Guest Blog - Birth story blog

Guest Blog – Birth story blog

Guest Blog – Birth story blog

We have welcomed another beautiful baby girl into the world! Ada Margot Hughes, born 02/05/2024 at 17:32 weighing 7lbs 10oz.

At 40+2 we were so ready to meet our baby!

The day had started as any other regular Thursday, I had taken Amelia to a toddler group in the morning, and I was feeling absolutely fine, other than a few Braxton hicks the night before which I was getting most evenings I had no other signs at all that just a few hours later we would have our baby in our arms!

birth story blog

I arrived home at lunch time and put Amelia to bed for a nap, and started to make myself some lunch! At this point I started to feel my waters trickling out, this is the only way I can describe it! But I wasn’t experiencing any other pain or symptoms so I remained calm and carried on with my day! Another 20 minutes or so went by and I started to get what I think were very faint contractions but they were roughly every half an hour, so at this point I started to think this is it!! The time was now 3pm, Amelia was awake from her nap but I could still easily carry on as normal and speak through the contractions luckily they still weren’t too strong at this point!

My sister called me to see if we wanted to go to the park and I remember saying to her I think I’m in labour!! Luckily she lives around the corner from us so she came to collect Amelia as I knew I’d have to make way to the hospital shortly! Saying goodbye to Amelia was very emotional knowing next time I’d see her she would be a big sister.

birth story Norfolk blogger

At this point the contractions were about every 20 minutes and I knew my husband would be home within half an hour so I had a shower and put the last minute things in my hospital bag.

Although my previous labour with Amelia was positive, it was longer the first time around so I think that’s why I wasn’t expecting things to move quite as quickly as they did!

Once Ryan arrived home from work the contractions were definitely more regular, I’d say every 5 minutes so he called the birthing unit and they wanted us to go straight up there. Once we were in the car the contractions were coming every minute, I just remember breathing through them and trying to remain calm, luckily we didn’t hit any traffic on the way as I had started to feel like I needed to start pushing!

birth story

Our midwife was happy to discharge us the same day, although by this time it was around 12:30am, but I definitely wanted to just get home rather than stay in hospital!

My parents were at mine with Amelia, who was obviously in bed, so it was lovely to see them when we got back, we had a quick cuppa and went straight up to bed, not that I expected to get any sleep!

It was so special being home in the morning with Ada when Amelia woke up, she’s been such a super big sister from the very start, and we are just soaking up this precious time with our girls starting our next chapter.

Thank you Becky for all your blogs it has bene great working together


Jess xx

Motherhood blogger 9-12 months of Oscar

9-12 months of Oscar;



Wow, where has this year gone? By far the fastest but best year of our lives. It was nearly time to celebrate Oscars first Christmas, something I wished for every Christmas, and now I finally get to celebrate with my own baby.


A dream come true. I wanted to create lots of traditions that we could continue to do every year with Oscar to make it really special for him. I created a Christmas eve box which included;


Christmas pyjamas

Christmas books

Christmas eve plate (for Santas goodies)

Bells to ring so Santa knew was house to come to.

I’m sure, as the years go by, we will put different things in the box.


At this age I knew Oscar wouldn’t be bothered about the presents as he was more interested in the wrapping paper and boxes, which kept him entertained.




January soon came round and I had now been off work for over a year and returning back to work is just around the corner, causing lots of emotions. The feeling of not being with Oscar 24/7 was heartbreaking.


I was worried how he would feel, not being with me but I knew he was in good hands, being looked after by his grandparents, and the luxury of working from home means I am able to come downstairs and give him a big cuddle.


Also, the worries of juggling being a mum and working as well but I knew we would be creating a new routine and it will take a little time to get used to it. I can confirm when I returned to work Oscar was fine. It was me who found it hard, but as time passes it’s getting a little easier.


February, the month our little Oscar was born, which means nearly a whole year of being parents and loving our little Oscar Ocean.


As I reflect on the year some of the most important things I have taken from it is to make sure you take it all in because the time flashes before your eyes and they go from being a tiny little new born to a cheeky toddler very quickly.

