Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Baby #2: Second Trimester

I've done it. I have done it. I have reached the third and final trimester which means I am on the final stretch. It is a long stretch - 12 weeks to be exact. Which considering this has been the longest 6 months ever, I have no hope on the final trimester going any quicker.

To be honest when I found out I was pregnant again, I wanted to be one of those bloggers who posted weekly updates because I love reading them so much. However, I am boring and do not have that much to say hence why I have done a first trimester (here) and not a post until now. So here it is, finally an update on my second trimester and shock....
It's a long one again.

So during my second trimester as most of you will know, you have the chance to find out the sex of your baby. I did! Obviously way too impatient to wait. You can see my reveal post here :) But spoiler alert - it's a boy!

I don't get the clearest scan pictures and I  know this is because of my high BMI but it is a little disappointing. I hope it will get better as baby gets bigger. I will let you know after my next scan!

You can follow on Instagram at @gemandthem for some little shots for some bump shots but they aren't anything fancy as my photography skills need some major improvements. Overall, so far I have put on about a stone in weight now which I thought wasn't really great but considering I am 28 weeks now I also think it ain't that bad. I have a relatively big bump now. Well actually it is a bigger bump than I ever had with Corey. I am worrying at the size I am going to be by full term, waddling along more than I am already starting too. I know most mums to be will feel the same in this. Part of me loves the bump but I don't love my body and I feel very self conscious which gets me down at times. Especially when trying to get dressed. But I also think who gives a crap. I am the size of a baby elephant but I wouldn't have it any other way because I am pregnant. I am growing a life inside of me and I love it. I love when this little man wriggles his little self around constantly having a party every hour day and night. OK, I don't love that really - he better sleep at some point when he makes an appearance into this world. I will not have a wriggling wide awake baby every hour!!!! But feeling kicks and the tossing and turning going on really is just a magical feeling. It is getting stronger day by day and really sometimes leaves me gasping as I am shocked at how big that kick was. It's a great feeling and I smile each time :)

Second trimester really hasn't been the easiest for a fair few reasons to be honest. Firstly you may have seen a post where I explained that I have become single and dealing with that isn't easy especially when pregnant. My emotions are all over the place anyways with hormones. You could imagine the blubbering mess I am half the time. But although is hasn't been the easiest break up and frankly still hasn't got any easier - I am starting to deal with it and just need to get my ass into gear to prepare for the future.

With the extra stress meant there has been a few extra hospital trips - most of the time due to high blood pressure. I am already showing signs of pre-eclampsia and it has been pretty much guaranteed I will develop it in this pregnancy. I had Corey premature at 34 weeks from this so the fact I am already showing signs so early on, well it's really scary. Nothing can prepare you for knowing that your bump may become a baby sooner and the thought of having to go through all the neonatal and illnesses etc again. Well you can't prepare but you can just hope for the best. At times I have had high glucose and low keytones, or protein all showing up in my urine. Which sets up alarm bells every time. But will see how it goes. I am now on close monitoring but already on consultant care so hopefully if anything happens it can be picked up early and dealt with to keep this baby in as long as possible.

Like I said I am being monitored which is good but I am not going to lie, I am bloody scared that I am on a count down to another c-section. This time is elective hopefully if all goes to plan but it doesn't necessarily mean the recovery will be easier. My last experience was horrific - I wasn't back to normal for six months and I am pretty sure the scar tissue damage caused me to need another operation I had a few years later. There is always risks and there is always possibilities of complications. But right now I can just pray and hope that I get lucky this time and am able to recover quickly as I will have no choice with no help being single.

Because of the extra stress and all the problems the stress has been causing. I have been signed off work for 2 weeks. Not solely because of stress though. Another reason pregnancy is hitting me hard is because of developing SPD - pelvic girdle pain. Working, well sitting at work is very uncomfortable. Walking is uncomfortable. Uncomfortable isn't even the right word to use. It's damn right bloody painful. I didn't even realise how common it was until I started moaning over on Instagram recently to see so many others struggle with SPD. Why is it not more known about? It is literally leaving me unable to do most daily things even driving. Doctors just say it is only going to worse. THAT IS NOT HELPFUL! Especially when you have to work, be a single mum raising a child etc.

