Sunday, 29 June 2014

18 weeks and a new house!

by Bex

So much has been happening!  Today I am 18 weeks pregnant and I am feeling better day after day (although I think as I feel better generally, my back is slowly deteriorating!  The trials of a job which can cause back problems then combined with a bump and extra stress unfortunately!) and with that, am much more like my usual self again.


We have a house!  You awesome people can obviously work actual magic (seriously, I'm asking for a unicorn next!) and after Nik's 24 hour trip down to Sussex on Tuesday, we were convinced on our favourite house (he took lots of lovely videos for me including the views from windows as instructed) even more and made an offer.  The first one was rejected which didn't surprise us as it's always worth trying a lower one first we reckon.  But our second offer did the trick!  It was still a little under what they wanted and we ended up meeting halfway.  Perfect!  Hopefully it means we're happy AND they're happy and there's much less chance of us getting gazumped or any of the other awful last minute problems it seems the horrible English house-buying system can throw at you!  Seriously, I don't know how anyone ever moves in England when you don't even have to settle on a date for moving out/in.  Very strange and inconvenient, no wonder they make a big deal out of chain free houses.

I am already a pinning machine with lots of inspiration for all the different rooms!  I'll definitely write a post soon with more info about the house!  :)

We think we've decided on our buggy at last!  I recently spotted a couple walking past me when I was in the car (in the direction I was going) and they had twins in car seats on a buggy.  I considered pulling over to question them about it but was concerned about scaring them so whizzed past and round into the supermarket carpark (my destination) thinking I might have time to run through to the path and ask them but I got held up at lights and had given up.  Luckily (sometimes I believe in fate!) they then walked into the same supermarket so I accosted them by the door!  They were a lovely couple with 4 month old twin girls and were happy to chat away about having twins, their buggy and giving me tips :)

It just so happened that the buggy was one I had just had recommended to me on Twitter by Tricia at Nurture Me and had not had a chance to look at yet, the Mountain Buggy Duet.  It's one of the cheaper options and is the narrowest side by side double buggy, at just 63cm it's the same as a single one!  It takes carrycots and car seats and although it's a more boring black than the Bugaboo Donkey which comes in a range of colours, I think it will be lighter, much easier to manoeuvre and less bulky.



As it's thinner, we may find we can't use it for as long as some of the others when the babies are toddlers as they'll have less room but we could hopefully sell it and maybe I can then get the colourful, fun Cosatto Pixelate when I no longer need all the extra attachments.  To combat the boringness of the Duet (and pad it out a bit for comfort) I've already got my eye on these reversible lime/teal and raspberry/purple buggy liners to brighten it up ;)


Yesterday I had an AMAZING spa day with Vikki (who's in a very similar boat to us at the moment with her husband pursuing the same career path as mine only they're off to Liverpool) at Turnberry.  With all the house stress recently on top of my aches and pains, it was properly therapeutic as well as being enjoyable.  So relaxing!  I got a new tankini from Mothercare for the occasion (and also so I can go swimming more often without worrying about my only cossie being soggy) and we also enjoyed a full on 2 hours of munching our way through an awesome afternoon tea (more details on the whole day soon, I promise)!

before

during

after

How far along: 18 weeks (potentially half way considering the twins will come before 37 weeks)

Size comparison: bell peppers

Weight gain: haven't checked for a while!

Cravings: nothing particularly but I am MUCH less fussy now

Symptoms: rare nausea, sore back, sore hips (I've bought a wedge cushion which is already helping), small hernia (eek!) - just above my belly button when I cough I can feel a wee lump protruding but I'm hoping it won't get worse!!  I'm loving my bump which is much more obvious to other people now and I'm having fun dressing it :)


Things for babies: I've now made a huge list of things to buy as soon as we move, especially now I can imagine decorating the rooms in our new home!  I've also been researching co-sleepers as we are definitely getting one of these!

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Week 16

by Bex

So, for the last 3 days I haven't taken my Ondansetron and I'm still feeling good.  Other than a bout of vomiting on Monday when I woke feeling terrible, I have now not been sick for about 3 weeks, hoorah!  Evenings still require regular feeding to avoid feeling a bit rough but I am finding it SO much easier to cope.  Yay.

