ONE YEAR OF MATERNITY LEAVE.

I am coming to the end of my maternity leave with mixed feelings and feel it might be a good idea to write down where this year has taken me to remind myself how LUCKY I have been to have the opportunity to take a full year (and a bit extra) of maternity leave before I embark on my next chapter as a working mama! 

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I finished up at my job (at a fashion recruitment agency) in November 2017 and managed to have almost 5 weeks of boxsets, naps, netflix, tea + cake dates, christmas shopping and pretty much doing nothing until Enzio’s arrival on Thursday 7th December. 

The early days of motherhood are a complete blur to me now, I struggle to remember so many details and I wish I had treasured each day rather than wishing those long nights away. For what was a really happy exciting time soon turned to an incredibly tough and emotional time as we sadly lost my boyfriends dad very suddenly exactly one week after Enzio was born. He was with us a few hours before he passed away and I wish so much I had taken a photo of him holding Enzio but you never think something like that will happen. What was supposed to be a wonderful christmas with our new baby just turned into weeks of sadness, disbelief and grief while I desperately tried to navigate through the first few weeks of motherhood and recovering from a c-section whilst wanting to be there for my boyfriend who within a week had become a father himself and then suddenly lost his own father. I now look back and know he held out to meet his grandson and feel really lucky that he did get to meet Enzio and try and look at what happened in a positive light. *Talking of photos, I still don’t have ONE photo of me, Nath and Enz all together! 

I took things slow after that, recovering at home, sleeping when the baby slept and just took things slow until I felt ready to go out on walks, ready to drive etc. I’ll never forget the first time trying to leave the house, it felt like the impossible task EVER. I started to love our daily walks, discovering podcasts, being at home – cleaning, cooking, washing and keeping on top of the house. We went to baby yoga, met friends for coffee, went on shopping trips – I was loving maternity leave life! 

I also made it my mantra that every day I would do something for myself and it’s something I have really stuck to. I started planning days out by myself to try and get back to feeling like me again and it’s massively helped with the balance of being a mama and being an individual. I’ve taken myself to countless mums the word events (sometimes with the baby, sometimes alone). They’ve opened me up to a whole new world of women and I’ve made some really great friends this year. 

The summer took us to Eastbourne, Baby Raves, Brighton, spending sunny afternoons in pub gardens drinking pimms, bbq’s in the garden, paddling pool days, family trips to cornwall, a holiday to Spain, a roadtrip to Italy, picnics in the park, hen dos, weddings, more beach trips, visits to farms, soft play dates, nights out with my insta mama friends, three of my best friends also becoming mamas, pumpkin picking, halloween parties and everything in between. Without a doubt, the BEST summer yet! 

I trained as a Hypnobirthing Teacher and have launched my own business – The Hypnobirthing Babe. I became an MVP for Peanut, an app that connects you to likeminded mamas in your area. I finally got my head round going back to work in London only to be told two weeks before I was due to go back that I was being made redundant and the whole business was closing. Luckily for me, the stars aligned and I quickly secured a local job that really feels perfect for me. 

Naturally I feel anxious and excited about going back to work but what adds to the anxiety is starting a completely new job, completely different set up, juggling the logistics etc so I am so ready to start and end my maternity leave on a high, embracing what’s to come in the year ahead. 

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WHAT A YEAR. I have to remind myself how lucky I have been to experience such an incredible year, spent with the best bunch of girls (old friends and new) and all the memories I have made along the way. 

If you are just starting out on maternity leave, my advice is to find magic in every single day – even when you are SO sleep deprived. If you don’t feel like going out, don’t do it, listen to your body and do what feels right. Be open to meeting new people, venture to places you wouldn’t usually go to. Find your tribe! Attend events, push yourself out of your comfort zone. Do something for you every day and just enjoy every single day because it will be over before you know it! 

Here’s to the next chapter, wish me luck.

PEACE, LOVE + COCONUTS.

 

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INLIGHT BEAUTY PRODUCT REVIEW.

It’s no secret that I am a lover of natural beauty products and as much as I can, I really try to use all natural/organic/chemical free products within my skincare regime. It’s probably two years since I made the switch and along with coming off the pill I have noticed a huge, consistent difference in the appearance of my skin and no longer suffer with breakouts and redness.

When Inlight Beauty got in touch to see if I would like to trial a few of their products I was delighted. Firstly because many of my usual Neal’s Yard products were running out (so it came at a perfect time) and secondly, I love supporting small businesses! I was asked to send through a list of any products that particularly caught my eye and then I received a surprise package through the post a few days later.

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THE SAVVY MUMMY SLEEPOVER AT FAIR OAK FARM.

#SAVVY SLEEPOVER. I’d been having a pretty boring Sunday last week until I received a really exciting email from Hanna – @the_savvy_mummy inviting myself and Enzio to an overnight stay at Fair Oak Farm – @yourcountryestate. The event was created to bring mamas and their children together for a much needed rest and some fun in the countryside. I googled the address and was delighted to see the venue was literally fifteen minutes from my house!

