Little Pickles Market

Today Dominic and I took a little trip to Little Pickles Market. I’m not usually one for markets as they’re so busy. And I hate busy. I’m the same with sales, with clothes in piles everywhere, it’s unorganised and people bump into me left, right and centre. I can’t stand ’em. And if I hated them before, I hate them 10 times more now that I’m pushing a buggy around.

Despite my feelings for unorganised, busy places, today I wanted to give it a go.

As I’d expected, it was manic. A fairly small hall, filled with parents upon parents, most of whom where pushing around prams. I had to do a few circuits before I actually managed to get close enough to a stall. But when I did, I was pleasantly surprised.

There was a huge selection of boys clothes to choose from, and it wasn’t a huge jumble, it was all actually very organised. There were a lot of toys too, but Dominic has far too many, I didn’t want to clutter up our house even more. The people running the stalls were lovely too – for some reason I had it in my head that they’d be grumpy and disinterested, but having said that, the market only ran for an hour and a half, so they didn’t have much time to get bored!


The front one is my favourite. DINO-SIR!

I ended up purchasing 3 t-shirts from a lovely lady, and some dungarees from another. All in all, it cost me £3! I was so pleased. No wonder people go mad for markets. I think today I’ve been converted.


Next time I’ll be smart though, and bring Dominic in his carrier for optimum weaving ability, and to spare my sanity a little.


p.s. There is another Little Pickles market going on tomorrow in Eastleigh, for anyone interested. They also run Bigger Pickle events for the older ones.

Reflexology and getting pregnant


Reflexology helped me in a big way. While some may dispute this, I genuinely believe that there are a lot of benefits to reflexology. It can help with a great deal of things; it can reduce stress, alleviate pain, eliminate toxins, and the most important one for this post, it can help with fertility.

Early last year, I was diagnosed with an overactive thyroid. Amongst other things, this put my cycles out of whack. It meant I’d go months without a period, and therefore, I wouldn’t ovulate. If you’re trying to get pregnant, you’ll probably know that you can’t get pregnant unless you ovulate. No egg, no baby. Simple. I tried all sorts to help. I drank special tea’s, I took vitamins and I changed my diet. But nothing worked. Nada. I just wasn’t ovulating.

After many, many, many searches with Dr Google, I eventually came across Reflexology. At the time, I’d never heard of it. I’d never really believed in holistic therapies – as far as I was concerned they would provide relaxation, and that’s about it. Being curious however, I did do a little searching on ‘reflexology and fertility’. After an entire day of searching (I got a little Google happy), I’d found that there were a lot of women claiming to get pregnant after reflexology sessions.

At this point, I was willing to try anything. I came across Alex, from Amethyst Reflexology. I promptly contacted her and arrived for my first session not long after. I was very sceptical, I mean, how on earth could  foot rub help me get pregnant?! The session was wonderful though, I felt relaxed and optimistic, and was keen for another visit – whether it helped or not (the only downside was my feet would slip all around in my shoes on the drive home)! Low and behold, 2 days later I got a positive ovulation test. It worked! Sure, you may be thinking this is a fluke. However, it happened each time I went. About 2-3 days after, I’d get the positive test again.

(if you do use ovulation tests and are spending a bomb in store, try these. Much cheaper, and you can buy in bulk)

Now I totally get that some people won’t believe this, and that’s fine. But, I do genuinely believe that it helps your body get back into sync with itself, reduce stress, and by stimulating parts of your foot (linked with your reproductive organs), reflexology can help both boost your fertility, and encourage ovulation.

After my third session, I fell pregnant. Unfortunately this wasn’t meant to be, and if you’ve read my previous post (click here if you’re interested) you’ll know that this pregnancy didn’t last. However, the very next month I fell pregnant again. And now I’m sat here with baby to the left of me.

