The Waiting Game.

I'm 39 weeks and 1 day pregnant. 6 days until due date.
How am I feeling?
I'm feeling 56 weeks and 4 days pregnant (numbers picked at random)
This pregnancy has gone so quick but I feel like I've been waiting for this baby to come for such a long time.
I'm not a pregnancy moaner, normally. I hate people wishing their babies out. No matter how uncomfortable they are. The baby will come when he/she is ready. That's what I normally live by.

Yet this time I am a moaner, and I hate it. I hate myself for wishing this baby out and for being impatient.
He's not here because he's not quite ready to be here. Simple.
I'm angry at my body for not hurrying up the process and not being ready to get him out.
My body isn't ready yet either. Simple.

I can't seem to snap out of it.
There's a week to go. Why am I being this person I do not like?
I think part of it is the panic of not being able to just leave the house, we have to get childcare for Charles sorted too.
I know the type of birth I want this time, I knew last time and had that exact birth, and so this time I want the same, yet there could well be the chance that I don't get that birth. And it makes me angry and anxious that I can't be guaranteed that exact birth.

Saturday has be in a panic. We have 4/5 people on back up for childcare. On Saturday all of these people have other plans, including work, holiday, travelling back from a mini break and a Take That concert. And my husband is at work, an hour away.
I can't help but imagine the worst....my waters break, contractions start immediately and I have to contact my husband to get him home [wait for his cover to take over] ring 999 to get to hospital, make sure Charles is ready to go with me. Yes, with me. So I'd be in an ambulance then in a delivery suite, in labour, with my toddler.
My toddler seeing me in labour is not something I want to happen at all. And it scares me that it could happen.
Its not these peoples fault that they have other plans of course, my I can't help but feel panicked and disappointed that my support network is in tatters and has the chance of failing me. Especially as I never ask anything of others, with regards to childcare anyway.

The other thing that I hate about this stage is the not knowing. Not knowing when he's going to come. Or how. When I say how I mean will my waters break? Will I just have contractions and then head over to hospital for my waters to break mid pushing like they did with Charles?
Will due date mean due date [again]?

The birth I'm relaxed about, I'm bizarrely laid back about all that, as long as I have the birth I want. And I know the most important thing is that the baby arrives safely and is healthy. Noted. But its the last time I'll be pregnant and my birth with Charles was perfect and I want the same again. Desperately.
When will the waiting game be up?


Not Just Humans.

I always feel a sense of sisterhood when I see a fellow mummy breastfeeding her child. I almost find myself staring hoping to make eye contact and wanting to say "well done you!"

I also love driving along country roads and noticing lambs and calfs latched onto their mummies. Especially when you see a lambs tail wagging quickly in delight.

In March 2010 we holidayed at Center Parcs Longleat and had a day out at Bristol Zoo. I'd visited a few times as a child when we stayed with my nan who lives in Somerset so was quite excited to be taking my husband and child for a day out there too.
We'd just been into the Gorilla house and walked outside to go and visit some other animals. As we walked past Gorilla Island I noticed a Gorilla sheltered with her baby.

She was breastfeeding.

I sat on the bench near the fence of the enclosure and stared for ages. She noticed me watching her.
Not only was I fascinated at seeing her breastfeeding, but I was captivated by everything about it.
How similar it was to me feeding Charles. The fidgety things her baby did that Charles also did with me. The way the baby changed from one breast to the other, making sure he'd got all he could from each one.

At one point the baby took her nipple into his mouth and turned his head round to face in my direction, stretching her nipple too far. She flinched and tapped his head. Charles had recently started doing similar to me so I knew exactly how she felt.

It was almost as if I could have a conversation with her about it, and reassure her that my baby does that too. Except I couldn't. But I was getting reassurance from her at least.

My husband had taken Charles to see some of the other animals, not quite understanding the extent of my fascination. Other visitors walked passed, giving a quick glance but not appreciating the scene before them.
I wish I remembered how long I was sat there for.

At times I wanted to apologise to the Gorilla for staring, especially when she would look over at me. At times I wanted to grab Charles, latch him on and shout "LOOK, I'M DOING IT TOO!"

