11 Ways to “treat yo self” during pregnancy

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Pregnancy is this beautiful thing, It’s an absolute miracle when you think about the fact that you are making a little baby; all of his or her organs, muscles, bones, everything! the nervous system, tiny cells, capillaries all of it – that’s you mama don’t you dare discredit what your doing right now – not only is your body performing this absolute magic trick but it is also keeping you alive and making sure you also thrive… seriously – what our body has to do in one single breath is mind blowing so everything that yours has done and is doing right now is AMAZING. YOU ARE AMAZING.

It’s so important during this time to take care of you, this will not only be beneficial for yourself but is proven to be beneficial for your little one/ones also – SELF CARE LADIES!

It’s all to often we put ourselves last.. yes this is super common once you have children but even with my first pregnancy I was more enthusiastic about purchasing clothes and accessories for my baby than I was for myself – I think I may have even made it completely through my first pregnancy without one item of maternity clothing, just using hair-ties to hold my jeans together – little did I know the morning my eldest daughter was born, my world, my entire life would revolve around her – and I don’t say this in a negative manner, she has one hundred percent changed my life for the better and I obviously wouldn’t change a thing – BUT more so to help any first time mums to realize that this will be the best time to “treat yo self” – and of course repeat mamas you know the drill, Its not easy making a baby/babies whilst taking care of your family/errands/work – PLEASE make time for you too!

So here’s a few ways/things during pregnancy you can do to feel a little nice –  I have tried to make sure there’s a variation of expenses from $0 plus as not all of us are married to Bill Gates and I totally get that ….

1. Around half way through your pregnancy (maybe sooner, maybe later) you may find your clothes aren’t fitting as kindly as they once did – this is the best excuse to do a little shopping. There are so many cute maternity options now, BUT if your not a fan and not keen to join the maternity wear gang you can find non maternity gems that have a little stretch or are relaxed/oversized fit e.g Maxi dresses, body con dresses, Tee’s & Singlets etc. and just so happen to look super cute with a bump! Below is a list of online goodies to check out for both maternity & non!

Asos, SHE maternity, BAE the label, Bohoo.com, Decjuba dluxe basics, Casa amuk, The blushing fox maternity, Spell, Blossom and glow, Bras & things, Cotton on body,  The iconic, Revolve clothing, Pea in a pod maternity, Zara, Seed, H & M … you get the point.

2. Enjoy your favorite meal or for those with a sweet tooth; dessert. I am a major foodie so sitting down to a meal I LOVE just makes everything so much better… as my mum would say “nothing like a bit of tummy love”…… BUT I speak from experience, your jeans may not agree.

3. Ask your significant other for a no strings attached massage…  a back, foot or hand massage or simply stroking and playing with your hair, these are SO relaxing and you can sit on the couch together and watch Netflix or a movie.. this usually makes the duration of the massage rather lengthy as they get distracted …high five (If your partner isn’t great in this area book yourself in for a pregnancy massage, just let them know when booking how far along you are).

4. Waxing , Hair appointments, Nails (if you get regular mani/pedis) these are all still important for YOU and you deserve them!.. not only will your hair (everywhere) and nails be growing twice as fast but you’ll always leave these appointments feeling like a new women pregnant or not.. also you get to catch up with your go to Spa Therapist/Hair dresser. (Just let them know when booking about your little bundle).

5. The oldie’s but forever goodie’s – Bubble baths, Herbal teas, Soy candles/ burning Essential oils/diffuses  – these are all rather cheap and attainable and the best part is IF you already have kids once they’re all snuggled up and fast asleep the night is yours… (for those without a bath now might be a great time to invest in a foot spa).

*please note not all herbal teas are safe during pregnancy please check before consuming, also essential oils are NOT to be applied to your body or bath water unless you know they are also 100% safe during pregnancy.

6. Experiencing some skin changes? this is totally normal and more pronounced for some of us mama’s during pregnancy. If you have a reputable spa near by (Endota Spa in Australia are amazing) book an appointment that includes a skin consultation (let them know your expecting) – this way the facial you end up deciding on with your Spa Therapist will be designed specifically for your current skin concerns and condition, you will leave feeling relaxed, amazing, and educated about YOUR skin, It can take an absolute hammering through pregnancy and is an organ definitely worth taking care of. (This is also an ideal time to add a lash/brow tint and maybe a brow tidy if you wanted).

