Monday, 10 December 2018

Lifestyle | My newfound appreciation for pregnant women & what I've learnt along the way.

Without sounding like the most naive person in the world, I never fully understood or appreciated what women go through during pregnancy... That was until I got pregnant myself.

I think it's due to a mix of things really, one being that I haven't directly been around that many pregnant people or been surrounded by young children and babies. Secondly I don't think enough women talk about negative factors that come with pregnancy, whether that's with the intent of not to offend anyone or because we're all trying to be superwomen, who knows? And thirdly, I think it's just one of those things where you can't fully put yourself in a situation, until you're actually there and you don't really have a choice to think otherwise.
So what have I learnt through pregnancy?

The human body really is an amazing thing. In my 28 years I've always been relatively healthy & have admittedly taken my body & what it's really capable for granted, when in fact over the last nine months it's been doing something pretty spectacular. I was chatting to a friend about halfway through my pregnancy & they'd called the placenta a 'brand new organ which my body has created' which was something I hadn't previously thought of but it really stuck with me! Not only have I created a baby (with a little help from Dan of course) but my body's known what to do to provide a safe haven & source of nourishment for her. I'm 39 weeks in & I still find it so bizarre that even though I don't have a clue, my body knows exactly what to do to keep this baby inside of me safe. 

People can be so judgmental. You'll find as soon as you announce that you're pregnant that the interrogations start & you'll soon get sick of answering the same questions. It's funny as well because you'll begin to learn peoples opinions probably before they've even asked the question. The biggest judgement, and probably the most heartbreaking was from (in particular older) people classing us as 'not children people' because we've decided to have children in our late twenties. It was almost as if because Dan & I didn't have children within the first couple of years of meeting, that the thought of us ever becoming parents was completely dismissed. 

Finding cute maternity clothes is an absolute bitch! Oh my goodness... Nobody told me about this before I got pregnant! Obviously beforehand I hadn't paid that much attention to maternity clothes, but when you do, you realise if you don't like stripes or ruching, you're pretty much screwed! I've only bought a handful of 'maternity clothes' one thing being a pair of ASOS ridley skinny jeans which have been an absolute Godsend... Everything else unfortunately has been pretty much redundant & Instead of buying proper maternity clothes I've opted for buying pieces I like just in bigger sizes.
How the husband/wife relationship changes. Seeing Dan getting excited about the baby has honestly been one of the most heartwarming things & I feel like the luckiest person in the world. He's been so supportive, especially when I've not really been feeling myself, he's been amazing. I'd found adjusting to my body changing to be quite difficult, especially at the beginning -But to be constantly told you're a beautiful mama when you're feeling low about yourself is something special! Gahh, I can feel myself getting emotional just thinking about it!

Everyday's a school day. I've learnt so much over the last nine months... Things about myself, things about my body, things about the baby - It's crazy! And just when you think you know everything you need to know, something else pops up & you have another light bulb moment. The most random, but most interesting thing I've learnt so far is that the size of baby's stomach when they're first born is of a small marble. We were taught this with regards to how much to feed baby and honestly we were blown away by her how teeny tiny her cute little tummy will be!

Appreciate the life you've had. Dan & I have been together for 8 years and quite often reflect on everything we've done and seen together in that time... And let me tell you it's a lot! We've really had such an amazing life together as a pair, and are now venturing onto this new chapter at what feels like the most perfect time in our lives together. We can't wait!

I'm wishing for this baby to come out of me now, as well has my body has served me over the last 273 days, I'm so ready to begin the next chapter of our lives. Keep your fingers crossed for me that little one makes her appearance soon!

What was the biggest thing you learnt through pregnancy?

Claire. X

Have you read my latest posts?
Beauty | The look fantastic advent calendar. Week one first impressions.
Lifestyle | The third trimester.
Beauty | Hydrating skincare for winter.


Friday, 7 December 2018

Beauty | The Look Fantastic advent calendar. Week 1. First impressions.

It's very rare that I actually treat myself, but this year I've been particularly indulgent & bought myself the Look Fantastic Advent Calendar... I'm blaming the pregnancy hormones. I've had the advent calendar stashed at the back of my wardrobe since it came out two months ago, in fact I very nearly almost forgot to open it on December 1st. Thankfully however that loss of memory didn't last too long!