Instead I just sat in admiration.

And of course, I couldn't resist capturing the moment on my camera, to remember the experience and to share with others.



Yes I breastfed, why can't I feel smug?

Breastfeeding and bottle feeding seem to be one of the biggest debates when it comes to parenting.
I am very pro breastfeeding. I'm not ashamed of that.
But at the same time, I can see why some mums bottle feed....due to not enjoying it or simply not being able to because of their baby not latching or poor milk supply.
I find it hard to understand some reasons for women not breastfeeding...its disgusting, I don't want people to see my boobs, its unnatural.
Why is it disgusting? Why is it unnatural? Our bodies create this milk, so its completely natural!
And in the 18 months that I breastfed, the only two people who actually SAW my boobs were my husband and my son.
I see much MORE of womens boobs when down the beach/on holiday/looking at photos of girls on nights out in Facebook. Low cut tops reveal a lot more than a breastfeeding mum!

I would never ever make a comment to a bottle feeding mum saying she is disgusting for doing what she is doing, so why should I be subjected to the same? [Luckily I only ever had one negativeish comment which was at 8 months saying "isn't he too old to still be breastfed?"]

I had a tough start with breastfeeding. Starting with Charles just being placed on my chest and being told nothing about positioning to then being ignored really when I informed midwives about how painful the feeding was. "Just a strong suck". "If the midwife yesterday said he's just got a strong suck then that's obviously what it is".
A late evening phone call to the local Breastfeeding Team and one of their amazing ladies coming out to see me at 9 o clock confirmed what I suspected. There was a problem, latch was fine, position was fine, but something else wasn't. "I'll send Dawn to see you in the morning so she can give a second opinion but I'm pretty sure that's what it is"
The next morning Dawn walked into our house, we latched Charles on and immediately she heard clicking, "he's got tongue tie. I'll call straight away to get an appointment to get it snipped. You should get an appointment for tomorrow" Except we didn't, the consultant was away and we'd have to wait until the following Monday.  This consultant made himself an expert and specialist in tongue tie at the hospital an hour away from us. No one else specialised in this area and he wanted to correct that as its a lot more common than thought.
This consultant also doesn't use pain relief. I hated this thought at first. But with Dawns reassurance that the procedure was simple and would be over in seconds we agreed to see him, we had no choice.

She was right, it was over in seconds and then I could feed my baby properly without the toe curling pain. I could start to enjoy breastfeeding properly. It took me a while to feel comfortable and get used to the fact that it didn't hurt anymore but Charles took to it like a pro. He even surprised the midwives, health visitor and Breastfeeding Counsellor but not losing any weight at all in the first week, which mean that despite the tongue tie he was able to get all he needed. It probably helped that my supply was almost too much [honestly, I could've fed 6 babies and still been able to express for another day!]

So from going from a horrid horrid start, where I could've easily have given up, we ended up feeding for 18 months. I still fed him for the first 8 weeks of my second pregnancy. My boobs were tender and sore and at times it was almost like that first week again and feeding a tongue tied baby, but I didn't stop him. He eventually weaned himself off, mostly due to the fact my supply had plummeted and he just wasn't getting much from it at all.

Up until we finished breastfeeding I fed publicly too. Everyday I risked receiving negative comments from people disgusted by what I was doing. I expected negative comments more so as Charles was older than when he was a baby. I didn't receive any negative comments, apart from the one mentioned above and the occasional horrid "bitty" comment from family or friends and the "you'll have to stop when he's 16 you know, you need to stop sometime" remarks, which to be honest, just spurred me on to want to continue.

