Our baby moon

IMG_8821

What a magical experience. Last minute, we decided to do one more holiday before our baby was due, known as a baby moon. As we had to go in February, before it got too late for me to fly, we decided to go to Iceland.

I usually prefer chasing the sun, but at this time of year, Europe wouldn’t have been warm enough for me, and I didn’t fancy flying too far while heavily pregnant. Iceland was also somewhere I wanted to visit at some point.

So we booked our holiday, worked out what we wanted to do and got our bags packed. The things on my to do list were:

  • visit the blue lagoon (pre book this online as the time slots sell out so quickly https://www.bluelagoon.com)
  • go whale watching (I advise to book this when you get there as you can’t guarantee the weather will be good enough to go out to sea)
  • see the Northern Lights.

We hadn’t planned too much, as we only had a short break, (4 nights). I asked my partner whether there would be snow, because it’s called Iceland, but it is actually rare for it to snow there. (Yes I am clueless when it comes to Geography). So we took off from Stansted airport, heading to Keflavik only to land to the worst weather Iceland had experienced in a long time. There was snow! Coming from England, I hadn’t experienced deep snow before, but here it was magical and scary at the same time.

We decided to hire a car, in normal Icelandic weather, this would have been fine. However, we arrived in the dark. With warnings from the hire company, extra insurance was taken out because of the snowdrifts and strong winds, which blew gravel (I think) off the sides of the roads, potentially damaging the bodywork on the car. So not only was it dark, there was deep snow, strong winds and snow drifts to contend with, along with getting used to driving on the wrong side of the road for British people. It is safe to say, we were those annoying tourists, driving slowly on the road, to try and safely get to where we were going to stay. Once we got to our hotel, we left the car parked up and only used it once while we were there.

IMG_3264

We only booked a cheap hotel, called the T10 because we were not going to spend much time there. The rooms were lovely, clean and comfortable. We also had a communal kitchen, which was perfect as we got our own food from the supermarket to cook, as we didn’t fancy finding nice restaurants in such scary weather. I know if you are reading this from another country, then you will think us English are wimps. I admit we were wimps, but we are not used to snow.

So what did we do? We did get to the blue lagoon, but as I booked the tickets late online, the only slot I got was on day one of our holiday at 8am. We had to battle the scary snowy roads once again, but wow it was so worth it. The blue lagoon is absolutely beautiful. Going at 8am was perfect, to capture that morning sunrise at 10am. With me being pregnant, we only spent a short time in the lagoon, (20 minutes at a time). I also tried to stay in the cooler areas. I checked with the blue lagoon, and it was fine to use it while pregnant, you just had to stay well hydrated. The lagoon is kept between 37-39 degrees. You just shouldn’t raise your body temperature above 38 degrees when pregnant, as it can be harmful to your unborn baby. This is why I did short stints and kept getting out to cool down.

But seriously, bathing in a lagoon, surrounded by snow outside is such an experience. If anyone is heading to Iceland, you can’t leave without visiting this place. Afterwards we dined in the LAVA restaurant, which was so classy, enjoying stunning views of the lagoon.

The next place we visited was Reykjavik, we decided to go by bus. The bus drivers were clearly more confident in the snow then we were. We had a good walk around, looked around the shops and ate delicious fish and chips. When a place is hidden under so much snow, it is actually quite hard to see the true beauty of the island.

Facetune_08-02-2018-12-30-57IMG_5488Facetune_25-02-2018-13-39-09IMG_4144

We decided against whale watching because of the weather, and we went on the Golden Circle tour instead. Here we got to visit where some of the scenes from Game of Thrones was filmed, we got to visit the North American tectonic plate and the Eurasian tectonic plate, which are getting further and further apart where the ridge is splitting that runs north to south through the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, hence why it is splitting in the middle of Iceland.

So on the Golden Circle tour, we got to visit the Pingvellir National Park, the Gulfoss Waterfall and the geothermal area in Haukadalur, where you can see the Geysir Hot Springs as they explode out of the ground. We went on the express tour which was 13:00-19:00. I highly recommend this tour, and recommend booking through Grayline as the tour guides are lovely, informative and so funny. https://grayline.is/?device=c&campaignid=1403628648&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI2dWF9rH03AIVCxbTCh2rcAQ_EAAYAiAAEgJd2PD_BwE

DSC_7897IMG_8869What made this trip even more magical than the fact that it was our baby moon; was that my partner proposed, so yes I have a fiancé! He proposed to me on top of the Gulfoss Waterfall, so not only were we in a stunning country, he proposed to me in a stunning location. I was completely clueless to the fact that he was about to propose, so I didn’t know he was trying to get me to take photos of our proposal, by asking me to set my camera up. Looking back I should have wondered why he wanted a photo, as he never lets me take photos of us together, (camera shy). I guess this is why I didn’t ask questions and just set my camera up, as I wasn’t going to argue about the fact that he at last, wanted a photo. Obviously I never got the proposal on camera, because I was trying to get a nice portrait shot, not a zoomed out proposal shot.

