Monday 22 February 2021


My pregnancy journey so far...

I'm 37 & this is my first pregnancy. I've always worried about my fertility chances after my mum sadly suffered with endometriosis preventing her & my stepdad from having a baby. After my period pains getting a lot worse last year & having problems with flushing on my face I was convinced I had the same hereditary condition so persisted with my GP to have a laparoscopy (which is the only way they can see if you have it) & was only referred to the hospital after seeing a female doctor who seemed to empathise more...

So under the knife I went last Christmas to be told when I was drearily coming round from surgery that I did have a small amount of endo. on my left side which they had removed and shouldn't come back. Apparently the best thing to make sure it didn't was to either go on the pill to control it or to get pregnant. As we were planning to get married in September I didn't really want to be pregnant for the big day & wasn't really up for popping a pill every day that could mess with my hormones! 

It was bittersweet to know that it was endo. as I was happy I knew what it was but worried about if affecting my fertility - for my birthday 2 days before Christmas I did a charity fundraiser for Endometriosis UK raising a few hundred quid but more to highlight the importance of undiagnosed this mystery illness is 

                   Preggers AF (thats as f**k & Alexis Fletcher!), our latest scan, at dinner the day after we found out & NYE celebrations!
We decided that we would start casually trying after the wedding but then COVID-19 struck, yay! In June we decided to delay the wedding til May 20201 & to casually start trying for a baby (even though I was convinced I couldn't conceive) but stop to leave enough time to be bump free on my wedding day... after 2 unsuccessful months of trying (even though we were keeping it very relaxed) we thought we should maybe just carry on as there was a chance we may have to delay the wedding again & we weren't getting any younger :(

During lockdown I had decided I wanted to do my pregnancy yoga training (I'd touched on pre & post natal training in my personal training & yoga qualifications) but wanted to deepen my practice & Yoga Mama were doing an online training (when I was actually supposed to doing another yoga training in London with my amazing teacher Suzanne Faith at the beautiful Union Station in London which had unfortunately been cancelled because of the virus) So I went for it and glad I did - noticing I was one of the only ones on the training without a baby or being pregnant didn't make me feel out of place... Cherie & all of her staff were lovely & I still chat now with the other girls on the training, with lots of updates of new babies! 

After teaching my Flexy Mama classes throughout lockdown & still to this day online I then wanted to be able to safely teach the girls after they had given birth or had a C-section to come back & practice with me. So back I went back to Yoga Mama for the post-natal online training! Again it was a lovely course & made me feel even more broody with some of the girls using their babies as models in the baby yoga training part... I then realised I was day late on my period & had an inkling I should go & get a test. As soon as I closed my laptop I ran to Boots & all in a hurry came back & did to see it was positive :)

                                                             The growing bump...

First trimester 
That first week was a bit of a blur... feeling up and down about our news as well as feeling tired & achy (although not sure if that was psychological!) I was shocked to learn that my GP surgery 'didn't deal with maternity patients' & after contacting the midwife was told I would receive a hospital appointment in the next 4-6 weeks. Was that it? Just left in the big wide world to deal with growing a baby human inside me?

I found a place doing early scans just around the corner, Lollilpop NQ, but even another 3 weeks felt an age away, more so as I'd been getting some funny pains in my tummy and stupidly reading up on ectopic pregnancies. The odds were stacked against me in terms of my age, having endo & my party lifestyle, although I am generally healthy because of my job. The bonding scan definitely put my mind at ease & it was so nice we could both be there to see the little dots heartbeat... there were happy tears for sure!

I had my flu jab not long after & thats when I noticed I started to feel a bit rubbish... I'm not sure it was related but nausea kicked in just before 7 weeks. It really floored me, I'm used to feeling pretty perky (apart from when I'm hungover!) & very aware of my body but this all day feeling of wanting to be sick but not actually being sick was out of my control! I tried all the ginger products out there but they didn't really help (and now the thought of if makes me want to vom!) acupuncture-which was lovely but I think its a placebo effect which helps but wasn't enough for me. I ended up with prescribed anti-sickness tablets from the GP which helped massively :)  

I had my first midwife appointment at the hospital at 10 weeks with blood tests and booked full screens, it was a hard decision to do the downs syndrome one but everything came back low risk and after my 12 week scan I decided it was OK to tell people. I always questioned why we had to keep it under wraps, I understand you shouldn't 'jinx' it but I also feel that if you want to tell your close friends (the ones who you might want comfort from if your were to awfully have a miscarriage) then why not?

