Aug 12

Woman v food

2 comments

by LifeLoveLaura on August 12, 2013

It’s no secret that Big T and I love our grub. Especially a good burger… and I have the arse to prove it. We took a trip to London in May to see The Book of Mormon and to eat special burgers, you can read about it here. Lack of good burgers is something that has been the case for a long time in our home county of East Yorkshire, until recently that is. Rebels’ Smokehouse in Beverley opened in July and it’s been long awaited. With the cafe bar culture of the past few years really taking off, our local area is certainly not short of nice places to eat and drink. It’s just, sometimes, you get a bit sick of the same old things. Our area needed meat… and thanks to Rebels’ Smokehouse we now have it. Yessssss.

We wanted to go for a breakfast on Friday morning but at 10.30am we had left it a bit late. Where else could we go, we wondered. Then Rebels’ Smokehouse popped into my head. We’d heard good things about it but not yet visited so job’s a good ‘un, that’s where we went. We got there in time for opening as we were in a bit of a rush with Little T’s swimming lesson in the afternoon, so we were more or less the first people in.

I quite liked the fancy decor, in fact I was thinking of stealing some chairs for my dining room but I’m not sure I would’ve got away with it. They were quite big after all. I also agreed with some of the statement art on the wall, bacon does in fact make everything better.

Rebels' Smokehouse Beverley East Yorkshire

Inside Rebels' Smokehouse, Beverley, East Yorkshire

Inside Rebels' Smokehouse, Beverley, East Yorkshire

Inside Rebels' Smokehouse, Beverley, East Yorkshire

Inside Rebels' Smokehouse, Beverley, East Yorkshire

Inside Rebels' Smokehouse, Beverley, East Yorkshire

Inside Rebels' Smokehouse, Beverley, East Yorkshire

Not long after we ordered, the place started to fill up very quickly. It’s a good job we arrived when we did otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to fit in with Little T’s massive pram and I would’ve cried.

The food:

Big T and I both ordered the Civil War pit burger – from what I can remember it was their special pulled pork in between two burgers, cheese and bits and bobs of salad, pickles etc with fries and a few onion rings. I think there was meant to be some bacon in there too but it was missing for some reason. I wasn’t bothered though, there was already enough meat on there to satisfy any budding Desperate Dan. When it arrived I remember something along the lines of “oh my God,” coming out of my mouth. I’m no stranger to big portions but it was HUGE. Good job too as we were both starving! The first thing I did was have a little bit of the pulled pork, something I haven’t had since I was in the US and it was amaaaaazing. The best pulled pork I’ve ever tasted. I could’ve happily sacrificed my fries and onion rings for a bucket full of the stuff!

Civil War pit burger, Rebels' Smokehouse, Beverley, East Yorkshire

I then dug into the burger. The only way to do it was to cut it in half and go for it in two bits. Probably the fanny’s way out but I am a lady after all. Big T has quite a small appetite but he swiftly managed to plough through his, leaving me straggling a little bit. I didn’t give up though, although I did have to abandon the fries – not like me AT all.

My remnants of the Civil War pit burger, Rebels' Smokehouse, Beverley, East Yorkshire

I did a pretty good job considering the size…

I would make only one small criticism – with the Man v Food craze sweeping the UK, there are lots of smokehouse food places popping up (thankfully!!) The one thing that the US does very well, apart from food of course, is free drinks refills. When you have food on this grand scale, you need plenty of refreshing drinks to wash it down with but buying small bottles of Coke (or any other soft drink) can be expensive and one just isn’t enough. Apart from that, it was spot on.

It’s safe to say that the grub at Rebels’ Smokehouse is enough to fill the hungriest folk. It’s very reasonably priced too – the pit burger and accompaniments was only £9.50! Once they have been open a little bit longer it could be a case of putting the prices up but I hope not, along with the amazing food and the fab decor, the decent prices are part of the charm of the place. Big T and I thoroughly enjoyed our lunch and we will be back very soon with the rest of our family. My parents will love it! I can see it being verrrrry bad for any future diet that I might attempt!

Laura x

READ MORE

Aug 11

Labstagram

0 comments

by LifeLoveLaura on August 11, 2013

Labradors of instagram

Daisy dog is so much of a natural at posing in front of the camera that she’s only gone and got her very own Instagram account. Being an official “Lab of Insta,” she has made lots of fellow canine friends on there already. If you would like to follow her shenanigans, you will find her under the name of daisy_doo_lab. It’s just a little bit of poochy fun!

