Kokoso Baby Skincare – Brand review

When I was travelling in Vietnam there was an island we visited where all they consumed was coconuts – coconut bread, coconut soup, coconut cakes, coconut sweets..etc. They even said there was a coconut religion. I honestly think I could have quite happily lived there happily ever after. I LOVE coconut, its one of my favourite things in life.. when I see anything with coconut on a menu or in beauty products I tend to be drawn towards it.

So when Kokoso sent their coconutty, 100% natural products I was very excited. This has now fast become my favourite brand for Sophia and will be a regular purchase. We were sent the coconut oil and bath hair and body wash. I personally love the fragrance of coconut on Sophia and it is still gentle enough for her newborn smell to shine through, but they do offer a fragrance free version if you’re not keen on it.

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The oil is literally just coconut oil which is packed full of nutrients and you know it is not processed in any way so it is clean for your babies gentle skin. I use it every other day on her head and it has helped her cradle cap to disappear and I use it occasionally on her bottom if it look a bit dry. The oil melts instantly and is absorbed by the skin to nourish and hydrate the skin, it works wonders and there is honestly nothing better in my opinion.

The hair and body wash is just as gentle, nourishing and the best bit it is 100% natural so as good as nature intended. It has a light creamy texture which (just like the oil) absorbs into the skin and hydrates and leaves it nice and soft but not a strong scent (as I said before, you can buy the fragrance free version) and it is not too creamy where it adds an extra layer. It is perfect for the winter and when the skin gets dry. Sophia had slightly dry bits on her legs and the wash followed by the oil after got rid of it quickly and she was back to her lovely soft skin again.

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It is so hard to find products with no nasties or with loads of ingredients you have no idea what they are or even why they are supposed to be good, this is a nice, simple product. I use coconut oil to cook and I use it on my own body and I know it has nothing else in it. If there is a product I am happy to eat then I will be happy to put on my babies skin.

I can’t tell you how much I love this product and I would be happy to recommend this to all mums as I know it is a fully natural product. This is a new product which will be a firm favourite on my shelf going forward.

Purchase here.

Love Always
Izzy xxx

Winter Warmers for Our Little ‘uns

There is something so magical about winter in London. When living in Australia, it was the one thing I missed. You would think sat by a pool with a glass of wine would suffice but actually I wanted the frosty outdoors, crunchy leaves, the winter markets or cosy-ing up indoors with big fluffy blankets and warm drinks. It’s family time and I think the winter brings you all together more than sunbathing by a pool. Don’t get me wrong I love a bit of winter sun but would always prefer a winter Christmas.

The only way to make sure you get out the house as much as possible and enjoy the outdoors is by wrapping up warm! I have my hat, gloves, scarf, thick socks which I can easily grab before leaving the house but the main priority these days is my little bubba.

Under all the below pram suits, I dress Sophia in a long sleeve baby grow, tights (these also are great as socks always fall off her) and leggings. I sometimes also add an extra top if it is really cold.

My 3 Pram Suits are:

Boots Little Treasures Pram Suit – £20 (currently £15)

As Sophia is very petite and the winter outfits are very big and thick we were luckily given a hand me down from a friend whose daughter is 2 days older than Sophia but has already grown out of her outfit. It fits Sophia like a glove so will probably only fit her for another couple of weeks or so. It was from Boots RRP is £20 although it is on offer for £15 at the moment. Despite the face in the first image, she loves it and is snug as a bug in a rug. I sometimes put a hat on underneath to make sure her ears and head are covered properly if it is very bitter out. Her feet are nicely padded and warm, however it doesn’t cover the hands or have mittens attached, luckily Sophia’s hands don’t reach the end of the sleeve so stay warm as mittens just fall off her! It has popper buttons both sides from the top to the feet so very easy to put on which is great if you are in a rush! If you want your baby looking like a cute little bear, purchase here.

 

Lucy and Sam Girls Snow Suit £40 (currently £25!)

This was a gift from Nanny Vee (my mother in law) and is SO gorgeous, not only is it beautiful but it is lovely and thick with a pretty inner lining, it also has boots and mittens attached which is so practical. Unfortunately this doesn’t yet fit Sophia but when we come back from Australia (mid Feb) she will need something warm so this will be perfect. Buy the suit here. A great site for gifts too! have a browse.

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Animal Hooded Pramsuit from Pat Pat £49.57 (currently £26.33!)

I was a little dubious about this site as it does look like a scam and everything is very reasonable for how trendy, unique and good quality it looks, so this was a bit of a trial run. Well, I was beyond surprised and delighted with what came through the post. It did however take 3 weeks to arrive and beware, that it says 2-3 days delivery but it takes a couple of weeks to process your order and get shipped and then delivery starts.
The suit is so thick and warm inside, it has a fleecy interior that feels so soft. It has a really cute design with embossed like alphabet letters all over the front and a lovely printed inner lining again. It has an easy zip to get her in and out. The only issue it doesn’t come with covered hands or feet but i put tights on her underneath and the suit actually keeps her warm enough. It’s another one for her to grow into so her hands stay inside at the moment too. They have tons of other ridiculously cute and cool designs but you can purchase this one here.

