Every year putting up the Christmas tree it’s a special day for us. We have the same tree and decorations since a couple of years ago, all white and gold, but this year we went back to the traditional to celebrate Sienna’s first Christmas and Suri’s first Christmas as a big sister, something that she has been waiting for since she was a little toddler.

Because it’s such a special Christmas for us and I’ve been receiving so many questions about it I would like to share a bit more about our Christmas tree and decorations this year.

With not much time (or patience) to go to a shop and carry home everything like we did before this year I ordered everything online and from the same shop, Balsam Hill.

Here are the links for everything and below some pictures.

Christmas Tree: https://www.balsamhill.co.uk/p/norway-spruce-artificial-christmas-tree?sku=2801203
Quilted Tree Skirt: https://www.balsamhill.co.uk/p/berkshire-quilted-christmas-tree-skirt?sku=4001075&
Stone Lodge Faux Fur Tree Skirt: htthttps://www.balsamhill.co.uk/p/lodge-faux-fur-christmas-tree-skirtps://www.balsamhill.co.uk/p/lodge-faux-fur-christmas-tree-skirt?sku=4001158
Ribbon: https://www.balsamhill.co.uk/p/bold-red-christmas-tree-ribbon?sku=4001688
Ornaments: https://www.balsamhill.co.uk/p/nordic-frost-bauble-set?sku=4001609

Wishing you all a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!



I’m now 27 weeks and 1 day pregnant and I would never think in getting my hospital bag ready this early but when Envie de Fraise, the French leader of pregnancy range that revolutionised fashion maternity since 11 years ago thanks to it’s unique know-how which allies tradition and innovation, joins forces with French fashion brand Petit Bateau who has been making high quality, stylish Women’s clothes, classic Men’s clothing and tough kids clothes for over 125 years to put together the ultima hospital bag, well that changed my mind! 😉
From May 23 to June 5, Envie de Fraise and Petit Bateau are hosting a giveaway where you can win 1 of 2 Envie de Fraise and Petit Bateau hospital bags via a dedicated mini-website. All you have to do to stand a chance to win is sign up here and that’s it, could it be that easy?
Each suitcase, worth £565, is made up of essentials for mother and baby:
If you are pregnant, plan to be or know someone who is (this would be an amazing gift) don’t miss the chance to win this fabulous prize.

Good luck! 😉





Before I had Suri and had to worry about schools I could never imagine that the Education system here in the UK could be so different from the one we have in Portugal.

From the age we start school to the teaching methods everything here it’s new and so complicated for me, not to speak about finding a suitable school and being accepted in it.

Suri is now in Year 1, she is 6 years old and only started school with almost 5 because she was a September baby.

Until a couple of weeks ago I thought that the normal British system was the only one available, until I heard about the International Baccalaureate® (IB).

But what is the IB?

The International Baccalaureate® (IB) aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

To this end the IB works with schools, governments and international organisations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.

These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) is comprised of three academic programmes; the Primary Years Programme (for students aged 3 – 11), the Middle Years Programme (for students aged 11 – 16) and the Diploma Programme (for students ages 16 -18). The IB is an inquiry based programme that encourages students to think critically and be the masters of their own learning.

In an ever-changing world, where fact and fiction can be manipulated with ease, the IB prepares its students to ask the questions that matter, ‘how do I know that?’, ‘why do I think that?’ ‘where do I fit in to that?’ At each stage of a student’s learning journey, the IB equips them to develop not only their academic capabilities, but also their capacity to positively influence the world around them through being reflective, open-minded, and truly global individuals.

(Source and more information: https://www.southbank.org/our-school/international-baccalaureate/)

Sounds good, right? I was quite curious to know more but as I never heard of this locally I though that we didn’t have any IB school around. Gladly I was wrong, Southbank International school, despite the name, has campus in three locations two of them being very local to us, one in Kensington/Notting Hill and the other in Hampstead. I decided to book a visit to the Notting Hill one to have a look and understand a bit more how is the IB different from other curriculums.