             Starting to decorate his room, gather cute clothes & buy essentials already :) 
2nd trimester 
It was such a shame Martial couldn't come to the first scan at the hospital so we decided to book a private gender scan it at 15 weeks so he could see how the little dot had come along! And at the same time we could find out the sex of the baby :) 

Finding out we are having a boy was a real joy (it also explained the cravings for everything beige and salty) To be able to now call him a him rather than an it (although Martial had already been calling him a him because of the French translation to it!) makes it all seem so much more real & whenever I used to think of having children I always imagined myself having boy then a girl so she would have an older brother to look after her... whether it will turn out like that let's see...

I then had a scare of a blood clot on my lung which pregnant women are more susceptible to & after a few stressful days leading to the all clear I felt like I could now finally start enjoying my pregnancy journey - it was really tough with the tiredness & sickness. An electric blanket (rather than a hot water bottle which gave me bruising on my belly) and pregnancy pillow (along with an my Nightire eyemask & earplugs I sleep with) were a god send!

Lockdown has also made it a bit of a strange experience not being able to see friends & family as often & even connecting with other pregnant people at classes etc. I'm carrying on teaching my classes online which is a great tool for me & my students to connect and have been treating myself to massages. We managed to get away just before the last lockdown to Mottram Hall in Chershire where the spa is amazing & the pregnancy massage was so good we went again just before Christmas! Also Lisa at Brooklyn Wellness in Chorlton gave me a lovely massage-can't wait to go back after this lockdown! At least I have a massage chair at home and a willing partner ;)  

It's also been great having networks such as Peanut & Mush to meet new mums & mums to be, and have the educational & fun videos/Zooms from Mush (which I've also contributed to with my pre & post natal yoga classes!) 

                               Elasticated/high waisted clothes & underwear are a must! 

Christmas was different for everyone this year I guess and even more so for me being booze free but we had a really lovely time just being with my family and reading French Children Don't Throw Food (a present from my mum) mainlining Quality Street & making a dent in the sofa. We also had loads of fun just the two of us on NYE, which mainly involved me watching him get drunk!  

We had the 20 week scan at the start of 2021 which was nice to see everything was fine, he was wriggling a lot and at first they thought I had a low lying placenta but it was because I'd drank loads of water (maybe too much!) so it was pushing everything down 

Now in the new year as grim as it with the lockdown I'm feeling my best, getting back into exercise with BLOK (special shout out to Georgina for her burning barre & sculpt classes, Tomas for his super strong strength and Kate for her hardcore blokfit) & Sclupt in Haus classes with the amazing and fellow pregnant gal Amy! I recently had to stop running as it gave me too much pain, almost like a stitch after 5 minutes of tuning super slow even/ I tried a support belt but made no difference so got a BKOOL trainer for my Brompton and have started doing the spinning classes.

This Dry January has been the easiest for me but I'll be honest I am looking forward to having the odd glass of fizz here and there (all natural from Funky Wines of course!) I've read its ok to have 2 units twice a week so I'll go with that, and TBH haven't even being having that... I still have the odd pang for junk food but guess thats normal and although I did a refined sugar free Jan I don't think it will ever kick my sweet tooth! I find having sugar free mints and fresh lemon/lime with soda is very satisfying and can some kick the odd bit of nausea that may drift in.

I'm definitely eating a lot more than I used to, usually I'd have a water & hot lemon in the morning which I haven't able to stomach, I now start my day with cereal or something on toast! I still enjoy my Ancoats Coffee but one shot of espresso now then maybe a kombucha or a turmeric latte in the afternoon if I need a pick me up... still trying to have healthy lunches and dinners with protein and lots of salad/veg and a smoothie instead of a juice for more fibre.

                                        Eyemask, relaxation & good times are also a must!    

Now in my third trimester...
I'm noticing the pile of 'too small' clothes is getting bigger & bigger, as well as my bump. I'm really enjoying teaching still and its nice that in a few months I'll be able to use a real baby in stead of a doll for my mum & baby classes, and hopefully in person! I've put on the usual 2lbs during the first 3 months & roughly 1 pound a week up to now which will continue and 7% body fat which should taper off - but my view of my body has changed so much. I'm growing a tiny human & am actually amazed by my curves!                                          
We're also due to start an online hypnobirthing course next month with the wonderful Charlotte owner of Positiva Hypnobirthing, who happens to be one of my best friends, mama to 2 boys & a bridesmaid for me when I eventually get married... I'm hoping the course will of course help me with any anxieties of the pregnancy journey and childbirth but at the moment we're really struggling to make a choice on a home birth or not!

