38 weeks gone, the countdown has begun….

It was a very sad day for me when I heard that Bruce was ‘semi’ retiring from Strictly Come Dancing. The reason I say ‘semi’ retiring is I know he will be back to host some Strictly specials every now and then. Some of the most memorable and wonderful experiences of my life have been working with and alongside the legend that is Bruce Forsyth. He is one of the last all round entertainers from that bygone era of light entertainment and a true professional. Strictly will not be the same without him. I have posted below a couple of my personal favourite memories from over the years which you can see on YouTube:

Well, I have just passed the 38th week of my pregnancy and feel like the countdown has now begun, as I could go into labour any day. As I sit here and type this blog the baby is bouncing around in my tummy, which these days is pretty normal. I have a feeling I am not going to get any sleep it is so active. However I have to say I am very relaxed with what is about to happen to me – giving birth and the sleepless nights but it is all worth it to finally meet our little baby.

Even though I only have a couple of weeks left I am trying to stay as active as I can. I am still going to the gym about 3 – 4 times a week and yes I get very strange looks from some of the gym members. Although I have to admit I do look rather strange in lycra these days! My doctor has told me to keep going with the exercise as long as I can manage, as moderate exercise is beneficial for the health of the baby and for me during the birth. I can’t run anymore so I walk with hand weights on the treadmill and use the bike and cross trainer machine. I also try to do a little bit of exercise with light weights just to keep my strength up.

Even though I have been going to the gym regularly I know I have still put on a lot of weight. The nurses keep saying to me that my bump is very compact, it’s just a shame I can’t say the same thing about my backside anymore!!!!

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As well as going to the gym I have still been teaching my classes at Kingston Dance Studio. But rather than dancing I have been waddling around the floor showing them how it should be done, but I don’t get any complaints from my class. They seem to enjoy dancing with me and the bump!

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I am starting to feel a little more organised now with all the baby gear I have assembled over the past few weeks. But I have to say my latest purchase was slightly more complex. Choosing a pushchair these days is just as complicated as choosing a new car. They come in all shapes and sizes to suit every taste and lifestyle, there are just so many to choose from. As it is something we are going to use all the time it was really important that we chose the right one. So after extensive user testing (I think the shop was getting a little tired of our questions!) and undertaking a focus group in our living room (only kidding) we went for the new i-candy Peach 3 in truffle. It’s fabulous, and can you believe it even comes with a cup holder! Very important these days don’t you think?

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My dance partner Anton has just returned from a well-deserved holiday after finishing this year’s tour, which was of course a big success. So while I still have the energy we have been planning our shows and appearances for the forthcoming months. I intend to be back working again 6 weeks after baby arrives and feel having shows lined up gives me a bit of a target to aim for. But I also know Anton will be very supportive and if necessary he will drag me around the floor for the first few shows until I get my fitness back to the required level.

Check out our events calendar on www.antonanderin.com/Events.html. Hope to catch you at one of our shows!

Well that’s probably my last update before baby arrives so hopefully I will be able to give you another update not too long after the little one makes an appearance. So until then… wish me luck.

Love Erin xx

Baby shower, shopping, dance tour and birthday celebrations

Hi everyone,

As I am on the final countdown with only five weeks to go everything is passing like a blur but I am loving every part of this stage of pregnancy, well almost every part. Gaviscon has become my best friend; heartburn is apparently normal so I will continue drinking, what tastes like toothpaste, until it subsides.

The last few weeks have been full of anti-natal classes, hypnobirthing, a meeting about next year’s dance tour, a beautiful baby shower, building my forever home, my birthday, baby scans, buying nursery furniture and baby essentials and of course trying to choose a name for the bump!!

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Firstly I have to say that going to hypnobirthing class has totally changed the way I feel about giving birth. I was extremely nervous about it, everyone tells you the horror stories and we have all watched movies and documentaries on TV with ladies screaming throughout the labour!!

Someone recommended that I try hypnobirthing so I thought what have I got to lose – I am so glad that I listened. Hypnobirthing is an established, effective way to birth your baby in a positive, calm environment. You are taught techniques to help you to go in to a deeply relaxed state – the best way to be when giving birth to your baby.

