Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Pregnancy Essentials: First Trimester 1 - 13 Weeks of Pregnancy

I thought it would be good to share little lists of any pregnancy essentials I have found to help with each trimester of pregnancy. Some of these might seem really obvious but honestly until I was pregnant I never knew half of these little hacks existed or what to do to make things a little easier! The first trimester was mostly about coping with morning sickness! My sickness started around 6 weeks, peaked at around 12 weeks and went at around 16 weeks. Thats a long time to be feeling terrible! 



Pregnancy Essentials: First Trimester  1 - 13 Weeks of Pregnancy 

Ginger Nut Biscuits -  Morning sickness for me was awful, there were moments when I thought I could not cope anymore! I was told ginger really helps but the flavour is something I find hard to eat, it can taste so overpowering. Luckily I found Asda's ginger nuts went down a treat and did not leave my mouth tasting of ginger for the rest of the day. At only 60p a pack I could really stock the cupboards with them!

Bucket in the Car - Driving to work with morning sickness was challenging. At one point I vomited over my steering wheel, I never thought it was humanly possible to drive and vomit at the same time without causing a pileup! I bought a cheap bucket which was large enough to aim into but small enough it fit into the front passenger footwell of my car. Cleaning vomit out of the car was no fun and much easier just to clean and empty a bucket!

Fruit - Fruit was my secret weapon against morning sickness. It might sound like the last thing you want to do when feeling so ill but forcing yourself to eat something makes a big difference. I would fill my lunch bag for work with my five a day and then nibble on them throughout the morning. Anytime I felt a wave of nausea I would chow down on a piece of fruit and the feeling would quickly pass, little and often was key. I could rejoice in knowing that even if I had not managed a full meal that day baby had gotten a stack load of goodness from all the fruit.

Sea-Bands - A work colleague told me about see bands and I am so glad she did. These little wrist bands are not only great for travel sickness but help with the nausea of morning sickness too. I purchased mine from Boots for £8.59 and they lasted me throughout the first trimester, I still have them sat in a draw now. They do feel a little tight and uncomfortable at first, pushing on pressure points in your wrist but you get used to them and I could really feel the difference if I didn't wear them.

Water - Being sick often meant staying hydrated was really important. I am rubbish at remembering to drink enough water at the best of times but I made an extra effort once I found out I was expecting. I would fill my water bottle and always made sure I had it with me. If like me drinking water just really is not your thing try adding bits of chopped up fruit to add some natural flavour!

Pregnancy Vitamins - There are so many different pregnancy vitamins on the market it can be hard to choose! I found that the Vitabiotics Pregnacare Plus Omega 3 worked well for me. You may find certain vitamins make your morning sickness worse as your stomach just cannot tolerate them but I found these to be really easy to digest. They cost £15.29 from Boots and to save myself some money I would often wait until I could buy them in a multi buy offer from either Boots or my local supermarket to grab a few boxes at a time.

What did you find helped you through the first trimester of pregnancy?

Claire Louise Xx

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Sunday, 25 September 2016

Muskegon Oval Glasses from GlassesShop.com*

I was recently contacted by GlassesShop.com asking if I would be interested in reviewing a pair of their glasses. I jumped at the chance, mostly because my usual pair had just broken and I was in desperate need of a replacement. Note to self: I must take better care of my glasses!!!

Over the past year I started to notice problems with my vision and found I needed to starting wearing glasses all the time. I usually purchase my glasses from the high street and had never really considered ordering glasses online. The thought had always made me a little nervous as I find it very hard to find frames that suit my facial features. There really is nothing worse than trying to pull off full framed spectacles and ending up looking like you are about to enter a Harry Potter convention! 


Muskegon Oval Glasses (Black)*

Finding a pair of glasses I liked did not take long as there were so many frames to choose from and the website was really easy to navigate. There is also a 'Try On' feature which allows you to see how the frames look on different genders and face shapes. You can also find a wide selection of prescription sunglassesThe glasses I choose are the Muskegon Oval in black. I was drawn to the thin black frames and subtle maroon coloured tabs on the sides. I then had to find my pupillary distance (PD measurement) with very helpful step by step instructions on the website. I first thought doing this at home would be really difficult but all I needed was a ruler and a helping hand from my hubby to measure the distance between my pupils. Finally I sent off my prescription information and it took around two weeks for my glasses to arrive in the post. 


My glasses arrived well packaged with a case and cleaning cloth and I popped them on right away. I was nervous that they would be too loose and fall off my face but I was pleased to find my prescription was spot on and they fit perfectly. One thing I really love most about these glasses is they are so lightweight with no compromise on quality feeling really sturdy. I normally opt for thick full framed glasses and have found in the past that these styles of frames can feel really overpowering and heavy to wear. This often means I end up taking them off and placing them on my head for a break, which is not only good for looking after the frames but does not do my eyesight any favours either as I end up bumping into things. Thankfully I have not had to do this once as these frames feel so comfortable. These glasses look stylish and feel like they will last even though they cost only a fraction of what my old designer frames cost from the high street. 

