Albert

Albert

Just over two weeks ago, Wayne and I welcomed our baby boy into the world. After 12-and-a-half hours of labour, a traumatic birth and several days in hospital, our little family is finding its feet.

This is just a quick post to introduce our little man, Albert Henry, who was born on September 30 at 38 weeks. He’s doing really well and Wayne and I are gradually getting into the swing of life with a small bald character who is an impossibly cute milk-eating machine.

I don’t think anyone can ever really prepare you for the total change and new levels of tiredness but I just can’t stop cuddling him and looking at him. I’m biased but I think he’s the cutest!

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We have been so spoilt with gifts from family and friends. Albert already has more clothes than I do and he’s less than a month old.

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It’s kind of weird him finally being here after all of the anticipation and it’s also weird knowing he’s part of our lives forever.

Close-up-of-Albert

I mean, look at that little face and hands!

So, there’s our new addition. Things might be a bit quieter on my blog for a while with Albert around so I hope you understand. Hopefully I will still be able to squeeze in some time for crochet soon!

Lots of baby love,

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Our last holiday as a Couple

Sunny Filey beach - Beak Up Crafts

Last week, Wayne and I went away for our last holiday as just the two of us before a small crying person comes into our lives. We went to Filey on the Yorkshire coast and stayed at Haven’s Primrose Valley park for seven days. I wanted to write about it as we had such a brilliant time and didn’t want to leave, and that I’d totally recommend a final break away together as a couple if you are about to have a baby.

I know that static caravan parks sometimes get a bad rap and people can look down their nose at them. Hey, if that’s your vibe fair enough and I’m probably not going to convince you otherwise, but we love them (and we love the odd stay at a luxury hotel too!). Our trip to Filey was the perfect break for us and what made it really special was that we got to spend it just relaxing with friends and family.

Panorama of Filey beach - Beak Up Crafts

We didn’t do an awful lot to be honest but then again when I think about it, we did quite a bit. What made the holiday so great was the fact that our friends Rob, Amanda and their little boy Alfie, and Christine, Paul and their toddler Noah were staying there too. We hung out together a lot, heading to Scarborough for fish and chips, chatting and watching the kids run around in the soft play area, losing lots of 2ps in the amusements.

Scarborough - Beak Up Crafts

Wayne and I also had a daily Starbucks (hello Pumpkin Spice Latte!), I had an almost daily nap. We read, watched TV, I did some crochet and Wayne and Rob did plenty of running. Wayne’s parents and brother came for a day too which was really nice. We ate in, we ate out. It was great, totally relaxing, and we were spoiled by the sunny late September weather.

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte - Beak Up Crafts Kate and Wayne - Beak Up Crafts

It’s funny. Wayne and I had both been looking forward to the break for so long, and while it felt like we were there for ages the week also went by in a flash. We’d both been working hard up until the time off and it’s always such a shame when something so good is over. For me, the holiday signalled the start of my maternity leave, and while Wayne will be off for two weeks again soon for his paternity leave, I didn’t like it when he had to go back to work on Saturday! We’d got into the swing of just hanging out and relaxing together as with the random shifts and weekends we both work it’s only on holidays that we get to properly unwind and spend time together.

Sunshine at Filey beach - Beak Up Crafts

I feel like I’m getting all gushy but sometimes a holiday doesn’t have to be miles away from home or cost a fortune to mean the world. This holiday was really special to me for all the reasons above and I’m so glad we went away for a relaxing week together just before everything changes.

Have you been on a UK break this year or are you a big fan of the Yorkshire coast? Do you have any other places you would recommend we check out next year? I’d love to hear from you.

Lots of late September sunshine love,

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How much of our Children should we share Online?

Baby feet

One of the things I’ve been pondering over the last few weeks is whether I should post pictures of our baby on Facebook and Instagram after he’s born. It’s something that has been bugging me if I’m honest as I feel like I’ll want to share photos (I mean, I LOVE Instagram) but there’s a lot of other things to consider too. Well, if you’re someone who worries about stuff (maybe unnecessarily) like me.

  • For example, will I become one of those often tedious new parents who constantly floods everyone’s Facebook feeds with 1,000 new photos of their baby each day.
  • Am I going to be able to stop myself from wanting to share how cute I think he is every five seconds?
  • Is it unfair to plaster pictures of your children on the internet, especially the potentially embarrassing ones? Could they come back to haunt them in years to come and cause them to be bullied or miss out on jobs? After all, we can control what we post about ourselves online but our children don’t have that choice.
  • And then there’s the darker side of the internet. The part filled by horrible people who want to do nasty things to babies and children, those who steal photos and pass them off as their own or use them for unsavoury reasons.

