24 Signs You Are a New Mum

  1. You’ve lost count of how many people have fondled your boobs in the last couple of weeks… 
  2. Do you even own any clothes that aren’t pyjamas? ‘Cos if it doesn’t have a stretchy waistband then it may never see the light of day again. 
  3. Food has never tasted so good to you. Gimme all the cheese and sushi! 
  4. Caffeine is no longer optional in your life. Can you hook it straight into your veins or…? 
  5. You can’t stop yourself from referring to yourself or your partner in the third person. Yep, Mama does need you to stop crying and for Dad to get her some wine… 
  6. You thought you were obsessed with cleanliness before?! Think again… *washes hands and sanitises everything in sight*
  7. Your phone is out of storage because you’ve snapped so many almost-identical photos of your newborn. They’re just so cute, though!
  8. You might have strained your eyes from rolling them at people who claim that they’re ‘exhausted’. They don’t know the true meaning of tired!
  9. It’s now totally normal to discuss bodily functions with almost-strangers. 
  10. Google has become your best friend and worst enemy. 
  11. You swore you wouldn’t be those parents… but at least 50% of your conversations have been about poop in the last couple of weeks. 
  12. You’ve gone from productive girl boss to putting ‘shower’ on your to do list (and not really even being that fussed if you tick it off…)
  13. You have a lot of opinions about property development because of your slight addiction to Homes Under the Hammer. 
  14. You’re a little convinced that staring at the baby will keep it alive. Constant vigilance! 
  15. Gourmet meals are ones that you get to eat with both hands whilst they’re still warm. 
  16. Have you stumbled into some kind of time warp? Because you could have sworn that only 10 minutes has gone by but it seems to be getting dark again?! What day is it?!?
  17. You don’t dare leave the house without a suitcase packed to the brim with baby supplies. What if they need their nappy changing 10 times whilst you walk round the block?! *packs more nappies* 
  18. You have strong opinions on nappy brands already. Aldi, FTW! 
  19. You’ve had a moment where you wondered whether you should have just gotten a puppy instead… 
  20. Are you in some kind of musical? Because you’re spending a lot of time singing these days… 
  21. You’re convinced that your baby might be smarter than they let on. How do they know to scream as soon as you are otherwise occupied?!
  22. You’ve completed at least three new series on Netflix since your little bundle of joy arrived. 
  23. You feel a little bit devastated and a little bit ecstatic when people point out that your baby has grown. You mean they’re not going to be a little squishy newborn forever?! 
  24. You’re a bit smug because you’re convinced that you have the objectively cutest baby on the planet. It’s not because you are biased or anything… 

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What’s Saving My Life Right Now

New motherhood is as difficult as everyone says it is. Through all the newborn baby cuddles and tiny little onesies, there’s so much to learn and so little sleep to help your brain learn it… Every midwife and health visitor you see asks about your mood; they are angling to see if you have the signs of post-natal depression, and rightly so, but, as I have said to every one of them: I am overwhelmed, but not disproportionately to a rather overwhelming situation. I have cried over my (in)ability to breastfeed, I have worried about leaving the house and stepping into the outside world, and I have panicked about all of the difficulties to come. But I am okay. We are okay. Survival is key right now, and, inspired by Modern Mrs Darcy, here’s what’s saving my life right now… 

Whatsapp at 3am

A lot of what we learnt at our NCT classes has already been thrown out of the window just two weeks in, but there has been one part of them that has been invaluable to me – the other people that we met. Our babies have all been born now, so we are sharing late night wisdom and reassurances between us. Everyone needs a cheerleader every now and again, and having a group of people who are going through exactly the same thing at exactly the same time is very encouraging! Especially when you feel like the only person awake in the middle of the night, it’s nice to know that you’re not alone. 

Lansinoh Nipple Cream 

I haven’t taken to breastfeeding with quite the enthusiasm that I thought I would. It is without a doubt the hardest thing I have ever done. It’s emotional, for sure, but it also bloody hurts and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. Even if you do everything right, it’s a sensitive part of the body to be putting to work so soreness is inevitable. I’ve been drowning in Lansinoh nipple cream as a way to get through the first couple of weeks and the pain is already lessening. Let’s hope it continues that way… 

Kindle iPhone App 

In theory, you should spend every precious moment soaking up time with your newborn. In reality, trying to stay awake in the middle of the night whilst a baby sleeps on top of you is a little tricky without distraction. A friend recommended I download the Kindle app to my phone for those late night feeds, so I’ve been keeping myself occupied with a bit of Jilly Cooper when I need something to help me stay alert. 

