A UK Beauty, Lifestyle & Parenting Blog

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

March 2015 Favourites

It's that time again. I feel like I haven't done a favourites post for a while, and there's a fair few new products in my stash that I've been loving all month.

The first, and possibly my favourite of them all is Badedas Original Bath Gelee. Badedas is renowned for being a new Mum's favourite, but I'm not entirely sure why, as it's not marketed as pregnancy/birth related. It's been said to be great for healing after giving birth, and I know loads of Mums swear by it for this. I love it mainly because of the memories now. When I had George (who's now 2.5yrs), I got a bottle of this and absolutely loved it. It was so gentle and felt like it soothed my stitches (sorry tmi, lol). It's so luxurious and thick. The tiniest bit creates a massive amount of bubbles and the smell is amazing, like nothing else I've ever used. I used up the bottle and I never got any more until recently. Before I had Freddie I treat myself to a big bottle ready for when I came home as I wasn't sure if I was going to need stitches again (turned out I didn't). Anyway, I've been using nothing else in my bath for the past 4 weeks and I really don't want it to end. Sorry Lush, you've taken a back seat for now.

For my skin, I've been loving the Tisserand Aromatherapy Rosehip Beauty Oil (review here). I know it says it's for mature skin, but I swear it's cleared up my hormonal skin freakout and has really helped with the dehydration. My skin looks and feels so much happier since using this daily.

I recently spoke about an amazing budget beauty find in the form of essence Lip Liners (post here). At £1 each they're absolutely fantastic and there's some seriously amazing shades. I've been using the shade Satin Mauve on it's own pretty much all month and loving the Kylie Jenner effect it gives. If you haven't tried these already, you need to do so (found in Wilkos).

I'm sure you're all sick of seeing this little sample of Benefit's Roller Lash Mascara popping up on every blog, but it's a seriously amazing mascara and I'll be very tempted to splurge on the full size when this runs out. I've been using it since I got it last month and am really impressed. It's the best mascara I've tried in a long time, it gives fantastic lift and curl and separates the lashes to give a fanned out effect. Fab!

The whole month I've been wearing pretty much nothing but the new Hugo Woman* by Hugo Boss. It's my perfect perfume. It's fruity and floral which I love, but it's not overly sweet. It has a sophistication about it that you don't normally get with fruity fragrances as it has a slight musky undertone. I know musky doesn't sound great in a woman's perfume, but this really works to create a wonderful warm scent I've been wearing daily.

What have you been loving in March?

 photo Kate 1.jpg
* = Press Sample

Monday, 30 March 2015

The Fragrance Shop Discovery Club Spring 2015 Box

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll have seen me speak about the Fragrance Shop Discovery Club in the past, but if not, let me explain. The Fragrance Shop run a quarterly beauty box, made up of 5 or 6 perfumes and 1 or 2 aftershaves for £5. It's a great way of testing out new fragrances before committing to buying the full size, and they usually include vouchers for money off each of the fragrances included. The Spring 2015 Box* is packed with 7 of the latest new releases for the year and contains some really lovely fresh fragrances:

Hugo Woman
Hugo Woman is a fruity, floral fragrance with an unconventional, boyish twist, combining unexpected naturals and pioneering molecules. The scent creates a contrast of tones and sensations, fusing traditionally feminine and unexpected masculine notes. 

I already own the full size of this and can vouch for how beautiful it is. I've been wearing this pretty much every day for the past month and can't get enough. It's the perfect amount of fruit and floral without being overly sweet and sickly. Loveee.

Givenchy Very Irresistable Mes Envies
Very Irrésistible Eau de Toilette dresses up with a delicate floral print ribbon and packaging inspired by a famous Givenchy Couture pattern. The bow is removable and can be re-used as an accessory.

Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire Couture Eau Fraiche
From Guerlain's popular collection La Petite Robe Noire Collection. Guerlain has added this irresistible Eau Fraiche edition. Showing a completely different side to the fragrance. La Petite Robe Noire Eau Fraiche is light and radiant.

Versace Eros Pour Femme
Attraction, desire, passion. Eros in a perfume.  An alchemy of tempting, bright and feminine notes. A refined accord of lemon and jasmine, exalted by sensual and smooth. It oozes power,seduction and elegance.