Daisy (and Laura) x

READ MORE

Aug 5

Speedy T

0 comments

by LifeLoveLaura on August 5, 2013

Recently Little T has found his feet. Not quite literally, he’s still learning how to walk, but boy can he cruise and crawl! A little too fast for my liking. He has gone from a slug like commando crawl to full on whizzing around the house on all fours in a matter of weeks. Not content with bombing about the house on his front, he can negotiate down steps into kitchens and gardens, no problem at all. This weekend, however, he went one step further (no pun intended) and discovered that he can climb stairs. Great.

He has been pulling himself up on the bottom step for quite some time but this we didn’t mind, what’s the worst he was going to do? Bump a few inches back down onto his bum once standing up? On Saturday, I stood with him whilst he tried to figure out what it meant to climb stairs. In no time he was up on step number two. ARGH!

I'm not sitting still for your lovely photo mum, I'm off!

I’m not sitting still for your lovely photo mum, I’m off!

Yesterday, whilst playing in the living room something came across him. A little light bulb of thought. “PING!” “Why am I playing in this stupid sensory ball pool when I can go and climb stairs??!” and he was off towards the stairs as fast as he could. I followed him and watched out of curiosity and in no time he was up on step five. STEP FIVE! As if! Where has my tiny little snoozy newborn gone? My baby that slept the whole way through a meal out? I’m not complaining at all, don’t get me wrong, but the time is passing way too quickly for my liking. He can now climb stairs! Where has that come from?

Consequently, Sunday was spent baby proofing the house. Now, baby proofing is neither a cheap do nor pretty. Safety gates are bloody ugly things but it’s something that has to be done. We have had to have the Lindam Sure Shut Orto gate  (£29.99) on the kitchen archway for almost three years to stop Daisy roaming the house whilst we’re out so what’s one more? (waaaah, my beautiful character filled house… *sniff sniff*) With the stairway opening being a bit different – quite slim and awkward for attaching something to it, we had no idea where to start. Big thank yous to the lovely Laura at Lobster Love (cracking handmade pearl bridal jewelry, have a look!) who suggested the BabyDan Multidan wooden safety gate (£25.99), we have something that is just right. It looks a little bit more pleasant than the metal gates, fits into smaller spaces and most importantly, adds the perfect amount of safety to our stairs. A gate that fixes to the wall, rather than a removable pressure gate isn’t for everybody but it was the only way we could fit a gate, there was nowhere for a pressure gate to fix to. Once the gate can come off, a little bit of filler in the holes won’t hurt!

From this...

From this…

To this - safety gate city

To this – safety gate city

Our stairs are really steep terraced house type so really, it’s a no brainer to have safety measures in place. When we moved in the stairs didn’t even have a bannister, just steep and scary open space down into our dining room. It’s a good job we had a bannister put in before getting pregnant and I’m uncoordinated and unsteady one my feet at the best of times so being a massive lump of baby didn’t help matters. Now Little T is here and discovering more of his little world, the bannister and safety gates are going to be priceless. And yes, I do realise this is just the start of it so let the fun begin!

Laura x

READ MORE

Jul 31

Happy anniversary Ma and Pa Pops!

0 comments

by LifeLoveLaura on July 31, 2013


pops

Today is my parents’ 42nd wedding anniversary. 42 YEARS!

My mum and dad are amazing role models and I hope to have a long standing and happy marriage with a beautiful family, just like them. They are kind, helpful, generous, wise, experienced, worldly, with a little bit of nosiness and interfering thrown in for good measure. They bicker like cat and dog but love each other dearly, just like my Tilly and Daisy. I wouldn’t change a thing about them! Now in their 60s but both still working hard, they make sure they have amazing holidays (I don’t blame them) and, devoted to their three grandchildren, they spend every minute possible with their (now, very) extended family.

My parents are Little T’s world and he is a lucky boy to have such amazing grandparents.

So everybody, let’s wish Mama and Papa Pops a happy 42nd anniversary!

