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Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Can you have it all?

This afternoon I sent my letter off intending my return to work. Leading up to this has been a bit of a challenge. I've had days where I don't want to go back to work at all and others where I feel like I can do it, and have it all. I've spent lots of late nights pouring over my calculator and hastily adding up numbers, trying to reach some sort of solution.

I played with working 3 days but then realised I would only have about £100 spare every month after bills. Then I thought I could work 4 days with having to accept a 20% pay cut. Plus, it's more than likely I would end up working that day anyway and not getting paid for it.

So I have reached my final decision, to go back full-time but with a very strict working schedule.
My mornings will consist of 3 early mornings, in at 7.30am and two late mornings, arriving at 8am. This allows me sufficient time to organise my day, get resources together and print any planning I need that day. Two of these early mornings will fall on an early home time, so I am not burning the candle at both ends (to which I am famous for), and the other early morning being a Friday. There is always so much admin to do on a Friday (certificates, learner of the week etc).
My late mornings will correspond to my late nights...
I'm only going to work late (6/7pm) two nights a week (including staff meeting) and to sign out of work emails after 6pm. Two of the other evenings I am going to be out the door by 4.30 with the last emails being checked at 5pm, and on a Friday, leave at 3:45pm after setting up for Monday morning.
I am also going to have a working lunch 3 times a week so I can catch up on marking from that morning. The other two lunchtimes I will be going to the staff room (after setting up for the afternoon) and enjoying some adult conversation!

So far this seems like a fool-proof plan. But of course, there are going to be times where I have to stay late on extra days, such as; parents evenings, Christmas play etc. Times on the early days may be altered depending on data and reports too.

My aim is to not work on the weekend at all and instead, book some family days out and make the most of my weekends. This might seem a bit 'over the top' planning wise, but I know if I write this all down, then I am better at sticking with it. It allows me to prioritise my jobs instead of doing everything. In the past I have stayed up way past midnight laminating phonic cards, maths numbers, word mats....and for what reason?!

I didn't have the best start to my teaching career due to an awful school placement and course leader which completely destroyed my confidence. I almost gave up my idea of becoming a primary school teacher altogether. 5 years in and I have built up a good career and deserve to give it a shot.

Now that I have finally made this decision, I feel really at peace with myself. I am going back to work on Monday 23rd July, to which I am only working three days then it's the summer holidays!

I hope I can pull this off and really 'have it all'. 

  
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Monday, 2 April 2018

Dear Norah

My darling Norah, 

I cannot believe you are 15 weeks old today. These past weeks have been truly amazing. You have taught me so much already and everyday I learn something new about you. Your wonderment and amazement at the world is so innocent and captivating, I wish I could bottle it up forever. Your little personality is definitely beginning to shine and you are a little bundle of pure joy. 

I love that you find having your nappy changes hilarious - blowing raspberries on your tummy and hearing you laugh is the best sound. I love the fact that you have now discovered that you can hold your own hands and you spend ages staring at them, moving them around each other and chomping on them whenever you can. 

I also love how you have now discovered your toys, bashing them and stroking them to see what they feel like. You make me laugh by getting cross at them too! The way you frown and shout at them for not doing what you want them to do is something to behold! 

My darling I just know you’re going to love books as much as me. You enjoy listening to stories and love looking at the pictures. Your favourite music is Ed Sheeran and you love ‘wind the bobbin up’, ‘row row’ and ‘horsey horsey’ nursery rhymes. 

You are desperate to walk, even though you are still so small. I think you may skip crawling and go straight to walking when the time comes! Daddy and I have to wrestle you just to sit on our laps to feed you your milk as you love to wriggle! Your new trick is to wriggle yourself around your play mat to reach your toys! 

Our darling Norah, we couldn’t imagine life without you. Everyday you bring us joy and so much happiness. We love you unconditionally and know that you love us too 💖 
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Saturday, 10 February 2018

A big life update

Who knew that my last blog post would be my last pregnancy related update as my waters broke just after midnight on Monday 18th December.
Cue a lot of drama in the form of severe dehydration, infection, burst valves, my mum fainting and my boyfriend vomiting, resulting in my darling daughter making her appearance via emergency c-section at 7:06pm that evening!

And do you know what?!

I wouldn't change it for the world. I'm not going to do a detailed birth story as it's something that I would like to keep quite private, plus, it is not as positive as I was hoping it was going to be. It's taken me some time to accept that my beautiful plan of having a natural waterbirth using hypnobirthing techniques just didn't happen.

