Pregnancy Pick Me Up: SHOW Beauty

Thursday, 25 May 2017

You may remember last summer I was invited to the launch of the new SHOW Dry at House of Fraser in the Metro Centre. I popped through after work one evening and was treated to the biggest, bounciest and probably the best blow dry I've ever had! I was annoyed at myself for having not taken the day off work and gone early in the morning as I loved it so much. So on a day when my pregnancy was getting me down and I was feeling particularly rubbish about myself, I was delighted to receive an email inviting me to the launch of their new Lux Volume Care Collection at House of Fraser in the MetroCentre.

Founded by Tamara Ecclestone, SHOW Beauty is an opulent hair care, styling and finishing collection. I'm not sure where these pregnancy hormones that make your hair bounce and shine are but the lack of them combined with moving into the new house and only having use of my parents bathroom whilst ours was been fitted, meant I was in need of some pampering.

The girls at SHOW treat me to an up-do and sent me off with the new Volumising Shampoo and Volumising Conditioner to try. Part of me wanted to keep them until our new bathroom was complete but I couldn't help myself and I broke into them the day after the event - I have no willpower!

As well as the luxurious packaging, the first real thing you notice when you start to use the products is the smell. It's delicious and the more you lather, the stronger this gets. My Mum actually shouted to check I was ok as I had been in the shower for so long the first day I used them. I've been using them for over a month now and they were the first things I moved into our new bathroom as soon as the shower was ready to use!

Anyone who knows me, will know I have naturally thick, heavy hair - I've longed for natural light waves for years and I've come to the conclusion that we all want what we can't have unless we're Kate Middleton and have a hairdresser on hand 24/7. However using the SHOW products is the closest I've ever come! They leave my hair feeling so light and healthy - I don't tend to do too much with my hair at the moment due to a lack of energy (thanks third trimester) but I really don't need to now. I just towel dry the ends and leave it to form some beach style waves.

I love using these products and I've seen a massive difference in my hair since I started using them. If your hair suffers with flatness, or if you're looking to give yourself a little pregnancy pick me up by adding that spa smelling experience to your bathroom, then I cannot recommend these enough. Find out more about SHOW Beauty and SHOW Dry on their website or book an appointment at your nearest boutique now. 


Thursday, 18 May 2017

Time just seems to be flying by and we now know that in less than six weeks our girls will definitely be with us! At our last scan on Friday, our midwife was really happy with how the twins were progressing and if that continues and our consultant doesn't have any problems then we'll continue on to week 36. We'll be continuing with our regular scans however so if anything does change, they could still deliver sooner!

I feel so pleased and lucky that I've managed to get our little twins to 30 weeks. When we found out they were mo di, I listened to our consultant and did a lot of reading online and it is so common for these types of twins to make a much earlier appearance. The goal was always to make it this far and then anything extra was just a bonus. I keep talking to my bump and telling them, keep baking just a little bit longer.

How Big are the Babies:
I've been feeling the strain on my tummy and back the last few weeks so I knew they'd been growing. Twin 1 had made it to 3 pounds exactly and Twin 2, who has always been our slightly smaller twin was 2 pounds 11 oz. We've been assured this very slight difference in size isn't anything to worry about and we can see from the growth charts they both 'step' rather than run go with the flow. Typical, our girls are just like us and can't do anything straightforward.

The back pain is not fun at all. I feel like I'm carrying lots of heavy food shopping constantly and my whole top half aches. I've now also started to struggle to get up as though my bump is still small, it's bigger than what I'm used to. I get wedged in the back of our new sofa regularly and Jay has to pull me out.

I'm definitely eating more. I'm having three healthy well proportioned meals and then grazing a lot more. I'm trying to make these extra snacks as healthy as possible but when I feel like a treat I'm not restricting myself. One thing I do need to do is try and drink more water which I'm rubbish at at the best of times.

Weight Gain:
I'm back to having no idea. I know my bump has got bigger but I'm regularly told by friends and complete strangers that I don't even look pregnant from the back! With only a few weeks left, I'm not really concerning myself with it and just trying to stay healthy.

Exercising is getting a lot harder but I'm still trying to stay as active as I possibly can. I've been attending my aqua-natal classes, swimming and walking whenever I can. Plus I've been trying to help as much as I can in our new house which takes up a lot of energy.

My sleep is broken but generally good! My pregnancy pillow is so comfy and I've now taken to dragging it round the house with me as it makes getting up a lot easier.

