Family visit!

My parents and sister made their way over to this side of the pond to visit us! This was my sisters second time to the UK and my parents first.
I was stressed about how to get them all down to our place from the airport and ended up finding a car service that would pick them up from the airport and drive them to our flat for 98 pounds (my American laptop doesn’t have a pound sign!! lulz). They were able to stay in the family accommodations provided by the Royal Navy so they had a two bedroom flat that was within walking distance from us. It definitely needed to be updated, but it was much cheaper than if they had stayed in a hotel and way more convenient!
This was the first time my family got to meet our little one in person as well so it was really exciting. For weeks before their arrival I was stressing myself out about the barrage of parenting advice they were going to dump on us, but if I’m being honest, they didn’t say too much. (insert laughing hysterically emoji here)

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Charlie meeting his American grandparents for the first time!

I was also stressing myself out about what my family would do here in Gosport for 5 whole days. Let’s face it, Gosport and the immediate surrounding area is not that exciting. We got really lucky with some great weather while they were here so we were able to have a cookout, went to the Mary Rose museum (something I have been wanting to do for a while!), hit up some pubs, brought them to one of our favourite restaurants, Meat & Barrel, and I introduced my mom and sister to Primark, where lots of cash was dropped.

We took the train up to London to spend a few days there before my family had to fly home. Sean had to work so only went up for the day on Monday. It was our first time taking Charlie to London so I really wanted Sean there. We got really lucky and found a two bedroom flat to rent in Southwark that was about a 5 minute walk to the Borough Underground station. And, I finally understood Oyster cards!!! Yo, it IS way cheaper to use them. Lolloloolollololol!

Charlie experiencing London for the first time!!
Not the best pics, but they’re the only ones Sean took and I forgot to take any pics there!

The time in London went by much quicker than I thought it would. Strollers and the Underground do not get along so well so after lugging it around all day Tuesday with Charlie refusing to sit in it I just gave up on taking it out with us and wore him all day Wednesday in the Ergo and let me tell you something, it is EXHAUSTING walking around with a baby strapped to you all day! You cannot truly enjoy all the joys of parenting until you have traveled with a baby (insert sarcasm here). Nap and bedtime routines were completely thrown off and Charlie came down with a cold so by the end I felt really guilty that I was bringing him around everywhere, but it was really important to spend that time with my family.
My dad really wanted to go to the Sherlock Holmes Museum while in London so I felt that was important to get in. It was alright, but definitely overpriced. The Sherlock Holmes Pub looked really cool and even though it wasn’t the best pub food I’ve had I would definitely go back to drink there again.

On Wednesday my parents had a day to themselves and did an all day tour of London while Amalyn and I thought it would be fun to get dressed up and go to afternoon tea at The Swan at Shakespeare’s Globe. I LOVE afternoon tea so I couldn’t let Amalyn have another trip to the UK without experiencing it. Charlie looked absolutely adorable in his little bow tie and even though he wasn’t feeling very well he did pretty good and gave lots of smiles to all the ladies that came up to him in The Swan to coo at him! Charlie has a diary allergy so I’ve had to give up dairy while breastfeeding so that it doesn’t affect his stomach, but obviously afternoon tea was a cheat. Surprisingly it didn’t affect him as much as I expected it to so I’m hoping he’s starting to grow out of it, but for his sake I got back on the no dairy wagon.

Sister time in London!

It definitely sucked having to say goodbye to my family, but Sean and I are planning on making a trip there soon. We were hoping to go for Christmas, but now it’s looking like it may be Easter 2018. We shall see….
I return to work in May and am trying to make the most of my time I have left at home with Charlie before going back. I have been taking him swimming and he seems to really enjoy it. I have also met a great group of ladies through the breastfeeding support group that my health visitor runs and they have become great friends. I’m also trying to get myself back into running again. After Charlie was born I was so committed to working out, but in mid January lost all motivation. I did the Saint Patrick’s Day 5k in Portsmouth and am signed up for the Saint George’s Day 5k later this month.
We are taking Charlie up to Wales over Easter break to introduce him to Sean’s family and if I’m being honest, I’m not looking forward to the drive. It’s 8 hours without a baby that breastfeeds every two hours so we’ll be making a lot of stops along the way, but it will be great for Sean’s family to finally meet him too. By the end of this year we will have a lot of baby traveling experience under our belts as we also have a trip to Barcelona planned this summer. It seems to be all trial and error so far, but hopefully by the time that trip comes around I’ll know exactly what to pack and what I can leave at home so we aren’t taking the whole house with us!!

Do you cream or jam first? 

