FREE Food Courses At Bella Italia

by Luschka van Onselen in Deals on 12 July, 2014 at 9:55 pm

FREE Food Courses At Bella Italia If you're thinking of family lunch out tomorrow, head over to Bella Italia first, and spin the wheel for one of five prizes: Second Main for £2.50, Free Milkshakes, Free Desserts, Free Starters, or Free Sharing Bread. I just won a free round of desserts for after our meal (purchase required), and forwarded the link to my sister who won free starters (can't be used together.)

This offer is available at Bella Italia until 1 September, and excludes Fridays, Saturdays and Bank Holidays.

Spin the wheel, enter your information, and print the voucher. Show your personalised code when asking for the bill to have your items taken off the price of your meal. Our free desserts will be free with the purchase of any adult main course. Your code will be checked against a live database and incorrect or previously used codes will not be accepted. Your code can only be used once and has no cash value.

This offer is not valid at Bella Italia Centre Parcs.

Maximum of one offer code per table, valid for up to 6 guests.

There are a few other T&C's but they're pretty clear on your voucher, so it's worth it!

See you at Bella Italia!

Various 241 Vouchers & Freebies For Attractions @ Visit Lanarkshire (Scotland)

by Karen McGinn in Deals on 12 July, 2014 at 9:39 pm

Various 241 Vouchers & Freebies For Attractions @ Visit Lanarkshire (Scotland)

The school holidays have already started here in Scotland and I’ve been frantically searching for discount vouchers to cut down the cost of keeping my 7 year old amused. I stumbled across this gem, which includes Kids Go Free With One Paying Adult At The Time Capsule (Coatbridge) 241 On All Day Wristbands at M&D’s and a whole lot more.

I’ve already mentioned The Time Capsule and M&D’s but there’s a whole host of money saving vouchers here for anyone in the Lanarkshire area of Scotland. 2 kids go for the price of 1 at Tree Top Tumble (Mackinnon Mills) and the same deal applies at Krazy Congo (M&D’s soft play)

Another cracker is the Free Rail Ticket from Leadhills and Wanlockhead Railway every Saturday and Sunday between 11.20am and 16.20pm. Normally £4 for each adult ticket, this is a great chance to get about and about for free.

There are various other offers like BOGOF on coffees at a whole load of attractions and while not amazing on their own, they’re handy if you’re planning a visit. Head on over and take a look.

The expiry dates on these vary but some last right up until the end of October, so not just for the summer holidays, they may also come in handy for the October break too.

We realise there will be people in other parts of the UK looking for vouchers and as the holidays approach elsewhere, this will only increase. Here at PlayPennies, we’re trying to get together as many family days out vouchers for attractions across the whole of the UK as we can, so let us know what you’re looking for and we’ll try our very best to help!

Huge thanks to Ghirl @ HUKD!


Girls' Hello Kitty Swimsuits £3 - £4 @ Tesco

by Luschka van Onselen in Deals on 12 July, 2014 at 9:12 pm

Girls' Hello Kitty Swimsuits £3 - £4 @ Tesco A few days ago we told you about swimsuits at Tesco and now we've seen they also have Hello Kitty swimsuits available from £3. Tesco clothing is free for click and collect, but delivery would cost you another £3.95

The cheaper suit is £3, and currently only available in two sizes, for ages 8-9 or 9-10. I don't know many girls that age, so not sure if Hello Kitty is still big at that age, but if so, for £3, you can't really go wrong.

The £4 costume is available in red and pink. The red is available in limited stock ages 3, 4 and 8 and the pink also, although happily for all the little girls out there, the pink Hello Kitty costume in size 3 has plenty of stock. Excellent!

I know a fair few little ones that would just love to step out in these Hello Kitty swimsuits this summer.

Receive A Free Gift Card For A Cinema Near You

by Luschka van Onselen in Freebies on 12 July, 2014 at 8:24 pm

Receive A Free Gift Card For A Cinema Near YouIf you love movies but don't go too often - for me it's the cost! - you may be interested in this opportunity to become a film critic! Register with and if you're selected (randomly) you'll receive a free cinema gift card to your local cinema.

