So after checking in with you guys and hearing what you want to see and read more of here on the blog (via this survey) – it turns out that over half of the people who did respond, is very interested in maternity related content! So with that, I am going to give it a go. But for the other half who are not so keen; don´t fret, there will still be lots of fashion (turns out that is your number 1 category, according to the survey), beauty (number 2), interior (number 3) and travel + wellness (4 & 5). So let´s get to it, the first of my monthly Baby Diaries! I am 6 months pregnant already (I still can´t believe how fast it´s going) – so I have to play a bit of catch up in my first diary post. Below you can read all about my 1st trimester, moving into 2nd trimester, and towards the end, where I will be sharing the gender with you guys!
1ST TRIMESTER: THE UPS & DOWNS
If you’re reading this – you probably also read my first post where I announced the pregnancy, and speaking very honestly about our struggles to conceive. The journey was not easy for us – there was so much confusion, heartbreak and emotion – so when we finally did get pregnant, after 2-3 years of trying; you can only imagine our joy! From day one of finding out, I have been a completely different person. Or lets say, a better version of myself. I am just so damn happy and relaxed all the time! Naturally, we were both quite nervous the first 12 weeks (often referred to as the ´danger zone`) – but we were also very conscious of trying to relax as much as possible (stressing would only make it worse) and just enjoying the amazing news. Finally, we both had what we so desperately wanted, so as much as we were slightly cautious the first few weeks – we were equally deliriously happy, and from my side personally, I’ve had a real sense of positivity throughout.
Staying Positive & Keeping Calm
Throughout the last part of trying to conceive – with the 6 months of acupuncture and some further intervention towards the end; I managed to remain so calm and centred (well, most of the time anyways). And anyone who knows me really well, also knows that I am the queen of stress, over-thinker and a worrier (I am a Cancerian, after all) – which I also believe, is much of the reason as to why we probably didn’t conceive straight away. So I knew I had to change my ways, find a different path for me. Luckily, it was never forced, as I’m also quite spiritual, and quickly adjusted to the weekly acupuncture sessions, Chinese herbs, new diet and daily yoga practice. I truly disconnected and stepped away from anything negative in my life (be it situations or certain people), and just focused on getting my body back on track – only doing things which made me happy. To this day, I truly believe that my new ways of being more relaxed and in the moment – combined with truly believing (this part is key) in the journey I was on with the natural medicine and the help from various doctors – is the reason we finally made it.
The Ups & Downs
Now, as we did struggle to conceive, I was also very conscious of not complaining too much about the side effects during the first 12 weeks, as let me tell you – week 6 to week 12, was pure hell. I mean, constant nausea from morning to night. Not craving any type of food, other than simple, processed carbs (you can imagine how this was killing me!). So for those weeks, my diet consisted of dry biscuits, bagels, croissants and toast cravings. But even those types of food, were hard to stomach, and the nausea never left my body for the entire 6 weeks. Not to mention, the insane tiredness, combined with sleepless nights and being constantly out of breath. However, as I was so incredibly happy and grateful that we were finally pregnant, I rarely complained (except to my husband, who bore the brunt of it) and just got on with it – praying that it would stop any day. As that´s what everyone kept saying – that it just goes away from one day to another (hard to imagine, when you´re in it). When that was – be it never (some people have this throughout their entire pregnancy) or once I reached the 2nd trimester – I just didn’t know… Fortunately for me at 12 weeks exactly, and very timely when we were on our way to Paris and Bordeaux for a week long escape – it literally just went away, as everyone was saying – from one day to another. Suddenly, I started waking up with so much more energy, and also, finally I was was craving greens, protein and real fuel. Yay!
2ND TRIMESTER: MORE ENERGY & ADJUSTING TO THE BODILY CHANGES
Getting my Diet Back on Track
One of the things I was a quite concerned about during the first trimester and during my ´nauseous` 6 weeks – was my diet. Having read how important a good and wholesome diet is during the first 12 weeks, especially during the early stages of the fetus development – you can imagine my concern when the only thing I could stomach was carb heavy and simple, beige food. In other words, no nutrition whatsoever. But there was nothing I could do about it. So I decided to strop stressing about it and just listen to my body, and follow my cravings. Luckily towards the end of the 1st trimester, I managed to stomach simple smoothies, so I made sure to fill these with as much healthy elements that I could manage. Not to mention, I was vigilant with my daily supplements and vitamins (I have been taking Zita West´s supplements during the 1st & 2nd trimester, iron tablets and probiotics) – so I knew I was getting some goodness inside me and my baby. But as I said, my ´6 weeks of hell`, was over come 12 weeks, and it was such a relief to start fuelling my body with green juices, fresh salads, fish, beans and nuts! Basically, reverting back to my same old diet. And the only real cravings I have had during the 2nd trimester, is watermelon and salty green olives – so I am pretty lucky I think! I have had no extra needs for refined carbs (I overdosed on these in the beginning, so I can´t even look at another bagel), however I am definitely less strict with myself post pregnancy, and just making sure I listen to my body. If I fancy a side portion of french fries with my salad, I will have it! My old self would deny myself this, but now I just make sure I have a good balance of healthy fats (some unhealthy ones every now and again), lots of greens, complex carbs, enough protein, iron and collagen rich food.
