Pro-Choice.

As a non-Irish woman, living in England, I don’t know what else I can do other than use my social media platforms to add to the right for #prochoice

I have never had an abortion. As a woman who, without the aid of fantastic fertility clinics and the development of science, would not be able to have children, it is unlikely I will ever be faced with what I can only call a dilemma as to whether or not to abort my unborn child. As a woman who is currently 26 weeks pregnant with our miracle IVF baby, I am grateful for this – because I honestly do not believe it is a choice I could ever make. But a choice which, would be mine nonetheless.

I describe abortion as a dilemma because, not for a second can I imagine that any woman would blindly enter into aborting her unborn child without a lot of reason, thought, and heartache going into it. Aborting a child won’t just end there – with the baby gone; I’d imagine that no matter what circumstances surround the need for abortion, that the knowledge of having done so will live in within you forever.

Physically, it might seem easy. Mentally; not so.

But, as a human being – who doesn’t believe herself to be particularly intelligent, but does pride herself on her common sense – I understand. I understand that whilst we can all be so similar, we also can all be so different, and thus, we need choice. I have never, ever understood why individuals find themselves so worked up and concerned with the matters of other individuals; it does not concern them. Which is exactly why I love this image – if you don’t like/want something: don’t do it. That is YOUR choice. Why does anyone feel they have the right to decide how another person – female or male – should live their life? Lesbian, Gay, Straight, Bisexual, Transexual, In need of an abortion, in need of a home, in need of medication to stabilise your health [i could go on] – by and large – who’s choice should that be but that of the individual(s) involved?

For those fighting for pro-life… I too, am pro-life. However, once more, that is, MY CHOICE. I have never been raped, and thus never fallen pregnant with a child conceived from rape. I am so, so thankful that I am not pregnant with an “unwanted” child. That I am not pregnant with a child so deformed it would not survive labour. I am lucky that I have not had to make the difficult decision of whether or not to abort a child, and I hope that is a decision I will never have to make. For me, the second we knew we were pregnant at 3 weeks 6 days, that was our baby. It was a life, one we had finally created. Our perfect, miracle baby. But, medically, it is deemed an embryo until 8 weeks, and a fetus until birth. Not a baby, an embryo, then a foetus. It is MY CHOICE to consider it our baby from the word go. It is MY CHOICE to consider it a life worth fighting for, or not fighting for. Choice, is what’s important here.

It’s 2018 for goodness sake – why can’t we get on with our OWN lives without consistently having to battle for such simple human rights; choice. At the end of the day, that’s all it boils down to. The same as the choice I make to run. To own, walk, look after and love a dog. To pop to the shops or not. It is my choice.

We are all so similar!

Having one of those rare body confidence/empowerment moments on the beach today.

There is a couple – foreign – who both look pretty good; slim, tanned and toned. Probably both around the same age as James and I.

I’m going to focus though, on the woman. As we women do, I’ve noticed her all week. Her body is what I would deem perfect. She is perfectly slim and toned – no “extra” fat. Her boobs (probably fake!?! I don’t think boobs are that perky unless well supported/huge and full of milk?!) are perky (although, they aren’t huge, so maybe she just has great bikini support). Her stomach is flat. She has a thigh gap (my fav, especially now that my thighs are gigantenormous!!) and generally, all round, just looks great. I don’t think anyone could deny that. Do not get me wrong – I am writing this from a point of positivity, and in no way trying to “shame” her – I think, what I am about to say, is brilliant, and a reminder that you can’t judge a book by its cover!

I just walked right next to her though, as I popped to the loo. She’s lying face down on her sun lounger sunbathing.

She has stretch marks on her perfect-shaped bum.

We are all similar!

Food/Eating Disorders/Pregnancy Cravings – we each know our own bodies better.

I was riled, a few months ago, watching a couple of programmes regarding eating disorders – something I always watch if I know it’s on, because I am simply fascinated, still. The first, was the “Wasting Away: The Truth About Anorexia.” And another with Louis Theroux. I remember, whilst watching, that both James and I were gobsmacked – and I have, from experience, a lot more understanding and knowledge of Anorexia.

