My Third Trimester

I am now into week 35 of my pregnancy and I realised the other day that I hadn’t posted an update for almost 10 weeks… I couldn’t believe how fast that time had gone and also that I am almost at the very end of this pregnancy. A lot has happened in the third trimester… from decorating our nursery, our angel babies 1st birthday, my baby shower and also the general aches and pains that the third trimester brings, so I wanted to update you all.

How I have been feeling:

So its safe to say this trimester has been a crazy rollercoaster of emotions for me, once I got over the 26 week mark (where we had a previous still born) I felt like everything was going really well and I felt so well in myself compared to my previous pregnancy – I felt like this pregnancy was going as planned and the worrying from earlier on in the pregnancy had started to settle. Then as we got closer to our angel babies first birthday I was feeling very emotional, guilty and sad that I was having another baby and didn’t want Sebastian to think we had forgotten him… On his birthday it was actually the memorial service for all of the Angel Babies at the church where he was cremated so this made it especially sad for us and seeing a church full of parents (literally hundreds) who had also lost their babies really hit me hard and I know my pregnancy hormones wouldn’t have helped but it was a really hard week that week. The following week after Sebastian birthday was my baby shower… so I felt like I had to quickly snap into a different mind frame to be happy and positive and excited about this new baby… but every since Sebastians birthday I have just been filled with doubt that something is still going to happen to this baby again. Luckily the fact that I get to go to St Mary’s Rainbow Clinic every 2 weeks for a scan has helped me to be assured that this baby is doing really well and is now a whopping 6lbs already, but still I have so many concerns and worries going through my head every day.

I am also struggling with severe SPD which is agony on my pubic bone… so walking and climbing stairs is now very painful for me (I think it is so bad because I have been scared to exercise during this pregnancy, as last time I was still very active).. so I am literally counting down the days until baby arrives now so that I can start to feel a bit more normal again… I have also been blessed with major water retention haha! So my face, hands, legs and feet now feel double the size (the joys that pregnancy brings!) I think I feel more down about all of these things is because I still have doubt in my mind that something is going to wrong in this pregnancy… People keep saying to me it will all be worth it in the end (I won’t believe them until baby is actually here in my arms).

Now for something a little more positive..

Birth Plan:

I have been advised by my consultant at St Mary’s that I should have a c section – This is because Sebastian had a very bad brain haemorrhage whilst inside of me, I have since been tested for everything and nothing has come back but there is still a slight chance that it could happen again… So to avoid babies head having any unnecessary pressure they have said that a C section will be the best option. At first I was a little worried about this but all I want is for this baby to get here as safely as possible and also I have already gone through natural labour with Sebastian so I won’t feel like I’m missing out or upset that I haven’t been able to experience natural labour…This time its all about this baby!

Nursery:

Our Nursery is pretty much complete now apart from a few finishing touch.. we have gone for a really neutral design with hints of blue… All the walls are grey and then our furniture is white with lots of cosy blankets and furry rugs. Then we have pale blue photo frames, details and teddies in there to make it more personal. We almost have everything ready now and I have washed all of babies clothes and they are all hung up to dry so that I can get the hospital bag ready so that I feel prepared just incase we need to go in a little earlier than expected.

Baby Shower:

I had the most beautiful baby shower at Piccolino in Alderley Edge and I invited everyone I wanted to see before baby came. It was so nice to have everyone there because I have felt like I have been hibernating a little bit during this pregnancy and then I know I’ve seen everyone now and can plan lots of lovely things for when baby is here and I am able to get out and about again after my c sections (because you can’t drive for 6 weeks after) so I’m looking forward to seeing friends after Christmas.

Postnatal Exercise:

Im soooo looking forward to exercising again post pregnancy… I can’t wait to get out walking with the pram and I also have a baby carrier so that I can get out and be hands-free. I think for the first 6 weeks I will be trying to do as much walking as possible and then after the 6 weeks I will be getting my boyfriend to put together a training programme for me to help me regain my core and get stronger again… before finally going out running (which I can’t wait to do) once I am fully recovered… Because I need to loose a lot of weight!!!

