Valentines Day was always more of a one sided thing for me & K. I mean, he isn't exactly the most romantic of people at the best of times! But this year he absolutely blew me away by surprising me with a voucher to have my hair done and not only that, he had actually booked me an appointment the same day. I had been dropping hints for ages, as one of my mummy friends had re-opened the salon. K has very selective hearing so I doubted that he took any notice but the boy came through!!! Major brownie points.

I had never actually been in the salon before but I can't praise the interior enough. I genuinely think it would probably be very similar to the way I would decorate if I had a salon myself. There are lots of different textures and patterns, which all work amazingly together and my favourite part, lots of rustic wood around the place as you can see from below.  

They are a small team, made up of 4 lovely ladies who all in fact knew each other before opening the salon which gives it such a lovely vibe as you can tell they are all genuinely good friends. I knew my stylist Amy from school so we just spent the whole time catching up which of course was lovely! Also, as if this place wasn't ticking the boxes enough, for Valentines Day they were offering prosecco & orange juice along with heart chocolates! WINNING!

K had booked me in for ombre/balayage, which again I was surprised he remembered that was what I wanted. I'm not going to pretend I know anything about hair so won't be able to get very technical I'm afraid, but I know I had it curled and look how pretty it looks!! #HairGoals.

I am absolutely in love with my new hair, I'm going to be going back in a few months to get it even lighter but for now, this is as light as my hair will get without damaging it. You can find their website here, their Facebook page here, and the most amazing Instagram here where they are always posting the best before & after pictures which I am obsessed with!  

*Disclaimer - I haven't been paid  to post this, nor am I receiving anything in return  for posting! K paid for this in full

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 I have decided to be a bit more me on my blog this year; when I say more me I basically mean just posting whatever the hell I wanna. If I wanna write about beauty, I will. If I wanna write about parenting, guess bloody what?! I will. I'm not a certain genre of blog any longer and I will be writing whatever I want. So, with this new found mentality I recently put a poll out on Twitter weather you'd like to see a post regarding my experience on the Rigevidon contraceptive pill. 

I feel like contraceptive pills, for some reason are a bit of a taboo. Its one of those things, I used to hate going to my local clinic/doctors to pick it up, I felt awkward, I don't know..maybe it was because I was fairly young but I mean lets face it, contraceptives of any sort are used by ladies of all ages and it shouldn't be a taboo subject. Recently when I was going through a terrible time (which I've since found out was due to the pill), I couldn't find very much real life information online other than doctors advice and I wasn't getting much response via social media.

Before having Bella I was on the Microgynon 30 pill, which is a combined pill that you take for 21 days and then you have a 7 day break which would be generally when your period would take place. Obviously, I have a baby now but I must stress this wasn't due to the pill failing. I was irresponsible with taking it and wa-la, a baby was made. Moving on..

To those who don't know, after having a baby mum has a check after 6 weeks to make sure everything is all okay mentally and physically. This is also the time where you will discuss your method of contraception with your doctor (or as I felt, an appointment literally to discuss contraception - boo). There was no doubt in my mind that I would be going back on to a pill of some sort. I wasn't having anything to do with needles so that was out of the question, I didn't know much about anything other than needles or pills and she didn't try to convince me otherwise. I was told that my doctor didn't stock the Microgynon however there was a pill called Rigevidon which was pretty much the same thing. Cool, I'll have that then - cheers! 

Off I went with my new pill and started taking it then next day. I took it for about a week or so and all was great. I had never had one problem with the Microgynon so I had no idea what kind of side affects these pills could do to you. After literally what could of only been a few days, maybe 4 or 5, I woke up on a Monday morning feeling very strange. The first thing I noticed was that I couldn't type or talk properly, it was like I couldn't find the words I needed to say. I was trying to talk (or in my case text) and it was gibberish, it made no sense. I still don't know what I'd call it, not memory loss quite but it was weird. I had numb and tingling sensation in my hands, mouth and nose. I was scared. K was at work and couldn't get home, my mum was half way across the world so I quickly rung my bestie who luckily is amazing, came and picked me & Bella up and looked after us both for the day. When I got to her house, I went for a sleep.. but when I woke up, I had a killer migraine. I managed to get an emergency doctors appointment because I was so worried, I spoke with my doctor who put it down to exhaustion. I didn't feel exhausted, my baby is amazing and sleeps all night, she never cries - was I really exhausted? I didn't feel exhausted, but I was told it might be more a sub conscious thing although I wasn't totally convinced.