I'm feeling a bit less stressed at the moment as well, we've found another house we really like the look of and Nik's heading down on his day off this Tuesday to view it and 5 other potentials.  All chain free or with people we know are willing to vacate!  Fingers crossed we like one and they accept what we can offer!  Since you've all proved to be magical in the past in wishing us luck with these embryos sticking, if you can spare any more to cross your fingers for us finding a house I'd be so grateful.  And of course, you'll all be invited round for cake after we move ;)

The house we are hoping to buy now is situated in a wee village near Uckfield.  It has a local shop/post office and a pub within walking distance and is just a short (5-8 min) drive to town/swimming pool/train station.  Commuting wise it's good for all of Nik's hospitals and I'd be able to get to London Bridge within an hour or so on the train.  It's about 40 mins drive from Gatwick and 70-90 mins drive from Heathrow depending on traffic.  I'm hoping it's not too isolated for friends from London to visit as with the twins in the back of the car I'd only be able to collect one person at a time from the train station!  Fingers crossed for some lovely local people to make friends with.  It'll certainly be different to what I'm used to staying in Glasgow with so many amenities on our doorstep and with friends in easy reach via various forms of transport.  The thing is, life will be so different when the babies arrive anyway, I might not have time to miss any of that!

As I mentioned the other day (wait, that was just Thursday I wrote that, I must be feeling better if I'm blogging more often again!), my bump is really growing now, the babies are now the size of avocados and my belly button is looking weird!  Nik notices the difference every day when he gets home, he's amazed at how quickly I'm expanding!  Hehe.

Maxi dress from Primark, Dinny Hall pendant from in-laws, belt from HoF

Today, while Nik is sleeping off his busy night shift, I am having a lovely relaxing lazy Saturday with tasty treats and some TV time.  I'll be popping out later so will get a bit of sun when I head to Sarah's to water her lettuces while she's in London for #BritMumsLive.

Bacon roll in bed this morning and carrot cake (with strawberries for balance)  ;)

I'm currently researching spa days as well for a proper chill out day/catch up with Vikki before we both move from Scotland, her to Liverpool and me to Sussex.  She's currently in Aberdeen so we already struggle to meet up regularly, lord knows how we'll manage once the twins arrive AND we're even further apart!  We will though :)


How far along: 16+6 weeks

Size comparison: avocados (turnips tomorrow!)

Weight gain: -6lbs (up from -8lbs), starting to put weight on finally, slowly which is a good thing.  Weirdly my cellulite seems to have improved on my thighs and my side muffin top has either reduced (or been stretched forwards!), hehe.  I've also started feeling up for exercise this week which has helped with other symptoms.  I've been swimming and to aquanatal class both of which felt great.

Cravings: apples (Jazz are the best) but only in the evenings!  I'm also drinking gallons of milk, morning, noon and night!  As well as the apples, my diet has improved greatly at last!  I'm generally eating a lot healthier now (other than today's examples of course!) and loving it.



Symptoms: a few aches and pains, my back gets a bit sore after sleeping but that could also be due to the stress lately.  Also I'm planning on getting one of those big pillows to support the bump now it's getting bigger.  My nausea is almost gone, tiredness is much improved (I can actually stay up in the evenings now) and since my diet has improved my constipation has eased, thank goodness!
Bump is looking pretty cool and I've been buying a few more bits and pieces to wear so I'm comfortable.  I've also been loaned some maternity pieces by Roz and Sarah so I'm not having to spend too much :)  H&M is definitely one of my faves for cheap, stylish maternity clothing!

Things for babies:  We've finally been able to go and have a look at some prams/pushchairs but sadly the place we went to had hundreds of choices except the two we most wanted to see.  The options for twins was quite rubbish, the only one they had that we were interested in was the Bugaboo Donkey (probably THE most expensive option!).  All of their tandem options had the babies very much squished on top or in front of each other meaning one is very blocked in which we don't like.  If we can't see the Obaby Zoom in real life somewhere or we don't find another option, we'd probably go for this one in petrol blue and off white (regardless of sex):


Hopefully we'd be able to get the base and chassis on ebay or something because by the time you add the carrycots, seats and car seats with adaptor it's pretty pricey!

Last weekend when I was feeling down about house stress and worrying about everything, we popped into Mothercare to return some clothes which didn't fit and I spotted these adorable baby bodysuits...

