When I was due to have our second child I spent the last few weeks of my pregnancy on Google, searching for articles like “siblings born same day” or “babies who share a Birthday” frantically trying to find someone who had been in the same position as me; That, quite remarkably, my due dates were just 2 days apart. Clearly the date 9 months prior to that was some kind of a significant day!?

pregnant

As time went on I got more and more concerned that my babies would have to share a Birthday – nothing worse in the Birthday stakes I thought! (Well, maybe apart from having to share mine 😉 ) I tried everything to induce labour, wanting there to be a couple of weeks or so between them. Then Henry’s Birthday drew closer, and I found myself doing more to try and stop the imminent arrival; no more hot curries or long walks for us, hoping that at least our new baby would be born some time after Henry’s Birthday.

mother-son

Henry was born 9 days late, after a very long labour (I wrote about my labour, having also done a lot of Googling about that too!) George followed suit, arriving 7 days late. Which unbelievably meant that despite that 2 day gap in due dates they both arrived on the 15th May and they share a Birthday, 2 years apart.

pregnancy-announcement

So, for Henry’s 2nd Birthday he got a pretty unusual gift, a sibling. A brother. A friend for life. Baby George arrived after another very lengthy labour; he obviously knew how special that day was to arrive. Luckily we were only at the hospital a few hours so we were able to bring ne baby George home to meet his big Brother on his Birthday, and then have a celebration for him the next day.

newborn-baby

A year on, and with the boys’ 1st and 3rd joint Birthday just a few days away it’s the perfect time to reflect on this most wonderful coincidence. I spent months worrying about them having to share a Birthday, and it took for it to happen to make me realise how amazing it is. With the age gap only being 2 years and them both being boys, the hope is that they will always love sharing this special day and have similar interests for all those joint parties! I’m pretty sure Henners has no idea that this is a particularly rare situation, and I expect he may spend many years thinking all siblings share a Birthday!

siblings-born-day

I couldn’t be happier that our boys share a Birthday so if you’re in the same boat then don’t panic, it’s really kinda cool. I’d love to know if anyone reading also shares a birthday with their sibling, or has children who were born on the same day. What do you think about it?!

siblings-born-same-day

siblings-born-day

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Yup. I’m feeling broody.

I’ve been feeling pangs of broodiness for a few weeks now. I can only imagine it’s been initiated because I have recently stopped breastfeeding. George is now 9 months old (say whaaaat) and I guess stopping breastfeeding was the final link away from having a newborn, a baby who depended entirely on me to survive; each ounce of his perfect little body body grown from my milk, and knowing that he was to be our last little mini Jarvis! (that ship has sailed, if you know what I mean…)

feeling-broody

 

Stuart and I only ever wished for 2 children. And to have been blessed with 2 healthy boys makes us feel really lucky. So it’s not that I want another baby, (Although I probably could have been convinced to be fair!) and having worked my way through most of the symptoms I certainly don’t want the pregnancy again, although the labour I would love to go through again, but it’s a concept most likely to only be truly understood by women, to realise it’s ok to feel broody without then trying for a baby, to know that my body will never again be demanded of such a miraculous task, creating a human being.

 

Feeling _broody

It’s not even like my judgement is being clouded of just how tough it was, by now having a perfectly behaved child. George still wakes routinely twice or 3 times each night and is constantly teething, full of cold or coughs. Despite knowing 2nd time around how quickly time goes and to “enjoy the early days” it’s so hard not to feel like we rushed it all again, wanting some kind of routine, our evenings back, more sleep at night…

Feeling_broody

I crave the chance of George falling asleep on me. His warm, milk drunk face lightly drooling on my chest. I think I can count on one hand how many times they have each done it! But now, with a cheeky little toddler running around, even if George did ever fall asleep on me I know it would be swiftly interrupted by footsteps noisily racing towards us.

toddler-running

BUT, this is really just the beginning still. There may not be any more pregnancies, babies or labours for us. But our parenting journey is just beginning and I am so looking forward to what our future holds with our 2 boys, 2 years apart, hopefully growing up to be the best of friends. It’s exciting to be entering the next chapter of our lives, as a family of 4. No more morning sickness, discoloured nursing bras, postpartum recovery. No more desperately trying to get him to sleep for the first time all day before 11pm or trying everything to get him to feed & gain weight. But getting our lives back as Lara & Stuart and not only as Mummy and Daddy. Being able to actually go out with my girlfriends again and drink a regrettable amount of wine come the 6am wake up, to take trips away with Stuart, even just to go to dinner without needing to rush back for the evening feed.

husband-wife

This stage of our lives is over and for that I guess I need closure, it is after all a huge part of life to be saying goodbye to. But with it comes more opportunity to invest more time in our relationship, being able to work more, sleep (a little) more, getting our lives back, our lives which have been enriched by our 2 spirited, cherished boys.

baby-toddler-hugging

 

 

 

 

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Not only is this a great time of year to be having a baby with the warm summer days ahead, but nature provides a pretty amazing backdrop for some pre baby DIY Maternity photos too!

Maternity _photo_shoot

This morning I headed out with Henry and my parents to take some photos of us together as I was beginning to panic that I hadn’t got any of us before the baby arrives! (forever confident about being early!!)

