After some inspiration I’m back… Starting with ‘the birth’

After giving birth to Maya now 6 months… I haven’t posted once and had decided with my new sleep deprived life I didn’t have the time to carry on. Since giving up I have received several requests to carry on with the blog and this has given me the inspiration to carry on writing! (Watch this space for the new reviews)

Rather than just miss out on the first six months of Maya’s life I thought I would start at the beginning THE BIRTH!

LUnknownike most pregnant women I was filled with hope that I was going to have a pain free, tranquil water birth with no complications even though I had experienced a rather traumatic one first time round with Isabella. To help me this time round I did all that I could including Pregnancy massage with Sue Nicolson in Winchester and Yoga for Pregnancy with Marion Symes.

imagesYou may have read in a previous post that already my pregnancy wasn’t as straight forward as I had liked as my waters were leaking but with monitoring each day I managed to make it to full term and go into labour naturally. My waters broke and I was dancing round the house with excitement that I had gone into labour naturally and wasn’t going to have to be induced. Pacing the house to try and get my contractions stronger 24 hours later nothing was happening so the hospital requested that I went in for a quick trace.

When I arrived at the Day Assessment unit they decided that Maya’s heart rate was dipping and I needed to be induced so was moved to labour ward. I wasn’t prepared for this as I didn’t want to go down the same route as Isabella on the hormone drip and I started to panic. I felt as if this instantly meant my labour was going to be horrific and I would need an epidural. James (my husband) was brilliant and reminded me of all that I had learnt in yoga and forced me to get up off the bed.

After an assessment I was told that it would be at least another 6 hours even with the hormone drip as I was only 3cms. I was devastated and as Maya’s heart rate was playing up I was sure it was all about to go wrong so started asking for a c-section as I was too tired.

A shift changed happened whist I was having this melt down a brilliant new midwife arrived. She walked in and said ‘when you got pregnant you knew labour was going to be tiring and hard work so get on with it, this was only the start of tiredness’. I was so shocked this kicked me into shape and I got up and sat on the gym ball focusing on my contractions.

Every contraction determined that I wasn’t going to have pain relief this early as I still had a long way to go I was focusing on my golden thread breathing (an incredible technique that you can learn with Marion Symes). I felt calm, composed and not in pain then all of a sudden I started to panic and say I needed pain relief the current midwife called someone into the room and she told me I was in transition and to get up off the ball as I was having my baby. Eleven minutes later Maya arrived with absolutely no pain relief, this was only an hour and half after my assessment. I was in total shock as I had no idea I was that close to giving birth!


Still to this day I can’t believe I managed to get as close to the birth I planned as possible, this felt so far away when I was being hooked up to the hormone drip. I learnt a lot from this labour and really feel your mindset and focus can help you through a labour, without going to Marion’s yoga lessons I believe that I wouldn’t have learnt how to manage my pain through breathing and truely recommend her to anyone. Before this labour I believed it was impossible to have a pain free birth with the hormone drip but this isn’t true, if you can keep active, calm and focus on your breathing you’ll be surprised how this can help your labour progress and I can honestly say my contractions were pain free whilst focusing on my breathing.

For all those pregnant ladies out there keep calm and remember to breath.

Maya is now six months old and in this time we have faced many challenges that I will be writing about including sleep deprivation, allergies, bedroom sharing and the start of weaning. Over the next few weeks I will be writing as much as possible sharing the trials and tribulations of the Tapp household :-)

Sophie x

The Secret Life of Babies

Image courtesy of ITV

Image courtesy of ITV

“Being cute is a babies most powerful means of survival…”

I have just been sat watching ‘The Secret Life of Babies’ whilst ordering my online food shop :-) if you are interested in chid development and reactions it is definitely worth a watch and can be found on ITV player.

Whilst watching the programme I found myself fascinated by some of the facts..

  • Babies have no knee caps? Maybe this is why Isabella doesn’t cry when I expect her too if she has fallen over
  • They can identify all the sounds of the worlds languages and are born to learn what ever language we choose, also understanding three times as many words as they can say
  • Babies are instinctively scared of plants? Scientists believe this is to stop them from poisoning themselves, but have no idea how dangerous heights can be!
  • Babies can’t produce tears when there upset

The programme shows how the first two years of our lives are the most critical; we grow more, learn more, move more and even fight more than any other time in our life. If these facts interest you then the programme would keep you interested for the duration giving you an insight into the fascinating mind of a baby which scientists are only just working out.