What I will say from the offset, is that anyone that can be considered a role model should think very carefully about what they are saying/posting, although I believe if you are going to suffer with an eating disorder (or any other mental health issue), you will probably do so regardless of what you see/hear etc. I think you are pre-disposed within your genetic makeup in the same way some people get Cancer, and others don’t. However, I don’t believe the likes of Kim Kardashian (pains me to even write her name in one of my blogs 😫!) and the idiotic things she – or other similar individuals – say/do/post are going to cause eating disorders in young men/women, but I do think at times they are selling utter shite. If you are hungry, food or drink (not booze people🥂🍾!) will suppress your appetite, not a lollipop 🍭, ladies and gentlemen. In fact, I am currently eating a Chupa-Chups lollipop and am quite sure that once I’ve finished it, my appetite will no longer be suppressed and I’ll simply move onto another snack..

I seem to have this inbuilt part of me that has this need/want to help and support others, hence why I continue to write this blog.

Mark Austin and his daughter Maddy gave an incredibly open, and honest account of life with anorexia (Wasting Away: The Truth About Anorexia). Everything they both said is the exact kind of situation that happens with mental health illness and destroying families. The exact same happened in mine: anorexia isolates you, it makes you cunning and kuniving and it destroys relationships. Parents – or those that have no chance to understand – are angry, frustrated, exasperated. I hope history doesn’t repeat itself, and when I first started writing this – I was also still hoping anorexia hadn’t entirely destroyed my ability to have an embryo/blastocyst implant and carry a healthy pregnancy/birth/child. Thankfully, I have made it 25 weeks in and everything is healthy so far.

But it still hasn’t been easy. Whilst I am beyond in love with the ever-growing bump attached to the front of me, I am not thrilled with how I currently look overall. I stopped running in order to conceive – and anxiety meant I didn’t try again until we were 13 weeks, by which point, all fitness was lost and I was not in a position to push myself for fear of hurting our much-longed-for, unborn baby. Whilst I don’t doubt from other people’s comments that I perhaps still see myself as larger than I actually am (although believe me, I am heavy now!) my thighs, therefore {to me} are enormous. I have craved, and thus eaten non-stop carbs for the past 25 weeks; foods which I would normally reserve for never due to their ability to make me gain weight just thinking about them. I still live with mental health issues that I fight against daily, that no one can ever fully understand, and thus no one can ever fully have an input – especially if it is unasked for – thank you very much!

Recently, I’ve found people telling me what I should and shouldn’t be eating. People that will never be pregnant are included in this (aka men, or those older who have never wanted children) and I spent a drive home from an anxious hospital appointment a few weeks ago in tears, fuming and thinking about it, and the things I’ve done to my body over the years:

When I was 16, upon waking and realising no-one else was home, I leapt out of bed and ran through to my parents ensuite to weigh myself and see if the scales were acceptable to me yet.

I knocked myself out on a door frame/TV cabinet on the way through because I was so dizzy and fainting. In the 5 days prior to that morning, I had eaten just one apple. Nothing suppressed my appetite, I tried everything to be constantly thinner, and as a result of hunger, passed out.

In 2015, over ten years later, aged 26/27 I spent a month barely eating, and sneaking off to throw up everything I did consume. I taunted and teased myself by joining in with others and accepting free hot chocolate the work canteen was offering at the time – throwing it all up as soon as it was finished. Months later at 27/28 I struggled to push myself – desperately – through a 5 mile run because all I’d allowed myself for three days prior was “juice diet”. “Healthy” green liquid or water only. Less than a mile in I could feel my kidneys in pain, my muscles physically unable to run through a full 5 miles from lack of fuel. And yet mentally, I was livid with myself still. Angry at my body at having to run-walk-run as someone who knew they could usually run for miles on end and love it. You cannot function on nothing. Food, is fuel.

I remember lying to my friends that I’d already had dinner/was eating dinner at home later. Lying to my parents that I’d eaten out with my friends. I remember trying to throw up the smallest bit of cheese I’d sucumbed (BECAUSE SUPPRESSING YOUR APPETITE DOESN’T EXIST!!) to eating off my friends pizza, in the Pizza Hut toilets aged 15. I remember flushing food down the toilet or chucking it in the bin whilst exercising for a minimum of an hour every single day. I remember asking my parents for school dinner money rather than food so that at least I wouldn’t waste the food; because, whilst adamant I didn’t deserve food, I still felt a resounding guilt that I was simply throwing food away when there were – are – thousands of starving people in the world. I remember that I wasn’t kidding anyone. I remember it all too well, for someone who’s memory is largely shot to pieces. How can you forget such hideous self punishment?