I can say with such a proud and big smile on my face that I am very lucky to have Corey. He may only be 6 and sometimes I forget he is only 6 as he is so grown up for his age. But he not only is having to deal with my break up which he is truly gutted about and still hopes it may have a different outcome. With this and the end of school year approaching, he is tired, whiny and annoying but I don't blame him as I am too. But he has been helping me so much in so many ways. From the little things like kisses and cuddles to make me smile, from helping round the house i.e. making the beds in the morning or picking things up for me that I can not bend over to get. But mainly when he comes running over concerned and worried to help me when I am in agony and struggling to get off the sofa. Those moments really bring tears to my eyes not only from seeing the worry in his eyes but to know he cares and is that helpful. Although as much as he wants to help with everything - I don't let him. However, it is a lovely feeling knowing I have raised such a wonderful, kind, caring and mostly happy little lad :)

So I am not really sure how my third trimester is going to go. I bloody hope better than the second but with all my worries of health for not only myself but bump too - it could be another lot of craziness. I have a lot to buy and prepare still. I have to also remember to take time to look after myself too. The good thing about crappy pregnancy is at the end you get a wonderful little bundle of joy. Whom I luckily get to see a few more times in upcoming scans from now till then too which hopefully will make time go a bit quicker counting down..

I have decided that I am going to do all the things that I didn't when pregnant with Corey. I don't want to regret not doing things that I have had the chance to do and as I will probably not get the chance again as this will probably be my last pregnancy. So I am booked in for a 4D scan, I am planning a baby shower and a possible maternity shoot. Because why the heck not?! Why shouldn't I celebrate being pregnant and have things to look forward too but also to look back on in years to come. Did you do these things? Are they a waste of money or some of the best times you had? Let me know your thoughts please :)

I may try to update a little more frequently now onto this final stretch but do expect some baby posts from SPD help to preparing and hauls.. :) That's me signing off at 28 weeks until next time...

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

#AsdaLittleAngels Nappy Event - The Dorchester Spa #AD

I was very lucky enough to be invited along with other fellow pregnant bloggers to attend an event which included a spa day at a 5* hotel in London - The Dorchester. Literally all my dreams came true at once. Especially with how life has been a bit crappy lately (read here!) - a spa afternoon was just what I needed.

Firstly I have never been to a blog event besides Brit Mums so this was a major deal and super exciting for me that I couldn't be more thankful for the opportunity. But also to be along side such big bloggers as well as such a big well known favourite supermarket - Asda. It was very surreal and nerve wrecking to say the least. Panicked the whole journey there!!

We started off with a very informative presentation by #AsdaLittleAngels lovely team Nicole & Claire. This was all about their nappy range. It opened up my eyes to quite a lot of what they do that I did not know & I think a lot of parents will be surprised by this information too. Although I am already a mum, it was so long ago that I genuinely feel like I am starting off as a newbie again which is pretty scary to be honest. So I do mention later on in this post how I am doing a separate post ALL about just their nappy range in full details so keep an eye out in the following week or so. There is just too much information to fit in here as well.

So after our presentation as well as a Q&A. We then started our spa treatment where us pregnant ladies got a full body massage. Best thing ever!!! I have never been so relaxed, so comfy and just amazed by a massage before. It was just pure bliss! After this we got to relax, get to know one another and just chat whilst enjoying a Wimbledon theme afternoon tea. Can't beat an afternoon tea. Everything from a mocktail, flower infused tea to scrummy sandwiches, scones & more!

I am not the best photographer in the world. Far from it to be honest  so my pictures do not do this event justice so my apologies. Just a shame we didn't get a picture of all of us together with our bumps & robes!

We were then very fortunate to be given goody bags to take home. The ladies sure did know how to look after us though as they offered to have them delivered to us rather than drag around on our travels home. Which was in my opinion was very thoughtful and caring towards us pregnant ladies! The Dorchester themselves even gave us a little bag of goodies!

Then of course the real reason we actually attended the event was for the #AsdaLittleAngels nappies!! But I am keeping this quite vague as I am planning a separate post on just this as mentioned earlier on. I was so shocked and surprised (in a good way!) from the presentation with all the details about their full range that I just have to share properly. It will be great to see what you guys think of all the information too. So again keep an eye out :) Also that super cute little baby key-ring in pictures above is in fact a USB - how cool is that?!