Dolce & Gabbana Dolce Floral Drops
Dolce Floral Drops has the rare beauty of a fresh, floral scent. The Eau de Toilette is inspired by the notes of Dolce Eau de Parfum, preserving its harmonious signature of white flowers, with a heart of White Amaryllis.

Stella McCartney Stella
The new STELLA Eau de Toilette is inspired by the idea of a fresh, dewy rose captured in the morning sun. Underscored by sparkling green notes, this bright and bold composition creates a young, fresh fragrance.

For Him:
Versace Eros
This fragrance captures the Greek mythology of Eros, God of Love, this fragrance is a powerful, masculine scent.

What do you think of The Discovery Club?

 photo Kate 1.jpg
* = Press Sample

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Orange Is The New Black

Happy Saturdayyyy!! So Spring is here, which means one thing... those dark lips and berry tones are gone and orange is back! Orange lips, bright nails, coral blush, just YES. Hey, I've even included some orange related skincare. You're welcome ;-)

For the skin:
I know these products aren't just for spring, but because they're orange/citrus related I couldn't leave them out. Vitamin C is fantastic for the skin, and I've really been loving the Una Brennan Superfacialist Vitamin C+ Skin Renew Cleansing Oil. It's amazing for removing all traces of makeup, giving a hydration boost and generally brightening the skin. I use it morning and night at the moment and I've been following up (on a morning) with the Clean & Clear Morning Energy Skin Energising Daily Facial Scrub. I know scrubs aren't usually meant for daily use but this is really gentle and as I've been suffering with my skin lately I've been enjoying doing this as an extra step to help brighten my skin and wake me up.

For me, orange lips are just the BEST look for Spring/Summer, especially with a tan (which I certainly don't have at the moment, but I am going to Malta for my Brother's wedding in May so I'm hoping to get a bit of colour then, yeh boiii). My absolute favourite orange lip has to be MAC's Saigon Summer - a cremesheen formula that's so much more wearable than Morange. From the highstreet, there's some great orange lip products, and my top 3 picks have to be the Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Audacious, Revlon Lip Butter in Tutti Frutti & Bourjois Colour Boost Lip Crayon in Orange Punch. Now, not necessarily paired with an orange lip as it could be a bit too tango, I find coral/orange blush great for spring as it gives a really fresh faced look. For long lasting, I tend to go for Benefit's Cha Cha Tint, it's really pigmented and bright, so a tiny bit is really enough. For a a lighter, more sheer wash of colour I tend to opt for the Revlon Photoready Cream Blush in the shade Pinched. As my orange nail of choice, I'll be opting for Mavala's Waikiki Orange. Their formula's are always on point and this shade is the perfect amount of brightness for spring.

Do you love the orange trend as much as I do?

 photo Kate 1.jpg __________
* = Press Sample

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Hydration Sensations / Leave On Masks

I have a bit of a love affair with face masks. I find they're the ultimate pamper partner and a pamper night just isn't a pamper night without one. Leave on face masks are the ultimate dry skin saviours, and for me, they're the best kind of mask because there's no mess, no waiting around for it to go hard and no harshness on the skin. I have 3 of these kinds of masks in my stash at the moment that I'm trying to rotate once or twice a week on top of my usual skincare routine (usually at bedtime so that it can get to work overnight).

The Nuxe Créme Fraiche 24hr Moisturising Mask (£18.50/50ml) is the newest addition to my stash, after receiving it in the Latest in Beauty Glamour Spring Beauty Edit Box (reviewed here). It's very light in consistency and feels almost as light as a day cream. It's certainly lighter than other masks and night creams that I've tried. Having said that, it still does the job, without leaving the skin feeling greasy or heavy after use. As with most of these 'leave on' masks, they encourage you to apply as a moisturiser, but then after 10 minutes tissue off any excess. As my skin is so dry and dehydrated, I never seem to have any excess to tissue off after the 10 minutes so I don't bother with that step. My skin must just gobble it all straight up. I love how fresh this leaves my skin feeling and it's definitely more supple and soft the next morning.

Superdrug's Vitamin E Leave-On Moisture Mask is an absolute steal at just £2.99. It feels different to the Nuxe mask, but is the same in terms of how you're supposed to apply it. The consistency of this one is much sloppier (for want of a better word), almost like a gel, and leaves the skin feeling a lot wetter when first applied. It takes a bit longer to sink in than the Nuxe, but once it does it leaves the skin feeling super soft and hydrated. It smells kind of cocoa-vanilla-y (new scent right there), which is just good enough to eat. For £2.99 it's a must-have for anyone with dry skin on a budget.