We are also planning on doing some outdoor fitness classes for mum and babies as I know a lot of you are around the similar stage of pregnancy as me so it would be great to meet lots of you and get rid of our baby weight together!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my update and if any of you have any advice you would like to give or any baby essentials you couldn’t live without then I would love to know… Also if you want to ask me any questions, ask away!!!

 

 

My Perfect Skin Ritual Whilst Pregnant

We all know that pregnancy comes with it’s rage of crazy hormones and I think skin is always put through the test during the 10 months of pregnancy (yes we are actually pregnant for 10 months and not 9!). For me one of my first pregnancy symptoms was SPOTS!! And I don’t mean the odd pimple or a couple…. they came in full force under my neck and around my chin area, they were horrible and lingered for around the first 15 weeks. So I thought to myself ‘I really need to step up my game with my skin regime.’ I was already using some really good products from my favourite brand Kiehls but I felt like I had to do something more… otherwise my fear was having scars on my face from the spots.

I was already using:

Kiehls Ultra Facial Cleanser

Kiehls Ultra Facial Toner

and

Kiehls Ultra Facial Moisturiser

But my skin just wasn’t improving… so I stepped it up and headed to the Kiehls store and spoke to one of the ladies who worked there and she advised me to get a really good exfoliator so I got the ‘Epidermal Re-texturising Micro- dermabrasion Exfoliator’ from the special dermatologist section in Kiehls which really helped smooth out my skin, a few weeks later I was invited to a bloggers event at Kiehls on King Street in Manchester and they gave me a Pure Vitality Moisturiser and also another Ultra Facial Cleanser… So I made sure I was using all of these products morning and night and exfoliating 3 times a week.

My mum then told me about the Turmeric and Cranberry Seed face mask that she had purchased and how it made her skin feel like a ‘Babies Bottom’ so she put some into a pot for me to try and OMG!!! This was the mask that made my skin TRANSFORM.. I used this mask twice in 1 week and within 2 weeks my skin was glowing and my spots had literally vanished! Im not sure if it was because my hormones had started to settle down or if it was because of this face mask so I didn’t use it for a week and my skin started to break out again (not as bad as before though) So last week I went back to another Kiehls Blogger Event and in my goody box was a full size tub of the Turmeric and Cranberry Seed face mask… I couldn’t believe that out of all the products in the store that was the one I was given! So lets just say ever since my skin has been incredible.

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I also give my skin a little treat once a week and use the Midnight Recovery Concentrate, you can use this every night if you wish but I feel my skin only needs it now and again and it also smells incredible so you are sure to have a really good night sleep whenever you use it.

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I can’t recommend Kiehls products enough and their service is so much better than any other brand I have ever come across. If you pop into any store and ask for a ‘skin consultation’ they will sit down with you free of charge and tell you what skin type you have and which products you need to be using and how to help any concerns that you may have.

They are also very generous and give you plenty of samples with each purchase, especially if you are wanting to ‘try-before-you-buy’, just let them know what you are thinking of buying next time and they will give you plenty of samples if they have them in stock… but they always have plenty of products to try if they don’t have a specific one!

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Also if you live in the Manchester area you can pop into Kiehls King Street before the end of August and donate a minimum of £3 to the #KiehlsxMTV Staying Alive Foundation and you will get this bag packed full of samples when you quote ‘Cheshire Gossip Girl’ to a member of staff – Ask in store for more details!

Gender Reveal

I want to share with you all as much of my pregnancy as possible.. so basically we have been dying to find out if we are having a boy or a girl for such a long time. In my previous pregnancy I had a stillbirth and we lost our baby Sebastian so for me finding out in this pregnancy was so important because I felt that if I was going to be having a girl this time I would really have to get my head around it, whereas if we were going to have a boy I felt that it would help my grieving process slightly and we have everything in our house for a baby boy already… Not that we would ever prefer one instead of the other as all I want is a healthy baby after what happened to Sebastian. But basically we are over the moon that we have finally found out the sex and that our rainbow baby is a little boy!! ❤

We have had so many scans so far and the midwives at the hospital scanning me haven’t wanted to tell me the gender as they said most mums have to wait until 20 weeks, which is fair enough but yesterday we had our scan with Fetal Medicine (FMU) at St Mary’s in Manchester (where they do a really detailed scan of the brain, heart, limbs, fluid and placenta) and they gave us a 45 minute scan and I have to say I officially fell in love with our baby at this scan. We got to watch him on the screen for all that time, we got to see his face, lips, nose and eyes really close up and we got to see his hands and little feet. It was absolutely magical, watching him snuggle his face into my placenta, already trying to cuddle me was the best thing in the world. It’s safe to say we both got a little teary and had beaming smiles all day after the scan!

