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Dear Daisy, It is your first day at school...

Introducing Daisy...

Well usually I spend my Sundays writing my weekly pregnancy update for you all and last week I remember clearly wondering how many more I would get to post. 

Last weekend was Easter weekend and we had a lovely time with family and friends having a BBQ, Sunday lunch, Easter egg hunt etc. On Easter Monday we spent the day wandering around some local garden centres as it was a nice day and although I enjoyed it it's safe to say I didn't feel myself entirely. 

I'd felt nauseous for a few days and was panicking that morning sickness was returning for the last few weeks. Along with an increase in pains in my tummy and pressure below, I just didn't feel right. Well... I went to bed that night and GUSH!!!!! Pop went my waters!!! 

I won't go into detail on the arrival of our little lady but she is now here. I probably will sometime very soon though. 

Meet our little Daisy...

It was a bit of a surprise to be meeting her so early and for her to be a tiny 5 pounds 12 ounces! She is beautiful, although her journey here wasn't the easiest it was worth every second to finally have her here for cuddles. 

Lots of love,
Hayley xxx

19 days left.. How did that happen?

19 days?!!!!!! So it could be longer if she stays comfy and I go over but the end is definitely in sight. 

I have had a few days this week where I thought my initial idea of her coming early was going to come to light, but the pains went as fast as they came. I'm now on to the idea she is teasing me and will be late anyway!! Not only have had I had the strong, sharp lightening pains but the tightenings around my back and tummy are strong and I can barely bend to get into a more comfortable position. Braxton Hicks I'm guessing. 

If you have read my post on the home birth you will know I have seen the midwives this week. All tests were good, haemaglobin levels were a little off but nothing to worry about. They had a good feel for baby and well would you know it all the pains have been for something as she is fully engaged now. It's just a waiting game now for when she could arrive. Could be days, could be weeks! Luckily I also had my hair done this week so hopefully won't scare her too much when she sees her mummy for the first time!! It's amazing how a little thing like having your hair lifted and trimmed can make you feel. I guess it's not as if I can go treat myself to something nice to wear at the moment which is what I would usually do! 

I'm hoping for a few days to a week before baby arrives, I'm ready now and feeling like I want to get the last push (no pun intended!!!) done and have a cuddle. My bump has shrunk and changed shape again so she must be lower and in a different position now. My belly button actually goes back in sometimes, and then often pings back out- gross! It's made me start thinking this week when my belly goes a bit softer at times what will it be like after???? A bowl of jelly I expect? A mummy tummy! 

Sleep is still proving tricky, waking at 5, 6 am and not getting back off is so frustrating. It doesn't help that I get up at about two as well for a wee break! Thank goodness I have no work now!! Finishing for maternity hasn't really sunk in yet, I think with Easter weekend starting it off has made it feel surreal because everyone else around me is off too. I'm sure it will hit me once everyone goes back to work tomorrow! Then what will I do?!? How am I going to fill my time?!

My fingers have started to puff up in an evening now, nothing like elephant balloon hands but big enough to make my rings uncomfortable, so the wedding ring has come off now, I don't fancy it being cut off! My engagement ring is slightly bigger and so that is comfy and staying put for now, I feel lost without them! 

I wonder how many more weekly posts I'll be uploading? Even though I say how ready I am I know she will only come when she is and when it's her time to say hello! No pressure baby, I've been waiting for and growing you for almost a year, what's a few more weeks! 

Off to have my hot cross bun and cuppa while I'm still in bed now :)

Lots of love,
Hayley xxx

Settling for a home birth...

I have mentioned a couple of times now that I'm edging towards a home birth for a few reasons, and well it looks like the plans are now in place. I say plans because as you'll know labour and pregnancy itself doesn't really like to follow a plan and anything could change, but the hope and dream is to have my baby in the comfort and familiar surroundings of my own home. 

What made me consider it?!

A friend of mine planned to have a home birth last year, sadly it didn't quite pan out that way due to her baby being too excited to meet her and coming early (you have to be minimum 37 weeks for babies health risks) and I guess this maybe planted a seed with me. But subconsciously maybe! 

Then when we started to have such regular trips to the hospital to see the obstetrician it hit me how nervous and clammy hospitals make me, this isn't a new fear and it's nothing new for me, I'm a regular fainter when it comes to hospital visits! I've no idea why... It also then made me realise I wasn't the only one who hated the environment, Ben isn't comfortable there either- I guess no one is really? 