One of my favourite indulgences here in the UK are scones with clotted cream and jam. As much as I LOVE clotted cream, it’s not something I eat very often because let’s face it, it’s not very healthy. But yesterday I wanted to spend our rainy Sunday morning hanging out with the baby on the living room floor eating scones and drinking coffee. Which lead me to asking hubby, do you cream or jam first? A die hard Cream First he said it was sacrilege to put to put the jam on before cream and I’ve always just done the same. But we decided to try it both ways and I’m going to say I have switched teams and am now a cream first kind of gal. Either way, they’re still delicious! 

The life of a breastfeeding mom.

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You will question your milk supply.
You will love the way your baby kicks his feet and wriggles his toes while he feeds.
Your baby will have a growth spurt and you will experience cluster feeding; you will question your milk supply.
The first few weeks you will spend a lot of time convincing yourself to “just give it one more week”.
You will learn to watch your partner eat their hot plate of food while you wait patiently for your baby to finish feeding.
The first time you breastfeed side-lying you will feel like you won the lottery because you’ll get to sleep and feed baby at the same time!
You will co-sleep and realize how much happier and well rested everyone is.
You will spend hours online in the middle of the night reading about breastfeeding.
You will question your milk supply.
You will laugh proudly at your attempts to eat food with your non-dominant hand.
You will drop food on your baby. And pick it up and eat it.
You will fall asleep/watch tv/clean/make or eat food with one boob out.
You will choose clothes to wear only to face the harsh realization that it’s not breastfeeding friendly and shove it back into the closet once baby wakes up.
In fact, you will realize that about 95% of your wardrobe is not breastfeeding friendly and will forgo wearing shirts in the house altogether.
You will realize that breast milk stains and becomes rancid quick. Then you will spend a lot of time smelling your baby to make sure he doesn’t stink.
You will think you are too cool for breast pads and then regret not wearing them within 10 minutes. You will also have to change your bra and shirt.
You will spend a lot of time touching your boobs.
You will question your milk supply.
You will become obsessed with what time it is because you’re counting how much time you have before your baby might need to feed again.
You will read about how breastfeeding moms have insatiable hunger and eat snacks all day long only to sadly accept that you are of normal hunger and should not ask for cake for dessert.
You will be more thirsty than you have ever been in your life.
You will shop online at 3am.
You will have to wear two sports bras when working out. They will be covered in milk by the time you finish your workout.
You will get used to smelling your baby’s poop fumes while you wait patiently for him to finish feeding.
You will feel bad when you fart while baby is feeding.
You will feel proud of how much weight your baby has gained all from the liquid that pours from your boobs; you will not question your milk supply.

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Not all pregnancies are beautiful. And that’s ok.

If there’s one thing that I hate hearing more than anything now that I’m pregnant it’s this: “pregnancy is beautiful”.

It’s not. It’s a fucking nightmare.

Maybe you had a great pregnancy or maybe your epidural caused you to have amnesia, but I’m confident in saying that there is absolutely nothing about pregnancy that I enjoy except knowing that it will eventually end. Before you start throwing stones, let me unnecessarily reassure you that I am very grateful for the tiny life I carry inside me and I can’t wait to meet our little one, but I still hate being pregnant. Also, there’s no need to remind me that I will get a baby in the end or to say, “it will all be worth it when you hold your baby in your arms” because guess what?? I wouldn’t be doing this if I wasn’t getting a baby in the end!

There is nothing beautiful about the first trimester where for two months solid I felt like I was balancing the stomach flu with the worst hangover of my life. There’s nothing beautiful about dry heaving at the site or smell of your favourite foods and every time you brush your teeth or literally being so exhausted and nauseated you shit your pants without realising it. Yes, you read that correctly.

Anyone who says the second trimester is better than the first is a liar. It’s not. Yea, your nausea may have eased up a bit, but guess what, it comes back and at the most random of times. You’re still exhausted all the time, but you’re gaining weight constantly and it takes twice as much effort to move your new giant ass and big tits around so you feel even more tired. Not to mention all the joint and round ligament pain that has you feeling like you’re in Tudor times and they’ve strapped you to the rack and they’re pulling your hips apart. You know what it feels like when the back of your hips are stretching? It feels like someone punched you in the asshole and broke your coccyx at the same time.

You know what else happens in the second trimester? Indigestion. So much indigestion. I don’t have heartburn, but I have the constant feeling of undigested food sitting in my stomach for hours on end and the constant need to belch accompanied by the fear that my undigested food will make a reappearance in the form of vomit. You also can’t breath because your new papaya sized uterus has pushed all your internal organs up into your chest, squeezing in next to your lungs so you feel out of breath doing the simplest of tasks. That is not beautiful to me. Going from running up to 30 miles a week to being out of breath walking up one flight of stairs is hard to adjust to and I know that it will only get worse over the next 17 weeks.