Laura x

 

READ MORE

Jul 29

My working week

2 comments

by LifeLoveLaura on July 29, 2013

Last Sunday night I felt sick. Not because I’d eaten something dodgy for lunch, because Monday was my first day back at work. The thought of the job itself wasn’t the issue, it was more the getting up and out the door to start work at 7am. I don’t sleep well at the best of times, I am a light sleeper who wakes up at the sound of a pin dropping so how on earth was I going to get some proper kip in to feel set up for a 12 hour shift at work? Fact is, I didn’t. Setting my alarm when I went to bed was bad enough but when it went off I felt even worse! It’s not quite the same as being woken up in the night by your newborn, like I’ve been used to. Getting up and getting a bottle whilst in a zombie state isn’t that much of a big deal. At least you know you have nothing but baby duties all day. You can even stay in your pjs, there’s no obligation to get dressed. When your alarm goes off for 12 hours at work, it’s your first day back after 19 months off and you have barely slept, it’s a totally different story.

Work alarm

Now, I haven’t had 19 months off (I wish) but because of the nature of my job, as soon as I found out I was pregnant I had to tell my boss. It was horrible having to tell people so early but because of what I do, keeping it to ourselves wouldn’t have been worth my while. As soon as my boss knew I was taken off shifts and my usual work duties to be put in an office Monday to Friday 9-5 doing any sort of paperwork that I could find. I quite enjoyed it (and would carry on doing this if I was allowed!) but with my horrendous sickness I was neither use nor ornament really, barely at work through not being able to move without chucking up… for seven months. Think of the worst hangover you’ve had and times it by 3000. People who get through pregnancy with only a few weeks of sickness, I envy you.

When the time came to go back to my normal work duties on Monday after the best part of 9 months doing paper work and a year’s maternity leave, it was one hell of a shock to the system. With Tuesday being the only day of childcare we couldn’t get covered, however, it is now my set day off. With this thought in the back of my mind I did actually breeze through Monday. Little T and I celebrated our day off together on Tuesday with a mummy and baby date at Nandos. Classy!

Babies at Nandos

Wednesday and Thursday were a WHOLE different story – two 12 hour shifts on the trot. I am thankful that whilst I have been on maternity leave our shifts have changed from 14 hours to 12 hours but even still, they’re a bloody long day and on Wednesday night I was knackered, good and proper. I came in from work and thanks to my friends Phoebe and Rachel, I had over 131 texts to read but didn’t have the energy to reply. I had some tea and went to bed ready for the next 5.45am wake up call on Thursday. This is going to sound absolutely ridiculous but I didn’t even tweet for over 24 hours, shock horror!! Being off work for so long, I have gotten used to speaking to my twitter ladies everyday. I aren’t allowed my phone in the building whilst at work let alone have a sneaky check of twitter whilst on duty so I have been missing them!

Once Thursday afternoon came I had to take some annual leave and go home six hours early. Lightweight, I know.

All in all, with no phased return and thrown straight back into a pretty demanding job, my first week back was HARD. My manager told me it would be but I didn’t realise the extent of it. It has also hit home that this is now my life. It is totally new territory – I have never worked full time and been a mum so it’s going to take a while to adjust. The plus side to working shifts is that, even though I will be working full time, I still have the quality time off during the week with Little T but whilst being off making a start on bringing up a newborn I’ve realised that I could quite happily be a housewife! If only money allowed…

Here’s to my second, and hopefully more successful week at work.

Laura x

READ MORE

Jul 22

Every day is cake day…

3 comments

by LifeLoveLaura on July 22, 2013

…or it should be.

Yesterday was the last day of my maternity leave (sob) so by the time you read this I’ll be on my very first shift back at work. I’m not going to dwell on it too much, I’ve done that enough over the past few weeks! Instead I’m going to talk about CAKE.

Gone are the days of going out on the piss and staying out until 7am, on Saturday night I spent my night baking. I’ve never really baked properly before. I’m a dab hand at knocking together a Betty Crocker chocolate and vanilla swirl cake but there isn’t really much skill involved in cracking a few eggs and adding a bit of oil to a pre-made mixture. Over the past couple of weeks though, I’ve realised that Little T’s first birthday (scary!) is creeping up on us and being fully aware of how much nice cakes cost to buy, I have decided to try to make his first birthday cake myself.

After taking to Twitter for hints and tips on where to start, I’m THAT clueless, I had a go at a plain Vicky sponge last week to test out the mixture technique and surprisingly it turned out ok! Lovely and moist with just a tiny bit of a burnt bottom, ooh er!

My first go

My first go

Plain victoria sponge cake

Slightly burnt bottom but apart from that, all good.

It was moist, tasty and between Big T and I we managed to polish off the whole cake within 24 hours. If it’s there it gets eaten in this house!