Having been diagnosed “Anxiety with depression” aged 26, in 2015, I also honestly believe anorexia/eating disorders are a side effect, a symptom, a coping mechanism for wider issues. When I had my first mental health breakdown in March 2015 I had spent the previous 6+ weeks over exercising, marginally under eating and regularly throwing up everything I did eat. It was something I could control. It was a coping mechanism to deal with my heightened anxiety, my low self confidence and self esteem, it was an outlet, but it kills.

So what I don’t understand now, is how anyone thinks they have the right to tell someone – anyone – let alone someone who has been through what I have – what they should and shouldn’t be eating, when they’ve not asked, but particularly through pregnancy. I believe after all these years I am more than aware of what I should/should not eat in order to achieve weight gain/loss. I also instinctively believe I (we: baby and I!) will crave what we need. This pregnancy, that has NOT been salad. And I do love me a good salad. Maybe, if I’m lucky enough for a future pregnancy(/pregnancies?!) perhaps salad will be craved.

Yes – I am eating a lot of (ok ONLY!) carbs. Just because that isn’t considered an “odd” craving to many doesn’t mean it isn’t a craving, and is just an “excuse” to eat them. I have never eaten carbs like this before – I used to avoid them like the plague. I have never wanted or apparently needed carbs like this before. I can’t remember the last time I allowed myself a jacket potato (rather than sweet potato), or white pasta (rather than spelt). Crisps used to make me feel uncomfortably bloated and thus I would still avoid them even at parties when they were laid out as nibbles. The last time I actually ATE a regular breakfast, rather than drinking a protein shake, or smoothie only, (and after running 3/5/7 miles), I was about 10 years old.

So yes, it’s a lot of carbs. Yes, I’ve gained a lot of weight, no, I am not thrilled about it: in fact if I could take scissors to my thighs to cut off the extra chub, I would. But I don’t think I am massively complaining about it – yes I’m calling myself “fat”, a “beached whale”; that’s how I feel right now, but I say it in jest! I am not going to do anything about it whilst I am carrying our miracle baby. I am not entirely stupid – enough so to think for a second all of this weight will just “fall off” the second the baby pops out. I will have to work at it, hard – but does anyone honestly think this is something I’m not prepared to do? Someone who, when working full time would get up at 5/5.30/6am to run, and spent most days ensuring she exercised twice? Someone who is known to have got up during worst bouts of insomnia and run for 5+ miles at 1am?? I am not prepared to risk something we have wanted, and tried for, for so long. I tried to run to keep off some weight, but it’s not for me – not this time, this pregnancy anyway; it’s too late, too hard and therefore too much of a worry to me to keep trying until the baby has arrived. I have never craved, or eaten, carbs like I am doing now, and so, I believe there must be a reason for this, and for once in my life, I am not going to deny what my body – our baby – is asking for.

I have said time and time again that unless you have physically experienced a mental health issue, you will never fully understand – no matter how much training you have had. I had two incredible (NHS) therapists providing me CBT and CAT over the last few years but for both of them I always felt (particularly the first) that you just don’t really get it until you’ve had it – and I wouldn’t wish anyone to have mental health illness. We all have mental health – some of us are just lucky enough not to have mental health illness.

HOW is it, that 23 years ago – yes, you read that right, TWENTY THREE – the incredible Princess Diana opened up and spoke about her mental health – her eating disorder, and yet here we still are in 2018 with still so much stigma, a distinct lack of understanding, and with idiotic products on the market promising suppressed appetites and “miracle” weight loss to those vulnerable and desperate enough to believe them?

Bigger arms, bigger thighs, bigger bum and bigger boobs. But a beautiful, beautiful, healthy baby bump. Oh, and my “appetite suppressant” lollipop.. which as it happens I’ve just finished… time for crisps!

ALSO:

  • Rufus
  • My husband
  • My health
  • My friends and family

xxx

EDIT – to add the below screen grabs that I’ve had saved on my phone since forever, because they make such valid points! Thanks to AliceLiveing for the words!

