See you on the flip side!
So the time has come for the final blog post before I head off to go and birth a child – SAY WHAT!? If I’m honest I thought I had a week or two more in me, but I have reached the point in pregnancy where going to the kitchen to chop up some strawberries (yes I’m still on the ‘strawberries all day everyday’ thing) is enough for me to warrant a nap. It’s time to hunker down, finish off our preparations and just rest up as much as I can before life gets CRAZY. So I thought today I’d round things off and share the what has helped me big time over the past nine months – from the clothing that still fits (and will work postpartum too), to the best pregnancy purchase I’ve made and actually am going to be quite sad to live without very soon…
A few things to mention before we get onto the hardware essentials. OTHER MUMS ARE GOLDEN. I have spent roughly 30% of my days voicenoting other Mums and Mum-To-Be’s for their advice and it has not only helped me feel more prepared as I jot down their top tips and product recommendations from their responses, but it has helped with any niggles or worries I have big time. I cannot recommend reaching out to people in your circle, or even just beyond, enough. Also don’t suffer in silence. I’m definitely one of those ‘Oh I’m fine, I don’t want to make a fuss‘ kind of people, but sometimes your feet feel like they’re on fire and you just need to sit down, or actually you’ve sat on a picnic table for two hours and you just need a comfy chair – you are pregnant and comfort is key. Beyond these social situations anything that you feel is off, tell your Midwife about – it’s highly likely it won’t be the first time they’ve heard it and they will have a whole smorgasbord of solutions for you. Being a Virgo-born perfectionist (FUN TIMES), it’s sometimes hard to admit when things aren’t right, but hey if you feel like you’ve been punched in the vagina then it’s probably best to tell someone about it (and hooray for Women’s Health Physios!!).
MY PREGNANCY ESSENTIALS
My Pregnancy Pillow*. This is top, top, top of the list. My number one best pregnancy buy. I started off with the bbhugeme Pillow* which is also lush (and I tend to use that one downstairs for in front of the TV – a pregnant person can never have too many pillow options), but I needed something bigger for bedtime that allowed me to comfortably flop from side to side without having to rearrange the fort of pillows around me and THIS IS IT. I have nothing but good things to say. I’ve actually slept surprisingly well throughout my pregnancy and I put it down 100% to this. The game changed the day this entered my life. It sounds dramatic, but it’s the best £50 I’ve spent over the past 9 months.
A Daily Oiling Routine. Not only is there the practical element of keeping your body well hydrated, it’s also been a nice ritual of getting to know my body and seeing the changes that it makes each day. It feels quite soothing every morning giving my belly a rub with a Susanne Kaufmann Stretch Mark Oil*. I use that on my boobs and my belly and then I use the Biossance 100% Squalane Oil* on my legs and arms. In the evenings I have been treated to a nightly foot rub by the feet-phobic Mark which has been very much appreciated. He takes a pump for each foot with a drop of the Neal’s Yard Lavender Oil in it and roughly does the routine from this video which has worked well to keep any swelling at bay (side note on the lavender oil – this was recommended by my Midwife, but I know some people aren’t mad about essential oils during pregnancy, so do your own research and ask for advice from your healthcare professionals). I look forward to it every bedtime.
Organic Basics Lounge Set. I am OBSESSED with this set. As I mentioned in the video I did with them, I bought one set and then immediately purchased another two. They have been so comfy and great for around the house and wearing to bed. The shorts fit nicely under the bump and the t-shirt is still long enough to cover my full-term bump. Plus there’s something about a matching set that doesn’t make me feel complete embarrassment when I have to open the door to delivery peeps. It’s all good. I’m sure that although these have been great for pregnancy, they would be great for bump-free bodies too.
My pregnancy uniform. Ok here’s what I’ve lived in and still fits me to this day. On my top half – the ARKET Pima Cotton T-Shirts* and the ARKET Oversized Linen Shirts*. Then on my bottom half – the & Other Stories Ribbed Flared Leggings* and the Lululemon Align HR 25 Leggings*. I live in the various different combinations I can make from these with my Birkenstock EVA Sandals* or the MANGO Quilted Sandals* most days (and I’ve been very grateful that we’ve had an extremely mild summer). But I also have a new appreciation for the summer dress and my favourite still is the ARKET Shirred Summer Dress* it’s been so fab and floaty and keeps me nice and cool when I feel like I might be melting.
My Water Bottle*. Every ‘hospital bag essentials’ list that I’m reading notes that a water bottle with a straw is an essential to have with you during birth, but I’ve had mine from the beginning. I’ve been thirsty throughout my pregnancy and it literally hasn’t left my side. In fact I get a bit panicky if I’m ever without it. I’d add that one that’s insulated is even better as it keeps your water cold. This is the one I have* and it’s been fab and has meant that I’ve been pretty well hydrated throughout.
It’s goodbye for now. In terms of maternity leave it’s a bit of a tricky one when you’re self-employed, hence why I haven’t really gone into the nitty gritty of it online. It’s so personal and tuned in to one’s particular circumstances that ultimately only they know what’s right for them. So this might be a bit of an unsatisfying conclusion, but I’m hoping to see you again before the end of the year; however we’re trying our best to be flexible, be kind to ourselves and do what’s best for the new addition to our family. WOW, that still feels crazy to write. Thank you for all the love and support – you lot truly are the best. Enjoy the rest of the summer and I’ll see you on the flip side!
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Photos by Mark Newton