My 1st Years Personalised Star Jacquard Knit Blanket

I have followed My 1st Years over social media since they started out in 2010 and in 2011 and I was lucky enough to win one of their giveaways to win a gorgeous blue fleece blanket which I had personalised with Charlie's name. He absolutely loved the blanket and, every night, would go to sleep swaddled in it. 

So, as you can imagine, when they asked if I want to review one of their new Personalised Star Jacquard Knit Blankets for bump, I couldn't say yes fast enough. 

The Star Jacquard Knit Blanket is luxurious and snuggly with a subtle star pattern that makes it a little bit more stylish and interesting, the perfect gift for a newborn. It measures 100cm by 100cm and so is very generously sized, enough to use as a pram blanket or for sleeping in the cot and is made from 100% cotton so is super soft against babies skin. 

The blanket can be personalised with your choice of text colour and font. Choice of 2 different fonts and 8 different colours. I wanted to go quite neutral so opted for a taupe colour text which is stunning. 

I told them my chosen personalisation and a few days later is turned up, absolutely stunning. The personalisation means that it will be a gorgeous keepsake for our baby to hold on to until he is grown up. As you may notice though, I have blurred out the text, this isn't for any other reason than we haven't announced our babies name yet and don't want people knowing until he arrives and finds it out for himself. 

Every My 1st Years order arrives beautifully gift wrapped inside their luxury gift boxes with a large white bow just to make it extra special. I love this as it means that it is the perfect place to order presents from as they come ready to be gifted. 

The Star Jacquard Knit Blanket can be found on the baby shower section of the website as it would be the perfect gift to surprise a new or mummy-to-be with but for me, it will be a keepsake that is not only for life, but will be used loads also. The blanket is going straight in to my hospital bag to use to bring our bundle home in. A blanket to keep him snuggly warm on his first few days and one that he will cherish as he grows. 

You can purchase the Personalised Star Jacquard Knit Blanket for £25 from the My 1st Years website.


26 Weeks Pregnancy Update

Today I am 26 weeks pregnant. The past few month have flown by and I'm not under any illusion about how the rest will fair out. I know that after this stage, the rest of the pregnancy will drag. Whilst my little boy is inside, growing, I am out here getting impatient and wanting to meet him. 

Only another 14 weeks left (hopefully no longer than that like with my other 2 boys!)

My little boy seems to be getting stronger by the day now, constantly kicking me whilst I sleep and has a very strong kick I must admit. He is now around 2lb in weight and 14.5 inches in length so is starting to really grow now. 

For me though, I feel totally shattered. Even writing this now, I am struggling to sit at the laptop and type without and overwhelming feeling of being in discomfort. Sitting up straight is a major problem at the moment and I now find myself slouching to one side just to get into a more comfortable position, sometimes even resorting to lay down. 

Food wise, I have been craving chocolate a lot this week. I find this too horrible though as, at the moment, when I eat chocolate I get dizzy and feel ill and so it's been hard to have these cravings. I've told my husband that once this baby is born, he needs to buy me a huge hamper of chocolate to make up for the months of missing it. 

I next see my midwife in 2 weeks and so will probably update you all again after then. At that time she will be pinching more blood to make sure my levels are okay, I will get to hear my babies heartbeat and we'll be talking breastfeeding. 

How did you find you coped as your bump grew and the tiredness and aches set in?


Yes I Have Stretch-marks, Who Cares?!

You know what I am sick of? People assuming that I am gutted about my stretchmarks, People thinking that it's okay to point them out and blame my children for ruining my body. People who seem to put others down for having them or love pointing out that they had 5 kids and never got any.

You do know that pregnancy, in fact, is not a competition!

I really don't care that I have stretchmarks. The same as I don't care if you have none. 

Every pregnancy is different, none are the same and I think that's a great thing. We will never know exactly how each of us feels as we go through it as everyone is different. It would be pretty boring if everything was the same for everyone. 

Being honest, I got loads of stretchmarks when I was pregnant with Thomas, with Charlie I got an extra one and so far no more in this pregnancy. Although, I can imagine I will do towards the end. And you know what? If I do then so be it. 

I didn't get pregnant thinking that everything would go smoothly. That I would have 9 months where I would be glowing and where my boobs would rocket to twice their size. That, within minutes of giving birth, I would go back down to a size 10. That I would be the perfect parent and my child would never cry. 

Because you know what, none of that is true. 

Pregnancy, for me, is horrendous. Morning sickness, hyperemesis gravidarum, heartburn, dizziness and braxton hicks are all but a few things I go through in pregnancy. Whereas my sisters, 2 of which are currently pregnant also, get none of this. Their pregnancies run smoothly and I don't mind. 

At the end of the day, I am just happy that I can conceive and that my baby is sticky this time round. 

You don't need to be in competition with each other. It's an amazing time, so savour it, as once it's over, you'll miss it.

Yes, I have stretchmarks, Who cares? I sure don't!


