Me and Mine | October 2018

Me and Mine October 2018 autistic and pregnant autistic mum life sharing pregnancy and parenting experiences from the autism spectrum

The photo above was taken as we strolled through our home town. The gorilla was promoting a local costume and character hire company and he was making quite an impression! There were lots of children (and adults!) that were afraid of this very lifelike beast but Iris astounded me with how keen she was to get near the gorilla, squealing and laughing and reaching out for a high 5! She amazes me with her bravery, she is absolutely fearless.

Most Used Items | 0-12 Month

Most Used Items | 0-12 Month Tried and Tested Review autistic and pregnant autistic mum life sharing pregnancy and parenting experiences from the autism spectrum

As first time parents we were easily convinced that we needed so many different things for our little bundle. Despite doing my research there were things that worked and things that didn't. It's largely to do with trial and error. Some babies will take to certain things and not others but these are the things that we found most useful in our first 12 months with Iris.

Living Arrows | Finger (and face, arms, body and toe) Painting!

What The Redhead Said Living Arrows UK Parenting Blog Link Up Khalid Gilbran Quote

'You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth' Khalil Gibran. 

In my mind this was going to be a lovely Pinterest worthy parenting moment. In reality the photo above shows Iris gagging from the paint she just ate. It's made a good photo but ultimately this wasn't the calm, methodical painting session I imagined, partly due to Iris being a little young and partly due to my completely unrealistic expectation!  

Travel | 72 Hours in Amsterdam (Child Free!)

 Travel 72 Hours in Amsterdam Child Free autistic and pregnant autistic mum life sharing pregnancy and parenting experiences from the autism spectrum

We visited Amsterdam for a very specific reason and that was to Ed Sheeran. We'd tried for hours to get tickets to any UK venue but it just wasn't happening so when we found tickets for Amsterdam that were cheaper and readily available we dived right in and decided to make a weekend of it. We flew from our local airport that is just 20 minutes away and we stayed at NH Museum Quarter. The hotel was in the perfect location, just a five minute walk from the beautiful Museum quarter and we were lucky enough to have a room with a canal view. The rooms were light and spacious and thankfully offered guest controlled air conditioning as we stayed during the summer heatwave.

Review | Lily and The Polar Bears by Jion Sheibani*

Tried and Tested Toppsta Book Review Lily and The Polar Bears by Jion Sheibani autistic and pregnant autistic mum life sharing pregnancy and parenting experiences from the autism spectrum


Lily and Grandpa are having a lovely day at the beach but who's that floating on the ocean? 

Lily and the Polar Bears tells the tale of how Lily brings home a whole bunch of polar bears and how after some fish fingers and a bedtime story those sometimes scary and often misunderstood polar bears become part of everyday life.

Living Arrows | All The Fun of The Fair

All The Fun Of The Fair What The Redhead Said Living Arrows UK Parenting Blog Link Up Khalid Gilbran Quote

'You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth' Khalil Gibran. 

The fair's in town! When I was a teenager the fair was the place to be, we spent hours stood around the waltzer making eyes at boys. I have such fond (and rather cringey) memories of the fair and now I get to add a new set of memories as a parent!

Living Arrows | Welcome To The Fun Palace

Living Arrows | Welcome To The Fun Palace autistic and pregnant autistic mum life sharing pregnancy and parenting experiences from the autism spectrum
 'You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth' Khalil Gibran.

This week's post is yet another one featuring our local library. I've always loved the library but since having Iris I've discovered so much more that it has to offer and i'm astounded that it's mainly free or amazingly affordable. These photos were taken at the annual Fun Palace that tours hundreds of places across the UK.

Living Arrows | We are all so tired.

Living Arrows | We are all so tired. autistic and pregnant autistic mum life sharing pregnancy and parenting experiences from the autism spectrum

'You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth' Khalil Gibran. 


This week's Living Arrows is sponsored by caffeine! I am not exaggerating when I say that these last few weeks have been hellish. Iris has always been a fantastic sleeper, even in the newborn days we would get 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep at a time so it's been quite a shock to the system for her to turn one and suddenly stop sleeping!

Living Arrows | Another Day...Another Dog Photo....

Living Arrows Another Day Another Dog Photo autistic and pregnant autistic mum life sharing pregnancy and parenting experiences from the autism spectrum

'You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth' Khalil Gibran. 


