Should you do a maternity photo shoot?

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I had no interest in organising a maternity photo shoot when someone asked me.

I had an image of the typical photos that you see from a maternity shoot in my head. I never felt comfortable taking photos of my naked body especially since a lot of the maternity photos have naked bellies or just a sheet covering their body. I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing that pre-pregnant and let alone being pregnant.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the pregnant body is gorgeous but I also find it a very personal choice on whether you feel comfortable showing off your naked belly or taking photos of it.

Then I had another mother tell me one thing that I will never forget

“this is an incredible time of your life and you’re only pregnant for the first time once and your body is doing amazing things, a photo shoot would allow you and your partner to capture this amazing moment in your life and you can look back and see the beautiful way that your body has changed to give life”.

I walked away and though about what she said. This is true. This is the first time my body is experiencing such an extraordinary change for my baby and what if down the track I would regret not doing it? I think that was my biggest worry. I couldn’t exactly turn back time if I decided to not go ahead with the shoot so I decided to look into it.

As mentioned before, I didn’t want to have photos done of my naked pregnant body but I did want to capture the changes in my body so I decided to jump on Pinterest and see if I could find any maternity photo shoots that would help inspire my own shoot and Pinterest was fantastic in providing me ideas in style, location and what to wear. Below was some of the photos that inspired my own shoot:

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So I proceeded to keep on looking for images like above to set the tone of the kind of photo shoot that I wanted and put together my own maternity photo shoot:

  1. Location

As per the images above, I really thought having a natural backdrop like in a park or field would be great for my photo shoot and immediately thought of Centennial Park. The Park is so expansive and has so many different back drops such as lakes, big trees, ponds, flowers, statues and space! Perfect. Some of my own maternity photos below:

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I would suggest picking a location that you feel comfortable getting photographed at and that gives the ability to give you different backdrops.

2. Clothing, make up and hair

In regards to clothing, my photographer recommended light coloured clothing and something that accentuated my belly. Again Pinterest is great in helping me get ideas on what kind of clothing I should have for my photo shoot. I firstly looked in my closet but I didn’t have anything white or cream that a) fits me and b) gives me the look I was after.

My photographer said I could have a change of clothes in my photo shoot which was a great idea as I thought of getting a white/cream long dress and then another dress in another colour.

I went straight on to ASOS as I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a dress that was just going to be used for my maternity photo shoot and below are the two dresses that I used for my photo shoot:

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As for my hair and make up, I wanted a really soft natural look so I curled the ends of my hair and pinned it to one side so it dropped down and my make up was soft using bronzer, brown eye liner and pink eyeshadow with pink lipgloss.

3. Choosing my photographer

Once I had an idea of how I wanted my maternity photo shoot to look, I then began searching maternity photo shoot photographers. I jumped on Gumtree as I didn’t want to pay an arm and a leg for a photographer and I knew many up and coming photographers would charge less and do a great job. So I made my ultimate choice based on the photographers website and the kind of photos they took and which best aligned with the kind of photo shoot I was looking for.

I got in touch with the photographer I wanted to go ahead with and she was nice enough to offer to meet with me over coffee to discuss the kind of photo shoot I wanted to and pass on her advice on the shoots she had done. Michelle Purchase from Faure Photography was fantastic and made my photo shoot so much fun and a great day for me and my partner.

4. Props

Another aspect that I saw at many maternity photo shoots was the use of props and I think its a great idea and gives the photos that cuteness and linkage to baby that is due to arrive. Below are some of the props I used in my photo shoot:

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All in all we had a lot of fun doing our photo shoot and I’m so glad we did it.

They are memories that will be captured forever at such an important moment in our lives.

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Is it worth attending antenatal classes?

antenatal class

So this is the question I asked myself. Reason being;

  1. the time it would consume mine and my partner’s time to attend and was it really worth it?
  2. the cost involved to attend those classes and again was it worth it (I was astonished to find that most antenatal classes were charging $300 for attendance! I mean how can people with not a lot of money afford to pay this and justify spending $300 to learn how to give birth?) and
  3. I really didn’t want to watch a birthing video! I’ve gone 31 years without watching one and the thought of watching one horrified me and I know that they would show this at the antenatal classes.