Also everything is a phase so if you’re in the depth of sleep deprivation, know that it will get better, and to make sure you talk to people about how you’re feeling as this makes things feel a lot better. Lastly get out in the fresh air & go for a walk, no matter the weather it really is a natural medicine. 


Also everything is a phase so if you’re in the depth of sleep deprivation, know that it will get better, and to make sure you talk to people about how you’re feeling as this makes things feel a lot better. Lastly get out in the fresh air & go for a walk, no matter the weather it really is a natural medicine. 


Oscar turns 1. Where has my little baby gone? We now have a gorgeous cheeky toddler and we now have to have eyes in the back of our heads.


Oscar took his first steps on his own the week before his birthday which was amazing to watch. Now we are always practicing as he’s not fully there yet but I’m sure it won’t be long.


We had the best time celebrating with family and we can’t wait to make lots more memories as a family, something we will be forever grateful that we get to do.

A huge thanks to Emma for writing her honest blog and sharing her IVf journey also.


It has been great to photograph Emma and Craig with Oscar. Each shoot we saw a new milestone and another side of Oscar’s cheeky personality.


That first year has lot of highs and lows and all my motherhood bloggers have shared their different journeys and perspectives, I will soon need a new Motherhood Blogger.

Please all my other blogs  

9 months pregnant

Guest blogger 9 months pregnant 39 weeks 

9 months pregnant 39 weeks 

I’m officially full term! 39 weeks pregnant, and just 1 week away from my due date!


I feel like now at this stage it really is just a waiting game and baby can come at any time! Which makes me feel so excited but also a bit nervous! I’ve had people tell me second babies come earlier and also some say they went over due with their second so it really is just a waiting game now! Although I really hope baby doesn’t keep us waiting too much longer!

pregnancy blog

I had somebody ask me how I am feeling now at this stage; excited, nervous, prepared?! And right now I can say I am definitely feeling excited, I think now everything is ready, hospital bags are all packed ready to go, we have everything ready now at home for babies arrival and I feel so excited to bring baby back home and start our next chapter as a family of four.


I’ve been feeling generally very well in this last trimester, a bit more tired than usual and also heartburn has been pretty awful, but nothing a bit of gaviscon can’t fix!


I’ve also been experiencing the odd Braxton hicks which makes me feel like labour is near, these usually come on in the evening, it’s hard to remember if I had these in my previous pregnancy and how long in advance I was getting them!


I saw my midwife last week and she said baby is in position ready for birth, head is down 3/5 engaged so I’m really thinking it won’t be long now, I never saw myself getting to my due date, I always thought baby was going to come early but maybe I’m wrong! It’s such a strange feeling to think I could literally go into labour at any time, it’s like the fear of the unknown just not knowing exactly when it’s going to happen!

7 months pregnant

I’m really hoping for a similar labour to my first, as I was so lucky to have such a positive experience, but whatever happens as long as baby arrives safely and healthy that’s all that matters!


Something about knowing I have done it before makes it feel less daunting this time around, but at the same time I need to remember that every labour and birth is different so need to be prepared for anything to happen!


I feel like whether I feel ready or not the baby will come in their own time and whenever and however it happens we will have our baby, that thought is pretty incredible so I really need to relax and focus on that, and just ride the rest of this pregnancy however long it lasts!

Maternity leave has been different with a toddler as I remember when I finished work in my first pregnancy and the days before we had Amelia, it was definitely lots of relaxing and daytime naps! But I wouldn’t change it for the world, having this extra time with Amelia before baby comes has been so precious.

9 months pregnant

I’m so excited to watch her become a big sister and can’t wait to see how she will be around the baby, she loves it when we see a baby so I’m hoping she feels the same way about her brother or sister!

Pregnancy blog I am now 34 weeks pregnant

Pregnancy blog - I am now 34 weeks pregnant

March pregnancy blog

I am now 34 weeks pregnant which means I only have potentially 6 weeks left (maybe less,maybe more!)


Up until this point I’ve been feeling like I still have loads of time left, and its suddenly dawning on me that by the end of next month, baby could be here!

