Thursday, 17 August 2017

ALEX GLANVILLE: PREGNANCY YOGA REVIEW


I was a complete yoga virgin before I attended a Birthlight Yoga class with Alex Glanville. I'd always been intrigued by the idea of yoga but I'd never had the confidence to attend a class because I imagined that I'd be far too out of shape to be considered any good at it. I thought of my huge pregnant belly as a bit of a 'Get Out of Jail Free' card; a totally valid reason why I couldn't get my leg behind my head or my arse in front of my face.

I found Alex Glanville, located in Tilehurst- Reading, by conducting a quick Google search and I mentioned it to a few of my friends one evening. A couple of weeks later the sweethearts revealed that they had bought me a block of pregnancy yoga lessons for my birthday so I trotted along to my first lesson in my old H&M leggings and a "too big" t-shirt. Potential yoga fitness model, I was not.

I remember my first lesson vividly, mainly because I really bloody enjoyed myself. Alex spent the first few minutes of the lesson going around the room getting everybody to introduce themselves (just your name! Nothing anxiety inducing!) along with how many weeks through their pregnancy they were and whether they had any aches, pains and ailments that week. I had been struggling hugely with lower back pain. It quickly became apparent that this was a common complaint amongst the other preggos and so Alex incorporated stretches and positions that would help to relieve tension in our lower backs into our session that week. Do you know what? IT WORKED. I felt like a new woman the next day. I could touch my toes, I could walk up stairs. I got out of bed without making that "URGH CHRIST" sound. Pregnancy yoga gave me back some control over a body that was determined to test me with a new and exciting malfunction every week of my pregnancy.
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Thursday, 10 August 2017

BUGGYFIT READING: A REVIEW


I've never really been into 'Fitness'. I never got any joy out of spin classes at the gym, or running on a treadmill. When I was younger I used to really enjoy running outdoors but I don't have the stamina for that anymore, and I live in an area that is more 'police sirens' than wild bird calls. I enjoy swimming but it's a lot of faff for an hour isn't it? I never found something that I truly enjoyed or looked forward to and so fitness became a very dirty word in my mind. It was embarrassing to me; I would shuffle up to the gym with my head down and use machines away from everybody else. I'd cringe walking the aisles looking for workout gear that fitted me. Fitness was very much a chore that I attempted to endure, but mostly shied away from.

When I was pregnant with Alex I didn't worry about my weight. I enjoyed eating a hazelnut croissant for breakfast, or a bar of Dairy Milk after dinner. I believed that once Alex was born I would find it easy to snap back into eating healthily. I was no longer eating for two, right? HOW WRONG I WAS. I still get insatiable cravings for random things (mostly chocolate) and now that I'm up a few times during the night to feed the baby I find that I'm even more tempted by midnight snacks or a fizzy drink to get me through the afternoon. I decided that I needed to look into a few exercise classes that I could do throughout my maternity leave so I Googled "Fitness classes with a baby in Berkshire".

Buggyfit was one of the results. I'd seen talk of Buggyfit on various Facebook groups that I'm part of so I decided to message the instructor and find out what the big deal was. I quite liked the idea of doing something outside and popping Alex into his buggy for an hour seemed like a good way to get him to take an afternoon nap. "I'm not very fit or in shape", I confessed shamefully in my message to the instructor. I pictured women in designer trainers running gracefully through parks, chatting away as I huffed and puffed behind the group trying not to throw up whilst dreaming of a glass of wine.
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Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Motherhood; Losing My Identity


Becoming a mother has been the most drastic lifestyle change I've ever experienced. I'm sure that's quite a common feeling amongst first time mothers. I don't get up at 7am for work anymore. I get up at 1am, and 3am, and 6am if I'm lucky. I don't get to eat my lunch on my own whilst browsing news sites and texting my sister about her hot boss (#lunchgoals). I eat when my son is done eating and has decided to have a nap. It's not all "woe is me" though. I get to lie in bed snuggling my baby whilst my poor husband heads off to work in the rain. I get to have Tuesday afternoon lunch dates on the riverside with old friends. I get to spend the afternoon shopping for baby clothes and drinking Starbucks. I get to go on morning walks with the buggy, even if it is to buy inhuman quantities of chocolate. I absolutely love motherhood, but it is totally and utterly all consuming.

Before I got pregnant I often thought about new mums and their lifestyles. It was terrifying to me that becoming a mum suddenly meant that every conversation would be about babies. These women had to diarize every social event and plan for every weekend away. They couldn't spend their mornings hungover eating pizza in bed. They attended "Toddle Tot" afternoons with other mums and talked about weaning and toilet training. They couldn't wear nice clothes because they'd be ruined by messy baby juices. I perceived these changes as such a loss of identity. Did they still have career ambitions and passions outside of their #mumlife? Did they have any parts of their personality that were left unaffected by motherhood?
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Tuesday, 18 July 2017

MUM THINGS I'VE DONE WRONG


"You should sterilise anything your baby might come into contact with. Including sofas and the neighbours cat". 
It's 4am. My baby is fussing. He's got a full tummy but he desperately wants some comfort. I want to sleep. I reach for his dummy. I drop his dummy. I watch his dummy drop onto the floor. I watch his dummy roll across the carpet. I don't know when I last hoovered. Was it last week? I pick the dummy up. I put the dummy in my mouth to remove carpet residue. I put the dummy in my babys mouth. AHHH, sweet sweet silence.

"You really should let your baby cry instead of comforting him whenever he makes a sound". 
Oh really? Yeah? Sorry, must dash, I think I just heard my baby murmur so I need to snuggle him for 3 hours and then watch him sleep for another hour. I love my baby. I want him to know that if he needs me I'm going to go to him. I'm gonna comfort him whenever he damn well asks for it Aunt Patricia.
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Monday, 17 July 2017

MY BIRTH STORY


I had a perfect pregnancy up until the last month. I had great test results the entire way along. I wasn't particularly sick in the first trimester and I didn't suffer with exhaustion in the way that I assumed I would. Some days it was tough to drag myself out of bed, but I don't think that's exclusive to being pregnant for me...

At 36 weeks pregnant (the start of the final month) I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes based on the results of a routine test with the midwife. The diagnosis really knocked me for six because I had been feeling really good and everything was progressing exactly as I wanted it to. I was called into the hospital to meet with the diabetes specialists and they gave me a blood glucose monitor. I had to prick my finger 6 times a day (before and after every meal) and perform a quick blood test on myself. The results were sent over to the hospital electronically and the team there would be able to monitor my blood sugar and immediately let me know if there was an issue. The main impact of the gestational diabetes would be the size of my baby. Babies whose mothers have GD are typically larger and born earlier than most other babies. The team started dropping hints that I would likely have the baby early.
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Friday, 23 June 2017

#momlife


INTRODUCING

Mr Alex Michael Herrington

8lb 4oz

Born June 5th, 9:26am




On June 5th I delivered my handsome little man at the Royal Berkshire Hospital after a slightly dramatic 'week of labour'. It feels like I've known him my entire life and that he's always been around. He's 18 days old today and he's fit and well- he is an eating, sleeping, pooping machine and he's doing all of those things like a pro.

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