I don’t want to bother you with details and I highly recommend you to read more on their website and book a visit but the first word that comes to my mind to describe the school it’s creativity, at all levels, arts, music, dance and even digital (The school has a Mac-based IT Lab and computers and Smartboards in all classrooms. ICT (Information Communication Technology) is seen as an integrated tool that helps students both develop and express their understanding.). The second word it’s international, you can clearly see from the books or artwork on the walls that it’s an international school and that incentivises different languages. In fact the Kensington campus has children from almost 40 different nationalities, in total they have 70 different nationalities across all the campuses.

One of the aspects that impressed me the most was the fact that the students are incentivised to think, yes, I wrote think. Think critically, understand what they are learning and why, do their research to know more and understand the why and how of things, and above all make an informed opinion about a fact, not because someone told them it’s like that and that’s it now memorise it. Social skills, leadership, being inquisitive, critic and curious, these are crucial skills that anyone needs to be successful these days, the world has changed and it keeps changing at an unimaginable speed, school needs to adapt and develop with those changes, it certainly cannot be seen like 30 years ago. I saw that adaptation and development here.

I took Suri with me to see her reaction visiting the school and she was amazed by the all the activities they had in school, all the art on the walls, the kids on the computers, the classrooms, overall she really enjoyed it and found it so different from her own school.

During the visit I also found out that Southbank International School is the first school in the UK authorised to offer all three International Baccalaureate programmes: Primary Years Programme (5 to 11 years), Middle Years Programme (11 to 16 years) and Diploma Programme (16 to 19 years). They also have an Early Childhood Curriculum (3 years and 2 months to 5 years).

I have to admit that this visit got me thinking about Suri’s education and her future, will keep you posted 😉




So now that the good news are out I can share with you how was the first trimester of this pregnancy.

I found out I was pregnant before Christmas as I noticed my period was late. A Clearblue pregnancy test confirmed the pregnancy, I was 2-3 weeks pregnant according with the test, meaning I was 4-5 weeks according with the 28 days cycle method used by doctors.

Everything went quite well the following few weeks until I started bleeding at around 7 weeks. First just light spotting but one day I was bleeding enough to be wearing a pad. I called the Maternity Helpline and they immediately booked me in for a scan. As St Mary’s couldn’t see me that day I was referred to Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea.

Of course I can’t tell you how much I was panicking driving on the way to the hospital fearing for the worst, could I handle another miscarriage?

I was quickly seen and thankfully there was a heartbeat, the baby was fine and there was no visible reason for the bleeding. Bruno met me there but they were so quick that when he arrived I already had good news to share with him.

Then it happened again the following week, this time the bleeding was heavier and I had pain and cramps. This time after calling the maternity helpline I was advised to call the hospital where I had been seen before directly as they would see me immediately. That’s what I did and they did see me immediately. Another journey to the hospital fearing for my pregnancy and wondering if I could handle another miscarriage.

Thankfully like before there was a heartbeat and the baby was growing fine, but there was a visible blood clot inside the uterus, although not inside the gestational sac. It’s called a Subchorionic hemorrhage (subchorionic hematoma). I was advised a lot of rest and to be really careful with lifting weights and all that, hopefully it would disappear by itself but it also could persist throughout the pregnancy. I was then booked another scan a week later as follow up.

I was on my 9th week when I had the third early scan, again thankfully everything was ok and the good news was that the blood clot was gone as well!

On the 2nd of February with 10 weeks and a couple of days I had a Panorama NIPT test booked at The Birth Company in Harley Street, together with the blood test I had a scan as well. I’ve decided to have this test and not the NHS one because I’m 39 years old and as you know the risk of chromosomal abnormalities it’s much higher (I actually didn’t know that it would increase so much) with age and I wanted a reassurance that everything would be fine with the baby in regards to that. If you ever consider doing this test I highly recommend The Birth Company, from booking to the results they were always fabulous even with all the questions I had.

They gave me printed pictures and a video!

In 10 calendar days I’ve got my result, Low Risk for everything! I was so anxious about this, it brought me piece of mind and a lot of happiness too, of course. With the results we also found out (this is included but optional) that Suri’s wish was coming true! It was a GIRL!!!!! 😉

Then to finalise the First Trimester I had my 12 weeks scan on the day we announced the pregnancy! Baby growing as expected and all seemed well!