I think because I’m due on the last day of April, it still feels like a lot of time. I still have that whole month but I need to remind myself baby could potentially come any time from April 9th (when I’ll be 37 weeks,

eeekk!) although I’m feeling very excited for their arrival I still feel not completely ready just yet, but I’m starting to wonder if I ever will, until they are actually here? I feel like we still have a lot to do but at the same time I also feel quite organised and ready, such a strange feeling and so hard to explain! I think maybe because it’s fear of the unexpected of when they are going to be born and how different life is going to be it makes you feel anxious and unprepared, but I’m sure as soon as baby is here I’ll realise all the worrying was for nothing and everything will fall slowly into place, (hopefully!)

pregnant blogger

My last day at work is 28th March, although I’m currently only working 2 days part time since having my daughter, I am looking forward to finishing and just having that extra time with Amelia, and getting all the last minute bits in place before baby’s arrival!

A lot of people say to me that I don’t look 34 weeks pregnant, I do feel like my bump is still quite small, especially in certain clothes, although when it was measured at my last midwife appointment it was measuring exactly where it should be for how far along I was.  I do feel I was the same with Amelia and we actually had to go for a growth scan as I was measuring small with her, then in the last few weeks it really popped out, and she actually weighed 8lbs 2oz when she was born which I feel for a first baby is a good weight.

I was full term, she came just 1 day after my due date, which I think is why I just expect things to happen similar  this time but I need to remember it can be a very different experience!


I am seeing my

midwife again this week so it will be interesting to see if I’m still measuring where we should


pregnancy blog

We had a scan at 32 weeks, as at our 20 week scan the sonographer wasn’t sure if the placenta was covering my cervix so they advised to see us again at 32 weeks to check the position of it.

Thankfully it had moved so that was one less thing to worry about! And it’s always lovely to have those extra scans to check baby is doing well, all their measurements were where they should be and baby was weighing 4lbs!  Although they did confirm that baby was in breech position, they advised it wasn’t a major worry as still likely to turn at that stage.


I’ve been doing some exercises which help turn a breech baby just incase, currently on my birthing ball as I am writing this &; trying to sleep on my left side with my pregnancy pillow in between my legs (apparently this helps?!) but I do find myself waking up in the night in a totally different position.

pregnancy blog

I have actually been sleeping a lot better in the last trimester I think at this stage you just get used to being uncomfortable in bed and sleep through it! Which I’m glad about as it’s definitely good to get in all the sleep you can before the newborn sleepless nights!


To read Beckys other blog click here. 

The twins Early arrival - 36 weeks pregnant

The twins Early arrival - 36 weeks pregnant

The twins Early arrival

Time started to go real fast from 32 weeks. I was very uncomfortable, my bump felt enormous and at this point it was difficult just doing daily tasks.

I was seen by my midwife fortnightly due to carrying twins. At my appointment around 34 weeks , they found protein in my urine. I was then being monitored every couple days.

I was sent to my local hospital for repeat bloods as a routine appointment and I remember an ‘on call duty doctor telling me that I now had confirmed Preeclampsia and the safest option is to be admitted into hospital.


I didn’t still really know the risks of this condition ( I have spent my whole pregnancy, not reading into too much that might make my anxious mind worse). I was straight away put on a EFM machine to monitor both twins, which proved very difficult!

Several doctors and midwives spent time trying to track two separate heart beats to produce a cardiotocograph with no luck.

This then continued for the next couple of days. I remember being told to rest! Well.. I couldn’t, because all night I was being prodded about to get this important EFM machine to monitor the fetal hearts!

By the third day and some persistence, they managed to get the print out which showed one twin was in distress (they were unable to detect which one at this point).

My twin consultant sent me for an ultrasound scan and this showed that the placenta and cord was no longer working as efficiently. Later that afternoon, I was told I would be delivering our twins by c-section by the weekend.

I rang the husband to tell him this information, and within the hour, the consultant on duty decided that I’d be going in within 2 hours for an emergency c-section delivery.

I frantically called the husband back to tell him to get to the hospital now! The whole time, I felt cared for and I trusted the consultants who were in and out monitoring me.

Being my first pregnancy meant I had no expectations and didn’t know what to expect, I was relieved to hear the wait was over and our twins would arrive tonight. Everything happened so fast, my husband arrived and we were gowned up and into the theatre within the hour!

