19 weeks pregnant!

Hey guys, sorry I haven’t posted in a while, I am currently in Barcelona with Jake!

Had a lovely week and we are flying home tomorrow. Wish I tanned a bit more but the sun makes me feel dizzy and causes headaches 😦

Today I went shopping and was soooo tempted that I ended up buying some baby clothes for the first time! I don’t know when it’s ‘the right time’ to start buying for your baby, especially as I have 21 weeks left until he/she arrives. I thought as I have some money available at the moment that it would be wise to spread the cost out of buying the essentials and treat my little human to some cute things.

We have another scan next thursday, I am super excited as it is the 20 week scan so we can find out the gender, although I have wanted to know for ages now i’m a little anxious to find out! I feel like once we find out that’s it, we will know, half of me wants a surprise.

I’ve also felt some weird movements in my stomach. I’m not sure if it’s the baby as I don’t really know what to expect, they felt like waves and bubbles popping. If anyone else has felt these please could you let me know? I can’t wait to feel them move around properly!

My bump is showing a little bit more now, I’m at the stage where people will ask ‘is she pregnant or just ate too much food?’. It’s all hardened especially around the abdominals. I have quite an uncomfortable pain when I wake up in the morning, it feels like I’m just hungry.

Anyway right now I am just on the bus back to the hotel so thought I would do a quick update on my feelings recently.

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feelings at the moment

More of a journal entry, but I just thought I would share about my life currently. A couple of days ago I felt on top of the world; I was super happy as I felt so grateful for everything I have, such as Jake, the baby, the flat etc. I had started tutoring maths one to one which was earning me a bit of extra cash but also will really benefit my CV when it comes to finishing my maths degree and finding a job. I also loved my retail job and was dead excited for my holiday next week to Spain with Jake. I knew I had jinxed this when I wrote a status about how happy I was because these past two days have been so stressful and painful.

I have been working the past two days and I usually love my job, however I have had to deal with some incredibly rude customers and its stressing me out big time! All this ‘the customer is always right’ is bollocks, I work in a discount store so you can imagine people wanting more discount or not happy with the price or arguing with other customers about who saw it first. Also being stood on my feet for 7 and a half hours AND having to walk to and from work each day which totals an hour just DRAINS me and I feel knackered by the time I get home. Also, Jake and I have recently been struggling financially (only really over the past couple of weeks) and I’m worried that we won’t be able to give the baby the best and finically support it. My other blog posts are very positive and I know it will be okay in the future as we will receive support, but at the moment due to how the current situation is its hard to be so optimistic!

I am extremely grateful, however, for everything I have achieved this week and for having a baby growing inside. I am currently 17 weeks and 3 days. My belly is getting a little bit hard and I am dying to feel him/her move and wriggle about inside! Hopefully soon as they say that it can be first felt from 16-20 weeks. I let things get ahead of myself a lot but I’m quite good at staying calm (I like to think anyway, once you have a baby inside of you your whole mind changes and you always put them first!), I know that everything will be okay soon!

 

16 weeks update!

Currently 16 (+5) weeks, and I just thought I would do an update on how I have been during this past week. This week has actually been really exciting, as suddenly I have seen a growth and have just had a little bump pop out of no where; its like it happened overnight! Also had the (not so lovely) pleasure of discharge coming from my breasts which was very weird to experience at first and still freaks me out big time, something I really need to get used to. In a more positive light at least I know my body is preparing for the pregnancy.

At 16 weeks you can actually find out the gender of your unborn baby, and its killing me inside to know! We have our next scan booked on the 27th of September and that is under the NHS, so we can find out the sex of the baby then, but privately they can tell from the 16th week. I would really really like to find out but in a couple of weeks Jake and I are going on holiday so we are putting money aside for spending money now. I am just very impatient and would love to know if there is a little boy or little girl inside. First of all I had a feeling that it would be a boy, and as rumours go, they say that you don’t get any morning sickness if its a boy! I don’t know how true this is, but I’ve been very lucky to have no morning sickness (apart from today strangely). Then after a few weeks I though that it would be a girl. So now I have no idea! I also wanted to get a little teddy bear with our baby’s heartbeat in; I think it would help sooth the baby when it is born and would be a lovely keepsake until he/she is here.

