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5 Lessons I’ve Learned From Being Mason’s Mum with Marks and Spencer


In a few days Mason will turn one and I thought I would reflect on what I’ve learnt in the last year. Being a mum has brought me some of the greatest joys that I could ever imagined! It’s been the best year of my life and I find myself everyday wanting to just stop time.

During the final days of my pregnancy I was so worried about having everything ready. I was running around picking up last minute clothes and gadgets that the baby might need.  The truth is you could own an entire baby store but never be ready for a baby. The change they have on your life is unbelievable but then once you settle in you can’t even remember life without them.

These are the biggest lessons I’ve learnt in the last year.


The days are long but the years are short

I remember seeing this quote about motherhood and after almost a year of being a mum, I couldn’t agree more. I’ve learnt to make the most of every moment because even though some days feel like they are never going to end I know Masons first years are going to fly by. One day he’ll be moving out of home and I’m one day going to miss the days of having a newborn. (I’m tearing up just typing this!)

I have learnt to say No

I have always really struggled to say No. I would always find myself committing to things that were inconvenient or time consuming and regretting it later. When it came to visitors, I never wanted to disappoint anyone so I would always say yes to anyone wanting to see Mason and would end up exhausted from looking after a newborn and entertaining visitors. I had to learn pretty quickly to prioritse being a mum and making sure I said no to anything that wasn’t important. Once I freed up my time I could cherish the quality, people and things that really matter.


Trust your Instincts 

This is pretty self explanatory but it has never been more important. There are so many opinions, voices and information out there when you are a new parent. There are milestones and guidelines and expectations and I think it’s important to be open but have always tried to follow my instincts when something just doesn’t feel right. Mums always know best!


Never Say ” I will never..”

I hate to admit it but when I was pregnant and even before, I would see certain things and think oh I will never do that when I’m a mum. Well, here I am doing all those things I said I wouldn’t. iPhone’s at cafe’s, Grocery shopping in his pyjamas, keeping him up past his bedtime, giving in when he says no. It’s easy to judge when you’re on the outside but when you’re looking after a child these things are actually so unimportant and if it keeps them occupied for 10 minutes while you eat breakfast without bothering everyone else in a cafe then so be it!


Online Shopping is your best friend

Ok, technically I’ve always known this but you never truly appreciate someone delivering something to your house until you are a time poor parent! Marks and Spencer has the most amazing collection of kids clothes. I have been shopping with them for Masons clothes since he was a newborn and my orders usually arrive within 3 days!

 This collaboration was supported by Marks and Spencer and Shopping Links.





Masons Nursery






Cot. Hudson by Babyletto | Armchair. Freedom | Rug. Harvey Norman |Chest of Draws. Ikea |Wooden rack. Fox and Wilder | Baby Quilt. Cam Cam here and here  | Rocking horse, Stars and Sheepskin. Adairs

Masons room is not only my favourite room in the house but also where I spend the most time. I originally thought I wanted a very modern nursery but as I started searching for furniture I noticed that I was gravitating towards more traditional items.

I wanted a room that felt warm, cosy and comfortable. We knew the sex of our baby so we didn’t need to worry about it being gender neutral however I did pick items that could easily be used again for baby number two (or 3, what a scary thought!). I stuck to my favourite colour platte of grey and white and then added a splash of colour, mainly baby blue and green.

I actually started buying everything  before we moved into our new home so it was a little tricky trying to imagine how everything was going to look once it all came together. I definitely didn’t want to wait till I was 8 months pregnant before I started shopping so the weekend we moved in I crossed my fingers as we were unpacking and hoped everything fit.

Everyone we spoke to would tell us to wait till the baby arrived before buying anything or setting up the room but I know myself and I like to have everything organised and ready. In hindsight I’m so glad we didn’t attempt it after Mason was born because I struggled to choose what I wanted to eat let alone having to choose furniture to buy. We use his room so much from day one and I loved having all his things organised, easy to reach and not strewn across the house.

Cot. Babyletto by Hudson

Grey Sheepskin. Adairs

Wooden Rack. Fox and Wilder

Armchair. Freedom

Star Decals. Adairs

Baby Animal Prints. Giraffe, Zebra and Lion

 Photography – Lisa Frieling






Carrier: Budu | Top: Marks and Spencer | Skirt: Isabel Marant

Masey is 5 months today and I honestly don’t know where the time has gone.

