Welcome to the world, Henry James Jarvis.

Sorry I have been MIA for a little while…I have been busy having a baby!! Finally, 9 long days after my due date we got to meet our beautiful baby BOY! It was a huge surprise and utterly magical as I was adamant we were having a girl most of the way through my pregnancy. The surprise on the day was amazing and I loved the excitement of not finding out, not just for us, but for everyone else who were all kept guessing until the day!

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A very tired Mummy, more than 48 hours with no sleep.

Eventually, after a very long latent stage, the day of the birth was fantastic and I will write up my birth story soon to share my experience with those who are interested. (I tried to read as many as possible when I was going through the early stages so I knew I wasn’t alone with what I was going through!) But I wanted to update you on the news and share a few of the first moments we have had with our darling little boy.

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Skin to Skin with Daddy a few minutes old.

Weighing 8lb 3oz (with super long limbs!) Henry was born on Wednesday 15th May at 18:42.

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First family snap.

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After a tour of the house, Daddy settles Henry in to life at home.

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Walk in the sun on the first day at home.

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Here’s us at a close friend’s wedding, day 10.

Now, 2 weeks in our little man is growing and gaining weight well after a slow start and we are learning on the job how to be parents. He has been such a good little boy so far and we are so proud of him.

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Maternity photography.

As the time went on, I realised more & more that I wanted to capture my pregnancy on film before the baby arrived. Despite feeling pretty fat and unattractive I knew if I didn’t then I would regret it. A close friend of mine has a fab hair and make up business and also offers wedding and maternity photography and I knew she was the only person I wanted to (quite literally) bare all to! She made me feel at ease with the camera and knew exactly what shots to take to show off my bump and not my insecurities, giving me prints which I could look back on and cherish.
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I decided to have my shoot at 8 months, so my bump was big enough, but I wasn’t feeling too ginormous and suffering from water retention – even if I felt like I had a few too many chins!! So make sure you choose the right time to suit you. Confidence is key for a happy shoot, so you don’t want to be worried about stretch marks or water retention; your photographer should make you feel at ease and work around your insecurities rather than highlighting them.
Stripy Bump
Lighting in photography really makes the image, and it’s especially true for pregnancy photography. A good photographer will use the light to reflect the emotion and theme of the shot you require. A soft natural light will create a flattering image and if you want to show off your bump in underwear for example, using a sheer, voile type material to cover you will create a soft cover for any insecurities whilst showing your bump off.
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Before your shoot have a think about any props you might like to give your photographer to incorporate – do you know the name/sex of your baby? Can you create a sign to include this? Or post IT notes with all your name choices? Maybe a balloon with the sex or name written on it, or a chalk board with the due date? Have you already bought your baby’s first toy which you could incorporate? Or some tiny baby shoes? Would your partner like to be involved? Do you have other children who you could include? Maternity shots with siblings make for wonderful pics.
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Have you got a favourite outfit – if any of your clothes still fit! Depending on what you have pre-organised take a selection of options with you to change into on the day. There are so many options, so if you want to have creative input then have a think about them before hand and share with your photographer at your consultation.
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It’s really important to mention that even if you categorically think a maternity shoot isn’t for you, in 10 years time when you look back you may really wish you had put your insecurities aside and have captured your blossoming self – even if you don’t show any one I bet you will pleased you did it and your photographer will bring out the best in you, even if you feel tired, fat, nauseous or terrible so you are sure to be pleasantly surprised at how good you look! When your children are all grown up they will love to see you carrying them all those years ago too!
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If you want to capture your pregnancy similarly to this then contact Emma either on her website, http://www.emmatrotman.co.uk or on her Facebook – Emma Trotman Photography. She is based in Hampshire and will discuss your options and give you a consultation to make sure you are given a package to suit you, to make sure you get the best images for what you are looking for while making you feel at ease and happy on the day. Let her know that you found her details via my blog.

Maternity Wardrobe; Top 10 Essentials.

I often get told off by my friends when I talk about what I’ve bought recently, or if I am going shopping – and I can kind of see their point now, with just a couple of days of pregnancy to go 😉 (Or so I hope!) However the truth is, from my point of view pregnancy is a time where you are not yourself, that your body changes in ways you’ve never experienced and you don’t feel in control of what you look like – certainly in my experience anyway! So you need to feel good in what you’re wearing, and if going shopping helps you feel good about your appearance then surely you can’t deny yourself?! Plus, 7-9 months is a long time (when you factor in the weeks after you give birth if you’re not one of the lucky ones to snap back into your pre-preg clothes) and I wouldn’t go 9 months without shopping normally, so why stop now?!

