Monday, 27 May 2019

2 years of Ella-Grace: 2nd birthday and 2 year update



























Introduction...

Taking a break from posting about my ever growing bump and focusing on my first born. Recently our wonderful daughter, Ella-Grace, turned 2 years old and that is definitely something to write about. I started this blog because of Ella-Grace (well out of boredom on maternity leave but also because of her haha) and so many people who read my blog now have followed my journey as a mother and Ella-Grace's journey since birth becoming the two year old she is today, so I thought you would all like the details. The purpose of these posts as well are for us as a family to look back on, a sort of online time capsule if you will that once my children are old enough they can look back on and read and know how they were doing at this time, how their Mother and Father were doing and hopefully smile. I would love to know what my Mum and Dad were thinking about/doing when I was two years old. Anyway without delaying the post anymore (I am literally ready to burst any day with this baby so I have limited time as it is haha) here is Ella-Grace's two year update. Enjoy. 

Overview of Year 2...

Our second year as parents and Ella-Grace's second year of life, a lot happened and it most definitely went quicker than the first year (I hope this is not an on going thing, I want her to stay little as long as possible!). 
I remember when Ella-Grace turned 1 year old I thought to myself "This is it, this is my favourite age" but oh my goodness this past year has shown me that although having a walking, talking toddler is challenging at times, it is beyond worth it because there are so many special moments. I feel like this past year her personality has really developed and she is now her very own little person. She has likes, dislikes and opinions (which she will of course be happy to share) and I just love it! 
Her development from a 1 year old and a 2 year old has been amazing and as parents Reece and I are so very proud of ourselves for how we are raising her and what we have managed to help her achieve so far as well of course being proud of the little lady herself, these are her personal achievements and we burst with pride every day for our darling girl... like I am sure all parents do. 

Big Milestones...

Going into more detail now, Ella-Grace's second year was full of big milestones; some we did not think we would be reaching by age two but she surprised us. 

Side note: Please do not compare anything your child is doing to what Ella-Grace is doing, I really do not want to put any parent or child down nor do I want my child put down if she has not met something that another child has. Please read this in the mind set we all should have which is all children are different and develop on different time scales, reaching milestones when they are ready. Back to regular programming haha. 


Ella-Grace started walking at 13 months old, taking her first steps at her first ever toddler group. Ella-Grace was babbling at 12 months old but not saying full words, now at 24 months she has quite a vast vocabulary and we are able to have small conversations with her and she can definitely understand instruction. Ella-Grace has been potty trained through the day since about 22/23 months old- still wearing  nappies through the night, that is yet to be tackled but no rush. Ella-Grace has learned to run, jump, spin around, skip, hop etc this year also and this I think is a massive thanks to her gymnastics class we take her to; this has really helped with her balance and co-ordination. Ella-Grace has gradually used cutlery instead of her hands for her meals over her second year and is now able to use a 'big girl cup' instead of a sippy cup or bottle- bottles went at about 12/13 months. We said goodbye to her dummy when Ella-Grace was 1 and 1/2 and never looked back (thank goodness for this process being east!) and around this time also Ella-Grace moved from her crib to a toddler bed. These are the milestones that really stuck out in my mind. 

Hard times...

Like with everything in life there were of course hard times during Ella-Grace's second year including a traumatic first haircut- sounds dramatic but when someone hacks off your child's hair cutting their ear trust me its traumatic, ruined this first but we have moved passed it-, struggles with possible asthma, of course the expected illnesses that all children will get and the tough times in transitions such as potty training, moving to toddler bed as you would expect although we are very lucky she took to these transitions pretty easy. Over all we have been quite lucky to not have too many tough times in Ella-Grace's second year and we are very thankful for that even if at the times that were difficult we felt overwhelmed. Overall, very fortunate. 

Good times...

Like I said, fortunately we did not have too many bad times during Ella-Grace's second year and thus the good out weighs the bad significantly! 
Obviously the milestones I already mentioned were big highlights and we are so proud of our little angel! Other good times that stick out include her first (followed by many consecutive) trip to the cinema, visiting Willows animal sanctuary, taking her to her first (and my first) vegan festival, trying out different classes, making new friends, taking her to her first pantomime, celebrating holidays, having Ella-Grace as a flower girl at our wedding, finding out Ella-Grace is going to be a big sister and of course celebrating her second birthday with a Toy Story birthday party! All amazing memories that will last a life time and lessons we have learned together of which we can carry into her third year of life our third year as parents. 