Reflexology may not be for everyone, and not everyone will have the same positive experience I did. But if you are struggling to get pregnant, I couldn’t recommend this enough. Surely it’s worth a shot? It is kinda expensive, but that’s why I only went once a month (mid cycle), and the results are more than worth it.

Alex can be contacted on this link, if you’re interested in trying reflexology with her. There are plenty of places to try it if you don’t live in the Southampton/Portsmouth area though.

I’m really hopeful that reflexology will help others the same way it did us, so please share this with your friends :)

The final few weeks

I know my blog says that it’s all about parenthood, but there is still so much I want to talk about from pregnancy. One thing in particular, is the final stretch. Most people would consider this the last 10 weeks of pregnancy, but I mean the last 2 or 3. As soon as a woman hits the 37 week mark (which although not due until 40 weeks, is deemed full term), women go crazy. I mean really crazy. Anything they can do to get that baby out, will be done. Hell, I’ve even heard of women walking up and down the stairs sideways in an attempt to bring on labour?! (I won’t say whether or not I tried that…)

Anyway, one thing that helped keep me going was my 2 week countdown bag, prepared for me by my marvellous sister-in-law. This works very much like a calendar, and each day during the last 2 weeks, I had a gift to unwrap. And at the risk of sounding like a big kid, I bloody loved it. The gifts don’t need to be mega expensive, super high tech, shiny things; but little gifts, gifts that will prove useful. My sister-in-law wrapped up bits that would help with the hospital bag (deodorants, creams, body wash etc), bits to pamper myself with (like bubble bath – I’m sure any pregnant woman will agree, a bath when you’re that uncomfortable is like heaven in a tub), and useful bits for the baby. One of my favourites was a travel steriliser for dummies!

My reason for posting this is because I really enjoyed it, so any future mum’s may do too. So if you’re pregnant, maybe ask your partner to prepare something for you as a treat? Or, if you know a pregnant woman, why not prepare a little something as a surprise to make her last 2 weeks a little bit more exciting.

Pregnancy gifts

Here’s an example of some things that might be handy

If you don’t think I’m an arse for insinuating you should buy things, the below might be handy as ideas to treat for the mumma-to-be:

  • Dry shampoo (trust me, she’ll need it)
  • Breast pads (again, she’ll need it. See my previous post here for back up)
  • Nipple cream (I highly recommend Lansinoh)
  • Bubble bath
  • Travel body wash/shampoos for the hospital
  • Cotton wool
  • Infacol
  • Chocolate
  • … More chocolate
  • Puzzle books (only if catering to a nerd, like me)
  • A travel steriliser
  • A book
  • A baby grow

I feel like I’m stating the obvious, and they’re just ideas. But you never know, it could help. I think it’s a wonderful idea – each morning I woke up still pregnant (note the frustration), it gave me just a little something to get excited for.

The hospital bag

In the last 2 months of pregnancy, it’s time to get the hospital bag packed. After all, baby could come at any time. Some people say that packing too early will jinx you, and will make baby come late – and if that’s true, oh well, everyone loves a chunky baby! And you can never be too prepared, right? I couldn’t even speak during my contractions, let alone faff about packing a hospital bag.

I started with a list, that way I wouldn’t accidentally forget anything when it came to it. But what to pack? If you ask my good friend, Google, “what to pack in my hospital bag” you’ll be inundated with lists upon lists as long as your arm, with ‘essentials’ that you’ll need for your hospital bag.

I remember going shopping with my Nan and Aunty for the remaining bits on my list, and my list was long. I blindly followed these online guides to a T, without once questioning them. I was asked what I needed some of the items for, and I genuinely had no idea. I couldn’t answer. I’d just copied everything down that I saw – I mean, the internet’s always right, isn’t it? I still don’t know what a ‘baby flannel’ is, but I was convinced I needed one.

