woman holding pregnant belly

Spending Time with Bump

[Photo from Pexels]

You might think ‘spending time with bump’ sounds a little odd because he is being carried by me each day. That’s true but I’ve been thinking about how much time I actually dedicate to him even though he’s not on the outside world yet…

Being pregnant is one of the most incredible experiences I have had so far in my life. A little human is growing inside me every day. I feel him kick, wriggle, and move around.

From the moment I found out I was pregnant those ‘mum instincts’ kicked in. And it’s not until recently that I needed to be reminded of them. That’s where my health comes into play. Stress has been a big eye opener in the last few days on how it affects not only me but baby too.

Looking after bump starts with me

In order to look after baby bump, I need to look after myself. I’ve been told several times to take it easy – stop running wild getting those washes done, hoovering up early in the morning, thinking everything has to be done there and then. And there’s a lot going on with day-to-day life too.

Today, I stopped to think, what’s the most important thing in my life right now? And the answer is plural, baby and Danny. A whole new little life and the love of my life to call my own. They give me more meaning each day. I’ve learnt a whole new kind of love and what it feels like to protect and nurture something as well as someone. Our baby boy has brought so much light into our lives before he has even been born.

So, spending time with bump needs to be a big focus for me right now. I always place my hand over my belly and rub it when I feel him. But sometimes I get upset when he doesn’t do the same in return, moving to let me know he is there. And I’ve realised that’s down to me too. Stress isn’t good for anyone, especially not now in my final trimester and the fact I’ve had chronic hypertension (for the last 4 years), needs to be considered. My blood pressure has been creeping up. I know the pregnancy hormones don’t help but I need to change what I do to improve those readings at times.

Taking a step back

Now, I’m really going to try to take more breaks and put things into perspective, otherwise things will take a toll (or more so than they are doing at the moment). I’ve enjoyed my pregnancy so much and I don’t want that to change. It’s such a special, unreal time in my life and I am cherishing it all – the good days and those that aren’t as easy. I do think there should be as many smiles as possible, giving our little boy a message to be smiling inside too.

I’m going to spend more time with bump even if that means a whole day in bed, just me and him. I’m also going to continue to talk to him more, play a song and connect with him because when things get tough, alongside Danny, he makes everything better.

If you’re experiencing your first, second, third, whatever number of pregnancy, let your baby bump know you’re there and do everything in your power to love and care for them.

heart shape on stick in front of a woman's pregnant belly

Loving Your Body During Pregnancy

When you are pregnant there are many changes that your body goes through which affect you mentally and physically. And on the appearance side of things, it can be hard to adjust to your weight and body image. Even the women who receive compliments to say that they are glowing, think about how they look.

You are carrying a baby

Stating the obvious here but remember that you are carrying a baby in your uterus, a baby which develops and grows every day. I keep using the good old saying, I’m bloated!” then I am corrected by, “No, you’re pregnant.” As simply put as it is, it’s true. For someone like me, my weight has never changed drastically, other than the odd 6lbs ish weight fluctuations here and there, sometimes due to Slow Transit Constipation but also because I am a woman, I’m human, and it happens. 

The other week I got teary eyed when I weighed myself. Maybe it was an emotional day or perhaps the reality of that true pregnancy weight gain hit me. Either way, I am reminded that every woman’s body is different. We all have our own shapes and we shouldn’t let our minds think so negatively about our bodies – that goes for inside and outside of pregnancy. But remember, during pregnancy, there’s a baby, a placenta, fluid etc. There’s bound to be weight gain. If you are concerned, speak to your midwife. 

Growth is precious

Remember the day you found out you were pregnant? Baby was barely the size of a pea. If you was like me, it was very early on. Your baby goes through some huge milestones. From that first scan to the anomaly scan, you notice a difference in baby’s size and features. 

So, if you love to see your little bundle of joy growing, try to enjoy the wanders that pregnancy brings the growth of your body. I for one struggled a little at first, especially facing the fact that clothes didn’t fit anymore or just didn’t look right. After only a few weeks, I told myself to cherish everything, even the sickness in the first trimester reminded me that baby was inside and was changing every day. 

I adore my baby bump. The bigger it gets, means baby is growing more and getting stronger. And I cherish each and every movement and kick that I feel, no matter what time of the day it is.

Love your pregnancy body

Try not to compare yourselves to other pregnant women, stories, predicted baby weights etc. Enjoy your pregnancy! Make the most of feeling your little one wriggle around inside you. Bond with your baby – talk, play music, let your partner be part of the experience as much as possible. I look in the mirror most mornings as I get change and I now accept my pregnancy body. If there are times where I am starting to feel low, Danny always tells me, “You look beautiful!” then gives me more food to cheer me up of course!

I love the days where I can wear nice dresses, especially as we are now in the spring months (or at least they say it’s spring in the UK at the moment but the weather doesn’t look like it). I am so excited for the summer months to be here for more flowy dresses, and the moment will be here before I know it when we are holding our baby boy in our arms. 

A quick little tip here for any pregnant women, Palmers lotion for stretch marks is really good. I definitely recommend. 

fresh glass of milk

How to Cope with Heartburn During Pregnancy

Oh the wonderful joys of heartburn during pregnancy. Heartburn is something I have experienced before until my second trimester of pregnancy. It started with a burning sensation in my throat followed by acid that travels from your stomach to the oesophagus. So, I am having random bursts of this, sometimes when eating and other times I could just be doing my usual daily activities. Luckily, I haven’t had it too severely but there are a few things I can suggest due to the difference I have seen when doing the below.

