Thursday, 28 December 2017

Remember to not forget the basics during pregnancy.

In this day and age with so much emphasis on material items I think it’s crucial to remind yourself half of it isn’t necessary. I mean I felt it so much during the pregnancy that I decided to stop blogging all together. What irritated me was this constant need for everyone online to push items, push sales, convince someone they need products.
Not sure if you’ve noticed but for a good year, I’ve stopped linking items to the blog for that specific reason.
I don’t want to make anyone feel like they need anything, I don’t want to encourage disposable fashion, I want to encourage stability, eco friendly lifestyles and all round positive mind-sets.
Don’t get me wrong I love shopping and I love new things, but in all honesty its not needed.

Let’s talk about baby expenses.
Now initially this was one of the biggest factors that we reviewed before trying for baby Suri. How expensive can a baby be? Will we be able to afford it?
Hand on my heart, I think the saying ‘when you have a child, you make ends meet no matter what’ is very very true.
The initial expense is the cot, pushchair, clothes and nappies. Everything else is a luxury.
Again, I feel like the baby industry is such a lucrative one that baby shows and magazines can throw you off a little. They push sales for all the innovative products which claim to ‘help’ raise a baby with ease and through all the blogger promotions and advertisements, you feel almost brainwashed into thinking you need it.
Don’t get me wrong Gurp’s and I were convinced at times we needed specific items because someone recommended them, but in all honesty, all the extra items were little luxuries not necessities.

Comparison is the thief of joy.
For this reason specifically, I detest social media. It’s a glorified snapshot of so many peoples lifestyles; a little window that paints the idea of paradise.
Just because others have every baby item under the sun it doesn’t mean you need them.
Do your research and weigh out the importance of everything, I remember going to a baby show and they had all these extras for pushchairs; Gurps and I were baffled, we really felt as though our little list of necessities was all wrong. But now im on the other end of the pregnancy I can honestly say, trust your instinct, if you think you can do without, you most probably can.
Don’t let the media fool you into thinking you aren’t capable to raise a baby without all the fancy gadgets.
Your baby needs you, love, care and attention. It doesn’t need bedding in 13 different colour ways, 7 different contraptions for sterilising or 5 interchanging seats for the pushchair travel system.

Let’s rewind to our parents time.
If at any point you are stuck in the social media storm rewind your thoughts back to our parent’s time. As millennia’s most of us are living the life of luxury in comparison to our parents.
Luckily we haven’t faced the struggle of relocating with nothing, we haven’t had to all work from a young age to contribute to family bills and sacrificing education as a result. We have experienced life from a very selfish point of view in comparison to them.
We haven’t started from the complete bottom due to their diligence and hardworking natures. We are in an advantageous position where luxuries are considered the norm.
So if you erase all the social media, advertisements and catalogues, be realistic about what you need, if our parents managed to raise us with hand me downs, bare basics and half the technology we have; are we really that incapable of matching their ability to raise children?

Just believe in yourself.
The irony right? A blogger preaching about avoiding the material industry. Just remember, I started this blog as a personal visual diary to look back on, it just so happens you have all decided to join me on the journey too.
I know how strongly I feel about specific blogs driving products / promoting items because they have been paid to do so. It’s made me feel insufficient at times and I’ll be damned if what I do makes anyone feel that way, that is not my intention.
I’m simply sharing my journey, if it includes sharing my love of specific items consider it as a friend’s recommendation.
I don’t want to make you think you need anything to be amazing, if you take the time to read, better yourself and focus on positivity then you’re already there!


Saturday, 23 December 2017

Getting used to being pregnant.

Admittedly the first few months of pregnancy got me down, it was physically and mentally exhausting, not to mention we were in the process of moving homes and my grandfather passed away on the day I was admitted into hospital for Hyperemesis Grvidarum so the stress of everything came all at once.
Unfortunate, but that’s just how things pan out sometimes.
After getting my head around the whole situation I started to enjoy it. I felt comfortable in my own skin again, I accepted these changes were temporary and at the end of it my body will produce a tiny human.
The further I got into my pregnancy I kept thinking about time and how it wont wait for anyone.

