Hello maternity leave

That's it, I'm officially on maternity leave!

Well, I say officially, my maternity leave "officially" starts on Friday as I have taken tomorrow as a lieu day, but I am no longer at work. 

That's me now, for nine months! And I have just two weeks until baby Kersh's due date.

Yep, I'm 38 weeks pregnant today. How I have managed to stay in work this long is beyond me. The last week or two has been such a struggle.
I've not been sleeping too well so it's been very difficult still working full time. I've also been soooo uncomfortable downstairs due to her being so low down. When I had my 36-week appointments two weeks ago she was 3/5 engaged. I'm unsure whether 1 or 5 is fully engaged, but at least I know 3/5 is halfway to whichever it is!!

I have my 38-week appointment tomorrow so I am excited to see what she says this time - hopefully she is a bit further down (it certainly bloody feels like it!) and almost ready to make her grand entrance.

A few people said to me that I was mad working so close to my due date, but it's definitely helped time go so much quicker. I think if I had just been sat at home I would be so bored. All my friends and family would still be at work, so I'd just be sat here watching Friends on Netflix constantly. I started watching Love Island series two again a couple of weeks ago, mainly during the night when I couldn't get back to sleep, and I've stormed through that.

But staying at work has meant time has flown and I now just have two weeks to wait until she's here (maximum four). Although, I really hope I don't go over. The last week I have been so fed up and so uncomfortable, if I go over I'll be the most miserable person.

As the saying goes, though, baby will come when baby is ready.

On the whole, I've really enjoyed being pregnant. After the initial sickness passed, I've had it quite straightforward and easy. I'm not sure I'd go as far to say I'll miss my bump, but I will definitely miss feeling her move all the time. It's so special feeling her rolling around and kicking out. It's got to the stage now where I can tell what she is poking out - whether it's an elbow or a foot or her bum.

I will definitely miss that feeling.

But I can't wait to start getting back into shape. It was our wedding anniversary earlier this month and looking back at all our pictures and videos made me miss my old figure. I know it'll never be the same again, but I can't wait to get as close as possible!

Of course, it won't be my main priority, but it's definitely not something I'll be putting off. I'll be putting down the packs of biscuits and the chocolate I've been overindulging in (because, if you're going to put weight on anyway you may as well have fun with it!) and getting back on that Slimming World train.

I've always tried to be open and honest on my blog during my pregnancy - I'm sure I've lost a few people along the way because, of course, that's not everyone's cup of tea. But I have maybe picked up a few new readers, too, so hello to you!

It's been so nice to keep a log of how I have been feeling and the changes I've been experiencing. It'll be lovely to read it all back in years to come, and one day give it to Peanut to read, too!

The next chapter is going to be the most exciting, the most scary, and the most life-changing. I have no idea what to expect, but I know it's going to be amazing.

I obviously have some concerns, but you tell me what first-time parent doesn't?

Ideally, I would like to breastfeed, but I'm not going to pressure myself into making it work if me and/or baby don't get along with it. I have read posts by so many mums who persevered with it for so long, despite it not really working for them, only for it to make them, and their baby, so miserable. I don't want that. I will give it a go, and if it works then brilliant. If not, I will move onto bottles. As long as she is fed and happy, that's all that matters to me.

I am also worried about the elephant in the room - postnatal depression. I am naturally quite an upbeat, happy person and have never struggled with depression before. However, postnatal depression doesn't look at those qualities in people before "deciding" who it picks. It can happen to anyone. There are so many pressures on new mums, whether it is their first baby, their second or their third. Pressure to be seen "doing the right thing", pressure to feed them in a certain way, pressure to "snap back" to your pre-baby body (don't expect this from me, FYI, despite my determination to get back to Slimming World!), and pressure to be the perfect mum.

Those pressures will never go away, and I know that being a new mum will constantly put me under a microscope. I have seen so many new mums post things on Facebook and Instagram and the army of "perfect mums" jump straight down their throat for doing things "wrong". I ain't about that, if you can't say anything nice - don't say anything at all.

I really hope that the support network Tom and I have around us will mean I won't suffer with postnatal depression. But, if I do, I won't be scared to ask for help. It's nothing to be ashamed of and it's something we should always be aware of each other's mental health struggles.

Things have taken a bit of a negative turn, I do apologise! I'll wrap it up there as I am nearing the end of Love Island season two and I really want to give it my full attention (not that I don't know who wins, I just love re-watching it all!)

Depending how much time I have on my hands between now and baby Kersh arriving, I may find time to write another post for you all. I am very conscious, though, of boring you all with pregnancy talk - hence my radio silence for the past few weeks!

Otherwise, I will see you on the flip side - when I am a mamma!! Holy smokes, that's scary!