Other Notable Things:
My baby shower was this weekend and it was lovely! My Mum and sister-in-law, Leanne had organised it all perfectly. All the family chipped in with making the yummiest afternoon tea, there were some of the funniest games and my Mum reused all our wedding decor plus a few new bits and pieces to decorate the house. Not to mention we received some of the most gorgeous presents - I can't believe how loved by so many, our girls are already!

Gurgle Magazine : Essential First & Second Trimester Items

Monday, 8 May 2017

girl in the north Katy Tate featured in Gurgle magazine

When I first found out I was pregnant (before I knew we were having twins and long before we'd told anyone), I searched the shelves of my local supermarket for baby magazines hoping no one would see me. I had come up with a story just in case I was spotted by anyone I knew, that a friend had asked me to pick her up a copy. There wasn't a huge selection but one cover caught my eye in particular - Gurgle for Modern Mum's. I grabbed a copy and made a dash with the fruit and veg that I'd popped in to buy.

I've been an addict to the magazine ever since, so I was delighted when an email popped into my inbox from Catherine, the style editor at Gurgle to see if I'd be interested in featuring in the June issue alongside some other pregnancy bloggers! I was asked to name my favourite pregnancy essential items and at the time a few of the main ones sprung to mind. It goes without saying that my number one pregnancy buy would have to be a subscription to Gurgle. I've learnt so much from the magazine and found some fantastic suppliers. As I'm now coming to the end of my pregnancy (how fast has that gone?!!) with potentially only six weeks to go, it's got me thinking about the other items that have helped and made me feel more comfortable so I thought I'd include my top five essential items for the first and second trimester here.

001. I've mentioned here before plenty of times that my chest grew in the first trimester. This came along with the general aches and growing pains which meant I really didn't feel like wearing wired bras. I invested in one of these Calvin Klein bralettes and quickly went back for another couple as they were so comfortable. I can't recommend these enough!

002. We all know about my panic when I found out we were having twins. Though the panic was mainly to do with 'wow how are we going to pay for two?' another small part of this was to do with 'yikes will my body ever look the same?' I've always taken pride in how my body looks and I was in the best shape of my life in the months before I found out. So you can imagine my delight when I found out about Secret Saviours - a clinically proven anti stretch mark band!

The band comes with a day gel and a night time cream that both smell heavenly and I've been wearing it religiously since about week 15, it even acts as a support band and provides my back some light relief. I've only just ran out of the gel and cream and so far, I haven't got one stretch mark at all so I'm really pleased. I've only just ran out of the gel and cream so I'll definitely be re-purchasing for these next few weeks. The kit might seem a little pricey at £69.95 however if you sign up for their newsletter, you'll receive a 10% off code and it is so so worth it - especially for any soon to be multiple mums as we definitely stretch quicker and bigger than single pregnancies. Take a look at Secret Saviours and order your band here!

003. Comfortable clothes are the next items on my essential list. Knowing I was only going to be wearing maternity clothing for several months meant I really didn't want to spend a great fortune on a new wardrobe... plus I need every extra penny I can since we're having two babies! So I decided to invest in some maternity basics to get me by and use my normal clothes to add to this. I first invested in jeans - Topshop were great for this, not only do they do maternity but they also do maternity petite and tall. I went for over the bump styles as I figured these would stay up better as I got bigger.

I also got myself two packs of basic tees from Topshop and New Look, a swimming costume from F&F, ASOS maternity tights and a pair of denim shorts for when the weather got a bit warmer as I live in these usually. During the house move, I then went through my entire wardrobe and put everything I couldn't wear into one suitcase and then cardigans, slouchy jumpers etc into another with my maternity wears. I'll admit I have got a little bored at times but whenever I do, I take a look at baby clothing online and I soon decide I'm really not that bothered about what I'm wearing!

004. I received this bad boy made by Sanggol as a Christmas present from my Mum and I have to admit (sorry Mum), I thought it was a bit of a wasted buy at first. It was huge in our bed and I struggled to get in and out of it when I needed the bathroom on a night. Fast forwarded a month and my pregnancy pillow is now my best friend - I'm a complete convert. Even Jay's been caught snuggling it on more than one occasion and I've mostly bar the odd night slept really well. It might be bigger than me and I may have the odd fight with it when I transport it to our sofa but I love it still and anything that helps me sleep through the night is going to be on my must-have list. Take a look at the Sanggol Maternity Support Pillow here.          
005. A couple of my friends have already had children and in the latter months, I remember them complaining about swollen ankles, puffy feet and varicose veins. My consultant warned me right at the beginning 'everything is twice as worse with twins' while handing me a pack of NHS compression socks. There's nothing wrong as such with my NHS socks (other than it's a nightmare getting them on) but I was really chuffed when Venosure offered to send me a couple of pairs of their socks to try... I can honestly say I love them and to date, I've not had any puffiness, swollen feet or varicose veins. If anything makes me feel more comfortable and prevents aches and pains then I'm all for it so I'd highly recommend getting yourself a pair - they're also a lot easier to get on than the NHS ones and you get two for the price of one. Get yours here now.