As a young woman who has dedicated herself whole heartedly to education, working and being a financially stable individual, I can relate to all the other ladies who push aside the idea of bearing a child until they have satisfied all their career goals.
After all, if we work just as hard as our counterparts why should we give it all up in an instant? Expected to bear the struggles of growing a child and still continue with life without any special allowances.
I guess that’s just the biological lottery women lost out on when we were created.
My main point here is, even though there is that inner battle in most women on when they will or wont be ready, it’s almost a gamble.
It’s a gamble because we are already born with a finite number of eggs.

‘Women are born with approximately two million eggs in their ovaries, but about eleven thousand of them die every month prior to puberty. As a teenager, a womanhas only three hundred thousand to four hundred thousand remaining eggs, and from that point on, approximately one thousand eggs are destined to die each month.’

But what if these statistics don’t run true for you, what if you are the minority where you waited too long?
It’s unfair to say the least, but if you have a partner, see a future with them and dream of having a family, my advice would be don’t wait.
We are never ready for anything until thrown in the deep end. Pregnancy isn’t an easy task, nor is raising the children but the sooner it’s done, I believe the easier it will be.

‘’ I felt like I may not get opportunities to do this ever again, so it’s about time—it’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There’s almost no such thing as ready. There’s only now ‘’ - Hugh Laurie

One of the wonders of being a woman is even after bearing the task of growing and raising children, we are still capable of fitting back into society and can achieve goals and unimaginable achievements. That being said, it’s a shame we’re still seen as secondary in many aspects of life.


Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Pregnancy emotions - the early months

To say pregnancy is a rollercoaster of emotions is an understatement, it’s a life change, its everything you thought you knew about yourself out the window. Your body changes without knowing it, it’s hard to mentally keep up. Your mind is between the now and the future. Its almost the biggest reality check I’ve ever had. The concept of time goes quicker than ever before.

Remain grateful to be in the position 
In the early months of pregnancy, I remember feeling down and frustrated with my bodies changes. I felt like everything was getting turned upside down for me, while the rest of the world kept spinning and seemed normal for everyone else.
I was losing the body I had worked so hard daily to achieve. My appetite for the little food I did like had gone out the window and unfortunately I suffered from severe morning sickness (Hyperemesis Grvidarum) and ended up being admitted into the hospital. So not only did I feel awful, I looked it most days too. Pregnancy glow?! Far from it, I only experienced that after passing the 5 month mark!
Throughout the initial stages of wishing I didn’t feel the way I did, I had to snap out of what I consider a ‘first world luxury slump’.
I was being over emotional; there are so many women in this world who would kill to fall pregnant as quick as I did, there are so many women in this world who would do anything to experience growing their child, there are so many women who struggle alone with all the symptoms I did.

As awful as I felt, I needed to remind myself, I had a family that cared, I had a support system to fall back on, I had the NHS to overlook all the complications, I had help.
It’s easy to fall into a dip when exhaustion and emotions are at an all time low, but the main thing is to remain as grateful as possible. There are girls in this world who dream of having my life on my worst days, who am I to stand here and complain.

Research – educate yourself
After I pulled myself out of the emotional slump, I decided to get clued on. What exactly is happening to my body, what are the side effects, what is to come. I needed to know. It would be foolish of me to have access to resources such as books and internet and not know what my body is about to undertake.
I’m a strong believer of educating yourself. Never wait for others to hold your hand and show you, get up and better yourself for no ones benefit other than your own. I needed to know everything so I can then be the healthiest / fittest possible for my child.
I didn’t want to do anything to jeopardise the responsibility I had oF creating this little human.

I started off reading How to Grow a Baby and Push It Out by Clemmie Hoper. A nice little introduction to the world of pregnancy, with step by steps on what to expect each week in terms of changes to your body, the foetus development and explanations of all the blood tests / immunisations / labour procedures.
Confident about knowing my bits and bobs, I wanted to know more; I wanted to know what to anticipate closer to the babies’ arrival, so I read What to Expect the First Year Book by Heidi Murkoff. Now this book most definitely made me feel clued on, I had a clearer vision of what to expect and its in-depth explanations on all scenarios from breast feeding to dealing with guests was very helpful to read.

