22 Weeks

So, pregnancy-wise, all is well. Kicks and movements are distinct now, and regular on and off through the day. My morning sickness has almost completely abated (will it ever completely go away?). My energy levels are great and I’m in my third week of regular workouts and loving it. I did my second run yesterday (a very gentle hill route), and am looking forward to getting out again tomorrow. This morning I did pregnancy yoga. I’m aiming to workout Mon-Fri and take the weekends as rest days. I might start blogging my weekly workouts… we’ll see how much time I get over the summer.

My weight gain has also slowed down this week, which I’m pleased about because about 70% of my gain happened between weeks 17-21 (I had a ridiculously huge appetite for about three weeks), and I was concerned if it carried on at that rate I’d be well over what I wanted to be by 40 weeks.

In total I am now 5.0kg up, or 11lbs up from my pre-pregnancy weight, which is great. My bump is still small enough that most of the time it doesn’t get in the way. I’d like to hang onto that feeling for a while longer – the third trimester can get pretty miserable towards the end, and I had a fair bit of pelvic, coccyx and hip pain with both boys in the last couple of months (although I was a lot heavier, which won’t have helped).

School finishes tomorrow, so I’ve finished a lot of my to-dos (including the nursery, yay!), and am really looking forward to spending some time with the boys. I’ve cleared the decks so that I can now sit back and relax for a few weeks before school starts in September and I begin some more diligent work on focusing on the birth and making sure I have everything ready for the big day and beyond.

My big (background) focus for the summer is on creating a more varied set of “go-to” meals for all of us to eat, and on expanding the boys’ tastes so they are not quite so picky and can eat with us without complaining so much about not liking what I serve. One step at a time…

Here’s a (yoga!) pic from today 🙂




A Grown Up Day of Inspiration

Yesterday the husband took charge of the school run, and of looking after our 3 year old, and I headed off to London for the day. I booked a ticket for the “Achieve the Impossible Breakfast Club” a couple of months back, which was basically a talk by Greg Whyte (former Olympian and incredible sports coach to the stars), to promote his new book Achieve the Impossible.

The book is great, but seeing the man talking about the “brain of success” in person was amazing. He is super fit (at 48 – I just looked up his age!). He’s full of energy, happy, enthusiastic, but also deadly serious about hard work. He’s the kind of man that, if you had him as your personal trainer, would help you achieve incredible things.

I got my book signed at the end, and you can just see me at the edge of the twit pic below!


After the talk, I walked up to Foyles bookshop on Charing Cross Road. Total heaven. A MASSIVE book store and all the time in the world for me to browse in it. And I started thinking… why am I waiting until the baby is born to start running again? I have all this passion for it that I can feel overflowing – I’ve tried to look up 5k races for next year, but it’s too early for them. I’ve put running on hold for 3 years in case I got pregnant and because I was too depressed to run. Why should I wait any longer when I can’t wait to get out there?

So I bought a couple of running books and resolved to do some research on pregnancy running on the train home. More on that below.

After Foyles I wandered down Oxford Street for old time’s sake (I worked in London for a decade before moving to the coast), and enjoyed the sound of a band playing Sweet Home Alabama in the morning sunshine.


Next I headed over to the British Museum, primarily to have a look at the mummies in the Egyptian gallery – I’ve always been fascinated by them. There was a very interesting section on Egyptian nutrition and health – I didn’t know it, but the Egyptians were a really unhealthy bunch. Prone to arthritis, osteoporosis, abscesses, lung problems (from indoor cooking fires), tooth problems and scalp problems, they existed primarily on wheat grain (hah! no wonder) and vegetables, with some meat.

Eye-opening stuff.

Then it was time for me to eat, so after reading about all those ailments (and seeing the bone and tissue evidence), I headed over to Covent Garden where there is a raw (+vegan+gluten free) restaurant called the Wild Food Cafe:


I’ve never dined out raw before, so it was great to tick this off my ‘to-do’ list. I had a green juice, a raw pizza and a raw chocolate tart. It was all AMAZING!IMG_7947IMG_7950

Finally, I was feeling pretty tired after all the walking, so I ambled back to Waterloo, looking in the odd shop here and there before taking the train home.

Running in Pregnancy

This was my primary research goal on the return journey – could I start running now? Was it safe in pregnancy? Does anyone run when they are pregnant?

Well, it turns out that as long as you have run before, feel well, and don’t push too hard, it’s no problem. I found blogs of women running races in their third trimester and lots of other info about keeping comfortable with increasing bump and boobs.

Wow. And I am just bursting with enthusiasm for it at the moment, so I thought why the hell not and set my alarm for 5:30am this morning to get out of bed.

