Hello and bonjour! There’s been a few gaps in my blog lately – infact a huge gap but there is now a new addition- my sweet baby boy Felix!

And tbh I decided to do that because I felt like there should be a gap. There’s no point writing quickly or without a cause so I wanted to enjoy the end of my pregnancy and then concentrate on the birth and new arrival. Sometimes in life we need a moment of space, and this was simply one of them. Although I love writing I felt a gap was good (Although I’ve still had a few new articles for The Lady and you can read some here;

https://lady.co.uk/blogs/young-ladies-about-town )

Being a new mum is terrifically exciting in every way possible! One thing I couldn’t get my head around in my birthing classes and since getting many messages (mainly on Instagram) is how people say ‘don’t worry it will get better soon.’ Now I’m either ever an optimist or I’ve got a screw loose but so far I have really enjoyed it! O.K sometimes it can get a bit mental (a tsunami of poo coming out one end whilst he’s peeing in his own face anyone?) But their all unforgettable moments- The feeding, the being in your own little bubble and learning all about their tiny but perfectly formed self- these are truly magical times and I cherish each of them. They are only ever going to be this small at this time and for that I know I have to enjoy every precious moment.

Also baby Felix is so lovely to look after. He (so far) wakes up at 3am for his feed then sleeps till about 8am – sometimes later, infact today until 9.30am! I didn’t realise this isn’t normal until someone pointed out to me.

Although it hasn’t all gone so seamlessly (and I’m trying to be very positive) as Felix has a rare blood disorder called Glanzmanns. This means his blood doesn’t clot normally and he will have to have constant maintenance throughout his life as there is no cure. When they told me I didn’t know how to deal with it- when he was born he had a lot of unexplainable bruises and this is part of the disorder that people with GT (Glanzmanns) get- they bruise much more easily. Only 1 in every million people get Glanzmanns and it is passed through a blood gene that both parents have. Lots of people can have this but it is rare that their children will develop GT.

The doctors at Great Ormond Street are amazing and although he has had to have 1 blood transfusion he is doing very well and they will be able to monitor and help him to live as normal a life as possible. He will not be able to play contact sports but he will be able to be fit and healthy and play like a normal baby- he just has to be careful with his knocks and if he cuts himself he may need platelet transfusions.

I think this sort of news is shocking for anyone. But you have to find a strength you didn’t know was there. Im normally pretty terrible with bad news and don’t know how to handle things. But I have found myself having strength and positivity that I didn’t know was there and know that Felix has lots of impeccable help around him.

The astonishing thing about this condition is that one of my best friends in New York in a bizarre twist has the same blood disorder- only 300 people out of 350 million people in America has it and she does! And only 135 people in the UK have it and so it has been an uncanny moment that she has helped me in so many ways possible already- giving me info and listening to my every stress, keeping me calm, I still can’t quite believe it. Also she has inspired me as she leads a very happy, active and full life so it is something to aspire too.

Felix is very lovely to look after and has already taught me various life lessons (and finely tuned a few others) Maybe there are a few more to add to this  but this is what I have learned so far….

 

  1. Get your organisation skills up to 100%.

Maybe your like me but I was the kind of girl who would leave the evening dishes until the morning, take all my laundry to the laundrette as I couldn’t be bothered, and keep any old leaflet or scrap of paper then let them pile right up (incase I needed them at a later stage lol). Now everything is much tidier, I clean right away and am much more ahead of the game!

  1. Don’t think about it- just do it.

Sometimes I used to sit there and think ‘what is a good caption for my Instagram photo?’ sometimes I would think about it for a good couple of hours – can you believe it! What a looney! Now I just type and go- the same goes for everything else, admin, emails, sending things off. Move quickly, assertively and don’t worry too much- just get it out there and get on with it.

  1. Cut the crap.

I don’t have time to listen to any more negativity or be involved with anyone that is toxic, and we all encounter this in our day to day lives at some point… I am surrounding myself with positive supportive people who always have my back – and in turn I will of course always have theirs. Let’s just say sometimes a life cleanup is in order and as I’m time poor it was time for a cull!

  1. Be positive

There are moments when the baby does challenge you. When are you going to sleep? Am I doing it right? I try to think positively about it, even with his illness I tell myself it will all work out, he will be fine, I have to be positive.

  1. Keep active.

This may not necessarily mean a 10k run (as if! Anyway I still can’t exercise for a few more weeks due to my C-section) but keeping your life active and full. My mum says give yourself one reward a day and treat yourself. A glass of wine, a cake, even a lovely walk. Even if Felix is crying I put him in the pram, put on makeup and go outside- he soon falls asleep and if he doesn’t at least I’ve had a breathe of fresh air!

