Sunday, August 23, 2015

31 weeks pregnant update!

Hello everyone! Today I am 31 weeks pregnant, only 9 weeks until my due date of October 26th. My last update I was 25 weeks pregnant, and I don't feel a lot has really changed or happened since then to be honest. I had my third scan last Monday, but unfortunately I had a pretty awful sonographer who didn't once show me the screen so didn't get to see baby at all :( I asked for a photo but she declined saying she couldn't get one. I felt really annoyed and slightly upset, but I have another scan in 3 weeks time so I will be definitely demanding to see the screen and to get a photo as it'll most likely be my last scan before he arrives!

28 weeks pregnant
30 weeks pregnant
I've still had no cravings, but my appetite has gone pretty much back to normal besides I can only really eat half of what I use to before. My heartburn has recently come back in the last week, and my feet and ankles have started to swell especially after my 8 hour shifts. I finish work officially on September 12th, but I have two weeks holiday before then so my last shift is August 29th :) I've definitely had more intense lower back pain/sciatica, where the pain runs down from my lower back through my butt and down both of my legs (usually to my knees). It's very painful and it makes it difficult to move, walk, go to the toilet, stand up etc. The only thing that seems to help is a hot bath which I have pretty much everyday.

I have everything for the baby ready, but because I'm still waiting for a place to live with baby, majority of everything is in storage so it's pretty frustrating when you want to get everything set up and ready but you can't. I can't wait to be able to decorate my own home, I just hope I get a place and hopefully have a few weeks to get it somewhat ready before he arrives. I'm planning to make all the food from scratch when he starts weaning, which I've got everything for (pretty much all Tomee Tippee equipment including the blender). I bought the First Foods Book by Ella's Kitchen which looks really good so it'll be fun to try out. 
So yeah, that's it really! Baby is still very very active, I've noticed the fetal hiccups about 1-2 weeks ago and since then I've had them regularly. He is head down and currently kicking me in the rib area which is lots of fun... not ^-^ I'm still excited about the labour and birth, I've written a draft of my birth plan and I'm starting to pack for the hospital (lots of lists!). I'm hoping things will go smoothly for the next 9 or so weeks, and overall I plan for a natural vaginal delivery unless an emergency caeserean is necessary.

Love, Abby :)

Sunday, July 12, 2015

25 weeks pregnant update!

Hello everyone. I feel it's time for another update, a lot has been happening and I want to share this journey with everyone as well as for myself to be able to look back and reminisce. I can't believe I have 3 weeks until the last trimester, and 15 weeks until my due date! So far I'm not scared at all, I'm actually excited about giving birth and if I could I'd do it now; but he needs to stay cooking for a little while longer :)

The second scan at 22 weeks and 2 days
So my pregnancy is going pretty well; the sickness has subsided for the last 3-4 weeks and my appetite has started to come back a little and I've gained a total of 4lbs so far. I've been told I'm smaller than expected for 25 weeks, but I've definitely gotten bigger the last few days (it literally felt overnight!). I've had so many compliments from people at work about my little bump and how well I look, which is really nice and does boost my confidence. I bought two maternity dresses from New Look which I really like, one is knee length and one is floor length, but for this heat they will be my best friends before long! The heartburn has gotten a lot better (even though I have heartburn as I'm typing this...). 

This was taken at 23 weeks and 3 days.
I've had no cravings still, but because I've had barely an appetite I've been mainly living off cookie crisp cereal, mini cheddars and ice lollies. I've been trying my best to keep hydrated especially at work. I've had aches and pains in various places including my back, stomach, hips, knee, and feet; but a new pain is my groin and it isn't pleasant at all. I've not been constipated which is great, and I hope it stays that way! He has been wiggling around constantly, I can see them all over the place and it's such a weird yet wonderful feeling. The main place I keep updated with my life including the pregnancy is my Instagram which is now private but you're welcome to follow me, it's more to keep certain nosy people from sniffing around where they don't belong.

This was taken at 24 weeks and 6 days.
My cat Shiloh always used to sit/sleep on my stomach, but she's had to settle for my lap instead.
I'm not sure how often I will be able to update you guys, but I will try my best. I will be moving into my new place hopefully before he is born, and I'm not sure whether I'll have internet there or not. However once I've set up my new place and have everything organised (the nesting 'symptom' is real, and for people like me who love to organise things... its even worse and driving me crazy because I can't do anything yet!!), I will do a whole post on it to show you all :)

Take care! Love Abby x
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Wednesday, June 10, 2015