Puppy + Child + Wash Basket = Too Much Cute.

Me and Mine | September 2018


I've seen the 'Me and Mine' link up appear on quite a few of the blogs I follow and decided to have a go myself. I love the idea that it's about sharing a photograph of the whole family as more often than not it's one of us taking a picture of the other two so it's good to be making a conscious effort to get us all in front of the camera.

Living Arrows | My Big Boy Turns 8!

Living Arrows My Big Boy Turns 8 autistic and pregnant autistic mum life sharing pregnancy and parenting experiences from the autism spectrum

'You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth' Khalil Gibran. 

This weeks Living Arrows is a special one as it's dedicated to my other child (no, not Daddy!), this week is all about Ian. My big man is turning 8, not that he knows it! He is still very much a puppy at heart. He bounces around the house and greets all people with an enthusiastic jump, lick and fuss. He maybe looking a little grey around the edges but his personality hasn't aged since the day I brought him home.

Our Reflux Journey | Part One


Our Reflux Journey autistic and pregnant autistic mum life sharing pregnancy and parenting experiences from the autism spectrum

What is Reflux?


Reflux occurs when the oesophagus is underdeveloped and allows stomach contents to flow back up into the mouth and throat. There are two types, Reflux and Silent Reflux. Reflux tends to manifest as significant vomiting whereas silent reflux tends to be where the stomach contents flow up to the mouth and irritate the area. 

Most Used Items | Weaning

Tried and Tested Review Weaning Essentials autistic and pregnant autistic mum life sharing pregnancy and parenting experiences from the autism spectrum

Weaning can be scary and just like with breast vs. bottle you will be judged on how you approach it. Sad but true. We personally adopted the baby led weaning approach and it worked exceptionally well for us and Iris is a fabulous eater but it won't work for everybody. Weaning is like the entirety of parenthood, it's down to you to work out what's best for your family and the types of product you use for weaning are also very much down to personal choice but for us these are the things that have worked the best for us.

Living Arrows | One Year Old

Living Arrows One Year Old autistic and pregnant autistic mum life sharing pregnancy and parenting experiences from the autism spectrum

'You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth' Khalil Gibran. 


This week's Living Arrows is a thought provoking one. It was Iris's first birthday and I anticipated a glorious collection of photographs celebrating a glorious weekend of activities. We had a family day on her actual birthday, just me, Iris and Daddy. Then we had plans to go to the football match on the Saturday and then we were having a party with all our friends on the Sunday. In my mind it was going to be 'Insta-fabulous' but in reality the photos are largely just blurry smudges and nothing like the perfection I expected.

Gift Ideas For A One Year Old

Gift Ideas For A One Year Old autistic and pregnant autistic mum life sharing pregnancy and parenting experiences from the autism spectrum


I can't quite believe that Iris is approaching a year old! How has that helpless tiny little baby grown into such an independent little lady in such a short space of time? They always warn you that they grow so fast but until you've had a child of your own you don't really understand just what that statement means. As Iris birthday approaches I started to look into the kind of toys she might like at this stage in her development. At the moment her attention span is quite short and she seems to be bored of most of her belongings so I did some research into toys that can keep her engaged and allow her to exercise all her newly developing skills. Here's what I found:

Books We've Been Reading | August 2018

What We've Been Reading August 2018 autistic and pregnant autistic mum life sharing pregnancy and parenting experiences from the autism spectrum
The local library has always been one of my favourite places. A peaceful and quiet haven. A chance to get out of the house but not expose myself to too much social pressure. I have also always found comfort in reading and wanted to share this world of wonder with Iris. We read together daily and have a collection of books at home but we love heading to the library to see what new adventures we can discover. This month we borrowed...

Living Arrows | Finding My Feet

Living Arrows Finding My Feet autistic and pregnant autistic mum life sharing pregnancy and parenting experiences from the autism spectrum


'You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth' Khalil Gibran. 

So here we are. Stood up. Putting one foot in front of the other and getting scarily close to walking independently and i'm not ready. Where did my baby go?

Living Arrows | All Aboard

Living Arrows All Aboard Great Grandparents Canal Boat autistic and pregnant autistic mum life sharing pregnancy and parenting experiences from the autism spectrum

'You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth' Khalil Gibran. 