Hope you enjoy


The final preparations

ImageI haven’t posted for a while as my life recently turned into a whirl wind of medical appointments with the scare of my waters rupturing early! After several consultations and monitoring, we found ourselves having to make the decision to leave her inside or have a c-section. Something neither of us had planned for or felt qualified to do so. The consultants tests to check her well being all came back ok, so we are currently seeing how it goes (the backing of my midwife, making me slightly less anxious) and now hoping to make it to full term and have a natural birth.

Tonight we have been moving our bedroom furniture around (ok, James has) to make way for a cot and changing table, its all starting to feel real now and my midwife is on to me to pack my hospital bag, so that will be my next chore.. I’ve ordered a few toiletries online and asked for a bath soak and cream for my birthday tomorrow so maybe I will get them :-)

The re-arranging of the house for baby furniture is definitely making it all start to feel real and makes you think about having a newborn around the house again. James and I are struggling to remember the sleepless nights, loads of nappies and how you actually play with a baby but I’m sure when she arrives this will all come flooding back to us.

ImageI’ve also started to read ‘The contented baby with toddler’ book by Gina Ford and wish that I had started to read it earlier as it has some amazing information in it. As with all books you need to take from it what works for you and not stick to it like a bible. Some of the topics in her book provide information on how to juggle pregnancy with a toddler, labour and a toddler, introducing a toddler to a new sibling and routine ideas to fit around nursery, playgroup and classes as well as a newborn.

With all of the above, trying to keep calm and relax has been difficult but I have found that my weekly yoga class has become a bit of a lifeline.. It is a dedicated 1 1/2 hours to relax and focus on the baby and pregnancy without any of life’s other interruption’s. The class I go to is with Marion Symes and she is amazing, I feel really confident about the birth and have taken away some great techniques. For more information about her classes visit or you can also buy her DVD’s if you don’t live in the area.

Hope you all had a great bank holiday weekend, I certainly did as we had Isabella’s god parents to stay and my friends arranged me a lovely baby shower at Lainston House, Winchester

Hormones definitely present and fear kicking in..

UnknownLast night we had a refresher antenatal course which we both found really useful reminding us of breathing, stages of labour, birth positions etc. Not only was the information useful it was nice to meet other couples that are about to be in the same position. I would definitely recommend the NCT refresher course to any expecting second time parents.

Fear.egg_28d661After leaving the course this sudden fear arrived, how was I going to cope with two? Its hard enough to get showered and out of the house with one.. Will Isabella be sleeping better by then as she is cutting her molars and ear ache is keeping her awake alot! We also better start preparing for the baby as by now everything was in place for Isabella (our first) and this time round we have done nothing.

I’m sure these are all normal feelings and this morning I feel better and really confident, I know those first weeks are going to be tough but once we are in a routine and have adapted all will fit into place. Other fears I have had are how it will affect Isabella, who will be looking after her when I’m in labour, what if I’m stuck in hospital for a long time, will she adapt to having a sister around the house?

Again most expecting mum’s second time round have had these fears at some point but on the whole you know it will all work itself out and Isabella will end up with a playmate, learn about sharing and have someone to fight with :-)

Hormones are definitely kicking in, back ache is a constant and tiredness never seems to go away. After reading all of the above I am still really excited about meeting our new little princess and having a newborn around the house again..

Keep calm and carry on

Shelfie the new craze? What’s on yours…

Here’s my shelfie….


We brought this bookshelf for extra storage in preparation for our new arrival the shelf stores stuff for all the family.
– A range of books from boat building to Alice in Wonderland
– Toys
– Musical instruments
– Photos
– Letters

Join in the competition which is all about celebrating the Great British Home, in all its diversity. Whether your interior style if country classic, shabby chic or sleek modernism Victoria Plumb has probably got a bathroom to suit you.

Not sure what sort of style best suits your home? Why not take the Great British Home quiz and see what celebrity style is most like yours. You can also win £250 on the Victoria Plumb website so don’t miss out!

I WAS RATED MRS ELEGANT… My style is most like Lady Mary from Downton Abbey

Thought we were going to meet our daughter at 32 weeks!

1268289_10151682563908587_1077960968_oLast Thursday we headed off to Cornwall for Heat 2 and 3 of the Thundercat National Championship ( a powerboat series that my husband (James) is involved in. We left at 7pm so Isabella would sleep for the whole of the 4 hour journey and went in convoy as I needed my car and James had to tow.