£8 for two happy rainbow bodysuits :)

If you follow me on Pinterest, you'll have seen that a rainbow theme is one of our options for the nursery :)  Since I'd had such a crappy day, Nik let me buy them, even though we're not buying any baby things yet since we're moving!  I love them!

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Fun and stress

by Bex

Everything is happening at once.  After our long, long wait for our babies, we're obviously super excited and now that more fun things are happening (and a lot less sickness!) it's even more thrilling.  I have a serious bump starting now and I've started feeling the babies moving!  It's been hard to tell before if I'm feeling them or if it's just wind as the sensations are similar - kind of like bubbles or internal twitching.  On Tuesday night after my first aquanatal class (much harder work than I expected but really good fun and the midwife running it is lovely!) I was sitting on the sofa chilling out waiting for Nik to get home and it was the first time I was convinced it was actually a baby I was feeling.  It felt a bit more definite and when it stopped, I pressed on the area to jiggle the baby and it started again, our first two way communication ;)  (Me: Is that you in there?  Baby: Yes, stop poking at me!)  Nik arrived home just then, while on the phone to his Dad so they also shared in my excitement which was nice :)

Top (New Look) borrowed from Roz and Mothercare jeans

As for my nausea, I'm currently weaning myself off the Ondansetron and finding that other than some occasional mild nausea, I'm pretty much back to normal, if a bit lot hungrier and fussier than usual.  Thank goodness for that, it's made a huge difference.  I even started wearing make-up again today!  Things are by no means perfect though and this week I had to take a day off as I woke up after a terrible night's sleep with horrendous back pain, a stiff neck, very sore hips and a sore jaw on Monday.  A day leaning over patients was the last thing I needed and instead I went for a swim which seemed to help, had a nice long nap followed by a bath which definitely helped.  Although my hips have still been quite stiff and achy, I'm pretty sure most of this tension was down to the current stress of house hunting with a deadline!

The timing of our amazing and much wished for pregnancy means we are also trying to sort our move hundreds of miles away at the same time as preparing to be parents to (as well as me growing) our two teenie babies and it's all getting a bit too much right now.  We've found a couple of houses we'd love to live in but sadly missed out on the first (it sold within a week before we had a chance to get our offer in!) and the second has people who won't move out!  We've asked if they can move out in August, we'd even accept September, but they don't even seem able to commit to any date for moving, basically just whenever they find a house and they can move into it.  That could be months and with the babies well on their way and the risk of health problems and premature birth, we aren't willing to risk being stuck in a random horrible yet expensive rental somewhere waiting to move in for months on end.  I need to feel settled, Nik's job starts in August and we don't want to end up living separately for long either.  He has the option of hospital accommodation but there's only single available.  At this point, I can see me moving in with his parents in Durham (assuming they're still there as their house is currently on the market too!) once I finish work mid-August while he's down south.

We're desperately trying to find a house we like that's chain free or with vendors who'd move out for the offer they're happy with.  Unfortunately that's easier said than done in what is apparently the most expensive area in the country to own a house and yet the good ones are still selling fast!  We're extremely lucky to be in a position to buy a good sized, lovely home thanks to some savvy investing and having good jobs to enable a decent sized mortgage.  Unfortunately finding such a home is proving somewhat difficult, maybe I'm being too fussy again but when spending/borrowing such a huge sum of money, I don't want to settle for a home I don't really like.  Especially as it will be our first family home and we've been waiting so long for this to all happen.  I'm just wishing again that it will all come together and we'll find somewhere wonderful to live in time.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

My maternity style so far

by Bex

So I've already started buying maternity clothes for my rapidly expanding twin bump - SO exciting!

I bought a few basic bits from H&M first, my favourite being this loose summer top:

Top - £7.99, H&M

12 week bump

Bump from above, it sticks out more on the right, bowels I suspect!

I then bought some more bits from Mothercare (a few of the things I liked weren't in store in my size so I also ordered some online with free delivery)...

Skinny Overbump Jeans - £30, Mothercare

Star Print top - £20, Mothercare

This outfit was instantly so comfy, I couldn't wait to wear it!  The top is also ingenious as it has the panel behind the V neck which folds to the middle and the V neck can be moved to the side to give super easy access for breast feeding as well as being discreet.  It's such soft fabric as well, I love it!

