Tag Archives: pregnancy

C-section – what really happens

When I was pregnant with Hudson and found out I was having a c-section I heard all sorts of horror stories. I also Googled (don’t do it). There were tales of staples, huge scars, excutiating pain, infections and awful recoveries. It was very hard to find anything that sounded like a standard straight forward story. I have since had two c-section’s  (one emergency and one elective) and I wanted to share what happened to hopefully put some people’s mind at ease and share something positive to cut through all the negative horror stories.

Firstly, I want to say that I complely understand that everyone has different birth stories, this is my experience only. I am not speaking on behalf of anyone else.

The process of c-section for me was just fine. Here is my experience:

As with any operation the nerves kick in just before you go in. I felt so much better once I saw my Ob/Gyn, the familiar face really helped calm my nerves.

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Waiting to go in for my c-section with Hudson 

▫The spinal block – this worried me. In reality this is over super quick and both of my anesthetists were great and talked me through the whole process.

▫ Catheter – I have never had an operation before and the thought of a catheter really worried me. I didn’t even notice it. It’s inserted after the spinal and they take it out the next day. You are so happy to have your baby you really pay no attention to the catheter.

▫It’s quick – from the spinal to meeting your little one is a really quick process (probably 15 minutes).  Before you know it you will be stitched up and in recovery. For me, the whole process took about 45 minutes both times.

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▫ Stitches and scar – Both times I had internal stitches and one large stitch closing the wound. No staples. I paid special attention to the wound care and now my scar is minimal. It’s very low (just above my pubic bone). I can still wear a bikini if I want to and it’s really no big deal. Contrary to some Google stories, my scar is horizontal, not vertical and is not across my whole stomach. My stitch was removed before I left the hospital.

▫Pain management – the hospital I was at were amazing with pain management. Pain meds were given before I felt pain and I left the hospital taking only Voltaren and Panadol. Ensure you ask for pain meds, there is no need to be a hero. Take them before you are in pain.  It makes recovery a lot easier.

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Me and Scarlett – one day old

▫ Bleeding – you bleed after any birth and c-sections are no different. From what I hear it’s not as heavy as after a vaginal birth but yes, you still require the surfboard maxi pads.

▫ Driving – with my doctors approval I was able to drive two weeks after both my c-sections. I read a lot of information about not driving for 6 weeks, this wasn’t the case for me.

▫ Breastfeeding – I had no trouble with milk supply or breastfeeding. The c-section didn’t affect this for me.

▫ Physical activity – I was up and walking the next day. I was restricted with certain activities for 6 weeks (vacuuming etc) but hey, who wants to vacuum anyway. I was able to go for walks as soon as I got home and could commence normal exercise after my 6 week check up.

Overall, I had two positive experiences. I’m not saying that this is the case for everyone. In a world of negative stories, it’s sometimes nice to hear everything is going to be ok. I now have two beautiful healthy babies and that’s what really counts.

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Rachelle xx 

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Speak up

I’m a capable woman, organised, driven and a fast learner so being a mum should just be a breeze……Well that’s what I thought.  That was until someone with 10 little fingers, 10 little toes and a little button nose came into my world and flipped it upside down. 

I knew that motherhood has it’s ups and downs but nothing could have prepared me. 

Hudson was born early and had reflux so we were off to a rocky start. He screamed in the cot, he screamed in the car and he screamed in the pram. I had never been so tired in my life and I felt completely out of control. 

I was an absolute mess, I didn’t want to leave the house, breastfeeding wasn’t easy as I was expressing and trying to feed. 

My new little baby was so loved but how on earth was I going to cope. Of course, looking back now I realise this is a small time and at some point your child sleeps. However, when you’re in a hormonal, emotional, sleepless haze there seems like there is no way out and you will never sleep again. 

I had days where I didn’t get out of my pyjamas, I would cry and I was incredibly jealous as my husband was able to leave the house to go to work. I had people around offering all sorts of advice and help but I didn’t hear them. 

My husband was helping and being very supportive. The reality was, he was just as tired as me and running a business.  I didn’t want to admit that I wasn’t coping. It seemed like eveyone else around me was loving motherhood, had it together and I had no clue. I felt alone. 