About an hour away from our destination I called James to let him know I needed to pull over as I thought I was experiencing bad Braxton Hicks, we stopped for a couple of minutes and then carried on the journey. By the time we had finally arrived I was experiencing quite a lot of pain it was taking my breath away. Still convinced that it was Braxton Hicks I put Isabella to bed and then went straight to bed myself. In the morning I woke up to what I believed was my waters (surely I hadn’t just wet myself?) I called my midwife for advise who suggested that I call Truro hospital and go straight to their day assessment unit (DAU) to be safe.

ImageAs I thought Isabella would get bored in the hospital I headed off on my own and left James and Isabella behind. One massive mistake I had already made was leaving my maternity notes at home, the DAU weren’t pleased but still continued to look after me really well. On arrival I was put in my own room, urine sample and blood pressure taken and was hooked up to a heartbeat monitor to do a half an hour trace. Once the trace was complete I had to await a doctor to then do a speculum and confirm my waters had gone? By this point I was really nervous as just wanted everything to be ok…

ImageOnce the doctor had completed the examination she confirmed it looked as if my waters had leaked and wanted to send me for a scan to confirm if there was enough amniotic fluid for the baby to be ok. After a series of tests I was told all looked ok and to take it easy looking out for any more fluid loss, pain or rise in temperature.

Relieved I headed back to Watergate Bay where my husband was preparing for the racing with lots of people running around for me making sure I had somewhere to sit and something to eat and drink. I spent the rest of the weekend watching the racing and playing with Isabella on the beach without too much discomfort or worry and headed home on Monday morning.

Whist driving home someone crashed into the back of me pushing in my rear bumper and breaking the number plate. Isabella wasn’t fased by this at all but I was concerned the impact could have caused some issue for the ‘bump’. On the phone to my midwife straight away again she asked me to come straight in and do another trace to check the baby was happy.

After seeing the midwife all was well and I was glad to finally arrive home, since being at home all has been well and I have been taking it easy.

Fingers crossed she stays in there until at least 37 weeks :-)
Hope you all had a better weekend and will keep you posted on any progression


When to drop your morning nap?

I haven’t written a blog post for a couple of days as life has just been hectic,  last night I made my husband sit down and go through our calendar as we have so much going on the next couple of months including the arrival of a new baby. To my horror we have one free weekend at home before 10th July (my due date) and it feels like we have done nothing to prepare for our new arrival. I think nesting is starting to kick in so I’m sure it will all get done as I’m writing list after list :-)

In between writing the lists and panicking we decided to make some changes to Isabella’s routine as getting her down for her morning nap was either getting harder or she wouldn’t need to nap until later so I started to trial dropping her morning nap.. All the books seem to say that this usually happens around 18 months so were only doing it a couple of months early.


Whether this was the right decision I was undecided as without her nap she was grumpy (this usually lasts about an hour but if you give her your attention for this period its manageable) and with both naps she was never ready to go to bed at 19:00.

Instead of her old routine: Nap: 09:00 Lunch: 12:00 Nap: 13:00

We are now just giving her lunch at 12 and then she goes down straight away for her afternoon nap. As a result she seems to be sleeping better at night and there is no stress in trying to get her down for her afternoon nap as she’s knackered by then.

As with everything in parenting and children’s routine a lot of it is trial and error but this seems to be working for her :-) they seem to grow up so fast and things that wouldn’t seem like a big deal before you had a child now are. Isabella now sleeps with a normal duvet instead of a Grobag and to my husband and I this seems like a massive mile stone and we were actually excited about it. Something I would have never grasped before having Isabella :-)

Hope you all had amazing bank holiday weekends
Sophie X

Is it pain or a tantrum?

This morning has already been hectic for me!! Isabella screeched and cried uncontrollably for an hour… I was left tearing my hair out and wondering if it was something serious, stomach pain or just a tantrum?

Photo on 02-05-2014 at 08.58

This is what it left me like this morning :-)

After half an hour or so I felt I had tried everything and started to really worry, so I phoned my nan as my mum and husband are both away working. She thought it sounded like a pain cry and said she would get dressed and come over. That would have been like another 40 minutes of crying ekkkkk.

After another 15 minutes of crying, I started to cry with fear or maybe pregnancy hormones so decided that daddies voice down the phone might work. His voice instantly caught her attention and she seemed to be calming down.. I started to relax and put on some CBeebies for distraction – finally she stopped.