I can't wait to see what she looks like. I found this photo comparison the other day of me and my mum when we were similar ages. I really hope that she will look like us, too, and when she gets to the same age we can add her photo onto it, too!

Pretty sure, even if she doesn't look like me, she'll have the pose going down!


Let's talk body confidence during pregnancy

I've been umm-ing and ahh-ing about writing this post for a few days now. I don't like to moan, or sound ungrateful, but it's something that has really got to me recently.

If you're my friend on Facebook, you'll have maybe seen my post about this - but I'll elaborate now.

I've never been particularly body confident, I've always been able to pick flaws about myself - but what girl hasn't? However, deep down I have known that my picking faults were entirely my problem and that there really wasn't anything wrong with me.

When I got pregnant, the first changes to my body were difficult to embrace. Until I got an obvious bump, I just looked like I'd put weight on - and that was a struggle. Once my bump started to form, though, I absolutely loved it. I loved wearing fitted and bodycon items of clothing to show it off - I've been so proud of it.

As I've been nearing the end of pregnancy, I have obviously been growing bigger by the week. But, you know, that's kind of the point when growing a baby.

I was prepared for that, I remember writing in one of my earlier blogs that I knew I was going to be big. I think I compared to myself to being like Kim Kardashian when pregnant with North. I was prepared for it and, hey, if it's ok for Kim K then it's ok for Nat K!

Tom and I are both tall, so this baby is going to be leggy. I am also tall, and very hippy, which means I will carry my baby entirely differently to someone who is much smaller and has a smaller frame than me. I was expecting it, so I am not phased at all by how 'big' my bump is.

What I am phased about, and what has really started to affect my confidence, is everyone feeling it ok to comment on the size of my bump.

I have heard it all, most of which I am sure is just said in jest, but when you hear something enough times it really starts to grind you down.

"You surely can't grow any bigger than that, you must be ready to pop now."
"I wasn't that big when I was full term"
"Are you sure there's only one in there?"
"You're definitely not going to go full-term if you're that size already"
"Oooh it's going to be a big baby, look how big you are"

My personal favourite is when people compare me and my mum, when she was pregnant with me. Or me and my best friend, who is just eight weeks behind me in her pregnancy. My mum was smaller when she had me, but she's about a foot smaller than me anyway! So I would expect her to be.

Likewise, with my best friend. She's much smaller than me and has a much smaller frame, so I would never expect her to have a bump as big as mine.

I hadn't been bothered at all about the size of my bump until everyone started commenting on it, and it left me feeling really, really self-conscious; which made me feel really sad. After I'd started to get stretch marks, I was already a bit less confident, but I still loved showing my bump off (not in the flesh, just with fitted clothing!)

So everyone's comments really started to grind me down and make me feel so terrible. I can honestly see why so many women end up with huge body confidence issues and eating disorders during, and after, pregnancy. Nobody would ever walk up to someone who has put some weight on and, to their face, tell them how big they have got. So why is it ok to say it to a pregnant lady? A pregnant lady who is growing a life inside of her and undergoing some incredible changes to her body.

I know that people who have said about the size of my bump, or have said any of those things to me, will probably feel really guilty now if they're reading this. That's not my aim, I don't want people to feel really bad and like they've upset me. On their own, each comment would be laughed off. But hearing it all the time, and sometimes even from people I don't really know, it starts to get you down.

I know nobody means it in a horrible way, and nobody is trying to make me feel bad about myself. I think a lot of it is awkwardness, and people not knowing what to say to a pregnant lady. People maybe try to make a joke, which is fine, but jokes stop being jokes when they start to grind you down. But having been on this side of it, I will never ever say to a pregnant woman how big she looks, or try to make any jokes about size.

I had my 34-week midwife appointment last week and she measured my bump again. When I was measured at 31 weeks, I was measuring at 32. And when I was measured last week, I was measuring at 35.

I asked the midwife if she was worried I was too big, and if everything was ok, and she looked a bit shocked. I told her everyone had been telling me how big I was and I was worried, and her words have stuck with me since.

She said: "You are absolutely where you should be. You are following the expected growth line perfectly and we have absolutely no worries whatsoever. Each one of these projected growth charts is unique to each person, and you're exactly where we want you to be following the perfect curve. You're looking absolutely fabulous, so don't you worry."

Honestly, I could've kissed her. To hear that just made me feel so much more at ease and less worried that I'd be birthing a toddler next month.

I imagine it's the same the other end of the spectrum for people who have really small bumps. When Gary Beadle's (Gaz from Geordie Shore) girlfriend was pregnant she got so much stick for having such a small bump and "not looking pregnant". People said she was obviously not giving the baby enough nutrition and that it wasn't going to be healthy, but he was born a healthy 6lb-er.

