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The little things in life.. Pre-baby Holiday - Fuerteventura



This week we have been on holiday in Fuerteventura for a week of sunshine and rest, and some time away together making the most of it being just us! Holidays may be a little different going forward!

I have been to Spain a few times but never the Canary Islands, Fuerteventura is beautiful and I think that one day we may go back. It is only a just over 3 hours flight away-  that was a big selling point, for a pregnant lady and also finding somewhere that is warm at this time of year was quite restricting. The weather was good considering it's January, mainly sunny but we did have the odd shower and cloudy few hours. Overall we were lucky! Not bad seeing as we have come home to lots of rain and wind, I think it was 3 degrees when we landed back at Manchester - brrr!


Whilst we were in Fuerteventura we also took the ferry over to Lanzarote, Playa Blanca. It was only a 30 minute trip over the sea and well worth the visit. The marina there is beautiful and there was a lovely little market there that I really enjoyed wandering around, we may well go back here one day too! This is Ben having Paella at the Marina, one of my highlights from our holiday is all the meals out together.




I spent some time before we went away trying to pack my bag stropping around like a teenager, because I looked ridiculous in most things - or that’s how I felt at least. The 'what to wear on the beach whilst pregnant' topic is often seen in magazines and in pregnancy books etc. - some people prefer to cover up and others like to wear their bump loud and proud. I was in a mixed camp! But not for any other reason than confidence. Although I love my bump and I AM proud of it (it’s been hard work so far growing this tummy!) I do feel more naked than ever when stood in my pants or a bikini. I did wear a bikini maybe twice on holiday and actually it wasn’t too bad once I was used to it! But lucky or not (for the other holiday makers and locals at least),  it wasn't quite warm enough to parade around in my skimpies!

I can't not share a bump photo can I? So here we go this is as proud as you are getting this time!




Most of the week was spent on the beach relaxing or looking around the town of Corralejo. Its a lively little fishing town, or what I would expect to be a little more lively in the peaks of summer anyway. We did quite a lot of walking as the beach we grew to like was about a mile along the coast, but it was a nice walk down to it along the seafront. There were lots of beaches but the one we used most days was more sheltered from the wind (it’s a very windy island - which is why it’s so popular for water sports) and was right near the harbour, so lots to see when we were down there. To the one side of where we are staying were miles and miles of sand dunes, that were untouched. The beaches along the seafront there were used by the kite surfers and to stop and watch them was brilliant, some of the waves are huge! We did walk down here one day and I thought my hips had stopped working but it was at the end of the day and I was a little tired! It was too pretty and quiet not to go back again, so we got a lazy taxi the next time!!!! Although walking across the dunes to the front with the wind as powerful as it was, was like being sand blasted! I thought my legs were going to bleed! Good exfoliation though perhaps?!


We went on an all- inclusive holiday but once we were there we really didn't make the most of it as there was too many nice little cafes and restaurants to try. I think its reminded us that we prefer not to be tied down with all- inclusive but we like to explore. Part of the reason we booked it though was that we thought it would be relaxing, no effort needed and that its often cheaper in the long run but we ended up being out all day and eating out anyway - false economy!

One thing I found quite frustrating about the food on holiday was the shellfish, cured meats and nice cheese on offer in both the restaurants and at the hotel, I was worried with being pregnant about the "guidelines" of what you should eat and shouldn’t, but even more so because I was away and really didn't fancy being unwell whilst away. Especially because I had been feeling so well and the thought of being in hospital or at the doctors away is a bit scary! I am careful at home but not to the extremes I was on holiday. As it turns out it seems I picked up a Gastro bug on my way back home anyway and returned home with a fever, the shakes and sickness - just when I hoped I would feel all recharged! The flight home was ummm... interesting, I think if I was Ben I would have disowned me and left me there! Thankfully I am back to health now and feeling quite refreshed!

