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So you want to have another baby?

It has been on my mind lately, since a few friends have announced/had second children, and it is getting to the point where I miss some parts about having a newborn. I came across this post by A Baby On Board and it seems we’re not the only ones debating it – so when is the right time to have another child?

There are of course practicalities that need to be considered. Childcare cost doubled is not a prospect we would welcome right now. As is finding another house to live in when we’ve only just settled where we are. I don’t think I could have another baby without an extra bedroom though…

There’s also the prospect of going back to sleepless nights again, just as we have gotten into a lovely routine of actually getting a full night’s sleep every night! I’m not in a hurry to give that back. Also, I know a lot of women love being pregnant, but I hated it. I think I had every symptom under the sun, so by time he arrived I didn’t even feel human anymore, let alone ready to parent a newborn. I really don’t like the thought of going through that again, but it could be different with the second. It could be a whole lot better.

It could also be a whole lot worse.

Henry is a lovely child. He makes it easy for us. He’s good at routine, he likes his sleep, he’s been ready to experience new things and will fit in with us easily. I’m worried that the next won’t be as accommodating. Although, I have said “It’s all worth it” so many times about Henry that I really shouldn’t be put off.

Henry & his best buddy - he thrives on interaction with other children.

Henry & his best buddy – he thrives on interaction with other children.

I don’t want there to be a massive age gap though. I like having Henry in toddler-stage so that we can do more with him, enjoy him more and really get to know him as a person, not just a poop-making-machine. I am enjoying being a mother more now than I did in the first days. I guess you know what to expect more with the next too. It won’t be such a terrible shock. I remember clearly thinking “what have we done?” and wondering why anyone ever did it more than once.

Now here I am, not even two years down the line, thinking about if there ever will be a ‘right time’?

So did you always know what age gap you wanted? Did other things get in the way of your plans or are you still debating it?

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There’s nothing like a wedding diet

Baby weight is ridiculously hard to get shot of. I think half the problem is having such a great excuse to be a little chubby – with a new baby it is expected of you to put on few excess pounds. I envy those who bounce right back. I look at the people that fit straight back into their pre-pregnancy jeans with a jealous eye. However, for the rest of us normal ladies, it can sometimes be a battle. Weight loss can sometimes feel like running uphill – especially when you are actually running uphill in a vain attempt to better your health (and your waistline).

I’ve been doing it right. I haven’t been using the fad diets. I’ve been eating less and moving a lot more; I grace the gym with my presence six days out of seven, have recently invested in an exercise bike* (which is not a clothes horse yet) and have only given in to the odd piece of chocolate. I have recently plateaued on the weight loss front however. I have hit the dreaded wall. Last week, I tried the 5:2 diet for one fast day in an attempt to kick start my metabolism again. I found it too much in the end, and couldn’t bring myself to try another day.

I think I’ve actually been undereating and overexercising of late. This may explain the lack of weight loss. I haven’t been eating back the calories I have been burning. I will start from today.

Slim Fast Adverts - What you don't want on your wedding day...

Slim Fast Adverts – What you don’t want on your wedding day…

The deadline is looming though. I have two months left until my wedding day. I tried on my dress again at the weekend and it is so close now! I have made such progress, it would be a shame to let myself down now. I have also dropped another dress size – two down from when I started this thing. I’m feeling proud and stressed all at the same time.

I’m one anxious bundle of fear and excitement – too tired to carry on going, too rushed to stop.

Are you losing weight for a special occasion or after the birth of a child? Let me know how you are finding it – it’d be nice to know I’m not alone in this!

 

*For anyone who wants to know what one I invested in, it is a York Quest Exercise Bike (£119.99 from Argos). I spent a lot of time wondering which I should get, how much I should spend. For me, this one is perfect. It’s smooth, has enough resistance to push yourself, and looks great. It has pulse sensors in the handles and was really quick and easy to put together. If you’re like me, and don’t know what to go for, this one is a safe bet!

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Shifting the Baby Weight

It’s been over 13 months since my little darling was born. I wasn’t too worried about my weight (although not happy about it) after being told that it would just ‘drop off’ while breastfeeding. I breastfed for 8 months, and nothing. I wasn’t exercising like I should, and food was last on my list of priorities, so I can’t really say I’m surprised.

But for the last couple of months, I’ve been exercising regularly (at least 4 hours a week, plus generally being more active) and trying to eat better. I have put Christmas down to nothing more than a hiccup.