With the visits to the hospital and the complications we have had it made me realise I want to be in a comfortable place I feel safe and content not only for the labour but for after delivery in those precious first few hours and days. I don't want nurses, midwives and other mummy's etc in and out of my space, I want time to just absorb our baby with Ben and adjust to the reality she is here! Lock ourselves away I guess and enjoy those first hours as a little family alone, all I keep thinking (dreaming) is of the cuddles in our own bed, with tea and toast after, just the three of us. Before we decide to show her off to our family! 

I should say that although we have had regular appointments with the hospital the pregnancy is a healthy, non complicated one and baby is showing no signs of being unhealthy in the slightest. If any of that was a doubt then they wouldn't agree for it to be planned at home and I wouldn't want to either, my baby's health is my priority! 

Other reasons for me are there are statistics out there that show that women who labour at home tend to have less intervention as they don't have the stresses of the environment which can have an affect in labouring such as slowing it down. Another big reason for me is that I want to attempt to have a water birth, our hospital has just one pool and if it's in use at the time then tough!!! So the likeliness maybe of me having that birth isn't necessarily in my favour where as at home I can hop in and out as I please. 

I make the 37 week mark tomorrow and this then gives us the nod to go for it at home all being well. I had the midwives come out yesterday to look at the house and chat through the process. It's exactly as I expected, they told you any reasons that I may need to be transferred to hospital before, during or after labour, they have to prepare you. Examples could be:

- labour is not progressing and I need a hand
- baby is showing signs of distress 
- I feel I need more pain relief such as an epidural (you can have gas and air and pethidine at home) 
- your waters go but within 24 hours no contractions have started

There are some serious reasons and some not so risky but either way you have to be open to the thought that you may well end up in hospital anyway. I have my bags packed just in case, I couldn't trust anyone else to pack it for me in a rush!!!! 

So when the midwives came out they brought their kit with them, a big yellow medical waste bin filled with lots of medical bits that they may need such as towels, gloves, catheters, sick bowls, you know all the really exciting, glamorous things!!! Eurghhhh! I also have the birthing pool now ready to go, I just need a test run of it so we know how to set it up and how long it takes to fill etc! 

I am really lucky that those that matter to us support our decision for a home birth, not everyone would like it and not every one agrees in general but it has to be your own decision. It definitely helps though when your family understand why you want to and are actually excited for you to give it a go! It will be Ben and my mum with me on the day and both show no signs of panic or distress at the idea, they know we will be in safe hands of the midwives and only a short ride from the hospital should we need it.

So I need to do a little shopping trip for a few things this week and then we are all set! 

- a liner for the pool for hygiene and cleaning reasons 
- a new hose to fill pool, you don't want to use the grubby garden hose that's been sat outside for 36 years!!! 
- some nice smelly candles, because I love them and it will make it cosy! 
- some snacks for labour and drinks- for me and the midwives! And my birth partners obviously!

So that's it...  :)

Lots of love,
Hayley xxxx

36 weeks down...

I have been up writing this since 5.30am, pregnancy insomnia is delightful! I was hoping to bank up some zzzz but this past week or so this hasn't really panned out that way. This could apparently (yes google told me!!) be down to (1) my body preparing me for broken sleep (2) anxiety caused by the upcoming labour and delivery. 

I've no idea... Either way it's pretty annoying. Not only am I not getting my usual heavy sleep but poor Ben is being disturbed by my new found habit of snoring. How embarrassing! How can I help it though when all of a sudden I am heavy, my boobs are heavier and my little old lungs have no space to fill with air!!! It makes you feel such a lady... 

It's not all moany this week you'll be happy to know! First I had the midwife who did her usual checks, all good and baby is engaged. We then had our last scan with the obstetrician which again went well. She was looking well, busy pouting, blowing bubbles and playing with her hands. Very lively as usual! It was strange thinking that it was the last time we should see her before she arrives. He estimated she was around 6 pounds, spot on her for gestation. It was strange to think we wouldn't be seeing the consultant again, he has been really good to us and really helped us during this pregnancy. I know it's his job but his bedside manner and personality isn't what you would normally associate with the NHS and I've really come to trust him. 

