LEARNING TO LOVE YOUR CHANGING BODY THROUGH PREGNANCY

Pregnancy can be tough at times. Every experience is different, which is what makes your journey so unique. If it were all the same, our experiences wouldn’t be our own. As with many things, pregnancy comes with plenty of ups and downs, and well sometimes, they can get the better of us. Other times, we just have to keep our head held high and keep on cruising.

Pregnancy is not the time to be harsh on yourself with your change of appearance. Your newly found shape is something that speaks so much more than what any handful of words could ever amount to. Your new shape is the reality of what your body is capable of doing.

There’s a teeny – tiny bump there!

Sometimes, it’s not just your tummy that grows. Sometimes it’s everything else in between that you might find escalating in size too. I sure am experiencing this. Yes, there are the odd few women who are lucky enough to hardly gain much more than what they should, and this is okay, they are beautiful too, but for the majority of us, we can end up gaining a lot more than what we bargained for. Is there anything wrong with this? No. Should we be ashamed? No.

Pregnancy is a time when we are supposed to feel more beautiful than ever, and so we should! It’s a time during which we are meant to GLOW! We are meant to shine bright and radiate nothing but happiness and new life.

Don’t sacrifice your pregnancy experience by worrying about what you look like. Don’t wish your pregnancy away because you want to be back to your pre preggy weight. Weight is just a number. Embrace your new shape. Show it off. Make people wish that they could be as confident as you are, belly and all. You’re glowing for not one, but two humans. Let your stretch marks appear, and your butt get bigger. Enjoy your feet being swollen and your cheeks looking chubbier. It’s all part of the experience.

Loving the bump unconditionally!

Don’t upset yourself because your stretchy leggings no longer fit. It’s okay, we’ve all been there. Some of us are still going through it, some of us might only be starting it, but at the end of the day, our bodies are OUR bodies. They respond to how WE treat them. If you look after your body and treat her properly, in turn, she will look after you. She will grow and nurture your sprouting bean.

Fill your body up with appreciation and love. Respect your body. Don’t think of your body as ugly, or too fat. You are growing another human. That is a gift. Some people aren’t able to even experience what your body is capable of doing. It’s some peoples biggest wish and dream to be able to nurture and grow their own baby. Appreciate what your body can do.

As women, our bodies are capable of absolute magic. Your tummy grows to make space for your beautiful bundle. We feed, protect and are able to GROW an actual human being over 9 months – in our TUMMIES of all places. We then give birth and bring our little humans into the world, only for our bodies to heal all by themselves and to do it all over again, if you choose. Don’t let something as small as your weight define your comfort around people while you’re pregnant. Something so miniscule in comparison to what our bodies are doing is not worth the emotions of being upset about something like our physical appearance.

 

The smallest 15 week bump!

Having a positive body image while you’re pregnant is important. We are, after all, the creators of nurturing new life, and our bodies are possibly one of the most incredible creations to walk the planet. Not to mention the cute little baby you have growing bigger day by day.

Give yourself a break. Show yourself some love. And enjoy your own personal experience.

Until next time,

Mycaila – Jade & baby

xxx

HOSPITAL BAG ESSENTIALS

I cannot believe how quickly the last 9 months have gone and that the time is finally here to start packing my hospital bag! HOW EXCITITNG!

I thought I’d put together a list to show you what’s in my hospital bag for baby, daddy and me. Hopefully if you’re packing yours too, then this list will help. Yay!

Before you pack your baby’s bag, check with your hospital where you have planned to give birth, if they give you a complimentary baby bag. Most hospitals do, which is fabulous and makes life for new parents to be super easy. The goodies inside will be things like nappies, wipes, baby powder (literally the best smelling thing on earth!), a hospital beanie, shower gel (for mum), breast pads (for mum) and maternity pads (for mum). If not, then you need to add these things into your hospital bag.