I was left wondering what that was all about and had never experienced anything like that with her before! Five minutes later she had been to the toilet and had passed some wind so I’m putting it down to stomach ache but who really knows.

From this mornings experience my tips for dealing with screaming/crying for a prolonged period are:

– try to stay calm (easier said than done), but the child definitely picks up on your stresses

– try distractions such as walking outside; putting the television on or dancing

– a new person always seems to work even if it’s on the phone

Anyway she is happy now running around and we are going to do some gardening in a minute or more like making mud pies :-)

Happy Friday

My top place to visit in Hampshire with kids this summer!

logoIsabella and I have had many enjoyable days out to Finkley Down Farm and have decided to write a review on this family activity farm.

Unlike most farms there is so much to do here you would almost struggle to fit it all in, in one day!

So what is there to do at the park?

  •  Animal fun – the farm hosts a wide range of animals including sheep, pigs, goats, cows, alpacas and ponies
  • Petting animals – there are set time slots to pet various different animals that include: bottle feeding lambs, rodent handling, rabbit handling and pony grooming
  • IMG_1838-247x247Sheep racing – there is an obstacle course for the sheep to go over whilst racing great fun for all the family to watch
  • Indoor play – Giant Indoor Heated Play-barn has lots of seating, free WiFi and so much for children to play on.  There are several different areas for different age groups to play including: Fowl play – Ball cannon area, Fire station – interactive fun for under 5s, Toddler farm – Toddler area for under 2’s with a farm theme, Construction Zone – building blocks suitable for all ages and finally the Playzone – includes 5 different slides and a giant 4.2m drop slide.
  • Outdoor play – includes a whole host of activities; sandpit, pedal tractors, trampolines, go-carts, den building, rocket slide, swings, zip wire, little tikes play area and real vintage tractors.

Where to eat?

The Moody Cow Cafe is open daily 10-6pm to visitors and offers; breakfasts, morning coffee, light lunches and afternoon tea. Hot food is served from 10am to 5.15 daily. With seating inside and out this is a great place to refresh yourself after a wonderful day of farm fun.

There is also the option to bring your own packed lunch with lots of seating provided to eat this.

Activity timetable:

11:00am Bottle Feeding of Lambs (Touch & Feel Barn)
11:30am Rodent Handling (Touch & Feel Barn)
12:00am Rabbit Handling (Opposite Rabbit Barn)
1:00pm Meet The Chicks (Touch & Feel Barn)
2:00pm Sheep Racing (By Llama Field)
3:00pm Rabbit Handling (Opposite Rabbit Barn)
4:00pm Bottle Feeding of Lambs (Touch & Feel Barn)
4:30pm Pony Grooming (Pony Stables)
5:00pm Bottle Feeding of Calves (Behind Touch & Feel Barn)


Person Type
Entry Price
Saver Ticket (2 Adults + 2 Children) £31
Adults £8.95
Senior Citizens, Students & Disabled Adults £8.50
Children (Aged 2-16 Years) 7.95
Disabled Children 7.50
Serving Military Personnel £5.95 (ID Required)


I feel this is one of the best places to take this kids with activities for toddlers right up to teenagers. The cost of the activity farm is a reasonable price for what you get in return and that is why I have chosen this as my favourite location to go in Hampshire.

Contact details:

Website: http://www.finkleydownfarm,
Telephone: 01264 324 141
Address: Finkley Down Farm Park, Andover, SP11 6NF



Tommys Sensathon


Tommy’s and Toddler Sense are joining forces to hold a fun cowboy/cowgirl-themed sensathon to fundraise and Isabella and I will be taking part.

By taking part we are helping other parents and their babies to have the best start in life. We’re hoping to raise some money towards the £100,000 target for a Tommy’s medical research project and we need everyone’s help.

In the UK, one in four women will lose a baby as a result of miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth. Tommy’s believes this level of heartache is unacceptable.

Through investment in medical research Tommys want to make things better. They have more than 100 doctors and midwives working together to improve pregnancy outcome for mother and baby. Their research centres have fostered an ambitious spirit of collaboration meaning Tommy’s research network is now one of the biggest in Europe and a major force worldwide.

To find out more about Tommy’s lifesaving research click here.

The sponsorship raised will be invested to open a new research centre dedicated to preventing miscarriage which affects 1 in 4 parents – please help us to reach that goal and make a big difference to many lives.

Hope you can help

Sophie and Isabella