My husband Peter is a Master Practitioner in NLP so he was a big fan of hynobirthing and has now got me practicing my relaxation and breathing techniques every night before I go to sleep. He has even made a playlist of my favourite music to listen to when in labour. I would highly recommend it to anyone – the hypnobirthing that is, not my husband!

I also had a wonderful surprise this month when my friend Ruth and my husband Peter arranged a baby shower for me. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and we all gathered at Warren house in Kingston Upon Thames for afternoon tea and games. It was full of fun and laughter, beautiful cakes and a glass or two of champagne for some of the ladies!

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Peter had his own baby shower in the bar next door with all the boys. It was a beautiful day and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

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My birthday was the next day, 21 again!!!! Hurrah! Peter made me breakfast in bed and again the weather was just perfect. Along with flowers I got lots of lovely presents – including a wireless music system that I can take with me to the hospital so that when I give birth we can play all our favourite music.

I went for a baby growth scan last week and they told me although the baby looked fine I seem to have way too much fluid around the baby. This is not a good sign so I had to go in the next day and have a glucose test for diabetes and see a consultant. Thankfully my diabetes results came back clear but I have to go back next week for another scan to check if the fluid has reduced. Hopefully, fingers crossed it has. The baby is now head down and moving around like there’s no tomorrow. Sometimes I get baby’s little bottom digging in to my right rib and other times a foot sticking out of my left side. I have been told by the midwife that this is a good sign. If I rub and pat the bottom it will wriggle and it’s little legs will kick out (very alien like!!).

Although Anton Du Beke, my professional dance partner, hasn’t quite finished this year’s tour we have already started planning for next year. We have been dance partners now for 17 years and danced 10 series of Strictly Come Dancing together and have done 5 UK tours so it did seem strange not touring with Anton this year – but it is all in a good cause. We had a meeting last week with our tour organisers and we are all set to go in January 2015; very excited indeed. I have told my mother already and she is excited as she will come over from New Zealand for three months to look after the baby and perhaps both come on a part of the tour with us. It will give her a great chance to have some baby and Grandma time and give me peace of mind knowing that I have someone I can trust looking after the little one while I am on stage. I do think however, that after three months she may be glad to get on the plane home again.

I have finally started shopping for the baby essentials, it took us a long time to choose a nursery set but the one we finally decided on was from Belle Maison. It is so adorable and beautiful and it is all hand made. I don’t want to give away my little secret yet so I have shown some boy and girl nursery furniture below!!

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Some other essentials that I have bought include: a Tommie Tippee sangenic Nappy disposal system, which I think is essential to keep the lovely smell of baby poo away! And some beautiful New Zealand wool clothes, from Merino Kids, which keep your baby warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

And last but not least the house is coming along nicely … we have a roof on now and the first fix electrics and plumbing are going in. I have been busy on site making all the little decisions that need making as all the tradesmen coalesce as the work inside the house intensifies. We need to get a move on as this baby needs somewhere to live!!

I will write again soon as I want to get a few more blogs in before the bump decides to make an appearance!!

Lots of Love

Erin x

31 Weeks, back to reality and project baby!

Time is flying by so fast; I can’t believe that I am three quarters of the way through my pregnancy.  Although my bump is now so big, I have finally reached the point where people aren’t scared to ask about it for fear that I might not actually be pregnant but have just eaten too many pies!! It is difficult not to notice I am pregnant now as I look like I have swallowed a watermelon whole and my boobs are the size of coconuts!!

 

Having just got back from the most fabulous “baby-moon” where we spent 2 weeks in New Zealand, with sun sea and family, a week in Phuket relaxing by the pool, followed by a romantic Valentines day (and night) in Singapore – it is time to get back to reality and prepare for project baby.

