Thursday, 13 June 2019

BABY NUMBER TWO // HOW WE FOUND OUT AND THE FIRST FEW MONTHS


It feels so good to be writing on here again! This post is loooong overdue but the weird pregnancy nausea made me put off being on my laptop or phone. 

So before we start going into this pregnancy, let's go right back to the beginning of the year. We were living at my parent's, in between houses, and waiting for our new house to be ready in February. I've always said I wanted another, even from when Alice was a newborn, but as Alice was getting so much easier in some ways (sleeping through every night/ going to bed at a certain time/ one set nap a day) and a lot harder in other ways (toddler tantrums/running everywhere/into everything) I found myself thinking do I really want to go back to having a newborn all over again, this time with a toddler. 

The answer was still yes, of course, but we weren't in any hurry to. I didn't want to say we're 'not trying' because it took such a long time to get pregnant with Alice (read more about that here) but I also didn't want to say we're trying as that can put pressure on which makes conception harder, for me anyway, and I wasn't overly desperate either. I think I actually wrote about a potential baby number 2 back in October here, and you can see my confusion there! 

Skip forward a few months to March and we'd moved in, finished having stuff done to our house and were slowly settling in. We had 2 spare bedrooms to fill and I could definitely see us with a new baby. But I thought it would happen when it happens, again, no pressure. Little did I know I was already pregnant! 

We went off on holiday to Morocco and I was happily enjoying myself with absolutely no idea that I was pregnant, but looking back there were a few signs: 1) I had wine with dinner every night, but when everyone else would be having a drink in the day I just did not feel like it at all. 2) every evening after dinner I felt really bloated and full (could have been owed to all inclusive delicious food...) 3) I was SO tired 4) when I jumped on the sun lounger on my front I felt a slight twinge in my tummy. But all these signs were very subtle and only noticeable in hindsight. 

HOW WE FOUND OUT 

We came back from holiday 10 days later, and had one day at home before Jason and I flew to Edinburgh for one night away for his work. On this day, I was doing loads of washing/unpacking/re packing, and I'd put Alice down for a nap. For some crazy reason I decided to take a test. I had taken one earlier in the year and been so disappointed so I don't like to take them often. Another thing to remember is I don't have regular periods at all (again, read more about it in this post), so it had been a few months but that is pretty normal for me. 

I think it was a mixture of my close friend being pregnant, the few feelings I'd had on holiday, the fact that I was going away for the night for champagne celebrations and the simple fact that I had a test laying around! 

So I took the test and BAM...a big fat line came up straight away! I was speechless. 

The first picture I took! Note the messy holiday chaos behind.

I didn't know who to tell as I wanted to tell Jason in a special way (last time it was abrupt as I was so SHOCKED), but I had to tell someone...so I immediately text my close friend who had told us a few weeks prior that they were expecting. We arranged to go into town with Alice, buy a clear blue test and take it in her shop and look at the results together. 

It came up as the furthest date the clear blue test went (3+ weeks)! Eeeek! Although that isn't too helpful as it could have been anytime... I worked out it must have been mid February when we first moved in. Too much info? 

 Sooo happy!

When Alice and I got back from town I just couldn't stop cuddling her, like I just wanted to soak in every moment of just us. I remember this feeling so well. 

Still revelling in the cuddles weeks later

I bought this card for Jason in town that day and had it addressed to him, waiting with his other post when he got in. I wrote it in capitals so he didn't recognise my writing and it took him completely by surprise! He took so long processing it I intervened with the test to show him. There were happy tears and it was so so sweet. We're both still in happy shock I think, and can't believe we're going to have another baby!


The next day we went off to Edinburgh and I was just so incredibly tired. I fell asleep on the train, on the flight, in the hotel and even in the tour bus! Hah! On the journey home I was thinking up exciting ways to tell our families and ordered this for Alice. I had the idea of taking her round to my parents in a coat, taking the coat off and them seeing the top. Which we did, but no one seemed to clock the top so we ended up saying, 'errr guys, look at Alice's new top!' haha.

Me in the hotel bed wanting to just stay and sleep! But we had a big awards evening ahead of us. 
Big sister top! I love this so much, and put her in it for our reveal photos.

THE FIRST TRIMESTER

It's no surprise that the first trimester was awful. I mean, it could have been a lot lot worse I know, but it wasn't very pleasant nonetheless. It was mostly similar to my experience the first time. In fact if anything I didn't have the nausea quite as bad and as I'm working 2 days now rather than full time like I was the first time, I napped a lot at home when Alice napped. That really helped. But my goodness did it leave a horrible taste in my mouth. Literally that is, I've had the most disgusting taste in my mouth this pregnancy. 