When it came down to it, there was very little I actually used. I didn’t have hours upon hours to spend chatting, doing puzzles (yes, I’m a massive puzzle nerd) or snacking to keep me occupied. From my list (I won’t bore you with the actual one), I must have only used:

For me:

  • Change of clothes
  • PJ’s
  • Bikini (I attempted a water birth)
  • Lots of big granny pants
  • A nursing bra
  • Maternity pads
  • Shampoo & body wash
  • List of people to call (after you’ve pushed a baby out, there’s a good chance you’ll forget someone important)
  • Lucozade sports drinks (with straw of course, gotta stay classy)

For baby:

  • 2 x baby grows
  • 2 x vests
  • A blanket
  • A hat
  • 2 x muslin cloths
  • Many nappies (although we only used maybe 4 or 5)
  • Cotton wool for changing nappies (you can use wet wipes, but be prepared for frowning midwives…)
Hospital Bag

This was actually our second, smaller bag. The main one was about twice the size. See what I mean?

It may still seem like quite a lot, but this is about a third of what we actually packed. The reason I’m posting this is mainly an FYI for any pregnant women reading this, you might feel more comfortable packing more which is fine, but trust me, you won’t need it. A lot of things like towels will be provided by the hospital/birth centre, and if you’re bottle feeding most will provide you with formula. Hell, they tried to feed me mid pushing, so they definitely won’t let your baby go without.

Maybe I’m wrong, maybe other parents used the entirety of their ginormous  bags, or found other things that I haven’t mentioned, essential. If so, please do feel free to comment, you never know, it could help someone who’s starting to think about packing their bag :)

Why pregnancy is so damn good.

I can’t believe Dominic is over 6 weeks old now. I have absolutely no idea where those weeks went, it feels like yesterday I was big, fat and pregnant. I absolutely adore being a mum, but I also miss being pregnant (despite what I may have said towards the end of my pregnancy…)

Now that I’ve been pregnant, it seems that all I see are pregnant women. Shortly after birth I felt sorry for them (the first timers had no idea what was coming!), but now I can’t help but feel jealous. It’s made me very thoughtful about pregnancy, and the things I really miss:

  • The kicks – those little kicks (while sometimes painful) felt amazing. And nobody but me knew they were happening – unless of course I was asking people to feel them, which admittedly did happen often! I used to love just sitting down, giving my belly a rub and feeling his little feet kicking me (and the hiccups, can’t forget the hiccups). Maybe I don’t miss the kicks in the ribs, but the rest was wonderful.
  • An excuse to nap, ALL the time – being pregnant meant I was sleepy constantly, and gave me an excuse to nap whenever I wanted, judgement free. I guess I still can play the ‘baby card’, and nap when Dominic does. But realistically, it just doesn’t happen, nap time is chore time. I think I’ll change the above to “having time to nap, all the time”.
  • Special treatment – while I often declined extra help, it was nice to have it offered to me. The amount of times people would say to me “but you’re pregnant”, when offering me a seat, letting me use the toilet first, making me a cup of tea and so on. Again, some people will still offer it now to help me with the baby, but it’s only a matter of time before I’m meant to be used to motherhood, and that goes away. Booooo!
Bump photo

I’m fairly certain this was my big ol’ bump a few weeks before I popped. Although it seems awfully small looking back at it…

  • The big bump – bloated? Who cares, nobody can tell! I remember being out with friends would would complain that they were bloated (no bread or pasta for them!), and just feeling secretly smug because I could have what I wanted and pass mine as baby.
  • An excuse to eat more – nobody judges a woman stuffing her face when she’s pregnant. Seconds? Thirds? Sure, I’m pregnant! It’s a shame that near the end Dom squashed my stomach so much that I couldn’t fit half as much in.
  • The excitement of what’s to come – especially if you’re a first time mum, you have absolutely no idea what to expect. I spent most of my time dreaming about this lovely little baby that was going to come into my life. The waiting felt very much like Christmas. And I love Christmas.

I’m curious as to what other mums enjoyed most about pregnancy (or maybe even disliked). Please feel free to share below :)