30.04

Wow. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I honestly can’t remember the last time I sat down at my laptop and starting typing…it feels good. Good to be back, but it was also good to be away!

After six years of blogging non-stop (plus Instagram, and all the other social media that goes alongside running a blog), back in January I just…stopped. Deleted my emails from my phone, stopped worrying about keeping my numbers on Instagram up or sharing particularly popular or ‘likeable’ content, and decided to take a break from posting on my blog all together. The effect was like a cool breeze on a summer’s day- all the years of trying to keep up and keep posting and keep current and keep on keeping on, all that pressure just gone in an instant!

It’s been a mini maternity leave of sorts, and it’s been just wonderful. Don’t get me wrong, blogging isn’t the most stressful job going. At least, not for me. I love working from home, and being able to work around my family. Love the creativity, the freedom to experiment and try new things on a whim. But equally, it means that the work/life divide can become blurred at times. The constant pressure that sits on your shoulders, almost imperceptible until it lifts, to make sure that not only are you staying present and ‘living in the moment’ and giving your children your fullest attention at all times, but also documenting and photographing and planning content simultaneously without dropping any of those spinning plates.

I never feel like I’m doing it especially successfully. In fact, I follow countless incredible women online (Hannah! Gem! Jaclyn! Jess! Elena!) who inspire me on a daily basis but also make me wonder why I seem to plod along without ever making any progress.

But there’s going to be a shift here, as of now, and I’m so excited about it. Blogging used to be one of the greatest joys of my life. Cider with Rosie was my first baby! Back in 2012 when I first starting my blog, I used to get a little thrill of excitement every single time I published a post. The blogging community was the most exciting place to be, the community was supportive and close and way less ‘professional’ than it is now, and still now my Instagram DMs are full of messages from amazing, intelligent, insightful women whose advice and perspective and experiences my life would be poorer without.

I want to recapture that magic.

~ ~ ~

As of September, this won’t be my job any more. That feels so strange to say! If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that back in January I accepted a place at university to start training as a midwife. A midwife!! And THAT feels WONDERFUL to say!!

Midwifery has been a sort of secret passion of mine ever since I had Ottilie. Before then I never ever considered it as a job, it just never seemed to be on my radar! I always knew I wanted children in my early twenties, and had dreamed of being a mother my whole life.

As a teenager I was absolutely obsessed with pregnancy, birth, and motherhood. I used to devour pages and pages of Mumsnet threads, feeling like I was being let in on some secret world I wasn’t yet part of. Pregnancy fascinated me- round bellies stretched tight with a small miracle growing away inside. I used to daydream about what it would be like to be pregnant, grill family members and older friends about their birth stories, and remember vividly crying at the age of 14 because I knew I had years left to wait before I could experience it all myself.

I felt as though I was just in waiting, waiting to become a Mum.

And then I had Ottilie, and something clicked in my brain. I left the hospital, bruised and battered and elated and sore and absolutely sure that I was supposed to become a midwife.

It was like a fire had been lit in my belly, and I knew that all those years of obsession with birth and pregnancy weren’t just a longing to experiencing it all personally, but a desire to learn how to provide care for women and their babies at the most pivotal moment of their lives.

 ~ ~ ~

It thought maybe at first it was just a hormonal thing, that I’d get bored of the idea and move on in a few months. But it didn’t. The interest grew, I researched and learned and made initial, tentative enquiries to local universities about their admissions policies. I doubted myself, whether it would be possible or if I was academic enough. Midwifery is tough and competitive, with roughly a 20% success rate. I contemplated training as a doula instead, and at one point had a course picked out and my finger hovering over the ‘Pay Now’ button on the page ready book.

And then I had a chance meeting in our local CoOp with a retired midwife. Her name was Helen, she stopped to chat to me about Ottilie and we got to talking about midwifery straight away. Her words were the sweet, encouraging push I needed- she told me that she could tell I wouldn’t be satisfied as a doula since my interest was in providing medical care as well as emotional support, that I should have my babies first and enjoy every minute of them, then to be bold and go for it.

So one more pregnancy and another baby later (my sweet Arlo boy, he’s 6 and a half months now if you can believe it!), one UCAS application started 10 days postpartum and one personal statement written in the evenings with a small bundle sleeping on my chest, two interviews and two offers and one place joyfully accepted…and I’ve done it!

~ ~ ~

I won’t lie, I’m nervous. About the pressures it will put on my time, about spending less time with my own babies and about the responsibility of caring for others, about keeping up with the academic rigours whilst maintaining balance at home and in my personal life. I’m nervous I’ll drop the ball, not keep up, find it too challenging.

But I’m ready. And I’m excited! It’s been a pipe dream for two and a half years, and now I’m just 5 months away from the start line. Let’s do this!

~ ~ ~

I’m not sure exactly how much I’ll be able to share here or via my social media about my training. There are, rightly so, tight regulations about confidentiality within the medical field, and I’ll err on the side of caution always so as to protect myself and and anyone I meet in a professional setting.

