Love Jenuine

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I hit 28 weeks around the end of August, it was a really hot summer, and my feet had swollen so much I had developed ‘cankels’ luckily, this was just due the heat, and not the weight of my bump, so they went down after a week or so. I do know a lot of people do suffer from swollen feet, and the only advice I can give is to keep your feet elevated.

I think I was very lucky with my pregnancy, I had no morning sickness, a little bit of tiredness, but nothing overwhelming. My skin and hair were great, I looked so healthy. I did suffer a little with heartburn and indigestion but nothing some rennin couldn’t sort out.

My biggest problem was sleeping. I loved to sleep on my front, and now my bump was bigger I was struggling. From 30 weeks plus, my bump was starting to weigh alot, and I would have to wake up to turn my whole body over to the other side. The dreamgeni pillow was a godsend. It seemed expensive at £40 but looking back I couldn’t of managed without it, and it comes in handy when the baby arrives.

Towards the end of my pregnancy I was struggling to sleep much at all, mainly due to being so big. We attended the NHS antenatal classes, so all the other women were at similar stages, and I was by far the largest. I didn’t feel that I was carrying more weight, just that my bump was physically bigger than everyone else’s.  I had expected I would get big as myself and my sisters and brother were all large babies (I was 10.8lbs!!!!). I was worrying a little about whether my body was going to ‘snap back’ as everyone kept telling me it would.

During the final weeks I was diagnosed with SPD . This was extremely painful, and after a trip to the Drs I was signed off work for two weeks (I only had 3 weeks left anyway). I couldn’t walk up the stairs, getting in and out of bed was a struggle, even getting dressed, and I was told ‘No driving’ and plenty of rest! I wasn’t good at ‘resting’ so I did some research for those who had suffered from it, and was recommended to buy a Nexcare support band. I felt incredibly silly wearing this, but the relief you get when you wear it was incredible, it really eased the weight of my bump, and the symptoms of my SPD eased within a couple of days of wearing it.

I finished work at 38 weeks, check-out my post (coming soon) ‘working ‘Pregnant’ girl’  for details on what not to do when working in a stressful environment and pregnant!

The final two weeks dragged, I stuffed my face and lay on the sofa! Had everything prepped for my baby’s arrival and nothing to do, but clean and clean some more. A friend advised me to read books, as many as I could as I wouldn’t have much time once our bundle of joy arrived. So I signed up to my library (which is at the end of my road) and started reading. I have never been a big book reader, but I started to work my way through 2/3 books a week!  (6 months on, I wish I had read a hell of a lot more, as the only books I read now are Gina Ford baby books)

At long last and 9 days late, our little boy Harry arrived, born on the 2nd December at 8.50am weighing in at a huge 9.4lbs.

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Its not over yet, I still have plenty more to write about. Coming soon will be posts about my maternity wardrobe, our trip to the Harmony Foetal Clinic, Harry’s arrival, my baby shopping list, and much more.

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After our 12 week scan, we had a blood test to check for Downs syndrome, this is an optional test which most expecting parents have, we were advised to have this, as the nurse doing our scan had spotted a little too much fluid (Nuchal translucency) at the back of our baby’s neck, which can be a strong sign of Downs syndrome. This worried us, but we tried to keep each other calm, there was nothing we could do about it till after the blood results.

Our blood results showed we had a 1:60 ratio of having a baby effected by Downs syndrome, we were now classed as a high-risk pregnancy (this ratio is calculated by measuring the fluid at the top of the neck, and looking at the hormone levels your placenta is producing). It never crossed my mind we would be at risk of Downs syndrome. We weren’t expecting this at all. I actually received the news whilst stuck in gridlock traffic on the M25, and was bawling my eyes out. We were devastated, the usual thoughts ran through our heads ‘why us?’, ‘what will we do?’, we had very different opinions so decided not to discuss it until we had more information. We ended up going to Harley Street for more tests at a private clinic. I’ll be writing a new post soon about our scare with Downs syndrome, how we coped and our glimmer of hope ‘The Harmony Test’

At 16 weeks, and after additional tests, we were given a new ratio of 1:10,000 this was the best you could get. We were on holiday when we got the results, luckily at the start, so we could really enjoy our last break as a couple! I don’t think i had ever felt so relieved in my life. I celebrated with a glass of wine.

