Going with the flow

These four words up until now have been my life’s mantra. I’m chilled relaxed and I go with the flow. I have said this so many times and about so many things.

But what is going with the flow.

 Going with the flow is nice and it’s easy. It’s lazy. Your not making any of your own life decisions. You are passively letting your life go by, reacting to it only when it needs to be reacted to. 

It’s true that sometimes things happen in your life that you are unable to control and your only option is to go with the flow. But where has going with the flow really ever gotten anyone?

Did Richard Branson simply go with the flow when his flight got cancelled? No he commanded something different from his life, chartered a plane, charged other stranded passengers airfair and got where he was going and a whole new business venture appeared from it.

If you aren’t in love with what you do but you also don’t hate it, you just coast and go with the flow… Only to find out in 5/10/15/20 years time that you could and SHOULD have been doing something more worthwhile. Something of value. Maybe not physical value, but something that brings value into YOUR life. After all your the one that is living it. 

Command more value from your life. Stop simply going with the flow!

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More for less

Does stuff make us happy?

Are 10 dresses hung up in the wardrobe better than just the 2 you actually wear? Bottles and bottles of moisturiser, shower gels, shampoos, conditioners and face wash, when a bar of soap Would do?

When you have a couple of hours to kill so you go shopping, feeling a bit blue? Shopping? New job? New outfit! Single? New outfits!! 

What has happened to buying once and buying right? 

We have become such a throw away society and it’s killing the planet!

We buy so much crap. Let alone the single use plastics we use. We buy into fast fashion, buy an outfit for when we lose weight (we never do) or in a colour we really should wear (but never do). We buy air fresheners that pollute our homes, cleaning products which poison us and eat food that are killing us. 

No more!! Not in my house!

Labour and birth story

Friday 26th May, I went into hospital as I was having some reduced movements with my little boy. I had the same thing at 31 weeks so was expecting them to tie me to the machine wait around for about half an hour to be told everything was fine and to go home. However what actually happened is that it was a hot day and my blood pressure was up so they wanted me to stay until it came down, it didn’t. They gave me some pills and said because I was 39+4 that they would be inducing me the next day. My blood pressure went straight back up (in shock) so they decided to induce me then and there.

So after midnight i was admitted on to the ward and given the pessary to get things going and had a sweep….fun times.

At about 4am i woke up in quite a bit of pain as the pessary had actually slipped down. The midwife popped it back into place and i managed to sleep through the night. The next day i was having some contractions so i kept moving all day long. If things don’t go into full-blown labour they only check your cervix after 24 hours and i was determined not to be in any longer than i needed to be, so i was walking up and down the halls and bounced on the exercise balls just to keep things moving along. Like i said i was having mild contractions and then when my husband left me at around 9pm they stopped completely….fun. So into bed i got awaiting my examination at 2am. I set an alarm and when i woke up went off to find someone to see how well i was doing.

I was 3cm dilated and the midwife did another sweep to see if she could get me going at more speed and said as soon as someone was free and a room available I would be going down to the labour ward and have my waters broke!! Terrifying haha! She said it would probably be in the morning so i text Andrew to let him know what was happening and went back to bed to try to get some rest.

At 5am I was woken up by a health care assistant to tell me i was going down stairs now. She had to repeat herself about 3 times as i was still pretty much asleep and in shock i think!

So I gathered my stuff and went with her,  i was worried that i wouldn’t have time to ring Andrew as i wanted him there when they broke my waters but the midwife assured me she wouldnt do anything until he got there. By the time everything was set up and ready to go it was 8am there is a shift change at 8:30 so we all decided that we would wait until the new midwife was there so that i wasnt being examined and then examined again 30 minutes later.