So I am now 21 weeks and definitely think that finding out the gender really makes the pregnancy feel real and like there is a real life little person growing inside of you. I just can’t wait to meet him now and hope everything goes smoothly ❤

How LushTums isn’t just a ‘Pregnancy Yoga Class’

So during my first pregnancy with baby Sebastian I wanted to try out a yoga class. At the time though I was still taking part in all my normal high intensity classes at the gym so thought it might be a bit ‘boring’ or a bit to ‘slow’ for what I needed. How wrong I was… looking back I really wished I had taken some time out for my baby and do something a little more gentle and relaxing and also to be around mum’s-to-be.

Before we lost Sebastian I had been to a get together with LushTums in Alderley Edge with the amazing teacher Jai, it was at The Yard and we all chatted and talked about what we are going through, symptoms and what classes we want to try etc. I went along with my friend Sarah who was also pregnant at the time and we had a lovely evening. I really wanted to join these classes but not long after I started to feel quite unwell.. and that was when things took a turn for the worst.

Loosing your baby… no one can explain what it feels like or what it does to you and I can imagine that if I had become close with a few of the ladies at the class I would of found it really hard to keep in touch with them… or even tell the teacher why I hadn’t returned. When I received an email from Jai a few weeks after we had lost Sebastian and no one knew what had happened apart from close friends and family, all she said in the email was

‘Hi, Maria

How are you?’

And that gave me the chance to explain what had happened, she wasn’t emailing me to ask me to sign up to her classes or wonder what I thought about her event.. It was a genuine email and she just wanted to know if I was OK!

By doing this we kept in touch and went for a few coffee’s we cried and laughed and she was able to lead me in the right direction for support and who to chat to when I do get pregnant again. She really helped my mental wellbeing and made me realise IT DOES HAPPEN TO A LOT OF PEOPLE.. even though when it happens to you we think we are the only ones and it does feel like you are the only one!

NOW THAT I AM PREGNANT AGAIN

Now that I am 17 weeks pregnant I really want to start Pregnancy Yoga to try and help relieve my stress and anxieties.. and give me some time to try and bond with my new baby. I no that doing this is easier said that done… as going into a room full of pregnant ladies who are so excited about having their baby when you’re just taking one day at a time and not expecting any particular out come to protect yourself is going to be very hard and emotional. I can just picture myself at the back of the class having a break down and everyone staring at me *laughs*

I know now though that as long as I told the teacher whilst emailing her to sort out which class I can make and how much it is etc.. I can tell her what has happened to me and she will make the class aware so that they don’t have to explain myself to everyone when we are chatting.

Pregnancy classes should be a safe place to go for everyone.. lets face it a lot of women have some type of trouble in the process of creating a human… whether it be struggling to get pregnant, miscarriage, stillbirth or loosing a baby once they are born or even things like struggling with postnatal depression. It isn’t something to be ashamed of either. So if you are worried about taking part in a class just chat to your teacher before hand and I bet you will feel a lot better once they have reassured you that you will have a lovely time in their class.

Check out the LushTums website for everything you need to know and where all the classes are held lushtums.co.uk

 

 

Still Birth Awareness – The Perfect Pregnancies on Social Media.

Soooooo my point of this blog post is to let everybody know that its okay to not feel like all of the celebrities and influences that you see on social media whilst pregnant. They all seem to have the perfect pregnancies and I’m sure you all envy them like myself and hope that your pregnancy will be just as straight forward BUT…. I just feel like there is nothing out there telling first time mums that things don’t always go as planned and these women on social media have probably spent a long time getting ready for that one photo and if you saw them an hour later in their pyjamas lounging on the sofa.. you wouldn’t think it was the same person.