Looking forward to her 3rd year...

Now into Ella-Grace's third year of life (I cannot believe I have just typed that!) and there are so many fun things ahead of us that I am sure come with their own challenges. This year will of course be consumed by the life changing transition to being parents to two children instead of one, Ella-Grace taking on her role as big sister and getting used to no longer being an only child. I have a feeling this will be her toughest year yet as it is a big change but it will all be worth it and I do feel she will thrive as a big sister once we settle into a routine; still waiting for baby 2 to make their appearance so it is hard to know anything but I can tell you we are all very excited. 

Aside from this huge change that will be happening I am excited to see what other milestones our first born will meet this year and what more we can teach her! I am hoping to get her into more classes this year, start to teach her more about life as she gains more understanding but focusing on her having fun, that is of course what a childhood should be full of. Reece and I hope to go on our first family holiday before Ella-Grace turns 3 and that I am sure will be all about fun! Who knows what Ella-Grace will know or who she will be when she turns 3, I can just tell you I am excited for the upcoming year and I am going to enjoy seeing her bloom. Although I do hope she doesn't turn 3 too soon, stay little for a little longer please sweetheart! 

Ella-Grace as a 2 year old...


So, now I have recapped on past year and what I am looking forward to in the year to come, it is time to talk about the present, time to talk about Ella-Grace as a 2 year old (well 2 years and 2 months old) and all that comes with that! 

Eating 




*Touch wood* Ella-Grace has never been a particularly fussy eater. As most of you know by now Reece and I are raising our children vegan and some think that this comes with being a fussy eater or having limitations on what a child can eat but really this is not the case and there are is a whole world of plant-based goodness out there that our family thrives on!! I mean Ella-Grace loves tofu and all different kinds of beans and pulses, there are many children I know who wouldn't even know what those things are and neither would their parents (this is not a judgement I am just stating that our choice may be different to yours but that does not mean it is limiting, only different). 

Of course Ella-Grace will have her fussy times, what child doesn't? And we do find she eats better when things are in her routine and if we were to have supper at my parents house for example she may not eat as much but that I think is understandable- I mean I get anxious outside a routine so why wouldn't my child who depends on it perhaps more than me. Then there are her dislikes, she does not any kind of berries (unless baked in a muffin or warmed in her porridge haha) and lettuce and spinach aren't her favourite but majority of the time she is up for trying anything and in our house as long as you try it that is good enough. 
Her favourite foods include beans, rice, pasta, tofu, banana, raisins, carrots, broccoli, cereal, vegetable fingers (vegan take on 'fish fingers' just full of veggies), soup and more, like I said not fussy and open to a lot of different foods. 
Ella-Grace loves to get involved in cooking or baking and I think this really does help towards her trying new things. 
She has 3 meals a day (breakfast being her favourite) and snacks (lots of snacks haha). A typical days meals would perhaps look like this: 


  • Breakfast (6am/7am): Multi-grain hoops with oat milk, avocado toast and chopped banana with chia seeds. Cup of water. 
  • Lunch (12pm/1pm): Vegetable fingers, beans and half baked potato. Cup of Oat Milk. 
  • Supper (5pm/6pm): Tofu and vegetable curry with brown rice. Cup of Oat Milk

  • Snacks would include things like bread sticks and hummus, toast with peanut butter and chia seeds, dairy free yogurts, crackers and dairy-free cheese, boiled carrots, raisins, fruit pouches, rice cakes, banana etc.   Through the day we always have water available to her. 


Her health has always been great and we have never had any worry about nutrition (thankfully), long may this continue. 


Speaking 

Our little girl is most definitely a chatterbox, her vocabulary is something that seems to widen every single day! She is always learning words and finding it easier to repeat familiar sounds so if you tell her a new word that is similar to one she already knows it is likely she will be able to say it and remember it. 

