Things no one told me about pregnancy

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I’m 33 weeks pregnant exactly today and feel particularly agitated. To make things worse I haven’t had a pizza in two weeks because my ovens broken and i’ve just had an encounter with the post lady, i.e. Satan in a fluorescent jacket and the inability to close a gate. So I thought i’d channel my aggravation into a ranting little list of things I wish I had known about pregnancy.

*Disclaimer – This isn’t proven, this is my opinion from my experience. Everyone’s experiences are different.

The blooming period doesn’t exist.

No matter how many weeks you are, its lies, its all lies. For the whole three trimesters you will feel like a sack of potatoes with greasy hair and a pale complexion.

Hair Growth

People told me that I could expect a stunted body hair growth. Again, lies. My leg hair resembles that of a yeti and grows at an alarming rate, I also have a VERY hairy stomach and lets not even mention how fast the forest down there is multiplying. But, on the plus side the hair on my head is growing faster than I can book a hairdresser appointment!

Everyone thinks you’re disabled

As much as I appreciate being offered everything without having to move and the luxury of always claiming a seat even if i’m the youngest in the room (and therefore are normally downgraded to the floor). I’ve had an irritating amount of strangers using the phrase ‘in your state’ like i’m a disabled heroine addict who needs professional health.

Everything Itches

Speaks for itself. Itching. Constantly. Everywhere.

You could’ve potentially been an alcoholic

Before pregnancy I had not appreciated the sweet sweet taste of a strawberry daquiri quite like the way I’m glamorising it now in my head. The inexplicable need to just drink a pint of cider or even a shot of sambuca (my worst nightmare) is overwhelming and now im questioning whether before pregnancy I really was a functioning alcoholic? Also why does EVERYONE drink? It’s just pure cruelty to drink a G&T around me and if you value our friendship you better turn up with a drink at the delivery suite.

Your Partner is actually really annoying…

This one is in jest because I obviously dunno what i’d do without john but seriously, one more night of snoring and I swear to god I will go Freddie Kruger on you. With the spike in all the hormones all the annoying habits I have overlooked seem to have suddenly hit me, like, why you gotta use all the utensils and all the saucepans when cooking? Why do you fall asleep before me? What the fuck is that weird twitchy thing you do when you fall asleep? Just stop. Why does the football being on mean you need some beer? Why you drinking the vodka I got for my birthday when I am clearly saving it for a binging session after the birth of OUR child? Why do you go to work to early and come home so late, I need attention? Why cant you be at work longer, I need my space!? Why don’t you discourage my excessive eating? Do you want me to get fat? Why do you put your dirty laundry next to the basket and not in the basket? Why do you burp so loud? Why do you need the tv so loud? Why is everything you do the volume of an earthquake? Aww, you have a cold? IVE BEEN GROWING A CHILD FOR 8 MONTHS! I’m gonna stop before this ends in an argument…

Sleepless nights

For some reason i’ve developed the inability to sleep through the night. One minute im fast asleep dreaming of Tom Hardy and the next i’m wide awake wondering why I suddenly need to do some DIY. (Despite John’s horrific snoring which also wakes me up).

Every conversation turns into being about your baby

I don’t know why but I find myself physically unable to not mention my pregnancy or my baby when having a conversation. We could be having a discussion about onions and id still managed to link it to having a baby. So i’m sorry for everyone who has had to endure me.

Why cheese though?

I could just about live with having to give up patê on my toast, even not being able to have a runny egg or smoked salmon. But I absolutely draw the line at cheese. If I’d have known I had to give up camembert or brie, I would’ve opted out. That’s a deal breaker.

Isolation

Having a baby can be an isolating experience, especially when you’re the first out of your friends to be expecting. You find your whole paradigm shifts and it means accepting your social groups will change aswell as your whole lifestyle, you’re suddenly really busy and don’t have a lot of time for social interactions. But it is important to (at least virtually) surround yourself with understanding friends and likeminded people. If it means letting go of old friendships who just don’t get the place you’re at in life, so be it. There is a whole new world of similar people you are likely to meet when baby arrives.

Sex

Sex is great. Better in pregnancy. The only benefit of pregnancy that makes it worth it (besides getting a child at the end obvs).

The ‘Morning’ Sickness

Everyone knows one of the most common tell tale signs of pregnancy is morning sickness. They didn’t tell you however that ‘morning’ sickness is actually ‘every hour of every day for 40 weeks’ sickness.

The use of the phrase ‘You’re gonna need it’

As lovely as your concern for how I will cope post pregnancy is, I HATE it when you only have to mention being tired and EVERYONE says ‘Get the sleep in now, you’re gonna need it and you’ll miss it when baby arrives’ Yes Barbara, I know I will be sleep deprived. I’m sleep deprived now despite sleeping 15 hours a day and I am fully aware it’ll get worse, you don’t need to remind me.

Why is everything so expensive!?

I’ve always thought that me and john live fairly comfortably, we are by no means rolling in it but we certainly aren’t eating 15p spaghetti hoops out the can. However, brand new baby products and all the necessary (or just preferred) bits and bobs is quite eye opening, ive considered taking out a mortgage on furniture for the baby’s room its so expensive and there’s just SO MUCH. I’d assumed things like cot sheets would y’know be a tenner or something but no, £50 on a couple of sheets for a cot!? Then just when you think you’ve bagged a bargain cot you’ve got to get the mattress which is another couple hundred, then the bumper and god forbid I want a mobile. Baby product design is where the moneys at kids.