Chocolate Coated Flapjacks Recipe

Flapjacks are a firm favourite in our house. The kids love helping me make them and we're always experimenting by adding fudge, Reece's Pieces, Rolos and chocolate chunks, but today I give you a recipe for chocolate coated flapjacks, simple and easy to do. 

What you will need:
350g oats (we used Jordans Simply Granola for extra bite)
175g butter
150g sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
100g bar of chocolate

1. Pre-heat oven to 150C and line a 7inch square tin with baking parchment. 
2. Melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup on a low heat until fully disolved.
3. Add the oats to the pan and let it gently simmer for a few minutes.
4. Pour into the oven tin and squash it down. 
5. Oven bake for 35-40 minutes, leaving longer for a crispier texture.
6. Take out of the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes   
7. Melt the chocolate over a pan of hot water.
8. After the flapjacks have cooled, take out of the tin, remove the parchment and spread the chocolate sauce over the top. 
9. Cut into squares and then leave to set.

And that's it, gorgeous, moreish flapjacks that a great treat for adults and children. 


My Experience Of Braxton Hicks

Braxton Hicks are horrendous to have. Imagine having severe labour pains that constantly come and go but don't result in you having a baby. Last week was my first experience of them in this pregnancy and I briefly wrote about it last week in my 23 week update and so I thought I'd talk about them a little bit. 

What are Braxton Hicks?
Braxton Hicks are a mild contraction that start happening around the middle of your pregnancy. They don't usually affect you as much if it's your first baby but can get worse the more pregnancies you go through. They are basically the muscles of your uterus tightening (like a contraction) and are infrequent and non-rhythmic so totally different to a contraction on that score. 

If you place your hands on your bump when you feel the pain coming on, you will feel how hard your uterus becomes and thus your bump will be hard too. Each pain usually lasts for about 30 seconds, and probably won't cause you any discomfort but sometimes they can be very strong and give labour type pains too. 

In actual fact, your body has been contracting since you were about 7 weeks pregnant but it's so subtle that you cannot feel it. Braxton Hicks are just these contractions but more painful and as your uterus gets bigger, you are able to feel them more as they come on. 

Braxton Hicks are not dangerous and are totally normal. They are basically, your bodies way of keeping your muscles working and toned ready for labour. But, if the pains become more frequent, stronger and last longer, it's best to call your midwife just to be on the safe side.

My Experience 
Last week, I had the most horrible case of Braxton Hicks, worse than I've ever had before. I had dropped Thomas off at school and was just popping upstairs to get changed before going out to get Christmas presents. 

At the moment I got upstairs, a huge pain swept across the whole of my bump and pelvic area making me drop to the floor. It all seemed to be a daze. I remember being scrunched on the floor in pain, on and off, when my husband came running in the room in a panic. I tried getting off the floor but couldn't and in distress, I started feeling dizzy and tingly. My husband managed to get me onto the bed where I laid there for about 10 minutes sobbing and clutching my bump, until eventually, they wore off. 

It all went really fast and I even remember at some point my husband asking if I needed the midwife or an ambulance, although I don't remember replying to him. Once they had wore off, I was totally fine. Like nothing had even happened. After a sit down and a drink, we still managed to go out shopping and I was fine. 

It was a scary 10 minutes though that not only affected me but my husband also. I think, in that time, he realised just how much pregnancy can affect the mother. 


23 Weeks Pregnancy Update

This week has been a bit up and down. All of us have been ill and so, at the beginning of the week, we couldn't really get much done. Being ill whilst pregnant is not great at all, and with the already groggy feeling of pregnancy coming together with the bug, it made me feel ten times worse. I think I may have had man flu haha

I can no longer get comfortable whilst sat for long periods of time and find myself constantly moving to try and comfort myself. And the amount of times I wake to go to the toilet during the night is getting silly now. I might as well sleep in there at this rate.

One big plus this week is that I have eventually started to feel baby kick. Since I have an anterior placenta, I have missed those first lots of kicks, the small ones when bump is first getting to grips with his space and have now gone straight in at the big kicks. He seems to be very low and I can constantly feel him moving now. 

The weeks has ended with a very bad low though. Braxton Hicks have started. If you've never had them, then let me explain. These can be anything from a mild discomfort to excruciating pain that feels like contractions. I had the latter of course. 

Yesterday, I went upstairs to get changed and got the most humongous pain which floored me. My husband came upstairs and found me on the floor unable to move from the pain. 
It felt like a contraction mixed with a huge stitch and so he picked me up and put me on the bed. 
At this point I was working myself up so much that I started feeling dizzy and going tingly all over. 
I laid on the bed for about 10 minutes with my husband panicking, asking if I needed an ambulance, and eventually it eased off. Just like that it was gone. 

Of course I was scared, but since I had them when I was pregnant with Charlie, I knew what it was and just tried not to work myself up too much. Hopefully, they wont be that strong from now on and I can get back into growing my bump without pain.

So, that's it for this week. See you in another couple of week with a routine update...