Maternity shoot with Annie Crossman Photography

Last year, we did a family photo shoot with Annie Crossman, a Bristol family photographer and friend. I’d booked the shoot as a birthday present to myself – a way to celebrate our family with one-year-old Ophelia in it. We then considered our family complete, not expecting to have any more children. Three weeks ago, Annie beautifully documented for us in a maternity photo shoot at Clevedon sea front how our plans can change. I didn’t do a maternity shoot with either of my first two babies so it feels extra special to anticipate this baby with one. It’s exciting…

38 weeks pregnant with baby number three

It’s weird to think that I’m less than two weeks from my guess date. I’ve stopped calling it my due date because at this stage in the pregnancy it’s unhelpful for me to get too fixated on a date. Talitha was born at 40+13 and Ophelia at 40+3 but that’s no real predictor for when this baby will arrive. I realise, though, that last time, because I expected a baby two weeks “late”, Ophelia felt early. This time, I think I’ll struggle if I go on that long. Two weeks is not a long time. Four weeks seems like it…

37 weeks pregnant – full term with third baby

A few days ago, I hit the 37-week mark. Full term. Really all it means is that this is the final stretch. The baby could come any day or it could be another five weeks. I’m holding on to the statement on my hypnobirthing CD, Katharine Graves’ reassuringly intoning, “Baby will come when baby is ready. Baby knows best.” At the same time, I’ve gone from feeling not even marginally ready for the birth to fighting back impatience. The clothes, nappies and blankets are all washed, dry and put away. The birth bags are packed. Everything is gathered for the…

28 weeks pregnant – Hello, third trimester

Somehow I’ve hit 28 weeks pregnant and am in the final trimester. In some ways, it feels like July is creeping up on me. We still haven’t totally settled on a name. For now, she’s mostly “Butterfly”, the girls’ placeholder choice. We still haven’t made many birth decisions other than that we’re aiming for a second home birth. Twelve-ish weeks seems like such a long time and none at all. It’s got to the point where I feel like I will never not feel this brand of tired. Thankfully, I remember with Ophelia that pregnancy exhaustion dissipated soon after she…

Breastfeeding while pregnant – the third trimester

I kind of wasn’t really expecting to ever write this post. I found breastfeeding in the first trimester such hard work, especially since it triggered nausea which led us to night wean. I was determined to take a “wait and see” approach, making myself no promises either way. I believe that allowing children to outgrow the need to breastfeed is such a gift but that the balance of needs between the two people in a nursing relationship naturally shifts over time. So I had mixed feelings when I thought she was weaning. During the second trimester, breastfeeding, as most things,…

Five things to do before the baby comes

At thirty-three weeks pregnant, the countdown has begun. Laurence asked me yesterday if we’re in the third trimester yet. I pray he was joking. At any rate, I’m determined to make the most of these next seven (or five or nine or God alone knows how many) weeks.