Crochet-fantasy-blanket---Beak-Up-Crafts

Basically – how much should we share of our children online? While no doubt those who choose to post photos of their kids are proud parents and/or have a brill sense of humour showing the real side to parenthood (poo face, anyone?), does posting too much or a certain kind of content expose our children to risks that were never there when we were growing up? And is it fair to take away the clean slate we had that doesn’t exist now that the internet has become what it is? Should we stop oversharing?

I decided to get the opinion of three parenting bloggers, Susie from My Milo and Me, Hannah from Make, Do and Push, and Lowri, blogger and owner of Little Maldod to find out their thoughts, and of course, I’d love to hear yours in the comments too.


I was really curious to see if any of the three mums had any worries about sharing photos of their children online and what safety measures they put in place.

Make do and Push - Busby and Indy

Hannah’s children Busby and Indy

Hannah, who is mum to three-year-old ‘Busby’ and three months old ‘Indy’ has a relaxed approach when it comes to sharing photos of her children, but there are some lines that she refuses to cross.

“I used to worry a lot when I first started blogging, and had my Instagram account set to private initially,” she said. “However, I don’t ever post photos of my children undressed, and I share all my Instagram photos on the blog, so it seemed pointless to keep it private. I use aliases on the blog and on social media to help keep them more anonymous for the future when they’re at school etc.”

I like Hannah’s approach. Aliases are a good idea I think as long as you’re consistent and don’t forget (as I probably would!) and I definitely agree on on the no naked pictures thing.

susie and milo

Susie and Milo

Susie, who is a mum to 10-month old Milo and whose partner is Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth long jump champion Greg Rutherford, takes a similar view. I never thought about the aspect of controlling what goes out there before.

“I don’t actually worry too much about it,” she said. “Photos appear in magazines and newspapers of Milo anyway and I consider my own social media/blog a place where I can control what goes up.  

“I would never compromise Milo’s safety or privacy by putting a photo of him up while not clothed for instance (although Instagram has very strict guidelines on nudity anyway). I’m more safety conscious when it comes to things like revealing what the outside of our house looks like and things like that.”

Lowri and son wilfred

Lowri and her son Wilfred

Lowri, who runs online children’s shop Little Maldod and is mum to three-year-old Wilfred and Anwen, who is nearly 17 months, added: “It’s the unknown audience that concerns me and the thought that photos could be taken without my knowledge. 

“What my children will one day think has also crossed my mind. I hope that as and when they look back on photos I’ve posted of them, that they feel I’ve been respectful of them as individuals.”

Blocking on Instagram is a tactic that both Susie and Lowri take if someone starts acting suspiciously on their accounts but as a whole, both find the community and support on social networks outweighs the negatives. I’ve got to agree this is something I love about Instagram, as the handmade community is lovely and I’m starting to see how the parenting one is too (and I LOVE it when both crossover with lots of talented women running their own businesses while being mums too).

Susie sums it up here when I asked her about the erosion of privacy online: “I hope that I talk about my reactions, my life, my struggles and triumphs more than Milo’s as a way to focus more on me as a mum than Milo as a person but obviously sometimes I do talk about his behaviour and what he’s been up to. As he grows older however, I’ve been thinking about being more careful on what I share image wise.

milo reading

Milo reading

“I think it can be a positive thing  – it helps parents not feel alone, gives you focus on days where you’re struggling.

The sisterhood is very strong on social media and is a huge aid on days when you can’t get out the house to see your friends.

Like Susie, Lowri holds things back too, a lot of which are special moments to keep a sense of a split between public and private.

“Sometimes I take photos of my children that I absolutely adore, capturing special moments that are really very precious,” Lowri said. “Occasionally, they feel so precious that I don’t want to share them publicly. In fact recently I posted a photo of my daughter on my business/blog instagram page. It was a close up of her face and captured such a sense of innocence and joy. As soon as it was posted I deleted it as it just didn’t sit right with me.

“There’s a lot to be said for that when it comes to all of this. Parental instinct is hugely personal and something that can’t be ignored.”

little maldod

Movie night for Wilfred

As a blogger and someone who blogs about bits and pieces of their life, I was also interested to find out what the ladies thought about those who post highly styled or stylised pictures of their children online or to their Instagram feed. Does any child really live in a perfect monochromatic world and have a bedroom that is Pinterest-worthy 24/7. How do they feel about children being used to promote brands? Is any of this crossing a line?

