4 Ways Your 2nd Pregnancy Is Totally Different

Ahh, pregnancy. The feeling of a little life stirring in your belly. The tiny socks, the loving pats on your bump (from strangers), the vomit. It’s a magical time for everyone involved. As most of you are probably aware, I’m chipping away at my second pregnancy now and I have a few observations to share.

Veteran moms from all over the globe all had the same piece of advice for me when they found out I was brewing up another little Hoy.

“Every pregnancy is different” they said.

I assumed they were talking about morning sickness and the size of my bump, but a few months in I realized that the amused little twinkle in their eye as they said those wise words came from living out their own second pregnancy, during which time their dreams of being a pampered reproductive goddess were also shattered.

The Great Reveal

When we were pregnant with Hazel, we were so excited to tell everyone we knew and devised elaborate plans to videotape their reactions and create a montage that we could show her later in life. It provided us with months of excitement and we watched the tapes over and over during my pregnancy and the first year of her life (we didn’t have Netflix back then).

This time, we decided to do the same even though it sounded like a lot of work. But fair is fair,  and we wanted this child to have the same wonderful video of the joy on our friends and family’s faces when they found out she existed.

However, a few tapes in, we realized this would not work and had to scrap the idea completely.

telling people

Sympathy Wanes

I also found that people were markedly less sympathetic to my pregnancy symptoms.


treatmentMy toddler was particularly lacking in the sympathy department.



Pregnancy Myths Revealed

Another interesting part of my second pregnancy was discovering that some of the things everyone seemed to think were so important during your first pregnancy didn’t really matter this time around.



Brutal Honesty

It seems that during your second pregnancy people also give up on trying to lie to you and make you feel better about what a giant whale of a person you’ve become.



So, to all of you second-time mamas who are ramping up for another glorious pregnancy of people fawning over you, carrying your bags and generally praising your every move- be warned. Every pregnancy is different.


6 Moms You Need In Your Squad

I’m definitely a 1 and a 6.

So, a real asset to the squad.

1. The Total Disaster

This mom is late. Always. In fact, if she’s late then you should count yourself lucky that she even showed up. She often  cancels at the last minute and the number of poop explosions she’s had make you question her nappy skills. She needs constant reminding of future plans. But even then there’s a good chance she’ll forget.

disaster 1

This mom is constantly posting things like “ajdksl;nvn19nnnnnn” in your WhatsApp group because her child has her phone. Those are pretty much the contributions she makes to the WhatsApp conversation, aside from an occasional remark relating to a question that took place a few days ago.

2. The Organizer

She is the glue that holds your squad together. She makes plans. She is optimistic about free time, child behavior, fitness levels and weather. She never misses any events and everyone wonders whether or not she is taking that drug from Limitless.


She remembers holidays, birthdays, addresses and spouse names of every squad member, even those who barely ever attend. Her Christmas card arrives on December 1 and her Instagram makes you feel like a slob. She organized a coffee meet up at her house hours after giving birth at which she served a selection of home-made baked goods. Without her, there would be no squad.

3. The Hipster

This woman’s child is impossibly well dressed. You are often jealous of her child’s clothing and have researched whether or not they have it in adult sizes.  Her child has an impressive collection of old-school, obscure toys that make you feel intensely guilty about the Peppa Pig themed toy box you have going on at home.


Her child has a selection of moccasins and at least one shirt with a pretend camera hanging from the neck. Instead of obsessively taking phone photos and videos like the rest of us, she lugs around a giant DSLR camera in her nappy bag to capture the moments that really matter.

4. The Fit One

This mom is in annoyingly good shape. She has a running buggy and an impossibly flat stomach, which reminds you that having a child isn’t the only reason you’re looking a little bit jiggly these days. She usually wants to meet up for a walk/hike/swim, after which you usually suggest a beer/wine/cocktail.

fit mom

Without her, every squad meet up would involve cake, crisps and sofas and she can always be counted on to bring a healthy snack alternative at gatherings. Every so often you get a surge of motivation and join her on a run or two, but generally you just admire her from afar.

