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Pregnancy

Pregnancy, Second Trimester

An Ever-growing Baby Bump

Before falling pregnant I never quite expected to see my body change so fast and so quickly into my pregnancy. I had seen pictures of my mam when she was pregnant with me and saw she was fairly big, but I guess I assumed these were taken when she was near enough ready to pop. She informs me this was definitely not the case.

I’ve had so many people in the last week or so comment on the size of my bump and how I’m rather big for so early on in my pregnancy. I saw a picture today of someone who is 22 weeks pregnant and it made me realise how big I actually am for 14 weeks. Nothing quite like making a girl feel paranoid. But that said, I’m trying not to let people’s comments or other people’s pregnancies affect mine. Every single woman is different and no two pregnancies are ever going to be the same so I’m fully embracing my ever-growing bump, and to be honest I’m loving it.

I’m past the stage of “is she fat or is she pregnant” and now I’m full on baby bump. Plus, I’d rather be happily seeing my bump grow and watch my body change than be worried that I wasn’t gaining weight and where’s my bump when I’m so far along.

I’ll be posting baby bump pictures very soon – I keep meaning to do them every week but as much as time feels like it’s dragging, it’s also running away with me!

First Trimester, Pregnancy

Week 11: Migraines, Sickness & More Migraines

As I leave the eleventh week of my pregnancy and head into week 12, I’m feeling extremely weak. I’ll be the first to admit I’ve probably had it a lot easier than others, but that honestly doesn’t make it any easier.

I had a little sickness a few weeks back but my real experience of pregnancy nausea came last night. One bite of some food and I knew what was happening. I don’t think anyone enjoys being sick, but I’m definitely not the easiest patient to deal with and I thank my lucky stars for Chris and his ability to make me calm in the most awful situations (and for holding my hair back)!

I mentioned before that my migraines have been the biggest issue during my pregnancy and unfortunately they don’t look like they’re going anytime soon. It’s becoming impossible to work and in fact, as I write this I’m looking through squinted eyes trying to make sense of the words on my screen.

After five days of constant pain I had to book an appointment with my GP to see if there’s anything that could help get rid of these pesky migraines. I was told to take paracetamol, which by the way is totally fine during pregnancy (but always check with your doctor before taking any medication while pregnant).

So far, so good. The pain is easing and I feel a little more human than I did four hours ago.

All in all it’s been a tough week, but we’re now on the countdown to our scan and we’re so excited! Here’s to week 12 and hopefully a lot less headaches!

How did you find week 11? Did you experience any migraines? I’d love to hear from you.

 

Pregnancy

Preventing Stretch Marks During Pregnancy

It’s probably the thing about pregnancy you’re fearing the most and quite often it’s the thing you’ll talk about the least.

What causes stretch marks?

Stretch marks are causes by the supporting layers of tissue under your skin tearing as it’s pulled during pregnancy. It also has a lot to do with genetics – if your mother was prone to stretch marks during pregnancy, then it’s likely you will be too. Rapid pregnancy weight gain can also lead to stretch marks.

What can I do?

If you’re trying to avoid stretch marks as much as possible you may want to try these few

Moisturise – Nothing is a cure for stretch marks, however moisturising daily will certainly help to prevent them. If nothing else, it will help to stop the itchy skin you’re likely to be experiencing.

Nourish from the inside – Plenty of vitamin C in your diet will help keep your skin toned and less prone to stretch marks.

Weight watching – Keep an eye on your weight gain during pregnancy. Putting on weight slow and steady during pregnancy is recommended rather than in large spurts.

Pregnancy

Acne During Pregnancy

You may have noticed a change in your skin during your pregnancy this can be for one of two reasons – hormone surges and your body retaining more fluids. The increase of hormones causes progesterone which causes an increase of acne-causing secretions of oil which can clog up pores and cause bacteria to build up. While your body is retaining more fluids, this also contains toxins which can lead to spots.

How can I rid my acne?

Clean your face with gently with a mild cleanser which is soap-free, once in the morning and once in the evening. Your pores tend to clog around around your hairline and jaw, so make sure to cleanse these areas more thoroughly. If your hair is oily, it’s important to wash it on a regular basis to try and combat this. Although you may be getting annoyed at the extra pimples on your face, it’s vital to not get too aggressive with the scrubbing. Your skin is most likely going to be extra sensitive during pregnancy and over-washing can strip your skin of its natural moisture.