There comes a time when you can’t use the excuse of having just had a baby. I’m so jealous of those few women who spring right back to how they were before. There is no better motivation, however, than the horrifying situation when you get mistaken for being pregnant when you aren’t. This happened to me a few months ago now. An older lady in a fitting room of Debenhams came up to me while I was holding Henry and said,

“You’ve got your hands full, haven’t you?” to which I replied, “Yes.” thinking that she was talking about my son.

Then she said, “Do you know what you’re having yet?”.

“Excuse me?”

“Do you know what you’re having yet?”

“I’m not pregnant.”

“Oh, I beg your pardon.”

NEVER assume someone is pregnant, unless they are in Mothercare, with a basketball sized belly and holding up a tiny babygro to their stomach and complaining about heartburn.

It has given me the kick I needed though, even though I went home and ate a whole tub of Ben & Jerry’s and watched Bridget Jones. I have now begun to make a change.

However, despite feeling a improvement in my general well-being, I have experienced only a slight weight loss, which has been completely destroyed by overeating, the seasonal meals, buffets and chocolatey/alcoholic/fattJillian Michaels 30 Day Shredy treats.

So now, it is time to kick start this again. I have less than 6 months left until my wedding day, and at least 2 or 3 stone to shed. Can it be done? Can I really stick to it?

I’ve also started the 30 day shred. That Jillian, she’s a tough cookie isn’t she?

Any tips or advice will be gratefully received!

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Photographs & Facebook Friends

I’m one of those people who hate photographs of themselves. Sometimes I’ll get an okay-ish one and feel alright to have it floating around on facebook, but normally I’m a camera dodger.

Having a baby may lead you to believe the camera will be firmly fixed on the most lovely looking thing in the room (and I don’t mean my beautiful, new, ivory, lace boots I just bought for a friends wedding) but this is certainly not the case. You hear the dreaded words ‘and one of you all together’ and immediately think ‘one for the private album’. There’s nothing that makes you feel as rotten as looking and feeling like you do when you’ve just had a baby, and then having a camera shoved in your face by a well-meaning relative.

Having said that, I am glad that the occasion is well documented, and I wish I had taken more photos while I was pregnant. I just hope that people don’t decide to post them on the internet before consulting me. It’s like the time I sent a personal text to everyone in my life I felt I wanted to tell at the time when Henry was born. Then it immediately started popping up on facebook, against my wishes. Congratulations poured in from pretty much everyone on my facebook.

I sound ungrateful, but it was our time as a family, and not a time for our ex’s to get back in touch after a horrific break-up to wish us well. But once it’s done, it’s done, and I had to go along with it.

I’m far more open about it now, but I didn’t want my son to turn into gossip. He deserves more than that. I know a couple of the people I told at the beginning did just that and spread the news as if it were cheap and frivilous. I will never tell them personal information again, as long as I live.

You learn a lot after the event. About how there maybe 300 odd friends on your facebook saying ‘I have to come and meet him’ and then they do, perhaps once or twice and then nothing.

I guess they think I’m too busy for friends, when the truth is that everybody needs friends whether you’re busy or not.

I’m lucky though. I still have those few that will always be there for me, who make the effort and will be standing by my side when I say my vows.

And it’s those few, who I truly love.

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My Trainer (Every Girl Needs One)

I went to go and see a personal trainer yesterday evening, as my parents agreed to look after Henry for an hour or so while I nipped down to the gym. She specialises in pre and post-natal fitness, and words cannot describe how great it feels to know that what you are doing is beneficial rather than harmful to your recovery.

I, like a lot of women out there, didn’t have a clue where to start on getting back the tone in my stomach muscles. I also didn’t know what I could and couldn’t do in regards to which exercises I could safely participate in. Apparently, I’ve been doing it all wrong. But better I know now then a few months down the line when I’ve done serious and permanent damage.

It makes me wish that I had kept up doing something like swimming or antenatal exercise classes (such as pregnancy yoga) so I didn’t have to fight so hard now. But finding the energy and the time is rather difficult. Especially if you had every pregnancy symptom under the sun like I did. Being sick, having horrendous heartburn and falling asleep constantly doesn’t really leave you in the best mood to go for a workout.

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt though, it’s that all the images you see in the media are ridiculous. You know the type; the celebrities that have had a baby two weeks previously and are back in the gym, or in a bikini on the beach being idolised for returning to a size zero so quickly. It’s dangerous, damaging, and completely unnatural.