The new midwife Rae couldn’t reach my cervix to feel how dilated i was or to break my waters, i guess for me its a little “longer” in there ha ha. She went out to find someone with longer fingers and returned with a Registrar Ken. He broke my waters in about 3 seconds flat and didn’t hurt a tiny bit. They gave me an hour to see if my contractions started naturally or id have to go on the drip as it appeared my little boy had opened his bowels inside… nice one kid! So the hour came and went and the contractions did start but not of any kind of intensity they were hoping for so i went on the drip. Now up until this point i hadn’t touched any pain relief although they did keep offering me gas and air. About an hour after the drip was put in the contractions started and BOY did THEY. My contractions were in the top of my legs, my hips felt like they were being pulled apart so i very quickly picked up the gas and air nozzle. It is a weird feeling the gas and air, a little bit like your tipsy, i’m not sure it did loads for the pain but it got me through another hour or so… then the contractions got too painful and i wanted something better… so i was given diamorphine…. i was being sick and mooing like a cow although Andrew my hubby said i sounded more like an owl hooting but despite all this i was also quite comfortable, once the contraction stops all the pain disappears… its very strange! I was in labour for about 9 hours in total. Due to the hip contractions and the drip i was strapped to a machine to monitor baby’s heart rate and couldn’t really move.

I remember getting the strangest urge to push although i felt like it was too early…. so i tried to stop myself from pushing but not being able to stop myself. For me it felt like when your retching… like your body just taking over and not being able to stop it. At this point i had been pushing for an unknown amount of time when my little ones heart rate started dipping to the point where the midwife was concerned so she buzzed for back up, as she did alarms started going off everywhere… and two of them had nothing to do with me and everything to do with another 2 women in need of assistance pretty much at the exact same time.

Time became a priority in what felt like 20 seconds the room filled with people running around and moving things and setting things up. I needed emergency assistance, the two other women were taking up the theatres so there was no where for me to go, they turned my room into an emergency theatre, i dont know if it was the panic of the situation or not but the diamorphine started to wear off. A consultant came in and was all dressed ready to intervene, i was going to have a forcept delivery. On my next push he was going to help me get my son out. The pain was incredible, the feeling strange and stomach turning but i didnt care my son needed to be born. The consultant said he needed to cut me to help get Henry out, i didnt care. On the next contraction a midwife pushed on my stomach i pushed with all my might and the consultant dragged my son out by his head.

Henry was placed on me for a few seconds but was quickly taken away and put on the resuscitator. He had a problem with his breathing and a suspected broken clavicle so was rushed down to neonatal where he would be well looked after.

Once my placenta was removed i wasn’t in any pain whats so ever, its all very strange…. but hey i guess that is mother natures reward for putting you through such an ordeal. The consultant started sowing me up and he apologised for being so rough with me but it really was a priority that my son was delivered asap, i didn’t care, i still don’t. Yea when i think back it does sort of make my skin crawl remembering the feeling of it all but it was to save my son… Id do it again tomorrow. The labour itself really wasn’t that bad and i will go into my next pregnancy with no fear of that… the drugs definitely worked! Which in itself must say a lot and give any expecting mother some hope.

 

Travel whilst pregnant 

Being 22 weekend pregnant my husband and I decided we would take the opportunity to go on a baby-moon which is essentially a holiday whilst pregnant to just be a happy couple and have a bit of us time.

When me and Andrew first got together we went to Venice for our first holiday and it was great although we stayed in a hostel so wasn’t as romantic as it could have been so we decided to go again but this time stay in a hotel. It was much better. We stayed for 4 days 3 nights and really enjoyed it

Before we set off I made sure the travel insurance we purchased covered us should something happen involving my pregnancy and photocopied my pregnancy notes. I even bought flight socks which as I’ve never used any before I can say they are actually surprisingly comfy and my legs didn’t feel quite as “heavy”.

Whilst away I had growing pains once a day for about half an hour and Henry had a growth spurt or more accurately I did. I woke up the day after getting there and my stomach seemed to have sprung out of nowhere but apparently that’s a thing that happens…. Something else which provided entertainment is it was whilst away on this romantic getaway my breasts decided to start leaking clear fluid… Why is pregnancy so God damn sexy!

Packing was a bit hit and miss I wish I had brought lip balm and a different moisturiser for my stomach. It was that cold being January and all, I didn’t wear any of the nice clothes I packed and ended up wearing as many layers as possible and my coat the entire time!

Andrew was really patient with me which was amazing he didn’t rush me and constantly reminded me to go and pee before we left anywhere. Was always there to rub my back when Henry decided to push or pull or whatever it is he has been doing on the inside. So all in all it has been an amazing and very enjoyable trip. I just need a holiday now to recover from this holiday ha ha 😂

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Pregnancy beauty both good and bad!