K was working crazy hours that week, so on the Tuesday I decided to go to my nan's for a few nights to get a bit of help. I didn't feel right in myself so I was almost worried I wouldn't be able to cope on my own. The Tuesday I was absolutely fine but it was still nice to have a few extra hands. On the Wednesday I decided to take Bella to a weigh in clinic on my nan's estate and I also arranged to meet up with a few local mummies. Whiles out, my sight started to go funny... I had two big orbs in both of my eyes which was affecting my vision and I also got the same numbness/tingly feeling in my hands and mouth. I swiftly headed home to my nan's After I regained my vision, I had another killer migraine which I slept off. I stayed at my nan's for another night, until K finished work the next day and picked me & Bella up at about 9pm.

My mum was on holiday in Mexico for most of the week, normally she would help me out massively especially if I was feeling unwell. She was flying home on the Thursday night so I knew Friday, Saturday & Sunday she could help me if I needed it. I had no symptoms for the whole of the Thursday but I had a feeling it wouldn't be long before I wasn't well again.. Yep, the next day. Friday morning initially I woke up feeling fine, and had arranged for mum to pop over then we were going out for a drink however as the morning went on the worse I felt. I could feel my sight was going funny and a migraine was starting, so I rung mum and asked her to come over and whiles I waited, I took myself & Bella up to bed. I had about 30 minutes sleep, and I did that the minute it started which I think saved me because I didn't go in to full blown blind-numbing mode.

Then whiles I was sat talking to my mum that afternoon, something came over me. I had been taking this pill for a little over a week. It couldn't be that, could it?! I quickly googled side effects, and did a little research in to the symptoms I had been having. As soon as I read a tiny bit in to it, my mind was made up - it was the pill that was making me so poorly! I decided to stop taking it straight away, and get an appointment with my doctors ASAP. I managed to get one on the Monday, I went and explained everything that was going on. She agreed it sounded like this pill was giving me serious side affects and that I did the right thing by stopping taking it. I haven't taken it since then and to this day I've had no more issues. She also advised I probably shouldn't take any combi contraception, as it sounded like since being pregnant my body no longer agreed with it, which means I'm left with only two options now; mini pill or the injection. No ta!

So where I'm at now. I'm currently taking nothing as I am waiting for another appointment to be prescribed a new pill. I have also been referred to a specialist eye clinic at the hospital, due to the sight loss, they would like to investigate it further as it could be a deeper issue with my eyes. I have my appointment in a few weeks.

Have you had any bad experiences with a combi pill? I would love to hear your stories! 

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BLOGMAS | Christmas with I Love...

Available from Boots, Argos, Sainsburys & Asda - not online

I was super lucky to be sent some of the gorgeous Christmas range from I Love... I remember I Love from when I was in school and I always got the gift sets for Christmas. I think I even got my youngest step sister one of the sets for Christmas last year. They really are great for any age. All the scents are SO mouth wateringly delicious! 

I think my favourite is the Raspberry & Blackberry scent. I've tried this before so I'm very familiar with this set, I love it. 

I've never tried the Strawberries & Cream range, but if you're a lover of sickly sweet scents this one is for you. I'm a sickly sweet lover (think snow fairy x10) so this is one I love.

Lastly there is the new (I think?) scent, Chocolate & Caramel. You should all probably know I'm a bath bomb lover so these are right up my street, and in fact these smell so chocolately, my dog was licking them when I got them out. The Miniature treat box are also such lovely gifts, they would make perfect secret santa presents! And how gorgeous are the heart shape soaps?! They'll keep you going for a while! 

Unfortunately I'm not sure of the prices of these, and I can't find them online anywhere! Most of these are exclusively available to buy from Boots.


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BLOGMAS | Introduction & Christmas Decorations

So, call this a massive cop out but I really didn't think about how hard Blogmas would be with a newborn. I'm not kidding when I say I've been trying to write this post ALL BLOODY DAY! It's not even a real post! How has it taken me so long?! Anyways, I promise I do intend to make the rest of Blogmas better so please bear with me... oh and if you haven't already realised, I'M DOING BLOGMAS!! 

(how nice are all these decs????)
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My Labour & Birth Story

Isabella Jayne Nicholls 13.11.2016

I'll start by apologising if this post is very long... I was induced over 3 days so of course lots of things happened over those days. I've missed out small bits that don't really matter, but please bare with me!

For a bit of background, after a few complications throughout my pregnancy and mainly towards the end, I was booked to be induced on my due date (15th November), however the last 2 weeks of my pregnancy was the worst and I was in hospital every single day so they decided to bring my induction forward to Friday 11th November. I had been having stretch and sweeps in the last 2 weeks too, I had a total of 3 sweeps however they didn't affect me. I will just also mention here none of this post will be particularly glam, sorry about that.