Aqueous Cream

Delightfully, I woke up on the second day after giving birth with a dry skin rash situation all over my chin and neck. Apparently due to hormonal changes (of course) this isn’t uncommon, as my frantic Googling revealed. Through many scary forum threads from people who’d suffered for months, I found the suggestion of aqueous cream to treat the problem and promptly sent Paul out to buy some for me. It’s since mostly cleared up, which could be due to natural changes in hormones or the cream doing its work – but either way, slathering it on helped relieve some of the ‘tight’ feeling of the dry skin and helped me feel a bit more in control! 

Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine 

Yes, I know, I know. There have been some problems with these machines but as far as I’m concerned right now, this thing is a lifesaver. I want to breastfeed as much as possible but I’ve had some real problems so when he just really needs feeding there’s really no other option than a bit of formula. It’s not the end of the world – but the fact that this machine means you can have a bottle in hand in 2 minutes makes all the difference when you feel like it might be. 

Waitrose Daily Sushi Counter 

Okay, I realise this is the most middle class thing I’ve ever said – but fresh sushi from Waitrose is making life worth living right now. They opened the counter at our local Waitrose the end of my pregnancy (it’s like they knew!) and at least 25% of my meals have come from there in the last two weeks. Salmon nigri is my crack, and I’m not ashamed that it makes me feel a hundred times better when I’m exhausted and hungry. 

Gro Company Newborn GroSnug 

For the first few nights, Benjamin wouldn’t sleep if he wasn’t being held by one of us, which meant sleeping in shifts and trying not to nod off at god-awful-o-clock in the morning whilst a sleeping baby used us as a giant pillow. We figured out that he was waking himself up by thrashing his arms about, but were a bit wary of swaddling him properly with a blanket or muslin as all the advice suggests this can affect hip development. A bit of frantic Googling brought up the GroSnug – a little baby sleeping bag that swaddles the arms but leaves the hips and legs free, this assuaging some of my fears. The difference was immediate – he sleeps for a few hours at a time in this, which has already been a game changer. All three of us being asleep at the same time is a real luxury! 


Last, but certainly not least, I have to include the soppy one. These past two weeks haven’t been easy but they have been infinitely less difficult because of Paul. He has encouraged me endlessly when I am in floods of tears, picked up all the housework and kept me fed & watered when I am stuck underneath a cluster-feeding baby. I’m a bit worried about how we’ll cope now that he’s gone back to work, but luckily he doesn’t have a long commute so we only have to be without him for the shortest amount of time possible! 

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What I Want to Remember

There’s a lot that I want to forget, but here’s what I want to remember… 

Paul offering the midwife our bath caddy (which she had admired) if she could get him out in her shift… As the first of many midwives to come to our home, she didn’t manage to coax him out so I am luckily still in possession of said caddy! 

Falling asleep between contractions and not being quite sure how many people were in the room at any one time. That nitrous oxide is powerful stuff, man… 

Paul holding my hands through every contraction for hours on end. I couldn’t have done it without him. 

Watching the clock and being convinced he would arrive any second. Noticing that hours had passed…

Using an ambulance and a wheelchair for the first time. Thinking of that bit in About a Boy when we’re blues-and-twos-ing to the hospital. 

Being worried that I wouldn’t love him because of the hell he put me through, until the very moment he was put into my arms.

How weird and purple and cone-shaped his head was when he came out. Being a bit concerned that it might stay that way (thankfully, it didn’t!). 

How weird and soft and still pregnant-looking my stomach was. I’m not sure I’ll be as impressed with that a few weeks on… 

Finally telling people his name after months of secretly whispering it to myself. Still calling him bubba because old habits die hard. 

Paul holding Benjamin next to me and letting me hold his little hand to help me cope with all the other medical stuff that has to happen post-birth (it’s not over once they come out!). 

Knowing that he’ll be as tall as his father if his current length is anything to go by. Realising that the tiny Jeremy Corbyn onesie that Paul’s colleagues bought for us will probably never fit him. 

Feeling a bit like a superwoman for surviving such a long labour without extra pain relief. Wanting to boast about it to everyone. Eventually realising that this really doesn’t make me special, and wanting to go round congratulating every single mother I know. 

Swearing blind that I wouldn’t do it ever again but knowing secretly that I might. 