We were going to go with nautical for Little T’s birthday but just before I plodded off to Hobbycraft to stock up on decoration supplies we decided to go rainbow themed instead. “Isn’t that a bit gay?” my brother asked. No brother, he’s a baby. Anyway… stupid big brothers aside, a rainbow themed birthday party can only mean one thing – a rainbow cake! As I’m one of those impatient people that can’t stand to wait for things and after realising that it’s not actually as difficult to bake a simple cake, I thought I’d have a go at one on Saturday night. There was bugger all on TV to miss.

Come 8pm, once Little T was well away in the land of nod, I cracked on.

Rainbow cake ingredients

Betty crocker cream cheese style icing

Equipment:

Scales

One cake tin

Greaseproof paper to line the bottom of the cake tin

Electric hand held whisk (I’m not messing about with hand one!)

Silicone spatula

6 bowls

Ingredients:

6 eggs

338 grams of sugar

338 grams of self raising flour

338 grams of unsalted butter

dash of vanilla extract (although I don’t think this made much difference to the taste)

1 tbsp of baking powder

Red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple Dr Oetker gel colourings

1 tub of Betty Crocker cream cheese icing (you could make your own but my skills aren’t that advanced just yet)

What I did:

Please note: although my cake turned out all right, this is not a fool proof method – next time I will be tweaking it a bit.

Plain victoria sponge mix

Umm, I never realised the disgusting amount of butter and sugar in a cake!

- Mix the sugar and butter with a bit of added elbow grease, until it is soft and silky. This time I didn’t mix it enough, next time I’ll mix until it goes whiter. 

- Add the eggs. I added them all at once and straight out of the fridge which caused them to curdle. Next time I will be adding them one by one and have them at room temperature. 

- Add the baking powder and then the flour, gradually. After I had done this I had to thin the mixture a little bit by adding some whole milk. It reminded me of making Yorkshire puds.

- Split the mixture equally into 6 bowls. There is no need to measure it, if it looks equal to the eye then it probably will be. Next time I won’t be making the mixture all at once. I will make it in 6 separate batches so it’s not just sitting there for hours. 

How to make a rainbow cake

- Add a full tube of the Dr Oetker colouring to each bowl. Next time I will be using Sugarflair food colouring as the ones I used weren’t quite bright enough for the look I was going for.

How to make a rainbow cake

- Cut out a circle of greaseproof paper to line the bottom of the cake tin. Add one bowl of mixture to the tin and spread evenly. Put it into the oven, preheated to 170 degrees (I have no idea what gas mark that is but I’m sure it can be googled.)

- Repeat the greaseproof paper and cake mixture to tin method until all 6 cakes are cooked. Each takes around 20-30 mins. Next time I will be using at least one other tin. One tin is ridiculous as the cake took 5 and a half hours from mixing until finished!

- Remove the greaseproof paper from the bottom of each layer. It got a little bit stuck but was easy enough to remove without breaking the cakes. In between each layer, spread a thin layer of the icing, kind of like buttering a sandwich.

how to make a rainbow cake

how to make a rainbow cake

how to make a rainbow cake

- Et voila! As this was purely a practise I didn’t ice the outside of the cake too but the Betty Crocker icing is perfect for this, as well as using it in between layers.

how to make a rainbow cake

how to make a rainbow cake

The moment of truth

The finished article!

The finished article!

I am SO happy with how it turned out. I tasted it yesterday morning and although it was reeeaaally sweet, it didn’t kill me. Like I said in the method, next time I’ll be using darker colours and more tins to save time but apart from that it’s pretty damn good, even if I do say so myself!  That might sound a bit big headed but considering a couple of weeks ago I couldn’t even make a plain Victoria sponge, I’m doing pretty well in the baking department. Roll on 1st September for Little T’s rainbow birthday party!

Laura x

READ MORE

Jul 19

Our little water baby

5 comments

by LifeLoveLaura on July 19, 2013

When Little T was teeny I couldn’t wait to take him swimming for the very first time. I never had lessons, I can’t remember why but my dad taught me instead. It was what we did every week on a Sunday morning for Daddy and Laura time and it was my favourite thing to do as we’d always stop off in Beverley for a Burgess ice cream on the way home. I remember once asking for pistachio thinking it was mint choc chip and I was most disappointed. Anyway, I’m going off on a tangent…

I don’t have a perfect Olympic technique but swimming is the only form of exercise that I actually enjoy! From the day Little T was born I wanted to be sure that, like his mum, he was used to being in the water so, along with baths with mummy he has been having swimming lessons for a while, since he was 6 months old to be precise. He’s now 10 and a half months so he’s pretty well acquainted with the water. Be it a paddling pool in the middle of the living room floor, a bubble bath, a huge pool or dipping his feet in the sea, his face beams with the biggest smile.