In other news... Our Icandy Apple travel system has arrived!!! I LOVE it! I just want to drive it but know that's a bit weird without a baby in it! 

My home birth is all booked in and the community midwife comes this week to our home to discuss the big day, what happens, eventualities etc. I've done lots of reading so I'm prepared for the things she will want to discuss, she has to prepare me for all outcomes so I'm fine with that. I have to make baby wait until next Saturday- the 37 week mark if I'm going for it at home. She will be seen as full term and have less risks associated with her health after delivery. So I need to cross my legs until then! Also Ben's parents are away in Rome until after Easter weekend so I'm not sure they'd be too impressed either if she came before then! 

My bump has dropped quite a lot this past week and is feeling heavy! Movement is still very regular and I can feel feet and hands poking out! I should think this is a part I'll miss when my bump has gone, I'm never lonely anyway at the moment! 

I am so hungry and thirsty all of the time.. Trouble is though there just isn't any room for the food to go! Probably a good thing or I'd be growing to the size of a house. I've noticed that I'm growing in other areas now- including my face!!!!! Quick baby come soon!!!! 

4 more days of work to go... How frightening and real! But it feels good, I can start to relax a little and get the house etc how I want it. I want it spotless!! The nursery is pretty much complete.. All I want is a chair with some pretty cushions... Blog post coming soon! 

So, we are pretty much all set for baby's arrival now except for tiny bits that really don't matter like another towel or so. All we need now is her! 

Lots of love. 
Hayley xxx

Diamonds are forever.. Paris

I have posted about traveling before and in particular our wedding in Lindos and babymoon in Fuertaventura. It's probably a good idea to talk about our romantic long weekend in Paris where the excitement of having my husband begun!

Ben and I had been together pretty much 10 years when we went to Paris together, we had been on many holidays before and being proposed to hadn't really crossed my mind, I always knew we would get married but wasn't sure when or how it would come about! Of course, Paris is the most romantic city in the world to some and to me this is true. 

I went to Paris with a boyfriend and best friend (pass me the sick bucket!) and came back with a fiancé. I never liked that word when I was engaged, its a bit slushy and awkward! However I did love being engaged and wearing my engagement ring! Oh, and choosing it was an experience never to forget. And what a place to choose one, with some of the best places to look in it was very tricky but it definitely felt special and to choose it together was a memory I love. 

As well as choosing a beautiful ring from some of the most exquisite jewellers in the world on the Rue de la Paix we visited some amazing places and really played the tourists. You could shop until you literally drop but there are just so many things to see there that it would be a waste, and I'm not sure my bank balance could have taken it either! 

Of course we went to see the Eiffel Tower and attempted to get to the top viewing point, didn't quite make it though! It was very cold and windy which made the tower sway and my tummy really didn't fancy it after going so far. The views from where we got to were incredible though, Paris truly is beautiful. We went in December so it was frosty, chilly and at times snowing which made it feel very Christmassy but I bet it's gorgeous in the summer when you can sit outside cafés enjoying watching the world go by for a while. 

Other favourite places included Notre Dame where it snowed and snowed, a bit fairy tale. All be it a  very cold one! Other places of interest included (we were very busy and wanted to see as much as possible!!) The Louvre, Pompidou centre, Champs Elysées, Montmartre, Sacre Couer and the Moulin Rouge! I would love to tell you all about my favourite but I really couldn't choose, they were all so different and places you should visit for different reasons. 

The Moulin Rouge was completely different to anything I'd ever been to before, of course I'd seen the film but had no idea what to expect! Sadly no Ewan Mcgregor but the show was brilliant; dancing, acrobatics, diving in huge tank's with massive snakes and magic. A really memorable evening.

One day we will go back to Paris, more than likely back to Disney with our daughter but I will make sure she sees the real Paris and all of the memories we have of before she came along. 

As much as I loved Disney and seeing Winnie the Pooh it was completely different than walking the cobbled streets of Paris, admiring all of the boutiques, eating pastries, eating in world recognised places and seeing treasures such as the Mona Lisa.

Lots of love,
Hayley xxx

Please note I own the copyright of all images at all times 

The end is in sight... 5 weeks of pregnancy to go!