Origins is a brand I'm always lusting over but can never justify the price when there's so many good drugstore skincare brands out there. I got the Drink-Up Intensive Overnight Mask (£12/50ml) in the Mask Marvels gift set last Christmas. It's actually cheaper per 50ml than the Nuxe Mask so can't really complain about the price can I? It's the thickest of the 3 masks and feels much more like a rich night cream. I absolutely love this mask as the smell is just incredible - so fresh and fruity. It sinks in to the skin leaving behind no grease or grime and the next morning my face is literally glowing. I think it just to say tips it in being my favourite but all 3 are up there in terms of hydrating properties.

What's your favourite leave on mask?
* = Press Sample

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Nail Magic Nail Hardener & Conditioner

Yes, I'm back again with another nail product. What can I say? I'm a sucker for new nail products, especially ones that promise to condition and strengthen my nails. Nail Magic Nail Hardener & Conditioner* (£10.99) if you hadn't guessed by the name, is a professional nail treatment which aims to improve the condition of the nails in order to help them grow, whilst strengthening and hardening to prevent breakage. Like most nail treatments such as this one, Nail Magic can be used as a base coat, top coat or simply a clear nail polish. I've been using it as a base coat and have been really impressed with the results. I'd even go as far to say it rivals OPI's Nail Envy.

Cracked, flaky nails? Not anymoreee! This stuff is literally what it's name suggests - magic! I've tried so many nail strengtheners in the past and noticed next to no difference with most of them. Nail Magic, very similar to OPI's Nail Envy, works over time when used as a nail treatment. I must admit I never allow myself to use these kind of products in this way as I hate my nails without polish on. I prefer to use them as a base coat and apply every time I paint my nails (at least once a week). Using it this way, I've noticed my nails seem to be growing much nicer and I'm getting a lot less breakage than when I just use a regular base coat. With my hands constantly being in hot water and cleaning etc, it's pretty hard to get perfect nails that never break, but this is definitely helping. The only bad thing I can say about this is that it smells really strong, but it's not a deal breaker.


* = Press Sample

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Yankee Candle Honey & Spice and Leaf Mosaic Large Shade

Mother's Day was a good one for me this year. Having given birth to Freddie 2 weeks earlier, it meant it was that extra bit special. My babies (& step children) were extremely kind with their gifts this year (thanks Daddy, lol) and these 2 beauties are among the pressies I received. 

My Hubby Martin and I are massive candle lovers, with Yankee Candles being our absolute faves. We have an independent Yankee Candle stockist in our local village who we pay a visit to every few months when we run out of wax tarts and need to stock up. We usually just use the tarts as we have 2 burners on the go most nights in the house, but every now and again we like to get a jar, especially if we've found a tart we really like or if it's for a special treat or a gift.

Honey & Spice is a scent I don't think I'd ever sniffed. Martin chose this purely on what he thinks I'd like, and he did well! It's a sweet scent, but not sickly sweet, as the spice counteracts it to create a warm infusion of sweet and spice that's almost good enough to eat. Before I sniffed it I assumed it'd be a really strong, Autumn/Winter spicy kind of fragrance, but since burning it I reckon I'd burn it all year round. It's such a lovely, homely scent without being overpowering. It's not one of the strongest Yankees I've had, but to me that's a good thing as sometimes I find if they're too strong I end up getting a headache. 

What they say;
"Golden nectar and sugar cane mingle with cinnamon stick and cocoa to create this gourmand concoction".
Certainly one of my favourite scents to date and one I'll definitely consider repurchasing, maybe in tart form next time so I don't sicken myself off it.

Whilst I'm here, I also wanted to show you the beautiful Yankee accessory I received with my gifts this Mother's Day.

Yankee Candle Leaf Mosaic Large Shade

Yankee Candle Leaf Mosaic Large Shade 1

The Yankee Candle Leaf Mosaic Large Shade is the most wonderful addition to finish off a Yankee Candle. The Large Shades will fit both large and medium jars and look utterly adorable sitting on top of the jar to make it look more like a little lamp when the candle is lit.
"Designed exclusively for Yankee Candle, this attractive piece from our Mosaic accessory collection is anything but ordinary. It instantly elevates the look of any room with a dark golden mosaic effect and leaf design. With high quality detail and superbly hand finished. It instantly elevates the look of any room while also complementing a wide range of our fragrances".
The colours of this particular shade are absolutely stunning and compliment the colours in our living room perfectly, as well as the colours in the Honey & Spice candle.