Ignore everyone else

Following from the previous statement, yes baby shit is fucking expensive. But if you want it for your baby, you get it. I absolutely love getting advice and recommendations because its my first time and im a little clueless, but one thing I really dislike is people judging me on my purchases or passing judgement on them. If I want to buy something, whether it gets used or not, I obviously wanted it. So many people see what ive bought and be like ‘That’s such a waste of money’ or ‘You know you wont even use that’ and ‘I had one of those, never used it, you should take it back.’ While I appreciate the advice, it’s my first baby and so i’m going to spoil her, and i’m also going to spoil myself by buying all the unnecessary products for my child. Part of being an excitable expectant parent is buying all the crazy baby shit, whether its necessary or not. So, if you can afford it and you want it, who cares what other people think? Secondly, everyone has something to say about EVERYTHING. Yes im a clueless first time mom but I will figure it out by myself and with advice and support from those I see fit, I don’t need lecturing on what I should be doing or interfering strangers telling me i’m doing something wrong. I’ll parent the way I want to and the way it happens. Before the baby has even arrived people are giving me rules and lectures on how to bring up my child, and honestly, i’m gonna do it how I want to and how I think is best, whatever you say.

Tiredness

Despite the fact that I cant sleep properly or for a good uninterrupted period of time I am tired ALL OF THE TIME. Literally could wake up from a 5 hour nap and then need to sleep again straight away. Imagine being asleep and dreaming of being tired and needing to sleep. THAT.

You haven’t treated yourself in ages

One change that I actually enjoy is the fact that everytime I go shopping, I no longer even bother going to the women’s, its straight to the baby section and every purchase is now for said baby. I see everyone’s insta stories of their brand new summer dresses and designer handbags and have come to the realisation I haven’t shopped for myself in a long time, infact the only bags I own are underneath my eyes.

Maternity fashion is ugly

When I do try to shop for myself unless I go to a supermarket’s fashion section or a department store, nowhere seems to have a maternity section in store. When I do finally find a maternity section it is all the same. It is all stereotypical ‘pregnant-middle-aged-woman.’ Gone are the skinny ripped jeans, gone are the cute slogan tees, gone are the summer two pieces with matching accessories. Instead you can have stripes. If you don’t want to wear stripes you can opt for the second option of misshapen plain Tshirts, failing that your only other option is…more stripes, perhaps a different colour stripe? how about a vertical stripe instead of horizontal? Basically for 9 months you can wear stripes.

Becoming public property

Since the development of a bump (not that im complaining) but personal space seems to have been eradicated. Everyone, without asking, seems to want to touch my stomach. It’s become a kind of greeting, they shake John’s hand and then magnetise their palms onto my tummy. Secondly, every medical staff has now seen every angle of every part of my body possible and so I may aswell just be a public art expedition. If you’re shy, being pregnant isn’t gonna be a fun time for you, every inch of you will be exposed, even parts you’ve never seen yourself. One of the scans I went to the sonographer rested her hand on my thigh whilst probing me with an internal ultrasound and I have to admit for a second I thought I could’ve been in fake hospital but y’know, 8 months down the line, its pretty standard.

9 months is an eternity!

I swear to god ive been pregnant for years, I can’t even remember a time I wasn’t pregnant now, it goes sooooo sloooowwwwlyyyyy.

Where is my vagina?

Seriously, I haven’t been able to see my vagina in about a month, Ive forgotten what it looks like from my POV. The only way to try to tame myself was by propping up a light up mirror between my legs and go by touch, which was 100% more terrifying than any horror film ive ever seen.

Heartburn is literally Satan climbing up your throat

I’d had heartburn and indigestion before but I was not prepared for the trauma that is pregnancy heartburn. I’ve thankfully only experienced it a handful of times and I honestly think I need therapy to get over it. It is what I can only describe as a fire in my chest that was trying to creep out, and when it finally did (after hours) it was the most horrific vomit ive ever had, it was pure foaming acid. If I wasn’t used to weird occurances from my body, i’d have thought that I was about to spontaneously combust, my mouth was literally foaming. So if you can, stock up on Gaviscon or other pregnancy safe remedies.

You dribble like a baby

Never in my life have I dribbled in my sleep, but all of a sudden I wake up with a snail trail and a wet patch on my pillow. Apparently during pregnancy your body produces excess saliva, but I didn’t realise the amount i’d dribble would be enough to quench the thirst of Africa.

Weird leaks

One thing no one mentioned to me was the amount of discharge that comes out throughout pregnancy. Discharge is completely normal for most women but during pregnancy it is like double the issue, so make sure you’re stocked up on pantyliners! Same goes for wee. One minute you feel fine, the next baby has kicked your bladder and you’ve pissed yourself. It’s fine, its normal, don’t worry.

You have an alien growing inside you

One of the most magical feelings is feeling your baby wriggle around. Although it can be absolutely terrifying when their pattern changes or slows down it is incredible when you can relax. I’ve recently learnt to chill a bit when it comes to baby’s movements and just enjoy them when they come. I’m actually feeling and witnessing limbs moving across my stomach and at times you can feel bones and little feet through the skin. It makes you think how absolutely crazy it is that there is literally a human, with arms and legs and nails and hair inside your stomach. But they don’t half hurt sometimes when they are big enough to get under your ribs!

I could go on complaining but Come Dine With Me is on and recently its been my go to napping program.

Remember these are all in jest and everyone’s experience is different, i’m not a medical professional just a first time mom-to-be moaning and being angry hormonal.


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32 Weeks Pregnant Update

32 weeks pregnant

My face girth is like princess Fiona,

My feet are like giant pig trotters,

My legs feel like they are constantly on a rollercoaster and need a treadmill, but my body wants to sleep for 15+ hours,

And I can’t see my genitals without the use of a handheld light up mirror.

I have officially made it to 32 weeks!

Only 8 more weeks to go until I sit on the corner of my bed crying because she is now overdue. I cannot wait till she arrives but everyone keeps asking if I’m prepared and I don’t think you can ever actually be prepared unless you’ve had billions of kids previously, and even then each one is different. But I am as prepared as a woman who doesn’t know how many muslins is too many or how thick a sanitary pad is gonna cover the amount of blood, can be. But I do have a mini watering can at the ready for that first piss (apparently pouring water over your vag is the best way to go) so y’know.

