quite enjoyed.

They advise you can just eat them as a bar (very nice, I enjoyed it with a cuppa in the afternoon), or you can even break it up and add it to smoothies or even your porridge. Love this!

The ingredients are super healthy as well so you know you’re getting a powerhouse health snack (and as pregnant woman, this was so handy when I was suffering from nausea and really need to ramp up my nutrition in easy ways when I found so many other fruits and veg unpalatable). Each bar contains things like maca, ginseng, cacao and hemp seeds, along with other goodies like turmeric, spirulina, nuts and a whole host of vitamins and minerals. So a solid, quality snack that leaves a good taste in your mouth in more ways than one.

On a slight less healthy note… we’ve also been enjoying doughnuts from the a local Southsea small business (find on Instagram @southseadonutco). For £9 they delivered three homemade vegan doughnuts to us.

They were incredible. Unfortunately due to a confusion during ordering (probably my fault to be fair) we got the wrong order. But they were more than happy to deliver us our correct order the next day to make up for it – which is incredible!

So in the end we had four salted caramel doughnuts, a Biscoff one and a cinnamon sugar one. They were SO good. I especially loved the cinnamon and Biscoff ones. If you’re local, I heartily recommend these guys. We will definitely be ordering again. Soft, melt in the mouth and vegan!

We’ve also been seriously enjoying the influx of Easter chocolate that is now in the shops. Especially the Mini Eggs Bar that has just been released. This is such a moreish and delicious chocolate bar. We have literally been buying all our local shop’s stock. One of my favourite snacks in the evening is a few rows (*cough* few being subjective) of the chocolate with a decaf black coffee. It hits the spot I tell you.

We also managed to find the Easter Egg version of it so we have that ready to go for Easter (if we can avoid the temptation of scoffing it before that is). So it’s a thick egg with Mini Eggs in it with a bag of Mini Eggs (my favourite, so so dangerous though). This Easter we’re definitely not holding back – we need good stuff like this to keep us going with all things considered.

What has been so difficult (and I know pretty much everyone feels ecavtly the same right now) is not seeing our family that often. It’s so hard. Especially being pregnant, I want to be doing all the things with them like going shopping for baby items and just not having limits to seeing them. But it is what it is and we just have to live with that right now.

But I was lucky enough to see my mum for a walk down Southsea on Sunday – no hugging, no touching, but just walking and chatting. It was lovely but also so sad. My mum works in a hospital and she knows first-hand how bad it is right now and how we just have to keep going with being safe and sensible. But it doesn’t make it easier.

We got a takeaway coffee and she enjoyed one of the salted caramel doughnuts I brought for her, which she very much enjoyed.

Next weekend I hope to do the same, but with my dad. Tag teaming the family basically! It’s all we can do right now, and it’ll just have to be enough.

How are you coping in Lockdown 3.0?

Are there any new snacks you’ve been enjoying?

** Full Disclaimer: I was sent the Human Food for free in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own honest ones**

Celebrating good runs with burgers

It’s incredible how different runs can be.

A couple of weekends ago I was knocked down by a bug. I feel like whenever anyone mentions feeling unwell everyone immediately assumes it’s COVID-19 related. Happily mine was just a bug that made me feel a bit lethargic and meh with a bit of a dodgy tummy. Alfie and Kyle actually had similar issues as well – can dogs get ill from you (or vice versa)?! It was very weird, for two days he kept sporadically throwing up, which was just lovely.

I didn’t actually realise I was feeling ill though until I got back from a very unwise long run. I woke up in the morning without being aware that I felt different, then headed out and it just felt so hard. Half-way through I had a little sit down on the curb and just had to take stock of the fact that I was 5 miles from home without any easy way to get back (Kyle’s motorbike had a flat battery and he can’t actually drive our car yet).  In the end I managed to claw my way home. On finishing I felt so drained.

After a few days though I was back to normal and my runs felt SO much better. I decided to leave the speedwork (check me out being all routine-like with my speedwork now) and just do some “whatever I fancy” running to make sure I wasn’t pushing my body when it was just back to normal. Then at the weekend I headed out for my long run without any real ideas of how far I was going to go. I have a great route that I can basically cut short very easily… from 6 miles all the way to 15 miles. I have easy points to add on and take-away.

As I headed out I realised I felt pretty good and decided to go for a longer run. My pace was strong and I felt full of energy. The weather was perfect with barely any wind (such a problem with living on the coast!) and it was relatively cool. In the end I did 17 miles which just felt great and has tempted me to consider running another marathon on my own in a few weeks… Rotterdam  Marathon is doing a virtual one in October so I’ll see how it goes. But I’m putting no pressure on myself.

After running the 17 miles, I got showered and Kyle and I walked down to 7Bone for some lunch. The fact that we can walk to 7Bone is dangerous indeed. I mean I love that we can walk to some fantastic favourites of ours but it can’t be good for our wallets and health!

7Bone were fantastic. They took our temperature before we went inside and had hand sanitizer EVERYWHERE – even on your table. We felt very well looked after and safe. The food, of course, was fantastic too.

Both Kyle and I went for the Winner Winner chicken burger and added an extra halloumi patty and had halloumi fries on the side too. Kyle went for loaded cheesy fries and I went for some Rasta chicken wings. It was a feast! The burger is honestly one of the best chicken burgers I’ve had. Though the chicken wings are always a bit disappointing. But then you don’t go to 7Bone for the wings.

We then walked home – which definitely helped our fullness.

The next day I went for a very gentle 5k and then headed to meet my mum in Southsea for coffee.

It was a lovely mum and daughter time. We had a drink in the Watkins & Faux, a tennis themed café, on the seafront and then walked along the Southsea parade. My mum had a tasty chocolate milkshake and I had a cappuccino.

A solid weekend full of good food and good times (and good health!).

Have you ever run when you felt ill?

Have you been tempted by any virtual races recently?