14 week bump

They didn't have any bootcut jeans long enough for me in store so I ordered some of the longer length online as well and they fit perfectly!  Weirdly I was a size 14 in the skinny jeans and a 16 in the boot cut jeans and both fit very comfortably with a bit of stretch in the denim as well as the bump band.

Bootleg Long Overbump Jeans - £30, Mothercare

They look fab with my gorgeous new polka dot top which shows off the bump wonderfully and is SO comfy and a bit smarter too...

Spotted Tie Back Top - £22Mothercare

14 week bump

I've also bought some leggings from New Look and a couple more tops but haven't had a chance to try them all on yet.  I also have a swimming costume from Mothercare I've yet to try as I can't wait to feel better enough to get back into swimming!

Mothercare's sleep bras are super comfortable as well!  So much so I've been wearing them day and night.  They are often visible above my vests as they have a higher neckline but just look like another vest layered underneath.

Sleep Bras, pack of 2 - £20, Mothercare

As soon as I returned from Thailand, just 7 weeks pregnant, I was desperate for new bras.  Mine were already too small and uncomfortable.  I went to John Lewis knowing they are usually excellent for service and choice.  Unfortunately I was severely disappointed after an unpleasant experience being served by a very brusk woman who informed me there was only one choice of bra (in either black, white or nude) without wires which she said I needed as I am pregnant. (I've heard wires can block milk ducts although I'm not sure it's essential to avoid them at just 7 weeks but I figured wireless might be more comfortable anyway.)  The bra I tried, in several sizes as I found them all uncomfortable, was very ugly and generally just didn't fit me well at all.  It was either too tight or the cups were wrong or the sides came up rubbing under and in front of my arms.  I was quite glad to leave empty handed as the whole experience, my first pregnancy shopping, was just awful.

Luckily I had more luck in M&S, they had DOZENS of wireless bras in all kinds of styles and even a few colour options.  Having been measured I took a handful of the size I'd been told at JL (38E up from my usual 36B) and tried them all on.  Some were more comfortable than others and some fitted differently and I had to try a few sizes again but eventually left with a very comfortable and actually quite pretty black one in a 38C.

Lace non-wired bra - £16, M&S

Overall I'm doing pretty well at finding clothes I like which are also comfortable and fit the bump.  I've also still managed to wear a few of my older clothes comfortably as well.   This dress below was from Joy many years ago and has always been very flattering but actually fits the bump quite well.  It was a little tight across my chest but was perfect for the Humanist naming ceremony of our friends' baby who we were chosen to be Guide Parents for.  (Like Godparents but without the religion.)

13 week bump

This jersey maxi dress from Desigual stretched perfectly over my wee bump and is still long enough with flats...

13 week bump

And just incase you can't remember how it all started, here's me trying to suck my tummy in just after we returned from Thailand...

7 week belly
As you can see, no longer successful in the illusion of a flat belly!

Thursday, 5 June 2014

14 weeks & House Hunting in Sussex

by Bex

So I definitely spoke too soon on my 12 week update.  The amazing feeling sadly didn't last and my sickness is still present, albeit less severely but evenings are still often a struggle.  Anyway, work is definitely easier and I am able to eat a slightly better variety of foods now.  Although sometimes the mini Ms still just want those potato waffles!

Recently I have been managing to get a bit more done other than just suffering through work, eating and sleeping.  It's just as well I'm feeling generally better now as our flat went on the market last Friday and we've already had 13 viewings (including a few 2nd viewers) and we have 4 notes of interest in so we're closing tomorrow - fingers crossed for lots of good offers!!  Eeeek!  It's absolutely knackering keeping the flat perfect and tidy all the time and having to show people round after I finish work almost every day, especially as Nik has been on 13 hour shifts since he's been back from Sussex.  I'm so pleased there's been so much interest as it will be one less stress once it's sold.

Speaking of which, we're full on house hunting now.  I never really got round to explaining on the blog that we're not actually moving to Brighton now.  We discovered that the commute to his other hospitals would be a bit too far from there after the first 2 years.  Instead we've been looking a little more North and between Horsham and Uckfield.  Being in the middle means commute times for all his hospital bases will be more manageable.