In the small time since she turned two years old, Ella-Grace has gone from knowing a few single words to being able to put sentences and phrases together. "I love you", "hug and a kiss please Mummy", "Silly Daddy" and "Thank you" being just some of the phrases that melt my heart! She of course knows a few cheeky phrases such as "No way!" but let's not talk about those haha! In all fairness she does change this to "No thank you" very quickly. 

Ella-Grace enjoys singing songs and currently knows all the words to the chorus of 'Let It Go' and is quickly learning the lyrics to JoJo Siwa's song 'Bop'. These are her songs of choice. 

She can ask questions and ask for things she would like such as asking for a snack, a drink, to watch tv, a toy, to go outside etc and vise versa she can understand our questions and take instruction which brings me onto the next point, behaviour. 

Behaviour 

I would just like to make it clear before I write in this section of the post that I despise the term 'terrible twos' and so when I talk about behaviour I would like you all to know I am very much teaching on the basis of gentle parenting and knowing that my two year old is just that, a two year old, who is still learning the 'suitable' way to behave and how to handle her own emotions. This I think many people forget and think that somehow the magical age of two they go from a baby who is understandably crying to a terror? No they are just learning and feeling and of course you need to set boundaries, gently discipline and steer them in the right direction but in my opinion, a two year old mainly needs guidance and understanding. For this reason I do not tend to use the word 'tantrum' I prefer using the word 'moment', example, Ella-Grace is having a 'moment' because that is exactly what is happening. 

Majority of the time Ella-Grace is quite a happy- go lucky, easy going toddler. There are times however, whether that be when she is sleepy, in an unfamiliar environment, out of routine, not feeling well or simply moody (which yes toddlers are allowed to have grumpy days) that she does have her 'moments'. I deal with these by sitting her down and talking to her, asking her what is wrong or removing her from a situation where she is feeling overwhelmed. Not to say this always works and of course I have been that Mum who has had to leave a shop because my child is too upset but you know what future Ella-Grace if you are reading this, please know this was no problem because showing emotion is not something that should be punished and especially not at the mere age of 2. 

Things like hitting (this is not something she does often and when she has it has only been towards me when she is overwhelmed) I of course do not tolerate but I still take the same approach, sit her down and talk to her. Tell her what she did was not nice, ask her if she understands and if she does she will say sorry, hug and move on. No dwelling on the moment, no on going punishment or grudge and definitely no shouting or physical discipline (it would not be okay for her to do that to me or others so why would I treat her that way is the way I see it) and this seems to work for us majority of the time. Not saying I know everything simply sharing what this post is all about, my two year old and how we are raising her/teaching her. 

Ella-Grace loves to help out which is lovely to see! We are teaching her a lot about helping and so she will tidy up her toys when she is done playing, she knows to take her shoes off and put them away when we come in from being outside and loves to help with household chores such as putting on the washing machine, cooking supper or sweeping the floor. She can wipe hands and face and is really coming a long with her manners- please and thank you are used daily. Over all we are very happy with her behaviour but that is not to say we wouldn't be if she suddenly started to 'act out' a bit more, like I said, she is a two year old and still learning about life. I want to help her understand it and encourage her towards the path of 'good' behaviour, that's all any of us can do.  

Likes and Dislikes 



Ella-Grace's personality summed up in three words: Independent, Loving and Playful (Reece said Happy, Cheeky and Loving). Our little firecracker is everything we could of asked for and more. She is feisty at times and I have had comments such as 'diva' maybe because of how strong-willed and confident she is but wrapped up in that independent little girl is also a helpful, caring child who shows so much kindness and positivity towards others. For those who know me well they will not be surprised that my little girl is both sassy and soft at the same time haha! Radiating kindness and confidence at the same time; I could not ask for anything more. 

Ella-Grace loves music! She loves to dance and sing with you but also loves to have an audience. She loves dressing up whether that be with outfits from her dressing up box or picking an outfit from her wardrobe (usually a dress). She LOVES being outside, doing anything from a simple walk to running around the play park. She loves to watch movies and her favourite form of play is probably anything creative; drawing, painting etc. She loves to read stories to us and have them read to her. She loves to visit her friends and family and has a massive interest in make up whenever Mummy or her Auntie has their make up out. Animals amaze her and she thinks they are (in her words) so cute! She loves bath time and could spend hours in it if we let her. She likes baking with Mummy and imaginative play with Daddy.