It's so strange how being pregnant suddenly gives everyone the right to comment on your body.

Of course, if people are going to tell you lovely things about you glowing, blooming, suiting pregnancy, looking well etc. then all that is fine - you'd pay compliments to anyone when you thought they looked good.

We'd had a maternity shoot booked with the people who did our wedding photography, which took place this weekend. I was getting increasingly nervous about it after having my confidence bashed. I didn't want photos of my bump because I didn't want to remember being made to feel like such a whale.

However, when we went, I was made to feel so at ease and so comfortable that I forgot about all the "huge" comments and embraced my bump and my body. And I absolutely love the sneak peek of pictures that we have already seen. 

The pregnant body is such an amazing thing - literally growing a life inside you. It should be celebrated, and not criticised. Some women have terrible pregnancies with illness and health problems, all pregnant women should be celebrated not their size constantly scrutinised. Too big, too small, who gives a toss. As long as there's a healthy mum and healthy baby, that's all that matters.

So, here's to body positivity! Let's celebrate everyone - no matter their shape and size, pregnant or not. 


Hello, it's me!

Still alive - and still pregnant! You may have wondered since I haven't blogged about it for so long..

But here I am, at 31 weeks, in all my pregnant glory (I use the word glory in the loosest possible sense, I don't feel all too glorious at the moment! More like a puffy, swollen, uncomfortable blob.)

I've been pretty quiet for the last couple of months in terms of blogging because I was really struggling with what to write. I was really conscious of boring/spamming you all with the pregnancy posts and just repeating myself over and over again.

So, I took a little bit of a break from writing down my every movement, experience, emotion etc. and have, as a result, found myself in a bit of a rut. Kind of like writer's block.

Quite a lot of people have started saying to me "oh have I missed a post recently?" or "you've not blogged for ages" which makes me feel even more like this needs to be absolute gold (prepare yourselves, it's probably going to be absolute garbage!)

Today marks the 32-week mark of pregnancy, meaning we have just eight weeks until her due date. She is approximately the size of a Florida Pomelo (?!?!) or, in English, as long as a kale stem.

What I like best is seeing each week how big her hands and feet are getting...

I can totally believe they are that size when I get them jabbed into my ribs while it feels like she's doing some sort of Irish jig.

Aside from her, and me, growing at a rapid rate by the week, I don't feel like there's been much that I have missed blogging about.

I suppose the main thing would be our hypnobirthing classes. Tom said to me when we finished them I should write a review, but I would feel a bit of a cheat writing a review about hypnobirthing before actually doing the birthing part of it.

Don't get me wrong, up until now it's been absolutely marvellous! We are both so much calmer, more prepared and positive about the whole birthing situation and definitely feel like, providing there are no medical issues, we will be able to properly practice all the techniques we have learned.

Quite a few people have asked me about hypnobirthing, it's getting more and more common but is still relatively unknown. A lot of people think it's a bit 'hippy-ish' and dismiss it to the same bracket as vegans and feminists.

Essentially, it is overcoming the fear that we are programmed to feel about childbirth. And the only reason we are made to think this way is because we are told so many horror stories about birth. I don't know people insist on doing it, especially when they can see you are pregnant and can't back out now!

We are made to think that labour is going to be this horrible, painful, distressing, traumatic, worst-thing-in-the-world experience. Don't get me wrong, I don't dispute it's going to be painful. But if it was really that bad, women wouldn't keep having babies.

So many people whose hypnobirthing stories I have read have said they tried the technique because their first labour was so bad and wanted a much calmer, more positive birth.

I am hoping that if we can go into the whole thing feeling more positive and calm, my body will be positive and calm in response.

Another reason we opted for hypnobirthing was because Tom was a bit worried about labour. I know what you're thinking, he doesn't have to do it so what is he worrying for?

But he was worried that he wouldn't be able to keep calm, or to cope seeing me in pain. He was worried he wouldn't have a role, and wouldn't know what to do to try and help the situation. And I can completely understand his worries. There's nothing worse than feeling helpless while watching someone in so much pain and discomfort.

Since doing hypnobirthing he is now confident, calm and positive and ready for what he can do to help me and the labour progress.

I just hope that everything is straightforward and that we get to put all our practice into action. The only times I have read about it not working is when someone has had to be induced or there have been medical complications. Either way, the techniques we have learned have helped us massively with keeping calm during pregnancy and I definitely feel more prepared and relaxed about the whole situation than I would have done otherwise.

You can expect a full-blown review of hypnobirthing once Peanut has arrived (and I can sit down comfortably for long enough to pen it!)

So, hypnobirthing aside, what else have we been doing?