After watching the film of your choice all you are required to do is write a short review of the film and your cinema experience.

By signing up you will be asked to answer 100 questions, and will then be a member of and will be able to take part in other experiences with them too. 

Giant Fairy Themed Wall Stickers £5 Delivered @ Jojo Maman Bebe

by Luschka van Onselen in Deals on 12 July, 2014 at 8:07 pm

Giant Fairy Themed Wall Stickers £5 Delivered @ Jojo Maman BebeJojo Maman Bebe have a fabulous sale on at the moment and one of the items in the non-clothes section is this set of Giant Fairy Themed Wall Stickers, reduced from £15 to £5.

I love adhesive wall stickers - they are such an easy, non-permanent and cheap way of changing the look of a room without having to go to great or expensive lengths.

In this Giant Fairy Themed Wall Sticker set the lovely fairy wall stickers are large enough to make a real impact in any bedroom or nursery - especially at 45 of them!

There are ten fairies in total standing about 30 cm high from toe to top of wand.

Some reviewers had issues with the stickers peeling, but overall they have been loved by the parents and those who get to look at them. As one said "I got these at the sale price of £7.50, but at the further reduced price of £5 these are excellent value."

Celebaby: Billie Faiers Gives Birth To Baby Girl

by Heidi Scrimgeour in Celebaby on 12 July, 2014 at 3:00 pm
Celebaby: Billie Faiers Gives Birth To Baby Girl


Billie Faiers, of ITV2's The Only Way Is Essex fame, has become a Mum for the first time!

TOWIE star Billie took to her Twitter account to share her baby news with her fans and followers. She wrote:

"We are so excited to announce the birth of our beautiful baby girl... We are so happy and the proudest mummy and daddy in the world."

Billie is engaged to Greg Shepherd, who proposed during a recent romantic holiday.

Hello magazine reports:

"Billie's younger sister Sam, who used to star in the Essex-based reality TV show, couldn't contain her excitement as she revealed the news online ahead of Billie."

"Congratulating her sibling, Sam wrote to her 1.28 million followers, 'Am the proudest auntie in the whole world my baby niece is perfect. Congratulations @BillieFaiers & @Gregshepherd_.'"

It seems Sam was present throughout Billie's labour, too. But ooh, when they say Sam revealed the news ahead of Billie I wonder if that means she stole her thunder, or did so with her sister's blessing?!

There's a thorny issue if ever there was one; would it bother you if someone else pipped you to the post and shared your baby news online (or elsewhere) before you had the chance to do so in person?! Or has that even happened to you? Discuss...

Oh, and to celebrate her new arrival, Billie found time to tweet an exclusive offer code, valid until midnight on Sunday, for her and Sam's clothing store, Minnie's Boutique. To claim 30% off, just type the voucher code BABY into the relevant box at the basket checkout stage.

I love this pink flamingo jumpsuit (£46 before your discount) and this summery ice cream print batwing tee!

Congrats, Billie and Greg. We can't wait to see the first official pics of the tiny tot, or find out what she's called. Chances of it being Minnie, too?!

Earn 1000's of Tesco Clubcard Points In July (Worth Up To 4 Times In Rewards)

by Karen McGinn in Deals on 12 July, 2014 at 2:54 pm

Earn 1000's of Tesco Clubcard Points In July (Worth Up To 4 Times In Rewards)

Do you collect Tesco Clubcard points at the minute? I do and I’m always looking for ways to boost my points total. I never spend them in store and although you can do this, there is a better way to “spend” your points. If you exchange them via Tesco Clubcard Rewards, you can bag up to four times the face value on a whole load of family days out, restaurants,  at Ticketmaster, Goldsmiths and many, many more.

During July there’s an opportunity to boost that points total massively and I’ll try and explain how below.