Dry skin: I suffer from psoriasis on my hands, feet and scalp. Whenever I’m particularly stressed out the stuff on my scalp comes down slightly and goes onto my forehead but never further down than my eyebrows. Luckily I have a fringe so if it gets bad I just wear my fringe down and it’s hidden… Sorted. Being pregnant has had a very strange effect on my skin as the psoriasis I have on my hands and feet has completely cleared up and the stuff which is only very occasionally on my forehead was taking centre stage. I was caught in a tight place… The more stuff I put on my skin to help with the skin condition the worse it seemed to get, which is pretty standard really but still annoying as you can imagine. Once I got into the second half of the second trimester it seemed to clear up so fingers crossed it will stay away for a while.

Hair: My hair feels amazing! This is definitely a great side effect of pregnancy it’s growing like crazy and feels really thick (although I know it will all come out once baby is here). I cant put conditioner on it or it will get greasy in what feels like 2 seconds flat but oh well not exactly a bad thing! Will save me loads of money between now and the little critters arrival!

Nails: Also growing like crazy although they do seem a little brittle but that could be my imagination. With work all day I really am surprised that they last at all!

Bath bombs: Unfortunately I have had to put my bath bomb obsession to bed, at least until May. They have caused a brief encounter with a PH Imbalance that I sure as hell don’t want a repeat of! The doctor said now I’m pregnant I am more likely to get this sort of thing and if I’ve one once I’ll probably get another! 😱

Tummy: On my expanding stomach I have been applying The body shops Coconut body butter, Palmer’s cocoa butter and boots mummy oil spray for stretch marks. I love the smell and consistency of the body butter it’s definitely the one I have been applying the most, I find the cocoa butter too sweet smelling and the oil spray feels disgusting on my skin… 

First trimester 

I have to say I have been very lucky in the fact my first trimester has come and gone with little over 3 weeks of morning sickness and I think sickness is a bit strong of a word for what I was feeling. More like morning nausea. Once I’d done some proper reading I discovered eating as soon I woke up, holding my nose going past anything strong smelling and staying away from anything savoury kept it all to a minimum. My only craving was for vimto… My food aversions however were another thing, I could no longer eat or even contemplate the following foods:

  • Bacon
  • Chicken
  • Hot dogs
  • Chilli
  • Spaghetti Bolognese 
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Chips
  • Fish and chips together
  • Pizza
  • Cheese
  • Vegetables in general
  • Vinegar 
  • Salt
  • Pasta

I could eat everything sweet… So it was all very interesting to say the least trying to eat and although I can now eat mostly everything on this list I still struggle with Chilli and Spaghetti Bolognese, I think it’s the mince. But I’m not really sure.

I had a slight amount of lower back pain but nothing too much and ended up with a cold… Which I suffered through without any help from painkillers, although next time I’m Ill and not pregnant I’m going straight to boots for the cold and flu medicine as I’ve been taking it for granted for far far too long.

We had our 12 week scan which was on day 12 weeks +4 and turns out my little bubs was measuring exactly right, heart beat going strong, two arms, two legs I definitely couldn’t be happier. Andrew came with me and had a massive smile throughout the whole experience. I got a massive wave of emotions and burst into happy tears. Obviously I was worried about the scan and excited all at the same time but it was only once we had been given the ok I realised just how worried I had been.

I started showing around 10 weeks not enough that anyone would know looking at me but enough that myself and Andrew could tell, being around my body all the time and that.

TTC

I’ve been broody for the last 2 years. But life has been in the way, being sensible gets me down sometimes and luckily I have a very sensible husband who despite my constant cooing over babies and children said over and over again we weren’t quite ready yet, we didn’t have any savings, we lived in a one bedroom apartment in the middle of Manchester, I had just changed jobs, not the ideal time to bring life into the world if you have full control of the situation and I knew he was right so we waited. When our tenancy agreement was coming to an end we knew it was time to move in to a house. Not just to start a family but we had gotten sick of city living and wanted something a bit more in the countryside.

My husband and I started trying to conceive a month after we moved into our beautiful house back in August. We finally had the perfect house in the perfect area and everything just felt right.

We had a house warming party and it was going to be the last time I drank, trying to get pregnant and then hopefully getting pregnant is most definitely a good time to not drink! 