We put our pram up last weekend which was really exciting but quite daunting because it was just another thing that made it feel really, really real. It's being stored at mum and dad's because we have literally no room at ours at the moment (and they say it's bad luck to have it in the house before baby arrives, so even better excuse to keep it out the way!)

I have my baby shower next weekend which I am really excited about. I got a new dress for it, because I am essentially living in leggings and stretchy t-shirts at the moment. It was from ASOS - I learned my lesson from one of my last posts where I got stuck in a dress from Boohoo - and I really, really love it. It's really floaty and really comfy. 

I'd like to say it's flattering, but there's not much you can do to flatter a watermelon shoved up your top.

I really want to start washing all her little sleepsuits, outfits, bedding and blankets but I know it's too soon to do that just yet. I think that'll be a job I save for when I start maternity, because I know for a fact that first day I'll already be bored.

I can see it now, I'll set out to have a lie in and relax but by 12 noon will have cleaned the house top to bottom and washed the contents of her wardrobe.

We've got some really cute little bits for her recently from Next. Their baby clothes are just the cutest and I literally could buy everything in there.


I really like the sets that are tops and leggings so you can mix and match, but I am loving cute little dresses and pinafores too. We've got some lovely little sleepsuits but I am really struggling with what size to buy. I don't want to get loads of newborn because I anticipate her being quite leggy and not fitting in them.

But, by the same token, I don't want to not get any newborn and her be a little dot and not fit in anything. It's a hard balance to strike because the last thing I want is gorgeous little outfits sat there never, ever worn.

I think we are pretty much ready for her arrival now, in terms of items purchased. We have definitely got all the big things sorted, I finally managed to choose a changing bag, and we have enough nappies to see us through the first few months (unless she is some sort of nuclear pooing machine, they will hopefully see us longer than that!!)

The only thing we really still need to get is a baby monitor but it is so, so hard to choose one we are just putting that off for now. There are so many options out there - video, sound only, movement sensors... I feel so overwhelmed by it all! That will be top of the list on our next weekend shopping trip.

I don't want to keep warbling, because I am aware this is probably not the most riveting post you've ever read of mine!! But just one final bit of cuteness for you...

So, our littlest cat, Ashton, is a bit of a pain in the arse. He is a ball of energy and can be really, really naughty sometimes and is very rarely affectionate. However, the last couple of months he has been so cute and affectionate towards me.

He always comes and sits on me and has to have his head as close to my belly as possible. See pictures below...

He just loves sitting watching my belly, or sleeping on it, and it's really cute. I hope he is nice to her when she's here and doesn't try and smother her or anything!

Mila, on the other hand, will absolutely hate her. She hates noise and anything that she isn't used to. I doubt we'll see her for weeks once Peanut arrives and starts asserting her dominance by screaming the house down.

Finally (I promise!) I am having a 'maternity shoot' done at the start of May. It actually falls the day before our first wedding anniversary, and is with the photographer who did our wedding, so that will be nice.

I'm a bit apprehensive about it, and can't see me posting my photos all over for the world to see (famous last words... haha!) I don't feel too confident about my pregnancy body at the moment.

About two weeks ago I woke up one morning and had stretch marks in exactly the same place on both sides of my hips and just underneath my belly button. They literally appeared overnight and I was so, so upset. I'd not had a single one up until then so thought I was going to get away with it, but apparently not. I have been lathering them in every oil and cream I can lay my hands on hoping to tame them/prevent them from getting even worse. I know stretch marks are a bit of a given when your belly is stretching to carry a person around in, but it still doesn't make me any more accepting of them on my abdomen.

Stretch marks aside, I also just feel a bit self-conscious about how much my body has changed. My thighs have taken on a life of their own now and my arms have even started to pad out. I have a little collection of chins developing and my face is definitely developing that pregnancy swell. I just don't feel like myself and I know I won't look at the pictures in the same way that I do my wedding photos and think "wow look at me there".

In years to come, I'm sure I will look back with that view and remember how amazing my body has been at growing our little girl and bringing her into the world. I know that's why people have these photos taken, to have memories and to show their children where they grew etc.

Who knows, I may get a sudden wave of body confidence and suddenly think I'm Demi Moore and just strip off completely!!

So, I think that's about it for now. 

I will try and get a bit more regular with my posts again, but try and make them interesting enough so that I don't bore you all to tears or annoy you with my constant over-sharing. I think I've done quite well in this post - I've barely even trodden on TMI's toes!


"There is no force more powerful than a woman determined to rise"

"To tell a woman everything she cannot do is to tell her what she can."

When I was at primary school, I remember vividly always wanting to be good at everything. I was on the top table for Maths and English, and I always wanted to do well in every test, challenge and activity that I was set.