More Energy and Getting Back Into Exercise
The amazing part of your body, is it´s ability to bounce back and recover. I swear, at times I thought the intense nausea, grogginess and exhaustion during the 1st trimester, would never pass. You´re in this cloud, and it does really feels like there is no light in the end of the tunnel. But fortunately for me, bouncing back has been relatively easy! Suddenly now, I have all this energy again – granted not as much as I usually would have, as I am carrying more weight, and my breathlessness is still constant – however, as I am eating healthy again, sleeping better then before and have slowly started working out, things have been pretty great in comparison! When I say working out, it´s nothing too intense. Some weekly yoga sessions, PT session with barre and pilates and as much brisk walking I can handle. The focus being on keeping strong (and toned), with lots of focus on the back, pelvic, arms and legs.
Some of you may, or may not know that I have Scoliosis (curvature to the spine). This resulted in me wearing a corset for 2 years, from 11 to 13 years old – which did help straighten out my spine to some extent, but I still have some crookedness, and I still suffer from very stiff and tight shoulders on a daily basis, as well as hip and lower back aches. Gosh, I sound like a right old mess don´t I?! Anyways, I have learnt to cope with the aches and pains, and it´s just become a part of who I am. However, I’ve always been a bit concerned in regards to how pregnancy would affect my back issues, and if it would make it much worse. Unfortunately, so far, I have been suffering from very bad lower back pain (this is quite common for many, as your hips are expanding and your joints are a lot looser due to all the extra hormones). At times, it has felt like my back would collapse, so I quickly saw my local physio, who gave me some exercises, do´s and do´s, and most importantly, this Maternity Belt support band from ProMedics, which has been a life saviour. Granted, it´s not the sexiest thing to wear, but it does the trick – and I use it when I know I am doing extra strenuous activity, such as long walks, ironing, cleaning, etc. Regular exercise, such as yoga and pilates have also been great to ease the pain.
Adjusting to the New Body, Skin & Hair Changes
Last but not least, let´s discuss the bodily changes. Because boy, does things change! Other then the obvious bump with a few dress sizes up – the hair and skin have also had some big changes. But let´s start with the bump, the nicest change of them all. It feels so liberating that for once in my life, I am loving my body. And that is something I have never felt or said out loud before. Sure, I have gained weight, my boobs have gone from a standard B to a D, I am softer than ever, with lumps and bumps all over, but I don´t care! None of this matters any more. As I am doing something so wonderful with my body, that all I feel is pride! I never thought I would feel this way, having suffered so many various body disorders throughout the years – but I am really loving it. However my only struggle has been the size of my breasts, as they just exploded from such early on, which has made me feel a lot frumpier, and made it harder to dress overall (but there are a lot worse things to complain about, so I am not going to go on about this too much). Naturally, I have gone up a few dress sizes, and ditched my regular jeans for some slick maternity styles from ASOS, Topshop & NEXT.
Now, onto the hair and skin. My hair started off great, lots of growth and shine during the 1st trimester – but now it´s moved into this dull and unruly stage. I am not one for really fuzzing too much with my hair, however due to state of it, I am spending more time on grooming and tonging my hair, so it at least looks presentable! Now onto my skin, which has been the worst change for me. I already suffered from dehydrated skin from before, and now being pregnant, the level of dehydration has got even worse, not to mention the uneven skin tone and dreaded pigmentation, caused by all the hormones. Solution? I have been trying to keep my skin as calm as possible, using lots of natural skincare, with focus on moisture, regular facials, and daily SPF50, shading from the sun where possible. I am also working on a pregnancy beauty feature for the blog, with more in-depth information (going live next week).
As it did take us so long to get pregnant, we decided to do the initial scans pre 12 weeks, privately. We went to the Fetal Medicine Centre in Marylebone and had all our early scans and tests here (from 7-12 weeks). Which meant, we found out the sex at 12 weeks already. And yes, there was never any way we were going to keep it a surprise! Sam and I are both incredibly impatient people – so there was no doubt in our minds whether to keep it a secret or not. I totally respect and have admiration for people who are patient enough to keep it a surprise (as that is so lovely too!) – but both being planners, and obviously so extra excited about finally being pregnant, we were too curious. Not to mention, extremely ready to start planning the nursery, the wardrobe, etc. We kept the gender a secret amongst ourselves and our closest family in the beginning, and then started to share the news to our friends.
Funnily enough, I already knew what we were having. Without sounding too crazy or over-spiritual, I could just feel it (ok, I sound a bit crazy). This might just have something to do with seeing a clairvoyant last summer – who, without me even saying anything to her, recognised my struggles, assured me that nothing was wrong with me, but I would need a helping hand to get there. She also told me the gender, and at what age I would be expecting my second child. I swear to you, even if this was complete guessing or luck (although I personally doubt it, as everything has been spot on so far) – just hearing her say the words was such a re-assuring moment for me, and to be honest, this combined with my new lifestyle – is what made me believe that everything would work out.
So yes, there was no shock from my side, and as I had been talking about the gender for so long to my husband – there was no real gasp when we were told – just incredible JOY. So let´s get to it!
Sam and I are over the moon and so excited to share – that we are having a BABY BOY!
Having grown up with an only sister and having my little 4 year old niece – this is the first boy in our family, so we´re all super excited! It´s going to be completely new for us, but so much fun! Obviously, we would be happy with whatever we had, but it feels pretty special welcoming a little boy into our Bush family. One thing is for sure, he is going to be a very, very loved child.
Hope you enjoyed the first part of my Baby Diaries series – stay tuned for next months updates. In the meanwhile, drop me a line if there is anything in particular you want to read/hear about in the next instalment!