 

But given that fact that me and my partner had ZERO clue about labour. Neither of us have had friends who have been through labour so we literally had no clue about the process and the stages of labour. So I decided that it was best that we both attend antenatal classes.

I decided to see if we could find a free class somewhere as I couldn’t justify spending $300 on top of all the money we have spent on things for the baby so far.

I managed to find free antenatal classes at the RPA but the only catch was it was on during the day and during the week. Me and my partner were both working but thought we could try to fit it in during our work day.

We signed up for a 6 x 2hr per week class and a separate 2 hour breastfeeding class.

We began my antenatal classes when I was 28 weeks.

Within the first 10 minutes of our first class, they put a birthing video on and I just sat there trying not to cry. I wanted to cry not because it was beautiful or amazing, I wanted to cry because of the pain that I could see the woman go through and knowing that its something that I would need to go through just scared the hell out of me and as I looked around the class, I also saw the same horrified faces of the other pregnant women.

My partner looked at me and held my hand. He could see I was shocked and scared as hell.

I walked away from the first class thinking that was so unnecessary to do. To put a birthing video within the first 10 minutes of your first antenatal class! Anyway, we had signed up and proceeded to push ahead.

I found each class to be quite repetitive. They would go over the same things at some classes and I found it to be a time waster at times. They also spent time on doing “group activities” which I think was also a time waster. One group activity was listing the things a support partner should do and say. I just think those things are quite obvious. They are there to support but we wasted 30 mins going over that.

Another class that I think was a time waster was post-baby care. They go over how to swaddle a baby (with a doll), how to bath a baby and certain ailments of a baby that are normal or not normal i.e. colour of their poop, certain skin rashes etc.

The reason why I found this a complete time waster is because you don’t remember any of that stuff when the baby arrives and when you are at the hospital, the midwives teaches you how to swaddle a baby, there are also various classes at the hospitals for mothers to attend. They teach you how to bath a baby, breastfeeding classes, how to settle a baby and physio classes (well these were the classes at my hospital. Not sure if this is the norm at other hospitals).

We also spent a good hour going over the various ailments a baby could have. Now looking back, I don’t remember a thing and if I found something strange on my baby, I would be calling one of the 24 hour helplines to ensure whether its normal or not. To think you would be able to remember what is normal or what is not is unrealistic and the reality is, when you have your own baby in your hands, you are going to want to check with the professionals as opposed to relying on what was taught to you months ago.

Apart from that, it was also very time-consuming attending these classes. 6 weeks for 2 hours each class, it was exhausting and as I got more pregnant, I just didn’t have the energy to want to go but I did attend every class.

By the end of it, I did learn things that we needed to know. Things like when to go to hospital, the different pain relief available, the tools of intervention and what to expect after the birth although I don’t think it needed to take 6 weeks and 2 hour classes to learn all the vital things.

I did find the breastfeeding class very useful. It goes over the signs a baby gives when they are hungry as well as showing you the various positions you can breastfeed. I did remember this when my baby came along and watched for the signs to know when to feed her before she starts crying as well as trying the various positions to see which she liked best. This by far was the most useful class.

And if I had paid $300 for these classes, I would be mighty upset. It’s definitely not worth that amount of money.

So we finish the class and a couple of weeks after I finish the class I’m at home on my iPad looking at pregnancy apps and come across a really interesting app that I proceed to download.

I download the BabyCenter Birth Class application. This app is amazing! I wish I came across it before I signed myself up to attend the antenatal classes because this app went through everything the antenatal class went through and for me, in better detail.

I can’t rave on about this app more. First of all you have someone who talks you through the classes so you’re not having to read (I am so over reading! I feel throughout this whole pregnancy there is just more and more stuff to read!). The app is broken up into sections so you can refer to areas that you really want to know about now or you can just go through the class in order.

The app is very thorough in covering all aspects of labour as well as post-birth. They also have a section where you can jot down notes.

There is also plenty of references to links for further information on certain topics.