I knew Charles was benefiting as much as me from this and yes ok, I am smug about feeding him.
I'm smug that I got through the 8 days of him being tongue tied without using nipple shields or any other assistance, without expressing into a bottle and giving him my milk that way, without giving up and sending my husband out for formula.The pain from those 8 days stays with me more than the pain of labour. I'd rather feel a babies head crowning than to feel the pain of tongue tie again.
I'm smug that I fed longer than my friends did. That whilst my friends faffed with heating up water and bottles I just pulled my top down a little bit and there, my child was being fed.
I'm smug that I was able to just latch Charles on for as little as a minute sometimes just to comfort him and to stop him from being upset if he'd hurt himself. Or that by latching him on when tired meant he would be asleep in a matter of seconds.
I'm smug that I was able to give him something that no one else could. That its something that he will never share with anyone else. Ever.
Breastfeeding was my choice, I'm not asking you to worship me or praise me for getting through those horrid 8 days and then the 18 months, but don't make me feel bad for being smug, or proud of myself.

I'm not saying I'm better than you. But don't take this away from me, its not always as easy as it seems to breastfeed.


What if they got it wrong?

I've blogged before about the 20 week scan and finding out the sex. Both times we have found out the sex of our baby. 
Mainly due to the fact that, simply, we could.
Also so that we could prepare clothes etc.
We could decide on a name.
We are impatient.

So when we found out we were expecting baby number two there was no question about whether or not we'd find out.
The sonographer stayed in "that area" for a while and we clearly saw that we are expecting another boy.
"So, taking your professional hat off, if you were me, would you buy blue clothes?" I asked the sonographer, the exact same question I asked when pregnant with Charles. "Yes" she replied.

So, name chosen, we've bonded with my bump as a boy, everyone is expecting a grandson, nephew, godson, son and most importantly.....brother.

I sat in the bath recently thinking about how this birth could be, thinking about how Charles' birth was. How even though I knew I was expecting a boy I still felt between his legs straight away as I held him in the birthing pool, double checking with the midwives that I had just given birth to a boy.
Again, one thing I think I will do is to check the sex, even though we've already been guaranteed that he is a he.

It dawned on me.

What if he did turn out to be a she. What if the baby we'd bonded with as a boy was infact a girl. And X [baby name yet to be revealed] was actually Evelyn [the girls name we'd chosen].

I can't help but feel that it would be such "hard work" to then bond with this baby.
I know that this happens and that people are told one sex and it turned out to be wrong, but it seems this is done more in the case of told a girl, had a boy.

Don't get me wrong, if this baby was a girl and they had got it wrong, she would still be loved and still be welcomed into the family.
But it would possibly take longer to slot into our family unit than if the boy we are expecting was the be born. He's already part of the family. He's already talked about. He's already involved in things.
He's here, just not here yet.
Everything is ready for him. Its X's swing, X's bed, X's toys. Charles will be giving X cuddles, X kisses, and letting X watch Postman Pat with him.
We know him already.

We don't know Evelyn. Her swing isn't ready. Her toys aren't ready. Her bed isn't ready. Her clothes aren't ready. Charles isn't ready for her.
We don't know her.

And what would happen if it was Evelyn, and not X. What happens to my feelings for X? They can't just go. I'm in love with him. I would love Evelyn too yes but the feelings for X couldn't just be transferred like that and completely disappear.

The thing is, we definitely know this baby is a boy.
So none of this needs to be worried about, but it entered my head that night and has stayed with me.

Second birthday celebrations. The Family Day Out Edition.

We have decided that, when we can, we will spend our childrens birthdays as just the four of us. We want to go on days out for their birthdays so plan in advance where we will go [which zoo] with an alternative if the weather decides to be bad [sealife centre?]

Last year we visited Banham Zoo and this year we decided to visit Africa Alive. Charles has been to Africa Alive before, infact his last visit was on the 7th of November last year, the same day we found out that I was pregnant with his baby brother!

Thankfully the weather was fantastic again.
Charles woke up in the morning and we played upstairs until we were all ready to head downstairs for cards and presents.

We planned to leave early for the zoo but he loved his presents so much that we left him play for a while and eventually headed for the zoo [a 10-15 minute drive] at 11 o clock.

As soon as we got there we had to go and find the Rhinos, Charles' current favourite animal and then we walked around the rest of the park, went on the train which circuits the zoo, then stamped our hands and headed to a pub by the beach for some lunch....which Charles didn't really eat because he wanted to see the animals again!