Though there has been other items I've used and tried throughout the last couple of months, these five definitely stood out for me and are what I'd recommend to anyone who is pregnant, not just soon to be multiple mums. If there's something you've used which you think I should try then please let me know!

Week by Week Twin Pregnancy: 28 Weeks

Friday, 5 May 2017

twin pregnancy 28 week bump update on girl in the north
The past few weeks have been quite the rollercoaster - everything had been going smoothly but then suddenly I think 'having twins' caught up with us among everything else we had going on. The good news is the team of doctors and midwives at our hospital are brilliant and gave us all the care we needed. At the end of week 26 towards the start of week 27 I noticed they hadn't moved anywhere near as much and we were brought in for testing, both babies appeared fine but there was lots of assessments done just in case. At our next routine scan however at week 28, Twin 2's cord wasn't delivering fluid as it should. It was a pretty scary few days but thankfully with the new house semi finished, I was able to have a weekend of relaxing and putting my feet up and by Bank Holiday Monday, Twin 2's levels had returned to normal.

So this week I had an extra appointment at the hospital and a visit to the community midwife! I'm feeling really fortunate that I'm in a position where I can work from home most of the time and don't have to be out and about as this week I've started to find driving really uncomfortable. In fact I've started to find most things uncomfortable! I've been so fortunate throughout my pregnancy so far, so I guess I can't complain too much.

How Big are the Babies:
At our last growth scan, the twins were 2.4oz each - in terms of vegetables, they're around the size of eggplants or aubergines depending on where you're from! Towards the end of week 28, I've really started to feel the extra weight I'm carrying around with me - people who comment on my bump are a mixture of 'blimey you're carrying neat for twins' to 'crazy you're so big already.' I'm not a great fan of people telling me I'm big and that I'm going to get bigger but I keep putting it down the fact that I was a very small size 6/8 pre-pregnancy and they're just a bit shocked that the human body can stretch so much.

As I mentioned above, I've been so fortunate and lucky so far but things have started to catch up with me now. Each day it feels like my world is getting a little bit slower, I'm assuming this happens to single pregnancies but perhaps a little bit later on. There is so much I want to do before the twins arrive but I'm simply unable to do a lot on my own now. Especially since the new house is getting to a stage where I want to clean and tidy but it takes me so much longer than it used to!

To sum things up, I'm tired easily, breathless, unable to reach my toes and bend to get my socks on but possibly worst of all to me very achey.

Speaking of socks, I had been provided with a lovely pair of NHS compression socks as swelling, varicose veins and fatigue is extra common in a multiple pregnancy... as they aren't the most attractive of things the lovely people at Venosure sent me a pack to try and they are fantastic! Plus with this rubbish weather we've been having they've been incredibly warm. So far, I've had no signs of swelling etc so they're obviously doing the trick!

Again we've now pretty much moved all our stuff to our new farmhouse (though Jay is still on doing bits and pieces of restoration work to it), so my Mum is not far away from us now filling us with wholesome meals packed with veggies and making the most delicious fruit salads for me!

Weight Gain:
I touched on this above - the bump is definitely bigger and getting mixed reactions from people. However I finally jumped on the scales as the curiosity was killing me. At the start of my pregnancy I was a healthy 5ft 3 and 45kg / 7 stone and last week I was weighing 8.5 stone which considering the fact I've got two babies, a placenta, amniotic fluid and a lot more blood in me, I assumed I would have been heavier. Truth be told, though I was curious as long as the twins are healthy and I am, I really don't care about my weight.

I'm now back at my aquanatal classes and really enjoying them - it feels so good to be floating in the water. Aside from this I've just tried to be as generally active as possible, stretching and then going for walks in the fields as much as I can.

This past week my sleep has changed considerably. I'm now up two or three times a night to the bathroom and that combined with feeling really uncomfortable means I haven't slept anywhere near as well as I have been.

Other Notable Things:
We have an appointment on Jay's 30th birthday with our consultant who'll be discussing the plans for the next few weeks and possible delivery dates! So that's really exciting and a lovely thing for Jay on his birthday.

I'm also really looking forward to a baby shower which my Sister-in-law and Mum are planning for me - I've been told when it is and where but other than that I don't know any details at all!