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It's Smear-ly Nothing But Means Alot

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

I was shitting myself about my first smear. Yes, I may have had a baby on eight months ago and undergone a whole host of prods and probes in the process but something about being scraped, scratched and smeared just freaked me out.

With this post I want to put to bed all your smear fear as really ladies it is a mere tickle. There are no large metal scraping implements (as I had dreamt up the in the week leading up to the test) it is just a teeny tiny silicon pastry brush that tickles the top of the cervix. It feels like you need a wee for all of 2 seconds, don't worry you won't actually wee! I have the weakest bladder out there so I would know if it was going to cause some sort of Tena lady moment.

And with that it's over... simples. I wish that I had known how easy and as far as these things go uninvasive the test would be. So , I hope this short but sweet post helps you break your smear fear and book in that test, preventing cancer is so important and if you don't go you just never know.

Smear testing is offered to women aged 25-64 in England, United Kingdom. When you hit 25 you will have a letter come through to remind you to book it in as well as a booklet of information. If you get to 25 and you haven't recieved the information contact your local GP.

As I am in no way medically trained this is just an account of my personal experience, if you have any real questions about cervical screening then head over to the NHS website

Antenatal support

Sunday, 28 January 2018

When I began this venture into motherhood I had a complete phobia of hospitals, even saying the word made my palms sweat. So, finding myself pregnant I knew this meant an abundance of appointments with some undoubtedly at the hospital not to mention the big day.
So I looked for an alternative for coping with the pain and my medical phobia. This is when my midwife suggested Hypnobirth (available on the NHS in Norfolk, which is fab). Immeadiatly all I could think of is those awful smelling insense, wide legged trousers that everyone who's been to Thailand own, and my mum's earth loving friend with hairy armpits. Who once took all my street cred away with one big wave at my local swimming baths when I was about 14.
However in fact I couldn't be more wrong what I found was not only coping strategies for labour but a network of women who I now meet up monthly with to discuss,moan and giggle about this journey called motherhood.
Finding support at antenatal gave me such confidence just the back up of another opinion (in our case 5 others) makes you feel like your doing the right thing. We have talked all things breastfeeding,bottle feeding,poo,sleep and all the other cliche mothering topics but my god what a support it has been! Forget the health visitor and her text book advice (don't completely forget her but you get my jist) the real helping hand come in the form of other women in similar situations.
So if your about to pop, found out your newly pregnant take up those cringy parenting classes where you squeeze knitted boobs and hold up photos of ring worm because I can tell you the support and advice from the fellow knitted boob squeezers is invaluable and has saved my sanity on many occasions!

Holiday in your own County

Thursday, 11 January 2018

A common misconception when you go to book a holiday is that you are looking to "go away" when infact what you are looking for is to put your feet up and get away from your everyday.

So with that in mind we are holidaying within our own County of Norfolk. With a not very well travelled a six month old, a mama going solo and a car packed to the brim it was with great comfort that I knew we only had about a 40 minute drive till we were on our holidays.

My mum treated us to a beautiful cottage in Holt by Barefoot Retreats which had all the mod cons as well as very instagramable decor, white fluffy robes and the most comfortable beds I have ever stayed in!  Gone where the mundane tasks of hoovering,washing and cooking replaced with great restaurants round the corner and freshly turned down sheets all on my door step.

Holt is a beautiful town in Norfolk with a great array of shops and eateries including a personal fave Byfords Cafe (it's a must go if your here). Only 5 miles from the stunning North Norfolk coast and seal trips at Blakeny it really does offer town,country and seaside in one luxurious package! 

So take the stress out of the great get away and start seeing what's round your corner....

Making the Most of Maternity Leave

Friday, 5 January 2018

Having a year off work sounds like some sort of dream. Long baths, endless shit telly, dinner dates and the freedom to do whatever the eff you like.
Throw a baby in the mix and at some point you will wish you were back at your 9-5. So, with the return to work only round the corner for me I thought it was only right to share my Maternity leave experience and how I made the most of it!

The first few months are a stressful, mad blur where you feel your life is upside down and you will never have a routine or any sort of rhythm to your day. However, with my partner returning to work I thought it was time to ditch the milk stained pjs, pull on a large pair of granny knickers and dip my toe in the world of mother and baby groups. I was struggling with feeding Archie so I went along to my local Sure Start Centre where I joined a breastfeeding cafe (now it's a feeding clinic so any sort of feeding is welcome! Yay for us bottle mamas!!)where I sat around with other mamas feeding our babies enjoying hot cups of tea. It was so useful with aiding my feeding journey and the health professionals are on hand to offer advice. When you have a newborn as they just sleep,eat,shit,repeat you feel that there isn't a lot of groups that you can attend so this is a great starting point (I soon learnt that this is not the case and any group you turn up with a teeny tiny newborn women will flock).

When you hit the 3-4 month stage and they become more alert this is a lovely time to head for more baby play groups. I found joining local facebook pages, looking what's on at local churches ( I am in no way religious but welcomed with open arms at all the church groups, so don't let that put you off) and keeping up with the children's centre all of which are usually free. Then there is the franchised classes that have a cost Baby Sensory, Water Babies, Tiny Talk to name a few.
What I found useful is having a diary and putting in all the dates of the free classes so if I was at my wits end I could see when my next activity was to relieve some of my sanity. I then signed up for one or two of the paid classes just so I was mixing in with all different mums to find my groove.

I found the more I got out there the regular faces you'd see and the small smiles across the room soon turned into friendly waves and hello's and before you know it your discussing your nether regions in depth and how you've never been the same!

I have to say that getting out there is daunting and can be rather overwhelming especially when you walk into a room where you know nobody but the more you go the more people you meet and before you know it your hosting a party...well I was anyway!

I have to say that it's the mums I've met along the way have made the mat leave amazing, I'm sad to be returning to work...

If your about to go on Maternity leave let me know what your most excited for in the comments below!

A First Family Christmas

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

So with the festive period quickly becoming a distant memory I wanted to share a few photographs from our first Christmas morning as a family of three. Archie surprised us with his own gift of lying in till 9am...RESULT! Then we made it downstairs and slowly but surely tore through his gifts. We didn't go overboard as at 6 months old he can't even distinguish whether its a Wednesday or a Friday let alone Christmas but he enjoyed peeling back the paper and mostly playing with the labels! 

We kept our festivities small and intermit with presents, prosecco and a lovely roast all at home and saw family either side of the big day!

I hope you all had a cracking day... roll on 2018.