Eat smartly too. It may be obvious but sugary foods can have a major impact on your skin, so make sure you cut back on these foods in your diet. Also, drinking plenty of water will help flush our your skin, keeping it cleaner.

 

Pregnancy

5 Reasons To Love Your Bump

Yes, your body may be changing at an alarming rate and you miss the sight of your toes as you stare down at your belly, but there’s so many reasons why you should learn to love your bump. Pregnancy can be the most wonderful time, but it can also be the most challenging. You’re rewarded in the most beautiful way at the end of it all, but the swollen feet, sickness and lack of energy can certainly take its toll.

1 People are nicer

Whether it be they’re more helpful or they simply seem to respect you more, people respond well to pregnant women.

2 It’s sexy

Ok, so you might not feel in the least bit sexy, but in fact you are! Think about it, with baby comes boobs and if you’re not exactly blessed in that department it’s a welcome body changer (despite the tenderness)!

3 Children love you

There’s something about a pregnant belly that seems to fascinate children. They talk to the bump in the way only a child would do so, and can often make you feel more relaxed.

4 Snack perch

Forget plates, you have a new little snack perch that means you can snack all day long! – well you are eating for two!

5 Dressing your bump is fun

It can be tough discovering what works for your new body but once you find that perfect look, you can play fashion stylist for a whole nine months.

First Trimester, Pregnancy

Why Eating Leafy Greens Is So Important During Pregnancy

Everyone is always saying how important our veggies in our diet are and well, when you’re pregnant they couldn’t be more vital! Vegetables such as spinach and broccoli contain more essential vitamins and minerals than most others, including vitamin E, riboflavin, folic acid, magnesium and beta-carotene.

But, it’s not only those leafy greens that are important pregnancy dietary requirements, try adding yellow fruits in there too such as mango and cantaloupe as they have all the same nutritious values that baby and you require during this vital time.

If veggies just aren’t your thing, remember you can still get all of those vitamins into your system the sweet way by opting for fruit. Why not try a smoothie instead? – This can count towards one of your daily recommendations.

First Trimester, Pregnancy

Week 10: Tired, Hungry & Glowing

I have to admit previous to getting pregnant myself I didn’t really believe those women who would harp on about how tired they were feeling so early into their pregnancy. I kept thinking, god you’re hardly even showing how can you possibly feel your body changing so much. Boy was I wrong. I have gained the biggest sympathy towards every single pregnant woman out there. I thought I might be at an advantage, with being quite a young mum I thought youth would be on my side and make feel more energetic than the pregnant women I had experienced before. Nope.

All I can say is that the word exhaustion doesn’t even come close.

Chris will be the first person to tell you I am a ridiculously tired person to begin with. I’m one of those people you probably hate for being able to fall asleep even before their head hits the pillow. If you’re talking to me past 9:30pm, well you’re lucky that’s all I can say. I guess I was expecting to feel a little more tired than usual, it’s to be expected really. But never did I think I would be tired to this ridiculous level. Even with a good eight hours sleep under my belt that doesn’t stop me from feeling tired by 10am.

Sitting at a desk all day can be extremely tough, especially because my 9-5 requires me to stare at a computer screen from start to finish too. I have noticed a significant drop in my concentration levels because I find sitting there so uncomfortable. If you’re in a similar position to me, I’ve found getting up and walking around regularly helps me feel more energised. Also, I make sure I go out into the fresh air for lunch instead of staying in the office, not only does it break up the day but the cool air seems to make feel more alive.

I’ve often described myself as a sheep when it comes to eating food. Little and often, grazing all day long. This certainly hasn’t changed during pregnancy. In fact, as soon as I eat I feel hungry again, it’s like even though baby is only the size of a prune right now, they’re literally sapping all of the food from me as soon as I eat. To avoid going hungry I’ve been making sure I have a healthy supply of food around me at all times. I’ve practically taken over one of the fridges at work with all of my fruit, and crackers and breakfast bars fill my desk too.

Never did I think hearing someone say ‘you’re glowing’ would have a serious impact on my mood, but during week ten, a refreshing reminder that I’m doing and looking OK was welcomed with open arms. It’s so hard to feel beautiful when you’re body is rapidly changing and although the change is exciting it’s also incredibly scary too. The reassurance from those around me telling me how good I’m looking when I’m feeling so dreadful has been wonderful.