We then went back to the zoo for another couple of hours, grabbed an ice cream and daddy treated the birthday boy to a cool pair of sunglasses, mainly due to the fact that Charles kept stealing my husbands [prescription] sunglasses.
We sat and watched the lions, who were incredibly boring and lazy that day, and then again went to see the Rhinos.
After saying bye to the Rhinos and blowing them a kiss we went towards the "big ducka" [Ostrich]. When we visited the zoo in November there was a very aggressive and annoyed Ostrich who kept pecking at the glass in his enclosure.
We thought he wouldn't still be so angry and frustrated.......we were wrong.

After seeing the Big Ducka for almost half an hour we went and saw some ducks and then sat near the Giraffes and the boys decided to roll down the small hill whilst I sat and watched them realising just how lucky I am to have these two special boys in my life.

Then came home time. Charles had missed his nap so was grumpy, my husband took him to the front of the gift shop whilst I hunted for something to buy him to keep from his special day. Armed with 5 £1 coins [birthday present] to put towards the gift I found a gorgeous cuddly Rhino for £10.

Coming home I spent some quality time [as I do everyday] with Charles whilst my husband did a little bit of work. We played with his new toys, talked about his day, ate some dinner and birthday cake and then did the usual bedtime routine of bath, story with daddy, then I joined him again as my husband went downstairs.
He had a cuddle with bump before we had a cuddle in his bed and again spoke about the animals he'd seen, the noises they make, and the fact that the lions aren't allowed to eat him and that Rhinos have big bums....and the goats had done a poo.

Then he drifted off to sleep and I had my little cry.
My baby is Officially Two. A big boy now.

Second birthday celebrations. The Weekend Edition.

Yesterday, June 14th, our "baby" officially became a "big boy". Charles turned 2. It doesn't quite seem possible.
Saturday morning, in preparation for the weekends birthday celebrations, I popped to the local balloon shop to pick up the "2" balloon I had ordered. As I walked to the car " looked up. 2. I almost went back into the shop to tell them of my mistake, I meant to get a 1. I sat in the car, trying to manovur this balloon to a position so I could see out of the windows and had a wave of emotional flood over me.
I did mean to get a 2.
My baby was no longer a baby, but now a big boy. But it wasn't as bad as it sounds. I sat in the car for a bit to calm myself down and thought of all the positives of this two year old.
The conversations we now have. The way he understands what I tell him, ask him and talk to him about. The way he can help me with things, sometimes through his wanting to help, sometimes through me making him help [tidying toys and books away!] And mostly the feeling of having company now.
Being a stay at home mum/housewife can feel a little lonely sometimes, I've been lucky enough to not experience the loneliness or boredem really but sometimes its nice to have proper company other than a baby. And now this toddler means I feel like I have constant company.
If I am feeling sad I can tell him and he will comfort me (who knew 2 year olds did this?!)
If I am feeling happy we can dance around together and be happy together.
If I just want a cuddle he will give me one.

And of course him turning two gave us the great excuse to have a weekend of celebrating and a mid-week family day out!

Saturday morning saw my mum pop over so I could go and collect the balloon and some garden furniture from a friend and not have a toddler in tow. She also let Charles have his birthday present from her early. A "bounce" [trampoline].

On Saturday afternoon, we had my dad, his wife, her mum and my nan over for sandwiches and nibbles. My dad got stuck in helping my husband put together the gazebo (last minute plan which eventually turned out to be a good idea!) and then assembled Charles' birthday present from him and my nan.

Charles was well and truely spoilt with attention from his grandad, being chased around the garden, up and down the slide with grandads assistance and eventually both eating birthday cake together and watching a plane in the sky.

We were really lucky with the weather and the sun shone the whole afternoon. After our guests left Charles ended up falling asleep in his highchair in the middle of eating an ice cream, after being cleaned up and put to bed he slept very well that night!

