As I get closer and closer to my due date I'm becoming more and more reflective on the past 9 months. 9 months of sheer happiness and utter joy, I must admit. It's been the pregnancy of my dreams and I know that makes me very lucky indeed. For those who have had a less enjoyable pregnancy you really are super women!!!
I've spent the last 9 months in a bubble of love and happiness, just George and I for the most part and whilst it's been completely different to the pregnancy I'd always imagined for myself, I really have enjoyed it so much.
It has been full of incredible highs of happiness, uncontrollable laughing fits that have struck me almost daily and, almost out of nowhere, a beautiful feeling of life moving around inside my tummy, the complete wonder of my growing and changing body and how sensational I find the whole thing, and the cosiness I've found in nesting at home in preparation for our new arrival, it's all been so truly beautiful.
But don't get me wrong, despite my seemingly easy pregnancy I have had a small share of aches, pains and emotional freak outs along the way PLUS pregnancy is not glamorous. Whether it's the overly discussed mucus plug, ankles that swell up even in the baggiest of bed socks or the sudden urge to sob and scream into my pillow for no other reason than that it feels good; pregnancy is quite the ride and I thought it would be nice to discuss this in a little further detail today and then finish off with my top pregnancy picks, things that have helped me on this journey.
I'm going to start off with body image as I have a lot to say on the matter.
Being pregnant has really emphasised a huge problem I have with the female brain, or at least my female brain. And whilst it's hard to express this kind of thing without feeling ever-so-British and worrying that it may come across as a humble brag or a little bit "rate yourself" I still think it's important to discuss nonetheless...
Basically, I never knew just how slim I was until I became pregnant.
Weird thing to say right.
But hear me out, I look back at photos of myself from earlier last year and I can't believe how slender I was. I always thought I was chunky in parts that don't have a single chunk to them and I never, ever liked my legs or the way my stomach looked. I think now that I had a slight case, or version of, body dysmorphia to some degree. I never necessarily disliked myself enough to do anything drastic to it but I didn't give it the praise and the love that it deserved.
I never ever appreciated it or gave it the love for what it was, simply just, petite. I breathed in, I covered myself up on holiday or stood on my tip toes in photos, It's only now when I have a 9 month bump attached to my front and I haven't exercised more than a short daily walk in 7 months, that I appreciate what my body is and what it did for me.
Our bodies are SO magic and I am so incredibly proud to be a woman.
Watching my body change and grow to make space to grow another human life is one of the most unbelievable things I've ever witnessed. And with this wonder that I've viewed my body with over the last few months, I've never felt sexier or more confident with myself, not something I ever thought I'd be saying, certainly not at this point. I sit there on an evening with my tummy out, watching our little one wiggling around in there and it is truly the most beautiful thing I have ever seen with my own eyes. But it's true, my body is incredible, as is yours, as are all of ours no matter what they can and can't do. Being pregnant has taught me so so much but none more important than appreciating the body I have for what it has, what it doesn't have and for what it has done, I plan to nurture it more than ever from here on out!
Whilst pregnancy, for the most part is beautiful, it's also a bit gross isn't it.
I've been chatting to the wonderful Sinead Crowe throughout our matching pregnancies and we've had a little laugh about all the grossness that comes with being pregnant at each stage.
Whether it's the mucus plug; something I'd never even heard of before being pregnant but now George and I are obsessed with and desperately awaiting it's arrival (LOL). Or my huge ankles that swell up when I'm standing for longer than an hour, making my socks dig into my ankles in ways I've never known before... honestly, I don't even recognise my ankles anymore it's really rather funny.
I've had the runniest of noses throughout, lightening crotch, laughter that has turned into real life floods of tears for no apparent reason and the worst, feeling like my ribs are about to snap in two at any moment of the day all day long for the entire pregnancy.
It's a glamorous job this growing a baby malarky and I've loved every minute of it, even those undesirable parts.
I can't do a little maternity musings without discussing Hypnobirthing with The Positive Birth Company an absolute game-changer in both mine and Georges opinion.
I purchased their book shortly after our 12 week scan (of which I went to alone, lockdown mammas you are all incredible!) and started reading it at around 26 weeks in a bit of a panic that I was too late... I wasn't.