What a wonderful way to spend a summer's day! Iris is so lucky that her great grandparents own a boat. This week's picture was taken during Iris's first trip aboard the boat and she absolutely loved it!


Living Arrows All Aboard Great Grandparents Canal Boat autistic and pregnant autistic mum life sharing pregnancy and parenting experiences from the autism spectrum


Living Arrows | Safety Day at The Library

autistic and pregnant autistic mum life sharing pregnancy and parenting experiences from the autism spectrum

'You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth' Khalil Gibran. 

Last week as we headed to the library for our regular book choosing we noticed things were a little different. We'd clearly arrived in the chaos of an event being set up. We spoke to a lovely memebr of staff who informed us that the library was hosting a safety day where lots of local organisations would be helping raise awareness of safety issues such as the correct installation of car seats and highlighting the work of the emergency services. It sounded like a fun, educational event so we nipped to the nearby park for a play and a picnic then headed back when it was all set up.


Living Arrows | A Girl and Her Dog

A Girl and Her Dog. Living Arrows. autistic and pregnant autistic mum life sharing pregnancy and parenting experiences from the autism spectrum
Ian and Iris- The Terrible Twosome

'You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth' Khalil Gibran. 


This photo perfectly sums up our summer. No, not the pouring rain but the closeness of these two trouble makers. Wherever one of them is the other is never far behind. I spent months of my pregnancy crying and panicking that the dog wouldn't get along with the baby and I'd be forced to get rid of him. He was my first baby, my first experience of someone needing me completely, my first taste of responsibility and the first time i'd experienced that motherly love. The thought of having to give him away haunted me throughout my pregnancy, even though I knew he was a kind soul I worried that he'd be jealous, feel left out or just hate the new arrival but I was wrong. We've got the opposite problem, they love each other too much! 

Books We've Been Reading | July 2018

Monthly Childrens Book Review autistic and pregnant supporting women with autism through pregnancy and beyond uk autism blog

The local library has always been one of my favourite places. A peaceful and quiet haven. A chance to get out of the house but not expose myself to too much social pressure. I have also always found comfort in reading and wanted to share this world of wonder with Iris. We read together daily and have a collection of books at home but we love heading to the library to see what new adventures we can discover. This month we borrowed...

Living Arrows | When Grandparents are Great.

Living Arrows Great Grandchild and Great Grandma autistic and pregnant supporting women with autism through pregnancy and beyond.
Iris with Mama

'You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth' Khalil Gibran. 

Grandparents are naughty. They don't follow the rules that you set as parents and i'm okay with that. It's what grandparents are for. They disciplined their own kids, they don't need to discipline anyone elses. Visiting grandparents is a treat but when you've got a pair of great grandparents on either side of the family then you're really going to get spoilt.

Living Arrows | End Of Term.

Iris Playing In The Library autistic and pregnant supporting women with autism through pregnancy and beyond uk autism blog

'You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth' Khalil Gibran. 


Since Iris was a few weeks old we've regularly gone to our local library for Rhyme Time. Iris loves to sing, make noise and in recent months crawl around stealing the older children's shoes. She's loved her time at the library, she's made friends and grown in confidence- as I have I if truth be told. Now it's broken up for the summer I am sure she will miss singing and giggling with the other children.

Autism | How I Cope On Holiday

Ibiza Rocks Autism How I Cope On Holiday Autistic and Pregnant  Support Blog

Holidays- whether they be long, lazy days relaxing in the sun or exhilarating explorations of foreign lands, they are sure to be enjoyed- aren't they?

A holiday for some is a welcome break from normality and routine. For me a break from routine is akin to torture. I cannot fully explain to those who don't adhere to routine as strictly as I do how much it pains me to stray from my everyday habits. I need my daily rituals to survive and a holiday is just one long stream of exhaustion. Spontaneity is my arch nemesis and that makes holidaying, especially with other people, extremely difficult.

Review | Mutsy Evo

Mutsy Evo Stroller Pram Review autistic and pregnant autism support blog

Mutsy? Not a brand you've heard of right? Prior to attending the Baby Show at Birmingham NEC in 2017 I hadn't heard of them either. I researched all the pram and pushchair brands that were going to be at the show, the price points and read any reviews I could find. We knew we wanted an all-in-one system, something with a carrycot, that could adapt to fit a car seat and then convert to a stroller. We wanted a product that would last for years but we didn't want to spend a fortune. Practicality and quality engineering were paramount, 'designer' brands were irrelevant. Prior to the show I'd narrowed it down to four options. The moment I saw the Mutsy Evo Stroller and Carrycot the others were blown right out the water.