However, it is true what they say... once you see your little baby for the first time you are so overcome with love and for me, relief! You don't quite forget the pain straightaway but nearly 8 weeks on, it is definitely beginning to fade.

Having a baby and making it to 'full term' delivering at 39 weeks was and is the most proudest moment of my life.

I am certainly one lucky lady.

Welcome to the world Norah May
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Sunday, 17 December 2017

My thoughts on pregnancy...

Back in April when we first found out we were expecting, I couldn't believe it. In fact I refused to believe it until we saw our little bundle wriggling around at our 10 week scan. The relief to know that I wasn't just making it up and I hadn't just caught a sickness bug was truly overwhelming. Fast forward two more weeks when we had our 12 week scan.
It was very surreal that this little baby was developing well within me and would be making an appearance in December all going well.

I also kept thinking who was this little person to be? Were they male or female? What kind of personality would they have? Who would they look like the most? I did a lot of thinking...

I haven't had the easiest of pregnancies, working full-time through the most horrendous morning sickness (who coined 'morning sickness' anyway?). It felt like I was waking up with the world's worst hangover every day - sickness, fatigue, headache etc you name it, hello first trimester! For a long time there wasn't anything to indicate that this was a good thing to be happening, in fact, I struggled for a long time even saying 'I'm pregnant'.

Roll onto the second trimester...
This is the time where I had a couple of weeks where I actually felt good and enjoyed seeing all the little changes that were happening. Then wham... I caught whooping cough. I wouldn't wish this on anyone, two courses of anti-biotics, an inhaler and being signed off work for a week just wouldn't budge it. In the end my doctor said to me "it's known as the 100 day cough" great...
I was very happy to have made it to the school summer holidays and really rested over the 5 weeks, plus doing lots of decorating which made me incredibly happy - nesting happened early for me!

Finally I made it to the third trimester. I have been religious about applying stretch mark cream and body butters since finding out I was expecting (nope, still can't say I'm pregnant?!). We were on our lovely babymoon for me to discover some rather flattering stretch marks - cue the crying!

I never expected me to have these reactions throughout my pregnancy. The way I thought about things and how I viewed myself really shocked me. I've never been a person to worry about 'body image' but all of a sudden, this is all I could (and can) think about. To be honest, I have really struggled with my body's changes and I am already worrying about what 'after baby' is going to look like.

Now I am on maternity leave, it feels like I have lost apart of my identity. Plus on a more selfish note, it feels as if I am missing out. I saw videos of my little class singing their hearts out during their Christmas Nativity play and I just felt so emotional. My job is my passion too - I love my job... I mean how many people can say that? It's not until recently that I've realised just how much I love my job. People keep saying that "when you have your baby you wont even think of work" which maybe true, but this is how I feel.

Reading back through this post, it comes across quite 'moany' and I have even thought about deleting this post. But I think we are surrounded by fairy tales and made to feel like we should be embracing every part of pregnancy. Don't get me wrong, this has been an experience and I have enjoyed certain parts of it. With less than a week to go until she's due, I am very much looking forward to meeting this little one now.


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Monday, 11 December 2017

Maternity Leave

I can't believe I am 38 weeks pregnant.

The last few weeks have whizzed by and I am now enjoying my first day of maternity leave. I had a lovely last week at work, complete with a surprise baby shower.
I am really proud of myself that I was able to work up until 38 weeks, despite running around after 30 four and five year olds! It was very surreal handing everything over on Friday to my maternity cover. My laptop and iPad are my life whilst working and to not have those things sitting in the office over the weekend was such a strange feeling.
We had our 38 week midwife appointment today and everything is ticking along very well! I'm measuring exact, iron levels are now back up to 'normal' and baby's heartbeat is strong and steady. It is a waiting game now, but I am determined to make the most of these last few days or few weeks before the little one makes her appearance.






"The average weight of a baby at 38 weeks of pregnancy is about 3kg (6.8lb), and the average length is about 49.8cm - about as long as a leek" 

Days until due date: 12 days

The bump: definitely 'out there' and has definitely dropped.

Stretch marks: I haven't been able to get away from them in recent weeks, I have some 'mummy lines' on the sides of my waist. However, I am still sticking to my strict routine of applying belly butter twice a day.

Cravings: Still no cravings as such, but I have been enjoying drinking hot chocolate to help me drift off to sleep.

Sleep: This is becoming more and more difficult! Before going to sleep I have to arrange a pile of pillows in a certain formation and during the night I am waking up due to feeling uncomfortable.

Best moment of the week: Starting my maternity leave!

Worst moment of the week: Accepting the fact that I have to 'let go' of my wonderful class.