He has been a super chilled baby since day one but we figured out he had a little reflux in the early days which meant he hated being on his back and needed a little extra love when he was sleeping. Because he would be uncomfortable we could rarely put him in his bassinet during the day and he would only want to sleep on me. I have to say I secretly loved the hours and hours of cuddles but as time went on it was impossible to do anything productive.

Every time another mum would spend time with me she would always tell me to get myself a baby carrier. I did a little googling and while I liked the idea, all of the options didn’t look very fashionable.

When I came across the Budu carrier I fell in love! Finally something I’d be willing to leave the house in. The bamboo cotton and leather details are so beautiful and there’s no thick straps or velcro in sight! It matches all my clothes and I keep it in my pram whenever I go shopping so that I can pop him in when it’s time to nap. I always get compliments when I’m out ( his little head is so cute poking out) but also because no one has ever seen such a modern baby accessory.


Pregnancy Photoshoot

In what feels like a few days, Mason is already seven weeks old. Being pregnant feels like a distant memory and even though it has flown by, I already struggle to remember what life was like before we had our beautiful little boy.

The bump

The bigger you get when you’re pregnant the more people talk to you about how pregnant you look. It was like I had a billboard on my head that said, please random stranger, start a conversation with me. I have to say it was really nice as most people congratulate you and wish you the best for the future. Every store I would go into, the lady at the counter would ask how far along I was and then the inevitable question, I bet you can’t wait to not be pregnant anymore? For some reason I would always nod and say something generic like oh, yes, can’t wait! (in the same tone as Miranda from Sex and the City when she had to fain excitement for Magda) but in reality I actually wasn’t excited for it to end at all. It wasn’t that I was dreading birth or having a baby, I just really liked being pregnant.

I know most people say the last few weeks are pure hell but for some reason the closer I got to the end the more I wanted it to go on and on. Your body changes so much but it happens so gradually that sometimes you don’t notice it day to day. I just found it so crazy what our bodies are capable of and realised I was going to miss the bump. I had every app known to man and was tuned in to every fetal milestone. Towards the end the kicks and punches were on another level. It really was such a special time and a lot of friends also told me that the second pregnancy you’re so busy with a toddler that you just don’t notice and enjoy being pregnant as much.

Pregnancy Photoshoot

I’ve always been quite a sentimental person. My husband always laughs at the things I keep, plane tickets, disneyland maps and hotel keycards. But when you’re pregnant, what can you keep to remember your tummy? The clothes, god no I planned on burning those. The books, “what to expect when expecting” has already been leant to my next pregnant friend. The belly cast, the last thing you want to do when heavily pregnant is to be covered in paper mache. All I can think about is the part when you pop the balloon with a pin! Eek.

I always toyed with the idea of doing a pregnancy photoshoot but everytime I looked into it I was always put off by how tacky the photos looked. I thought to myself, I’ll never regret doing a shoot, if the photos are bad I’ll just never look at them. But there was always a risk that if I didn’t do one I would always look back with regret and wish I had beautiful photos of that time in my life.

I really wanted to document the bump but do it in a way that still maintained my style. While I was pregnant I really tried to look like my usual self. I felt like I didn’t veer too far from my usual style and that made me feel at ease with all the changes that we’re going on. I couldn’t control how wide my hips were getting, but I could buy the same One Teaspoon shorts in three different sizes. So when I finally decided on doing a shoot, I only wanted to chose items from my wardrobe. Strictly no maternity or loose sheets or any other weird pregnancy stuff. I also thought if I attempted the photos at home they were never going to look decent so full make up, hair and studio lighting was required.

Considering I had waited until I was 38 weeks pregnant, It was quite daunting trying to find a studio. I happened to find the Photo Studio in Fitzroy. The whole team was so lovely and they actually specialise in women’s photo shoots, both professional models and total first-timers. They organised a photographer (James Broadhurst), make up artist, stylist and hairdresser for me in under 24 hours and totally got the vision I was going for. When I explained to the stylist what I wanted to do she suggested bringing in an oversized hat and lots of accessories. I followed her advice and can now see how important it was. While I love dressing up for events and everyday life, studio photography is on another level and it just proves how important it is to work with people you can trust. 

Post Bump

Now that Mason is in the real world  these photos mean more to me than I could ever have imagined. All those hours spent wondering what he was going to look like, who’s features he would have and what day he was going to be born seem like a distant memory. But these photos will always be a reminder of the nine months I spent with him before I met him.