Whether you are of the same opinion as me or not – and after all, these views are only my own ramblings so I don’t expect you to agree, your body shape is going to change considerably and you will need at least a few essentials to grow with your changing figure so here’s my top 10 list of clothes to get you through this exciting time!

Just to note, I found a lot more choice and options online and the selections would be updated a lot more often than in store. I also had a work wardrobe to buy for, so depending on your needs your list may differ from the below. I have also been pregnant mainly over the winter months so I didn’t stock up on summer clothes, although now it seems like it’s just around the corner I would definitely be stocking up on Maxi dresses and mid length jersey skirts to team with vest tops and cut off denim jackets or a leather jacket for cooler days.

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A few pairs of good quality jeans – key for so many occasions. I found some great choices from Topshop in a good selection of colours. Dress them up or down depending on what you’re doing, a pair of heels instantly uplifted me if I were going out for dinner or with the girls for a lemonade whereas a pair of pumps or Converse are perfect if you are heading out shopping or for lunch. The waistbands vary on maternity jeans; either over or under the bump. H&M do a good selection which go over bump which I found lasted a little longer than the thicker bands which go under. They also do lots of different colours.

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Long vest tops – wear these underneath shorter tops so that you can get away with non maternity options in a larger size to normal to stretch your old wardrobe as long as possible. Towards the end of your pregnancy your bump will get so big that even maternity tops don’t seem to completely cover your bump and they save having any flesh on show.

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A sheer shirt – I bought several with lots of different patterns and colours which I teamed with different colour skinny jeans or tube skirt for work. These don’t even need to be maternity while you’re in the earlier months of pregnancy – some I didn’t grow out of until around 7 and a half months due to their baggy style.

Sheer Shirt

Wrap dress – while the crossover style grows with your shape and shows off your waistline the v neck makes the most of your growing bust line. I bought several dresses as I wore one each day for work, but if you don’t need them for the office they are great when you have a night out planned or an event. I actually found these more comfortable than trousers and went mainly for long-sleeved as I had a real complex about my arms! If you only wanted to buy one or 2 you can change the overall look each time you wear it with what you pair it with – a cardigan one day to dress it down, blazer the next for a meeting, or simply accessorise with a scarf or chunky necklace. Isabella Oliver have some beautiful choices in great materials which keep their shape, such as the below;

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A smart and a casual blazer – these will go with just about anything and I’m a massive fan of this particular piece; dress up an outfit with a smart choice or go with a jersey blazer to give a casual outfit effortless style. Coloured blazers are great too if you have just the one pair of dark denim jeans to give your outfit a splash of colour. I like the fit of the Zara ones, however even Primark do a large selection! The best part is you can wear these when you’re no longer pregnant so don’t hold back!

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T shirts and long sleeved cotton tops – Any material which is stretchy will show off your bump without drowning your figure and giving you no shape; great with a pair of jeans. Striped tops – usually tricky to pull off if you don’t want to accentuate your lumps and bumps, but there is no better time to show off your blossoming figure than now, it’s a great print for summer too. H&M or New Look have some really good budget options.

Stripe top Top

A long cardigan – elongate your body with the length – great if you’re feeling a bit frumpy at the moment with your current shape and it will go with so many of your  outfits. These are at Next, however any high street store has plenty of choice for now and postpartum.

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An LBD – Pregnant or not, the staple little black dress is a wardrobe essential! Perfect for me for those black tie events and festive parties. Seraphine or Tiffany Rose had some nice choices.

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Maternity tights – for me, working in an office over the winter these were essential and I bought a huge amount of pairs. I went with Mama Tights from H&M which went over my bump comfortably (think just under the boobs!!)

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A pair of black trousers – I didn’t actually ever get around to wearing these myself but they are great if you want to wear them to work with a shirt or cotton top. For staples such as these I found Mothercare had some good options.

I’ve never really been one for wearing leggings outside of the house; but on days where I have wanted to (and taken the opportunity to!) slob around, a pair of leggings are just so comfortable to wear. If you want to wear them out and about you can dress them up with a pair of flat riding or patent boots with a long cardigan and figure hugging top – show off that bump!! I found Asos had some good options (although that’s where my loyalties end with Asos maternity – I felt really disappointed with the quality of their maternity clothing.)

Remember, tight clothes whilst pregnant can actually make you look slimmer than baggy clothes. They will show off your bump and you’re bound to get compliments galore to make you feel great.

As you can imagine, having been pregnant since August I am well and truly ready to ditch (burn!) the last remaining maternity clothes which still fit me, and get back to shopping in my favourite stores, but it’s been a fun adventure trying out new styles and brands during my pregnancy so I hope you find your own style and enjoy the precious times that pregnancy brings.

Maternity fashion