Hannah said: “I guess I do this to an extent as a blogger – on my Instagram feed I do a “Baby Outfit of the Day” which is quite stylised… and we’re sent a lot of clothes to review so we have photoshoots so I can get lovely photos for the blog. I think it would be crossing a line if I said yes to review something that was inappropriate for them, or that I (or they) felt morally wrong promoting. For example, I’ve recently been asked to review an item of clothing that contained real fur, which I turned down for obvious reasons!” 

Busby and Indy - Make, Do and Push

Busby and Indy

Susie was pretty strong on this, and I’ve got to say I agree: “I think children should be children and it baffles me when I read captions underneath photos which read ‘he/she wouldn’t sit still/won’t pose’. Of course they won’t, they’re two!

“Little girls with lipstick on or hands on their hips, desperately promoting this and that brand; I don’t care much for it.

“Plus it’s using your children as a way to cash in; is the money going to a bank account for them? 

“Something natural is far more enjoyable and relatable in my opinion. Whenever I take photos of Milo, they’re snapshots of what’s happening right now. If he looks cute, he looks cute. If he looks messy, he looks messy. If he’s moving all over the show and I can’t get a good enough shot of his teeny tiny shoes, who cares? Children are only innocent for so long, I don’t want my little ones thinking the way they look is important because it’s not.”


So where do you stand on this? It’s quite a divisive issue I know and there’s so many different facets to it. One thing that put my mind at rest is that none of the ladies I spoke to have experienced anything dark and sinister online, although Hannah said there had been a couple of cases where it had happened to people in a parenting Facebook group that she is a member of. I guess the key is to always remain vigilant and if something doesn’t sit right with you, to trust your gut instinct.

Do you share photos of your children online? How do you go about it and what things do you keep in mind to stay safe? Or is it something that doesn’t really bother you? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Lots of snap happy love,

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Slowing Down

Kate-Beak-Up-Crafts - pregnant by Buttercrumble

Illustration by Buttercrumble. See bottom of post for more details

I think pregnancy is one of those weird and wonderful things that is slightly different for everyone and just when you think you’ve got it sussed it throws you another curveball.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still loving it and I’m continually amazed that my body is growing a whole new person while I go about my day to day business. But it’s not like I thought it was going to be and even when I think I’ve got all of the signs and symptoms down, a new one pops up which makes me question just WHAT IS GOING ON IN THERE?

The nausea and exhaustion from my first trimester are a fading memory as I head into the final few weeks before my due date (with the little voice in my head reminding me that baby could actually come at any time now). I thought I’d escaped the cankles (nope) and that my boobs would grow (soz but no). The second trimester was awesome and kind of lulled me into a false sense of security about how pregnancy can be a dream. Everything went swimmingly at the scans and midwife appointments and I had no nasty side effects or conditions to report.

Fast forward a few months and I feel like I’m a body double for Sigourney Weaver in Alien and that at any given moment a Chestburster is going to fire its way out of my belly. Baby seems to spend most of his time tucked up in my ribs (on the right, mostly) which makes breathing seem like a chore and I’ve even woken myself up by being sick in my own mouth a few times during the night. Did I tell you how sexy I’m feeling right now?!

I also get a few random aches and pains down there and sciatica is SUCH a joy. If you pop round my house in the morning I’ll also do a pretty accurate turtle stuck on its back and trying to get up impression for you as I get out of bed. I love making people laugh so this nugget has slipped effortlessly into my repertoire.

I’m sorry if I sound like I’m moaning, I’m really not. OK maybe a bit about the not being able to breathe thing, although it means I get to avoid hills for a good reason now and no-one looks at me funny if I get the lift at work!

But all of this means that I’m finding that I have to slow down a lot in my everyday life. It’s weird when you realise your body just can’t/flat out won’t do the things that it used to do without a second thought because it’s far too busy with something way more important than keeping your dinner down at 3am. But I think that’s also kind of clever, even if it’s sole focus seems to be trying to make you get up to go for a wee five times a night.

I’ve not got long left at work now, just a handful more shifts, and then that’s me done for the best part of a year. This whole new part of my life is both exciting and scary because it’s the total unknown (not least thinking about the labour bit) but I’m looking forward to it so much. Even if I have to take it all a bit slower.