FOR BABY:

  • Number one on the list is your tiny tot’s car seat! You cannot drive your new bundle home from the hospital without it!
  • About 3 baby onesies/baby grows – front fastening ones are the best and easiest to slip on and off your tiny tot
  • About 8 – 10 nappies made for newborn’s (Huggies has great ones with a little cut out specially designed for the umbilical chord)
  • Socks, mittens and a hat
  • Baby wipes
  • A fluffy, soft toy for cuddles
  • A cuddly, soft blankie
  • Dummy
  • Baby wipes (life saver)
  • A towel for baby’s bath time – sometimes the hospital ones can be scratchy
  • Burping towel
  • 2 x facecloths

FOR DAD:

  • A change of clothes (yes, we still need to remind men of the basics’!)
  • Clean underwear
  • ID document
  • Phone charger
  • Toiletries – deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, facewash (labour could be overnight)
  • Sweeties and snacks

FOR MOM:

  • Comfy pyjamas – a loose nighty is best
  • A few pairs of clean underwear (granny panties work best for maternity pads)
  • Maternity pads (yes, fun times lie ahead after labour)
  • Toiletries – deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, shower gel, facewash
  • Hairdryer (if you plan to wash your hair after labour)
  • Hair elastics (things get serious when your hair gets tied up!)
  • Slippers or comfy socks
  • Towel (hospital ones can sometimes be scratchy)
  • Earphones (maybe you feel like rocking some Bob Marley while you’re in labour)
  • Nursing bra
  • ID document, hospital forms, medical aid card
  • Flip flops (for the shower)
  • A change of clothes for leaving the hospital
  • Make up bag (if you have the energy to freshen up before you leave the hospital)
  • Charger
  • Sweeties and snacks

We can’t wait to meet our little girl!

Until next time,

Mycaila – Jade & baby

xxx

 

MEETING YOUR BABY AT YOUR FIRST SCAN

This moment has to be one of the best and most exciting moments during the beginning stages of pregnancy! Finding out that there’s a little human growing inside your tummy and knowing that your body will be nurturing a tiny bean that will grow more and more every day really is an indescribable feeling. Whether your baby is a total surprise or planned, they are a complete and utter blessing!

After finding out you are pregnant, the best is to give your midwife/gynae/GP a call. From here, they will give you a date to come in for your first scan (dating scan). How EXCITING and so UNREAL! Your dating scan will generally take place at around 12 weeks. I remember when we booked the date for our first scan, I was around 8 weeks pregnant, and waiting for those extra 4 weeks to reach the date of our first scan seemed like a lifetime! All I wanted was to see our little baby in my tummy!

When the day for your first scan finally arrives and you know that you’ll be “meeting” your baby for the first time, an overwhelming amount of excitement and nerves kick in, well for me it did! Excitement because you’re about to actually see your baby for the first time and nerves because at this scan, they do all sorts of measurements and checks to make sure that your baby is growing properly, meeting the required measurements and is healthy. And let’s face it, we all want to know that we have a happy and healthy little bundle growing inside our tummies!

Your scan will normally be done by your midwife or gynaecologist. You’ll be asked to lie down on a bed with your tummy showing, while she squeezes ultrasound gel onto your belly. A small transducer (probe) will be placed and run along your tummy, which will project an image of your baby onto a screen in front of you. HOW EXCITING! This has to be one of the BEST feelings to finally see your little bundle right in front of you! There are so many overwhelming emotions that go along with seeing your baby right then and there.

This is a moment, with indescribable feelings of reality, bursts of excitement (when you finally see your baby moving around), a few seconds of fear, knowing that there is now a sense of responsibility, but also relief, when you get to see that everything is okay. Over all, you feel love, you feel appreciation and you totally feel the excitement, knowing that your body is beginning to do something so incredible and has managed to nurture, protect and grow something so small and pure up until this stage. Expect a few tears of happiness, and don’t be embarrassed or feel like you have to hide this from the sonographer – after all, this is your experience with your partner or whoever you decide to share this moment with.

The sonographer will be able to tell you in the moment if everything looks good and she will explain the different parts of your baby that she is examining. The best part? You get to take a print out of what your little bean looks like to stick up on your fridge or frame for an album.

Be prepared for even more excitement as your pregnancy progresses and your ultrasounds reveal a little more detail each time you go.

P.S seeing your baby suck his/her thumb in your tummy has got to be one of the cutest moments! I look forward to it every time!

