It's been a year since I found out I was pregnant

I can't believe where the time has gone - I honestly remember it like it was yesterday.

We'd got back from our honeymoon on the Tuesday and, the last few days we were there, I'd said to Tom I had felt different. We'd been trying for just a month at this time, so I didn't think we would be lucky enough for it to happen straight away.

I blamed my growing boobs on the fact I'd been eating three desserts a night while in the Seychelles!

We went into town on the Wednesday and Tom said I should get a pregnancy test, just to see. I didn't want to, though. I didn't want us to go home and me do a test and us have the anticipation and build-up, then it be negative. While we never expected it to happen straight away, it would feel like such a blow if it came up 'not pregnant'.

The following day, I went into town with my mum for lunch. We went to New Look and I bought lots of lovely autumnal clothes (which I managed to wear for approx a month before none fit - smashing!) and she went to Boots for a flu jab. While there I considered getting a test, just so I'd know. I didn't, incase she came out from getting her jab and caught me in the queue with one, and instead went back into town later that day. I went to Tesco - I figured I'd see less people in there I'd know, given I used to work in Morrisons!

I dashed home, as I was going out for tea with my best friend so had to be quick, and peed on the stick as directed. It didn't take long for the result to appear 'pregnant 1-2 weeks' it said. Holy fuck. I remember standing in our downstairs loo shaking. I whipped out the other test and tried to do that to check it wasn't false. Although, of course, squeezing another wee out so soon after was hard - but it gave the same answer.

I didn't know what to do. Tom was at work and I was going out. I couldn't believe it - I was pregnant.

When I got home later, and Tom strolled in the door, he had a paper bag in his hand. "I bought you this, just do it whenever" and he chucked the bag my way - it contained a pregnancy test. I tried to hide my smile. I'd been thinking all night about how to break the news to him, and all my plans had gone out the window now.

"You've already done one, haven't you?" he asked. I grinned. "You're pregnant aren't you?!" he asked. I smiled and nodded.

And that was it.

We didn't tell our families for a couple of weeks, until we went out for my birthday. As desperate as I was to tell them, I was also terrified. The more people who knew, the more people we'd have to tell if something went wrong.

I had my booking in appointment at the doctors, with the community midwife, on my birthday. It was a birthday I'll never, ever forget. Usually on my birthday we go away for a night, have a day in Leeds shopping and drinking cocktails, and go out for a nice meal. But last year, I went to the doctors to book myself in with the midwife.

It was quite easy to get around going into work late that morning, given it was my birthday. I just told my boss a little white lie that I was going for a birthday breakfast with Tom as he was on a late that day. We spent the evening sitting on sun loungers in our living room (our sofa had gone into storage as we were waiting for the delivery of our new one) and eating Domino's.

I don't know how we'll spend my birthday this year, but we'll have our gorgeous little girl here to join us in whatever we do. Something we dreamed would be the case this time last year.

October is baby loss awareness month and I kept seeing stuff all over Facebook about it. I panicked every time. We were so, so lucky to get pregnant so quickly, it just seemed too good to be true. I was convinced something bad was going to happen and we'd lose our little pea.

Every strange feeling I had, I'd rush straight to the loo. Every sensation, every bit of fluid, I was straight to the toilet to check. I wanted to buy a test everyday to check I was still pregnant. I was a woman on the edge.

People try for months, years, to conceive and, even when they catch on, suffer the most heartbreaking miscarriages. Baby loss is so, so common - even though it isn't talked about as much as it should be - and I felt we were just too lucky.

I couldn't wait for our scan. I just wanted confirmation that 1. the baby was still in there, and 2. everything was ok.

Of course, it all was, and once my sickness kicked in I had regular, daily reminders that I was pregnant.

The last year has been the biggest, most life-changing whirlwind. Being a mum is something I have always dreamed of.