Do you have any top tips to make the last few weeks of pregnancy that bit more comfortable? If so I would love to hear them please!

Lots of nearly-there love,

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For more on the lovely Chloe and Abigail at Buttercrumble, who created the illustration to go with this post, please check out their social media links:

Chloe and Abigail are a design collective based in Leeds, West Yorkshire (but originally from Scarborough). They are inspired by mid-century design, the seaside and anything and everything cute! Chloe and Abigail are twin sisters which means they really love working together as it means they can combine ideas and offer suggestions for each piece they produce. The sisters are currently studying and are soon to complete their degree in Graphic Design and Communication. Chloe and Abigail – collectively known as Buttercrumble – use illustration and design to help develop brands, communicate a story or to bring smiles to people’s faces.

Life Lately

Scarborough sea front - Beak Up Crafts

Things have been pretty busy lately so I thought I would share a bit of an update about what’s been going on and what we’ve been up to in the last few weeks.

At the start of the month Wayne and I went to a wedding at Grays Court in York, which despite the heavy storms the night before, took place in blistering hot sunshine. My shade-hopping tactics paid off, though, and I somehow managed not to get burnt! The garden at the venue was lovely. We went to a wedding of two friends there last year too which you can read about here (and check out just how lovely the garden is!). Here’s a picture of me, Wayne and bump from the day.

Wayne and I at the wedding - Beak Up Crafts

We also finished off building our nursery furniture and all we need to do is put a couple of shelves up and add in a few decorative bits and pieces. I’m hoping to share a post on our finished nursery soon so watch this space.

Wayne and I also had a trip to Scarborough for the first of the summer’s cricket festivals in the seaside town. We watched the opening two days of Yorkshire’s County Championship match against Worcestershire and generally relaxed and filled our faces. It was really nice to get away for a couple of days.

Scarborough - Beak Up Crafts Scarborough Cricket ground - Beak Up Crafts Feet on a bench - Beak Up Crafts The harbour in Scarborough - Beak Up Crafts

In good news, Wayne got a well-deserved promotion at work and treated himself to a new car. Well, I say himself but I’m sure I’ll be driving it a bit when baby comes! I also sold my house in Leeds which is a real weight off my mind and not only allows us to consolidate and do some home improvements but it will make things much easier when I’m on maternity leave. It’s been a bit stressful but all worth it now!

Oh and if you missed it I finished my new baby blanket too. You can read more about that, get the pattern and the colour chart here.

Blanket-in-the-cotbed---Beak-Up-Crafts

All in all it’s been a bit of a busy month! I hope you’ve had a good one too. Here’s to a hopefully sunny and productive August!

Lots of summer love,

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20 Things No one Tells You about Being Pregnant

Its a boy - Beak Up Crafts

Last week was pretty exciting as Wayne and I found out that we are expecting a baby boy. We had our 20 week scan which was great as we got to see our baby again (and find out that he is OK), although we have to go back to the hospital again this Friday as the sonographer couldn’t get the views of his heart that she needed. Yeah, baby was way too comfy laying on his belly and no matter what we did he refused to turn over – already stubborn!

I’m now at the halfway point of my pregnancy, give or take a few days, and I’ve been thinking about how things have been changing and stuff I’ve found out as my bump starts to grow.

Maybe I was just a bit clueless as a first time mum-in-the-making but quite a few things have happened to me and my body which I never imagined. Some of which have been a bit gross. Plus I went a bit crazy for a while, but more on that in a bit.

Therefore, if anyone else is expecting their first baby I would love to hear if you’ve felt the same things, or if you’re an experienced mum and have any advice on what’s to come I would really appreciate that too.

20 weeks - Beak Up Crafts

Don’t get me wrong, this post isn’t about moaning as I love being pregnant and knowing I’m growing our baby in my belly. When I think about how all that is happening by itself it amazes me. How does my body just know what to do?

But here’s 20 things I’ve discovered about myself and my pregnant body in the last few months, which I had kind of wish I had known before. I hope you find them helpful/funny/useful in some way!