Firstly we have the The Big Points Earners :

- 2000 points (worth up to £80) on £20 e-books spend at Blinkbox*. Get 100 clubcard points for every £1+ book. You can receive the bonus on up to 20 books. Offer extended until 30th July.
- 1000 points (worth up to £40) on buying season 4 of Game of Thrones* £16.99 sd. Plus free 10'' Tesco Finest Pizza + possible £4 Quidco and £5 Credit when deposting £1 at Blinkbox*. Offer ends 31st July.
- 500 points (worth up to £20) on buying Lego movie £9.99 +possible £4 Quidco and £5 Credit when deposting £1 + 50% off Legoland Windsor tickets at Blinkbox*
- 5250 points (worth up to £210) on converting £50 from Topcashback into Clubcard points. Offer ongoing.

Then we have the Medium Points Opportunities :

- 150 points on £50 branded giftcards e.g.Argos
- 150 points on £5 spend on your first Tesco photo order
- 150 points on selected DVD pre-orders from £5
- 150 points on selected CD pre orders from £9
- 150 points on festival CD's from £4.50
- 200 points on selected Blu-ray pre orders from £10
- 200 points on selected CD pre orders from £9
-150 points on festival cd's from £4.50
-500 extra Clubcard points when you spend £35 or more on Fisher-Price Toys.

Then the FREE Points Opportunities :

- 25 points a month doing a customer survey (300 points a year)
- 75 points for giving insurance renewal dates
- Up to 150 points per survey at Shoppers Thoughts
- Reuse a carrier bag in store and get one clubcard point
- Order online at and collect one point for every 10 items you buy when you pick the bagless delivery option for your order
- Recycle your printer cartridges and get 100 points.

You can also earn those Extra Points simply by shopping at Tesco and those will earn you :

- Tesco Clubcard Credit Card 0% purchases for 19 months (5 points for every £4 you spend in store including Tesco fuel and 1 point for every £4 you spend everywhere else)
-Tesco instore and online 1 point per £1
-Tesco Direct 1 point per £1
- Tesco Fuel 1 point per £2
- Tesco mobile 1 point per £1 topped up
- Tesco Clothing F&F 1 point per £1
- Tesco Blinkbox 1 point per £1

You can also earn points by switching to EON (collecting up to 1500 points per year) and buying fuel and goods at Esso. Both of these will only be beneficial if they offer the best deal for the services they provide.

So by shopping smart and making the most of the offers above you could pay 1/4 of the price on family days out over the summer, 1/3 of the price on wedding rings at Goldsmiths and so much more.

Check out Tesco Clubcard Rewards and see if there's anything that would benefit your family.

You can also use Tesco eCoupons and Voucher Codes in conjunction with points collecting and you'll find all the latest ones in our voucher section.

Many thanks to Chanchi32 @ HUKD!

Postman Pat Postbag Tri Scooter £12.49 @ Amazon Was £24.99

by Heidi Scrimgeour in Deals on 12 July, 2014 at 11:11 am

Postman Pat Postbag Tri Scooter £12.49 @ Amazon Was £24.99

Know a little person who might love a Postman Pat scooter? Well then scoot on over to Amazon right now where you can pick this one up for just £12.49 instead of £24.99, and it comes with a funky little Postman Pat bag, too!

There are only two reviews of this item on the Amazon listing but they're both positive. This one positively glows:

"Great scooter and one of the few we could find that has a bag which my son actually adores. Easy assemble - highly recommend."

This Postman Pat scooter is suitable for children aged three years and older, and since it has three wheels instead of two it should offer extra stability for those new to scooting. The Postman Pat bag is removable (and I can see the bag being a HUGE hit with tots) and the colour-printed footplate is anti-slip, too.

Delivery should be free too, since you're spending more than £10. 

With thanks to lawsmill @HUKD

Chad Valley My First Wooden Drawing Board £12.99 @ Argos

by Nada in Deals on 12 July, 2014 at 11:07 am

Chad Valley My First Wooden Drawing Board £12.99 @ Argos


Do you remember how you got all excited when your teacher let you draw on the blackboard at the end of term? Recreate this feeling with the Chad Valley My First Wooden Drawing Board from Argos. Whether the kids know what one is or not, they will enjoy the pleasure of drawing and wiping it clean.

Argos have this for a very affordable £12.99. It has a previous selling price of £21.99 so this is a great price.

This isn’t just a chalkboard, on it’s other side is a more modern whiteboard. This is certainly more economical and eco-friendly than letting the children go through wads of paper when doodling.