When I was little I had dolls for way longer than my friends (and was probably socially acceptable!) One in particular, Katie, was my absolute favourite. She had a birthday - and would have a party; she wore proper baby clothes and proper baby nappies; and was my way of pretending I had a real life baby.

I've always known I wanted to be a mum and, was stupid as it sounds, I feel like my life is complete now Peyton is here. It's the job I have always wanted. Don't get me wrong, it's the hardest job I've ever had. But, my god, it's the most rewarding, too.

My first blogs when Peyton was born, looking back now, all sound quite negative. My blog has always been a place I have liked to write things down and get things off my chest, particularly on the bad days. When we have had all the good days, I feel so happy and content in myself that I don't feel I need to write. I've realised, though, that I do need to talk about all the fabulous sides of being a mum. Not just for me, but for Peyton when she's older. I don't want her to read all my blogs and think she was a nightmare child or that I struggled and was miserable, because that would be totally inaccurate. We've had bad afternoons/mornings/nights/the odd day, but on the whole she has been an absolute dream.

We've made so many amazing, special memories already. We've had such wonderful, happy days out as a family, just me and her, and with our friends.

She's such a happy, smiley little girl and has completed our world. Everyday she is learning something new and becoming more aware of the world around her. Her latest trick this week has been taking my glasses off and launching them across the room - not ideal.

Peyton will be 16 weeks next week, and four months old on the 20th. I've ordered some bits this week off Amazon to get us ready for weaning. I can't believe it's time to start thinking about that already, but I need to be organised otherwise time will creep up on us and I won't know where to begin.

I've ordered Annabel Karmel's book on weaning which is basically a how to guide on what to feed, when to feed and how to feed your baby. I haven't had chance to read it yet... but I've flicked through the contents and it looks really helpful. I'm unsure what route we will go down when it comes to introducing food, whether we'll do baby-led, puree or a mixture of both.

If we start before six months, we will do puree to begin with, then maybe begin with baby-led at six months. But, honestly, until we start I don't think I know what we'll do. It all depends on how Peyton is with it.

I'm excited to start introducing food, but also a bit scared - and maybe sad, too - because it means she's growing up. And while that is amazing and exciting because it opens up a whole new chapter, it means she won't be as dependant on me anymore. I've already mentioned about weaning her off the boob in a previous post. At the start, making it to six months seemed impossible. I remember around three weeks in thinking I'd be happy if I made it to a month, then it was two, then three. Now I can't imagine stopping.

In the early days, it was tough. More because I felt so unprepared, uneducated and totally unaware of what the realities of breastfeeding really were. I didn't know about cluster feeding, I didn't know what was normal, and I didn't know how I would ever feed in public. Now, I just whack the boob out wherever is required. I used to cover up with a muslin, but I've now found ways to keep my boob all covered, with Peyton covering the bit she needs, so you can't see anything. Plus, she hated being covered up (as would anyone if you threw a cloth over them while they were eating!)

I love breastfeeding now. And I can't believe I'm over halfway to my goal of six months. 

I've gone off on all sorts of tangents now, I do apologise. 

My life has changed an unexplainable amount in the last year, but I don't think I would have it any other way. 


I'm back after a little break

We recently went on our first little family holiday - to Center Parcs. It's why there's been a bit of a radio silence from me. It was so lovely to take some time out from everything and it just be the three of us for some quality time.

I'd never been and it was always somewhere I'd wanted to go. So when it fell to me to plan somewhere for us to go for our first break, I opted for there straight away.

And, oh my, am I glad we did. We had the best week.

Tom was worried there wouldn't be enough to keep Peyton entertained but she had the time of her (short, little, three month) life. She was the happiest, most content, she has ever been. She barely cried and barely whined or kicked up any fuss. She didn't sleep too great, but I think that was due to the change in routine/noisy bedding (you know what them sheets in hotels can be like!)/me not being close enough to squeeze Ewan's little foot when she started to stir.

Bad sleeping aside, though, the week was a dream.