The hubby did well!

Have you tried Honey & Spice?
What do you think of the shade?

Kate xx

* = Press Sample

Friday, 20 March 2015

Bee Venom Day Cream from Cougar Beauty

Bee Venom is being raved about in the beauty industry recently. It's being hailed as the next best thing in skincare and is apparently the secret to Kate Middleton's wedding day glow. Bee Venom is an active ingredient which works to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. How? Well the Bee Venom actually tricks the skin into thinking it's been stung, which in turn increases blood circulation to the area and stimulates the production of natural collagens and elastin resulting in a plumper, smoother surface.

Sounds slightly scary doesn't it? When the lovely people from Cougar Beauty asked if i'd like to try their Bee Venom Day Cream* I was slightly apprehensive but far too curious and intrigued to turn it down. Also, Cougar Beauty is a brand that's completely new to me and I always love trying new brands, especially ones that aren't as well known as others out there.

This cream is to be used just as you would any other regular day cream, avoiding the eyes and mouth. They do advise to open the pores with warm water before hand, ensuring that the product can really work into the poors for maximum effect. If you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll know that I've been struggling with my skin for the past couple of months (damn pregnancy hormones), but I think I can finally say it's starting to go back to normal after giving birth 3 weeks ago. I've been using this cream for the past week in place of my regular moisturiser and I can honestly say I've noticed a difference in the look of my skin. It hasn't corrected my dry skin issues around my chin (but nothing was helping until I started using my beloved Rosehip Oil), but in terms of the plumpness and smoothness of my skin I have definitely noticed a difference, especially around my eyes. I've started to get fine lines around the eyes now (none of us are getting any younger tbh), and I think this has helped in reducing the appearance of these bad boys. I don't find myself feeling quite as depressed when I look in the mirror now, lol. In terms of formulation, it's lightweight, but not too lightweight for my dry skin. My skin feels well hydrated after using it and I find my makeup applies nice and smooth over the top.

I think, for the price (£24), it's definitely worth a try if you're as intrigued as I was to try Bee Venom. It's certainly a cheaper alternative to the £150 a pot Rodial Bee Venom Day Cream that all the celebrities are buzzing over.

Kate xx

* = Press Sample

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Tisserand Aromatherapy Rosehip Beauty Oil

Tisserand Aromatherapy Rosehip Beauty Oil

Oh hormones. Why must you torment me in this way? When I hit my final month of pregnancy at the beginning of February, my skin decided it wanted to go on a complete freak out. Honestly, not just a little breakout, it was awful. I had sore, red patches all over my face and especially on my chin and around my eyes. I put it down to pregnancy and hoped that it would disappear once I'd given birth. Fast forward to 3 weeks after the birth of Freddie and my skin is still struggling. My chin especially has been so sore and I have some red scarring left behind on other areas of the face. My skin feels constantly tight even though I've been using many of the same products I've always used with no issues. It's really made me feel quite shitty to be honest and I've been desperate to find something to sort it out! I could no longer blame pregnancy, but then again I know it takes a while for hormones to settle down after having a baby. Anyway, I digress. I was browsing the beauty bit in TK Maxx last week (as I do on a regular basis), and I came across this product from a brand I'd never heard of.

Tisserand Aromatherapy Rosehip Beauty Oil Review
Tisserand Aromatherapy Rosehip Beauty Oil Review 1 Tisserand Aromatherapy Rosehip Beauty Oil Review 2

Tisserand Aromatherapy Rosehip Beauty Oil (For Mature Skin - I figured that can only be a good thing), is a 100% natural, highly nourishing oil cold-pressed from the seeds of the Chilean Wild Rose. Also containing natural fruit oils, this facial oil is rich in essential fatty acids and Vitamin E, and aims to hydrate and help smooth and improve the texture of dry, damaged or mature skin.