Miss anything? As the festive season gets closer and closer, I am developing a real hankering for a Bailey's coffee! Once the baby has arrived, that is to be my celebratory drink!

Maternity Clothes: As I'm getting bigger by the day, my maternity clothes are becoming tighter and tighter. I have adopted some of James' jogging bottoms and baggy tops to wear as PJs!

Belly button: It is now completely flat - much to my amusement!

Mood: Now I am relaxing, I can feel the stresses of daily life drifting away - it's safe to say I am feeling pretty content!

Looking forward to: Catching up with family and friends this week! 


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Sunday, 29 October 2017

The Second Trimester

 *post from 30.09.17*

I can't believe I am now in my final trimester!

I have really enjoyed the second trimester. The sickness has completely gone and I really took the time over the summer to embrace my new found energy!
I had a rocky start with finding the changes difficult, but I am fully embracing the bump. I am also really enjoying wearing clothes that properly fit me and I think this is helped me with my more positive attitude towards my body.
Over the summer, my dad helped me paint the nursery and the baby's room is looking lovely! It's definitely my favourite room in the house at the moment.
I also painted the living & dining room after seeing some gorgeous pictures in a House & Home magazine! I've already made a list of some new accessories I would like to add. I think I may be nesting!

I've also started organising the babies clothes. We have been so lucky in that all of our friends/ family that have had girls have passed loads of items down to us. Some outfits are brand new!
We have even bought some new clothes too - who can resist a babygrow?!
I can't wait to wash them all and hang them neatly in the wardrobe.

I'm most looking forward to our babymoon to Cornwall in October now. Not long until Term 1 finishes!
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Sunday, 24 September 2017

My week 24, 25 and 26 pregnancy update

“Your baby now weighs around 2 lbs and is 36 cms long. Their eyes will start to open this week and they will begin practising making breathing movements. Your baby will start to respond more to noises and can hear you and your partner chatting away.”


I cant believe how time is flying by now since going back to work after the holidays. How was my last update three weeks ago?!

How far along: 27+1 today 

Days until due date: 90 days

My bump: After a rocky start with coming to terms with my changing shape, I have turned a corner and I am fully embracing my baby bump! In recent weeks I have definitely popped out and my bump feels really hard and firm now. Some days I feel very neat and compact, and others I feel very heavy. I am still putting on my own shoes though! 

Weight changes: My pre-pregnancy weight was 9.5 stone and the last time I weighed myself I had put on a stone, but it is mainly bump and boobs! Although, I have noticed my thighs have gotten bigger. I am still very active, my job helps with this too as I am constantly on my feet!   

Stretch marks? No – still religiously using Palmers body oil, Bio Oil and plenty of body butters. I will have to do a separate post on these! 

Cravings: I am really enjoying having a hot chocolate in the evenings now before bedtime, but I think this is down to the darker nights and everything is feeling wonderfully Autumnal now. 

Sleep: No major issues with sleep yet – I am sleeping like a baby! It helps that my boyfriend rolls me over if I do end up sleeping on my back. A couple of times I have accidentally woken up on my back and it is a bit achy for the rest of the day, but soon eases. 

Symptoms: Recently I have felt really breathless when I’m talking which is completely normal during pregnancy but feels a bit odd when I have to pause and take a breath in the middle of a conversation! I'm also finding I lose track of what I am saying and I cant remember anything! Baby brain is definitely taking its toll! 

Best moment this week: Seeing our little baby wriggling around in my tummy. I can't wait to meet her! 

Worst moment this week: A couple of really stressful days at work - que the emotions! 

Miss anything? After this week at work I really fancied a Gin & Tonic. 

Maternity clothes: I have bought a couple of maternity bundles from ebay and kept some of the things that were nice. I have just ordered a few bits from jojomamanbebe though as I needed a nursing bra plus a few bits to wear when the weather turns colder. I found a lovely dress and a 4 way cardigan that can be changed into a jumper.   

Movement: Those small kicks/ ripples have developed into full on kicks now which can be seen! Especially when I'm applying my body butter before bed and she has a little wriggle! It's incredible to see.  

Belly button in/out: In but flat (definitely on its way out!)

Mood: Happy and energetic. Feeling a little apprehensive and nervous as I prepare to enter the third trimester. After such a lovely second trimester, I am worried that I am going to really struggle in the final trimester. I also know I will only be getting bigger and will probably have to start taking it easy - something I really struggle with as I like to keep busy. 

Looking forward to: Sorting out the final bits for the baby's room this week. 



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