Hello everyone, long time no see! This year has been a rollercoaster for me, and not a fun one at that. But now I am back with some positive news and I'm so excited... I'm 5 months pregnant! :) I found out a few weeks ago (but feels like I've known forever) but I had no idea how far along I was as I haven't really had periods for a number of years now. I had my first scan on May 27th where I thought I was around 12 weeks, and it turned out I was 18 weeks! BIG shock, but it made it even more real and exciting. I'm now currently 20 weeks 2 days.
I was so shocked because since I found out I was pregnant to the scan, I have actually lost about 10lbs. My stomach had started to become rounder and harder the week leading up to the first scan and I had started to feel movement quite regularly too. So when I found out I was 18 weeks, my mom decided to pay for a private gender scan the next day (you have to pay for gender scans now, and the one we got cost £79 including 2d and 4d prints). I'll be honest, I really wanted to have a girl and I was unsure how I would've felt it being a boy. I've never wanted children anyway but always wanted a girl if I did, which is silly because you can't choose the sex either way >.< But after looking online and speaking to people, feeling disappointed on having the opposite gender you hoped for is very common and nothing to feel ashamed about. I soon got over it and cannot wait to hold my little boy :)

Since I found out I was pregnant, my main symptoms have been feeling sick, no appetite, awful heartburn and gagging all the time. I rarely have been sick so far because I'm not eating much food, although I am trying to eat more since I found out I am in the second trimester. I was so surprised he was so healthy and a healthy size, I felt so relieved and wanted to try my best to make sure he continues to grow healthy. The heartburn is awful, it's said the more heartburn you have the more 'hairier' your baby will be... Seeing as the father was born with so much hair (more than I currently have!) it's a big possibility. Another symptom I've started getting which is right for the time now, is sore and swollen feet, and backache. I usually get them after each work shift and if I go out walking for more than an hour.

My huge belly at 18 weeks 5 days

I've started to experience Braxton Hicks which aren't painful but make my lower stomach extremely tight for a minute or less. I've had regular movement especially after I eat, and I usually fall asleep feeling him move with a smile on my face :) I can't wait for my little peanut to arrive, the due date is October 26th but I have a feeling he will arrive a little earlier. Let's hope everything continues to go well because it's all downhill from here!

Love Abby and baby xx

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Friday, May 01, 2015

Comparing Filofax Inserts (Filofax, Paperchase, Kikki-K, and Piaric)

Hello everybody! It's been such a long time since I made a Filofax related blog post, and I feel very guilty for neglecting the blog overall. I have little inspiration for blog posts, but recently someone got in touch about Filofax inserts (specifically in the UK) and I thought it might help a few people to hear my opinions on the Filofax inserts I have tried in the past. I haven't got photos of me using each inserts so please bare that in mind, and I hope this helps you in choosing future inserts :)

Click to view on the Filofax website
Filofax Week On Two Pages (horizontal)
When you order a Filofax it will usually come with the week on two page inserts. These are the horizontal inserts that came with both my first Filofax's. They are okay if you're not looking to decorate much or use pens that are going to bleed through, because the paper quality isn't good at all. It's very thin and you can generally see the writing on the previous pages through the paper. Some people feel there isn't enough space to write on each day but others may find it's perfect. I personally didn't like these inserts and I was on the hunt for 'prettier' inserts with better paper quality. I would rate these inserts 4/10.

Click to view on the Filofax website
Filofax Week On Two Pages (vertical)
These are the vertical week on two pages inserts from Filofax, and as I said in the paragraph above, these are the same paper quality as the horizontal inserts. I cannot remember if I bought these inserts or if they came with another Filofax, but I definitely wasn't a fan of them at all. I ended up using mine as a food diary for a while but it just wasn't doing it for me and I had to get new inserts. These would be better suited to someone who has appointments/meetings throughout the day at specific times as they have the hours throughout the day on them. These definitely aren't good if you're looking to decorate or journal as there is limited space. I would rate these inserts 4/10 (6/10 for business purposes).

Click to view the Paperchase inserts
Paperchase week on two pages inserts
These inserts are by a UK brand called Paperchase (which also happens to be one of my favourite stores EVER). They are lined week on two page inserts and are one of my favourite inserts which I used for a good few months. The paper quality is much better than the Filofax inserts and they are overall nicer than the Filofax inserts in my opinion. They came with an 18 month diary (including yearly/monthly inserts), 6 dividers, and extra notepaper. All this for a very cheap £6! I didn't have much to write in as you can see so that left me extra room for little notes, stickers, sticky notes or washi tape. The only reason I stopped using these inserts was because I got a Kikki-K planner which came with it's own inserts and I started using those, but I would definitely use these again and would definitely recommend them :) I would rate these inserts 8/10.