I really would recommend anyone to go away when pregnant for that week of rest before it’s a little more difficult to be able to do it. It was a treat just to be able to read a book, have a walk with my husband and generally do as I pleased without the stresses and strains of work, getting ready for baby and general normal day to day things.

A few more little photos...






Lots of Love,
Hayley xxx

The little things in life... Thinking positive (guest post)


Since I have been pregnant all I have heard is scary stories about labour and delivery, it seems everyone wants to tell you all the bad bits, maybe they forget the good bits or maybe there aren't any?! I know that isn't true but it does make you wonder at times. I have asked my sister Tash to share her experience with us to see what it's really like, or how it was for her anyway (I know everyone is different but I wanted some positivity for us mums to be!).

This is Tash at my wedding with her little boy, Daniel: 


 Tash's experience

You hear a lot of stories about peoples labours and how some were absolutely horrendous... And they swear down they will never go back again!! It's funny how people always do end up back there years later, if it was that bad why put your self through it all over again? Or why consider it at all in the first place if all you hear is negativity? I'm here to tell you about the labours I've experienced; two very different deliveries but both wonderful in the end when I look at the end result.

With my first I had a pretty rough ride during pregnancy, I was sick all the way through from 6 weeks. Every night without fail it was horrendous and I would be nauseous throughout the day. Why call it morning sickness?! 

Anyway my labour went something like this. My waters broke at 35 weeks, it wasn't until this happened I found out we actually have two sets of waters, front and back. It turns out only the front had gone and baby wasn't necessarily ready to arrive. Being a young mum it was all very new and scary to me. There was no sign of labour due to my body producing more water than I lost. They kept me going for another 2 weeks by having a scan and blood test every three days to check baby was ok and there was no infections starting. Those two weeks looking back were hard work, I despise waiting.. But they make me smile as my mum tried everything to help begin labour for me from going on the back of a quad bike with my dad, trampolining, driving me in her jeep down a country lane, and I was absolutely sick to death of pineapples!! Crazy!! 

But... still nothing! So I was given an induction date, three sets of gel it took me to begin my labour, I had been in hospital for three days already and so was beginning to think my little boy was never going to become. But the contractions started to progress. Eventually at 6.30pm I was taken on to the labour ward. He was positioned back to back so as you can imagine it was quite painful. I wasn't quite prepared for how labour would be but in this instance I wanted help! Pethadine made me sick, gas and air didn't help so after 6 hours I asked for an epidural. Unfortunately as I was put on a drip to speed up labour my body went from 5cm to 10cm dilated very quickly and I found it difficult to stay still and it was a little too late- the epidural only worked on one side. Marvellous!!! So I had a pretty rough ride... Eventually my little monkey turned last minute in the birth canal and was born at 4.59am Saturday 16 may 2009 weighing 7lbs 3oz at 37 weeks 2days he was gorgeous, my little man is now four years old and is a little heartbreaker!



Although it felt bad at the time, was it really that awful?! Or would I have contemplated it again?!

My second pregnancy was completely different it was like a dream pregnancy that you hear about and think to yourself this can't be real!! I had the usual morning sickness right up to the 12 week period and that was all. Yes I suffered from cramps in the night and killer heartburn towards the end but other that you wouldn't of known I was pregnant apart from the huge belly :) Everyone told me I was definitely having a girl this time because of the total opposite symptoms, I never believed them as I always thought I'd end up with two boys!! I was so wrong, when I went for my 20 week scan and was told I was having a girl I couldn't believe it; I am actually one of those lucky people who have one of each! 

My little angel decided to keep everyone waiting, I was due 30th of October 2014 and everyone kept saying she would make an appearance on either her daddy's birthday (22nd October) or my birthday (3rd November) but no she had other ideas as she kept me waiting until 40weeks 3 days. I'd never been this far before and was feeling very big, uncomfortable and fed up!

