Some maternity wear from New Look

I’m well strapped for cash these days and I’ve not been able to afford any maternity clothes this time round, but out of the blue like some kind of amazing fairy godmother, the lovely people at New Look asked if I’d like some of their maternity clothes as a mother’s day present. Having worn their maternity jeans for the entire time I was pregnant with Betsy (and for quite a bit after she was born too – loved those jeans), I’d be a fool to say no and chose a couple of dresses for myself. I didn’t realise just how big the maternity wear range is, it’s huge! The website is absolutely worth a look if you are expecting. I chose a couple of dresses that I’d be able to breastfeed in after the baby is born so there’s extra value for money – the Mamalicious Black Jersey Nursing Wrap Dress (on sale at £14, currently sold out) and the Heavenly Bump Navy Swallow Print Tea Dress (£35.99).

New Look maternity wear - bakingbetsy.com

The seam for the waistband on this dress isn’t quite right (although I wonder how much I’d notice that if I hadn’t been watching The Great British Sewing Bee), but it’s super comfortable and I’ve worn it to work loads these past few weeks and I can see it being the go-to dress to pop on when relatives or friends visit when Amazertron finally arrives.

New Look Maternity wear - bakingbetsy.com

I love this dress, so, so much. It’s a lovely fit, there are ties around the midriff so you can look like you still have a bit of a waist, the sleeves are super flattering, it’s knee-length and has a vintage-y look that I adore. (The pedant in me needs to point out though that the birds featured in the fabric pattern are not swallows, but hummingbirds) It really is the perfect dress for me. I think I’ll be wearing this for most of the summer.

I was sent these dresses by New Look, but all views are my own

Some things to read during pregnancy

preggo

Oh, poor neglected Amazertron! When I was pregnant with Betsy, from the moment the test showed that big blue cross, email updates were signed up for, books were bought, NCT classes were booked (I was weirdly industrious back then). And then I got morning sickness and didn’t look at anything. Ha! But I was much more organised when pregnant last time, but this pregnancy I’m much more, um, casual about the whole thing. This is partly due to having a miscarriage last June (I might write about that one day) and not wanting to get too excited about anything until I could see a moving, normal foetus during the ultrasounds and also because there isn’t much to get in preparation this time round. The side-car cot is still attached to the bed, the slings are in a corner of a room and all the clothes are up in the loft (although I really must get round to buying a Buggy Board). We have names too (actually, I think the names came before the pregnancy, although we’re still a bit undecided about what to use as a middle name if Amazertron is a girl. Despite me having the perfect one, Dave’s not so sure). Also, I am a very good/bad procrastinator which means things get a little delayed from time to time, especially when pregnancy symptoms are a million* times worse than before – my ligaments are killing me, everything feels heavier, heartburn has very much kicked in and I’m tired. So very, very tired. Even when a little bit of panic set in halfway through the second trimester about how unorganised I’ve been this time round, I still didn’t really do a lot.

But then something happened. I sorted out my maternity leave at work recently and suddenly I want to get on with concentrating with the birth that is roughly six weeks away. Betsy is understanding more with what’s about to happen too – she likes to rub my belly and say hello to the baby (she also says that she has a baby in her tummy too) and announced this morning that she would like it to be a boy. I’ve started reading or re-reading a few books and am using an excellent app and I thought I’d share them in case they prove useful for some other preggos (that includes you mystery person who I saw last Thursday and announced they were pregnant! So exciting.).

Pregnancy+
Pregnancy+

I really enjoy using this app made by Health and Parenting, it’s simple to use, looks lovely and is packed full of information. There’s a daily blog to read (the subjects of which vary widely), lots (a seriously huge amount) of pictures of a foetus at all stages, a daily tip and an awful lot of information about how the baby is developing including a fun chart showing you the relative size of your baby relative to the sizes of various fruits (Amazertron is currently the size of a winter squash). There’s also a place to record your weight (I don’t join in on this one, I really don’t need to see how much bigger I’m getting and then obsess over it) and room to put in your antenatal appointments too. It’s well worth the £1.99 it costs, but there is also a free version too with less information.

Get it here on iTunes, and I’ve just noticed that it’s available on Android too (albeit a seemingly less pretty version).

Hypnobirthing by Marie F. Mongan
Hypnobirthing

I really wanted to sign up for some Hypnobirthing classes, but alas, lack of funds got in the way so the book and accompanying CD will have to do. It’s not a complete antenatal book, but it does teach you birthing positions, breathing techniques and visualization techniques all while underlining the fact that it is possible to give birth without fear and it’s fear that can sometimes hold us back. There are also useful chapters on nutrition, when things do need medical intervention, perineal massage (!), and detailed chapters on the labour stages. The CD contains two guided meditations which I must admit, I have yet to listen to as I rediscovered some old Cure and Utah Saints albums and have been listening to them instead.