The nursery is coming along quite slowly because of all the trips to the hospital we’ve been doing and so there’s literally no time to get it done unless I do it alone (which John would have a 2007 Britney meltdown if he came home and id decorated it by myself and he hadn’t got to share the experience). But I will be doing a separate nursery makeover post anyway.

She’s now apparently the size of a coconut but according to the growth scans she’s a bit of a porker and the distance she’s kicking out of my stomach is like a flailing beach whale, so I reckon she’s gonna come out a fatty. A fatty with a tiny head apparently, but it is in the Dawson genes to have tiny heads, there’s a reason we are known as the “Dwarfson’s”

According to the bounty app I’ve been eagerly checking each day, Scientists have found that babies can actually dream at this stage in pregnancy, so god help her if she inherited my overactive brain because my dreams are like full length feature blockbusters every night. Only last night did I dream I was having a long hard chat about my questionable sex life in my teens with Professor Snape on a plummeting helicopter. (Figured you’d rather hear about that than my non-family-friendly dream about Abel Tesfaye).

I’ve noticed I waffle on a lot about the hardships of pregnancy but there are good parts too….

This week I’ve discovered that I am able to fully shave from the eyebrows down, going only by touch and so if I ever go blind at least I know that issue is sorted. I’ve also discovered that despite living 21 years with a full-length intestine (which I now don’t have, as you know) and the inability to eat whatever I want, that I can infact eat EVERYTHING right now. We stopped at my grandparents’ house and I figured one cake wasn’t enough to follow a roast dinner so I had two sponge cakes and a chocolate gateaux to tidy off my meal, which ngl, still wasn’t enough. Another good thing about pregnancy is the sex. A lot of people are weird about having sex when pregnant from fear or anxiety of putting a dick through a hole their child is soon to travel through (didn’t wanna be all formal but also didn’t wanna be too x rated so apologies for the weird description). But I can tell you sex whilst pregnant is amazing, I don’t know how or why but as soon as that second trimester hit I turned into some crazed … (I couldn’t think of a good analogy because all of the things I came up with either made me cringe or made me gag, but you get where im going with this). So moving on from that positive, cause my grandparents read my blog…another positive thing to come from pregnancy is the fact that my boobs no longer resemble those of a prepubescent teen and are actually large enough to not have to wear chicken fillets! Also, my obsessive need to buy shit has escalated, as I now have a whole new market to buy for, and the options out there for babies are far more fulfilling than scouting around Topshop looking for something that ISNT A CROP TOP. Although my bank account and my self esteem don’t agree, as I think I’m turning into an actual stereotypical ‘Mom’ even with the fashion choices I’m making. I find myself looking at a really nice top I would’ve bought straight away and putting it back on the rail saying ‘It’s just not practical’ or ‘I don’t think I can get away with wearing that anymore,’ ‘I’ll be too cold’ and the most realistic of reasons ‘I just don’t have a social life to wear that outfit to anymore.’ I even picked what I thought was a cute outfit for Alex who is only 3 YEARS YOUNGER than me, for her to reply “It’s nice, but it’s just a bit too old for me.” So apparently I have past my prime and soon I will be hearing the phrase “Mutton dressed as Lamb” far too often.

I’m gonna cut this there because I’m starting to waffle on about really uninteresting factors of my premature aging process and its hitting 9:30 pm, which is way past my bedtime, obvs.

Thank you for reading and stay tuned for another update.

Xoxo


 

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What’s been happening with Ophelia…

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Being open and transparent can be difficult sometimes when I’ve made my life into a job and things don’t go all that great. But none the less eventually I will share it. As most of you know, the past week or so has been pretty hectic and shitty and I’d taken some time off to just recuperate and focus on my body and Ophelia.

I just want to say how thankful I am for all your messages, I literally received over a hundred and I wasn’t able to reply to all of you, but I read each one and it was so lovely that so many of you wished us well.

ophelia 30 weeksSo, to fill you in fully on what’s been going on, (if you haven’t been blessed with a rambling stream of consciousness with a dog filter on my face already) I had my 28-week growth scan and everything was fine, she was even weighing just on the edge of too big. But about two days later I stopped feeling her moving around, before she would be constantly winding me or kicking my bladder to the point id leak a little (So glamourous).

But I’d noticed I’d not felt her move in a few hours, so I called up MAU (Maternity Assessment Unit) because I know how important the movements your baby shows can be. Any change in your baby’s movements can be a sign of a problem, even if they are still moving but not at the same rate as before, or it feels different, they could be at a serious risk. A reduce in movements can be directly linked to still birth, which is any expectant mother’s nightmare, so it doesn’t matter if you feel like you’re pestering people, it is better to be safe than sorry.

The MAU midwives told me to come straight in to be put on the CTG monitor andIMG_20180523_104441_491 arranged for a doppler to be done the following day. Every midwife I see reassures me that it doesn’t matter how many times I call them or how many times I visit and get checked i should always never hesitate. But still, you feel like you’re constantly pestering them like a buzzing gnat. Still, I went in the following day for my doppler.

A doppler is an ultrasound scan used to measure the blood flow to the baby, the uterus and the placenta.

It turned out that she hadn’t been moving much because my placenta was not working sufficiently, and the blood flow was not getting to her fully. Sort of like a hose, if you bend a hosepipe the water can still trickle through but at a slow pace and at a decreased amount, this was what was happening with the blood vessels, they were providing her with enough oxygen to survive but not enough for a normal pregnancy. Therefore, my pregnancy very suddenly became high risk and a happy hopeful me turned into a blubbering, paranoid, psychotic.

20180522_150334The midwives and doctors all talked me through what it meant, that it doesn’t necessarily mean the worst or that she’s suffering, just that they need to watch her constantly and be prepared that at any point she might need to come out.