The next day [Sunday] we were delighted when we woke up to glorious sunshine. We popped out to get the last minute food bits for the party planned for the afternoon, and to also pick up a barbeque from Argos as we hadn't cleaned our one which was stuck in the shed!
As soon as we got home I decided, with an hour and a half until the first guests were due, that I should do my roots. Nothing like leaving it until the last minute. So I left Charles and my husband to get the barbeque built up and prepared and off I went.
Then came the mad panic of getting the other nibbly bits ready. Mini pizzas, sausage rolls and chicken nuggets all took their turn in the oven, homemade coleslaw prepared, as well as greeting my mum, my mother in law, my sister in law and brother in law, getting Charles' party clothes on, and watching him open some of his presents.
The rest of our guests started to arrive and the food was ready. As everyone plated up and sat down outside it started to rain. Typical.
But my party guests were fantastic and didn't let the rain spoil their celebrating.
Some stayed sat/stood in the rain [despite being invited inside] and some sat under the gazebo.
The children hardly noticed the wet weather and continued to run and around and play together.
Charles was utterly spoilt by everyone and despite the weather a good time was had by everyone.
Highlight of the Sunday though had to be when the cupcakes were delivered to me in the morning. Very beautiful and soooooo yummy! The children had a green cupcake each and the others are saved for the three of us to enjoy.

This cake was given to everyone else:


Breastfeeding and Tongue Tie.

From the first day I found out I was pregnant in 2008 I knew I wanted to breastfeed my baby. I’d always been pro-breastfeeding and I think this stemmed from the fact that my mum breastfed my brother and me [twins] until we were 7 months old, when sadly her milk dried up due to a stomach bug.

My mum had made me feel very positive about breastfeeding, but at the same time didn’t make formula feeding a negative issue, we just never talked about formula as we never needed to. At the same time as wanting so desperately to breastfeed I was aware that for some women it just doesn’t happen. Either they don’t take to it, have low milk supply issues or the baby simply won’t latch on, and I wanted to keep in my mind that just because I want to breastfeed, it doesn’t mean I’ll be able to. We had bottles and a breast pump in the cupboard ready for the baby’s arrival. I’d hoped that at some point I’d even be able to express and give a bottle, like when returning to work.

I can’t remember how long it had been after Charles was born that he was put on my chest and he latched on for the first time. He was born in a birthing pool and had to be taken out quite quickly to have a few pumps of Oxygen and I was bleeding heavily and had to be put on a drip and stitched up. I didn’t want to feed him whilst still being prodded and poked so had a cuddle then gave him to my husband.

When he first latched on though I remember thinking that the midwives didn’t really help or advice with latching him on, from what I’d read in magazines and seen on programmes there was a certain way to hold the baby and to cradle his head, tickle his top lip with your nipple etc. I just felt like they had launched his head quickly onto my breast! Maybe this was how it was done!

I remember instantly feeling a sense of pride that our baby was feeding from me, his first liquids and food were from my body especially made for him. Except a couple of hours on, whilst breastfeeding him again, I wasn’t so keen on the toe-curling pain. Something didn’t feel right. So I called a midwife, explained that it felt really painful. She checked his latch, said that it was fine and he must just have a strong suck. She could tell he was getting milk so was happy.

We went home 12 hours after he was delivered. We ended up co-sleeping that night and the next day was spent cuddling and feeding almost non-stop. Still it was painful but I remembered what the midwife had said about him having a strong suck and I assumed that my body would get used to the feeling, after all I had never breast-fed a baby before! The pain was so bad that at times I have to grip my husbands hand as Charles latched and flinched as the pain shot right down my body and really did make my toes curl. I hoped it would get better. Except the next day it seemed to be worse. He was definitely getting milk, we knew that for certain. In this area we are lucky enough to have a Breastfeeding Team, I had a wrist band with their phone number on and a leaflet, I planned on phoning them at lunchtime but fell asleep and thought nothing of it when I woke up. Surely they’d think I was over-reacting and tell me that my body would get used to it. But that evening I looked down at Charles when he was feeding and noticed blood around his mouth, I unlatched him and noticed my nipple was bleeding.