One day I was crying on the phone to my mum and I said ‘ I’m not good at this. Why can’t I do this?’ She simply replied ‘it will be ok, you will be ok’. Immediately I felt better. I felt like I had admitted defeat and just it saying out loud felt better. 

From that day on I vowed to always be open and honest about my feelings. I love being a mum more than anything, but motherhood is hard. It’s stressful and there is guilt….oh boy is there guilt. Even four years down the track with two children I still stress about tantrums, sleep schedules and health etc.  I don’t think this ever changes, it just becomes different. I’m sure my own mum is still worried about me. 

I want to be the best mother possible. In order to do this I need to take care of myself.  If you’re not coping, unhappy or depressed speak up. I always thought people would judge. No one is judging as we have all been there in one way or another. 

www.panda.org.au 
Rachelle xx 

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Guest blog – It wasn’t love at first sight for everyone

When I fell pregnant with my second baby I was over the moon as my fertility specialist said it was likely the embryo wouldn’t take because it was the first frozen transfer and the success rates weren’t great. But during the two week wait; and some of us know how painful and anxiety driven that two week wait is, I experienced some pregnancy symptoms. I was feeling nauseous, I had tightness and was tired; I just felt pregnant. I was so tempted to take a pregnancy test but didn’t want to incase the results were negative and we would be heartbroken more than once. We waited and received the phone call from my doctor (with my clinic, I knew that an earlier phone call in the afternoon was a good one as they ring all the successful pregnancies first and leave the difficult phone calls for later on – I have experienced those phone calls too). The news was good. My husband and I were so happy. Thrilled. My doctor also couldn’t believe it given the success rates of frozen embryos. He was so happy for us.

My pregnancy went along pretty well. I had a couple of hiccups with bleeding and in hospital a couple of times on short-stay bed rest but absolutely nothing major like some women go through. I was really excited moving through the pregnancy but also wondered how my life would change with two babies and not just parenting my little Matilda. Matilda would be just over 18 months when the baby arrived and I was a little concerned about how I would cope considering I had a little PND after Matilda was born. I didn’t want to go down that path again and I was adamant about changing my mindset and the words I spoke about how I was going to cope and for me, I think that really helped alleviate some self-doubt.

The day arrived when Master Charlie came into our lives. He was the spitting image of his dad and was just delightful. My family visited and everyone was really happy about meeting Charlie and then Jason bought Matilda in. Being 18 months of age and not really understanding what had just happened she wasn’t so happy about Charlie arriving. She wasn’t loving, she pushed him away, she kept saying “no” and I thought oh my goodness, what have we done? Maybe we should have waited a bit, but in the infertility world, your choices of when you want to have a baby are pretty slim. My initial reaction when we first discovered what our infertility issues were, was, lets get things moving along and get this show on the road as time was not on our side.

The jump from one to two kids was big, for me. Even though I knew what to expect second time around, it was hard finding balance in caring for a newborn and a toddler. Thankfully Charlie was a great newborn; my anxiety was around giving time to Matilda and not getting frustrated with her little tantrums and outbursts knowing that all she really wanted was her mum. It probably took Matilda a couple of months for her to really show some affection towards her little brother. I noticed it once when I picked her up from childcare and the staff were looking at little Charlie and she was saying “my brother” and being super protective.

Jason and I had to be really conscious of spending one on one time with Matilda. He had already started taking Matilda out on breakfast dates when I was pregnant and that increased once Charlie had arrived to every Saturday. Daddy daughter dates were just the best. She loved it and was much happier when she came home and was more settled. Charlie and I joined the breakfast dates once Matilda paid her brother some more attention and we could both spend time with her.

Whilst the first few months were tough having a baby second time around was much easier than having my first as I knew what to expect for most of the part and making sure I got enough sleep really helped. Jason was such a great support and helped with night feeds so that I could get uninterrupted sleep until the 4am feed. Looking back now I wouldn’t change our decision to get the ball rolling with our IVF journey and Matilda and Charlie are great buddies now and play so well together. I know there will be fights and arguing between them as they grow but I really hope and pray they will be the best of friends and support and love each other through life’s challenges. So it wasn’t love at first sight for Miss M but now she is one protective sister and wants everyone to know that Charlie is her little brother.