Today was a little bit painful, as I went to work but I had a headache from the minute I woke up. It was quite warm today so I don’t know if it was the baby or the heat that caused this, however after a couple of hours it turned into a migraine and I felt so faint and sick I had to come home. As soon as I walked through the door I threw up half of my lunch and went for a nap! As I am writing this now it is still there so I hope that I feel better by tomorrow as I have work again.

Hoping the 17th week of pregnancy is healthy, and then I will be enjoying the sun and pools of Spain during my 18th week. It is also pay day next week so I may have to treat the baby to something (although its early!).

uni, work, a baby?

So currently I am at university (Manchester Metropolitan) studying maths, and I have two years remaining until I finish my degree. I was NOT expecting to give birth half way through this! Originally I have (half) planned to have baby after I finished my degree. That way myself and Jake would have both came out of university at the same time, as Jake is starting his second degree this September, and we could both save up and put money aside to build a family. Also it would be a massive weight off our shoulders getting education out of the way to begin with! Finding out I was pregnant made me question my career before it had even started. Can I still do this? Is there any chance of me getting a first? How am I meant to sleep and revise and get up in the mornings?!

One of the first things I did was email my head of department to explain the situation and asked the university what they could do to help me. The following day I already had a phone call to congratulate me and also explained my options! As my baby is due is February, they said what they recommended is that I take a year out from around January time, then just carry on exactly one year later. This seemed like a very sensible option as it meant I could still return to university in September and not sit at home bored, but also work towards my degree and not waste any time before the baby is here! I am still getting my student loan to help cover costs and also universities can be very helpful when it comes to parenthood as they offer grants and other financial support that you don’t have to pay back!

Regarding work, again I am going to take out a year from January but also use my holiday up just before the baby is born so I have a longer maternity leave for when the baby is here. I am contracted to 20 hours per week, which is covered over 3 days whilst the other days I am at university. I am just going to try and work my very hardest at the moment so I can get some money for when the baby is here!

Do not get stressed if you feel like it is the wrong time that you have fell pregnant, and try to find support straight away! I do not personally know any pregnant girls in university/education however it does not mean that you cannot still complete your degree and you can still ace it! It just means taking a little bit of time off to bring up your little one, which you would be doing anyway if you worked full time at a later stage of your life. IT IS POSSIBLE.

Food and Health During Pregnancy

Your baby’s development is key during pregnancy so it is soooo important that you consume the right foods and drinks to allow the baby to have the best start. There are a number of foods that are highly recommended during pregnancy and there are some that you need to stay well away from!

Foods that are vital for pregnancy:

  • Fruit and Vegetables
  • Carbohydrates (potatoes, bread, pasta, rice)
  • Protein (eggs, chicken, fish, beans)
  • Dairy (cheese, milk, yoghurts)

Foods to avoid during pregnancy:

  • Certain types of cheeses (soft cheeses/blue cheese, brie, goats cheese)
  • Raw eggs
  • Raw meat
  • Uncooked meets (pepperoni, chorizo, prosciutto)
  • Liver
  • Certain types of fish (shark, marlin, swordfish)

When pregnant you need to make sure you are getting all the right vitamins, minerals, nutrients and have an equally balanced diet. Once vitamin to avoid is vitamin A, which can cause serious defects to your baby such as with the heart, eyes, skull. It can lead to a negative health experience and problems with your child. Also during the first trimester it can increase the likelihood of miscarriage. I take Pregnacare, which contains a number of essentials that your baby needs. However, this can get expensive as I use the Pregnacare max, where I take 3 tablets a day to help support blood formation, bone structure and brain and eye development. This one is rougly £20 for 3 months, but you can get the original which is about £3-4. It is highly recommended that you take a least one folic acid tablet each day for the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy and it helps the baby grow within your first trimester.

Water is also extremely important! To be honest, I am so guilty for drinking fizzy drinks, and for the last couple of weeks I’ve became addicted to Dr Pepper (not good at all). But I also drink a LOT of water, which includes squash. You need to really be drinking 6-8 ounces of water a day to keep hydrated and healthy. I wish I could stop drinking Dr Pepper but I suppose its just became one of these pregnancy craves!

All of the foods that I have stated to avoid are really not good for your baby’s development and growth and can lead to harm or even miscarriage. Liver for example, contains a lot of vitamin A, which we already know is a total no go for pregnant women!