What I also loved is that they did include various birthing videos of various mothers and their stories around labour. So labour with pain-relief, labour without pain relief, a c-section and I watched all the birthing videos. I guess it’s because I was more prepared that I was about to watch a birthing video and I was intrigued to see the various labour stories (the videos used in my antenatal classes was from the 90’s! They were so old).

The other things I loved is that you can do the app at your own pace and also at a time that suits you and your partner. The both of you can watch it at your own pace, pause the video if you need to discuss something and when you close the app and open it again, it starts where you left off.

If I had known about this app before signing up to the antenatal classes, I would not have signed up to the classes and stuck to just using the app.

And the best thing! The app is completely free to download! And because its made by BabyCenter, you know it’s a reliable source of information and seriously the app has been put together amazingly. I was really impressed.

So my suggestion, if you and your partner are time poor, don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars and want the flexibility of learning at your own pace and time, then I highly suggest downloading this app as it really has all the information you need.

The only suggestion would be to take a hospital tour (which they usually do in the antenatal classes) and if there is a breastfeeding class, I would also suggest attending that only.

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What are your thoughts on antenatal classes? Worth attending? Have you done any online ones such as the BabyCentre app?

Entering the dreaded 3rd trimester

3rd trimester

So I have to be completely upfront about this post and confess that the title is misleading when it comes to my own personal experience in regards to my third trimester and my pregnancy in general.

Now that I have finished my pregnancy and have had my little one, I would like to let all newbie mothers know that you don’t have to expect the worse. I entered my pregnancy expecting the worse.

I swore I was going to be a massive whale (by the end of my pregnancy I had only put on 8 kgs. Please note I’m not a skinny person! I am a healthy size 12 pre-pregnancy), I thought I would vomit everyday (I didn’t vomit even once), that I would suffer from heartburn and reflux (didn’t happen even once), that my feet would swell up and I wouldn’t fit in any of my shoes (my feet remained the same size and no swelling up until delivery date), that I wouldn’t be able to sleep properly (up until I began my contractions I was sleeping 8-9 hours a night, but I was getting up several times a night to go to the bathroom) and that every part of my body would be sore (my back was the only sore area and this only happened in the last few weeks of my pregnancy).

My third trimester wasn’t any of the bad things you hear about. I was still sleeping great right up until the end, I didn’t have any swelling on my legs or feet and the only pains I was getting was on my back and that was because my baby was posterior and really it was only in the last few weeks of my pregnancy.

The one thing that I did notice in my last trimester is that I didn’t have the energy that I had in the second trimester. As the weeks went on, I didn’t have the will to do much. Going to work was such a hassle every morning and I was so looking forward to my maternity leave.

I was planning to work up until 3 weeks before my due date but I literally couldn’t last at work during the day and found it so hard to wake up in the mornings that I ended up finishing up a week earlier. Luckily my work was really flexible and was ok when I asked to finish up a week earlier than planned.

Another thing I would suggest you do in your third trimester is getting as much done as possible before baby arrives. All those admin things you haven’t had a chance to do, things you still need to buy for the baby, basically anything that needs to be done, do them even if you don’t feel up to it because trust me when I say this, you don’t get much time to do anything once baby arrives. My little one is 19 days today and I struggle to get much if anything done at times. Having a shower is a feat in itself!

So whilst I know many women out there have had a really hard third trimester and pregnancy in general, I wanted to let mums-to-be know that its not always the case that you have a difficult pregnancy. Just the same way as you don’t always have to think you will have a hard labour.

Every women’s bodies are different when it comes to pregnancy and labour. Something I definitely learnt with my first bub.

 

My labour story – A lesson in not being in control of everything in life

It's a girl!

We have a girl!

So I finally had my little angel on the 4th June 2014 at 1.15am. She weighed in at 3.04kgs and was 51cm long.

I have been MIA for this reason and I have other topics around pregnancy that I will go back to but I wanted to post about my labour before I forget about it! If you think you get baby brains when pregnant, I think it actually gets worse once you have your baby. My ability to remember things is ridiculous.