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INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY.

What does being a woman mean to you?

To me, being a woman means…supporting other women and building each other up, having the freedom and confidence to wear whatever I like, that I am never alone, being strong and independent, believing I can achieve anything I want to achieve, spreading love and positivity and last but not least it means I now appreciate more than ever what the female body can do. I grew a baby – the most INSANE and BEAUTIFUL thing I could have ever done as a woman.

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#GIRLSSUPPORTGIRLS

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I SURVIVED A DIGITAL DETOX.

I decided to take some time out. Only three days but it was needed and it helped…I mean really helped. I’d been stuck in the house pretty much all week due to the snow (which was fine, I was quite pleased not to have to leave the house) but I found myself constantly aimlessly scrolling on Instagram and I was beginning to compare myself to others.

I use Instagram as a platform to source inspiration across fashion, travel, exercise, food etc. and I LOVE it. I use my phone way too much and I’m the first to admit that however I felt it was starting to have a negative impact on me. Since being on maternity leave, I have a lot more scrolling time which is unhealthy and can become so addictive.

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MOTHER’S DAY GIFT GUIDE.

THE DAY OF THE MAMA is nearly upon us and I am extra excited this year as it’s my first mothers day, YAY! I don’t think Nathan has anything planned but obvs hoping he wakes me up with a paperchase card + a hamper of mama related gifts (a girl can dream).

I wanted to collate a post of some really fabulous gifts that I have come across recently for those who are struggling with inspiration this year!

MAMAME BOX – You will be seeing a lot more of the MamaME Box as I have recently been chosen to be a brand rep and trial three of their boxes! I’m so excited to share with you all but for now check them out online, it’s such a lovely idea and a great way to make someone feel good.

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MY BIRTH STORY.

I’M BACK! HELLO everyone, the baby is asleep so I have whipped open the laptop to finally share with you my birth story. When I was pregnant I really enjoyed reading other peoples birth stories (the good, the bad and the ugly). I wanted a realistic understanding of what could or couldn’t happen, what might go wrong etc. and to just be prepared that my ‘PLAN‘ of a completely natural birth could go completely out the window.

Did that happen? Oh yes of course it did!

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BABYMOON IN IBIZA.

Aaa my last holiday of freedom…

It was confirmed quite early that I wanted to go on a ‘BABYMOON‘ as I felt it was really important to first of all spend time just the two of us and also to try and get some rest. You are probably all thinking I have been away LOADS this year (which I have…but they were hen dos) not the most relaxing when your pregnant. I really wanted to go back to IBIZA again, it’s the third time I have been since being pregnant however I wanted to explore a different side of the island this time round…

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OH BABY.

I have some news. I’m having a BABY! I still can’t quite believe it myself. I wake up each morning and think, shit I’m actually pregnant. I’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity to announce it to the world and I feel like today is the day! I’m also starting to show a teeny bit so can’t really hide it for much longer…

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Here’s my first five (and honest) thoughts I had when I found out –

  1. OMG I’m the fourth bridesmaid to announce I am pregnant. My poor friend Alex has had not 1, 2 or 3 of her bridesmaids announce that they are expecting but 4! I always thought things came in threes, clearly I was wrong.
  2. Brilliant! I’ve just bought two amazing MARA HOFFMAN bikinis which I will probably NEVER EVER be able to wear again. Good news, I tried on all my holiday swimwear yesterday and it ALL still fits. Yipeeeeeee.
  3. I don’t want to get fat. Can I still do pilates? I love pilates. It turns out yes I can, phew.
  4. This year was going to be SO fun and now I have two hen dos (one in Palma + one in Ibiza) and am bridesmaid for two of my best friends so two weddings without drinking and waddling around in the heat.
  5. Oooo but I can buy those fringe baby moccasins I always see on Instagram…and the rainbow crochet baby blanket I saw a baby with in Ibiza.

After copious amounts of tears over every upcoming event I have for the next nine months, I came round to the idea and realised I am incredibly blessed to be pregnant and that everything happens for a reason.

The first twelve weeks (as they are for most people) have been pretty hideous. I haven’t actually been sick but have felt nauseous 24/7 especially in the evenings and the exhaustion is like jet lag times 100. I also developed an obsession with beef and horseradish sandwiches. Oh and my boobs have pretty much doubled in size, I used to long for big boobs and now I am longing that they don’t get any bigger. Oh and I’m getting a hairy belly, it just gets better and better!

I’m now fourteen weeks and my baby is the size of a peach (yes I’m that wankie person and I don’t even care). I literally feel like a new person now that my sickness has eased and I have all my energy back, YAY! I’m back into exercising too and I feel really good.

BABY MASSINI is due early December. CHRISTMAS PUDDING in the making!

I’ll be posting about my pregnancy on the blog along with how I figure out pregnancy style and everything else in between!

PEACE, LOVE + A BABY COCONUT.