Tearing up when I rang to tell my Mum… I’d been thinking of how excited she’d be throughout the process (although I was glad I hadn’t texted anyone early on as they’d have been on the edge of their seats for days – too much pressure!).

Choosing the perfect filter to disguise his slightly odd colour when sending round his first photo. 

Realising that I was lying comfortably on my back for the first time in around 6 months… 

Seeing myself in the mirror right afterwards and realising I should probably get some under eye concealer because these bags aren’t going away any time soon. 

Being so grateful to all of the midwives that looked after us so well. Singing their praises ever since. 

Getting my phone back (Paul had left it at home in the rush to get to the hospital) and already having lots of lovely messages to read. 

Staring out into Leeds in the middle of the night with my little Leeds baby in my arms and feeling so grateful (and tired). 

Reading Jilly Cooper to try and stay awake through that first night.

Wishing Paul was there so we could (quietly) giggle at the Darth Vader-style snoring coming from across the ward… 

Paul coming to rescue me and hold Benjamin at 6am after I started hallucinating that Tuna was walking across the end of the bed. She definitely wasn’t! 

Paul popping out for some food and coming back to tell me that he’d seen some of our NCT friends in the corridor. Waiting for the news that their baby had arrived (he was born the next day and weighed exactly the same as Ben!).

Hearing Paul telling Benjamin that ‘I like you, I think we’ll keep you.’ Thinking that was the sweetest thing ever. It might have been the hormones… 

Coming home to some lovely treats left by our friends and immediately bursting into tears. Having the sushi they left me for dinner and sharing a whisky with Paul and his Dad. 

You might also like: What I Want to Remember from our Wedding

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Welcoming Benjamin into the world (at last!).

Spending 60 hours in labour… but only 4 hours in hospital, which counts as a win to me. 

Crying more in one week than I have all year. 

Feeling a bit overwhelmed but so proud of my little man. 

Receiving so many messages and so much love.

Enjoying our last solo date night for a while at Roast + Conch

Finishing the blanket I started knitting in January – just in time! 

Deleting my work emails from my phone – and feeling a bit bereft. No more work in 2017! 

Trying my hand at some modern calligraphy, and totally getting the hype. 

Catching up on podcasts – I can’t keep up with all my favourites! 

Eating sushi for the first time in months. It tastes even better than I remember! 

Missing a lot of sleep but doing okay. 

Googling every little thing to do with pregnancy, birth and newborns. 

Staring at his face for hours, not really convinced that he is ours to keep. 

Reading some incredible books.

Taking a lot of deep breaths. 

How about you?

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A Prayer for My Son

May he believe in luck, because it is only when you believe in luck that you can find it. Let him be as lucky as we have been, and so much more. 

Let him find the things in life that fill him with joy and happiness. Help him find a hobby that he can do with his hands, because there is nothing better than making something real. Point him in the direction of imaginary worlds that he can lose himself in, causes that he can truly get behind and that one, slightly weird passion that no one else really understands. 

Give him the strength to stand up for what is right, especially when the people he is standing up to are his friends. Help him find his voice, but know when it is better to listen than to speak. Give him the courage to walk away from fights that don’t matter and towards the fights that do.

Teach him that what maketh the man is not the strength of his body, but the strength of his character. 

Keep him safe when climbing trees too high, driving in cars that are going too fast and walking too close to the edge. Keep him safe. 

May he be the best of us, without the worst of us. 

Help him find his own community, whatever that may look like. Let him know that they will always be welcome here, if they are important to him. Guide him towards love, in whichever form he chooses it. 

May he be the kind of person who never skips out on his round, who always stops to pet a dog, and who would rather share than keep to himself. And if it’s not too much trouble, to always find time to call his mother (or at least feel bad about it when he doesn’t). 

But most importantly of all, give me the strength to point him in the right direction, and then watch as he goes the other way. May I always know when to hold his hand tight, and when to let go and allow him to walk his own path. 

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Benjamin William Arnold.

Born on 23rd July and weighing a chunky 8lb 9oz. 

Long-awaited and much-loved. He’s perfect and he’s stolen our hearts (and our ability to get any sleep…). 

Blonde-haired, blue-eyed and lanky like his father. Small and fussy and prone to crying like his mother. The best of both of us, to be sure. 