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Once we had the 20 weeks scan, it dawned on me that I wouldn’t see our baby until he/she was born (unless we wanted to pay for an extra scan). This worried me a little, and so I looked online to see if I could buy a heart monitor, similar to those your midwife uses at your antenatal appointments. I think Rich thought I was crazy, but after all the anxiety we had after our 12 week scan, I couldnt wait till my due date to know he/she was okay. I bought the Angel Heart Monitor  Now I could check the baby’s heartbeat and movement whenever I wanted at home. This was great, not expensive, and gave me a little reassurance each week. Once we passed around the 28/30 week point, and I was feeling the baby move around daily, I stopped using this, as the movement was reassurance enough.

Most people opt for the extra scans and get 4D scans done, but these are quite expensive and you always find out the sex. We really wanted the sex to be a surprise, so stuck to our heart monitor. However if you did want to get these done, they are on Groupon most weeks.

Now we were in to summer my bump was rapidly growing, and this wasn’t the only part of my appearance that was changing…

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Whilst pregnant I read so many blogs, and forums, spent half my time between mumsnet.com and netmums.com, Googling every movement, craving, and change in my body. Reading other peoples experiences really put me at ease. I have decided to document my own experiences which may then be useful for anyone else expecting in the future (over a couple of posts), especially as we had some difficult decisions along the way.

Having children has always been on my agenda, but getting a career was always my priority. I wanted to give myself a good start, before taking a break for children. Everyone always says ‘there is never a right time to have children’ this is totally true! There is always a promotion, or holiday, or big event like buying a house, or moving house, that wouldn’t be practical if you’re pregnant. We had been in our house two years so felt 2012/3 would be a good time.

My partner and I had discussed having children and being the organised one, of course I had a checklist of things to achieve before babies came along
– be in the right job, earning enough to provide for a stable life
– own my own home
– be debt free (as much as possible, a mortgage doesn’t count)
– be married

I could tick the first three, whereas our body clocks were ticking, a wedding could wait, as could the expense, instead we decided to spend our money on having a family.

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We found out I was pregnant in March 2013, we were over-the-moon, and couldn’t wait to tell people, but having been through a miscarriage 6 months earlier, we decided to stay stum until we were a few more weeks. We agreed to share our news with one person each, our best friends. Then we told our immediate families at around 7 weeks, and the rest of our family and friends once we had our initial scan at 12 weeks.

I decided to tell my bosses at about 8 weeks, mainly as my role is very stressful, we had a lot going on, and I was feeling incredibly tired but thank-god no morning sickness. I know this was fairly premature, but I have a close relationship with my managing team, ‘we’re like a family so it felt like the right thing to do. It was fantastic once everyone could share our news, and within our family and friends we had such a great support system, however nothing could have prepared us for the shock we were about to receive at our 12 week scan…

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19. 05. 2014

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As soon as I got up I ran to the scales! Excited to see if I had passed the 4lb point, I had lost another 0.5lbs, meaning I has lost 4lbs in 3 days!!

I had woken up feeling great, and full of energy! I am not sure if that is down to the juice or because I was off to visit my best friend in Paris for the weekend!

My skin was looking great, not that I had ever had awful skin, but sometimes I struggle with small breakouts, blocked pores or just generally looking dehydrated!

I decided to take Jason’s advice and make a juice (opposed to my fry-up idea), I made my favourite the Beyond Detox, refreshing and light. Perfect for for the morning.

I felt almost nervous about eating, not because I didn’t want to regain the weight, but listening to Jason had really made my question what I am putting in my body. Even though a reason I had done this challenge was so I could indulge in Paris, I hadn’t expected for my views of food to change.

I would definetly be thinking about the food I put in my body, not being so restrictive I don’t have treats, but maybe reducing the amount of refined carbs and sugary goodies I indulge in, and snacking on more ‘low intervention’ foods.

During my trip to Paris, I found my stomach had certainly shrunk, I was getting full extremely quickly! I was also missing my juices, luckily we managed to find a super healthy eatery, and I got my fresh juice (carrot, orange and ginger) and it certainly helped the hangover.