Its a known ‘myth’ as such that you shouldn’t have any caffeine whilst pregnant, and I believed it myself at first and completely cut out my morning coffee! But actually you are certainly allowed to have a few brews. Caffeine can result in baby’s to have a low birthweight, and this can cause problems later on in life too. Its recommended that you have no more than 200mg of caffeine a day. A cup of tea is roughly 75mg, and instant coffee is 100mg, so I would probably stick to around two cuppas max a day! It also says on a lot of energy drink cans ‘not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women’. This is because of the caffeine that energy drinks contain, but just check how much caffeine is actually in them before you drink it. A smaller, 250ml can contains roughly 80mg, which is nearly the same as a cup of tea. Just be careful and try to limit your intake as much as possible!

Finally, without an explanation we all know that alcohol, drugs and smoking are a NO GO for us pregnant women! It is okay for you to have one glass of red wine or so every couple of weeks, but I prefer to see it as a trial for myself to see how long I can go without alcohol, and trust me, this is the longest so far and I am not even half way! But I am proud to say I haven’t had a sip since finding out I was pregnant.

I just wanted to write this blog so women can have the best pregnancies and we can all bring beautiful little healthy babies into the world.

 

Most Useful Pregnancy Apps

Being pregnant is so exciting and using apps in relation to your baby is a must for people with smart phones. In this post I am going to share some of my favourite apps that I currently use to track my pregnancy and make it a little extra fun.

The first app I downloaded (actually before I was pregnant) was an app called Flo. Flo is an app that you can set into two modes; menstrual and pregnancy. I downloaded this at the start of 2018, and its so useful to track your period and when you are ovulating. I input every time myself and my partner have sex, and then input when my period is and it would give me insights on my body and how I would be feelings. Its also a social app as other users can like and comment on the insight posts! Obviously when finding out that I was pregnant I could straight away more or less tell how far I was gone as you go by the day of your last period. I love this app so much I literally use it every single day. My favourite part is when I hit a new week of pregnancy it tells you what the baby is like inside and how your body is changing! I get so excited for this I sometimes even wait up until 12pm on a Sunday night to read it hahah.

After becoming pregnant, I downloaded an app called ‘Emma’s Diary’. Now this app is really popular and is pretty well known. Its similar to Flo but mainly focuses on pregnancy and how the baby and yourself is developing. The greatest thing about this app is that each week you can upload a bump photo and at the end it will put it into a transformation video! They also offer free goodie packs that you can collect from boots including vital baby bits and bobs and information to prepare you for parenthood. Definitely recommend.

The final app I would like to mention is one called ‘Precious’. If you are like me, and enjoy Instagram a lot or even just editing photos then this is a great app. You can upload pictures of your bump, baby, new baby buys etc and it has 100s of stickers, texts and beautiful designs to make your pictures special. I will definitely be using this a lot more when my bump forms better and bigger and when my little baby comes along! Sorry in advance for the spam on your feed of my baby photos!

If anyone else has any apps that they enjoy using please comment and I would love to give them a go!

Telling Your Employer That You Are Pregnant

First of all, you don’t need to tell your employer that you are pregnant until the 25th week of your pregnancy to allow you to get maternity leave. No matter how long you have worked for your employer everyone is entitled to up to 52 weeks off when the baby is born.

I was very nervous to tell my employer about my pregnancy. I had been working at my current job since October 2017, however, at the end of April I left this job to work in a bar (which I majorly regret). In July I contacted my old boss and explained the situation asking if I could return as I wasn’t getting on with my current job and really missed working in that environment. Most people say retail is horrible but compared to working 14 hour shifts (without a break) on a extremely busy bar in a city centre, it is bliss!

I went for an interview again and she explained to me that there were some things she expected and one was not to let her down. At this point I was about 8/9 weeks pregnant, and not even all my friends and family knew the news so I didn’t want to let her in on it straight away. I started working around two weeks later.

I didn’t tell anyone at work about the pregnancy until around the time of my first scan (at 14 weeks). As I had only just returned to that job I felt like telling her I was going to leave again because I was having a baby was letting her down. The day of the scan my boyfriend came in with me to work and I showed my manager the scan picture and explained. She said congratulations to us both and has been helpful since with organising my maternity leave. Unfortunately because I left my job I won’t get maternity pay, as you have to have worked 26 weeks without a break by the 15th week prior to the birth.

Honestly, don’t be scared to tell your employer. Having a baby is the most beautiful thing in the world and everyone is happy for you. Also, everyone is 10x nicer to you when they know you’re expecting! I will be returning back to work after my maternity leave and I can’t wait to bring my little baby into my job for all my colleagues to meet.