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Cigarettes and Calpol

Attempting to make sense of parenthood, life, love, and my own mind.

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Pregnancy

Our 2017

Remember when we were sure 2017 would be a better year than 2016? Idiots. For the world it’s been another bastard of a year! But personally, it’s been pretty fucking awesome! There’s been shit bits too, of course there has, is there such a thing as a perfect year? No. No there is not.

I’m not one for New Year New Me, resolutions, or the expectation of the first of January bringing an answer to all of life’s woes. Any crap you had in your life on December 31st has a habit of following you through to January, it takes more than a new diary to fix your life (but while we’re here can we talk about how satisfying filling out a new diary is?!). I do however love a New Year as a time of reflection, a time to think back at what you’ve achieved over 12 months, to focus on what you did right and what you did wrong. Give thanks to the people who made your year what it was, reflect on the people that left.

For me, that’s done best with photos.

Another 12 months, another lifetime of memories. I’ve collected a few of my highlights, slightly show off, slightly to give myself the warm and fuzzies!

Come with us now on a journey through time and space…

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Self Care and Supplements

You spend nine (ten) months carrying your baby. You watch what you eat, you’re careful not to overdo it, you make sure you rest. You know that the priority is the baby, and tell yourself the baby is ok as long as you are.

Then that precious cargo enters the world, and exits your womb. Suddenly self-care is the last thing on your list of priorities, your needs are bottom of the pile and that’s the way it stays for longer than any of us would like to admit.

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Water Birth, Danny Devito, and still no stitches: My Second Birth Story

If you follow me on any form of social media you might have figured out I was more than a little bit done with being pregnant by the end…I had tried everything. And nothing was working. I had accepted that I was just going to be pregnant forever and welcomed the cankles as just a part of who I was now.

We’d had weeks of false starts, days of contractions leading to nothing.

Turns out watching the Foos destroy Glastonbury was the key.

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Being Pregnant in a Heat Wave

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but it’s a little bit hot outside. If you go anywhere in England where there is a patch of grass right now you will see at least 12 sets of sunburnt shoulders frantically necking canned cider and pretending like they’re enjoying every second.

The Great British Summertime!

Pimms, Aperol, prosecco, cider…basically it’s just booze and sunburn. What’s not to love?

Unless of course you just so happen to be overdue, in which case a heat wave is the equivalent of being stuck in a lift with Boris Johnson and Piers Morgan.

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Third Trimester

The final countdown to D-Day. When suddenly everybody wants to know how your nipples are feeling and to give you their tip on how to get labour started (I hate pineapple, and I hate you for suggesting it).

The third trimester is the longest three (possibly longer) months you’ll ever face and everything hurts and who knew you could sweat from there and oh GOD get it out of me!!

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Hospital Bag

Packing a hospital bag is something that websites, baby books, midwives, and friends start mentioning as soon as you hit the 30 week mark. That obviously doesn’t mean you start packing it then. Not if you’re me. Instead you leave it another 6 weeks and realise when the midwife informs you that you are nearly term and considering the constant braxton hicks it might be worth throwing some things in a bag.

But what do you actually need to take with you? There are lists and guidelines everywhere online, but a lot of them seem a bit excessive to me. So here’s what’s in my hospital bag, not that I ever advise following in my footsteps…

(I’m planning on breastfeeding, if you are planning to bottle feed you’ll obviously need to pack all the equipment that goes with that.)

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Push Presents

I know as an English woman I’m supposed to reject all traditions rooted in American capitalism. But I happen to be an English woman who loves me a present, so really, any excuse.

The idea of a push present is something I’m majorly on board with. You’ve just watched the woman you love grow your child inside her for over 9 months, probably not very comfortably, then you’ve either seen her push said child out of a very small hole or be sliced in half and had it pulled out. Either way, I’d say girl’s earned a present.

Not to mention your house is about to be filled with gifts and admirers, none of them for her. Having a newborn can be seriously isolating, even when you’re surrounded by people who love you they are often more focussed on the new tiny person and don’t really think to ask about you.

I shouldn’t need to justify this, buy her a damn present! I’ve compiled a list of some things that would definitely have you on the front cover of Good Daddy Weekly.

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Fear of Breastfeeding

When I had my daughter I was unsure about many aspects of parenting. Would I cosleep? Would I let her cry it out? Would I have any fucking idea of how to do any of it (spoiler – I didn’t)? But one thing I was sure of, without a shadow of a doubt, was that I would breastfeed.

I knew all the benefits – for health, for bonding, for my wallet. Who wouldn’t be sold on that?! And I was sure I wasn’t ‘blessed’ (*slow look to camera*) with these H cups for nothing.

Turns out breastfeeding wasn’t as easy or as blissful as I was sure it would be.

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Mini Babymoon

I’ll admit it, I always thought the idea of a babymoon was a bit wank. I don’t know if it’s the horrendous name, the ultra-smug Binky and JP style photos of a two-week break in Hawaii, or just me being a grumpy cow, but I never thought a babymoon was something I’d get on board with.

Considering I’m always happy to find an excuse to run away for a night or two it does seem a bit stupid that this was one I was willing to ignore. But luckily I had a last minute change of heart and booked us a night away in a beautiful hotel with a pool and an amazing restaurant and boy am I glad I did!

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