Living Arrows | Bouncing With Daddy

Daddy and Daughter on a bouncy castle autistic and pregnant asd blog

'You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth' Khalil Gibran. 


This week's Living Arrows post is entitled 'Bouncing with Daddy', it's alternative title is 'how to give mummy a heart attack'. As you can see from the pictures below Daddy is entertaining, fun loving and the best person to be on a bouncy castle with. Mummy is less fun.

Living Arrows | 'The more you read, the more you'll know'

Early Readers Autistic and Pregnant Autism Blog


'You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth' Khalil Gibran. 

This week we're celebrating my favourite part of childhood, the joy of reading. As a child I always had my head in a book and it seems that Iris is going the same way!

My Birth Story | Part Two

My Birth Story Part Two Autistic and Pregnant Supporting Women With Autism Through Pregnancy and Beyond.

1.30pm- I was 10 cm and I was able to start pushing. As the diamorphine had begun to wear off I was aware of the pain again. It was all still in my back and bum, still nothing at the front or down below. I physically couldn't move, the pain was so intense I couldn't even get to the toilet which led to my bladder having to be emptied manually several times- that is a very strange sensation.

Books We've Been Reading | June 2018


Anyone who knows me knows that I love to read. It's something I've always enjoyed and I think it's so important that we grow and nurture a love of reading for future generations. The library has been my safe place for many years. A place I can disappear in, work in and relax in. Since having Iris I've also discovered it's a place to sing, create and make new friends. We choose several books a month to read as a family, here's what we thought of this months selection...

Living Arrows | The Discovery of Tuna.

Autistic And Pregnant Supporting Women With Autism Through Pregnancy And Beyond

'You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth' Khalil Gibran. 

Iris has loved every bit of food she has tried and hasn't turned her nose up at anything. She is a joy to eat with and sits beautifully whilst we all eat together. Before we had Iris we would slouch in front of the tv, not really talking to each other, not really concentrating on what we were eating and just using the time we were eating to shut down.

Living Arrows | Our Sunday Best

vAutistic And Pregnant Supporting Women With Autism Through Pregnancy And Beyond

'You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth' Khalil Gibran. 

At the weekend we attended our wonderful nieces christening. It was held at the church in the village where Dan grew up and it is a truly wonderful church, set back from the main street in it's own woodland clearing. The sun was shining, the birds were singing and everyone was feeling the love.


Living Arrows | 'Immense Bravery When Faced With Large Blue Bears'

Living Arrows Bookstart Bear for National Bookstart Week UK family lifestyle autism blog
'You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth' Khalil Gibran. 

Our first venture into the Living Arrows Link Up and we begin with an exploration of bravery in childhood. I was a timid child, afraid of everything. Iris is not a timid child.

Her courage amazes me. She is fazed by nothing. The smile cannot be wiped from her face (except when you are actually wiping her face!). She is the most content, happy and confident child I've ever met and I don't know how it happened. It has been genuinely unexpected.

My Birth Story | Part One

My Birth Story Autistic And Pregnant Supporting Women With Autism Through Pregnancy And Beyond

8pm- I was home alone watching a repeat of The Chase. I had my laptop on my lap, the dog by my side and I thought baby had put pressure on my bladder and made me wee a little bit. Next minute there was a physically popping feeling and a tremendous gush of water. My first thought was actually 'save the laptop!'

Autism | The Road to Diagnosis.

Autistic And Pregnant Getting Diagnosed With Autism

I was 11 years old when I first remember not being able to get out of the door. I physically couldn't bring myself to leave the safe environment I had built at home. The comforting predictability of my bedroom. Of course, at this time I didn't know it was the comfort of routine and predictability that I craved, all I knew, and all I could tell a therapist was that I couldn't get out the door.

My Miscarriage Experience

Miscarriage Experience Autistic And Pregnant Supporting Women With Autism Through Pregnancy And Beyond

The First Signs
For me the first sign that I was miscarrying was bleeding. It wasn't gushing from me like you see on television and I wasn't in any pain. I know that bleeding is common throughout early pregnancy and so I was determined not to panic until I had been told it was bad news.