So, we’ve been a family of four for a month now and honestly, it’s weird to think of Zac not being here. He’s slipped into our life so seamlessly, it’s like he’s always been here. I thought a lot about the impact another little one would make and wondered how Daisy would be, but she’s taken to her big sister duties like a champ.

Nappy change? Daisy’s got the wipes. Zac’s crying? She declares he “needs a feed”. When we tell her to talk to him she always leads with “Hello Zac, I’m your big sister.” She introduces him to anyone who crosses our path, literally bursting with pride. I swear she’s been high on life since he arrived.As for the main man himself, Zac is such a chilled little guy. He can sleep through the loudest episodes of Peppa Pig, will happily lay there watching Daisy busying around and has been smiling from the start. He’s just starting to find his voice, making those adorable baby noises and doesn’t stop wriggling when he’s awake. Jon has had a good break from work which has been lovely, not just for an extra pair of hands but to enjoy some family time. Daisy is off school for the summer now and it’s been great having Jon home to still take her out and about, while I catch up on sleep after the night feeds. I can’t remember ever having this much time together as a family, and it’s been the perfect start to our new adventure as a four.

Emma x

When I was pregnant with Daisy I read everything I could about the whole experience. I knew whether she’d grown eyelashes that particular week, what possible changes to my body I could expect and by the time I was due, I was an expert in the stages of labour. There were so many apps and websites to get information from, I felt totally prepared for motherhood. I look back and laugh at this now, because the pregnancy and labour were the small parts of a much bigger life change.

After giving birth, I couldn’t believe how little there had been to inform (or warn!) expectant mothers about those first postpartum days. This time around with Zac, I was more prepared but still can’t get over how little there is about the after effects of giving birth. So, here’s a little list of things that you may experience, but don’t necessarily get told about.

  • You’ll Still Look Pregnant

Granted, you may not look full term anymore, but you’ll still have a swollen belly that’s way more squishy than it was before. You’ll probably feel like a sack of potatoes in everything you wear, so stick to pjs around the house and remember that baggy or lose clothing is your trusted friend and ally right now.

  • Bodily Fluids

Yep, all of them. When women say they went through blood, sweat and tears in labour, they weren’t joking; although they left out the potential pee, poo and vomit issues too. Yes, you may well shit yourself (don’t worry, your partner will still love you!), you’ll cry for no reason, you’ll worry about peeing every time you sneeze and boy oh boy will there be blood. You may get top lip sweat while just sitting still, want to be sick at the mere thought of another isotonic drink and soak through multiple breast pads, because someone clearly must have left the taps on in your boobs?! It’s all normal.

  • Your Dignity

Leave it at the door. You’re going to be poked, prodded and pulled around by multiple people whilst in labour. Your bits will be on full view to an audience, but you honestly won’t care; they have the power to get the baby out and they are also in charge of pain relief. You may need to be examined after going home, and with everything you’ve got going on ‘down there’ you won’t want anyone near it, but it’s necessary and they’ve seen it all before. A midwife actually said to me a few weeks back “I’ve lost count of how many vaginas I’ve seen today”.

  • It’s Not Glamorous

Too many celebrities boast about their pain relief free, natural labour with immediate skin to skin and a dream breastfeeding baby. Before you know it, they’re photographed on a beach showing off their “incredible postpartum body, just four weeks after having a baby!” (thanks for the confidence boost Mail Online). Sometimes, this just isn’t possible. Remember that a lot of these celebrities have nannies, personal trainers, chefs etc and sadly, usually have pressure on them to be seen a certain way. I guarantee you, that plenty of them have vomited into a bedpan, whilst wearing a backless, ass out hospital gown and compression stockings, whilst their other half snatched the baby out of the way. So glamorous!

  • A Rush of Love

I can honestly say, that being handed my newborn babies was the closest thing to euphoria I have ever felt. You’ve had them move around in your belly for months and wondered what they’ll be like. You’ve tried to picture who they’re going to look like and what personality they’ll have, but in truth you know absolutely nothing about that little person. However, when you’re handed your baby, that rush of love is something you can’t be prepared for. It’s funny how you can love someone so much, without knowing them properly, but in that moment, you immediately know you’d give your life for this tiny, squishy bundle without a moments hesitation.

Emma x

He’s here! HE! I can’t believe we finally know that there was a little boy in there all along (although we were totally convinced it was a boy from the start; he was a troublemaker from day one!).

If you’ve read my last pregnancy update you’ll know that I was having some problems with elevated blood pressure. After six visits to the hospital maternity unit to be monitored, a plan was finally put in place to induce me on Wednesday 4th July, two days before my due date – I can’t tell you how happy I was to know that I wouldn’t be going potentially two weeks overdue!

At 4pm on the 4th I was given a propess pessary in the hope it would bring on labour. I didn’t want to pin too much on it as it isn’t guaranteed to work, but by 11pm I was having regular contractions and at midnight my waters broke, half way through watching Jaws may I add; maybe it was all the scenic ocean shots?!