I was 30 weeks pregnant exactly. At 30 weeks Ophelia is around the size of a large cabbage (although considering she was chunky she was probs more like the cabbage in Wallace and Gromit) and weighed around 3lbs. She is fully developed but there is some fine tuning to be done in order for her to survive without intervention, her lungs still need to mature and intricate details are still being worked on like the grooves in her brain. However, if she was to be born now she would have a 97% chance of survival with medical intervention, she would have to stay in ICU until she could breathe without machinery but there is no guarantee she wouldn’t have problems or develop serious conditions later on in her life.

Still 97% survival was all that mattered.

From then on, we have been going to the hospital every single day to be monitored. The CTG shows she is still fairly happy being inside my womb and although I cannot feel her moving as much she is doing fine. We have been having doppler scans twice a week and the most recent one we had showed a significant improvement. The blood flow to her is increasing each time we go to the hospital and she’s just started to move around like she used to before.

We can breathe a sigh of relief now knowing that we still have a few more weeks Screenshot_20180521-201221(hopefully) before she arrives so can hurriedly start painting the nursery. The blood flow to her is consistently being monitored and her heart rate is being measured daily to make sure she is not in any distress and that is all we can do. All we can do is wait and hope that everything will be fine, but I have a positive view and think it will be fine, she will just be joining us a lot quicker than we originally expected!

In the meantime, I’m literally exhausted, I’ve been napping repetitively and managed to get through 13 reasons why in just 3 days (which to my sister would be an absolute failure). There literally isn’t really much more to tell, we are taking each day as it comes but each day she is moving around a bit more and my body is showing signs of improvement.

Again, thank you all so much for your messages over the past week, its meant a lot! And I’ve actually rather enjoyed not being on my phone or on social media for a while, its been quite refreshing for me, but as much as I wanna lie around watching reruns of Come Dine With Me I have to get back to doing normal work.

But it is important to take time away sometimes, and these past few days of recuperation have been revitalising and enabled my body to continue to grow my chubby cheeked and large nosed Ophelia.

xoxo


 

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Alex Dawson : What to expect from your first year of Uni

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As something a lil bit different on the blog today i am going to share a complete contrasted lifestyle. Myself and my sister are two peas in a pod, however this year of our lives has been worlds apart when she left for Uni and the promise of cheap alcohol and I ended up with a mortgage and a resident in my cramped up uterus (I obvs picked the short straw). Whilst my time of being passed out in a gutter and vomming onto someone elses fake Gucci sliders whilst inhaling a dirty kebab from Mr Egg is over, for my little sister it’s just beginning. I don’t cover much of what to expect if you do in fact follow educations expected path: “Go to school, Go to uni, Get a job, Settle down” because for me I left education at 16, so I thought why not get the other version of me (My sister) who experienced the standard Uni transition to share her insight on what the first year of university entailed.

1

” I’ll start firstly by introducing myself, I’m Chloe’s younger sister Alex, I’m currently finishing my first year of university at Liverpool, and I’m going to tell you my experience at university. Now going into university, I had very high expectations, I had a large group of friends already and we would love getting f*cked up every week, but also could rely on each other for anything. So, I assumed I would make friends straight away and just have constant fun (I’ll get back to why this isn’t the case later). Six of us from my group all decided to move to Liverpool, I would try and lie and say I loved the city and my course sounded amazing, but the truth was I wasn’t ready to leave my friends behind, I think the same can be said for them too.

On the way to uni , the car all packed up, I sat in the back of the car and cried along to Hannah Montana ‘I will always remember you’, whilst sending snapchats to the group chat of me sobbing, for my friends to respond with crying selfies too. 2

This was followed by my friend Isabelle sending videos of her forgetting all her coats and being screamed at in the back of the car. ‘YOU’RE LIVING IN A DREAM WORLD’, will still to this day be funny.

Once I got to my accommodation I went out for a meal with my family, the nerves had really kicked in at this point, I hardly touched my food and found it hard not to think of the fact that in a few hours I was going to be all alone in an unknown city, without being able to call up my parents when I needed them. I said my goodbyes after and held back the tears as they left me in my room, now it was really happening.

To take my mind off my nerves I started unpacking all my stuff and waited for my flatmate Mollie to arrive, a friend from back home, (told you we weren’t ready to part ways just yet). Of course, just being her luck, her car broke down before she even set out, so it was a long wait.

When Mollie arrived, she had about five hundred bags of stuff which was not going to fit into our tiny box rooms, I helped her bring her stuff into the room and questioned her on why she needed nine types of hairbrush. The following day me and Mollie did our first food shop and met our flat mates, sigh. The first was a girl from Wales called Lacie, she seemed like a nice girl, the second was a boy from Liverpool whose name was James, he was ginger with a dark tan, (that didn’t quite add up to me). Our third flatmate I have seen all of four times this year, he leaves as I enter the room, so I have nothing more to say on him. Our final flatmate Bella joined us the next day, thank god is all I’m going to say.

Fresher’s week was now beginning, and the week consisted of the six of us from Birmingham joining our flats together in a bid to make as many friends as possible. I know many people claim Fresher’s week to be amazing and the best time of the year, but personally adding as many people you can on snapchat and looking for things in common with people you would never normally talk to, just didn’t seem that great to me. I now have a bunch of strangers who I know I will never speak to again. This was also the week I discovered James was an absolute twat, firstly Mollie walks in and he looks her up and down and goes “yeah you look a lot better than you did this morning.” He then later comes up to me and goes “Alex you don’t look anything like your pictures you know.” I am well aware I’m a catfish James, but I would rather you didn’t tell me, thank you. Also, at our pre-drinks some lad had forgotten to bring drinks for himself, so asked if anyone could spare their drink. James then measured a double vodka coke, hands it to him and goes that will be five-pound mate. Some may think fair enough, but to me that was so rude. He also runs everywhere, I am constantly woken up by his pitter patter down the hall, freak. Enough about James, now onto Lacie. She walked into pres firstly in a top, no bottoms at all, pants on full display, is that how people dress in Wales? I wasn’t going to judge her by her interesting outfit choice, but I couldn’t help but laugh at her hilarious dancing, a move that could one day be famous. I’ll be honest, she did carry me home on this night after I fell down the stairs of the club head first, I was going to thank her for this, however we never spoke again.