My baby loves the water

Not being fully satisfied with his first block of lessons at the gym my mum and I were members of (the teacher was fab but the other children were a little bit too old for T to get anything out of the lesson, he was just getting splashed a lot) we tried a free session with another teacher, Alison’s Aquastars, a few weeks ago and she was great. The lessons are at a Nuffield gym which is spotless and never too busy. It is a perfect environment for a baby swimming class, with lots of space in the pool. There are less little ones in the class too so everybody gets quality time with the instructor. An added bonus is that we are joined in the lessons by my friend Jess and her gorgeous little lady Bea (T’s future Mrs, of course!) We sing songs, swim up and down the pool chasing toys and swim the babies under the water to mummy, to name just a few activities. The lessons follow the Starfish programme, designed for babies six months and over to be introduced to the water. They are varied, fun and different every week and are a pleasure to attend. If Little T is anything like his mummy (I have the attention span of a gnat) he could get bored easily but these lessons keep him stimulated and he loves them! Although I have to admit, sometimes he is a little bit lazy and is more happy to cruise along leaning on my shoulder and taking in the surroundings rather than putting effort into him swimming. Typical man behaviour, maybe?

Toy Story Woody swimming costume

The babies love it, dunking and everything! I am so happy to say that yesterday Little T and Bea got their very first swimming badges!! I was so proud of my little man’s achievement that we popped to my parents’ on our way home to show them his brand new certificate and badge for his Woody swimming cossie. He won’t have a clue about it, I know, but even still it’s his first proper formal achievement and as a new mummy little things like this are super special.

Starfish swimming award badge 1

GO LITTLE T!

Laura x

READ MORE

Jul 15

One week

1 comment

by LifeLoveLaura on July 15, 2013

Yes, that’s right – I have seven days left of my maternity leave. Not that I’ve been counting it down or anything… One minute I think I’ve come to terms with the fact, the next I feel sick to my stomach. You know when you realise you’ve forgotten something REALLY important and your belly feels like it’s about to jump out your mouth? That feeling. The one plus point about going back to work is – for the first two to three days I’ll be supernumerary (yippee!). Every cloud…

Only one week left

We had planned to spend this weekend down south with some of Little T’s lovely twitter aunties but we had to cancel (boooo to the scum bags who broke into our car) so now we’re not doing anything particularly fancy to send my last week of total freedom off with a bang. On the other hand, it will be lovely to make the most of my time with Little T and at least it gives me and excuse to plan a southern adventure later in the year! Fortunately Big T starts his theory time at uni again this week too, so it’s worked out well that Little T will be able to spend a lot of this week with his daddy as well.

So, last week of maternity leave – LET’S DO THIS!

Laura x

READ MORE

Jul 8

Time flies when you’re having fun!

4 comments

by LifeLoveLaura on July 8, 2013

Two weeks today I will almost be halfway through my first shift back at work after my maternity leave. The thought of it is something that has made me feel sick to my stomach since I left! We have had some milestones in our little family since T was born, including mine and Big T’s first wedding anniversary, Little T’s first Christmas and my mum’s 60th birthday. It hasn’t all been rainbows and glitter however, along with Little T’s hip dysplasia saga, my 37 year old brother had a sudden heart attack when T was a month old, my dad had part of his foot amputated because of a bone infection and then there was my mum’s emergency appendicectomy a couple of days before Christmas… to name a few things. All in all, we’ve really had a busy year during my maternity leave! Because of the good and the bad, we have really made the most of my time off with our new little bundle. We have had family trips away with my parents, been to Spain with my brother for some relaxing recovery time after his heart attack, had a trip to London to see The Book of Mormon and taken the opportunity to have lots of days out with Daisy dog.

