Fashion and Style · Pregnancy

A Coat for Winter

New Look Parka

Commissioned Post

Last time I was pregnant, it was the height of summer. Sausage was born in August and we had a pretty decent amount of sun that year, but if you’ve never been pregnant when it’s 28 degrees outside, I cannot begin to describe the discomfort factor to you. Aside from being the size of an 8-berth caravan, sweat, swollen hands and ankles and overheating were all an issue for me (I’m conjuring up a SUPER attractive image for you, right?!), and that was before you even considered the thought of what to wear. I didn’t want to spend a load of money on maternity clothes, so I made-do with some floaty dresses and tops for the last few weeks, until I could fit back into my old clothes.

When I found out I was pregnant this time, I was almost overjoyed at knowing that I’ll be at my biggest during the cold months, when I can wrap up in warm clothes and masses of layers, and not have to worry about the heat.

That was, until I thought about coats. What the heck sort of coat is going to fit around a bump!?

Maternity coats are great, but I’d love something that I can wear after the baby is born too. Husband helpfully suggested that I buy an over-sized parka with a drawstring waist. That way, it should cover me and the bump when the weather gets really cold, as well as being able to be drawn in when my waistline (hopefully!) shrinks, post-birth. I love the idea of a parka – the furry hood really appeal to me and they’re casual enough to wear on a day-to-day basis, with jeans and boots. I’m also a lover of pockets, and parkas tend to have them in abundance, making them perfect for my keys and phone.

Where you pregnant in the winter? What sort of coat did you wear? Any tips for a soon-to-be massive mum?! Let me know!

Family · Parenting · Pregnancy

5 Things I’ll Do Differently With My Second Pregnancy

When I was pregnant with Sausage, I was keen to do everything to the letter; she was my first child and when you’re doing it all for the first time, you rely on advice from books and other people, simply because you don’t have the experience for yourself yet. I’m confident that Husband and I did a good job of caring for Sausage as a baby, but after a while it becomes instinctive, rather than something you can read about.

This time around, things are already different. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I think every parent gains invaluable experience during their first effort at child rearing which equip them for further pregnancies in a way that no third party advice can. Obviously, there are plenty of things that I’m still getting hysterical about (‘Is this twinge normal?’ ‘Should I be feeling movement by now?’) and I’m really lucky to have an epic group of friends that I can turn to for advice, but there are things that I did with Sausage, through a mix of naivety and keeness to do things ‘right’ that I simply won’t do this time around.

1. Buying Ridiculous Items

Nappy Bin

After I gave birth to Sausage, I got given a Bounty pack with a voucher in it for a nappy bin and I fixated on getting that nappy bin like my life depended on it. My Dad took me to Argos to collect it and I set it up and placed it proudly in Sausage’s nursery…and then used it once, realised how useless it was and promptly consigned it to the loft. This is just one example of the crap that you get duped, or GUILTED (‘Your baby NEEEEDS one of these, otherwise it will grow up with a sense of emptiness which will eventually lead to an adulthood of drug usage and casual sex’) into buying and this time, I’m simply not allowing myself to get sucked in by clever marketing aimed at vulnerable people who want the best for their child.

2. No Excuses


Last time, I made lots of excuses about certain choices I’d made, such as why I didn’t breastfeed or why we chose to have Sausage sleep in our room until she was 4 or why we did any number of other things that we chose to do. This time, I won’t make excuses for my choices, I’ll simply say “Because that’s how I want to do it”. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past 6 years, it’s that pregnancy and parenting are subjective and divisive and I’ll never please everyone, so I’m not even going to try.

3. Don’t Take Any Crap


Last time I did this, I was under the impression that I didn’t have any choices outside of what my doctors ‘recommended’. I was pushed into a birth plan that I was by no means even vaguely comfortable with and I felt like I didn’t have a voice when it came to so many different aspects of mine and my daughter’s care. This time around, I have opinions but more importantly I have a voice and I intend to use it. When I asked if I had any plans for birth, I told them in no uncertain terms that I would be having a c-section or finding a hospital which would give me one if they refused. I plan to continue this assertiveness over the next 5 months and beyond.

4. Comparisons


“Oh, little Fungus has been sleeping through the night since the day he was born, doesn’t yours do that?” “Oh yes, but Phlegm can count to 20. In Latin. She’ll be 8 months old on Friday!”

There’s a sort of inherent competitiveness when it comes to new parents, where the tiniest milestones and achievements are paraded around to make other parents feel inferior. I’m sure I was guilty of it too, but this time I’m not doing the comparison thing. Every child is different and does things in their own time, so if Crammond Baby number 2 doesn’t smile or gurgle at exactly the same moment that other babies of its age do, I’m not going to sweat it.