To the absolutely most friendly and lovely ladies Vanessa & Lauren at Myraid PR and Nicole & Claire from #AsdaLittleAngels. I would just like to say a massive thank you for the invite, a great presentation and thank you for the best possible way to spend a Sunday :)

Here are the bloggers who attended and you should certainly check out their blogs especially for possible pregnancy & future baby updates etc as well as their other stuff! :)

Alice - Annie Writes Beauty
Chloe - Lady Writes
Lucinda - Teacher 2 Mummy
Emily - Emily & Indiana
Laura - Belles Boutique
Sophie - Mumology
Tanita - Just Motherhood
Natasha - Living The Mummy Life
Angela - Chatting With Angela
Keighley - 2 Bottles Of Milk
Emma - The Aspiring Yummy Mummy
Friday, 7 July 2017

A Mini Haul - Bit Of Retail Therapy

I'm not really one for doing little mini haul posts but I am signed off work at the moment and quite frankly needed some retail therapy to cheer myself up a bit and keep myself busy.

I decided to head over to Milton Keynes shopping centre - on my own!!! This is a super big deal. I am not one to enjoy going anywhere alone quite frankly. Corey was at school, everyone else at work and mum in London. So I really didn't have much of a choice. I thought it would be good for me though. I am really struggling with SPD in my pregnancy so walking is hard especially for any length of time. But being on my own meant I could take my time walking, not feel rushed and take a break whenever needed.

So let's just get straight into it with pictures..

Firstly I headed to the big ASDA superstore. This is the nearest one to me even though half hour away but so so so worth it. I have a big obsession with them. All of my maternity wear so far has come from them and their children, baby, toy and home ranges are just amazing. I always spend way too much. I originally had to go to drop off a Yours Clothing order at a collection point as I ordered stuff that didn't fit. But of course I had a look around.

So firstly in ASDA picked up these super cute dinosaur sleepsuits and bodysuits. Corey is a huge dinosaur fan and I know he will love these for his little brother. The Dinosaur Sleepsuits came in a pack of 3 for £7 and the Dinosaur Bodysuits in a pack of 7 for £7.50. I literally love their prices!!! But no matter what shop I go too for baby clothes it really bothers me you can get packs of more bodysuits than sleepsuits especially when can get matching like this. Why not just do packs of 7 for everything? Then I have a whole outfit sorted - that matches. I like to match!!!

To carry on with the ASDA baby theme I also picked up this Faux Fur Cuddle Robe for only £10. It is sooooo soft!!!!!! :) Can't wait to wrap little man up in the winter months for cuddles. Then I found this Monkey Rattle & Snuggler Set. Now really bump didn't need another cuddly but for just a small £5 you can't really go wrong. It really would make the perfect gift for someone expecting or a newborn. It is going to match my buggy so well which is where the monkey will live when bump arrives.

Onto another shop which I love mainly for their children, baby and home range. You guessed it - Next - my little slice of heaven. I have wanted this Best Little Brother sleepsuit for some while now. I love outer space and anything that has to do with it. Costing just £8 not too bad at all. It is super cute and I just have a thing about buying stuff that says brother as I am just so excited that Corey finally gets a sibling!!! I also picked up this Hugs For Mummy sleepsuit costing £7. They have a whole range for this from a daddy one, bits and hats to match. I would have picked them up too as have been lusting for so long but the store didn't stock them which I was gutted about. Although saved my bank balance a bit for now!

Carrying on with the Next theme. I picked up this little Four Leaf Clover frame. It really is stunning for £6 and a great gift to give to a friend. However, I have got this for myself and I know that sounds very selfish. But listen, I need to somehow turn this into a DIY project and tear it apart. Essentially I just want the pressed clover bit.

Clover's are something that mean a huge deal to me. To be honest I don't even really know how it started but when Corey was premature and almost passed away at one point - a clover was tattooed onto me next to his name. Ever since then, it is just a symbol that brings so many memories and I guess luck to me.

Which then onto my favourite item of today from the beautiful and my favourite jewellers of Thomas Sabo. They recently launched a new 'Little Secrets' range which has some stunning stuff. But I was drawn to a little bracelet costing just £29. This Cloverleaf bracelet as they call it in a lovely khaki coloured cord material. I treated myself as a bit of an early birthday present!