The Photo Studio Fitzroy; Fashion; James Broadhurst; Sanchia Sevel

The Photo Studio Fitzroy; Fashion; James Broadhurst; Sanchia Sevel

The Photo Studio Fitzroy; Fashion; James Broadhurst; Sanchia Sevel

The Photo Studio Fitzroy; Fashion; James Broadhurst; Sanchia Sevel

The Photo Studio Fitzroy; Fashion; James Broadhurst; Sanchia Sevel

The Photo Studio Fitzroy; Fashion; James Broadhurst; Sanchia Sevel

The Photo Studio Fitzroy; Fashion; James Broadhurst; Sanchia Sevel


The last trimester


I have to say the last trimester was really my favourite. During the first trimester I never really felt pregnant and for most of the second I didn’t have a bump but by the third I was loving his little kicks and punches every day and I had more energy than the 6 months before. We moved house around 2 months before Mason was due and things finally started to feel real when we set up his cot and everything else in his nursery.

Everyone kept telling us to enjoy our sleep and to try and savour our time just the two of us but as every weekend would come and go we found ourselves giddy with excitement at the thought of him arriving. We did our best to do things that we thought we wouldn’t be able to do for a while, like eating at our favourite non baby friendly restaurants and seeing movies and making spontaneus decisions to go away for the weekend but we reached the point where we both felt as much as we loved our lives we had both ticked off everything on our baby bucket list!


I was booked into breastfeeding and birthing classes at the hospital at around 36 weeks. I always imagined them to be like you see in the movies where nervous couples watch a hideous birthing video and learn about every possible thing that can go wrong (I’m very dramatic, I’m sure they’re nothing like that!) By the time they came around I was almost dreading them and made an executive decision to just skip them. When I get an idea in my head I tend to fixate on it and I didn’t want to go into birth or breastfeeding having any sort of plan or image of how it would go. I also believe that it’s 2016 and everything you need to know can be found on the internet these days so I did a bit of reading online and was satisfied with the amount of information I found.

I also came across the best app, My Medela, for breastfeeding and answers to questions about pregnancy, breastfeeding and breastfeeding products. Being a first time (and young) mum I wanted to do what felt right to me and the the features on the app and thought of having everything on my phone made me feel more confident than the prospect sitting through the classes.  You can keep track of what’s happening whenever you want, with the MyMedela diary including when and how long you breastfeed and express milk, evaluate your progress and get tips from experts. Having it on your phone means you don’t need to worry about writing everything down, which was impossible when I was sleep deprived and in hospital.


Cybex Priam


Choosing a pram when you’re pregnant is a big deal! Or at least it was for me. I spent so much time researching the different brands and styles available because I thought this is an item you’re going to be using every day for the next few years of your life. I was really disappointed to find they all looked so big, clunky and..mumish. Being pregnant at 26 meant I wanted something that still looked young, chic and stylish but also did the job! And after months of searching I finally found the Cybex Priam.


What I love about the Priam is it looks so modern and different to every other pram you usually see. The black and chrome design make it the perfect accessory for mums who still want to be fashionable.

A pram that looks good is always fun, but of course I wanted it to be safe and sound for my little bubba. I love the fact that the pram has a huge canopy so when it’s sunny he can be fully covered. I was amazed at how many prams didn’t have this (and offered an annoying umbrella attachment as a replacement)

The pram is actually quite high which means you are closer to your baby and it’s perfect for taller parents. Not a function I need personally (vertically challenged!) but my husband is 6″3 so he really appreciates not having to bend down to be able to reach the basinet. It is also table height so there’s no need for a baby seat at cafes when it’s time for babycinos, and there’s going to be lots of those!


When our baby is old enough to sit up, the basinet actually turns into a toddler seat and the whole pram becomes a stroller. This was such a tick for me because I didn’t want to get used to a pram only to have to buy another one in 4 months time because my baby has outgrown it or because it’s not functional anymore as a stroller. This also means you don’t have to spend anything additionally on a toddler seat as it comes included. The huge underneath basket means I don’t need to have an extra shopping bag attachment and everything can sit neatly underneath.


It’s such a dream to push and I couldn’t resist doing a little practice run the other day. I also tried folding it myself to put in the car and it was so easy. I’m not that strong at the moment, being pregnant, and I didn’t even struggle. Some of the other prams we tried were already driving me crazy in the store because the buttons were so hard and rigid that it took you five minutes just to take it apart. Not something I will have time or patience for in the Chadstone car park!