Now for what she does not like so much... Ella-Grace does not like sitting still unless it is to watch a movie or play a game she is very interested in. She does not like getting a photo taken unless it is on her terms or is being offered a bribe haha. She does not like getting her hair washed although we have moved passed the tears stage. She does not like public bathrooms or hand dryers because they make her nervous. She does not like long journeys because they make her feel sick and although she is very affectionate any affection has to be on her terms- as it should be (Reece and I are working on teaching consent from young age including hugs and kisses, this is a very important lesson in our opinion)! This makes receiving a hug and a kiss from her even more special because she is giving it because she wants to not because she feels she has to. 




Sleeping 

























We really hit the jackpot when it comes to Ella-Grace's sleeping (I can feel the wrath from all the parents who's toddlers do not sleep through the night, I am sorry but I am just being truthful). Ella-Grace really loves her nap time/bed time routine and although of course there are days that nap time may be missed (rarely but it does happen) or it gets to 2am and only Mummy and Daddy's bed will do, but over all she sleeps soundly. 

Her nap time is around 1/half 1 and she usually sleeps till about 3/half 3, maybe even 4! This does give me a much needed break especially being heavily pregnant but at the same time sometimes we miss out on activities or sunny days because she has to nap in the middle of the day but if she needs it then so be it, there is plenty of time for fun and nothing would be any fun is she was over tired. 
As for bed time that is Daddy's territory. Reece works all day and it is very important to him that once he gets home they have time together so it is usually a little play, bath and bed time all done by Daddy. Bed time usually starts at half 7, one or two stories and cuddles in her bed then she is ready to sleep and is out until about 6/7am the next day. Thursdays (when Daddy works late) I treat her to a late bed time so she can say good night to Daddy and we watch a movie in bed together- sometimes she falls asleep and Daddy lifts her through to bed but this is a nice treat for her that she looks forward to. 
When it comes to the normal bed time routine, some days she goes straight to sleep, others she may get up to pee (which is good to know she may be out of night time nappies soon) or she may babble to herself and her teddies until she falls asleep. Pretty easy going and like I said we have been pretty lucky. 
The only trouble we have had is that for a few nights this month Ella-Grace was having some nightmares or night terrors and we were having to take her into our room to settle her. It was so sad to see her in distress, this has seemed to pass now though. 

Potty Training 

I have done a separate blog post on this so I am not going to go into too much detail but potty training is still going smoothly and we are not at the point where Ella-Grace will just tell us when she needs to go. For a while she was nervous telling us when she needed to go 'number 2' but even that she seems to be progressing forward from now and we haven't had a poop accident in a long time. We are confident that soon she will be out of nap time/bed time nappies although we are in no rush for that; it is just good to know that she is slowly making her way too that transition and it will hopefully be smooth.  

Bonding 


When you have a child there is always the worry that you will not bond straight away or even at all. I am fortunate enough to of bonded with Ella-Grace straight away even though her birth was not what I had planned and I did struggle very much with baby blues, our bond has always been solid. Reece took a little longer to bond especially considering he did not get any time off work but it was not long before these two were thick as thieves and Ella-Grace became a major Daddy's girl. 
This bond between us and Ella-Grace has only strengthened over time. She is my best friend and I know Reece thinks the world of her, he is constantly saying she is his favourite person. Every day she wakes us up and wants a group hug haha, the bond between the three of us is unbreakable. Soon we will me making room for a 4th member of this team and I am sure it will take time to adjust and perhaps time to bond, especially between Ella-Grace and her sibling as she is so young but I am confident time will show that the four of us are a great team and the bond will also be unbreakable. After all that is what family is; unconditional love and unbreakable bonds. 


Classes



















As much as I love being in the comfort of my own home, both Ella-Grace and I love to get out the house and try new things. We are both social butterflies you could say and I love to take her to classes where she can learn new things and she can have new experiences, not to say every class is a hit but it is trial and error and over the past two years I have learned what Ella-Grace likes to do and we have found groups/classes that fit. 


We have attended many a toddler group as well as more focused classes such as football, gymnastics, dance, ballet, nursery rhyme and story times, swimming and more. At the moment we are on a bit of a break as my pregnant butt is a bit too pregnant to get out to all the classes but our usual routine is gymnastics once a week, toddler group once a week and (starting soon) ballet once a week- she had her first class recently and adored it! 