My gorgeous boy

I have been fortune enough to have a full year off work but that doesn’t make returning any easier. Twelve days or twelve months off with your newborn, it’s not nice to go back to work after either. It’s not that I don’t want to leave Little T, I don’t mind leaving him. In fact, in the past couple of months whilst I have been doing some keep in touch days at work, Little T has been settling in with his child-minder and he has loved every minute of it. It’s more the fact that the once I’m back at work, I’m stuck there – until the time comes to think about having another little one. This realisation has taken months and months to settle in and I don’t think it fully will.

I’m having to go back full time, with limited time to spend with my gorgeous little family. I work long 12 hours days in a 24/7 hospital so I’m one of those shift workers that has to think about not being able to spend every weekend, bank holiday and Christmas off with the family. I will have to work. The days where I only have to think of Little T and I are over. The days where we stay in our pjs until way after lunch time, where we play in the paddling pool in the living room when it’s a bit rainy outside or where we take Daisy out for a nice long walk and a play with her ball all whilst daddy is at work – no more. Yes, I will still have two or three days off a week with Little T to do these fun things but it won’t ever be the same.

My little family

Not only that, I’ve never been great at time keeping. I’m one of those people that will be late to their own funeral. Having a baby does not help this bad trait of mine so I’m not actually sure how I’ll physically be able to get to work for 7am! I guess I’ll have to cross that bridge when I get to it… in two weeks. Hopefully my colleagues will let me get away with rocking up a few minutes late for a week or so or until I find my feet again at least!

Some may say that I’m making a big deal out of going back to work, especially after having such a long time off. The fact is, it IS a big deal to me. I don’t want to go back. I would give anything to be able to be an old fashioned housewife, I’d even learn how to bake if I had to. I will never be one of those career focused women that find themselves ready to go back to work after their maternity leave, this idea is an alien concept to me! I also haven’t spent my maternity leave only talking about babies, I have had the fun times and adult conversation with my friends too, so going back to work isn’t going to fulfil my need for non ankle biter focused chit chat, it’s only going to make me wish I was at home, baking, in a pretty dress (I can’t even wear those where I work!)

This may seem like a moan about my job, it’s not and I am trying to look on the plus side of the situation. My maternity leave really has taken it’s toll on us financially. I could’ve returned sooner but the time with Little T was more important to me than having a bit of extra money. In the mean time we have really had to scrimp and scrape to get by. It hasn’t been plain sailing by any stretch of the imagination, I have had to sell my soul on ebay to get some pennies together to buy nappies and food. It hasn’t been luxurious but sometimes (and totally sounding like Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson) the best things in life really are free. When feeling crap about money and pondering whether I should’ve returned to work a bit earlier taking Daisy and Little T for a walk in the gardens next to our house would reassure me that staying off was the right decision. Going back and actually having some money again, however, will be lovely. I can’t wait to get a decent wage again where I don’t have to think twice about spending £4 on a top from Asda. And… we can finally start saving for our exciting trip to Disneyland!

Laura x

READ MORE

Jul 1

What I did not expect

2 comments

by LifeLoveLaura on July 1, 2013

Hello! Did you have a lovely weekend? We had our car broken into on Friday night. It’s typical – the one time I accidentally leave my purse in the car over night… Anyway, this didn’t put a downer on my weekend. In fact, I thought it was quite amusing when I rang to cancel my card and my bank informed me that some waste of space had tried to withdraw £400. Yeah, good luck with that, there are nothing but moths in this poor unpaid maternity leaver’s account! On Sunday we spent the afternoon eating AMAZING pie at The Chestnut Horse again. Little T took me there on Mother’s Day, you can read all about it here. Once again, I went for the Irish Draught, yum!

Little T turns 10 months today (eek!!) but it doesn’t seen like five minutes since I was flaked out on my mum’s conservatory sofa, passing the days til my due date whilst Big T was at work, barely able to walk and getting way too obsessed with the Tour de France. Watching tonight’s highlights was like a flashback to last summer. At the time I loathed being pregnant. It really wasn’t a pleasant ‘glowing’ experience for me but I really do miss it. People told me I would and at the time and in so many words I told them to ‘go forth and multiply,’ but I can’t wait to have a little brother or sister for Little T.

