My hypnobirthing experience so far! 

With less than six weeks until the bumps due date we are certainly on the count down to ‘D day’. Recently, I have tried to try rewind my mind back to my feelings at this same point in my previous pregnancy and I find it hard to pinpoint how I was feeling. I don’t remember ever feeling afraid, I like to look on the positive (yet realistic) side of things, what was to be was to be and what was to come was the unknown. 

I remember thinking there was little I could do and not knowing what to expect, yet also having few expectations. I had done my trusty NCT course and was the only remaining mummy in my group to give birth. Each of the birth stories in our group had varied so much, from premature births, to natural water births, epidural desperate mums and emergency c-sections. As a result I felt there was no way I could know what was to come so I might as well just go with it. I was asked many times if I had a birth plan; the answer was simply ‘no’, I question how you can plan something so unpredictable, something you know so little about! To that end I much prefer the hypnobirthing way of wording it ‘birth preferences.’ My ‘preferences’ a natural, non induced, water birth! 

Fast forward to today and much is the same, what will be will be and what’s to come is still the unknown! By birth preferences remain the same. I’d prefer it to happen naturally, I’d love a water birth, with minimal intervention if I can. But these, just like before, are just preferences! With Harvey I went two weeks over due and after two failed sweeps I was induced. Unfortunately from this point forward it didn’t go so well and a lot of the birth was taken out of my hands. This time my preference is to keep control! 

Looking back at my birth preparation with baby one it was minimal really. My NCT course was interesting and provided me with a great group of friends (eighteen months on a still talk to on a daily basis.) But in regards to what it taught me about birth preparation I felt it just reinforced a lot of what I already knew (although I’m aware this varies depending on course and instructor.) So this time around I was excited to have the opportunity to learn about birth from a different perspective and embraced the opportunity to try hypnobirthing. 

We did our course with the lovely Jemma from @stilettostostrollers. Jemma set up her bussiness after a positive experience of hypnobirthing herself and is a prefect example of how well it can work. Jemma had a calm and peaceful water birth at home. 

I was slightly apprehensive as to how my husband would feel about the course, and yes he was skeptical to start with. However, after our sessions were finished and we were discussing what we had learnt he admitted that actually he could see the benefit of the sessions and he was also left feeling more prepared. 

Hypnobirthing is a complete antenatal course and aims to teach you the techniques needed for a calm and controlled birth. It hopes to leave you feeling empowered, confident about your birthing choices and reduce the associated fear of childbirth. The program aims to teach you the philosophy of hypnobirthing and birth. As well as the important of connecting both mind and body to help you understand how fear can affect birth. It also teaches the important role of your bith companion throughout your labour and delivery. It wants couples to look forward to the day their baby arrives, not to worry or even worse fear the day. 

The course certainly equips you with simple self hypnosis, relaxation and breathing techniques. Including meditation scripts and audio affirmations, plus tonnes of other tips and tricks(always helpful!). Ultimately it gives you the knowledge to understand your options, empowers you and allows you the chance to make confident choices throughout your labour and birth. 

We compleated two sessions with Jemma, one as a small group (three couples) and the second was a 1 2 1 at home. Jemma was great, she was easy to talk to, realistic, honest and happy to answer any questions we had. She made us feel relaxed in our sessions and we finished our final session feeling more prepared for what was to come. 

So what can you expect to find on a hypnobirthing course? A mix of breathing exercises (to be practiced pre and used during labour), relaxation techniques, visualisations and affirmations, confidence building and fear releasing techniques. As well as learning a little bit of the science on how your body is designed to deliver a baby and how to encourage your mind and body to work in harmony with one another.
Your partner will learn the importance and significance of their role during the labour, learning massaging techniques and how to protect and look after you during the process.  
You will also be taught that like learning any new technique it’s all about ‘practice, practice, practice.’ 

This is perhaps my biggest hurdle at the moment, with work and a toddler to look after I often wish I had more time to fully commit to learning and implementing the hypnobirthing techniques. However, I am confident I’m trying my best with the affirmations in my mind, I feel calm and relaxed about the birth to come. I feel focused on the hypnobirthing positive philosophy and have the positive wording in my mind (surge instead of contraction!) My mindset is positive and I’m looking forward to the arrival of my baby no matter how it makes it entrance into the world I believe I can make this both a positive and exciting experience.
Jemma offers both 1 2 1 and group sessions and you can link to her website here. If your quick she is currently offering a 15% discount on group course bookings in October (limited availability).