It’s just in my nature to read, I didn’t want to feel lost at any point so instead of feeling anxious about what was to come, I wanted to prepare myself the best way I knew how.

Communication is key.
I’m relatively level headed but during my pregnancy my emotions were on an insane rollercoaster that just kept getting faster.
But instead of stomping around and expecting Gurps / my boss / my family / friends to understand my moods I had to break it down every single day; How I felt emotionally and physically. I had to, because I was already in the unknown in terms of experiencing everything for the first time, I needed as much support I could get to carry on with a positive mental attitude. Being grateful was half of it, but the other half was needing physical support.
Pregnancy is draining, it honestly takes it out of your body. I considered myself fit before the pregnancy but I was shocked at how challenging I found it.
I was open with everyone and explained what I was struggling with and they were all accommodating and helped. If you don’t ask for help, no one will know. So don’t go through it alone, reach out.

Erase the millennial issue of f.o.m.o.
Having children doesn’t stop anything unless you let it. I had many one liners about ‘no more holidays’ too many in fact. But I don’t believe it.
You dictate how your life goes, if you want to travel with children you will make it happen. If you want to maintain a high social life with children you will make it happen, anything is possible.
I was willing to drop the f.o.m.o (Fear Of Missing Out) and focus all my energy on being pregnant and then preparing myself to be a mother.

Slow progress is better than no progress
Sometimes I feel like I talk sense but I have a bad habit of ignoring myself. I know what I need to do, I just don’t do it. By writing things down I remind myself of what I need to do, positivity, communication, forward thinking and bettering myself are still my main goals, some days I’m more productive than others; the main thing through the pregnancy was to keep going. Slow progress to being better each day is better than no progress.


Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Body confidence – during pregnancy

When I penned out my first piece on body confidence I thought I’d nailed it, I finally felt secure in who I was and didn’t feel phased by other people’s opinions good or bad.

When I discussed being pregnant I had numerous (women particularly) say to me, ‘ohh don’t be one of those pregnant ladies that wear tight dresses’ ‘don’t take any pictures of you just holding the bump (the artistic nude ones – which might I point out don’t show any private parts! ARTFULLY done)

I didn’t really know how to react, being pregnant was all new to me, should I present myself in a different way, should I dress like a mum to be? And following that one, how the hell does a mum to be dress?
Why should I change anything if I didn’t feel any different? My bump didn’t show till I was 6 months pregnant, even then it could have been passed off as a food baby.
I was frustrated and put mildly, pretty angry. I was angry that someone felt comfortable enough to say something so personal to me based on their opinion on how I should present myself.
I love wearing bodycon dresses, I’m happy having a curvy figure, why should I be ashamed to show it? Am I hurting anyone in doing so? Am I lowering myself as a woman? Does it change who I am as a person? No.
I’ve worked in fashion from a very young age, I relate to fashion on a personal level, how we present ourselves as individuals is our way of communicating who we are without speaking; I love how people interpret themselves through fashion.
So why did these comments bother me so much. I couldn’t believe in 2017 women are still trying to suppress the younger generation based on how they were brought up.

Don’t let it get to you is easily said then done, have you ever heard the saying ‘don’t raise your voice, improve your argument.’
That was simply what I needed to do and in the magic of perfect timing, I came across this piece written by Lily Singh;

‘’For most of my life, I didn't expose much skin, not because I didn't want to but because I felt guilty about it. I was taught that showing cleavage and legs is shameful and asking for judgment and trouble. As I grew up I teetered back and forth on this line between feeling sexy and feeling ashamed. Everyone had an opinion about what I wore on my body. Then I entered the entertainment industry and admittedly during shoots I often found myself feeling super confident, so I showed a little skin. But then, people assumed that I'm selling my body and resorting to sex without a choice in the matter. That's not the case. All this to say, I'm now in a place where what I wear is simple. In fact, it only follows one rule: I wear what I feel comfortable wearing. Sometimes that's a turtleneck and sometimes that's a bikini. Either way, it doesn't warrant your opinion, mistreatment or assumption. I think I look cute and if you disagree, feel free to dress differently. That's the beauty of being different people.’’