 I woke in the night at 3 am with period type pains and then went to sit in the bath for hours! These griping pains were not moving! this was definitely not Braxton hicks this time!! My mum came around at about lunchtime and gave me a foot spa and pedicure, my toes looked very pretty! By 3pm the pains were lasting longer and they were every five minutes, I thought okay I best ring hospital!!! I'd lasted a fair few hours at home and was so pleased with myself as my plan was to cope at home as long as I could and remain calm and positive, I knew this would be easier at home. We dropped my son off to my sisters house but I think I may of scared her, she said I was hanging off the wall and had very blue lips! I can't remember any of this! When we got into the hospital I was 5cm dilated, I was so pleased :)

 I was dead set on having a water birth but because I was measuring bigger they said I couldn't due to needing two midwives when the time would come to push I was gutted!!! Two labours now where I've had too miss out!! ( so Hayley try the pool out for me when your time comes) But I was adamant this labour was going to be positive! I managed on gas and air the whole time, it was definitely my friend this time. I stood up the whole time as I had seen on programmes like One born every minute how this seemed to help, this must have because by the time the midwife examined me I was 10cm!!! She was shocked how fast my body had dilated and my waters still hadn't gone. Once my waters broke I was pushing for all of 10 minutes on all fours, I really do recommend this position. 

I was doing really well until it got to the point I was demanding an epidural but it was too late by then! All I can remember is what my sister once told me, when you feel you're going to fall apart and losing control it's you're body telling you it's time for this baby to escape and you are at the end! And she was right as within seconds my little girl was between my legs weighing a whopping 8lbs 9oz. At 7.03pm on the 2nd of November 2014, a few more hours and we would of been sharing a birthday. Mollie Amelia Rose is my little princess and she was the best early birthday present I could of asked for!


Labour isn't easy but you get the best gift at the end of it and the sense of pride you get after is amazing. I honestly think it's all to do with attitude and remaining positive, staying calm and listening to your body, it is after all what us ladies were made for! So even though I have just told you my stories, make your own and don't absorb others negativity as it will get you nowhere and just cause unnecessary tension which won't allow your mind and body to do its job easily. 

Love Tash xxx

The little things in life... Skincare

When I set up the blog I did mention I would review products that I have been using, trying or that I just love! 

Here goes.... I don't like to moan too much (since I have started writing this I've noticed I do though!) but at the moment I come across a lot of companies selling things through reps like health care products, fitness products, skin care etc and even though I work in sales myself it drives me mad! I like to be shown something and then make up my own mind not be pushed and pushed and pushed to try something when I don't want to!

 However.. My aunt is an ambassador for Tropic Skincare and when I heard about the products I really wanted to try them out as I had heard lots about the brand from not only her but I had also seen the founder Susan Ma on The Apprentice! And importantly to me I wasn't forced into it and didn't have the products pretty much chucked at me to buy.

http://www.tropicskincare.com/ 
I went to a small party she held at her house where she offered facials and where we could look and feel the products, all really casual and informal- the way these other companies should be!! The products are all made from pure plants extracts, no nasty chemicals which to me sounded perfect and made sense if you wanted your skin to naturally improve and be healthier. 

I didn't actually buy anything as I was still at the stage where pregnancy sickness was distracting me but my birthday and then Christmas were not far away and I got some goodies as presents!

 First I got the eyebrow defining set, in ochre. It comes with templates so you can use them if you want to have a more defined, structured shape, the eye pallet itself which has the ochre shade and a highlighter for under the brow and then a useful double ended brush to apply! I have used the templates but i do tend to just freehand at the moment and just draw over my natural brow shape. I love this product, I will always be honest about products and this really is so easy and effective and so much cheaper than a set of HD brows and you can use it time and time again! (excuse the dark circles under my eyes!!) I have gone quite light on here but you can make them as dark as you wish for different situations, in seconds!