So I went into this pregnancy initially thinking I wanted to get a c-section. My preconception of going into labour and giving birth was of utter horror and never could I imagine myself going through that kind of pain and agony.

When I brought this up with my partner, we had a long discussion around natural vs c-section. He wanted me to try and go through a natural birth as he thinks it is the natural and normal way for women to give birth. He agrees with a c-section, only if its needed and required.

I sat thinking about this dilemma of being scared to death about labour and birthing and doing what I thought was “right” for my baby (everybody has their own concept of what is right for their own child).

My partner convinced me start researching about labour and births and to find some good stories around labour as opposed to holding onto the bad stories I had heard.

So I did.

I googled and looked at blogs and spoke to other mothers to get a wider variety of stories.

I also began our antenatal classes which was also very informative and factual about birthing and labouring.

Until one day, after all that researching and listening, I felt confident. I felt confident that I could do it and I went from hating the thought of it, to looking forward to this once in a lifetime experience. I also had my partner by my side who gives me the strength and support that I need. So there it was. I had made my decision to go natural.

I began looking at ways to give birth. I wanted to have an active labour. I practised positions to help me through the contractions. Looked at various positions to give birth. Was adamant that I would labour at home as long as possible (according to what I read, it makes for a faster labour).

So 11pm on Monday night 2 June I had my first contraction. It felt like a bad period pain and I hadn’t had that kind of pain throughout my pregnancy. I remember just holding my tummy until the pain went away. I had no idea at the time it was a contraction. I went about my business when about 30 mins later, the same pain came back. I knew something was going on. I went to the bathroom and had some blood show. I freaked out at that point and called my hospital. At this point in time I was 41+3 days so I knew labour was imminent.

As I explained to the midwife the pain and length of it, she then said to me “that is a contraction”. Even though I knew it was going to happen any day now, hearing those words still sent me into shock. It was actually happening now.

She said to me “feel free to call me as they get stronger and closer together. We recommend you come in when the contractions are 1 minute in length and 5 minutes apart”. So began my labouring at home.

Since it was about 1am I thought I could get in a sleep before the contractions got worse, so I went to bed. The contractions were getting stronger so while I was laying down and trying to fall asleep, a contraction would come and I would slowly moan through the pain. Obviously this would wake up my partner and I thought there isn’t any point for the 2 of us to get no sleep so I went to the living room.

The contractions began getting stronger and closer together and I started recording the time they started coming and the length.

My partner couldn’t sleep anyways as he was worried about me and I guess the reality of a baby really coming hit him at the same time so he came and checked on me throughout the morning.

Finally at about 1pm on Tuesday 3 June the contractions were about 45 sec-1 min in length and 5 mins apart. We called the hospital and let them know we were on our way. So that turned out to be 14 hours of labouring at home. The contractions were definitely stronger and more painful and I was gripping and groaning harder to get through them.

I was convinced that given how long I laboured at home, I should be about 5cm dilated and shouldn’t have long to go to deliver my baby.

We get to the hospital and the midwife plugs me into their monitors and checks baby heartbeat which was perfectly normal and strong.

I just wanted them to check how dilated I was as I needed to call my parents once I was 5cm.

The midwife checked me and said “you are about 2cm dilated”. I was shocked! I said to her “that can’t be right!” but she was adamant and I knew she obviously knew what she was talking about but I was really upset knowing that I was so far away from delivering this baby and I was so exhausted already since I didn’t get any sleep the night before and with the pains stronger and closer together now, there was no way I could get any sleep.

The midwife suggested having a warm bath and walking around more to get the labour going. So that’s what I did. The midwife said she would check in on me in a couple of hours and see how I was going. By this time I had to start using the gas to get through my contractions and it helped to get the edge off the contractions, at the beginning.

At about 7.30pm the midwife came back to check on me and it was 4 hours later from when she first checked on me. I was convinced that she was going to say “5-7cm dilated”. I was anxious to call my parents but kept on waiting until I heard I was further along. She checked me again and she said “you are barely 3cm”. I wanted to cry at this stage from the frustration, pain, exhaustion and pure anxiousness of why things were not moving along even though I felt I was doing all the right things.