Love


Lindsay 
X

My maternity must haves so far…. 

There are so many maternity products out there sometimes you have to wonder where to start! 

This is just a summary of some of the maternity products that I have been using recently and enjoying so far this pregnancy. Some I used in my first pregnancy, others are new to me! All of them I’m loving and for many different reasons….


Over the bump leggings



So easy to wear and so many uses…

  • Wear with an oversized jumper for comfort and style (red is apparently the colour of the season) 
  • Pull on with your over the knee boots, under a dress for a little more warmth, plus you can avoid the discomfort of tights!! 
  • Or just add a big comfy cardigan, oversized t-shirt and a pair of fluffy socks and your ready for movie night! 

So many options, I picked up mine from Jojo Mama Bebe, but you can find them all over the place for a range of prices! 


The classic Bretton top! 



Enough said really…… fitted or oversized, style doesn’t have to stop just because your pregnant! Isabella Oliver have a great selection.

Jeans

Whatever your style, however your the fit a good pair of maternity jeans are a must! These ones are from Jojo Mama Bebe and I’ve found them super comfy for the price and they most importantly stay put!!


Maternity pillow


I recently started using the bbhugme maternity pillow and can quite honestly say it’s amazing! With baby number one I had a foam filled pillow and whilst it was ok it wasn’t a patch on this. By the time pregnancy number two started it was in no condition to last another nine months. My advice, invest early and invest wisely, these pillows are amazing! 


Pregnancy vitamins

Through both my pregnancies I’ve taken Pregnacare Plus, I’ve been happy with them and felt satisfied that I’m giving the bump and my body the little extras that it needs! Remember your body is doing an amazing job, there is no harm in helping it along the way! 


Mama Mio products 


I’ve tried lots of different maternity products over my two pregnancies and have fallen for the Mama Mio ones, hook, line and sinker. They glide on easily, smell absolutely amazing and really feel like they are doing the job. I definitely recommend giving these ago!! 


Reading material


Through both of my pregnancies I’ve found time for a little maternity related reading. With baby number one ‘What to expect when your expecting’ was a favourite and I’ve found myself returning to it this time round. Added to this, second time round,  I’ve been reading Clemmie Hoopers ‘How to grow a baby and push it out’ and after taking a hypnobirthing course with the lovely Jemma from @stilettostostrollers I’ve also been doing my homework reading! 


Loungewear and nightwear 

When you are pregnant you spending a lot of time lounging or at least attempting to! Comfy clothing is essential, just as essential as a good nights sleep. Making all varieties of comfy night and lounge clothes is an absolute must….. let me introduce Mamas and Papas collaboration with Bloom and Blossom. They have an amazing range of super soft, extra comfortable lounge and night wear!! Go, shop and buy now!! 


Me time and sleep

It’s free but sometimes the hardest to come by! Find time for yourself and enjoy it!! Have a bath, read a book, enjoy some chocolate, watch a movie or just get an early night! 
The shopping list and links are below! 
Enjoy!! 

Love 

Lindsay x


Shopping list 🛒 

  1. Over the bump leggings – £20 Jojo Mamal Bebe 
  2. The Classic Bretton – £65 Caia Maternity top Isabella Oliver – £41 (SALE) Arlington Striped maternity top 
  3. Dark wash maternity ripped skinny Jeans – £35 Jojo Mama Bebe 
  4. Maternity pillow – £135 bbhugme Maternity Pillow
  5. Pregnancy vitamins – £15.29 per box pregnacare plus
  6. Products – £12-45 Mama Mio
  7. Reading material – Amazon, prices vary
  8. Lounge and night wear – £19-29 Mamas and Papas Bloom and Blossom

Where’s the time gone….. going back to work! 

It’s been nearly half a term since I returned to work (yes I teach!), after just over a year of maternity leave! I had very mixed emotions about the whole ordeal and now after some little time to reflect I thought I would update you on how it has been going. 

Firstly let me give you a little context. I’m a teacher working in a small school in Surrey. I absolutely love my job and have been at my current school for a number of years. I have the most fantastic colleagues and the children that I have the pleasure of teaching are on the whole pretty great too!