Then for Christmas I had the skincare set as a present, something I was going to invest in after Christmas anyway as my sister had been using it for a few weeks and really liked it. In this set I had a cleanser, a toning spritz, a moisturiser (skin revive), a facial scrub and a really soft bamboo cloth to use with the products. Before this I was using Protocol skincare along with a few other bits from Simple and Estée Lauder, some of which I love and will continue to use as and when. 

I find the Tropic really kind to my skin, no irritation, no greasiness (which I do find with some high street products) and I haven't had any breakouts! Always good! The only thing I am not 100% on is the toner and I think that's just because I like a toner that makes my skin feel much tighter and this as much as it feels refreshing and makes your skin soft I don't get that same feeling with it. I am sure its because the high street brands can be too harsh at times though and I'm not used to something so gentle!The cleanser though- I love! And well... the scrub! I will never not have this product again!

While I've been on holiday I've not used many products because of baggage allowance and I also have a tendency to lose things! But my couldn't live with outs have included:

- Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula- obviously good for the stretching my poor body is going through and I love the smell! Chocoholics dream! I have tried Bio Oil for my bump but it's so greasy and stains everything, so that's not for me which is a shame because people do rave about it for stretch marks. I'm yet to crack my first stretch mark but there is plenty of time for them to appear yet! I am also using a pure coconut oil for my bump, thighs and bust, as much as it's a pain as it tends to go back to solid form easily and you have to warm it on the radiator or hair dry it!!! But for an oil it feels nice and it's dry so it's not sticky, if only it was easier to use though. 

- Vaseline - the Rose tinted one is perfect for holidays, to add a bit of moisture and shine to your lips but without being OTT as I don't like to wear much make up when I'm away. I don't go far without my mini tin! 

- Estée Lauder Spotlight- a light primer with a slight shimmer that really brightens up my complexion and smooths it out. I used it for my wedding day and I won't be without it now! I also use their foundations most of the time but I'll talk about them another day. 




Well that's it for now! 

Lots of love,
Hayley xxxx

The little things in life... Half way there

So I'm now almost 25 weeks, most definitely more than half way there now to meeting our baby. 

These last few weeks have been like a completely different pregnancy, I actually feel human most of the time! I wouldn't say I feel 100% normal but it's good enough for me! I wake up without feeling sick, I'm able to eat easily, I have more energy and can stay up past 9pm!! 

I have now really popped out and my bump is really quite round, it's only this past few weeks people have started to ask if I'm pregnant and comment on my tummy, still brave if you ask me! I don't think I'd ask someone that I didn't know if they were expecting, imagine if they weren't! 😳 


This was me almost 2 weeks ago, I wouldn't say it's grown much more since then but it does tend to change shape throughout the day and sometimes makes things uncomfortable and feel very tight. This past few weeks the movements have been full on baby movements, it no longer feels as if my tummy is a fish bowl with the tinker swimming around, instead sudden movements in there make me jump out of my skin sometimes! She also now reacts when I tap, which is really reassuring and nice but annoyingly if I lie on my side where she must be I get a constant jabbing, so at night it's like a battle of how I can sleep without being boxed by the baby! I can't help but laugh though! I also find myself sat staring at my tummy as it moves around in waves or jumps as she moves inside. A little alien like really!!! 

Having a tummy is something I'm still not  really used to, it often gets in the way and I am starting to find it quite depressing not fitting into anything or without looking like I've squashed myself into Lycra! Time for some more maternity wear maybe?!? I have a girly day planned next week that both my sister Tash and sister in law Amy have arranged, so maybe I can find a few more bits then to fit me for a while longer!
I'm sure on my babymoon post I'll have a photo or two of us on holiday but we shall see how brave I get! 