It comes with six coloured chalks, six white chalks and a duster to wipe away all those little errors. There's even a shelf underneath to store all your child’s drawing equipment.

I always find that creative toys like this are popular with children. Something like this does not need to be restricted to the house. There’s no reason why it cannot be used in the garden on a nice sunny day. It's suitable for three years and over.

Reserve one and pay in store when you collect or pay £3.95 for delivery.

Free Printable Discount Vouchers For Burger King Meals

by Heidi Scrimgeour in Deals on 12 July, 2014 at 10:53 am

Free Printable Discount Vouchers For Burger King Meals

What are you up to today? In our house it's a boring day revolving around painting the kitchen (YAWN...) but if you're out and about doing something fun with the family, then you might like to know that Burger King has a host of special discount coupons available for use which you can print.

My kids seem to prefer Burger King to that other well-known fast food burger restaurant, and on the rare occasions that we treat ourselves to lunch at Burger King, I am rather partial to a Chicken Royale. My husband is a traditionalist though, and swears by the Burger King Whopper. Yum.

There are loads of coupons available for you to use at Burger King to help lighten the load on your wallet, offering everything from a free Whopper when you buy one, to a Family Bundle featuring two Whoppers, two cheeseburgers, and four portions of regular fries for just £9.99.

You can only use one voucher per person and it's not valid in conjunction with any other offer. You can use them until the 31st August, so it's super handy for the school summer holidays, and they are valid at participating restaurants only.

Bet I'm not the only one who is completely desperate for lunch at Burger King now...

Joie Nitro Stroller Half Price @ Babies R Us

by Heidi Scrimgeour in Deals on 12 July, 2014 at 10:41 am

Joie Nitro Stroller Half Price @ Babies R Us

Looking for a nippy, lightweight stroller to take away on holiday with you this summer? Well right now at Babies R Us this Joie Nitro Stroller is half price, reduced from £99.99 to just £49.99.

And if you use the voucher code BIRTHDAY5 - just type it into the relevant box when prompted at the basket checkout stage - you'll get the price down to just £44.99.

The Joie Nitro is billed as an ideal pushchair for travelling, due to the fact that it's lightweight and boasts a compact fold and a large shopping basket. That sounds like exactly what you need if you're going to be flying off on holiday or even loading up the car to head off on your hols.

It also features multi-position recline so that newborns can lie completely flat, as well as ergonomic handles and Multi-position calf support for a comfier ride. There's also suspension on all wheels, and the front swivel wheels can be locked in place as needed. It's suitable for use with infants weighing up to 7.6kg.

It's also available for free delivery, or you can click and collect free of charge, and pick it up in 29 minutes!

With thanks to mel_hi @HUKD

ELC Wallop A Worm Game £2.50 @ Mothercare

by Nada in Deals on 12 July, 2014 at 10:24 am

ELC Wallop A Worm Game £2.50 @ Mothercare

Mothercare are selling this Early Learning Centre Wallop a Worm game just now for £2.50. It was £8 originally and it’s worth that.

My children have this game and were given it last Christmas from my best friend. I will be honest and admit that when they opened it and I saw the name, I did wonder what the heck she had bought them.

Apart from sounding like some kind of kinky bedroom game, this provides a lot of fun with children aged 2 and above. It is quite babyish and I really don’t think it would appeal to the over fives. We have used it a lot since we got it and I feel it has been quite educational.

Children put on a colourful mitt then proceed to wallop the worms, butterflies, ladybirds and leaves. Once one sticks to their mitt, they have to say what the creature is, what colour it is and what number is displayed on it.

I personally feel that this is a fun memory game for your wee ones. Click and collect is of course free from your local Mothercare store or £2.95 if you would rather it was delivered.

Lelli Kelly Shoes & Bags From £15 @

by Luschka van Onselen in Deals on 11 July, 2014 at 9:07 pm

Lelli Kelly Shoes & Bags From £15 @ you have a Lelli Kelly lover in the house, you'll know how much a pair of them can set you back, and you may cringe inwardly a little whenever they start rubbing in all the wrong ways. has a lot of different Lelli Kelly shoes and a few handbags on sale right now, with prices on the shoes starting at £15, and on the bags at £19.90.