  1. Don’t try to be perfect just go with the flow

I’ve already felt the wrath of other judging mummies- I don’t even think they mean it! But they may ask you if you are doing this or that, and why you are doing so. It is a bit of a club, and it’s good to do things your own way in your own routine (hashtag freestyle mummy!)

  1. Sleep whenever you want and don’t feel ashamed about it.

Last week baby Felix had to go to hospital for his bleeding. We were in a freezing over the top air conned room and he had lots of blood taken and injections- plus the nurse came in every half an hour as she wanted him to do a poo and he wouldn’t (by 4am I politely said please don’t ask me for any more poo this evening thank you!) We didn’t sleep a wink- the only time he hasn’t- and I think we were both stressed out. I hadn’t eaten for a day as I was so worried about him and I literally began losing it. I made a vow as soon as I left the hospital to not let eating or sleeping slip and to look after myself even more so I can be 100% for him.

  1. Laugh at it, rather than cry at it.

Your day with a baby mainly consists of poo, wee, feeding, getting him to sleep, washing, cleaning and repeat. But is that actually such a bad thing? I know some people have said to me they find it repetitive but I honestly love waking up and seeing his sweet face every morning and don’t really think about all that- it just sort of happens, even if I have never done this much washing in my entire life!

  1. Make future plans.

I have some lovely ideas for places to go with Felix and feel planning, writing things down, creating a mood board is a super exciting thing to do. Now that he is here and even with his illness I feel like with careful planning we can start going off on adventures and this is always a fun thing to organise.

  1. Don’t feel bad if you have a shit day.

I’m making it all sound wonderful (and many parts are) but there are days when it does go really bad. The baby wont stop crying (cue me wheeling him in the Silver Cross up and down the living room!) – when you both just go off for a VERY much needed afternoon nap then he pukes everywhere and poos (sorry there has been a lot of poo in this blog post!) or you just feel you can’t get everything done in time and feel frustrated. Give yourself a reward, tell yourself your doing ok and say to yourself I will be strong and tomorrow is most definitely a new day.

Today I had the pleasure of attending the Jacadi store in Westfield Shepherds Bush for a morning of baby talks, sweet treats and viewing their new collection. And let me just say it did not disappoint!

I arrived to hear a lovely speaker Mellanoire talking about her experience of motherhood, giving us tips and hearing more of our stories- I was the last one in and so ended up being asked to be the first one speak (yikes!) but actually the other mothers and pregnant woman were very welcoming and soon we were chatting like old friends.

The Jacadi shop is very beautiful also. Everything is laid out well and the quality of the material are all rich cottons, wools and other lovely materials. Jacadi is a premium children’s brand driven by strong values, providing the world with authentic and timeless children’s fashion in the French tradition and heritage. This reputation is the result of a strong commitment to quality, incomparable fabrics, exclusive patterns and attention to detail. Jacadi products reflect elegance and refinement for children from 0 to 12 years. You can definitely get a touch of distinctive French feeling to the clothes whilst I secretly started wanting everything!

They also went to town with the food!They had some lovely goodies on offer- French pastries and pastel coloured macarons were laid out and of course I couldn’t resist but try each flavour (it was morning but I like to think macarons are good at any time of day 😉 And of course we have the excuse of being pregnant (worried I may keep that one going after I give birth!)

After the talks I wandered leisurely around the store to see their new collection… I also loved their array of sweet soft toys, teddies, rabbits and yes, there was a seagull in there! I found the store spacious, tranquil and beautifully laid out, a very relaxing space away from the business of London.

Jacadi, I’ll be back and next time it will probably be with baby in tow!

mwww.jacadi.co.uk

xxxx

 

Well that flew by, didn’t it?!

Can’t believe today marks the 28 week mark and that I’m over halfway of the journey (or maybe the journey is yet to begin?) Yes, I look like a flump in this photo (pink marshmallow alert!) but I guess it will get even bigger so just have to roll with it!

I have got into being pregnant much more lately and think I will actually miss being pregnant when it’s all over! Lots of people I’ve met said they couldn’t wait to get it over with but I’m actually relishing in it  (and obviously because I’ve been eating so much lol!)

Well, a little about my journey so far… I am due on 21 June (Midsummers day I think it is) although this is subject to change as every time I go to the hospital they change it by a day or two.

I will reveal the gender soon….so excited 😉 I have had such a rocky pregnancy, especially at the beginning. I was super sick and I have never felt exhaustation like I did. I could barely get home in the evening, and at 6pm I would just order a deliveroo then go to bed… yes that was my life! I literally could hardly do a thing. Then of course as I have had a few complications like low lying placenta I was told not to exercise or lift anything… that can only mean one thing- food and sofa! Oops! I’m looking back at old photos last summer when I did a 2 month ballet barre teacher course, dancing for 4 hours a day and studying made me super fit. Now I can’t touch my toes (there’s something that keeps getting in the way hehe 😉

So it has been a bit of a resting pregnancy as I can’t do much.