I just had the most wonderful, soul-nourishing day yesterday. A day away from home where I was able to focus on enjoying my time, doing all the things I wanted to do, and thinking about how I spend my time and how I want to spend my time. And about the person I am continually striving to be.

And did I run this morning?

I did 🙂

I was out the door at 5:43am. It was peaceful, warm, still, and just… perfect.


I’ll be honest here – I walked 90% of the way. And the bits I did run were at a slow pace. I thought that my bump might be the issue, but in fact, I could run and hardly notice it at all – bumps don’t bounce, it turns out.

My giant boobs on the other hand…. even in the strongest sports bra I’ve got they were still all over the place. WAY too much movement for my liking. We’re going shopping at the weekend for a better one. Or failing that an iron chest plate.

I “ran” 5k in 44:58, which I’ll use as my baseline. I’ve decided to aim for three times a week, Monday will be a short hill trip, Wednesday a short, faster run on the flat, and Friday my long amble.

I really noticed that the strength training I’ve been doing for the last two weeks helped. It just felt so great to be out there again – this time with a fire in my belly that has been absent since I stopped true regular running in 2010 before getting pregnant with my youngest.

I got home riding high on a massive endorphin rush, just as the sun made an appearance from behind grey skies:


And if you need help on getting out of bed early in the morning (I certainly do), I can’t recommend this book highly enough, which is one of those I picked up in Foyles yesterday:


It talks about using mindfulness to overcome the “It’s cold, it’s dark and I’m tired” thoughts that sabotage our best intentions. It’s buddhist thought applied to running. It’s full of practical suggestions on how to be more aware of your attachments to what you do and don’t like (rain, cold weather, running at 5am, etc), and to just accept things as they are.

So, one more thing before I go, and that is something that my yoga hero Kino McGregor said on her latest video blog that I watched this morning. It’s in the last few minutes, so if you don’t want to watch it, I’ll just quote her directly below:

Clean yourself from the inside, and the inner world will be a reflection of the outer world. Clean up your outer world, and it will be a reflection of the purity of your inner world.

And on that note, I’m off to clean up my outer world, and get some more things listed on eBay 😉

Skin Set-Back

I made a huge mistake. Two days ago I thought I’d try a different moisturiser, just on my chin, to try and combat the flakiness I’m still getting (from my self-diagnosed perioral dermatitis).

Why?? Why would I do that when everything was getting so much better?

BIG mistake.

This happened:

How could I have been so stupid? I’d already read multiple times that pretty much everything aggravates the condition. What was I thinking?

All the redness above my mouth is so much better (where I didn’t use the new moisturiser), and apart from the dryness, my chin was vastly improved too.

My chin is now right back to how it was at the worst point! Sigh. It’s SO awful to have to go out and face people like this. All I can do now is leave it alone and see if I can retrace my progress. 

Stupid, stupid me!

And stupid, stupid steroids for turning my skin into some kind of crazy, hyper-sensitive thing that can’t tolerate anything.


What hasn’t helped is that my youngest has had a horrendous 3-day vomiting bug which has entailed multiple hours awake each night dealing with sicky blankets and pyjamas. I’ve been ultra-tired (as has the husband), so food choices have been terrible (snacking on chocolate and relying on takeaways cause we’re both too exhausted to tackle the kitchen). None of that is good for skin health.


Back to the original routine. And NO more experimenting with bloody creams and lotions!

19 Weeks and General Update

I am a really erratic blogger at the moment, for which I apologise. I tend to get sucked into projects 110% and then neglect everything else. The last couple of weeks it has been clearing out our bedroom. It was a great job – by the time I’d finished, the husband was inspired and then he chucked out several bags of stuff as well, so our bedroom is really pared down and only has the absolute essentials in it. All my clothes are sorted out, reorganised, mended and ironed, including all my gym stuff (I didn’t iron the gym stuff), I’ve got some new sports bras (that actually fit), sorted out all my jewellery, put several  pieces in for valuation and cleaning (a job I’ve been meaning to do for about 4 years), and cleaned out all my beauty bits and bobs. I’ve ordered some new duvet sets (ours are over 7 years old – yuk) and a fairly cheap, but neutral set of curtains to replace the horrible old brown things we’ve had up since we moved in. I’ve chucked out loads and it feels GREAT.

All I need to do is get a door hung on the cupboard we built and finally hang some photos and our bedroom is finished! It’s only taken 7 years. I’ll post some before and after pics when we finally get there.

19 weeks pregnant today. Woo hoo! My weight gain this week was a whopping 600g, so I’m really piling it on at the moment. I can now feel the baby move every day, usually several times a day, and as with the boys, he or she is most active in the evening and after I eat meals. It’s a wonderful reassuring feeling. Not quite ready to ebay the doppler yet though.