5. The Earth Mamma

You have a love-hate relationship with this squad member. On one hand, she is a wealth of knowledge that comes in super handy when nothing is helping your poorly child. But on the other hand, you feel super guilty feeding your child cheese on toast for the third time this week when you see her own beige-clad child eating seaweed crisps and lentils.

earth mama

Her dairy/gluten/meat-free lifestyle leaves her with incredible skin and although she doesn’t wear deodorant, her hempy smell doesn’t bother you. Playdates can be challenging because all of her child’s toys are wooden and beige, so your own overstimulated baby is unable to amuse herself.

6. The One With All The Research

This mom literally knows about everything. Much of her research comes from very questionable sources like message boards and Facebook, but she barrels forward with her opinions anyway. Don’t even ask her about sleep cycles because she has a PHD from NetMums University on that shit.


She often scares the rest of the group with horror stories about “friends of friends” (other moms on message boards) and even though you know she’s lost the plot a little bit, many of her claims lead you down the same late-night internet trolling path.


Amazon Prime: A Love Story

They say it takes a village to raise a child, but I beg to differ. I think you really just need Amazon Prime.

amazonI joined Amazon Prime in November on Black Friday when they were offering half-price memberships. I knew it would come in handy down the line when we were getting ready for the birth of our first child, and I was right.

I knew I would need someone to be there for me when I was housebound. Someone who would be there late at night, comforting me, offering hope that tomorrow would be a brighter day. I needed a friend that would offer alternative solutions and make my life easier. Amazon Prime was all that and more to me, so it’s only right that I acknowledge the special bond we’ve forged by sharing our history together.

February 7: Preparing for baby

It was at this time that having a baby became very real. Not real enough to pack a hospital bag (we put that off until the night I went into labor) but real enough to make sure I was prepared with the essentials. On February 7 I thought it would be prudent to order a gel manicure set because I wanted my nails to look nice when I met my child (and for the photos, which are a top concern for any good mother).

At the time, I thought ordering the gel manicure set (including the base coat, color, top coat and LED light) was a good way to prepare for motherhood because I was unlikely to have time to get my nails done (something I never did anyway) and would need to give myself at-home manicures (WTF?)

I also included in this purchase a tiny-sized England Rugby top, because I was obsessed with the six nations at the time and I felt sure that Hazel would be a good luck charm for the England team. This turned out to be true as England didn’t lose a single game during her first year of life.

March 24: Shit Gets Real

polishOn March 24th, I’d been Hazel’s mother for nearly 1 month and things were deteriorating rapidly. Not only were my nails looking terrible, but I, in general, looked like an escapee from an insane asylum. I constantly had my boobs on display because I was still getting the hang of breastfeeding and we had quite a few visitors coming in and out. In an effort to reign things in a little bit I bought an assortment of nursing bras and a Medela swing breast pump. Many people might be wondering why I didn’t buy these things before I had a baby, as they seem like pretty standard necessities for new moms. The answer is that I had no idea what was coming, and I bought things like nail polish when I was preparing for motherhood.

April 6-April 20: The Honeymoon

During the month of April, my mom and dad came to visit and help out with the new baby. This is evident in my purchase history because my orders are based around random projects I’d found on Pinterest. It was during this time that we felt we had things firmly under control, so I bought giant flower headbands in 15 different colors, baby books and photo canvas prints for the nursery.

April 22: Sleep Deprivation Takes Hold

Amazon doesn’t let you see a time stamp for when your orders were placed, but I actually remember this order vividly. It was somewhere in the 2’s or 3’s and I’d been rocking Hazel for a good few hours. My parents were no longer visiting. My husband was back at work. I was heavily addicted to motherhood forums on baby sleep.

On April 22, my love for Amazon Prime really blossomed. At 2 am I filled my shopping cart with a Baby K’tan Wrap (I’d read that baby wearing helps with sleep), the Merlin Magic Sleep Suit (I literally bought it because of the name) Sleep inducing bubble bath (ridiculous) and a specially designed baby pillow (WTF). When I got to the final ordering page, I noticed that I could select “Same day” shipping.amazon got it

That was when I realized that together, Amazon Prime and I could raise this baby.

May 21: Teething

On May 21, I was sure that at least part of the reason my baby wasn’t sleeping was because she was teething. Being the earth-mama that I am, I was hesitant to give her any kind of teething gel or medication. Instead, I turned to Amazon and bought 13, yes 13 different teething remedies.

Among them were breastmilk popsicle moulds (she hated them, and honestly who can blame her.), a baby boxing glove that you FASTEN TO THEIR HAND which has all kinds of teething stuff sticking out the sides, Sophie the Giraffe (I already know about the mold problems and I don’t care) and a ring of water that you can freeze but that unfreezes faster than actual ice.