National Fertility Awareness Week 2018

National Fertility Awareness Week – and why wouldn’t I talk about it 24/7?!

In the last couple of years we’ve started seeing some real breakthroughs with my other favourite topic – the taboo of discussing mental health – thank goodness! – but why is fertility the new taboo? Why wouldn’t we talk about it and share our experiences? It’s 2018 and while it’s still not guaranteed, science is amazing; there are some incredible clinics out there (with some even more incredible teams!) who will try their very best to get you pregnant if you’re struggling. We no longer live in an age where if 24/7 hanky panky isn’t getting you pregnant then your chance to reproduce is non existent – fertility clinics everywhere may be able to help.

In the U.K., 1 in 7 couples have problems conceiving. Before I started writing/opening up about our struggle, I didn’t know of a single other person having to go through such hell to conceive their much longed for family. Heartbreakingly, left right and centre, everyone seemed to just be able to conceive naturally.. normally, just like you’re told will happen in school. Every month I would wonder “why not us” and “when?”, “what did we need to do?”. It was so, so painful and meant I was unknowingly adding more pressure to my already overloaded mind. And all for what? I am proud to say we went through it all to conceive. I’m not ashamed at all – it’s part of our life, our story, our path. We wanted nothing more than our own family and we were prepared to do everything it took to get there. Whenever I am asked about the baby I proudly announce it is IVF conceived – we (I) needed that little bit of extra help, and unbelievably, it worked.

Now I know of 8 other couples – and only two of them have the same “reasons” for infertility.

I do, however, entirely appreciate why people keep scthum. If you aren’t feeling entirely emasculated because your little swimmers aren’t up to the task or like a failure of a woman because you can’t get pregnant, (and you should NOT feel like that by any means – infertility is no ones fault) then there is also a whole other world of not wanting to announce to everyone that you’re trying/struggling because we live in an age where [some] arsehole employers may well restrict your chances of promotion because you’ll just go off on maternity leave 🙄. We live in a world where people auto-judge. It’s a toughy – but I’d urge anyone to at least seek someone out for help/support/advice… I am so so pleased that since James and I have been through 3.5 years of infertility, I’ve had friends/old friends/colleagues/random strangers on Instagram/Twitter messaging me for advice. I love that I’ve been able to help or even just educate others. And, while I’m no expert, I love to help in any way I can, from my “been there, done that” years of being an “expert patient” 😉. And I’m not alone – there is a small army of infertile couples (largely women) out there on social media who are more than happy to answer questions where they can.

Infertility is much like mental health in that we need to just reach out for help in the same way as we would if we were to have other physical illnesses. There is often no rhyme or reason why some of us seem to struggle to conceive, whilst others seem to do so just by looking at their partners. Battling infertility is heartbreaking – don’t do it alone.

Boots!

You’re a bit late for April fools aren’t you, Boots? I am pretty surprised to see a brand like you send something so narrow minded out to pregnant women?

I’m well and truly over all the utter BS that people sometimes come out with, despite my own issues with my weight/body image/anorexia, etc. but this kind of rubbish can be damaging to others. Hundreds of people suffer from eating disorders and die from them every year and yet you come out with rubbish like this? I’m 21+5 and I’ve gained 12kg already. Am I thrilled about it? Nope. Do I feel completely enormous and disgusting even though all I’ve ever wanted (& after a heartbreaking 3.5 years of trying) is to carry my own healthy baby? Absolutely. Will I continue eating what I want/need in order to support my unborn baby? Without a shadow of a doubt.

I’m expecting a 4 stone weight gain during pregnancy if I continue to gain like this. That’s more like 24kg. I’d rather not, but that’s life – and I know for certain I am not the first, nor will I be the last women to gain far more than 10-12kg in pregnancy.

I’m disappointed that a conglomerate like you would feed such utter rubbish to hundreds of women who just need support during pregnancy.

Oh and PS. Despite the huge weight gain so early on, I haven’t yet developed a single stretch mark. But I’ll be sure to head somewhere else now to purchase my cocoa butter/bio oil.

Iceland 🇮🇸

Yes, that’s right.