Until next time,

Mycaila – Jade and baby

xxx

FOODS TO AVOID DURING PREGNANCY & OTHER ADVICE

If you read my previous post, you will remember that I spoke about having a ton of unanswered questions which I had to wait 6 weeks to ask at one of my first doctors’ appointments. Yes, 6 long, but exciting weeks of an overworking mind, and endless googling with plenty of forum reading in between. All of which gave me mixed answers with unclear views of what I SHOULD and shouldn’t avoid during pregnancy.

For any new pregnant fairies out there, this is what I learned from all of my questions and wonders which I had to wait so long to have answered by my midwife, who gave me professional advice. Have a read through my top worries that I wanted answers to, and a few things that I wished to have known sooner.

PRENATAL VITAMINS

Make sure you are taking a prenatal vitamin when you find out you are pregnant.

Pregnacare Max is what I have been taking (UK product). Preg Omega (South African product) is also fab for all of the pregnant SAFFAS. Your daily vitamin NEEDS to include 400mcg folic acid, which is the synthetic form of folate (vitamin B-9).  This is a key ingredient that helps prevent neural tube defects like spina bafuda.

You should also opt for 10mcg of  Vitamin D in your daily vitamin if you’re in a country that doesn’t get much sunshine. It’s totally crazy to think that in the UK you have to take this as a vitamin. I mean this is something that we would normally get from the sunshine in South Africa, but alas, those capsules can only make one shine brighter, surely?

And lastly, your prenatal vitamin should also have 500mcg of calcium. Those little beans LOVE to zap up all of mammas vitamins while they’re sprouting! Also be sure to discuss whether you should be adding other vitamins to your prenatal one, and have your midwife/gynaecologist check out your prenatal vitamin during your first check up.

Don’t take any supplements containing Vitamin A. Too much of this can be harmful to your baby.

FOODS TO AVOID

One of my biggest questions was “OMG, WHAT CAN’T I EAT?”. To me, being little Miss Piggy, food is life. And if you don’t agree, then I’m afraid we can’t be friends! Here is my list of foods to avoid during pregnancy. WARNING: Be prepared to let go of some of your heavenly foodie moments over the next 9 months.

Watch out for those eggs in your favorite hollandaise sauce! Sad, I know!

Raw/undercooked eggs. This could be hidden in everyday sauces like homemade mayonnaise and hollandaise sauce (OMG – my fave!). Make sure the yolks are not runny and that they have been cooked until hard.

Soft cheese (Yes, cry with me!) Brie, Camembert, Goats cheese, Blue cheese, pretty much any mould-ripened soft cheese and soft blue-veined cheese like Danish blue, Gorgonzola and Roquefort (TBH I have never even tried this type of cheese and have no idea if it’s worth missing out on). The mould in the cheese can contain listeria bacteria which can lead to severe illness in your unborn baby if a mild form of this infection occurs in a pregnant fairy, – and we don’t want, do we?

Pâté. Again, this could also have listeria bacteria, so all types of pâté should be avoided – even the vegetable ones!

Raw meat – ALL raw meats are out of the picture! No more medium rare fillets. It’s cooked or nothing. Yes, I know, it’s a tough life!

Fish – Be careful with the type of fish that you might eat. Limit your tuna and oily fish intake. Fish with high levels of mercury should be avoided. Also, don’t eat raw or undercooked shellfish while you’re pregnant. This too, can lead to food poisoning. Limit yourself to 3 portions of fish per week.

Caffeine – Limit your caffeine intake! Yes, bouncing off the walls needs to become a thing of the past. Make sure to stick to the guidelines of no more than 200mg of caffeine a day (more about this to come in my next blog post).

Get ready to start living the decaf life!

WATER

Keep yourself hydrated! Blah, blah, yes, we hear it all the time, but this is super important, even if you don’t think it is. Your body will thank you, and you too need to thank your body with some fresh H20. She is growing another human, after all. Think of it as watering the grass. All grass needs water to grow! This will pretty much be the only thing you’ll be chugging for the next 9 months. Bottoms up!

EXERCISE

Oh look! There’s me in the second trimester, when exercising was still easy!