4I do have to add, during fresher’s I met all of Bella’s friends including their flatmates Andri and Niamh, all people who I absolutely love and now call good friends. A few friends from home came up to visit on the weekend of Freshers, friendly faces were very welcome after a week of forcing friendships. We had a great weekend and it ended with me and my friends waving them off at the train station sobbing once again, we all walked back from the station crying, and I almost got hit by a taxi, ‘Take me then I dare you’ I had said, don’t joke with Liverpool taxi drivers, they don’t play.

I was also very keen to join societies, so signed up to netball and the singer’s society at the Fresher’s Fair. I attended the netball trials, which may I add were an hour’s bus journey away which was off putting from the get go. I managed to get into the netball team and so I went on my first netball night out, never again. It firstly consisted of the fresher’s having to stand in front of everyone and say their most embarrassing memory, for a lot of people this would have been an easy task but that, mixed with the huge crowd of unknown people was very overwhelming. As it neared my turn to stand up I ran to the toilet and had an anxiety attack in the cubicle, whilst messaging Mollie on what to do. She told me to breathe and just stay there until I had calmed down, this was great advice as it meant I would get to miss the public speaking. I waited it out and left the cubicle, when people asked where I had been I told them I felt too drunk and thought I was going to be sick- an easy lie to tell at Uni. This was shrugged off and we continued to the club. This was where I realised I definitely was not suited for a society. Fresher’s were given challenges which I just found annoying like ‘hump the floor’ and ‘go and grind on the security,’ hilarious right? Whilst I was still out at the club I saw a friendly face, my friend Remi out with people from her netball, I joined her for the rest of the night and proceeded in having a decent night. After my anxiety over a simple speaking task in front of people, I then realised I just didn’t have the balls to actually attend  the singer’s society open mic night, I used the excuse the people who went didn’t seem like my people, but I knew it was because I was too terrified to try and fail.

During the actual Uni part of Uni I met Jodie, we had already spoken online in uni group chats and I had spotted her in the crowd and thought, wow she dresses like me we would get on. It turns out we did get on, we discovered we are practically the same person, we have the same walking pace, and she once asked me if I had seen Les Misérables, those that know me know will know why this was music to my ears. I made other friends on my course as the year went on, but it is very hard to actually bond with people during a lecture hall that is supposed to be silent. 7

A common misconception about Uni, one that I did make myself, is that you are going to go and make so many friends in your building and on your course, this hadn’t really happened for me yet. At least not to the extent I had built up in my head. Ill also add that the actual Uni work of Uni often got in the way a lot, but I did find i breezed through the year, admittedly my attendance fell as I began favouring student nights or simply an entire season of ‘RuPauls Drag Race’ over lectures in the morning, I’m only a first year was my excuse.

As I began getting into the swing of things as the year went on I began having more and more fun, I realised quite early on that I just wasn’t the type of person that wanted to go to a new pre-drink each week and meet constant strangers in a bid to know as many people as I could. I knew that the new friends I had picked out from a large group of people were people I wanted to spend time with, and that of course nobody could beat the friends I came with. Now I had this mindset, Uni really became amazing and what I had believed it to be.

6

I will now bore you with memories that will forever make me laugh. We learned that Isabelle is a complete liability. She once threw up on the dance floor and we propped her up in a booth trying to ignore the people slipping over in her sick. Another night, which is called 999 night, actually turned into 6 six people carrying a lifeless Izzy home, with me standing idly by, shouting ‘OHHH FUCKINGGG HELL’, whilst the security attempt to drag her to our room. Remi phoned an ambulance as she choked on her sick in my hall, they told Remi to put her in the recovery position. (Izzy told me to insert a warning about Tesco vodka here ). Mollie had what was called the sick cup which she would use to keep her place on the dance floor, classy. Remi often ‘lost her health’ a phrase we find hilarious, she went out in arctic temperatures in a skimpy skirt and see through top and claimed she could no longer feel her limbs- she later got mumps and had to leave Uni due to being too contagious.

Our friend Georgia also came to visit us from Leeds for the weekend, she lasted for ten minutes before she was throwing up in the toilets and Mollie was carrying her home, she later woke up as afters began at our flat, which turned into cracking eggs of Izzy’s head. Often nights had resulted in people falling asleep in club booths, a personal favourite is Mollie asleep with High School Musical playing in the background. Day drinking in the courtyard resulted in a drunk catwalk to RuPauls ‘Sissy That Walk’ and screaming ‘Shout Out to My Ex’ as loud as possible, I apologise to everyone in my building.

Me and Remi were also known to wonder off after a few drinks, this once had us exploring an abandoned house which we discovered to be a brothel, we made a swift exit. Ella’s hilarious voice notes of what problem she has found herself in also occurred frequently.

Applebum night for Remis birthday turned into Izzy getting kicked out and trying to change clothes on the side of the road with Remi to get back in, surprisingly this didn’t work and resulted in Izzy running home, I spent that whole night thinking I was in an episode of Black Mirror and thought nothing was real. Another messy night being circus, this was my turn to be the mess, I remember nothing but apparently, I got kicked out, refused entry at another club to then steal a stranger’s jumper and tie my hair up in a bid to get in. This worked, and I lost my ID that night, and then arrived at afters in my pjs, I gave my famous matching PJs to Ella and Remi who stopped over.