I'm going to be doing a week by week run through of what's behind each door, give you my first impressions & at the end whether I think the Look Fantastic Advent Calendar is actually worth it.
Day 1. HD Brows X Look Fantastic Contour & Colour Pro Palette.
Well this is a bloody good one to start with isn't it - What a way to get a gal hooked into a beauty advent calendar! I didn't realise HD Brows did products that weren't anything to do with brows... Just call me a pants, naive beauty blogger! But boy as soon as I saw this, my eyes lit up, much to my husbands amusement - I was excited for this one! The palette contains 6 shades, three powder foundations, a bronzer, highlight & a blush - Everything you'd ever need for perfecting a flawless base. I'm not overly into powder foundations, however I'm planning on using these shades for setting, & mattifying... On the contrary, the bronze, highlight & blush tones I will be having an absolute field day with - I've found as we've come into Autumn/Winter I've definitely been applying more bronzey tones to my face.
*RRP £60.00

Day 2. Filorga Anti Ageing Micellar Cleansing Solution.
Admittedly this one seemed a little lack luster after yesterdays goodie, but I know for a fact this micellar water is something I'm going to use till it's empty & more than likely enjoy. My only concern is how this will compare to my usual Garnier micellar water, which comes in at a fraction of the price... Call me a cynic, but surely there's can't be much difference from one micellar water to another.
*RRP £2.50 for 50ml.

Day 3. Percy & Reed Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Balm.
After chopping my locks off a few weeks ago, I was more than happy to see the Wonder Balm behind door number three. This was also the first product I'd revealed where I could smell it before I could see it, which enticed me greatly. It was almost like when you can smell something delicious cooking before you're about to eat it & your mouth starts salivating. Yupp Claire... Exactly like that! Haha. The day after shampooing & conditioning, my hair is always really static and super difficult to work with so I'm hoping the wonder balm will combat my weekly dilemma.
*RRP £7.20 for 30ml.
Day 4. Glamglow Gravity Mud Mask Firming Treatment.
Glamglow seems to have taken the beauty world by storm over the last year or so, however it's a brand I'm still yet to try. I've always been a big face mask fan, so should really have tried Glamglow before but in all honesty it's always been the price that had put me off purchasing, especially when there's such great cheaper alternatives out there. I'm not sure if a firming treatment is right for me at this time of year, as my skin is already quite dry but I am looking forward to giving this a go and dipping my toes into the brand.
*RRP £12.60 for 15g.

Day 5. Blink Brow Bar Brow Build.
I'm all for brow products, and definitely already have my favourites which I've been using on a daily basis for the last few years, none of which are pencils like this one. Currently I flit between the Soap & Glory Brow Archery, Sleek Eyebrow Stylist & the New Cid Cosmetics I-Groom - I'm such a brow product hussy! All three of these tools are pretty similar in the sense that they're all tapered and super easy to manage. I've found that I can be quite heavy handed when it comes to using traditional brow pencils so I'm not too sure how I'm going to get on with this one, or even what the colours going to be like on me, but I'll be sure to give it a go & report back.
*RRP £16.00.

Day 6. Emma Hardie Brilliance Face Oil
Emma Hardie to me means the ultimate in luxury skincare, I've used the Emma Hardie cleansing balm before and absolutely loved it, so when I saw the EH logo on this little bottle I was more than excited. Face oils aren't something I'm used to using so it'll be nice to have a little bit of luxury in my skincare routine.
*RRP £6.50 for 5ml
Day 7. Eyeko Mini Black Magic Mascara.
Eyeko is another brand I've not tried before, I've always heard of them and have quite often looked at their brow products, but never their mascaras for some reason. Luckily this has come at the exact right time as I'm on the last few dregs on a few that I'm currently using - The only one I have topped up is the Too Faced Better Than Sex, which I have in a waterproof mascara, and is sometimes a little heavier than what I'd want for a daily basis. I've had a little peak and if the brush on this mascara wand is anything to go by, I'm going to love using this product - I can't wait to get using this one.
*RRP £5.00 for 2ml.

My first week of Look Fantastic products has definitely been of variety, something I'm more than happy about. I wanted an advent calendar which introduced me to a wide selection of new brands and new products, which all seven of these goodies are.
So far I'm mostly looking forward to using the Emma Hardie Brilliance Face Oil and the Eyeko Mini Black Magic Mascara, as I can already see myself loving both of these products. The Filorga Anti Ageing Micellar Cleansing Solution is probably at the bottom of my 'to try' list but only because like I say I'm struggling to see how can this differ to anything I'm currently using.

I'm hoping once I've opened all 25 days & had a proper chance to use everything to put a blog post together of what I've loved & equally what'd not floated my boat so much. Is this something you'd be interested in seeing?

Have you got an alternative (non chocolate) advent calendar this year?


Have you read my latest posts?
Lifestyle | The third trimester.
Beauty | Hydrating skincare for winter.
Lifestyle | Why university put me off my dream interior design career.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Lifestyle | The third trimester.

There's mixed emotions as I reach the end of my pregnancy; In one sense I can't wait for baby to make her appearance, but on the other hand I think I'm going to miss having her all to myself and miss having that 'pregnant feeling'.
The third trimester has been much more difficult than the first and second in terms of adjusting to my new larger, heavier & much rounder body, but unfortunately it's not just the physical symptoms I've been struggling with.
 The symptoms.
I've got to put heartburn right at the top of my symptoms list, it's not painful and it's something I can get on with, but it's so effing annoying! I've never suffered with heartburn before, and if I'm honest I didn't really know what it was... Until I got it... Every God damn night.