 

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I had a check-up with my midwife last week, which I always look forward to as I get to hear the baby’s heart beat and check that everything is ok.  She measured my bump and I was pleased to hear that the bump is exactly the right size. We also listened to the heartbeat – although I got a fright at first as they could not find it but then when they did it was beating strong and loud.  The midwife also took blood for an iron test which is never nice and lastly she gave me a shot in the muscle of my arm with a rather large needle of anti – D because I have a rhesus negative blood type – http://bitly.com/1c4OBCW

I must say I am enjoying this stage of the pregnancy and am proud of my growing bump.  I love feeling the baby move around which seems to be getting stronger as the weeks go by and I find myself talking to the baby and singing little lullabies.    Although I have to say it is getting more uncomfortable at night, making sleep difficult, as I can’t find a good position.  If I lie on my back I cant breath so I have invested in a Mothercare sleep plus body pillow that supports me when I sleep -   http://bit.ly/1c1wHXg  and I can’t recommend it enough.  I have also started to get leg cramps in bed.  Last night both of my lower legs cramped up at the same time and I shot up and nearly hit the ceiling with the pain!  My husband got the fright of his life and was asking me what was wrong.  I was in such pain trying to stretch out my calves I couldn’t answer until the pain had subsided. He must of thought I had gone into premature labour!

 

 

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Our house renovations are coming along nicely although the recent bad weather has probably delayed things by a few weeks.  Unfortunately it is now looking like we won’t be in the house in time for arrival of the baby.  But the good news is the roof structure is almost complete and I can start to see things taking shape.  My husband is managing the main construction works but I am managing the interior design and landscaping. As I am not dancing at present I have more time to organise things, so for me this week it’s all been about bathrooms, tiles, kitchens, doors, floors and more excitingly nurseries.  I will keep you informed with all my finds and buys over the coming weeks.

 

Oh yes, one more thing…. this week I start my antenatal classes.  I have no idea what to expect but lets hope it puts me at ease as I have a list of questions as long as my arm about the birth!  I have also being doing some research about hypno-birthing, which sounds amazing so I think I might give that a try as well.  There is so much to do, but I am very excited about it all.

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Love, Erin

28 weeks pregnant, babymoon and sunshine

Finally, after helping my professional dance partner Anton get his tour up and running, I am off on my “babymoon”. Before I went, one of my jobs was getting the costumes ready for all the cast, working with the wonderful Dance Sport International.

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The tour is well underway. I watched the first few shows and if I do say so myself it is a fabulous show. However, it does feel strange not being a part of it for the very first time but pregnancy and dance do not mix well. There comes a time when its just not possible anymore so there was only one thing that was going to make me feel better and that was booking a babymoon to take my mind off things.

Before being pregnant I had never heard of a babymoon – however I am reliably informed it’s a last holiday before the baby arrives. I thought the best thing would be a trip back to New Zealand to visit family and get some sunshine and hopefully give my bump a bit of a tan. Since touching down in New Zealand I have been so lucky with perfect weather. I have been here for two weeks and my husband Peter has now flown out to join me.

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Our days have been packed – catching up with family and friends; a dolphin spotting boat trip; fishing on my Dad’s boat; a helicopter ride; a bit of sunbathing and of course most nights you have to do the good old New Zealand tradition of a BBQ in the back yard!

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I left London at 26 weeks pregnant and I am now 28 weeks and my bump is expanding fast. I am also pleased to report that I still have an “innie” (belly button) and not a pushed out one yet.

To be honest I am hoping it stays that way but I have heard that a lot of women have belly buttons that pop out!

I was sunbathing today and was not sure what was bigger – my belly or the volcano in the background (Rangitoto Island) – but I will leave you to decide!

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I have to admit things are getting a little more difficult now. I no longer sit up and get out of bed – my husband has to roll me out now, I feel my hip joints getting sore and I even caught myself waddling the other day! It is a wonderful feeling though when you feel the baby kicking and moving even if it does keep me awake most of the night.

The sunshine is not over for me yet. We have a few more days here in NZ and then we are off to Phuket for a little more sunshine before heading back to cold, grey and very wet London.

I can’t say that I miss the winter days but I can say that I miss being on the dance floor and touring with Anton, but I will make the most of things and enjoy the sunshine while I can.

Love Erin x

A secret wedding, a new family home and my growing baby bump!

Hello everyone,

Wow, didn’t Christmas come and go so fast and then we all welcomed in the New Year and the horrible weather – it seems to have rained everyday day since!