I will get back to how I was, eventually, but it will take time and hard work, and I will just have to make peace with the millions of stretch marks and put up with the jelly tummy for the time being…

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Busy Bees & Eager Beavers

I feel so drained, but in a good way. It’s as if we’ve crammed in a massive amount of activities in a very short space of time. It’s been a long day, but at least I know I’ll sleep well tonight. We took Henry swimming again today – another successful session! Seeing him splashing about all happy and having endless amounts of fun makes it all worth it. He doesn’t even cry when we’re getting him dressed or anything. He just falls asleep after.

We’ve gone and booked our wedding reception too. It’s all very exciting! I love all the planning of it, and thinking about how Henry fits nicely into our plans for the day. He’s going to look so handsome in a miniature suit and little waistcoat… not that it will stay clean for long!

I have also, for the second time this week, managed to make it to the gym! It was my first time back in over a year on Sunday, and then again today. Juggling work, relationships and pregnancy all took over my already bursting schedule. My filofax is well-worn and well-loved. I do really enjoy going for a nice workout though, and a relaxing swim afterwards. It makes me feel a little more human, and it is very much ‘me-time’. I have to make the most of that when I can. Two swims in one day though! I never thought I’d see the day.

It’s unbelievable just how much of a toll neglecting my health a little and the pregnancy/baby has taken on my general fitness. Twice a week though, and I shall see improvements.

Henry will thank me for it, when he’s a little older and wants to run around the park and do all those things that children want to do. I just need to stick to it, like I have with taking Henry swimming, and to his little rhymetime mum and baby sessions.

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Baby Brain

You know something has changed when you are trying to go about your normal day to day tasks but forgetting the crucial element of pretty much every one. And you know it isn’t right when you try to describe a doughnut as ‘prickly’ and your own (rather forgetful) mother has to remind you what day of the week it is.

I tried to quote the famous saying ‘drink like a fish’ and ended up saying ‘drink like a chimney, smoke like a fish’. My words often jumble themselves up on their way out now too. I say things like ‘tup of key’ and ‘kentucky chied fricken’. I know, not the greatest move when a little one is listening to your every word, trying to learn the language.

It’s a very strange feeling for me to forget anything. I tried desperately to remember an old password without success. It was like someone had come along and plucked it straight out of my brain the day I got pregnant.

I’m hoping going back to work will help to keep my mind in shape. For now, there’s not too many people around that mind if I make the odd literary slip-up. But I’m pretty sure that communication is one of the key skills needed in a marketing position. It’s okay, I will find the time to read more or something…

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Decorating the Nursery

We’ve finally finished the nursery (with some help from friends)! We decided on the ‘Little Circus’ range from Mothercare… and I absolutely love it. We’ve bought pretty much everything in the entire range, and also bought our cotbed, changing unit and wardrobe from Mothercare too. It is lovely stuff, if a little expensive.

All the furniture is assembled, the wall painted, his clothes hung and the soft toys arranged neatly. I wonder how long it will stay looking like this.

His first room.

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Time to Get Moving

I haven’t got anything ready really yet; I’ve only just started my maternity leave today and working full time doesn’t really leave much time for baby stuff but hopefully I can get everything sorted pretty quick. We’re supposed to be going pram shopping this weekend, which means it is really happening now.

I remember it doesn’t feel too long ago when we were saying ‘let’s leave the big purchases until nearer the due date’. And now it is time to really get moving and buy all those things we’ll need when he is actually here! I think we’re going down the disposable nappy route, for convenience, but I haven’t had the time to think about anything else yet.

We’ve got baby furniture being delivered on Monday (we haven’t even got the cot yet!). I was waiting until I finished work to do pretty much everything. The only thing we do have really is clothes. I wonder if everyone else is more prepared. I’m only a month off my due date, so I really will have to force myself to pack the hospital bag soon as well. I’m just scared about forgetting something important. I don’t have a clue what it will be like as I’ve never stayed in hospital before. I think it’s time to write a list…

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Pregnancy Heartburn

I have never experienced heartburn before. I guess I’ve just been lucky, because heartburn, it really burns. I can’t lie down at night, which makes sleeping near impossible. I feel like as soon as I’m horizontal the acid just flows straight into my throat. I’ve spent a fortune on Gaviscon and Rennie, but the only thing that helps it is milk. I get through about 4 pints a day! It is by far the worst pregnancy symptom I’ve gotten, apart from the fatigue. I spend pretty much every night sitting up in bed and playing games on my phone wishing for it to be morning already.

I’m one cranky mum-to-be.