But I want to keep Cider with Rosie alive. It’s a relationship I’m not finished with, and a love I’m ready to rekindle.

And I hope you’ll stay with me, as I start this exciting new chapter of my life. <3

 

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07.07

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A   M U M – T O – B E   U P D A T E

How far along: 31 weeks exactly, at the time of writing! 9 to go…

Days until due date: 62!! Which seems like absolutely no time at all, my goodness!

The bump: Definitely round and out there! I look unmistakably pregnant now, and I know this bump is only going to get bigger and grow more ‘out’ over the next few weeks. I’m still carrying very much all in the front, with not much to the sides.

Weight changes: No idea!

Stretch marks? None…yet. I’m hoping it bodes well to be a week shy of 8 months in without any stretch marks at all, but I might be unlucky in these final few weeks. Who knows! I’m still using the Palmer’s Skin Therapy Oil morning and night, and love how moisturised it leaves my skin.

Cravings: Ice creams, lollies, just plain ice…basically anything that’s been in the freezer! I love that fruit lollies are sweet enough to feel like a treat, but are super low calorie and fairly angelic, as treats go. Fruit smoothie lollies are my new favourite- 100% fruit, no nasties!

Sleep: I’ve been waking at about 5.30am every day for weeks now needing the loo, and sometimes find it hard to fall back to sleep. I usually do manage it though, and aside from finding it pretty uncomfy staying sleeping on my left hand side all night (if only the right side were the recommended side to sleep on!!), I’m not doing too badly!

Symptoms: None to speak of! I’m finding myself getting a little more tired these days, but not badly so.

Best moment this week: It’s a toss up between finishing the nursery (all that’s left to do is bring in the nursery chair!), and my weekly Body Balance class. Getting the nursery all wrapped up feels SO exciting (I can’t wait to show you the finished room, I’m just thrilled with it!), and my Friday morning Body Balance class just leaves my body feeling fantastic. I’m hoping I can keep going right until the end of my pregnancy!

Worst moment this week: Not this week but last- overdoing it carrying my suitcase round London on Wednesday, and winding up with such strong pain down the right side of my belly it left me in tears. It’s the most uncomfortable I’ve felt this whole pregnancy, and it brought forth a whole lot of hormonal crying right in the middle of a busy London street! Thankfully, I hopped on the next train home and rested for a few days, and all was well. But it was definitely a reminder that I need to slow down a little!

Miss anything? Nothing really! Maybe my normal clothes? Definitely my normal clothes, actually!

Movement: Constant! Baby is head down and usually has its body curled round the left side of my belly, so the punches and head butts are low down, whilst kicks and jabs are either high up towards my ribs or over on the right side of the bump!

Gender: Unknown- we’re all about the neutral baby clothes over here!

Belly button in/out: It depends- kind of half out when I lie down, and in but flat when I’m standing up.

Wedding Rings on/off: On, thank goodness!

Mood: Happy! Though I do get bouts of the dumbest worries! Last week it was about baby flipping to being breech before I give birth, and whether or not it’s normal for it to have hiccups more than once a day…feel free to eye roll at me ;)

Looking forward to: Umm…my next meal? Because it’s currently 5.50pm, and I’m pretty hungry right now…

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Posted in BABY, LIFE LATELY, PREGNANCY STYLE

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14.06

Cider-with-Rosie-nursery-before

1 2   W E E K S   A N D   C O U N T I N G .

You’ll have to excuse me if this post isn’t even vaguely coherent. I had pretty much the worst night’s sleep ever last night (sure I’ll be looking back and saying something quite different about a night that at least involved 4 and a half hours straight sleep come September, though…;), and was awake from 5 onwards.

It’s all the fault of Papa John’s- stupid salty greasy food eaten late left me dehydrated and restless all night long! Serves me right being too lazy to cook yesterday…

Anyway.

Up until yesterday evening, this is what our front bedroom looked like. Piled high with boxes and bags of baby things, stacks of tiny outfits filling every corner, and a Moses basket that’s become a storage container for yet more of the bits we’ve accumulated over the past few months.

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I’m not even all that sure why I fancied documenting the mess that is our nursery in progress (the mess that I actually did tidy just a little…okay, loads…to make photo-ready) here on my blog, but it just felt important!

Sometimes I worry about things needing to look so *polished* to be blog-worthy, but I was reminiscing recently about how fun it used to be a few years ago, when I first started blogging, just to capture memories without worrying about marketability and maintaining the absolute highest photographic standards and styling things until they look like something out of a magazine 24/7. Because these are the things that just get clean in the way of creativity and productivity, right?!

And I thought-  for goodness sakes, I want to recapture that old feeling of freedom!

So, here we are, for my own personal records more than anything else. Our almost nursery!