At least I’m the most pleasant person in the world while pregnant. Just kidding, my mood swings are lethal. I’m tired, I’m hungry, I’m irritable, I hate the way your perfume smells or the way you breathe and I can cry about the stupidest things. I have the shortest temper and I don’t like snapping at my husband who is the sweetest guy in the world and will bend over backwards for me to make sure that I’m as comfortable as can possibly be, but I am so hormonal that I am crazy right now. And that’s not beautiful. I also don’t think it’s beautiful that I struggle to remember anything or to do simple math or even hold an intelligent conversation because I have baby brain and that is a real thing folks.

I just think that if you had a great pregnancy, then that’s great for you. Congratulations. I know I’m not the first woman on the face of the Earth to not enjoy pregnancy and I’m not trying to be insensitive to those that are struggling with infertility or can’t have children, but I’m not enjoying the experience and just like other women are allowed to share how great their experience was I should be able to share how horrible I feel mine is without being shamed. So maybe the next time you ask a pregnant woman how she’s feeling and she goes on a rant about how miserable she is, silently thank the universe for your beautiful pregnancy experience before asking her if there’s anything you can do for her to make it easier on her.

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Afternoons with Bump, 22 +4 weeks

You asked me for an update, so here it is.

It’s been a while since I’ve updated my blog, but since everyone now knows I’m pregnant I can finally update you on what’s happening in my life!

Before getting pregnant I had this plan for how I would handle pregnancy, how I was going to maintain a healthy diet and workout routine to prevent excess weight gain and how I would approach all my future pregnancy symptoms so that I could still function as I normally would and show other women that it was possible to do so during pregnancy. Well, that whole plan went to shit in the 5th week of my pregnancy when morning sickness hit me head on like a mac truck speeding down I64. I suffered all day nausea, joint pain, fatigue, migraines, having the nose of a bloodhound, and a whole slew of other symptoms that I wasn’t expecting to experience. There were mornings when I would just break down and cry as I was getting ready for work because all I wanted to do was lie in the fetal position and rock myself back and forth until I could fall back asleep and forget how miserable I was. Coincidentally, this was how I spent the majority of my afternoons and evenings on the couch while Sean did everything he could to make me feel better, never complaining when all I did was cry and sleep on the couch until it was time to move myself to the bed to cry until I fell back asleep there. My new sedentary lifestyle was combined with a new diet of all carbs, as carbs were really the only foods that didn’t make my face contort with a look of disgust and make me want to dry heave.

For many of my friends and even family you may not realize this is actually my third pregnancy, having lost the first two babies to miscarriage. Both miscarriages were incredibly heartbreaking and left me feeling very depressed, angry, and especially after the second one, doubting whether or not my body could do what it was genetically designed for. So, with this pregnancy I agreed to play it as safe as possible and to listen to my body (sleep when I’m tired, eat when I’m hungry) and avoid any running until we got the approval from our midwife. Even once we got the approval from the midwife I still felt so miserable and tired all the time that it took me until week 13 to finally get outside for a jog.

This morning Sean and I did our first 5k since finding out about baby Murphy! I couldn’t run the entire length so it was more of a walk and trot, but it felt so good to be outside and in running shoes again. I find myself worried about pace and overall time and Sean has to remind me that I’m pregnant and that time doesn’t matter. Even though it took us a whole 42 minutes I felt so proud of myself for just feeling well enough to be able to do the whole 5k. I plan on taking it slow and not pushing myself too hard, but I’m looking forward to getting back into a routine of being physically active for as long as I can for the rest of this pregnancy.

Everyone kept promising me that I would feel better in the second trimester, but it was so hard to believe when I felt so damn awful. If I’m being honest the first trimester made me hate being pregnant. I couldn’t see the joy in it at all and I just felt like I couldn’t recognize myself. Now that I’m feeling better I am starting to feel a lot more like myself again, although with less of a sense of humor and incredible mood swings. I also still can’t stand the sight of chicken or broccoli.  But hey, I’m hormonal as hell and I’ve worked salads back into my diet, what more do you expect?

6 months of UK living!

6 months ago I got on a plane with two suitcases to move to a city in England that I couldn’t point to on a map. It’s been such an adventure adjusting to my new home but I’ll admit there have been plenty of nights where I’ve cried myself to sleep because homesickness is real. I miss my dog, I miss being annoyed by my family, I miss telling my friends I don’t want to hang out because I want to go to bed at 9pm, I miss Taco Bell, and I miss the convenience of having access to numerous 24 hour stores that actually stay open 24 hours and not close at 4pm on Sunday (Asda 😡). But even though I sometimes miss home I’m so happy to be here with my husband that will buy me American junk food or order me Folgers coffee online at a ridiculous price to make me feel more at home. I miss you America, but I don’t plan on seeing you anytime soon!! ❤️😽