The theatre was very busy, and when I

entered, what I can only describe as a ‘disco’ loud music was on, bright dazzling lights, darkness and lots of socialising and laughter!

I had two midwives and two paediatricians, one for each baby, alongside an anethestist and surgeons.

Things progressed quickly and I was given an epidural and lifted on to the theatre bed. I do recall not being able to move my legs or feel them at all but I could feel the sensation of ‘cutting and ‘tugging’ as each baby was pulled out of me!

As many mothers will also say, it did absolutely ‘feel like a washing machine’ and at times made me jittery.

I remember my husband telling me what he could see over the curtains as I asked what that heavy tugging was!

Being my first pregnancy meant I had no expectations and didn’t know what to expect, I was relieved to hear the wait was over and our twins would arrive tonight. Everything happened so fast, my husband arrived and we were gowned up and into the theatre within the hour!

The theatre was very busy, and when I

entered, what I can only describe as a ‘disco’ loud music was on, bright dazzling lights, darkness and lots of socialising and laughter!

I had two midwives and two paediatricians, one for each baby, alongside an anethestist and surgeons.

Things progressed quickly and I was given an epidural and lifted on to the theatre bed. I do recall not being able to move my legs or feel them at all but I could feel the sensation of ‘cutting and ‘tugging’ as each baby was pulled out of me!

As many mothers will also say, it did absolutely ‘feel like a washing machine’ and at times made me jittery.

I remember my husband telling me what he could see over the curtains as I asked what that heavy tugging was!

We had lots of cheer from the amazing staff when Posie arrived into the world at 20:00pm and Artie arrived at 20:03pm, it was the most special moment I will remember forever!

We both had skin to skin with them once the paediatricians had done their checks! Artie entered the world needing some oxygen and shortly after meeting him, he was taken to NICU along with Daddy due to his breathing distress. Later that evening, Posie spent some time in NICU also.

My recovery was tougher than I expected. I struggled to get out of bed and walk the first two days (the catheter definitely didn’t help).

Posie was able to return to us in our hospital room the next day while Artie continued to need NICU support to maintain his blood sugar levels.

We spent over a week in hospital, we went and spent time in NICU daily with Artie while he was getting stronger ( they were 5 weeks premature and so he just wasn’t quite ready to be out of the womb just yet).

Artie had to have a feeding tube to ensure he was getting his full feeds as he wasn’t yet able to latch onto a bottle and as a result, his blood sugar levels were unstable (preemie babies have to work so hard to latch and it can tire them out quickly).

Artie also had Jaundice which required the blue light therapy, poor boy, he didn’t have the easiest of starts.

It was emotionally draining knowing Posie was with us but her poorly brother was still in NICU.

The week felt long, at this point, I’d been in hospital for 2 weeks and had enough of the four walls and the lack of air in our room ( we were very grateful for the side room).

Within a week, Artie was moved in with us with his feeding tube, we had the support of the transitional care team 24/7, who were always so helpful. Myself and the husband had to have training on how to tube feed Artie to be able to bring him home safely as he still wasn’t taking feeds by the bottle.

Discharge day happened and then it was a whole new set of worries. The house is cold? The feeding tube may not work? The unknown of not having transitional care team around us 24/7 in the event something goes wrong and then the worry of being first time parents and not knowing what to do!

However, once we got home and unpacked and set up our baby changing station, the cot and feeding station, we soon found our own routine and Artie quickly settled taking more and more of his bottles.

I believe coming home really helped Artie thrive and his feeding drastically improved within the first few days. I also believe, that it’s true what people say ‘mother instinct’ gets you through the early days of motherhood.

And I can truly say, that being a twin mum (along with its challenges) has made me a better version of myself, and I am whole heartedly the happiest I’ve ever been

I hope you enjoyed Annabel’s last blog on her twins early arrival – you can ready all my guest blogs here.

mama blogger

New guest blogger for 2024 - pregnant mama Becky

Welcome to my new mama and guest blogger Becky

I feel very lucky to have this opportunity to have these photos taken with Jess. With this being my second pregnancy I understand this time around how important it is to capture all these little moments to cherish forever, and something for our baby to look back on in years to come!