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Nursery Reveal // Our Neutral Nursery

Nursery Reveal // Amy Elizabeth

We finally hung the pictures on the wall in the nursery this weekend, so I thought it was about time to show you a little sneak peek of what it’s looking like! Putting together this little room has been one of the funnest things about being pregnant – I love an interiors project at the best of time – but it’s also been a bit fraught. There are so many lists and suggestions out there of the things you might need, whilst everyone who’s actually had a baby will tell you constantly that they didn’t need half the things they bought. Plus there’s the whole tricky business of gender; I wanted the room to be fairly neutral so we’re not pigeon-holing him from the get-go but so much baby stuff is invested in whether you’re growing a ‘princess’ or a ‘prince’ (vom) that it can be hard to navigate. 

Our nursery is the little box room in our house, so we didn’t have a lot of room to play with, and we also wanted it to fit the style of the rest of the decor. Obviously, whilst this is going to be bubba’s little room, he’s not going to have a lot of sense of what he does and doesn’t like interiors-wise for a while and we’d be the ones left grimacing if we went too baby-friendly. So, we stuck with the white walls and the grey carpet that pretty much characterise the rest of the house, and went from there. 

The furniture set is a Mamas and Papas one, designed specifically for small spaces. Luckily, the configuration of the room means we can fit a cot bed, chest of drawers (with changing mat on top) and a slim wardrobe into the space without making it feel too cluttered. We’ve popped his everyday items (mostly a whole load of wipes and nappies…) into the top drawer and his first set of clothes in the other drawers, and relegated everything else to the wardrobe. Whether that set up works for us once we get up and running, we’ll soon see! 

I’ve only picked a few prints for the space at the moment, and I’m still on the lookout for something appropriate for over the changing table, as I didn’t want everything to feel too cluttered. A quick search on Etsy and a dash to IKEA for frames means I feel like the room has enough personality without going overboard. This is actually the only room in the house with curtains, too; we’ve got blinds everywhere else but some blackout curtains felt like they fitted better here and they add a little bit more texture and pattern so it doesn’t feel cold. 

We’ve also added some IKEA picture shelves to one wall, and they’ve been stocked with plenty of reading material for some bedtime stories. My friends and family very sweetly bought their favourite books for us as part of my baby shower, so there are plenty of old faithfuls and new discoveries waiting for us once he’s on the outside. I figure you can never have too many books, although his shelves are already full so we may need to find another storage solution for any future ones… 

There’s some boring, practical things in here, too – a washing basket, a nappy bin and some storage for parts of the pram, but that’s not nearly so fun as the cute cuddly toys and the tiny onesies. Overall, I’m really pleased with how it’s looking for now and I’m excited to see how this little room will grow and change with our little man. Now, if he could just hurry up and get here… 

Sources: Furniture Set // Grey Chevron Curtains // Nappy Bin // Washing Basket // Changing Bag // Bear Print // Mountain Print // You Are So Loved Flag // Wooden Arrow // Wild Thing Cushion // Blanket

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What I’ve Been Reading…

Despite being fairly committed to reading books over the past few years, and having a to-be-read list longer than both my arms, I’ve found it quite difficult to concentrate on reading whilst I’ve been pregnant. Partly, it’s because I’m a lot more exhausted, so I’ve forgone my extra reading time in favour of naps and early nights, and also partly because my brain has been racing with all things baby, which makes it tricky to fit in a trip or two to my favourite fictional land. I’ve mostly been devouring historical romance novels, which I know will have happy endings and are easy to read so are perfect for my current state of mind (would people like recommendations? I’ve found some great ones!). But, since I’ve been on maternity leave and found myself at a loose end with no baby currently in sight, I’ve been able to get stuck into a few more books than usual – so if you’re looking for something to throw in your beach bag this holiday, then look no further… 

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

If you read just one book this year, please make it this one; I know I’m not the first to rave about it but believe the hype, it’s all true. Plus, it’s less than £4 on Amazon right now, which is ridiculously cheap for such a masterpiece. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, The Hate U Give follows the story of sixteen-year-old Starr and what happens when she becomes the only witness to the fatal shooting of a friend at the hands of a police officer. As she finds herself at the middle of a media circus, trying to balance her life becomes more and more difficult as she seeks justice for Khalil whilst trying to maintain her own safety, and that of her family. 

It’s not just the timeliness and poignancy of the story, but the characters which make this book so incredibly readable and wonderful. In the first instance, Starr is just someone you want to be friends with, and there is a real focus on her family, who are all fantastic characters in their own right, as well as being amazing in their supporting roles. Everyone in the book felt fleshed out and important, from her ex-drug-dealer father to her Asian best friend, and they all had their own storylines that ultimately fed into the wider plot. Basically, this is some complex writing that will still have you tearing through it to find out what happens – which is a surprisingly rare thing to find. I teared up on more than one occasion; anyone who has followed #BlackLivesMatter will recognise just how *real* this story is, which makes it all the more heartbreaking, but I also felt like it left room for hope, too. 