On landing in Paris, my stomach felt the flattest it had been since before bubba was born, this was a lovely, rewarding feeling! On flying back from Paris I can say it was not feeling so flat, and even though I didn’t indulge anywhere near as much as I thought I would, and we did a vast amount of walking, I can certainly feel I have probably put 1 or 2 of those lbs back on! But the main thing is I had a fabulous weekend, and didn’t once worry about the calories!

So would I do it again? For sure! It was a great way to cleanse, loose a few pounds and get a flatter stomach perhaps before a big night out or just to up your energy levels. I am not sure I could or would want to do any longer than the 3 days.

I will be trying to continue with a juice every morning to kick-start my day, and if possible make a batch or two a week of the H20 Detox for my daily exercise drink. Why not give it ago! If you do let me know how you get on, I love hearing other peoples success stories.

Update: 6 days post detox, I have continued to start each day with the Dreamy Detox juice, and when possible eat a light lunch and a main meal, and I have managed to maintain my weight-loss.

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18. 05. 2014

I was so happy to be over half way and when I woke up in 24 hours I would be able to eat!  I rushed straight to the scales, after yesterday’s results I was excited to see if there had been anymore change, but also didn’t want to get my hopes up! I was so shocked to see I had lost another 1.5lbs!  I had been training for 4 weeks and not shifted 1lb and in 2 days lost 3.5lbs (though I knew it would be short lived a I can’t survive on juice forever!).

Day 3 started off with my least favourite, Juice Master Super Detox, I reluctantly drank it all. In today’s schedule I was due to drink double the amount of H20 Detox. I knew I would never do this, so made-up just one batch, and used this during my morning training.

Thinking today would be the easiest as my body would be getting used to the diet, and I would of mentally got over the lack of eating, but actually I was finding it the hardest.

All I could think about was food, and by lunch I didn’t feel great, a little lightheaded. Perhaps I had overdone it with the exercise too, so I decided to eat a stick of celery. They say you burn more calories eating celery than the calories actually in a stick of celery!

I made up my lunch, which was the Beyond Detox, I knew this wasn’t too bad, and drank all of it before taking Bubba for a walk. We did 2 miles which isn’t unusual for us, but I was shattered, and just felt really hungry, I didn’t want to give in, and knew I only had hours left, but felt like today was really challenging me, and I was battling in my head whether to just eat something.

I decided to see how I felt after my last juice. This was the Dreamy Detox (the one I made on day 2 and didn’t end up drinking). This was LOVELY, so refreshing and light! You have it over ice, and it has no avocado or yoghurt to thicken it up! This was by far my favourite and I could of drank double the amount!

After this I was determined to make it to the end and just kept thinking how good it would feel to wake up tomorrow and of lost more weight!

I decided to watch the coaching video for day 3, it was worth it as Jason talks about how you make the transition back to eating, and recommended having a juice on day 4, then salad for lunch and protein based meal for dinner. This seemed sensible although all I could think about was a huge fry-up or pancakes and maple syrup!!

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18. 05. 2014

I started my day by seeing if I had lost any weight from day 1 and to my surprise I had lost 2lbs. As I am not really overweight, I just presumed I would loose the bare minimum, perhaps 1lb, but at least I would of cleansed my body. This spurred me on to complete day 2! 

I knew this day would be a little harder as I was going out with my friend and her baby boy (Mason, he is 3 weeks younger than Harry). She was also doing the detox, but a 5-day (crazy lady), so at least I knew I wouldn’t be tempted to eat as neither of us would be able to stop for lunch. 

I decided to make my morning juice and lunch juice so I could take this with me in a flask. They also recommend you make up another bottle of the H20 Detox, but I still had 500ml left from the day before so I didn’t bother.

Breakfast was Super Detox Smoothie, this included pineapple, blackberries, blueberries, bio-live yoghurt and ice. This was really thick due to the yoghurt, and in future I would only have half the amount of yoghurt as it was a little too much, and I ended up only drinking 3/4 of the pint. 

Lunch was Dreamy Detox, at last a drink that didn’t include betroot or avocado, this included apples, lemon, ginger, celery, cucumber and ice. I made this up, and put in a flask to have whilst I was out.

In the rush of getting the kids ready and out the door, I left without my juice, and left it on the side. So whilst I was out, I just had a peppermint tea, which I think is allowed as it has no caffeine and is ‘low intervention’. 

