Marnie's birth story

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

The last few weeks have been busy. And utterly wonderful. On 22 June 2017 at 8:36am, we welcomed our fourth beautiful baby into our family. Our little girl was born at home as planned, weighing 7lb 8.5oz and it was a moment I will never forget.

Of course all four of my birth experiences have been wonderful and unforgettable. But something about Marnie's birth was a little clearer. Less foggy. Maybe I had less gas and air this time. Whatever it was, I'll never forget the first time we looked at each other. As I lifted her out of the water, she looked straight into my eyes. It was magical. And we sat there in the birth pool, just looking at each other for what felt like hours. She didn't cry. She just looked at me.

I've spent a lot of time just looking at her ever since.

I managed to film a fair amount of her birth, which I will always be grateful for. I have a few photos of my first three babies just after they were born, which I will always treasure, but having a video to watch back is so precious. It brings all the memories flooding back of my four babies being born and those incredible first moments with your new little one.

If you'd like to watch our birth story I'll link it below. It's a video I will always treasure (and watch at least 1000 times, whilst weeping into a tub of Ben & Jerry's).

Preparing for my home water birth | 37 week pregnancy update

Monday, 12 June 2017

The time has come. Only two weeks to go (ish) and, if all goes to plan, I'll be climbing into our birth pool to welcome our fourth little human to the family.

This last week I'm swinging from excited to terrified and back again. I know I can do it. After all, it's not my first time! But I can't help feeling a little anxious every so often. 

Will things go to plan? Will it be too fast this time? What if I go over and have to be induced? But, let's face it, there's very little I can do to control how it goes once things start. I need to relax, stay calm and trust my body to do what it needs to do.

Hypnobirthing has been helping me to relax and focus in the last few weeks. I'll write a post about it a little further down the line to share my experiences, but I can already tell that it will help me a lot during labour.

Getting everything organised and ready to go is also helping me feel calm and in control for however long I have left before the baby arrives.

So here's my latest pregnancy update, at 37 weeks. I filmed this immediately after a Facebook live update for Channel Mum, if you fancy checking that out too.

Not long to go now! Eek.

My newborn wishlist

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Where do I start? I could literally add hundreds of items to this list, but I'll try to restrain myself and stick to the things I really need. I need gold printed swaddles right?

With this being baby number four, we have a lot of things already. So thankfully we don't need to start from scratch. However, I find it really hard to resist tiny things in general and have a tendency to get carried away. 

Speaking of gold printed swaddles, I may have already made that sneaky purchase and will be sharing details of those and the other items I've already bought for the baby in a newborn haul video on Sunday. You can subscribe to my channel here so you don't miss it.

So these are the items that I haven't got around to buying yet, but I would love to get for the new baby.

Snuzpod bedside crib. Yes, my husband is right. I've managed to have three babies without needing a bedside crib, so why is this such an essential purchase for baby number four? Well, not only is it pretty and practical (hello additional storage space!), but I need this crib for my health. Bear with me... With the arrival of each of my babies I've also received a slightly stiff and painful lower back. Bending over a moses basket repeatedly in the middle of the night to pick up and carefully lower a baby between night feeds takes its toll on your back. Because the Snuzpod is attached to your bed and you can lower the side, it means I can scoop the baby out of the crib easily, without having to actually bend and lift. So, its good for my back. That's got to be a good enough reason right? 

Liewood Augusta Panda towel. It's a towel. With panda ears. What's not to love? Its also made from organic cotton and huge, so the perfect choice for those special first baby baths.

Babasac sleeping bag. Although I like to swaddle babies in the early weeks, a baby sleeping bag is an essential for me as they get a little bit older (and wrigglier). This cloud-print beauty from Mama Designs not only looks lovely, but it's also multi-tog (which saves you having to buy two), but it makes night time changes easier with the opening at the bottom of the bag. It's an award-winning design too. Sold!

Schnuggle baby bath. This is a genius product in my opinion. The shape of the bath allows the baby to sit in a reclined position, supported by the bum-bump and foam back rest. My babies all hated being laid flat in the water at first, so this would definitely make bath times a lot easier and fun for everyone. It's suitable from newborn and is compact in size, which is another plus point for me.

Tiba + Marl Elwood Backpack. I promised myself I wouldn't buy another changing bag this time around. But, what can I say? I just can't resist this one. Just look at it! It's quilted, with gold hardware; just what I love in a bag. It's not too girlie, so my husband can't moan about carrying it. But the biggest selling point for me is that it's a backpack. So much easier to take out and about. I find shoulder changing bags can be very uncomfortable to wear for any length of time, so it's another back/shoulder/health related purchase don't you think? 😉

Mama Designs cellular blanket. I've seen these blankets recommended a few times on Youtube and Instagram, so naturally I was intrigued. A good, soft cellular blanket is an essential and this one comes in a variety of bright and contrast colour-ways. The brights are lovely, but I'm a big fan of grey so the grey with turquoise or orange trim are my favourite. They're reasonably priced too, so I'll definitely be picking one of these up for the baby.