The week before Christmas was really busy for me with Anton and Erin’s Christmas cracker at the Royal Albert Hall. We had three shows to perform and at 22 weeks pregnant I was slightly nervous that my stamina would not hold up. We did alter the show slightly and took out some of the big lifts, (mainly for the benefit of Anton’s back!) and I must say it was incredible.

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As we danced around the stage accompanied by a 60-piece orchestra, 2 choirs, the wonderful Lance Ellington singing and 4,000 people watching each performance it was a rather magical experience. We also sang carols and got everyone in the mood for Christmas. Sadly it will be my last performance before baby arrives as my bump is just getting too big, my centre of gravity is changing and I don’t fit the dresses anymore!

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Between Christmas and New Year we attended the secret wedding of Jimi Mistry and Flavia Cacace (don’t worry it’s not secret anymore). It was the most beautiful winters wedding and they both looked extremely happy. Even when they met on Strictly Come Dancing you could tell that they had a spark between them and now finally they have tied the knot. I do like a happy ending! I wish them all the happiness for their future together.

I am now 24 weeks along and what started out as flutters in my belly at about 18 weeks has now evolved into getting kicked all the time. It is a very strange but warming feeling and always excites me when I feel a kick. My husband Peter felt it at about 22 weeks and now loves feeling my belly every time I say the bump’s awake. I think when you both feel it together it seems to bring you closer, if that’s possible, and you also feel a growing bond with the baby.

Midway through last year we bought a new house that will become our family home. It is the perfect location for us; the only problem is it needs major renovations to make it the house of our dreams. We have had the plans drawn up and got our builders in place and have now started the massive project that it has become. When I said it needs renovating I mean we are giving this house a major face-lift and are extending sideways, backwards and up – eventually doubling it in size as well as dragging it kicking and screaming into the 21st Century. It will be our new family home and is going to be ready hopefully about the same time the baby is due. Slightly crazy I know but exciting at the same time. I have had a keen interest in property for a long time and have purchased and renovated many properties but never a job as big as this. I can’t wait to decorate the nursery.

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Anton Du Beke, my professional dance partner, is getting ready to go out on tour. It starts in less than two weeks and for the first time in 17 years I will not be by his side. The size I am now you would have to roll me on and off the dance floor. I am however still heavily involved acting as lead ballroom choreographer and creative coordinator for the numerous costumes required for the show. I know Anton will be great and everything will be just fine without me but I still worry about who is going to keep him under control on stage!! He does love being out in front of an audience and sometimes does not want to get off but that’s Anton for you and I’m sure the audiences will love him.

As time is ticking along so quickly and the due date is getting closer I feel I still have a lot to fit in before this baby arrives. People say how important it is to take a “babymoon” (last holiday) before the baby arrives – so Peter and I have planned a little trip home to New Zealand in a few weeks time.

Also more importantly I need to start thinking about a birth plan, baby buggies, cots, and car seats. I must admit that I don’t really know where to start on some of these things so all advice is welcome! One thing I have been advised on and that is a 4D baby scan which you can have from 24 weeks. I have that booked in this week and cannot wait to see what my baby looks like. I will keep you all posted with my plans and scans soon.

Love, Erin x

Morning sickness, dancing and Anton Du Beke!

Hi everyone and welcome to my new blog!

Can you believe it, I’m pregnant!!!! Even after 22 weeks I still have moments when I have to pinch myself to check it’s not a dream and is actually happening.

It’s a weird but completely wonderful feeling that a little person is growing inside me but I have to admit it hasn’t been all plain sailing so far. Let me fill you in on what’s been going on with me and my body over the past five months.

From about six weeks onwards I have suffered with severe morning sickness, sometimes six to seven times a day!!!! I have come to the conclusion that it must have been a man who called it MORNING sickness – I would like to rename it morning, noon and night sickness!

Some days were so bad that I could barely function and thought about making a bed in my bathroom as I spent more time in there than anywhere else.

Oh, and the sickness wasn’t the only problem either, with the belching and wind (yes, I was putting that nicely) and the overwhelming fatigue that knocked me out by sunset I wasn’t much company during those early months!