I absolutely stormed through the book as it was just so wonderfully written. It all just made complete and utter sense and it was truly enlightening. We'd all been brainwashed to fear labour, we'd seen it on TV and in films and it usually involved a woman screaming, red faced and begging for pain relief. And whilst I'm under no illusion that childbirth is a walk in the park, I now know that our bodies were made to birth babies, they know what to do, we just need to give them the tools they need to do it! LIFE CHANGING!
I was half way through the book when I decided that I wanted to also do the online course with George as I thought it was important for him to know this practice too and I knew he was worried about feeling like a "spare part" something we both now can't believe any birth partner could ever feel, there is SO much for them to be doing. George loved it, I think it gave him a real sense of calm and purpose and he feels equipped with the tools and knowledge to help and support me through this, to bring our daughter into the world in the most calm and relaxed way possible, no matter what route the birth takes. I could not recommend the book and the online course more, both have left George and I so excited, relaxed and calm for the arrival of our little girl, knowing that she will come when she's ready and we have everything we need to make any birth route, even if it's not our preferred route, as calm and as beautiful as possible.
And finally I thought I'd share some of my maternity must haves, the top 5 essentials that have really gotten me through the last 9 months of growing our baby girl.
- My Dream Genii Pregnancy Pillow: this pillow has been the third wheel to our relationship for the last 7 or so months. It's been attached to me for the last 3 months and I don't think I'd be as happy with how my pregnancy went without it. It's a pillow that supports your bump, back, ribs and legs, all of which I've needed a lot of help with over the last few months. The aches and pains of pregnancy have probably been the worst bit and have left me sleep deprived before she's even arrived... typical. But this pillow has helped a lot!
I bought it whilst shopping IRL in John Lewis last year as I was desperate for something to stop me rolling onto my back during the night. I'm a back sleeper you see, and it's not good whilst pregnant to sleep completely flat on your back, I learnt the hard way as my back has been in agony throughout. So whilst I can't compare this pillow to the other pillows on the market, I can say that I have loved this one so very much, it's been brilliant for me, particularly with the dipped back which means you can have it underneath you whilst supporting your bump, having your leg over and your back supported too, it's been a lifesaver.
- Sweatpants- I did a whole blogpost on sweatpants and tracksuits so we all know how I feel about loungewear right now. It really does have a solid place in my heart for the first time ever. My collection of sweatpants is getting somewhat out of control but they're just the comfiest things ever! I've been going up a size so they sit over my bump and keep everything nice and lifted. God bless the humble tracksuit!
- Nutribullet- Early on within my pregnancy I invested in a Nutribullet as a way of ensuring that I got the fruit and veg that I needed to give the baby what she needed. I've always loved veg but fruit isn't something I've ever craved and I knew that I wouldn't get the nutrients we needed through eating fruit so instead I made myself a smoothie every morning. I'd just buy a load of frozen fruit, bang it all in the blender with tap water and two handfuls of spinach and voila, goodness in a glass.
- Birth Ball- As we approached month 7 I was getting increasingly more uncomfortable and it was making me so frustrated that I'd suddenly start crying for no other reason than sitting had now become painful. So George surprised me with a birth ball after learning through the hypnobirthing course that birth balls were handy for keeping me in the UFO position (upright, forward and open) which is a prime position for somebody in the third trimester and of course in labour too. It's been a godsend honestly! I've been using it most evenings instead of sitting on the sofa on days when I'm struggling to get comfortable (most days lets be real) and it's done me the world of good. I'm planning to use it during the birth too so it's been a really great purchase for us... PLUS we can use it for exercise too, winner!
- Mama Mio Body Butter- I love nothing more than lathering myself in body butter after a bubble bath or a shower and was pretty gutted when I learnt that non of the body butters I had in my stash were pregnancy safe (see more of my pregnancy safe beauty routine here). I worried that pregnancy safe meant boring, until I discovered Mama Mio Body Butter, the lavender and mint scent in-particular. This stuff is so luxurious, it feels really special every single time I use it, and I've gone through 3.5 tubs during this pregnancy. I use it across my bump, boobs and bum after each wash and I feel like I've just left the spa, it's magic. I've heard really great things from other mammas who have used this throughout their pregnancies too, so hope that I'll be able to report back with the same sort of review but so far, so very, very good.
So, there we have some maternity musings, general thoughts and my top picks for helping you on this precious journey, I hope you enjoyed this post and that it might have helped in some small way.
Any further questions leave them below.
Lots of love.