I hope you enjoyed and found it useful.

Love Always,

Izzy

Kit & Kin Bath time Review

**Disclaimer: before I start my review I want to say that although I am given free products I would never be dishonest or say something I didn’t believe in.

when I think of luxury bath time it includes sensual, aromatic, relaxing smells and oils in a dimly lit room and candles flickering as I slide into a hot bubble bath and pretend I am in my own private Spa. So it’s no wonder when out shopping the products that grab my attention are labelled ‘relaxing’ ‘natural’ ‘organic’ but is that all they are? a label. I try to only go for 100% natural and organic products so my body doesn’t harden to chemicals but so that the oils/exfoliant/moisturiser sinks into my pores and corrects any blemishes from deep within rather than giving it an ‘appearance’. Did you know chemicals in some body products can go inside our bodies and sit there for months and sometimes even years which impacts on our immune system?

Yet, we lather ourselves in sprays/tanning creams/butter creams/moisturisers without knowing exactly what is in them or just going for the bottle that says ‘natural’. I can’t deny that I usually am swayed by a pretty label and enticing words with good marketing.

BUT when we think of our babies soft, delicate, not yet completely developed skin which hasn’t even been open to UV rays and sunlight all that much and then think about the harmful chemicals sinking into their skin and into their tiny bodies…well then, that is worth ensuring it is not just a good marketing campaign with fluffy labels.

Are you thinking “but surely, the companies with well-known/leading brands with the lovely happy adverts wouldn’t make products which would do any harm to little innocent babies?” because if you are, you’re wrong! They do. Just take a look at the ingredients on the back of Pampers wipes (or most wipes other than water wipes for that matter)  – do you know what all the ingredients are? Try wiping a clean floor or surface with a wipe, watch the dirt it lifts – now do you want to put that harsh wipe on the skin of your baby? (Tip: I got a load of free pampers wipes and use them for cleaning the bathroom!)

I know this is a lot of prior information to take in before a review on bath time products but I needed to give context as to why it is so important when choosing products for your baby. You shouldn’t be labelled an ‘earth mum’ just because you care about what goes on and in your baby.

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Kit & Kin is founded by Emma Bunton (yes the former spice girl) and TV, Radio presenter and UNICEF ambassador – Christopher Money. Emma, a mother who struggled to find products for her child who suffered with eczema without chemicals (there really is only a handful) and Christopher, who supports an organisation for babies in danger and has over 15 years experience with developing products for mother and baby. This had my ears pricked and I was eager to learn more and try out their products.

Firstly I looked at the back of the bottles and there was A LOT of ingredients, mostly fruit extracts which I find quite odd really because why do you need so many? There was still a lot of things I didn’t know what they were and why? There is enough natural products to choose. Maybe for a nice scent without using parfum? Nope, no scent at all.

The products were gentle and even though babies have soft, subtle skin you could tell it was nourishing but was this just on top?

The packaging however, is rather delightful, I love the clean freshness with the flower designs. It is elegant and simple.

These products are 99% natural which is a lot better than a lot of the products on the market and they are also environmentally and animal friendly. It does make me wonder if this just a marketing ploy using big names to sell which annoys me as why not just use lavender and natural oils instead of fruit extracts and stuff we don’t know and use your name for awareness of your product?

As I said at the beginning I am honest and wouldn’t put anything on my babies body I didn’t want to but I won’t be continuing to use this product unfortunately as I think you can do better.

The bubble bath and the hair and body was both £7.99 for 250ml which I think is very affordable for a good amount.

Kit and Kin do other skincare products and environmentally friendly nappies. For every 10 nappy subscriptions they will purchase 1 acre of rainforest through the World Land Trust. Take a look at their website here. I haven’t tried out the nappies yet but I think that’s what this company should focus on and not products for babies.

I would love to hear what you think and if you think I have been too harsh?

Love always,

Izzy (MIM) xxx

 

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Best buys I have discovered for a new baby

Being one of the first of my friends to have a baby was so special as they all felt like they were pregnant and having a baby too and Sophia has lots of wonderful auntys and uncles surrounding her as she grows up. My baby shower was spectacular and full of the most beautiful and unique gifts.

My nursery was decorated in neutral shades and beautiful toys with a gorgeous star feature wall that I did myself  (see here)

*NEWS FLASH*

Babies/children do not like neutral, beautiful decor with wooden toys and trendy lights they like BIG UGLY PLASTIC COLOURFUL toys and walls to stimulate baby sensory. I don’t regret doing my nursery the way I did as I did it for Sophia and it is her room and now can be filled with the stuff she wants and enjoys.