Have you used any of these products? I'd love to hear from you if you have. And what would be on your newborn wishlist? Go on, enable me!

What to really expect when you're expecting

Thursday, 25 May 2017

As wonderful as pregnancy can be, it's not just a healthy glow and baby flutters. We all know that. You may get thicker, fuller hair and a healthy glow that would give J-Lo a run for her money; but you can also look forward to lightning crotch, leaky boobs and an urgency to pee like nothing you have ever experienced before.

Welcome to the most unpredictable nine months of your life.

I've been pretty fortunate in all four of my pregnancies to be completely honest. I've never suffered from terrible morning sickness or the pain that horrible conditions like SPD can cause. But I have had my share of weird and wonderful symptoms that I was not expecting. At all.

I knew my dignity would go out the window during child birth. I was prepared for that. I was fully braced for some unpleasant poking and prodding from midwifes, not to mention from the inside courtesy of the tiny human that was cooking away in there. But some of the delights I've shared in my pregnancy truths video... yep, I didn't see them coming!

I've left the link below, if you fancy a watch. And I'd love to know what symptoms you experienced during pregnancy that you wish you'd known about before hand.

25 week pregnancy update

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Ah lightning crotch. One of my favourite pregnancy symptoms. To be honest, I'm so behind on publishing my updates here that I probably deserve it!

I really want to have them all here to look back on, as well as on my YouTube channel. So apologies for the pregnancy update spam over the next week or so while I catch up.

Week 25 was definitely a turning point for me - all of a sudden, my energy levels dropped and the pregnancy tiredness was a real struggle! Apart from that, I'm still feeling great and can't complain. Other than the odd case of lightning crotch, which is always a delight. 

My husband did throw a bit of a curve ball this week, with the suggestion that maybe this isn't our last baby after all.... haha, don't worry mum, it is!

Current favourites

Friday, 17 March 2017

I well and truly missed the boat on a February favourites video last month, even though there are plenty of products I've been enjoying recently. So I thought I'd pop them all into a current faves video instead.

There's a few beauty bits, including my new favourite moisturiser. Don't you love it when you find a product that just works for you?

Also, since being pregnant I have a new found love of footwear. Mainly because it's the only thing I know will fit and look half decent! 

I'm also blaming pregnancy for a little rebellious behaviour on the snack front. If you can't make unwise food decisions when you're pregnant, when can you!?

What have you been enjoying lately?

Woah, my belly! | 23 week pregnancy update

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Week 23 was definitely the week of the bump. All of a sudden, I have a very noticeable bump and the baby is moving around so much now. 

I love this bit. When you feel definite kicks and wriggles and there's no mistaking there's a little person in there. 

At the moment, I'm feeling great. Not too tired, no more nausea and still pretty comfortable - except at night, but this pillow is definitely helping with that. So I'm making the most of this bit, before I get much bigger and exhausted!

I have had a few of those delightful little stretchy pains at the bottom of my bump. You know the ones - they stop you in your tracks and you have to take a few deep breaths before you can stand up straight. Yep, those. Thankfully, I've not had them much so far and long may that last.

Other than that, there's not a great deal to report. I've left a link to my latest pregnancy update video below, if you fancy a watch. Also, if anyone has any recommendations for hypnobirthing please leave them in the comments. I've never done it before and would love to look into it more.


Friday, 3 March 2017

It must be a cruel joke. Five months pregnant and struggling to sleep. I can't get comfortable, I need to pee 3000 times a night, I have a small foot wedged in my ear.

As my pregnancy goes on, I'm learning to deal with the peeing. I'm down to one trip a night at the moment - two at the outside. That, I can cope with. The small foot is attached to my three year old, face-hugging son who, thanks to the purchase of a sleep-training clock and minor bribery in the form of a star chart, is coming to terms with the fact that he has his own, perfectly acceptable bed in which to sleep until a reasonable hour.

My biggest problem (in all senses of the word) is my bump. I'm a front-sleeper. Always have been. Somehow, through three previous pregnancies, I've managed to adapt my sleeping position to a side-front, one leg up, hip slightly twisted scenario that allowed me to be comfy without squashing my bump. It worked. Sort of.

This time round, I have a whole new technique and it's a winner. I only wish I'd discovered it sooner.

When I was contacted by Snuggle Up I couldn't wait to try out one of their pregnancy pillows, but had no idea just what a difference it would make. 

The pillow is super-soft, flexible, hypo-allergenic and offers amazing support. I chose the L-shaped pillow and like to sleep with it tucked between my knees, which takes the pressure off sleeping on my side and supports my hips and lower back. It's soft to cuddle and it doesn't snore or fidget. Found my new sleeping buddy!

If you're one of the 96% of pregnant women who find it difficult to sleep, I would highly recommend taking a look.

Considering the size and quality of the pillow, and the fact it's helping me get a decent night sleep, I think the £30 price tag is a steal. It comes in different shapes, sizes and colours and you can check them all out here.

* I was sent the pillow free of charge in exchange for my honest review.