I'd read lots about the benefits of Rosehip Oil in the past, but I was happy using my regular facial oils (The Body Shop & Botanics offerings) until they no longer made any difference to my hormonal freaky skin! So when I spotted this oil at a bargain price of £9.99 (RRP £18), I just couldn't leave the shop without it. I've been using it day and night for the past week and can honestly say I think (don't wanna jinx it) that it's helping. My skin seems to be settling down a hell of a lot; it's starting to clear up, doesn't feel tight and my makeup is finally starting to sit better. There's light at the end of the tunnel - woooop! This is the first facial oil that I've tried with a spray pump as opposed to a pipette, but I kind of like it. I find two squirts is enough to cover my whole face and neck and it feels really rich and leaves my skin feeling soft and hydrated. It sinks in really quickly and doesn't leave a greasy residue behind.  Overall I'm so pleased I picked this up and have really high hopes in it eventually sorting out my current skin issues.

Tisserand Aromatheraphy Rosehip Beauty Oil - £18 - Feel Unique

Kate xx


* = Press Sample

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Nails Inc for Marie Claire in the shade 'Fashion'

If you didn't see it, my last post was about the amazing freebies in some of April's magazines and in particular Marie Claire and Glamour. Marie Claire are offering the choice of 4 Nails Inc nail polishes (worth £11 each) bargain or what? I used the one I chose yesterday and love it so much I think it deserves it's own post - purely so you can all run out and grab it before it's too late! Thank me later ;-)

Out of the 4 shades available to choose from, I went with the shade 'Fashion' - a cool, pale lilac that I think will look stunning on most skin tones, especially those with a tan! I love Nails Inc nail polishes, their formula is top notch and super easy to apply. Here's how it looked after 2 coats...

Seriously fighting the urge to run out and grab the other 3 shades.
What do you think of this shade?

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* = Press Sample

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

April 2015 Magazine Freebies | Marie Claire & Glamour

April 2015 Magazine Freebies

April 2015 Mag Freebies

Ooooh don't you just love a good magazine freebie? April's magazines have some pretty good stuff up for grabs so I thought I'd share them with you.

Marie Claire April 2015 - Free Nails Inc Polish Worth £11.

There's 4 shades up for grabs here;

Fiesta - hot pink
Fashion - cool, pale lilac
Fizz - pale, pastel pink
Festival - deep, nude beige

I had the choice of the 4 when I went to pick mine up and I settled on Fashion, which is a beautiful pale lilac and looks perfect for spring. These shades are exclusive to Marie Claire so you won't be able to get your hands on these after this month. I'm really tempted to get all 4, or at least get my hands on Fizz. (I have far too many hot pink and nude shades in my stash as it is).

Glamour April 2015 - Free Balance Me Product.

4 different products to choose from;

Radiance Face Mask (worth £12)
Pure Skin Face Wash (worth £11)
Super Moisturising Body Wash (worth £6)
Tinted Lip Salve (worth £12)

Again, I had the choice of all 4 here when I went into WHSmith's. I chose the Radiance Face Mask as I just can't resist a face mask, especially when the word radiance is used. I've tried Balance Me products before and have been really impressed so I'm looking forward to using it. For £2 you really can't go wrong. Think I might have to pick up the Pure Skin Face Wash too.

Have you grabbed any of the April freebies?

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* = Press Sample

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Latest In Beauty The Glamour Spring Beauty Edit

I'm not a massive lover of beauty boxes as I find they usually only include one or 2 products I'm really interested in, so basically find them a bit of a waste of money. It's very rare to find a beauty box in which all of the products 'wow' me. The Latest In Beauty Glamour boxes are an exception to this and always seem to include some amazing products. I missed the last one and I was determined not to miss out this time around. The Latest In Beauty Glamour Spring Beauty Edit is one of those boxes that has really amazed me! It's worth a whopping £99, costs just £16.99 with free postage and includes 8, yes 8, full size products, one sample sized fragrance and a digital subscription to Glamour Magazine. All 8 products are from well known brands and I'm seriously impressed.

Latest in Beauty Glamour Spring Edit

Latest in Beauty Glamour Spring Edit 1

Latest in Beauty Glamour Spring Edit 2

Latest in Beauty Glamour Spring Edit 3

Firstly we have 2 amazing hydrating masks from well known brands;

For the skin: The Nuxe Créme Fraiche de Beauté Mask (£18.50) is supposed to be a god send for dry skin so I can't wait to give it a go! 