Jason Vale talks a lot about how your diet should consist of ‘low intervention’ foods, meaning foods that have had no or very little intervention from people. For example a ‘low intervention’ food would be fruit or veg as it is grown and sold without any intervention from people, unlike a supermarket fruit juice, that has been pasteurised, includes sweetners and has been processed to have a longer shelf-life. 

Returning from my day out,  I had my H20 Detox, and once the bubba was in bed, made my final drink of the day Beyond Detox. 

Even though I had not had all my juices, I was feeling quite good. Jason mentions you would start to feel a ‘juice high’ once your body had got over the initial cravings. I think I had reached my ‘juice high’, and I was excited to see the results on the scales the next day!

Just Day 3 to go

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15. 05. 2014

So starting day 1 of my detox! Due to not finding my juicer till about midnight the day before starting, I only managed to do my shopping on the morning of day 1. So when bubba woke from his morning nap, I dashed out to ALDI and picked up my ingredients, by the time I made it back and got juicing I was having my ‘breakfast’ juice at 11.30am (only 4 hours after I would usually have my breakfast, so I was starving).

You have 4 juices in day 1, the first two being the same (JuiceMaster Super Detox), so I could of skipped a juice given it was almost lunch time, but I wanted to stick to the plan as much as I could. Therefore I just prepared and juiced enough for two batches and stuck one in the fridge.

The ingredients for the first juice included apples, cucumber, celery, carrot, lemon, yellow pepper, avocado and ice. You juice everything but the avocado and ice (obviously). Once everything is juiced you whack it in a blender with the avocado and ice. You need a really good blender, preferably one that is for using ice, which mine wasn’t, so I was a little limited to how much ice I could use, and I had to blend for about a minute to make sure the avocado was complexly liquified.

This resulted in a PINT of juice!!! It was not what I expected, the avocado had really thickened it up, so it was like drinking yoghurt. I could really taste the pepper, I think in the future I maybe not add this, as even a small piece seemed to overpower the other flavours.  I managed the whole pint, and it was so filling, I wasn’t sure how I was going to fit 3 more of these bad boys in before the end of the day.

I decided to have my second, as an afternoon snack about 3.30pm. By now I was starting to miss my food, I wasn’t hungry, more so the physical action of eating, like a biscuit with a cuppa.

The third juice was actually more of an energy drink, so the consistency was similar to water and squash rather than a thick yogurt. This was a relief as after my second juice I was feeling really full. This drink was to be drunk throughout the day instead of water, or to help you along when exercising. Called H20 Detox, it was made up of apples, lemon, pineapple, betroot and water (water being 75% of the drink).

I decided to use this when I was doing my core strength training (post to come on this). It had a strong betroot taste and with the sweetness from the pineapple, I was pleasantly surprised at how nice it was, and was perfect for during and after my exercise. I would definetely make this if I was going on a long walk or doing a charity run! I felt it really made a difference to my energy levels.

I was starving after my training, my sister and boyfriend were both making their dinner, I was feeling really jealous, but not tempted, I wanted to stay on track. I made my final juice Beyond Detox, this included apples, baby spinach, betroot, parsley, cucumber, avocado and ice. Same as before you juice everything but the avocado and ice. I was really surprised you could juice spinach and parsley! This was probably my favourite of the day, still thick, but quite sweet.

I had made it through day, I felt really full, and very proud, only two more to go.

Juice detox: Day 2to follow soon…

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15. 05. 2014

When Harry met Bond

As many men are, my other half (Rich) is a James Bond fan, and they’ve recently opened an exhibition in London of all the cars used in the films.

Before it even opened he was asking if we could go. As I am still on maternity leave, and I didn’t fancy pushing Harry around a London museum on a Saturday, I suggested rich take a days holiday and we go mid-week.

The exhibition is £14 a ticket and for an extra £5 each you get a small device that narrates each exhibit. Of course Rich booked both, but the other plus for going mid-week is the extra device was on buy one get one free.

Having only watched maybe 3 Bond films in my life , I wasn’t sure what to expect, but thought it would be a nice family day out!

I was pleasantly surprised! On entering you are able to look at some of the original storyboards for some of the action scenes. I found this really interesting, as when I first started in the world of advertising we would use storyboards, mainly collated using a Mac, but I would of loved to have worked in the industry when they had no technology, and they would spend weeks working up storyboards by hand to present at a pitch! This reminded me of MadMen (I am a huge fan and will be posting about this in the near future).