I really missed my work whilst on maternity leave and it actually took me a very long time to adjust to not being there (perhaps another story, for another time, if I’m ever feeling brave enough.) Whilst on maternity leave, I chose to keep a lot of contact with my work, popped in occasionally to see my friends and keep an overview in preparation for what I would be returning to. I also managed to do a number of my ‘in touch days’ which I really enjoyed and were a good way to keep contact and ease back in. 
Harvey was a summer baby and I worked up until he was born (two weeks late.) In return I was able to take the full year with him, not returning to work until he had passed his first birthday. By this point there were only three weeks remaining until the school summer holidays started and I would be off again (I was very lucky it worked out this way!) 

In regards to childcare for these three weeks we relied solely on our family. Harvey spent the first week in Sussex with my in laws and the subsequent two weeks with my parents who live locally. 
The first week was by far the hardest. We didn’t get to see Harvey at all (except for a few pictures) and I found the return to work exhausting both physically and emotionally. When Harvey finally returned home on the Saturday after my first week I was over the moon to see him, even if he did try hard to give me the cold shoulder for the first ten minutes! Looking back I know that not having him about was very fortunate, I got up early and worked late and I didn’t have to feel any mum guilt about missing dinner, bath or bed because no matter when I returned home he wasn’t going to be there! 


The next two weeks were a little different. Harvey went to stay at my parents who live about thirty minutes from my work so I was always conscious of the fact that if I finished early enough I could make it to theirs for some of the bedtime routine and most importantly a Harvey cuddle. The first week he spent with my parents I had a number of work commitments and only managed to get there three out of five nights. In the final week I was fortunate enough to get to Harvey for dinner, bath and bed every night. This was exhausting, not only was the return to work a shock to the system but my desire to do everything (work to my full potential and be the best mummy I could) wore me out. By the time the holidays started I was shattered! 
Now I have returned to work on a long term basis (at least until baby number two arrives). I work four days a week and have been lucky enough to have family do all my childcare (Harvey spends his time with both sets of grandparents, he loves it!). I have found the first half of term absolutely exhausting and I can not wait until the holidays start again in a few weeks time. The days have been long and I’ve been growing big, currently in my third trimester! I miss Harvey terribly and have found the adjustment very difficult. Harvey on the other hand has taken it all in his stride.
So what have I learnt? I don’t have to do everything; Harvey will still love me. Let family help; they want to and it’s what they are there for! Work and motherhood together is in no doubt exhausting and it’s been hard to find a suitable and practical work/life, mummy/teacher balance. 

For now I’m just trying to make the most of the weekends with Harvey and I’m looking forward to my half term holiday. I’m sure just as I finally get used to it all, I’ll be off on maternity leave again and starting a whole new challenge with two little ones! 

Love 

Lindsay 

X

Counting Little Green Sheep…. 🐑🐑🐑

Just over a week ago we received some very exciting blogger mail in the form of a mattress from ‘The Little Green Sheep’ Company. 

‘The Little Green Sheep’ Comany is a brand I have come across before and in all honesty had always heard very positive reviews about. So I was really excited to be able to try out one of their produts, review and feedback on our experience. I clearly remember the numerous searches for product review when I was expecting Harvey from buggys to bath seats, it’s endless. 

Before I give you my thoughts I think it’s important to know a little about the brand, so here we are….

🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑

‘The Little Green Sheep’ was founded in 2006 by Mark Nicholls and Paul Maurice, two friends who first crossed paths whilst at University in Birmingham. Once they completed their University courses each ventured off on their relevant journeys, between them gathering experience in the product and marketing business as well as the organics industry. ‘The Little Green Sheep’ was grown later based on the simple idea of offering parents and babies the best in baby bedtimes and originated by the friends desire to design and manufacture a baby mattress that combined the best quality support, made in the most natural possible way (using natural and organic materials), the first mattress was launched in 2007! 

🐑 The Little Green Sheep Values & Beliefs

‘The Little Green Sheep’ believe in providing the best for babies. It’s this which inspires them to do what they do, creating beautifully made products; shaped by simple, honest ingredients, and produced in an ethical and appropriate way. They believe in providing babies with the most natural environment possible, away from toxins and harmful chemicals but never compromising on quality.

🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑


So how did we get on?

The mattress we chose to try out was the…

 ‘🐑 Link – Twist Natural Cot Bed Mattress 70x140cm’ 

On first impressions the mattress looked great! It had a clean and appealing finish with a quilted cotton cover, looked smart, but also felt soft and comfortable. 

