19 March 2013

Maternity Shopping: Round Three

We knew there were three possibilities if I got pregnant. If I was lucky my Fibromyalgia might go into remission, it could stay the same, or it could get even worse. Based on the last couple of weeks, I suspect I've drawn the short straw. While I've generally found a good balance, which keeps my pain at a level I'm used to, yesterday I woke up and every joint felt stiff, swollen and aching. I'm not really surprised though. Early pregnancy played merry hell with my blood pressure, so my activity levels have dropped significantly. Lack of pain relief and activity is always going to be a recipe for disaster.

If you've caught my rantings on twitter you'll know it's been making maternity clothes a bit of  a challenge. As my pain levels rise, my skin becomes more sensitive - so clothing choices are somewhat limited. Not to mention, designers didn't have me in mind when they came up with this trend for skinny jeans and leggings!

The problem of course is that very few shops actually stock their maternity ware. It's all available online, but it's impossible to know how a piece of clothing will feel or pull based on just a photograph. I really needed a store where I could feel the fabric and try things on. I'd tried Mothercare but their products were badly labelled, had several bad reviews and the fabrics were a problem. I'd also tried Mamas & Papas but our local branches didn't seem to carry much in the way of maternity trousers.

Eventually I found a branch of Jojo Maman Bebe in Chester, so last weekend we planned a special shopping trip. It was fabulous! They don't have a huge range of maternity wear, but it does offer a broad selection of styles and everything was in stock!

I went in with a short list of items I specifically wanted to look at. I'm afraid none of the maternity knickers were really suitable. I did buy one pair of JoJo Maman Bebe support knickers, just in case (mostly because it was cheaper than coming back to Chester if I changed my mind) but I think they'll be just too tight to wear.
I had much more success with the trousers though. I absolutely fell in love with the Jojo Maman Bebe Wide Leg Maternity Trousers! I often have difficulty finding trousers that suit my shape, but the wide legs are very flattering. There aren't any buttons or decorations either, so they are very comfy too - much more like a pair of tailored track pants than normal trousers. I'm not sure how long they'll last me - they have what I think is called a half bump band, which I'm concerned may press onto my bump in future - but for now they are brilliant!

So after weeks of frustration, Jojo Maman Bebe get a huge endorsement from me and I'd highly recommend them to anyone struggling to find maternity wear.

13 March 2013

Ripple Baby Blanket

It seems like everyone is having a baby this year, and it will be a struggle to welcome them all properly. My cousin's first child is due at the end of May. As one of my closest relatives, I wanted to make something special for their new little boy. I'd spotted Attic 24's ripple pattern on Pinterest and was really taken by the simple graphic effect and the pattern is surprisingly easy!
Personally I can't stand insipid pastels for babies. So even though I didn't yet know what gender the baby would be, I choose a few bright and vibrant blues and paired them with a deep plum. I then added pure white to lighten and brighten the pattern. I'm really quite pleased with the results, but I'm afraid this blanket's not quite perfect though. The tension of my stitches got tighter the longer I worked, so my blanket was 5cm narrower by the end. I'm just hoping no one will notice!
My favourite stage of the project is always pulling the finished item out after it's first wash! The wool becomes so soft and lovely, I just want to curl up with it myself. Now it just needs wrapping up and sending to it's new home.

6 March 2013

Climate Week 2013

This week is Climate Week, Britain's largest climate change campaign.

The idea of course is to encourage people to look at their lives and start making even the smallest changes, and the Climate Week website offers plenty of places to start. You can change your energy supplier, go to a Climate Swap, sign a petition, or try one the many suggestions to reduce your household footprint.

As part of Climate week I thought I might share with you the next stage of our Step Down Nursery. We're trying to reduce our environmental impact, so buying second-hand and making as much as I can.
This first project is to refurbish this glider I found on eBay. It's not quite the model I was looking for, the cushions are a bit firm, but I'm hoping I can resculpt them when I recover it. I've found a local shop that sells off-cuts and end of rolls from John Lewis's upholstery department, where I found a pretty grey floral fabric. So while it's new fabric, it's still a type of remnant.
We also need a chest of drawers for the nursery, so I went looking for a real wood dresser we can upcycle. I found this vintage set of drawers at a bargain price (I suspect because the collection location on the auction listing wasn't correct). In any case I'm really pleased with the drawers, which are quite tall and remind me of my grandfather's house. I can't wait to see how it cleans up. I think we'll have to paint the frame, but we hope we can save some of the wood.
Step Down Sunday
Not especially huge things of course, but each time we make a Step Down we reduce our carbon-foot print and our environmental impact - Which is what Climate Week is all about.

3 March 2013

14 Weeks - Size of a Lemon

I still don't look pregnant, though my trousers won't quite fasten any more. I have solved the trouser problem I was struggling with last week. Turns out it wasn't really the trousers causing the problem, but my knickers. Luckily I have a few pairs a couple of sizes too big, which I bought after my ectopic surgery - when I didn't want anything pressing on the scar. Hopefully that means I can put off maternity trousers for a few more weeks!

We had our first ante natal appointment this week. There was nothing especially noteworthy, though it looks like a home-birth won't be an option. They've also not quiet decided my due date, they seem to be swinging between the IVF date and the scan date. It doesn't make much difference as there's only three days between them, but it's thrown my mental count off. I've decided to stick with the IVF date as it's impossible for the baby to be any older, but I keep getting muddled.

The morning sickness has finally started to fall off, but unfortunately my food intolerances seem to have taken a turn for the worse. Hopefully I've just over-indulged in something, but for a while at least I'll be eating carefully.

Otherwise I've been feeling a bit down, I worry it could be a bout of depression - certainly the midwives seem concerned by my history of depression and anxiety. Though I can't help but wonder if it's all their questions about my mental health that has triggered the low! Hopefully a bit more sleep and keeping busy will  have me right as rain soon.

And hopefully I'll be able to show you the next project for our Step Down nursery soon!