  1. I became a psycho-crazy symptom-spotting nutjob
    Yeah. I’m not proud of this but even before I got a positive on a pregnancy test I was stalking symptoms on the internet like a wacko. If you had seen my Google search history at that point you would have thought I had lost it. But that continued until my good friend Kate lent me the What to Expect When You’re Expecting book just before our 12 week scan, which I’ve got to say has been a revelation. Now if I’ve got any questions I can find out the right answers easily. Maybe I’ve just got used to things being a bit different too – after a frantic few weeks now I just tend to take each new symptom with a pinch of salt, provided it’s not mega painful or involves bleeding down there, which touch wood hasn’t happened.
  2. Internet forums don’t always tell the real story
    Sure, they have a lot of information from a lot of ladies who have been through the pregnancy mill before, but if you want to freak yourself out like I did then they’re the best place to start. I had almost convinced myself something had gone wrong with our baby ahead of our 12-week scan (which was actually at 13 weeks five days and three weeks after our last scan at the EPU). Maybe it’s because getting pregnant had been a bit tricky for us, but the words ‘missed miscarriage’ haunted me for weeks. I think the problem here is, people are more likely to write about the bad things that happen to them and not the good, meaning there are more horror stories out there when in actual fact the chances of something like that happening remain very small.
  3. Poo can be a real problem
    Apologies if you’re tucking into your Shreddies (and you might want to skip this one if you’re easily offended) but what the hell is going on with the number two situation? Sometimes earlier in my pregnancy I couldn’t go for days, then at other times I might have well just taken up permanent residence on the pot. It’s those hormones isn’t it? And don’t talk to me about the colour either. Let’s just say I could write the script for a new film, 50 Shades of Shit.
  4. Morning sickness isn’t all about hugging the toilet
    I guess I’m lucky as I haven’t been sick once during my pregnancy but instead I had what felt like a three-month stomach bug. Funnily enough eating is the only thing that seemed to get rid of it – I read that it’s a combo of hormones and low blood sugar – but I always thought that morning sickness was just that, having a nice casual vom every morning. Guess I was wrong!
  5. I look fat rather than pregnant
    I follow a few ladies on Instagram who are pregnant and have lovely bumps. And they have them when I look at their pictures from when they were the same point along as me. Except I don’t have a bump yet, really. I’ve got a bit of one but I’ve always had a belly, so instead I just look like I’ve been mainlining the chocolate eclairs. Which is annoying. Hopefully my bump will pop out soon.
  6. Exhaustion really is a thing
    Before I got pregnant I never really believed that it could be so tiring in the early stages. I mean, essentially you’re not hauling round a massive stomach and for all intents and purposes you can’t see anything going on. How wrong I was. The first three months of nausea and growing a baby totally wiped me out. It also made doing things I love seem like a chore too but I guess my body’s priority was growing a mini person and not finishing off that crochet blanket.
  7. Feeling hot, hot, hot
    And not in a sexy way. If I didn’t know any better I would have put the random hot flushes down to an early menopause. Hormones can be so FUN, right?
  8. My underwear has become a nightmare
    Yeah, another one that’s a bit ick. Some of my bras have been relegated to the back of the drawer for fear they will cut me in half, while down at the other end I’m mostly sticking to dull cotton pants due to one thing – d-i-s-c-h-a-r-g-e. It’s a horrible thing to talk about but apparently it’s all normal, so hey, whatevs.
  9. Battle of the bloat
    I got really excited at about the eight week mark as I thought I had the beginnings of a baby bump. Then I would do an almighty fart and it would all be gone. Also see having no belly at the start of the day and a massive one by the end, all thanks to my not so best friend: trapped wind. So fit.
  10. I developed an unhealthy obsession for potato waffles
    Or anything potato based. And I went with it for the early months because that was about the only food group that seemed to make my nausea sod off. Although it wasn’t the most balanced of diets, which leads me to…
  11. Watching the scales has become a morning ritual
    One thing I’m concious about is making sure I put on a healthy amount of weight both for baby and me during my pregnancy. After piling on 5lbs in the first 12 weeks (the top end of the advised amount after only being able to stomach carbs) I’ve been taking care to eat a lot more healthily now I don’t feel sick anymore, so lots of fruit and veg, yoghurt and nutritious stuff. But I am stepping on the scales everyday (especially if I have the occasional pizza) and I know I need to scale back on this as weight isn’t the most important thing.
  12. H&M maternity leggings are my friend
    They are SO comfortable. Sure, wearing them makes me look like Simon Cowell after he’s been given a wedgie as they come up so high, but so what? No one can see what’s going on under my t-shirt.
  13. Accidentally touch my boobs and I will punch you in the face
    Yeah, they hurt. Well not so much my boobs, more my nipples. Give me a hug that bit too hard? I will whelp like you’ve just stood on a puppy. Open the door into me then barge into my chest? You will get a swift knee to the nuts, as that will hurt what I estimate would be a similar amount.
  14. Speaking of boobs, why haven’t they grown?
    I’m still an A cup and waiting for the growth spurt everyone else seems to talk about, which is a bit of a bummer.
  15. I’ve started crying at ridiculous things
    I kind of had an inkling I might be pregnant when Wayne and I were coming back from Tenerife in February as I started crying when I saw a smiley old lady that reminded me of my Grandma getting on the plane. I was about a week pregnant then. Since that time I’ve got emotional at TV ads and just randomly at work, which is a bit embarassing.
  16. I now totally understand why pregnant women rub their bellies all of the time
    I’ve got to say I didn’t get why they did this before I became pregnant, and even though my bump is still small I find myself rubbing it a lot. Why? Because it aches/feels a bit sore quite a lot of the time with all the stretching that’s going on down there, and I find a warm hand really helps.
  17. Tell me I can’t have something and it’s all I can think about
    Runny eggs, lots of caffeine and McDonald’s McFlurries. All things I can’t have and all things I really want all of the time now so thanks and that.
  18. Sleep? Who needs that anyway?
    I’m guessing it must be my raging hormones again but on average I wake up two or three times in the night then ping awake bright and early at 6.30am. Every morning. Maybe it’s just my body’s way of getting me used to having a baby and being up in the night. If so, very clever.
  19. Turns out I have the worst posture in the world
    So my yoga teacher tells me. That’s probably why my back’s been giving me some problems as my centre of gravity starts to shift and my shoulders feel like rocks after a day at my desk. But hey, still got a baby in there so no biggy.
  20. My appetite is about as predictable as the British summer.
    12:31pm
    Wayne: Kate, are you hungry?
    Me: Nah, not at all. It’s only been a few hours since breakfast.
    Wayne: OK, I might have my dinner in a bit.
    Me: OK.
    12:32pm
    Me: Oh-my-god-I’m-starving-I-need-my sandwich-now.
    That.