It's not right for anyone to think they can control someone or make another feel a certain way because of their own opinion. It's wrong.
Be respectful of everyone as an individual.
If someone feels comfortable in less than you should respect it, likewise if someone feels comfortable wearing more than you again, respect it.
What Lilly said resonates so well with me, that’s exactly how I grew up, but I’m extremely fortunate enough to be supported by Gurps with every decision I make in life. And that’s all that really matters right?
Forget the mould media and societies have created as ‘the norm’ we’re different for a reason, don’t let anyone let you think otherwise. So here it is, these pictures were taken when I was 18 weeks pregnant, happy and healthy.


Thursday, 14 December 2017

Our little addition, my initial thoughts on starting a family.

Granted I’ve been extremely quiet compared to my usual breaks from the blog, but by far this is the most valid reason.
Gurps and I are thrilled to announce we are expecting a little baby Suri at the end of September; you might have noticed some images from my Instagram roll pictures at the top of the page, my tummy is looking a little more rounded then what you’re used to seeing!

Are you ever ready for children?
After being in a 12 year relationship and married for 4, Gurps and I felt like we have ticked so many things off on our bucket list. These were personal goals and wishes we fulfilled as young adults. We both felt completely satisfied with exhausting the social aspect of life, we were content with our stability as a couple and loved the life we shared together.
The topic of children was inevitable, it’s something both of us had in our life plans, we decided to wait till it was a mutual agreement that we were ready for it.
The first deciding factor was feeling like we had enough time to love and care for another human being other than ourselves, a baby not only requires material items, but first and foremost; time.
We were ready to have our world changed by devoting time and prioritising a child above everything and anyone else.

How much money goes into a baby?
After we established we had enough time, love and energy to devote to the baby our second deciding factor was finance. It’s been a hard slog for everyone to get onto the property ladder and gain some stability in the housing market, but luckily we have a roof over our heads and are stable enough to accommodate a child.
I’ve heard so many people say ‘don’t worry you will make ends meet when you have a child, you just do’ but I didn’t want to be in that position, I didn’t want to be in a place where I had to second guess buying items for the baby / providing the essentials because we couldn’t afford it.
By organising ourselves and preparing for this child we have eliminated the stress financial ties can have, and for that I’m grateful. I wish to spend time bringing up this baby with all the love and protection possible without money worries.

Am I physically ready?
It’s all well and good to say we are ready for children, but some factors are beyond our control and no matter what we do we can’t change them. One thing I have focused on (especially since starting this blog) is myself; Self-love, self-respect and knowledge of self-worth.
I have devoted countless hours into being the best version of me I can be, both mentally and physically; So naturally I felt I was strong enough to face the challenges bearing a child can bring.
I don’t smoke and drinking is extremely rare so I ticked the boxes for basic health requirements, I just have to maintain my usual eating habits and exercise where possible to accommodate the pregnancy months.

Am I mentally ready?
I thought I was, I genuinely thought I was ready for this child when we discussed starting a family in December 2016. It turned out at times I wasn’t, my emotions the past 7 months have been a complete rollercoaster. I’ve had bouts of regret, doubt and frustration which in seconds turn into excitement, eager anticipation and sheer happiness. Its unexplainable! I don’t think you are ever ready mentally for anything, you honestly need to let go of the past, don’t fret about the future and enjoy the moment, enjoy NOW. That’s the only way I’ve got through this pregnancy; enjoying the present.
Now I’ve got that little story off my chest let the journey to motherhood begin! I’m super excited for what’s to come and am eager to learn so much more than what I already know about the miracle of pregnancy and birthing.

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