My only little niggle is the reflection on the lenses, trying to take a photo wearing them was difficult as in every shot there would be light reflecting off them. Although I don't notice this in my vision when wearing them it does make me wonder if other people can see it when I am walking around with them on, although my hubby insists they look great!

I have also been given a coupon code to share with you! Use the code GSHOT50 to enjoy 50% off on eyeglasses and sunglasses with free lenses (sale frames excluded). 

Disclaimer: Muskegon Oval glasses provided by GlassesShop.com (www.glassesshop.com). See full disclaimer.

Claire Louise Xx

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Friday, 9 September 2016

First Trimester Update: 1 - 13 Weeks of Pregnancy

I'm currently 25 weeks pregnant so it does feel a little strange writing a first trimester update! I took a break from blogging and have only recently just started back up again. It would take me a long time to catch up on weekly pregnancy updates now I am just over half way through. Instead I have decided to give you updates at every trimester. So heres the first trimester and soon I will be able to share my experience of the second trimester! 


First Trimester Update: 1 - 13 Weeks of Pregnancy

Baby has been very busy during the first trimester growing a placenta, facial features and developing her nervous system including brain and spinal cord. By the end of the first trimester baby is fully formed, looking more like a tiny human, having all its limbs, fingers and toes! Baby can also now open and close her fists and mouth and teeth are starting to form. Many of baby's organs are working including the heart, liver and kidneys. 

By the end of the first trimester baby measures around 7.6 to 10 cm (3 to 4") and weighs around 28g (1 oz).

Symptoms:

Morning Sickness - Morning sickness kicked in thick and fast for me. I first started to feel it at around 6 weeks and it peaked at around 12 weeks then started to gradually subside. I found that eating pieces of fruit little and often throughout the morning really helped as well as nibbling on a ginger biscuit before getting up in the morning.

Fatigue - I felt tired all the time! I would come in from work and jump straight into bed, that was me done for the day! I fund myself stealing naps whenever I could!

Breast Tenderness - By 10 weeks I had purchased my first set of maternity bras! Not only had I gone up two cup sizes in a very short amount of time my breast hurt like crazy. I called into my local Debenhams and got myself properly measured. I bought bras with no underwire which felt really comfy and helped with the tenderness.

Constipation - Even before pregnancy I was never a regular pooper! I could happily go three days without having a bowl movement. Pregnancy however made things worse. I think the longest I went was six days and when I did eventually go it was really hard and painful! Eating fruit helped but one saving grace I did find was using a toddler toilet step. I would put my feet up on the step and could assume and more comfortable squatting position. Lets just say there really is no dignity in pregnancy! 

The Best Moments:

Positive Pregnancy Test - Seeing those two lines appear was a really special moment! I spent the rest of the day letting out a freakish giggle every time I thought of the test. I also got very addicted to seeing those two lines taking a pregnancy test every few days just to make sure!

Private Dating Scan - After having recurrent miscarriages there was no way I could wait until my 12 week scan and there was no guarantee I would be offered a dating scan as I had been tracking my cycles and knew the date of my last period. Ian and I decided to pay £60 for a private dating scan to make sure that everything was okay with baby. I was only 7 weeks pregnant so there was not much to see on the scan but hearing babies heartbeat was so reassuring, I cried with relief.

Pregnancy Announcement - Once I had my 12 week scan we decided it was time to announce the pregnancy, there was just no way I could keep it inside anymore and I had already started to show a small baby bump. I had so much fun looking on Pinterest for ideas and decided that I wanted to include our two cats, Mia and Molly, in our announcement. The cats took some bribing with treats to get the perfect shot but it was worth it!



The Worst Moments:

Fear - Finding out I was pregnant again after three miscarriages was really stressful. I want to do a post sharing my experience of recurrent miscarriages and our journey to try and find answers but at the moment I just don't feel ready. The first trimester was the worst taking everything day by day. Now I am in the second trimester we have started a relax, taking things week by week. I just don't think the fear will completely go until Ava Mae is here and I have her in my arms!

Kidney Stones - This is not pregnancy related but its something I had to deal with in my first trimester. Having kidney stones is no fun at the best of times but being pregnant made it so much harder! I started having a pain in my side at 6 weeks and after the miscarriages alarm bells started ringing so I went straight to hospital. After having baby checked over I was told it was 'baby growing pains' and was sent home. I felt like a failure, how could baby growing cause this much pain or was I just being a wimp? The pain kept coming until finally my mum decided enough was enough. She took me to her local hospital who ran tests and told me I had two kidney stones in my left kidney, no wonder I was in pain! Although I had a reason for the pain there was nothing I could do for it, the high dose painkillers I needed were a no no during pregnancy and I could not have medication to help pass the kidney stones either! My midwife said if I would pass kidney stones with no pain relief then labour would be a breeze...I hope she's right!

Most Embarrassing Pregnancy Moment:

Throwing up all over my car steering wheel! It was bound to happen at some whilst driving to work and I quickly purchased a small bucket to keep in the passenger footwell for future journeys.