I found the below to be savers in different situations, they are mostly inexpensive and when they are a little pricey they are well worth it. I highly recommend all the below for the first few months of life.

  1. Sleepyhead and Snuzpod *warning: controversial sleepyhead.jpg
    (Sophia fills the majority of it now at 17 weeks, she was about 2 weeks in the photo. You can unclip the bottom for more space)
    This may be very obvious for many and there are different variations. Now, I know this has had some press about the deaths in the USA but I have had lots and lots of friends that have used/are using the sleepyhead or even other sleep positions. The SleepyHead has not been wiped from shops and obviously I can’t tell you it is 100% safe so it is up to you whether you use it but all I can say is it has done us wonders. We can move it around easily, its comfortable for Sophia and it will help when we finally move her into her cot as the SleepyHead will be consistent.
    (Buy from John Lewis for £120)
    snuzpod
    We keep the sleepyhead in her Snuzpod – The Snuzpod encourages co-sleeping safely as it joins on to the bed and has a zip down cover to check/see or take them out into your bed. The zip down also protects from the cover going over them.
    (Buy the Snuzpod here they are not cheap at £199.95! We got ours very luckily as a lend from a friend but we would have bought it anyway and will for the next baby!)
  2. Tiny Love Take Along Mobile
    pink mobile
    This mobile works great because it detaches from the stick and becomes a clip on which easily attaches to the carry cot or car seat. This worked for some girls in my NCT group whose babies hated the car seat or travelling in the car, luckily Sophia doesn’t have a problem with that at all. I used this mostly for when we went to a restaurant/coffee shop and she was in the carry cot and I wanted to settle her down to sleep. She falls asleep with motion easily. I only used it when she needed to nap as I don’t like to ignore her and let her be by herself for too long. It makes lovely baby music and turns around, its so soothing it could put me to sleep sometimes. It can also be used for nighttimes over the cot but again we were very lucky in that Sophia doesn’t have a problem going to sleep at night.
    (You can buy from Precious Little One for £20.99)
  3. Lamaze Knot Toy

    This is great for when babies start to grab, Sophia started at around 12 weeks and she can still only grab thin hoops (she is currently 17 weeks) this was great because not only did it have thing hoops and her shapes for her to suck which were easy to clean it also has a rattle, squeaky toy, a mirror and other bits to tug and feel. I connect it on to her gym mat which is listed below or onto her pram to entertain her while out.
    (I brought mine from Amazon for under a tenner!)

  4. Milton Dummy Steriliser

    This is a life saver for two reasons – 1) it helps you to keep your dummies in a safe place so you won’t loose them. 2) keeps your dummies clean wherever they fall – panic over.

    You put the Milton tablet in cold water at the bottom, place the sponges on top, shake any excess water out, put the dummy in, twist it around a couple of times and voila! one in the mouth and one in the steriliser. easy.
    (Another Amazon order for under a tenner, make sure you get extra tablets too though)

  5.  Mamas and Papas Gym Matdscf2555.jpgThis is an essential for play time when they are newborns and through the first few months. At first (to be honest) it is just a comfy place for them to lie down but as they gain more and more awareness it becomes the perfect play mat. It has a mirror and 4 danglers, I sometimes add on the knot toy and she can lie on it for over an hour and she has only ever fallen asleep on it once so it is very stimulating but also allows you to do bits and pieces without watching her like a hawk (until they start rolling that is!) The Octopus legs make crunchy sounds or squeak too.
    (Try and get a discount on a parent day or ask for a consultant at Mamas and Papas)
  6. Tummy time Mat

    Sophia hates being on her tummy, the midwifes suggest 10 minutes a day but she wasn’t getting close to that. This mat helps her to go on her tummy while being entertained. It makes me feel like a better mother as tummy time is so important to strengthen their core.
    (Buy from Argos for £21.99)

  7. Nappy Bin

    As we live in a two bedroom flat all on one floor we thought we could take the nappies to the bin each time, we quickly learnt anything to make your life easier. This contains the smell and holds loads of nappies until you have to empty it. Really easy too. it comes out as a big sausage…mmm.
    (Its £10 on Amazon at the moment so snap it up)

  8. Changing bag

    Not only was this bag really reasonable but it is amazing and I always feel like I have everything, I am super organised and have my hands free if Sophia is in the sling (which will be in my travelling with a baby post). It has compartments for nappies, bottles, wipes etc… it comes with a changing mat and has loads of space for everything else. The front pocket can be used for quick grabs, I put hand sanitiser hand cream, Dr Paw Paw ( if you don’t have it, get it) and usually my house/car keys too.  Even now I shove a load of muslins in, I still manage to find everything.
    This bag could have gone in fashion and travel because it just has everything – style and practicality which is what you look for as a new mummy.
    (Bella Baby Changing Bag Mamas and Papas £31.20)

These are things I use every day and in situations where she has got a little grizzly or just every day things that made life easier. There are other hacks for travelling and teething which I will also blog about.

