Pregnancy, Slimming World & Multiple Sclerosis 

Well that’s a title and a half isn’t it! Obviously those of you who follow my blog know all about my success with losing weight with Slimming World, being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and then finding out that after a long battle with infertility that I was pregnant.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently about how to manage my weight alongside having a healthy happy pregnancy with limited impact on my Multiple Sclerosis. There are lots of things to think about there, but already I’ve been met with a lot of comments verging more on the negative side. I know overall people don’t mean it but commenting on the fact that I’m trying to look after myself during this pregnancy by continuing to follow Slimming World is quite annoying! 

My first trimester was not good eating and looking after myself wise. I had constant nausea from week 6-13 and the only thing that really helped was eating, but of course, fruit and vegetables weren’t going to cut it. The only thing that helped were white carbs and lots of them. When I eventually took myself back to my Slimming World group I had gained 13lbs at 15 weeks pregnant which was a shock to the system! But it was the shock that I needed to help me rethink exactly what I was doing (and eating) and thankfully my weight gain appears to have slowed down lots which is so much better for me both personally and physically.

I have another extra level to think about too with my recent diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. Before falling pregnant I was following a fairly strict MS friendly diet which again went to the wayside somewhat in the first trimester. The MS diet focuses a lot on keeping saturated fat content low along with being more plant based with no refinded foods and it gets great results. That is something that I am again trying to refocus on.

As I said, I’ve had lots of comments about why I’m crazy to be even thinking of following Slimming World, that I should just eat what I want, that I’m going to gain weight so just go with it, to not weigh myself at all during pregnancy as what’s the point. I obviously know I am going to gain weight and I’m happy to do so, this is something I have dreamed of for many years, jeez it was one of the key reasons I lost the weight in the first place. But I am not willing to jeopardise my health for ‘eating for two’ there is too much at risk for me if I gain too much weight.

So what’s the plan then? I have bought a gorgeous new pregnancy friendly slimming world diary which I’m going to start keeping track of what I’m eating, I’m going to weigh in at my Slimming World group monthly. I’m going back to basics with my MS friendly plan incorporated into Slimming World and I’m going to relax and be happy knowing that I’m doing my best to look after myself and my baby during pregnancy but also making as much attempt as I can to not be holding too much weight post birth that may affect my mobility with my MS.
My lovely Fox and Moon planner

Wish me luck! 

Claire xx 

Pregnancy after infertility – When does it get easier?

This is a post that is very hard to write, pregnancy after infertility is not quite how I expected it to be.  There I said it.  It’s not all a bed of roses with happiness at every turn.  In fact is currently the opposite really.  I feel that infertility has robbed me of the joy of being pregnant, robbed me of my innocence where all things pregnancy are concerned.  It has left me afraid to even enjoy being pregnant.  Something I never thought I would be experiencing, something that I have found hard to acknowledge never mind talk about openly.  But today I decided that that needed to change and I took to twitter to voice my worries over feeling detached and a little flat overall about being pregnant.  It would seem that I am very much not alone in these thoughts, with so many lovely ladies reaching out to me today to say that they felt the same, that they understood.  And do you know what I have realised today.  It is okay to feel this way.

Pregnancy after infertility is a strange place to be, you are neither back in the trenches or really feeling that you belong in with other ‘fertile’ pregnant ladies, feeling isolated, feeling in limbo, not fitting in the infertility world any longer but not fitting in the fertile world either.  I mean, would someone who never experienced the bumpy road of infertility understand why I am struggling to get excited about preparing for the baby, how I am not excited about choosing things for the nursery, about how it really doesn’t feel like I deserve this after this length of time, so why would it actually be happening to me?.  Some of the friendships I have built up over the years from the blog and from twitter suddenly feel off-limits, not due to those lovely ladies, don’t get me wrong, everyone has been lovely to me.  But I don’t want to hurt anyone.  A pregnancy after infertility is hard enough sometimes for those still stuck waiting to see if their time will ever come, never mind one that actually ended up being a natural pregnancy.

Don’t get me wrong, I have had exciting times, I have felt emotions of joy and complete amazement that this is currently happening to me.  But these feelings aren’t sustained currently, generally I am just feeling that little bit flat about it all.  Why am posting about this though?  Well I think that by talking about it, it will help me, by opening up to the fact that it is not what I expected it to be will help me to deal with the thoughts and emotions that are attached to that, help me to move on and get enjoyment out of the pregnancy that I have waited so long for. To no longer feel an imposter in the world of pregnancy.