As someone who loves to be as active as possible, exercising is (or was) quite a big part of my daily routine. A light exercising routine is totally safe to do during pregnancy, but as you get bigger, you will notice that you will get tired quite a lot quicker and some exercises could actually be a bit difficult to do. It’s super important to listen to your body while pregnant. Those sprints will become a thing of the past, and brisk powerwalking will be the new “in thing”. Yes, mamma, no more strenuous exercising, ab crunches, or training while lying on your tummy.

BATHING

I enjoy a hot bath, I mean, who doesn’t? One thing I have learnt through my pregnancy is that super-hot baths are totally off limits! First the food, and now the long hot baths – and so the sacrificing begins!

 It’s not the actual bathing that’s the problem, but the temperature of the water. Make sure your water isn’t scorching hot. The hotter the water, the higher your body temperature. It’s important to make sure that you don’t become overheated while pregnant, which is why we sadly should also say goodbye to saunas and hot tubs while being a pregnant fairy.

Watch out for those hot baths, ladies!

I hope this helped with any of your unanswered questions – I know I had SO MANY! Take it easy on yourself, and don’t be too harsh on your body. Listen to her. If she’s tired – rest. If you’re hungry eat. Don’t force yourself to do anything that you don’t want to. We are all human, and some of us totally count for more than one! 😉

Keep your eyes peeled for my next post about “Your top 10 pregnancy questions answered”.

Until next time,

Mycaila – Jade & baby

xxx

BOOTY AND BEAUTY IS HAVING A BABY!

For most young couples, being the 23 and 24 year old type, and the lovebirds that happen to relocate themselves halfway across the world to meet up with travelling plans, a baby would seem to be the last thing on their minds, surely?

Parents to be!

Well my friends, in life, surprises happen, and this one seems to have been the best one yet! The thought of an itsy-bitsy dumpling, blossoming in my tummy was something that made me feel a little “OMG – IS THIS REAL?” and a little “OMG – WE ARE GOING TO BE PARENTS!!” and of course “OMG, IM GOING TO DOUBLE IN SIZE AND BE A HIPPO FOR 9 MONTHS!!”.

To cut a VERY long and complicated story short, my boyfriend is Scottish and I am South African. We both decided to go over to Scotland together from South Africa (where my boyfriend was on holiday for just under 2 years) to travel over the next 2 years. After one month of arriving in Scotland, we found out about our baby news – which happened to be RIGHT BEFORE Christmas (2016)!! It’s safe to say that Santa clearly had something else planned for us! None the less, after everything had settled, the excitement totally began to kick in – the flying kick type – the one with the extra oomph!

The bump date!

Apart from being in a foreign country, one of my first thoughts about trying to figure everything out was “OMG, WHAT DO WE DO NOW?” “WHO DO WE CALL?” “DO I GO TO THE HOSPITAL?” “DO I GO TO THE DOCTOR?”, “HOW DO I REGISTER AT A DOCTOR?”. There were endless amounts of questions that we had about what the next step should be. Basically, I was a tourist, fresh off of the plane, that had extra cargo in my tummy that I had absolutely no idea about!

After googling left, right, and center, we found a number for a hospital close by and gave them a call. At this stage I was about 6 weeks pregnant and had to wait until 12 weeks in order for them to see me and for us to have our VERY FIRST SCAN! Well, you guessed it, what a long 6 week wait that was!

Our baby is already so loved by her Dad!

I had 6 weeks of unanswered questions to get through before being able to see a midwife. “Can I drink coffee?”, “Can I dye my hair?”, “Can I eat sushi?”, “Can I have a hot bath?”, “Should I be taking extra vitamins?” –  SO. MANY. QUESTIONS. And no – Google wasn’t my friend. She seemed to just confuse matters more.

One thing that I will say is that morning sickness is a real thing, and feeling like a sick Sarah around Christmas and New Years’ time was something that I totally had to work with and take one day at a time – but none the less, I was growing a freaking human!! How CRAZY is that?

Mom to be!

If you want to find out the answers to all of my unanswered questions that I had 6 weeks to ponder about, make sure to keep your eyes out for my next post all about that!

P.S I cannot tell you how excited we are to meet our little girl.

Until next time,

Mycaila – Jade & baby

xxx