I know Reece is hoping to start taking Ella-Grace swimming regularly as he is a very confident swimmer and would like to teach our children himself and also we are looking into perhaps getting Ella-Grace into a play group once a week she can go to independently for an hour or two but that would not be for a few months yet. 

I do think all these classes and socialising opportunities have helped Ella-Grace become the confident little lady she is today. I took her to her first group at 4 weeks old and never looked back. We have made very close friends through groups and classes also, which I am very grateful for. 

Soon to be a Big Sister 


This still has not sunk in and I don't think it will until baby 2 enters the world and Ella-Grace being a big sister becomes reality. I really feels like yesterday she was born but in no time at all she will be the big sister to a little brother or sister and that makes my heart melt. Ella-Grace loves other children and babies, she is such a social child not to mention how caring she is towards her friends so I am sure she will adore her sibling and rise to the role of big sister. We are very lucky that Ella-Grace has not found it hard to adjust to changes in her life so far so I am hoping this will continue and that the transition to being a big sister and sharing the spotlight with her sibling will go just as smoothly. If however she does have a tough time adjusting though that is okay too, it is a big change for all of us, especially the toddler who does not fully understand what is to come. If you were to ask Ella-Grace about Mummy's tummy however she would probably proceed to tell you that "baby in Mummy's tummy" and say she wants to "meet baby" haha. So cute! No time at all now before she will be able to meet him or her. 

Happy Birthday Sweetheart...

My favourite photo of us

As this is Ella-Grace's second birthday post I would like to add a little birthday message for her if she were to read this in the future..

Ella-Grace, Happy Birthday Sweetheart! Daddy and I cannot believe you are two years old already. This has been the best two years of my life so far, you have brought so much happiness and joy into our world and every day we are thankful for you. We could not ask for a better daughter and you truly are my best friend. I hope to do right by you in the future and to be the Mother you need and deserve, I know Daddy wants to do the same. We adore you and wish you all the happiness in the world. No matter what we will love and support you through everything and my dear thank you once again for showing me what life is all about. There are no words for how much you mean to me. We love you so much! Never stop being you. Happy Birthday!


Birthday Party Photos...





(Thank you everyone for reading and following along my journey as a Mother and Ella-Grace's 2 years of life so far. Plenty more posts to come! 
Stay Happy Everyone!) 




Sunday, 28 April 2019

Second Trimester


Second Trimester over already...

What?! How am I now in the third trimester! As I am writing this I am 34 weeks pregnant, just 6 weeks to go until baby 2 is here (roughly anyway, it is 6 weeks till my due date who knows if baby will arrive on time, early or late). When I was pregnant with Ella-Grace it felt like I was pregnant forever but this time round it has just flown past. I am so ready to have baby 2 with us, it is so exciting but at the same time I am really trying to enjoy the last part of pregnancy because I do not plan on doing this again. 

In this post I will be talking all things second trimester (weeks 13-28 of pregnancy). From feeling better, then worse to going on a little baby moon and an unfortunate hospital visit (not to worry it all turned out okay) everything will be explained in this post. 

13 week scan and saying no to Down syndrome test...


So, kicking off this post with my 13 week scan. This was supposed to be my first scan/booking scan but if you read the previous post about my first trimester of my second pregnancy you will know I had an emergency scan at 11 weeks. That scan turned out fine thankfully and so this was my second scan. Having the scan at 11 weeks I was not nervous for the 13 week scan, I was just very excited. I went with Reece and Ella-Grace (the hospital said it would be better to get a baby sitter for her when we went to the scan but our friend ended up being sick so we ended up taking her last minute, they were very understanding however). 

The scan went perfect! Baby was growing as expected, the placenta and cord were fine and my due date did seem to be correct. I did have to do a little wriggle to get the baby in the right position for the sonographer but everything, like I said, was fine. 

Something I should mention is that Reece and I decided against testing for down syndrome. This test involves a blood test and the sonographer measuring the fluid under the baby's neck (nuchal translucsancy) on the scan. Although they do still measure this if you decide not to test for down syndrome they do not tell you what the measurement is and they do not put on your medical records anything about the measurement or test, it is just routine. 