For the hair: The Moroccan Oil Intense Hydrating Mask (£8.95) is formulated for chemically treated hair. I've been wanting to give this brand a try for the longest time as my hair is so dry and damaged from being constantly coloured and changed.

Latest in Beauty Glamour Spring Edit 4

Also included is some beautiful makeup products;

Beauty UK High Brow All In One Brow Definition Kit (£3.99) - the mid brown shade looks perfect for my brows so I look forward to testing this out.

ModelCo Créme-Rouge Cheek & Lips - a versatile cream product that works for both cheeks and lips. It's in the shade Just Peachy and looks lovely for spring.

Rimmel Oh My Gloss Lip Gloss (£5.49) - I think there's a few different shades to be grabbed here. I got the shade 

Kiko Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadow (£6.90) - I've heard a lot about these and have been dying to get my hands on one. I got the shade 07 Golden Beige which is a stunning pale gold. I think it'll be a great everyday shade.

Latest in Beauty Glamour Spring Edit 5

If they weren't enough, you also get 2 amazing nail products and a sample fragrance;

Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Nail Enamel & Diamond Top Coat (£6.99 each) - Again, there's a few different shades available in the nail polish. I got the shade Full House which is like no other colour I own. It's so amazingly vibrant and think it will really stand out with a tan. The diamond top coat is a high shine top coat to seal in colour and prevent chips.

Ellie Saab L'Eau Couture EDT - a sample size which is really light and easy to wear. Perfect for the spring.

I told you it was a good box! I'm super impressed and can't wait to put them all to the test. Expect some full reviews within the next few weeks and in the meantime.... get it ordered HERE.

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* = Press Sample

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Pinspiration #2 - New Hair

Soooo I'm one of those people who gets an idea into their head, obsesses over it, goes ahead with it and then instantly regrets it. Especially when it comes to my hair. I've had so many different hairstyles and hair colours over the years that I've decided that this time I'm gonna research and take time deciding what I really want before I go ahead and do it!

I had a longish bob around a year ago and then decided I wanted long hair again so I've been growing it and really trying to look after it. Then what happens? The long bob comes into fashion and I suddenly NEED it back in my life. My hair is currently so boring I can't even cope. It's a dull light brown with absolutely no style to it and I'm desperate for a change. I'm loving the blunt 'lob' that's in at the moment and have been literally obsessing over pictures on Pinterest ever since Lauren Conrad shocked the world with her massive hair change. The only problem I have is that I'm trying to grow out my fringe so I won't get the full blunt look straight away until the fringe grows out completely. 

In terms of colour, I'm thinking about going back blonde, maybe a dark blonde base with light blonde balayage. I'm wanting something relatively low maintenance and easy for the summer, especially with two young children to run around after. 

Do I do it?
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* = Press Sample

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

My Labour & Delivery Story: Introducing Freddie Joseph Thompson

It's a BOY!!!

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll know we've been patiently awaiting the arrival of our second baby. Well I can now happily announce that our yellow bump turned blue and he's absolutely P E R F E C T

Freddie Joseph Thompson arrived on Wednesday 25th February 2015 at 5:06am after an amazingly quick labour and delivery. He weighed a very healthy 8lbs 6oz. Just like his big brother, he was a very kind 3 days early. I would hate to go overdue and I really feel for ladies who do. Those last few weeks are such a drag! Words cannot describe the love I have for this little boy. You think you can't love anything or anyone as much as you do your first born, but the as soon as I laid eyes on Freddie that same love just hit me. I can't believe he's here and how lucky I am to have 2 beautiful sons.

Labour & Delivery Story

Due Date: 28th February 2015
Arrived: 25th February 2015

Don't worry, I won't go into graphic detail!
On the Tuesday (24th) I went about my normal day to day activities; I went to the shops with George, came home and cleaned my house from top to bottom with the help of my Mam (thanks Ma). Clearly I was nesting, I should have known then that he was gonna make an appearance very soon. We had a pretty normal evening; had tea, baths, put George to bed etc. and I settled down with an episode of Call The Midwife (lol) whilst Martin watched the football. It wasn't until I was ready for bed that the pains started. Typical, I know. The exact same thing happened with George. Your body waits until you're completely settled and ready for a good night's sleep and then BAM.