The “beast of the east” hit the U.K. bringing with it snow like we haven’t seen for years (I’ve never seen snow like it in the almost 5 years we’ve lived in Somerset!) and of course, we head off to Iceland.. where there was only snow on the mountains or the empty, vast expanses of undisturbed countryside. We also had the most incredible, beautiful blue skied weather the entire time we were away. We were lucky!

We were extra lucky as well in that the day after our arrival was sunny, warm and there was NO icey wind! We had this day free (Northern Lights Tour being in the evening) and so walked for miles and miles exploring Reykjavik which we couldn’t have done if the wind had picked up and frozen us through (like it did many other days on tours!)

I also feel the need to mention that – my worries over communication barriers (due to being pregnant in case anything happened!) were completely stupid and unfounded. Icelanders speak better English than most English people.

Tap water is readily available pretty much everywhere as the water – obviously – is so pure and clean there. That was quite ideal for keeping costs down (that and the tip of taking out your own snacks (crisps, biscuits etc!) and the good old British way of sneaking a sandwich away at breakfast.. although when you hear the price of breakfast, at our hotel you won’t feel guilty!)

I booked the entire holiday through IcelandAir (selecting the “Northern Lights & Golden Circle Tour) for frankly not a bad price – with the exception of the Blue Lagoon experience as I could clearly see that as working out cheaper by booking directly with Blue Lagoon. Iceland is known for being expensive – and once you get there, it really is, but to be honest I thought the price of everything included for 5.5 days was quite reasonable.. it’s just when you get there you need to watch out! Tips below 🙃

I’d also like to just quickly add that the most popular form of travel for holiday-makers is coach. All absolutely fine (if a little random at times; small mini bus to pick you up from hotels, then get onto a coach at the bus station, but coach drops you back at hotels…🤔😂) however we all know some people are just assholes 🤣

So, as per, I’ll review by day/restaurant/trip/hotel. FYI we stayed in Reykjavik.

Iceland Air Hotel Marina

Our hotel was the only option we had when it came to booking our package. I was a bit annoyed as when I’d looked previously I’d had a choice of four + to book, but it turned out, this was a lucky only choice! The hotel is ideally situated for pretty much everything! Lots of great restaurants to be found opposite on the harbourside, and only a short walk from the main shopping street; Laugavegur, which you’ll find more great restaurants off of as well…

It was also pretty cool and quirky inside, and the bar and restaurant inside (which I’ll review below), although expensive, seemed to be quite the place to be on a Friday night!

Something we also thought was really cool and clever at this hotel, was the option to hang a “no room clean” card on your door handle. You’d then be credited back a 750ISK (roughly £5, so not a lot when you see the prices, but better than nothing and a good idea!) voucher to use within the hotel restaurant/bar. Presumably you can put these towards breakfast too but we stupidly didn’t collect our vouchers until the second to last day.. 🤦🏽‍♀️

Mumma and bump by open fire in the hotel reception

Iceland Air Hotel Marina Bar/Restaurant

We ate here on the evening we arrived – purely because thanks to the UK’s snowmageddon we’d had a super long day travelling (needlessly as Heathrow saw ZERO snow 😂), I’d slept badly the night before, plus I’m pregnant so just ALWAYS tired apparently 🙄😂. Wow. We spent £95 in a flash on two beers, one non alcoholic cocktail, a shared starter (calamari: average), a burger (James was happy but I thought it average) and a lamb dinner (again, average!!). Yep – Iceland prices had hit, hard! So although lively and popular with Icelanders – I wouldn’t recommend it for anything other than using up your vouchers!

We also, stupidly, ate breakfast here most days. Stupidly because on days we didn’t have an early pick up – we could have gone elsewhere for half the price (literally) and a much better choice!! (See below when we visited Cafe Paris). Breakfast in the hotel was charged at 6,600ISK 😳 yep, that’s almost £50 for two people for a cold buffet option!!! If you mentioned you wanted to make/take a sandwich out, they’d charge you another few thousand ISK.. so just slyly wrap in a napkin and whisk away discreetly!!

Icelandic Fish and Chips 🥔 (can’t get the website to work!)