DSC_7927DSC_7959

IMG_9466

So this sums up our baby moon, blue lagoon, golden circle and the fact that I’m now engaged! We never got to see the Northern lights because the sky was never clear enough, apart from on the plane home. However, we plan to visit this beautiful place once again, when our little girl is older, because there is so much more to do, such as visiting the beautiful Icelandic spa, Laugarvatn Fontana. It will also be nice to see Iceland in its true form, without the snow. I could go on for ages about this place, but this blog is already too long and I shouldn’t think anyone is even still reading it. But if you are, thank you and I hope you get the chance to visit Iceland too.

Belle x

What I found irritating during pregnancy

IMG_7724

So around 20 weeks pregnant, over the Christmas holidays I couldn’t sleep. I kept experiencing the feeling of not being able to keep my legs still without wanting to pull them off. After speaking to other mummies and googling my symptoms, (by the way I don’t recommend googling your symptoms, always consult a doctor if you are worried), I found out it was restless legs. Some people said it was low salt, some people said it was low potassium.

I tried to put a bit more salt in my food and I lived on bananas throughout my pregnancy and this sorted my legs out. If I went a day without a banana the restless legs would return that evening. I also found, getting up and going for a walk, helped my legs, even if it was just to the loo and back. We all know sleeping through the night without needing to pee is hard when pregnant! Stretching my lower legs also helped to stop the restless legs. I stretched them for 15 seconds on each leg.

IMG_8810

This didn’t keep it at bay forever though. Once I got to the last 5 ish weeks of pregnancy, there was nothing I could do to stop it. This didn’t last long anyway as my little girl decided to come early at 38 weeks. Looking back now, my restless legs went away completely, so my body obviously knew I was going to give birth in the next couple of weeks.

So if you feel like pulling your legs off, while you are trying to sleep, it could be restless legs. Maybe bananas will become part of your staple diet for a while.

Did anyone else get this when they were pregnant?

Belle x

Why didn’t anyone tell me?

DSC_8006

The low down on pregnancy.

When I first found out I was pregnant, it was not the big celebration of happiness you expect. Yes our baby was planned, but nothing can prepare you for that moment when you realise it is actually happening. Yes you are about to leap into that scary world of becoming a mum. You will have a little one depending on you, babies don’t come with instruction manuals, you just have to muddle your way through and laugh about those ‘rookie errors’ you end up making.

It took us a day to soak up the information and thankfully, we did finally get that joyful moment, filled with pure happiness. We were becoming a family just like we wanted. I remember thinking I was odd for not being happy like those clear blue adverts, celebrating straight away. But reality is not what you see on the television adverts; it is managing your own emotions, your fears, your concerns and worries about parenthood. So I realised I was not odd, and that I won’t be the only one feeling like this.

This is the reason why I wanted to start this blog, filled with honest real stories about pregnancy, labour and parenthood.

DSC_8007

So down to pregnancy, why was I never informed by anyone that you have to take a sample of your urine to every midwife appointment? I have siblings with children, friends with children and no one tells you about the ‘nitty gritty’ stuff. If you want to start a family in the future and want real information then keep reading. However if you are not in to the gruesome stuff then I advise you to stop now, as my future posts will contain the reality of pregnancy, labour and parenthood.

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

So yes taking in urine samples every 8 weeks, then every 4 weeks and 2 weeks as your pregnancy progresses. Like where do you put your urine, in your handbag? I’m not sure I wanted my bodily fluid in my handbag! What do you collect it in? The midwife gave me narrow tubes to collect my urine in. Was my aim good enough to get my urine in the tubes, no way because I’m not a man! My midwife told me to get a cheap plastic jug to collect it before tipping it in, (handy tip). Now the handbag situation, do I put my urine in my handbag or walk in to the medical centre waiting room, holding my urine? In the end I opted for carrying it in my handbag, and nappy bags came in so handy! I used to put my pot in a nappy bag and tie it up, which eased my worry of the lid coming loose and spilling in my bag.

You worry about such unnecessary things when pregnant, what really was the chances of my urine pot coming loose in my bag, if I made sure it was done up tight. So ladies what did you do, how did you transport your urine to your appointments, without showing the whole world you had a sample?

Now I had such an easy smooth pregnancy, I know some women will hate me for it, but I’m not going to lie and put people off having babies because of the horror stories you hear. Why does everyone feel the need to tell you the horror stories and not the good ones? It is a good job I am very laid back and take everything in my stride. I didn’t panic about pregnancy or labour, as we are all so different. So other then needing to take urine to my midwife appointments, there isn’t much else I can really tell you about the odd parts of pregnancy. I did get restless legs at night and I couldn’t drink coffee but to save this post getting too long and boring, we will save that for another day.

So mamma’s, were you shocked by anything during pregnancy that no one told you about until you experienced it yourself? Comment below.

Belle x

DSC_7994

The life of a new Mum

Thanks for joining me!

I wanted to have a real, honest blog about motherhood, pregnancy and labour. When I got pregnant, people were quick to tell me all the horror stories, but I had no positive stories to make me feel confident about the unknown journey ahead. I am not a doctor or any qualified professional, this blog is just based on my own experiences. I just want to share this with the hope it will help at least one new mummy to be.

“Everything has changed and yet, I am more me than i’ve ever been.” – Iain Thomas

B7057B61-1748-4D08-8BD8-35B96C3024EB