And just a note to end on - for anyone newly pregnant who's maybe feeling anxieties about it changing they're relationship (which was my first worry) Martial said something that really stuck with me when I said I was really enjoying our time together, just me & him and didn't want this to affect it... 'We'll still be me & you, just with the addition of a little bit of me & a little bit of you'

Maybe I'll update you again before he arrives, just depends if my arms can still reach the laptop ;)


I'll be continuing to teach my pre & post natal & normal yoga classes (aswell as my corporate classes for places like boohoo HQ & Broadside) for as long as I can - with classes every day apart from Friday there'll no doubt be something for you! I would love to see you on screen soon - just mention the blog for a free class :)  


Sunday 3 June 2018

You must Goa to Goa!
Late last year a long term relationship came to an abrupt end & I felt my world had been turned upside down.... as I'd been considering going on anther yoga retreat & doing more training I thought it was the perfect time to go away!

Part of the opening and closing ceremony (respectively)
India had always been somewhere I wanted to go being the birthplace of yoga, and as I'd decided to combine with a special birthday treat for my Mum I thought Goa was a good location to go for. My aunty had already been to Ashiyana and highly recommended it so I decided to check out their up & coming retreats....
                                           Alicia doing her thing
A chakra retreat in January almost seemed like it was meant to be - I do want to go & fully immerse myself in the mountains of Rikishesh one day but for the purpose of this trip I thought somewhere a little more westernised & familiar was a good shout.

 Mum & I in inversion action! 
Everyone can benefit from working on their chakras - myself with what was going on my life at the time & Mum just having a marked birthday (60th - sorry mama!) It really was like self therapy from the opening ceremony to this present day - as I've carried on the readings, breath work & practices daily....

We went from this to this in the space of a week 
The resort itself was beautiful - set in an Indian fauna just off the beach, with its own private path down to the sand :) The rooms were lovely, spacious & clean with everything we needed.... including an extra bed in our room for film nights!

Our lovely hosts Alicia & Didier
Animal magic around the resort
The retreat included a 2 hour class in the morning with pranayama, followed by a nutritious breakfast - all vegetarian with vegan & gluten free options. A few hours free time in the afternoon was usually spent lazing on the beach, buying handmade products from the lovely ladies selling their work.... then back for an afternoon workshop.

The beautiful surroundings of the resort
The workshops varied from day to day from shaking, to breathing & chanting - all of which myself, Mum and the other guests thoroughly enjoyed! Included in the price was a massage & we opted for an extra one at the spa both of which were amazing....

Beach time
The week really allowed for self reflection, not just by giving you time to think but through the practices, meditation & whole experience. I wish I could go on the next retreat the hosts Alicia & Didier (yoga teacher & bodywork coach respectively) are doing! Mum enjoyed it so much is going to Spain on the next retreat & flex readers can get 10% of the price here

I came away feeling energised, happy & healthy & ready to face my new life at full throttle :) 

Missing these views!
Alicia & Didier will also be returning to Ashiyana in Goa for the chakra retreat later this year & early next year - email her here for details! 

Saturday 10 February 2018

From Brooklyn to Manchester, via heaven

Set in the beautiful space of Charnock Farm where I teach my lunchtime yoga class you will find Lisa Messina - a licensed massage therapist, Massage Training Institute member & owner of Brooklyn Wellness Mcr

The lovely Lisa - don't be fooled by that sweet smile - she can go tough if you need her to! 

My consultation with  Lisa who studied & worked in NYC was very in depth - finding out as much info as she could pre-massage to be able to tailor it towards me & my problems.... I went for a full body deep tissue massage & it was bliss (at some points ;)

The 60 minute treatment was the right combination of enough pressure whilst I still felt relaxed.... she literally left no stone unturned in terms of areas that needed attention! She worked on all places with tension from tightness in my shoulders to massaging even my little fingers! 

The sumptuous massage room - left me feeing very zen.... 

Lisa & Brooklyn Wellness Mcr celebrated their 1 year anniversary of business in Manchester in January & luckily for you Lisa has decided to extend the special offer from this celebratory occasion -  £15 discount of all single sessions in February! Just use the code flex15 & with Valentines Day coming up it's worth knowing she does gift vouchers - every body loves a massage :) 

Lisa also offers treatments in Chorlton at the Manchester Acupuncture Clinic where next Sunday 18th Feb they will be hosting an open day.... 

Specialising in Deep Tissue, Pre/Post Natal Massage & Corporate Wellness Lisa has recently made clients aware its Raynauds Awareness Month. Raynauds is a circulatory issue which causes areas of your body (most commonly fingers & toes) to feel incredibly cold & numb! Massage at its most basic function helps to increase circulation and blood flow which helps with this.... 

The calming yoga room at Charnock Farm :)

And for you yogis out there she will be at lululemon in St. Anne's Square on Saturday February 24th offering short chair massages after the class :)

Her massages comes in  60, 75 & 90 minute increments & she also offers swedish, sport, trigger point & medical massage along with massage for migraines & infant massages with your baby! 