I felt unbelievably tired, pregnancy and an underactive thyroid AND an energetic toddler meant I was basically a walking zombie mid day. After a day at work or a day where a nap wasn't possible I was so so shattered I could do nothing but blob on the sofa all evening. In fact that's been pretty much the case so far this pregnancy (I'm now 19 weeks); as soon as Alice is in bed I like to quickly rush around to get bits ready for the next day, have a shower, get in pjs and chill either on the sofa or bed. I have no energy whatsoever. It has got slightly better during the second trimester but I am still shattered. In fact while I'm writing this, Frozen is on and I'm practically falling asleep. 

The main difference between this pregnancy and last is how I look. Last time I had glowing amazing skin, thick shiny hair and felt great! This time my hair is breaking off, dry at the end, greasy at the root. My skin is the worst it's ever been.  Even before I knew I was pregnant (practically from day 1 of pregnancy) I had a spotty rash on my chin which just got worse no matter what I did. Then I found out I was pregnant and asked on instagram for advice, lots said to go to the doctors but I put that off hoping it would clear up on its own. 

Spoiler: it didn't. 

In fact it spread to all around my nose, mouth and in between my brows. Eventually I bit the bullet and went to the doctors who confirmed what I thought - I had perioral dermatitis. Greeeeat. 

This was before it spread to in between my brows. As you can see from above early pregnancy photos, it got a lot worse and it just keep spreading. 
PD can't be cleared up easily. Usually they prescribe antibiotics but I can't go on them being pregnant, so she gave me a topical cream called Dalacin. This hasn't cleared it completely but it does seem to be getting better. Probably a mixture of the cream and not wearing makeup. I've given up with foundation now! The only time I wear it is at work. 

The other thing is that this pregnancy seems to be causing more hormonal problems. My skin is an obvious sign but also my thyroid has been all over the place. I've had my medication upped three times and then lowered once. I've had to have regular blood tests to monitor it and every time the result comes in it means a change of medication. Last pregnancy my hormones were steady and constant and I didn't need any medication changing. I think this is showing in how tired and exhausted I am. 

Other than that I have all the usual first trimester symptoms. Nausea like I said (I haven't been sick either times though), needing the toilet all the time, tiredness, sore boobs, etc etc. Hopefully now it'll all ease up a bit and I can enjoy the ride. 

All that aside, I have been so much more chilled this pregnancy. I don't feel overwhelmed or stressed, probably because I know what to expect. It can be really daunting for a first time mum with all the information and unknowns so I have enjoyed feeling confident in the preparation so far. Also I am not as anxious this time. Last time I worried so so much before 12 weeks about miscarriage, and all the way through my pregnancy really, but this time I am more chilled. Firstly it's not good for the baby, secondly I've done it before so I know that things can be ok and thirdly I don't have as much time to be anxious as I have Alice to run around after! 

ARE WE FINDING OUT 

This is the question I get asked the most, as I'm sure all pregnant people are (it's the first question I ask!); are we finding out what sex the baby is?

The first time it was always a definite no as we wanted a surprise, and this time I've gone back and forth with whether or not to find out. I am SO temped this time as I want to prepare the nursery, the clothes etc, and I'm a tad bored of unisex stuff. But not finding out last time was sooooo special! That first time meeting them, the excitement on the build up and the excitement from everyone else to see what we had. We're both temped but the surprise is worth not knowing, I think. Also (and I'm aware this might sound horrible) but I worry if I found out it would maybe be a bit, I don't know, anti climatic? Especially after not finding out last time. I don't know, I'm still unsure, but we probably won't find out. 

Anyway a healthy baby is all I really want! And I'd just like to add that both ways are of course magical and there's no right or wrong way! It's just working out what is best for you. 


So I hope you enjoyed that little (rather long actually) catch up, I certainly enjoyed getting back on the blog, and I hope it answered a few questions I have been asked on instagram. I will be doing a second/third trimester post too so look out for that. 

I still can't believe we're going to have a baby again, and just can't wait!

Morgan Alice 


x

Monday, 10 June 2019

TRAVEL // FAMILY HOLIDAY IN MOROCCO, AGADIR


Every January/February time I get so so down with the grey, wet weather and dark mornings/evenings. I always want to book a holiday for some winter sun but the issue is, everywhere that is hot for our winter is either too far away or too expensive. Adding to that, we have a very energetic toddler who would never sleep on a flight, so a long-haul was also out of the question. We definitely wanted somewhere hot and also wanted to book one final holiday where Alice is free, as when she turns 2 in May, we'll have to pay a full seat fare for her. So another reason the flight needed to be short was that if the flight was full booked (and long-haul), she would have to sit on our laps the entire time!

We started a process of elimination; Egypt was a no no, Cyprus and turkey wouldn't be hot enough, Dubai was too long flight, the Canary Islands were really dated and the only resorts we liked were as expensive as going to the Caribbean.... By this point of searching we gave in and started looking at Jamaica. We very nearly booked a one week holiday, until I had a nightmare about having Alice on our laps/her not sleeping/being so stressed when I got there I wouldn't enjoy myself. I just knew it wouldn't be fair to put that on her at the moment, as the last time she did long haul she was a baby and would just sleep anywhere. Also I thought that doing a shorter flight might prepare her for longer ones in the future. 

