I didn't really have a firm theme in mind when I signed up to host the Britmums Carnival sometime last year and a lot has changed since then.
Just these last 5 months I've gone from this:
And I couldn't be happier.
So what better theme to host on my blog than 'Pregnancy and Birth'. Although it's a theme the rules, as always, are pretty relaxed so grab a cuppa, sit down, relax (if possible) and enjoy these amazing blogs that I've brought together for your enjoyment...
First up is Mum On The Brink who takes us on the roller coaster ride of the recent birth of her beautiful baby boy...how she managed to tweet through it all I will never know. Respect!
Trying to conceive a child can be a stressful and lonely time sometimes so it's lovely to hear Gillian from A Baby On Board talk openly about fertility problems and then finding out she was pregnant. I'm sure it will give many couples some much needed hope.
Emma who writes over at They Grow So Quick explains the good, the bad and the ugly about being pregnant. I can certainly sympathise with a couple of things - especially the heartburn. She also shares the birth story of her son which didn't go quite to plan.
Next up is a controversial (but I do have to agree) view of the NCT and their promotion of 'natural birth' in Actually Mummy's super birth story.
Rachel from Three Years & Home shares her sheer and utter disbelief when she found out she was 4 weeks pregnant. I think anyone who's peed on a stick can related to this one!
Maggy from Red Ted Art wants pregnant ladies to relax with these lovely lavender bath sachets. Then, after your bath, why not eat some scrummy healthy blackberry tartlets which she has blogged about on her other blog, Life At The Zoo.
Missy B was pregnant at the same time as me so we followed each others ups and downs. Here she shares the birth story of her beautiful daughter who arrived with one contraction! Yes, I repeat, one contraction!
Right, sound the trumpets because our first 'BritDad', Daddacool would like to share his birth story - the birth of the baby he almost missed. Please note, no speeding was involved during the race to the hospital.
Mum Reinvented also managed to tweet her way through labour and managed to make two tiramasus and a buffet lunch. Read the first part of her birth story and you'll be hungry to read the second part too!
Want to see someone looking utterly gorgeous post-birth after delivering twins by c-section? Then check out Marianne from Mari's World and her fabulous birth story of her beautiful twin girls.
Diane from Bringing Up The Babies shares her previous birth experiences and compares these to the home birth she chose to have with her fourth child. It's a really great post for anyone contemplating a home birth experience.
Now, Katie from Mummy, Daddy and Me Makes Three may have to change the title of her blog soon with this absolutely gorgeous announcement that will melt your heart! Check out the cute video.
A great one from the archives now from Simon who blogs at From Rat Racer to Homeworking Parent. She explains how even on maternity leave she couldn't rest so decided to volunteer.
Emma from Outmumbered shares with us the first moments of her two sons lives and how different they were. She also bares it all for us with her post-pregnancy belly acceptance and how much it doesn't matter. Hear hear!
This post from SouthwarkBelle is one I can really relate to. That big question that faces mums who've previously had a caesarean section...VBAC or repeat section? Perhaps those of you who've been there can offer some support?
Mamabmumto3 shares her wonderful birth story of Elena Grace and empowers women to trust their maternal instincts. She also has the most amazing photos.
Laura from Mumories has blogged about the condition Hyperemesis which will causes problems for around 1 in 50 pregnant mothers. If ever you feel like complaining about the usual morning sickness - just read this. I can't even begin to imagine how awful it must be.
Not My Year Off talks about naming our children and how possessive we can feel over names. There's also usually some 'horrible cow' ready to spoil our special moment!
Zoe from Mama Geek has some exciting news for everyone! Her and her husband are so thrilled but it seems their daughter is more captivated by the local hospital gnome garden.
Over at Dear Beautiful Boy, Lucy shares those niggling thoughts that all mothers who are expecting their second child goes through I think. I know I did. This is a really powerful post.
Emma from Me, The Man & The Baby writes an amazingly honest post about how tough her recent pregnancy was and explains why she had a mental health midwife. Big love going out to her.
Want to now how it feels to give birth in France? Franglaise Mummy shares her super birth story from over the other side of the channel.
Most of us have felt pressure at some point during pregnancy and birth and sadly, a lot of the time, it appears to surround breastfeeding. Jo's Nursery shares her breastfeeding experience and how she tried her best but her experience hasn't put her off trying again in future.
Carolin from Mummy Alarm takes a break from writing and hands her blog over to her other half Ben who relives the birth of their daughter Amy through his words.
Munchies and Munchkins asks that well-known question - How do you learn to be a parent? I think we've all experienced the motherhood education journey.
Know how giving birth to one baby feels? Well try two! Crazy With Twins shares her gory birth story with us. She's now officially my hero.
Bex from The Mummy Adventure is another one with some exciting news - check out her recent Silent Sunday photo and share with your congratulations with her.
Another amazing home birth story shared here by Emma from 4 Munchkins Plus Mummy but this time with added cleaning and vacuuming! I kid you not.
Want to go on a 16 year journey? Sonya from The Ramblings of a Formerly Rock'n'Roll Mum looks back on the birth of her 16 year old daughter and shares a truly beautiful verse with us too.
Now prepare yourself with some tissues - this birth post of baby Holly from Becky over at The Ar-Blog made me blub. The photos are truly amazing.
Sound the trumpets again - we have another 'BritDad' onboard from Baby-A blog. Here we have a great Dads perspective of the pregnancy journey and beyond . I think every new Dad will be able to relate to this. We also have another post from Baby-A blog which is a must for anyone thinking of having a water birth.
Keep the trumpets going for our third and final 'BritDad'. James Newhouse describes what exactly it feels like to be a Dad in the delivery room with not a dinosaur or sabre-toothed tiger in sight!
The Real Housewife of Suffolk County, Lauren, is wondering when the waiting game of pregnancy will be up and she will have her little baby boy with her. We've all been there with anxiousness in some shape or form.
Last, but by no means least, is a collection of posts which can be found over at This Baby Likes... which is a collaborative blog from mums and babies under one year old sharing ideas, development and products they love.
So, there we have it. An incredible carnival I think you'll agree. I've loved reading through each and every one of these posts and I hope you do to. I've found some great new reads too!
Thank you to everyone who sent me a post.*
*If you tweeted me, rather than emailed me, there's a chance your tweet could have been lost by Twitter as one I knew I'd read had gone missing but I did remember it (who says I have baby brain!) Please let me know if you should be here and you aren't.