Sass.xo

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Electrical essentials

Ok, so since becoming a mum my interests have changed. I do still love fashion and make up. However, I’m not out at the latest hotspots as as much as I used to be. I used to always wonder about the whitegood ads out around Mother’s Day. I now understand. Gadgets and white goods are amazing. They also save time. I wanted to share some of my electrical mummy must haves. 

If you’re a new mum or a mum- to-be, go out and get these things. A – because I love them and can’t live without them and B – some of them are amazing time savers that don’t cost $3k (sorry Thermomix, you haven’t made the cut).  

I also have to mention this is not sponsored…..I just really find these items helpful.

ELECTRIC BREASTPUMP – 

Not just any breast pump the Medela swing is the only one worth your time and money.  If I had my time again I would get the double one, but the single one served me well. Especially since Hudson was prem, I did a lot of expressing (sings Madonna express yourself in head). It’s the ones they use in maternity hospitals and works like a dream. 

HUMIDIFIER – 

Some doctors say they don’t work but I don’t care. Both of my children have had bronchialitis and croup. Humidifiers have helped us through many winter nights. It just keeps the air moist and it’s easier for bub to breathe. Mine are just the Euky Bear ones from Chemist Warehouse, not expensive or fancy but they work. Get your hands on one so you have it for when your baby is born. You may need it at 3am on a winters night. 

SLOW COOKER – 

A slow cooker is every mum’s best friend. I simply pop some meat in, forget about it for 6-8 hours and then bang…..dinner is ready. I use mine weekly (especially in winter) and it’s so much easier than standing over a hotplate with two clingy children hanging off me. I make soups, casseroles, pulled pork, ribs, mexican….the list is endless. Mine is a George Foreman. Again, not the most expensive but it’s served me well. 

RICE COOKER – 

I use mine multiple times a week. I know I could make rice in a pot but with kids it’s certainly easier to pop it in and just forget it. Mine switches to warming mode when the rice is cooked so I don’t even have to check on it. I use it to cook rice and quinoa and them in lunches, dinner and salads. 

 POWERCUBE – 

I find I am always looking for extra power points these days. Kids stuff just needs to be plugged in or charged (so do breast pumps). I found the PowerCube. It’s amazing, small and easily hidden from little hands. Plus, you can even mount it under a table or desk. It even has USB sockets…..Whaaat?! You can charge your IPad, phone and pump all from the one little cube. Ditch the old power boards and get one of these little bad boys (available at Harvey Norman and Office works).

DRYER – 

Yes, I know they’re not great for the environment. However, kids are messy, they get sick and there is a lot of washing. I don’t use mine all the time but I love knowing it’s there. Great for towels and sheets. It comes in handy in winter or when have a dreaded gastro outbreak. 

NUTRI BULLET- 

So good for making baby food, smoothies, milk shakes, cocktails and soup. The blades are super sharp so they blitz ice and mine gets a good work out making pureed veggies that I hide in everything from pasta sauce to savoury muffins. 

So there you have it, my electrical essentials for mum’s (and anyone really, other than the breast pump). Also, great gift ideas for a new mum or family. 

Me – excited by a new washing machine?? What happened? Times have changed. 

Rachelle xx 

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The hidden gems of pregnancy

From the moment you see the two pink lines (or digital 2-3 weeks pregnant) flash before your eyes, your life changes in so many ways. You read books, Google and dowload apps that  compare your bundle of joy to the size of fruit and vegetables.  These resources also gloss over pregnancy symptoms – nausea, weight gain, being uncomfortable, varicose veins etc…..but that’s it, they kind of just gloss over them. While not everyone has the same pregnancy problems let me tell you the truth about a few of mine:

▫ Sweating – this was one of the first symptoms I noticed. It started early on and stuck around the whole time. I was hot and not in a sexy way. In a overweight, sweaty mess kind of way.

▫Le chocolate royales – by chocolate royales, I mean nipples. One of my friends ans I constantly joked about these. Your once pink or peachy colour nipples go a shade or ten darker. Obviously something in preparation for breastfeeding (and they do return to normal). Yet, it’s still quite a shock when you realise your nipples looking like chocolate royals sitting on top of white veiny (sore) mountains.

▫Veins  –  see above post regarding the veiny white mountains. You chest and pretty much most of your bits resemble a road map. Veins appear that you never knew existed. 