So there you go. As I say, I’m not complaining as becoming a mum is so exciting and Wayne and I can’t wait to be parents. It’s just odd what goes on with your body when you’re pregnant and stuff I didn’t think I would be doing/feeling are everyday occurrences now.

If you’re a mum or are expecting can you add anything to this list? I know every pregnancy is different but I’d love to hear what yours have been like.

Lots of baby bump love,

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The Taboo of Trying for a Baby

Baby-Scan-13-weeks-and-five-days---bump---Beak-Up-Crafts

So, here’s some big news if you didn’t already see it over on my Instagram page: Wayne and I recently found out that we are going to become parents for the first time later on this year which is the BEST NEWS EVER!

After a very up and down struggle of trying to conceive followed by a lot of peeing on a stick (me), general disbelief (both of us) and a blood test (me again) it was confirmed. And we still can’t really believe it.

Even when I look at our scan picture above taken at 13-and-a-half weeks, I struggle to accept that our baby is wiggling its way around and growing in my belly. But he/she is and it blows me away.

It seems to be an unwritten rule, though, that if you’re trying for a baby you can only tell the world about it when you’re successful and you pass the all-important 12-week mark. But what about those people who are trying month after month to conceive with no success? Or those who have fertility problems and lose a bit more hope each time they turn over a new page on the calendar?

That was us and it was tough. So I wanted to share our story and hopefully give hope to other couples who are struggling to find that magic baby dust.

Trying is so very ‘trying’

Trying to conceive and getting nowhere is tough and something a couple probably won’t share with the world while it’s happening due to various reasons. I can only speak from my own personal experience and difficulties in getting pregnant and I know mine and Wayne’s experiences won’t be the same as everyone else’s.

Happily for us, by some miracle we found out we had been lucky only a couple of weeks before we were to start IVF treatment.

But during the time we were trying it was hard on us both. The hope every month that we might have done it, then the crushing realisation when my monthly visitor showed up, sometimes a few days late to really get us going. The cowbag.

In the end, due to my age (mid to late 30s) we went to see our doctor pretty early on. She ordered a battery of tests and in the end it turned out that it was me that wasn’t working – I wasn’t ovulating – so I started on several rounds of fertility drug Clomid, which in effect tricks your body into releasing an egg during your monthly cycle.