The £15 Lelli Kelly shoes include the Perla ballerina flats which come in two lovely metallic colours and are absolutely perfect for the upcoming season.

Lelli Kelly's on the site go up to £49.90, with the biggest discount being on The California LK6750. Normally £47.90 they are now £15, glittery, girlie, really well made and have gems on the side that actually light up. It also comes with two free gifts.

Delivery on is £2.95 on orders under £35 otherwise Free in the UK.

Kids Eat Free On School Days @ Asda

by Heidi Scrimgeour in Deals on 11 July, 2014 at 8:44 pm

Kids Eat Free On School Days @ Asda

They say you learn something new every day, and that's certainly true for me today. Apparently kids can eat free on school days during term-time at Asda. Did you know that?!

Click here to read all about Asda's free meals for kids

The deal runs from 3.30pm on school days, and with every adult meal purchased at the full price of £3.25 you can get one kid's meal free (normally priced at £2.25). Children can choose any meal from the kids’ menu, which includes family favourites such as fish fingers, chicken dippers or cumberland sausage, all served with a choice of chips or mash and baked beans or peas. There are cold meals on offer, too.

Taking the children grocery shopping is something I actively try to avoid at all costs - for all of our sakes - but with this handy little deal up my sleeve, I might brave it a bit more often from now on, and particularly before the schools break up for summer.

Thanks, Asda!

Up To 90% Off @ DotComGiftShop

by Luschka van Onselen in Deals on 11 July, 2014 at 7:34 pm

Up To 90% Off @ DotComGiftShopDotComGiftShop have up to 90% off at the moment on a whole range of things that are perfect for little gifts, Secret Santa and stocking fillers and even end of school or back to school gifts. Annoyingly if you're buying a bargain for £1, is that I can't find any free delivery codes, so unless you're spending £50, you'll have to pay £2.95 delivery, but if you buy smart I reckon it could still be worth it.

I love these stripy paper straw pens, and think they'd be a love addition to a back to school set and not bad at £1. And while you're at it, the 36 colouring in pencils for £1 are lovely too.

Lunch bags from £1 - like the Dress Up Dolly bag (SO CUTE!) - up to £2.95 are amazing value, I think - and something totally different at the lunch table to all the Disney Princesses!

Even the Dress Up Dolly Lunch Box or the Pirate Lunch Box at £1.95 each are super cute.  I'm even tempted by the sweet little owl sharpeners for 50p each.

I don't think I've ever used the word cute quite so much in a deal before, but come on! Aren't these the cutest little back to school items ever? I'm even thinking of the 10p erasers instead of sweets for my daughter's birthday pass the parcel.

And these are just the things in my basket - pop over using the link above and find your favourites.

Travel Sizes SO? Or Miss Cutie Pie £1.99 @ Argos

by Luschka van Onselen in Deals on 11 July, 2014 at 7:05 pm

Travel Sizes SO? Or Miss Cutie Pie £1.99 @ Argos

If you're jetting off on holiday soon, leave your toiletries waiting at home and pack your own little hotel welcome pack in the form of SO? Or Miss Cutie Pie travel sized sprays and creams from Argos. These are reduced from £4.99 and now on sale at £1.99 each.

There's enough in this set to keep you smelling fresh and clean if you're off to somewhere sunny and warm for the holidays.

The SO? set includes SO...? Kiss Me Body Fragrance 50ml, SO...? Exclusive Body Fragrance 50ml, SO...? Sexy Body Fragrance 50ml, SO...? Sinful Body Fragrance 50ml.

The Miss Cutie Pie set includes a shower gel, body lotion, bubble bath and a polka dot cosmetics bag.

At least this way you don't have to worry about packing and unpacking your toiletries when you get to your destination, or back home.

Pure Cotton Floral Embroidered Girls Kaftan Top £3 @ M&S

by Karen McGinn in Deals on 11 July, 2014 at 5:24 pm

Pure Cotton Floral Embroidered Girls Kaftan Top £3 @ M&S

Reduced from between £10 and £12, this is now only £3 for all the sizes currently in stock which are 18-24 months, 2-3, 3-4, 4-5 and 5-6 years.