Love Always,

Izzy xxx

 

 

“Trust me i’m a doctor”

Now before I start this blog post, I wanted to write a caveat that I am not in anyway slandering the NHS or doctors, I have the utmost respect for them and feel so lucky to have the NHS. Doctors have been truly amazing throughout my pregnancy and birth and yes, I had some bad experiences but that would never make me judge the whole system and amazing doctors and medical staff we have in this country. The reason for this blog is to inform people that you don’t have to take what the doctors say as gospel and to make your own opinion up. It is very old fashioned nowadays to go with exactly what the doctors say.

I have had many experiences that have angered and of course the good outweighs the bad as I have a healthy beautiful daughter but along the way it could have caused some serious mental issues for myself.

The first was when I was told my baby had an Echogenic Bowel at my 20 week scan [Read about it here] we were scurried out of the room with no information because the sonographers are not trained on this type of thing, which is just ridiculous. I had to wait a week (the longest week of my life) to go to UCL to speak to another sonographer who didn’t give us much more information. If you read my blog you would know that the findings could mean my baby would have Cystic Fibrosis or Down Syndrome, now do you think that’s something for first time (or parents in general for that matter) to scurry out on their merry way?

Secondly, jabs whilst pregnant. I visited the doctors at 39 weeks and the vaccination nurse said “have you had your whopping cough injection yet?” and I replied “no, I don’t want it but thank you” My reasons being it has only been around for 5 years (while pregnant) and my baby is still developing in the womb, it just doesn’t feel right (for me!). I turned down the Flu jab for the same reason as I have never had the flu and it wasn’t worth the risk. The nurse replies “well then, your baby could die, just so you know that”. Now, if you look at statistics, the risk are very low and only during an outbreak it skyrocketed. I am very happy to get all jabs for my baby now she is here but while pregnant we are essentially rats as it hasn’t been around long enough to know all side effects. This is my own opinion which as I said at the beginning is all I am saying we should be allowed, not to be scare mongered. Low and behold I was in the next day after a very sleepless night to get the whopping cough injection and I did tell her to not speak to pregnant woman like that as it isn’t fair.

Lastly – post pregnancy, I went to the doctors for my 8 week check up (they didn’t do a 6 week check up at my doctors which is another negative on my surgery but anyway, I won’t digress) I said to my doctor, I have started exercising as I feel I have recovered, is that ok? I told her I was doing light weigh circuits to start with and will build it up and she said, “yes that’s fine, you are obviously concerned about getting back to your old shape, just so you know – you may never loose your belly”. Now, I have always been a firm believer that doctors should be nutritionally trained and will always stand by that, even though I know that will never happen because they make far too much money in pharmaceuticals and just giving out a prescription for everything and anything but SURELY, encouraging healthy eating and exercising should be the forefront of a doctors mind if they are going to dish out prescriptions? I was so shocked and not because I thought ‘oh no, I will never loose my belly’ (I didn’t have a 6 pack before so I am pretty happy with where I am) but because by saying that to  patients is 1. going to make people not bother eating well and exercising because whats the motivation? and 2. if you are not eating well and exercising and being told you will always have a belly and never look like yourself again – this could lead to postnatal depression.

I could list out a few more experiences but my point is, please don’t take what the doctors say as gospel. Take medication if you truly need it and read up the side effects and if the positives outweigh the negatives I.e. your condition is bad enough over the side effects. For example, I had piles (very common after pregnancy) and was given a prescription for some drugs to help heal, I didn’t think it was severe enough to take whilst breastfeeding (even though the doctor did say it was fine to) so I ate more fibre like fruit and healed it myself. My advice would always be to look at your diet first before accepting medication.

I hope this post is not too negative and as I said at the beginning, I have had some wonderful experiences, for example I owe the doctors at Barnet hospital my daughters life but for new mums to be or just parents in general, it can sometimes be daunting and scary being told certain things that will scare monger and with no previous experience, it can leave you feeling very down. Speak out to people, friend, family and support groups to gain more insight on things you are unsure of… don’t alway trust the doctor.

 

Love Always

Izzy

xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am back with a BABY <3

I am finally back after a loooong break. I am not going to apologise for my overdue post, purely because there is nothing more important than creating life and settling in to the new start for the little one. My whole view and perspective on life has changed and I needed to get my feet on the ground with motherhood before I could think about blogging again and 6 weeks later.. here I am 🙂

My blog has always been nothing but honest so I will say it has not been easy and definitely the biggest challenge to date, which I wasn’t naive to as your whole life is turned upside down and this human is solely dependent on you. Saying all this I can say with the utmost confidence that I have never  felt such pure contentment and happiness which I realise sounds like a juxtaposition but honestly there is nothing quite like it and although I saw/heard mothers say it, you cannot explain the feeling until you experience it. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world and to be honest, although millions have babies every day, I do have to count my blessings as I found my soulmate in my 20s, got married and made a miracle together, I know that doesn’t happen for everyone. I am now more in love with my husband which I didn’t think was possible but seeing him as a father is beautiful.