After getting to labour ward, the monitor showed that the baby’s heart rate kept dropping with my contractions and the staff weren’t happy with how slowly it was returning to normal. I was examined by Dr Smirnoff (yes, really!) who throughout the next few hours had to take some blood samples from the baby’s head, to test the oxygen levels. After the first examination (which was pretty rough) he recommended me having an epidural for the pain.

Unfortunately, the epidural wasn’t fully effective and I still had feeling in my right hand side. I was dilating at a good speed though and after a few hours was up to eight centimetres. After another examination, Dr Smirnoff advised us that the baby wasn’t fully in position which was going to make delivery difficult. He left the room to speak with a consultant and within minutes the room was chaotic.

Up to this point, we had been extremely well informed of everything that was going on and the staff were really chilled out. This probably added to the panic that we then felt, as there seemed to be a real emergency to get me to theatre for a section. My midwife Kara, said “things are going to go a bit quick now” and boy did they. Jon was thrown a set of scrubs and I was wheeled from the room, leaving my poor mother sat thinking the worst.

Even though you’d do anything to ensure your baby is safe and well, I was so scared in that moment. The thought of an emergency section terrified me. Add to that the urgency from the staff and the fact that I had laboured to eight centimetres for what felt like no reason now, I was a blubbering mess by the time we got to theatre.

Jon was bundled into a recovery room while I was given a spinal and examined again (don’t go looking for dignity around here guys!). Legs in stirrups and my knees pushed up so close to my face, I’m fairly sure I hadn’t been this flexible since I was in the womb myself. My esteemed Russian friend now popped his head up an announced “fully dilated!” which was met with cheers from around the room; I didn’t need the section after all.

Jon was dragged back into the room and with three pushes (and an episiotomy and ventouse) Zachary Taylor Lewis was born. Weighing 7lbs 10.5oz, he was lighter than his sister and lighter than the growth scans had predicted. He has long limbs, dark hair and lots of peach fuzz over his back; truly a little monkey already!Zac has slipped seamlessly into family life and we honestly can’t imagine life without him now. Daisy introduces her “little brother, Zac” to anyone who’ll listen and is proving to be the best big sister already. It honestly feels like yesterday that she was this small, so we’re trying to soak up these blurry newborn days as much as we can. We feel so lucky to have such a beautiful little family and can’t wait to start having adventures as a four.

Emma x

All hail maternity leave! I’m finally off work and couldn’t be happier. I’ve been struggling for a few weeks now and sitting at a desk all day certainly hasn’t helped. Add to that the hotter weather and my feet have swollen to Kim K in those plastic shoes levels – what was she thinking?! I’ve had my blood pressure checked regularly and have been keeping an eye out for any signs of preeclampsia but so far, all is okay.I’ve had a nasty ear infection for the last week which has disrupted my sleep (even more!) but with some antibiotic spray from the doctor, it’s starting to feel a little better thankfully. I’ve pulled a muscle in my stomach too, probably from only being able to lie on one side because of my ear; honestly feel like I’m falling apart! My midwife gave me a check over this week though and confirmed that the baby is low down and engaged!I’ve felt a few twinges with some low down cramps but nothing constant just yet, so for the foreseeable you’ll be able to find me bouncing on a gym ball, whilst eating curry and copious amounts of pineapple. I’ve got a growth scan tomorrow, so we’ll know a little more about whether I’ll be induced or left naturally for now. Whatever happens, we’re in the home stretch now! Emma x

I haven’t posted an update for a while now. To be honest, I haven’t felt like writing anything over the past few weeks. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know we’ve had a tough time lately as a family.

A few weeks back, we lost my lovely Nana Mary. She had advanced dementia and in the end it was honestly a blessing. Sadly just the morning after her funeral, her husband Grandpa Colin passed away peacefully in his sleep.

He was 88 and hadn’t been well lately himself, but it was such a shock to come so quickly and while we were all still emotionally raw following Nan’s funeral. The past few weeks have been some of the toughest.

It’s no surprise that I feel emotionally drained at the moment, but I haven’t felt great physically either. At my antenatal appointments, my bump has measured over where it should be. I’ve had a glucose test to check for gestational diabetes, which came back normal and we’re now waiting for a growth scan.I’ve had the worst nausea ever and some swelling ‘down there’ (no real life over here guys, it’s all the glamour!) which is really disrupting my sleep. My bump feels super tight all the time and my energy is a thing of the past. For the next few weeks, I’ll be having as much rest as possible and trying to relax my body as there’s still a way to go yet!Apart from all the crappiness, this little babe is still so active and is constantly letting me know how good the party is in there. Some of the movements are so strong, I feel like this little one could come out crawling and babbling away already!

Another weird side effect I’ve had is melasma; a skin discolouration that’s common in pregnancy. I’ve actually had it for a few years now, which may have been caused by the pill, but it’s spread a little more the past few weeks. It’s now faintly lining my top lip, as well as extra patches along my forehead, cheekbones and nose. It doesn’t bother me, in fact I quite like it. It’s a kind of sun kissed look without sitting in the sun!I’m starting my maternity leave on Monday and I’m determined to enjoy these last few weeks as much as possible. We’re going to get ourselves in gear and sort all the essentials out over the next couple of days, starting with giving Daisy’s cot a well needed lick of paint. Not long left now!

Emma x