5

Of course, I have to also mention Space jam night, an abandoned warehouse with an outdoor area which looked like the alien outback, which was rather fitting, and old car seats placed randomly. As well as this, inflatable aliens were hanging from the ceiling, we all collected our own alien and as the night progressed I think I became emotionally attached to mine, I held him on my shoulders on the dancefloor and introduced him as Noah to everyone I crossed paths with.

9Me and my friend Isobel have a freaky connection where no matter how far away from each other we are we will make eye contact and have what we call ‘content moments’. We also befriended people who lived in mine and Mollies accommodation, who happened to live in the same area as us back home, we found it mad how our paths had never crossed before. Jack, who is known as BB, the dopiest person you will ever meet but also the funniest, Tom, who is forever sick of BBs shit, also known for his famous side fringe, Alex, a very extravagant dancer but he pulls it off and Ben, known as Beans, the most laid-back person I have ever met, and finally Dom also a bit of a dope and the male version of Isabelle. I can happily say that going out with everyone, I really have had some of the best times of my life, we drunkenly called them family nights.

Now, I realised I have rambled a lot on memories that many people won’t understand at all but writing this I have realised just how much fun I have had. I do want to add though, with highs comes lows. Uni isn’t always having an amazing time, I do spend a lot of time alone in my room watching shit tv or inviting people over to watch to feel shit with me. Often Izzy invited herself to do this, we would mock her about how she practically lives with us, but she was always a welcome addition (I wouldn’t tell her that to her face). 8

Me and Mollie often communicate with a simple ‘tea?’ text every few hours. Mollie also whacks my hand from the pan whenever I try to help as I tend to burn things, my bad. I often went in to her room to talk all things makeup, ‘Do you reckon this smoky eye would look good with a white and red eyeliner combo?’, or to simply complain about how poor I am.

Anyways, back to the point, if you think Uni is going to be constant laughter with your flat, then you could either get really lucky or in reality it won’t be. But find yourself some great friends and you will have the time of your life. ”

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[The following was written by Alex Dawson and edited by Dawsonxo for copyright disclosures. Any implications or defamations of character/place/events mentioned are not of the opinions of Dawsonxo and conform to Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948]

 

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28 weeks pregnant on the hottest bank holiday…

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So it’s been the hottest early May Bank Holiday on record and i’m officially at my ‘take this baby out of me now’ stage of pregnancy. Yet there’s still 3 months to go! Literally everything is uncomfortable, it feels like I need to just go do a massive shit and then my stomach will have a moment of space to breathe. However instead, my brain and my big mouth are telling me to eat more. I’ve somehow managed to devour 3 cakes this week and that’s not including all the chocolate, sweets and man vs food size portions ive eaten. I forced john to drive me to Tesco because I was really craving a pic n mix and legit

nudged a child out the way of my sour cherries, I was so desperate. But I have become the absolute master of stuffing too much pic n mix into the wrong sized tub and still making the lid fit. The cashier probs just thinks I’m a fat greedy bastard cause my pregnant belly isn’t even that “pregnant looking.” I’m like screaming at John to put more elbow grease into the squishing – there’s always room for another gummy snake! Again though – and I blame the raging hormones – I can’t help but feel cheated and have a little spoilt strop when jaiden asks if he can have some as soon as we get back to the house. Like I can’t exactly say no can I? And he knows it. Why did I become a step mom so young cause i’m not cut out for this sharing malarkey!

On another note, all traces of the blooming season have gone and i’ve returned into a now larger slob with greasy hair and a spotty face. In the second trimester my nails were growing so well but now all of a sudden they’ve just started breaking and refusing to grow back. I’m also experiencing some rather questionable symptoms of having leaky boobs…or at least that’s what I think is happening, cause right now at 28 weeks there’s all kinds of shit escaping my body and for all I know i could be all walking disease cause no one seems to tell you all the gruesome changes your body will make.

I’m still suffering from PTSD in regards to the traumatic heartburn i’ve been getting. I swear if Ophelia don’t come out with long flowing locks like Rapunzel I’ll be furious! The episodes are like an exorcism, hours upon hours of just fire in my chest and throat, trying to spit up anything to eventually (and this is graphic) spew up everything in my body in foaming acid, its so hot it burns and its literally coming from both ends so i’m tryna get to the toilet whilst john balances the sick bowl to catch the chunky vomit which wouldn’t surprise me if it melts the plastic, it’s that acidic. Johns has his tshirt over his face trying to understand how much shit can come out of my tiny body and gagging whilst I’m choking like a cat with a fur ball. Honestly, pregnancy heart burn is the most traumatic experience so far, even worse than the first shit I did after surgery.

My bump is getting bigger everyday and ive come to the conclusion that no matter how good the outfit looks and feels, I just don’t suit having a giant balloon tummy and no

matter how thin/stretchy/loose fitting my clothes are i’m still uncomfortable and losing my breathe for the majority of the time. But I enjoy watching her moving around in my stomach, her kicks are so strong they are coming through my clothes now and at points i’m actually winded by her.

This weekend we made a start on the nursery. The previous owners had left us with dark khaki and cream coloured walls so the first thing we needed to do was white wash it. Which was supposed to be a fun activity for us both but because the temperatures were so hot, john had had too many cold ones and was spilling paint everywhere whilst I was sweating so bad I was just getting my arse stuck to the dust sheets and giving the Severn trent man an eye full of naked pregnant belly when he came to check the drains. We also ran out of white paint trying to cover the vomit coloured walls so that was annoying…

We had spent the weekend with family, Friday was my parents 26th wedding anniversary so we went for a few drinks and had a Chinese at my fave place which we don’t get chance to go to very often anymore but is the only Chinese ive found to sell sex on a plate – Duck wrapped in minced prawn. I’ve been eating for 2…or 4 perhaps..so needless to say I stuffed myself to the point that my belly button could no longer stay an innie. As my bump gets bigger my belly button has been undecided whether it wants to come out or stay in (as creepy as I find that) but the Chinese was the final straw (although weirdly, since it’s returned back in). Then we met up with johns brother and his wife who we haven’t seen since their wedding 6 months ago and proceeded to have more drinks. (They did, I was obvs not drinking, just eating everything I could find like a human dustbin).