Birth Story

I am not going to blog my whole birth story (unless people really really want it?) my reasons are that I think it is unhelpful to people about to experience birth, if I tell you I had a wonderful experience – that’s great but doesn’t mean you will have that and if I tell you it was awful, that still may not happen as it is not your story, it’s mine and everyone has their own story, no matter how hard you think its going to be, you never really know. So I have decided to list the things that really helped me through my experience and I honestly believe its what helped me to have a good, strong labour.

  • Birthing Partner
    I honestly don’t know what I would of done without Sam. I can’t stress enough the importance of having a birth partner but one you know you will be able to work in a team with you and will be able to give you the support you need. The below points include Sam a lot and he knew what I wanted in my birth plan so he was able to help me in that direction.
  • Write a letter to your birth partner
    Just because I know Sam was preoccupied at work and my sole focus was the birth on the lead up, I wanted to ensure he knew and remembered all the points I had in my birth plan. Instead of writing a stringent birth plan agenda which you will just be annoyed if it doesn’t go to plan, I wrote things for Sam to remember but also to give him something to feel useful, which by the way he really was. It had points such as ‘if they give me a student midwife with no senior – refuse and find a senior’ ‘help me to focus on my breathing’ ‘put on some music when I need distracting’ ‘plug in diffuser with lavender drops’ etc etc. Just little things for him to think about which might slip my mind during labour.
  • Massages
    Sam and I went to a prenatal birthing workshop (keep an eye on here for workshops if you’re in the north London area – North London Yoga) We learnt a lot of massage and breathing techniques to get through the labour. There was lots of different ones you could choose what worked for you. Sam did so many massages during labour that he even complained about his hands aching after I just gave birth…you can imagine the look on my face.
    There was a massage where he would move up my back during the contractions in three stages until the contraction was over, I preferred this to using the tens machine which helped for a little bit. Another one I liked was his hands firmly on my lower back just to know he was there to support me, this is great if you don’t like a lot of talking in your ear during contractions or surges as they are now called. This was such a helpful course and kept Sam and I as a proper team throughout, I felt so connected with him and made it an incredible experience that I shall never forget and for the right reasons!
  • Yoga
    Again have a look at  North London Yoga for prenatal yoga courses. Jackie was my teacher and was so incredible, it was also a great course to meet other mummies to be too, I actually was put in a room next to one of the girls after I gave birth in the hospital which was hilarious and so good to see her and catch up post birth, we now talk regularly.
    Yoga helps to relieve any anxiety, keep a strong mind, strengthen your core and pelvis for a strong delivery and keep fit with gentle exercises. Not only that but it was also great to ask Jackie about birth and get her to answer any questions as she has a lot of experience behind her including 3 different birth stories herself.
  • Breathing Techniques
    Like the massages there is many breathing techniques to choose from and it is whatever works for you. I had a few I thought I would use but actually during labour I only used straw breathing which is literally what it says on the tin. You breathe through a straw to slow down and focus on your breathing, breathe in through your nose – not the straw and just breath out slowly through the straw and hold your hand at the end to feel the air. When I was 9cm dilated (unknown to myself) I kept almost loosing my head and Sam would say breath, breath breathe – focus, focus, focus and this is what got me through. Its easy to remember and you don’t have to think about anything else.
    I actually used the other breathing and meditating techniques I learnt when I was told I needed to be induced as this was not in my birth plan and it sent me into a bit of anxiety, I used the techniques and was able to shortly get back on track and have a strong mind for my birth.

So that’s it, thats all the points I have, not too many but I honestly believe its all you need and if you have a strong mind you are able to have a strong birth. I know this won’t apply to everyone and unfortunately things happen which don’t go to plan but try these to at least give you a good chance. I think if you loose your head, your body listens and that’s when things can go wrong.

Getting monitored just before the contractions started!

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Below is the start of my contractions, straw in hand. I think this was the last photo of bump!

birth2

Sophia Annabelle Woodward

It is honestly true what people say, you forget everything once you have that beautiful baby in your arms, it is the most incredible feeling in the world.. I really mean that, nothing can feel better than that.