7. Go for a walk and get a nice dose of endorphin’s, whatever your happy place is.. the beach, a park.. anywhere you feel relaxed, maybe stop somewhere you feel calm and spend some time meditating. (This not only benefits you but has been proven to benefit baby too!)

8. Pre-natal Yoga, Pilates, Aqua jogging – I have done all of these in previous pregnancies, not only did they make me feel great but I met other mama’s as well as using these classes/dates to catch up with my other friends… try having a full on conversation while Aqua jogging, nothing else will make you a better listener than being a puffing pregnant floaty unable to string a sentence together (obviously take it easy).

9. Turn off your social medias, get into some seriously soft and comfy lounge wear and watch your current obsession on Netflix a favorite movie or maybe a book you’ve been meaning to read, obviously accompany this with a hot cuppa and some tasty treats, cushions, pillows & throws – put your feet up, switch off & unwind (you can also add in a face or hair mask to work their magic for the evening).

10. Catch up with a friend or group of girlfriends for Coffee, Tea or go out for an evening and enjoy a picture worthy Mocktail, Its always fun getting a little dressed up and feeling pretty (especially if your already a parent and like me live in borderline p.j’s all day with your hair chucked up in a bun). Having another woman or girlfriend’s to talk too also lifts your spirits .. they get you and they support you.. and if they don’t opt for one of the above and make some new friends beautiful mama!

11. This one is a bit of a hit and miss, but for some of us .. well we get excited… Start planning a trip!  You could opt for a Baby-moon – before your little one/ones arrive you escape somewhere beautiful for a relaxing and child free holiday (if you already have kids this is when grandparents/trustworthy family come in). Its so precious having time to connect and make memories with your significant other pre baby or child free. The other option is to plan ahead.. maybe think of a child friendly location you’d like to go to when baby is say one, not only does this give you more time to save and research but also you’ve nailed your first year as a parent and to me the one year mark is pretty special and most definitely worth celebrating – Its always nice having something to look forward to!

Other than that – eat well dear mama, sleep well, drink plenty of water, lavish your belly and body in pregnancy safe oils and lotions, take care of YOU and love YOU and then taking care of and loving everyone else will be an absolute cinch.

Steph x

* We are all different and experience pregnancy differently, above are suggestions only and should not be followed if they conflict with anything your G.P, Midwife or other medical professional has instructed you. 

 

 

 

 

Baby E & My Journey To Three

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This is a bit of a strange post to write … and I most definitely had my reservations, but the more I thought about it I hoped by sharing my story maybe ..just maybe one mother somewhere out there would feel some sense of comfort .. even if its just the fact that we are or have been in the same foreign and unexpected boat.

My pregnancy with Baby E started out text book…. I was late, I took a test… It was negative – weird! .. a few more days later… also negative – this happened a few times until those two pink lines exposed themselves- (by this point I had assumed I was just having further hormonal issues and pregnancy wasn’t the diagnosis). I walked out of the bathroom with a blank look on my face pretty shocked, Nathan asked me what was up –  deep breath, slight awkward/worried laugh … “I’m pregnant” i said unenthused, he asked if i was sure.. yes i was sure, we had a bit of a laugh and a “oh man” moment as we had recently come to the conclusion two girls was enough.. life was getting easier as they got older and we could make more progress financially as well as enjoying more trips etc.

The rest of the day we both kind of zoned out and were completely absorbed among our own thoughts as to .. how, when, what etc etc…

Soon I started to feel sick… REALLY REALLY sick.. I was rather unwell with Annalise but this was definitely next level and so much sooner… we made do, he cooked, he cleaned.. he was amazing – I lay on the couch for a solid 3 months and my poor husband had to deal with my emotional outbursts and frustrations dealing with what felt like a never ending gastro virus.

