Pregnant and Perfect

In America maternity shoots, kind of like baby showers, are a big deal. It seems to be the norm to have one rather than not. I spend a lot of time on online pregnancy support groups filled with Americans so recently my news feed has been flooded with the most beautiful pictures. With hair and makeup styled perfectly and gorgeous flowing dresses these pictures are what every woman dreams of looking like when pregnant. Ordinary day to day pictures just do not live up!

Getting professional pictures taken is an expense that few of us can afford or justify during pregnancy. Any money I have right now is for baby and things that she needs. Hell we probably can’t even afford a new born photo shoot and if we had to pick one to spend our hard earned cash on newborn would win over maternity every time!

Every girl wants to feel like a princess every now and then though and I was getting very jealous of all the amazing pictures while I felt like a troll! So I decided to take matters into my own hands and hold my own personal maternity shoot.

Now I love Jack very much. He’s a wonderful man and he has many strengths. Taking pictures of me is not one of them. If I ask him to take a picture he expects to take one picture and no more. He can never understand why you would want more. When we went on holiday to Norfolk I was desperate to utilise the woods for some pregnancy pictures and ended up with one very average photograph!


There’s only so far that mirror selfies can go towards getting the perfect pic!


So I purchased a tripod for my phone. It comes with a bluetooth remote that links up with your phone or camera so that you can easily take pictures. This is the one i bought:

Armed with my tripod and a couple of dresses from boohoo I headed out into the garden to try my luck. I was so glad I did! Looking at the end results I felt confident and beautiful- feelings which are becoming rarer as I become bigger!



Fancy professional photos are all well and good but for those of you on a budget don’t be afraid to take matters into your own hands! Everyone deserves to have beautiful pictures especially at such a unique and magical time of life! And if your partner is as useless as mine when it comes to taking pictures I seriously recommend a smart phone tripod to ending the choice between grumbling partners and mirror selfies for good!


Window to the Womb

We’ve just got back from seeing baby girl! We were torn about paying for a private scan because it is quite expensive. Jack in particular thought it was going to be a waste of money and we should just wait until the baby arrives to see her again now. But as our last NHS scan was at 20 weeks (apart from the surprise growth scan we had yesterday due to my “small” bump) I felt 20 weeks was a long time to wait without seeing my baby!

The huge benefit of a private scan as well was that the kids could come (they’re not allowed at the NHS ones). We felt it would be good bonding for them to see their baby sister in my tummy. I’m not sure they were as excited as I had hoped they would have been but still it was nice for them to be involved!

I have an anterior placenta and yesterday at the growth scan we were told her head is very low already so I wasn’t optimistic that we would get good pictures. But the sonographer was patient (and got me to cough and move about) and we got some decent ones! These are all at 28 +6 weeks.

Her face was all smushed against my tummy where she was pressed up close and she kept covering her face with her hand. She has super chubby cheeks and she’s just perfect. And she’s all girl which is a relief because those pink clothes won’t go to waste!


Chubby Cheeks!


Chewing her hand (she wouldn’t put that hand down! She’s going to be a thumb sucker!)


Hand on head- drama queen! Look at that smushed nose as well.


I think the poor darling is going to have my nose!

We also got this adorable heartbeat teddy which has a recording of her heartbeat in. There were loads to choose from and we got the kids to help pick- luckily we all easily agreed the husky was best!

The scan cost us £69 plus £20 for the teddy (there were bigger ones for £30). Whilst I don’t think we would have got medical peace of mind from them (there really wasn’t much focus on baby’s well being despite it being a well being scan), for bonding and pictures it was worth every penny. I actually wish we had upgraded to HD but I was convinced we wouldn’t get a good face shot!

Have you had a 4d scan? Let’s see those images!

Anxiety in pregnancy (or parenting in general)

Since the day I found out I was pregnant I feel like I’ve constantly felt anxious. Is baby ok? Am I doing everything right? What if this happens? As much as i’m excited before scans and midwives appointments i’m equally terrified until the minute we see or hear a heartbeat. It’s horrible. I wish I could just relax and enjoy it.

Part of me thinks that it will be much better when I can feel baby moving, but after speaking to other Mum’s i’m starting to realise that will just open up a whole new load of anxiety! Was baby moving more yesterday? Is that pain baby kicking or something sinister? One of my friends said that when she was pregnant she couldn’t stop eating because she could always feel baby move after!