 Something I was always told by one of my friends is that when you have a baby you may lose some friends that aren't really interested but you'll also make more valuable friends through your pregnancy and baby! I was a little sceptical and in one respect I have been right.. So far. I've not lost any friends just yet but I think most have babies or at the point in their life where they are settled so maybe that bit doesn't really apply anyway? But I have already made new friends and been brought closer to old friends from school, college, work and university etc that are also expecting! Ive never known so many pregnant people at one time! I've also made new friends, pregnancy can be quite frightening and make you feel quite vulnerable and I think us pregnant ladies tend to be drawn to one another somehow for support and to compare notes! Or photos of how fat we are looking that week!!! It has surprised me since being pregnant and talking to all these lovely ladies how it's not easy at all, I don't think I can think of one lovely mummy or mummy to be that hasn't had a complication or worry of some kind! I don't want to scare anyone who hasnt had a baby just yet because the majority of the time they can be minor and it's all worth it, or so I am told! But on the positive side  (I promised I wouldn't be too depressing!!!) it's lovely to have something in common with so many ladies at the same time :) xx

I really need to start getting ready for baby's arrival now, if anyone has any helpful lists that would be useful!!! I don't honestly know where to start! I have baby vests coming out of my ears but other than that not a lot and I expect I may need a few more things!! 

Well, I best get back to having a nap in the Spanish sun while I can! It'll soon be over and we will be back to work! 

Lots of love, 

Hayley xxxx


The Little Things in life... 18 weeks on the bathroom floor


I think the title of this gives it away a little, I’m referring to pregnancy and the only ability I had for pretty much 18 weeks. Well okay it may be a little less than that because it didn’t come crashing down on me until probably 6/7 weeks into the pregnancy. But my god it feels like an absolute lifetime looking back.

I was so excited to start a family with Ben, other than Bobby the dog of course and couldn’t wait until the day we got the news we were after. And as a huge surprise to me, it didn’t take long and before we knew it and had much time to think about it, it happened! We were lucky really looking back, I have known friends and colleagues that have spent a long time wishing for a child and to find it can take years to get what they always wanted. It must be so frustrating and heartbreaking.

I felt great at first, but not pregnant. I am not sure what I expected it to feel like but that wasn’t it, I felt.. nothing! Okay so I was tired but that’s nothing unusual for me! I would wonder sometimes if it was how it would just be for my pregnancy or maybe something wasn't right and my hormones were not doing what they should be to protect that little bean! You do hear about people who sail through pregnancy without a symptom though so I thought wow! maybe for a change I am the lucky one, who says pregnancy is awful?! Me! I shouldn't have had conned myself! By 6/7 weeks I started to get nauseous like I had never felt before, dizzy, sick, faint and shaky. It was awful, think of your worst hangover and stick with it for weeks! This was morning sickness. Not at its worse.

After a few weeks of random sickness and other pregnancy symptoms like acne, trapped wind and head aches (oh such a joy!)  it hit me and I would find myself sat on the bathroom floor for long periods of time for hours a day just wishing I could have a drink or nibble on something like a ginger biscuit. Everyone tells you when you are pregnant "little and often" or "pull yourself together, its mind over matter". I can tell you, if only that was true! At about 9 weeks I had to go to the doctors, I couldn’t handle it anymore and I was worried it was getting out of control. It was starting to not only affect my health and obviously I had concern for the baby too but also my work and my home life were affected. I spent most of the time in bed! I felt a bit of a failure and a bit of a wimp because I couldn't cope anymore. The doctors prescribed me some Cyclizine. Sadly this didn’t quite do the trick for me, in fact it made me a million times worse! It can affect your blood pressure, causing it to drop suddenly and make the room spin and your eyes see flashing lights as well as the jaundice it brought out in my skin and eyes! So no... I stopped that. I do know people though however that this drug has suited and done the trick.