The midwife called my OB and told him my status. He spoke to me on the phone and asked how long I had been labouring for. By that stage it was 20 hours. He said he would come into the hospital and check for himself how dilated I was as after 20 hours I should have been further along. By this stage, the pain was much worse and the gas was not giving me the kick it was before but I was still holding on and trying to get through them.

My OB checked and confirmed that I was only 2-3cm dilated. He said my options were a) break my waters and induce me or b) go for a c-section now.

I looked at my partner and whilst I was tempted to take option b, I thought we have come this far along, we might as well try option a first. He warned me that the pain after breaking my waters and inducing me would get more intense and so I requested an epidural because I knew I couldn’t handle the pain much worse than now.

My OB broke my waters and said he would check back on me in 2 hours and see how much I have moved.

So the pain was at the point where I really really needed an epidural. The anaesthetist was in a c-section delivery and wasn’t going to be able to get to me for another 45 mins-1 hour. I take my hat off to those women out there who have been able to go through a drug free birth because for me personally, it was one of the most excruciating pains I have ever been through.

Finally the anaesthetist arrives and I worry that because my contractions are so close and I’m in so much pain, that I wouldn’t be able to sit still for the needle. I ask the anaesthetist if this will take the pain away. He assures me that it would and that I would even be able to sleep for a bit which is what I really need after being awake for over 20 hours. The needle goes in and he says it should kick in within the next 10-20 mins. And so I wait. I had 2 or 3 contractions that tapered down and I thought finally it is kicking in. Then the 4th contraction comes in and its even worse than all the previous ones and more and more contractions come. I’m telling everyone at this point that its not working and the anaesthetist puts up the dosage, and nothing still… the contractions were even more painful and closer together. The anaesthetist couldn’t believe it wasn’t working and didn’t really know what to do next.

The epidural failed!

 

By that time over 2 hours had gone by and my OB came back to check on me to see how dilated I was. Once again he checked and confirmed what I didn’t want to hear “you haven’t dilated since I last checked”. I just wanted to cry at that point.

By that time the OB checked on the baby and saw some distress and made the decision that I needed a caesarean as he didn’t want to put the baby under any further stress so off they want to prep me for surgery.

By that time, my only concern was the baby and the need for me to go through a natural labour went out the door. I just wanted a healthy baby any which way they had to do it. A feeling of calm came over me knowing there was some sort of solution and that it was going to happen very soon.

They took me into surgery, gave me a spinal tap and I couldn’t feel a thing. My eyes were wide open and for the first time in what seemed forever, I was able to breathe properly and just relax. My partner held my hand next to me and I knew everything was going to be ok.

The caesarean was fast and painless and at 1.15am they delivered my gorgeous baby girl. After 26 hours of labouring, it all came down to this extraordinary moment.

At that moment all I could do was cry to finally have her in my arms.

So whilst my plan of going through a vaginal birth didn’t happen and no matter how much work and prepping I put into trying to have a natural birth, the circumstances that happened for my labour wasn’t conducive in putting my plan into action.

At the end of the day, the most important thing was that I delivered a healthy baby girl.

And whilst a part of me is upset that I didn’t get the chance to go through the experience of having a natural labour, I am grateful that I was able to feel the intensity and the pain of contractions because I can only imagine how it feels when you go through the pushing stage.

My only advice I could give after my experience is to keep an open mind about your labour because things can happen that are out of your control and you need to be in a level headed frame of mind to take the curve balls and roll with it.

I wouldn’t change my experience for anything in the world.

 

Babymoon – is it worth it?

Babymoon

 

Before I fell pregnant, I have never ever heard of a babymoon.

Once pregnant through mother forums, I started hearing about a babymoon and had to google it because I had no idea what it meant. Then I came across the below definition

a relaxing or romantic holiday taken by parents-to-be before their baby is born.

At first I thought the concept was ridiculous but then as the months of pregnancy went on, I started realising things like “this is the last period in our lives for a while where it’s just me and my partner”.