Maternity_photos

Maternity photo shoot

Maternity photo shoot

I wanted to share with you some of our photos to hopefully give you some inspiration into how you can also capture some lovely photos of yourself and your bump with a toddler in tow! I wanted it to be as relaxed as possible and Henry and I played as we would do on any walk to help keep the photography in a reportage style. The beautiful background did all the work! The bright lime green of the grass and trees works beautifully against the piercing blue of the bluebells.

DIY_Maternity_photos

DIY_Maternity _photos

Photoshoot_with_bump_and_a_toddler

I had a professional photoshoot when I was pregnant with Henry, which you can see and read here, but as with everything in this pregnancy I have not been quite organised enough to sort one out this time, but I am so pleased with how these photos have come out and it will be lovely to look back on them as memories of my 2nd, (and last!!) pregnancy! Props to my parents on helping me on the day!

Maternity_Photos

Maternity_photo_shoot

These photos were taken at Micheldever woods in Hampshire, in between Basingstoke and Winchester where the bluebells are beautiful this time of year. We also popped up to a rapeseed field by a railway bridge at Pack Lane on the way to Oakley from Basingstoke, Hampshire which provided a beautiful bright yellow background. 

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Last weekend myself and some close girlfriends got together for a pre-baby get together with lots of cake and they were sweet enough to get me some lovely things for myself and the baby. As the chatter went around the table there was lots of mention about how hard it is this time around to buy gifts because we all have so much already from our first baby’s.

It got me thinking, what do you get for an expectant mother, of baby number 2, or 3! So many of the essentials are already owned, and even nice outfits can be handed down. So I thought I’d put together a list of ideas for anyone looking for baby shower gifts, or presents for baby number 2 which are more luxurious than they are essential!

Baby shower cake

1. Designer bibs – Ralph Lauren £30 for 3.

Nothing says luxury like designer labels for children! House Of Fraser stock so many amazing goodies under one roof and more affordably than you may think! I came across these cute boy’s bibs whilst browsing through their vast children’s section, the girls ones are super sweet too!

Ralph Lauren bibs

2. Aden & Anais sleeping bag £29.95

These 100% cotton muslin sleeping bags are seriously soft and help aid a comfortable, fuss free nights sleep. We are still using a sleeping bag with Henry 2 years on as he spins around in circles throughout the night, and wish I had splashed out on these in the first place as the quality is so high and the trademark Aden & Anais prints are just lovely!

Aden & Anais sleeping bag

3. Gabe & Grace custom liners – From £43

Merino wool keeps your baby cool in summer and warm in winter and is pure luxury with its deep, soft fleece pile as well as being super hygienic and kind to the newest of skin. These stunning car seat or pram liners are suitable for a wide range of prams and car seats and come in a variety of sumptuous colours.

Custom sheepskin liner

4. Organic Babies skin care for children – From £7.95

For when only the kindest of products will do for new baby skin, these totally organic skin care sets make a really thoughtful gift as they are so gentle to baby’s skin and they are available in a variety of collections.

Organic baby skincare

5. Clarins New Mother Collection £37

Who says only the baby should be showered with gifts?! Clarins do a perfect range of skin care designed for new mums and mums to be and this pure indulgent set includes some of their top pregnancy products. The amazing thing is with this set is that you’re paying for the super effective Stretch Mark Minimiser product and getting the rest of it free!!

Clarins New Mother Collection

I’d love to hear what special baby shower gifts you were given!

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Yay, I am now 37 weeks pregnant – so full term! I have now finished work and am fully intending to start preparing for baby number 2, just as soon as I have had 1 more play date with Henry’s buddies or lunch with friends…

Fun in the Sun

For us, preparing for baby number 2 is world’s apart from the first time around. It’s a weird thing because we already have all the essentials from Henry still and each time I think crap, I really need to get organised, I’m not entirely sure what we actually need to do! Sure, there’s the hospital bag for me and for the baby, and I really will get on and do that soon, but the reality is that nappies, a bed, some clothes & for all to go well with breast feeding we are pretty set for the first couple of days, everything else, if not prepared, is just a trip to the shops away if needed last minute.com.

36 weeks

Don’t get me wrong, there’s lots of things we will be getting for them and especially once we know the sex. I just mean the lists and lists of baby paraphernalia, most of which are non essentials, doesn’t seem to exist this time round, or maybe we’re just more relaxed about it all. I will do a further post & video on the hospital bag and my baby bag once they are all packed and ready to go for anyone who needs a list to work from. I do love a good list!

37 Weeks pregnant

Last week we went for a scan to check the presentation, you may have seen from my last vlog (click here to watch) my midwife wasn’t sure if the baby was breech, so Stuart and I went along to have a look at our little baby on the screen again and it was lovely. I am utterly useless at recognising what is on the screen at any time (think Rachel from Friends) – to the point that it takes a good 2-3 minutes of explaining to me what’s what when they are looking directly at us! Once facial features were understood I was cooing away watching the baby opening and closing their mouth swallowing! So cute. The sonographer told us they were already weighing 7lb 5oz – so we are looking at 9lb+ if we go to 40w – Henry was 9 days over so I’m really hoping to not have a repeat of that!

Baby J at 37 weeks

New baby, new hair…

Short hair don't care

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