She is the most perfect thing and obviously I know I am totally biased but I say to my husband, I am pretty sure we have the most beautiful baby in the world, I have never seen something so beautiful and I have seen some beautiful babies. I also say to him, we might have a hideous looking baby and be completely blind as I think everyone finds their own baby the most perfect but who cares as we are completely and utterly besotted.

birth3birth4

My hair was such a mess but I had no make-up on so I strongly recommend getting individual eyelashes if anything. I don’t really like the made up look after giving birth, its such a natural beautiful thing. birth5

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6 lbs, 4 oz of perfect. birth8

This was around a couple of hours after giving birth, I had so much energy for the pushing (out in half hour) and my labour went very fast which gave me the energy I needed but after it all, it hit me! birth9birth10birth11

Lots of love,

Izzy & SOPHIA xxx

 

 

Third Trimester Update

I can’t actually believe this is my third trimester and I only have 7 weeks left until my due date. 7 Weeks! That’s like 4 weeks and then 3 or…5 weeks and then 2!! It feels like it was my 6 month mark yesterday and now we are in 8. It’s amazing and so, so exciting. It is still the longest waiting game ever and I am the most impatient person on the planet, we cannot wait to meet our little Sophia.

So third trimester. A lot has happened. I am going to keep this as short as possible but please bare in mind this is still a lengthily post. I also don’t want to scare anyone, this was just my experience and the NHS are so thorough these days so they check for everything which might be nothing. I had never heard about these things so I think it is important for me to speak about it in the hope someone can get some information or not feel like they are the only ones going through it. Pregnancy has not been completely easy and straight forward for me and that is what I have learnt, I know some people love it (my sister being one) and I really thought I would, as I embrace every situation I am in and I like to be a positive person but unfortunately it just didn’t go that way and hopefully my next pregnancy will be better.

The Lows

20 week scan anomaly

On our 20 week scan (anomaly scan) an Echogenic Bowel was found. Don’t worry, we had no idea what this was either. It is basically where the bowel shows up brighter than it should, as close to bone density. What does this mean? 97% it could be absolutely nothing and just shows up but goes away slowly. I put the 97% in bold but in reality I had put myself into the 3% box straight away and thought the worst.

I found the staff at Chase Farm Hospital so unhelpful, they couldn’t give us any information or answer any of our questions. We were referred to UCL hospital where when I rung to check when our appointment was 3 days later I found out they had forgot to submit the paperwork so I got Barnet to re-submit which I found to be so much more efficient during this whole process.

Sam and I had to look up the NHS report on echogenic bowel to get some answers. We found out it heightens the risk of a chromosomal abnormalities, however, our risk was low for Downs Syndrome and this was the only ‘soft marker’ (this is what they call a indicator of certain abnormalities, there is a lot of these they can find during scans). The other possibility was Cystic Fibrosis. So, those were worst case scenarios. On the other scale it could also be a virus I was carrying which could potentially be harmful to the baby, an internal bleed where the baby has swallowed some blood but is completely harm-LESS to the baby but just shows up OR finally, our babies size could be a risk factor and she could be a small baby. We opted against the amniotic fluid test (100% accurate) as this has high risk for miscarrying. We  did however do the Harmony test which is 99.5% accurate and this came back as low risk for us which was a huge relief. So that pretty much ruled out DS. Sam and I had blood tests for Cystic Fibrosis as we both need to carry the faulty gene for her to have it, neither of us were carriers. I didn’t show up for any of the virus’s they checked for and we are having regular scans for her growth which she is doing bang on average. So we can now put ourselves in the 97% box which I am so relived and happy about to say the least.
People always say ‘all I wish for is a healthy baby’ I think I say this with 100% meaning, I really don’t care about the colour of her eyes – I just want to make sure she comes out with no health problems. I know people live great, happy lives but obviously you wish for the best for your child and I hope she has the best life she can have.

This was obviously the biggest low and very difficult for Sam and I to go through. The tests and appointments lasted for around a couple of weeks but it felt like forever. We can now go back to enjoying the rest of our pregnancy.

Reduced Movements and Anterior Placenta

The second low is nothing really compared to the above but it caused me a lot of anxiety and probably linked to the above situation. Sophia moves a lot now but because of my Anterior placenta which is basically the placenta at the front rather than the back it works as a cushion, so the movements are not as strong as someone with a posterior placenta. So this means it took a lot longer (around 24 weeks) to feel any movements. I would feel her kicking and moving and then one day – the kicks were fainter and not as much which scared me as you have to keep an eye on your pattern. I went to Triage which is a 24hour call line and they have a service at the hospital where you can go in to tell them your problem and they assist or advise you where to go. I was before 30 weeks so she checked the heartbeat and said everything was fine and then, low and behold she started kicking as I got there!