I had to call the hospital at 8.30am on Friday 11th November to find out what time they wanted me in for. I gave them a ring, and they said to be in between 10.30-11am. This was perfect as it gave me some time to get everything ready, take the dog to a family member and even manage to get a last minute Costa! I made my way to the hospital for around 11am, I ended up being a bit late although it didn't matter. I was shown to my bed, which happened to be by the window thank god and was told to make myself comfortable. I knew that inductions were known for taking a long time so it was well over an hour before the midwife came back to me. When she did come back, she explained to me how everything would be done, step by step and all the processes they would try. She also explained all the bad bits which did scare me a little, but she was just following procedure of course. 

First of all I had the 24 hour pessary. The midwife examined me internally to check how I was getting on. I was really disappointed to hear that I hadn't made any progress from my sweep, I was still 1cm dilated and my cervix wasn't soft. Damn. The pessary was essentially a small tampon (with a string and everything) which is put up you *I did warn you, not glam* behind your cervix. It was uncomfortable but not unbearable. Once she had done this I was told to go for a walk to the car to get my bags. I got my bags and made myself more 'at home' in my little bed on Bay A. As I suspected, nothing was happening so I told K to go home as I wanted a little rest anyway. We had discussed and decided there wasn't any point in him staying over night with me, he could just stay at his mums which was 1 minute down the road and I'd call him if I needed him so I didn't expect to see him until the Saturday. I had a rest Friday afternoon and had my checks every 4 hours; b o r i n g.

Friday evening my mum, nan and auntie came to visit me for some company. We were sat in the cafe just having a drink when some pains started happening. It took me quite a while to notice they were anything - after all I didn't have a clue what I was really waiting to feel as I hadn't suffered with braxton hicks much. After a while of them happening every few minutes, my nan decided to start timing them. They were very random, lasting anything from 20 seconds to 1 minute and coming between 3 minutes to 10 minutes. Although I knew this was nothing, I had hope that it was the start of something at least! I let K know what was happening so he decided to come back as he felt useless sitting at home, bless him. I also started to time them on my app where they were becoming more frequent, lasting a minute at a time and coming every 4-5 minutes. As I was talking, walking and acting totally normal quite a few of the midwifes told me it was nothing except probably braxton hicks. 

I was monitored at about 11pm and thankfully my contractions were showing on the monitor. I felt like I had to prove they were real and not just braxton hicks, so I was relieved they were showing up well. However, they were too far and not consistent enough to be labour and I was informed this was early labour. That night I didn't sleep. I was offered pethedine which is a relaxant, however I'm so petrified of needles I turned it down. I had a bath at about 2am, which helped massively however it really slowed them down which isn't what I wanted so I got out pretty quickly. K went at about 7am to get some sleep and said he would be back for my examination which was to be done 24 hours since the first, around midday on Saturday. I had mild contractions every 10 or so minutes all morning, until they went to every 20 minutes and eventually fizzled out to pretty much nothing. 

My next examination was a bit better. I had dilated a bit more, only to about 2cm but she did inform me she could break my waters if they needed to. I wasn't 100% what she meant, but yay, it sounded like we were heading in the right direction. I had my next pessary, a 6 hour one inserted and once again was told to walk. My mum came up and we got some lunch, did a bit of walking but there is only so many times you can walk the hospital corridors! The contractions were back but again, a bit random and nothing to get excited about. On our last walk around, I felt like I had a lost a bit of fluid however upon telling the midwife when we got back, she basically told me that it wasn't anything and to 'keep an eye on it'. GREAT!

My third examination was at around 11pm, by which point I was having bad contractions lasting up to 2 minutes every 4 minutes or less. She put me on the monitor and came to do my examination to give me another 6 hour pessary however when she done the examination, I could tell by her face something was wrong. She quietly told me that there had been quite a bit of blood loss, and during the examination babies heart rate was going up to 210 (which is crazy high) so I had to have a doctor come out and check me. Babies heart rate base line was much higher than it should have been, the doctor said it could be down to dehydration so they decided I would need a drip of fluid. I had also gone a bit weird at this point, everything was orange tinted, my eyes were rolling and I was swaying. I could barely talk which again could have been down to dehydration. The doctor decided that I was having pethedine as I was so exhausted my body wasn't coping well at all so I had the injection and managed another hours sleep. It was a stressful few hours to say the least! 

During the night, my contractions were getting stronger and stronger, I had 2 baths that night but each time the bath was slowing them down so the midwife was certain it wasn't labour as the bath shouldn't slow them down. At around 6am, I was laying on my side during a contraction and I decided to try and turn over when I felt a pop. It wasn't loud, like I was expecting but I felt it. Followed by water. Lots and lots of warm water - my waters had gone! I made K go and get the midwife, and he returned to tell me she wanted me to put a pad in and she would check in half an hour... check?! Check what! My waters had gone!! After half an hour she came and checked my pad, but as I hadn't lost any more fluid there was nothing to show and she told me my waters hadn't gone. Oh but yes they had, I got up and showed her my bed which to her shock I was sat in a puddle. Yep, they had gone. 