We swam everyday - which Peyton loved. We've recently started swimming lessons with her on a Sunday afternoon and she loves being in the water, so swimming everyday was like her dream come true. 

We did a lesson while there, too, and she got her first certificate and badge, I felt so proud.

We also walked. A lot. I was doing almost 20,000 steps every single day. It was crazy. The walks were just so beautiful, though. 

Peyton loves trees so she was mesmerised as we were pushing her round in her pram. Before we went, we decided to upgrade her to the pram fixture, as opposed to the carrycot. 

The last couple of times we'd been out in the carrycot she just screamed blue murder. I'd take her out and she was fine - because she could see everything. I realised she hated being in the carrycot because she couldn't see what was going on. She's a nosey little soul!

We also wanted to leave the carrycot behind because it takes up so much room in the car and, with all the stuff we had to take with us to Center Parcs, I knew we wouldn't have the space for that too.

Our pram has various levels of incline and, apparently, is one of the only ones where it can go completely flat on the pram seat function (that's what the lady who sold it to us told us, anyway!) It also has a little more upright, but less upright than the car seat, setting and a compete upright one. 

We had Peyton on the middle one, so she was still relaxed and chilled, but could still see everything. And she loved it. She barely made a peep from her pram. I've kept using that since we've been back and it's got the same success rate. So it's bye-bye carrycot, see you next time..!

Another thing I loved about Center Parcs - and bear with me with this one, please - was all the women breastfeeding.

I'm not bothered about breastfeeding in public now. I just whack it out wherever is needed, often without covering up, too (although I've found the 'one up, one down' method works best for me as it means I can still be discrete - if you know, you know!) But when at Center Parcs, seeing all the other woman breastfeeding made me feel so empowered. I sometimes almost willed Peyton to be hungry so I could join in.

I'm aware I probably sound like some crazy breastfeeding lady, I'm sorry.

It was so fabulous to see, though. Mums feeding by the pool (this was me a couple of times - even popping out to feed her mid-swimming lesson on a sun lounger by the pool!), at restaurants, at the bowling alley... There was even one mum feeding while playing crazy golf.

Side note: that was me!

Yep, we almost made it round all the nine holes without her making a peep but just as we got to the eighth, I knew she wanted feeding. I finished off the game while feeding her and still managed to beat Tom. It was, quite literally, win-win. He took some photos of me feeding and, while I have so many gorgeous photos of me feeding Peyton, I'm not quite there yet to post the photos. 

I love them, but I just don't want people to 'judge'. I know what people can be like, I've seen it when celebrities have posted their breastfeeding selfies. And, while I don't care what people say or think when I'm feeding in public - because my baby needs feeding and I have a right to do it where I/she need(s) - people don't need it ramming down their throats on social media. Obviously that would never be my intention, but I know that's how some would see it. So I'll save all our lovely breastfeeding photos just for me (and maybe a sad post about missing it when I do stop!)

After our rocky start to breastfeeding, I am so happy with how far we have come. My initial hesitations about feeding in public, our lack of knowledge about it all, our 'struggles'... I don't really like to say struggles as I'm a firm believer in never sticking with breastfeeding if you are struggling, and not forcing yourself to do it if it isn't working for you or your baby. We weren't so much struggling as uneducated about what to expect, how it would work, and what to do.

My goal was always to get to six months. I think I just thought then that the boob would stop the day after she turned six months, I didn't realise I would have to wean her off it gradually. I also didn't realise that I might not want to stop at six months. Obviously I will start introducing solids at six months and weaning her that way - and, boy, I can't wait for that - but I am not sure I want to just switch her to formula, like I originally thought I would.

I absolutely love feeding her. It's such a calming, special time for us both. When she gazes up at me when she's finished and flashes me her big smile, it's the best thing in the world. Right now, I can't imagine that stopping. Although, I know it will. I'm not going to be one of those ladies who could be a on the tv still feeding their toddler!