Becoming by Laura Jane Williams

If you hang around on the Internet, you’ve probably come across Laura Jane Williams and her brilliant blog at one time or another (and if you haven’t, where have you been?). There was a lot of praise for her first book when it came out last year but it’s only just fallen into my hands. With a subtitle of ‘Sex, Second Chances, and Figuring Out Who the Hell I am’, you can guess at the subject matter, and I think a lot of people will have similar stories to tell from their own lives – but isn’t that the point? After being dumped by the man she thought she was going to marry, Laura turned to booze and sex to try and heal her heart. But, after finding that it just isn’t working for her, she embarks on a journey of self-discovery from Derby to Detroit, and finally to an… Italian convent?

The comparisons with Wild by Cheryl Strayed or Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert are inevitable, but I think they are justified; not only does this book feature solo female travel, designed to repair and restore the traveller’s heart and soul, but Laura manages to combine that wonderful mixture of honesty and sincerity with humour and self-deprecation, which makes this kind of memoir work for me. It would be so easy to go too far down the navel-gazing route, or to make the story more light-hearted in an effort to shun emotional intimacy with the reader, but Laura is unfailingly honest, even when it doesn’t picture her in the best light, whilst remaining warm and self-aware enough to have you rooting for her the whole way. We might not have all gone on such a journey, but anyone who has ever experienced heartbreak (and haven’t we all?) will find something special in this book. 

The Other Half of Happiness by Ayisha Malik*

I read Ayisha Malik’s first novel, Sofia Khan is Not Obliged, on honeymoon almost two years ago, and the protagonist is one that’s stuck with me ever since – so I was delighted to find that there was a sequel! Sofia Khan is touted as a Muslim Bridget Jones, letting you in on her diary as she struggles with love, life and finding her purpose – but (spoiler alert) it looked like she had found her happily ever after at the end of the first book. But what happens after? Is it really as easy as sailing off into the sunset with your true love? I think we all know, of course, that it isn’t – and it was refreshing not only to revisit this beloved cast of characters but also to get a glimpse at the reality of life after the ‘I do’s.

Sofia finds herself torn between countries and priorities, as she struggles to balance her life with her new husband, Conall, whose work (and annoyingly attractive colleague) is keeping him up at all hours, with the demands of her family and her own work as a writer and publisher back home. Mourning her father, supporting her friends with their own turbulent love lives, and writing a book on Muslim marriage when she’s not sure hers is going to work out, all take their toll as she discovers Conall’s darkest secret and has to decide just what to do. It’s a book full of strife and struggle, but also of warmth and humour; reading this book was like returning to an old friend and I hope that it’s not the last we hear from Sofia Khan. 

Party Girls Die in Pearls by Plum Sykes*

If you’re after some pure escapism, you could do a lot worse than taking a trip to 1980s Oxford with Ursula Flowerbutton and trying to solve a murder… Ursula is expecting Pimms, punting and parties at her first term at Oxford University but when a glamorous classmate is discovered with her throat slit on the first day of term, Ursula finds herself at the centre of a murder investigation. With the help of uber-fashionable American exchange student Nancy Feingold and uber-camp gossip columnist Horatio Bentley, who dresses almost exclusively in purple, Ursula navigates the snobby world of the champagne set, dodge romantic overtures from potential murderers and try to find the time to write her first essay. It’s a little absurd, sure, but with a ridiculous(ly posh) cast of characters and some stellar pop culture references, this was a seriously enjoyable read for me. Think Jilly Cooper meets P.G. Wodehouse meets Cagney and Lacey. I mean, how can you resist? 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and buy something, I may receive a small commission. Books marked with a * were provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

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Living up in Leeds, it often feels like London gets all the attention. All the shiny new openings, the exciting events and all of the praise. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is a lot to love about London – but there’s also a lot to love about Leeds! London doorways and murals and shopfronts are ten-a-penny on Instagram – with people making pilgrimages to the floral haven outside Liberty London and the candy-stripe houses of Notting Hill just to get the perfect Instagram snap. And don’t get me wrong, I’ve liked as many photos of Peggy Porschen’s as the next girl, but I think it’s time to give some credit to my own city. We’re not just a gritty city, we’re a pretty city, too – and I’d love to start seeing more of that side of Leeds over on Instagram. 