Maths was always my weakest subject, and always the one I had to work the hardest on. English and other subjects came quite naturally to me, but not Maths.

I remember being in year two, Mrs Spencer's class, and being moved down from the top table in Maths because I didn't do very well in my last few tests. I was mortified.

I worked so, so hard to get back onto the top table. So hard that, in fact, Mrs Spencer called in my mum and dad to tell them how impressed she was with me. I remember her saying she was taken aback by my work ethic and my determination to be good and be on top.

I have never liked being told I couldn't do something I wanted to, or believed I could.

The quickest way to get me to do something is to tell me I can't, or you don't think I can.
When I was in second year at college I absolutely bombed my History exam in the January. As it stood, I wasn't going to get into university and be able to study history.

I remember my tutor sitting me down and telling me I'd got an E in my exam. I laughed, nervously, at first and asked him to repeat what he said. I thought I'd heard 'E', but wasn't sure if he said 'A'. To be honest, the A would have been more of a shock!

But I just broke down. I was absolutely crushed. I'd never failed an exam before, and never as spectacularly as that. I knew that if I didn't work hard, I wouldn't be going to university.

So I put the hours in, I did one-to-one revision sessions and worked my arse off to eventually get a B in the exam I'd failed six months previous. And the rest is history, quite literally!

I went to uni and had the best three years ever, making the most amazing memories with the most amazing people.

I can be quite stubborn when I want to be. When I get my mind set on something that I want, whether it be a possession or something I want to do, I don't like to give up on it. I like hard work, I'm not afraid to work my arse off to get what, and where, I want.

This International Women's Day it's important to celebrate the achievements of women all over the world.

We are amazing, strong, powerful human beings who are underestimated every single day. In business, in social situations and in the media. People think women aren't as strong or capable as men because we are more emotional, or more driven by our feelings, but I think that makes us stronger.

Telling a woman she can't do something only spurs her on to want to prove everyone wrong. 

There are so many amazing female role models out there who deserve to be celebrated everyday, not just today.

When women support each other, amazing things happen. Too often in the media women tear each other down, pick faults with each other and are pitted off against each other. But when women come together, we are a force to be reckoned with.

I am so excited to be able to teach my daughter how amazing it is to be a woman, and to let her know that the sky really is her limit. She can do whatever she puts her mind to, and nobody will ever stand in her way if she is determined enough to succeed.


To say that children "benefit most" from being raised by a man and a woman is absolute bullshit

Those of you who have read my blog for some time know that I like to give my opinions on current affairs, topics that are being discussed widely at that time, and generally just hop onto my soapbox every now and again.

When I give my opinions, I don't expect everyone to agree with me. The world would be incredibly boring if everyone thought the same thing, and held the same views on things. Debate is healthy, after all.

However, I am always careful to never offend anybody. I am well aware that everyone is entitled to hold their own opinion on things, it's what makes this country, and this world, special that everyone holds their own beliefs on things.

People like Katie Hopkins make me really mad. They have made names for themselves by preaching these controversial points of view and being inappropriate; targeting individuals and preying on them to try and big up their own profiles.

I don't ever read the Daily Mail, I'd just like to put that out there. I occasionally browse Mail Online, but purely for the 'column of shame' (aka the celeb 'gossip'). So this weekend, the only reason I heard about Richard Littlejohn's latest column was because of the news stories about Center Parcs pulling their advertising with the media organisation because of its content.

Littlejohn went on a lengthy rant entitled 'Please don't pretend new dads is the new normal'. He was talking about the news this week that Tom Daley and his husband, Dustin Lance Black, are having a baby.

Just the title alone made me incensed. 

His claims throughout the article made my blood boil, I could physically feel my blood pressure rising as I struggled to comprehend what this man was saying.

He says, and I quote: "I'd rather children were fostered by loving gay couples than condemned to rot in state-run institutions where they face a better-than-average chance of being abused."

He then goes on to say: "That said, and despite the fact that countless single parents do a fantastic job, I still cling to the belief that children benefit most from being brought up by a man and a woman."

He calls the announcement by Tom Daley and his husband and a "publicity stunt" and goes on to question who the baby's mother is. He's concerned that she has been "written out of the script entirely" and is worried that he doesn't know her identity. He assumes she is a surrogate and refers to women bring treated as "mere breeding machines".

He doesn't know her reasons for having this baby for them. Perhaps she fell pregnant and didn't want a termination, so has put the baby up for adoption. She may have had her own children and want to help give other couples that same blessing. There are so many reasons why women carry children for others and that should be applauded, not criticised. They are doing such a brave, incredible thing and giving the best possible gift to a couple whose one dream is to have a child. What exactly is wrong with that?! 

I'm not sure that's really why he is so bothered, though.

