Today we have got the next instalment of our guest pregnancy diary from Alice. She’s keeping you all updated today with how her second trimester is going and sharing some of her top buys from prams to dresses. You can catch up with the rest of her pregnancy here and here. Enjoy!

Pregnancy Diary

Apologies in advance as this one is quite an epic post, but so much has happened on the baby front recently that I’m going to have to break it down into categories. Also apologies there’s not much ‘order’ to it, it’s mostly just as and when I thought of things!
I’m now 27 weeks as I type this which has really flown by. I’m starting to get a bit twitchy, probably for no reason at all, but my twin sister and I were born very premature (at 28 weeks) and babies in my family have a habit of coming early so I feel a tad worried. I want our little one to stay safely inside for a long as possible, so I’m crossing my legs (firmly) and thinking positive thoughts…

20 week scan

We had our 20 week scan very early on a Saturday morning, the day before flying to America. I was again a bit nervous (clearly a theme for mummas-to-be) because I just knew that if anything untoward was found it would turn us into turmoil as well as potentially jeopardise our very expensive holiday! Thankfully everything was fine, although our little monster struggled to stay still long enough for the poor sonographer to do her job, but she got the measurements she needed in the end. With regards to finding out the sex we didn’t know if we wanted to know (I was still undecided as I walked into the scan room) so we asked her to write the gender down on a beautiful card that Matt had bought and we took it home with us ‘for another day.’
We actually ended up opening the card on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco during our American road trip…. so we do know and I’m totally happy to share that it’s a little boy.

Flying while pregnant

While I mention America, we took a two week holiday when I was 20-21 weeks pregnant which for those of you who might be considering a baby moon I figured I could just share my thoughts for things that made it a bit easier for me.

  • Get sign off from your midwife or consultant that you are safe to fly. I know this seems really obvious but just so you and everyone around knows its ok it’s best to hear it from a health professional first.
  • Take a letter of proof from your midwife. I was never actually asked for mine, but pregnant friends who’ve flown previously have been asked by airline staff for a letter from their midwife saying that they are a low risk pregnancy and therefore safe to fly. I carried mine in my hand luggage and was more than prepared to show it to anyone who asked.
  • Have no shame in asking for an upgrade or extra leg room. We arrived to Heathrow with loads of time to spare which meant it was more likely that we could change our seats before everyone else was booked in. Sadly we weren’t offered an upgrade as business class was full but we did get the end of the row seats with extra legroom to ourselves which meant I had room to stretch out and we had a spare seat next to us to store bags, books, blankets / goodness knows what else we had with us.
  • Wear compression socks. They’re not glamorous, but neither is DVT. Top tip; put these on before you get on the plane! I was wearing maternity leggings and I could not roll the bloody legs up to get my socks on, totally undignified, hard to do anyway with a bump in the way, I huffed and puffed for ages before eventually resigning myself to the teeny toilet cubicle to take my leggings off entirely, put the socks on and then put my leggings back on again. What.a.faff.
  • Wear comfy clothes. I wore maternity leggings, a long vest top which went over the bump and covered my bum and a cosy hooded top. I was snuggly but not too restrictive. Also I took my shoes off and wore fluffy slipper socks for the entire flight.
  • Get out your seat every hour. Even if you’re only flying short haul I’d still recommend you walk about as much as possible. Not hard really though if you’re anything like me who has to go to the toilet all the time!
  • Drink lots of water. Links to toilet point above…
  • I was really careful in America with regards to not getting too hot and staying safe in the sun, we were travelling around California so we had pretty changeable weather from scorching hot in Los Angeles to cool and windy in San Francisco and Yosemite. I also took care not to do too much but it’s just about listening to your body and resting when you feel tired. Most importantly though enjoy the special time when it’s just you and your partner before you become a threesome! I’ve included a few photos from our trip so you can a) finally see what I look like and b) get a look at the bump!

    Baby show

    I’m sure some of you will have been there, (or to the London ones) but I dragged my poor husband to the Baby Show at the NEC in Birmingham a few weeks back because I came over all unprepared and I felt like we really needed to make some purchases.

    Our main goal was to buy a pram and I went there with the full intention of purchasing the Cosatto Ooba in Duck Egg because quite frankly it is a DREAM to look at….but that didn’t happen. It just wasn’t right for us. We went straight to their stand as soon as we arrived for a demo and ‘push practice’ and sadly neither of us gelled with the pram at all. (Obviously this is entirely our opinion – not a slight on Cosatto or the pram, just us). It wasn’t the right height for Matt who’s 6”4 (he kept kicking the shopping basket) and we felt the mode changes were clunky and awkward to do (I think it was the buttons) and it didn’t fold up very small as the chassis was big and heavy. I was devastated as all through my pregnancy I’d fantasised about how I’d glide along, a vision of new mummyness with my little boy looking so cool and cute in his blue and geometric print pram, but alas that is not to be. My dream was killed by practicalities.

    However… I quickly fell in love with the Joolz Day on the next stand – fully customisable colours, including a monogrammed bumper bar which you can have engraved with your baby’s name? I mean c’mon, I was sold in a second, but we couldn’t afford that. Was moved swiftly on by husband while practically wailing and clinging to said pushchair.

    We were eventually torn between the Stokke Cruisi which looked beautiful and came in the most gorgeous array of colours and the Uppa Baby Vista. We picked the Uppa Baby in yellow. This one had the best show offer price (the Stokke we couldn’t buy there and then). We got the pram and a BeSafe Izi Go Modular car seat with base for £779. When you consider that the pram is £700 rrp and the car seat about £160 it seemed too good a deal to resist.