I didn’t read many books during my pregnancy, preferring to plod along with the philosophy of ‘what will be, will be’ throughout growing Little T and through labour. Sites like Baby Centre, however, were invaluable to me. Along with asking questions at my midwife appointments, I used the Baby Centre site quite a lot to check up on the facts – how big he was from week to week, what I should and shouldn’t be eating, symptoms of pre-eclampsia, those sorts of things. It was a quick one stop shop, so to speak, for checking the ins and outs of pregnancy. Still, as every pregnany and labour is SO different, there were some things that no amount of reading could prepare me for…

1. Early onset of pelvic girdle pain (PGP)

From around 12 weeks pregnant I would wake up feeling like I’d run a marathon in my sleep. I would hobble around my bedroom until I could rustle up the flexibility to get down the stairs! After asking my glorious twitter friends what the problem could be, someone suggested it could be the start of PGP. It was. Unfortunately these pains got progressively worse, I needed physio and I was signed off sick from work for a long time which ended up in having to start my maternity leave a month earlier than planned. It was agony to get dressed and I could barely walk from my living room to my kitchen without having to stop due to shooting pains down my legs and awful stiffness. Since having T, it has never quite cleared up and my back/pelvis are more or less broken.

2. Extreme swelling

My cankles

My cankles

Ok, I expected a little bit of swelling. But, the lower part of my stomach actually ended up becoming solid with fluid, I couldn’t wear my watch or wedding and engagement rings and my feet/ankles also ended up as one entity. It’s a good job it was summer as the only shoes I could get on my feet were beach flip flops. I went for quite a lot of reflexology and drainage but it didn’t help my feet a lot. The pressure on my skin would burn as it felt like they were going to pop. The skin on my feet was red, sore and stretched to the max! As a result, to match the ones on my stomach, I’ve been left with horrid stretch marks on the tops of my feet and ankle area. I didn’t even think that was possible! I was one massively swollen waddling ephalump!

3. Sickness for seven months – Yep. After the initial ‘spewing halfway through my tea’ games had finished it turned into relentless bringing up awful acidic bile 5 or 6 times a day. It destroyed my throat and hurt so much that I would also bring up blood. Nice eh?

4. Lack of sleep

This was BIG. So big that I’m going to spilt up into its own different sections. On my days off from work I would mention that I was having a lie in. In all their wisdom people would reply with “you might as well sleep whilst you still can.” Bollocks. The truth is, until Little T started sleeping through I hadn’t had a proper full night’s sleep since my honeymoon for the following reasons…

  • Bed was the most uncomfortable place to be – with a huge bump and excruciating PGP, how on Earth are you supposed to get comfortable? No amount of propping up or pillows between my knees helped.
  • Snoring – every time I did dose off I’d almost choke myself with snoring.
  • Needing a pee in the night, repeatedly - getting up and down the stairs for a wazz, over and over again in the night was HARD.
  • Food regurgitation – this one was probably the most unpleasant side effect of late pregnancy. For around the last 3 months or so, I couldn’t eat or drink after 5pm. No matter what time I went to bed, if I did end up dosing off I would literally bring up everything I had eaten or drank during the day. I would then breathe it in and wake myself up from actual choking. It was not only uncomfortable but so scary! This also applied to naps during the day. No matter how tired I was, I couldn’t nap without bringing up my food or drink as soon as I drifted off to sleep. It wasn’t sick, it was the undigested food swimming around in my stomach being pushed up by the lack of room in my insides! At one point I tried sleeping sat up on the sofa downstairs but it didn’t make the slightest bit of difference. It was truly horrendous.

5. Pre-eclampsia (PE)

This is something all pregnant ladies read about but don’t expect to get it. Fortunately I didn’t get full on PE but I did have quite a few of the symptoms which resulted in having to go into hospital for monitoring every other day for the last few weeks of my pregnancy. I’m not going to lie, it was hassle and with me going 12 days overdue I was longing for being induced early but this didn’t happen. I am grateful, however, that I was monitored as things might have developed into something much worse.

6. No pregnancy rage

A lot of the things I didn’t expect to happen during pregnancy were quite negative but it wasn’t all bad, promise! I did manage to bypass the whole “I’m going to kill you but I can blame it on my pregnancy hormones” thing. Although I had a tough time I was quite serene! I didn’t suffer from any pregnancy rage and I didn’t burst into tears at dropping my pants on the floor after the third attempt at getting them on. I took everything in my stride which is out of character for this irritable stress head. The same goes for labour, I didn’t swear once!

So there we have it. As awful as these things may sound, they haven’t put me off. I’d do it all again tomorrow if I could… although next time I’m hoping for pregnancy to be a little bit kinder to me. Did you experience any weird/wonderful/out of the ordinary pregnancy symptoms?

Laura x

READ MORE