Heading into week 11 feeling beautiful and positive is more than I could have ever imagined, and despite still feeling tired and hungry all of the time, I’m feeling very blessed to have Chris and baby bear in my life.

Motherhood, Pregnancy

Finding Out The Gender

I have lost count of how many times I have been asked whether or not we’ll be finding out the sex of our first born child, and I’ve certainly got an endless list of people thinking their opinion is gospel. “You’ll regret not having the surprise,” “you need to plan.”

As cliche as it may sound, all I honestly care about is my baby being happy and healthy, whatever gender they might be. And no matter what I may think, right now, the gender decision has already been made. It’s 100% out of our hands.

I toy between the idea of both sexes. How nice it would be to dress my little girl up in all the costumes I loved wearing as a child. Or creating such a dapper little chap in the cute smart outfits for little boys. I honestly am not fussed either way.

I think it would be fair to say that before falling pregnant I would have favoured having a little girl. I think all women want someone they can talk to and relate to. But since learning I was pregnant I honestly have no preference.

Chris and I made a decision on our way to our early scan – if it’s twins we will find out the sex when we can, and if it’s one, we won’t. And as baby number one is growing happily and healthily in there on its own our decision was made.

My mam tells me all the time of the surprise of finding out that I was a girl when so many people were convinced she was having a boy.

Don’t get me wrong, a part of me thinks ‘well it would be a lot easier to find out, for planning sake,’ but we love neutral clothes and accessories regardless so that doesn’t matter, and well we have one name for each sex, so we’re pretty settled on that front.

Did you find out the gender, or did you want the surprise? I would love to hear your stories!

Pregnancy

Itchy Skin During Pregnancy

The change in your hormone levels and the stretching of your skin can make you feel itchy during pregnancy. You will probably notice itchiness across your stomach and breasts – this is quite normal.

How can I soothe the itchiness?

Moisturise your skin well with unperfumed products – you may find due to the extra sensitivity of your skin, your usual products may cause you to be itchier than pre-pregnancy.

Avoid getting too hot as heat rashes can cause the itching to be worse. Wear loose clothing, stay indoors or in the shade if it’s too hot.

First Trimester, Pregnancy

Insecurity During Pregnancy

It’s fair to say I’m not the most confident girl in the world, nor have I ever been, but there’s something about the way your body changes during pregnancy that makes you super sensitive (admittedly a little crazy at times too), and very insecure about the way you look. Chris is the most wonderful, caring, amazing partner I could have wished for, but that doesn’t mean my insecurities don’t sometimes get in the way of things. I don’t mean to let them bother me, but it feels like there’s this constant battle going on inside my head between realising I’m just being silly and hormonal, and the self doubt that I may simply not be good enough anymore.

Don’t get me wrong, I think pregnancy is the most beautiful thing in the world and I can’t wait to watch my body grow and bloom as the baby develops, but I worry constantly about how I’m going to look after birth. At 22, I’m still a fairly young mum-to-be, so sometimes I just put it down to an age thing. My generation is so obsessed with the way they look that maybe my body confidence (or lack of it) is simply down to an age difference between Chris and I – and possibly why he finds it so hard to see why I feel this way.

I’m told that I am loved and that I’m beautiful every single day, but yet I still find it hard to accept this as fact. I must be driving Chris crazy with the constant need for reassurance but it’s hard not to need this to get me through the day. The sad truth is that I can’t just put this down to the pregnancy, I have always been this way. But since becoming pregnant I have most certainly seen an increase in both my emotions and my insecurities.

As our pregnancy progresses, I’ve had so many people ask me about names, and because Chris and I aren’t married, what will baby’s surname be. To be honest, I think this has a lot to do with why I’m feeling so insecure. I want to be a family unit more than anything and by not sharing the same surname as the love of my life and our baby, I’m feeling a little detached from the family we’re about to create. I’m scared of becoming nothing to him once the baby arrives.

Although it’s tough, I’m trying hard not to let things get to me, trying to push through the pain and see how good my life is. I have everything I could want and more and in all honestly I’m tired of that being clouded by my insecurities. Time to see the situation for what it is. I have a wonderful, caring boyfriend and a beautiful baby on the way. Could life get any better?

Have you felt any insecurities during pregnancy? How did you get through them?