The only one of these remedies that I can recommend to you is the boxing glove, but purely for the entertainment value.

This order also included a bathroom scale because I’m a glutton for punishment.

June 5: Mamma Gets In Shape

In early June, I felt ready to start getting back in shape. Most of the reason for this, I’m sure, was due to the bathroom scale I’d ordered on May 21.  By June 5, a full 2 weeks after the scale purchase, I was feeling pretty guilty and ready to get myself back on track.  I did what any mother ready to get her body back would do- I turned to Amazon for help.

On June 5th I loaded my cart with healthy lifestyle essentials- I bought 3kg of quinoa, padded underwear, a vegetable spiralizer, yoga pants, ankle weights and an electronic body fat analyzer.

Lets do this.

June 7: Motivation waning

dietOn June 7, I bought a 3-pack of Ranch dressing. I also purchased an ice-cream making machine and recipe book. It’s a slippery slope.

July 22: Preparing For Our First Holiday

In August I took Hazel on her first vacation to Madiera, but I began prepping for that vacation early on because I was irrationally worried about the sun and the effect it might have on her perfect skin. On July 22nd I compiled all of my mommy message board research into one massive Amazon order that looked like this:

3 different types of sun hats, 2 sun-protecting swimsuits that cover your child head to toe, 2 different types of organic, chemical free, no tears, made from stardust and unicorn tears baby-sunscreen, and quiet but entertaining toys for the plane ride.

July 30: F*ck The Health Visitor

I want to preface this by saying that the health visitors were extremely helpful in many other situations and I have nothing against them in general, but at this time I’d slept very little and this title of my July 30 order reflects my feelings at that time.

By the end of July, I’d been running on about 5 hours of sleep broken into 1-3 hour blocks for 5 months. We were still holding out on using a pacifier because we’d been warned that they were the devil and I was having public melt-downs on a relatively regular basis.

One particularly bad day in July I went to the health visitors with my problems, but their advice (to stick it out and avoid using a pacifier at all costs) was the straw that broke the camel’s back. July 30 is the last day I ever visited the Health Visitors’ clinic because I realized that I didn’t need their advice and that the reviews given by complete strangers on Amazon would be more than sufficient to help me raise my child.

On this day I decided to be particularly rebellious and order all the things I’d been advised against using- a 3 pack of pacifiers as well as one pacifier attached to a stuffed animal and a package of formula. Take that, ya bitches.



I also thoroughly researched purchasing a baby scale so I could keep track of Hazel’s weight myself, but opted instead for a luggage weigher- which I have used together with a bag to weigh her for the past year (I highly recommend this method).

August 8: Vacation Panic

With our Madeira vacation coming up in just 3 days, I realized that the majority of my bikinis were both ill-fitting and highly inappropriate for a vacation with your in-laws.  It was at this time that I took advantage of Amazon’s next-day shipping and free return policy by ordering 18 bathing suits. I also threw in an additional sun hat and sunscreen for Hazel because, paranoia.

October 25: Healthy Resurgence

In October, my efforts to get my body back re-emmerged. I breastfed Hazel for the recommended 6 months and when I stopped I realized why people say that breastfeeding helps them lose weight. Not only does it burn extra calories, but I was intensely paranoid that what I was eating was causing Hazel to have colic (that was not the case) so I didn’t eat things like chocolate or drink alcohol (much). However, once I stopped breastfeeding I gained weight quickly. At the end of October, when I basically had no clothing left, I decided to make a change. For real this time.

As usual, Amazon was there to help kickstart my fitness regime with a new pair of yoga pants, an athletic swim-suit, and some coconut oil.

November 20: Saying Goodbye

Every love story must come to an end, and mine, with Amazon Prime did just that exactly one year after we got together. It was a sad day for me, but my husband insisted that waiting 2 days for free shipping was a sacrifice I could make.

It was a hard few months having to wait 2, sometimes 3, days for my purchases. But don’t worry, this story has a happy ending. You see, after I told my brother and his wife about Amazon’s integral role in the raising of my daughter, they bought me a Prime membership for my birthday.

The End.



Funny Stuff

The First Year: A Reflection

Hello everyone! I recently discovered this post I’d written about Hazel turning one in my drafts and thought I’d finally edit it and send it out there into the universe. Sure, its a few months late… but hey, I’m a disaster.