First trimester pregnancy favourites

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Isn't it funny the things you come to depend on when you're pregnant. I was watching back my YouTube video about my favourite products from my first trimester and honestly some of them are so random! But I guess growing a baby does funny things to you.

So I wanted to share some of my most used products and things from the past few months. It's mostly edible things if I'm honest, but there are a few beauty products and other bits and pieces in there too.

I think I'll do a favourites update for each trimester this time around. It's always nice to be able to look back at the things you were enjoying when you were pregnant. Tinned mandarins anyone?

What were your favourite things in the first few months of pregnancy?

My symptoms disappeared | 9-12 week pregnancy update

Monday, 16 January 2017

Has anyone else experienced this? At roughly nine weeks pregnant, I went from feeling pretty... well, pregnant. Nauseous, so very tired and bloated. Then, nothing. I felt completely normal.

It worried me. I read up on it and apparently it's not uncommon for symptoms to subside early on, but it's never happened to me before so I wasn't sure what to make of it.  Thankfully, I've now had my scan and know that all is fine and as it should be. But pregnancy can be such a worrying time anyway can't it? 

I didn't feel like I should film an update for a while, but I'm glad I changed my mind. It meant that I had to combine a couple of weeks into one update, but better that than no update at all! 

So, this takes me to the second trimester. Already! I'm sure the second, and definitely third trimesters will feel longer than this one did. I hope so anyway. I want time to slow down for the next few months ...I may regret saying that when I get to the last few weeks!

I'd love to know if anyone else has felt this way during their first trimester. Please let me know in the comments below.

Here we go again | 8 week pregnancy update

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Even though Dan and I always talked about having four babies, I was never sure it would actually happen. We left quite a big gap between my daughter and our third baby Ayden; mostly because of work and just general life stuff getting in the way. But after he was born, I never felt done. Most of my friends with three children said that after the third they knew their family was complete. I never felt that. As thrilled as I was to have my three beautiful children, there was still a little nagging feeling that I wasn't quite finished having babies.

Maybe I'm the kind of person who will always feel that way. Eternally broody. Well, if that's the case I'll have to learn to ignore it, as number four will most definitely be our last.

So, here I go again. So very blessed to be experiencing pregnancy for the fourth and final time. I predict it'll be an emotional one; experiencing all my last pregnancy moments and milestones. I never documented my pregnancies before, which is something I really regret. I was even useless at filling in those pregnancy diaries. This time, I'm going to document every last bit - and try to remember and compare it to my other pregnancies too, so it'll almost be a memory of all four.

I'm writing this at eight weeks pregnant, but won't publish it until I've had my scan and told family and friends. Once I've had the scan I'll start with real-time weekly updates. 

So, right now at eight weeks pregnant my symptoms are pretty typical of all my pregnancies; no actual sickness, but plenty of nausea throughout the day, mostly in the early evening though. I'm putting that down to being at my most tired and hungry at that time of the day. Speaking of tired... bloody hell, I'm exhausted! By 6pm all I want to do is face plant the bed. And some days I do. Just for ten minutes. It helps. Poor Dan is having to make do with the most unimaginative meals ever, cos I just don't have the energy or enthusiasm to make anything. 

I definitely have a small bump. To others it probably looks a lot like a cheese baby, but it's definitely a baby bump. My jeans still fit and button up, but they're not comfortable and I feel so frumpy in everything. I've never found maternity clothes that I particularly like and prefer to dress in regular clothes as much as possible throughout pregnancy (apart from jeans of course), so I'm hoping to be able to do that again. But I'd love to hear your maternity clothes recommendations if you have any, just in case I'm missing out ;)

At the moment, the baby is the size of a raspberry, measuring 1.6cm and weighing just 1g. How cute! I can't wait to have my scan in a few weeks, so I'll hopefully know that all is well and can start getting excited for the months ahead.

I talk about my early pregnancy signs, symptoms and cravings in a lot more detail in my eight week update video below if you'd like to know more.

I'll post updates here and on my YouTube channel, so you can follow along in either or both of those places if you'd like to. And I'd love to hear your experiences too, so please do comment below and we can have a good old natter about baby bumps, all-day morning sickness and pickle cravings.

A hello... and a thank you

Monday, 9 January 2017

When I pressed publish on my first video of 2017 I was equally excited and nervous; but the few hours afterwards were filled with so much love, happiness and well wishes. I could never have imagined such a wonderful reaction. 

It's my favourite video I've made to date. I laughed, cried and felt all the feels looking back over a year's worth of footage. Picking up a camera to film my little family has been, by far, one of the best decisions I ever made. Time goes so fast and I struggle to accept how quickly my babies are growing up, but having these videos to watch back helps. I can relive special moments, remember the little things I'd forgotten, stare at their squishy little cheeks and rewind - just for a minute or two.

To think we'll have another little squishy-cheeked human to add to our family this year is just amazing. We're all so excited for the months ahead.

Thank you so much to everyone that has sent us their congratulations. It really does mean the absolute world.