After my waters went I felt like the contractions had ramped up massively. It was like as soon as they went, it started. I was in massive amounts of pain and felt like I was pushing already. The midwife that didn't believe me finished her shift at 8.30am and it felt like she was holding off checking me for some reason. I'm glad she did though, as I didn't like her! The next midwife to come on shift came straight to me and I explained everything that happened. She told me a doctor was coming straight away to check me, had a feel of my tummy and confirmed I was in labour. The doctor came out pretty quickly and sat down with me to tell me I'd probably need another pessary as I wasn't going to be far enough along to be taken to the labour suite. She examined me, and to her amazement I was actually 5-6cm dilated and this baby was coming soon. I was rushed to the labour suite within about 5 minutes of her examination! K made a panic call to my mum to get her to the hospital, as none of us were expecting it to move this fast! Kayne didn't even get a chance to tell anyone I was in labour it was all so quick.

I was taken to my room, room G and given gas and air. I was being told to breath through my contractions, however these weren't just contractions like before, I felt like I was pushing. I can't even describe the feeling, it was horrendous. The delivery midwife told me I'd probably be monitored for 2 hours then I might need a hormone drip if they werent strong enough, because I was still able to talk they thought I was still all okay. I'm not sure how long I was on gas and air, it wasn't very long at all, but I was laid on my side when they asked if I had any pressure in my back and felt like I needed to push. I had needed to push since my waters went! Little did I know my body was already doing the pushing. Yikes!! 

The doctor had to come in and quickly change the plan, as I was giving birth and she was coming!!! I started pushing near enough straight away. If you know me, I can't even have an injection without having a panic attack, I had planned to 'take all the drugs they offered' (as everyone told me to), I was also desperate for some time in the birthing pool during labour but sadly, I had no choice. I was actually falling asleep during pushing, my mum kept having to wake me up and talk to me to keep my eyes open! It's so strange how your body deals with certain pains. It was a pain like I couldn't even describe, but it really is true when they say something takes over and you just forget it all.

I could write about my story for ages and ages. After everything I went through during my pregnancy, I had the most amazing labour and birth which I am SO thankful for. Well done body! I requested an early discharge and was released home the same day! I was in Tesco the next day doing the food shop... I just can't believe it is all real and my baby girl is now here with us. Isabella was born on her daddy's birthday and is now the 5th generation of ladies on my mums side. She is my whole world.

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My Baby Shower

When I found out I was pregnant, a baby shower was (I hate to admit) one of the first things I thought about. The thought of having all my family and friends around to celebrate my baby was an exciting thought. I'm not sure when you usually have a baby shower, I have seen anything from about 28 weeks but I was pushing it fine being nearly 38 weeks pregnant at my baby shower.

Initially it was all going to be a surprise, all organised by one of my best friends Dani, however she knows I'm a complete control freak and I love things like this, so when she asked if I would prefer to help arrange it of course I said yes. Although I would have loved a surprise, I'm glad I got to be bossy as it was all exactly how I wanted it. 

The venue was my mums house, which was never even a question as they've just had a huge kitchen renovation and it was the perfect place to host it. I have several large families, as well as a large friend/family friend base as I have my parents, step parents and then K's family too so the space was perfect. 

I had been pinning tonnes of baby shower ideas and decided to try and make some of the DIY treats I had seen so many times on there. I made oreos, marshmallows, pink wafers and doughnut cake pops. They all looked so lovely and actually didn't taste too bad either! 

My mum put on a huge spread which was enjoyed by everyone. There was so much food! 

We had a pink and gold theme, of course. The lovely people at SO kindly sent me over loads of things, including these hat props, loads of plates, cups & straws, bunting, and the gorgeous pineapples. I am so grateful as honestly it wouldn't have looked at pretty without having all the extra bits there! 

We had a few games like guess my waist size, which one of my childhood friends won. We also had baby shower bingo, which was really fun. We had a 'guess the babies arrival date', which I am excited to see who wins that. Somebody had guessed today, but I'm afraid there hasn't been any signs yet!

I am SO grateful for everybody that came to my baby shower, I received some gorgeous gifts (which I'm thinking of doing a separate post on?) and generally had a lovely day. Little baby Nicholls is super spoilt already, what a little madame! 

Have you had a baby shower? Did you choose not to have one?
Daisy xxx
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