I can’t wait to push Baby Sevel around in this bad boy and


My Pregnancy

In a few days I am 9 months pregnant. How did that happen? Time has gone by so quickly it feels like I’m contstanly checking my diary to see if it’s 35 this week or 36? I have to say I have had a pretty cruisy pregnancy. I always thought I would be sleeping all day and would have a bump from 3 months but that hasn’t been the case. For me, the biggest shock about being pregnant is that it has been the exact opposite of what I thought it was going to be!


I got married in May last year and my hubby and I had a secret master plan of making our honeymoon one last hurrah before having a bubba. So we went all out, I’m talking Vegas pool parties and a week in an adults only resort in Playa Del Carmen. We came home and both agreed we were ready, well as ready as we were ever going to be!

It’s funny, you spend half your life trying not to get pregnant and then when it comes time to start thinking about it you realise you don’t know where to start. I went to see my GP and told her I was thinking of having a baby but I had heard it could take a year to fall pregnant. Should I start trying now? What if it takes a year? What if I’m infertile? Damn, shouldn’t have had so many cocktails in Mexico! She just laughed at me and told me to wait until my health insurance had kicked in (you have to wait 3 months), continue with my normal routine and to make sure I was exercising a lot and eating healthy.

The First 3 months

Fast forward 3 months and I had convinced myself it was never going to happen. So of course it happened straight away! I remember picking up a dress for the races on a Thursday and by Saturday my boobs were basically busting out of it, I had a little inkling that it could be a sign but then thought surely not after one month of trying?! I’m the worlds most impatient person so I was frantically doing pregnancy tests before it was even scientifically possible to get a positive. After doing a test day and night for nearly ten days, one morning I finally saw the faintest line. I got the shock of my life! I quickly did another one then another one then googled “does a faint line mean positve?” Google says yes! Omg I’m pregnant. It was the most surreal feeling. I almost called my husband then realised it’s probably news I should save to tell him in person.


It turns out 10 positive pregnancy tests are all the confirmation you need that you’re pregnant. I thought that I would be rushed off  for an ultrasound and booked in for blood tests straight away but my doctor said there was no point as my obstetrician would do them. You don’t have your first appointment with your obstetrician till you’re about 8 weeks and this really stressed me out. I was just hanging for the first chance to see my little baby and for some kind of solid proof that there really was a bubba in there.  The only way I can describe how I felt was to compare it to that first time you drive alone after you get your license. You feel like someone should be there instructing you. Watch out for that stop sign, or in my case, put down the soft cheese!















The big 13 week ultrasound

Since that first scan all my early anxieties have eased. I get to see bubba every time I see my obstetrician (he does a scan in his office) and hearing the heartbeat is so reassuring. It’s still so strange seeing our little human on the screen and how much growth there is every month. You have your first big ultrasound at 13 weeks and that was the first time our baby looked like a baby and not a jelly bean! Our scan was just after the Spring Racing Carnival so it was hard to keep the secret that last week.

I have chosen to see Len Kliman as my obstetrician after my good friend Jess recommended him to me and I absolutely love him. Len is the chairman of Obstretics at Epworth Freemasons and has delivered over 10,000 babies. He is so reassuring and calm and never makes me feel like I’ve asked too many stupid questions. And there have been some shockers. At one of our early appointments I asked him if eating chilli would hurt the baby..


Exercise, eating and morning sickness

I had a couple of bad weeks of morning (or all day) sickness at around week 5. I just felt like I was hungover every day and was falling asleep at around 9pm. Just as I was settling in to feeling like this for a few months, one morning I work up and just felt like myself again. I haven’t felt sick since and apart from a couple of naps here and there my energy levels have been great! What I lacked in morning sickness I definitely made up for with all day eating.  Forget eating for 2, I was no joke eating for 10. Pizza, Mcdonalds, chocolate and All this baby wants is carbs! There was a potato week where I basically lived on hash browns, mash and potato cakes. Now I can’t even bare to see them in the supermarket. The only other crazy craving I have had is for really acidic food. I found myself in the kitchen one afternoon drinking lime juice straight out of the bottle!

