When to go on maternity leave?

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Maternity leave start dates – what a nightmare. How are you possibly meant to magically guess how you’re going to feel at the tail-end of your pregnancy and, therefore, when you’re going to feel is the ‘right’ time to start your maternity leave?! I understand that it’s hard for employers, who can’t just wait around for their pregnant staff to either come in or not come into work. But it’s hard for those pregnant staff too.

I had confidently decided to go on maternity leave at 38 weeks. I hadn’t given it a huge amount of thought but had decided that Bug was likely to be late (based on…nothing) and that at-least-two weeks was an adequate amount of time to get all the things ready.

I then had my routine 25 week doctor’s appointment and he raised his eyebrows at my 38 week idea. I have quite a long commute – 1hr10 door to door – including a 25 minute train, two short tube journeys and about a 20 minute walk. He felt I might struggle.

Sooo, back to the drawing board. I’m now unsure whether to go for 22 February, when I’ll be 36 weeks, or 29 February, when I’ll be 37. It’s only a week but I have a feeling that a week at that size/point in pregnancy could feel like a lifetime.

The other factor is that we are considering getting our kitchen redone. The current one was put in when the house was built in the 80s and it’s naff and old. We had thought to get it replaced in a year but, actually, it makes more sense to do it before Bug joins us. If so, our timeline could be to get it done during the last week of February and, if I was already on mat leave by then, I could do a sort of faux project management/sitting around the house job. I think I could be quite good at that. Organising while watching daytime TV.

I am planning to take a year so I feel really lucky in that respect, but I don’t want to squander any of it, y’know? Decisions, decisions.

 

 

Project: Decorate the nursery (1)

Hello! It’s been a while since I updated because life has been super hectic and I’ve also been a bit ill – fabulous combination.

We (read: my husband) have emptied out the room next to ours, which will become the nursery. We used it as a spare room so had to dismantle the bed and get rid of all the paraphernalia (we don’t have a utility room so it had become the ironing space, strewn with crumpled clothes).

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Empty nursery! View from doorway

It’s quite a good sized room so I think it’s going to fit everything I want which includes:

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View from t’other side

The room has a built-in wardrobe, which is handy and my aim is to fit either the changing table or a chest of drawers next to this and behind the door. As to where everything else will go, I have no clue.

We’ve decided to go for the Farrow & Ball Cornforth White (which is actually grey, confusingly) for the walls and a matte white for the doors etc. Husby is going to get onto painting those this weekend – although he has got his annual boys night out with school friends on Saturday so I’m doubtful that he’ll get much done on Sunday.

I also want some little Ikea shelves on the walls, mainly so I can hang my Studio Sappor felt name bunting from it, when I buy it. The shelves and the bunting are all gleefully stolen ideas from the awesome Rock My Family blog. This does remind me, however, that we have to start thinking properly about a name for this little guy because Bug just isn’t going to cut it.

Watch this space for progress pics.

Recent baby buys

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Our Christmas tree!

I had a fabulous weekend of fun (how is it already friday?!) as it was my husband’s birthday. We went to John Lewis and bought a bunch of things for Baby Bug, which was fun and, also, made me feel better/like we were doing something. So, what did we buy?

The Rachel Cotbed from John Lewis. I liked the chunkiness of this cotbed as well as the fact that it turns into what looks like an actual bed, rather than a “this looked better as a cot” type bed, which I’ve seen around.

The mattress thing was all a bit WHAT. We went for the Premium Foam mattress () just because I didn’t actually like any of the spring ones, even though they were more expensive.

We’ve ended up with two bumpers because I’m a bit mental. We got this adorbs Noah’s Ark one because ANIMALS as well as the Airwrap Four-Sided Baby Cot Bumper because it says “SAFER THAN A BUMPER” at the top and so I bought it. It covers all four sides of the cot which, to me, makes sense if the point of the bumper is to stop hands/legs/heads getting caught. Anyway. Panic buys are fun every now and then.

We’re planning to buy a chest of drawers from IKEA (Hemnes for the win) and I’m toying between either another chest of drawers or a changing table like this one. There is a built-in wardrobe in the room also, which is handy.

Finally, we bought some Farrow & Ball Cornforth White paint – it’s a lovely light grey colour which will go on the walls. Now, all we need to do is get paintin’ and decoratin’…

My best maternity fashion buys

I’ve been getting mah maternity fashion on!

Let’s start with a caveat: I think maternity fashion is a bit shit. Everyone keeps telling me how much it’s improved, which is hugely worrying since I still think it’s a bit shit. It could be that I’m just not used to seeing myself with a bump and so I wouldn’t be happy in anything – but I don’t think it’s just that. I’ve bought a pile of stuff from ASOS and other stuff places and returned probably about 80% of it. Thankfully I’ve still got a few things that fit from pre-pregnancy days, which is good – and I’ve come around to the opinion that a few key pieces should see you quite a long way.

Something else that has taken some getting used to is the lack of colour in maternity wear! I do actually understand this – it makes a lot more sense to get something in black or another neutral colour so it’s versatile. The only issue is I love my bright colours and am so used to wearing pinks, reds, turquoise that I’m missing them. If you’re in the same boat, then an easy fix is to get a few bright-coloured scarves or a cardigan or two – you’ll always use them after bub comes along.

Here’s a run down of my best maternity buys

  • I still love my maternity jeans from Asos. I’m also borrowing some maternity TopShop jeans from my sis in law and a couple of them are super comfy, but I still think my Asos ones are the bees knees.

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    Maternity jeans of awesomeness
  • My Mothercare Ponte Zip Maternity Leggings (that aren’t really leggings just super comfy trousers) are still fricking AWESOME. I would actually buy these if they sold them as normal work trousers because they are THAT comfy (why do most non-blindingly-expensive work trousers have to be made of horrid polyester stratchy stuff?) and super fashionable with the ankle zippers.

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    Fashionable AND work friendly leggings
  • ASOS tights! I bought some crap ones that fall down but then stumbled across these ASOS Maternity 180 Denier Velvet Touch Tights, which are absolutely beauties. They’re nice and thick (it’s winter, guys), very soft and don’t seem to fall down.

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    Maternity tights that don’t fall down!
  • This ASOS Maternity Bodycon Dress is an absolute steal – it’s super comfortable (95% viscose, hello) and a really flattering cut (love the capped sleeves). It’s totally versatile and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Plus it’s only £25 – bargainous! It’s hubs’ birthday tomorrow and we’re going for Christmas drinks then a fancy dinner so I shall be wearing this with boots.

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    Versatile maternity LBD
  • I don’t know why stripes are so awesome when you’re pregnant but they just are. I love this New Look Stripped Tunic, it’s super soft (there’s a comfort theme here), quite long so wearable with trousers or even just tights and easy to dress up or down (I wore it to a dinner party on the weekend).

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    Stripes for the win
  • Finally, this is a total extravagance but my need for colour has forced me to purchase this gorgeous coral v-neck shift dress. I’ve got a couple of Christmas parties, my brother’s birthday and a few other Events coming up so I’m hoping I’ll get my money’s worth out of it. I also have a sister in law who is a similar size so I’ll be able to pass it over to her when the time comes.

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    Coral!

I’m struggling with bras. I haven’t found many maternity/nursing bras that don’t look horrendous under a shirt so any recommendations greatly received!