Well... 5 more weeks to go. It feels like only yesterday I was sat here writing last weeks update, this week has gone so fast! Here's hoping that the next few may go fast too.

This week has been an odd week and a bit of a struggle to be honest, really uncomfortable, tiresome and generally not very nice. i feel heavily pregnant all of a sudden! (Sounds daft I know!) I have had pains, strains and aches every single day, some of which have made me think baby is coming that day. 

The back end of this week they have gone from just tightening and heaviness to sharp, shooting pains wrapping around my tummy, down to my lady bits and then down my back and thighs. Along with making me feel like I may wet myself every time I walk anywhere its not been very pleasant. It was a bit like menstrual cramps with shooting pains chucked in for good measure. I called the PANDA ward the one day to be reassured that it wasn't early labour signs, they couldn't actually reassure me of this and just said take painkillers, put your feet up and watch them. If they got any worse then get in to hospital to be monitored in case it was pre- term labour! They think that perhaps baby was making her way further into my pelvis and head butting my cervix, delightful! 

My bump does appear to have dropped significantly so their theory could well make sense! 

On the back of this I have actually packed my bags - just in case!!! 

I am at the midwife tomorrow so hopefully she will be able to see where abouts she is and where the pain could be coming from. i expect its natural pregnancy pains but you can never be too sure when you are 35 weeks - I would like to make it to 37 weeks if possible! Less chance of there being any breathing, temperature difficulties with the baby. Also with me hoping to have her at home then they will allow it from this time onwards. We also see the consultant this week for another scan - lets see what he estimates her at this time!!! Eeeeeek! 

My feet have started to go a little puffy in an evening now, nothing like elephant feet but a little more squidgy than usual, another beautiful symptom of pregnancy. 

I hate to say this because i will jinx myself no doubt.... but still no stretch marks!!!!! Hooray! Lots of time yet I appreciate so I am saying this with gritted teeth! 

I have now finished reading "Home Birth" by Nicky Wesson, it was a really good read for anyone hoping to have a home birth. Its not a selling book that makes you think you have to have them at home and its not the other way either, it really gives all eventualities and there are lots of real life stories in there to relate to. I read it in two sittings I think, it basically reassured me that yes somethings don't go to plan and that yes I may well end up in hospital but aiming for home is the right thing for me and well and truly within my reach. Positivity!!! 

I am still on countdown to finish work and it really is becoming a struggle now, I feel like I need to sleep all of the time! Not too much longer to go... 

I wonder how many more of these updates I will get to do?!!! 

Lots of love, 
Hayley xxx

Some mummy treats...

This week I was given the most beautiful hamper from the team I work with before I go off to go on maternity soon (12 days - I am not counting - honest!!). 

In it was not only lots and lots of lovely things for baby but thoughtfully some yummy things for me to relax with before the big day and after of course in the recovery.

How beautiful is it wrapped too?! 

I haven't really done a beauty review for some time so thought it best I update you on at least a few bits!

The first thing that jumped out of the hamper for me was this Barry M Mint Green Nail polish! The colour is beautiful - I am a real magpie for anything teal, turquoise or green so this was a perfect match as a pressie for little old me - I think the lovely lady who put it together knows me too well! I have blogged about Barry M before and now have quite a little collection going, I think this may well be new favourite, with the Peach Melba as close second!

The longevity of the varnish is good, it's been on a good few days now (with no top coat I should add) and hasn't chipped or come away at the cuticle, and a major plus for me is that its still so shiny and fresh looking. The only thing I would say is that it took 3 coats for it to look tidy to me but I am by no means a professional nail painter! Retailing at just £2.99 I think its a bargain! 

Image from Barry M

I was also lucky enough to receive one of the new Aquarium Nail Effects polishes from Barry M, although I admit I am yet to try this one I have read some fantastic reviews. I love the green too much to take it off just yet! 

When I do though I will share it on my Instagram account for you all to see. Have any of you tried this collection yet?

Other treats in here included some cocoa Vaseline to stop my lips chapping (that's gone straight into my hospital bag) and some Sanctuary bath Salts that I am planning to use tonight when the football is on (any excuse for a pamper!!). The salt has almond oil as a key ingredient - perfect for stretching skin and easing the itching that goes along with it. There was lots of others things in the hamper to show you but I will tell you about them as I try them. 

Lots of love, 
Hayley xx