▫Hair growth – some women report amazing thick luscious hair during pregnancy. My hair certainly got thicker, but I wasn’t able to enjoy it as I was too hot and sweaty to have it hanging around. Plus, I was too busy shaving my legs and armpits that seemed to develop some sort of 5 o’clock shadow situation. All my hair was growing and it was growing fast, I felt like a Kardashian sister (pre all the laser hair removal) it was intense.

▫Leakage – Things leak, no one warned me that colostrum can leak prior to your baby being born. Both pregnancies I had leakage issues from around 20 weeks, that’s halfway.  Basically I spent 20 weeks using breast pads and trying to ensure that my leaks remained undercover. Compleatly exhausting when your already dealing with all the sweat and extra hair growth.

▫Heart burn – I never really had heartburn before I was pregnant. By the end of both my pregnancies I was skulling mylanta like a champion and wouldn’t go anywhere or eat anything unless I had a supply of chewy quik eze on hand. Water was giving me heartburn, eating quik eze was giving me heart burn. I would awake at 3am feeling like my stomach was burning in the depths of hell and all I could do was sleep sitting slightly upright (not comfortable when your already being kicked from the inside)

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▫ Pointer sisters – oh yes, in addition to your chocolate royals. Your nipples get extremely pointy. I could have given directions, dialed a phone or danced to Stayin’ alive with mine. They take a bit of getting used to and just as you begin to embrace your finger nipples, they are back to normal.

▫Hickie – you may have heard of people being hangry (hungry/angry). Well when you’re pregnant you have a new feeling I like to call ‘Hickie’ (hungry/sickie). It’s the feeling where you’re not sure if you’re hungry or feeling sick or both?!?!

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▫ Swelling – everything swells and puffs. I only put on 12 – 14kg with both of my pregnancies. However things still ‘puffed up’ cheeks, fingers, breasts, hoo ha. Your thighs begin to rub together and whisper sweet nothings as you walk. Your boobs are BIG, and not Hollywood plastic surgery big. Kind of swollen to the point that the cleavage resembles a butt crack.

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While these little pregnancy gems do not sound pleasant, they pretty much go back to normal once you have your bub. If they dont, who really cares. As long as you’re baby and you are healthy this is a small price to pay.  It’s always good to be prepared, know what can happen and have a laugh. The one thing you will never be prepared for is the love you will feel when that little baby is placed into your sweaty, hairy, puffy arms. All is forgotten!

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Rachelle xx

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Chontel Duncan – Feature Mummy

Chontel Duncan is fit, busy and now super mum to baby Miah. I had the opportunity to ask her some questions.

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Photo: Instagram @chontelduncan

Welcome Chontel and congratulations on the birth of Miah. He is a real cutie. 

How are you finding motherhood? I am thoroughly enjoying it, Ive always wanted to be a mum (i still want 4 children eventually) and it is exactly what i visioned it would be. Having a little human of my own that i can bring up, protect, educate, teach right from wrong & i guess in a way feel like i now have a REAL soul purpose in life is such an unreal feeling.

What is the best part about being a mum? Those mornings when they wake up all groggy & just want a cuddle to help them finish waking up…. OMG that melts my heart and makes getting up each morning that more exciting. Planing a future with Miah now being apart of it, is really motivating & gets me so pumped for life. 

Tell us about your business? HIIT Australia is a class based fitness center that specializes in  Transformation programs designed to help others change their lifestyles whilst achieving insane results. We gain all this through Muay Thai Kickboxing & Strength & conditioning using raw athletic movement. We then incorporate it with our HIIT nutrition & offer Personal Training services, so combined the content & services provided complement eachother so well & deliver incredible life changing results.

How do you stay organised with work and a new bub. Any tips? I have to pre plan ahead, food prep on Sundays, diary every commitment into my electronic diary, i always have a packed nappy bag with all the essentials in each car as my emergency bag if ever i had to rush off. I have two make up bags, two GHDs & two hair dryers one is always at home & the other of each are kept in my office, so if i train or am running late i dont have to stress about my essentials to get ready for the day. Mind you i sometimes just dont worry about make-up & chuck my hair up into a bun. 