This is a lovely summer top over at M&S and I’m a fan of white as it goes with a whole lot of things. Only one review but if that’s anything to go by we’re getting a bargain here as as well as leaving five stars, the reviewer commented :

I would highly recommend it, it is an amazing top, my girl looks like a fairy any time she puts it on, such a fine product.

Can’t really get much better than that! It’s 100% cotton, apart from the trimmings as you’d expect.

You can collect in store for free or opt for home delivery but that will cost an extra £3.50, unless you’re spending over £50, then it’s free.

The Smurf Micro Village Starter Set & The Smurfs 4 Figure Pack Assortment £1.49 @ Argos

by Karen McGinn in Deals on 11 July, 2014 at 3:07 pm

The Smurf Micro Village Starter Set & The Smurfs 4 Figure Pack Assortment £1.49 @ Argos

Both reduced from £9.99 to the current selling price of £1.49. There looks like plenty of stock for the 4 pack of Smurfs, while the Micro Village is half and half around the postcodes I’ve tried.

You can reserve both by clicking the link below, just be aware Internet Explorer may have some issues with Argos links right now but they will work on Safari or alternative browsers. Just if anyone has issues.

Doesn’t seem that long ago I was frantically trying to complete the set from the McDonalds Happy Meal Smurfs but their appeal is longer lasting I think. Both of these sets have been steadily reduced but this is the lowest price we’ve had for both so far.

The figure sets include Sets include Clumsy, Chef, Papa and Smurfette and they have 5 points of articulation, measuring 2.75 inches in height.

The Micro Village, that one includes 4 play pack pieces and includes a figure too. Each piece interlocks to scale city outwards.

I think these are a cracking buy for £1.49. Whether it’s for the gift drawer, your own fan or simply to put away until the next movie is released (we all know it will be!) and to avoid paying the inevitable price hike, reserve these now if you can.

The figures are available for home delivery, (starter set isn’t) but as always that will cost an extra £3.95.

Thanks to NordicViking and skizzyxpanda @ HUKD!

Loom Bands, Where Will It All End?

by Karen McGinn in Misc on 11 July, 2014 at 1:29 pm

Loom Bands, Where Will It All End?

This time last year I hadn’t heard of loom bands and now, well now, I can do fishtails, bracelets and have even tackled some of the projects we have here on the blog like the Loom Band Summer Projects with my 7 year old.

I’m a fan for a few reasons, firstly they’re cheap and as a parent you’ll know it’s not often (ever?) kids are into something that is, plus it’s creative and lets them use their imaginations.

So yeah I like them. The initial board and coloured bands in this house were soon replaced by neon, glow in the dark and even scented bands, as the creations became even more weird and wonderful (my daughter not me honest) and we’re always on the lookout for new projects to tackle.

And then we stumbled on the Loom Band Dress. Yeah, you read it correctly, the loom band DRESS. Currently in news feeds and being tweeted across the nation, it’s sitting at £153, 921 on eBay right now with 4 days left of bidding to go. Now suddenly my home made multi coloured bracket doesn’t look quite as impressive as it did yesterday (Still have the marks on my fingers from making it too) NOTHING I show my daughter is ever going to compete now she’s been exposed to this.

And to be quite honest making that kind of cash, I’m not going to discourage her,  now where did I put that board?!


5 Things No-One Tells You About Giving Birth

by Heidi Scrimgeour in Features on 11 July, 2014 at 12:00 pm

5 Things No-One Tells You About Giving Birth

There’s really only one thing you need to know about preparing yourself for giving birth, and it’s that nothing on earth can ever truly prepare you for it.

You can arm yourself with a host of breathing techniques to help you cope with labour or practise Hypnobirthing until you’ve mastered the art of astral projection but the truth is that much of your birth prep will utterly desert you in your hour (or hours and hours and hours…) of need. No amount of mantras, panting or visualisation can overthrow the overwhelming urge to dig your nails into the palm of your partner’s hand and threaten to maim his manhood if he ever so much as ever looks at you with those come-to-bed eyes again.