Claire x

It’s the small things ~ February edition 

It’s time for the small things that have made me smile this month. And in case you somehow missed it, this was the month we announced our lives were changing forever!


There were important announcements.

And important paperwork to be read.

Favourite flowers enjoyed.

Sunday afternoons spent laughing with the husband.

Valentines dinners enjoyed.

Unexpected post received ❤️

Seaside family weekends away enjoyed.

Family beach walks on breezy days.

Gorgeous sunrises enjoyed.

Such thoughtful gifts from friends received.

Birthday pancakes enjoyed.

Beautiful birthday flowers admired.

And birthdays finished with cheeky Nando’s.

Easy Starbucks enjoyed.

More surprise cards received.

Ickle baby bumps appearing.

And that was the amazing month of February.

Claire xx 

And just when you least expect it……life decides to throw you a curveball

I’m not even sure where to begin with this post, it is something that I have wanted to blog about for a while, something that I have dreamt about blogging about ever since I started blogging I suppose.  Something that I never believed after everything that I would actually be blogging about and that has made it very difficult to actually get words out.

On the 23rd December 2016, our lives were turned upside down with the most surprising, shocking, unexpected news that we could ever imagine.  After 5 long years, 2 failed rounds of IVF and a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis I got my first ever positive result on a pregnancy test.

You could have knocked me down with a feather, never in a million years did I expect this to happen to me, over the years I have read about people getting surprise positive tests, but sure that was other people, why would you ever believe that it would happen to you…. I know I never did.

But happen it did, for whatever reason, life decided to throw a curveball and Baby S will be coming in August 2017.

We are over the moon about this obviously, but it has also taken some getting used to.  In fact we were really just getting our heads around never being parents and putting our focus on other things so to say that this was surreal was an understatment.

The news is now all out, we have had two scans, one at 9 weeks and one at 12 and all is currently looking well.  Baby S certainly is not giving me an easy time with constant nausea and unfortunately some vomiting for 9 weeks.  Boy that was a long time!  Thankfully things seem to have settled now with that, with me only getting some passing nausea which is so much more manageable.  The level of exhaustion I have been experiencing though has been off the scale but both my GP and my neurologist feeling that this is more relating to my MS and reminding me that I need to treat this pregnancy on a slightly different level and reminding me that it is an MS pregnancy.  I hadn’t even managed to get my head around how the MS might affect me and now I’m trying to get my head around how having MS, being pregnant and then having a baby will affect me, as I say it has been a bit of a rollercoaster to say the least.

As for how the MS will affect me during this, no one can say for sure, however there is lots of evidence to support a lesser level of symptoms with MS throughout the 2nd and 3rd trimester so I am hoping for me that I fall into that category.  For now though, we are taking each day as it comes and feeling very blessed to be in this position.
Claire xx

It’s the small things ~ January edition 

A little late this month and quite a quiet post but it’s time for the small things that made me smile in January.

Starting the year at a fire and light show at our local park.
New diaries, new dreams, new hopes.

Tree down and my favourite Willow Tree figure back in place.

Spotify chilling mornings.

Reaching a year as a Slimming World target member!

Celebrating 15 years together.

Pride at keeping this alive. Longest time I’ve ever managed.

Freezing cold days but beautiful blue skies.

Canal reflections.

January has been a quiet, reflective month but lovely none the less. 

Let’s see what February has in store.

Claire xx

It’s the small things – December edition 

It’s time for the small things that made my December.

Raising £220.90 for the MS Trust through a bake sale at work. So happy to be able to give a little back.

Making a light up box for our hallway for Christmas.

Getting our Christmas on.

Throwing a surprise birthday weekend for my gorgeous hubby.

Visiting the Kelpies at nighttime.

Receiving a beautiful bouquet of flowers from my husband to thank me for his birthday celebrations.

Christmas jumper wearing.

Indulging in Christmas movies.

Enjoying dairy free baileys.

Getting my Christmas nails on.

Long drive back to Ireland listening.

Chilling in front of the in laws open fire. 

Enjoying cocktails with my Mum & Sister.

 Enjoying beautiful sunsets as our boat set sail to return to Scotland.

Loving my new rose gold coffee set.

Celebrating Hogmanay with our close family.

And that was December. Looking forward to seeing what 2017 brings.