I randomly googled 'places for winter sun in March' and Morocco came up. I'd never been before and assumed the whole country was bustling and busy like Marrakech. After doing a quick search, it turned out there were lots of lovely beach resorts, all inclusive too, and a lot nicer than the ones I'd seen in the canaries, and the weather in March was nice and hot! And to top it off...the flight was under 4 hours! I was pretty much sold. 


We found the Riu Tikida Palace Agadir which was a good price so we could go for 10 days rather than a week. We booked it through TIU, who I don't know if I would recommend (we'd only used Kuoni before who had much better customer service),...but was handy for sorting private transfers and doing the booking for us. 

Despite easy jet overbooking the flight (standard) which meant Alice had to be on our laps, as it was a short flight, she was as good as gold! She watched two films and didn't cry once even though she was tired. She had her comforts and was quite happy snuggling us with Peppa Pig. It was more the airport security etc which is the faff. I was soooo stressed when we found out they had overbooked and waiting around in queues for ages, but it was actually much better than I expected.  

We got to the hotel and were immediately overwhelmed by just how huge it was! It was late, we had all our luggage and we were tired. TBH I just wanted to get to the room and unpack but the reception ushered us into the huge buffet restaurant as they had nearly stopped serving. A few things I noticed:

- Everyone was very tanned and very dressed up. Why didn't I bring more evening wear! (also one evening Jason wore shorts and he was asked to change. So men pack evening trousers!) 
- The service was quite slow at the tables but you could just get up and get everything for yourself anyway. 
- The food selection was incredible and different every night. Something for everyone. 
- (Most importantly) I didn't like the huge buffet restaurant dining situation but noticed that there were tables outside, on the terrace overlooking the pool with heaters. I asked the waiter how do we get a table out there and he said you just go and pick it! So for the rest of the holiday we had our dinner/breakfast out there. We went there at 7 when the restaurant opened and they got to know us as we tipped them every night, so they saved our table. But if you go later and want a balcony table then you may need to wait a bit.

So if you go do try and get a table on the terrace! It made all the difference. There's also another restaurant by the beach which is lovely to sit outside and have lunch. In summer I think this is open in the evenings for dinner but is Italian.

Anyway, here a few photos from our holiday...

Alice being so good for us even though I was stressing about an over crowded plane and her being on our laps. 


Heading for breakfast on our first morning 


 As soon as we'd checked out the grounds we headed for the pool, which is amazing btw. Really big but with lots of chairs/seating areas and two bars. Of course all the holiday goers did the standard thing of putting towels at at ridiculous o'clock in the morning, but we followed the rules like true brits!

Someone was SO excited to go swimming...


Our first lunch at the restaurant by the beach. All the French were drinking the rose which was actually very nice! Im quite fussy with wine but all of the house bottles they had at dinner were nice and dry. I definitely shouldn't have been having any but I didn't find out I was pregnant until I got home! 


The hotel is right on the beach, which to be honest isn't the nicest beach I've ever seen abroad but it was fun to walk on, see the camels, play in the sand etc etc...The hotel has their own private bit with beds and things but we weren't out there for long before wanting to get back to the hotel!


There's so much to do in the actual hotel itself. I wasn't particularly bothered about exploring with Alice but the others did a few excursions. The hotel are pretty good at sorting it out.

I had the most divine massage in the spa. You have to book in for one if you go, really recommend! Just be warned - Moroccan ladies aren't shy and will massage your boobs! I had quite the shock. 

The girls at the kids club kitted her out with their kit and it looked SO. CUTE. 
Matchy matchy (and a bit burnt!)


We asked the hotel rep about which market or 'souk' was worth going to, and jumped in a taxi straight there. Make sure you agree your cab fare there before getting in! I wouldn't have wanted Alice to go there, so my mum stayed back with her. It really isn't suitable for children as its a busy (and pretty dirty) market with no baby changing or anything (of course), and there's lots of men heckling and things. But so worth it to see local life and get some bargains. Make sure you haggle haggle haggle as they see tourist and try to rip you off! I got things down to a fraction of what they originally asked. 


So much market goodness...

Dinner on the balcony while Alice slept! I can't recommend the city mini enough for travel. It reclines far back with the hood coming right down. 

My two poolside essentials. SPF 50 and bare melon pot rouge. 


We had the best time relaxing and spending time as a family. I really recommend it for a chilled week or two away. Little did I know it would be our last proper holiday as a three before baby arrives in autumn!

p.s, sorry for the long break from this blog. Pregnancy and moving sort of put it on the back burner but it is now back up and running! Let me know if there's any specific posts you'd like to see?

Morgan Alice 
x