Do not drink caffeine or fizzy drinks

This is a given as you are advised to avoid caffeine during pregnancy, thank you for decaf tea! But one thing I noticed going a few weeks back, is that I wanted to drink Pepsi Max whenever Danny had it during meals or throughout the day. That goes with the list of many things I want when Danny has them! But unfortunately it doesn’t help and only makes heartburn during pregnancy worse. Try having a glass of milk. This has worked wonders with me most nights. It’s said to neutralise the acids in your stomach. 

Avoid spicy foods

Wait, what? Don’t eat spicy foods? I know, it’s a challenge for me too. I love so many spicy foods. But if you want heartburn during pregnancy to ease or go away, you have got to do what you can. There are so many little things like peri peri pasta salads, curry, fajita chicken wraps etc. You name it. If it’s spicy, I want some (all) of it. I have treated myself to the odd spicy treat here and there. Reducing the amount I usually eat and certainly helped. The same goes with greasy foods too. 

Drink lots of water

Again, something you hear often during life inside and outside of pregnancy. Staying hydrated is important and it’s another natural way to help reduce heartburn. One thing I like is a nice smoothie during the day. But I have to keep an eye on eating or drinking too many citrus fruits as this doesn’t contribute well to easing heartburn during pregnancy. 

Try not to eat too much chocolate 

Erm… I am a chocoholic during pregnancy so that’s just mean! Needs must though and I do steer away from it if I know heartburn is coming back with a vengeance. I am writing this post, it is Easter Sunday so there’s no doubt about me indulging in chocolate later. It’s a worth a try if it’s an option you haven’t given a go during your pregnancy yet. 

Do medicines like Gaviscon help?

It is safe to take Gaviscon when you are pregnant and there are a few flavours available. However, there are some guidelines which outline when you shouldn’t take it e.g. if you have kidney or heart disease (see https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/gaviscon/).

I was given a large bottle of Gaviscon from my GP the other month which was good as outside of pregnancy I think you usually have to buy it over the counter. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to feel the true effects from Gaviscon because my midwife and MAViS advise me to take 2 aspirin each night along with my prescribed blood pressure tablets due to chronic hypertension (developed years before pregnancy). It can be a pain because with me, heartburn tends to appear more at night time. And taking these along with Gaviscon within 2 hours of each other only makes heartburn symptoms worse. So, I only take Gaviscon if none of the above have helped or if it’s kicking in worse than ever.

I also have some medicine to take as I have slow transit and chronic constipation. I think this is why I was sick on one occasion. Try to find the best time to take it and make it a routine if you are taking other medication. Always consult your GP first to make sure it’s safe. 

More information on heartburn during pregnancy 

There are a few other remedies which your GP may advise. Visit NHS online to find out more: https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/related-conditions/common-symptoms/indigestion-and-heartburn/ 

baby boy star shaped balloon

We Are Having a Baby Boy!

About a month after we discovered I was pregnant, there were many questions on our minds, one being “I wonder if we are having a boy or girl?” For us, the most important thing is that our baby is healthy and developing well but it’s exciting to think about whether you are bringing a baby boy or girl into the world.

Before the 20 week scan

Leading up to the 20 week anatomy scan, I just wanted to be sure everything was okay. I have worried about a couple of things along the way but I am only human. I guess those mum feelings kick in right away eh? Each week I learn about how our baby is developing and what’s new. From around the moment their heart starts to beat to having tiny fingers, toes and nails, to growing their vital organs and being able to recognise their gender on a scan.

The day of the 20 week scan

The day had finally arrived! As excited as I felt to see our baby, I’ll admit I was little nervous. “What if the sonographer picks something up? Have I been doing everything I can to make sure they are as healthy as possible?

Our appointment was early in the morning at 8am so we didn’t have to wait around wondering for part of the day. We entered the room, I lay on the bed and the sonographer put some gel on my stomach to start the ultrasound. She gave us a quick glimpse of baby, said she will do all of the checks then come back to show us baby again at the end in more detail.

I was asked to lie on my left side because baby was in a funny position and then asked to lie on my right side. The silence killed me wondering what was going on. A couple of tears strolled down my eyes. Moments later the sonographer turned the screen to us and there were no concerns.

I smiled and heart began to relax. Oh my, their little hands, arms, legs, heart beating strong, even their eye sockets! I fell in love all over again. Danny squeezed my hand then he started to tear up. Everything’s okay. In fact, it’s amazing. Our little dream come true is growing well and everything looks healthy. And guess what? We are having a BABY BOY! A big brother to our second child in the future (we hope). He was looking right at us and gave us a wave.

Were any of the gender myths true?

Quite a few people asked me if I had signs or feelings along the way that it’s a boy or girl. The truth is, no. This is my first pregnancy so I have nothing to compare it to. And it turns out all of the baby gender myths weren’t true for me. I have become a chocoholic, haven’t had any real cravings, typical morning sickness in the first trimester etc. One thing I didn’t have before I was pregnant is indigestion and that sure loves to kick in every now and again, especially at the night time.

Boy or girl, we always knew our baby would we loved so much even before they are born. We are imagining so many special moments in the future. 

We are having a son who will be a page boy when we get married! I am imagining the cuteness already. There are so many magical moments happening for us and there isn’t anyone else I would want to experience them all with but Danny. We’ve got this!

Here’s to seeing you again, our beautiful baby boy.