Claire xx 

And life takes another unexpected turn… 

It’s taken me a little while to get my head into the right place to write this post.  Those of you who follow me on Twitter or Instagram will already be aware of the unexpected turn my life recently took and that life has been a little bit up and down over the last 4 or so months.  For those of you who just follow my blog, in November I got diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis after experiencing numerous neurological symptoms, mainly the inability to walk far, lift my left leg without using my hands and lots and lots of numbness.  I went back and forward to my GP twice who then sent an urgent referral to neurology who then did an urgent MRI to confirm their suspicions and we were sitting in November, still experiencing lots of left-sided weakness, numbness, tingling, pain and muscle spasms, facing a neurologist who said the words ‘you have relapsing and remitting MS

Thankfully things have improved a lot since that horrible day on the 21st August when my life changed as I knew it. My MS team are not sure if I have fully came out of the exacerbation or not yet, which they said could take 6 months or more.  I have been left with lots of residual symptoms which mainly manifest themselves in my left side.  I suffer daily from numbness, balance issues, MS Hug (which contrary to its name is as far removed from the actual loving hug you have in your mind when you see the word!) and extreme fatigue, these may or may not get a little better but the nature of the illness is that no one ever knows.  So I just need to find my new normal, listen to my body and become a little bit selfish when it comes to my own health.

Life has changed for me that is for sure, it is has been at times scary, frustrating, exhausting and all-consuming but slowly, day by day, bit by bit I am learning how to live with this chronic illness.  There will be good days, there will be bad but I will not let it take over every aspect of my life.


Claire xx

It’s the small things – November edition 


It’s time for the small things that have made me happy in November. 

Amazing post received from a beautiful lady.

Dogs in winter jumpers

 Beautiful Sunday walks. 

Christmas coffee cups.

 Beautiful sunrises on frosty mornings.

Swan family spotting

Planning days out. 

Buying new calendars.

Favourite deliveries! 

Kindle time and chill out playlists.

Beautiful walks as the sun began to set.

Holidays are coming! The first showing of the Coke ad always makes me smile. 

Feeling the chill.

Heading to Ireland for pre Christmas delights. 

Mules, markets and girlie family times. 

Mulled ciders, Georgian market day and light shows. 
Wine, alternative nativities and family meals out. 
First red cup of the Christmas season.

And that was November! 

November has been a tough month, I’ve had a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis formally given so finding joy in the little things has never been more important. Let’s see what December brings.

Claire xx 

It’s the small things – October edition 

It’s time for the small things that have helped me smile in October.

Gorgeous Autumn days at Loch Lommond

Dog walks and Coffees from this gorgeous Airstream.

Pulling off a great stand on World Mental Health Day.

Signing up for a Christmas Cake Off!

Keeping strong.

Rocking the lounge wear look. 

Enjoying some down time with the hubby before he headed away to America for a break.

Never underestimating the power of online friendships when this gorgeous card arrived on my doorstep. 

Loving a Spotify playlist to brighten up my day.

Updating my wall of positivity.

Loving the Autumn colours.

Smiling at the amazing ‘fall’ photos being shared by my husband from America.

Making time for ‘raw healthy’ cake and coffee.

Having a lovely week with my Mum & Dad visiting Scotland.

Stopping to remind myself of the little things.

Celebrating fifth wedding anniversaries.

Laughing as usual at the crazy upside down dog.

Herring spotting on our dog walk.

Nothing beats an autumn walk through the crunchy leaves. 

Not letting MS beat me and finding new ways to work out.

Treating myself to some Christmas Yankees……holidays are coming!

Belated anniversary breaks away.

Highland Coo spotting and being in awe of the beautiful autumn colours.

Having a feeling that someone was watching over me.

And that was October!

Claire xx 

It’s the small things ~ September edition 

It’s time for the small things from September that have made me smile.

Starting the month as I mean to go on with coffee and raw cake.

Loving how this cutey pie slept with his new toy his Daddy gave him and on his slippers whilst he was away.

Feeling poorly but still eating well.

Loving seeing the first leaves falling. Autum is my favourite time of the year by far.

Enjoying yet more raw cake….

Chilling and reading on a Saturday afternoon.

Enjoying slow walks to the Kelpies.

And little bits of me time.

Finally going home and visiting family.

Loving Belfast and time with my Mum, Dad and sister.

Coffee and brunching with my sister. 

Spending time at my favourite craft market.

Enjoying a little bit of bubbly.

Visiting the Beacon of Hope.

Getting some positivity back into my month.
Loving my new tea.

Chasing rainbows.

Getting my Halloween on.

Finishing the month with a doggy play date… When Hamish met Albert.

And that was the little things that made me smile and got me through the month. September has been an awful month for me health wise. These little things have taken on more importance in grounding me and helping me get through.

Claire x