5. Washing


When I had Sausage, I used to wash all of her clothes together, in a separate wash to mine and Husband’s clothes. I used the same machine with the same detergent, but I washed them all separately.

Yeah, I’m not doing that this time. It’s a pointless waste of energy and makes no sense at all, so I simply won’t do it.

What did you do, or do you plan to do, differently the second time around?

Family · Parenting · Personal

Expectations of a Biological Clock

biological clockAlmost as soon as Husband and I got married, people started asking whether we had any plans for children. I’m aware that, traditionally speaking, people used to get married so that they could start a family, but I was surprised that the expectations of starting a family were still so heavy in the 21st century. And even once we’d had Sausage, the questions didn’t stop; people almost immediately wanted to know when we planned to have more children, as though we’d opened the floodgates with one child and would breed with unbridled abandon until my sagging uterus could take no more.

Just recently, one of my close friends admitted that, at the age of 34, she’d come to the conclusion that she simply wasn’t feeling all that maternal at this stage in her life. She loved her nieces and nephews, as well as her friends’ children, but she was happy with the way her life is at the moment and a baby simply didn’t fit into that plan.

When she told me, I was a bit sad that she and her Husband might not have kids, and I’ve since come to the conclusion is a completely irrational reaction from me. Why should I be sad that they don’t want kids?! My reaction soon turned to one of admiration, with my brain saying “Wow, what a brave thing to admit!”, but having had more time to think about it, I feel a bit cross on their behalves.

Why should anyone have to explain whether they choose to have kids or not? Even the fact that I used the word ‘admitted’ when describing our conversation shows a certain expectation of people within an age group, and that somehow anyone who chooses to deviate from the ‘marriage+kids’ path needs to explain themselves.

What I’ve realised now, is that I wish more people had the guts to admit that they don’t see kids factoring into their lives. There are so many people in the world who seem to take absolutely no joy from being a parent and I often think “Why did that person procreate in the first place?”. Having kids should be something that you know you want, with both body and mind, not a societal obligation that we should fulfill just because our biological clocks or peer groups tell us that “NOW IS THE TIME”.

Perhaps if people weren’t so base, and thought a little bit more about what having kids really meant, there would be less kids in care, foster care, or waiting for adoption? I’m not going to go all Jeremy Kyle and start parading the High Street, screaming “PUT SOMETHING ON THE END OF IT!” at people, but at the same time, I do wish people would at least consider what it takes to have a child and the sacrifices that need to be made. That’s the admirable part, saying “You know what? I’m happy as I am and I’m not willing to change that”.

What I’ve learned from all of this is that I have a whole new level of respect for people who say “I love kids, but they aren’t for me”. Other people (generally those who have or want kids, I’d imagine) may find it hard to reconcile that someone would choose not to have children, but I actually think it’s one of the most selfless conclusions that a person can come to, rather than the potential of having kids and none of you being happy, just for the sake of not missing that window of fertility opportunity.

What do you think? Have you always known that you wanted kids? Have you decided that kids aren’t for you? Leave me a comment below.


Swimming During Pregnancy

When I was pregnant with Sausage, particularly towards the end, I was MASSIVE. I had polyhydramnious, meaning I carried an excess of amniotic fluid. Most babies stop moving so much in the last few weeks of pregnancy, simply because they cannot anymore, due to lack of space. Sausage, I think, swam lengths inside me, right up until the day she was born!

Add to this the fact that I had SPD, a painful condition in which my body releases too much of the hormone that we need to make our pelvis loosen up enough to fit a baby through it, as well as being in the largest stage of pregnancy in August, I was one seriously uncomfortable lady. My ankles and hands would swell daily and my movement was severely restricted due to the combination of my various ills.

At the time, it never even occurred to me that swimming probably would have done me the world of good, floating about in the cool water, taking the pressure off of my joints and allowing me to move around in a way that was low impact. I’ve looked into it and there’s even specific maternity swimwear that I could have invested in for my hippo-like form to splash around in! If we ever decide to have another child, I know for a fact that I’ll be using the pool to its full advantage!

Weirdly, (apart from this annoying pad of fat that I had under my bump which made me look like I had a massive beer gut *heave*) pregnancy was one of the few times in my life that I didn’t feel body-conscious. Yes, I was enormous, but I was supposed to be! Don’t get me wrong, I am not one of lifes ‘glowers’, you know, women who look like Mother Earth when they’re with-child, but it made me feel slightly freer about my body, which was a fairly liberating feeling.

If you have any concerns about swimming whilst pregnant, there’s a great article over on Baby Center with some info about keeping yourself safe.