We then went on to look at the cars, this I thought could of been quite dull, but actually listening to our narrator tell us about how they shot the action scenes was really interesting, and seeing how damaged the vehicles actually get, watching short videos of each scene was great. They had clearly lit up each vehicle so it was perfect for photographing, I took on role of photographer whilst rich looked in detail at all the cards.

It took us about 1-2 hours to do it all, it was really quiet so really easy to push Harry around, and you could get your photo done to look like Bond. We thought this was a bit cheesy, but great for kids!

One thing I have realised being on maternity leave, is I really don’t make the most of living so close to central London. I have been here for 8 years and actually not seen a great deal in that time. This was one of the reasons I wanted to do this blog, so I would make more time for experiences and days out in London and generally around the UK with Harry and Rich and capture as much as I could of our trips to publish here.

Now to plan our next day family out!

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As mentioned in my post No more (baby) weighting around , I am doing a 3-day juice detox in a last minute attempt to shed some lbs before a trip to Paris with my best friend . I have a wedding the week after my Paris trip, and can’t risk not fitting in to my dress! Therefore my plan is to loose at least 3lbs with this detox, then I can indulge when visiting Katy, as she is forever telling me about the delicious food and wine she has been consuming since her move to france, and still fit in my dress.

I originally heard about Jason Vale / Juice Master from a friend who is also trying to shed those post-baby pounds! She is doing the 5-day juice detox, at the same time as me. I think she is a little crazy going straight in at the 5-day but she has more will-power than me.

Detox in summary: I can only have juice and water for 3 days!!! You are meant to loose between 3-7lbs and cleanse your body.

In preperation
I searched my loft for the juicer I bought about 6 years ago (if not longer), it had all the main components, few extras missing, but it would do! Dusted it off, now I just needed the app and my ingredients.

I downloaded the app (cost £2.99), and got my shopping list. You can buy a book for £9.99, but I thought I would try the app first and if it is something I want to continue with, I can buy the book.  Even though they recommend buying the highest quality fruit and veg (they recommend organic), I knew this would cost a fortune, and I am on maternity leave so I dashed to my favourite supermarket – ALDI – got all my ingredients (bar the yoghurt and spinach) for £20! That’s less than £7 per day.

 

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The app is great, it has videos, instructions and the reasons why you are consuming such foods. The videos I find very helpful, there is one each day to coach you through the day and also explain how you are likely to be feeling, and why.

I’ve completed my first day of my detox and will be writing up my experience in my next post.

Fingers crossed it works!

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So my little man arrived 5 months ago, and it is only in the past 4 weeks I have really got myself in to gear with loosing the baby weight. To be fair, I lost a stone through breastfeeding alone, but as soon as I stopped (when bubba was 3 months), my weightloss pretty much stopped too. This was when I knew I was going to have to work to get the last 11lbs gone!

So I cancelled my gym (if you’re a mum you know it is impossible to get to the gym with a newborn in tow!), and bought a treadmill, downloaded a running app, Running for weightloss PRO, and challenged myself to at least three runs a week ( I will write about this in a separate post!). I also started a training program, that would build my core strength using an app called, Fitstar .

I set myself an end goal, my friends wedding in May. I knew I would be seeing people who hadn’t seen me since I was pregnant (and I was huge), and I wanted to feel good about myself, and enjoy the weekend without worrying I looked overweight or be self conscious about my outfit.

So I realistically gave myself about 6 weeks (in hindsight this was nowhere near enough time). I had no idea how hard it would be to shift the final bit of weight! I can tell you I started at 10st 11lbs and I am still 10st 11bs! However, my body shape has really changed, my pre-pregnancy clothes fit nicely, I can see some definition across my stomach, but it is very frustrating to still be 11lbs over my pre-baby weight. I think I just have to  accept having a baby has changed my body in more ways than one, and that I need to just continue my current training regime and hopefully I will get back my flat stomach, preferably before another baby arrives.

In a last minute attempt to shed some lbs (mainly so I can indulge with my best pal in Paris the weekend before the wedding) I am completing a 3-day juice detox with Jason Vale’s app, I will be writing a post shortly about my experience and results!

I just have to remember, weight is just a number, the most important thing is how I feel in myself and that I have a healthy happy family!

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