What a precious journey being pregnant was. I must say that I really enjoyed it and almost can’t believe our little one has graced us with his presence already. As I write today’s blog, our sweet Matthew is 3 and half weeks old, and I thought I’d reflect on the pregnancy and what helped me through the full 40 weeks.
I found out I was expecting quite early on, so for the first 12 weeks almost seemed like an eternity, I just wanted to shout it from the rooftops! I was fortunate in that the first trimester was relatively smooth going (compared to many other mamas’ stories I’ve heard.)
I experienced a slight touch of nausea in the early days, but no morning sickness. My main symptom of early pregnancy was certainly fatigue. I can honestly say that I’ve never been so tired in my life (even with a three week old!) It’s a different kind of tired, understandably; my body was so busy creating a little human. Being the start of the new school new and all the pressures that come with being a teacher in South East London, the school day was not easy. I would come home sometimes and just pass out, fully clothed in work attire, only to wake in the middle of the night, brush my teeth, wash my face and go back to sleep!
Prior to pregnancy, I was a relatively healthy eater, loving lots of fruit and vegetables , good fats and limiting my carbohydrate and junk food intake. I was determined to keep as healthy as possible for the sake of my baby’s wellbeing and my own. It wasn’t easy at the beginning. Due to nausea, and feeling rather hungry, I craved home comfort foods like creamy mashed potatoes, mac ‘n cheese and marmite on toast with butter. The foods that I loved to eat as a child! That phase didn’t last long and after a few weeks, I was back on track to eating healthily and keeping fit.
Some of the other cravings I got later on in my pregnancy included apple juice, mangoes and avocado (but then again I’ve always loved them!), Donal’s scrumptious omelettes- with cheese and tomatoes and milk! I would often have a large glass of full cream milk before bedtime.
I joined the Reebok gym at Canary Wharf (amazing!) and regularly participated in aqua classes, bumper size and antenatal yoga. The yoga classes were my favourite, and once I was on maternity leave, I attended classes twice a week up until 4 days before Matt was born.
For general wellbeing, peace of mind and relaxation, the yoga was ideal. It gave me time to reflect on and connect with my unborn child, focus and breathe! Our teacher Alenka was great, her demeanour so calm and gentle; I felt instantly at ease. I also believe that the stretches and positions helped my baby to be in the perfect position for birth. I couldn’t recommend it enough.
I think it’s so important to stay healthy during pregnancy, everything that you consume; so does your precious little baby inside of you. That thought really kept me determined! Also, being around other like-minded mums at gym classes helped, it kept me on track and motivated.
One of the best decisions I made was to take my maternity leave at the start of 33 weeks. It was heaven! I could finally take the time to look after myself (and my sweet beanie) physically and emotionally. I had lazy mornings, cooked delicious, nutritious breakfasts, practised yoga and my hypnobirthing techniques and affirmations, got pampered with massages and pedicures, went to the gym and spent quality time with my sister and her beautiful baby boy. With school being as demanding as it was, this time proved invaluable and I would certainly recommend that to any busy working mums-to-be if possible.