It happened a second time the other week – at 32 weeks, she was moving so much and then nothing. As I was 30 weeks + I went to the hospital where they hooked me up to a monitor and asked me to press a buzzer every time she moved and looked at her heart beat. Everything looked fine and they gave me some chocolate biscuits and orange juice which I didn’t like at first as I am very health conscious and I don’t believe refined and processed sugary treats can be good for you in anyway and it something I hate about the NHS – they need to be nutritionally trained! However on this occasion, I was amazed that she did kick and her heart beat was stronger straight after I ate the biscuits. We stayed there from 7.30pm – 10pm and she started to move so much more and I was relaxed that she was OK when we left. All I can say is – if you have ANY worries go to the hospital or ring Triage as it is a great service and that is what it is there for. I have now realised that Sophia’s pattern is to move rapidly and a lot for one day and then on another day it will be a ‘chill out day’ and that’s just her – every baby is different, that’s the key.

The Highs

Getting my energy back

I write this with a little resentment as my energy has recently disappeared again but nothing compared to the first and second trimester. I managed a few nights out with friends until late and really enjoyed myself. My baby shower at 32 weeks was amazing and I lasted the whole day although the next day I did feel like I had drunk a bottle of vodka which I think is so unfair seeing as I had no alcohol, I want to wake up refreshed. All in all though i feel the best I have throughout the whole pregnancy and I look forward to meeting up with people or having people over.

My Bump

I LOVE my bump. It took until the third trimester to show but now that it is here, I love it. Every time I see it I can see our little girl in there and it puts a smile on my face. Sam loves seeing my bump grow and he mentions it and feels it before we go to bed, he sometimes even talks to her. I am usually wearing my t-shirt rolled up as I like my bump to hang out. Here is the latest bump photos, I even love my pregnancy line. No stretch marks yet and no outy belly button but I do think I will get one.

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Nesting

As you might know, I was very prepared with my DIY projects and getting the nursery ready (DIY: Renovating IKEA Chest of Drawers for the Nursery and DIY Nursery Project No.2) So I feel like I have just really enjoyed getting the little odd bits and pieces ready. I have started nesting from day 1 and already feel like I am a mummy.  I made an ‘S’ for Sophia with paper flowers which I love and will do a post on this soon.

IMG_3025.JPG We put some beautiful prints up and have just got the nursery to a beautiful stage, my favourite room of the house. It’s so calming. We were showered with so many generous gifts at the baby shower which I will also do a post on soon. I have just washed all her new and hand-me-down clothes and packed them away in age order (newborn or 3 months +, we also have a few 6 month pajamas but not much). The house is officially baby ready and ready to welcome Sophia into a warm and loving home, all we need now is YOU Sophia!

The third trimester (after the results came through from the echogenic bowel findings) has been my favourite, it’s how I wish the whole pregnancy has gone. I feel glowing, I love showing my bump off, I feel a lot more alert and up for doing things and plus we only have 7 weeks left so the countdown is on and we are so excited.

Love Always

Izzy

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Baby Shower

I have this joke where I call my friends Beyonce’s, the reason being is because they are all glamorous, empowering women with ambition that drives you to want to do better, they all believe in confidence in beauty and body image and we all give each other that boost of confidence we need and deserve. They believe in getting the most out of life and just basically are all round Beyonce’s in my eyes. None of my friends would say anything to bring the other down, they help me to milk my moments and I am so grateful to have such a strong amazing circle of friends.

It’s so special to have all my closest friends and family in one room and as I have grown up I have brought people into my life that I think are meant to be there forever and are so special to me. As I looked around the room at my nearest and dearest and they really are all so special to me, every single one, I think to myself how well I have done in choosing my close circuit as I have the best humans on the planet in one room. The girls organised a fabulous baby shower full of Instragrammable (this word needs to be put into the English dictionary already!) decorations and fun games which was a day full of  laughter and happiness. It truly was perfect.

A picture paints a thousand words as they say, so let me show you what I mean. Firstly the Instagrammable decorations:

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The fabulous cake was from Anges de Sucre who do THE most amazing cakes for all occasions and yes if you haven’t guessed already we are calling her Sophia :).

Secondly, the games, laughter, happiness and pure fun we had on the day:

gamesMy baby shower was held at my local pub – The Kings Head, a beautiful gastro pub with the most delicious food and a great atmosphere. Ticked all the boxes and it delivered with such a great venue. The service was a little slow but to be honest I much preferred that than to being rushed.

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I chose the chicken burger with skinny fries, it was so so good. The happiest you will find me is with food in front of me.

Now for the glam completed by my Beyonce’s:

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Baby Lottie with Emma, the most chilled baby ever!

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My sister and I – the best bump buddies and due within a week of each other!

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From left to right: my aunty Sally (she is not to keen on being called Great aunt Sally, doesn’t sound the sexiest), my mother – Grandma Babs to-be, me (obviously) and my Mother in Law – Grandma Vee to-be.

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What I really loved is that the boys (husbands and partners) were in the pub area around the corner so they were able to be involved in some way. Sam’s thoughts were they would drink beer and watch the footy but it made me laugh as the footy wasn’t on and they looked after all the dogs as the restaurant area (where we were) is not dog friendly. They also got given the babies if things got too much so basically ended up baby sitting duties while we had all the fun.