Hazel turned ONE! (Edit: A few months ago)

I wanted to reflect on this momentous occasion with a blog post about the first year of having a child. I’ll save all of the cliche’ “where has time gone?” remarks for my Facebook photo montage and instead I thought I’d walk you through what our first year looked like.

Day 1

This day was easily the most emotional day I have ever experienced. I felt relief, joy, panic, shame, horror, excitement, exhaustion, embarrassment, worry and happiness all rolled up into one 24 hour period. Here’s a rundown:

IMG_7295Relief: Thank god that is over.

Joy: The baby’s here!

Panic: The baby’s here!

Shame: Taking a shower in the hospital after giving birth. It looked like a mass murder had taken place in the bathroom.

Horror: Seeing the state of the hospital bed. WTF happened in here?

Excitement: I can’t wait to bring her home! She is perfect

Exhaustion: I can barely keep my eyes open. What’s that doctor doing here? Is she talking about Hazel? Is this her first doctor’s check? No, I heard everything you said about the bruise on her arm, I wasn’t asleep… I was just resting my eyes doc.

Embarrassment: I just fell asleep during my child’s first doctor visit. (this was the first of a long line of mom-fails to come)

Worry: What’s that bruise on Hazel’s arm? Was that there before?

Happiness: I am no longer pregnant.

Month 1

This period is one that my husband and I lovingly refer to as the time I lost my shit. Weeks 1-4 were filled with great joy, but they were also filled with a lot of other, less positive emotions.


This time was very confusing for me, because I didn’t sleep much. Also, my baby had colic and I had completely tuned out all advice about colic in the lead up to having a baby because all the information said only 20% of babies will have it and I thought the odds were in my favor.

This was also a time when googling became somewhat of a problem for me.

Months 2-6

FullSizeRender 7I actually don’t remember much from these months.

During this time I slept very little, wept daily and had emotional outbursts frequently. There was a lot of “Should we use a pacifier/swaddle/bottle?” “Is it something I’m eating that’s causing this?” “I’m calling the doctor” happening during this period.

There was a lot of talk about green poo as well. We never did get to the bottom of that one.

Month 6

Month six was a time when I really came into my own as a mother. It was during this time that I was able to answer my own questions. The answer was almost always, “If you think you should, then you should.”

13662351_10100919492416972_6523390047297589904_oSometimes it was also, “Just have a glass of wine and relax. She’ll live.”

After 6 months I was able to let patronizing comments from bystanders roll off my back. I stopped worrying that everything would kill my child. I was confident in my abilities and I knew what my daughter wanted. Kind of. Most of the time.

Well, I wouldn’t say most of the time. But I was ok with making it up as I went along.

Months 7-9

By month 7, I was reasonably sure Hazel was not going to die from any kind of freak accident or disease. She was seeming pretty robust and had survived my husband and I dropping her a few times, so I was starting to cool it with googling health conditions every time she farted.

IMG_9644Also during this time, she started to really learn things. She could understand some things that I said to her and she was able to play with interactive toys. It was wonderful.

This was also around the time that I developed a fear of psychologically damaging her. My googling habit picked back up, but this time I was researching in depth how babies’ brains develop and what kinds of things parents can do to screw them up.

I learned that I should never, ever yell at her, but I should sometimes use a firm voice that was serious enough to convey danger but not so serious that I would scar her permanently. I also learned that I needed to smile at her EVERY TIME SHE SMILES AT ME. This was difficult because she often thought it was funny when she pooped in my hands or pulled my eyelashes out.

I’m not going to bore you with all the things I learned during this 3 month period, but thanks to my computer’s fantastic record-keeping (something I should probably start deleting), I will give you a few examples of actual phrases I googled during these months.

“How to make your baby smart”

“Why do babies blow bubbles”

“How to encourage babies to be independent”

“Make baby cuddlier” and “my baby won’t cuddle with me”

“How to tell if your baby is hyperactive”

This was a fun and educational stage.

Months 9-12

I like to call months 9-12 the illness months because during this three month period, someone in our house was sick EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

IMG_0206It was a trying time, made especially more unpleasant by the fact that Hazel was going through a phase of severe separation anxiety. She was unwilling to get to know anyone outside of our immediate family and it made simple tasks like going to the bathroom and putting away laundry into drawn-out, disastrous crying episodes.