And as the months went on, the baby started consuming my life! Everything I did was around the baby. Looking at what products I need to buy for baby, going to baby stores, researching online, looking into information around labour, what I can and can’t do whilst pregnant and so on and so forth.

The baby had already consumed both of our lives and the baby hasn’t even arrived yet.

The concept of the babymoon started to make sense.

It was an opportunity for me and my partner to be together. Just the two of us. Away from everything baby related.

I thought for our relationship, it was the perfect thing we could do.

Now I know not a lot of people are in the financial position to do something like this but if you can, I found it one of the most amazing things we could have done.

Now upon researching taking a babymoon, I was surprised to see that there were hotels and resorts out there that actually have babymoon packages! One of the many examples below:

Midweek  Babymoon… …Stay 2 nights,  indulge 1 evening  Dining on the Edge dinner for two,  1 full body   pregnancy massage for mum to be !! …….  $1455 per couple

Surrender to complete relaxation before your new baby arrives with a babymoon.  STAY 2 nights in a Luxury  Suite overlooking the rain forest and ocean . Private  DINING  on the Edge one evening 3 course  chefs menu dinner for two dinner for two includes welcome beverage,  surrender,  one hour full body pregnancy massage for mother to be.  Gourmet Breakfast supplies, home blend toasted muesli, premium yogurt, smoked salmon, eggs, bread,  muffins,   medium roast plunger coffee, tea, herbal tea, fruit juice, mineral water, sparkling wine, cheese,  roasted mixed nuts and a sweet treat !!! sparkling wine.  * (  Dining on the Edge may also be served as a private  lunch)    A  babymoon  less than an hours drive from Sydney CBD  is perfect for parents to enjoy a little time out ……. before baby arrives……!!!

Now for $1455 for 2 nights, we were not prepared to pay.

So I just looked at it as a weekend getaway and looked at hotels/resorts at a cheaper price.

Timing

I think something to take into account when booking your babymoon is how far along the pregnancy you should book it especially if your babymoon involves flying. There are many airlines that don’t allow women after a certain point in their pregnancy to fly. Most airlines have a policy of not allowing women to fly anywhere between 32-37 weeks. This is just due to the probability of you going into labour and airplanes not equipped to deliver a baby.

Secondly is taking into account that the further along the pregnancy you are, the more uncomfortable you tend to get and also the more tired you get, so if you are planning a babymoon with the idea of doing some activities, then you don’t want to leave going so late in your pregnancy that you’re too tired.

My suggestion would be to go when you are in your second trimester. This as mentioned in my previous post, is the most energetic and well you will feel out of all three trimesters (every woman is different but this is usually the case).

We went away when I was 6 month pregnant and for me it was the perfect timing.

Location

Due to cost and timing reasons (my partner couldn’t take too much time off work) we decided to go somewhere where it was within driving distance. Also it was summertime so going somewhere along the coast and in front of the beach was where we wanted to go.

I jumped onto http://www.lastminute.com.au which is great for cheap hotel deals and you can also search per area you are looking at going if you don’t have a particular hotel in mind.

We came across the Crowne Plaza Terrigal http://www.crowneplazaterrigal.com.au/. The location was perfect and it was only 1.5 hr drive from Sydney

MapWe booked in a 3 night 4 day stay and it was perfect!

We had ocean views and we could hear the rolling of the ocean from our bedroom which was so peaceful and amazing.

We were just across the road from the beach.

At 6 months, I didn’t feel too big to be lying in the sun and getting some much-needed Vitamin D and soaking in the fresh air. I still managed to fit into my one piece swimming costume which was great.

The trip was so good for the both of us. I made a conscientious effort to not talk about the baby too much and really we just focused on each other.

We went out for dinner, we walked along the beach, we lied in bed watching TV, we talked about work and about our friends. We laughed and relaxed and I felt so light. So at ease and at peace and I could see that my partner also felt the same.

I think at times because you do talk about the baby so much, it can create a sense of stress on one or both of you when you start thinking about the things you need to do and buy before the baby arrives, so to have a weekend to make us press pause and just look at each other – that sought of experience is priceless.