Despite Littlejohn saying "No one is suggesting that homosexual couples can't make excellent parents" he queries why the story has been reported everywhere "without so much as a raised eyebrow".

Maybe, just maybe, that's because we live in 2018?

Why do we need to question the parentage of this baby? Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black clearly want to have this baby, they clearly have enough love to give him/her, and they are obviously more than ready to be parents.

So many babies are brought into this world everyday to parents who aren't ready for them, don't want them, and give them up, or worse, abandon them. What does it matter if this baby doesn't have a male and female bringing them up?

I know some amazing single parents - both men and women - who provide more than enough love to their children. Absent fathers - and mothers, of course - are a regular sight in our society today. But does that mean that children who come from a single-parent home aren't going to do as well? I don't think so.

Single parents are absolutely incredible and I totally admire them bringing up their babies single-handedly. They give so much love and that's all that matters. Some of the brightest kids I know have come from single-parent homes, it genuinely makes no difference who is loving these babies as long as they get enough of it. So to say that children "benefit most" from being raised by a mum and a dad is absolute bullshit.

Why should it matter if Tom Daley's baby has the love of two dads? Love is love, it doesn't matter who or where it comes from. Children all over the world crave love from one, or both, of their parents. They may be in a family with a mum and a dad, but not get the love and affection they need, deserve or want.

It's 2018, for goodness sake, you can't brand things as 'normal' anymore. 

Littlejohn's article goes on to rant about him not agreeing with a transgender woman breastfeeding her baby. He even uses the word her in inverted commas. *Facepalm*

I am pretty certain that Tom Daley's baby is going to be a much kinder, caring, and loving soul than Richard Littlejohn ever could possibly hope to be. Whether that is down to the fact he has been raised by two men, who knows, but I know who I would rather align myself with. And it certainly isn't a bigoted, arrogant man such as Littlejohn.

All the Daily Mail's reaction to this news is remind us that we aren't all equal yet and, despite the amazing work of so many, we all still have so far to go.

Huge congratulations to Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black on their exciting news.


I got stuck in a dress last night and suddenly hated everything about pregnancy

I'm back to writing about pregnancy-related stuff now, soz. Hope you enjoyed the brief interlude, I'll try make them more regular to break up the spam!

This is probably going to be a bit of a weird post, and not make much sense to many people (although, hopefully some of my fellow preggo friends will understand where I am coming from!)

Ever since my belly started growing at a rapid rate, I have absolutely loved my body changing. It's been amazing watching it grow - sometimes every day - and change shape. And even more amazing now that she's started kicking and we can see her moving around.

At first, I struggled with the gaining weight but not looking pregnant stage, but that soon passed and I've felt really, really confident.

Until last night.

I took this photo after what I am about to talk about, to try and remind myself that things aren't so bad and to stop being so hard on myself because, at the end of the day, I am growing a person!

I am going to an awards ceremony with work tonight; it's black tie. Usually, this would be right up my street - a great excuse to dress up and get a new frock. But, being pregnant, it's hard to find a nice, 'dressy' dress that will be flattering, suit you & not cost the earth. Because, let's be honest, spending a lot of money on a dress is difficult to justify at the best of times, but even more so when it's a maternity one and you know you won't get any wear out of it again.

I shopped around a bit and, after struggling to find one that was dressy enough, settled on a black bodycon dress from Boohoo. It was in the maternity range and the model online was pregnant. Although, whether she was really pregnant is a question I asked myself. Her boobies were way too small to be pregnant lady boobies.

It arrived and I tried it on and there is no way on this earth it was a maternity dress. No friggin' way.

I couldn't even get it over my boobs. When I eventually did, and forced it over my bump and bum, I couldn't breathe. I couldn't move. And I certainly wasn't comfortable. I felt so self-conscious and like a beached whale. I felt absolutely disgusting.
I just wanted to get it off, but I was stuck. I couldn't shout Tom, I was too embarrassed that I was stuck in a dress. So I started to get hot and panicky, which made getting it off even worse.

When I did finally escape the fabric's clutches, I decided to measure it against a similar dress I bought from Boohoo last summer.

This was me, wearing said dress, last summer.

(A bit of pre-baby body appreciation thrown in *sighs*)

When I put the two dresses on top of each other, they were almost exactly the same size!! The one in the above photo is a size 10 (*sighs again*) and the 'maternity' one I bought this week was allegedly a 12.

All my other maternity clothes I have bought, and wear day in, day out, are all size 12 and I have no problems. My skinny maternity jeans (bit of an oxymoron there!) are a 12, tops are 12s - no issues. 

I was furious. But, more than that, I was really upset.