A recommendation by several friends who’ve previously visited Iceland! And a good one! Not entirely traditional – you get an option of fresh fish (battered) caught that day, and, as is the norm for Iceland, the “chips”* were crunchy new potatoes – which I’m normally not a fan of, but these (I chose the rosemary ones) were DELICIOUS! *much like the rest of the world, “fries” are what the U.K. (correctly 🤣🤣) calls chips… All served on a bed of salad of your choice (I chose mango, I’ve never seen mango like it, but it tasted amazing!). We really enjoyed this meal which was much better than the hotel, and almost a full £50 cheaper for the same amount of food and drinks 😳!! Highly recommend!

Northern Lights Tour

I think I am only now mentioning the time of year we travelled – early March – and purely because I *think* this is a really great time to see the Northern Lights. We were lucky to be fascinated by them for several hours in a couple of different locations, and from what we can tell from following our tour guide on Facebook, March (this year at least!) generally seems to be a good time to see them. Husband took some particularly fantastic pictures (my fav is below) on his Samsung phone – but I will advise that iPhones just WILL NOT capture the Aurora Borealis. Don’t rely on an iPhone if you want your own pictures!

What we also thought was brilliant, was that (for our tour guide at least!) any pictures he took (including ones with us in them, see below!) he put on Facebook the next day for free. FREE! And makes a point in telling his guests that they have “absolute bragging rights” to those photos!! I KNOW! You’d normally be ripped off a good £20 or so for images taken whilst on a trip etc!!

Your package for Northern Lights/Golden Circle Tour when booked through IcelandAir also includes free entry into the Aurora Borealis tourist centre which is really good, informative and with a GREAT room displaying many pictures from past Northern Lights experiences, so make sure you stop by! (We also particularly loved the pin-map of where visitors were from!!)

Adding our pin to the U.K.!

Golden Circle Tour

Really good tour, and includes a lot (although some of it a little random!). Biggest downside for me was that, booking through IcelandAir it was automatically set for us the day after our Northern Lights Tour. It’s quite a long day (remember I am pregnant!), with an early start after a late night return from the Northern Lights! Had I thought about it/twigged/noticed when booking I’d have switched some days around so that I wasn’t utterly exhausted by the end of it!

Onto the tour.. now, the slightly random part of it is the first stop – which they go on and on about, mostly talking about horses and this horse farm.. (I was dipping in and out of consciousness because 1) tired and 2) never fail to nod off briefly from the movement of a “car” 😂) only to get there and find.. 5 horses, but a HUGE tomato 🍅 farm… yeah, we were confused to.. presumably it’s a moneymaker as they sell produce from the farm (not just tomatoes 😂, but chutney, passata, pickles/oils etc. They also had a fresh food part where you could buy tomato soup, which I’ll admit did smell amazing but was super crazy expensive (1,100ISK (almost £8) for a 500g jar of passata…!)

Onto the next stop – and my favourite of the day, the live Geysir, named Strokkur which erupted every few minutes and was fascinating to watch.. (sorry about my annoying voice.. we had stood in the same spot earlier and watched without filming.. or getting drenched!)

Next stop was Gulfoss Waterfall, which was stunning to look at. Sadly due to the weather we couldn’t walk quite as far up to it as you can on other occasions, but we got some good pictures. One thing I will say here is that the wind was insane and pure ice sheets. Get all of your windproof warm layers on for here – I couldn’t feel my thighs at one point with three pairs of tights on (none windproof as none fit over the bump!). My picture is from the top, you can normally walk further up to the waterfall from the bottom.

Final stop was to the Pingvellir National Park where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates are pulling apart from each other (source). Here you also take a short walk (if you want!) up Kerið, a volcanic crater lake, with some further stunning views.

Höfnin Restaurant (Harbourside)

This one had us laughing. We liked the look of the menu so nipped here for dinner… James ordered the fish stew, and I ordered the vegetable lasagna (what did I say about carbs!!). We had to laugh because the waitress explained in detail the fish stew because apparently it is often not what people expect and so they’ve begun explaining it… what she didn’t explain was that the lasagne, although very yummy, was not lasagne, but ratatouille. We did laugh. On the flip side they had delicious bread and amazing butter (we think, having learnt from another restaurant, Skyr butter – I’m addicted!) and they even topped us up. I don’t think we’d return, but still far cheaper than the hotel!