We had so much fun and I’m so glad we did it. It really rejuvenated the two of us and reminded us to not forget about each other throughout this amazing journey.

To anyone thinking about taking a babymoon, I can’t highly recommend it more!

It was and remains such a memorable time for the two of us. Actually the three of us… 🙂

Your relationship and sex when pregnant

Pregnant couple

 

So before you continue reading this post, please keep in mind that this is my very personal experience of my own relationship during my pregnancy and by no means am I telling others what to do or not do. Only you know your relationship and your partner/hubby.

I have been with my partner for 2.5 years now and I have to admit that being pregnant has been the most amazing experience for us as a couple and has definitely brought us closer together. I have seen a side of my partner I have never seen before and I’m sure he has also seen a side of me that has come out since I have fallen pregnant.

One piece of advice that I have heard and have not forgotten until this day is the below:

“Do not forget your relationship. It is easy to be consumed by being pregnant and focusing on the baby but don’t forget that you and your partner came first and that without your relationship there would be no baby or family”

My parents got divorced when I was 3 years old and I have no real concept of what its like to be brought up with your mum and dad under the same roof. My partner’s parents on the other hand are still together, and he has no concept of what it would be like to not have his parents together.

As a result and because I would like my own child to be brought up with both his mum and dad together, I will do everything possible to work on this relationship regardless of the ups and downs that will come our way. And my partner also agrees with me which brings me to my first point

1. To always ensure me and my partner are on the same wavelength

I think its easy to lose track of each other’s expectations and hopes as life goes on, so its important to check in with each other and ensure you are both working towards the same goals and not focusing on separate paths.

Now when I found out I was pregnant, you hear so many stories about how pregnant women change because of hormonal changes and basically everything going on in your body, but you also hear how much men end up receiving the brunt of the hormonal changes and having to deal with “bitchy, moody, frustrating, crazy” pregnant partners.

I was very conscious about this and didn’t want to ruin such an amazing experience for the both of us by being moody or irritable. At the end of the day, your partner will never completely understand what you are going through and whilst they may empathise, starting fights with them or being bitchy towards them does not help either you or him. This brings me to point number two:

2. When I don’t feel great and moody, take time out on my own and tell my partner “I’m just tired”

I have to admit that throughout my pregnancy, my partner has been a fantastic support to me and not once have I ever felt alone or not supported and at the same time, I think the harmony between us has been due to the fact that I didn’t overload him with all my thoughts and emotions.

Men don’t get the privilege to know what its like to carry a life inside of them, and their ability to process what is going on will be very different to what we are going through and to expect them to understand us completely is unrealistic and unfair.

For me, the fact that he is there when I cry for no reason and lets me know everything will be ok is enough for me.

You will get days where it all gets too much and you just need to cry and as long as your partner is there to support you and be there for you, then for me, it has helped me through those times more than he can imagine.

Just knowing I’m not going through this alone makes me relaxed and have such a peaceful pregnancy.

Now sex is another topic that every pregnant couple will go through and every experience will be different.

For me personally, the first trimester sex was a bit off and on as due to my morning sickness and tiredness, there were times where I couldn’t get the energy to want to and my partner during my pregnancy only let me instigate as he would never want to come across pushy in regards to sex while I’m pregnant.

When the second trimester came around, I was feeling great and our sex life went back on track. Then I started showing more and more and my partner started to feel uncomfortable about having sex with me.

At first I cried about it thinking he wasn’t attracted to me and my own insecurities started popping up but when I had a good talk with my partner about it, I came to understand where he was coming from.

I put myself in his position and having sex with a pregnant women is not exactly a hot fantasy that every man has. I know there are men out there who are attracted to pregnant women and that’s great but I also know there are men out there who see a pregnant women as going through an extraordinary time in their life and doesn’t necessarily see it as a sexual thing and therefore I can respect what my partner was feeling.

He sees me as going through something very miraculous and special in his eyes and its like he didn’t want to disturb the process or been seen to “sexualise” me during this time.