I phoned the breastfeeding team crying and begged for someone to come out. At

As the next morning came the second lady, Dawn, came round and as soon as I latched Charles on she said instantly, “its tongue tie”. She could hear a clicking which was related to the tongue tie. She phoned a hospital in the city, not the one closer to us which I gave birth in, to book in for us to get the tie cut. As this was a Wednesday she was hoping we’d be able to get in the following day as the consultant was in clinic on a Thursday and Monday, except he was away at a conference.

Dawn gave me amazing support and got us booked in the following Monday. I was dreading it. She talked through the simple procedure but I hated the fact that no pain relief was used. She explained the reasons why this consultant didn’t use pain relief etc which made a small amount of difference but not much. I didn’t want some stranger to hurt my tiny brand new baby, but I knew that for us to enjoy feeding, it had to be done. So the week carried on with painful latches, no more bleeding thankfully. I tried nipple shields and shells but they didn’t help at all but the fact that it was going to be better soon spurred me on. And despite the pain I loved the bond between us, and the fact that my milk was now well and truly in and flowing made a difference because I knew my supply was fine, our only obstacle was getting the tie cut.

Before seeing the breastfeeding team I had asked two separate community midwives to check the latch, positioning and so on because of the pain. One midwife checked and said again that it was a strong latch and the other didn’t check but said “what did the other midwife say?” and agreed that it was probably just a strong latch.

When I saw the second midwife again the day after Dawn had diagnosed the tongue tie I said to her what had happened. She said that she hadn’t heard a clicking noise when Charles had latched on to which I responded that the reason she hadn’t heard the clicking was because she hadn’t bothered to check the latch. She fell silent.

Monday afternoon we headed off to the hospital, the procedure upsets me and I would hate to put off any other mums so I won’t go into detail, although it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought. It was a simple snip and it was done. Feeding was amazing after that, Charles was so confident and it didn’t hurt! Result. Expect I was still wary of latching him on and had to build up my confidence and not back off as his mouth was reaching for my nipple. In that first week he didn’t lose any weight, which surprised me, the breastfeeding counsellor and the midwife, it meant that despite the tongue tie, which was quite severe, he was still able to get exactly what he needed. I felt amazing.

We continued to breastfeed for what I though would be 6 months, when we had planned for me to return to work. I was over the moon when my husband said that he thought I should hand my notice in at work at stay with our baby as long as I could because he could see that Charles needed me, well, he needed my breasts. Charles wouldn’t take to a bottle so expressing wouldn’t have worked and we were in a panic. My husband could see how well breastfeeding was working out for all of us and didn’t want it to stop when it didn’t have to.

We ended up breastfeeding until just after Charles was 18 months old. I never expected to feed for so long. I enjoyed every single second. I loved the bond, the fact that before solid food was introduced to his diet that it was me who kept him alive and healthy.
In that 18 months Charles was put on antibiotics once to combat oral thrush. He never suffered chest infections or ear infections, unlike his other baby friends who were formula fed. As soon as breastfeeding finished for us he suffered from his first chest infection and was put on antibiotics. This to me was proof that for those 18 months my milk was also his medicine and fought these horrible infections.

The reason for us stopping breastfeeding was due to low supply issues because of me falling pregnant with our second child two months previous. I am currently enjoying 7 months of having my breasts to myself until I have another baby boy latching on. One of the first things I’ll be checking when he is born is whether or not he has tongue tie, and getting it snipped as soon as possible, so I can hopefully enjoy another 18 months of breastfeeding.



This time two years ago......

  • I had my TENS Machine on. Low but it was on. 
  • I had a hot water bottle.
  • My husband cooked his delicious homemade lasagne for dinner.
  • Had a bath at 11 o clock at night, stayed in there for an hour until I eventually went to bed at 12.
  • Had my last night as a mum to be and a family of just two.
  • I was in early labour!


Belly Beautiful.