Click to view the Kikki-K inserts
Kikki-K week on two pages inserts
These inserts are the week on two pages by Kikki-K. They came with my first Kikki-K planner (the mint and gold A5 time planner) which I bought from a fellow instagrammer in the UK. It's my favourite planner so far as well as being my favourite inserts to date. As you can see they are very plain and have a lot of space to write/doodle/decorate, and they have very faint lines which is perfect if you find it hard to write neat on plain paper. Some people don't like these because they are quite thin and do bleed through with certain pens, but I find they are better paper quality than the Filofax inserts. I absolutely loved these inserts and I wanted to buy them again for 2015 but because they're shipped from Australia it can be quite expensive, as well as extra customs charges that can happen! But as I have a few friends in Australia I'm sure I could ask them to send me them over to avoid custom charges (which I'd obviously send money or a thank you gesture in return). I would rate these inserts 9/10.

Click to view Piaric's weekly inserts
Piaric week on two pages inserts (Mon-Sun)
Piaric is a seller on Facebook and Instagram, and she now has her own website you can order from (click on the link above to view all her available inserts). She has designed all the inserts herself and she will print them off and hole punch them for you too. I found her a while ago while I was using the Paperchase inserts and I have been wanting to try her inserts out for a while now, and I finally decided I would for 2015 (even though I've only ordered them less than a month ago... oops!). The price for the inserts combined with shipping is quite a reasonable price considering she does make and print these herself. I was so happy when I received them because the paper quality is the best I've ever experienced. The paper is smooth but thick, I highly doubt that any pen will bleed through but I have yet to test that out. The pages are clean looking with a lot of space for writing/doodling/decorating which is great for all you creative people, or when you just get bored! The only downside is obviously having to get used to writing without any lines, although you could try to put a page of dark lined paper behind the page (again I have yet to test this). I am definitely a fan of these and they are really worth the money and wait. I would rate these 9/10.

Okay so that's all the inserts I have used so far in my Filofax journey. The opinions and rates are due to my experience with them and whether I'd use them again. My favourite inserts are the Kikki-K and Piaric; and my worst are the Filofax inserts. I would love to hear your feedback on any inserts I've included as well as any others you've tried. Hopefully this will help people who are looking to buy inserts that will last a long time and will fit their needs. Thanks guys and have a great day!

Love, Abby x 

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Saturday, February 14, 2015

My Experience In A Psychiatric Hospital

I've been through a long and stressful few months, and without getting into the gritty details, I ended up being sectioned under the Mental Health Act and put into a psychiatric hospital. The only free bed was 4 hours away from my house so I had to take an ambulance ride from 10:30pm to 2:30am in order to get there. So here is a run down of what happened the past 2 weeks.

Day 1 to 3 - This is my first time being admitted to a psychiatric hospital, and I'm currently on a NHS and Private ward which is quite nice and feels more like a small hotel than a hospital. The room has it's own bathroom and is decent, with an okay bed (but the worst pillow!). The staff are lovely, from the moment I arrive at 2:30am to the minute I leave, they're kind and considerate, and they don't seem to judge me at all. I am read my rights seeing as I'm under section, and I'm given the right to appeal against my section which I decline. I am weighed and measured, blood pressure and all that jazz. I am then seen by a not so kind doctor about 3:30am who asks me questions and all I can say is that I'm tired. He starts me on anti-psychotic medication which apparently is weight neutral (I was on Quetiapine last year which made me gain a lot of weight very quickly so I stopped it).

I am greeted every 15 minutes from the staff for observations, which means they come into my room and check I'm okay and then leave (but this usually always woke me up and was very annoying). I was woken up around 8:45am to take my daily medication of Venlafaxine (anti-depressant) and Amisulpride (anti-psychotic). I slept the first day right through until the evening where I decided to eat something, I had declined the breakfast and lunch they brought me because I just wanted to sleep and when I go away from home I lose my appetite. The staff are very nice and ask if I'm okay with most of the 15 minute checks, which I'm usually trying to sleep. My phone charger was taken away to be safety checked, so I have to charge my phone at night in the reception area -_- I get given my charger back a day or two later by a nice member of staff.

I am given an ECG on my stay to check if my heart is okay with the new medication, and I had to do a pee sample too. I decided to take a bath but am sorely disappointed that it takes 10 minutes to fill up less than a quarter of the tub, and the water is barely warm so I have to take a fast bath and wash my hair with my head upside down. I realized before I forgot shampoo and conditioner so they had to provide both for me (I was given 10-15 minutes to pack before leaving my home so I'm surprised I didn't forget more essentials). My lunch and dinner's are made fresh from the kitchen below me, which is such a relief and tastes really delicious. I get to choose my meals from two choices and I'm allowed to make myself toast and hot/cold drinks between meals. They also make you an "emergency supper sandwich" for after dinner if you get hungry. I saw the doctor as well as my assigned doctor 2-3 more times throughout my short stay, asking if I could be moved back closer to home soon which they agreed. I met a few other patients who were all lovely, some were more reserved and stayed in their rooms like myself. I was so relieved to learn all the patients doors were locked and could only be opened by you from the inside (the staff had keys to get in for checks).