After looking past the immediate visual impression the important thing to note is that the mattress (unlike many in the market) does not have a removable cover. Therefore it is recommended (essential) that you use a mattress protector to protect against any possible damp (I’m thinking poorly babies, leaky nappies and potty training toddler accidents). ‘The Little Green Sheep’ sell their own recommended mattress protectors which are just as soft and organic as the mattress it’s self!

‘ 🐑 Link – Little Green Sheep Mattress Protector’

The next thing to look at are the two sides to the mattress; these have been cleverly designed to take your baby through their toddler years to a recommended age of five. 

The mattress has been smartly designed to incorporate two different sides of support. One with a side designed for 0-12 months (firm surface). 

The other for side little ones from 12 months to five years (supple yet comfortably). Based on Harvey’s age, 14 months, we used the mattress on for the elder ones. 

Harvey took to the mattress immediately, snuggling down with no complaints and sleeping happily through the night. Prior to Harvey’s nights on the mattress he was sleeping on a mattress made by a different brand and if I’m honest also had no difficulties sleeping. Harvey is generally a good sleeper, although an early riser (sadly the early rising didn’t change with the introduction of the new mattress, despite wishful thinking from both Mummy and Daddy). 

So what were the benefits of the mattress? 

First of all it gave me a greater peace of mind knowing that my baby was sleeping on a mattress that didn’t contain any chemicals or toxins. This made me feel happier and far more content about putting him down at night, and sometimes it is just the little things that make all the difference.

I also really loved the fact that the mattress is naturally fireproofed, further peace of mind for Mummy and Daddy. And finally, and most importantly, is that fact that by it being natural it is by far the most gentle on Harvey’s delicate skin(eczema prone).

Now having used a ‘The Little Green Sheep’ product for myself I am highly interested in their other products and I know with the new bump on the way I would love to discover more about some of their other items. As well as mattresses they now also produce a range of baby sleepwear including babygrows, sleepbags and bedding including sheets, pillows, duvets and muslins. The sheet we received in our trial is without a doubt one of the softest I’ve come across and I’ll certainly be investing in some more for both Harvey and the bump! 


And finally in addition to all this they are also the creators of the well know co-sleeping baby crib; the snuzpod!

Good luck with your mattress search and baby purchases, I hoped this helped and I welcome any questions! 

Love 


Lindsay x

Thank Teething jewellery for Mama’s and babies!! 

When I was asked if I was interested in trying out some new Jewellery I jumped at the chance, I never miss a opportunity to accessorise!!! Only this was jewellery with a difference. This was Jewellery designed by a mama for a mama, yes this was teething Jewellery! 



If I’m honest I was sceptical at first, I imagined a large garish plastic looking bracelets and necklaces in neon colours that screamed this is purely practical. However, one look at the Mama and Belle website and I realised how just how wrong this misconception was (if you don’t believe me take a look!) 

Mama and Belle is owned by the lovely mummy of two Suzy and was launched in 2014. Taking inspiration from the teething Jewellery craze that was slowly becoming popular with mummy’s across the globe, but with much greater consideration to style! Suzy aimed to create Jewellery that was functional and fashionable! Well let’s say she succeeded. 

The Mama and Belle Jewellery comes in a range of colours/styles to suit your mood/favourite colours and latest fashion tends. ‘Rose gold!’ That all so alluring pretty rosey shade which has starred in collections from the likes of Valentino, Noon By Noor and Monique Lhuillier and has littered the the spring/summercatwalk. This can currently be found featuring in a number of the pieces in the Mama and Belle collection. Showing that us mummy’s can still be on trend (whilst also being a little practical with a baby in tow!). 

The Mama and Belle collection includes necklaces, bracelets, dummy/teether clips, a mini Belle collection for those little toddlers who want to dress just like mummy and even a very sensitively designed dad collection (yes, I know, amazingly daddy can take part in this too!). 

So what did I go for and how did we get on? 
So after deciding that this teething Jewellery didn’t look as I thought it would (tacky, plastic and tasteless) I made my selection! 

I opted for the Amelia nude quartz and marble teething bangle with the Amelia rose gold and marble teething bangle to stack with it! (because one is never enough!). I then also added the Aurora quartz teething necklace in its complimentary colours! 

After checking out all the important safety bits (safety first) and being completely satisfied that all the items were one hundred percent safe for my little man (see above) I put them on and headed out! They were immediately a hit with Harvey. He’s currently teething crazy and if he’s not putting something in his mouth he’s attempting to bite down on me! Ouch!!! Well let’s just say these items have already saved me from a number of nasty baby bites. 