Even more troubling, the majority of this separation anxiety was aimed at her Dad. No, not in the normal way that kids scream for their mothers– it was just the opposite. Instead, Hazel screamed for her dad any time he was in earshot, including when she was with me.

I must admit that months 9-12 were not my favorites.

Months 12+

Hazel 2On the eve of her first birthday, Hazel took her first steps. HURRAH! It was a glorious occasion. By this time, I had given up on trying not to screw her up emotionally and embraced the fact that we all mess our children up in our own special ways.

Little did I know that in one year we had come completely full circle, because it took only a few weeks after those first steps for me to start worrying about her impending death once again. You see, now that she’s on the move I have to google things like “Which houseplants are poisonous?” and “How to tell if a toddler’s head injury is really serious.”

I expect that she’ll be talking soon, at which point I will revert back to worrying about whether or not I’m negatively impacting her social skills or emotional intelligence.



4 Struggles That Are Real For Toddler Mums

Lets face it, there are a lot of struggles that a real for mums. Especially toddler mums who are chasing around a completely irrational little human who has the same balance and coordination as the drunk bum swaying around outside the local pub.

However, these 4 struggles are ones that I find particularly difficult to master.

Responding to Text Messages Telepathicallyphone

If you’re interested in a response from me, you should probably call me on the phone. Don’t get me wrong, I often look at my phone during the day, read your messages and respond to them, but said response is typically telepathic and never makes it from my brain onto WhatsApp.

Sure, I could open the phone and type my response to you, but that would bring on a 20 minute power-struggle with the tiny dictator that lives in my home. It would almost certainly end with my defeat, which means my phone would either be: 1. Locked for the next 30 minutes due to so many incorrect password attempts or 2. Shattered

Making Dinner

dinnerDinner has got to be the absolute worst part of any toddler mum’s day. That previously pleasant end to the day is made even worse when you make any kind of effort to cook your toddler something they like(d – yesterday and every day before that) and they throw it on the floor and scream.

Our dinner struggle centers around spoons and Hazel’s inability to use them. I’m never sure whether she is going to use the spoon to put the food in her mouth or fling it away in disgust. I can tell you from experience that nothing stings more than lovingly crafted fish pie after it’s been launched into your eye.

Avoiding Death

fanIt is still an incredible wonder to me that humans have been able to make it this far. Not only are human newborns the absolute most helpless beings on the planet, but toddlers, though more robust, are constantly trying to off themselves.

What’s that? A fire? I shall put my head in to test the temperature.

Plugs are dangerous you say? I’ll be checking that theory by fingering every single one in the house.

Watch where I’m going? No thanks.

Keeping It Together

crazy houseThere was a time when people came to my home and overlooked the piles of laundry, my homeless-like appearance and our barren fridge. That was back in the days when Hazel was a newborn and things were “hard.” Now, when people come to our house and Hazel is running around naked waving two limes around above her head (this morning) and we have absolutely no idea where the dog has gone (looking for a new family I expect) they start to talk.

When you get out of the newborn phase, people expect you to get your shit together. The trouble is, it’s actually become much harder to function because although you get more sleep and are generally happier, your child has this annoying thing called free-will and they sleep MUCH less during the day. It’s hard to get anything done at night after they go to bed either because, wine.



What If We Treated Other Professions Like We Do Mommin’?

Why is it that we treat mommin’ like it isn’t a job-as if it isn’t someone’s life work. I am all for women having the opportunity to return to the work force, but I’m also for supporting stay-at-home moms (and dads). Raising children is important. For a lot of people, it’s their passion.

Still, stay-at-home moms get a lot of really ridiculous advice about how to be happy with their lives.

Can you imagine if we gave other professionals the same kind of advice that we do moms?  I can, and it’s totally ridiculous.

Just Because You’re a Doctor Doesn’t Mean You Have to Look Like One!


Continue reading “What If We Treated Other Professions Like We Do Mommin’?”


Love Is…

Since today is Valentine’s Day, I thought I would write a post about love.

To celebrate the season of warm-n-fuzzies, I bring you a glimpse of what love looks like in the Hoy household. Here are some of the ways my husband has proven his love to me over the past year.

Love is…

Buying  Adult Diapers

diaps Continue reading “Love Is…”