A post shared by Sofia Gouveia (@mrssofiagouveia) on
The 12 weeks scan meant a lot to us because it was when we found out about the miscarriage (read about it here). This time we didn’t tell Suri or even our parents about the pregnancy and of course we went alone to the scan. I will take Suri to the next one but for this one I just couldn’t do it.

General notes about the First Trimester:

  • I didn’t have morning sickness, I felt nausea throughout the day and either felt very hungry or that I couldn’t eat at all but no sickness.
  • I felt extremely exhausted up to a point that I can’t describe. I was coming from work so tired that all I wanted was to sleep and as soon as Suri was in bed I was in bed too, meaning I was sleeping around 12h and even so, feeling exhausted during the day. No energy, no joy, just like a zombie going through each day! We spent a lot of time at home during the weekends because I just couldn’t be bothered to get dressed and do whatever. I just wanted to be at home.
  • I didn’t have many cravings but I was more into salty things rather than sweets. My daily snack before getting pregnant used to include peanut butter which I loved, now I can’t stand it.
  • Because I don’t eat sugar (only in rare occasions) and I usually have low blood pressure, I felt the need to sometimes eat something with sugar as I was having regular flashlights specially in front of the computer.
  • I’ve put around 1kg during the first trimester and my bump grew a lot quicker than when with Suri.

Well, and that’s it. I think it pretty much highlights my first trimester of pregnancy.

Above all, and although very anxious and nervous, I was incredibly happy for having this opportunity and so was Bruno. 🙂

Any question feel free to ask in the comments or just send me an email to sofia@lifestylewithsofia.com.

Lots of love,



Disclaimer: when I started this blog it was never my intention to post anything too personal, but the support I had by speaking and reading about other people’s stories made me never lose hope. I truly wish my story inspires other women to never give up, not matter what.

When I had Suri a midwife told me the following words: “After having a child and going through birth many women say, never again! Then the time goes by and the good memories of a baby are stronger than the less good ones so you decide to have another one. Then comes labour and you think to yourself, why did I do it again??????

This was exactly what happened to me, the whole process took me 4 years but finally our family was ready to receive another child. Suri’s biggest wish.

Unlike with Suri who took me 6 months to get pregnant for this one it only took 2 months. In January 2016 I found out I was pregnant! We were over the moon!

The bump grew much quicker than with Suri and soon you could easily notice I was pregnant, everything was going well so we told Suri. The 12-14 weeks scan was booked for the 21st of March and by that time I was “so pregnant” and so well that we’ve decided to tell our parents a couple of days before the scan.

As Suri already knew we picked her up from the nursery and took her to the scan to see the baby for the first time.

“Are you sure you are pregnant?”. “Yes!”. “Who told you you were pregnant?”

My heart stopped and I wanted to disappear! Immediately told Bruno to go outside with Suri, this was the end.

The sonographer finally found the foetus, it was dead since 7 weeks old, I had a silent miscarriage. (On the 15th of February I was sent to the ER because I was not well and had spent the whole weekend in bed, no bleeding, no pain, just so unwell that couldn’t leave the bed or eat properly. They gave me parecetamol and sent me home, I was 7 weeks pregnant, no one even bothered doing a scan or anything. Of course I don’t know but in my mind it happened on that weekend).

The sonographer then gave me a map and a report and told me I needed to go to another department, I went there and gave the paper to reception who were not sure who should I see. In that place there were a lot of pregnant women waiting to see a doctor or midwife, what was I doing there?

Then a kind nurse (not sure if she was a nurse but she worked there) asked me if I was ok because she noticed I was not well and I told her what happened, she said that I shouldn’t be there and took me to a more private room saying that she would call me if they called my name. By coincidence the girl was Portuguese (I wish I could remember her name to thank her). After a while she brought her manager to me and quickly they realised that I had been misinformed, that was the antenatal clinic! After a lot of I’m so sorry and we will escalate this mistake, I was sent to the Gynaecology Emergency Room (Gynae ER).

The process started there and two days later I was having my first ERPC.

When I announced my miscarriage on Instagram I found out that many women I knew went through the same but soon after they had a full pregnancy and a healthy baby, that gave us hope and will to try again as soon as we could.