The following day we went over to spend the day with Johns family whilst they were in bham and came to the realisation i’m in for some major boot camp training if i’m going to be able to keep up with the kids. Me and john were shattered by 4pm and they were still going, telling me the names of all the dinosaurs, catching frogs out the pond and running around naked in the paddling pool. When I returned home to my moms (where we were stopping for the weekend) I expected a child free relaxing evening with my slippers on and a cup of tea to finally get comfortable and cool. But instead I walked into a shit version of benidorm. Everyone was pissed as fuck, dancing around the fire pit and poking at my pregnant belly warning me how much harder it’s gonna get. (Thanks guys)! But the final tipping point was when I noticed my sister wearing my Katie price sliders and for some reason I just burst into tears. But 5 mins later I joined back in the party all calm and collected again. Bloody hormones.

My baby brain is getting that bad i actually can’t remember what i did on the Sunday

other than do a mad dash to Primark to get some cheap clothing for the last two days of sunshine we were going to get. Which i felt very pleased about because the majority of maternity clothes ive found are very stereotypical of middle aged women, as if younger adults aren’t supposed to be pregnant. It’s all mom jeans and stripey tops, but i managed to find some clothes to fit into that i felt pleased about. However my boobs are still too small for my bump and i ended up with a saggy boob situation in my dress when we went out for a carvery before saying goodbye to John’s brother and family as they left back for Darlington.

Monday we returned home for me to continue to stuff my face with cake and junk food but without the concerning looks and raised eyebrows of my parents. And much of the rest of the week has pretty much been a repetition of eat, sleep, pretend to do some work, eat again, complain about being pregnant, eat again, sleep.

It’s now Friday and i’m not going to lie right now, despite the growing heartburn in my oesophagus all i’m thinking about is how in half an hour ill have allowed myself enough of a break between cake intervals to have yet another slice of angel cake.

Have a good weekend people!

xoxo



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Easy Fisherman’s Pie Recipe

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This is my go to meal for some sustenance, its easy and simple to prepare and is great for both adults and toddlers.

It serves 4 adults (unless you’re greedy like me and john and eat it all) or 6 – 8 toddler meals.

There is also a printable at the end for you to download and print the recipe!

Nutrition (Approx): per serving (4)

  • Kcal: 455
  • Fat: 15.7g
  • Saturates: 7.5g
  • Carbs: 50.5g
  • Sugars: 7g
  • Fibre: 5.7g
  • Protein: 27.1g
  • Salt: 1g

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  • Mashed potato (homemade or ready-made) with preferably no large lumps
  • 25g Butter
  • 25g Flour
  • 400ml Milk
  • 4 Spring Onions (finely sliced)
  • Frozen fish of your choice, skinned and boneless (I used Bass fillets but have previously used haddock) – Around 2 fillets or 250g (approx)
  • Handful of frozen king prawns (pre-cooked not raw) – Around 250g (approx)
  • 1 (dessert/standard) spoon of English Mustard
  • Handful of frozen Sweetcorn (optional)
  • Handful of frozen Peas (Optional)
  • Around 20g of finely sliced Chives
  • Handful of grated Cheddar
  • Handful of  grated Grana Padano
  • Handful of Parsley (fresh or dried – I used dried for convenience)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

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1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180 Fan/ Gas Mark 6.

2. Put the butter and spring onions into a saucepan and heat until the butter has melted.

3. Add the flour and cook for 1 – 2 minutes, stir regularly.

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4. Gradually whisk in the milk and bring to the boil, stir continuously to avoid any lumps and it sticking to the pan. Continue cooking until thickened.

5. Turn down the heat to the lowest setting and add the grated Grana Padano.

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6. Meanwhile, cut up your fish into thick pieces, and add into the pan, followed by the prawns.

7. Stir in peas and sweetcorn (if using) – I didn’t use them in this instance but have done previously.

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8. Sprinkle in the chives and season to your taste with salt and pepper.

9. Add a spoon of the mustard and stir well (if you like a stronger taste i recommend using a little more, i used a heaped spoonful). Stir well.

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10. Take off the heat and spoon the mixture into an oven proof dish or into separate ramekins.

11. Spread the mashed potato on top of the mixture, making sure it’s fully covered.

12.  Sprinkle the grated cheese and parsley over the top.

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13. Cook in the oven for around 20 – 25 minutes , or until the top is golden and the sides are bubbling.

14. Serve with whatever you would like, i served it with a side salad. Always make sure your food is piping hot throughout before serving.

Enjoy!

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*If you use this recipe to make your own be sure to share it with me on social media!

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Fishermans pie Printable PDF

Fishermans pie printable

xoxo

 

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The Crow Girl || Book Review

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“It starts with just one body – the hands bound, the skin covered in marks.

Detective Superintendent Jeanette Kihlberg is determined to find out who is responsible, despite opposition from her superiors. When two more bodies are found, it becomes clear that she is hunting a serial killer.

With her career on the line, she turns to psychotherapist Sofia Zetterlund. Together, they uncover a chain of shocking events that began decades ago – but will it lead them to the murderer before someone else dies?”

This is the initial blurb on the back cover of the book I received for Christmas, my first initial thought was, it sounds very generic. But before I go any further I can tell you 100% that that synopsis does NOT give the book any justice at all.

AT ALL.