My last cycle started on the 22nd of August 2016. Previous to this I had already started take prenatal vitamins every evening and making sure my diet was “fairly” healthy. I had pretty much read everything I could possibly read on how to get pregnant, when the best time was and the science of it.

I bought ovulation kits and made sure we did the deed…everyday we were supposed to. A few weeks later I started having a few symptoms, my boobs hurt and I had back ache which I have never had before and after a quick Google, turned out to be a pregnancy symptom.. So I did a pregnancy test a full 2 weeks before aunt flo was even due, a negative result was all that could be expected even if I was pregnant with triplets it would still turn up negative. Slightly disappointed but logic kicking in I didn’t stress out too much.

I bought the early result pregnancy test from Tesco that say they can show a positive result as early as 7 days before AF was due and I waited until it was 3 days away. It was about 11pm and I just couldn’t wait… I nervously fumbled with the packaging and went into the bathroom. I set a timer on my phone and just sat on the toilet and waited. I couldn’t decide if there was the faintest pink line in that box or if my eyes were just playing tricks on me… I had to hold it in the light and at an angle…  Hmmm i went into the bedroom and show Andrew my hubby the test. He could also just about see it. 

Google: Pregnancy tests are designed to detect hCG in your wee – because hCG is an early marker of pregnancy. … So, a very faint line nearly always means you’re just a few days pregnant.

I know it’s stupid but I was very very excited… Andrew was trying to keep me level headed after all there is many things that could go wrong. It might be wrong… Wishful thinking, chemical pregnancy, miscarriage the list is what feels endless about what could possibly go wrong. I tried to not get my hopes up. 

The next day I went to work and was sent off to go grab some bits from Tesco. I didn’t need anything from the toiletries Isle but somehow found myself there looking at clearblue tests, early pregnancy detection stated on the front. At £20 for two I put them in my basket and paid for everything. I didn’t even manage to get out of Tesco, I went straight to the loo and did another test. I washed my hands put the test in my bag and walked back to work. Luckily for me I have a very close relationship to everyone I work with so they all knew we were trying to get pregnant so I dug out the test once I’d got to work and again another really faint line. I asked everyone around if they too could see what I could see… I was pregnant. I sent a picture to Andrew he could also see it.

Nervously we waited a week and no period came, I did another clearblue test this one was the digital test with just pregnant and not pregnant no lines to decipher just yes or no. I waited until we were both home did the the test: Pregnant 1-2 weeks, in pregnancy land that actually makes me 4 weeks pregnant. We were over the moon and felt so blessed to get pregnant straight away. Against what many people may think we told close friends and family straight away but kept it quiet to the general public. Everyone was made up told me to relax and enjoy it. 

One thing I am sure everyone has gone through pregnancy will understand is that you can’t relax especially in those first 3 months… Worry is your new best friend!

I know that for many people their journey to pregnancy and children is completely different, I can’t imagine what it would be like to see a negative test over and over. We have been truly blessed and humbled by our experience so far. I can only hope all those people trying out there get their very own positive test very soon.
Hopefully you enjoyed this post there will be follow up stories. About pregnancy and life.

My very first weigh in

So last night as promised I went to slimming world. I was really nervous but going with a friend who has been before she pushed me through.

When we walked through the door we were warmly welcomed and offered a cup of tea and coffee. Janet our leader came and sat down with us, gave us our packs and talked through everything with us, which was really helpful as I’ve never been before! I knew bits and pieces from friends that have done it and from people on instagram.

Not wanting to pressure us into signing up she asked us to stay at the meeting and if we wanted to join after that then she would weigh us in. The meeting was great every one supporting everyone else some one had put a pound on and Janet brought attention to the amount of weight that she had lost as a whole and I was Inspired, a pound on this week but a 6 stone loss over all. She received a round of applause!

Once the meeting had ended we got weighed in and officially my journey started, from feeling really nervous to being completely relaxed and raring to go!

I’ll keep everyone updated with my progress as the days go buy 🙂

Love Helen xx

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Oslo ❤

Hey guys so this is a follow up to yesterday’s post this is the in depth and a bit more details of what we actually got up to in chilly Norway.