But after hitting my second trimester, my energy is back with full force! Thank the lord! I am used to being so busy so when told to rest I simply can’t and now that I have my energy back I find I sleep later.

I have had a few cravings, nothing too bonkers, just mainly gherkins, pickled onions, cakes and crap orange juice- yes you did hear me right! I love cheap orange juice! I could totally buy more ‘diva’ orange juice but I’ve been craving the pasteurised and not particularly good for you kind. It’s become my little addiction (a cheap addiction at that too 😉

After I got to week 22 I could start to feel the baby moving. It feels a bit Ike butterflies, very slight and tickly almost. But now it’s full blown kicks! And lately, the baby has been hiccuping! At first this freaked me out, it’s very slight movement but very consistent just like when we have the hiccups but much less stronger (and no noise) Of course I got out Dr. Google- bad mistake! Those forums and online sites often have negative comments or bad ideas and I have realised this is worse for me and makes me freak out more! I have been trying to stick with the NHS website for facts, although I must admit at the beginning I couldn’t stop googling all healthcare things for pregnancy! People on forums are annonymous people, not healthcare professionals so one has to be careful, although the moral support is always good.

As my bump is getting bigger, I’m trying to find clothes that fit- I love being feminine, chic , elegant and emulating the vintage style but it’s hard to find genuine pieces from the 50’s that don’t give off a tent look! So as you will see in previous posts I’ve bee a bit careful with the planning of that and found some lovely one-off pieces that work well.

Next I will be doing a birth plan and have started shopping for some lovely vintage baby items! More on those soon,

Annette

xxx

 

For anyone that feels their bump growing they know one thing for certain – it gets impossible to dress it! As I mentioned in my previous post I tried to squeeze myself into trousers and dresses for a while (not a good look I must admit) until I decided to succumb to the tum! Now I have been searching for feminine maternity pieces, and finding authentic vintage wear has proved a little too difficult.

But fear not, there are plenty of alternatives readily available from high street and designer brands and you don’t need to spend a fortune in the process.  I personally find it a fun challenge to dress and I have even found better things than specific maternity wear- enter the wrap dress!

I accidentally wore a Boden number one day (an old friend used to work for them and gave it to me as a gift) and was the only thing washed that would fit me. Then I realised how comfortable and lovely it felt and decided that was it- I was a woman on a mission to find more!

I have now found quite a few suitable ones including the one I’m wearing below from Zara 

But there are many more to choose from as listed below- I would love to hear about your maternity dress wear tips! Don’t forget to click on the links to directly shop!

Annette xxxx

Zara

£49

ASOS

£75

Collectif Vintage Amaya Velvet Dress

£20.48

ASOS Frill Detail Wrap Dress

£35

Dorothy Perkins Navy Self Tie Floral Print Wrap Dress

£26

Seraphine Black Floral Silk Wrap Maternity Dress

£99

Isabella Rose Elisha Dress

£139

 

Early this week I had the pleasure of attending Anna Williamson’s book launch for Breaking Mum and Dad: The Insiders Guide to Parenting Anxiety at the highly exquisite Devonshire Club.

I was there to hear all about the making of the book and some of the topics it covered. There were quite a few young mum and dad’s, experienced ones, new one’s and a few pregnant ladies too so I definitely did not feel alone!

I often can feel quite nervous walking into somewhere on my own but was lucky I met a lovely young woman, Kim, from the Telegraph who gave me a load of baby/parenting tips having had her own a year and a half ago- phew! There were also some other lovely ladies I spoke with and of course I was excited to hear what Anna’s book was all about!

The Devonshire Club were the perfect hosts with delicious canapes, champagne and mocktails for the preggo ladies like me 😉

The book covers so many topics from ‘I’m struggling to love my baby’ to ‘I miss my old life.’ It’s like a therapist in your pocket with contributions by Dr Reeta Newell so it has a medical approach as well as practical advice with ways to cope with low anxiety, low mood and stress.

I can totally relate to this as being pregnant I have absolutely loved the feeling (like to the point I think I could burst with happiness and joy!) but then I get super emotional and have an anxiety attack- how weird is that eh?! I can’t just blame the hormones but I guess it is a whole kaleidoscope of things and learning as I go along (is there a baby school? Please send me now).

Anna Williamson has already written Breaking Mad: An Insiders Guide to Conquering Anxiety and is a life coach, counsellor and Master NLP practitioner so has a wealth of experience. She is also an Ambassador for Mind, Childline and The Princes Trust (as well as a tv presenter and broadcaster!) and I’m so excited to get stuck into this book and hopefully pass on a few tips in later blog posts.

Breaking Mum and Dad is a little pocket guide of empathy, sympathy and above all, hope. And we all need a little bit of that sometimes, don’t we?!