I've been trying to remain so body confident throughout pregnancy so far, embracing the changes that are happening to my body and enjoying not feeling pressured to lose weight. I have still been trying to maintain a healthy, balanced diet, but I am enjoying biscuits, cake, chocolate and whatever else I want. It's the only time in my life I will get fat and have an excuse for it. 

What will be, will be. Everyone grows babies differently. Every female body is different, so I knew I couldn't predict what mine would do. My boobs, for example. They've grown an insane amount!

I was measured for a maternity bra the other weekend, it was long overdue! I've gone from a 34B to a 36DD. 

I took this nice comparison of the bras I was wearing before I got pregnant, compared to the beast I bought the other weekend. Here's a photo, to lighten the tone/mood! 

Soph and I were talking in the gym about pregnancy and our bodies changing last week, and a woman came over to us afterwards (she'd overheard our conversation because, apparently, we talk very loud when we're in the gym). She said how lovely it was to hear us talking so positively about embracing all the changes our bodies will go through and not stressing about it.

If she could've seen me last night! I was embracing nothing.

I just wanted to get into bed and cry at how fat and ugly I was. I didn't feel glowy, I didn't feel blooming, and I certainly didn't feel attractive.

Knowing I was being completely irrational and that I would feel like a right muppet when I woke up, I decided to take some photos before I went to sleep to remind myself how great the human body actually is.

And, true enough, when I looked at them this morning I did feel like an idiot. I look at them now, like I look at my body most days, and am so proud of what it is creating inside. There's a tiny miracle growing in there, kicking around and moving all the time.

Yes, my body is changing shape and isn't what it used to be, but it's not going to be like this forever. The gestation period of a human is 40 weeks - I'm well over half way now - so that finish line is almost in sight.

When I lost weight when I started Slimming World, it was so easy. I know it's easy to lose weight by eating well, so I am not worried about that. 

Right now, all I am worried about is keeping our little Peanut safe, well fed (no danger of that not happening!) and keep growing her until she's ready to make her arrival into the world. Who gives a chuff what I look like, as long as I am doing my job of growing her and looking after her that is all that matters.

I've sent the dress back to Boohoo today, along with a review for the website slating the dress for not being maternity in the slightest, and managed to find a last minute, emergency dress while on my lunch break today. So all is well with the world!

Hopefully the only wobbles I'll have for the rest of my pregnancy is my thighs/bum/extra chins and I'll give over worrying about what I look like. There's plenty of time for that when she's here!

You may also like: It's all going on


How do you know when you've found 'the one'?

I have a feeling, now I have written the title for this post, that I may have written a post with a similar - if not the same - title before. Hey ho, let's explore the topic again, as it's Valentine's!

We've all been there - find someone you think is perfect, invest your time in them, start to fall for them, then have it all blow up in your face.

They're either too clingy, or not showing enough interest; they're too interested in themselves, or too interested in other girls; too pushy, or too laid back - you're probably sensing a pattern.

We've all had our hearts broken, whether we thought they were 'the one' or not. We've gone back to people we've sworn we wouldn't, thinking that they were maybe 'the one that got away' and that they've perhaps changed since whatever went wrong in the first place. Only for it to all swiftly go Pete Tong again.

Yet, somehow, we still manage to see through our previous bad experiences, heartbreaks and bad luck with the opposite sex and find that perfect one person.

When Tom and I first started dating, it came really out of the blue. At first, I was just happy to reconnect with an old friend - someone I hadn't spoken to for a few years. We'd lost touch during uni, so it was nice to catch up.

That is, after the initial embarrassment on my part of Tom telling me to text him, only for me to admit that I had, in fact, deleted his number. Awks.

He asked me on a date but, after realising I had literally just applied for a job in the same office as him, I politely declined.

I didn't want to potentially end up starting a new job with any awkwardness or weirdness - particularly after learning that the office was just me, him and one receptionist!

He'd asked me out on dates previously, on more than one occasion. Reading back through our old Facebook messages is a hilarious pastime.

Him forever asking me out - to the cinema, for food etc. - and me coming up with reasons to say no, excuses not to go and just generally rejecting him while still trying to be polite.

After rejecting him yet again, he still persisted. God bless him!

He said he would come round to mine the night before my interview to help me prep. I'm not naive, I knew he'll have had a hidden agenda. I said yes, because I really wanted the job, but I made sure he didn't get any signals from me.

He turned up and I'd just got out of the shower. My hair was wet, I had no make-up on, and I was wearing a mint green onesie. I hardly screamed 'sex appeal'.

Anyway, long story short, I didn't initially get the job. I was really gutted, and Tom said he would take me out to cheer me up. Nothing like striking while the iron is hot, ey TK!