Before falling pregnant I was in the best shape of my life. I had trained really hard before my wedding and had lost about 5 kilos. I used to do about 2 x 5-7km runs a week along with a spin or circuit class at the gym. I’m so grateful for that now because I barely exercised for the first 3 months. It sounds so stupid now but I was so scared of hurting the baby that I thought I was just better off doing nothing. You have to keep your heart rate under 130 when you’re pregnant and after attempting one lap of the tan my HR spiked to 160 and I was so terrified I haven’t run since. At around 13 weeks I started doing F45 classes. My trainers modified the exercises and I wore a HR monitor so I could make sure I stayed under 130. So far I have gained around 12 kilos and I honestly don’t care. I love seeing my belly get bigger every week and hearing that the baby weighs over 2 kilos already! many opinions!

It’s funny, it feels like the bigger I get the more unwanted opinions I get. Everyone suddenly becomes an expert when you’re pregnant. Ironically it’s people who don’t have kids that usually have the most to say. We have been grilled about everything from what hospital we have chosen to whether or not I want an epidural to why we have chosen to do early blood tests to check for genetic disorders. I would never care or judge another persons decision for their child so it amazes me when people are so openly opinionated on what I have decided. I think it’s really easy to say ” Oh I would never do that” or ” I don’t want to be one of those mums” before experiencing something but who knows, maybe one day you will!

We’re really lucky that a lot of our friends are having babies at the same time as us, there’s seriously something in the water! And they have all painted a really positive picture about babies and pregnancy and birth. They’ve all given us amazing advice and haven’t bombarded us with opinions. The general consensus has been to just do what you want to do and don’t worry about what everyone says.

At the end of the day we’ve learnt not to argue and to just nod and smile and pretend to take things on board and then do what we were going to do anyway!

Le Bump

I started shopping for bump friendly clothes from the minute I found out I was pregnant. Well that was a total waste of time because half way through at 20 weeks I still had no bump. Everyone kept telling me how lucky I was but the reality was I was just stuck in this awkward limbo where I didn’t look pregnant enough to wear tight clothes but was still too round to wear anything from my usual wardrobe. At 22 weeks I finally popped and since then I have been growing by the minute! There was one thing that I was adamant about and that was the fact that I didn’t want to wear maternity clothes. It was easy in Summer because I would just wear dresses but it’s been getting tricky over the last month or so because it’s still warm but i’m getting too big to squeeze into normal clothes. Stretchy body con dresses have been a lifesaver because you can just throw them on with a pair of boots and a jacket.


The Second Trimester

The second trimester for me was all about learning to listen to my body. I’ve always been someone who has ten different things on the go at the same time. I used to rush out the door in the morning with a combination of meetings, events and work on my agenda. And more often than not would forget to eat lunch and end up exhausted by the afternoon. I really had to work on making sure I was doing all the right things and looking after myself properly. During the first trimester I was really tuned in to making sure the baby was my first priority but as things progressed and I wanted to bring a few things back in like exercise and more work I had to try and make sure the balance didn’t get out of whack. Instead of just stopping all the things I had going on I just made sure that I always had snacks on me,exercised to feel good rather than to lose weight and spent an afternoon on the couch watching TV when I needed it.


When shit goes South!

I got back from my baby moon when I was around 25 weeks and things went a little pear shaped for me. While I was in America I noticed walking and getting up were getting a little harder, but put it down to just being pregnant. Looking back, hikes at Runyon Canyon and running around Disneyland probably weren’t the best idea considering what was about to happen. When your pregnant, your body produces a hormone called relaxin in preparation for childbirth. It relaxes the ligaments in the pelvis and for some people can relax them too much. After a hellish 15 hour flight from LA I could barely walk when I got home and was diagnosed with pelvic instability. My husband ended up having to take me to emergency and the only thing that could stop the pain was a lot of morphine. I had to do 6 weeks of physio to get things back to normal but have been feeling great since. I’ve heard a lot of other girls have had the same problem so I’ll do a separate post on this next week!

The Third Trimester

I’m honestly so sad that I’m reaching the end of my pregnancy. Maybe it’s the hormones but it just hit me last week that I won’t get to feel the little kicks and nudges all day. I have loved being pregnant and I always thought I would hate it. I thought I would hate my body changing and I used to always freak out at the thought of giving birth but I’ve barely given it any thought. I defiantly won’t miss waking up 5 times a night and needing 3 pillows to sleep but all of that doesn’t matter when you think about what your body is doing and is capable of. It still baffles me and I don’t think I’ll really grasp it until I see a little human thats half me and half my husband.