I spoke to my mum about the anxiety and she said “welcome to the Mummy club, you’ll have this anxiety for the rest of your life”. Great!

But it feels like everything and everyone is constantly trying to make Mums (and Dads when baby has arrived) feel guilty. There’s always blame to be apportioned. When you’re pregnant everything you do can affect baby including the air you breathe. What are you supposed to do- seal yourself up in an air tight bubble for 10 months to protect baby from chemicals?

If something goes wrong there are so many reasons to blame yourself. You stood next to that guy smoking at the bus stop that one time a few months back. You rolled onto your right side (or God forbid your back) in the night. You had brandy sauce on your Christmas pudding. You used this shampoo or that toothpaste. Your bath was too warm (Seriously how warm is too warm? I’m basically having cold baths now!). You ate too much fish, sugar, caffeine etc the list goes on. Remember in most miscarriages or still births there is absolutely nothing Mum could have done differently to prevent it. It’s not your fault.

And then of course everyone knows stress isn’t good for baby. So if you’re stressing about all of the above (and the many other things that can go wrong) then that could cause a problem in itself. Another reason to blame yourself.

This doesn’t stop when baby is here. Everyone knows that if you have a problematic child it’s the parents fault. This child is a seriously fussy eater- blame the parents. This child cries all the time- blame the parents. This child is scared of everything- blame the parents. This child is constantly misbehaving- blame the parents. Yes sometimes bad parenting leads to undesirable qualities in a child. But you frequently see parents doing everything right and still at their wits end as to why their child won’t stop throwing tantrums, eat their vegetables, sleep through the night…

So how can we move past it and have some semblance of calm again?

1. Have a good support network

Support is so important at all stages of life but especially now. Surround yourself with people that care about you and baby, give you good advice and (most importantly) don’t contribute to the stress and anxiety! You don’t need negativity in your life right now, there’s enough of that coming at you from all angles already. I have a great circle of friends and a supportive family to get me through. I’m also part of a Facebook group for other Mums due in May 2019 which is such an important resource, it helps you realise that no matter what your feeling (or thinking) you’re not alone.

2. Beware the internet


The internet can be a wonderful place but it can also be a terrifying one. Everyone on the internet knows everything (or at least they claim to). Everyone is a perfect Mum (or Dad). You need to do exactly what they did in pregnancy or your baby will be born with 6 arms, 2 heads and crocodile skin. If you don’t raise your baby the same way as them it will be an out of control demon. Just like Instagram, people share an idealistic view of their lives on Mumsnet and every other parenting site. Who knows what’s really going on behind closed doors? Stay away from all the fear mongering sites as well. Listen to your medical professional, that’s the only advice you need!

3. Yoga (or any other exercise)

I joined a pregnancy yoga class and it seriously makes a difference. During every session I feel the stress slipping away and i’m starting to practise it at home when the anxiety gets too much. But any exercise is helpful to reduce stress and produce endorphins, whatever suits you. Just make sure that if you are pregnant you consult your medical professional before beginning any new fitness regime.

4. Educate yourself (in the right way)

Remember point 2, beware the internet. But educating yourself on what to expect and how to deal with it from reliable, trustworthy sources will really help. The unknown is always the scariest. Read pregnancy books, read parenting books. Attend classes. Both pregnancy and parenting are incredibly scary and hard and we get no training or qualifications before embarking on that journey. Anyone can become a parent (God isn’t that a scary thought). So everything you can do to empower yourself and fill yourself with confidence now will pay off big time in the long run. I like What to Expect When You’re Expecting but there are thousands of good books out there, pick the one that works for you.

5. Enjoy it

Don’t let yourself get so caught up in worry that you fail to enjoy the little things. Seeing baby on a scan, hearing it’s little heart beat for the first time, feeling it move inside you, holding it for the first time in your arms. Anything can go wrong at any time whether your 8 weeks pregnant or have an 8 year old child. We never know what is round the corner and if we worried about every possible scenario would we ever leave the house? All you can do is focus on doing the best job you can possibly do and enjoying the journey along the way. You are the best, and only, person for this job and you can do it.

To finish I found this really nice quote online:

“You are pregnant and you are powerful. You are bold and you are beautiful. Go forward in your boldness, in your beauty and in your connectedness. Trust your body to birth and know that the collective power of women worldwide will be with you.” ~Author Unknown (

So what about you? How do you deal with the anxiety and worry that comes with being pregnant or being a parent? What’s the best bit of advice you can give?