How did you stay fit during your pregnancy? I was very grateful to have had a safe healthy pregnancy with no complications that would prevent me from continuing my active lifestyle. I looked at that as being EXTREMELY grateful so i didnt take this for granted. I made sure i made no excuses, i listened to my body so i never caused injury & i always had the mentality that my body was designed to be pregnant & that pregnancy is NOT a disease.

What’s your ultimate cheat meal? Mushroom Burger from Grilled, Beer battered chips or Chicken Twisties (obsessed)

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Keep up the good work and ignore any negativity. You’re doing an amazing job!

Rachelle xx

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Photos: Instagram @chontelduncan

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Guest Blog: A little bit about me, my clinic & Archer Naturals ..

With 12 years clinical experience, I didn’t start out knowing exactly what I wanted to specialise in, I just knew I wanted to be a Naturopath.

I had a passion for women & children’s health, having treated and gone through my own hurdles, you start to attract what you love doing the best.

Soon enough I had a thriving wellness clinic- Lifestyle Health,  with women of all ages looking for help with their hormones, Infertility, Pregnancy & everything beyond.

My passion for natural health hasn’t stopped growing over the years and with each milestone in my own life, my vision and goals for business and the opportunities have continued to expand.

My brain never stops thinking or creating!

Becoming pregnant myself was a turning point, I needed products, but wherever I looked, no one seemed to be able to give me the answers I needed. The more mothers I asked, the more I became aware that their was a gap in the market, this is where Archer Naturals began….

Parents just want the best for their children, including myself, So I set out to create a brand that was natural, affordable and safe but most importantly, effective too.  Natural products that we need for our children’s health that doesn’t necessarily mean body lotion or nappy balm, but daily essentials like a natural stop itch cream or Insect repellent, so we created Archer Naturals Soothe it & our best seller, Aussie Mozi to fill this gap in the market.

It’s not always about having this ideal organic lifestyle living on the farm in the pastures, sometimes it’s just about limiting your children’s exposure to nasty chemicals, food additives and pollutants where possible.

Our range of natural skincare products, we’ve taken the hidden nasties but we are still able to  incorporate the essential botanical and herbal ingredients formulated to work, while eliminating the exposure of chemicals to your little ones, creating a healthier more natural environment.

Website – www.archernaturals.com.au

Facebook – www.facebook.com/archernaturals/

Instagram – http://www.instagram.com/archernaturals/

 

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Stacey – Archer Naturals

 

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el8te Skincare Q&A

I recently had the opportunity to try the el8te skin care range. el8te is a luxurious natural skincare brand that offers a high quality product at an affordable price.

Founded by Gen Reid, Jenny Price and Sally Glover, el8te can be used by all ages and skin types. It’s Australian made and free from any nasty chemicals. Making it ideal for sensitive skin. I had a chance to ask the founders of el8te some questions.

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions about your amazing product range, tell me a little bit about why this came about and what the inspiration for the brand is

We really wanted to create a skincare brand that was truly and genuinely free of nasty chemicals and which incorporated goat milk. Goat milk has incredible healing benefit and is therefore perfect for sensitive skin which is so prevalent these days.

What sets el8te products apart from the rest? 

Most goat milk ranges use processed and powdered goat milk whereas el8te uses only fresh Australian goat milk. Lots of goat milk product on the market is pitched at a supermarket level but we really wanted to open up this space and develop an attractive and elevated brand that could be used by the whole family.

I have young children, some products I have used in the past have caused rashes and dry out their sensitive skin. Tell me a little bit about your Goat’s milk baby range? 

Our babies are so precious and it’s distressing to see the ingredients in some products pitched at babies. We use no nasty chemicals or artificial fragrances so our goat milk range is super safe for gentle and sensitive skin. Our baby range is not only safe for baby’s skin but it has real healing benefits for rashes and irritation that they can be so susceptible to.  

Where do you source the ingredients for the el8te skin care range? 

All the ingredients used are sourced in Australia.

I see you use activated charcoal in some of your products. What are the benefits of this? 

Activated charcoal has been used for millennium– it absorbs deep into the pores to draw out dirt & oil making it perfect for blemished and acne prone skin. Our hand and body wash is scented with pure spearmint oil and it’s one of my favourite products in the el8te range.

Where can I buy el8te? 