As long as it can help me prevent swearing the house down and not disturbing the neighbours too much, I’ll be happy.

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

My mum once told me to not read any birth stories as every birth is different and you can easily stress yourself out over them, particularly if the births don’t quite go the way they were planned. They’re wise words, but this book is different. For those who don’t know her, Ina May is the founding midwife at The Farm Midwifery Centre, a birthing place located in one of the largest communes in the US. It sounds like heaven. The book is mostly filled with birth stories from The Farm, but positive ones and again, like Hypnobirthing, has the underlying theme of giving birth naturally, without fear. I found it incredibly empowering whilst pregnant with Boo.

The Food of Love by Kate Evans
The Food of Love

I’ve mentioned it before, but breastfeeding can be hard. We had terrible trouble at the beginning, and I really regret not preparing and reading up on the subject beforehand. This book is the perfect one to do just that and I’ll be taking it back off my sister at the nearest opportunity. Kate Evans has also just written a pregnancy book called Bump: How to Make, Grow and Birth A Baby, to be published 17th April which is a bit late for me to get, but I know it’s going to be TOTALLY AWESOME.

*not literally a million times worse, obv. I also realise that compared to some other people’s pregnancies, mine is a walk in the park. But still! Whine, whine, whine.

Disclaimer: I was sent a code to get the fully paid version of the Pregnancy+ app for free to review. All opinions are my own though.

Living Arrows 13/52

Gardening

What a lovely mother’s day weekend we’ve had. We’ve mostly spent it in the garden planting our veg seeds, I’ve had some lovely naps and Dave and Betsy cooked me steak and chips for dinner. Yum. But the weekend was all about the gardening for Boo, her enthusiasm for planting seeds knew no bounds (we’ve going to have a lot of pumpkins this autumn I think).

living arrows

Living Arrows 12/52

Hands

These are the hands that have patted my back during every coughing fit and who would pass me a glass of water afterwards. The hands that would take mine and lead me to bed and stroke my hair. Thank you, Betsy, I’m feeling much better now.

(thanks too to Dave who has also nursed me back to health. Who would have thought a cold would have lasted this long? I’ve been off work two weeks now, that’s mental.)

living arrows

Living Arrows 11/52

ill

We are ill, and I’ve spent most of the week on the sofa napping and watching terrible daytime TV. Betsy managed to only be a bit under the weather for a couple of days, thank goodness, but having a cold while pregnant really knocks you for six, haven’t felt this bad in years. Slowly getting better though.

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Vegetable pancakes

Vegetable pancakes, perfect for baby led weaning

I know I posted it in last year’s pancake related post, but can I just stick this in here, please?

Never gets old, that.

Anyway, I’m working hard and am flipping (flipping! As in flipping pancakes! Ha! I am slightly amusing) tired in the evenings so I think tonight’s pancakes will be of the very simple lemon and sugar variety (although I do have pears that need using up and might cook them off in some butter and maple syrup and have those too). But I thought I’d post this as these pancakes are a great thing to have for a super fast tea and is great for children. I used to make these a lot for Betsy while we were still doing baby led weaning – they’re BRILLIANT for that, they freeze really well and you can put anything you like in them too; they’re a great use up whatever you have in the fridge dish and it’s entirely up to you how much veg you use as well. This makes about 10 mini 12″ pancakes (I use this doody mini frying pan I got cheap in TK Maxx).

You need:

  • 100g plain flour
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 300ml whole milk
  • cooked vegetables and chopped herbs (I used mushrooms, onions, carrots and flat leaf parsley)

Sieve the flour into a bowl, make a well and add your eggs.

Flour and egg - vegetable pancake recipe

Whisk them up and add half the milk, whisk again until the mixture is smooth and then mix in the rest of the milk. Add your cooked veg and any seasoning. Heat up a frying pan, add a knob of butter and ladle in your mixture.

vegetable pancakes

Cook for a couple of minutes on a low heat and flip over with a pallet knife and cook for another minute or so. Eat now, or freeze for later.

Living Arrows 9/52

It’s March! Hooray! This week as been all about a visit to my folks down south and a lovely day in Bournemouth, but mostly it was all about meeting my sister’s two-week old son, Asher. Welcome to the world, Asher! Betsy was fascinated by him, mostly by the nappy changes, weirdly. Not that you can tell on any photos I took, Boo was too distracted by the snooker (she is most definitely my daughter…) and both children were a bit too tired when I got my camera out. Never mind, there’ll be more photo ops soon I’m sure. Also included this week is a picture taken during more routine times, something I don’t capture enough, although I think I should.

Brushing

Shell finding

Cousins

My Boo

living arrows