We will certainly being making lots of use of these over the coming months and I’m hoping they will save me from from lots of nasty bites!! 

Giveaway time!!!!!

And now for the best part……..
The lovely ladies at Mama and Belle are offering you the chance to win your own set of teething Jewellery! Your choice of necklace and bangle!!! All you have to do is click on the ‘Enter Competition’ link below! Good luck!!

Mama and belle/the rustic mother
https://js.gleam.io/e.js

Love 

Lindsay x

 Cake in the post?!? Harvey’s letterbox cake 🎂 

Wow yesterday was such a busy day! We started our celebrations for Harvey’s first birthday and we had the most amazing and busy day we’ve had in a long time! My feet ache soooo much and my little solider is absolutely exhausted, but we feel we’ve kicked off Harvey’s Birthday celebrations in style (more on that in a later post) and are looking forward to them continuing today.

What I wanted to tell you about today was that little something extra that we took with us to make our day out a little more fun!! 
We were kindly given a very unique cake by the lovely people at Bakerdays. What made this cake unique is that it was small enough to fit through our letter box and therefor small enough for us to sneak under the buggy and tuck into whilst at the zoo! 

A little on Bakerdays….. 

Bakerdays are a company based in Nottingham who specialising in making cakes for all occasions, what’s different about their cakes is that they can be posted through your letterbox, yes a cake, in a tin, through your letterbox! The company founded by cake lover Andrea Guzyova creates these unique cakes perfectly for one or two (or perhaps some little sticky fingers) to enjoy with the added bonus that they can be delivered next day all over the UK! 

It may be small in size but that doesn’t effect its flavour, as can been seen by our little cake lover who couldn’t keep his hands to himself!

Harvey’s cake was personalised to fit his special day out (the zoo) and we opted for a lemon sponge as Harvey is a fruit lover. The cake didn’t disappoint, it was perfect for the little occasion and the three of us to enjoy. 

I can’t help but think what a lovely little gift this would be for that unsuspecting someone on their special occasion – birthday, graduation, Father’s Day, new baby!! 


Love 

Lindsay 

X

Where’s the time gone…. Harvey is nearly one!!!

I can’t believe we are on the count down to Harvey’s first birthday! With just over a week to go I’m pretty sure I’m not ready for such a momentous occasion! 

Sadly Harvey turning one also signals the end of my years maternity leave and my return to work. And right now I have very mixed feelings about both events. 

Harvey turning one is both exciting and frightening! It makes me so happy to see what a gorgeous little boy he’s turning into and everyday I can see new physical developments and personality traits growing. I’m excited for what’s to come, his first steps, his first sentence! I’m excited to see his favourite things to do, favourite books and toys and to enjoy all the exciting activities that we will be able to do with our toddler as he grows that little bit older! 

However turning one also brings with it the end of his baby year. Where did my tiny sleepy baby go? How has the little guy that could sleep all day become such an independent little boy. I can feel myself mourning his baby days, looking back a pictures of this cute little thing and wondering how time can possibly have gone so quickly. 

I’m starting to wonder how I’ll feel on the big day….. excited for the next stage or sad to say good bye to such an exhausting but ultimately exciting year! 

Over the past few weeks I have found myself looking back at so many of Harvey’s baby photos. Remembering the highlights and the tough times. The long sleepless nights which at the time felt endless. Harvey took a long time to sleep through the night and my husband and I began to wonder if it would ever happen. Ironically now neither of us can remember exactly when it did happened as it all seems so irrelevant and minor now. I remember the first smile and giggle, the first time he rolled over. His first cough and cold and those dreaded first immunisations (I cried more than him!). 


I also remember the tough days when I struggled, thought I couldn’t do it and wished time would speed up so my husband would come home from work and help me! Writing this now a have a sense of guilt and wish I’d never hoped that time (even the tough times) would hurry up! I remember the days I felt like a rubbish mum, the days I cried or felt annoyed with him for things that seem so minor and silly now and I wish I’d never felt that way! I wish I hadn’t wasted my time on those feeings because what I didn’t know then is that I’d be sitting here now with only a week to go wishing I could rewind time and have it all back. 

However I feel on the day I know that I have an amazing little boy and so far despite all the challenges that have been thrown in my direction I’ve done a good job! He’s a happy, healthy, determined and independent little guy with an amazing future ahead of him! 

‘Mummy loves you Harvey xxx’

Love 

Lindsay x