The reason we decided not to have the down syndrome test this time around was because when we got it done during Ella-Grace's pregnancy for us it did more harm than good. This is just personal preference, we are not telling anyone else how to handle this situation or what tests to get, we just felt for us second time round this would be better for us. 

As some of you may know, Ella-Grace was 1 in 5 of having down syndrome. Her nuchal translucancy measuring too big at the first scan and the blood test came back with her being 1 in 5. From this we had no further testing 1. because we knew if she had down syndrome that would not change the way we feel about her and 2. The tests were invasive meaning they did hold a slight risk to the baby and even possibly losing the baby which we did not want to risk. Through out Ella-Grace's pregnancy the 1 in 5 of down syndrome statistic came up a lot and I was even asked early on if I wanted to terminate the pregnancy (again this personally was something we were not comfortable with and never even crossed our minds). Although the pregnancy was straight forward pretty much we were constantly reminded about this 1 in 5 risk and it made bringing Ella-Grace into the world a bit more stressful than we wanted. One of the first things that a midwife said when Ella-Grace was born was 'she doesn't look like she has down syndrome by the way' which I understand is what she may thought we wanted to know but in that moment all I wanted was to feel happy and have congratulations, I felt there was plenty time to talk about that considering she was healthy when she was born. Anyway so this time round we knew that the result of a downs syndrome test would not sway our decision to continue with the pregnancy, we would once again deny invasive testing and we wanted to avoid the stress and so we said no this time round and do not regret it. If you want to know more about my first pregnancy you can go back and read those blog posts. 

So yes that was (officially) my first scan, a lot more stress free than my first pregnancy and it was a very special family moment. 



Week 14, sickness subsiding...


FINALLY! After being very sick in my first trimester, definitely more so than I was in Ella-Grace's pregnancy, I was finally starting to feel better. No more sickness tablets and now gaining back the weight I had lost. Food aversions were subsiding too and I was managing to eat full meals. Thank goodness because we were now on the run up to Christmas. Getting my appetite back, starting to get cravings and feeling all round more energetic. 

Cravings and Christmas...


Ella-Grace's second Christmas, mine and Reece's 7th together (first as a married couple) and our last as a family of three; it was the best Christmas yet!
Ella-Grace got loads of presents from our loving families, my Dad made a very yummy Christmas dinner (vegan for us of course). We stayed at my parents from Christmas till New Year and it was such a lovely time, always my favourite time of year. 

While we were there I also experienced some of my first strong pregnancy cravings, some of which were quite strange. For example I was craving pickles, ice cream and mustard? Not together but I would eat them relatively close together. In my Mum's words 'your clearly pregnant' haha. I am so glad my morning sickness subsided in time for Christmas and it is fair to say that I made up for all the food I didn't eat in the first trimester over Christmas- I ate so much! 

New Year, our second child will be born this year...

Like I said we spent New Year at my parents house and on New Years eve I turned 18 weeks pregnant- almost half way through my second (and most likely last) pregnancy. 2019 was here, the year our second child would be born! Things were getting even more real and more exciting! 

20 weeks pregnant = half way...


As tough as the first trimester was it really went in a flash! I could not believe I was 20 weeks, half way through my second pregnancy already. At this time one of my best friends was coming to the end of her pregnancy with her first baby (picture above is me all dressed up for her baby shower) and so there was lots to celebrate. 

20 week scan...


For my 20 week scan my Mum came with myself and Reece. My mum played a big part in my first pregnancy and accompanied me to many scans (for those who don't know Ella-Grace's middle name is Angela, which is my Mum's name) and so it was important to both of us that she get to be involved just as much in this pregnancy. And so, this was a lovely moment that she got to come to a scan for the first time this pregnancy and not just any scan but the 20 week anatomy scan! 

This pregnancy has differed in so many ways to my first pregnancy, one of them being the amount of appointments/scans I have had. With Ella-Grace they found a hole in her heart when I was 19 weeks pregnant and so I was getting scanned by a Dr every other week to check if it was a heart problem or if that part of her heart was just taking a little longer to develop; luckily we had the positive outcome and Ella-Grace was fine. This made me slightly more nervous for this scan in case this baby also had a hole in their heart but there was no such hole, everything was developing as should and so we were sent on our way with another scan not until April (at this point we were in January!). So strange not having more scans when I had so many with Ella-Grace but relieving that this pregnancy is going well so baby doesn't need checked on as often. 