    I also bought a SnuzPod (which you can read Charlotte recommending here) with mattress so that’s another thing ticked off the list! Still got so much to buy though as we haven’t even begun to think about nursery furniture…but I’m leaving those expenses until next pay day!

    Maternity clothes shopping

    Quite frankly I have hated the experience of shopping for maternity clothes. I miss how I used to dress and find most maternity lines boring (lacking colour and pattern) and I feel generally uninspired. But I shouldn’t moan as it’s not forever… I wanted to take some nice summery things away with me to California but upon traipsing around the high street for hours only to be told in every shop that they didn’t carry the lines in store, just online I nearly gave up. So if you take one thing from me is that don’t bother with the shops, everything is online now!

  • ‘Mamma’ jeans from H&M. I have a pale pink pair, a regular denim wash pair and a black pair that I wear to work.
  • A few stretchy jersey dresses from – not great quality (ie a bit see through) but I wear them to work with thick black tights and a chunky knit or cardi over the top.
  • Shorts and a lovely little polka dot dress from New Look (which I’m sorry to say is now out of stock).
  • A gorgeous checked shirt from Gap which I wear open with a tee shirt or vest top underneath.
  • A couple of Isabella Oliver items including a denim skirt and two dresses (these were all loaned to me from a friend).
  • These adorable dungarees from JoJo Maman Bebe. (Originally bought a 10 which we too big but an 8 is perfect with plentiful room for expanding bump).
  • Nice snuggly jumper again H&M
  • Amazing ‘Mama’ top from Selfish Mother – fun, and for charity so what’s not to love!
  • I kind of rotate these things, along with blazers, cardis some tops I can squeeze myself in and a few pre-pregnancy dresses to help me still feel a bit like ‘me’! If anyone has bought any amazing maternity pieces please do let me know. I also desperately need a smart but comfortable dress suitable for a graduation (not mine) in July so if you’ve spotted something that would work for that please share!

    Skin Update

    So last time I was a right old moaning Minnie about my skin and I’m sorry about that. But thanks to those of you who took the time to offer suggestions and advice, I really do appreciate that. I’ve tried to take back some control over my skin care regime; I purchased a Clinique cleansing brush which I use daily (it’s great as you can use it in the shower too) and I have been using the medications provided by the doctor. I would love to say there has been a miraculous overnight improvement but that’s not the case, however it is possibly a bit better. I do still get breakouts (still only on my chin and jawline) but they seem more manageable now. They also seem to come in cycles now rather than daily. I’ll have some weeks where it looks great and I’m really happy and others when I’ll have a breakout week. I’m becoming more accepting now though; I take it as part of my hormonal pregnancy journey!

    Exercise update

    I have stopped cycling on my road bike completely now, but I will occasionally ride my pink shopper bike to town or out to lunch, and I did cycle the Golden Gate bridge in San Fran. However, I felt the thin tyres and drop handlebars of my road bike just weren’t safe for me with a bump and eschewed centre of gravity these days so that’s gone to the garage for a while. My main exercises now are CrossFit (three, sometimes four times a week), Pilates once a week and walking as much as I possibly can. CrossFit is scaled down and I check the work outs on my phone before each session so I can work out which elements I can do and which movements I will adapt. I have been doing CrossFit for two ish years now so while I wouldn’t recommend anyone take it up in pregnancy having never done it before I know I can perform the moves safely and at the appropriate weights for me. Plus we have some amazing coaches (along with several midwives who go) who regularly keep me in check!

    Hypnobirthing first session

    Finally we also had our first Hypnobirthing session which I was very excited and looking forward to. We chose a private practitioner who (luckily for us) also happens to be a good friend of mine, so I knew we would be in safe hands. However I also really rate the Wise Hippo programme, check it out if it’s at your local hospital. I am booked for a home birth so I wanted to try to practice hypobirthing to help me have as natural a birth at home as possible.

    The first session was an introductory one; we covered the physiology of birth; so how and why everything happens the way it does, as well as discussing the impact of fear and stress and how this can slow labour down and affect the type of delivery you have. We also discussed the important role that oxytocin (the ‘happy’ hormone) has on mum and baby during pregnancy and also birth. There was information about pain relief in labour and how this can be avoided in favour of natural methods which led on to acknowledging pain and how not to fear it. We also discussed what my husband’s role would be at the birth, how he would support me, and discussed how each stage of labour and delivery would feel for the both of us. There was a lot to take in but even though most of it wasn’t new to me (I’ve worked in maternity services on labour ward and seen a fair few deliveries) it was all very new to Matt. I’m so glad he was able to hear the more physiological aspects of birth because I know he hasn’t considered a woman’s body ‘in that way’ since some very rudimentary sex education at school so I think it’s good for him to be more mentally prepared for what actually happens to the female body to birth a baby.

    Next session we will get more into the visualisation and breathing techniques of hypobirth as well as some practical exercises to get Matt used to certain touches that might help me during labour. I must say I love it so far!

    A few final thoughts

    This giant slug-like pillow has literally got to be the best thing I’ve bought during my pregnancy if not my life. There’s no room in the bed for my husband but me and baby are the comfiest humans in the world when snuggled around that. I bought it on offer when it was £24 and I highly recommend!

    The name debate, I’m not going to say too much about this because Becky recently shared a lovely post about how they were getting on, but since finding out we are having a boy I think we have our name. Well, we certainly have a favourite…we will just have to see if his little face fits it when he arrives!