So yes my point of this blog post is to raise awareness to the fact that things can go wrong during pregnancy.. whether you take years to get pregnant, its an early miscarriage or even having to experience a still birth or even finding out that once your baby is born that its disabled or has a terminal illness. Even if you are the healthiest of couples like myself an Ainslee.. he is an Ironman and eats really healthily and never drinks and pre pregnancy I went to the gym 5-6 days a week and never drank. So when we had all the tests at the hospital we were pretty confident that nothing could go wrong with our pregnancy, especially as I got pregnant so quickly.

I wish someone had told me to listen to my body more and also give me more knowledge on the things to look out for if your pregnancy is in danger. I want to let women know that they are not alone if they are struggling to get pregnant, I want women to not beat themselves up if you have struggled with a number of miscarriages and if you have had a still birth I want you to know that you are not alone in your next pregnancy and that there are women out their who are going through it too that you can talk to or professionals you can seek advice from. I want women to talk about their problems rather than keep them locked up inside. I have found that talking about my experience has helped me so much. I can openly talk about our baby Sebastian and how its not just me and Ainslee… we are a family of 3 and if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t have achieved so much in the past 5 months and also me and Ainslee wouldn’t be as close as we are now (when we thought we couldn’t get any closer) and have all the amazing things we have in our life. I truly believe that he has made so many things happen recently.

After my friends knowing all about my ‘still birth blog’ so many of them have come to me and said that they have had problems with fertility and miscarriages etc and I don’t think they would have told me if it wasn’t for me being open about my experience. I just want women to talk about it and not feel embarrassed.

I hope I have helped you in some way so far… even if its just to give you the confidence to know that you’re not alone. I can’t wait to share with you all my story when we do get pregnant and i Hope you share with you as much knowledge as possible and also let you know what is involved if you have a ‘high risk’ pregnancy (as this will be me next time).

Lots of love

Maria xx

Going to the salon whilst pregnant..

You will probably no by now that I love having my hair done by one of my clients at Umberto Giannini in Harvey Nichols, Manchester. From just popping in for a braid to getting the whole works done…. So when I became pregnant I thought it was going to be tricky having my colour done like I used to as you hear so many stories about chemicals harming the baby and having awful skin reactions. So I thought what better way than to chat with the professional him self Ben (Manager of Umberto Giannini) and find out all the top tips about looking after your hair during and after your pregnancy.

Can I get my hair coloured whilst pregnant? 

Once you are out of the first trimester (12 weeks) you can get your hair coloured as normal. You MUST tell your hairdresser though as they need to take into consideration that because of your hormones the colour may not take as well as it normally would, meaning that the colour may need a little longer.

Could I go for a dramatic colour change whilst pregnant?

We advise all of our clients to stick with a similar colour to what they already have. As going a different shade could prove difficult in reaching your desired colour when your hair doesn’t take as well as it would normally.

Could having my hair coloured cause harm to the baby?

No, as long as you are out of the first trimester there can be no harm done to your growing baby. With new technologies in hair colorants it is always safe to use.

Why is my hair growing so much now I’m pregnant?

Because your hormones are racing around your body and also if you are taking a pregnancy vitamin along with a healthy pregnancy diet this can all contribute to faster growing hair.

Why does my hair get tangled so easily now I’m pregnant?

Knotted hair is a common symptom for mums-to-be as your body is concentrating on making sure your baby is developing nicely… So things like dry skin and tangled hair are only temporary until the baby arrives.

Once the baby does arrive do I need to do anything differently with my hair? (I have heard about peoples hair falling out)

I recommend to all my clients that they should take a basic hair and nail vitamin once their baby arrives, but make sure you go to your GP and make sure that this is the best thing for YOU and that the vitamin is safe to use if you are breast feeding.

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Ben and Ellie on shoot.

So having a relaxing time at the salon doesn’t need to be a thing of the past now that you’re pregnant.

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If you would like to make an appointment at Umberto Giannini for all appointments and consultations you can either download the Umberto Giannini app or call the salon on 0161 828 8840. Cut and finish start from only £37.