This is my dad with my sisters dog, Oscar and obviously me and Sam very proud that we have made a baby together.

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My comical uncle Ben with our Frank, the two of them get on so well together, best of buddies.Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

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Finally, the gifts Sophia has been showered with, she is already a spoilt little princess. The day was beyond special and I am sure you can see how much I enjoyed it in these photos:

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My dress was from ASOS maternity, unfortuently this style is now sold out but the range on ASOS is so vast and is my favourite for styles, click here to browse. My hair was done by Winchmores Hair and beauty:

If you would like any more information on the baby shower details, please comment below. This was already a long post so happy to go into more detail on anything you wanted to know.

Love Always

Izzy x

Healthy Breakfast Muffins!

This is a great recipe if you’re trying to be healthy on-the-go, if you are breastfeeding for those 3am feeds (for you), if you are a busy mum and want something healthy in the house for you and the kids or if you are pregnant and, like me , all you think about is food but don’t want to keep reaching for the biscuit tin.

All in all, it’s a pretty good all time recipe. This is literally the quickest recipe. It takes the same time as it would to puree some food for your baby so no excuses and you can freeze them. It has no refined sugar and GF.

Bear in mind, I have adapted and made this recipe up so I don’t measure, I work with a bit here and a bit of that there so use the below as a guideline. I didn’t do enough batter for all the cupcake cases but I like to eat them fresh and they only last 3 days max so it works for me to have less.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 Cup of oats
1 1/2 Large bananas or two small
1 tbsp Greek yogurt
1 tbsp Honey
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Baking powder
2 Eggs
Pinch of salt
1 Handful of sultanas

Method:
Put all ingredients apart from the sultanas into a blender. Blend until smooth.
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Open lid, add sultanas give it a good stir and put into cases.

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Cook at 180oc for 15 minutes. Leave to cool for 10-15 mins. Enjoy!

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This could not be easier and you can mix it up and swap the sultanas for blueberries, berries, chocolate chips or coconut. Delicious!

 

Love Always

Izzy

xxx

 

My Top Maternity Jeans

Buying jeans can be a challenge already but when also having to search through the limited selection of maternity wear, it can make it even more testing. You don’t want to be spending the same amount as you would for non-maternity jeans as it is only 9 months and lets be honest it’s only actually the last few months we can make the most of our maternity clothes, so you do want value for money. I am currently 29+3 pregnant (7 months) in these photos but have been wearing all three jeans since month 5 of pregnancy.

The first jeans are from Gap Maternity Range called the Inset True Skinny (£44.95).
Gap has three types of maternity jeans: Full, Demi and Inset. The Full is complete band for over the bump, the Demi is a smaller band for just the bottom of the bump and the inset is the side panels for stretching around the bump. I went for the inset because they can be used for the beginning of maternity and grow with your bump, they can also be worn post maternity without looking like proper maternity jeans.
I would suggest going for smaller than your normal size as I went for 27 inches (size 10) and I find myself pulling them up quite a lot. I did try with a belt but I don’t feel comfortable with any restrictions on my bump.

They are great for a casual lunch or day out with flip flops but can also be dressed up with some wedges or heels (if you are comfortable wearing them whilst pregnant). You can see the side panel here:

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These jeans also look great with a pretty blouse if you have a nice event you want to go to but want to wear jeans:

The second jeans are my comfiest pair from Jo Jo Maman Bebe in the Dark Wash, Super Stretch Maternity Skinny Jeans (£35)
They have a full band which goes right over the bump so you will not have to worry about pulling these jeans up at all. It’s a really light material over your bump so you almost forget it is even there. I really like that these are full length so you can wear them with boots, flat shoes, sandals or heels. Other than leggings, these are what I will grab to put on if I am popping out, walking Frank or don’t know what to wear. As they are smart you can dress them up or down and they are a really flattering fit.

My last pair of jeans I want to share with you are the Topshop Maternity Blue Rip Jamie Jeans (£42) You might of seen them in my Maternity Wear Style post.
These are the most stylish maternity jeans I own for a more casual look. I own these in non-maternity, so I knew that they would suit me. I love the rips as they are not standard maternity and have a bit of edge to them rather than just focusing on the comfort aspect which of course is important but these are also very comfy.
They have a mid band which sits below your bump, I have found they are much comfier once you have a bigger bump as the band supports the bottom and when your bump is smaller, it can tend to slip off.

My bum looks good in them too which is hard to find in maternity wear!

I have searched and tried on many different maternity jeans and styles and I found these were my top three because they ticked all the boxes in terms of comfort, style, versatility and flattering fit. I hope this helped you narrow down your search as even if I have directed you to these three stores, I think they have some of the best jean options on the market.

Love Always

Izzy

xxx