Next up was a form of Stemetil. Now this, thank goodness did the trick! It didn’t remove the nausea, and I felt sick ALL of the time until around 16/17 weeks and I felt weak and basically rubbish! BUT it stopped MOST of the actual vomiting which allowed me to drink most importantly and start to eat normally again. I learnt during this time about Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG), it’s something I knew as severe morning sickness, and that Kate Middleton had in fact been hospitalised with it! I also knew of my aunt who had also been very poorly with the condition and had also been hospitalised for long periods of time when pregnant. But I didn’t know that much about it at all...

If you don’t know about it then there are lots of sites you can read up on it from such as this:

http://www.pregnancysicknesssupport.org.uk/help/hyperemesis-gravidarum/

I was diagnosed with HG, but I must say as much as I felt out of control and that my world was ending (very dramatic!!!!) there are different levels of severity and there are much, much worse cases than mine! I was lucky that I got myself treated before it took too much of a hold, but some girls jut think it’s part of pregnancy and try to "deal" with it. It’s not just morning sickness, and you should not have to suffer un-necessarily.

Quite a depressing post isn't it! but It was one I felt I needed to write about, especially if I am to blog about my pregnancy etc. I look back and think it was awful but now I still have my baby growing away, wriggling about inside my tummy and I realise it was just a stage that the pregnancy went through.

This is baby Chall at 12 weeks:


Not all my posts will be this miserable but I do want to be honest what pregnancy can really be like! I will also talk about the nice bits too. But that will have to wait until we are back from our "babymoon", or as most of us know it a little holiday to the Canaries where hopefully we will see the sun even for a few hours and get a bit of rest while we can! I really do need to do some packing! I'd never thought about how stressful packing for a holiday would be when your belly protrudes through everything and your boobs are squished in to what ever they can! 

Anyway... I best crack on! 

Lots of love,

Hayley xxx

The little things in life... An introduction


Well... Where do I start? Being new to this I am finding it a little intimidating if I am honest!

I have thought about doing this for a while now but just never really got round to doing it for real! As I have said in my brief intro to the blog I spend time away from home with work and a lot of time sat in the car for hours on end with nothing but my thoughts to keep me company and am often sat in a hotel room twiddling my thumbs! I am not sure if I will ever share this or not, as I am certainly no writer and this will more than likely bore anyone who reads it to death.

Okay so a little about me.. I am just what I like to think of as a "normal" girl, I am not overly exciting and I certainly won't be writing about scandal or wild nights out! I am more of a home bird, I enjoy my time at home and value spending time with Ben (my husband) and Bobby (our Labrador) in our home, it probably comes from having to travel up and down the country all week, I need the peace! Although I do think that sometimes you do get to that point in your life where you feel content and settled, that however doesn't mean I don't enjoy spending time with friends and getting glammed up once in a while!

This is a photo of Ben and I on our wedding day in Lindos, Rhodes May 2012. I may well blog about this one day as I do often get asked about it and how it was getting married abroad! It really was the best day of my life.. well one of them! ( I am sure another is due to come along soon!)




Well, as I just hinted to and as most people who read this (if anyone ever does) will know myself and Ben are expecting a little addition to our family. And no, it’s not another dog! I don’t think some people ever expected us to have babies, not sure why? Maybe because we like our freedom, the ability to go away when we like and do what we like, but it really was the next thing waiting for us.

So here is our little girl (yes a pink one!), who is due in May, so not long to go now really! I will more than likely talk about pregnancy at some point too. I never expected it to be as romantic as they show in films, that you get pregnant, grow a pretty little bump and then the baby arrives. But really, it’s been pretty miserable for a few reasons. It’s only the last few weeks (maybe six or so) that I have started to embrace it a little more, probably because I have started to feel a little more like a human recently rather than a zombie!


I feel like an awful mother now, I haven't introduced you to my little boy! So here we go...
 

I am sure I may be back sometime soon, but that was just a little introduction to get myself started.

I hope to be able to blog about the day to day events that I come across as a mum to be, my family, my travels, my home, products I love etc.! But we shall see...

Thank you for bearing with me,

Lots of Love,

Hayley xx