Earlier on in this post I mentioned how I had to return some Yours Clothing bits as they didn't fit. This was from their exclusive online maternity range. Being plus size anyways finding maternity clothes big enough is quite hard. So I decided to pop into their store and try some of their clothes but in a larger size. I picked up a basic Black Swing Cami Top for just £12.99. It is very long though so I am not sure how much wear I will get out of it but if not my mum sure will. I also picked up this Black - Embroidered Shoulder T-Shirt for £19.99. My picture doesn't do it justice but I am not confident enough to do a little fashion shoot to show you what it is like on. Apologies! Check it out here though. I'm not usually one for a t-shirt but it looked better on than I thought it would for a change. I got a size up for a little bit baggier and room for bump to grow.


So there you have it a little haul from my retail therapy session. Which did help a bit. I am really surprised however that I didn't purchase any make-up. It was sooo tempting but I really would of broke the bank balance way more than I already shouldn't have. I was gutted I didn't pick anything up for Corey though but there wasn't anything he would have liked and he has been spoilt a fair bit recently by my mum anyways so I shouldn't really feel bad but I did.

What do you do to cheer yourself up? :) If retail therapy like me, what sort do you tend to head for? Home, children, clothes, beauty etc etc.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - Sunset Safari Event

Well the lovely ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - in Dunstable sort of near my area held a big event on Saturday 24th June. A 'Sunset Safari' where it was open from 6-10pm for us to have a look around and they had some extra special bits going on too. As well as the usual talks and feeds - there was also food stands, live music, face painting, train & truck tours, stilt walkers and more. Entrance for this only cost £21 something when pre-booked. So a couple of my friends and I immediately booked tickets. I was so gutted I couldn't take Corey but he was at his dads and I think frankly it might of been just too tiring and late for him anyways.

Luckily the weather was pretty decent. I was a little worried after the heat wave this week but there was such a lovely cool breeze which was so needed. All the animals were out and not hiding for a change. Is it just me or not but every time I visit a zoo the animals are hiding?!

One thing I was not really disappointed with but was a bit of a shame. They were doing a walk where people could follow the Elephants. But they quickly had to be cornered off due to massive amounts of people which was just a bit too much for them to handle unfortunately. So instead everyone crowded around. It wasn't very well planned. Although the elephants done great and looked amazing - I couldn't help but feel sorry for them.

But being almost 25 weeks pregnant and suffering with SPD (like bad hips unable to walk much)! Well lets just say as I am typing this up the next day to get posted, I am actually bed bound from the pain of walking so much. It isn't very nice at all but the evening was worth it.

So over all I had an amazing time with my friends and I am really glad I took my little camera to take some pictures that I am very proud of so just had to share. They did have a finale of 'fire and glow' which I am so gutted I missed but we couldn't get there in time so instead headed to the gift shop and purchased some rather cute goodies.

Enough of my rambling for now, lets get stuck into the overload of pictures..

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - Event - Sunset Safari

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - Event - Sunset Safari

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - Event - Sunset Safari

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - Event - Sunset Safari

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - Event - Sunset Safari

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - Event - Sunset Safari

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - Event - Sunset Safari

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - Event - Sunset Safari

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - Event - Sunset Safari

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - Event - Sunset Safari

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - Event - Sunset Safari

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - Event - Sunset Safari

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - Event - Sunset Safari

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - Event - Sunset Safari

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - Event - Sunset Safari

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - Event - Sunset Safari

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - Event - Sunset Safari

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - Event - Sunset Safari

Another great aspect about ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is that it looks onto Dunstable Downs, which I never realised how beautiful it is until now especially when the sun was setting..

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - Dunstable Downs Views

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - Dunstable Downs Views

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - Dunstable Downs Views

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - Dunstable Downs Views

So there you have it :) I hope they plan to do more nights like this in the future. Did you attend or would you if they done another?

Do you love zoos as much as me? I love a visit and try to go at least once a year. I can't wait to take Corey again but next time with our new little addition to our family too :) I really want to do ZSL London Zoo again as has been few years now and want to see if can compete to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.

But they do have two Silent Cinema nights coming at the end of August playing Jumanji and Lion King. I think I might have to book along with Corey. Check it out here.


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