2 years ago I was introduced to a fantastic photographer. My sister in law had bought us a Family Shoot with Shellie Wall Photography as our "new baby" present.
6 months after Charles was born we had our family shoot and were really pleased with the results. I stayed in touch with Shellie through Facebook and a year after our Family Shoot we saw her again at my sister-in-laws wedding, where she was photographer.
Again, the results were amazing and we were amazed at the photos. I couldn't help but to tell Shellie that I was pregnant, even though it was only early days. In fact I blamed Shellie for my second pregnancy as she had started photographing newborn babies. Seeing the photos on Facebook and on her blog made me melt. So I straight away made it clear that we would be having a Newborn shoot with her, and pencilled in with our rough due date, once we were given our EDD at the 12 week scan we let Shellie know so she could schedule us in her diary. The week after this baby is born we will be heading over to Shellies (amazing!) house and studio and having some gorgeous photos of him taken.
"Without a doubt, newborns are my favorite age to photograph. My best days with my camera, are the days that I get to photograph a fresh newborn. This age can be the most difficult to photograph. Remembering their tiny features, fluffy hair, and all that is new about them, brings back those amazing memories of of my own little angels.
These days should be captured and always remembered. The best time to contact me is before you have your baby. I will then add you to my schedule when your due date is expected. Once your baby arrives, then within the first week is the best time to arrange your session. The first week works best to get peaceful sleepy and very curly poses.
After two weeks of age, they are more likely to be disturbed while sleeping. It’s not uncommon for the session with a newborn to last 2-4 hours, allowing plenty of time to feed and comfort."
Alongside the newborn shoots Shellie also offers a Belly Beautiful package.
I showed my interest in this and we planned to go ahead, then I chickened out, something Shellie isn't aware of. With stretchmarks growing by the day, and a lack of glow I didn't feel like I was suitable to be photographed or that I would be gutted when I saw the results, not due to Shellies photography, but down to how I felt about myself. I secretly hoped Shellie wouldn't mention the shoot again.....but she did.
I couldn't bring myself to tell her the truth about how I was feeling so went ahead and booked in for June the 7th, part of me desperately wanted the shoot, hense why I booked it for when I was 35 weeks pregnant and not June the 18th, when I'd be 38 weeks pregnant (worried incase the baby comes early and I missed out on the shoot)
For a few weeks I'd been practising poses in the mirror, working out how I could position my hands to cover my stretchmarks, wondering which outfits to wear etc etc. Then came the morning of the shoot, I was feeling sick, nervous but really excited. I'd told Shellie I was feeling self-conscious and nervous and she reassured me. I'd also let her know that I wasn't sure if I'd actually get my bump out. To which she replied that it was ok, we could do plenty without bump out.

The thing is with Shellie is that although really I've only met her 4 times, once at the family shoot, once at my sister-in-laws wedding and two brief meetings when I collected photos and a camera lens from her, yet it feels like I've known her for years.
As soon as I walked into her studio I said "I'm nervous, I'm not getting bump out".......5 minutes later I was stood in front of the white backdrop, bump WAS out. I spent most of the time there with bump out and even stripped down to just my jeans and my bra.
I felt so comfortable and the most confident I have this pregnancy.
My stretchmarks - didn't matter.
The saggy bit of skin at the bottom of my bump left behind from my first pregnancy - didn't matter.
My short non-existent neck and triple chins - didn't matter.
The fact my roots are very bad that you can clearly see I am not a natural blonde (oh the shame!)- didn't matter.

We had just dropped my mum off at her house when I had a notification on my phone. "Shellie Wall tagged a photo of you" Blimey, she's quick!!
I nervously opened the photo, expecting to see a bump with faint red stretchmarks which no amount of editing could get rid of.
Instead I saw a photo which made me feel amazing and made my eyes fill with tears.

Would I recommend Shellie? Of course I would!! But not just to local people, but to everyone, no matter how far you have to travel. It takes us an hour and fifteen minutes(ish) to get there (approx 46 miles) but its well worth it, than to go to someone in our town who we won't be happy with.

We are seeing Shellie as soon as the baby is here and have already booked a family shoot with her in December! And I am genuinely looking forward to them all!

Shellie has kindly agreed to let me share some of the photos on my blog. 


* I have not recieved any free shoots, photos or discounts. 
I chose to post this because I am proud of the photos and no other reason.
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