You can buy el8te online at www.el8teaustralia.com

What a delightful gift for any new bub (or mum).
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Thank you

Rachelle xx

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One of each – Congratulations!

Yes, I have a son and a daughter. Almost everytime people find this out, I am greeted with a comment like ‘well done’, ‘aren’t you clever’, ‘that’s a perfect family’ or my favourite ‘you must be happy, you got one of each’.

Let me tell you, it has nothing to do with being clever. I didn’t try to have a boy and a girl. I was simply trying to have a baby. Growing up, I always thought I would like a daughter one day. However, when my son was born 6 weeks early, I saw first hand how quickly things can take a turn for the worse.   After days of heart rate monitoring and worry, I was just happy to be holding a healthy baby.   There are parents holding the hands of sick children everywhere, I’m sure they dont care if it’s their son or daughter. As a parent you just want a healthy and happy child.

The ‘clever’ people are the doctors and nurses who care for you throughout your pregnancy and help deliver a healthy baby, the doctors that look after sick babies/children and the people assisting women and men experience parenthood with IVF. I am certainly not in that category. I simply got pregnant twice and just happened to be lucky enough to have two healthy children – one boy and one girl. 

Also, people often ask if I want more children and it’s like I am given the ‘ok’ by them to not have anymore because I already have one of each? ‘Oh, a boy and a girl, how wonderful. You don’t need anymore’. Where on earth is this mentality coming from and why do people feel the need to even comment on such a personal issue?  I can honestly say even if I had a second baby boy,  I would still have stopped at two children. It had nothing to do with the sex of my second child, it was a decision by my husband and I. A choice we made for our future and the fact that we are happy with two healthy children.

We need to stop the silly comments, shaming, questions and judgements on parents. Just because a family has three boys or four girls is doesn’t mean they are unhappy. It doesn’t even mean they kept having children so they could get a boy or a girl. It may simply mean they want a big family?  Next time you see someone with two or more children, don’t comment on the sex of the child,  don’t congratulate them for having a pigeon pair or look at them disappointed because they have two boys. Just tell them they have beautiful children…..if you can’t even manage this, say nothing at all.

As a mother I don’t need the appoval or praise from others, especially strangers. I didn’t pick the sex of my children, I’m just doing my best to be a good mother, regardless of if my child is a boy or a girl.

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Rachelle xx

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How is it possible to miss someone you’ve not even met?

My name is Kelly. I’m a full time working wife and mumma to a beautiful almost 2 year old boy, and another little boy due at the end of May. Recently, I spent the night in hospital with gastro and dehydration. It was an awful experience! My first pregnancy was plagued with bleeds, hospital stays, threatened premature labour and an eventual emergency C-section 3 weeks early. Up until the point of my recent hospital stay, I was feeling pretty happy with myself and incredibly blessed, that this pregnancy was cruising along, drama-free. So needless to say, as I lay in my hospital bed, as sick as a dog, I shed a tear of self-pity..

My amazing husband must have realized this so he sent me a photo of himself and my son, smiling into the camera. It immediately warmed my heart to see my boys there, smiling for
me! But at the same time, instantaneously, I was hit with a realization. There’s something missing from this photo. Or someone..

Of course cruising through this pregnancy, like anyone, I’ve been filled with excitement and anticipation at the thought of meeting our newest family member. But it wasn’t until this point that I realized, this little boy growing inside me, is already so much a part of my family, that I feel like he is a missing member, like a missing body part!

As much as I absolutely love my boys, I couldn’t help but feel like this photo was incomplete.

I couldn’t help but feel like all my boys, were not in the photo!

I finally recognized the feeling of had a few tunes recently, when my boys and I were doing quality family things, feeling so happy, yet feeling like something was not quite right.. It’s because I’m missing my second son before he’s even breathed his first breath!

Man, that’s a powerful love! A mother’s love!

So as I lay in my hospital bed looking at the photo of my boys, I started to feel a huge sense of excitement… In a couple years’ time, I would be able to look at a very similar photo of not one, but two little boys, excitedly clamouring over daddy, smiling into the camera at a photo they know is being sent to mummy.

It fills me with so much excitement, and so much love!

Hurry up little bubba D, your mummy, daddy and big brother miss you, and can’t wait to meet you!

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Kelly – @working.mumma

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    Kelly Dernehl