I was hoping that the symptoms wouldn’t last long; how wrong was I! I had no let up until I was about 18 weeks. Even now, though things have got slightly easier, I still get nausea daily but you will be pleased to hear the wind has passed! Although I have found that an apple helps quell the nausea feeling.

My husband Peter has been a saint through it all even when he was woken up in the middle of the night with me munching on a juicy Granny Smith apple! I know he found it tough watching me suffer so badly but hopefully the worst is over now.

After 10 wonderful years it was difficult for me to say goodbye to Strictly and not be apart of the show this year but I knew the time was right for me to start a family. It is something that I always wanted to do.

It is even more difficult for me that I won’t be touring with my professional dance partner Anton early in 2014. I will be far too pregnant and unable to fit in the dresses!

However fear not, my career is very important to me and I can promise you that I will be back performing midway through 2014 (health permitting).

And I haven’t had my feet up for the last few months either… throughout all the morning sickness I have still managed to make appearances and perform shows with Anton. I feel it helped me cope with the nausea and I did not want to let people down. Seeing the joy on peoples faces when we perform makes everything worthwhile. So I put a smile on my face and twirled around the dance floor.

At nine weeks pregnant, I teamed up with one of my celebrity partners from Strictly, Colin Jackson, and performed a couple of dances and ran workshops on a week-long tour around the Country for Npower in aid of Macmillan Cancer research.
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For those of you that are thinking that continuing to dance might be dangerous for the baby, I have spoken to my midwife and doctor and they both say it is fine as long as I don’t do anything stupid. So I have taken the lifts and flips out of the routines as that may be taking things too far….

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As we approach the end of 2013 Anton and I have three shows left before I hang up my dance shoes (for a little while anyway) and they are the biggest three shows of all.

Yes I am so excited to say that we, (Anton and I) are performing at the Royal Albert Hall.

We are doing the final rehearsals this week and our show – Anton and Erin’s Christmas Cracker will open on Sunday 22nd December – http://bit.ly/1acc2LG

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My husband and I went for our 20 week scan last week and I can’t describe the feeling of seeing how the baby has transformed and grown over the past few months. The baby is growing perfectly so far and measured about 10 inches in the scan. We have known the sex of the baby for sometime now as we did a harmony test at 12 weeks, which I would thoroughly recommend, and they asked us then if we wanted to know what it was.

I thought I would like to know the gender but for some reason I chickened out. So we asked the nurse to write it on a piece of paper and seal it in an envelope. We took it home and placed it on the dining room table and we stared at it for days until the time was right. We did not have a preference either way but it was still a very special moment when we did finally rip it open. We have not told anyone yet and will probably keep it as our own little secret until the big day.

At my last midwife appointment she asked me to stand on the scales. As I thought to myself “don’t look down” I did and caught sight of my weight. I have to admit I had a little tear in my eye as I left the hospital but it’s all in a good course.

I am now into my 22nd week of pregnancy and can’t fit into most of my regular clothes. I wish I could say that I am one of those lucky ladies that only expand on the front with a perfect little bump. My husband tells me that my bump and I look perfect but the truth is I have expanded all over! So I have packed all my “pre-pregnancy” clothes into boxes, sealed them and written on the outside of the box: ”Do not open until you are back to normal!!”

However I am very lucky that tiffanyrose.com has come to my rescue and provided me with a selection of beautiful maternity clothes to wear. Below is a picture of my 22-week bump and a gorgeous dress by Tiffany Rose.

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Finally, like a lot of you, I am very excited about this week’s final of Strictly Come Dancing. For the first time in Strictly history it is an all-girl final. Sadly none of the celebrity males could out-dance those four fabulous girls. The standard is extremely high this year and the final should be amazing. The best of luck to all four couples in the final and I hope the most deserving pair wins.

I will write again just after Christmas but first of all its back to rehearsals for the Royal Albert Hall and then I can relax and have some turkey!

Thank you for all your lovely tweets and congratulation messages so far, it really means a lot. I hope you enjoy the new blog. I wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Erin and the Bump xxx

Follow me on Twitter @erinboag and check out our websites www.erinboag.com and www.antonanderin.com

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