Becoming First Time Parents to Lewis

Becoming Parents - Pregnancy Advice - Pikalily Blog

Regular followers of our blog will notice we haven’t been as active on the blog over the past 12 months. The main reason behind this has been adjusting to parenthood, and also finally getting our self-build project off the ground. As first time parents, we didn’t really know what lay ahead of us, but through chats with friends and family, we had gotten ourselves as prepared as we possibly could be (although, can you ever be fully prepared?).

Over the coming months, and indeed years, you’ll start to hear a lot more about our parenting journey on the blog, as we start to tailor a lot more of what we do around our family life. Pikalily has always been about our adventures, whether they are food, travel or lifestyle related, and as two have become three, family life will become a big part of the blog.

Our Pregnancy Journey

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When you first find out you’re pregnant, it feels like such a long journey lies ahead, but truth be told, the nine month time-frame comes and goes in no time. Regular visits to the hospital, preparing things for the baby’s arrival and packing (and repacking) your hospital bag, ensures the time doesn’t be long going by. We found out we were pregnant in September 2016, and keeping it quiet until October was certainly a challenge, as we wanted to shout it from the roof. With Christmas sitting around the middle of our pregnancy, it acted as a good milestone, and once we got Christmas out of the way, the countdown was well and truly on, as the days went from three digit, to two, and finally single days.

As you would expect, your body goes through many changes during pregnancy, as it is ultimately preparing itself for delivery. The third trimester can feel uncomfortable for many women and without sugar coating it, I experienced some back problems during this time myself, but as my bump grew, the excitement by far outweighed any pain. I loved being pregnant and I loved how, as the bump grew, it became more sociable, and interacted with us on a daily basis. I always thought that I would miss my bump, and as I look back on things, I certainly do, and from talking to other mothers, they have felt the same way.

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We decided that we wouldn’t find out the gender of the baby, and thus, we had a list of possible names for a baby boy or girl. If the truth be told it was easier deciding on a possible boys name and we had narrowed our list down to just one boys name in the run up to the big day (although the list of girls name was still long). I think it was fate that our first child was a boy! For us it was definitely the right decision not to find out the gender before the baby was born, as that moment of finding out whether we had had a boy or a girl was so magical.

It’s A Boy!

Newborn Blog - Pikalily BlogIt’s fair to say that 2017 has been the busiest and best year of our lives to date. Our lives changed forever at 12.03pm on Sunday 7th May when Lewis David Toner came into the world. We’d spoke to friends and family members about the feeling of becoming parents, but truth be told it’s hard to express just how special a moment it is until you actually experience it, and for us, this was the undoubted highlight of 2017.

Lewis continues to amaze us every day, and watching him develop over the past year has been something special. We feel we have adjusted well to parenthood, but even simple tasks like a day out to the shops, or going away for a weekend have become a totally different challenge. What used to be a few minutes to get ready for departure can now take anything up to an hour, but we wouldn’t change it for the world!

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Top Tips For Expectant Parents

As first time parents, every day is a school day, but for those of you with all of this ahead of you, we’ve a few tips to hopefully help you out.

  • Take time to chat to friends and family and ask all the questions you have. There’s no such thing as a silly question here, it’s all about learning and taking in what you can.
  • Do your research. There are lots of great websites and apps to help both expectant and first-time parents, with everything from pre-pregnancy through to your childs development covered. We’ve come across several sites that we are fans of, with Baby Centre, Toddlebox and Bounty among our favourites.
  • Trust your instincts. No mother knows their own body better than herself, and no parent knows their own child better than themselves. By the same token, not every pregnancy or child will follow a textbook case, know your own mind and trust your gut.
  • Wash all clothes, bed linen and soft toys in a non-biological detergent before use. Making sure everything is washed before the first use is so important for a newborn as it ensures everything is soft and clean to avoid irritating the baby’s delicate skin.

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Looking Ahead To Lewis’s First Birthday

The days to Lewis’s first birthday are very quickly counting down – it’s hard to fathom where the time has disappeared to over the past 12 months. While 2017 was our best year to date, 2018 is certainly giving it a run for its money, as we look forward to not only Lewis’s first birthday, but also officially moving into our new home, a self-build project on the site where our old home sat.

Pregnancy Journey Advice - Pikalily Blog

This is something that we have been working on for some time now, and we look forward to putting our stamp on the interiors in the coming months. The building stage of the self-build began in October 2017, and we’ve made amazing progress to date as we aim to move in for summer 2018.

Until next time.

Nial, Helen and Lewis x



Welcome to Pikalily, an award-winning food, travel and lifestyle blog. We are Nial and Helen, a happily married couple from Northern Ireland, who share a passion for food and travel among many things. We became parents to our beautiful boy Lewis in 2017. Follow our adventures through the blog.

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