I am currently 29 weeks pregnant, due on 30th April, I feel like the time really is flying by!

mama blogger

Baby is now the size as a butternut squash at 38.6cm from head to heel! I feel like my bump is growing by the day, we have decided to keep the gender a surprise which we also done with our daughter who is now 2 years 4 months, it really is the best-kept secret!

Of course we have been playing guessing games as to what gender we think baby will be, as both my pregnancies have been very similar I really thought baby may be another girl, but after our 20 week scan and theories from the scan photo to go by I am now thinking they could be a boy!

mama blogger

Our daughter Amelia is so excited to be a big sister, she loves babies so I am hoping she is going to adore her sibling just as much! Now my bump is getting bigger she is more aware, we told her as soon as we found out that she was going to be a big sister and there is a baby in mummy’s tummy so she has been aware the whole pregnancy, but I feel like now she can see the bump growing and feel baby move she is more aware and excited.


We haven’t had too much to buy this time around as we have kept a lot of our daughters things, as we didn’t find out the gender with either babies we have a lot of newborn essentials that are neutral, I’ve already started to wash and prepare some of the newborn clothes ready and feeling so emotional as it only feels like yesterday I was doing it all in my first pregnancy, and remembering our daughter in all the little clothes, it will be so special to put our next baby in them too!

mama blogger

We have another scan booked at 32 weeks as when we went for our 20 week scan the sonographer wasn’t sure if my placenta was covering my cervix (I had no idea what this would mean) they explained we will need another scan at 32 weeks to check if it’s moved, if it has then all being well I will hopefully be able to deliver baby naturally, if the placenta is still covering the cervix then they said they will usually do another scan at 36 weeks to check again if it may have moved, if at this stage it hasn’t I will be booked in for a caesarean.


As I am writing this I feel like baby is having a party in my tummy! It really is the best feeling and we can’t wait to meet you little one!




You can view lots of my other guest bloggers here. 

Guest Blog; 6-9 months of baby Oscar

Guest Blog; 6-9 months of baby Oscar

6-9 months of Oscar
This stage for us as a family was filled with so many lovely firsts such as taking Oscar to the beach and letting his little toes touch the sand. We took him to a park for the first time & let him go on the baby swings. We also went on our first family holiday to New York. I was very anxious about this due to it being an 8-hour flight and Oscar was now at the stage where he was constantly on the move and did not want to sit still.


 knew once we were there I would be so glad we had done it, as we are making the best memories as a family that we will cherish forever. We made sure we had lots of toys to entertain oscar on flight and also had the extra leg room so that we had a little play area for him which made the flight so much better. I feel it can be very scary travelling with a baby but i would recommend to anyone to just do it and book the holiday and don’t let your nerves get the better of you because you will make the best memories.

I remember thinking I cant wait for Oscar to say his first word and what would it be. At 8 months Oscar said his first word and it was ‘dadda’. My husband was very happy about this, then at 9 months he finally said ‘mumma’ & it was the best feeling. Time is really flying and Oscar is changing by the day but I always make sure to take lots of pictures and videos so I can look back on all the memories we are making as a family something we had longed for, for so long.


You can read Emma’s other blogs here.

Guest Blog 3-6 months of Oscar

Guest Blog 3-6 months of Oscar

Well, it's time to reflect on the last 3 months which have seen Oscar reach 6 months old and he has changed so much. Watching his personality develop as he learns new skills has been wonderful. Oscar has learnt to sit by himself, & roll over, his beautiful smile lighting up the room & our lives. However, with learning these new skills comes sleep regressions, something I feel isn't spoken about enough. Oscar went through his first sleep regression at around 3 & half months,  and this meant he was waking every 1-2 hours. They say that intense periods of learning affect baby's sleep & I can certainly confirm that for Oscar, this was definitely the case.
I found sleep deprivation extremely difficult, both mentally & physically. Being able to talk to those closest to you, sharing your emotions, and explaining the mood swings that accompany sleep deprivation is so important. I would advise anyone that getting out of the house for a walk in the fresh air with your baby is an enormous help for both of you, and once Oscar had mastered his new skills, his sleep patterns improved, so things do return to some normality. Well almost.
As Oscar has reached 6 months we have begun to wean him, introducing him to porridge, I had been extremely nervous about this phase, but he absolutely loves his banana porridge, although this is an extremely messy job with porridge ending up everywhere so I would recommend getting long sleeve bibs to save us Mums washing too many messy clothes.
3-6 months of Oscar
The last 3 months have been a rollercoaster of emotions with lots of giggles and smiles outweighing the sleepness nights. Seeing your happy smiling baby grow is the best feeling in the world. Every day is a new adventure & I can't wait to see what the next 6 months bring.
Guest Blog 3-6 months of Oscar


