That's all I can say about this month. If it's not panicking about how much I have to sort over the next couple of months it's making lists to try and plan how to attack it all. I'm 26 weeks now and in my first pregnancy had either bought everything I needed or knew exactly what and when I would buy anything left on my lists. In this pregnancy I have just about remembered to go to all of my appointments!....But I am determined to stay positive and actually amongst all the chaos, lists and lack of preparation I am slightly comforted by the knowledge that it will all be sorted, even if we have a newborn in the shops with us. 'Things' aren't the be all and end all like they were with my daughter. Worst worst case he can wear pink, floral, girly clothes right?! One thing I have just worked out as I finally looked forward in my work diary to plan maternity leave is that having a due date in March is extremely helpful both financially and for extra time off! Obviously it's impossible to time when you will fall pregnant but there have been some bonuses for me having our due date in March. As I work part time I generally don't use much leave as I try to plan any other activities etc around the 2 and a half days that I work, as I don't work Monday's I get bank holidays hours in lieu (great tip for anyone thinking of going back to work part time - if you don't work Monday's, many employers then give you an extra week/ 2 weeks leave!) this means that I still have 6 weeks leave, so even taking 2 weeks at Christmas it means that I can start my maternity leave on the week of my due date but actually finish at 36 weeks. Also it means that I accrue leave whilst off so can go back at 10 months, but not actually start until my baby is 11 months! Obviously this is just based on my circumstances and pure luck but definitely worth thinking about if you are due around February - April. The only draw back about these due dates is having Christmas in between now and then. Don't get me wrong, Christmas is my absolute favourite time of the year. For me it's all about family, food, singing, Christmas films and did I mention food? But it has led to more lists. Lists about what presents I need to buy. Lists about what food I need to buy. Lists about all of the activities we want to do with our daughter. Honestly the list goes on (excuse the pun) and one of my flaws is that I'm so preoccupied with writing my lists and planning that I never actually get anything done. I managed to rail road my husband into Christmas shopping last night so at least we've started to prepare! But I do think that with so much to plan this is an added stress to all that needs to be organised for baby A's not so distant arrival. Whilst sitting writing this though what it has made me do is think back to my first pregnancy, what were the barriers there? My husbands huge change in career, buying a house and moving and the dreaded unknown. No matter when your due date is, there are barriers and it is so easy to become all consumed in everything going on in your life adding so much pressure and stress. The uncertainty of finances, the not knowing the exact date of when baby will arrive, the do I or don't I need a Moses basket questions that keep you awake at 3 in the morning. I am sure I am not alone in these thoughts/ worries/ anxieties. But if having my daughter has taught me anything it is that time just goes so quickly. First time around 14 weeks to go felt like a life time. Now all I can think is how do I sort everything in 14 weeks?! But actually pregnancy is so special don't waste it or wish it away. Every kick you feel, every movement you share with your partner, every midwife appointment, trip round the shop to look at yet another pushchair and every time you sit and look through the never ending list of possible baby names is special. You will miss it I know that for sure. And I don't think you truly know how special it is until you have a newborn who, what feels like over night is suddenly a toddler. So if I can suggest anything it would be embrace everything in your pregnancy. Embrace the stress, the chaos and the lists. And most importantly just enjoy it!