Judging by the fact you are reading this post I am guessing you’ve had enough of me going on about how much I loved this book on Instagram and just wanted to finally know what all the fuss was about. And you’ll already know that this is one of THE BEST books I have read in a long, long time. I hate starting a book and not being able to finish it, however prior to picking up The Crow Girl I had done just that, I got halfway through the previous book (U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton) and had just had enough, id given it a few hundred pages and it just wasn’t flowing right for me, I found it boring and trying to get through it became more of a chore, so I was apprehensive when I started The Crow Girl in case I felt the same. But I can safely say that was not the case, by the second page I knew this book, despite its healthy length was going to be one I couldn’t put down.

I’m first going to give you a little more of a relevant synopsis of the book (I have based this synopsis from a review written by the guardian, if you want to read the guardian review then click here, but it goes into slightly more depth and could involve spoilers) to give a more detailed account of what the book entails and then I’ll go into the disclaimers I think you should note before you chose to invest yourself in this book.

“First is the discovery of an unidentified young boy’s body , showing signs of having suffered sexual torture after the administration of an unusual sedative and then, after death, a bizarre process of mummification. This murder is investigated by Detective Superintendent Jeanette Kihlberg, a headstrong character who is constantly undermined for being a woman, and continuously challenges the female societal persona at the time. Her viewpoint alternates with that of Sofia Zetterlund, a psychotherapist whose patients include a child pornographer, a woman who suffers from multiple personality disorder and a former child soldier in Sierra Leone.

Between scenes of Jeanette and Sofia at work, there are present-day sections taking place in a house where a psychopath has created a prison for a child. There are also flashbacks to the distressing childhood of someone who identifies herself as “Crow Girl” as well as other characters going about their lives, all carrying their own past secrets that intertwine storylines into a one huge thrilling journey.”

The first thing you’ll notice is the length of the book, it is over 700 pages long and the storylines get fairly complex, so if you aren’t one to delve into a more lengthy, hard thinking novel, then this isn’t for you. It most definitely is not a ‘light read.’

Secondly, you’ll notice the bizarre names and locations, this is because the book has beencrow girl 3 translated into English from its original format, which was actually written as a trilogy in Swedish. The book was originally three individual novels but as it has been translated and republished to be a worldwide phenomenon, they put the three books into one large book, separated into three parts.

Now for a disclaimer (of sorts), this book comes under the genres; thriller, mystery and crime. And most definitely it is aimed at readers who enjoy those genres, however it is not for the faint hearted, it’s not a simple mystery or just a rivetingly fun thriller, it is a fairly complex, dark novel. I have been going through a few reviews to get a variety of opinions and the majority of the low scoring reviews are due to the fact the violence (mainly sexual) is pretty graphic and readers have felt unable to get through the scenes. Likewise they have also found the psychological aspect of the book tricky to keep up with as it is very fast paced and I feel if you have no knowledge of psychological theories, trauma and the human mind, you may struggle to understand parts of the novel as it doesn’t necessarily explain, it is assumed you understand the basic concepts.

I myself study forensic psychology at university and am an avid documentary watcher of all things psychology related (the darker and deeper, the better) so I didn’t find the concepts particularly hard to understand, instead I found the use of the social sciences a positive and enjoyable part of the book. I find the concept of the human mind and the complexity of cause and effect very fascinating and so this only drew me in further. Without explaining the concept, it does cover the general idea of nature verses nurture, aswell as concentrating on the human psyche and how that is affected by certain events and can shape a future.

Because of studying the subject I study, mixed with my obvious choice of films/documentaries/books/etc, I am not effected greatly by particularly horrible acts. I am a bit of a psychopath when it comes to horrific things, they don’t affect me in the slightest, I can watch the most horrendously violent and sickening scene and still sleep very soundly at night. For this reason I didn’t find the graphic content of the book disturbing, I think the severity of the descriptions was essential in building the story and how you are supposed to feel in regards to the characters and the events. But, if you are easily effected by graphic accounts and explicit imagery, (mainly on the topics of rape, child abuse, murder and torture) then you probably won’t enjoy this book.

I realise I’ve now portrayed myself as the most cold hearted psychopath, which I can assure you isn’t the case, i’m just a naturally unaffected individual when it comes to horrible things. I mean, I will cry and have a fit if I drop my pizza on the floor, or when left alone at night will turn into a terrified child who anticipates a burglar breaking in and killing me every time, but on the whole, I can watch a horror without blinking or being frightened and can read some horrific accounts and not be emotionally effected.

My overall opinion on the novel, as you already know, is that it is one of the most thrilling, gripping and fully immersive books I have read. The characters (once you’ve figured out how to pronounce most their names) were all unique and engaging, giving the reader different feelings on each one and captivating you to follow each of their journeys. I often found myself at the end of every character’s narrative, being frustrated that it ended where it ended because I wanted to know more, and yet did the exact same on the next narrative. A major plot twist is revealed fairly early on in the book which I at first thought was unusual and wondered where further plot twists could go, but there is literally plot twist after plot twist. And they are all just as gasp-worthy as the last.

Although the general motives of the plot/characters may seem widely generic to some, I found the book uniquely interesting and portrayed the entire plotline far better than any previous crime thriller I have read, Anyone who even remotely enjoys a dark crime novel, I would suggest reading this before you read anything else, because this one is significantly more enjoyable, interesting, dark, complex and gripping than any previous psychological thrillers I have read. The negative point to that being, I doubt in the near future ill find a book I will enjoy as much as this one and will forever be comparing them to The Crow Girl.

John doesn’t read( I used to wonder, despite his high intelligence whether he could in fact, actually read) , he is a get into bed and put the horror channel on, then fall asleep snoring 10 seconds later kind of guy, but I have forced him to give The Crow Girl a go and so far so good, (it’s only been one night so I will keep you updated and let you know his opinions on the book aswell).

If The Crow Girl sounds like something you’d like to give a go you can purchase the book from Amazon by clicking:

Here for Paperback.

Here for Hardback.

Here for Kindle.

crow girl