We fell in love with a house in Uckfield last week that Nik had seen but sadly lost out despite it only being on for a week (can't complain really since that's what we're hoping happens here).  The problem is, once you find a house you love, all other houses are compared to it and we can't find anything similar.  We're heading down again this weekend (all a bit last minute) to view some more which are in better locations for London/Brighton trains so may be worth sacrificing the massive garden and larger square footage for.  Although the location advantage is purely a social one for us as Nik's shifts mean he has to drive anyway and I'll be on mat leave when we move so I have no idea where I'll end up working.  Having said that, I did love that the other house was based in a small town but was on the edge of lots of woodland and had a cemetery over the back so no one overlooking and lots of lovely walks nearby.  Clearly I'm not over that house yet!

How far along: 14 weeks

Size comparison: lemons

Weight gain: -7lbs - This has now levelled out and I've finally stopped losing although am yet to gain much despite my diet improving.

Cravings/food preferences: this week has been all about apples in the evenings!  (This is excellent news for my bowels.)  I'm also now managing to eat even more normal things like (bland) pasta and cake!

Symptoms: ever expanding bump - my most exciting pregnancy related change so far!  Milder nausea, minimal sickness, more manageable tiredness.  :)



Thanks for all the amazingly helpful comments on prams/buggies the other day by the way, it's so helpful to have Mums with real experiences to advise us!  :)

Monday, 2 June 2014

Twin pushchair choices

by Bex

Expecting twins has made this shopping experience somewhat simpler for us as it has obviously narrowed our choices down as we need a double pram/buggy

We've narrowed our options down to two already.  This was quite easy for us as we actually found one choice right at the start when we were googling various twin things while in Thailand (before twins were confirmed but I was convinced), it stood out for one very specific reason, the twins can face each other, as well as various other options - it's just so versatile.

The Obaby Zoom tandem pushchair:



It comes with the seats which are suitable from 6 months but can also take pram attachments and car seats with an adaptor.  Other than the sheer number of orientation options, other pros include the big basket, good wheels, easy folding down (fairly compact for the size of the thing), and it is narrow enough for woodland tracks, doors and narrow pavements.  However, it is pretty long so may prove difficult to manoeuvre around tight corners in shops.  The length is one of the reasons we like it though, all other tandems we've seen have had the seats so one is practically on top of the other so the baby behind wouldn't be able to see anything, or even literally on top of each other which seems a bit unfair to whoever is bunged behind or underneath (even if we did swap them about).  The zoom gives them so much more space and seems to be the only one which lets them face each other, so much more sociable :)  It is the more expensive option, especially if you buy the extra bits.

The only other thing is, it's pretty boring looking, all black with some added colour options which are harder to find and still mostly black anyway.  Very dull, especially when you compare it to our side-by-side double option below, the Cosatto Supa Dupa Twin in Pixelate:

SO pretty!

I absolutely love the bright colours and this one can be used from birth without the need for extras.  However, we're unsure about a few things.  It may be tricky to get through some doors, especially on buses/trains and might be a bit wide for some paths or woodland walks.  We can't put the car seats on it which means possibly waking babies to transfer them from car to buggy (although I'm not sure how much of an issue this is since the time babies are supposed to be in car seats is limited anyway?) and I'm also not sure how secure teeny babies would be in it, we really need to check it out in person.  I have read that many people don't use pram/car seat attachments on pushchairs for long anyway so we might not need that option but then again, our babies are likely to be smaller for longer as they'll probably be early.

I do love the insulated bottle holders and extra cup holder for my latte ;)  It also has built in speakers and a gadget pocket to play music to the babies.  Again, it folds simply but is much more compact than the Zoom and cheaper.  It also comes with a 4 year guarantee which is fab as it takes up to ~3 year olds so we're covered until we no longer need it.

Both options have adjustable handles so should be OK for our height and they should both fit in the Qashqai boot easily.  Obviously we plan to go and see them in 'real life' before we decide so we can try them out and see how they look and feel.  We won't be ordering until we've moved but having made the decision will help me feel more organised given everything that is going to be happening in the next 3 months and the fact we really have no idea when the twins might arrive!

So, any opinions on side-by-side vs tandem pushchairs?  Which do you think would be the best choice out of the two above?

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