And again, every couple is different because many times it’s the women who do not want to have sex due to feeling unattractive or tired but for me, I was more than happy to continue with our sex life but after our chat and reassurance that my partner thinks I’m gorgeous and attractive, then I respected the way he felt and tried to put myself in his head space.

Regardless of the sex, I do feel like this pregnancy has brought me and my partner closer together more than any other experience we have been through together so far.

During the pregnancy, there will be decisions that need to be made and disagreements may come up, but remember that you are both working towards bringing a life into this world and that everything will sort itself out one way or another.

My own experience has been fantastic and I can only hope that you also have a harmonious experience with your other half during this time in your life. Always remember that these are moments and experiences you will never be able to re-create so look at the bigger picture and leave the petty arguments aside.

 

Maternity clothes…What to buy?

Maternity clothes

 

 

So when I fell pregnant, I had this image of myself ballooning out and going up a size or 2 (I’m usually a size 12) in clothes so immediately I thought “I need to purchase maternity clothes ASAP”.

Now one piece of advice that I can definitely pass on is:

“Don’t buy any maternity clothes until you start out growing your current clothes”

Every pregnancy is different and some women do go up a size or 2 and others can manage to get away with their own wardrobe and may need to buy a couple of things here or there.

The first thing I outgrew at around 3-4 months is my jeans since I own skinny jeans and had a tendency to buy a size smaller than I am so it was proper skinny jeans.

One thing I noticed about maternity clothes at the shops is a) insanely expensive. Jeans were at least $100 plus for a piece of clothing I was only going to wear for 6 months and b) some of the styles were horrific! I mean you’re pregnant and they make clothes that make you look even bigger than you are!

So I refused to purchase anything from these “maternity clothing stores”.

My saviour for style and price was ASOS.

I can’t recommend them enough in regards to their range of maternity wear as well as the price.

I proceeded to purchase skinny jeans in maternity wear from them which I think ended up being around $40 which I think was a bargain. The style was perfect and it looked so flattering on me that I love wearing them until this day (I am 38 weeks now). A very similar model to mine is pictured below

Msternity jeans asos

Now the second piece of clothing I outgrew was my work pants since they were all tailored and with zippers. Again I went to ASOS to make my second purchase for work pants. I would have paid about $50 for some black pants that went fantastically with all my work blouses. Below is the exact pants I purchased from ASOS.

Maternity work pants ASOS

Next items I outgrew were my work skirts which were all fitted and with zippers. I probably outgrew these when I was about 6 months pregnant.

I decided to go to Cotton On and see if they stocked elastic skirts that I could wear to work and lo and behold they did! The make of the skirts were fitted, in cotton and with elastic around the top. Perfect! I proceeded to go a size up than what I normally am so I got a Large in 2 black skirts of different lengths. Each skirt was between $20-$30. Excellent!

And then finally since I was pregnant during the summer months, I bought some dresses as well as they really are the most comfortable items to be wearing as it gets irritating having things around your belly when you wear skirts or pants or jeans so on the weekends all I wanted to wear was nice flowy dresses.

Again I went to ASOS and bought 2 dresses which were about $30 each and was perfect for the weekends.

I was lucky enough to be able to wear the rest of my wardrobe. I usually have quite flowy and loose tops so this worked in my favour as they all fitted and looked great on while I was pregnant.

So if I think about how much I would have spent on maternity clothes all up, it would come to about under $200! Which if you think about it with $200 at the maternity stores would have bought you a pair of jeans and work pants and that’s about it.

And when you think about it, its clothes that you will wear for 6 months and then in my case I will put away until I’m pregnant with number 2.

So girls, don’t get ahead of yourselves when you find out you are pregnant and start buying a whole new wardrobe unnecessarily. You will be surprised about how much of your existing wardrobe you can still wear and you may need to add some pieces here and there to get you buy work and say going out for dinner or events.

Everyone’s bodies are different which is why its much better for your own wallet to wait and see how you develop.

The perfect thing about ASOS is that if you are desperate for clothes, they can express post it to you in any case.

Good luck on shopping and keep in mind, you will only be wearing these clothes for 6 months!!