Still, they say fore-warned is fore-armed, so here are five things no-one told us about giving birth, which might mean they come as less of a shock to you if you’ve yet to do the deed, or at least give you a laugh as you look back (eyes watering and knees-a-trembling) on your own first birth experience…

You WILL poo
It’s a simple fact of the mechanics of expelling a sizeable human from a small (albeit stretchy) orifice that your bowel has no option but to get dragged along to that particular party. As you’ll know if you’ve ever inadvertently peed your pants whilst laughing / sneezing / coughing, it is nigh-on impossible to push with all your might from your, um, ‘punany’ without also, alas, activating certain other muscles usually reserved for straining of a different kind. Never mind pooing myself during delivery, I was surprised I didn’t lose an eyeball in the process.

Indecorous as it might seem to take a dump on the delivery table against your will, poo is really the least of your worries at that point but the good news is that most midwives are adept at dealing with this issue delicately, and thus will have deftly whipped away the offending article before you so much as get a whiff of it.

The downside to that, however, is that when the post-birth high has finally worn off and you’re debriefing with your birthing partner over every detail of your delivery, you may not cope well with the dawning realisation that watching a face emerge from your lady bits isn’t the only strange new thing your other half will have witnessed that day. But if pooing during delivery is a cloud of sorts, then its silver lining is that having someone watch you crap yourself and still claim to find you beautiful afterwards is pretty damned marvellous.

Your baby might seem ugly
At Playpennies Towers we’re all agreed that the whole swept-away-in-an-instant-bond-of-unbreakable-love thing can be a total myth for some women when they become mothers. Of course, you might be one of the lucky ones who feels overwhelmed with the warm fuzzies the moment she claps eyes on her progeny, but for most of us the sentiment that best sums that moment up is more like ‘Eeeeeuuuurrrrgggghhhhhh,’ swiftly followed by a compulsion to hand the baby to someone else while you have a nice cup of tea and cry silent tears of thankfulness that you survived the whole ordeal.

And aside from the fact that most newborns wear a startled facial expression that resembles a really angry bulldog chewing a wasp, the whole covered in blood and weird-smelling sticky stuff thing can be pretty off-putting too.

Plus if the pushing part takes a while or requires certain kinds of intervention, your baby might well arrive sporting a cone-head, which can come as something of a shock. Of course none of this really matters in the great scheme of things, but I’m just saying that it’s totally normal to feel a tad squeamish by the sight of your brand new baby. You certainly don’t see *that* in the movies.

Afterpains hurt like hell
Sweet mercy, nothing upon God’s green earth could have prepared me for the soul-sapping, mind-bending agony of the afterpains that followed the delivery of my third baby, who popped out within minutes of our arrival at hospital. I wondered if my midwife had been making a cuppa shortly before delivering my baby and had inadvertently left her knitting, a teaspoon and a packet of chocolate Hob Nobs behind after my last internal exam, because I couldn’t believe anything could hurt THAT much and yet be so unproductive. Never mind pain relief in labour, it was afterwards that I needed the good drugs, and plenty of ‘em. Fortuately by that stage in the proceedings it’s totally acceptable to down several glasses of champagne in a bid to numb the blistering pain. I mean celebrate the joy of new life.

There’s a lot of blood
When I was expecting my first baby, a male friend commented that the floor of his wife’s delivery room looked as if someone had been beheaded following the birth of their first child. Suffice it to say that giving birth to a baby involves a lot more blood than you might expect, and it doesn’t really stop flowing for a good while after you give birth. I’m talking days and weeks, not hours, so no matter how many packets of maternity pads (otherwise known as unmentionables in my house) you’ve stashed up on, add another half dozen and you might just have the first few nights covered.

You might be too tired to care about anything
After months of excitedly waiting to discover whether she was having a boy or a girl, one of our team admits to being so exhausted and overwhelmed after giving birth that she says she couldn’t really care less which it was when her daughter finally arrived. “I was too tired to ask, and had to be told,” she recalls.

So there you have it; the truth about labour. I hope it doesn’t give you nightmares or burst any bubbles but in a funny sort of way, accepting that nothing can truly prepare you for labour might be just about the best form of preparation there is.