We are halfway towards our six-month goal now. I guess I will just see how we feel when we get to six months. By the time I go back to work, when she's almost nine months, I ideally only want to be feeding her myself on a morning and a night time. The rest of the time, she will need bottles - whether that be expressed milk or formula. By then, though, she'll hopefully be on three meals a day so will only take a couple of bottles around nap time (living the dream that by the time she goes to nursery she'll have structured nap times and not just catnaps here and there...HA!)

We are in a really, really good place at the moment and I am relishing in that. We are just around the corner from her next lot of jabs, just entering into her next developmental leap, and the dreaded four month sleep regression - all of which, coincidentally, hit at the same time. Peyton has always been a fabulous little sleeper, we really can't complain, so if this regression is as bad as I've heard, it's going to be hell.

For now, though, I'm enjoying the happy, smiley, gorgeous little girl who is an absolute joy from the moment she wakes up until the second she goes to sleep. While we were in Center Parcs she nailed the rolling (she'd already done it twice, but they were flukes I am sure) and now confidently does it every time she is on the floor. She's not quite there with the graceful roll just yet, she looks more like a burger being flipped on a barbecue, but she's getting there with each go.

She's also found her voice and makes the funniest, cutest, often annoying, noises. Watching her grow and change every day is a dream, she seems to have grown up so much the last couple of days. I am so, so excited to see how much she'll change in the coming weeks and months, too. Especially as we start the countdown to her first Christmas now!

Baby on board

No, do not panic, I am most definitely not pregnant again.

Definitely not. No thanks. Not yet.

No, in fact, this is a post about things I never even realised were proper 'things' before having a baby.

The first of which is a baby on board sign. Of course, I've seen many cars on the road with these stuck in their rear window and I've always wondered the same thing: "Why on earth are they telling me there's a baby on board? What do they want me to do? Is it like those signs on vans that say they don't leave tools in overnight? Is the baby not left in overnight?"

I never could understand the point of them. That is, until, I had a baby myself. Nothing makes my blood run colder than some dickhead driver on the road when I have Peyton in the car. I absolutely hate it.

So many times since she has been born we have come across idiots who have almost crashed into the side of us, wiped us out on a roundabout and pulled out on us at junctions.

"We need a baby on board sign so people realise we've a baby in here and stop driving like twats," Tom says each time.

But will it really work? Or will people just have the same thought process as me?

After some persuasion, I conceded to the sun visors on the windows in the back of the car. Now, when I see cars with these, I know they're there because there's a baby in the car. Maybe it's just part of an unwritten parenting code?

We still haven't got a 'baby on board' sign, though. I'm still holding out on that one.

Another thing I didn't realise the point of, which my best friend also brought up this week, was those morons who go to the Next sale at like 5am on a Saturday morning.

"Why? Why? Whyyyy?"

I used to think.

"Why would anyone want to get up so early to just go look at some clothes in the sale?"

Now I have a Next account, I get an email every time the sale comes around to 'book my VIP slot online'. It's the step before getting up at cock o'clock to go shopping in, what is essentially, the middle of the night. But I've still done it. I've booked my slot and stocked up on the next size of clothes, or clothes for next summer that we loved this year, at a fraction of the price.

It all makes so much sense now and I am so sorry to all those mums who I used to think were morons.

Isn't it so weird how your entire outlook on absolutely everything changes when you have a baby. Your whole life gets swallowed up by this tiny little bundle and everything you thought you knew suddenly changes. Your new normal is something you don't even recognise and you suddenly find yourself doing things you always swore you would never. I am definitely guilty of that. If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know I'm a big baby spammer.

I'd said before she was born that I wouldn't, but I just can't help myself. I like to be an active Instagrammer, especially on the days when I'm home all day or don't really see anyone, because it makes me feel like I am having some communication with the outside world. I'm not mad, I swear.

I like posting the highs, the lows, the funny times, and the sad times. It's nice to keep a record of everything we've done and I can't wait till she's a bit older and I can show her all the things she used to get up to as a baby - poonamis and all!