My skin is still not good, but I think I have discovered what it actually is. I originally thought it was acne, but it wasn’t like spots I’ve had in the past. All of them were really small and my skin is just really red and flakey in patches. When my Mum came over and asked’ “What IS that?” I suddenly wondered if I hadn’t realised it was something other than plain old acne.

I asked Dr Google, and found my solution, and I’m 99% sure I have what’s called perioral dermatitis. To save you having to google it, perioral dermatitis looks like this:

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It’s quite distinct in that it appears over the chin and at the sides of the nose. It doesn’t itch, or burn, and is a combination of skin flaking and small pustules (ugh).

Here’s one of my worst pics (I can’t even believe I’m showing you this, so it’s a small version):


It’s almost exactly the same pattern, and the description fits completely.

Causes? Most often it’s caused by a steroid cream applied topically, but I’ve also found out it can be caused from oral steroid withdrawal. And guess when it started? When I stopped my prednisolone at 11 weeks pregnant.

Aaaargh. I wish I’d realised sooner.

Treatment options?

Apparently the only thing that clears it is antibiotics – usually a 6 week oral course.

I am obviously not going to do that, being pregnant and highly phobic of taking drugs anyway. Not only that, but I just know that if I take 6 weeks of antibiotics I’ll end up with a yeast infection that I won’t shift for the rest of my pregnancy. Yeah, fun. Right?

So… natural options. I did a lot of reading and research, and since antibiotics seem to work in almost all cases, I figured this is a systemic bacterial problem. Now, cutting out sugar will help starve bad bacteria in your body, but I tried that and it only made a small difference. So… I either need to do it LONG TERM (not easy for me at the moment), or I need another approach.

I’ve ordered the highest strength probiotics I can take while pregnant, along with a fructo-oligosaccharide supplement (it’s the plant fibre that feeds good bacteria in your gut), some pure powder form vitamin C (which I can take in small doses several times a day as it is excreted almost immediately from your body if you don’t use it), some sauerkraut, and some raw, enzymatically active honey.

Phew! The theory is that I’ll boost all the good bacteria in my gut (with the probio, plant fibre, and sauerkraut), kill off some of the bad stuff (with the vitamin C) and use the honey on my face topically.

For PD (as it’s affectionately known), almost every standard cream and cleanser will aggravate the condition (which I discovered with a vengeance when I tried to use some anti-spot moisturiser a few weeks back), and exfoliation is totally out of the question, despite the horrible way the skin flakes off, so I’m going with a natural anti-bacterial. Raw honey.

Finally, while I wait for my PD treatment case to arrive, I’m trying some 1% anti-fungal cream, as that has worked quite well for a lot of people. I’m on day 2 and to be honest I don’t think it’s made an iota of difference, but I’ll persevere.

I actually feel a sense of relief that I know what it is – and I can deal with the “dermatitis” label psychologically. It’s easier for me to accept and it somehow makes me feel less self-conscious.

Finally, EXERCISE.

I know I need to be doing more some. I have really struggled with this and I think I don’t have the right mindset. I’ve spent some time trying to work out what’s going on, why I can’t commit to a routine, and I think it’s because I am really stressed about the spare room not being clear and all the stuff I want to sort out before the baby arrives.

So, I’ve decided to stop beating myself up about not exercising, to focus on emptying the spare room and I’ve promised myself I will start a full-on committed pregnancy exercise regime once that’s done.

I’ll keep you updated 🙂

Day 9 + 10 Skin Detox

So… it was fathers day on Sunday and not the greatest eating day.

Breakfast: porridge, almond milk, blueberries

First lunch (11:30): out to eat with the family. I had a peppermint tea and an amazing butternut squash and goats cheese gluten free tart.

Second lunch (2pm): the boys said they were still hungry and I was starving again. Gluten free burger, fries and salad, with an appletiser. I also had a sugar free chocolate bar from the health food shop afterwards.

Evening snacks: no proper dinner as we were all full. I made a bowl of guacamole and ate the lot. I also had a bowl of rice krispies, and a few pieces of homemade raw chocolate:

Day 10

Feeling SO much better today!! Sinus pain gone, gum pain gone, even skin looking less red and horrible.

Breakfast: porridge,  almond milk, blueberries.

Snack: chia/almond/cacao drink. Few pieces homemade choc.

Lunch: salad with two baked sweet pots and some organic bacon – lovely. Also had a bowl of cornflakes afterwards as was still hungry. Need to drop the cereal thing – it’s just sugary rubbish.


Dinner: rice, sweetcorn and meatballs.

This post is late and I’m losing track of days and food, so not sure what to do at this point… will have a think!

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