Claire Louise Xx

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Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Castle Rising Kings Lynn

In March Ian and I had a few days away with some friends in Kings Lynn, Norfolk. We all stayed in a little holiday cottage tucked away in the gorgeous Norfolk countryside. The cottage we stayed in was not far away from Castle Rising and we just could not resist a visit.


"Castle Rising Castle is one of the most famous 12th Century castles in England. The stone keep, built in around 1140 AD, is amongst the finest surviving examples of its kind anywhere in the country and, together with the massive surrounding earthworks, ensures that Rising is a castle of national importance. In its time Rising has served as a hunting lodge, royal residence, and for a brief time in the 18th century even housed a mental patient." - www.castlerising.co.uk.

Admittance to the Castle was really reasonable at £4.50 for adults and £3 for children with the option to purchase an audio guide. The visitor center also had a carpark, gift shop and toilets so there was no worry about staying for the full day and there is also a lovely cafe and pub nearby. 

I never leave the house without some sort of device for taking photos be it my phone, a little compact camera of my DSLR. Our trip to Kings Lynn was no different so along with my weekend bag I also had my camera bag. At Castle Rising I took lots of photos as it is such a beautiful place, full of character and history. I loved capturing the detail of the stonework. 

Claire Louise Xx

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Friday, 2 September 2016

Project B Pregnancy Subscription Box

From the moment I found out I was pregnant one of the things I have looked forward to doing is subscribing to a pregnancy or parenting subscription box. Ever since my first beauty box subscription I have loved the idea to receiving a regular box through the post and the excitement of seeing what might be inside. Every month felt like Christmas waiting for the boxes to arrive and it was always a great way of finding new products to try. 

After a quick google search I found Project B (www.project-b.com) who offer seven boxes, priced at £14.99 each, plus the option to buy a mother and baby gift box priced at £30. Each of the boxes are designed to cater for certain weeks of pregnancy and each have a different theme.

The Boxes:
Box 1 - Nurture: 12-15 weeks.
Box 2 - Blossom: 16-19 weeks.
Box 3 - Energies: 20-24 weeks.
Box 4 - Relax: 25-29 weeks.
Box 5 - Prepare: 30-34 weeks.
Box 6 - Nest: 35-39 weeks.
Box 7 - Arrive: 40+ weeks.

Box 1 - Nurture 12-15 Weeks of Pregnancy

Signing up and creating an account was really quick and easy. You simply choose if the box is a gift or for yourself and then select the box that you would like subscription to start from. This is great as it means you can start the subscription at any point of your pregnancy by simply selecting the box for how many weeks pregnant you are. After creating an account and entering payment info its just a case of waiting for the boxes to arrive each month. After I had signed up my box took around five days to arrive.


Inside My Box:
- Information about the products inside. 
- Information cards including your pregnancy this month, maternity clothes guide, the importance of regular exercise and eating well. 
- A card to hold a scan photo. 
- A voucher for www.fittamamma.com who offer active maternity wear (£5). 
- B Magazine Spring 2016 edition (£4.99). 
- Nairns Mixed Berries Oat Biscuits (sample). 
- Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks (50ml sample). 
- Pukka Herbs Three Ginger Tea Bags (sample). 
- Vitabiotics Ginger Pastilles Ginger Root & Blueberry (£6.95). 
- Vitabiotics Pregnacare Original Pregnancy Vitamins (sample). 
- SASS Intimate Purifying Cleanser (£7). 
- DK Pregnancy The Beginners Guide (£12.99). 

After opening my box I had very mixed feelings. What I am about to say might seem like I am being really picking but one reality of subscription boxes I think you have to understand is that the first box you receive either hooks you into keeping up the subscription or doesn't and if I am honest this box just did not do it for me! I felt a little disappointment in the products I had received. Although there was a nice balance between samples and products worth paying the price of the box it just felt a little drab. 

As soon as you have your booking in appointment with your midwife you are often given free samples or information on how to claim goodie bags filled with free samples, in particularly from Emma's Diary and Bounty. The majority of the samples in this box I had already been given plenty of. No joke, I have a draw filled with at least six bottles of the Palmers stretch mark lotion and enough Vitabiotics vitamins to last me until baby is here! I just felt that Project B could of been a little more unique with the samples they had chosen to include in the box so that it offered an opportunity to really try something new. 

My box included a much needed overload of ginger! Morning sickness was at its peak for me during those first 6 to 14 weeks of pregnancy and having anything ginger helped combat the sickness! The flavours in the Pukka Herbs tea were a little overpowering but the Vitabiotics ginger pastilles were a definite win! Pregnancy hormones were causing my skin to breakout like crazy so the SASS purifying cleanser was another saving grace as it was so gentle on my skin. The pregnancy book has also come in handy, packed full of information and tips for each stage of pregnancy and birth. 

In the end I decided to cancel my subscription as I just wasn't excited about it enough to continue paying £14.99 a month when I could spend the money on baby. I am on the hunt for another box to  try once baby is born as I like the idea of receiving a box more focused on products for baby.  

Have you tired any pregnancy or parenting subscription boxes? 

Claire Louise Xx

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