Day 4 to 11 - I was woken up on the 4th morning around 10:30am to be told they have a bed at home where I can be moved to hopefully today! I was so happy, I started packing later in the day, had lunch at 12pm, and about 3:30pm we were heading back on a 4 hour journey home. The paramedics kindly offered me food and drink when we stopped half way which I gladly accepted with a KFC milky bar krushem, a few fries, and some Wine Gums ^_^ I had a lovely chat with them about becoming a paramedic myself as well as some other topics, and had a laugh too. Both ambulance journeys the paramedics were so lovely to me and non-judgmental, I adored them and thanked them throughout both journeys.

I arrived back in my hometown around 7:45-8pm bursting for a pee. I had to wait a good 10-15 minutes until someone saw me as it was the staff handover. I was asked the same old questions "why am I there?" "what happened?" blah blah, and then I was shown my room. The ward was definitely more like a hospital, and the bed wasn't as comfy as my other one but the pillow was an improvement. I saw the doctor on call about 40 minutes later who asked the same questions and did general obs, had blood taken and my temperature which showed I had a fever for no reason. I had to take pee samples again, and my tests showed that I had high levels of white blood cells but it was nothing to worry about. They gave me paracetamol for the fever and I was left to have a sandwich and drink, and go to bed.

There was more of a routine in the second hospital, with the first wake up call at 7am for tea and coffee; then the second was just before breakfast at 8am (I went to breakfast the first morning but didn't any of the other mornings). They then regularly checked on me through the door window seeing as I didn't leave my bedroom often, only to get a drink or use the toilet as there wasn't one in my room. Despite all the slight negatives, I was happy to be home so my boyfriend, mom and my care co-coordinator could come and visit me (and I could get some shampoo and conditioner!!). I decided lunch a few days when I didn't want to wake up or go out of my room. Throughout the days I gathered enough courage to go in the craft room to draw/colour in, or in the TV room with the other patients. I met most of the other patients, one who seemed the most similar to me in situation (although I never asked) and age, everyone else was older than me. There was about 8-9 females and we had a female only ward, but the males would occasionally wander down which used to scare me. Some males would get aggressive and start shouting and throwing things (I see now why all the cutlery was plastic), and these times I was glad I could lock myself in my room. That was the only major negativity.

I was given some leave after a week or so of being there, where I could go out for 4 hours with my mom or boyfriend, and 2 hours on my own (6 hours leave altogether which I gladly took). The first leave was with my mom on a Saturday where I went home for 4 hours, went shopping and brought back my pillow, some crossword books, my penpal letters to reply to, and I cleaned my clothes whilst I was there to bring back too. I wish I could've taken my fan though because it was so hot in the rooms! I went out a few times with my boyfriend to town for 6 hours to stretch my legs and feel 'normal' again, and I actually saw a guy from the ward in town and it got me thinking how many ill people were around us and we didn't know it. Anyway, I asked to be discharged because I felt I was in there for no reason, and I had to wait to see the consultant on the Wednesday who ended up agreeing and taking me off section. Being honest I lied, I still am not well but I needed to be home so I said what they wanted to here. I discharged myself the same day and it felt so good to be home and in my own bed! 

But it's now been nearly 4 days since I've come home and I'm not sure whether I made the right decision to come home. I still feel very blank and lost, with bad thoughts. I don't know whether being in hospital longer like they suggested would've been a better idea, but I felt so home sick I would've done anything to get home. I do enjoy being home but I have no structure and no desire for a routine. I'm going back to work this Thursday night which I'm slightly dreading, it was a reason I discharged myself early too. I've been off for 2 weeks now and I'm always scared I'll be dismissed for being ill which I know isn't right and wouldn't normally happen, especially as I followed procedure and gave a sick note. It's my paranoia of being fired that makes me so determined to get better and be normal again. But I'm still struggling as I write this at 2:30am, and whether I will go back in hospital or not is to be seen. I am being seen at 10:30am by the Crisis team to see if they can help me now in any way.

I hope you enjoyed my story. I wrote it because the hours after I was sectioned before I left home, I was frantically looking up experiences on psychiatric hospitals and what to expect. Let me tell you it's nothing like Girl Interrupted or One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. I'd love to hear your experiences or answer any questions. I hope I included everything I could remember.

Love, Abby x
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