Blue Lagoon

😍 Information on their website states that the Blue Lagoon is perfectly safe for pregnant women.. from an additional Instagram stalk of the Blue Lagoon hashtag, I also saw another IVF-pregnant lady enjoying the Blue Lagoon a few weeks before we went out, at a few weeks less pregnant than I was. So I felt comfortable, even though the temperature is advertised as 37-40 degrees, like a hot tub which is not recommended for pregnant ladies.. as soon as I stepped in the water I knew it was fine. It was lovely and warm, and much like the sea there were some warmer spots – but I never felt uncomfortable or too hot. Probably because the air temperature your head is at is COLD ☃️🤣.

You HAVE to pre-book the Blue Lagoon online. Which is really simple to do. Only reason I didn’t book through Iceland Air is because as far as I could see I could get a better package (Premium Package) for less by booking direct with them. This also meant we had zero queues when we arrived with a bus load of other people – unexpected but very ideal!

I can only assume the pre-booking, alongside individual feelings of having had enough, is how they keep the Blue Lagoon from becoming overcrowded, because it didn’t feel overcrowded at any point – despite you not having a “get out” time, meaning really you could stay all day if you wanted! In all we spent about 1.5-2hours in the water. If you have the time, and can get a space, I found the lounger style deck chairs in the “relaxation area” super comfy and could easily have fallen asleep (a particularly loud snoring guy a few people down DID fall asleep which had a few of us in giggles 😂)

Bumpy and Mumma keeping warm!

Lava Restaurant @ Blue Lagoon

😍😍 I added this reservation to our booking based purely on the menu once again – and wasn’t disappointed! The food was INCREDIBLE (pictured, my mussels starter with more yummy crispy new potatoes; basically a main!), the restaurant beautiful and the service really lovely and friendly (our waitress offered to go out of her way when she realised I was pregnant but wanted the mussels as they were cooked in beer). Once again they had delicious bread with yummy “healthy!” Skyr butter which I can’t get enough of and we are planning to try and make this weekend! I even had a cheeky glass of sparkling wine which came free with the booking because it was SO delicious!

Lava Tunnel Tour

Added this onto our trip as a bit of a random added extra. I didn’t think a glacier typed walk would be sensible when pregnant, so this kind of felt like the next best thing, and it was kind of cool! I can’t really say too much without giving away, but if you’ve got some spare time you want to fill, I wouldn’t change having done it. More info here (we did the standard tour!). However I will mention that there was a lot of phallus looking icicles 🤣 which also reminds me that Iceland seemed to have a bit of a thing about phallus’ as there was a whole Phallus museum on the main shopping street in Reykjavik (we didn’t visit!!)

Sægreifinn

I just wanted to mention this restaurant which had been recommended but we didn’t make it to.. for a couple of reasons.. we left it until our last night.. faffed around despite being hungry and then headed over for 7.30pm.. only to find a note on the door saying they were shutting at 8pm that night.. 🤦🏽‍♀️ there was only one couple in the queue in front of us, so we waited in the queue anyway but after ten or so mins hadn’t moved.. I was hungry (🤰🏽) and frankly, didn’t feel like the fish that was on offer (baby LOVES carbs 😂) so we headed to below mentioned burger joint!

However – like I said, his had been heavily recommended to us as – although looking like a little tin shack – having fresh fish, caught that day, on offer. I have to say – it certainly all looked super fresh and very yummy and had I not by this point been ravenous for carbs, we’d have definitely stayed and eaten!

Hamborgarabúlla Tómasar (beside hotel)

Website not helpful at all.. but basically this is the decent kind of “fast food”. Freshly prepared burgers served with chips (fries) or even sweet potato chips! Lots of different options and sauces, and basically for someone who was just craving some “dirty” food – this happily appeased my ever-growing belly! I’m actually hungry again just thinking about it!! 😋

Cafe Paris

Well, my biggest Iceland regret is not looking this up sooner thus enjoying better breakfasts for a better price here! We only visited on our last day but I’d highly recommend it for a cute venue, yummy menu (I needed to go back more days as there was several things I neeeeeded 🤤!)

We’d both certainly recommend looking around for breakfasts rather than getting ripped off at your hotel if you don’t already have it included!

Lastly – although I am not a beer drinker at the best of times (ever), and obviously wasn’t drinking at all due to #IVFBabyOnBoard (!) apparently the Icelandic beer is GOOD.

As always, feel free to ask any questions!

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