Unfortunately there were other plans reserved for us. On the 6th of June I had an hysteroscopy and my second ERPC after abdominal pain and cramps plus no period, there were still rests of tissue and placenta inside me.

You would think it was resolved then but no, two hours or so before the picture below being taken I was wearing white trousers and a blouse. We were shopping and suddenly my trousers turned red inside one of the shops, the panic, the shame, I don’t even know what I felt at that time. I left the shop wearing sports shorts that Bruno bought there and headed home to change. I didn’t let that ruin my day, left home again and went for ice-cream with Suri and Bruno.

On the 4th of July had to go back to Gynae ER, this time with ongoing heavy flooding and clotting bleeding accompanied by pain. After my calls the previous weeks saying that I was bleeding too much and hearing back that it could just be my period, flooding the waiting room with blood got their attention and same day I had another surgery. At this time they though it was an artery inside the uterus so I had an uterine artery embolisation.

On the 14th of July we travelled to Portugal on holidays, all seemed to be ok and I could finally enjoy the sun and relax. Until I started having nose bleeding followed by vaginal bleeding a few days later. Thankfully it was time to go back to Lisbon (we were in Vilamoura, Algarve) and after more bleeding I went to a Gynaecology Emergency Room there. They gave me medication to stop the bleeding but didn’t want to take it further as I was going back to London in a couple of days and I was being followed there.

This picture was taken just before I had to leave the table rushing to the loo because I was bleeding again and after spending the morning at the hospital as mentioned above. Nothing would stop me from enjoying the holidays and most of all, letting my family enjoy it as well.

On this day I never though I could make it to this wonderful picnic, I was bleeding so badly that I couldn’t leave the bathroom at home. I made it there but then had to spend most of the time inside a bathroom because couldn’t stop bleeding, or sitting down as it would ease the bleeding. Even so we had the most lovely morning together and the picnic was amazing.

On the 8th of August already in London I had my third ERPC. I had chronically infected retained products of conception. Two coils (again) and a lot of medication (again) and a couple of exams (again) and they told me that nothing was left, all would be good now.

I had my follow up appointments in September and October where I complained about severe pain but all seemed fine apart from that. The pain got better as well but by December my period was disappearing and the endometrium was too thin with no improvement.

On the 27th of March 2017 and after different appointments and exams they confirmed that I had Asherman syndrome.

I had a hysteroscopic adhesiolysis + insertion of coils again + medication.

And as one it’s not enough I had the second again in May.

Then further a HSG as I was still not well they found out that there was still adhesions plus the right tube was not working.

On the 18th of September 2017 I had my last procedures: a Laparoscopy + dye test + Hysteroscopy + Adhesiolisys + coils and medications. Left tube was working but right tube confirmed to be not working.

After two follow up appointments on the 23rd of November I was finally told that everything was fine with (except the right tube of course) and that I was free to try to get pregnant again, I cried on my way home.

Then the miracle happened! Just before traveling to Portugal in December I noticed that my period was late and did the test, I was PREGNANT!!!!

When I told Bruno we were both excited and panicking, the fear of something going wrong was very strong but our happiness couldn’t be matched.

This time we decided to keep it a secret to everybody until last week :).

It was one year and eight months full of pain, tears and uncertainty, I heard things like “Who did this to you?” and “Are you sure you want to continue this after all you’ve been through” from the doctors.

And “When are you going to give Suri a little sister or brother to Suri?”, “You two should have another baby!”, “Suri needs a baby sister or brother!” from family members who knew all I was going through.

Plus Suri’s confusion of what happened to the other baby, why would we have to wait more time to have our baby… She prayed for a baby sister or brother until she lost hope. I only found out that later and gave her hope to believe again, until it happened. 🙂

But MIRACLES DO HAPPEN and I’m now 13 weeks pregnant. It’s a high risk pregnancy but I truly believe we will have a healthy baby girl in our arms in August.

Do you never ever give up, ALWAYS be positive and believe, keep fighting, remember of my story when you feel low and feel free to email me or DM me on Instagram if you need some support.

I really hope my story inspires other women who are going or will go through a similar situation than mine.