More info on offers:
- For every 2 new clients you send her, you get a complimentary 60-minute thank you massage
- There is a discount on packages of 5 and 10 sessions
- 15% off a block of 5 massages and 20% off of a block of 10. You don't need to schedule all the sessions at once and you can share them with another person or gift one to a friend in need 
- For all of you celebrating a birthday this month you get £20 off one massage so be sure to schedule that ASAP! 

Follow Brooklyn Wellness Mcr on Twitter & Instagram here & here x 

Thursday 27 April 2017

Feeling like rockstars at Rockcliffe

Rockliffe Hall in County Durham was a bit of a drive from Manchester City Centre (in my super comfy new Beaumount Organic jumpsuit) but well worth it when we got there! On arrival at this beautiful spa 5* hotel we were made to feel like celebrities with valet parking & all our luggage taken to our room....

The double room in the New Hall was spacious and light with lovely views over the sprawling green lawns at the back of the hotel. There was enough room for me to lay my Artogi mat out from it's Ana Heart bag, to do some yoga in front of the open balcony doors & some quick exercise videos for Fabletics

I then headed down to the gym with my wireless KEF headphones and boohoo FIT gear where I found a nice airy room with all the equipment you could think of with a nice space to stretch out.... Workout done & NEOM'd up we headed down to the spa to make the most of the gorgeous full size pool, hot tub & spa garden in my boohoo bikini. We then had a fun couples spa treatment - the himalayan salt ritual, which basically involved a full body scrub in a heated room with a tropical rain wash to rinse it off! 

Dinner was booked for us in The Brasserie where there was a great selection for vegetarians and carnivores alike.... & a lovely wine menu - both of which we made the most of! They were also happy to help with little alterations to dishes based on intolerances :) 

Breakfast was served in the The Orangery in the Old Hall, which was an amazing room with natural sunlight beaming through & a great view onto the gardens.... after a delicious vegetarian full english there was time for a quick nosey in the old part of the hotel which was gorgeous with loads of character!

All of the staff were so friendly and helpful, as well as the fellow guests - until next time Rockcliffe, you rocked x


Sunday 22 January 2017

From Mexico to India 

I've travelled a lot in the past few weeks - well I say I have, I mean my mouth! My tastebuds have been treated to what now are my 2 fave eateries in Manchester

First up we visited Mexico, make that Mexica on Blossom Street in the up and coming Ancoats area

As always I was on the hunt for a relatively healthy meal, and Mexican cuisine may not be associated with this (cheese, red meat, more cheese, fried beans and maybe some extra cheese) but this place is far from a greasy mexican mess! 

Although there were no salads on the menu our very helpful waiter sorted out a deconstructed burrito as a salad, so some lovely lean beef with most of the extras (minus the cheese, which I did later regret) but it saved me a few calories for some cocktails ;)

A spicy margarita and a smooth espresso martini were devoured pre/post meal respectively and my guest went for the typical beer and burrito combo, accompanied by some super hot sauces which he thoroughly (with steam coming out of his ears) enjoyed! 

Keep a lookout for regular great offers here-at the moment every Mon-Fri from 5-7pm the beer & burrito combo is just £10!

They also have vegetarian options on the menu to please everybody :) PLUS 20% FOR ANYONE WHO MENTIONS 'FLEX' 

Ariba ariba.... Deliveroo also available!

Next stop was India for some amazing street food at the new (to Manchester) Bundobust - hidden away in a cool basement space on Piccadily Gardens. Originating from Leeds (via India obvs) they don't shout about their vegetarian menu as really this is what you should expect from a traditional Indian Street food establishment....

To be honest my guest may have been a little disappointed on arrival (as a carnivore) about the lack of meat on the menu, but he was a happy man with a happy belly on departure! The tasty 8% craft beers may have had something to do with that also....

On a serious note all of the dishes were (seriously) tasty!! With a few recommendations from our lovely waitress Solgor we had 2-3 dishes each combining crunchy okra fries, smooth onion bhajis, super tasty samosa, a lovely egg bhurji & paneer/mushroom skewers and the zingy salad.... With lots of vegan and gluten free options you really are spoilt for choice and you can actually order a combo for 6 (which includes every dish on the menu) for £66! 

With a great drinks menu too I happily sipped a few mango and rosewater gin brambles and saved a bit of room for the only desert on the menu - a deliciously creamy kulfi, a traditional Indian ice cream on a stick, which for £2.50 and takeaway available (with 10% discount added!) I can see myself popping in there in the summer before going to sit in the newly renovated Piccadilly gardens in the sunshine.... one can dream

Although I won't be leaving it until the summer to return - the onion bhaji butty on the menu needs to be tried and tested! Will keep you posted 

Deliveroo not yet available in Manchester for Bundobust but you can order online through their website

Now wheres that map? Need to decide on my next destination 

Until next time