The time came for our dating scan (around 8 weeks) and there She was our little bean with a beautiful beating heart…. it was at that moment the reality of the situation hit me and i knew I could make it through…. as the scan carried on I said to our ultrasound tech… “so your sure there’s only one in there?” … She looked at the screen intently and asked “whys that?” I said ” I just felt so so unwell so incredibly early” she replied with “oh okay” again looking at the screen with pure concentration and didn’t say anything further, our scan finished up yet we waited after for our pictures for about 30 minutes.. I thought it was a bit odd but oh well maybe they ran out of that shiny photograph paper they use to print the baby pictures, who knows….. it was only a few days after I was to see my doctor… She told me during my appointment that among thyroid issues and insanely low iron that we had in fact conceived twins… sadly baby E’s sibling’s heart had stopped beating and I had joined the percentage of women that have had what I now know as “Vanishing Twin Syndrome” Ill be honest it broke my heart.. I felt so strange during my appointment as my doctor told me In such a simple manner as though It was nothing and I really didn’t know how to react.

I left the doctors and rang Nathan.. after telling him there was a pause on his end of the phone… I could feel his disappointment and we both didn’t know what to say… its so strange, at a time when you feel you should be celebrating this little baby yet here we were feeling loss.. and then guilt for not feeling happy over the perfect little baby who was thriving… what a mix of emotions – and a giant bag of pregnancy hormones thrown In the mix obviously doesn’t help. I cried. I doubted myself.. what have I been eating? did I do something? … I googled looking for any tiny scrap of information that the ultrasound technician had made a mistake and somehow our second baby would be there and doing well in the following scan.

After getting through all of the above stages I came to the point of acceptance.. tinged with a slight hope.. after all that’s all we could do.

Nuchal scan – It was time and I was SO looking forward to It, our scan went fine and there she was our little girl now looking like a little baby, moving around and bouncing up and down.. the ultrasound technician had a bit of trouble doing measurements because of this, she also measured the home of our lost baby which now looked like an empty bubble this Is because the vanishing twin Is absorbed by the placenta – hence the name “vanishing twin” I felt a bit sad but I mostly appreciated the closure I’d needed, Baby E was healthy and we could now move on focusing on her and maybe I could stop worrying so much.. so I thought!

Not long after the scan I met my midwife.. she’s AMAZING and I cannot wait to bring our little girl into the world with her… It was like when you meet someone for the first time yet you feel you already know them.. I was so comforted by this and so happy we landed a good one!

She read me my nuchal results for baby E and although one area came back In the intermediate range she felt everything was fine and there was no need to worry.. fast forward to the following day.. my phone rings early in the morning and its my doctor .. she is a flurry of words over the scan results and blurts out how dangerous they are and how there is something wrong with our baby, she starts saying I need to make a decision NOW about further testing or termination… I was in disbelief, I felt pissed.. what the hell, why has this pregnancy been so taxing both physically and emotionally.

After I rang my midwife (who was also pissed about what the doctor had said as it was completely inaccurate). I rang my mum.. I explained I cried some more, She was so confident and said nothing was wrong but we both agreed for my piece of mind and for the sake of the progressing pregnancy to get further testing done.. just so i could finally relax and enjoy our baby – we also gave that doctor the flick and found a much more savvy practitioner – who is absolutely beautiful.

After seeing her we opted for the Generation harmony test … a non invasive blood test, my blood is taken and the DNA of our little one is separated from mine and tested for defects, $450 and 7 days later and one evening my phone rang.. I answered unsure as it could have been anyone… my new doctor said hello and asked how I was.. my heart started to pound in my chest and I waited for her diagnosis…. “Everything looks great” she said…. “baby is at the lowest risk for everything”… oh man I took the biggest and most satisfying breath at that moment and silently thanked god.

She then went on to tell us we were expecting another little girl (this is just a side perk of the blood tests they can find out the gender as soon as 10 weeks now!).. We were so happy and from this moment Ive been able to feel so much more of a connection to this little girl and really enjoy the remainder of the pregnancy.

So here we are.. half way through to meeting you precious little lady, how special you must be baby E after everything… and yes baby E stands for your name which we have already agreed upon and chosen just for you.

For all the Mama’s out there going through pregnancy struggles, loss (this was my second experience with loss), the intense changes making a baby can cause, the emotional roller coaster and prenatal trials your enduring… there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, I feel your pain…and from one mama to another I say… and I totally believe …

You’ve got this.

Steph x