Being the one with the ‘problem’ is pretty shit. For starters, you are upset because you’re not working and you might not be able to have a baby. But there’s also the upset for the other person along with a whole load of guilt. I knew it wasn’t just stopping me from having a baby, it was stopping Wayne too, through no fault of his own. He always reassured me that it wasn’t my fault either, but I hated seeing how it affected him and felt so powerless.

As our treatment progressed, blood tests showed the lower doses of the medication didn’t work for me at all, but despite my right arm starting to resemble a pin cushion we gave it one last try at the highest dose possible to see if it would work. At the same time we had been privately referred to an IVF clinic – with my age as a factor we really didn’t want to have to go on an NHS waiting list for two more years in order to get our free go.

Stop the bloody clocks

One of the worst things we found about trying to get pregnant was the time. With everything working on a monthly cycle there was so much waiting each time we knew we hadn’t been successful. Another month is a long time when you’re trying for a baby and you feel like your fertility is slipping through your fingers every time the calendar flicks to a new page.

I wasn’t holding much hope that the Clomid would work for me at its highest dose, especially as our consultant at the clinic had told us I would need the maximum amount of much stronger IVF drugs to stimulate my eggs. Oh lovely. But somehow the tablets came up with the goods, proved by yet another blood test later that month. Amazing! Finally a breakthrough!

Sadly we didn’t get pregnant that month but we were happy. We had gone from a 0% chance of getting pregnant to a 25% chance the next month, if the tablets did the trick again. That’s the same odds as perfectly healthy and fertile couples. It took us nearly a year to get to that stage but I was glad we got checked out by the doctor when we did. The NHS guidelines say to wait a year of not getting pregnant before seeking medical help, but if you’re older and trying I would urge you to get checked out asap. Fertility is a sod and can prove annoyingly elusive just when you want it the most.

Finally!

To cut a long story short, the next month we hit the egg meets sperm jackpot and we couldn’t believe it. We found out just two weeks before our last meeting at the IVF clinic before beginning treatment that we were pregnant – so lucky and we couldn’t be happier. After such an emotional ride we had done it. All we needed to do now was to keep our fingers crossed that baby would make the 12-week mark and we could tell the world.

But while we waited for those weeks to pass it got me thinking about other couples in the same situation. We told a couple of friends and our families about what we were going through but even then I think they found it hard to totally understand what it felt like. The powerless feeling of wanting something so much but it seemingly always remaining out of reach.

Talking about fertility problems is such a personal thing and I can understand why most people choose to keep it private while they are trying to conceive. But if you have an idea that a couple might be trying and struggling, cut them a bit of slack and be there for them if they need it. I never really wanted to talk about the ins and outs of our struggle to get pregnant while we were going through it as I felt it piled on the pressure but Wayne felt better by talking to other people about it.

Every couple is different but I think it’s time to break down the taboo of trying for a baby, even if that just means being a bit more understanding to those that are. As the funny thing is, the more we have talked about it, the more people we have found who have been in exactly the same boat as us. It turns out that fertility problems are a lot more common than we would ever have thought.

I realise this has been a mammoth post so I will leave it there, but if you’re trying for a baby and finding it hard then please know you’re not alone and there are so many people who have been through/are going through the same. I hope that in some way this post has helped a bit.

Lots of babydust,

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Birthday Week

Scarborough---Beak-Up-Crafts

Last week both Wayne and I celebrated our birthdays. Wayne turned 30 and I became a little bit older than that (boo), and we celebrated by taking a trip to the Yorkshire coast.

We stayed in Filey but had a day trip to Scarborough, which is where I took these snaps.

Ice-Cream---Beak-Up-Crafts Harbour-Bar-Ice-Creams---Scarborough---Beak-Up-Crafts

We were so lucky with the weather for early April, as the showers did one and gave way to beautiful sunshine (although it was still a bit chilly on some days). That didn’t stop ice cream from happening, but annoyingly I couldn’t have any of Harbour Bar’s finest whipped cones due to my baby-on-board status.

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The day we came home coincided with my birthday but we stopped in York on our way back and had afternoon tea at Betty’s followed by a lovely walk by the river. Then we went home and I had a snooze.

Afternoon tea at Betty's Cakes at Betty's Tea at Betty's York Minster

I hope you like my holiday photos. Have you been to Scarborough before? I would love to hear your favourite bits as we’re going back in July for the cricket festival.