Such a lovely experience and it was so lovely to see our little baby for the third time! 

More cravings...


Of course most women get a lot of cravings when they are pregnant, for me it was more I wanted to eat the same meals ALL the time. This is not like me usually, I like to make something different every meal, every day, give myself and Ella-Grace (and Reece of course but a lot of the time he is at work) variety in our diets but for a while I could only cook/would only want to cook the same meals. These were either baked potato and salad or pasta with green pesto and sun-dried tomatoes- don't forget the sundried tomatoes! Reece was not happy with the fortune I was spending on sundried tomatoes hahaha. I was also craving fizzy sweets for a snack- which is so weird for me because when I am not pregnant I do not have a sweet tooth at all but apparently when it comes to pregnancy, both this time and last time, I love sour sweets! These can be hard to come by vegan but our local shop had a big pack of fizzy sour dinosaurs on offer and they were vegan- these I could not get enough of! 

While on the topic of cravings I often get asked if I ever crave anything non-vegan and if I did would I indulge in it? My honest answer is no I don't, for example if I crave a burger I will crave a bean burger. If I was to crave something non-vegan I would definitely not have it for both moral and health reasons that most of you will know from my other blog posts/instagram. I would find a vegan alternative to solve that craving. 

Bump popped at 21 weeks...



At the start of pregnancy you obviously don't have a bump so I expected that but everyone told me you get a bump sooner second time around. I got to 16/17 weeks however I didn't think I looked that different apart from my post-partum mum tum and a bit of bloating. 21 weeks is when my bump clearly popped. It was really interesting because when I was pregnant with Ella-Grace I had a bump at 16/17 weeks and although this time I did get a bump at this time too as I mentioned I felt like it still looked more like a 'mum tum' until I got further on, not that there is anything wrong with a stretchy mummy tummy (I love mine) it is just interesting how a woman's body looks different with each pregnancy. As you can see in the picture above 21 weeks was definitely when I popped and bump was most certainly there for everyone to see, making it all that bit more real if it wasn't already!


Feeling faint followed by food poisoning...


The first trimester sickness may have passed but as February rolled around, just as I was celebrating my Dad's 60th birthday, sickness came back with a vengeance. 
Firstly, around this time (22/23 weeks pregnant) I had started feeling very dizzy and if I got up to quickly I would feel as if I was going to faint. This was then followed by severe stomach cramps and sickness! Not food aversion sick or anything to do with pregnancy actually but more like a sickness bug which was just my worst nightmare. With no idea what it was I consulted the doctor who tested for a few things and it turned out I had food poisoning! I was prescribed anti-biotics and my symptoms improved quickly! I am just glad baby was not affected! Gutted I couldn't stomach much of the yummy food at my Dad's 60th though haha. 


Baby name dilemma...


This will most likely be brought up in each pregnancy update until baby is here because this is one dilemma that I do not think will be solved until baby 2 is in my arms! That dilemma is baby names! 
As I explained in an Instagram post, we had Ella-Grace's name picked out before she was born. Pretty much as soon as we found out she was a girl we picked her name and that was that. This time round we decided not to find out the sex of the baby (not that I think this matters because no names really belong to a specific sex, this is just what society has convinced us) and we also decided not to officially name the baby until he or she makes their appearance. We did however want a few names we liked picked out, this has been a challenge to say the least! I like VERY unique names (such as Journey, Bravery, Lavender, Wednesday) and Reece is more mainstream (Bethany, Cody, Joey), so finding names we both love is hard! One minute we will have a few we both like and the next minute we will both change our minds and hate them all! Perhaps baby 2 will be called just that.. baby 2... or one of us will have to cave! Only time will tell... 

Kicks getting strong...