Something else that's highly annoying is the frequent need to pee! Oh my goodness, the struggle is real! Baby's head is fully down in my pelvis now and putting so much pressure on my bladder it's insane. I'd say the need to pee is pretty much constant, I'm up during the night on multiple occasions, but without being TMI, what comes out is the tiniest little trickle. It's so frustrating.

It was picked up from one of the many many blood tests I've had, that my iron count has been drastically low during pregnancy. I've been on medication over the last four months & will probably need to stay on it for a little while after giving birth, which is a little annoying, but I feel so much better in myself. I'm usually quite against doctors, medication in preference of more natural remedies, however the little tablets I'm on have been bloody brilliant in restoring my energy & making me feel more 'me'.

I've been basking in the fact I've not had a period for the last nine months, however that doesn't mean I haven't been getting period style cramps - And let me tell you they've been showing themselves in full force over the last couple of weeks. My body is obviously getting ready for the final stages of pregnancy, but what's actually happening in there, I'm not 100% sure - I'm looking at it as a positive though - She's almost cooked!

Finally onto the more emotional struggles of pregnancy... I've had a few blips but have done really well mental health wise during this pregnancy so far, however over the last month especially I've seen a shift in my emotions. I feel quite short tempered and that I'm being rather ratty with my other half. He say's I'm not, but I can't help but feel like I am. I'm putting it down to the change in hormones and the fact I'm so flipping uncomfortable right now. On the other end of the scale however I've been hysterical with tears, and for what reason... I've got absolutely no idea. The brain really is such a complex thing, how it works and how it operates is beyond me!
Midwife & health visitor appointments.
At around 30 weeks we opted for a private 4D scan. It was amazing to see baby's facial features and to see her squirming around in my tummy. It definitely makes the whole pregnancy thing feel more real. A 4D scan is something I'd recommend to anyone - yes, it was probably a little pricier than it should have been, but if we were to ever get pregnant again, we'd definitely do it again - It was brilliant.

I've been popping into the midwife every couple of weeks for a catch up, I've had my usual checks and she's also been checking baby's positioning and size... Which has all been totally perfect so far & fingers crossed will continue to do so as we get closer to birth. To be honest the last few appointments have all been pretty similar, and it's felt quite repetitive but it's nice to have that reassurance that baby's growing well.

I've also had my first health visitor appointment, which I was really apprehensive about. For some reason I thought she was going to come round and be really judgmental of  me, my future parenting skills and my home. In reality, I couldn't be more wrong. I think I'm going to do a full blog post on what to expect from your first health visitor appointment, as I'd got myself pretty worked up before the visit as there was next to nothing online with regards to what to expect.
Maternity leave.
I finished work at 37 weeks which I was more than ready for! Towards the end I was definitely struggling and to be honest I could have easily finished at 35 or 36 weeks. My job role is mainly office based however I work in retail so was on my feet for quite a lot of the day, walking backwards and forwards to the shop floor. My body was definitely feeling it - Especially when you think I'd work a 7 hour shift, come home, have the dog out for an hour, do some blog work and then any other jobs that needed doing in the home. I'm tired just thinking about it.
As much as I'm glad to be away from work, I'm definitely struggling with keeping myself busy. I'm finding it really difficult to just chill! When I'm writing this (a week in advance) I'm probably having my laziest day of maternity leave so far... And by that I mean I've been up since 8am, written another blog post to go live later on today, edited photos for another & prepped my Instagram poss for the next week... And it's only 12.00pm. I actually can't chill.
Preparing for birth.
My birth plan is to try and keep things as natural as possible, which when I've told people about it, they've always been super surprised at. I've been practicing hypnobirthing techniques and am going into the experience with an open, but really positive mindset. I've never been pregnant before & have never been in the giving birth situation before, so the way I look at it, why be scared of something firstly that's inevitable, and secondly something I've never experienced before. I'm not about that extra stress.

From an educational point of view and to try get our heads in the game a bit more we've been to two parenting classes. The first was a free event at our local Mothercare where we had a handful of small talks about things like breastfeeding, sleeping, how to fit a car seat as well as baby safety. The event was a great introduction to quite a few different topics, however it would have been useful to go a bit more in depth with some of the subjects. We also had a tour of our local hospital and delivery suite which was super handy and something we were 100% set on doing before baby gets here. I honestly couldn't think of anything more stressful than being in active labour traipsing the hospital looking for where to go, not to mention the prospect of struggling to get a parking space outside the front doors. Eeek!

I'm writing this early and currently only have two and a half weeks left of pregnancy, by the time this goes live I'll have a week... Which I am more then excited about. The prospect of Dan & I being able to hold our baby very very soon is amazing. I'm really hoping she makes an appearance sooner rather than later.

Have you got any tips for birth or how to cope with a newborn baby?

Claire. X

Have you read my latest posts?
Beauty | Hydrating skincare for winter.
Lifestyle | Why university put me off my dream Interior Design career.
Lifestyle | My plans for maternity leave.
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