Siobhan Ferguson launched the #prettycitylondon project many moons ago, and you can see the fruits of her labour over on the @prettycitylondon account; and, of course, it didn’t stop there. There are plenty of people out there who want to share the pretty side of their own cities, and you can see snippets of them over on @theprettycities – but Leeds is sorely lacking in representation. And there’s only one way to fix it…

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Whilst on maternity leave, I’m hoping to get out and about across the city far more than usual so I’m planning to snap my own #prettycityleeds photos but I’d love to get the ball rolling with some help from all of you – I’m sure there are plenty of pretty pictures of Leeds lurking out there, so let’s join them all together and show the world that Leeds is pretty darn, well, pretty! You just have to look up when strolling along Briggate, or pop down a side street in Chapel Allerton or Headingley, or take a walk in Roundhay Park (to name but a few locations) to prove that. So, hashtag your snaps of Leeds and I’ll share my favourites over on Instagram and on this blog. Leeds, I know you’ve got this… 

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Planning a Home Birth

Even before I was pregnant, I knew that I would want a home birth – and that was only cemented as soon as I found out I was actually expecting. As I’m sure you’ve heard me mention, I have a real phobia of hospitals and anything medical, which has made certain elements of pregnancy very un-fun for me, and so it made sense to me to avoid that as much as possible. I’ll be honest, it was just a gut feeling at first, a ‘how do I get out of this?’ sort of decision, but as time went on and we discovered more about the whole process of labour (staying calm is key, it seems…), it started to make logical as well as emotional sense. 

As soon as you mention that you are planning to have a home birth, you get one of two reactions; the first, quite predictably, is something along the lines of ‘ooo, you’re brave’ or ‘isn’t that a bit risky?’. I’m sure it’s not meant to sound quite so insulting, but it is certainly off-putting. I understand why; as a society we have ‘medicalised’ pregnancy and see labour as very much a medical process – only safe when there are doctors and surgeons on hand should the worst happen. Paul was very much of this opinion when I first floated the idea to him, and it definitely took a while to bring him around (although he is very much on board with the home birth plan now!). Labour is a scary thing to go through (she says, as it looms ahead…) and many people I imagine that it is comforting to have nurses and doctors around, but that is very much my idea of a nightmare even at the best of times. I have since learnt that for low risk pregnancies (of which I am lucky to have one!), there’s really no greater risk when having your baby at home. Yes, things can go wrong, but they so rarely go wrong so quickly that you can’t get to the hospital if you need to – and given that we live a short ten minute drive from two hospitals, that’s not something that concerns me massively. On TV, things tend to get a bit dramatic, but whilst it’s not impossible for things to turn sour within moments, it’s much more likely that the midwife would spot any upcoming problems ahead of time and get you into hospital with plenty of time. 

The other reaction you get is the complete opposite; from people who have had home births (few and far between though they may be in my particular circle) you get nothing but glowing reports, and from those who haven’t, you can sometimes get an ‘I wish I’d done that’. Our health visitor actually did a little fist bump when he found out we were planning to have a home birth! After all of the former comments, it’s actually quite a relief to find out that not all people who do go that route regret it (I’m sure some do, although luckily no one has yet told me that!). It’s all very well to read all about it, and to work out all the reasons why it’s right for you, but quite another to actually go through with it when it’s not really the done thing. Of course, the baby may have other ideas entirely, and we’re prepared for a hospital stay if it is necessary, but we’re all prepped and primed for staying at home if we can. On top of my medical phobias playing a part, I also just like the idea of being in my own space – I’m a control freak at the best of times, and especially when I feel a bit vulnerable. 

One thing that I will say is that planning a home birth means we’ve had to do a lot more ‘admin’. I had to chase the home birth team a few times to actually get them to come and chat to us (they do a home visit at 36 weeks to talk you through everything) and we’ve had to get a fair amount of stuff in that you wouldn’t have had to bother with if you were going into hospital where everything is already set up. We’ve bought a birth pool and all the accessories that go with that, and stocked up on extra towels and blankets to cover up the furniture (*insert cringing monkey emoji here*). I think it’s been quite good for us; we’re definitely planners and we like to have lots of ticked off lists, so it’s helped us feel a bit more prepared at a time when you really can’t be all that prepared for what’s to come, but I know that wouldn’t be for everyone. Now the only thing left to do is wait his arrival… 

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