Guest blog - twin pregnancy 28 weeks update

28weeks consultant appointment


Time is going so quickly! We have now entered the ‘third trimester’. The twins are growing well, both over 2lbs! Twin one has changed position and is now in a breech position and Twin two is still in a transverse position. There was quite a wait for the appointment with the consultant due to Junior Drs and a consultant strikes. I remember sitting in the antenatal waiting room thinking I’d been forgotten but we did get seen. I can’t fault the attitude and care the consultants show in the appointments. We are never rushed and they like us to ask questions. We discussed the future birth plan and a planned C-Section delivery was discussed. I have no strong feelings at this point about a vaginal delivery or a C-Section, I just want the twins to arrive safe and well.


Pelvic Girdle Pain


I am feeling so grateful that I’m going to be a twin Mum but I have been in some discomfort the last few weeks. I’ve been told that it’s common for symptoms to be stronger earlier as I am carrying two babies , sacs and two placentas! (I am so proud of my body and amazed at how a woman’s body can change to support the growing babies) I discussed with the midwife about the discomfort and sharp pains I’m getting when walking around and laying on my side in my pelvic area and she was really empathetic and signposted me to the Physiotherapist. I found the whole process of self- referring to the Physiotherapy team at the hospital well organised. The physiotherapist called me the same day my self-referral went in. She was lovely and instantly reassured me that it’s very common to have Pelvic Girdle Pain and it will be relieved once the babies are here. I was sent some physio exercises to strengthen my pelvic and hips and a face to face appointment to fit a support band. I have tried to wear the support band when I’m standing for prolonged times or when I go for a short walk. I am not sure it is reducing my discomfort at this stage.




I had this constant urge to get our house organised and ready for what was to come, our house was definitely not ‘baby proof’! I nagged the husband for us to rip out the bathroom and change the layout to give us more floor space. We changed our vanity units to smaller wall hung units which have given us some floor back and the illusion of more space. I totally underestimated the mess and how much labour work was involved when the husband spent two days ripping out wall tiles, plaster board, tiled flooring etc. What was meant to take a week took over four weeks due to allowing the fresh plaster to dry, a delay of shower panels and some poor workmanship. I am so relieved to say the bathroom has now been finished!


We also made a start on the nursery room, decluttering our spare rooms and painting the room ready for furniture. (I can’t believe I’m even getting to write this! I never thought I’d get to plan and decorate a nursery after so many years of infertility, it’s really helping me heal and putting the past events behind me). I also spent some of my Summer holidays clearing out unwanted clothes and all our kitchen cupboards to make room for all our baby equipment.

Car seat and pram shopping


We made a Nursery appointment at our local
John Lewis and took advantage of some discount. I totally recommend this as an option for any expectant parents. It completely took the stress away from researching too much and I would just get overwhelmed. The advisor was so patient, never pushed a sale and took the whole 90minutes to go through our own thoughts and options and gave us expert safety advice. Due to having twins, there was only a few pram options which helped narrow down our choices. However, there were many car seat model options, which was overwhelming. We were kindly gifted a free tea and cake voucher in their cafe to go away and think about things before we made a decision. Once we had clarity, we got to try the chosen car seats and pram in our car. We soon found out that we need a larger car! (Another job added to our list for later this year). We decided on the Twin Bugaboo Donkey 5, we liked the side by side option over the tandem and it was effortless to push around John Lewis store and the car park (it was amusing to say the least, i only bumped into a couple of clothing rails and breathed in as I pushed it through the sliding doors). We

Also settled on the new Maxi Cosi Pebble 360 Pro I-size car seat. It was a difficult decision to make due to being a more costly option to others. However, we decided that the safety of them was important for us, the ease of the 360 swivel and slide as there is two to get in and out of the car regularly. We also felt so fortunate to be in this position that we weren’t going go worry about the cost and affordability at this point. We got a good discount on other baby essentials too and delivery was by courier and very quick. We had a 5 star overall experience!

