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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Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Actual Things That Real People Have Said to me During My Pregnancy


  • What will you do if you don't love the baby when it's born? 
  • What will Ben do if you die giving birth?
  • Did you eat this much before you were pregnant? 
  • How did you decide to give up on your career to become a mum?
  • How much weight have you gained so far? 
  • Do you think you'll be in labour for longer because you're bigger?
  • Do you think you're going to get post-natal depression?
  • Why are you planning to have pain relief?
  • How are you going to shift the baby weight once he arrives?
  • How long did it take you to get pregnant? 
  • Do you have stretch marks?
  • Have you pretty much given up on doing anything properly at work now? 
  • What will you do if the baby is born with an illness? 
  • When are you getting rid of your cat?
  • Will you have to bring the baby to like every social event once he's here?
  • If we planned a girls holiday would you have to bring the baby? 
  • Why are you finding out the sex of the baby when a surprise is so much better?
  • Do you think you're going to hate your body after the baby comes? 
  • Was it planned?
  • You're going for a natural birth, yeah?
  • Do you know that *generic food item* is really bad for the baby?
  • Omg did you hear about *random person*? She nearly died giving birth last month. 
  • What are you going to do about money?


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Monday, 10 April 2017

Fredricks Hotel & Spa Maidenhead; a Review


On Monday last week I got the opportunity to experience my first ever antenatal spa day. It was the same as any normal spa day but with less champagne and more "OH JESUS" sounds every time I had to get up from the sun lounger without a hand rail or a serious shove from somebody.

Fredricks Hotel & Spa is in Maidenhead, Berkshire. It's about a 3 minute drive from the M4 so it's easy to find and there is also plenty of free parking at the front of the hotel. The spa is located at the right hand side of the hotel.

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Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Anxiety in Pregnancy


I am quite an anxious person. I'm the "Shit, did I just offend her?" kind of anxious, rather than the "Can't walk into a room of strangers" type of anxious, but it's always a voice in my head. For the past few years I've definitely had it under control- I would say there's probably been 1 or 2 days in a year where I've felt like I can't do something because of 'anxiety'. I've gotten pretty good at managing things that are going to put me into that 'zone' and avoiding them entirely. Not the best coping strategy in all cases, but it works for me.

Being pregnant has definitely exacerbated my anxiety. The other night I was home alone between around 4pm and 1am. This would usually be a DREAM for me (bath, book, chocolate, bed, film, sleep) but instead it was just awful. I spent the entire night counting down the hours until my husband came home. I was stressed, I was restless, I jumped at every sound, and I was convinced that there were burglars downstairs on three separate occasions. We have a home alarm system with surveillance cameras fitted and I think I requested photos from those cameras twice during the night just to check that there wasn't a murderer sat on my sofa in silence. I turned on all the lights in the house and then worried that I was creating a lighthouse effect and everybody who walked past my house would be drawn to the light like a criminal moth. I turned off all the lights and suddenly the house was full of intruders. I sat in bed bolt upright watching YouTube videos until my husband walked through the door and immediately felt like a total idiot for being so worried.

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Monday, 6 February 2017

A PREGNANT LADY PSA


So being pregnant does weird things to your body. You're sick, you're tired, you're sad, you're hyper, you don't want to leave the house, you don't want to tell anybody you're pregnant, you want someone to hug you, you want to punch the next person who talks to you. It's weird. Do you know what's weirder? PEOPLE DO NOT REACT APPROPRIATELY TOWARDS PREGNANT WOMEN AT ALL.

What is it with you guys? What about "I'm pregnant" turns you so mental? This is a pregnant lady PSA bitches.


DON'T TOUCH ME 
Do not touch me. Don't affectionately rub my belly, don't pat my back. If you didn't feel comfortable patting my KFC belly before I was pregnant then why would I want you touching it now it has a baby inside it? Also, if I'm like 3 months pregnant then the majority of my "belly" is literally still KFC. I don't have a bump. You're just rubbing me. It's horrible. Staaaaaaahp.

DON'T TELL ME I'M NOT ENTITLED TO FEEL LIKE SHIT 
"Umm it's like the size of a poppy seed and you can barely get off the sofa? SUREEEE". Let me tell you something 'lady who has never been through the first trimester'. I felt sick a week before my period was due. Feeling sick, tired and dizzy were the first cards that pregnancy dealt to me. I fainted in the first week of my pregnancy. My appetite completely disappeared (I KNOW!) and I was unable to eat a proper evening meal for 2 months. I lived off weird dry bits of toast and water. The shittiest part of pregnancy is the very first part, and feeling 'terrible' is the most common symptom of early pregnancy.