By 24 weeks pregnant I had been able to feel baby for a long time, since about 16 weeks, but it was now that others could really feel him or her move! Reece was feeling kicks frequently and even Ella-Grace managed to feel one or two when she kept her hand on my belly long enough (although I don't think she really knew what it was, but she would say 'baby kick!'). 
All very exciting and a lovely bonding experience for the three of us and bump, connecting as a family of four already! 
My mum and sisters also felt the baby kick a few times which was nice. If only they stayed pleasant little kicks, soon enough they began to be painful which I never experienced with Ella-Grace. Either this baby is stronger or my muscles are just ruined from last pregnancy, who knows? Worth it for my beautiful second child. 

Ella-Grace understanding more...


The further a long in this pregnancy I have gotten, the more Ella-Grace has started to understand what is going on.. as much as a 2 year old can anyway. She loves to hug my bump, kiss my bump, sing and talk to bump and ask me all about the 'baby' in my tummy. It is so sweet! 
Through this and her understanding on what a baby is she has become very interested in playing with her baby dolls, looking after her little friends like babies and reading books about being a big sister. This is so sweet to see and although I am sure she will have her jealous moments when baby is here I do think she will thrive as a big sister and take on a caring role (or at least try to). So yeah, baby 2 even if your big sister annoys you she does love you so much! Even before you entered the world. 

Pelvic pain and more...


I am so grateful to be pregnant again and to be able to carry a healthy child but that does not make it easy and the further a long in this pregnancy I get the more I realise that (symptoms wise) I had it pretty easy in the first pregnancy. As I neared the end of the second trimester some not so fun things kicked into gear including pelvic pain, insomnia and braxton hicks contractions which don't hurt but they are very uncomfortable. Unlike when I had these with Ella-Grace, this time round it has felt that whenever I do anything that involves moving I get a braxton hix contraction. My midwife has suggested that perhaps I have an irritable uterus and to take it easy but when you have a toddler at home that is just not possible sometimes. So these symptoms were not so fun and they have only kicked up from there but I am getting a head of myself. 

Baby moon...


Now to stop the moaning and talk about something fun. Reece and I went on a little baby moon! Our two close friends got engaged and so with our other two friends we travelled down to Edinburgh for one night (my Mum took Ella-Grace for a sleep over) and celebrated. This was the first time I had left Ella-Grace since the honeymoon (that was extremely hard for me and I think made my separation anxiety worse) so I was very nervous but she had a great time with my Mum and it was nice for Reece and I to get dressed up and have some time to ourselves and with our friends before baby 2 arrives and we never get peace again hahaha. We also got a cute photo out of it so that's nice. 

Low fetal movements and fast heart rate...


Unfortunately when we arrived back in Aberdeen after our short trip to Edinburgh I barely got to see Ella-Grace for an hour before I was told to go up to the hospital due to baby having reduced movements. I was just about 27 weeks at this point, entering the third trimester with a hospital trip, not ideal. Once I got to the hospital baby started moving again thankfully (midwife said the travelling may have thrown baby off) but the heart rate was high so I was kept for an hour for monitoring. Heart rate was still on the higher side but not to the point where it was worrying so I was let away home. A scary experience but on the up side my close friend had given birth to her first little one less than 24 hours before this and I got to go up and hold her sweet baby and congratulate my friend. Good ending to a stressful experience. Made me all the more excited to have baby 2 here too. 

Weeks 27-28...


And so that brings us to the last week of my second trimester which was pretty uneventful. So all I have to share is a bump pic. This trimester was by far the easiest of all three (which is usually the case) although it did come with it's challenges. 

Third trimester post coming soon ...

And so that was my second trimester. I am now well into my third trimester and have so much to tell but you will all have to wait another week or two for that update and then before I know it I will be writing my birth story! Although these last few weeks feel like they are dragging, this pregnancy has seemed to go by in a flash! 

Thank you for reading...

As always thank you so much for reading and I hope you enjoyed hearing all about my second trimester. Please feel free to comment below any experiences you are having or have had with your pregnancies, are they similar to mine? Lets start a conversation. Hope to update you all again soon on the rest of my pregnancy as well as posts on how Ella-Grace is doing and more. So much to write but this pregnant mama also needs her rest so please bare with me. Thank you all again for following my blog and I will speak to you all soon. 

Stay Happy Everyone! :) 

2 years of Ella-Grace: 2nd birthday and 2 year update

Introduction... Taking a break from posting about my ever growing bump and focusing...