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We actually cleared out the room a little and put together our nursery furniture last night. It was delivered yesterday morning and I spent the whole day having to shift the giant boxes around just to squeeze in and out of doors and up and down the stairs, so Jason and I were on a mission by the time he got home from work in the early evening!

I’m a little daunted at how teeny that space feels now it’s been filled with our beautiful new furniture (do you ever feel like that, when you put a new piece of furniture in a room? That because it’s new, it’s all you can look at and so it feels huge?) but they’re the most perfect pieces and I’m so excited to get organising all the baby things we’ve been collecting this year.

And once we’ve popped the Moses basket up in the loft until we need it (it’s a family hand-me-down we’re keeping hold of right now just in case we want it as a place for baby to nap downstairs) and the Snuzpod co-sleeper comes through into our room later this summer (eeeeek!), it’ll all open up I’m sure!

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I actually was sat up in bed at 6am this morning browsing through IKEA’s range of storage boxes, since I need to buy a few for keeping all the baby’s clothes and its paraphernalia tidy in the dresser, and just the lovely compartmentalised, organised nature of it all made my heart beat fast.

Oh pregnancy nesting, what have you done to me!

So maybe I need to thank Papa John for that extra salty pizza and the heavy stomach and ultra dry mouth it resulted in that woke me up every 2 hours through the night…because hey, it bought me a little extra time to plan that room a little better!

That and you can’t ever regret a cheesy stuffed crust, right?

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05.04

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Oh, you have NO IDEA how good it feels to have finally been able to share the news of my pregnancy here on Cider with Rosie! Keeping the secret from you all has been so hard, and made me realise quite how much of myself I do share here. Finding out that we were expecting and my first few months of pregnancy have been totally all-consuming, and so not being able to share what had immediately become the hugest, most thrilling part of my life really was such a challenge. I’ve missed you!

Today I wanted to share with you a little round-up of my first trimester (I’m actually 18 weeks pregnant now, so roughly a month into my second trimester…), and update you on this whole pregnancy experience so far. If you’ve already watched my 15 week update video on YouTube then there might not be anything new to find out, so you can just look at the pictures if you fancy ;)

(p.s. The baby’s busy kicking me over on the left hand side of my stomach as I type, so I like to think it’s on board with this whole blogging thing already…)

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Jason and I found out we were expecting on New Year’s Eve, though we did suspect I might be pregnant over Christmas. This meant that the whole of this  Christmas turned into a game of ‘hide the fact that Rosie’s not drinking from our friends and family’…Jason stepped up and subtly drunk everything alcoholic that came my way, so he had the best Christmas season of his life! ;)

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I feel as though I was relatively lucky during my first trimester, since I escaped the dreaded ‘morning sickness’ and got away with just some nausea.

Instead, my main symptoms were fatigue (oh my GOODNESS the fatigue!!! It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced! I feel as though I basically dozed my way through the whole of January and February…), a loss of appetite combined with crazy hunger (all I could stomach was bland carbs, but needed to eat constantly!), a sense of smell that I reckon rivalled even Teddy and Elsie’s, and (this might be kind of an overshare, but hey!) the most INTENSE boob pain ever!

In fact, that pain was pretty much my first clue I might be pregnant, and is still with me three or so months later! The worst thing was it meant I had to stop sleeping on my stomach at 8 weeks, even though my ‘bump’ was non-existent enough at the time that I otherwise could’ve stayed on my front for at least another month or so. Sob!

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I felt as though the first 12 weeks or so of pregnancy passed me by in a haze of bone-aching tiredness, nausea, worry, and…have I mentioned the exhaustion enough times yet? Being able to tell our families after the 12 week dating scan was absolutely magic (I secretly filmed a lot of their reactions, and the footage is priceless!), and the scan itself was an incredible, emotional experience. I breathed a sigh of relief, seeing our baby wriggling away on that screen, and hearing its heartbeat so strong and loud. I’ll never forget what a joyful, grateful moment that was.

At around the beginning or March it felt as though I ‘woke up’, and started to feel more like myself again. And since then, the pregnancy’s been racing past!

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Spotty dress || Stripey dress

I know I said it yesterday, but I’m so excited to share this next chapter of our lives here on my blog. When I first started Cider with Rosie I was at the end of my second year of university, lost in a fog of grief and trying to will myself to complete a course I wasn’t interested in, and Jason and I were only a year or so into living together for the first time in our relationship.

You’ve been with us as we found our feet and grew up, got engaged, got married, and now (I’m feeling a little choked writing this), I hope you’ll be with us as we enter this next chapter of our lives as parents.

Thank you, all, for continuing to read. It means more than I can say.

X

p.s. I’ve begun sharing pregnancy videos over on YouTube (this ones going up this week are from earlier in my pregnancy, and from next Sunday onwards they’ll be up to date), so if you’d like to watch and follow along, you can find my channel here!

~ Photos by Freya Dowson ~

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Posted in BABY, FAMILY, JASON, LIFE LATELY

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