I DON'T WANT YOUR OPINION ON NATURAL BIRTHS OR VACCINATIONS
"I assume you'll want a natural birth?". Why, of all things holy, would I want a natural birth? I take paracetamol for the smallest headache. I put a plaster on my leg if I cut myself shaving. I'm not saying I'm going to pussy out and opt for an elective cesarean but if there are drugs to be had I want them all.  Gas and air? Yeah. Epidural? I'm definitely up for that. Gimme everything you've got. I'm going to be proud of myself either way. Also, preaching to me about vaccinations or water births or breastfeeding is a waste of your breath. The vaccinations are happening. I don't need you to tell me about your cousin who vaccinated her kids and now they're in prison.

I'M NOT GOING TO TELL YOU MY BABY NAMES
I don't have a name yet. Not one that we've decided on 100%. I don't want to tell you the names I like and the names I don't like. I'll announce the name when he's born, when you're less likely to shout "Ew no that's terrible" to my face. I'm such a bore, I know- you've told me 900 times.

I DON'T WANT TO HEAR YOUR LABOUR HORROR STORIES 
Everybody has a terrifying birth story in their repertoire, and since I announced I was pregnant I've heard about 40 of them along with advice like "So basically if you have gas and air you'll end up paralyzed like my mate". Oh! Cool! Thank you SO MUCH! Luckily, I have some truly gorgeous mummy friends who have been supportive and nothing but lovely. I've had loads of helpful advice and tips, and a lot of adorable birth stories. I think any birth story ending in "And then she died" should automatically be something that you aren't allowed to tell a pregnant lady. Believe it or not, these arseholes are out there and they have a fucking story for you.


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Thursday, 2 February 2017

COMING OUT OF THE PREGNANCY CLOSET


Tomorrow I'm going for my 20 week scan. 20 WEEKS. Never has the phrase "whirlwind of emotions" been so prevalent in my life. We found out we were pregnant on the 14th of October 2016, although I was pretty sure I was pregnant during the week beforehand. We were in America doing the West Coast Drive and I'd been feeling pretty dizzy and sick for a few days. As my husband is fully aware I am always right about everything; we found out we were pregnant minutes after getting back to the house.

The first couple of months were hard. The hardest part was the secrecy. I would definitely consider myself a private person but I don't often have "secrets" to keep from my friends. It's quite difficult to transition from 'SEE YOU IN REVS I'LL HAVE A PINOT' to 'I fancy going for dinner instead?' without raising any suspicions so I felt a bit like I was putting a wall around myself (no Trump jokes please). It was a pretty lonely few months. Things have definitely improved now that I'm out of the 'Pregnancy Closet', I absolutely love being pregnant and I already know that I'm going to miss it when the baby comes.

I struggled with morning sickness in the first 3 months but I had the evening version, so it hit me every single day between 5pm and 8pm. Driving home from work became a bit 'Whacky Races' and I often went straight from the car to bed. However, I think dealing with it in work at 9am would have been a much more traumatic experience so in hindsight I probably lucked out a bit.

Today I am 20 weeks and 2 days pregnant. I go for my 20 week scan tomorrow where we will hopefully find out whether we're having a girl or a boy. I toyed with the idea of not finding out but to be honest I'm kidding myself, I definitely want to know. My husband is super excited to find out and also it just makes planning considerably easier. I'm a planner (understatement).

Talking of husbands, Ben has been phenomenal since the day we got the positive. Honestly, I don't know what the hell I would have done without him. He's been patient, and kind, and supportive, and attentive. He's just been unreal. I've read a lot of "My other half is just not interested in my pregnancy" which to me would be terrifying, but Ben has stepped up to the bar and has been to every single antenatal booking and nurse appointment from day 1. Yesterday he put money in my account to buy a load of maternity clothes because I was getting a bit self conscious at work. He has just been "there" for me 100% of the time. He's listened to me bitch and moan and he's put up with ridiculous moodswings over absolutely nothing and he hasn't once been fed up with me. That boy deserves a medal.

I'm really enjoying being pregnant. It has ups and downs and it's definitely not easy but I have a new found confidence that has come out of nowhere, and I'm really happy right now. Baby Herrington will be arriving in June 2017!


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Wednesday, 4 January 2017

HAPPY NEW YEAR!


2017 is going to be a very "different" kind of year for me. The past couple of years have been a bit of a blur of winebars and hangovers but I'm starting 2017 as a sober person (which made for a very weird New Years Eve).

Posts coming soon, thanks for still reading even though I've been quiet... xo
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