The day of our departure had arrived and we were getting ready to head out on the cold January morning to go on our long overdue adventure. As we live In the city centre of Manchester and typically our flights leaving from Liverpool we got on a Terravision coach service to Liverpool Airport, It was a direct bus from Shudehill coach station straight to the front of the airport. We got a really good deal it was £20 return ticket for both of us so £5 each, each way not bad, took just under an hour to get there I total! 😘

As it was all depending on traffic we made sure we got to the airport as early as possible so we had enough time to check in and have a Frankie and Benny’s breakfast before boarding our Ryanair flight to Oslo TORP Sandefjord airport. This has got to have been the bumpiest flight I have ever been on. The turbulence was incredible!
Unfortunately it was a rather dull and cloudy day getting into Oslo but there was patches of snow on the ground so we were happy enough. Getting onto the coach from Sandefjord to actual Oslo took about 2 hours as in true Ryanair style you pay to get flown no where near where you’re going, but I can’t complain as the return flights for BOTH of us was only £55 so hey what’s a 2 hour bus ride ha!

Once we got into Oslo main bus station it was a short 15 minute walk to the hotel. HTL Grenson, it is a beautifully modern building with a full glass front, facing a few fancy shops that appear to be a bit like our Debenhams. We went into the hotel and checked in with the help of the gorgeous blonde receptionist and off to our room we went. A few floors up in the lift and our room was right opposite no mazes for us! The room was really nice with a massive bed a wet room kind of shower thing which was amazing a floor to ceiling window on one wall facing the main Street!

We walked through Oslo after we checked in and strolled down to the port front and looked out over the fjord and it truly was breathtaking. I will include some pictures so you can enjoy the beauty too! Whilst away we also hired a car from Avis and travelled out to see some of the other fjords within a 20 mile radius, we came across a beach which was the weirdest thing ever on a beach with a layer of thick ice covering everything!

If there are any more details you guys would like to know then please feel free to ask! I’m conscious of not making this post too long or no one will ever read it!

If you liked this post a thumbs up and for you to subscribe would be amazing!

Thanks for reading!

Helen xx

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Our trip to Oslo

At the end of January I decided that I would be a very nice and generous wife and booked myself and Andrew a trip to Norway!

We haven’t been away together since our honeymoon 2 years ago so it was definitely needed. Andrew is rather sensible when it comes to money were I’m a little devil may care. As long as I’ve got enough to have a roof over my head and food I don’t mind not having spare cash in the bank, so I had to be a little bit sneaky. We have a joint bank account that both our wages go into so I couldn’t very well start booking flights and hotels and expect Andrew not to notice! Soooo I withdrew bits and pieces of money every day for my “lunch” at work and took a packed lunch. The money Id withdrawn i put into a spare account I have from my student days and he was non the wiser!

Deciding where to go.. On my own jeez I was nervous, Spain, Venice, Iceland… I wanted a memorable trip that wouldn’t cost the earth 🌍

We have been to Venice previously so if we could go somewhat new that would be better and I felt going somewhere cooler would be different, I’d seen loads of holidays on groupon and Wowcher so thought I’d look at Iceland. Unfortunately it was a little more than I wanted to pay so scowering the Internet I found VERY cheap flights to Oslo, another search later I found cheap accommodation in a swanky hotel in the centre of Oslo perfect!

Eek one problem…

It meant Andrew would need the Friday off, how was I going to explain that?! Hmmm well after some quick thinking I came up with a plan! Andrews boss was on Facebook so I asked her directly if she would help me with my plan and she did! She even threw in some of her walking boots for me which I hadn’t even thought about!

Once everything was booked and I’d sorted out a hire car for us during our stay, I broke the news!!

Who wouldn’t love a surprise trip away?? Everything was booked and all he had to worry about was getting some walking boots to fit his size 12 feet!

I will write a more in depth post about Oslo itself tomorrow so please come back a read =)

Here are some of the pictures we took of our trip and it really was amazing! The fjords are beautiful and I couldn’t have asked for a better trip!

If you haven’t been to Oslo and it’s somewhere you would like to go one bit of advice…  Be prepared to buy food from the supermarket as it is massively expensive, we had a look at a few menu’s outside restaurants and meals were easily £20-£30 for basic £10 dishes here in the UK.

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