We went to the cinema to see The Other Woman and got some food. And it was really, really lovely. From there, we started seeing more of each other. Spending more time together, going on dates and hanging out all the time. It was so, so nice.

A few weeks later I got a call to say I'd got the job. I couldn't believe it - I was starting a new job where I'd already slept with my only other colleague. Great start, Nat!

I was sceptical about us carrying on seeing each other incase anything went wrong and it was mega awkward. It never goes well for me spending loads of time with one person. I get very agitated and fed up very quickly. However, I persevered, as things were going really well between us and I genuinely couldn't see why anything would be awkward if things didn't work out. We got on really well and had been friends to start with, so it could just be something we'd laugh about.

Anyway, this time, it worked! I couldn't spend enough time with him. Even after seeing him every day and every night for weeks, I missed him the first night we were apart.

And that's when I knew.

The fact I still wanted to see him, for the 50th consecutive day, told me everything I needed to know.

Everyone has a different moment when they know. But when you know, you know.

Whether it's someone you've known for years, a friendship that has developed into something more, or a person you've met for the very first time. You never know when your first kiss with someone might become your last ever 'first kiss'.

I have kissed a lot of frogs in my time, but I wouldn't change any of that if it meant that I still ended up with Tom at the end of it. Of course, I'd rather have saved myself the hassle and heartbreak along the road and just gone out with him when I was 17, when he first asked. But, who knows - if I had, would it have worked out the same? Probably not, especially with the distance of uni being thrown into the mix!

Everything happens for a reason, after all, and I couldn't be happier with how we found each other and things worked out.


It's all going on!

We're now over the halfway point and, as Tom said so lovingly the other day, I now look like I've got a football stuffed up my top.
Suddenly, the last couple of weeks, I seem to have started looking very pregnant, very quickly. At first, I was really struggling with my changing belly (read more here). I didn't look pregnant, just like I'd put weight on, and it was hard to get my head around putting so much weight on so quickly, especially as I've always struggled with my weight and my body; having only in the last year or so finally reached my 'happy place' in terms of my body and figure.

However, now I have a proper baby bump appearing, I absolutely love it. I find myself stood stroking it when talking to people and just love looking at it. It's so amazing how there is a baby growing in there, isn't the human body fascinating?

My body is still changing every single day as well, I honestly didn't think there was much left to change!


Finally getting ready for our new arrival

Last week we had our last week off work together, just the two of us, until my maternity leave officially starts in June. We had planned to spend it just chilling out, making the most of being able to get away with lounging around watching 17 episodes of Friends on Netflix in one day and napping whenever I felt like it.

It was also Tom's birthday, so we celebrated that and just generally spent some nice, quality time together.

We also made headway on getting organised for Peanut's arrival. Everyone has kept asking us "have you bought loads of stuff already?" and I felt so bad constantly saying that we hadn't. All we had purchased was a SnuzPod, which had money off after Christmas, and some vests when Tesco had 25% off clothing. Not a single other item.

We decided to capitalise on having some time off in the week to get organised as much as possible and seem like we were ready for her arrival.


It's a...

Today we had our 'anomaly scan' which is to check that baby's anatomy is forming right, that they're healthy and that everything is where it should be and developing at the right rate.

It's also the scan where they can tell the sex of the baby - if you want to know - providing it isn't lying in an awkward position.

Here's our scan photo from today, showing little peanut mid yawn/laugh. Just like mumma, mouth always open!

All the little monkey did all the way through the scan was yawn. Again, just like mumma - always tired.


Gender reveals, belly photos and pregnancy massages

I'm aware I'm a bit late to the party, but 2018 is here which means I will be popping a baby out this year.

Holy moly.

Christmas and New Year absolutely wiped me out, we were so busy visiting family and friends we didn't have a single night where we just sat at home and lounged in front of the tv for over two weeks.

Peanut did pick up some lovely little presents over Christmas, though - not a bad haul for someone who isn't going to be making an appearance until the summer!

I was shattered when I went back to work and was really dreading going to London last weekend to see my uni girls. I was so, so excited to see them and catch up, but I was so worried I was going to be exhausted and unable to enjoy myself properly.

However, out of nowhere, I seem to have got this new wave of energy.

The spa day on Saturday most definitely help with that, I am sure.

I had the most amazing pregnant lady treatment - they started soaking my feet in rose water and did a foot scrub and moisturising treatment, then I had a back massage which was rather strange as I lay on my side with my leg cocked over some rolled up towels. I then had to roll onto my other side, for her to do the other half of my back, as I can no longer lay flat on my front. Then followed a neck and shoulder massage, as well as this strange yet satisfying thing she did to my head, a foot and lower leg massage, and a facial. I felt absolutely amazing afterwards. Although, I did try and stand up too quick so felt a bit light-headed!