Lots of birthday week love,

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My Favourite Pieces of Handmade Statement Jewellery

Tatty-Devine-Jewellery---Beak-Up-Crafts

I love, love, love me a piece of statement jewellery. Say the words ‘Tatty Devine’ sale to me and watch my bank account shudder. (Well I imagine it would if it were a real person).

The bits and pieces of statement jewellery I’ve collected over the past few years are all handmade and I thought it would be nice to share them here as I’m a big fan of supporting indie businesses. Plus I don’t really do me in front of the camera posts (as I’m a bit shy like that) so here’s probably as ‘fashiony’ as I’ll ever get.

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So first up, the aforementioned Tatty Devine. I LOVE their stuff even if it can be a bit pricey although I guess that’s a result of being one of the first in the laser-cut acrylic field and a constant leader in the style stakes.

I have a few of their necklaces and last year I was even lucky enough to win this sweet limited edition Easter Egg necklace (there’s only three in the world with this colourway!)

Tatty-Devine-Easter-Egg-necklace

The first one I bought was the sunburst necklace in the sale but the one I probably wear the most is the forget me not necklace (a birthday present from Wayne) followed by the shell pendant.

I made the crown one at a Tatty Devine pop up jewellery shop in the Royal Festival Hall during a trip to London so if the jewels are a bit wonky that’s totally my fault!

Another firm favourite of mine is Ladybird Likes and I wear my two wooden butterfly necklaces loads in the summer. I bought the golden glittery bow tie on a bit of a whim (as I love bow ties) and I’m annoyed to say that I’ve only ever worn it once. I can’t quite work out what sort of outfit it will go with – any suggestions please?

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While not so out there as some of my other necklaces, I love the Golden Donut necklace by Lucky Dip Club and wear it a lot. The ice cream necklace got an airing on holiday in Tenerife earlier this year (on a very rare sunny day!) and I will definitely be wearing it when I next head to Scarborough and the excellent Harbour Bay Ice Cream bar – retro chic.

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Finally, it’s maybe not-so-statement but I still love my tiny gold dragonfly necklace by Alex Monroe. I’ve had this for years and it’s one of those pretty necklaces that goes with so many things. I bought it when the bee necklace craze was going wild and I’m glad I went for the dragonfly as it doesn’t feel anywhere near as dated.

Handmade-jewellery---Tatty-Devine---Beak-Up-Crafts

Do you wear pieces of bright and bold jewellery? I would love to hear about any designers you love!

Lots of statement love,

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Getting Crafty with Tea

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Two things I love (they are definitely both in my top 10 favourite things) are cups of tea and crochet.

I thought it was about time the two collide so I whipped out my crochet hook and decided to cosy up my morning cuppa.

Every time I settle down with a craft project I’ll put the kettle on – there’s something doubly soothing about a calming spot of crochet with a warming cup of tea.

Therefore when I was asked by the lovely people at teapigs if I would like to get involved in their Campaign for Real Tea at the same time as my tea-themed projects it felt a bit like fate!

teapigs-everyday-brew-tea-and-granny-square-coaster---Beak-Up-Crafts

The idea is that you switch your normal breakfast cup of tea with a teapigs Everyday Brew for two weeks and see how you get on. Challenge very happily accepted.


One of the first things I made when I started crochet was this teapot cosy. It’s far from perfect but I kind of like it. Stupidly I just did the design on the fly and never wrote it down, but I reckon I might have a go at making another and writing a pattern for you guys if you’re keen?

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There is a really easy way to add some crochet to your morning cuppa, though, and that’s with these granny square coasters. They are so easy to do. Simply make the granny square of your choice (I used the first pattern on Simply Crochet’s app), block it then spray with spray starch and iron on a low heat and once cooled, stitch a square of felt to the back.

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There’s also this cute star coaster, which I make in the same way as above from this pattern. They are supposed to be strung together as a garland, but hey, who’s watching?


But what about the tea? Well I’ve got to say that I really enjoyed teapigs Everyday Brew every morning with my toast. It’s a really flavoursome tea and if you let it steep for a few minutes gets fairly strong. I think this tea might be a bit robust for me to have at every tea break (plus I like to mix it up with caffeine free rooibos through the day so I’m not totally wired) but as something to perk you up in the mornings it definitely works a treat. Wayne really enjoyed it too and he usually favours coffee in the mornings.

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What’s your tea routine in the morning and have you worked in a bit of crafting with your cuppa? I’d love to hear how you take yours!

Lots of tea-filled love,

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Disclosure: teapigs kindly sent me the tea and cup for the purposes of this post.