It wont be long before I’m photographing the twins eeek


you can read Annabel’s other guest blogs;

First one here.

Gender scan reveal.

20 week half way milestone.


Motherhood blogger - Just like that Arlo is O N E!

Motherhood blogger – Just like that Arlo is O N E!

Motherhood blogger – Just like that Arlo is O N E!

arlo is one

It’s safe to say this feels like the quickest year of my life and also what has felt like the longest in moments. The highs of his first smile, first laugh (and every laugh after!) contrasting to the lows of what feels like never ending nights of cluster feeding and endless illnesses has made this past whole year of Arlo be the most colourful year I have experienced. Perfectly fitting for our colourful little rainbow. Thinking of this year as colours has helped manage certain times which may be tricker than others, when I’ve been sat there with my partner at 3am with an Arlo that won’t sleep I have thought to myself this is just the colour blue – blue isn’t bad, it’s just a different but still equally important colour in a rainbow.
As we’ve reached this milestone moment, I’ve been reflecting back on this past year through memories but also watching videos and looking at photos both myself and others have taken during this year. To have the joy of Jess photographing Arlo over this precious year has truly been such a blessing. Jess has captured our tiny Arlo, whose teddy bear wolfie looked like he was going to engulf him, all the way to our cheeky monkey Arlo whose now grown bigger than his teddy! Jess managed to effortlessly capture the moments that slipped by all to soon without realising it, our little one’s obsession with sticking his tongue out when he was 6 months, his first shy wave at 6 months, his first Christmas, his ‘hulking’ and bottom lips. All those moments that made up Arlo’s colourful first year are now forever in photo’s which have places not only in our hearts but pride of place around our home.


So what’s Arlo like after a whole year? Well, he’s completely different to his first tiny baby character. He’s a happy boy who loves to play, especially with his lion whose been a firm favourite since the early days, he loves his sleep (which we are very grateful for) and will let you know how annoyed he is if we wake him up before he’s ready in the morning, he is so sociable and will smile and wave at passerbyers. His toothy grin will melt anyone’s heart and his inquisitive nature grows by the day, I can see him figuring out how things work every day and the satisfaction you can see he has when he’s communicated something to us successfully makes all other worries you may have disappear. Even reading back on previous blogs I’ve done for Jess I can see the difference in how I’m describing Arlo and I’m so grateful to have those recollections to look back on as his character continues to flourish.

Our next phase we’re entering into is the transition of myself going from maternity leave to back to work. This has already brought some anxieties with it, will Arlo be ok? Will he understand I haven’t just left him? Who am I returning to work as – because I don’t feel the same person as when I left? In the past year, insights, priorities and life in general has shifted which leads me to lean on others around me who have been through this journey for guidance. By doing this, I’ve been thinking about advice I was given when Arlo was first born and what advice I found or would have found helpful at the time. One particular piece of advice or guidance I was given and I still resonate with is ‘Every journey in motherhood is different, just because one journey may look different doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Like no two kids are the same, nor are two first years.’


As this advice stuck with me, I thought I would ask my fellow NCT antenatal class mums their advice to anyone who may be reading this blog wanting some advice and is embarking on their parenting journey.
1 – Don’t pressure yourself with breastfeeding, just do what feels right and what works for you and your baby. The phrase ‘fed is best’ is one to be remembered.
2 – Remember, it DOES get easier! Some may describe life with a newborn as relentless at times but hang it there, it’s amazing.
3 – Set up a night shift rota if possible – sleep is needed.
4 – The golden rule is take each day as it comes, write off the bad days and know that better ones are just around the corner.


Thank you, Jess, for giving me the space to document Arlo’s first year, it’s been an absolute gift and an amazing experience.