It’s the small things ~ May edition 

I’m a little late this month but here are the things that made my month of May.

Flying home to spend time with my family.

Girly afternoon teas.

Making prints for the nursery

Enjoying coffees and sunshine walks

Reaching double figures in our baby countdown!

Not being able to resist these cute mugs
Planting pots
Receiving the most beautiful handmade present
Embracing the bump

Enjoying Saturday mornings going old skool!

Sorting baby things

Finding the car a little hot after visiting a patient.

Partaking in a little mocktail

Being very very thankful 

Enjoying time with my two loves

Reaching the third trimester 

Loving surprise flowers 

Starting birthing classes.
And that was my May.

Claire xx 

World MS Day – 31st May 2017

Today the 31st May, marks world Multiple Sclerosis day.  A day to raise awareness of Multiple Sclerosis worldwide, to show people what it is like to live with this illness day in and day out, to try to get a little bit more understanding of life with an invisible illness.

As most of you know who read my blog already, I was recently diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in the latter part of last year, though like most people, I have been most likely living with the illness for the guts of 10 years.  I count myself lucky that up until the 20th August 2016 any symptoms that I was experiencing, that can now be linked to the illness were not impacting on my day to day life.  That all changed on that day though when I lost the use of my left leg and slowly over the course of two weeks, the majority of my left side.  It was a scary time and I was very lucky to get an urgent MRI which resulted in a very quick diagnosis.

My life changed forever on the day of diagnosis and slowly I am learning a new way of life, life that has to be planned that little bit more due to the high levels of fatigue that I now live with.  My symptoms are mostly invisible to others, though when my legs decide to stop working everyone can see that part!

Mainly my MS affects my mobility, some of my more ‘invisible’ symptoms include: Numbness, weakness, spasticity, fatigue, bladder issues, bowel issues and fatigue.  When I write it down like that it seems like a lot!  
Multiple Sclerosis is an unwelcome visitor in my life but it is one that I need to learn to live with, please help me along the way by trying to understand it that little bit more.

Claire xx

And time ticks on – A pregnancy update

I can’t believe I am writing this at 6.5months pregnant! I wrote here about my struggles with the amount of feelings that I wasn’t expecting when we found out after 5 years of battling infertility that we were finally pregnant.

I am pleased to say that overall the majority of these feelings have settled and I have been able to find enjoyment in this pregnancy which I am really pleased about.  It took a lot of work on my part to get my head into a good place and I think that having our 20 week scan with no issues found really helped me turn a corner and have finally allowed me to enjoy this stage in my life.  I know that we are likely to only ever be blessed with this once and I don’t want to look back and think that I wasn’t able to enjoy any of the moments associated with pregnancy.

We decided that we would find out the gender, it is something that we thought long and hard about but something that we knew in our hearts was right for us and we were not wrong. Finding out what we are expecting has really helped us to bond, to plan, to get even more excited and to feel that this is really happening. We are over the moon to say we are……

We are so excited to be on Team Blue and this weekend we even finally decided on his name.  We are not going to be telling anyone that though as we do want to keep some surprises!  But we love it and are hoping that everyone else does when he arrives.

A little pregnancy, how I am doing update I suppose wouldn’t go amiss.  I am currently under consultant led care due to my recent diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (I am planning to blog more about my pregnancy and MS directly as time goes on) and will be back into see her when I am 32 weeks.  She has offered me the option of induction at 38 weeks if my MS is proving to be too much of a problem so that will be something to think about as we get closer to the time of the appointment, currently I am undecided as to what is best but do know that I will be requesting induction at 40 weeks as there is no way my body could cope with going over and the stresses that that brings (stress really spikes off my MS symptoms)  I was also told at my 20 week scan that I had a low lying placenta which currently is not something major to worry about as most will move by the latter stages of pregnancy but I will be re scanned at 34 weeks to check if this has happened, fingers crossed it will have and we will have had a bonus scan too so there are silver linings!

My bump is developing nicely, I am getting all the usual pregnancy related comments, ‘oh you are huge’ followed closely by someone else saying ‘oh you are so neat’! honestly though it did my head in so much when it started happening but now I am just trying to ignore it and embrace my changing body.  After all it is growing our miracle.

I am going to try to blog a little more as we enter the third trimester, I was worried about upsetting some of my friends who are still in the trenches but I have to set that to one side as it was really affecting my enjoyment of this time in my life that I really didn’t think I would ever experience.  If you think that you might be triggered by my posts I will not take any offence if you no longer follow the blog and I wish you all the best in your journeys.

Claire xx

It’s the small things ~ April Edition 

It’s time for the small things that made me smile in April.

Daffodils as far as you can see.

Finding out we are Team Blue 💙💙

Baby mags, coffees and sunbathing dogs.

Enjoying a lazy Easter long weekend.

Forever being reminded how lucky we are after 5 long years of battling infertility.

Beginning the hard task of name choosing.

Enjoying lazy Sunday mornings.

Raising awareness of Multiple Sclerosis in MS awareness week.

Reaching first viability milestone #6monthspregnant

Flying home for a lovely weekend with the family before the little man arrives.

And that was April

Claire x

It’s the small things ~ March Edition 

It’s time for the small things that made me smile in March.

Sunshine and takeaway coffees. Overnight hotel breaks.

Sleepy Schnauzers relaxing in hotels.

Finding the most perfect baby vests.

New food diaries. 

Schnauzer meet ups.

Shadows.

Ikea coffee and cake.

The perfect mum to be Mother’s Day.

Dignified sunbathing Schnauzers.

A weekend filled with sunshine and walks.

Satisfying cravings. 

Enjoying spring flowers.

And that was March. Let’s see what April brings. 

Claire xx 

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