So it was around 11pm when I started getting strong braxton hicks contractions. I'd been having them pretty regular towards the end of my pregnancy, but these ones started getting that little bit more uncomfortable. I didn't wanna get my hopes up that they were anything significant so we went upto bed. By about 11.30pm the pains started getting stronger and more regular. I did start to think this was the real thing, so I took some paracetamol in the hope that I could get a couple of hours sleep. By Midnight they were getting stronger and seemed to be regular and I realised I wasn't getting any sleep so we both got up and went downstairs.  Martin made me a cup of tea and I had a good bounce on the birthing ball as it seemed to help with the pain. At this point the pains were getting seriously intense and regular. I downloaded a contraction timer and began timing each contraction. It was crazy how fast things got moving, as around 1.30am the contractions were coming every 2-3 minutes and lasting around 40/50 seconds. This, compared to my last labour was just ridiculously fast. It felt like my body didn't have time to get used to the contractions as they just hit me like a tonne of bricks. I tried to tell myself that I could cope a little bit longer as I didn't wanna go into hospital too soon only to be sent home again like I did last time so Martin ran me a bath at about 2am and I sat in there for 20 minutes. It seemed to help a little bit but I still felt as though I was losing control a little bit. When I got out of the bath we rang the hospital and told them how far apart the contractions were and they told us to come in right away. Martin got on the phone to his Mam (bless her), who had said she would be on call incase we needed her during the night as we had George and Martin's older 2 children in bed. She arrived at around 2.40am and we set off for the hospital straight away.

When we arrived at the hospital (around 2.50am) I was really struggling with the pain. Luckily we passed a couple of nurses on the way in who offered me a wheelchair and helped us up to the delivery suite. When I got up there I was greeted by my midwife (who was amazing by the way), and she took us into our room. After a couple of horrific contractions which resulted in me being on my knees by the bedside, I managed to climb up onto the bed so she could examine me. To our huge surprise, she informed me I was already 8/9cm dilated. I could not believe it! I was shocked but absolutely amazed and slightly proud that I'd managed to get that far at home. I was given gas and air and she told me that my waters would probably break within the next hour or so - but they didn't. She asked if I'd like her to break my waters and I immediately said yes as I just wanted to get things going and moving as quick as possible. Gas and air is the strangest feeling ever, I definitely find it helps through the contractions, but it does leave you feeling slightly drunk/woozy so I don't like to overdo it. Once my waters had broken, things began to really get serious. The pains got so much worse but I was coping (just about) with the gas and air. Martin was so good with me, giving me water through a straw and holding my hand through each contraction. I did think I was losing it at one point, but Martin and my midwife were so good and reassured me that I was doing brilliantly. By around 4.30am I felt the urge to push. I'm not gonna lie, it was complete agony, but with their help I got through it. It's amazing what the body can do. It takes over and you've got no choice but to go with it. For the last couple of contractions my midwife took the gas and air from me and told me to put my all in. At 5:06am, after a few screams/grunts, Freddie entered the world. I know it's a cliché and people always say it, but the pain instantly disappeared. It's the most amazing feeling of relief when the body plops out (lol). Martin got the wonderful job of telling me we had a beautiful baby boy, as well as cutting the cord. He looked slightly grey/purple when he first came out but apparently that's normal and he soon gained colour. He had a good set of lungs on him and had a good scream on my chest whilst the midwife dealt with my placenta and paperwork etc. After a long cuddle and some skin to skin, he was weighed and wrapped up for a cuddle with Daddy.

I definitely think this labour was more painful than last time, but I dunno if it's because last time was 26hours so my body had time to adjust to the pains, or that I've just forgot how bad it was, ha. All I can say is that it all is forgiven. Freddie - you were completely worth it.

I can't even tell you all how smitten I am. I can't believe how much I love this little person. Like I said, I never thought it was possible to love anyone as much as I love George, but it is 100% possible. It's instant. I'm so happy with my family right now. George has taken to his new little brother like he was always here. - he doesn't really make a fuss of him but does find it funny when he cries. I don't think it's affected him that much apart from being slightly clingier towards me, which I think is only natural when he's used to having me all to himself.

I'm sure you'll be seeing a lot more of my 2 boys if you follow me on Instagram, and I'm hoping to include a lot more parenting/lifestyle posts on here. I hope you enjoyed this very wordy post, and hope my quick labour story has given hope to all you second time Mums who had a long first labour.

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